Endings – Beginnings

Having spent last 3 days bringing the posts forward to Deersings blog, and quite a trip down memory lane in the preceeding years back to 2004, feeling nostalgic for what was and getting into the present now again.

Much has transpired since the last post of January 2011…. obviously.  It is now 2015 and counting it backwards,  we now live in a different geographic location now, we have downsized, we have added some years to our age, we have spent the past two years in grandparenting role of caregiving, adapting to our adult children’s parenting styles which vary greatly from the era in which we raised them, the era in which we were raised.

Counting back then two years puts us at 2013.  My husband had retired, our income reduced considerably, and we began the process of worrying about living into our older years, and living in a rural area that we began to feel might have resources too restrictive for our elder years concerns.   At that time my daughter had taken a promotion at her job, was heading into career and had new concerns about childcare for her children.  We offered, she took us up on our offer, we trekked across the state to be residing grandparents prepared to provide childcare.

How quickly we learned the difference in lifestyles.  Alternative for us was to take a private apartment, and care for the grandchildren there.  It worked for as long as we could afford to keep up the house mortgage and the apartment rent, and otherwise provide for our daily needs.   And just when we decided to call it quits and move back across the state to our own house, my husband revealed the struggles he had been having in keeping up with budgeting expenses for two residences.   Long discussions ensued, and we made the decision to relocate, moving our belongings out of our big old house to a smaller condo residence.

We are not anywhere done with the necessary work downsizing entails.  One side of our garage is filled to the ceiling with our possessions and belongings.  These are left from our initial efforts at lightening possessions we acquired at our house.    A U-haul sized dump load, then a truck dump load; a free take what you want, a basement full of books we wouldn’t be taking, and still we had the ultimate large size U-Haul, and a smaller size U-Haul moving trips to make.  Let’s just use the words post traumatic stress …. and leave it at that regarding leaving our home, our region, our belongings, and the effort that went into this move across the state.

Arthur birthday Aug 20, 2014 wedding ring

Now moving forward with our new circumstances, posts at this blog should reflect the new challenges before us as we shift gears and move into the unknown waters for us in the years ahead for us; as we watch what we thought we knew as a way of life evaporate among advances that don’t seem like advances at all to us, rather a speeding train in which we wish to get off and breathe a bit.

Law of the Garbage Truck

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One day I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport. We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of the parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches! The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was really friendly. So I asked, “Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the Hospital!”

This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call, “The Law of the Garbage Truck.” He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they’ll dump it on you. Don’t take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Don’t take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets.

The bottom line is that happy people do not let garbage trucks take over their day. Life is ten percent what you make it and ninety percent how you take it! Have a blessed, garbage-free day!

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Deersong

Holiday Gatherings are Gaily Wrapped Gifts

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Lovely holiday luncheon yesterday.  Dear Lady put on a sit-down holiday luncheon for about 20 women in our community.  If  it had been 1950, the luncheon might have looked like women wearing shirt-dresses with petticoats to make them flounce, hats and gloves, and a fashionable purse.   But it isn’t 1950, and that is not what the women looked like at our luncheon yesterday.  Although, our dear hostess, bless her heart, had a gift for each of us at the close of the luncheon — individual hand-sewn aprons that she had been making since the previous summer.  She made them specifically to gift to each of us at her holiday luncheon.

I would share photos, but I haven’t obtained permissions from the women, so in respect for their privacy, if I have photos that don’t reveal faces, I might post those later.

I’m just tickled with the holiday festivities this year right here within our small little village.  Open house party, holiday luncheon, church potluck, Women’s Club potluck coming up next week, annual Christmas play put on by the children, Open house party on New Year’s Eve, chili dinner – bring breads later in January.  Perhaps these gatherings have been the norm here for several years, but I’m just entering into all the festive fun this year, so it’s all new to me.  And as such, it’s like opening a lot of gaily wrapped presents, different in form and shape.

Deersong

Another Day Breaking ….

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Morning revelries.  Up before dawn gives us opportunity to watch the skyline as it goes from dark of night to graying with streaks of pink sunlight for those days promising sun.  Once the dark of night clears, I look out the window as I go through my ‘morning reads’ on my computer.

