For twenty-two years this was my place in the world.
Then came life as a military spouse.
Until, quite suddenly (in retrospect, that’s how it felt!), after 27 moves in 35 years, and after no sense of true belonging or sense of physical permanence anywhere, that part of my life came to an end when my husband retired in 2015.
Two moves and three years later we’re settled with no immediate plans to move and nothing speaks to me more than planting a perennial garden at the address we now call home. Up until now I’ve always been a container garden person….seldom having two growing seasons in a row to experiment with what worked.
Although I gave birth to one of these Kowalski men 35 years ago and have been married to the other for more than 40 years, these are both scenarios that I considered unlikely.
I had hoped and prayed for the first one.
photo credit to Megan Thomsen
This next one came completely out of the blue. At 60, my husband is learning to play an instrument.
I’m becoming a linear kind of person. Point A to Point B. And although I like to think I can be spontaneous, as I get older I’m much more comfortable when I have a line to follow….some sort of direction so I know what to expect.
Inner life and equilibrium aside, my eye is certainly drawn to lines. A quick look through the photos on my phone are testimony to that fact.
This past Saturday morning I entered an alternate universe when I attended my first dog show.
Every single aspect of that universe existed in abundance…..the plethora of RV’s in the parking lot of the civic center, the sheer number of dog kennels, dogs on tables being groomed, dogs in rings going through their paces, smartly dressed handlers leading them around in the rings, and oh my, the prolific amount of hair products and hair styling tools being used on the tiniest of dogs!
Each spring we witness awakenings.
Yesterday morning we woke up to the world being one way and went to bed with it being altered.
The events weren’t personal to me, rather they were a part of a collective experience, events that happened within the bounds of our country that had an indirect impact on many…..the death of a very public and much respected matriarch and the near crash of an airplane full of people.
Both events, I believe, cause for a sort of personal awakening.
I suppose the older one gets, the more we tend to look more often into the past rather than looking forward into the future.
I did a bit of that a few days ago.
For many years now my husband and I have saved our wine corks, carefully documenting on the cork the date we drank the wine, the location, and the names of the people we enjoyed it with. Throughout the years those corks have found their way into a series of olive jars and bottles, and most recently, a demijohn, as the memories accumulated, a bottle at a time.
I did a bit of rearranging this past week and those jars ended up here, in stronger light than their previous location, which led me to the dumping of those corks and a spring cleaning for their glass receptacles.
I find myself traveling a lot in this season of my life and although I love being in new places and experiencing new things, it always comes down to this….
There’s no place like home.
After living out of a suitcase, and being in a car or in airplanes for hours on end, there’s no place I’d rather be.
Home is where my center is.
Although none of them has ever lived at this particular address and two of my three sons and their families have yet to see the house in person, this is where I’ve gathered all their photos.
Spring Break at South Padre Island in Texas. The pictures tell the story!