Reflections/Life

Working On My Tapestry

When I went outside with Charlie boy this morning it was already hot as blazes. My plants were already drooping in the heat so I got the hose out and watered them.

Taking the trash down to the corner around 8 a.m. was like walking through a row of humid tents.

It will be a hot one and the next few days are supposed to be even hotter.

I woke up this morning remembering a dream I sometimes have. It is one where I have my whole life before me. I don’t yet know what I want to be when I grow up, which, in the dream, I have not yet done.

In the dream I am nervous about choosing a vocation, afraid once I get splat in the middle of it I won’t like it at all.

Then I wake up and time has caught up with me. I don’t have my whole life laying like a tapestry on the floor in front of me. Much of my life is now behind me.

But what makes me happy is the fact that I love what I do. Maybe I stumbled a lot along the way, turning this way and that, uncertain.

But blogging is like a hand in glove for me. I sit down with my cup of coffee after the morning chores with the pets have been carried out. Sometimes I have an inkling about what I want to write. Oftentimes I’ve no idea.

I just let my thoughts and my fingers join together in song and the melody begins to play. And that is what you read.

Photography being part of the mix is just an added benefit, for I so love to train the lens on an object and try to capture its essence. I want you to see what I see.

I decorate and redecorate my apartment and patio, and take you along with me for the ride.

And when I run out of ideas for that I often start in on my blog design. Which, of course, is my second home.

And which I often like to fiddle with just like I do the furniture or a vignette. Shape it to fit my mood.

You never know what you’re going to see or read when you come to visit me.

I hope that’s okay.

I don’t know myself until it’s written and the photos have been inserted on the page.

So maybe I went years, decades, without knowing exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up.

Early on the teachers saw how much I liked writing stories and, like training an orchid to grow this way or that, they worked with me and encouraged me.

It didn’t take a lot of encouragement. It was, actually, all I knew how to do.

With the rest of my education I stumbled and didn’t make very good grades.

I barely made it to the finish line and graduated high school with Kendra, six months old by then, sitting in the audience on my great-aunt’s lap, who’s long gone now.

Walking up to get my diploma was scary and I wanted the floor to open up and let me fall in.

I don’t like people looking at me. I suffer under attention. I would rather be the stalk a flower grows on than the flower itself, which preens in the sunlight.

That I made it through college is kind of a miracle, for my attention span wasn’t conducive to learning by listening to professors talk and theorize.

In my head I was always far away, mentally working on my tapestry and looking back at the path I had taken.

And sometimes wishing I’d taken another road altogether.

Wishing that I’d actually mapped out my life instead of bumbling and lurching my way through it.

And so here I am, all grown up with daughters in their forties. They have chosen their path and I chose mine. Sort of.

This blogging thing began as something fun to do and blossomed into a way to pay the bills, for which I’m extremely thankful.

All that nervousness about choosing a career was for naught. Thought it took me many years to find my way.

I’m sitting in my favorite chair with Charlie asleep by my legs, doing what I do every day at this time.

Writing down words I hope you’ll want to read. Having taken morning photos I hope you’ll want to see.

My tapestry has been added to again and again, a bit here and a bit there. It is not yet complete.

It spreads before me with all the decisions I’ve made and those I cannot change.

You can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube.

But, I realize as I sit here today, there’s not a whole lot I would want to change. Though I would not have said that a decade ago.

I am all of the years and decades and moments tied up into a bundle and it is who I am.

