I Wonder As I Wander


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Autumn finally arrived here in a day of cool breezes, the bluest of skies and a flutter of leaves sailing through the air and falling to the ground.

My friend Susan came to spend the day with me Sunday, our first really cold morning.  I had on long sleeves and had put on socks, my concession to the cold.  She wore a thick hoodie.  At one point we stood at the kitchen window and I said "Oh look at the leaves!"  The Faith Tree had just let go of a spate of leaves, all of which sailed past the window.  "I just love fall!" Susan exclaimed next to me and sighed happily.

It was a nice reminder.  I've said in the last few years I feel a certain sadness when autumn days began to arrive.  Saturday I'd said to John that I felt a little reluctant to feel the cold...But somehow Susan's happiness was contagious.  She went to the living room and unpacked the projects she'd brought to work on.  I stayed at the window for another minute or two and admired the beauty of the day and the graceful flow of leaves on the breeze and embraced the season to come.

I've made it a point to stop each day at the window and admire the views.  They are fleeting in length. The turkey foot oak has gone copper and is lovely.  The Sweet Gums remain steadfastly green with a few yellow brown stars here and there.  But the leaves still flutter with each passing breeze.  It's worth a few minutes time to watch the season dwindle down.

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I've been having a bit of trouble writing of late.  I'd come here to write and look at the blank page and eventually close it and go away.  I decided this past week I needed to employ my journal once more. I have, for the past few months, either journaling daily or writing nothing for weeks on end.  I've noticed that when I use my journal I seem to have no trouble writing or finding inspiration.  It's not that I do anything special on those days except emptying my mind of the clutter of thoughts.  To do lists and thoughts about what happened the day before or the dream I had during the night are all I ever write about in my journal,  but it's beginning to work.

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There are times I simply long for places in my past.  Here of late it's the old church where I grew up.

I long to go sit in the old handmade pews and look out of the wavy glass in the windows at the field next door (or the graveyard on the opposite side which is usually where I sat).   I loved the hand made benches, the old kerosene stove, the plain white planked walls, the raised pulpit that was two steps above the rest of the floor.  I want to hear the old fashioned hymns and listen to an old fashioned preacher.

But most of all I want to see the old sweet faces of the dear old widow women I grew up knowing. Beautiful white haired ladies with ear bobs on the huge lobes of their ears and a pearl choker necklace about their necks.

I think about those ladies often.  Miss Callie with her lovely curling hair and that soft sweet face and her cat eye glasses.  I see her daughter Louise now and then in town and it's like seeing a ghost she is so similar to her mother.  Mrs. Waters who lived in a story book cottage behind her daughter's home. Aunt Ruth with her tight little top knot of hair on top of her head, adding height to her small stature. Oh how I miss those ladies!

Each of them meant something unique to me and each of them were as familiar to me as any childhood memory.  They are all long gone, as are the handmade pews and the little girl who loved it all.

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Granny was two years younger than I am now when she was widowed.  She never joined the church she attended, leaving her membership in her childhood church instead.  I don't know just why she didn't go back to that childhood church for services.  Indeed, for all I know, she did.  But she continued attending the Primitive Baptist church long after Grandaddy died.

I was 11 the year Grandaddy died.  I thought then that Granny was terribly old.  I realize now how young she was yet.

I've often thought about what I'd do if John should die, especially while I'm young.  Does that sound macabre or bad?  I don't by any means wish him dead.  I quite like him as well as love him dearly. He's good company.  I suppose it's only because Granny and Big Mama both were widowed young (about my age now) and so I do think of it, having the knowledge that it could happen.  Indeed at times John and I have discussed this between us.  Would we remarry?

We both say, No.  I'm not sure John really means it.  I know what he does mean when he says it.  He doesn't want to deal with new in-laws, step children, etc.  Because even though our family came together nicely in the end, it took a lot of guts and sleepless nights and desperate prayers to get us to the place where we had an all for one, one for all sort of family.  But John is the sort of person who needs someone to be there as a sort of willing audience.  I don't mean that unkindly because it makes him seem terribly egotistical and he's not.  He's one of the most humble men I know.  Nor is he needy.  But he needs company, a companion, a person, a partner.

