The Seasons of Life

This post isn’t meant to make the reader sad, but hopefully to lead us all to think about where we are in life and potentially, what our future might hold.

The other day I was out in the garden and I was spreading mulch and the thought occurred to me that the old girl isn’t what she used to be! That isn’t the first time I’ve thought about it but there are things I could once do easily . . like getting up from sitting on the floor, or unscrew a very tightly fitting lid, and those things, among others, present a bit of a challenge these days. I’m getting older . . we all are.

While out in the garden, I was thinking how much I love being outside and working in the garden on a warm, sunny day; especially after a cold, blustery few days; how much I look forward to spring and being able to plant the tiny little seeds in the freshly tilled ground, and then watch them sprout and . . too often get eaten by grasshoppers!The anticipation, and watching new life emerge is invigorating.  Even when I have a year like last year and the garden hardly produces anything, I still find so much joy in planting those seeds, waiting and watch for them to sprout.

Vince and I have been talking about retirement locations. Will we stay here . . for a while or for the duration? Will we move closer to Chad? Will we move to some beach community? There was one location we had thought about and I began researching houses that were on the market . . not that we’re ready to buy, but just to get an idea of what’s out there now. I was struck by the tiny little yards . . which is what most elderly folks probably want.

Then, when I was out in the garden, I realized . . I am not always going to have this! Maybe I will have this location but I may not have the ability to get out and garden. For a minute, it made me sad but then I realized, it’s just another season of life. Just as the seasons of the year, there’s a time and a purpose for everything.  I am thankful for so many things. Mostly I am thankful that I have so many things in my life that I enjoy, so many things that bring me joy. Not just “things” but the ability to have a garden, to plant that seed, to see it sprout and hopefully produce some vegetable that we love; to have a small orchard and anticipate those first peach blossoms, and then the juicy, ripe figs; the chickens running around chasing bugs, seeming to not have a care in the world, farm fresh eggs every day – often eaten the same day they’re laid. Even though I can’t yet pet Cat, I get pleasure in calling out to him as I’m out and about and knowing he’ll make his presence known when he’s good and ready.

On cold, dreary days, I’m happy to sit inside and knit or sew or cook. On pretty days, I’m happy to be outside, often just piddling and not accomplishing much . . except enjoying all nature has to offer (excluding cedar pollen — I do not like that at all!).

I am thankful that I live in an age of cell phones and video chatting.  I was thinking of when I was a teen or young adult and would call my grandma. She knew that we were paying for long distance by the minute and she was always so quick to get off the phone, even though my parents were paying for  the call. Now, most of us can talk for hours on the cell phone, with no regard to any added cost. Addie and I can video chat almost every day. Just yesterday,  she wanted to video chat with me. She wanted to show me her new music box. Just a couple of minutes and she was done. Back when I was a child, I would had to have written a letter to my grandma, and described it to her, and I probably would not have taken the time to do it. These days, we’re so much more interactive in the lives of our loved ones because of cell phones and video chatting.

If my life ended tomorrow, or if I’m suddenly unable to do the things I love, and I hope it doesn’t happen, I can look back and say I’ve had a wonderful life, I’ve experienced so much, I know what it takes for me to be happy and I am living the life I love. Whatever my future holds, I hope I can always see the bright side.

I would encourage you to take some time to think about where you are, where you will be in a few years, where you’ve been, the experiences you’ve lived. Even though some of us may not be where we want to be, or life may be more difficult than we wish, we all have so much to be thankful for. It can be easy to dwell on the negative. I think being positive takes a little practice but once you get to where you see the good, even in the midst of bad — that can be life changing, in a very good way.

My Sister and The Pink Dog

No doubt, there are some of you who think I’m crazy. That’s ok . . sometimes I think I’m crazy too, but crazy in a good way. I have one sister . . no brothers. My sister is as crazy as I am but she’s brave crazy. She does lots of dog rescues. She works with several local and statewide groups and really, it’s a full time volunteer job for her.

It seems that yesterday (Saturday), she was driving from one part of town to another part of town, in the little town where her grandkids live. Pam (sister) doesn’t live there but has a small house there for when she visits her grandkids. She brings her dogs and it’s just easier for her to maintain a house there. (And, I can bring my dogs and stay there when I go to Louisiana so I really like her idea of having a house there!) But, she isn’t terribly familiar with all the new subdivisions. Maybe since we’re sisters, she has the same sense of direction I have!

