Monday, December 10, 2012

May you live as long as you want, and never want as long as you live. ~ Irish Blessing

I don't think this is the correct year, but it's very similar to the car my mother-in-law had when Dear Hubby and I got married.  It was pale yellow and really, if you get down to it, ugly. But it was the car I drove when I got my driver's license.  It was probably the one and only time I ever drove it. And I almost got a perfect score.  The only thing I did wrong was make too wide of a left turn.  Good thing the instructor didn't ask me to parallel park!  With that big yellow boat we'd probably still be there.  That was 38 years ago.  I was a "late bloomer" when it came to getting a driver's license.  I was 20 years old.  Up until the time I got married I either rode my 10-speed bike or rode the bus.  Mostly I walked.  I walked for miles.  I loved walking then, and I still love walking now. 

Since moving here to Michigan and having no church of our faith locally, if time and work schedules allow we try to go to the little 'branch church' of our faith located in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, around 200 miles away. We aren't able to make it there anywhere near as much as we'd like to, but when we do we have a wonderful time.  For anyone who's been accustomed to having a 'real' church in their lives like we'd had for 36 years that we'd attended regularly, it was quite an adjustment to suddenly be out in the middle of nowhere, spiritually speaking.  But on the Sundays we can't make the long drive to Kitchener, we're able to watch our faith's Sunday morning service 'live' on the internet at 2 in the afternoon.  That was also an adjustment, having church in the afternoon, but now it feels so normal it would feel strange to go back to 11 am services.  Funny how we humans can adapt, isn't it?

It does make Sunday mornings stretch, tho.  So Dear Hubby and I got in the habit early on after moving here to the Detroit area to go for long walks on Sunday mornings.  We basically follow the same route and cover around 4 miles or so.  It's been lovely, watching the change of the seasons in the neighborhood.  Where we live 20 miles out of Detroit, you'd never dream there was a suburb as pretty as the one we live in...but there is.  It's 20 miles physically, but a million miles in every other way.  Our neighborhood is filled with brick houses that are similar in floor plans but it's interesting to see how everyone has individualized their homes.  They take pride in ownership and you don't see junk piled up in the yards.  The landscaping is very attractive.  There are coniferous trees around, mostly pine and spruce, but the vast majority are huge hardwoods that, by size, look like they've been here since the beginning of time.  In the spring there's the budding out of the leaves and the return of so many different types of song birds.  In summer there's plenty of shade.  Autumns are absolutely spectacular.  And winter has it's beauty, too, even with all the bare limbs.  It is so much easier to spot the elusive Cardinals and Bluejays, who usually live high up in the tree canopies.  Dear Hubby and I never get tired of it.

We walked a lot when we lived in Portland, too.  Our favorite walk was from our house to the top of Mt. Tabor Park in SE, a 5-mile round trip.  It was also beautiful no matter what the season, and so different from the flat terrain we walk here.  That is one spot in Portland I can say I honestly miss at times.  I also miss "our hill" a few miles NE of Madras in north central Oregon...a little knoll with a big juniper tree where Dear Hubby and I camped many times with a spectacular view of Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson, Three Fingered Jack, and the Three Sisters mountains in the Cascades.  Talk about awesome sunsets!  I miss NoHo's restaurant on the corner of SE 26th and Clinton in Portland, as well as the Canton Grill on SE 82nd and Division.  I sometimes get a hollow feeling in the middle of my chest when I realize I'll probably never see my hometown again.  I don't even know if I'll get back to Portland to see friends and family face-to-face again.  Of all of us adults in the family who made the move here...Dear Hubby, my son, my daughter, and my daughter-in-law...I'm the only one who hasn't been back in almost 2 years now.  Two years!  There has been so much adventure crammed into these two years, sometimes I think I've done and seen more here than I had living a lifetime in the NW. 

I remember a dear friend of mine who cried for me when we left Portland.  She was so afraid I'd be lonely and homesick living here in Michigan because she'd had to move several times as a young wife and mother, all over the West and Midwest because of her husband's job and she just about died of lonesomeness.  But that was back in the day when there wasn't cell phones, computers, Skype, Facebook, Twitter...what have you...that keeps the world in almost constant instantaneous contact.  I am in touch on a daily basis with everyone I "left behind" and outside of living in a different house, sometimes it feels like I never moved.  Tho one of Dear Hubby's cousins told him it feels like we're a million miles away now.

But homesick?  Lonesome?  No.  I love it here.  My son made a comment to me a while back.  He said his only regret in moving here is that we weren't able to do it sooner, so Dear Hubby and I would have more years to enjoy it.  Ah well.  What time I do have, I am thankful for.  I feel blessed to have even had this much time.  I take it a day at a time.  Besides, we don't know if we have any more than that anyway.

1 comment:

Anita said...

When I was in my teens and twenties, I thought "old" people could not enjoy life as much as young people because I thought certain things would be over - like riding a roller coaster or wearing cool and hip fashions, etc.
But thankfully, as I entered my late thirties and forties, I realized that it's not about trying to keep the things and pleasures of your youth, but finding new pleasures that mean just as much or even more. Now in my fifties, I know that I can enjoy life just as much as a young person. I do not miss the past; but instead, savor the present and the future...even if the future turns out to be shorter than I'd like.

Very good post, Kris. :)