Start Living With Things That Matter

 At the end of next month we will begin packing up for the summer and traveling North for the snowbird flight we have been making for the last ten years. My wings are getting rather weary of leaving one nest for the other. I am longing to simplify my life and roost in only one nest and start living with the things that really matter. 


Earlier this year we flew to  Los Angeles to visit with a male friend of my husband’s whose wife has decorated their home in museum-quality style. Now I really love this woman. She is kind and intelligent and very generous with her time in helping others. But when it comes to her house, she becomes a different sort all together. 

So it was no surprise as we all showered that evening to go out when I heard a scream that rang from her cathedral ceilings and back again as she ran down the hall. “What! How could he! Arthur is using the guest bathroom!? Nobody uses the guest bathroom!”

 As I opened the door, draped in an ordinary towel I found in the under-guest-guest bathroom, I saw my husband standing there like a sheep-faced child, caught in a dastardly deed. 

Our hostess quickly went into the coveted-never-used guest bathroom and proceeded to wipe the faucets spotless and clean up the chaos my husband made of her perfect-to-look-at room. 

That experience started me thinking about what type of person I am and forced me to look in the mirror at my own idiosyncrasies. 

I learned valuable lessons in Los Angeles. Mainly, the most important was to be a more forgiving wife. And better yet, how to be a more compassionate wife. I had forgotten in my quest to be Martha Stewart, that hugging a mop is not as much fun as hugging a husband.

 When I came home I threw out all of our old ratty towels with strings fraying at the ends and bought big fluffy premiere guest towels for Arthur. Who cares if our bathroom floor becomes the Nile River when he showers, or if I slip into the commode in the middle of the night because he forgets to put down the lid. 

Now, instead of having a post-menopausal fit if I can’t find the new ten dollar herbal soap I just put at the basin, I forgivingly retrieve it in the shower from a cache of soap he constantly steals, because he forgets what he did yesterday.

 This morning  I found on our foyer floor a crumpled baggie carrying a bar he had stolen for the beach. I know Karma slipped it from his bag just for me. 

I have even learned not to straighten up and fluff the couch pillows each time he or the dogs have rearranged them. I leave my grandchild’s handprints for a bit longer than usual on my mirrors. And now and then, when I am really feeling frisky, I tilt a candle in the candelabra just a bit to remind myself life isn’t perfect and human feeling and comfort are worth more than material things with esthetic balance.

Copyright Sandra Hart 2015. All rights reserved.

Not Yet

I wrapped my sweater more closely around my body as I stood and looked out at the familiar horizon before me. I thought how strange it is that the familiar can change day by day, but yet somehow those familiar changes do give a comfortable feeling of knowing. Of consistency. I really love that.

How quickly summer has passed, I thought. My husband and I have been loyal to this annual ritual of saying goodbye to one familiar and journeying to another warmer familiar. Moving from one nest to another never gets easier. At least for me. It seems that just as quickly as we get into a comfortable routine at one place, we have to shut the door and start again somewhere else. This year, it has happened too quickly.

“Oh look the leaves are beginning to curl and turn,” I said to my husband this morning, “September just arrived …. it shouldn’t be this cold yet.” The loud cicadas have been signaling the beginning of the end and now the leaves turning. I am not ready. So not ready, I said to myself looking out over the ocean.

Not just yet. No hurry here. I’m not ready for summer’s last breath to blow in the winds that chill me to the bone.

I hesitated. What am thinking? To be honest with myself, the truth is, Life is going by too, too quickly for me. I am not ready for much more than just changing my seasonal nest. That’s just a small part of it.

I’m not ready to grow old. Period. I’m not ready for my seasons to change. I’m not ready for my white hair to define me. I’m not ready to have to stand on my tiptoes to kiss my grandson on the cheek. I’m not ready to have people help me with my groceries. I’m not ready to have the young ‘texters’ give up their seats for me. I am not ready to be irrelevant.

I am…..just…..not……ready for that yet….but…….

I am so ready to keep dancing in front of the mirror. I am so ready to splash in the waves along the beach. I am so ready for gelled nails. I am so ready to daydream to love songs and wave my arms at rock concerts. I am so ready to eat a whole cheesecake and not feel guilty about it. I am so ready for the young girl inside of me to stay around for a long time.

Copyright Sandra Hart 2014. All rights reserved.

Let’s face it. I am just…..well…..so not…..ready to act my age!

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Empty Rooms

“How is the house?” I asked my caretaker over the phone.

“Lonley.” he said.

I hung up feeling quite sad because I knew he was right. Houses have souls. Empty houses are lonely.

Each time I am away for a long period of time, opening the door I don't see the home I left. It looks a bit older, sad and not the place I remembered when I locked the door behind me.

A house becomes just a house when empty. It takes the noise, running about, chattering, fighting, loving and living to make a house a home. Without life inside its walls, a house dies. Truly.

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