Sitting in the meadow he gathered spoil of flowers, plucking them one by one with a joyful heart.”
*photo courtesy of Google Chrome
For several months my husband and I have been thinking about downsizing. Finding a house a bit smaller. Maybe even traveling to a warmer state? But in the back of my mind were smiles and giggles of grand-babies. How could I leave them? Then came an announcement that Grand-baby number six was on the way. The perfect package to rock under the Christmas tree. Still, we live about an hour away from my oldest son and his family. Even worse, we are more than states away from my youngest son and his brood of five who live in South Carolina.
Even our closest family is too far away to scoop our grand-babies up for an hour of play or take them for a ride through a shaded park. It’s nearly impossible for a spur of the moment visit. Rarely, are we able to watch our oldest grand-daughter jump off the balance beam or swirl and twirl in pink satin toe shoes. Everything we do together has to be pre-planned with much of their little lives passing us by. We simply live too far away….
So, a couple of months ago we decided to take the plunge. Make a move that will change the whole of our lives. Find a place to live that will give us more family time and allow us more time to travel too! I worked day and night to get our home ready for sale. No easy feat. Nowadays it must look like a magazine photo shoot. The old adage it true, “You only have one chance to make a good first impression.” After one showing we received a contingent offer which seems to be all wrapped up this week, allowing us to move on to the next phase. Panic has set in because I have no idea where I’m going, and I’m sad at the same time to leave my home. At the same time, I’ll be closer to my family which in the end will all be worth it.
I soon learned that sorting through boxes of memories stuffed in caramel colored cardboard is so very difficult. What to take to the next stage of life? Tape me up and tie me with a string! Of course, material possessions are not the most important thing. Relationships are. My family is, which is the reason for the move in the first place. And yet when I clasp a tiny clay bowl fired and glazed by my son nearly thirty years ago, how can I let go? Why do things like this touch me so? Forever in the palm of my hand……
Although not finished yet, I’ve done a pretty good job of combing and dividing everything up. There are rows of boxes to take to the next house, wherever that may be, and other’s overflowing with treasures to be donated. Several cartons gently wrapped and packed with dolls carefully chosen for each grand-daughter, many of them handed down from my own mother. If only she were here to one day see joyous little faces pop pink peanuts from the very top! Currently, I’m in the midst of all the ‘fun’ stuff, calling for all inspections, making minor repairs, and praying I find a new home VERY SOON.
Before the end of summer, I’ll be leaving my cozy, turret office space where I’ve written words nearly every day for the last several years. And, yes, the back of my yard too, where deer, turkey, and other wildlife play. My little forest land where red cardinals and blue birds sing in the green of the trees will soon play lyrics for a family of new. They are the perfect couple to live here, which makes for a happy heart beating in my chest. I know the two of them will fill the brick walls of my home with warmth and love for years to come.
This morning, just after sunrise, I woke to walk Doodles where trees and grasses and weeds grow freely not so far away. The air was cool with a slight breeze that rejuvenated me from the inside to the out. Sunlight bounced off tips of trees, angling just right, allowing me to snap pictures of life others might not notice or simply pass by. I, on the other hand, wanted to lay among the damp grass, soaking every wet bead from each emerald blade into my pores while looking into the clear blue heavens above.
Sweet weeds of future inspiration……
There are no more excuses! https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2016/06/18/five-ways-to-be-more-likeable/
“Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles.” ~Confucious 1. Pay attention to detail Let’s face it, people love to be noticed. Whenever you meet someone new, take a moment to identify what makes them unique. Make sure to look for positive attributes so you don’t end up pointing out that someone has poor posture or dirty shoes. Maybe they have a nice […]
Recently discovered in a dark corner of my basement was a nondescript cardboard box. Inside was a stack of papers including my marriage license and birth certificate, old files and paperwork, together with early photographs of the children when they were very young. Deep down, flat and pressed nearly against the right side of the coagulated box of plain paper brown was a long ago forgotten letter saved for many, many years. A treasured gift rediscovered that I’ll pass down to my children who will hopefully pass it down to their own. Part of my legacy was folded into a wrinkled envelope of sixty-three years.
