Health and Reality are two very interesting topics, and not often on relative terms with each other. When you think of that new baby, fresh and pink, they too can harbor unknown issues. Our very nature is given to us to manipulate to suit this life's journey, we think, to a point. We pray a lot on it.
As I have aged, wow and wow, so many things has this body endured and presented to me. None of it seems to fit into the magazine or TV ads that literally pummel our psyches. We fight so hard against our very nature. Our warped view as teenagers on how we never looked good enough, was a very wrong perception. Maternity time for me was literally gaggy and feeling like a science experiment, they say I glowed, I highly doubt it. That "What To Expect When Your Expecting" book, left out some interesting details. Child rearing time is heavy with sleep deprivation, so you better record some things, because you won't recall them later. Midlife spread is a thing, unless you become obsessive about it not happening and dedicate money or many hours to avoid it. The hormonal surge for women leaves you feeling much like your teenage years all over again, except this time, your sense of social boundaries escapes you, and things just spout of your mouth. This can change relationships, but you can barely recall what you said, you are back to sopping sweat and throbbing heat headaches. Never be one of those women who say "I didn't really ever go through that", just don't.
Then another stage hits, I fondly call it the fourth quarter, which others do not like to hear, as in, after the fourth quarter is death, well, yes it is, you made it this far, good for us. In this quarter, your hearing and sight have already taken a hit, you nod and squint. Gums recede. Your center of gravity shifted just enough that combined with the above, taking a fall is imminent, and repetitive unless you really focus on being in the moment. So you look at more meaningful ways to stay in shape, to avoid falling or other pains that arise from not being flexible enough. Your skin is in constant disarray. You are unable to hold moisture on any surface of it. Spots and bumps multiply, and those are the ones you can still see. You actually have someone pinky swear with you, that if a forlorn hair follicle or bump appears that is concerning to them, they will tell you about it. Makeup is barely applicable. Your bumpy bones are showing the wear of gravity as well, and all the old injuries have come to have a chat. Your tool box now contains magnifying mirrors, toothpicks and serious medical to do lists.
What I love about all of this, is we get to experience it. The USA is more self absorbed about our looks, if you have traveled abroad you know what I mean. I will never forget the sauna in Germany, naked bodies everywhere, and here is the American in the swimsuit. I didn't know. But those of us in this quarter, get to feel time and its passing, and it awakens a retrospective review that often brings enlightenment, self love in a new and more meaningful way, and with that love, we have even more to share with our fellow humans. Plus we can share really funny stories and gross out or scare the bejeezes out of young-ins. There is that.
,I am feeling the full effects of a dear friends recent passing. It dredges up those I still miss, Mom, Dad, Sis, Step Mom and a couple of other close friends. So emotions are running high, tears flow, and I am full of angst today. I also am sure my feeling physically ill has contributed to my overall dismal mood, so bear with me.
I am caught by surprise again, at how fast a life can slip by, you say a word and that becomes the last word you ever spoke to them. Knowing the outcome of every single soul on the planet, you would think we would spend more time preparing for it. That is my quandary today. I feel all judgemental about how I am living my life and where is my courage to make change.
I spend time with people I am not uplifted by, I love them, but I don't like being around them. I am overwhelmed with the amount of crap to clean up, spring is here which brings a whole new set of chores for the yard, and I have not finished cleaning the inside of the house, and those kitchen drawers, ugh, and etc, etc, etc, The office looks like the paper fairy had an absolute meltdown. I am so tired already.
So I put this blog down for a couple of days, and I let my grief be, and my body rest. I put a blanket on the grass and napped in the sunshine, I could not do more than that, and I healed a bit. I feel so much better, still emotional, but i can see the goodness, or Godliness in things again. Whew, it was a dark few days, I saw worry in my hubby's eyes.
Back to death. I donated my body to science and am an organ donor, I have an updated will, written out my end of life desires by using 5 Wishes Form, and have a list of my favorite songs to hopefully be played around a bonfire, with sparklers and story telling, melodies swirling with the stardust. I have no desire to have a burial plot and don't really care where my ashes end up. We are one.
So, I sound prepared, but do I live my daily life being me to the fullest, come hell or high-water, kind of, sometimes. Is that OK? Is it good enough? This is why I need to connect with the right people. I am so unbelievably blessed with loving, thoughtful, people in every avenue of my journey. They inspire, get me to take action, love on me, nurture the Godliness in me, so I can in turn do the same. My soul nudges my heart and mind to learn, and when I quiet down, and let things flow without interference by my heart and mind, wow, the journey never ceases to amaze me. I seem to rinse and repeat a lot.
Yes you can roast marshmallows at my bonfire, a bit of bubbly is fine too, and please shake that booty and sway to my favorite tunes. All is well with my soul. Good grief, I am tearing up again, and I hear from a moment long ago, my sister laughing at how Fred and Wilma Flintstone can make me cry, such a sisterly memory. Make more in Loving Kindness with your humans, and all will be well.
I spend more time alone than anticipated. Not because people are bat shit crazy around me either. But they are there, and in numbers. It didn't occur to me how much time I would spend alone in the countryside and that I am also in this "stage" of I don't know what in life. I contemplate, I say shit out loud a lot, (hope this has not sneaked out in my professional work space, but can't say for sure). Some days I look at people and think, wow, this is humanity now, we will perish soon. 600,000 are born a day only 300,00 die a day, the math is alarming and apparently nature will need to step in, since we can't collectively even discuss much less decide to not keep plopping down this many humans on the planet. Am I recycling enough, not sending bad plastic to the ocean, can we get off the grid...it hurts my brain.
