1/20/2013

Stories to Tell


The years seem to pass quicker the older I get.  Isn’t that ironic when now I want everything
to move slower. I want more time for daylight, weekdays, and yes, even weekends.  But my
reasons for wanting long weekends are not for the same reasons as when I was in school, no not at all.   I want to savor the moments, have the luxury of just relaxing, taking in the splendor of living life to the fullest.   Too much time has gone by where I was living by the seat of my pants, in perpetual motion.  I look back and sometimes wonder where I got the energy to get it all done so quickly and still keep moving.  If I had to do it all over again, I could not possibly come up with enough kinetic energy to do so.
  
There were days when I was working part time and attending college full time.  All the while, I was raising my two children, holding down a house, managing the household finances (barely!), the kids select soccer seasons and whew, whatever else came my way.  Nights ended at midnight with my studying and days started around 5:00 a.m.


As the years have flashed by, and the seasons change, so have I. I sure wish my body would recirculate like the leaves on the trees do and when fall returns, my body would look rejuvenated and as pretty as it did last autumn.  Mine gets each year, a bit older, more wrinkles, and possibly a teeny bit slower too, if one was clocking my speed.   It is safe to save Mother Nature is not as kind to mere Mortals as she is to the planet Earth.  That tree in our front yard will be here long after me and be just as majestic.

When I was younger, visiting with family was boring.  Just sitting around talking was painful. I would be looking for any distraction to help make it more bearable.  Now I simply find it so refreshing to spend time with family, immediate and extended. It is amazing how those bonds, no matter the time between visits or distance, seem to build quickly and they renew intently.   The similarities are quickly recognized and the shared memories warm the heart.   I find myself craving for more time and not less time with family to celebrate our connection.


Friends of yesterday years helped influence who I am today; some in small ways, some in large ways and some were just a fun piece of my history.   How I would enjoy reminiscing
with them!  In the past, running away from times in my life when I didn’t have it all together, e.g. high school years, sounded ideal. Now, as the pieces of my life fit, it would be so entertaining to collect some of those former friends and actually connect live, in person and just celebrate life, the fact of what we were and who we are now.   One day we will all be connected again, in a more perfect world and but all of us have come a long way and have hopefully grown.  The past is a blessing and the present is a blessing also.

I find more and more things in this world we live in to smile about and less to worry about as I age.  Cynicism is an attitude.  It is a choice.   It is allowing the negative to underlie everything you see, think and feel.  If I do that, I can’t enjoy the moment.  I worked too hard to be here, at this moment, to not enjoy it.  There is so much good surrounding us if we look and feel with an open heart.

Plus I believe in miracles. I see them every day. I think with a closed mind, you don’t see them.  I have faith and believe God makes things happen all the time.  I didn’t feel this so much when I was younger. This is something I have become more aware of as I have grown older and deepened my faith.  Try adopting this attitude for a while and you may be shocked at what you see happening all around you. 

My favorite memory of old was listening to elderly people tell stories of their life, growing up. 
There was this one lady, Louise, for example. She lived in a nursing home next to my grandparents’ house in Piqua, Ohio. Louise was wheel chair bound and had no legs. When she was younger, she use to attend grand gala events at a huge home in Dayton, Ohio down the street from where I grew up. in Saville Estates. We use to simply call the home the Mansion.   It was easily the biggest house in the neighborhood and towered on a huge hill down the street.  It always looked horrible when I was kid, run down, with huge outdoor pool overrun with weeds, signs of decay on the columns running alongside the walk ways leading to the pool, ivy growing up alongside the house.  

Louise described the house from back in her days, when her relatives owned it.  It was a different day and time. She showed me pictures of her family from outside on the grounds and inside the home.   It was like something from Tara in Gone with the Wind. Simply beautiful!   The pool water was crystal clear with the ladies and gents around the edge of the water in their full body bathing suits as was the custom in those days.   The yard was well manicured and looked as clean and proper as a golf course on the pro tour. 

The day I ran over to Louise’s one bedroom to hear my afternoon of stories and found her room utterly empty only to be told she had died, my heart sunk.  She cannot be replaced.  She brought to life her life to me.

Stories of our life told to younger generations should do that; bring an earlier era to life. Take time to do that. History is best served that way.  I use to crave listening to older people talk about their lives, some twenty and thirty years ago. Those recanting were so much better than a boring history book.   I always wondered what it would be like to have a pocket full of stories like that to tell. 

It is as if I woke up one day and became one of those old women sitting on the front porch.  I have a wheelbarrow full of stories, oodles of wonderful yarns about people I have met along life’s journey. Oh, and tons of stories about me, about history in the making, when microwaves first came out, where I was when the Shuttle blew up, when cloth diapers were used only, etc….  Some of the stories are funny, some sad, some make you think.  All of them have touched me in their own unique way.   Isn’t it amazing how much we learn in life from just everyday living?   It is as if recanting our steps in life we can help someone else vicariously visit the history of us, our legacy. The joy of a story is being taken to a land far far away  without your feet leaving the ground.

As we age, before our feet leave the ground permanently, perhaps we should all consider doing this, tell someone your story. 
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