Coming home from the store
I am filled with anticipation.
I have a new jigsaw puzzle.
A new challenge has come into my life.
Setting up the card table,
Opening up the colorful box
I begin laying out my prize.
One thousand pieces – what fun!
This won’t take long.
Ah, a straight piece, another and another.
Swiftly I pull them out from the pack.
These two go together, and so do these!
This border will be together in no time.
For days I work on the puzzle.
Slowly the picture begins to emerge.
Every spare moment that I have I hurry to the card table.
Every time I walk by I stop and look for another piece
that will fit.
I know that I am accomplishing my goal.
The time keeps going by.
The card table just isn’t big enough.
I set up another table for the extra pieces.
The puzzle has begun to take over the room.
In fact the puzzle has begun to take over my life.
I am obsessed by the idea that maybe I don’t have all
of the pieces.
Maybe some of them have disappeared..
Maybe someone is hiding them ON PURPOSE.
Maybe I will never get this puzzle done!
Ah, I keep on searching and finding where the pieces
need to go.
They keep falling into place and now I know I am almost done.
Somehow all of the pieces are appearing just when I need them.
What a great picture!
I have completed my puzzle!
It looks terrific!
I look at it for a few minutes, and then I tear it apart.
When it is back in the box, I put it away on a high shelf.
Do you think the store has gotten any new puzzles lately?
Maybe I’ll go look tomorrow.
I am feeling the urge to create.
I am thinking of the life all around me.
I rise and I rush for a pen, fearful that I might lose the words bubbling in my brain. Writing them down is such an important task for me. It seems like I haven’t had this urgency for a long long time. Heaven knows I have tried but it always seemed to escape me.
Yet here they are.
And I am watching. It used to be that I was “doing” and now I am “watching.” Watching as the children that I bore repeat all of the experiences that I once did. Remembering what it was like when life seemed so full of all of the adventures that I yearned for – remembering what it was like to go to a new place to live, set up house in a different state, look for a new job doing whatever I loved to do.
Listening to people that had been brought up differently than me, that had a way of looking at life that I had never heard of before. Looking for a new library, getting signed up for my new card, and seeing a whole new room of books unknown to me before. Making new friends, finding a friendly neighbor, finding the best bank, best grocery store.
This has been the pattern of my life. Always the urge to see down the road, over the next hill, wondering what life had to offer if I went looking.
And so I did go looking. Lived in so many different places that I have to stretch a long ways back to remember them all.
Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, Florida, Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, Montana…the farther I went west the more I loved it. Freedom from the restrictions that bind us all in our state of birth, of growing up around relatives who expected us to live as our families had always lived.
Maybe the restrictions were only in my mind. I don’t know. But the air was bigger and broader and more open wherever I went, and so I traveled and moved, and saw the world in a new and vital way. Each new move was to a new culture and a new life style, and I thrived on it.
And now I am returned to the land of my birth, and I still travel and I still think of all of the places I have been, but somehow I have come full circle. My children have scattered to their own destinies. They have traveled and made their own homes in many different places also. Did I instill this wanderlust in them”? Or is it just the way that Americans are, always looking over the next hill, wanting to be their own person, looking for the end of the rainbow? We seem to be a restless people, not content to rest on our laurels, no matter what our ages.
Looking back, this is where I am right now,and also looking forward to where I’ll be tomorrow. I must never lose the sense of adventure or life will become complacent and dull. There is always another place over the next hill that awaits us all, another group of people to meet who have a new way of looking at things.
We cannot afford to relinquish the past or the future for that is where our understanding lies. We must keep our zest for living to use as a warm and comforting blanket, allowing us to enjoy our days.
Today I forgot to remember the Presence of God in my life.
I was in a hurry.
The television was blaring out unimportant messages.
I had to think about what was expected of me.
Brightly light stores filled with intriguing packages beckoned me.
The phone kept on ringing with an Urgent voice.
The children needed me to be a referee.
At work the computer broke down
And I didn’t know how to fix it.
I was reminded that I had promised to attend an unimportant meeting after dinner.
I just got tired. Too much going on in my mind.
How do I break the cycle, God?
Where do I draw the line?
What can I do the next time, when I realize
The impossible has happened?
I have put God at the end of the things to remember.
My mind is filled with everything BUT the
Acknowledgement of the Presence of God!
Be still and remember that I am.
I am as God created me.
The most important thing in my life is the Presence of God.
Wherever I am, God is.
I remember to relax and turn back,
Because God has never left me!
Words just don’t express all of the feelings that I have today, seeing all of the posts, comments, likes, presents, and joy that I am experiencing here on my 80th birthday. Somehow I never was that sure that I would actually make this birthday a reality. For 62 of those years I have been an adult, and just about everything that I ever really wanted to do, I have at least tried. I have been married for 57 of those years, but it has taken three husbands to do it. Children, grandchildren, and even great grandchildren have surrounded me most of my life. I have lived in many different states, traveled whenever I had the opportunity, lived in mobile homes, apartments, houses, and even a camper during summer work in the Colorado mountains. My work usually took me to offices or banks or libraries, where I always enjoyed my work and the contacts with so many people. For eight years I sold fruit at the Farmers Market with my husband, Bob, a lifelong farmer. Now I am a writer, a poet, a meditator, an avid reader, in love with my Ipad, and all of the wonderful things I can do with it, and the friends that I can meet.
Having a major birthday is a great time to look around me, both to look back, and to look forward, and to see all of the blessings that surround me. Thank you all my friends and family. When I look at all of the names on the posts, I see all of the various stages of my life, and I wouldn’t get rid of any of them. While there are always things that I could have done differently and much better, I am really happy to have arrived at this point, and know that all is well, no matter what.
I said, I’ll do this if you’ll do that.
Nothing else seems to work.
Does this seem fair to you?
And you thought it over, and first you said maybe,
And I held my breath and said, that’s not good enough.
Life is full of compromises
And commitment is what I need.
Either you will or you won’t,
Either you can or you can’t,
Either you choose to, or not.
We all make choices.
So do we choose to compromise?
Finally you said yes,
And so began a new way of looking at things.
Hot summer days lying on the beach,
Running and diving into the waves of an ever cool Lake Michigan,
Getting pulled off of our feet by the strong undertow of the water,
Riding our bikes without an adult on the five mile trip to the beach,
Curled up in the crotch of our biggest oak tree, reading my favorite book,
Playing hop scotch on the sidewalk on our city streets,
Walking to school so that we could do tricks on the Jungle Gym,
Cleaning Venetian blinds for my mother with a mitten on my hand,
Working in our vegetable garden, pulling tomato worms off of the vines,
Picnics at a roadside park when we went for a Sunday afternoon drive,
Remembering the heat in church and all of the ladies fanning themselves,
Roasting hot dogs and marsh mellows at a bonfire at the State Park.
Watching the double features at the movie theaters downtown,
Eating a hot fudge sundae at the old Occidental Hotel ice cream shop after the show,
Listening to my serial radio shows like “Superman” every weekday afternoon,
Cleaning my room under protest, every Saturday morning,
Watching the Muskegon Lassies play softball, as part of the “Knothole Gang”‘
my parents, brothers and sisters, cousins, my family and friends,
All of whom gave me a wonderful childhood to look back at and to be grateful for.
Those were the days, my friends, those were the days!