Written in a pen of turquoise ink on five pages of thick, yellowed paper was a letter scrawled from my father to his own. Moving to the windowed stairwell, I held it in my shaking hands where I could read it in better light. Staring at my father’s writing, his cursive, capital D’s curled to the left while the bottom of the letters swirled to the right. ABC’s from his heart as he bared his soul to my paternal grandfather, the man most important to him in all of his world.
Although my grandfather was a warm and loving man, he rarely expressed any emotion to his son, which made reading this letter particularly poignant. Not once was the word, “Love” ever written, yet anyone can read between the lines. I nearly cried the whole way through. My dad was in the United States Air Force and had recently learned his father had taken ill after losing his beloved brother (my father’s uncle). I’m re-writing my father’s letter word for word, exactly as he wrote it at the age of 19. A boy’s hand penning the words of a young man…..
I’m not much for soft words Dad, but I think it’s about time I told you what a great guy you really are. Ever since you took me to that fair or carnival or what ever it was; all I can remember about it is, that there were some great big trucks. I guess they looked about half as big as the world at the time. On the way back you bought me my first candy bar. And when I used to meet you coming down the street from work and you’d let me steer. Oh, yes, and when we went swimming; you’d hold me up so I could kick my feet.
When I grew up a little, we use to play ball or catch together. Remember when we use to go hunting; when that Pheasant went up, he came down soon, I hardly ever saw you miss.
Well Dad, ever since I was old enough to know anything at all, I knew you were a very wonderful Dad and I was a very lucky kid for having you for my Pop. You are the most, to say the least.
Remember all the trouble I used to get into; stealing fruit, fighting, and smoking, when I was just a kid. Maybe it is a good thing I smoked then, and I don’t have to smoke now, and I don’t.
How about that gate night, that all of us guys broke all those windows and got caught and went to court too. Boy, that was the limit. How did you ever put up with it all anyway?
Well, I have grown up a lot, and this Christmas I’ll be twenty one, and I’m supposed to be a man. Right now I think I’ll be a man by Christmas. I’m not afraid of anything or anybody.
Having wonderful parents like you and Mom are, to have raised me, I know I’ve made it. Mom certainly is a wonderful woman and Mother too. You sure picked the right woman when you married her. You two certainly are the best parents a guy could ask for.
Well Dad, how have you been feeling lately? I hear, not too good, huh. Well, you should go see the doctor right away. You know, I only have one Dad like you. I know Uncle Charlie’s death must have hit you pretty hard. He sure was a great guy, wasn’t he? But let’s not let it get the best of us Pops. Those things happen, but when they do, we just have to remember the pleasant things about them. We’re tough enough, we can take it, we have to, that’s all.
Well Dad, I made it home for your birthday when you were sixty one, and I’m trying to make it home for mine and I’ll be twenty one. Gosh I’ll be old enough to vote now, and buy beer too. When I come home, we’ll go down town and I’ll buy you one, ok?
Well Dad, I guess I’ve rattled on long enough. Take good care of yourself Pops and Mom too. Hope to see you in one short month.
*With LOVE to you and yours, I wish you a Happy Father’s Day!
Such a delight to Reblog this sweet story with a lovely photograph. https://throughopenlens.com/2016/05/17/lets-get-in-formation/
F/ 7.1, 1/800, ISO 200.
Mute Swan and Cygnets
A three year old walked over to a pregnant lady while waiting with his mother in the doctors office.
He inquisitively ask the lady, “Why is your stomach so big?”
She replied, “I’m having a baby.”
With big eyes, he asked, “Is the baby in your stomach?”
She said, “He sure is.”
Then the little boy, with a puzzled look, asked, “Is it a good baby?”
She said, “Oh, yes. It’s a real good baby.”
With an even more surprised and shocked look, he asked…
“Then why did you eat him?”
Interesting Fact: Hans Christian Andersen’s fairly tale The Ugly Duckling chronicles the woes and triumphs of a young, Mute Swan that hatches in a clutch of duck eggs but goes on to become a beautiful swan. Some speculate that the book was based on Andersen’s own less-than-handsome looks as a…
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One by one the pins wobbled at the end of the lane except for two. Jumping in the air, I hugged my team-mates, surprised that I would even score. My husband rolled a blue marbled ball down a waxed wooden lane, next to me. Ten pins fell down. Strike! Then my cell phone rang. It was our son. “She’s in labor, Mom.” Within an hour, we were picking up our grand-daughter, Gracie, together with our son’s diabetic alert dog, ‘”Nimbus.”
