Monday, October 20, 2014

truly home

"I'm going to go home," my mother states firmly, her face filled with emotion.
"I'm sure my mother is missing me," she adds, and then, to help me understand, she adds, "She lives three miles out of town you know."
My grandmother lived most of her adult life 'out of town' and her move to Clearwater in her 80's, into an apartment in a seniors complex was truly life altering. I'm sure there were many things about her log home surrounded by woods that she missed, but she never spoke with regret about her move. Instead, she seemed to embrace the change. Now there were next door neighbors and friends and outings and socials and visiting galore. She continued with good humor to keep her own small space, did her own cooking, took long walks daily........Her life was full of all of the things that give daily life meaning. All of the simple things, of friendship and hobby and faith and family, and in just the right amounts of each to suit the unique woman she was.
She has been gone now for more than twenty years.
It seems much longer somehow.
My mother's childhood home has been gone even longer.
My mother doesn't realize that to go home, she would need to be a time traveler.
She would need to 'break the bonds' that hold us to this time and place.
In this time and place she is an old woman.
But in that place, she is truly home.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

sink or swim

Oh, for a moment last night, I thought I heard the rustle of wings, as my hopes and dreams fluttered out the window.
No?
Too melodramatic?
Well, my baby granddaughter doesn't call me Drama for nothing.
I don't have time to wallow though.
The next wave is already rolling in and I have to concentrate to keep my footing.
It's sink or swim.

Monday, October 13, 2014

plainly preferred

A positively peachy, plainly preferred pile of perfectly plump pancakes placed by papa on a pleasantly pretty plate. 

word of the day

The average house was once pretty little.
There was no place to hide back then.
Togetherness was the word of the day.
Then Rumpus Rooms came into existence.
Rumpus is a great word.
It says noise, loud and clear.
Play brought indoors.
It was a first step on a slippery slope.
Rec Rooms came next. Funny, I always thought of them as Wreck Rooms.
Same idea as rumpus, but a little more structured. The kids weren't just bouncing off the furniture anymore, they were playing table tennis on the coffee table.
Back then fathers had Dens.
Hibernation was more than implied.
It was often quite literal.
The shift to Family Rooms really spoke to a cultural shift.
So did the advent of Great Rooms.
And the idea of Open Concept.

Kind of makes me think of the expression, Children should be seen and not heard.
Of course when I was a child, we were neither seen or heard. We shot out the door first thing in the morning and rambled and roamed til dusk, only reappearing briefly to wolf down our macaroni and cheese.
By the time I had children of my own, there had been that subtle shift in culture. Children were kept a little closer, under the wing.
And it is even more so now.

Still, I wouldn't want to say we've got it right. Nor would I want to say that then was better.
Time swirls along.
Things change.
We still have families though.
And homes.
And all those words from the past can have a place.
Noise, play, space, openness, change.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

vintage woman

"That was a car from the nineties," my grandson observes, turning in the truck to look out the side window.
"From the nineties...how can you tell?" I ask.
"They just look different," he kindly explains. "They're an older style."
I do the math.
"When I was your age," I say, "an older style was a car from the fifties."
"The fifties!!" he exclaims.
"That was more than fifty years ago."
"They would be antiques now," I muse.
"Grandma, you're an antique.
Because you're more than fifty years old."
"Well," I bluster.
"Not an antique. I'm not antique. Maybe vintage..."
A vintage woman.
Sure sounds better than an antique one.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

spectator sport

It's Garbage Day today; the crows favorite spectator sport.
They arrived early to get the best seats.
They're loud and pushy already.
Down the street, the Concession is open and they are elbowing each other out of the way.
It's all about the food.

like a leaf

There was a hummingbird in my yard the other day. It zipped from the late delphinium blossoms to the top of the plum tree. My eyes were not as swift, but there it was, right at the tip of a branch like a curled leaf. A bird, like a small green leaf against the October sky.