I on the other hand, do mean it.  I married young (as much emotional youth as fact) the first time. I went straight from my parents' home to being married.   I had children. Though I divorced, I had children.  I didn't date.  Indeed I don't think John and I went on a date more than twice and one of those was at my home.  We spent a lot of time together, he and I, but with five children to juggle between us dating wasn't easily planned nor affordable.

It seems at times I've spent my whole life trying to please people, doing what I might not have done otherwise, giving up my own desires.  It's not that I've always resented it.  Mostly I don't.  Now and then I do, but mostly I don't. As well, I'm rather accustomed to being alone.  It doesn't bother me.  I'm seldom lonely.  I like my own company.  I can find things to do. But I think, were it just myself to consider, there are things I'd do that I don't have the opportunities to do now, places I'd go or stop on my way to other places.  I'd visit the children more often.  Or spend a day in a little town's dusty courthouse studying records. I'd order my days to suit myself more.  How often must we stop mid way of a big project day to prepare a meal or three?  It is a selfish sort of life I'm talking about and it would be something to guard against, not to become too selfish.

But it's more than wanting my own way.  It truly is.  Like John I wouldn't want the heartaches of dealing with a new relationship.  I've been married twice and honestly that is quite enough.  I've had a sad marriage and a very happy marriage and why chance it again?  It's unlikely I'd ever be as happy as I've been with John.  And with that in mind even an okay marriage would be quite sad compared to this one.  The years have flown past with John, filled as they have been with that quiet steady sense of having someone on my side, knowing that I am well and truly loved, laughing at some silly thing or another every day and touched to the very heart of me at least once a day.  What would I miss?  Everything.  But then I always did before I had it.

After my divorce I did doubt there would ever be a relationship in my life again, but I dreamed of an enduring love with some gentle man....How blessed was I to find it?

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Since these posts are truly random here's a random thought:  I bought socks last year.  I spent all day long yesterday gazing at my feet and why?  Because I kept reading the words across my toes.  Due to stretching over the foot and odd embroidery, the words appear to say "Mo Nonsense Lisa".  It's actually No Nonsense USA.

I wonder who thought it was a good idea to put the wording on top of the toe area of the sock?

And more to the point, how long before I  stop wondering why  I've got on Lisa's socks...

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John and I love to watch old movies.  If we had to pay to view TCM we'd be in debt and I mean that sincerely.  We watch a movie at least once a day and more often.  Without fail most days there is at least one scene wherein a match is lit, either for lighting a candle or a cigarette or to view something in the darkness of a room.  It never ceases to amaze us that the matches burn and burn and burn and never get near burning a fingertip.  We keep wondering if there is some special sort of match they used, or if matches today are more quick to burn up than they were then.  We seldom can get a match to burn long enough to light two candle wicks without burning our fingertips.

Granny and Grandaddy used to go out on the river fishing and camping many weekends.  Granny kept a plastic box of matches that she'd fixed up especially to stay dry.  She coated the heads with clear nail polish so damp and wet didn't penetrate the sulfur on the tips.  It seems to have worked very well.

She tells me that growing up, her father never used but one match all day long.  They lit the first fire with it and then lit the wooden match to light any lantern or candle or other fires that needed to be lit.  In other words, they used up every last bit of every single match.  But again I have to wonder if they weren't of a different sort than our modern day matches.

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7 comments:

susie @ persimmon moon cottage said...

I enjoyed your post so much. The story about your "Lisa" socks had me chuckling. In cool weather I wear socks when I am in the house, and sock-wearing weather has commenced around here.

Your writing about the church you attended when you were a child got me to thinking about my Grandma and Grandpa, their little country house, and the old fashioned little country church they attended. They are buried in their little country church cemetery, but in my mind I think of them coming out onto the porch as we pull up, showing us around the farm, Grandma is making popcorn balls, or all of us are at their big old kitchen table saying grace. I wonder what people and places we would visit first if only we had a time machine. How different things might look to us since we'd know how much we would miss it all at some future time.

Winter to Spring, Summer to Fall, changes in the seasons always make me a bit nostalgic.

Lana said...

LOL! I am wearing Lisa's socks too!

