Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Ending....

of summer always leaves me somewhat philosophical.  It is a bittersweet time.....a time when us moms feel the sadness of the kids going back to school but also the comfort of knowing the house will stay clean for at least 8 hours in a row and we will also have blocks of time again to ourselves.  I adore my kids.  I also adore "my" time.  How to find balance and elude guilt is an ongoing process.  As many of you know, last summer my husband took terribly, deathly ill.  It was an illness that sideswiped us and literally took his, our, breath away.  It changed our summer plans....it changed our life outlook.  While we were dealing with the long recovery of my husband his father then took ill and subsequently died.  It was not a good summer.  And, in the year that has passed since last summer my husband has continued to improve and we have continued to "hone" our life perspective and what we really want out of our time here on earth.  For this past summer our goal was to relax and enjoy the summer months.  To really be present in the moments that the season had to give and not sweat the small stuff, the "maintenance" parts of the summer.  So, this summer we let our yard go.  Really, truly, it looks like cr#*!  We spent the time that we would have spent weeding, mowing, fertilizing, watering, planting etc....walking together.  Hanging with the kids.  Fishing without bait.  Just generally "being" and not "keeping up".  My blog has suffered, my crafting has been put on the back burner....even my reading and I am a voracious reader...even my reading has been little to nil.  But my walking has been daily, my snuggling more often, my laughing with family more frequent.  My conversations have been longer.    My eyes have seen more sights and my soul has been replenished more completely than any summer before this.  I have just turned 50.  When I turned 30 I literally freaked out.  I felt soooo old -  it was such a hard birthday.  I can honestly say that turning 50 was the best birthday ever.  Really and truly.  I feel like have finally come into my own.  I have cut the people that I feel are "toxic" from my life and instead surround myself with those that I enjoy.  I look out over my weedy lawn and think...this is the way a successful, happy summer looks.  Before I would cringe at the site of my landscaping but today, taking my son's last "first" day of school picture I thought "what a beautifully awful looking lawn"!  Each weed is a fishing trip, a glass of wine, a movie, a swim, a dinner out, a conversation.  Many people have alluded to quilts as being representative of their lives....for me, today, this past summer, the ongoing mess that is my lawn is a beautiful picture of my last few months.   It completely represents the fact that I actively made choices to spend a Saturday elsewhere....and that has made all the difference as I head into a year of "lasts".  My last child is entering his last year of high school meaning he will be leaving us for college this time next year.  My middle child spent her last summer with us this past year as she will probably not come home during college break next summer.  And our oldest graduated from college and took a job in another state....further cementing her absence.  And finally my husband, well he took the last of his medications a week or so ago and is once and for all back on his travel schedule which takes him away around the world 50% of the time.  And, that is when I will read, craft, blog, clean my house and mow my lawn.  Heck, I might even fertilize now!

This is a card that I made some time ago and must have forgotten to upload.  It uses a Tim Holtz metal sentiment that I feel really conveys my summer state of mind.


I like this card....it is kinda wild with the various die cuts and unusual colors but I also think it works in a Sheila sort of way.  So, my girls are gone....one to work and one to college. My son left a few hours ago for school and my husband took off for China.....if any of you want to come over for coffee I have some time to sit and chat....just don't cut across my lawn in bare feet...the dry, spikey grass is a killer!

Be well,
Sheila

15 comments:

joy said...

Hi, Sheila!

What a wonderful post! sure would love to be able to stop by for a cuppa' with you! You have definitely found the secret to life - by treasuring each and every moment of time with family and those we love and not worrying about the rest! I'm so glad your hubby is doing so much better now.

Have you ever thought about joining a writer's group??? You truly have a way with words and this could be another creative outlet for you. Just sayin'!!!

Love the card you posted, too!!! Thanks for stopping by to visit my blog, sweetie!

Sasha said...

Such rich colours, and beautiful colouring,Sheila! Your sunflowers look amazing! I love all the pretty dies you used and the beautiful blue bow holding your bouquet of sunflowers.
I'll join you for cyber coffee...sorry I can't be there in person to sit and enjoy a friendly chat xx

Barb said...

I'll be right over, Sheila! hee, hee! :) We'll be having coffee together at Scrapfest soon - can't wait!

