Good morning! Welcome to "Morning Musings".

Musings: to meditate, think, contemplate, deliberate, ponder, reflect, ruminate, reverie, daydream, introspection, dream, preoccupation, brood, cogitate.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

View Outside My Window - July


This is the view outside our main guest bedroom.  There are two windows and they both overlook our woods.  The boardwalk you see leads around to the back of the house up a ramp to the deck to the backdoor.  My husband built it 21 years ago for my mother's wheelchair while I cared for her during her last illness. . . .

My mother has been in Heaven now for over 20 years.  I often think of the little things she did for me  and how they grew to be so much a part of my life.  She loved to sing and often just sang about the house and so did I which led to my husband giving me singing lessons one Christmas which led to some wonderful experiences in a Madrigal group; how she gave me a guitar one Christmas which led to my starting a small group to accompany our singing in church; the windowsill herb garden that lead to all my other gardens; the piano lessons she gave me as a child that led to my getting my own piano as soon as I could after I left home that lead to my sons taking lessons that led to one of them getting a music degree in college and even though it is not his profession it is one of his greatest creative outlets; when I left home she wrote me weekly letters which I reciprocated which probably led to my eventually keeping a daily journal which has lead to my keeping several Web Journals.  

So my question this month is can you look back on some little thing someone did for you that has grown into something beyond what you ever thought it would?

After my mother passed on I dedicated the garden along the boardwalk to her.   I planted some Astilbe and a few Hosta, and now look at it. . . .

...and on around to the back of the house. . . .


.•*¨`*•. ☆ .•*¨`*•
Take Joy!

24 comments:

  1. Cathy, your post today with the music and your words about your mother made tears well up. How lovely the garden you have in your mother's honor looks. I too have a garden in my Mama's memory--it is my main perennial garden out back that has an angel watching over it. The real angel is my Mama, though. She loved to garden and gave that gift to me as a young child. I can remember planting four o'clocks with her next to the back porch of my childhood home. We would watch them and carefully watch them open in the afternoon. ♥

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    1. Thank you for sharing your memory, Martha Ellen. Our mothers continue to have an influence on us forever!

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  2. Oh! Look at it indeed! How beautiful the boardwalk edged with Hostas and Astilbe! I am sure she is enjoying it as she looks down, with pride, at all you have achieved in her name and memory. So many things have come from those tiny seeds she sowed for you, and what a joy this journal is to read.

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    1. Thank you, Deb. I'm glad to know that my mother's doings have led to bringing you some Joy! ☺

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  3. The garden is so beautiful, a wonderful tribute to your mother.

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  4. Such a lovely post, Cathy! The garden spot you have dedicated to your mom is beautiful. What a special way to remember her.To answer your question, the first thing that comes to mind is my Grandma Ella would tell me stories about her childhood, and about her early years of teaching (including in a one room schoolhouse!). She lived in California and would come spend a few weeks on our farm in Idaho every summer. She always stayed in my room, and every night she would share another story. I think that early exposure to her story telling played a huge part in my later becoming an author.

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    1. Thank you, Kristie. I think that would have been wonderful to have a grandmother that told stories. I don't even remember being read to so I was not much of a reader until I became an adult, and then only non-fiction. It was only once I had children that I started reading fiction for myself.

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  5. Oh, Cathy, what a beautiful back yard and walkway! In caring for my grandmother in her last months (my little family~me, my husband and our 10 month old daughter moved in with her) on this earth, my last memories of her are all special. But, one stands out in my mind the most ~ Her sitting in a wheelchair in front of the big picture window overlooking her backyard of some 40yrs. As she sat there, not saying a word, I have often wondered what her thoughts were as she took this last, long look. Thank you for such a lovely tour out your windows! ~ Donna E.

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    1. Thank you, Donna, for sharing your memory. That time with your grandmother must have been very special.

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  6. Scripture speaks that the wise make the most of every opportunity. How wonderful that you have done this, Cathy. I'm sure that your actions have not only ministered to others but inspired them to good works as well. Thank you for sharing your lovely memoir pieces. I always enjoy them.

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    1. Thank you for your comment, Elaine. That is my hope.

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  7. I loved this post. I may have not put this into formal thought before, but I think, like you, my mother taught me to write. She was always writing letters or notes to her friends. My most common image of her is with her letter paper on her lap (a book to give it firmness) and pen in hand. She also wrote me every week I was away from home from the time I left for college to she moved to where we lived when she was in her late 60s. I wish I had kept them all. I think we will always miss our moms.

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    1. I only started saving correspondence after my Dad died when I was 28. He'd written me 4 letters in the 9 years since I'd left home in 1969 which I'd saved because it was such a rarity to receive a letter from him. Now I treasure them! So I realized you never know how long you have someone so I started saving everybody's letters. My mother, on the other hand, had saved all my letters to her and returned them to me in 1992. I read them all on the drive back to Maryland from Florida.....I saw a side of myself I'd forgotten!