Familiar sights ground me.  The tall evergreen trees that line the side of my yard and create peek a boo views of my neighbor’s house.  The swirls of smoke escaping from neighbor’s chimney remind me that they use wood heat.  I begin to wonder what it looked like back in the day when everyone had wood heat, chimney’s and smoke filled the air.  I wonder what it smelled like.  I am taken backwards in time to what it might have been like in this village where we chose to settle.

I have been watching daily out the same window as the leaves on the trees in my yard escape their moorings and fall to the ground.  The trees go from fully clothed to partially naked to naked skeletons of their former selves.  I can tell how Autumn is evaporating into winter encroachment by how my trees are looking with each day’s passing.

If it is to be a windstorm day, I can tell from my window view if it will be mild or growing windstorm by the movement of the trees, shrubs and bushes that adorn my yard.  When the air is still, it is hard to imagine from my window view how much the wind can make them dance and sway.

It’s daytime now, and time to shape the outline of what I will do with this day’s treasure.

Deersong

Sustainable Christmas? The year of ‘No Consumer Shopping’ gifts

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lighted Christmas tree

I’ve issued what I think is a fun challenge to the families that make up some of our family tree. This year, with the economic issues, downright crisis in some instances, and with sustainable living – green – recycle – reclaim – reuse – global warming, well seems a perfect year to make a change we’ve been gradually making anyway.

Say No to Consumer Shopping and Yes to Joyously Remade Christmas. In my challenge to my families , I put out simple rules; No purchases at stores, not even Dollar Store but Thrift Stores okay. Food gifts okay, but cannot purchase outside your normal food budget (so can’t run out and buy up all kinds of holiday food items to make food gifts). How creatively can we recycle items into gifts?

I’ve been interested in this for a while now, and with re-fashioning clothes into other fashions, re-making used items into something else, and all the crafty, sustainable living, green, recycle, re-use, re-claim websites and blogs online, I think it would be a fun challenge for our families. What do you think? I’ve asked also for fun links to websites and blogs with how to tutorials, diy (do it yourself), trash to treasures kind of thing. I welcome your participation too. Tell me about your effort towards no consumer shopping Christmas gifts this year.

Deersong

Christmas when the family grows and is gone

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The holidays are coming! The holidays are coming! (for those too young to remember the phrase as it relates to the cold war era as in The Russians are coming!  The Russians are coming! )  I like to enjoy the celebration part of the holidays, keeping the holiday cheer, without overdoing it and turning it into holiday stress. And since it is a long holiday season, somewhere about midstream I began to fade a little and lose some of my jubilance. The thing is that in my mind’s eye, I make plans to do so many things that I lose my focus and do fewer things. I’d like to do some things this year and maybe not do other things and see if I can get a different outcome.

The children are grown, adults now, and have left home, are well into their own lives with their own children and families. When they were young children I liked the idea of a big tree with lots and lots of decorations, not particularly themed, but particularly full. We have now a big artificial tree and the years of decorations. One Christmas I remember we took two days to put up the tree, a week to decorate it and the house looked so fantastically Christmas!. There were no visitors to our home that year and somehow so much bling seemed kind of lonely, sad and overmuch without the full house of children.

The next year we bought a smaller, slimmer tree and I put on much fewer decorations. In fact, did not even unpack the boxes and boxes of stored Christmas ornaments and decor. Last year I found what I call one of those artificial ‘Northern Exposure’ kind of Christmas tree or could also be called ‘Pacific Northwest’ kind of Christmas tree. Three trunks side by side with branches, and overall skinny, not taking up very much room.

We had my mother stay with us last holiday – Thanksgiving to Christmas. Had many festive outings planned, and those plans got nixed – cancelled out with the early December storm of the century we had here last year. They don’t use the word hurricane, but it was hurricane force winds at 140 mph or more over 2 days. Mom is in her 70s now, and was a real trooper throughout the storm and the long winter days that followed in clean up. It was rather an unforgettable holiday season.

This, a year later, and well we will have our usual winter wind and rain storms or more of the ‘big ones’, but I plan to go into this holiday season with high and joyful thoughts. It’s taken about a decade, but I’m adapting to the reality that our children are grown and gone, involved with their own families, and it’s just the two of us now. It will be a happy holiday as we find new traditions for how we want to spend the holidays.

Deersong