a second look, changing times, childhood, connections, coping, courage, death, faith, family, finding my way, friends, grief, growing old, healing, home, memories, perseverance, photography

Connections…

An uncle came to stay with me once, I’m not even going to try to think of how long ago that was.  He was an academic all his life, a college guidance department head, which is probably why he phrased it as wanting to see my ‘nest’.  That that thought came to mind seems like a natural progression during this nesting season here in Florida, when birds are on my mind a lot of the time.  And somehow that phrase further brought to mind something my closest friend’s husband said to me once after visiting with them.  While I had always felt the closeness between this friend and myself, communication was not so easy in the days when we both had little kids, businesses to run, and lived 3000 miles apart.  So I invited myself to visit them after many years, and when he drove me to the airport to leave he said that we were ‘two peas in a pod’, and that it was a crying shame that we hadn’t been able to be part of each other’s daily lives all along.  On my way to see them on that visit I had said to myself that knowing myself I ought to be nervous, after all I was going to see people that I honestly didn’t know, but I wasn’t at all worried.  And from that first moment that I stepped back into my friend’s life, and home, I felt completely at ease.  More than that though, I felt like myself.  My true self, the ‘real’ me.  Silly, huh?  Who’s life was I leading all those years, living all over the country and raising my kids with only occasional visits to the place I continued to think of as home?  Those were happy years that I treasure, but there was a little part of me that felt alone.  No, apart.  Disconnected.  But not any more, not since I’ve made connections to the past, connections that are mine alone.  Little children that we once were, and who have lived such different lives, are now knowing and cherishing each other in this last part of life.  How we got here hardly matters, it’s just so wonderful to be here.

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coping, courage, death, faith, family, finding my way, friends, grief, healing, life, life goes on, loneliness, marriage, memories, perseverance, photography, sunrise

Time…

It was a gloomy morning, which matched my gloomy mood.  Today we were saying goodbye to yet another friend.  Yet again I would see a dear friend taking her first steps down the slippery slope of widowhood.  I’m five years in at this point, and I now know just how long this process is, this adjusting to life on your own.  At first I found myself astounded that a week had passed, then two weeks, and then a month.  Time, it seemed was relentless.  Impossible as it seemed the days kept passing, and it all became a blur.  Something I recently heard on TV struck me, it made me look online for a quote so I could repeat it correctly.

 

Time is free, but it’s priceless.

You can’t own it, but you can use it.

You can spend it, but you can’t keep it.

Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back.

by Harvey MacKay

A silly poem from a friend warmed my heart and brightened this gloomy day for me.  I hope everyone takes time to let the people they care about know that they are loved.  Don’t waste your time, it’s precious…

connections, courage, death, faith, family, finding my way, friends, grief, growing old, home, life, life goes on, loneliness, making memories, perseverance, photography

Traveling…

I didn’t drive for 11 days straight.  That has to be a record for me.  For 11 days I was surrounded, literally, by family, and friends close enough to be family.  I was hardly ever alone, and for the last few years I have been telling myself that being alone is just the greatest thing.  No witnesses is what I told myself was the best part, for my own silliness. And for the most part that’s still true.  But it’s so quiet in here now that the coffee pot has finished its morning duties.  The traffic noises haven’t begun.  It’s too quiet.  Turning on the TV might provide noise, if noise is all I wanted to hear.  This has been my home for a year now, but I’ve been traveling for half that time at least.  And now I’m here, surrounded by all my things.  Sentimental reminders of other times, of the people I have cared about my whole life.  But sitting in the dark and quiet I realize that I can’t hear the sound of breathing.  Of life.  That’s the sound that’s missing…

a second look, faith, finding my way, friends, grief, growing old, healing, life goes on, memories, moments, perseverance, photography, road trip, Uncategorized

Gazing ball…

Her husband said we were two peas in a pod.  He said it was a shame we haven’t lived close enough to be part of each other’s day-to-day life all along.  And now we are both alone, and I’ve come to visit for a while, but I’ve been a little too comfy with my oldest, dearest friend.  And too well-then-care-of, what with the toasted tomato sandwiches with just-picked tomatoes.  It would be so much easier to stay here and enjoy the conversation over coffee, and the cribbage by candlelight out on the porch, with a glass of wine.

But change is in the air, it’s time to move on, for both of us.  I will move along tomorrow, heading for coastline and lighthouses. And that’s as far as my plan goes.  Her plan is still writing itself.  I looked into this gazing ball in her garden today, and wondered if it were a crystal ball would I want to know the future?  Would she? Or would we rather keep putting one foot in front of the other and trust that we are heading down just the right path for ourselves?   Okay, maybe just a little peek???

blessings, childhood, connections, coping, courage, faith, family, friends, healing, honor, memories, moments, perseverance, photography, road trip, strangers become friends

Lisa…

I only met her once.  She had long ago married into the family that I loved in my childhood, and had recently fallen in love with again despite the 60+ year absence.  On Sunday I attended her memorial, her celebration of life.  And with four generations of family present it truly was a celebration.  Hearing everyone from her granddaughter to her sister speak of her love of reading and love of family, I saw that I would have enjoyed knowing her. But she was gone too soon.  She was a special part of this special family, and I saw that she will be missed.  And remembered.  It was a privilege to have been included in this day.

This celebration was held at her brother’s house, and when I arrived I was concentrating on seeing/meeting this large group of people that I had never met.  It was after I’d been there a few minutes that I began to notice the house itself. The low plaster and beamed ceiling as you walk in, and the seven (I think) fireplaces, one in every room. Turns out it was built in 1724, and as much of the original as possible is still present.  When necessary improvements had to be made, such as in the kitchen with it’s loft overlook, the original wood that had been taken out was used to build any new cabinets, etc.  It’s completely obvious that this house has been loved.  And it may not be an exaggeration to say that George Washington slept there.  His 2nd in command married the daughter of the home owner back in those old days, so it’s entirely possible.  Though someone mentioned that considering all the area houses making the claim that George Washington slept there it would seem George may have slept around a bit.  As we left we were talking about what a nice memorial it had been, which may be why I forgot to take the outside shots I had intended to take.

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blessings, connections, faith, finding my way, friends, life goes on, memories, perseverance, photography, road trip

Simply perfect…

My hometown of Brockton, MA has survived the years since I moved away, but time has beaten some of the polish out of it.  I remember gorgeous old churches on street corners, churches made of stone with impressive turrets and stained glass windows.  The fact that they weren’t Catholic Churches meant that I never ventured inside though.  Some of these beautiful buildings are gone now, and the corners they stood on now hold far less beautiful, but possibly necessary, building’s like Walgreen’s, etc.  A friend told me that there used to be four Congregational churches in Brockton, each in it’s own lovely building.  But each of those buildings eventually needed repairs that couldn’t be afforded so they joined forces into one Congregational church, and I did venture inside with a friend yesterday.  I went to the service with her in order to surprise my cousin who sings in the choir, a plan I hatched last summer. But I was glad that I went yesterday because there was to be a children’s Christmas pageant that day.  It was charming, written by the group and punctuated by beloved Christmas Carols to help tell the story.  It was very well done, simple and charming.  And that’s how I would describe the entire service.  Simple and personal.  And the church itself was beautiful, but not opulent.  White beams and a magnificent organ.  If I’ve been taking a trip into the past, nostalgic for things as the used to be, then I found it there.  Not in a fancy church, but in a sweet and charming service.  Helped along by the fact that the show was stolen by the little boy in a homemade sheep costume, who stopped to hug his mother and then had to gallop down the aisle to catch up with the rest of the players.  No picture though, but I know you get it.12-23organ12-23altar