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  8. Wonderful post, Cathy. Sniff, sniff. How great is it that the piano lessons your mom gave you have been passed on down to your son, who enjoys playing so much now? And your little tribute garden has grown into such a beautiful place? I think my parents passed on a lot to us too, but not in tangibles. I love old movies now because I used to watch so many on Sunday afternoons in the Winter with my Dad. And I have a special affinity for all military veterans because of him too. All the stories he told of his days as an MP in Berlin after the War. My mom passed on her love of reading, and baking, and music, even though she didn't play an instrument herself. I had taken a year of music history in college and Mom was so interested in it. We were planning to get tickets for a series of RPO [Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra] concerts when she got sick. And this last thing is really going to sound odd. but it does fit your question today. Both my parents were very financially smart - "good with money." For a couple with no college, 6 kids and 1 income, they did all right, because they were so practical and smart. Except for mortgage and car payments, they were never in debt. They bought things only when they could afford them, they bought a lot on layaway, they didn't HAVE to buy the latest thing, they cared nothing about "keeping up with the Joneses" and they missed out on a lot of fun things because the necessities of a family of 8 had to come first. Their example was one that we all learned, and it served me especially very well, enabling me to retire at two years ago at 57. Have a great week - hope you're having some cooler weather!

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    1. I don't think your example is odd because the example people set for us can often influence the choices we make for ourselves, which in turn influence others. I love that you watched old movies with your Dad--what a wonderful memory to have. And he was an MP just like my husband was in Vietnam. He was drafted so only served the required 2 years. That's how we came to end up on the East Coast. We married as soon as he got home, and his last 6 months were in Washington, DC. It's warmed up somewhat over last week's milder temperatures, but not so much that it's as awful as some are experiencing. That's great you could retire at 57! How do you occupy yourself now?

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  9. Oh I didn't know Ken was an MP too! That's great. My dad was very disciplined, I think probably even before the service, so MP was a perfect position for him. Sometimes I think those people in the military who make assignments must really know what they're doing. Well, the first year I was retired I went through everything in my apartment. I mean EVERYTHING. Sorting and do-I-want-to-keep-this and cleaning. Cleaning big time. And paring down a lot of stuff I thought I absolutely had to have when I was a 20 or 30-something. This was pretty much done by Fall last year. Now I am relaxing, reading, playing on my computer, sleeping 7-8 hours like I was supposed to be doing when I was working, trying out recipes I didn't have time for before etc etc. I take a lot of regional drives on nice days too, maybe once a week. This I really love. Just me, my new Chevy Cruze [my favorite car ever],my iPod or an audio book, a coffee or tea and the open road. I love seeing the farm fields change over the months from dark and empty to full and colorful. And from time to time I drive over to take a peek at the Lake and my childhood home, which looked much nicer when we lived there. The chain link fence and privet hedge are gone now, and one of the huge oak trees. And the lawn has been let go completely - it was thick, lush green grass when we lived there. Now it's sadly patchy and brown in most places. They even enclosed the big screen porch we used to sleep on during really steamy periods in the Summer. Seeing the Lake again is great, but seeing our house in its current condition just makes me sad.

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    1. Ken was given a test that showed he had a super high IQ plus he could drive a large truck (which they needed to do for the convoys they led), so that is probably why they chose him. We were both so glad he wasn't chosen for infantry! It was dangerous enough as it was because one of the convoys were attacked on his off day and MPs were killed.

      Your retirement sounds wonderful! If you ever take a drive down my way, do stop in! I have lots of guest rooms.

      Are you familiar with Elizabeth Goudge? I'm reading her autobiography right now and she writes lovingly about the first houses she lived in as a child. She says she never goes back to look at them because she can't bear to see them changed. I love her stories because they are very "place-oriented."

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  10. Hi Cathy, My mother sang all around the house as well. There was always a record playing at our house, whether it was Bach, Rhapsodie in Blue, Frank Sinatra, Kay Star or Sing along with Mitch..(do you remember that?) To this day, I will hear some music from the 40's, start singing, and my husband will ask., "How do you know the words to all these OLD songs?!" I never became a musician, but I have a great appreciation and love for most all music. I attribute it to my parents, who couldn't live without it.

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    1. Yes, I do remember Sing Along with Mitch!

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  11. I forgot to add,. My mom played the piano, but when I was growing up, our house was so little we could not have one. I would have been in Heaven if I had piano lessons, but alas, it was something my family could not afford at the time. Years later, Mom eventually got her piano back; by then, I had grown up and moved out.

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    1. My mother could not read music but she could sit down and play a song she'd heard. I think that is where my son got his talent. It skipped me. I can play the songs I learned when I took lessons, but find it very difficult to play new material. Consequently, my baby grand piano is only played when my two youngest sons come home. I don't know why I lost interest and never play it anymore. I guess whatever enthusiasm I have to motivate me to do things is used up by my other endeavors!

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  12. The part of your grden that is dedicated to yoiur Mother is beautiful. We have planted trees and roses in the garden to remember loved ones and friends and they give comfort and joy in seeing new life in the plants each year, and the memories stay strong. Sarah x

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    1. I think a living tribute is the best way to remember our loved ones. We planted a tree for Olivia when she was born--something for her to remember us by when we're gone!

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