Thursday, October 23, 2014

(The Year in Review)

I’ve loved Judy Collins’ songs ever since I first heard them and sang along in the ‘70s. I loved the ones she wrote and the ones she sang written by other people. Many of her songs spoke to me, such as “Who Knows Where the Time Goes?” (Cue the CD.)

October in NE Indiana
That song is especially appropriate today because just one year ago—yup, one whole year—Thursday’s Child set out to explore the universe. I say universe—you understand, I hope, that it’s the universe I inhabit, not the great big wild wonderful universe where absolutely anything can happen. And probably does!

In October 2013, we began our odyssey of celebration: the everyday, the holiday; ordinary, extraordinary; whatever came across my mind and heart that might be worthy of note. Or not.

First we celebrated the arrival of Autumn (a little late, but what the hey, we celebrated). And in a few days it was time for us to consider November and what it brings. Thanksgiving celebrations, good foods, how to eat gluten-free, if you need to.
Makes me cold to look at it!
December, for me, was a magical time. Two of my children, who live far from Northeastern Indiana, traveled to be with the rest of the family for Christmas at my Ohio daughter’s home. All four children, most of the grandchildren, and most of the greatgrandchildren were there. A full house! We so rarely get together that it was a special blessed time for me.

January, however, became one great sheet of ice and snow, mostly snow to the depth of feet, not inches. My oldest daughter, who had traveled from Arizona, was snowed in and got to stay three days later than planned. She has said on occasion that she misses the seasons of the Midwest. We certainly had plenty of Winter for her visit!
From that point on, we northerners struggled to keep warm, get out of our houses when we had to for supplies and fuel, and otherwise fight off cabin fever. I will say—though this is not a cure-all for everyone—having a dog who needs to go out several times a day will solve the indoor-blues. Thirty seconds outside is precious when the temp is hovering at -19 degrees.

Another of my ways to pass indoor time was to cook. Soups became standard fare—the slow cooker got a workout at least once a week. When I couldn’t get out for long periods I knitted, sewed a little, read a lot (I own hundreds of books but by the end of winter I was tired of all of them). I wrote letters to my writing buddy who deserted the north for three months in Florida. From her warmer clime she claimed to be missing the Winter. Uh-huh.
Naturally, when Spring finally showed up, we all ran outside looking for green stuff. Mostly we saw leafless shrubs and eventually a few brave perennials pushing up through the barely thawed earth. Once the ground thawed, somewhere in July—no, I guess it was early May—we saw grass that appeared to be what we remembered from years gone by.

But if you wait long enough, and compose yourself in quietude, the longed-for result will be Spring as we wish it to be. Flowers bloomed, shrubs bloomed, trees bloomed—it was a miracle any of those plants had survived the winter. And when they did—wow! They had gathered renewed energy for blooming.
Summer, as I’ve said ‘way too often, is my least favorite season. However, this past Summer had some good points. It wasn’t too rainy, or too humid, or too hot, or too mosquito-y. I would almost have said I enjoyed Summer. But my sweet dog, Joy, was failing fast. She could no longer go on walks beyond a block and back, and those with several stops. As the days and weeks went by, she ate less and less, until finally it was time. The veterinarian said she had probably had a stroke. She was 17 years, 5 months old. Her passing made a hole in my life and my heart.

And before you ask, no, I did not yet get another dog. Next year, maybe, after I’ve made some long-distance trips to visit family and friends; in warm weather, not going into another cold season that may be who-knows-how-bad; and it will have to be a dog who wants me, too. We’ll know each other when we meet.
But, despite losses, we all keep on keeping on, whatever the circumstances. I played the organ at my church all through the past Summer. When the choir began again in September, the other organist and I adopted a plan to play alternate Sundays while a committee continues its search for a full-time organist. That arrangement is working well, giving both of us time off. And I get a chance to work with a choir again for short periods. I still make quilts and knit and write/revise stories, have lunch with friends.
As I write this, the temp is 32 degrees and we have thick fog. Yesterday the temp was 50-something and sunny. Birds clamored for seeds at my three feeders outside the window where I write. All over town people have begun raking leaves, putting away outdoor furniture, cleaning out flower beds. The usual October chores.

Thursday’s Child is now one year old, and there is every indication we will continue writing about what drifts across our radar. We never know what that will be.
Join us when you can. Always something going on with Thursday’s Child.
Sneak Peek: Next week, come by for an interview with Liz Flaherty who is celebrating the publication of her 9th book, Back to McGuffey’s!

1 comment:

  1. Hard to believe it's been a year. Looking forward to my visit.