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31 Comments

  1. Brenda I look forward to your blogs (when I catch a break from my 4 grandchildren that are here a lot during the summer they live close by) I sit down and read your posts I love seeing your garden and of course your fur babies it’s terribly hot and humid here in South Carolina the heat is on we spend our days in the pool A little cooling water makes it tolerable

  2. I enjoy visiting your blog. I not only enjoy reading about you and your achievements but I enjoy the comments section as well. Not only do you have a way with words but you have a knack of welcoming people into your home and sharing your life. It just feels as though we’re all “besties” here. And…. it feels safe here…. something I don’t take for granted. ((((Brenda))))

  3. I admire people who are so goal oriented. But all my life, so far, I have been at the beck and call of others…thus, so often I get interrupted and then often the project is left…sometimes for a very long time. I wish I was a more organized housekeeper too…but I am not. But there are a few things I have accomplished. And some were because hubby and I did some things together (such a language class etc). He helped me along the way. But most of our lives, what he planned and wanted done, is generally what I did. Somehow I feel I frittered away often the free time I had…well free-er time at least. I still have hopes of doing better at such things. Some of us were probably not born as strong willed as others. Thus what we seem to accomplish may not be a great lot. But to me, the best thing a person can do is go through life loving. Thanks for sharing Brenda…I feel you did the utmost with all you were given…surely GOD thinks so too.

  4. I love reading your blog. I wish i could write the way you do. I sure have fumbled my way through life. I feel as if I never did what I could have with my life. I think it is wonderful you are happy with what you do. That is a gift. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  5. I so enjoy my mornings, a nice hot cup of tea and a visit with my friend Brenda, a lovely way to start my day, a catch up with you and your fur babies. Take care…..

  6. Brenda, I look forward to your posts each day. I think we all blunder along as best we can. We can make plans but “ the best laid plans of mice and men…” often go awry. I thought I’d always be married to my high school sweetheart. He, however, changed or maybe I never saw his lack of ethics and caring. I ended up raising my son alone as a teacher in South Carolina. I was poorly paid but I managed by teaching a full time job followed each day by teaching alternative school. I worked every day from 7:30 each morning until 8:00 each night. On the weekends I taught homebound students which involved going to their homes or hospital. In the summer I taught summer school. At the age of 35 I had a heart attack and the doctor told me I had to slow down. I did a little bit their were bills to pay. The good thing though was that I loved teaching. My father told me when I was a little girl that I would be a teacher. I’m so glad I listened to my Dad because I loved my students and I do have a reliable retirement. I’ll never be rich but that’s more than ok with me. I managed to keep our family home, raise my son there and send him to Middlebury College in Vermont and then on to Harvard Law where he earned a law degree and a master’s in Chinese. I’m proudest though of the fact that he is an excellent parent. He loves his children and is very attentive to them. This summer he’s set up a reading program for them and they have to read an hour a day. He rewards them with seventy cents an hour, two dollars when they finish a book and five dollars if they write a book report. They can cash in their earnings for something they want or for the money to place in their savings for later when they get to $50. My grandchildren are 11 and 9 and they are reading up a storm. The ultimate goal is for them to fall in love with reading. The best students in school are the well read ones and my son is doing everything he can to help them achieve this. I’ve worked hard and I’ve been so fortunate to have a great son and now grandchildren that I love so much. My life has been far from perfect but there are more good parts than bad. Life has taught me it’s all about perspective. I enjoy your writing, love your decorating and wish my health would allow me to still garden as you do. I putter in my hostas and take care of my three cats and miss my Dolly Dog who found me 16 years ago. Keep writing and we’ll all keep reading and enjoying your thoughts and activities vicariously but enjoy them we will. Stay well& be safe.

  7. I sometimes envy those who knew what they wanted to do with their lives at an early age. I wasn’t one of those. The one thing I did want was to have two daughters, which I got. I never imagined I would be left alone to raise them by myself. Life has so many twists and turns and we have to be willing to bend with the changes if we are to survive. As we grow older I think we become more contented with our lives. I know that you are content and that is a good thing. xo Laura

  8. Planning is good. I am a planner by nature. I love to have things organized and set to tick off little boxes inside my head. But life doesn’t always work that way and the best way to get through it all is to just be able to roll with the punches, pushes and pulls and sidetracks, and then get back on track as best you can. Sometimes your plan will change too. We don’t generally stay stagnant as human beings, thank goodness. We change, we get different, we grow (hopefully) and become more and better of everything and anything. I’d be worried if a person stayed the same from birth through death. Sure, certain characteristics of our personalities will always remain but a person who doesn’t grow and change over time, well – you just short of shrivel up into and literally onto yourself. I’ve seen people who show the physical aspects of that “shrinkage” on the outside of their person so clearly, you understand exactly what has happened on the inside. That is just sad. That just is not normal and not how human beings are designed to roll and grow. Brenda, while some people NEVER EVER self-analyze and examine themselves and find places in themselves where they could (hopefully) do better, you are overly critical of yourself, I think. There’s a balance and yeah, for each of us, it will be different. And that’s okay. That’s how I see it.

