Sunday, September 29, 2013
Morning Coffee Chat
The world has taken on a golden hue. The mornings are cooler, and the nights chilly enough that I personally can sleep quite comfortably without a fan running. The sun comes up slowly and orange-y and dies at night in a pastel sort of splendor or a blazing of fire red. It's lovely. Despite all this coolness the grass and leaves are still quite green. Were it not for the goldenrod and that lovely slant of the sun, and the date on the calendar page of course, I'd never know the season had changed.
I'm going to go back in time for a moment and share the week just past. Last Sunday evening we went back to synagogue for an evening of music and food to celebrate Sukkot. The evening was cool then, too, but only just cool, not enough for a sweater, perfect for an outdoor concert and picnic meal. It rained Saturday evening, four inches by my rain gauge, and we were concerned we'd end up indoors Sunday. Part of Sukkot is that we spend time outdoors where we can look up to the heavens and Sunday evening's beautiful blue skies and puffy white clouds, colorful sunset and bright stars suited that perfectly. John and I stayed much later than we'd planned, well after dark.
We came to a few revelations that evening which we discussed on the way home. These were not happy revelations. It was just necessary to see these things and this evening helped us to see areas where we needed to further trust God and allow Him to guide us. Those revelations are always emotional for us, not discouraging exactly, but a little daunting and increasing our awareness of how far we must continue to travel.
The week went on fairly well, nothing much to it really, though we were understandably tired after the long weekend and the work loads of the week before. I can't tell you I rested. I worked steadily all day long Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, the main goal being to have the house back in order and good basic cleaning done so that I could work on that craft room which needed to revert to it's other personality of guest room. Now that was a job. I didn't finish it Tuesday though I worked steadily at it. I had to finish that off Wednesday night after John left for work. I actually thought about how nice it would be to have one, just one, extra room in our small house, a room just for me and my things and not have to put them away or move them. But then I realized that John gives up his music room each time the grandchildren come to visit, too...And no, I couldn't see having TWO extra rooms, because that would make this a bigger house than we really need. So I started thinking about how I could better manage storage in that room, as though having turned the closet into a linen/pantry/second freezer space wasn't enough. That room really does have to serve many purposes!
Wednesday day I was out with Mama again. She wanted to to go to a certain grocery as they had several items on sale she knew I used and often bought in bulk. One of those items was a very very good price on butter, much lower than even Aldi's good price. I did stock up on that. My niece and grandniece came along. I hadn't met the baby yet, though she's two months old. Gracious, I've missed the feel of a silken scalp and hair against my cheek and my niece chuckled over my rubbing her baby's head repeatedly. I nodded and smiled and told her I was just as crazy over sweet little feet (must kiss the soles) and chubby little baby bottoms, too. She's a real beauty that baby and she's very good, not in the least fussy.
I was bone weary when we got back that day, drained in an emotional way and physically, too. It wasn't that the day was difficult, but sometimes other people's troubles, even if they aren't spoken of, seem to sit heavily on my heart and I'd simply worn down. I had the troubles of many on my mind and no words of comfort I could give. I was glad that John was going off to work. He worries far too much about me when I get in that state of emotional exhaustion and I cannot make him understand that there truly isn't a thing he can do. I have learned to STOP, as much as possible, all physical labor, sit down and do something mindless but involved enough to occupy my thoughts for an hour or two, like playing a game or reading. I indulge in something soothing to eat or drink, go to bed early and sleep like a log and the next day I am usually all better.So after he left for work Wednesday, I did all that nice self-care and went off to bed at a reasonably decent hour and I slept without any troubles at all.
Thursday morning I woke in a foul mood. Notice how that wonderful night of rest did nothing for my mood? I dreamed all night long, some of the morning dreams were disturbing. I displayed a lot of emotion in them...No doubt a sign of my own mental/emotional overwhelm. I got up and settled immediately to reading my Bible in an attempt to right my head for the day. AND had a nice hot cup of coffee, too, might as well make sure I hit all the right notes, lol. It is not good to be in a foul mood when your husband in coming in from a night of hard work. He isn't likely to be tolerant in the least of moodiness. I'm afraid I didn't do as well as I might have when he came in. I finally loathed my own moodiness enough to urge him to rest while I combined a necessary trip to the grocery with a couple of thrift stops to pick up another few treasures for the booth (still working within the allowance). My road time was spent in prayer behind the steering wheel, which is always good for me. Fewer distractions talking to God on the back roads than there is at home where one tends to get involved in household tasks.
Thursday afternoon the kids arrived with grand-babies in tow. I'd meant to make Daniel a sleeping bag, the sort that is made up of fun fabrics and pillows from the dollar store. I didn't have money over the end of summer to spare for that project and I knew Daniel would ask why. That was the first thing he asked when he came in, too. "Did you make my sleeping bag?" I decided it was best to tell him the truth. I explained that Gramma had been short of cash but that I could now proceed to shop for what we needed. No tears, no devastation, just an "Are you still going to make it for me?" His Mama suggested she would buy him a sleeping bag to leave here but I explained to her I'd made a promise and I'd fulfill it.
