Thursday, July 22, 2021

Till We Meet Again

 I have been waking up with/because of the birds, but it is all OK.

It is hard to start a post when one has be absent for so long.  As I wrote in a comment on my last blog, life has taken me on a detour and I am going down a road that is not totally unfamiliar to me but has become a little more winding.  At times, I just want to jump out and go home but that can't be.  

I do not know if I will write again on Blogger but maybe I will be able to pop in every now and then.  My computer  problems continue and besides not being able to comment most of the time, there are some blogs that I cannot read because of the font.  Oh how I wish Old Blogger had never changed, but all things do, don't they? 

I want to thank so many of the kind and wonderful people I have met in my ten years on this site.  I don't have the words to tell  you how much you have meant to me and how your comments have truly lifted me up and made me feel like I mattered.  We come from different places with different lives but yet, we all share being human, with feelings of joy, sorrow, pain, and gladness, and oh, how we all love to laugh.  I have been enriched because of all you shared with me.

Some years ago, the lovely Susan of  “The Contemplative Cat”, started a photo prompt meme and asked people to send in pictures for them and others to write a story.   It was a fun exercise and I did enjoy participating in it.  I wrote the following and it is somewhat autobiographical. It is the one I want to leave with you.  Like all that is grown and all that is born, every life force that enters  into this world has a chance to show their magnificence.  We have our time in the sun and time to spread our seeds and gifts and if we tend it well, our legacy will be here forever. 


The Gardener

She lived at the end of our road in a small, neat, white clapboard house.  I used to pass her by as I went for my walk in the morning and I would see her again at night when I took Kerry, our dog, for his evening constitutional.  She was always working in her garden.  She was a lady up in her years and dressed in a big brimmed purple hat, a blue dress with a green apron and big yellow rubber shoes.  She was a staple in the neighborhood, but I never knew her name.  We always just called her "The Gardener".  Once or twice  a year I did stop to talk and tell her how I admired her plantings.  She would always say, "Thank you, but I can't seem to get it just right this year."  She seldom looked up and I wasn't sure if she was talking to me or herself.   Her yard was lovely and and there was always something new to see.  I wish, I had taken the time to speak with her longer, but we all live busy lives and other than say hello, I went about my business and she with hers.

The lady has been gone for a few years now and the new owners have done away with most of her gardens.  As I passed her home the other day, there, in a crack in the pavement, lay the daintiest of plants clinging to life among the weeds that were also choking to get out.  I thought of leaning down and trying to pull it out, but then I thought of her, and it occurred to me that this might have been a seed from one of her flowers that had fallen between the sidewalk and laid dormant until now.  I smiled, said hello, and walked on thinking that "The Gardener", in a way, was still there.

I wish you all beautiful days and please take time to smell the roses. 




44 comments:

  1. Hi, Arleen!

    I'm sad, dear friend, and selfishly so, because I was just getting to know and appreciate you, and now it appears that you are bidding farewell to blogging, at least here on Blogger. If that is the case, then I'm sure you know that you will leave a void and be missed. I too wish Blogger had not forced a new interface on its subscribers. Blogging hasn't been the same since. Many people are complaining about the changes. Recently, I needed to go back and fix 180 posts that had jumped out of alignment due to the changeover. I am sorry you continue to struggle with the computer, hampering your ability to communicate with those of us who care so much about you. I am a late arrival to Starting Over, and now wish I had met you much earlier in my blogging career. Indeed, I wish I had known you all my life, because I think you can tell by now that you are my kind of people, a kindred spirit.

    I appreciated your story about The Gardener. I have similar memories of elderly neighbors toiling in their gardens. The end of the story is poetic and touching. That lovely flowering plant emerging from the crack in the concrete serves as an inspiration to us all. It reminds me of the "rose" in the Ben E. King song "Spanish Harlem."

