These are random musings of my life journey, the people, animals, places, and events which have woven, and continue to weave, a tapestry that is me. We all know there is no real destination, only the ongoing experiences which blend together, creating the trail. Each step gives a glimpse of what is to come, without allowing me to see the end result. It is exciting. I have a home base that is mine, that gives me a place to rest. This is it. This is where my heart is, no matter where I journey...................

Monday, July 03, 2006

Living Young

This morning I had a comment from cameo that led me to some interesting ponderments (Isn't that a wonderful word? Betcha thought I made it up, but no, it's a real word!). My musing is about aging. Oops! Bet I just lost a few readers on that one!

One of the wonderful gifts that my parents left me is that of not being afraid of growing older. My parents were in their 30s when I, the last of 5 children, was born, and even in my earliest memories of them both had grey hair. In pictures of them my mother always looked tired. I don't doubt for a moment that she was. By the way, my dad didn't smile a lot in pictures back then either. Their marriage began during The Great Depression, and we children were born into a period when families struggled a lot. I was born just shortly before the end of World War II. Add to that mix the facts that my father was a farmer and the Dustbowl made it nearly impossible to actually make a living from the land. Their lives were very difficult. I wish I could describe it more fully, but that is probably too long for this forum, so you'll just have to wait until I finish writing my memoires and have them published. :-)

Anyway, I remember from an early age that they both said various versions of the adage, "You're only as old as you feel." In later years, particularly during my high school years and after, their financial burdens were lightened, although they weren't rich by any standard. But they went on little trips, they continued to do things that they enjoyed, sometimes things that "proper" folks thought frivolous. For years my mom drove a "sports" car, by some standards. It was Karmen Ghia, a sporty little car made by Volkswagen. Same engine, just a cuter body. Here's an example.









See? It truly is a VW, engine in the trunk!










And here is a side view.










Grey hair comes early in my family. I had some in my early or mid 20s. I expected it. and it has never bothered me because it wasn't a surprise and because my parents set a good example for me. If it bothered either of them, I never heard them say anything. They continued to be lively, fun, upbeat people who looked for adventure in life. Dad would try anything once. Mom would follow Dad anywhere and try to keep up.




The only picture I have of my parents that isn't in storage. This was approximately late-1980s, with my husband and me.









This was the wonderful gift they made for us, their children. As I look at my siblings, I am pretty sure they all accepted and cherished the gift. I know I have. Sometimes I look in the mirror and think, "Whoa! When did I get to be this old?" I don't think about it much, certainly I don't worry. It simply doesn't matter. I plan to be around 30 years more, spend all my kids' inheritances and die with a smile on my face because life has been a kick.





My Sibs and me 2005. Cleo and Leo are twins and the eldest. They are at ends of the couch. In the middle is my brother Loren. Standing at the back with me is my brother Rus.









I have to throw this one in. It is hard enough to take a group picture, but in my family it is multiplied many times, because (1) we are always talking, and (2) we are always cracking jokes. My sister turned around to comment on something either my brother or I said, and . . . click!!








And this one has nothing to do with anything. I just love the picture. It's is my 2 youngest brothers and me in 1983.









I love my family, even the ones who have extreme political views!!

hee hee hee! That'll get 'em stirred up!!


;-)

18 comments:

  1. I love your "BIG HAIR" definitely an 80's thing :)!!!!!

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  2. Hey, Duck!!! Yep, I had to guess, and the hairdo was my pivotal point!!

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  3. Love your photos....

    Thank you for your very kind and inspiring words today.

    I have been finding many many old photos.... lately. I am tempted to post a couple soon....

    Sorry to hear of your loss too.

    I will find the time to read more of your blog.

    Thanks again!

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  4. Silent - Welcome to my blog, and try to remember that you're not alone. My parents died 6 years ago, and I still have difficult times. I can look at a picture one day with no problem, then on another day, it just yanks at my heart. All I can say is that there are others who understand (not your pain, but the situation). I'm glad you have your sister with you. And again, good luck to you in your journey.

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  5. Thanks for the info and family tour.
    Like you there are times i look in the mirror and go "OMG, what has happened to you!"
    And days I tell someone my age and feel a twinge of anxiety that it really has come to THAT OLD.