It was nice out Thursday afternoon. JD and I talked briefly together while we were alone for a moment outdoors. Then the children all came out to join us, and John and Lori, too. Immediately it was evident that the little princess meant to walk in the yard, so shoes had to be put on and I suggested that Grandpa go with her. Little did I know that those short little legs of hers could really walk a distance! I thought they'd go to the pecan tree, just 50 feet or so from the back steps.
No....Those sturdy little legs carried her around the house, down the long front yard to the bottom driveway and down to my brother's property line and back up again. Grandpa ended up taking a very real walk, all the while with a little hand firmly clasping his finger. Honestly, I couldn't help but go back in my thoughts to an autumn day when Josie, at about the same age, took her Grandpa by the finger and said simply, "Come..." and off they went down the sidewalks of her neighborhood, walking hand in hand. Hard to believe that it's been nearly ten years since that autumn and this, sigh. Of course, the two boys were with them the whole while, but they don't need to hold onto Grandpa's hand to do anything at all. I think it's a privilege really reserved for granddaughters to be treated so royally.
Amie and I had a long talk one night this week, interrupted briefly by the two youngest. What I wouldn't give to hold Amie tight in a good Mama hug and just rejoice over her. Lily had little to say, too anxious to ask permission to go play with a neighbor, and Ross came in wailing after a fall off his bike, sobbing into the phone until soothed with a hug and a freshly made brownie. Amie sent me a picture of him Friday morning, picture day at school, and what a little man that child looked in his vest and shirt and tie. Gracious what I wouldn't give to see those children and be Gramma to them all!
I'm afraid that Friday and Saturday truly passed in a bit of a blur. Three children running about, constantly vying for attention, playing, tossing toys to and fro, needing meals and such, lol. It was grand, you know, but I had to have a nap the same as the twins did! I know this stage doesn't last nearly long enough, but I do miss the chance to talk with my grown children now and then. I'd really like to, you know, just to see that they are all right and remain close to them. But we take our moments and hope somehow we've conveyed our deep love and pride in them and that if things are heavy on their hearts they will come to us.
When they left yesterday I was weary. I didn't do any cleaning up then, since it was a day of rest, but I had to shut my eyes several times, to NOT see all the many things that needed to be done. Housework will always wait upon you. When John left for work, I brought in the things I bought the other day at the thrift stores. I didn't bring them in before because honestly there was no place to put them and I needed to clean them up before moving them to the craft room (now that it's no longer a guest room). So after sundown, I vowed if I did nothing more, I'd at least get the kitchen cleared.
Now Saturday evenings are one of those rare television viewing evenings for me. I started with an episode of House Hunters International. I got up and went to the kitchen and worked during several commercials. And then there was a half hour before my second set of programs came on (Good Neighbors and Keeping Up Appearances on PBS). There are no commercials there so I planned to work a full half hour before they began but Mama called and interrupted me. But all told I got in a good say 35 minutes work between the commercials and the time after Mama called. I went back to work after my second set of programs were off and worked over an hour. I did not finish the kitchen by any means, but the counter tops were clear, there were fresh dish towels put out, a load of dishes soaking and a load of dishes running in the dishwasher. I figure starting the day with the kitchen needing just another half hour's work this morning was a good head start on the household things.
As I worked I contemplated many things. Do you realize that come Tuesday we've a new month upon us once more? I pondered how well I might have tackled my goals and which I've failed entirely and thought about why my goals might be in the month ahead. I thought about my children, thought about several people we've been praying for, wondered if I mightn't finally manage a bit of paint for outdoor work from our budget, thought about the antique/flea market booth and dinner today and menus for this week ahead and Mama's call and so many things. You know how your mind wanders over a dozen or more things as you work away at a task.
But what I didn't wonder at or allow to bubble up at all was a feeling of deep sadness that had overwhelmed me after the children left. I had a dream long ago that when my children grew up they'd live close by. They and their children would visit often, the way we did with Granny, perhaps for Sunday dinners and the occasional weekend. I dreamed I'd be involved in their lives and I'd know them and they'd know us. And instead we've got children scattered away here and there, hours away. They are busy as they can be with work and children and the things their lives toss at them. And we are busy as we can be, trying to keep up with our household and work and tasks and obligations. It's another rocking chair dream and I need to lay it to rest. I am so deeply grateful for cellphones and Internet.
As I do more and more of this genealogy research and I see how families moved from one state to another hundreds of miles away, or even a country an ocean away, I realize that I am living in a day and time when technology is a huge blessing. Not only can I dig about on the Internet to find my family roots, I can keep in touch with my children. But when I felt sad this afternoon, I wasn't thinking of the blessing, just the parts that didn't turn out as I expected...I had to let that sadness sit on my heart a bit and then I could lift it up and see the blessing part. Funny how heavy sadness is and how light blessings seem.
Well dears it's time to check on my pot roast and get back to work. I'm thinking an Apple Brown Betty would taste nice for dessert. I do love an Apple Brown Betty in autumn. Talk to you again next week!