    It's growing in the street
    Right up through the concrete
    But soft and sweet and dreaming

    I hope this isn't goodbye, Arleen. I hope your decision to withdraw from us isn't "set in concrete," but even if it is, as your story reminds us and that picture illustrates, there is always that crack, and the possibility of new life and growth. If I don't hear from you again, then please know that I will remember you always and that you have my deepest respect and admiration. The world needs more like you, dear friend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It has been lovely to get to know you Shady and to read your fun posts. I so enjoyed the music and the memories and got to learn about unfamiliar artists to me and their songs. What a pleasure it has been to be a blog follower/friend and may you continue to rock on at Shady’s Place for a long, long time.

      Delete
  2. Thank you.
    For each and every one of your posts, and for your comments.
    I love this story which tugs at my heart strings.
    You will be sadly missed, but I hope that life treats you kindly, and that you can pop in from time to time.
    And yes, you DO matter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Sue, writing this (probably) last post was such a hard decision and one I kept putting off. I could not leave, though, without saying good bye and telling you all how much you enriched my life. You are a very special person, Sue, and have the biggest heart. I hope you know how loved and admired you are. You have touched so many throughout the world and have shown off your beautiful homeland in the very best way.

      Delete
  3. What beautiful words you have written in "The Gardener"!
    We each have things we must do and I understand there is not always room for blogging. I hope you will find a way to pop in even if just every couple of months or so. I have been blogging less and less this summer but I hope to stay with it even if only occasionally. I do hope you are well and all is good with your family. Thank you for being a kind friend and sharing your words and thoughts with us. I appreciate you! I wish you good health and happiness!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Bonnie, I have enjoyed reading your blog and you were someone that I could relate to very much. I felt I had so much in common with you with each post that you wrote. It has been a pleasure getting to know you. I wish you good health and much joy.

      Delete
  4. I, too, have had struggles with computer issues and Blogger issues, and I can appreciate life taking you in a different direction. I have only been trying to post regularly for a few months now , but you were on my reading list and I savored your posts. Best wishes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you LC for your kind words. I used to be able to work through my frustrations but age has made that so much more difficult. I never give up hope and pray that this winding road that I am on will have some straight spots in between.

      Delete
  5. I hope you will stop in sometimes. I'll miss you and hope you do well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Even if I don’t write, I will continue being a reader and will try to keep up with you all.

      Delete
  6. How I miss you, Arleen. You gave me so much good advice and good thoughts when I needed it. How I wish your computer would give up its troublesome ways, and I also know how frustrating it can be dealing with it on your own. Fortunately I have grandchildren who help me now. You remember them, of course....
    I hope you can sneak past the gates of computer demons and drop in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are one of the hardest blog buddies to say good bye to. I have so enjoyed being your friend.

      My grandchildren who lived nearby have grown up and have their own busy lives. I hate to ask and probably wouldn’t understand what they were telling me to do. I am embarrassed showing them my ineptitude. My 1 1/2 year old granddaughter is too young to help but in a year or two, I expect she will be way ahead of me in technology.

      Your blog is one that I can read and occasionally my comments get through. Know that I will still be a follower when I can. It is not only my computer that is making this decision for me.

      I wish you joy and peace as you make this move that I think will be very good for you.

      Delete
  7. Arleen, I am so sorry to hear you are no longer going to blog - I always enjoy your posts. Once before when you had been absent for a while I looked to see if you had an email contact but you didn't I hope that everything goes well for you. It would be great if you could update things once in a while. Sue

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Susan, you were one of my first followers and have faithfully stuck with me the past 10 years. I have so enjoyed our other side of the world friendship. I have been inspired by your the way you have handled all the changes in your life and especially was happy when you met and married your wonderful Doug (everybody needs a Doug). I wish you and Doug good health, good times and always a good path to walk.

      Delete
  8. I don't really understand - but I wish you well. I hope for the best and I hope you write again. You are a wonderful person!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Sandie, I have enjoyed our friendship over the years. You are so dear and kind and somebody special. I have loved and laughed at your funnies and seeing your family and Disco.

      Sometimes, we have to accept the road we are on but I am happy with the life I had, including most of the detours and that road less traveled. They always got me home.

      Delete
  9. You describe the blogging community beautifully. I live a very quiet life, and it brings the world to my door. Don't make a firm decision to quit, you may find you miss it too much. Cro x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is my fourth time trying too answer your comment. I am sorry that it took so long. Blogger seemed to only allow me just so many. My frustration runneth over.

