"...and make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands..." ...1 Thessalonians 4:11
Yearly, a small country town holds an annual city-wide yard sale and flea market which they never advertise anywhere because too many people already know about it. Oh, the nice people Tom and I spoke with there yesterday (and oh, the congestion on the roads).
Every single Memorial Day way out in the countryside we exclaim, "We should have brought sandwiches!" and this year we didn't bring them, either. After a couple sunny, humid hours, ol' starving Debra got cranky except when we stopped here beside Lake Ontario:
... then she took photos and ceased complaining (for a few moments), especially when she stepped into an estate sale with a sun room and backyard along here:
Can you imagine having a whole row of windows on the edge of one of the Great Lakes? I can. I'd loll away my life there and accomplish nothing. So no lake house for me.
Anyway, Tom did the 'just one more yard sale, just one more yard sale' thing all the way down the road till we found ourselves back out at our old farm:
... which looked proper and prim, but not too farm-like anymore, what with my huge vegetable garden gone and the woodpile, as well as the fence around the back pasture. And I didn't even notice till perusing the photos--they chopped down the huge tree behind the kitchen(!) :
Now, I would be upset except that would make me a hypocrite: Tom and I considered doing the same thing. And you know? That area looks better without the tree and its weeds, leaves and the way it blocked the kitchen window's view and light.
They also pulled out the iris and perennials from the front bed and added Hostas, instead. I could tell it's been the Law of the Jungle in the other two flower beds: only the strongest plants have survived.
Tom and I bought that 125 year old farmstead so to play Farmers, but obviously this family had other dreams. And you know? That's ok. Really, truly, 100% all right with me because it's no longer mine. Three years ago I released it when we left and now? If they someday tear it all down so to build an apartment complex, I believe God would ask that I be fine with that.
Why on Earth?
Because none of us is Queen of Life. No one has been given that kind of control over what other people do. And yes, okay, that sounds obvious in this case, but what about when it comes to dealing with our adult children? How many of us still
boss tell them what to do, give them un-asked-for advice or sit around, blown away, after they make decisions we never would have in a zillion years?
Uh-oh--I'd better not go there.
And well, uh, er, doesn't the barn look as beautiful as ever? :)
Sadly, the old-fashioned 50's Malt Shoppe with the red and white striped awnings had closed forever. Darn. We loved that place in that tiny farm town.
Change: it happens. Everywhere. Hence the importance of acceptance and finding, instead, what is alive and breathing for you.
At one sale behind an ancient farmhouse on many beautiful acres, I discovered a red, dusty book from 1933. When I read these words on the first page, I knew it had to be mine:
"Mrs.Meigs always loved to wake up to a snowstorm. It took her back to the days when, if it was snowing in the morning, she used to keep her children home from school and have an open fire of canned coal and establish herself snugly for the day with her chicks huddled about her. She had enjoyed those rare days all the more because she wasn't in general a hovering sort of mother. She enjoyed the recollection all the more because she made a point of not sitting down too often to recall the past.
When you've turned eighty it doesn't do to think too much about the past. Anyhow she never had much time for reminiscence. The present was always too actively interesting: this winter especially it seemed to her that she had had hardly a minute to herself."
How did I feel while traveling 'round the beautiful countryside? Oh-hum-ish. I remembered how the greenery and farmhouses used to inspire and motivate me, but it all felt so far away, surprising me, even, that I felt that way for decades. A great shift has changed my perception and desires as well as the 'been there, done that-ness' of it all... and it feels wonderful having moved on.
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