Wednesday, August 1, 2018
Cusp of 55 and Longing...
Do you ever wish we were still in the good old days? It seems the older I get, the more I long for the days that my ancestor's lived in. Oh, I know it wasn't as glamorous as the internet makes it seem. I know it was a hard life but sometimes, I don't think that is a bad thing. Families worked together, lived together, ate together and worshiped together. It took everybody to make the family farm work. Mom up before dawn, making biscuits from scratch. Getting the morning breakfast ready before the children came running to the table. Daddy out of bed, even before Mama, milking the cows and feeding to animals, before heading out to the fields. The younger children doing chores before they headed off to the one room school house, and then again when they returned home. Running through the woods, wading in the creek, or laying in the pasture, watching the clouds go by. The older children heading out to the fields, to help Daddy, before Mama calls them all in for supper.
Everyone gathering around the table, giving thanks to our Father, for the food before them, the people beside them, and the blessings around them.
Everyone sitting on the porch, in summer, or in front of the fireplace, in winter, talking about the day, singing sweet little songs, and reading the Bible. Then off to bed before the last little bit of light, fades into darkness. Little ones tucked in with a kiss on the forehead and Mama telling Daddy, how blessed she is and how much she loves him...
Come Sunday, the entire family went to church...together. Moms, Dads, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins...all worshiping God. You knew everybody in that church. Why, today, I dare say you don't even know who is sitting in the same pew as you...providing there are still pews and not some fancy padded folding chair. That is a sermon all on it's on...these new fangled church seats. Most churches have thousands of people who attend them. Even in my own church, I know all of four people, other than my Mister and granddaughter. The only reason I know them is because they used to go to the same church we did. They left about the time I was basically asked to leave. Anyhow, that's a whole 'nuther matter.
Back in the day, you knew you were going to church, as a family, no question about it. After church, you knew there would either be a potluck lunch on the grounds or your family was going to Grandma's house for Sunday Dinner. That's just the way it was and everybody got along or Grandma would put her foot down and tell you just how it was. In the land before everyone was offended about everything...Grandma ruled the roost and the family with a switch in one hand and a bag of love in the other. And you didn't dare cross Grandma or she would sit down that bag of love and tan your hide with that switch. LoL
Where did we go wrong? Why are families not coming together, anymore? Is there no such thing as neighbors, these days?
I will be 55 years old, in ten days. Even though my days are spent babysitting the grands, reading, browsing the internet, and piddling around, I am bored, restless, and sometimes I even feel lonely. Of course, my Mister comes home from work and we talk for all of five minutes. It usually goes something like this.
Me: How was your day?
Mister: Fine. How was yours?
Me: Oh, you know.
Mister: How were the babies?
Me: They were good. Suppers almost ready.
We eat. I clean the kitchen, he heads outside to his shop. I head back to the internet. He comes in, takes a shower, and plops down on the couch to watch the mindless drivel that is television. I take my bath and head back to the computer or some other something that passes the time. Right before bed, I make his lunch for the next day, set the coffee maker, water the dogs, pet them, and tell them that I love them. I go to my reading spot. Mister goes to bed. I do the same after a little while. It's not that we don't enjoy being together or love each other. We simply have a pretty consistent life. There really isn't much to talk about because our days are pretty much the same...day after day.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining or having some sort of pity party. I am extremely blessed. Way more than I deserve and most of the time, I love our mundane lives. But sometimes I feel something is missing...has been missing.
We live in a place where there is no community.
My siblings live in another state, my children are busy with their own lives, and I feel like life is no longer...life. Does that even make sense?
We live where people are constantly on the go. No time to make friends or meet their neighbors. Even the elderly are blowing and going. Most days, I am the only human at home, in our neck of the woods. Our neighbors are older...you would think they would be home but not around here. It's crazy and I don't like it. I don't know...maybe my upbringing makes me feel this way. We lived in small town, USA. I went to school with every kid who lived in that town. Our parents were friends, we were friends. The entire town was "family". Of course, I married and moved away so I lost some of that hometown feeling. Then I divorced. I suddenly became a single mother. I had to get a job...in fact I had to get several jobs. I spent all my time working and raising my babies. I thank God that I had a loving family who helped me out some. Even during those days, I still had a support system who got together, who came running if I needed something...I had a community even if I was so busy working that I couldn't enjoy it!
I remarried, and we moved to Oklahoma, for my Mister's job. Everything changed. We left all of our family and friends, behind. We knew not a single soul here. It was just the two of us and the kids. We've been here going on 22 years and it is still just us, the kids and grandbabies. Even the kids don't come around much. Of course, our baby girl does, but it is her kiddos that I babysit and sometimes I wonder if it weren't for that, would she call or come by? Would she be so busy with her job and life that she wouldn't realize how long it was between visits? That is what happened with our son. We see him, maybe...and that's a huge maybe...once a month. He lives about two miles down the road, passes by on his way home every day but is so busy that he just doesn't have time to stop in, even for a minute.
I know this all sounds like I am pouting but I'm really not. What got me started was an article, from a fellow Okie-blogger, I read the other day. You can read it here. The Redneck Diva Kristen sums it up pretty good. We have to make an effort. Unfortunately, when only one person is making the effort, families fall apart. Community ceases to exist. This is what I feel has happened.
So then, this morning, I found that my friend, Teri from Homespun Cottage , has a second blog called, Table for 2. Both are sweet blogs. In her first post, she wrote about her kitchen table and it got me to thinking about how my own kitchen table has changed over the years. That led me to writing this post. I know, I know! This post really has nothing to do with my kitchen table but humor me...that's just how my brain works. I know you are probably think, "Man, she has watched way too many episodes of The Walton's, Little House On The Prairie, and Andy Griffith. Well, I do love those shows but it goes much deeper than television.
So...on the cusp of turning another year older, my yearning for a simpler time is stronger than ever.
I so long for the good old days when family was everything, community was essential, and God was first in all of it.
Grace & Peace,