September is gone, and I wonder where it went. Autumn is upon us. The leaves of trees are barely turning, and I anticipate a month of color.
What can I say about the weather in September? It was unusual. Hot, rain and flash flood warnings, then a break with cool breezes requiring that flannel shirt I’ve been wanting to wear.
We bought a gently used car at the beginning of the month, then took it back within the time limit. I’ve returned purchases many times during my life, but never a car. We experienced a gamut of emotions during the process, but in the end we felt the car was not for us. Sometimes we wander until we find our way.
I began a Bible study right after Labor Day with a wonderful group of women. Beth Moore’s Believing God is not new, but it is deep and rich. I love meeting regularly for Bible study. It is how many long-lasting friendships developed. Sitting together at the table, sharing what God is saying to us, and opening our hearts to one another is special and unique. I treasure these weekly sessions.
I did my semi-annual garage clean-out in September. I have to lighten the space to prepare to bring tender plants in for the winter. And I had a can of tomatoes explode on one of the shelves.
It’s the shelf next to the stairs leading to the house where I store extra food stuff and supplies. I call it my Y2K shelf because it came to be in 1999 when the world thought we would implode because we were moving toward a new century. The news channels warned us to prepare for disaster, if not mayhem. So I stocked up on food. I chuckle about it now, almost 19 years later. January 1, 2000 came in like a lamb. Sometimes the thing we fear does not come upon us.
The week before a planned trip to visit our dear ones was busy with preparation and making up piano lessons. I felt like I was meeting myself coming and going and had to refer to my lists often. Traveling is complicated for us. We don’t do it often enough to streamline our techniques. Maybe that needs to change.
We took a new route this time, the many miles of highway to get from here to there and back again. It was somewhat stressful, since we had not been this way before. As always we had our AAA Triptik, which we referred to often. But this time we had GPS! Sweet William and I are still learning about our smart phones, but I’ve gotten acquainted with Gypsy (my name for GPS). She’s a wonder. While the AAA map gives us the full scope of the journey, Gypsy gave us step-by-step instructions. I like seeing the big picture, but I’m learning to rely on those simple instructions of “in the next 500 feet, turn right.”
Our last week of September was spent with my five favorite people and their furry friends. Maisie was in dog heaven. She played with the dogs until her tongue hung out. And she chased the cat. I was worried that she would catch it, but cats have a way of displaying their power. Claws and toenails echoed on the hardwood flooring until the dogs and cat ran out of steam and found a place to nap.
Maisie seems a little depressed now that we’ve come home to a quieter house. Maybe she needs her own friend here at the Wright House.
I did a lot of listening and interacting with our dear ones, sitting long at meal times, lingering over coffee, hearing hearts and sharing my own. I did little writing, reading or facebooking, even taking minimal pictures, because precious faces were right in front of me and I wanted to partake of every moment with them.
I lost my watch the second day of the visit. I looked all week for it, in bags and drawers, under furniture and amidst paraphernalia. It was not to be found, and I tried not to be disappointed since it was a favorite with memories attached. But I reasoned that this trip did not need to be timed. I was on no schedule except to be present with each one of my family. I hope they felt it from me, my full attention to them and their thoughts and ideas.
We experienced their town and their new-to-them house, their quiet neighborhood where Maisie and I walked and the variety of geese and ducks at the lake nearby. We declared our last day there to be Grandparents Day, and I spent time doing something special with each of my three grands. The memories linger as tears well in my eyes. I already miss them and know it will be awhile before I look them in the face again.
I say it often, that I don’t understand God’s ways. Why the miles, the physical distance between us and them. But my Father knows our past, present and future. I am ever-learning to trust Him with it all.
Arriving back home brings relief. The Lord kept us safe on our trip. I almost lost Maisie twice, but she is here with us. Trials come with the best of experiences, and we had those, but in the scope of it all, we had a wonderful time.
As we were unloading the car, our good neighbor pulled into the drive with a load of pumpkins and gourds. He kept handing me more, excitement whelling up with the bounty. I will enjoy placing them around the house and on porches for the living fall decor.
Unpacking suitcases and washing clothes is always the order of business. As I dug into a small pocket of one bag, I found my watch. I smiled and assumed it’s time to get back on schedule.
“Life’s a journey. Enjoy the ride.” It has become my goal, the way I want to live. The light and dark of a day, the joy and sorrow that befalls each of us, all are threads of the weaving that become a tapestry of beauty. I want to be present for it all.
Sometimes I think I want to see the entirety of the map of my life, like a AAA Triptik. More often I’m only given a simple instruction at the exact time I need it.