I remember the first morning of a May spring day when a five-week-old British Lab pup changed our lives forever. A crawling warmness of black droopy ears, wet pink tongue, and four oversized paws was laid into our son’s waiting arms. Standing next to him was his then, “fiancé,” brimming with love and support. She smiled her gentleness of future hope for a married life free of blood sugar demons lurking beneath skin ready to snatch their independence away.
Now, four years old, “Nimbus” has grown to 65 pounds or more. He bows for ‘high’ blood sugar or raises a paw for ‘low’ blood sugar. A member of their family, he is a life-saving tool. Still, when it came time for baby to arrive, it had been decided that Nimbus was best left with Grandma together with his ‘sister,’ Gracie.
The next couple of days, my house turned into a sort of Fairytale Land, where I tried my best to see that Gracie got her rest. Still, when awake, she was Number One for heaven’s sake! On hardwood floors throughout the house, we took turns pushing naked baby dolls in pink strollers. Faster and faster we went, like running an imaginary race with no finish line in place. In the end, she always won with some silly prize she delighted in.
We played outdoors or walked the dogs. Along the way we stopped to pick yellow dandelions with a toddler neighbor, blowing fluffy white ones into the wind. Tiny pieces danced up and away into the breeze like wishes made the night before. For supper, I cooked gooey mac & cheese. Holding Gracie on my hip, she poured a cold mixture from a zippered bag, eyes wide with wonder watching yellow melt into white macaroni. Afterward, we smacked on hot fudge sundaes for dessert, wiping dark brown chocolate from chins while staring at “Frozen” on the big screen TV. Nimbus tried to sneak a bite. Little Gracie’s voice stopped him by singing, “Let it go…Let it go.”
The last night before Gracie went home to a new baby brother, we finished with a bubble bath in Grandma’s deep jetted tub of speckled brown, like sand in sparkled sun. Bubbles billowed while she lifted handfuls to share with me. Before I knew it, Nimbus leaped up and over the rim. Four strong legs stirred and splashed waves, everywhere. A surge spilled over the side. Froth and foam floated to the floor. Big black eyes peeked through soft clouds of pinkish-white. Gracie patted more on top while squealing loud with delight. “Oh, Nimby,” she giggled. “Nimby’s in the tub!”
When darkness fell, Gracie didn’t want to climb into her crib. “Grandma’s bed,” she said. Resting her head on a feather pillow, she sucked on a pacifier while stroking her worn pink bunny between thumbs and forefingers. “Gracie, did you have fun at Grandma’s house?” She shook her head up and down through sleepiness. I asked her next, “What was your favorite part of today?” Abruptly, she sat up, cocking her head to the side with a knitted brow. Yanking out her pacifier with one hand, it made a loud suction sound like pulling the plug from a drain.
“Oh, Grandma,” she said, dreamily. “Your baftub. Nimby in the tub. Grandma washed my hair…sooo soft.” She touched damp curls to her cheek and plopped back down to the plump of a pillow.
Then, in the dim light of my rose-colored lamp, I thanked God for that moment. It stopped my heart with memorable love, leaving me with it until the day I die.
*A memory of two years ago. How fast life changes. Today, my son and daughter-in-law are expecting their third child! Gracie is now age four with her younger brother, the baby above and below over two! And, Nimby…well, he’s slowed down to working only part-time these days. During my son’s working hours at the National Weather Service, Nimbus is on full duty. At home, he takes a break by playing with the kids, chewing on bones, and taking walks in the park. You might say Nimby is spoiled most of the time, like any other pet. Either way, Nimbus has a dog-gone good life!
Colors splash so vibrantly
From ground or painted pots
Silent sounds near rainbow’s end
Bend my head, breathe a scent, intoxicate me
With beauty and beyond.
For every bloom my eyes now view
Tones and tints and hues are sent
Waving wand, casting spells, distance me
Not afar tranquility
The magic garden of serenity