Dog

Dog

To hear her tell it, and I can see it happening just like this, she was driving through a neighborhood, a little purple/pink “thing” ran across the road in front of her vehicle. She had her grandkids in the car and they were screaming “What was that?” Pam said “I think it was a dog!” Dogs are not supposed up be on unless on a leash so she stopped and picked it up. Pam said it was horribly matted (she had pictures to prove it) and full of fleas. She knocked on a few doors. No one admitted to recognizing this dog. It had no collar and no tags, not even the rabies vaccine tag.

Pink Dog

Pink Dog

Then a lady, we’ll call Owner,  posted on Facebook that someone had stolen her dog and she had a picture from a security camera of Pam out picking up the dog. One of Pam’s friends sent it to her so Pam messaged Owner and said “I have your dog. Please give me your address and I’ll bring him back to you.” Pam included her cell phone number. Then Pam posted a note on the “stolen dog” Facebook post that she had picked up the dog thinking it was a stray, had messaged Owner and would return it as soon as she provided her address” because at that point, Pam didn’t even know the street name where she had picked up the dog. She had been to visit a friend and was weaving her way through a neighborhood to get back to the main street.

Pam messaged Owner probably a dozen times saying “Please call me!” and leaving her phone number. When questioned on FB about why she didn’t call Pam back, she said her cell phone was dying but really, this went on long enough that she could have charged her cell phone 20 times. 

Oh, my . . this went on for SEVEN hours on Facebook. Maybe longer . . I finally went to bed at 3 a.m. after waking Vince twice with my laughing out loud. I had sent a link to several of my friends who were all reading it and we were messaging back and forth . . just dying laughing.

Pam bathed the dog 5 or 6 times, then clipped some of the mats out of it’s hair. Here’s one example of how hilarious this thing got with over 1,000 comments and over 100 shares. Owner said the dog was a male. Pam, who knows a lot about dogs, said it’s a female. Owner said “No, not a female. There’s this thing called neutering .. ”  That got the entire Facebook group in an uproar but then Owner said “He doesn’t even think he’s a dog. He thinks he’s a bird!” At one point, she said the dog’s favorite color was pink. 

Someone photoshopped or found a picture of a little bird with a pug dog type face on it and said “Is this your dog?” I’m telling you . . I could not stop laughing at the funny posts. Owner called my sister every name in the book . . told her get a job so she doesn’t have to go stealing other people’s dogs. Owner never would tell my sister her address or respond with a place where they could meet to get the dog back. Finally, someone who knew Owner sent Pam her address but by then it was way late and Pam was afraid to go by herself. 

I knew that the moderators of the Facebook group would take it all down as soon as they saw it and sure enough, it’s all gone this morning. One of my friends was copying some of it so we could share it with our husbands this morning. I keep thinking of parts of it all to tell Vince but I guess you had to be there.

Someone posted, but I haven’t confirmed it with Pam, that she is going with a deputy to meet the woman and return the dog this morning. I’m sorry my sister was tortured with all this last night. I’m sorry there was a dog that was matted and covered in fleas but it was the funniest thing I have ever seen on Facebook.

I am happy to report (but I’m not nearly as happy as my sister is . . to be done with this drama) that Pam met Owner’s friend at a public place this morning and the dog has been returned and hopefully after all this brouhaha, Owner will keep it out of the street. My sister says she will never pick up another stray . . but I bet she does.

Loving My Daughter-in-Law

While going through the blog looking for posts where I started a meal with a roux, I came across this post.

Nicole

That was from very early in 2011 — look at that smile. Before I ever met her, and I had heard about her, I asked Chad . . what do you like about her? His response:  She always has a smile on her face! And she does! I am so blessed to have her for a daughter-in-law?

In this picture, she was eating her gumbo with a fork because she said she didn’t eat “juice”. Yesterday I sent her a link to the post and told her . . you’ve come a long way. You’re almost a real Cajun now and yes, she eats the “gumbo juice” now!  :)

I’ll never forget the first time she came to the house and while trying to make conversation with her, I asked her if she knitted or sewed and she looked at me like I was crazy and she said “Why would I?” Hmmm .. I think her response would be different today.

She’s such a sweet girl and she has such a great attitude. I love her! And, I love Chad even more for giving me the best daughter-in-law ever!