Resilience

20140630_150649 I haven’t written a blog post in almost a year, partly because I have been chasing a toddler. I think this is a legitimate excuse.  After all, I’ve used it before.  Recently I shifted through the reams of my poems (all unpublished) and realized that I had none from the 1980s.  Unless there’s a handwritten folder of scribbled images buried in a box that I have forgotten, I seemed to have spent that decade chasing toddlers and reading picture books.  My creativity was limited to homemade playdoh and decorated sugar cookies.  And here I am again.  But really I shouldn’t blame my grandson.  To be honest, I didn’t think I had anything new to say.  My second year in Connecticut was much like my first:  I was snowed in.  I battled the ice flow in the driveway.  I couldn’t take the cold so I took off for a beach somewhere warm.  I learned about ice dams after one developed on my roof (that was new).  In the spring I planted flowers and herbs.  I went to Maine.  I learned to play golf.  I learned how to stack the fire wood after Dave splits our logs (with a log splitter, not an axe).  And now I’m raking leaves and chasing a toddler.  But every once in a while, I think about the original premise of this blog:  what happens when a sunny southern California girl finds herself transplanted to rocky New England soil?

20141003_151431During her recent visit, my second daughter casually remarked: “This is a different world.”  We were meandering down a one lane road along the river in Litchfield (once again I was lost).  The arch of leafy trees beginning to vaunt their fall colors, the lazy river, the solitude of the road—this was not the world I had raised her in.  While Connecticut might be a Blue state, this is a state where church bells chime the hour.  This is a state where the only liquor that grocery stores can sell is beer and not before ten in the morning.  (If you want to drink wine, you need to shop in a liquor store.  This may be why there are so few Trader Joe’s in Connecticut.)  This is a state that requires you to show id in order to vote (and you have to provide a reason for an absentee ballot).  In this state, the library is the cultural center of every town, offering book clubs, classes, musical performances and historical exhibits.  My town’s library hosted a farmer’s market this summer.  Buy your produce; check out a book.  Life here is different.

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I have learned to adjust. I keep better grocery lists.  I drive out to the farm stands in the summer and fall to buy local produce because there is no year round farmer’s market.  I volunteer at the library.  This September, I set up an exhibit:  Back to School: Images of Avon’s Public Schools from 1890 to 2000, using the library’s archive of photographs, textbooks and student publications.  In January I will set up another display of photographs: Family Life in Avon: Photos of Our Past.  (I’m still working on the title.)  I have joined two book clubs and a golf group.  I meet friends for coffee at the local family run coffee house.  I watch deer grazing in the backyard.  Life seems slower, less hectic.  I have time to enjoy the seasons.DSC_0224

Nature is inspirational. I have learned about resilience.  In the fall, my plants yellow, curl up, wither away.  Dead stalks disappear in the snow. In the spring, I cut away the stalks and find tiny shoots.  And soon I have flowers (if the deer don’t eat them).  Summer 2013 I planted impatiens in spite of the warnings about impatiens downy mildew.  Of course, I lost most of my impatiens before summer’s end.  This year I stuck to perennials that I saw thriving in other people’s yards.  But one day recently, I was arranging potted flowers near my front door when I noticed a tiny impatiens.  Against all odds, a little seed had sprouted in the dirt between pavers and produced a flower.  I find delight in the hardiness of this little plant.  Like that impatiens, I am flourishing where I am.

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About theonceandfutureemptynest

Transitions! Every couple has them: First newlyweds; then parents, then empty nesters. After raising three girls, our nest was empty--just my husband, myself, and three dogs. I taught English to middle school and high school students; my husband was a corporate drudge. Life was good. We went on vacations, had romantic dinners, and enjoyed the peace and quiet. Then a daughter came home. We relocated from California to Connecticut and found ourselves on new adventures.
This entry was posted in adventures, everyday life, Life in Connecticut and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Resilience

  1. Ginny says:

    Bliss………pure bliss. I have missed your posts. Glad you’re back.

  2. David Barcellos says:

    Nice!

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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