Wednesday, April 25, 2007

There Must Be More Than This Provincial Life

I like my life. Really, I do. When I think about the times in my life when it's been REALLY bad--when I was single and lonely and felt hopeless; when I was finally married but I thought I'd NEVER EVER get a library job; when we didn't know if we'd ever have a child; this is probably as good as it's been.

I have a job that I absolutely love, which I do believe God engineered me into. I have a wonderful husband and the most adorable three-year-old anyone could ask for. But there is so much more I want.

To have more friendships and involvement in my community, whether it be through church, playgroups, whatever. I miss having close friends. Reading certain books set in the late 19th/early 20th centuries, I'm struck by how much time friends spent with each other and how they really knew each other intimately. I know those kinds of relationships still exist for people today, even if I don't have friends like that at the moment. But our society has changed so much and people seem so much busier and so much less connected with each other, that it seems to take more time and energy to make room for friendship. How to make it happen? Especially when one's dear hubby is much more of an introvert than oneself and is perfectly content to spend every evening just with our family of three? I'm not sure. But I need to make it more of a priority. Father Tim's prayer: Make me a blessing to someone today!

--My relationship with Dear Hubby, good as it is, can always be made richer and deeper. We need to take more time and thought for each other and really listen and communicate more.

--I have sadly neglected my time with the Lord. What's really more important--checking the latest updates on my favorite web sites, or getting my heart and mind focused on Him so that He will be a part of everything in my life.

--Our house needs to be more of a home. Need to take more of an interest in keeping it cleaner, making it more pleasant and livable and cozy. There are so many things we'd like to improve about it--but without the skills or the money, it's difficult to do more than little things. But little things can do a lot--for instance--cooking! We usually don't, really. Way too much dependence on pre-prepared foods and frozen entrees and such. To improve our menu and our nutrition would be great! And organizing our papers and important documents better REALLY needs to be done soon.

And this isn't even counting things like developing new interests, going new places, doing new things--broadening our horizons and making more of life than we have now.

When I look at it, it seems overwhelming. But the only way to do it is to chip at it, one day at a time, one goal at a time, one dream at a time.

"True love consists not only of looking into each other's eyes, but also of looking forward in the same direction."

Monday, April 2, 2007

Farewell Peaceful Haven

Tomorrow morning, the door closes forever on a piece of my childhood. My parents are flying away from the Oregon home they just sold and heading to their new life in Massachusetts near my brother.

We didn't live there on those 80 acres near that tiny Oregon town. But my grandparents did, and the generation before theirs (I have to admit I'm not sure on which side!) homesteaded it. It was part of growing up, to take that long drive, to stop and eat in Weed or Willows, to sing the "We're almost there!" song in Dutch--to spend time at what Grandma called her "Peaceful Haven."

We often came up during Easter, Christmas, or the summertime to spend time with my beloved Grandma and Grandpa. We would play in "Grandpa's Forest" and build forts, boats, pirate ships--whatever we could imagine. We'd walk to the river that runs through the property, and we'd go to the little church where Grandpa even preached sometimes. Blackberries we'd picked were eaten over vanilla ice cream. We spent hours reading old magazines. Grandma's dolls and carnival glass, plates and teacups added beauty, but more than that, it was Grandma and Grandpa's love and heart that we enjoyed. Even after Grandpa passed away, Grandma stayed on her land till very near the end of her life, and her warm spirit never failed. The peaceful, beautifully natural cemetery near the town holds them and many relatives.

When my parents retired from California to Oregon, they had their house built next to Grandma's old house (which my aunt now owns on her 40 acres of the divided 80.) It was beautiful and spacious, and they named it Pfefferle Pines. They spent 15 happy years there, and I still loved coming up--for Mom's Eastern Star events (how often does one woman get to be a Grand Officer AND a Grand Representative within 10 years of moving to a new state!), for Christmas, for lots of other things. Even Little Man got to see it last summer, and was as enchanted by the deer drinking from the birdbath as he was by the pinball machine at the town's ice cream parlor!

Someone new will make memories there now--but I won't soon forget all of mine. The Folks are making the right decision for many reasons--but I know they will feel a pang as well.

Farewell 5280 & 5550-- I will miss you.