September 21, 2015

Not all who wander.

"Not all those who wander are lost." JRR Tolkien
"Not all who were taught, say thank you." Jrob

Just something I had rolling through my head that fell onto the keyboard.
If you know me, you know I am not a fan of the Summer months. Yet my parents always taught me never to complain about the weather, because it is equal to telling the Big Guy that he made a mistake.  Summer is absolutely essential if we care to continue eating. How can one not believe that their is a higher power, a God, that loves us enough to pay such detail to it all, for instance, in the Spring, the Crocus pops up, shrinks back down to the earth, then the Daffodils, then they curl back down to the ground, then the Tulips bloom, all in perfect order. Same with the crops. Being the daughter of a fruit farmer, At my young age I was always dang impressed that my Dad could manipuate one crop at a time, Sour cherries, then Sweet cherries, then apricots, then pears, then peaches then apples.  Which one has a decent shelf life? Only the apples!! for crying out loud its all brilliant. (Saying God is brilliant seems lame). My father always said "It always snows on the Forsythia." His way of saying, the winter ain't over till its over. I had difficulty convincing my kids and others that this is always true. Even when it gets so warm some Springs, even I doubt it. but absolutely, in all my 55 years on the big ball, have never seen a year that Winter was not finished till it snowed on the beautiful bright yellow bushes.

Fun fact: My father died on the morning of May 5th, His favorite song ever, was 'The Wintry Day Descending to it's Close. That morning, there was snow on the ground. That afternoon it was a typical May day, requiring the AC to be turned on. Cool ey?

I have a lovely friend, her name is Cindy. She is fighting a ruthless case of Ovarian Cancer. During the summer, I would come into her room in the morning, she would look around and say " Every morning, I wake up unsure of it being morning or evening. That is because she would go to sleep while it was still light and wake up in the light. Time and seasons are a strange concept to me. Last spring and summer was five months of being damn sick in the hospital or having Chemo, therefore, when it was September and it got cooler and the grass was green again and so pretty out, I thought it was Spring. I had lost an entire season. I, by the grace of God, stellar Doctors. and a anti-nausea shot I had with Chemo, a shot that lasts about five days, I never had nausea that the pills couldn't manage.. God knows what we can handle, and I would have driven off a cliff if I had had the horrible nausea. However  I was so confused so much of the time and so terrified it was ridiculous. One day I was talking with a friend and mentioned that there was so much time I could not account for, especially in the hospital, and the time I did remember was triggering the crap out of me! She looked at me and very quietly said, "I prayed that you would not remember." Those prayers were answered. I will forever be grateful.

So again, it is Autumn, my favorite season, as I am certain must be many of yours also. The light bends differently as it shines on my South facing home. I can smell and feel the exact day that I walk out and for me, it is fall. When I was a child, as I mentioned, my father was a High School welding teacher (God love him!) and then he would come right home, change into his dark grey work shirt and pants and would head to Salem where he co-owned an orchard with a good friend of his. He bought the orchard because he wanted my three older brothers to understand the value of hard work and a dollar. My younger sister and I would tag along and I spent years just hanging out in the orchard or the fruit shed, never old enough to help even if I begged. (Really....I could not for the young life of me understand why my Dad did not let me use the pruners! it looked so fun and easy).

I learned one of the most valuable lessons of my life in that orchard with my Dad. You see, we would walk up the hill (it is right there on the south side of the Salem Cemetery) to a small shack. When I say shack I do not exaggerate. Quite old and dark, no electricity that I remember, no bathroom, a little stove, probably wood burning and smelling pretty strongly of tobacco and campfire, and usually a dog. During the spring and summer, my Father would hire someone to help him out and keep an eye on the fruit shed etc. There were two men, If I remember correctly, their names were Red, and Woody. They seemed pretty old to me but in reality, were probably not. They seemed contented living in that shack, grateful for the job. My father would take them once a week or so to the little grocery store in Salem and buy what little groceries they needed, and also, some beer and either cigarettes or chewing tobacco. I remember being a little shy with them but even with their hard living appearances and their lack of teeth, I remember their kindness to me and their laughter and teasing. I am so grateful to my sweet Dad for taking us with him when it was probably a pain,  and for being a gosh-dang stunning example of Christlike love that he showed these lovely humans who were, on the outside so different than we were. He showed us that they were God's children and not one bit less loved, and valued because of their circumstances. My Dad never said any of this. He showed us. And that...dear readers is one more reason why I love Autumn. As JRRT said it so well, "Not all those who wander are lost."

Thanks Valton.