Books by the old Leather Chair

  • Snow In The Summer
  • My Bible
  • The Power of Silence
  • What Comes Next and to Like It
  • Encore Provence
  • A Year in Provence

Friday, September 26, 2008


My online journal was a thought about 6 month's ago. I do not like referring to it as a blog. I like the sound of online journal. Acquaintances will reply "a blog" when I share I am writing my thoughts, day to day activities on gardening and family and some recipes and memoirs thrown in. I say "not a blog" it is an online journal.

About 8 months ago my Jamie kept sending me special online site's that she thought would interest me. I was burned out physically and emotionally from all that was involved in building my new home and moving. I kept thinking "I am not interested and do not have time for this" But I began to read a few and then Ronni's site and Marian's caught my eye. I immediately was impressed with their style of writing. I started commenting and my journal grew from there. So that I am writing almost daily is a total surprise to me and a gift that I am deeply thankful for. At this time of my life it has given me a new interest, challenge, new friends, and maybe a growing and learning experience. With the talent of all the blogs I read I sometimes wonder "why am I making my personal journal so public?" But if I follow the train of thought that it is for me, write it down, someday maybe a grandchild will find it interesting, or some soul that happens to read my entries, and that answers my question.

The first 7 people to respond to my journal were Liza, Beverly, Tabor, Gail , Mildred, Ronnie and Marion and my daughter Jamie.
They are still commenting as I share.

I would never come as far as I have without Jamie's constant help and encouragement.
The many times I felt like giving up and was so embarrassed to be continually calling her, she always replied "mama you are doing great". Everyone needs a daughter like this one of mine.

The other birthday is mine as we roll into October. I still have not come to terms with the number seventy. Fifty, Sixty were a breeze. Not a negative thought. I was full of life and energy and involved in a lot that is not happening at this time.
So, don't ask, 70 something, will have to suffice. Inside on many days I still feel so vibrant and alive, and do not feel this chronological age. Then there are days that physical changes are becoming more apparent, everything seems to take longer, and I think ok you are in this third age and just accept it.

Please no comments that are scolding me as I share so honestly from my heart. I have always said that I wanted to age gracefully and everyday grow in wisdom. But it just seems like yesterday that I was 20 years younger.

I think what would I like to do that I have not done? Do I have a bucket list?
There is really not a list. (oh, maybe a list of flowers, rocks, bird feeders and wind chimes oh, and my never ending request for MULCH). I miss my country home, riding lawn mower and my truck. Those thoughts are quickly dissipating. That time of life is now becoming a fond memory.
I want good health, and would like to become "good" at photography and posting images. So maybe this is my list.

I have lived a full life. Sad times that were so extreme that I felt like I could not make it and times that the pleasure was so great that I felt like I was flying and would never come back to earth. Then a lot of those in between times. I have been fortunate to have lived a number of different life styles. But this present one is what is suppose to be and the real me at this particular time in my life. In my past I have made myself do things that I really did not want to do because I thought it was good for me. Or that I was pleasing someone. I could change my identity from housewife, mother, career woman, sex symbol, gardener at the drop of a hat. No more, I now listen to the voice of my heart. It has become very clear to me that I do not like being around a large number of people. I do better one on one. Maybe that is why I am enjoying this Online Journal so much.

I like the peace of my home and the company of those I love. My pleasures are simple. Maintaining my home, gardening, curling up with a book. Especially on a rainy or snowy day. Spending time with my children and grandchildren. A few special friends check in and then the many new online friends that are bringing me pleasure.

I do miss taking an occasional trip. Even short day trips. There really has not been that perfect travel companion.
Either they are sick or have a sick husband or they are not interested or I do not want their company or other reasons . Also in times past I found out quickly that most women do not want to include another lady on trips with her husband and herself. I thought that would change as time went on but to date it has not changed.
Even though I consider myself quite harmless.

To date, I have not felt comfortable taking off by myself. Would love staying in a small inn, a home or a bed and breakfast and explore the countryside, markets, etc on my own. Oh how I miss the ocean. I love the water and at one time was going to relocate to a place on the water. I believe if the opportunity came about for me to be on the water once again that I would never return to this home. This is how being around water affects me. I have wanted to go back to Jamaica but have not felt comfortable taking this trip by myself. My son has said over and over again for me to take baby steps. Just take some short day trips by myself. It seems that something is always happening with my health, family, just life. To be truthful I have made every excuse possible. So maybe they are just desires that have not been strong enough for me to put into affect.

