Coffee Chat: Sweet November
Hello dear. Do come in and have a cup of coffee with me. There are those lovely spice cookies to go with our cups, or the little Danish butter cookies. We have an abundance of sweets this week. It's both my desire to have a little something and my thought of more impending company though I can't tell you anyone whose meant to be here until two weeks from now. Yes, indeed, the guest room has been booked once again. We'll take coffee to the living room and sit by the window so we can watch the birds at the birdbath. It's warmer by the window with the sun coming in. Less smoky than outdoors. And isn't it lovely to at last have cool weather and find our hot drink such a comfort?
I was just sitting here smiling over a post I made many years ago on Facebook, one of those 'shared memories'. In it I proclaimed that henceforth November should be my favorite month of the year and I see no reason to change my opinion. Monday night I sat there across the room and watched the sun set. I don't know just when the trees on the horizon went bare...but there the branches were etched black against that lovely panoramic view of the sky highlighted by the beautiful blue and purple and coral of the setting sun. I don't know why God allots us such beauty at the day's end and beginning but He does and I for one appreciate it. A day can only seem more lovely when you see the rising sun and the glory of it and no matter how awful it's been, beauty at the end is soothing and reassuring somehow. It's something too to see you through those long dark hours in between when it's sandwiched between glories.
Over the past weekend, we saw our oldest son and his three children. We so seldom get to see them these days but I did enjoy them. I watched them scuffle their feet through the fallen leaves and John and I stood smiling at the kitchen window watching the twins stroll slowly back up the driveway as they chatted. Five and Seven are vastly different than Four and Six. They are more independent in their play which is a blessing. It meant I could sit by and listen though I appeared to be busy on my own. I love listening to the imaginings of children as they play. They were satisfied still with the same toys we've had here since their own infancy. And they loved the freedom of being able to head outdoors when they wanted and run downhill and back up again. I was grateful once again for what I was able to pass along to another generation of children, the same joy I'd had visiting here while I was growing up. I think it's important children have a place to be free and safe at the same time. How fortunate I am to have that here. It's a sort of living legacy of Granny's to have bought this place for her children and have wanted her children's children to have it. Now it's my children's children...This place has been a generational blessing thus far.
It was a good visit. I planned and prepared well and so there was no exhaustive work to do on top of the visit. The children ate every bite put before them and nary a complaint nor whine over what they didn't like. Our only squabble was a constant request for juice. We had juice and we had chocolate milk but just one serving of each and then we also had plenty of good well water.
We don't get to see these children often any more and it's hard for us and them, too. But it is the way things are. I guess now they are older they've been thinking and talking about it. Daniel asked me quietly one evening as he played on the floor near my chair, "Gramma...do you miss us?" "All of the time..." I replied. "We think about you and talk about you and we look forward to when we can see you again."
Later while I was brushing out Hailey's hair she said "I love you, Gramma...I miss you. I think about you a lot." "I miss you, too, Hailey. I think of you, too. And the next time you're thinking about me, you just remember that I'm thinking of you. We're together in our thinking of one another. And when you remember that I'm thinking of you, you remember that I love you very much."
It's a lot for a five year old to miss Daddy for six months at a time and to miss grandparents, too. It's a lot for a seven year old. There's not much that can be done about it except trust one another's love.
I've had time to think about this business of missing grandchildren and grandparents, too. I shared with you about how seldom we got to spend time with Grandaddy and Grandmama. Yet, I knew without a shadow of a doubt that they loved us. It was plain in the way they smiled when they saw us, in the way little things we each favored was remembered.
We saw the three children then we spent the day with Katie and Taylor. We could only visit mid-week this month with all the comings and goings and work schedule. We missed seeing Matt, but we did get to watch Zoey the 100 pound German Shepherd, lay herself in adoration at John's feet and roll over to expose her belly. She's a lap dog for all she's 100 pounds. A very sweet natured doggy and so gentle with Taylor. Taylor has learned that Zoey's paw pads are sensitive and ticklish, so she'll gently poke at them and laugh out loud as Zoey snatches her feet back out of the way. Zoey in her turn will give a ticklish swipe of the tongue to Taylor's toes and make Taylor snatch her feet away. At one point, when Zoey was sleeping on the floor, Taylor lay down with her head resting on the thigh of Zoey's leg and played with a book while she rested against her dog.
This will be a rare month for me. I'll see Josh next weekend when I go down to see his daddy baptized. Now there's an answer to years of prayer! Sam was the one child who has never had a desire to admit he needed salvation. For whatever reason he truly believed it was enough to be a good person and do good things. It's hard to explain surrender to someone who sees themselves as strong and able and decent. And in the end, it's something one must experience for oneself. It's that personal relationship with God thing I am forever going on about.
I'll see Josh that weekend and on Thanksgiving Day, for the first time in years, I shall spend the day with my three of my children and their children. Rare indeed! John shall have to work and will miss it but this is as near together as we've all been on Thanksgiving in nearly 10 years I think.
