Happy New Year to my Farmgirl Friends!
My sweet Momma… and our dog Belle.
I wonder what has been on your mind this month with the new year? What are the things that you think about as a new year begins? Goals and resolutions? Things to be thankful for? New ideas, new projects? My thoughts all month have been on the seasons of life.
Mom and I in the airport heading to Tennessee
This year began a little different for me than all other years of my life. It began with the hard thought that I was going into a new year without my Dad; a season of life that came to an end. It felt very heavy to me, but yet I was also so excited because in December I had flown back to New Mexico to get my sweet Momma and bring her home with me to Tennessee for a month. So, the special thought for me was knowing that I would have a full month with just my Mom.
Mom making Christmas Taffy with her great grand-girls!
The season of cold and winter is going to be hard for her living alone. She mostly relies on wood for heating her old house and that is a full time job to keep the fires going. My sister and her husband live within walking distance so that is a huge help, but still things will be hard for Mom in the winter. So this was a great plan.
Mom, enjoying a warm Tennessee winter morning
Mom has settled in to my sunny guest bedroom that we made super cozy for her! A desk for letter writing (yes, she loves to write letters!), a recliner, a coffee station and a warm and cozy floor heater for early mornings in the recliner. She is happy and content; a season of rest.
Eldon, using my Dad’s old pecan cracker that Mom brought!
The season of working together… Mom has pecan trees in her orchard in New Mexico and she and I packed a huge suitcase full of pecans to bring for her to crack here at my house! My husband does the initial cracking and Mom picks out the meat! It’s such a perfect daily project they do together. And we are getting bags of pecans in my freezer and mailing little bags to all Mom’s grand-kids!
Very quickly we ran into some health issues all having to do with moms eyes. And so began the season of doctoring and waiting. Where she lives in New Mexico, every one of her eye specialists are 4 hours away so this seemed so ideal to get appointments with specialists here – only 45 minutes away. And WOW did the doors open for that. Its hard for mom; but easy for me and for my siblings as we aren’t all trying to juggle trips out of town for eye appointments and surgeries. I can easily manage it on my own and Mom is managing it well too.
So that brings me to today. Mom has been with us for 7 weeks and we are simply taking it one day at a time! This is the season of patience. Mom will stay until her doctoring is complete… it could easily be through the season of spring. She is very content to take care of all this here.
Mom, struggling to see the music notes, playing mostly by memory. It’s so lovely.
My husband has been taking banjo lessons for many years; music is not his talent and it does NOT come naturally to him but he has a huge desire to learn so year after year, he has stuck with it. But Mom, on the other hand, grew up accompanying her dad on the piano to his fiddle. So every evening she and Eldon have a little time of music… him on the banjo, her on the piano… me on the couch enjoying this season of music. I think mom looks forward to it all day!
Out for a walk in the cold, and Mom had no idea how funny she looked in this ski hat! I laughed until I couldn’t even look at her!!!
The season of humor. I laugh easily and a lot. Mom used to, but is struggling with it now. We are working on getting it back! There is so much to find humor in and sometimes it comes in the craziest times. Like being at the doctor office when a tornado watch turned to a tornado warning and we, along with about 150 other patients and medical staff got ushered to the basement of the huge 3 story building… only to realize the basement was actually the eye surgical center where my mother had been the week before for a surgery! Mom said “I kept thinking I’d been here before”! It was so hilarious to me, and for some reason I laughed all day over that!
Mom helping with meals when she can!
Mom has always been a tremendous cook. Now, she has taken the back seat to my cooking. Its a season of letting go. She says she’s so happy to not have to plan or think about meals, but yet I love that she’s right here to help when I ask.
Mom getting a “spa treatment” by her great grand-girls!
I’ve become my Moms personal trainer (ha ha!) and have her on a daily work-out routine. Simple and short but working hard to build up her strength. We’ve had a lot of talks of the importance of self-care. After Mom spent many months caring for my dad so sweetly, diligently and lovingly, this is the season of care for her. We are all pitching in to do that and I am trying to teach Mom to push through fatigue and weakness to care for herself. It’s a hard season.
These great grand-girls live on our farm just a short half mile away. They come and check on their Nana most every day; whether it is a quick hello or a long game of dominos and checkers, or piano practice…. they bring smiles and encouragement daily.
With all this, Mom and I have had multiple conversations about the seasons of life. There are so many that come and go. Learning to soak up and enjoy every season is so important. Some seasons last a very long time and some are just a breath of time. I feel the desperate need to value and learn from every season.
My precious Mom and Dad… married 65 years when my Dad passed.
The season of grief is very long. I wonder if it every goes away? Mom and I have conversations about Dad often and we cry a little (or a lot) every day. We were so lucky to have a man like him in our lives.
Mom and I are are in the season of thankfulness… and I want to stay right here.
Thank you friends… for being you. Until our gravel roads cross again… so long.