Scrub a Dub Dub

I have spent my evening cleaning house.  I estimate I am half way.  Maybe a little more.  I spent some time outside putting things away.  I even washed four windows.  Odd, I know.  They needed it more than the rest.  I will try to do a few more next week.  The fish tank needed some water work. I am give out now.

I have my menu for the holiday weekend made out and my grocery list about ready for tomorrow after the 9 to 5.  Rather than a traditional Thanksgiving menu when my daughter and her husband come, we are having a traditional Sunday dinner.  Fried chicken, chicken and dumplings, creamed potatoes, gravy, yeast rolls, corn, crowder peas, greens, cornbread, sweet potato pie.  We don’t eat like that anymore.  It has now become a treat in my mind.

My niece and her family are coming over the holiday.  I have a menu planned with two little girls in mind.  I checked my supply of chocolate syrup and will make sure I select some delectable cookies.  I don’t have time to bake cookies this week.  We will have to make do with store bought.

He was reviewing the menu for the several days.  He mentioned I had forgotten his ham rolls.  Added them immediately along with the cheese torte.  I hope he enjoys the festivities and the feasting.

Our holiday times are so different from the traditional ways of our childhood and even early adulthood.  The passing of our parents and the marrying off of our children changed everything.  I miss those two little people who used to live with me.  They made my life magical.

I see two grown-ups who seem familiar.  I think they are wonderful people as adults.  But, I still seek glimpses of my young’uns.  I still want to gather them in my arms and hold on tight.

The holidays will roll in and pass by.  I want to make some more magical memories.  I eagerly anticipate two little girls coming to visit.  I hope and pray weather and wellness permit.  I also eagerly anticipate seeing our daughter and her love.  Not sure if our grand-girl will be here.

I hadn’t been looking forward to putting up a tree and laying the table with decorations.  After writing this, I am feeling more like having Christmas after all.  Sometimes, it helps to give myself a good talking to.  Stop wistfully mourning the past and look happily toward the future.  Get the house scrubbed and ready.  Christmas is coming. And so are some of the children!

An image below of a place that never fails to ground me.  My beloved lake in winter.  I will need to spend time there soon.  All the festivities will have me teetering.  I go there and visit the ghosts and talk to Him.  He knows all about my heart, both the strong parts and the fragile.  He will scrub my soul and refresh my spirit.  Any day, not just the holidays.

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Housekeeping

Long hours sitting in the woods have helped some.  Just time without having to do anything.  I always take my journal so I can write.  I read over past entries.  I ponder things.  I am forced to be present with my thoughts.

It is a very good thing.

I have reconnected with some things of which I had lost sight.  I let myself get distracted by media driven ideas of what I should be doing.  On what I should be expending resources.

At my nine to five, I will have to do all over again tomorrow the tasks I have done today.  The sense of satisfaction is void.  I keep a to-do list at work to help relieve the strain of feeling I never get anything done at my desk.  I keep work in folders that are fluid.  Papers move from one to the next, helping me feel I am getting someplace.  But nothing at my nine to five feels as good as my clean house.

My true vocation is home keeping. I was born to be a housewife. It suits my temperament. I like the tasks and the sense of accomplishment I feel when the counters are clear and the floor is clean. Yes. It will need to be done all over again tomorrow or maybe before the day is out.  But, there is satisfaction in it for me.

I have complained about the constant business I conduct, moving piles from here to there.  Getting rid of things, accumulating things.  Sorting and resorting. Arranging and rearranging.  I am feathering and refeathering my nest.  A natural born nester.  That is me.

Even in my deer stand, I nest.  I have three chairs in each. One is for shooting.  One is for napping.  One is alternately a foot stool or a table. I have a blanket, too.  I haul a thermos full of coffee going in, empty coming out.  Writing materials, my precious lists, a pen and two back up pens.  I don’t take reading material.  I want to be forced to hear my own voice, see the images in my own mind.

The last evening I was sitting, I wrote a page of fiction including dialogue.  Is it the beginning of a story?  Maybe.  I will have to do as my little friend at church says.  It’s okay to be afraid but still be brave.  Be brave enough to face the demons of the past and the pain of death’s sharp sting.  Having expended such enormous energy to put all that pain in a place I can manage, it will be terrifying to pull it out and go through it again.  That is what I will have to do.  But, this time, it will simply be the memory of the pain. I have lived through the disasters.  Now I will simply recall them.  They did not destroy me the first time.  The memory of them will certainly not destroy me now.

The comfort afforded me by my home and the constancy of my simple housekeeping will serve to keep me grounded. My home is filled with reminders of my long gone loved ones. The house itself is a reminder of the joy and agony of the past. Perhaps the story I need to write echoes here in these walls.

