Friday, November 02, 2007

Thanksgiving Prelude

This is the month of the U.S. celebration of Thanksgiving. Our Canadian friends already celebrated theirs. Time for us to do the fixins' now.

November lst - time to ponder: Day one of Thanksgiving - that I am looking out the window to see green instead of what I looked at all last winter (and summer) in '06 - desolation and dust! Those of you who were blogging with me remember my whining about the cold, desolate landscape surrounding me, the landlord who stole my underwear and snooped my apartment constantly, the insane atmosphere at work........chronic bronchitis from the blowing dirt. And cold, oh my gosh that apartment was cold. The wind went right through the walls - and I like sleeping in very cold temperatures, but you can't stay under a goose down comforter all winter! And the wind, it would blow easily up to 80 mph across the prairie. Whoooooooooooooo. The roads would close often last winter, most all of the time in fact.

'Twas just me and Ms. Meowie. And silence or the sound of the wind.

I remember my grandma living alone on that prairie most of her life. The silence was loud in her little house (and outside). Before the "boom" times, the silence hung over the town like a thick, invisible, blanket. She turned the TV on maybe two hours a day if that much. She didn't care for music, except some of the old gospel songs. When she got really old, she couldn't do her gardening, cleaning, and walking to the store, so she sat. She sat in the silence. I tried to get her out - to church and buffets and the grocery store. She loved buffets. Or, just for a ride to see the town. It wouldn't take long to drive it, the population in peak boom year is about 12,000, not counting the tents and makeshift camps outside of town. From early childhood on, I remember driving (or riding) away from her house crying. I felt responsible for her. I remember moving south, how she stood in the driveway and cried. She wouldn't come. I sobbed for months.

Leaving the last time, there were no tears on her part. Nor mine. I thought of taking her bones, taking her bones out of her cold grave and bringing her south and putting them where it is warm. I thought of my stepdad, buried there as well, I think because I was there and he had found God after 82 years and that was our connection. I would've taken his bones as well. Away from the cold place, both of heart and climate. Away from the wind. Then I thought of my son, and some of my friends. If I took all their bones away to a warm place, then I would have to have a U-Haul truck or a pickup at least. My son did not want to leave either. I didn't understand it, the cold and desolation of that State has nothing for me. It's a beautiful place to drive through. A bone chilling cold to live in. My mother, too, clings to that place like it is a life buoy in the middle of a vacant universe.

The first day of November 2007 I am thankful to be looking at my flower garden in bloom, planning a visit to the Art Festival tomorrow and to the Greek Festival the following weekend. Thankful to wear shorts and a tank top today. Thankful for a warm place to sleep.


Milla said...

This is such a beautiful post Gardenia, so full of memories. Very beautiful. Thank you for sharing.
I would have loved to meet your grandma.

tweetey30 said...

Sounds like my mom and grandparents in MN. But every one of my family so far has been cremated so there are no bones to take up. I wish I could though sometimes. Also like Milla thanks for sharing your memories with us.

Wandering Coyote said...

Lovely post, Gardenia. I'm so glad you made the move because I do remember how miserable you were there. So much drama and stress! But, it's been onwards and upwards since, right? You and I both have made big moves recently to places that are more "home" than anywhere else in the world.

Red said...

What a beautiful post, Gardenia, so heartfelt.

I see so much of myself in this, especially the bits about leaving, and leaving behind the people we love. It's a choice we make, sometimes because we have to, sometimes because circumstances dictate that we do. Either way, it's not always easy to live with the consequences of that choice.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

tshsmom said...

And the kids and grandkids are thankful you're back home with them!

What a difference a year makes!

Candy Minx said...

Your garden is wonderful, I love those palms outside your much more beautiful that that windy desolation.

What a beautiful post, it made me sad...I used to cry every time I said goodbyeto my grandma...and the hard part: not letting her see me start to cry before I left the house. Like we both knew that time might be the last, r the next. Oh, it hurts just thinking about it right noww.

I think you did the right thing returning to Florida. You were os unhappy last year.

Thanks for such a good post.

(we are having a coupleof Stagg's friends over for Thanksgiving)