After my husband had a heart attack Jan 2014, I knew all too well the possibility of losing him and I can't even think about that awful day. We married at 18 and 20 so we kind of grew up together. I am so thankful that God put people in our lives who poured wisdom into two very selfish people and made us the soul mates we are today.

Wendi said...

Your sock story made me laugh. My daughter asked me the other day who Joe Boxer was. It took me a minute to realize that it was the name on the bottom of my socks!

Sew Blessed Maw [Judy] said...

Terri,
I enjoyed this post, as I do each of your post.
I could just see your child hood church, and the sweet ladies there.It really made me miss our little church too.. Church today is not the same.. Sad.
Your Lisa socks was too funny.It made me want to go look at some of my socks.ha
Have a blessed Sunday.. Judy

Anonymous said...

Again your post about missing home and your old church and its people could have been written totally by me. Will future generations look back and think of us like we do of those we loved now gone? Did they those older ladies also have older ladies they cherished and thought of often too? probably. Back then there seemed a difference. Older ladies dressed different from 30 year old mothers did. Still pretty and nice, but different. Not so much today. They had grace and dignity, depth and knowledge. They seemed rock solid and yet so gentle, so trustworthy. Devout and so unshakable in it. So humble and wise. I want so much to be able to sit next to them and just listen. If I could converse with them I would love to but if I could only listen that would alone be such a blessing. Our older generations were something that I don't know if I will ever live up to. I so wish my children had known them too. To have been among my many relatives during a family dinner or reunion So many interacting and I remember just looking around and soaking it all in. Thankful now I did get that chance. We never realize how short t time we will have to be among those we love. Lesson being to soak in everything now with those we love and cherish. Writing down memories to pass along. thoughts and wonderings and bits of each of us to be passed on. How would you cherish such a thing if your loved ones had done so? When we were together with them they nor us thought it something extraordinary. It was just a visit,, a church service, a walk or a dinner together or whatever But those were the chapters of our live and each book of life has an end chapter. One day theirs came to the end, Ours will too. What stories will they say about our times together? what sweet feelings will they cherish all their lives?
You can't help wondering why you might do if you were left alone someday. I used to think I would remarry but now doubt it. Your thoughts on wanting some tie alone is also totally me. I love being a wife and mother but also have things I would like to pursue too but will there ever be a time to do a few of them? Maybe they are not that important to anyone but me but to me they are special.
Maybe we need to ask and set aside some time now each month or something to be able to do a few of those wishes for ourselves? I don't know how for me right now as each day is rushed even more than before retirement, Less time alone for sure. Yet this time in life has its sweet spots too naturally. Life is always a balance. A balance of so many things. Take away one and add two, add three and take away 5. Always changing but still so wonderful. Enjoy each leaf off those beautiful trees and be there at that window next spring too when they sprout back. Fall is somewhat sad but the joy of Christmas and the celebration of the birth of Christ is just around the corner. Sarah

Sparkiedoll said...

https://uk.pinterest.com/search/?q=%23bulletjournal&term_meta%5B%5D=%2523bulletjournal%7Chashtag

I'm a woman after your own heart...the Autumn leaves here are wonderful. I keep meaning to take a walk in the woods. I will resolve to do it today. The above link is about Journaling. I liked the idea of being a bit more creative with a journal and bought a dotty note book and some nice pens. I've lost my way a bit recently and think a creative dot-doodle-list-journal might help me focus.
I like your memory story about using one match a day, the whole of it. I've done that many a time, it's the way I was bought up. Ahh, coffee time for me. have a great week. Rose (UK)

Karla Neese said...

Funny. I often wondered if I was the only one who thinks about what life would be like should I be widowed. Like you, I do not wish it and dearly love (and like) my husband who is my very best friend. But also like you, I went from home to married at a young age (21) and was a mother of two before I was 25. I sometimes do feel resentful that my life has rarely, if ever, been just about me. But for the most part/time I am grateful I have these people around me to give my life to. As I age, life becomes sweeter and easier. But I don't think I'd every remarry should he pass away.

I love old movies but don't get to watch them very often! I need to make that an intentional occasion in my life! Watch more old movies!

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