Sunday, March 29, 2015
In the almost two weeks since our beloved Wiley left us, we have pruned, weeded, shredded, cleaned, and tried to put our lives back to normal. The truth is, that is quite a difficult task. The house is quiet, the yard is quiet, and everything we touch is quiet. And, quiet is sometimes, a very difficult pill to swallow. But, as I mentioned, we Daisies stay busy, and in a small way, that helps.
It is spring, here in Oregon, and that means unpredictable weather. Sometimes warm, sometimes cold, sometimes torrential rain, and sometimes lots of wind. Coincidentally, these can all happen on the same day, or even in the same hour. We plan our days around the weather, as in: “It’s supposed to rain this afternoon. We need to get the lawn mowed this morning.” (or the berry patch weeded or mulched…..insert any man-killing task that seems to fit, and you have a clue to life here) Because of this intensive batch of manual labor, things look pretty good here. It is green, and everything is springing to life. The Kwanzan cherry trees are almost in bloom, and the apple trees, cherry trees, plums, etc. are enjoying the mild weather that this spring has been, at least, to date. That could change at any minute, and this fact alone, causes that darn harvest related anxiety in my dear father. He tends to worry, so these weather related events are right up his alley. He will watch the weather report on the evening news, and if cold weather, rain, hail, etc are predicted, the worrying begins. “Well, I guess the bees won’t be out to pollinate the apple trees.” Or, “That rain will probably knock off all the blossoms on the cherry trees.” And on and on…… As for me, I say, “C’est la vie.” I’ll take it as it comes, and if, by chance the fruit crop is somewhat smaller this year, I do think we will be okay. But, I am only one small voice in the wind.
I have also noticed that each passing year seems to have its own unique theme. Last year was the year of the “30-60-90,” or the year that my dear Son turned 30, I became a 60 year-old, and my Dad attained the age of 90. For me, it was also the year of the cake, or maybe more aptly put, the year of many cakes, but that is another story. If the first three months of 2015 are any indication, this is a year of loss. These years happen to all of us, where those we love seem to topple like dominos, catching us off guard. Yet at the same time they serve to remind us of the fragility of life and the need to hold tightly to what we have. Three women who were very influential in my life, passed into immortality. Each one came into my life at a time when I needed the precious gifts they had to offer.
Bernadine was a neighbor who loved nature. She rescued hurt birds and nursed them back to health, and invited us kids over to see them. We were stunned when they would poop on her hand and she didn’t even flinch! (or scream, drop the bird, and run to the sink to wash up, as we 8-10 year-olds would have done.) She was patient, kind, and gentle, and she knew the importance of teaching by example. We would put on plays that I’m sure dragged on forever, and she would be our attentive audience. She had an interest in everything that we kids were doing. If you have read the children’s book, “Miss Rumphius,” it could have been her. She lived a very simple and purposeful existence, and this sent a message that has transcended my life.
Bea was the wife of Morey, who I went to work for when we moved to Tillamook. He was the iron fist, and she was the velvet glove. I loved them both dearly. I was newly married, young, and living in a VERY small town. They saw this, and took me under their wing. And, looking back, it didn’t hurt that I was the age of their children, none of who were living close by. There is so much to be learned by watching how someone handles life. Two of their four children divorced while I worked for them, and the other two got married. Through these ups and downs, she was steadfast, and graceful. Again, many life lessons that were carefully laid out before me.
Carolyn came to my life later on. She was the wife of a career military man. She took no prisoners. She was strong-willed, and truly a force to be reckoned with. Standing by her side, you knew you would be safe, as she was a woman who could slay dragons with one hand. Yet, she was compassionate, generous, and happy to fill a need if one came along. She was the epitome of a hard worker and knew how to get things done with an elegance and style of a bygone era. Watching her and working beside her was a treat. She took care of me, and taught me so much, and for that, I am eternally grateful.
And so it is with life. Births and deaths, and everything in between. We get so busy just living it that we forget to take notice. So stop and take a look around. Breathe in the aroma of the day, and exhale the demons. Know that for a small second, you experienced the life in life.
Again, peace be with you.