Tuesday, September 20, 2011
A Day is a Thousand Years and a Thousand Years is but a Day.....
I spent a day doing touch-up painting on the white woodwork in the house and tomorrow I plan on caulking the shower stall. Then I think I'll be done with inside home improvements. I need to do a final weeding before the cold weather hits so I think I'll do that on Friday. I'm on vacation but I don't know the meaning of sitting still. I seem to have lost the ability to sit around and do nothing. And of sleeping in. But getting up early seems to make a day last longer to me. Which is funny, considering there are 24 hours in a day regardless of whatever time you decide to get up or an alarm of some sort beckons you. But I love that feeling of getting up early and knowing I have a whole day ahead of me to enjoy. Once the sun goes down...well, it's bedtime. I've been geared this way for so long the only time I can sleep in is when I'm sick, and since I don't like that to happen very often I'm usually up before the birds.
I have never experienced the full four seasons before moving back to Michigan. Not to say that Oregon doesn't have them, too, but here in the midwest they're each so distinct. This is the beginnings of my first Autumn here and if what we're having now is just the foretaste I can't imagine what it's going to look like in the next month. Yesterday Dear Hubby and I were taking a drive and the landscape we were passing by was so beautiful. Not the riotous colors of brilliant leaves and foliage yet, but the different hues of greens, golds, russets, scarlets, and browns of the earth and the fields. It was kind of misty across the fields as evening approached, and the old farms and barns in the distance were blurred and softened by the fading light and shadows. Cows and horses grazed, as well as sheep. It had been raining hard when we set out but the rains had let up as we headed for home and patches of blue were opening up between the high, billowy clouds. So peaceful. I told Dear Hubby you truly do feel as if harvest time is here...you can feel the earth kind of letting out a deep sigh and settling in for a long rest, tucking its covers in and hunkering down to sleep thru the cold of winter. The life and seasonal cycles keep on; the clock never stops ticking.
Dear Hubby and I took another drive not too long ago. Further from home. And we ended up lost down in a holler set back in the mountains. Very lost. So I told him to stop when he spotted a person and I'd get out and ask for directions. We came across a woman in her yard outside of a log-style home set close to a river and as I climbed out of the truck she squinted cautiously at me as I crossed the deserted road, flapping a piece of paper at her. "I need directions!" I told her. "We're not from around here and we're very lost." She let me approach and as I got closer to her she looked like one of those mountain women I've only seen in pictures up until now. Weathered skin, not an ounce of fat on her. But beautiful in her own way...you could see the life she'd led etched into the deep creases on her face and around her eyes. "Whereabouts you coming from?" she asked me. And when I told her we'd recently moved to the midwest from Portland, Oregon, she looked at me like I'd told her we'd just landed from Mars. But as I told her where we needed to go she was so gracious and kind and kept calling me "Honey". She got us pointed in the right direction and wished us well. It almost made me wish we hadn't needed to leave, that we could have sat with her by the river the rest of the afternoon and listened to stories about her life. Something tells me she would've been just as fascinated to hear stories about ours as well.
We love taking our meandering drives and seeing what an interesting country America is. In the past most of my trips outside of Oregon were done in the air. I'd never really seen or experienced this country of ours firsthand, up close and personal, on ground level. As we go here and there we're amazed how much diversity and variety there is in the landscape and the people, even if all we travel is a hundred miles or so from home. And having the privilege to have Canada so close by now, and being able to discover it and our wonderful neighbors there. I would've never dreamt a year ago I'd be where I am and experiencing what I am now. It truly does feel like Dear Hubby and I are in some kind of a dream fugue state.
We went on another drive not too long ago, heading out early and driving to a farm town in the middle of nowhere. We decided to stop for breakfast at a little restaurant on the main street and we were the only patrons there who weren't farmers. So we sat and ate our breakfast and listened in to conversations and thoroughly enjoyed our morning in Small Town America. A town where everyone seemed to know everyone else and denim overalls and caps on their heads were the uniform of the day. There's a feeling here in the midwest I can't quite put my finger on but it's a good feeling. I feel safe here, enveloped in the America of my childhood.
I know, you're thinking I've lost my marbles. That I'm living in a fantasy world of some sort. That my bubble will burst and I'll be horribly disappointed one of these days. But I got an email from my younger brother the other day and he said, "You know, when you first moved back there I thought the way you felt about the midwest was too good to be true. But you really do love it back there, don't you?"
Yes, baby brother. I do.