Changes Swirling About Me

I've been away for a few days and I'm not sure what to write about right now. Usually topics just come to me and words flow from my fingers but today I just feel kinda dull and word-less. We had a wonderful holiday with my family but so many things are changing around me, that I'm a little overwhelmed by it all. The people I care most about are all facing and/or making changes--big changes--in their lives, most for the good I think (which is good) but some make me feel things I don't want to feel. I don't want to be all cryptic but I don't have much choice. (Sorry about that.)

Thanksgiving was really good. Going to my grandmother's house is like stepping back in time because almost nothing ever changes there. The same photos have hung on her walls for decades. (I refer to it as the wall of shame and indiginity because some of those photos from my pre-teen years should really really goooo!) The same pillows and croched blankets cover her bed as they have for as long as I can remember. The carpet and the furniture have remained the same since I was about 16. We had almost the exact same meal as those of the past 30 Thanksgivings...that I know of. Many of the plates and dishes used this year, I have seen used for decades. The men watched the Cowboys on tv after lunch. The Cowboys lost...the men napped. There was laughter and joking, the children showed out and were indulged a little too much. She's lived in the same house my entire life...and most of my father's. My grandmother is 76 (I think) and as qwirky as they come. Come to think of it, she hasn't really changed much in the past 20 years either. If ever there was a stallwort against the changing situations of life, it's a trip to my grandmother's house.

Only the children have gotten older. My dad's once-flaming-red-hair is now more salt than pepper. My mom is my mom. She's beautiful and that never changes. I had one of those surreal moments tho. It wasn't so long ago that *I* was the oldest child, running around my grandmothers in a frilly pink Carebear nightgown, playing with my cousin...avoiding my siblings...sneaking bites of pie and sips of red creame soda. The adults sat casually around the table in the kitchen thru the evening, snacking, laughing, telling stories on each other, catching up and being a family. This time however, the adults around that table were me and my siblings. The children running around were mine. Geesh. When did that happen? My grandmother's house may remain the same but the people inside it are forever changing. Siblings are added. People move from town to town. Spouses get grafted in. We are all growing up. We go to college. We get jobs and build families. Who knows what we'll be doing next solemn prayer is that it will be another Thanksgiving Day like the one just past.


anita said...

BTW, Sarah...did you know I love you??? I love your writings, can't wait for a book..hey I know a publisher...ehheheeee! I wish I had the abilities that you have with words and insight. I wish I had half the memory for music, artists and lyrics that you have...also wish I didn't have a "hang-up" on buying CD's....I listen to the radio but think I would love some of the CD's you have...or maybe just a "collection" of Sarah's faves? hehee....anyway, I wanted you to know that of all my friends, I am most thankful for who keep me grounded, keep me laughing, keep me in tears, keep me whole and being me! Sounds as though I am talking about a spouse, but lo and behold, NOT...ehehehe! You have a wonderful day today.

TracieClaiborne said...

Oooh I love that story about your Grandmother's house. I miss that in my life. Growing up, we always went to one of my Mother's sisters houses or my Grandmother. Now my Mother and her sisters don't get along too well and Grandmama is gone. I yearn for those sweet days of childhood when all the cousins were together. My child will never know the feeling of having so many cousins and family around her. She's the only grandchild on both sides of her family.

I'm glad someone still has a family to connect with! Your story only validates my need to make roots for my child by living in my house forever! At least she'll have that.


Stephanie said...

Good gosh how your words bring back memories that I don't think of often. My Dad was a "lifer" in the Navy so most Thanksgivings and Christmas dinners were either spent either on board an aircraft carrier eating in the Mess Hall (my Dad ran the Mess Hall) and/or a shoreline Chow Hall or at our temporary home on one coast or the other with a few of Dad's Navy buddies and their families who too were away from friends and family. Once in a great while, we got to be "home" which was my grandparents home here in Tennessee. It was the home of my Mom's parents. Mom is the youngest. So we had Mom and her five sisters and their spouses and kids. There were 16 of us cousins. Sometimes we also had a sibling or 2 or 3 of my grandparents who were both from large families.
Looking back, both were very special and memories that only I have since my sisters are younger and don't share the same experiences as mine.
Sarah, you have managed again to bring a smile and, right now, tears to my eyes (currently rolling down my face).
Now we have Thanksgiving at my home with just Mom and my sisters and their families. Dad and Mom split up 24 years ago. My grandparents have been gone for 23 years and Mom only has 3 sisters alive. The 16 cousins have scattered all over the country and are now grandparents and even great grandparents themselves. Don't get me wrong, today's holidays are sweet. They are just different. As you say, time has marched on. It's my hair that's now white (although colored beautifully, thank you!) and my kids who are grown. My parents are the ages of your grandparents and I watch them as time slowly takes them towards the inevitable. My sisters have young children (5, 7(2 of them) & 8) who are still fun to watch at Christmas.
But every once in a while, I am taken back to those cherished holidays and remember how much I miss them.
Thanks Sarah for taking me back there again!