Iced Tea Chat: Life in the Fruit Basket

Come in and join me with a glass of tea on the porch.  It's very nice out with that nice breeze.  Not cool but it does temper it a bit.  I've had quilts and curtains and our spread hanging on the line today.  Our bedroom smells so fresh and lovely since the sheets and towels went out yesterday.  I removed the living and dining curtains and washed those and hung out the quilts we use as lap robes in winter to air.  I cleared our bathroom of curtains and bench cover and valances and removed the curtain in the  laundry and kitchen/kitchen sitting,  as well.  All  are washed and packed neatly away until the new flooring is in. It's fall cleaning and removal of unnecessary things at one time.   So it looks a bit like we're in the process of moving really with all the pictures down and the curtains removed and pieces of furniture moved out as well...

I contemplated earlier the fact that with the books packed up the bulk of my home was packed away.  16 boxes...I had no idea I still had so many books!  However, as I put them back on the shelves I shall do my utmost to cull still more.  I know full well I am holding on to some that I've neither read nor enjoyed reading.  I've held on to them because they are sets that I'd purchased long ago. Books I thought I ought to read.  Books I thought I ought to have for the children to read.  Books I've never read...I think it's time to let them go.

Yes, I did say it seems like I'd packed up nearly everything in packing the books but I know too well that I'd be overwhelmed if it came to emptying every single closet, drawer, cabinet, shed.  Yep.  I know because when we moved in here 20 years ago that's what we had to do and I've often wanted to move again to just about anywhere but here but in the end, I am glad I haven't had to pack up house and home to do it!  John used to say that we'd just move and carry along our undies and a few clothes and start again and these days I'm certainly sort of inclined to think I'd just as soon myself!  Not that we are currently in any danger of moving, of course.  We purposely bought the house we did because we knew it would be suitable for older age and for two.  There may well come a day when we need to move into town where there's less lawn and less need of upkeep, but for now that is far in the future.

I've been enjoying the work done on the Proverbs 31 Woman series I've taken up.  It's been fascinating to see a deeper spiritual life in this woman.  It's also been tough at times.  I wrote four posts over the last weekend but when it came to the fifth I very nearly quit.  I questioned who I was to think I could teach a single thing, much less something of this depth.  I worried.  I felt anxious.  I went back and rewrote the previous four posts.  I came very near deleting them all.  Then I had a revelation about the troublesome post and it was like watching puzzle pieces fall into place.   I wrote post number six the next morning in ten minutes time.  I will keep going now I've started but they may be staggered as I catch up with myself.  I know I'll be without Internet at least once next week and we've  had unexpected family come  in this week.

The state of the guest room isn't too bad, but it is storage too for all the things I've been removing from the rooms. I'm sorry for the mess, but oh so glad to see my family.  It wasn't too long ago I confessed to John a real regret on my part.  You know we were very active in two churches.  We were devoted church goers, doers.  Do you know what my regret is?  That I missed so very much family time.  That I didn't spend more time with my oldest grandchild.  That I missed so many important dates and bypassed requests because I had duties at church.  It wasn't all me, but it was.  There are, there will always be, those in leadership who will make you feel you're not dedicated enough, that you aren't sacrificing enough, who'll remind you that Jesus' disciples gave up everything...And now, I see that I mightn't have burned out if I'd had a little family time.  I wonder now how many opportunities I missed to witness to them in a more positive way, instead of making them feel they were less important than church.  I can't go back and re-do those days.  I can't spend time already lost with a little girl who is now quite a big girl and lives too too far away.  No, I can't go back, I can only go forward and do my very best now.   It's all any of us can do.  Recognize where we failed in the past and go forward and do better in the future.

Mama moved this past weekend.   Last year my brother got a job in a town about 30 miles from here.  He'd been self-employed up until then and wanted the security of a paid job with health benefits and retirement possibilities.  He also wanted a fresh start of sorts.  So he moved his double wide to a lot in the next county within ten miles of his work.  It's a huge home with five bedrooms and three baths and a den.    Mama had been speaking of moving to an apartment in the area, so that she'd be nearer doctors, have less distance to drive to grocery and be nearer her friends and acquaintances.  When I got sick last spring the decision was firmly made to move in with my brother. He closed off the back part with the den, a bath and two bedrooms for Mama's use.  He put in handicap accessible ramp and bars for her.

Downsizing her home (3 bedrooms, 2 baths) into 3 rooms was hard for her.  Renovations took over a year.  There was plenty of time for Mama to go through the grieving process, through the upsets and anger, and finally work her way into acceptance.  This is perfectly normal.  In the end, she left a great deal behind in her home.  She bought  a few new smaller pieces of furniture that were better suited to her new space.  She began to decorate her space long before the rest of the house was finished.  And she moved the bulk of her things on her own.  I think, in the end, it helped her to get on with this.  I spoke with her Sunday and she sounded tired but happy.  I think she'll enjoy the company.  I think she'll enjoy making meals for them. I think she'll like being nearer the places she shops and nearer her doctors.  And I think she'll be glad to not be here.  I think, like myself, she had an ideal in her head of what life here would be like for her and that it didn't turn out quite as she thought it would.  Her high school friends who were still in the town/county didn't gather with her.  She'd been too many years away.  She had no other acquaintances in town. Relatives died.  Life didn't go as she'd thought it might.  I get that.  Mine here didn't go as I'd thought it might either.  But I have John and that's something. So I hope that she is happier.  I hope that she has few expectations and that it all goes far better than she might dream.