  9. I love you words & I look forward to it each morning with my cup of coffee.
    I have to wear my glasses now as the type is too light. Could you please make it darker??
    Keep up the good work!!

  10. Well, I don’t know what to say here. Love your blog but now the type is way too small and too light for my eyes.

  11. I think we ALL “bumble and lurch” our way through life ~ just how it goes. There is no “Owner’s Manual” ~ just the human condition!
    You keep writing the way you do ~ I’ll be here “listening”
    Hugs ~

  12. Brenda, I am so glad I found your blog! I look forward every day to see what you are photographing and what the topic will be! It is like hearing from a good friend! You have given me the opportunity to express myself in a way I haven’t been able to beforeI I feel like everyone else who follows you is very compassionate and several have had the same experiences that I have! Thank you so much!

  13. Brenda, you are a survivor! Yes, we must let go of the ‘what ifs’, and man, do I have plenty! Out of your tapestry came your daughters, and I know they are a blessing to you.
    Your blog is healing for me and I know it is for you. Thank you for sharing your life so bravely and beautifully.

  14. I look forward to reading your posting everyday. It’s uncanny how you sometimes write about what is on my mind. I have been listening to music on oldies stations and that brings memories flooding back that had been long forgotten. Your post yesterday along with the oldies music triggered many such thoughts. Keep them coming, please.

  15. Such a wise post! You are strong, brave and inspiring. My life is sooooo easy, I love the same things you do with the support of a 56 year marriage and a good man who stays out of my hair all day.

  16. Love your perspective … it makes me think. My oldest son (who passed away 7 years ago at the tender age of 43) had a life of continual sickness so he was very limited, especially in the later years, as to what he could do. He had his little home, his kitty and his yard where he spent a lot of his time. And he would remind me that he “loved his little life”. It was little only in scope, not in the effect that he had on those around him who respected him for the stalwart way he managed his pain and limitations. When I am tempted to be frustrated by my own limitations and pains as I grow older I remind myself that if Mark could do it with grace, so can I.

  17. I agree with all of the comments. Your blog is my favorite of all of them. I look forward to a new one each day. I feel like I am hearing from a friend. You have had so much happen in your life (both happy and sad) and I feel like you have handled it well. I enjoy seeing the way you decorate your home, seeing your garden grow, and just hearing about your days. I have gotten a lot of ideas from you. Don’t change a thing.

  18. You inspire me so! You give me hope that I can be me and construct my life the way I want it to be. Even if I am in my eighties I can still learn and expand my horizons. Love the red and white color scheme….it is so me! Thank you!

  19. Brenda, I love “Working on my tapestry” what a beautiful analogy for life and it’s twists and turns. I think sometimes people give up and think that they can only have one life instead of realizing that we can be whatever we want whenever, we just have to take the first step.

  20. I love your blog this is a first for me and I’m so happy to have picked yours,When I was working its like time slips by with all the to dos,Now retired I have all the time to slow down and enjoy life and your blog. hope you,Ivy and Charlie are staying cool.Have a great day Brenda.

  21. You are quite an inspiration! I love your blog and hope you never give it up. Yours is one of two that I read every single day and it would make me sad to not find it there every day. Thank you and have a wonderful day!

  22. I love your analogy that life is a tapestry. Keep writing and photographing and I’ll keep reading and enjoying your photos and your babies and flowers and decorating.

  23. Love your blog. Yes everyday is different from the last and a surprise too you never know what it will bring. Please take care the weather here is also hot and humid. Have a great day Love your fur babies.