Senior Life

Family, God, and Gatherings

Scrolling through Facebook memories this morning, I came across a picture that brought warm and happy memories. My family is awesome. After my hubby passed in June of 2013, Sundays were the hardest days of all for me. In order to help me through the grief, my family decided since everyone has to cook a meal, we should all gather at my home and share a big meal together.

I began to look forward to Sunday dinner with the family. The loneliness faded in the love and laughter of children and grandchildren gathered around me. My life had changed. God and family always help me through the roughest of times.

Since I moved to a small condo, it is more difficult to host family gatherings. I miss them. Another change in my life is spending most of my time in solitude. The winter months this season have seemed to be passing much slower than the past. I look out and long to be sitting on the front porch with God.

So today I decided to scroll through memories on Facebook of this day through the years. I was amazed to see how many times the ground was snow covered on this day! Today there is still snow in the valleys where the roof line come together. There is snow on the hill under the pine trees. And there is still now from the edge of my porch across the walk. It’s an icy snow that cannot be moved. I’ve tried!

While scrolling, I came across the post that triggered this blog. A family dinner on this day eight years ago. We decided to have a “theme” dinner and name all our contributions after road kill. I told you my family was a lot of fun! We laugh and let our hair down when we are together. It’s all good, clean, fun. Here are the pictures from that dinner:

I’m looking at beautiful sunshine today and I hear the temperatures might reach into the mid fifty range. I hope so. When spring finally brings flower blossoms, green grass, sunshine, and mild temperatures, I’m going to host a family gathering again. But our theme won’t be Mexican, like our Christmas dinner, or road kill, like this one. I’m thinking about doing a heaven themed dinner! I love to see my family’s creativity!


A Heart of Thanksgiving

This is Thanksgiving week. I’m happy to be joining family gathering at my youngest daughter’s house and to not cook a turkey. She always gives me easy things to contribute. But I do miss the smell of Thanksgiving and the leftovers. I did purchase a 3 pound turkey breast which is in my freezer. I’ll make a mini Thanksgiving meal for myself in December when I decorate for Christmas.

This time of year can bring moments of sadness with missing those who have been called home. I’m thankful to turn into the arms of Jesus for comfort. He reminds me this is only temporary and one day He will lead me to them. In the meantime, this is the life I’ve been given and each day is a gift to enjoy. I smile because this life is good and filled with blessings.

Yesterday my grandson called to tell me he had proposed to his girlfriend and she said yes! Oh, what happiness filled my heart. Other family members are struggling in various situations. I know God is working in their lives, too, and I trust Him for healing their hearts. He is faithful.

The world is filled with suffering and hate. Yet, I stand firm in my faith that God is working in the background and there is no reason to fear. I’m looking forward to family gatherings, family meals, laughter, love, old memories, and new memories to be made.

Trying to give my eyes rest this week, I colored one picture this week while skyping with my daughter. It has been a quiet week of resting and prayer.

It is my prayer that I will live each day from this day forward with a Thanksgiving heart! Until next time…

Morning Thoughts

Four Years of Not…And No Regrets

Four years ago today, I closed on selling my house and on buying a small two bedroom condo. Four years of not having to climb up and down stairs. Four years of not mowing lawn. Four years of not weeding the gardens. Four years of not shoveling snow. Four years of not weeding. Four years of a beautiful office window view. Four years of hearing the geese calling every morning as they fly in and every evening as they fly out. Four years of enjoying hearing the birds singing as I sit on my porch. Four years of greeting neighbors and their dogs. Four years of making new friends. Four years of new memories.

Moving from a family home after I was the last one left who had made it a home, was scary for me. Luckily it went from talking about it to happening in just three months. Such a whirlwind of downsizing, there wasn’t time to think about whether or not this was the right thing to do. Sure I couldn’t keep up with the large house and yard any longer. And the neighborhood wasn’t the safest place for me. But there were so many memories tied up in that home. All the improvements my hubby had made and all the beautiful gardening and landscaping he had created. I knew it was even harder for my children as this home was the one they remembered dearly.

Things were lost during the move because there was no basement or shed storage. Time to downsize my life and the “things” collected over the years. It seemed one day I was thinking about selling and the next it belonged to someone else and I no longer lived there. Over the four years I’ve been here, some new memories have been made. But due to sizing, we don’t have the family get togethers like we used to. I don’t see my children as often as I used to. There are days when I feel isolated from family, though only a few of them live out of state. The get togethers and the yearly family Christmas are the things I miss the most. But I have no regrets.

This home is perfect for me. The memories of the past are still alive and I pull them out sometimes and live them again. I wish my hubby was able to enjoy this place, too. To sit on the front porch and talk to all the neighbors. But I’m not sorry he isn’t. He is in Heaven and I wouldn’t have wanted him to live through the pandemic with his lung and heart issues. So even this is not a regret.

I’m a woman in waiting now. I’m enjoying each day as it comes, thankful for God’s blessings. Lifting my cup of tea and listening to the cicadas singing in the distance as the end of summer nears. Soon it will be fall, my favorite season of the year. My thoughts will soon be on pumpkins, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. And always, always, thankful.

Morning Thoughts

A Memory Popped Up

A memory popped up on Facebook this morning that led me down memory lane. Five years ago today was the very last family gathering at the house my family remembers most. It was the place where the family gatherings began. As I looked at the pictures, I recalled the way the house looked when we first purchased it. It brought to mind all the hard work my hubby put in to remodel and make the house into our family home. I admit there was a bit of sadness in leaving it behind.

The thought that removed the brief bit of “if only” was realizing all those memories still live. They do not reside in a house, but in the hearts of the family that gathered there. The hard work brought fond memories inside many hearts. Do I miss those times. Honestly, yes.

I miss the family gatherings and because my condo is a little further away and the rooms a lot smaller with no yard to “play” in, the gatherings have become nil. Family has dwindled, many have moved away, and some Jesus called home. I’ve made a happy home in my little condo, though it’s not the same without family dropping by because they were “in the neighborhood.” I miss the Sunday dinners we all shared after my hubby went to Heaven. The family gathered to help me through the loneliest day of my week.

My thoughts and memories now keep me company. I suppose this happens as people age and families have their own responsibilities. I remember working full time and trying to accomplish all the cleaning and shopping into the weekend. I’ve settled into a routine and have hobbies to keep me busy. I’m grateful for my relationship with God. I talk to Him throughout the day. And I cherish the memories of the home and the family gatherings in the past.

Lifting my cup of tea with a melancholy smile as I wish you all happy memories, love, and time to dance and sing.