Friday, August 31, 2007

summer slow-dances out of sight

the first of the traitorous aspen leaves are changing color. summer is dying. she expires with such generous dignity that we don't even really notice at first. too busy with the berries and apples and vegetables, the hives full of her clear, shining amber honey and the earth under foot bulging and lumpy with her bounty of root crops.... the grain fields golden in the softening light with her gathered and stored brilliance. summer is so unselfishly giving... i wish winter would take lessons from her.

but the back to school swarm has been on for weeks already @ the local stores. i'll be taking one of the youngest sons to his new digs @ univerisity for his second year of engineering, in just one sleep. (when he was younger he would have asked if that includes naps) he's never lived away from one parent or the other before, so very excited. and he loves to learn, so the whole academic lifestyle fits him like a favorite old t-shirt. his elder sister's farewell gift is, in fact, a t-shirt, bearing a photo of a dirigible, and the caption "my other car is a blimp". he's been designing and building his own blimp all summer, and loves the shirt.

and life goes on.... the little renovated church house where he grew up has been sold, and the 'new' place has only 2 rooms left in need of renovation.... a winter project, i think. a young couple from BC has bought the church. i hope they have children and it's filled with giggles and cuddles and noisy play before long, and the old Manitoba Maples in the yard are climbed on again, and hammocks hung from them on sultry summer days. the neighbor tells me the new folks are asking a lot of questions about what's growing in the yard, so there's hope that they're gardeners, and will enjoy and appreciate the fruits of my labors.

so, when they do take possession, in early november, i'll have money for that harp of my own, and a good slr digital camera, and even a kayak. and i'll pay off the mortgage on the 'new' house, and even have something left to tuck into an RRSP... something that was an impossible luxury when i was a single mum. and i'll be completely debt free...

free in other ways as well... ways one doesn't expect to have mixed feelings about when the days are a blur of responsibilies and appointments and school trips and bills unpaid and meals to prepare and dishes/clothes/rooms that need cleaning. it's one of the reasons i had to sell the other house, this empty nest thing. it's so much worse, i think, when the nest really is empty... not even another parent bird to share it with. no one to transfer all that care onto.

i've even considered getting a dog (despite the obvious deterrent... i'm allergic to furry things).... but it seems just too selfish and hypocritical to get a pet to keep one company, then leave it alone all day while i go to work.


Blogger kate said...


I am really glad to hear that your old place has sold and it is heartening to hear that the new people have an interest in knowing about the garden. That makes it a bit easier, I think.

Being debt-free must be a wonderful feeling - living as a single parent with growing children is tough on our pocketbooks.

Your comment about the empty nest hit me now that my son is 14. He'll be about for a few more years, but then he may go off to school somewhere else - hopefully not for a few more years longer. I'll be on my own then too. It's quite different when you don't have a partner, because the house truly is empty. If you weren't allergic to furry pets, then I'd suggest a dog. They like to sleep all day long anyway. And if you shower them with love when you are there, they love it.

Thanks for your lovely comments on my blog from today. They meant a lot to me.

One other thing that I've done is o organise a fiddle-playing party on Sunday evening with our former teacher who has now moved back to BC. She is here with various fiddle camps and so she will come, along with my fellow fiddlers for an evening of play... and fun. We have got an amazing guitarist coming too. So all in all, it will be a celebration - and a good way for me to be connected with others.

Hope you have a good Labour Day weekend! I was really glad to see another post from you. You write so well!

4:28 PM  
Blogger lindsaylobe said...

Very eloquently put!!

I detect a certain nostalgia as life’s struggles diminish.

I think it’s an interesting aspect to our life that more often than not as the longingly awaited wish for financial security becomes a reality;on the horizon appears a certain longing for the old days of struggle and creative care demanded of dependants.
But as your children mature, they remain your children but also may become your best friends!!

It might sound rather childish but may I suggest you consider an aquarium or fish tank with different varieties of fish, as apart from having a calming effect when you walk in the door there very low maintenance !!

Best wishes

5:48 AM  
Blogger clairesgarden said...

could you get two dogs? they'll keep each other company and be there for you at the end of the day. I know it seems unfair but a lot of dogs are quite used to living this way.
debt free sounds like an amazing place to be, I know that's been a lot of hard work.

12:03 AM  
Blogger grannyfiddler said...

kate - someone gave me very good advice once, that i try to remember @ times like this... "let it bless you, then let it go" easier said than done, but, i think, healthy.
- i'm not debt free yet, just dreaming of it... possession isn't till the beginning of November. i'm counting the sleeps.
- enjoy that boy while you have him. i think we ge so wrapped up in all the responsibilty and busy-ness of raising them, sometimes, that we forget to appreciate how lucky we are to have our kids. i may be persuaded to get a dog some day... i'm torn between wanting the companionship and enjoying the new experience of being irresponsible and completely selfish.
- you're welcome, and thank YOU for your most lovely blog site. i often go there during my coffee breaks to enjoy your garden.
- i'm a party girl at heart. not a wild one, but i can never resist a gathering of friends, food and music. your party sounds fab. what a wonderful way to bring summer to a close!
- thanks for the compliment. i love words.

Lindsay - yes, i'm nostalgic... partly the time of year, and partly the time of life. some of the longing, i think, is the realization that i'm not needed any more. not exactly dispensible, but no longer indispensible. caring for the needs of children gives us such a feeling of being in charge of things.
i hope your right about them becoming best friends. they're at the age right now, young adults all, where they're just a tad bit condescending. never disrespectful, but, as i recall from the way i felt about my own parents while i was BEING that age, they've got everything figured out, and i'm hopelessly archaic and slow-witted.
i had fish when i was a teen, hundreds of them (can't seem to do anything in a small way) and again when the kids were young... and enjoyed them... might be a good idea.

Claire - i never thought of 2 dogs... that would solve the loneliness problem.
i've never liked being in debt, so i tend to look for things that need work, get them cheaply, and fix them up. i bought the other house for cash, and renovated as i had the money, over 15 years. it's selling for 3 or 4 times the total of what i've spent on it, so i guess i've done alright with it. and, yes, it's been a bit of a hard slog at times, and most of my family thought i was out of my mind, but they're a bit more appreciative now.

4:13 PM  

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