So a lot of thoughts that surface less and less frequently (but still surface) on travel or building a cabin on my country property and living like Thoreau, have not materialized. I truly never thought I would be without a soul mate at this stage of life. Considering all the applicants through the years. They all passed through. Doctors, lawyers and indian chiefs, rich man, poor man, beggar man and hopefully not thief. The last, I smile now and think every woman at 67 years of age should have this experience. They all offered a short diversion from my everyday interest. In the beginning of the friendship I would have the thoughts, is this the one, but my interest in them dissipated quickly. I am sorry that my poor children took some of these trips with me and probably wondered at times. But mom came out alright. Remember this mom did not enter the dating circuit until age 42. So I have arrived at a time where I am content with my company and being solo does not matter anymore. I am at peace and content in most ways. Is this not true happiness?

At the moment I sense in my heart that whatever is meant for me in my continued journey through this life will happen if it is meant to happen. I do not know how or when but I believe in miracles. My pathway of life over the last 32 years has been a miracle. I smile as I look back. When something seemed like the end it really was not the end, just another pathway opened up.

So I will continue on with my deep faith that all that this One Woman needs will always be there.
Thanks for listening.

I must remember "I could not know what I know today if I weren't the age I am. I still have continual opportunities to grow"
A line from the book "Meditations For Women Who Do Too Much"
by Anne Wilson Schaef


Judy said...

Hi Ernestine, A dear friend of mine that died of cancer over 20 years ago, gave me this little pendant. It says, "Every ending is a new beginning". How true that is. I have kept it for years and looked at it many times and thought of her and how wise she had to be when I thought my life was over! Thank you for sharing your thoughts in your journal.

Darlene said...

Judy is right. Another way of putting it is, when one door closes another one opens. It seems you are now in a room of introspection. You have been able to move from one room to another with courage. Thank you for sharing.

Jessi Cotterill said...

This entry of your "online journal" is so sweet and touching. Keep writing because I'm enjoy reading your journal. Oh...and I'm looking forward to seeing your recipes and pictures.


Mim said...

Beautiful and thoughtful.
I'll need to reread it... you put a lot in your writing today!

One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

Thanks for the comments on my long rambling post. I have thoughts and like to type. Thank you for taking the time to think of me.

lilalia said...

We not only think of you, we enjoy reading about what you think. This post speaks of why we like doing this. It is thoughtful, kind-hearted, and yet it does, at time, reflect very clearly about the struggles. It is the balance you strive for that makes it a joy to read your blog.

Liza on Maui said...

Hey Ernestine - listen to this ... I am losing my job in January! If you gather the courage to travel from your State to Hawaii, I will be available to be your travel companion on all the days of your visit here. How about that for a bucket list: a trip to Maui, Hawaii! You can do it - I know you can. And we have a wonderful "Young At Hearts" ministry at church that would love to show you around Maui - I am not kidding- these ladies are all my friends and they are sooo wonderful - you'd love them and they'd love you.

Now about the blog - you are doing way way better than you think. You've come so far and is going on the right direction. Why share our "thoughts and lives" online" Because others can learn from it, can be blessed by it. Also, I love the support in the blogging community - one has to be a blogger to know what a tremendous blessing the blogging community is.

Now I'd get back to doing my house chores :) (just taking a quick break)

Liza on Maui said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...


Beverly said...

Ernestine, I am so happy to be your friend. Your journal and thoughts are so meaningful to me. I find myself nodding at times, and learning sometimes from your experience in life in others.

MsGraysea said...

That is such a beautiful and insightful post. Thank you. You really put a voice to how many, many of us feel about life at this point.
You really are possessed of a remarkable courage, even though you may feel timid about certain things. Your thoughts on being near the ocean struck my heart and I wish I could have you here to share my beautiful corner of the world....the ocean is so energizing and healing. It was particularly lovely yesterday as the little hurricane passed by east of us and there were amazing huge waves.
I loved your previous post about mangoes, too. I recently discovered them, too. Actually, a perfectly ripe one fell in to my hands when I was in Seattle and I impulsively made peach mango salsa to accompany the wonderful fresh salmon I was cooking for a dinner at the sisters' reunion. Yummy and now I am hooked, too.
My local senior center has a great group of women who frequently travel together and have a great time. They have an energy which seems way younger than my own!

L. said...

I became totally immersed in your words on this express your inner feelings so well.

Even though I am a little behind you (I just turned 60) many of your words rang true to me.

I'll be back.

Take care,

Marcie said...

I missed the actual day, but I do wish you a belated happy birthday and wonderful, fulfilling years ahead. Thank you for faithfully reading my posts, even when I have so little time online. :)