      It has been a pleasure getting to know you these past ten years. You are right about how blogger has brought the world to our door. Instead of learning about each other through the media, we meet each other one on one and see how alike we all are. I am so glad that I found you 10 years ago thru Delores’ blog (The Feathered Nest) and learned about your lovely life in Southern France. It has been a delight.

      I wish you luck on your move back to the UK. I think that living a half year in both places will be rewarding. Your winters will now be full of family and new adventures and your summers will be back in France and your beloved gardens. All will be well.

      Delete
  10. Wishing you well. Love, cat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Cat. It was hard too make this decision because I seldom give up, but sometimes there are no options. My best to you.

      Delete
  11. Arleen - Your lovely story has moved me to tears. Though I know it has taken on a much more personal meaning over time, I hope that it's only intended as a metaphor for your inspirational writing. Not only have you put your heart and soul into blogging, but you've gone above and beyond to provide thoughtful words of encouragement to each and every one of us. Sometimes your comments alone have been better than the blogs I've written, which especially delighted my mom! Arleen, I'll always be grateful for your loyalty, friendship and wisdom. I hope your loved ones will continue to benefit from these precious gifts for many years to come. Please take care of yourself, and know how much I'll dearly miss seeing you in blogland.

    Love, Julie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Julie, your very generous comment lifted me up and meant so much to me. You have done that for me in all your comments over the years. I so enjoyed your posts and especially the ones about your wonderful mom. Your stories were funny but always laced with love. As a daughter and mother, I could relate to both.

      If I can, I will pop in to see how you and others are doing. You have all enhanced my life so much.

      Delete
  12. Dear Arleen, I'm sad to read this post and I hope life gets easier for you in the future, in at least some ways, so as to lighten your load. You have always been a kind and warm presence in this community. All the very best to you and yours, and I do hope you are able to drop in from time to time so we will know how you are doing. Love from Nova Scotia, dear friend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Jenny, with all you are going through, I so appreciate your kindness in finding time to write this comment. You are a very special lady and one that Blogland has embraced with love and caring. We feel we know you and wish we could live close by and have a cuppa with you. Your posts are always enjoyable and your funnies are funny.

      I am praying for easier days ahead for you, dear friend.

      Delete
  13. I'm saddened you have decided to leave The Land, but fully understand that when Life gets complex we have to attend to it at the exclusion of some things that were once pleasurable. I do hope you'll pop in for visits, fonts permitting? Yes, Blogger keeps enhancing and I struggle to keep pace sometimes, but hang on tenaciously. That Flower coming up thru the Pavement near the Gardner's Home choked me up... I'm glad you left it there, she is still present amongst the Weeds when her Essence makes it's appearances like that. I've enjoyed your Blog so much, it will be missed and so will you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Dawn, thank you so much for your kind words. You are a person who takes things on in the name of love and are an inspiration to me and others. You are a warrior woman and I enjoyed getting to know you.

      Delete
  14. Hi Arleen :)) I know we haven't know each other for too long, but I'm so glad to have met you!!! I remember one of the first posts I read on your blog, I think it was about apple trees and deer maybe? :) I understand that paths change in life and so do people. I'm always happy to see a post from you, and at some point, hope to see another!! ♥♥

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Rain, it has been a pleasure getting to know you and learn about your adventuresome and beautiful life. May many good things come your way.

      Delete
  15. Your "Gardener" is a lovely story. I will miss having your words to read though I hadn't been coming here very long. I do wish you well in your continued life journey. I will leave the link to your blog on my blogroll should you occasionally write more in the future as you mentioned could occur.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Joared for your kind words. It was lovely getting to know you recently.

      Delete
  16. Although I post less often these I can't see myself giving up my Blog and losing touch with all the people across the world with whom I have made a connection! Stay in touch...
    CLICK HERE for Bazza’s openly obtuse Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Barry, this was a decision that was very hard to make and something that I did not want to do. There are a few reasons for this choice and if things change for their better, I may return. I am leaving my blog up so that option is open.

