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Sunday, November 20, 2016

Empathy, Caring, Love . . .


I just knew I had to go back "home" . . . and I had been feeling it for weeks. 
I was born in Wisconsin, my parents, brother and I moved to central Iowa
when I was eleven. My going "back home" wasn't to the city where we lived as a family
in central Iowa, (but not far from there) . . .

The "going home" was to visit my brother. We are the "only" remaining of our small family.

I feel changed . . .

A bit of history. My parents were born in Wisconsin. Met in college . . . sweethearts from the beginning, (as I have absorbed their life story along the way. This is "taking me back" but important as I reflect on "life and home.")

My dad was born into a very large family. . . . my grandfather worked the stockyards, I don't remember my grandmother working outside of home.

My mom was also born into a very large family . . . my grandfather owned a clothing store and worked "at the courthouse" . . . I don't remember my grandmother working outside of home.

As I remember back to each of my grandparents homes. I remember simplicity in my dad's home and formality in my mom's home. I remember warmth, love and a steadiness in their homes. I remember my dad's mom, very ill and dying young. I remember my mom's dad dying a sudden death when I was in high school.

I remember wringer washer washing machines, washer boards, sheets blowing in the wind, good food fragrances, prayers before meals, aunts, uncles, cousins, the clomp, clomp sound of the horses delivering milk, stories, laughter, hard work, much more . . .

I remember my dad telling the story of walking from his home each day to attend college a few miles away. I also remember he attended this state college because of his athletic ability. He graduated and went on to be a teacher, principal, superintendent of schools. I also remember the story of the Green Bay Packers asking him to play with them and turning it down to attend college instead. (This was back in the early thirties.). I remember listening to baseball games on the radio, The Shadow, the Cubs . . . the White Sox . . . playing checkers, yuchre, hearts, cribbage . . .

I remember my mom telling me about her attending college and meeting my dad, talking about those days, her friends, their friends, basketball, football . . . and cheering for my dad. I remember her telling me she knew she always wanted to be a teacher. (She also graduated from this college and eventually became a teacher, principal of an elementary school.) I remember home cooked foods, sheets on the line, being read stories, playing outdoors, sewing, knitting booties for many babies, hand made clothing, needlepoint, banana cream pie, Cornish pasty, a fur coat, my mom always caring for my older, often very ill, brother.

I remember my brother . . . selfless, humble, quiet, artistic, fisherman, alone, always building, cabin, boats, fishing together, friend in my late husband, solitary, teacher, graduated from the college where my parents did, (me too) painting, sculpting, pen, ink, watercolor, chalk . . . colored pencil . . . antiques, collections, pottery, Roseville, picture frames, often not well, no complaints, quiet, suffering alone.

I remember honesty, work ethic, kindness, truth, regard, respect, warmth, simple, wide open spaces, corn fields, gardens, flowers, birch trees, togetherness, responsibility, excitement, fun, laughter, saving for things, goodness, listening, faith, sitting at the table, decisions, eating together, unity . . .

I needed to "go back home" . . .
and didn't realize how naked I was feeling until I arrived there . . .

I was where I needed to be . . .
my soul felt rest, resilience, authentic, kind, truth, caring . . . love . . .








and then we left . . . drove back home to Michigan . . .

oh my

"going home"
having my daughter with me
seeing my brother weep in surprise to see her


wonderful beyond words

sacred

more than I had dreamed
there was laughter like no other

I wish you could hear her tell the story of me and
ketchup, sunglasses, "order #1093"
~

18 comments:

Vicki @ lifeinmyemptynest said...

Lovely story. This is the America I know - good Midwestern values.

Missy George said...

Wonderful story Lynne..you tell it so vividly..We have a lot of the same memories..not the personal ones of course..So glad you made the journey..Nice to be able to go home..I don't have that option..My sister and I are it !! There are a couple of distant cousins around..not close by and not in touch..Thanks for sharing your story..

Daphne Bryson said...

Good Evening Lynne, I feel so privileged. It was so kind of you to share your story with us. I closed my eyes and I could see the sheets flapping in the wind, I could hear the laughter of your family and friends. I could imagine family around the table saying prayers before a meal.
.... and the icing on the cake, was when your brother opened his door, to see not only you, but your beautiful daughter as well. How joyful.
Have a lovely evening Lynne.
Best Wishes.
Daphne

Linda said...

Oh Lynne...such a way with words you have my dear.
Love love love your stories...so many beautiful words...
I am so glad you went home...and with your lovely daughter♥️
I sure hope my kids have the fond memories that you have shared with us here...
Cheers!
Linda :o)

TexWisGirl said...

wonderful. so glad for you.

Beth @ PlantPostings said...

Thanks for sharing your joy! What a blessing to have family members who are so full of love and happy to see you! :)

Gail said...

What a wonderful renewing time for you. Your words were eloquent, humble and loving. They reminded me much of my child hood and of how important people and shared histories are.

Thank you for sharing this trip. I am so very glad you took it with you daughter.

Jeanie said...

Lynne, I love this post more than I can say. There is something about returning to your own space, your ancestral space that almost defies description and yet as you described your home, your family, your brother, I felt as though I was there. I felt warm, like I was wrapped in a soft blanket with tea or hot chocolate surrounded by love. I am filled with joy and thanksgiving as I read these words and relish each and every photo.

Thanks for this. I needed it today. I don't know why I have tears in my eyes, but I do.

eileeninmd said...

Hello, Lynne! what a lovely post. I am glad you were able to go "home" and visit with your brother. It looks like a peaceful and relaxing visit. Thanks for sharing. Happy Thursday, enjoy your day and the weekend ahead!

Sarah Huizenga said...

What a wonderful trip. Memories are precious and shape us so much. So happy to see that your daughter was able to go with you. I am sure special for her too.

Kim said...

Lynne, I am so glad that you made the trip. It sounds like it was wonderful and that your brother enjoyed it too. What a great way to kick off the holiday season...with family!!

Bonnie said...

Your trip sounds amazing! Enjoy your family. Hugs! Bonnie

Anita Johnson said...

How fun you come home to Wisconsin...we have loved it here. Home still includes Chicago for us.... there for our first 30 years. The Cubs came with us here. I enjoyed reading this!

Linda said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
bj said...

this one has me in tears...i remember so much of what YOU remember..and more, I think...we all need "to go home" when we can....it's just that we seldom get the chance....blessed you are.

Pamela Gordon said...

Aw Lynne. What a beautiful post. I'm so glad you got to 'go home' and visit your dear brother and that your sweet daughter joined you too. What wonderful memories of your childhood that you shared here. And a sweet photo of the 3 of you too. Sometimes we just have to do the trip and remember and be blessed. Hugs.

Cranberry Morning said...

What beautiful and honest memories are tucked away in all of us. Thank you for bringing them out with your trip home. It was a beautiful post, Lynne.

La Petite Gallery said...

Memories something you have your whole life. I cherish mine as My Mamma had Alzheimer's.
Family is so wonderful, most of mine is gone. Happy Thanksgiving. yvonne