I've thought of Granny a lot these past two days. For one thing, it's her birth month and that date is drawing near. For another, I recall a November day when I was off work, when we'd been here just a year, and Granny came up the back steps (no deck or porch then) and knocked on the door. It was a glorious day. The trees were bare, the sedge grass in the fields golden as ripe wheat, the skies bluest of blues above and the air brisk. I had all the windows open and was letting the house 'breathe' as we say it when we're giving the house a good airing. I'd been busy all morning and had just sat down.
When Granny knocked on the door I wasn't in the least surprised to see her. "Come with me." she said and we walked the place from front to back. Not such a lot of walking really but interesting walking with sights to admire and fresh air to blow the cobwebs from our mind and hawks and geese overhead and crows cawing across the fields. I don't recall a word of conversation. I recall feeling happy and as though every single thing was right with the world. I am sure we did talk. Talking was something we always did with Granny, she was that sort. The sort that inspired confidences and deep heart to heart talks and soul searching.
I don't recall the conversation but I recall the peace of that day and it's stayed with me in some depth ever since. Granny had a way about her that made you feel peaceful and at rest somehow. Shalom peace is what she had.
I realized this week that it's been five years since she passed on. I... I can't say I miss her. I do in many ways...but I wouldn't be her granddaughter if I didn't have the gumption to move on with my life. She did it over and over again. She lost children and a husband and a grandson. She lost her parents and a sibling or two. She went on. Missing is something you just carry with you, aware there's not a thing you can do to change it. Missing and remembering and appreciating the time that was. Missing and using every bit of knowledge and wisdom ever imparted. Missing and knowing that one day we'll meet again.
I said no projects for these two months except to finish those we've started. I bought enough landscape block to finish off the one flower bed this week. The truth is I'm bored. I've grown accustomed to being busy. There is still painting to be done. There are plants, a start for those pretty pots of winter blooms I hope to have. I promise myself I shall not do any more big projects until the New Year. There are holidays ahead and taxes and insurance just paid so money needs to be built up once more. There's plenty of little household tasks that need to be seen to. There's a holiday this month and I could do a little preparation for that. There's a full shelf of never before read books and the DVD player Sam gave us this past summer that I keep meaning to get connected to the TV and there are movies to watch. There's loads of things to do! And yet I do none of those things and I think ahead to new projects.
Speaking of books, I've just finished House of Memory by Richard Collier. Not a new book but an older one that was on my bookshelf of unread books. It was really a nice read, a book about the home he grew up in as a boy. There are not just memories of his life but memories of an era, that space between the end of the Edwardian era and the start of the roaring twenties. The loveliest description in the book involved a normal day for his mother. The book is a keeper I think, at least for now.
Are any of you feeling as world weary as I am at the moment? I had hoped with the election over and done that we'd move away somewhat from the rants and raves and outcries, but apparently no. No, there are protests and marches and outrages. I don't recall an election year that was ever as horrid as this one...I don't want one word from anyone about their candidate winning or losing or dire predictions. I have been through many a year here on this blog without protesting choices made in elections. I might well squawk over a law passed that adversely affected my income overall but I could see the blessing in having income enough to adjust things accordingly.
And do you know, I can't help but feel that we owe a certain loyalty to whomever is in office. I won't
say I agree with every single thing done by any president, but it's my country and the person at the helm should be supported. Change is never easy but change we must if we're to be a proper nation. So let's all just hush up and get busy with the work we all should do to be our very best! And remember this: triumph and tragedy, the world goes right on. Meals to prepare and clothes to mend, people to come home to at day's end and sunrise and sunset will go right on occurring.
I think I mentioned that my insurance coverage is being discontinued after this year. Fortunately I found a replacement policy that will be about the same amount each month. At least so says the website. However, not everyone is as fortunate. I am referring to Patsy whom many of you know through her blog, A Working Pantry. Their costs rose so very much that it's going to create a real hardship for tem. I wanted to suggest, if you all don't mind, that she and other bloggers like her (I'm thinking of Brenda at Coffee Tea Books and Me now and Brandy at Prudent Homemaker) should be supported through their Amazon affiliate links. I believe I'm correct when I say that if you click on an item they've featured you can go on through to whatever you yourself might need to purchase it will still give them Amazon credit. As well, if they have a 'support this site' button, then please make a donation. Even a dollar or two is a help to these bloggers. If a blogger has Google ad sense take a moment and click through on an ad. It takes a moment and yet it earns that blogger a cent or two for their time. I'm talking about giving a helping hand to your favorite bloggers, supporting them in small ways that can cost you little time or effort, just a moment or two of thought. I often order through Amazon but I only seldom think to use an affiliate link. Hadn't we ought to try to help?
Well, I think I shall wander outdoors and refill the bird bath. I think it's getting low, because the birds keep picking up leaves and tossing over the edge. I've had such a nice visit with you and with them (oh look! bluebirds!). Come back soon!
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