Today as I performed the tasks relevant to providing our evening meal and provisioning our future meals, I thought of the long legacy I have. Since Eve have my ancestral mothers kept house. Ensuring meals and clothing, bedding and warmth were present. I like to think they provided with love and generosity the things a housekeeper does to make a place of abode a home of refuge. They have an epic story to tell.

I am writing this satisfied. My counters are clear and so is my conscience as I prepare for sleep. No fear of Mab, tonight.

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Time On My Hands

This past weekend, I had time on my hands. I spent most of Saturday sitting in a deer stand and part of Sunday afternoon, too.

It was raining Saturday. The woods in the rain are lovely to experience.  The rush and patter of the rain.  The whoosh of the wind.  The dance of the trees and swirling of light over raindrops.  The noisy quiet of nature.

I spent time trying to focus the vision. I know one thing for certain.  I am a home keeper at heart.  Everything seems to come back to home.  I love to travel.  But home is my vocation.  I expend a great deal of energy and thought on my home.  Trying to figure out how to make it better.  How to make it stay cleaner.  How to make it more comfortable and user friendly.  How to make it kid-friendly, both crawler size kids and grown, married size kids.

If I move this over there and rearrange this closet. If I get rid of this and try to find something like that?  So it goes with me.  Drives him crazy.  I don’t mean to make him nuts with all my moving and changing.  Sometimes I get things situated and think it will work and it doesn’t.  Or something changes.  Or it doesn’t fit the way I thought it would.

I do the same in my deer stand. I have three chairs in each of my stands.  Each chair serves a different purpose.  It took me a bit to work out the best arrangement. I like to be comfortable.  It is a long time sitting.

But the reward of the confined space in the open woods is great.  I have to sit still and let my mind be my occupation.  I take my journal and write page after page of gibberish.  But, amid all the static, I hear that voice telling me this is the way.  I see the light for the next step.  The fog clears from the vision for a moment and I have a chance to make a note on my pages before it is shrouded again.  But, this time I am not in despair.  I have captured a glimpse of the vision on paper.  I have words I can refer to when I get unsure again of the next step.

Take the broom and sweep. Put away the paraphernalia let over from the past days’ adventures.  Clean the fish tank.  Pull a few weeds.  Cook a good pot of tortilla soup.  Get the coffee pot ready for the morning.  Figure out what tomorrow’s chores will be. Decide what closet needs attention.  Another page in my life has been written.  Today was a good one.  A good one preceded by good ones.

I just realized I am doing what my mother and her mother always did.  My mother’s sisters do the same thing, too.  That constant moving and rearranging in our homes.  And so the family connection flows.

I love hunting season. One of the main reasons is the time to unravel my mind.  And let Him show me wonders of his world.  And have time with him adventuring in the mud and rain.

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Pursuit

Sometimes I have clarity.  I clearly see my dream.  Then I look down to check the path for trip hazards and when I look back up, the dream has become shrouded again.

I will continue to seek the path to my dream.  To do otherwise is self-betrayal.  To be true to myself.  That is a big part of it.  To know myself and not compromise my own identity and values to conform or get by.

It is very hard for me.  My personality is to be pliant and submissive.  I laugh as I write that.  I haven’t always been such.  I used to argue at the drop of a hat with anyone about anything.

In trying to become the kind of wife I want to be, I have given up some things I shouldn’t have let go.  He doesn’t press for anything.  It has been my own quest to change and become the partner I believe he deserves.  But, in doing so, I have retreated too far with some things.

I don’t reach for things if I am not able to get them on my own.  If I will need help, I usually simply forfeit.  I short myself when I should be letting him and others close enough to help.  I may have just hit upon the key.

Letting someone help means being vulnerable.  I have too often equated vulnerability with weakness.  I don’t think of that with others, just with myself. I measure myself with a totally different set of standards.  I love to help others.  I don’t allow myself to need help.

Perhaps for 2016, I will let go of my self-imposed restrictions and allow myself to ask for help.  Ask for support.  Let others love me.

It is the only way to fulfill my dreams. I will not be able to do what I want to do without his support and his help.  He always encourages me to take the next step.  I am the one standing on the same step day after day.

That is not entirely true.  If I look back, I see how far I have come.  And I do see the next step.  Just muster the wherewithal to climb up one more.  After I get that one done, I can work on the next.  One step.  And another after that.  The dream is there, up ahead.

I am enjoying the challenge of the climb.  That ever ascending path.  That shrouded dream.  The faith to keep on the chase.  A good way to live.  Seeking the dream and yet not losing the joy of the pursuit.  A delicate balance.  Like the blossom of the orchid.

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