You've put into words exactly how I was feeling this morning as I sent my youngest out the door for the first day of his senior year also. The end of summer is always difficult for me - I actually walked around this morning saying to myself, I have a feeling I'm gonna get lonely today. I really loved reading your post - so beautifully written! I'm glad you and your family decided not to sweat the small stuff and truly enjoyed your summer! Your card is amazing as always, my friend! I'll SEE you in 9 days!! YAY! :)

judkajudi said...

Sheila, your post today is a good reminder that we, too, need to stop with the shoulda's and appreciate each day we have together more! I am still fretting about the trim needing a paint job, wanting the bathroom walls to be a different color and oh, yeah, the floor mats in the van are in need of shampooing!!

It's time we face the reality of how precious each day is and live life so there are no regrets at the end. Thanks for the lovely post; beautifully written!!

Lin said...

I loved your post today, Sheila....so glad to hear that you have been enjoying your family - you are so smart to realize this now while they're still "huggable" and accessible. Keep on this track and you'll be the happiest woman alive! Loved your card today, too - made me think of sunflowers, perfect for this time of year, and such rich colors - well done all around!

Virginia L. said...

Wonderful post, Sheila! I couldn't agree more about enjoying the simple pleasures and letting the yard go part (LOL)!! I did the same thing with my yard and they look like %#@^! I also send my youngest out the door yesterday..he is off to college now (sniff, sniff)! But it's the BEST summer for me as well! I hope you continue to enjoy the simple things and that fall will be just as good as summer! Happy belated 50! Can't wait to meet you in Scrapfest! Your card is beautiful with the layering and shading! I know it probably looks even more amazing in person! HUGS!

Elizabeth Allan said...

Sheila I love the path you are walking on! The here and now will only be for a moment and you have really enjoyed each and every one. Wished we lived closer as I would love to share a cup of tea. Instead, this morning I am toasting you and your positive radiance!

Pam W Merwin said...

Sheila, how beautiful and sweet! You brought this scripture to mind as I read: "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

What a walk you and your family have made this past year! We all walk through this life too fast and so glad you and your family slowed down and are enjoying the little things! That's something that no one can take away from us :)

Thanks for the post because I needed reminding of this today. AND your card is beautiful - love, love, love the sentiment!

Robin K. said...

This is such a beautiful post Sheila!! I love that you and your family have been able to find the "silver lining in the cloud" so to speak. While my husband's recent injury was certainly not on the same level as what your husband has gone through it certainly made us take stock of what is truly important in life. I will take a day trip with my hubby any day over lawn maintenance! This summer our lawn has never looked more terrible and we're both okay with that! Thank you again for such a thought provoking post! Hugs, Robin :)

Jill said...

Simply beautiful post Sheila. I got a little choked up reading it. You are very talented writer (and stamper of course!). Sending you BIG hugs. Wish I could trek through your perfect lawn to say hello.

Oh, and your card- STUNNING! Sunflowers are my favorite flower and you've brought them to life with your bright and cheery coloring!

Lori said...

Simply beautifully stated!!

Nancy said...

Great post, Sheila! I'm glad you spent your summer in pursuit of what is truly important; it appears you are reaping the blessings! I'm loving all the detail in your lovely card!
Looking forward to meeting you next week.

Chris Millar said...

Such a good reminder to us all Sheila to not sweat the small stuff and to reach out and grab on to life while we can!!! I'm so glad that your husband is well and truly over his illness and that you are spending wonderful, quality time together! Thanks for sharing this insight with us and I know we can all take something from this!!! Your beautiful card here is over-shadowed by your beautiful words, but please know that it's equally as gorgeous as your attitude!!! Hugs,
Chris xo

Greta said...

So glad your summer was what life is meant to be that we often let slip away & hurrah for the last of the meds! I've been wondering how your husband is doing--so wonderful he's recovered! Love the "Sheila" card, too!

Maureen Morton said...

You are such a glorious gift to us, Shelia! I was aware of some of your struggles & revelations, but not all......you are so dear to continue to share them. You are a testament to love and life, my dear friend. How I wish I was going to meet you in person at Scrapfest, but I already consider you a dear pal. Love this card, but love who you are way more! Big hugs and thanks!