Thursday, November 19, 2009
The red brick house where I lived as a child was built in 1940.The winters in New York are as cold as the ones in Michigan and the windows in our house were small and ill placed.Small, to contain the heat in the bitter cold and God knows why there was no cross ventilation in the steamy summer.There was no such thing as bay windows or sliding glass doors or french doors.No one had them.So this was a tight,gloomy ship that we sailed on.
I could not live in that house now.The house we have here in Georgia has windows everywhere and what was missing when we moved in has been added.A large window over the tub, another by the bathroom door and a third in this room which looks over the back yard.Everywhere that I turn, I can see trees.
I have always had this thing for windows.Perhaps it is from the Irish gene pool.Until 1880, the Irish were taxed by the number and size of the windows in the houses they owned.There was also a tax on the size ,height and number of doors.Of course, the poorer peasants had to limit the number and size of their windows and doors or they couldn't pay their taxes.Most of the cabins where they lived were smoky and dark.The poor called this policy "daylight robbery".My ancestors who arrived in the U.S.in
1848 ,were listed on the ship's log as farmers so I am sure that they fit the category described.
One politician in 1819, in an attempt to abolish it, described the health issues that were injurious to the poor such as the spread of typhus.Sadly, the ancestor that left Cork in 1848,died in New York City in 1853 of that disease.
Anyway, windows draw me and I found a beautiful,inspiring one while in N.C.It is a photo of an old chapel window found in Iona,Scotland.I would like to sit by this window and feel the peace of it.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
This is a good day.On Facebook,so many people are expressing thanks for servicemen and woman and for freedom.I found out that my uncle Walter served in the Second World War and my cousin Walter served in Viet Nam.I didn't know that.Real heroes never mention their service.
The rain has finally stopped and it's windy and the colored leaves are just beautiful.After our swim, my husband and I cut down kudzu vines.Some were thicker than my wrist.We have an old oak on the property that was being smothered.We rescued it.Next Spring, more vines will sprout up but I can handle those with clippers.
I just love Facebook.A girl who used to run cross country with my kids found me.She lives in Billings ,Montana and I got to see her children's pictures.Neat.And a cousin,Anne Frame, who I haven't seen in 40 years is now my friend.That's how I found out about her father and brother and their service.I can tell by what she has written that she is a good and caring person.How lovely to find her.
The best thing is that my brother-in-law gave me this used camera and I took a picture of the swollen Flint River and was able to post it here.For me that is a miracle...figuring out the camera and this new P.C.I think the picture is just perfect.
Monday, November 9, 2009
I meet the most interesting people at the pool.The other day, this woman my age and I were sharing how boring swimming can be.Thirty minutes of the back stroke with nothing to see but the corrugated white ceiling of the Steve Lunquist Aquatic Center can get tiresome.She offered that recently she started to go through the alphabet with each lap and think of a scripture verse and ponder it as she goes along.
Today, I tried it. When I got to "O" the thought came that, "Only in God is my soul at rest;he is my help,my salvation."I thought of all the times in my life when I let go of the tether that holds me to "Holy the Firm".(Annie Dillard's words.)All I have to do is stop praying and my focus goes here and there like a kite without a tail.But mostly, "I" become the focus and become the obsessive person with a dustpan and brush sweeping up the crumbs of admiration, success, love, and adoration;trying to fill that hole that only the One can fill.
"I can do this" I say to myself...""all by myself.This is deadly for me.In my heart,I know that we are not made for that.
Then, I get to "V" and of course , off I go thinking of the priest,the teenager,the perfect Lizard Leader and like a gentle wave the words "venite adoremus"come to my mind;"come, let us adore Him" and I am back to where rest is.
Monday, November 2, 2009
She came into the locker room with her big smile and a hello.We met a few days ago and I was glad to see her.
She has just celebrated her 93rd birthday and is quite proud of it.She swims about 30 minutes, a few times a week.I will call my new friend Mamie.She has thick white hair, a face that wouldn't be out of place on a 60 year old and we share the same "crepey"skin.
We chatted for a few minutes and then she headed for the pool.I was curious, so I peeked in a bit later to see if she was in the warm, "arthritic" pool, the 4 foot deep one.But,no, she was swimming in the lane that is marked 7'12".I swim in the 5 foot lane.There she was goggles,swim cap doing the crawl which I have yet to master.
I want to share with you what she said before she went swimming because you may never have the privilege of meeting Mamie:"I like to keep busy.If you sit on the sofa, that is all you will be able to do.I am active in my small church and I do work for Habitat for Humanity.(I immediately thought"paperwork").I believe that we are put here for a purpose and that is to help each other.It doesn't have to be a big thing, a smile will do nicely."
As I write this, I think that my assumption about the paperwork is probably faulty.I can see Mamie with a hammer and nails working on a window frame and I smile.