    However I also stick to a knowledge that our souls are ageless. We can choose any age we want to be on any day we want....and it appears your parents were way ahead of me!

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  6. Seven - You said it well. To be able to live comfortably in whatever skin we happen to have surely makes life easier to get through. And the distinct advantage is having the experiences to help us . . . well, at least, hopefully . . . avoid repeating some of the mistakes we made in a younger body and mind. I'd love to look 30 for the rest of my life, but not if it meant going back and repeating those lessons! So I think I'll keep what I have and continue to enjoy who I am for the rest of my life. Thanks for stopping by. I enjoy your blog and visit often.

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  7. Thanks for sharing your pictures. Love the car. It was good seeing a picture of G. when he was young and well.

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  8. Hola! I finally got with the program! Thank you for sharing your journey. You have always been so generous in that regard (and others!) but I get less homesick for you this way.

    I love the Disco Glenn picture! And the Karman Ghia pics since my mother was a fan although she wound up with a Mustang!

    Joel was in the neighborhood during his short time at home (He is doing Colombia for another year) and called in a state of shock about the state of the neighborhood...and this when he lives in Colombia? But it left me feeling the need to touch base so I decided to check out this blog thing. (All I need now is a PDA and I truly won't recognize myself!)

    Be well, my friend!

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  9. caroline - I love the pictures of him being healthy. The ones I have on the computer are more current ones, and they cause almost physical pain when I see them. I'm still struggling with my image of him, and I remember too well the later part of his life. The grief journey is hard. You know this, although yours is a different grief.

    jann!!! hola back at ya! I see you set up a blog but haven't written yet. I'm hoping you will get it up and running soon. Yes, Joel's right in some ways. But I think part of it is that old "you can't go back home" thing. It never looks as good after you go away. Thank goodness our hearts hold onto the good, letting the unhappy part drift off and be forgotten. Give Joe a hug from me.

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  10. Looking more closely at the pictures..you really look like you Mom. I don't think I had really seen any pictures of her. Wow. I am so happy you started this blog. I love reading what you don't always share with others.

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  11. caroline - in kindergarden i failed "shares well with others." you know the chaos that was my home for these past years. I promise that when you come visit in NM, i will get out old pictures just for you! giggle! now see where that got you?!

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  12. My dad still drives a beautiful yellow Ghia convertible and I love it, love that it keeps him young, love that he loves driving it and love when I get to be a passenger.

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  13. ragged - they are fun cars, aren't they? I had one, too, back in the day.

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  14. Loved looking at your pictures! The Karemen Giah is a car my mom used to talk about, she had one before I came a long, and she always seemed to remember it quite fondly.

    The pics of you and your siblings is great. You're so fortunate to have those siblings, and be close with them!

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  15. sassy - yeah, I am lucky. sometimes it takes a comment like yours to make me slow down and appreciate what I have. That Karmen Ghia is just such a classic car. I had a lot of fun in it. You mom has good taste!!! ;-)

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  16. Awwww you have such a nice looking family. I had a kharman ghia, it was my first car and so cool! I hope i'm like your parents and always stay young at heart.

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  17. I just read one of your comments.... about remembering the most current image you have (I presume of your late husband) That you are still struggling with that image....
    I too... am struggling with the final image of my mother. For all the good pictures and memories I have... that one always comes back.

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  18. patti - the family, well, most of them are keepers! ;-) My son's 1st car was a KG, too. The passenger door didn't always latch right, and one time he almost lost his little sister on a corner. They didn't tell me until recent years. Wise decision on their part!

    silent - it isn't easy to navigate thru this kind of emotion. I try to look at pictures of the "good days" as often as possible to offset the memories of the final weeks of my husband's life. Likewise, pictures of my mother in her last few years sadden me because you can look at her eyes and see the blankness of Alzheimer's. She still smiled, but the eyes give it away. So I try to bolster my memory with the good pictures, the good times, the healthy memories. It is hard, no matter what, but I try to make it the best possible.

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If you have something to say about it, just stick out your thumb, and I'll slow down so you can hop aboard! But hang on, 'cause I'm movin' on down the road!!! No time to waste!!!