      It has been a pleasure getting to know you. Your blog was always interesting and informative. You are a lovely gentleman and it was a pleasure getting to know you. I wish you and your family health and joy in the coming days.

      Delete
  17. Dear beautiful Arleen, my fondness for you and respect of your compassionate, intelligent posture toward existence will remain always in my mind and heart. I regret being so tardy in this comment but, what the heck, as a retiree since 2009 I'm also 12 years late to work. As you mention perhaps blogging again sometimes, I sure hope you do, and look hopefully forward to the great pleasure of your renewed on-line company. Much love, --Geo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Geo, it has meant so much to me to have you as my blogger friend. You challenge me with your words, you entertain me with your humor, and you touch my heart with your poems. It has been more than a pleasure getting to know and care about you and your lovely, talented Norma. It is so hard to say goodbye, but if things change, maybe it will be “till we meet again”.

      Delete
  18. I always looked forward to your thoughtful posts, Arleen. I do hope you pop back from time to time. Xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jules. I have so enjoyed reading your beautiful posts also. There is peacefulness in your words and photos and I am so glad that I found you on Blogger.

      Delete
  19. I hope the coming days and months will be looking up for you, and you return to blog land if you are inspired. I love your story about the Gardener and am glad you did not pull up her pretty white flowers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Terra, thank you for your sweet comment. I am so glad that you enjoyed my story. I am a gardener and it was semi-autobiographical. A few years ago a flower started growing in a small crack in the road by my house. It grew, and grew till it was about 6” tall. We don’t have a lot of traffic but we certainly have some. No car ever hit and smashed it and it stayed there till Mother Nature decided it was time for winter and let the flower reach its natural end. I know it must have been from a seed of a plant (Lollipop) that was in my garden two years prior. I always look now to see if possibly another plant will grow but, so far, there has been none. Maybe it’s seeds have blown elsewhere so others can enjoy their existence. I’d like to think that so.

      Delete
  20. this is rhe first time since July that I've been able to use my old computer, and I find that you are waving goodbye. I shall miss you, even though I didn't post to you often, I always managed to read your thoughtful posts and enjoyed all of them.

    I get it about the gardens. I had a marvelous one here, but age won out, this time. i can kneel, but then it takes superhuman effort to 'unkneel'. I've had to let it revert to whatever it wants to revert to. Life has a way of getting in the way, doesn't it.

    Take care.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I use a bench kneeler to get up and if I didn’t have it the neighbors would look out the window to see an old lady crawling around on the grass looking for a low hanging branch to help me up. So undignified. I could get up and down with not too much of a problem last year but something happened in 2020/21. Suddenly, I became elderly. I don’t know how that happened so quickly.

      I wish you well, Mittens. I have enjoyed your posts and hope you continue to write as long as you enjoy doing so.

      Delete
  21. As you can see by my late reply I do not come on my computer often either. I loved your gardener story, a beautiful story indeed. I have enjoyed reading your blog and shall miss it. I have thought of stopping my blog as well but always hope that I’ll have more time for blogging once the GA house is emptied. The blog community is so friendly, a lot friendlier than most people I see around here, and I would miss it. I do hope that you’ll be able to get some help with you computer problems so you can still let us know how you are doing – like some family members who write cards on special occasions. I wish you well with whatever your plans are, you are a special person. Be happy.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I am happy that you enjoyed my story, Vagabonde. I really am sad about leaving Blogger, but it was a decision that had to be made. I drop by every now and then to see how everyone is doing. All of you have made a big difference in this part of my life and I treasure meeting and getting to know you all these past ten years. It has been an honor to have met so many wonderful individuals who have taught me so much.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Such a lovely story. You will be missed! Please stop in and visit.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I think that like all online structures, Blogger is slowly fading out. I find it harder to summon up enough energy to write at all, and when I do very few people even look, and fewer comment. I wonder if it's just me, like the guest who stayed too long at the party, but then I see that many people I once connected with are slowly fading out.
    I've been online in one way or another since 1997, and very few things have survived from that time.
    My own elevator still stops at all the floors, but the ride is a bit slower now, and there are often loooong pauses while it decides what to do next.
    Be well, lady, wherever you go.

    ReplyDelete