Monday, August 24, 2009

The Cycle of Life

As the youngest of 10 children, I remember distinctly as my parent's nest emptied one child after another. I remember all but my three oldest siblings leaving home. My memories of my parents missing each child are extremely vivid. I grieved right along with them, and in my childish way tried to console them by saying, "I will ALWAYS be with you." To this day I can feel my mother squeeze me and say, "It seems that way right now doesn't it Rachel?"
And so the feelings of empty nest syndrome have been a part of my life as long as I have memories. Though it wasn't "my nest" when I was a child, I felt those emotions.
When my own children were born I knew this day would come and I tried to live each day with that in the forefront of my mind. Wow! It happened over night! This past week, our little daughter is expressing many of the emotions that I felt as a child.
Each family has a distinct dynamic to the way they function and relate to each other. But it amazes me how much the human race has in common. I am reminding myself that millions of parents have experienced these emotions before and hundreds of thousands are experiencing it now, right along with me.
My husband and I left a piece of ourselves 10 hours away at the university, in the form of a full grown young man. It is time. He has deep roots. He is strong. He will grow mighty wings. He will soar.
Ah, life is an day at a time.
Love, Rachel

Friday, August 7, 2009

Been Thinkin' ' fabulous careers!

I never thought I'd be
a nurse,
but I'm always on call, even at 3 a.m., yes I am.
I never thought I'd be
a taxi driver through snow or rain or shine,
but I am, yes I am.
I never thought I'd have
the love of a man, a special one, faithful and true,
wasn't pretty enough, chatty enough, sweet enough,
but I do, oh yes I do.
I never thought I'd be
a music teacher,
and hear those random melodies become one with harmony,
and bear a song, a lovely song.
I never thought I'd be an octopus,
and perform with greatest of ease,
as though I had 8 arms and wipe a nose and
scramble eggs, as I talk on the phone and kiss and squeeze.
I never thought I'd be a philosopher,
and understand the lessons I learned as a child that would
serve me so well - now I know why.
I never thought I'd run a laundry,
and iron and fold my client's clothes.
I never thought I'd be a safety patrol,
and keep an eye on my children as they come and go.
I never thought I'd be a Doctor,
and work tirelessly to heal broken hearts
and mend shattered dreams.
I never thought I'd be a cheerleader,
tall and thin, with platinum blonde all shiny and prim,
but I am - "Way to go girl!" and "Woo hoo! Look at him!"
I never thought I'd be a vet or "bug-ol-ogist",
and harbor ferrets and crickets and an array of
other creepy crawly pets.
I never thought I'd be an author,
and write books upon books of cute things spoken or
record memories never lost or broken.
I never thought I'd be a translator,
of tiny sobbing voices, or baby ways of getting a point across, or teenage emotions - some lively, some cross.
I never thought I'd be a famous hairstylist,
cutting and clipping the mane of my men or setting a
bow all perky and trim.
I never thought I'd be an event planner,
turning meager meals into banquets and birthdays on a shoestring into an unforgettable bash.
I never thought I'd be a speech pathologist,
and instruct correctly spoken grammer to insure an appropriately perceived IQ!
I never thought I'd be a family counselor,
to balance the emotions of siblings of which they didn't get to choose.
I never thought I'd be an architech,
building doll house dreams, and making snow fort castles while
shaping lives and hearts to grow into a strong edifice of character.
I never thought I'd be a housekeeper,
and entertain the finest of guests for 18 or 19 years per request.
I never thought I'd be a theologian,
and strive to explain the mysteries of God to my tiny clan.
I never thought I'd be a nanny,
where other children are always welcome in our yard, that's best.
I never ever ever thought I'd be a teacher,
but my oh my the teaching never ends.
I never thought I'd be an astronautical engineer, (is there such a thing?),
making paper airplanes precise or simply upon a whim.
I never thought I'd be a boo boo kisser,
dream catcher, bible teacher, poison ivy scratcher, CIA secret keeper, liaison, miracle grower from babies to men, bad habit trimmer, devotional leader, lullaby singer, ripped knees repairer, driving instructor,
story teller, memory maker, tradition keeper, silent listener, complaint taker, homework tracker, bookbag holder, paper keeper, bed maker, yucky ucky job encourager, project manager, customer service rep. when my kids are away, list maker, temperature taker, hug giver, high five taker, bottom wiper, wave giver, um, oh yeah dish washer, tireless advocate,
unconditional love giver.
Hhmmm, should I go on?
I never in my wildest of dreams and extreme imaginations
thought I'd achieve such marvelous and fabulous success with all of these careers.
Oh, I LOVE what I do, passionately and true.
ALL OF IT, I do. I do!
For you see?
I'm just a mom! Yep, that's absolutely ALL I do!
Yeah, really, that's ALL I do!
c: Rachel Easley Going

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

August Porch

Here it is...the August Featured Porch! It is the home of my neighbor. She'll be 92 in just a few days. Mrs. SSS is such an interesting person and spends much time on her porch. She has lived in this house for about 35 years after living right next door for approximately 35 years also. Mrs. SSS loves the trees and vines growing so cozily all around. However this grand porch wraps around 2 sides of her home. When she turned 90, my little girl and I went down and took everything off her porch and scrubbed the ceiling, wall and floor for her with a broom and the water hose. We cleaned the furniture then put everything back. It was her 90th birthday gift from us. She was thrilled.
Our neighbor was very close friends with the lady (her next door neighbor) who lived in this home before she and her husband bought it. It was built in 1900 by the lady's grandfather. She can remember her grandfather cutting trees from the woods and taking the logs to the sawmill to be made into lumber to build this home.
My 92 year old neighbor doesn't read my blog. She doesn't have a computer. She was fine with the fact that I was going to post photos and write about it though. Many days when I drive past her home to make sure she's OK, she'll be sitting on the porch reading or writing letters. She writes me the most interesting letters...sort of like continuing conversations of questions that I asked her when I was down there talking to her. Such as what life was like during the Great Depression and what our town was like when she was a child. Her latest letter to me mailed from just 3 blocks down the street was filled with interesting information about homes around town and 2 photocopied pages of black and white pictures of how our courthouse and several main buildings looked years ago.
My neighbor has never driven a car. When she walks past my home I have to run to catch up to her. She retired from a lifetime of teaching in elementary school. Yet she has traveled the world, written two books, and owns a two acre island one mile off the coast. She has spent every summer there for years and years. This summer she's only going when her children can stay with her. That is the way they will let her go now.
A few days ago she called. "Rachel" her voice came through loud and clear, "I'm just checking on you," I heard her say. Ah, she's 92! I thought she was at the island.
And so I took her a bowl of chili and listened to some more great stories. We talked about the end of life and the love of life and the joy she finds in living.
She said we'd had several days where it was too cold to sit on the porch. That's true. We have. I suggested she could wear her fur coat! She laughed her hearty fiesty laugh. Life is good on my neighbor's romantic porch.
Love, Rachel