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

Thursday, November 3, 2011


So much has changed and is still changing.
No longer is the big table filled at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
No longer are there summer gatherings.
where my grandmother, parents,  sisters, nieces and nephews and cousins
all gathered.
These gatherings always at my home. 
The aunts who welcomed me into their homes and included
me in special meals - have all passed away.
So now back home in a small cottage in the woods the doors are always open.
The cabinets are filled with all the special dishes and platters used at these times.
When I know someone is visiting the pantry is full and fresh baked goods are on the counter.
The last true family gathering was just before my mother passed away and also
my youngest daughter's wedding.
I can still see her walking down the stone walkway with her dress billowing in the breeze.
A harp was playing - she was a beautiful bride and still is....
Everyone came - far and near.
So I wonder what will it take  for all of mine to once again gather?
I realize  some are over the ocean and some in other states - where they are starting
their own traditions.
This is wonderful and I smile for them  but at times it is sad for me.
Special memories ever present in my heart, mind, times have changed
and continuing to change.
I remember so well my mother talking to my grandmother every morning and evening.
This is something I continued to do with my mother.
Always thought it would happen with me
but not so.
My children check in - but not daily,  morning and night.
Many times I am invited to do something special
with my children and it seems I truly do not like leaving
my woods.
I battle with this and sometimes when I make the
effort to leave I am pleased and other times not.
Happy times and then some sad moments  in my life,
guess that can be for all of us.
At this moment I am  happy and at peace  but  miss my
children and grandchildren.
This is what happens when children grow up
start their families and are no longer living near by.

So you  accept what happens as life goes on
and dwell on the happy times and try to
forget what makes you sad....


FlowerLady Lorraine said...

I think some time or other we all have to make our own traditions. For DH and myself, it started as newlyweds. My dysfunctional family had none. DH's family didn't really have any either. We lived in Spain the first three years of our life together while DH was in the US Navy, and we call it a blessing. We love being together even now after all these years. Both families all live away from us, and do their own things. That is fine with us. Most holiday gatherings had some kind of 'drama' and we don't miss that one bit. We have a few nice memories of laughter and good food, but the uncomfortableness of those holidays outweighs those. We have our own quiet holidays and that suits us just fine.

Enjoy your holidays of solitude if that's where you feel most comfortable. Bless your heart.

Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

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

Oh my - where did this sad entry
come from.
I guess my heart.
A busy day
that does not need to start with my tears.
FL - thank you for visiting...

Judy said...

It is a tough time of year for a lot of us.

Tabor said...

This season always bring memories and great expectations that are impossible to recreate. I also am not crazy about leaving my house even if it means a trip to the city to visit grandchildren! I usually am happy that I did, but I feel exactly like you. I live far away from my family so the big get togethers were infrequent.

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

Tabor, thank you. You always put a smile on my face. A rainy and gloomy day :) Baby that ankle..

Sky said...

:( so sorry - all this time I thought one of your sons and Jamie's family lived close enough for you to drive over for easy day visits. I didn't realize the distance was such that you felt somewhat isolated.

I understand distance - I am 3,000 miles from family and close friends. As you know I miss my mother terribly - she will have died 3 years ago in Feb. I miss my sister and her family in GA and my closest friends who have been in my life for decades and with whom so many holidays were shared. (We relocated 8.5 years ago.) My sister is phobic about flying so will not venture anywhere she cannot drive. Most years we go to GA during some part of the season, but occasionally something prevents that. Now I focus on making new memories, having new adventures. I recently checked out a resort about 2 hours away which will be a great getaway for 2-3 days at times when we might not want to make a long roadtrip or fly.


Anonymous said...


How do I say what I want to say?

These words of yours -- the loss of loved ones and large family gatherings -- oh, I know them too well. My family was once busting-at the-seams large -- and now what's left of that older generation is just a remnant of what once was.

So much has changed since I came home five years ago. Not only with family but in the ways we stay connected. If we were shouting neighbors, I can think of little better than dropping by your place for a cup of daily tea and fresh baked goods (if sitting on the counter) and fine conversation. You know, 'the what are you reading now' sort of questions -- the sharing of recipes -- current thoughts and hopes and questions about life.

But then,I do drop by most everyday -- with the computer in my lap and my coffee cup beside me, I'm checking in on you right now. Some days get missed and I catch up on your life by reading two posts.

Blogs (and Facebook, for some) are good ways to stay connected, but not as sweet as those personal visit of old. I wonder if my Granny felt the same about the telephone? The technology that affords easier connections becomes bittersweet, doesn't it? Or maybe like Nutra-Sweet instead of sugar?


Anonymous said...

I relate to so much of what you are saying. I, too, feel torn between being alone and being with my small family. There are disappointments and fallen expectations. My parents will likely be gone within the year. So, it will be interesting to see what I create for myself. One daughter lives on the West coast. The other lives nearby. And, while we have contact, do family dinners, I still find there is something missing. I have decided I must fill in that gap.

Give yourself huge hugs and know that you are not alone in your struggles.

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

Ellen, so sorry about your mom and dad, my mother passed away 12 years ago. Everyone else before that. You are fine and so pleased we met...

Unknown said...

Again your thoughts are my thoughts.

Where once there were large family gatherings, no more - they are all gone. same goes for friends, especially lately.

I've been going to funerals and condolence calls and visits to the sick, I've lost track now for how many in recent weeks.

Tomorrow another funeral.

That's the way life is, changes and losses but to many one after another.

As we age that's the way it is. As Betty Davis said, "old age is not for sissies."

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

Millie, it is always meaningful to me when you comment. When I started sharing a few years ago you were one of the first that I read.
Enjoy that time in Florida...

Anonymous said...

I am sorry your were so blue on my birthday. Wish you had thought of me and smiled! Love Beth

lil red hen said...

This truly touched me, for I have the same emotions: we're older now, the children have their own families, the grandchildren no longer come, but it's o.k. Thank you for this post!