I walked down to the mailbox the other day.  I'd promised myself I'd do this when it cooled and it's cooler.  I don't much care for the walk overall.  I find it uninteresting.  Put me out in St. Augustine or at the fair where there's plenty to look at and I can walk miles and miles.  Put me out here in my own yard and it's 'meh'.  When I could walk the whole of the place I enjoyed it.  Now that I'm relegated to just what we keep mown, it's not so much fun.  As well, I'm a little leery.  John has recently seen a big coyote here.  I heard him the other morning on my brother's place and watched as the cows ran bawling down to the area where they heard him.  So I'm a bit cautious.  I took a hefty walking stick with me.

There's a sandy patch in the driveway and there I see the evidence of all the wildlife upon the place.  Yes, there were paw prints...and deer hoof marks and the distinct hand print of a raccoon and a squiggly line that made me think a skink had crawled across the path.  It's a fascinating little highway right there in my driveway. 

It was as I got nearer the mailbox I heard the unmistakable crashing about in the woods of deer moving away from the area.  Deer are so graceful when they are on the lawn or gliding over the fences, but honestly they make an alarming amount of noise in the woods!  And they are not very bright.  John tells me that they would come to see what the noise was when hunters walked through the woods.  I sampled his wisdom one day when I was coming up the driveway and three leaped across  in front of the car. They ran up the hill and I could clearly see them.  So I stopped the car, and called out the window "Hey!"  All three stopped and stared at me. 

Well this morning, Maddie started barking as soon as I got the curtains hung on the line.  I pulled back a curtain and looked out.  There were three deer standing at the end of the driveway.  I called out to them and they stopped and stared at me.  Graceful as air but not too bright I'm afraid.

Bess and Josh came in yesterday to miss the storm and the heavy travel from evacuees, since she was meant to go on to her mother's this afternoon.  I met up with them in Perry, since I'd gone over to pick up some fruit and a few other needed items.  Josh's face, when he saw me walk into the fast food place where they'd stopped for lunch, was so surprised and delighted.  He was far less delighted when I told him goodbye. I hated seeing that hurt look flash in his eyes and I quickly explained I had to drive my car home and he was coming in his car to my house.  "Otay" he said and nodded.  Oh that okay of his is new and the cutest thing right now.

He ran to his hearts content here.  He loves the outdoors and there's little to fear here.  Bess and I sat on the porch and watched him run up hill and down.  He played in the dirt.  He ran with Maddie and Maddie ran with him.  It was such a joy to watch him as he played, smiling the whole while.

He's at the stage of taking off all his clothing...Well that's just fine here but it made me nervous.  I hope he's done with this stage and his potty training by the time he visits next, lol.

The flooring goes in on Monday.  It's not really the ideal time for me but it's when it was arranged to be done and I'm awfully glad to get it so I shan't complain about my schedule upsets.  The house echoes about me with all the pictures and curtains down and the rooms down to bare pieces of furniture.  I've done all I could this afternoon after John called to get as much moved as I reasonably might.  I've seen my family off, too.  And had a nice chat with you, so all in all a decent sort of day.

I might not be around for a day or four next week, what with having no Internet service, moving things back into place and  buying groceries.  But I'll be in when I can.   Do come back to see me soon!


Anonymous said...

We have been repairing our house here and here for a while now. Little jobs but necessary. It feels so good though to get this long needed work done. A few years ago we had ceramic tile put in the entry and the kitchen and extra bedrooms. Carpet in the living room and one bedroom. We thought of the tile in all rooms but knew when we got a bit older and less stay the tile would be more slippery than carpet...and not as hard if we fall !!! Also area rugs can be tripped on. I wish we could have widened some doorways too to possibly aid later too but we could not. Your house will feel all new when the flooring is done. Then you put your things back and a new home! It is so good to get these big projects done before retirement. The finances are perhaps easier now and your bodies younger to go through it all. It is good to keep an eye out for anything you can do to make you house accessible too as you do work. Your pretty porches you already have can be made easier to get onto if necessary etc. Some homes are built so you cannot change anything and can;t be used if one has to use a walker or wheelchair. I wonder about so many people who in their young days buy two story homes. Later the stairs are a chore whether cause of a broken leg or old age and they have to rethink their homes. Yet aren't the two story homes so pretty!! :-) I remember running up and down the 23 stairs of our family home go go to the bedrooms for years. Then down the 18 to the cellar. Now I could walk it but slowly...running..never!! lol Seems like yesterday I could run it seems odd I can't now...
Thanks too for the Waldorf salad thought...I haven't made it for a while and it is about time!
I am so glad everyone is ok as far as we know through this storm. Sarah

Lana said...

Sara, you are so right about the two story house! We have been in ours for over 22 years and when we bought it we never even dreamed we would be here until this age. We are keeping the possibility of a ramp from the driveway into the house and a chair type elevator in the front stairwell as options if we do not move soon. My knee problem gets worse every year. But, our house is so pretty. People often hear of the neighborhood we live in and ask if we know who lives in 'that yellow house'. We have handed over the whole moving thing to God. He knows when and where.

Spicy Apple Cake - I FOUND IT!

While sorting though Mama's cookbooks the other day I came across a Family Circle magazine cookbook that looked familiar.  I brought...