Monday, September 22, 2014

Closing Another Chapter

The cool winds are blowing, a new season is upon us, and I am doing OK.

It was a magnificent summer with wonderful sunny days, pleasant temperatures and almost enough rain to water my plants and keep them healthy.  I was so grateful for all the beautiful days that we had and all the blessings that it brought. 

There was flower power in May.

I started out choosing the colors that would surround me.  I always tend to select the purples, salmons and whites, but this year, more reds found their way into my gardens.

I was so relieved to see that even though we lost more than a few trees last winter because of the horrendous weather, my woods still look lush and beautiful.  Everything has its time and as with life, new will replace the old.

In June, the family all got together and we went crazy.


In July, we visited friends and enjoyed sitting on their porch watching the sun come down on the lake.

At home, the local Shakespeare company came to town and presented Twelfth Night, performed with a Johnny Cash-like character and some music from from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly thrown in the mix.  It was interesting and surprisingly fun.  Ardent fans of the Bard of Avon might have been offended, but I loved it.  Willie reinvented! 

One of the proudest moments of my life came in August when my 14 year old grandson was chosen to throw out the first ball at a Philadelphia Phillies game.   He showed no nerves, but his grandmother was shaking all over.  He was good luck for the team, as the last place Phillies won that night. 

August was harvest time and boy, did my tomato plants produce! Most days, I could pick at least 25 large, beautiful fruit. They were and are delish, but there comes a point where your acid intake makes your innards rebel. Friends, family and the local food bank benefited from my stomach problems.

During the summer, we had our semi-feral cat (Miss Circle) guarding our gardens (and the finch feeder).  She does not think the birds will see her.

And then three new baby kittens came out of the woods led by their tramp of a mother. (We found homes for all, except the mom who we could not catch).

We never got away this year to exotic resorts, nor did we travel to exciting cities.  We stayed mostly at home enjoying the company of people we love and savoring these moments in our lives.  It was comfortable.  

This summer was a gift and I just love living in the green hills and valleys of Pennsylvania.  I look forward to the next season and will be fine until winter arrives.  If it is anything like last year, I hope to be out of here in a quick minute.  There is no place like home, when things are good.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Oh Momma

I refuse to accept that summer is (almost) over, and I am doing OK.

I am always saddened to hear stories where parents and children do not get along.  Sure, we all have disagreements and frustrations, but we usually make it through because there is need and love.  I think that most people do their best at parenthood and even though we all make mistakes and are not perfect, our hearts are usually in the right place.

My mom came from the "greatest generation".  She was born during the First World War, lived through the terrible depression, lost her mother as a teenager,  and contracted TB while pregnant with my older sister.  She never talked about those times; they were things we learned mostly from other relatives.  Her health was always iffy, but somehow she lived into her eighties.  I remember always worrying about losing her.  However, maybe because of her difficulties or in spite of them, she had the most wonderful sense of humor.  She had a quick wit, and the times I remember best were when all the family gathered together and the house was full of laughter.  Despite all the troubles in their lives,  the stories they would tell were happy.  A picture in my mind is of them all sitting around the kitchen table slapping their knees as they laughed hysterically over some small matter.

She has been gone 13 years now, but it often seems like she is always with me.  I see her eyes in my daughter and granddaughter, and I remember her smile when I look at things that I know that she would love.  She was a kind woman, a strict parent (most were in those days), and knew no bounds when it came to love.  She was a good teacher for us all.

When my parents died (seven months apart), we cleaned out the house and disposed of much of their possessions.  However, she was a collector of notes, letters, cards and inspirational writings that she would find.  Many of these we could not part with.  Recently, my sister came across something that she had kept.  I think I remember it sticking in the corner of her mirror in her bedroom or maybe on her dresser.

Here it is and it is something that is appropriate for my time in life.

A Prayer For Those Growing Old
(author unknown)

Lord, Thou knowest I am growing older

Keep me from becoming talkative and possessed
with the idea that I must express myself on
every subject.

Release me from the craving to straighten out
everyone's affairs.

Keep me from the recital of endless detail.  Give
me wings to get to the point.

Seal my lips when I am inclined to tell of my
aches and pains.  They are increasing with the
years and my love to speak of them grows
sweeter as time goes by.

Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally
I may be wrong.  Make me thoughtful but not
nosey; helpful, but not bossy.  With my vast
store of wisdom and experience it does seem a
pity not to use it all.  But Thou knowest, Lord,
that I want a few friends at the end.

My mom is still teaching me and making me smile.