What I Kept

Featured

Not only was moving hard, but getting ready to move forced me to go through every single little thing in my home. Junk drawers? Do you have junk drawers? I can’t believe how hard it was for me to let go of the stuff in my junk drawers.

Did I need to take all the birthday candles stuffed in a drawer in the kitchen that the I might need it someday mindset wouldn’t let go. I inherited those what ifs from my mom. She and her family went through the great depression and it was something none of them forgot. Many people of that age group kept everything. But candles? Couldn’t I buy them where we moved? And birthday candles are not a big purchase but yet….

When my mom died I had so many items left from her that were from the times she grew up in, and the house in which I grew up for part of my life, my Grandma Krock’s house. None of them were worth anything to anyone. There was no monetary value and now I had to weed them out or let go of them all. There were two old unsightly pieces that I struggled with.

One was a mirror that was battered and cloudy and didn’t enhance much. I had the mirror hanging outside my bathroom door. It was a mirror that for as long as I could remember, hung over the sink in my grandmother’s house, which became my mom’s house. I imagine they put it there so they could see behind them what was happening while doing the dishes, because otherwise they would have been looking at a blank wall. How boring would that have been? I don’t know why that mirror touched me so much.

I wanted to bring it along to my new home. I’m sorry I didn’t. I guess the writer in me and the dreamer in me imagined all the mirror could reveal to us about the happenings in that home. What would one see if they could looked in the mirror, and the mirror revealed the secrets of the past occupants ? I took a picture of the mirror, thanked it for it’s journey with our family, and left it behind.

Sitting on a shelf on my porch was an old lantern that doesn’t work anymore, or maybe it would if I could find a vintage battery for it. That old battered lantern is now sitting on my kitchen table by the window. My Uncle Frank, and I will write about him later on the year, but my Uncle Frank who was a like a dad to me too, always carried that lantern. I can see him with it in his hands. He used it to check on the cows and horses and chickens at night. It always sat by the door. He never wanted a new one. It lighted his way through good times and bad. It kept him safe on his chores in the dark and there were many. He lighted the way for me when I would walk at night between the neighbors when I was little, and it lit up the house when the electricity failed.

I kept the lantern and I have it sitting where I do for it to remind us of the light in our lives. The light from the past reminds me that it lights the way to the future.

The Guiding Light

Those are my heart saves. What are yours? The heart doesn’t pick because of money or fame, it chooses wisely that which connects us to who we were, where we came from and who we have the possibility of becoming because of our those who went before us. We need to treasure and hold that dear.

Movin On Up

Featured

Yes, it’s true. We moved up. Not in social status like the Jefferson’s,
which the title is referring to, and if you don’t know what I’m writing about,
look it up and find a fun TV Series from the past. No, we moved on up to higher
living, meaning we now live on the third floor of a senior living community
rather than in our big four-bedroom home. I promised you some blogs about our
moving day, so settle in.

Continue reading

Neighborhoods Have Rhythm

Featured

Neighborhoods have a rhythm. Most of us don’t realize it because we get comfortable as we are part of the process.

We have been residents of this neighborhood for thirty years. There is comfort in knowing at a certain time garage doors will open across the street, one at a time around the same hour, and our neighbors will pull out of the garage separately to go their own way for coffee, coming back an hour later.

There is comfort in knowing what time our neighbors on the other side pull out of their place to go to work. We worry if we don’t see it or their cars are in the driveway at the wrong times.

There is comfort knowing another neighbor pulls into his garage after a night of work getting home safely.

Without being nosy it is just the rhythm of the everyday life of those we know and love.

Soon we will be elsewhere, getting used to another way of life and I will miss the things that give me comfort in our neighborhood. We watch out for one another without being overly invested in each others lives.

A few years ago I got a call from a neighbor wondering if we were home. There was a strange man walking around our house and they wanted to know if they should go out and see what he was doing. Just recently a neighbor contacted me about a strange car at the other neighbors. Usually this time of day they were gone. Did we need to be concerned because a stranger got into their garage?

Who would have thought ordinary comings and goings would bring me sadness. As I sit here this morning and watch the normal meanderings of my neighbors I am thankful for these neighbors, their friendship and their caring. Living in a new place with a new window in a new neighborhood, I will view new scenery but at the same time I will imagine the images of my past home; the garage doors opening, the neighbor’s leaving for their jobs and the neighbor home safely from his travels. I will be in a new space but the space in my heart reserved for these people that have shared our lives and our neighborhood spaces will always be there, always remembering the friendship, the kindness and the caring. Excuse me if that brings a little tear to my eye.

Appreciate the normal hum of your neighborhood. Take time to breathe it in and appreciate the people that are part of that. They may contribute unknowingly to make your life richer.

“When one neighbor helps another, we strengthen our communities.”

Jennifer Pahlka