Tag Archives: elders

Reflecting a bit about My Elder/s.

I remember the first day I worked for my Elders

  
– though I didn’t call them that then.

It was November 2009

  
And I remember feeling nervous.

  
Nervous that they wouldn’t like the lunch I had made…

Nervous that we wouldn’t find things to talk about…

  
Nervous that I wouldn’t be smart enough to hold a conversation with them…

I had met them in the Spring of 2008 while working on a landscape gardening crew – and we tended their beautiful perennial garden.

  
It’s funny to reflect on that nervousness now, because over time… week after week after week, their lives became a huge part of my life.

  
There was a kind of braiding together

Nervousness gave way to a sense of ease

They became my anchor.

  
Through changing homes, relationships, and a variety of other part-time jobs… They were my one steadiness.

  
I came to love them & their dog

They came to know me & my quirks

Their home became familiar territory

  
And as I look through the rooms

I’m reminded of them, of conversations, the many meals, hugs, mannerisms & habits I had the honor to witness & be a part of for the past almost 6 years.

   
 “Would you like some black pepper?” I asked, lifting the pepper grinder

& was told early-on “fresh ground black pepper”

And so, at lunch, went the question: would you like some FRESH GROUND black pepper?

Nearly always, the reply was YES

  

Markers of time, reminders are everywhere 

His chair where he sat

Her chair where she sat

The clock with large numbers, easier to read, marks the time after his surgery

  
A stuffed toy left on the floor, a moose chew toy belonging to Bentley, the ancient puppy

Pinching salt in a dish

The ubiquitous box of Kleenex 

  
Wedding invitations from a grandchild

A pile of letters from another grandchild

Well-worn sweatshirts (which I feel compelled to wear, though I stop myself…) 

  
There are numerous photos, the smell of cigars & cinnamon, and long-lived plants (a few which have stories told about them) like this Hoya now after 19 years, in bloom…

  
For this past week, my elder was home, surrounded by family, lovingly tended to, & there was only breathing…

  
And though I have no sense of what it was like for him during that time 

(He stopped speaking at that point)

It was an honor to simply be with him 

  
A sacred time

  A slow unbraiding

Even now, sitting here, pausing now & again to look around & really take in the surroundings, a swirl from past moments floods my mind

& then coming present, that sense of honor… What an honor it is to have gotten to be in these dear people’s lives over time

  
We got to really know each other.

“We’re such lucky, lucky people” she would say.

  
There will likely be other posts reflecting on them, & my time working for them…

It’s all kinda fresh, still.


Pickled peppers, anchors, & Blue Hubbard squash.

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Don’t wait.

if you wait, the pickled peppers might go bad.

if someone gives you a gift, open it

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use it

use it up

delight in each pepper

savor the spicy zing on the tongue.

before eating – offer thanks, gather blessings

imagine their garden

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the tending, the soil

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imagine the rain, the sun, and all the Elementals involved in the creation of a plant-being

a pepper

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imagine the hands that tended to this pepper plant

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these hands that you know

the one that you love

the one that gave you this jar of pickled peppers

because they know you love them

don’t wait to eat them

savor them

enjoy

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every Wednesday, i support the tending of a house & the people, the home of some Elders.

this job, these people

have been my anchors.

since 2009, every Wednesday

(barring retreats, visits to family, & the month i was out when i injured my back in 2012)

every Wednesday this place, these people have been my destination, my North Pole.

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from a string of boyfriends, through various places of living, & a number of farming situations

since 2009 they have been my one constant.

Anchor:  any device used in the manner of an anchor to hold a boat in place…. a reliable support…. a source of confidence that serves to hold an object firmly

yes

i need this

i am drifty

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finding love here & there – a place, a person, a job

so easy to fall in love

but these Elders, this place, on Wednesdays has held me tight

with gratidute

even when i want to leave, to run…

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but i stay.

i love them.

they love Blue Hubbard squash.

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the first year i farmed on my own it was a bumper crop for Winter squash.

hundreds of pounds

but no place to put them.

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so they let me put all of them in their upstairs bedroom

the great Blue Hubbard – easily over 25 pounds – sat like an emperor on a low table

waiting

this year i planted no Winter squash

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but found a Blue Hubbard and with the remembering of the pickled peppers

decided to not wait any longer to cook it up

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(well, part of it)

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big beauty.

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into soup

made to share

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don’t wait.

who are your anchors?

what would you want to say to the ones you appreciate?

who are the people that have made a difference in your life?

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what would you share with them if you allowed your heart to speak?

what would you want to let them know

if you let your heart speak it’s appreciations?

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don’t wait

do you have a dream in your heart?

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a longing that has been there forever?

a way of life you want to live?

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would you dare speak your heart to the one that causes it to beat a little faster?

even though you might feel like a prize fool after?

gather up your courage

and speak from your heart.

don’t wait.

open the jar of pickled peppers

make the soup from the Hubbard you’ve been saving

let The Ones know how your heart feels about them

and the ways they have shaped the life of your life.

don’t wait.

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