My cattleman works day and evenings except for a handful of weeks a year, caring for the herd and all its accoutrements . Good help is hard to find, so he enjoys his time alone, but as he has aged he is actually becoming more social. I am getting too hot sleeping at night, while he is too cold now. Apparently nature feels the need to switch things up and toss us new challenges to keep things interesting.
I have found alone time a weird journey. I work full time, but needed to step up the pace, to take care of this lifestyle, so I have a lot of empathy for you single parents. (My hubby was ill for a number of years, so was not able to do more). But being self employed in agriculture, there is a need for spouses health insurance benefits and steady paychecks. We may look good on paper, as the saying goes, and the term "cash poor" I now fully understand. When your income comes only a few days a year, it is not easy when things go bump in the night. Spouses often need to be on call to help out too. It took me a many years to not call him a few hours after dark asking if he was OK. Hey, I was a city girl, what if his tractor is in the ditch, or he got head butted by a cow! He laughs. I had a lot of worries at first, now I just don't want to be that woman in the paper whose husband froze to death, outside their back door, after slipping on ice and was not found till the next day. I gave up shoveling at every snow long ago, but my phone is by my bedside, in case he is still alert enough to call me.
When the kids were small it was a bit easier be social, inviting families out, we could all hang out together, play dominoes, but as kids grew, their friends tastes for Xbox came into play, and we had none of that cool stuff. We were a "king of the hill and scavenger hunt" place, more suited to little's. So then, the kids were gone more too.
Night life is curbed. (Not that we/I don't give it a good wallop every once in a while). After a time, friends sort of stop asking you to do things and I don't blame them, I get it. I gravitate towards those people who live this country life. You have to commiserate with someone about all this, which we do at weddings and funerals and church mostly, cause those things we all do try to show up for, more often than not, without our spouses. It did surprise me how much time I would not see my husband awake. For his 40th birthday, I put up a poster of pictures taken of him sleeping in many, MANY various places, it was a good hazing, and probably a bit of a subliminal message coming at him.
I am now more relaxed with my time alone. I have needed therapy from time to time, because it is really hard to go with the flow, until it isn't. (I learned this from a certain lady full of joy that I know). Personally I think everyone I have ever met could use therapy, it is very beneficial. After all, at the end of that day, it is just you and the universe taking the next adventure up a notch.
So alone time has been curse at times and a blessing overall. In the quiet I hear the breeze, the creekings of an old home, and my heart, once I tell my monkey mind to shut up. I want to be a better human. I can honestly say, I have experienced in prayer, moments of intense Godly love, and it propels me to love all the people throughout my life, and wish them all the very best....so there is that!
My townie friends are all excited about flower buds starting to peek through the muckiness of early spring soil. In the country, we run about two weeks behind in getting to spring, mainly because of the wind, since we have fewer obstacles for the wind to hit and slow down, it stays cooler out here.
I was not prepared for just how windy country life is. We went through three sets of gutters before we finally gave up, they will not stay on the house, and yes we were promised, it could be done. Nope. It probably didn't help our house has 11 foot ceilings both down and upstairs, so it sets right up there. It wasn't until we needed to paint the house we finally got the rest of the last set down, some spots were not conducive to a ladder, so you could hear them swing and scrape with just the right wind direction, but it normally took me an hour before I figured out "what that noise was".
You really have to plan for the wind, because even after we planted 20 plus trees, it would probably take 40 more to lessen this breeze. Mowing the lawn, ooh baby, my face looked like i just got back from weeks out on the range on horseback when I get in. I have grass and dirt in far reaching places, the shower is enlightening.
Having an attached garage would be heaven, but they did not make these old farmhouses to attach such things and look "ok" plus you already have one over yonder. I just got a driveway after 19 years to come up to the back door, this was a huge deal for me. For years I took a mighty run with those groceries and not always did they stay in the bags. Its no wonder you find things in ditches that don't belong there.
I do make the best attempt possible to "decorate" seasonally our wonderful wrap around porch, only to have things fly across the floor, down the road, hair in my eyes as I try to batten down the hatches. I use a bungy cord to keep the front door from getting sucked open. Sometimes a good wind is so helpful in drying up the wet muck, other times you wish you could hear those tornado sirens in town.
Here is a great country blessing, we rarely have mosquitoes, this makes me so happy!! Flies are another matter, but with cattle, there are a couple of weeks, you simply don't go and sit out. Here is a fun fact, if you pile up all the manure into one big heap, it creates so much heat it kills the flies. Moving the cows to pasture helps too. When you see the cows all bunched up in the heat of summer they are creating a thermal blanket out of their own body heat to keep the flies at bay. Ya, that's why they do that, I always wondered, why would you want to be touching another hot body, nature is so smart!
We also relish our bonfires, but had to cancel many due to it being too windy. I have started the grass on fire twice, had giant ashes fly onto the roof (it is metal, but still) singed nearby tree leaves and bushes, so it isn't like we don't give it the all American try. But when the wind has stilled, and the stars are bright, there is nothing so beautiful as a crackling fire, seeing cow eyeballs blink at the firelight, hearing the coyotes howling (as long as they're far away and not numerous).
I both dislike and love the wind. "The answer my friend is blowing in the wind, the answer is blowing in the wind and to sing"...Jerry Jeff Walker sang that verse, and his tunes have attended many a bonfire.
Life on Gravel
About the Author
City girl sharing stories of a life full of country glitter and other shit.