This is my contribution to this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday
Use Tail, tale or both.
A wet nose pushes into the back of my knee as I stand preparing salads at the counter. She’s come in silently and when I turn, her tail wags gently from side to side. “Hello, Shonga,” I bend down to pat her. “So where’s Andrew?”
He slips in after her, big grin on his face. Shonga had heralded his arrival. It’s been several months since she’s last st seen us but she’s not forgotten and is eager to re-investigate familiar surroundings. She makes herself right at home. She knows where she is to sleep and jumps right up onto the bed prepared for her comfort. She looks at me appealingly. “Yes – your water bowl is right here too,” I say filling it and placing it before her. She drinks thirstily, tail wagging again.
Shonga is definitely Andrew’s best friend. He has proper conversations with her. She cocks an ear, looks right at him and understands every word. Sometimes she speaks dog right back to him and he understands her too. “I’m going to visit Gawie, Shonga. Do you want to come?” She yips in the affirmative and heads straight to the car.
He tells a tale of some mischief she’d been up to and she gets an embarrassed look on her face and droops her tail in case she’s once again reprimanded for her misdemeanor. “Don’t worry, Shonga,” Ands reassures her, “I’m just telling a tale from the past. Remember when you rolled in that cow dung?” She looks away, tail between her legs.
“Give her a Beeno,” says The Earl. Ears prick up, tail begins to wag and she’s all high spirits again.
Welcome to Struisbaai, Andrew and Shonga!
I’m a bit late posting my contribution to this week’s Stream of Consciousness Prompt
But here is my take on the prompt – Seasons
The seasons of my life are constantly changing – and each one has shapes my life. I suppose some can compare their seasons to Winter, Spring , Summer and Autumn but as I contemplate my life I don’t see such a regular pattern as these predictable times in our year.
The seasons of my life have alway been surprising. I have not been prepared and have had to deal with them as they happen – no storing up during Spring so there will be enough for winter. Instead it’s been wham – not get on with it girl and make the most of a bad situation! Never can I say that any season was boring – some have been less frantic than others but boring never.
I have loved the seasons of my life – the raising kids season, the career season – sometimes overlapping with the previous. I have enjoyed the people who have come for a season then left while others stayed for all seasons – so many friendships made – some continue to this day others not but their value has left its mark on my life. Sometime one wonders why some people remain in your life forever while others seem to fade away for no reason – there is a reason – they were meant to be just for that season for some reason and then we all move on and there are no ill feelings. Sometimes they return and you take up just where you left off – other times not – that’s just the way it’s meant to be.
Seasons in my marriage have been the most exciting and challenging – the season of falling in love and deciding to marry, taking on each other’s children, raising them through their different seasons, wondering if you’ll ever get through the storms and then suddenly finding you’re into the next amazing phase where once again the sun is shining. But then another season of drama follows just when you think the waters are calmer and you can sail into the wide blue yonder.
The season of grandchildren arrives and you find your life totally revolving around them and their seasons too. Your realise that this is the best season and in fact those previous seasons and experiences have prepared you to walk though this one with ease and when it ends you are ready for the next major change – this time in the entire climate as you move on to the lasts season of your life – Retirement
Is it going to be sunny, calm and slow? I don’t think so – but definitely this is the season for me and I will embrace it as I have all the seasons preceding it. I will welcome the people who come for a season, not worry about those who fade away I will face the storms and enjoy the sunshine and deal with whatever the seasonal changes bring.
Thanks to Joey from Joefully Stated who is hosting Stream of consciousness this week. The prompt words are Save, Safe or both
Save was a word I heard plenty of times when I was a young child growing up. Don’t eat all your sweeties today, save some for tomorrow. If you want that bicycle you will have to save up for it. Save was an important concept in those days. Grandpa saved things that we all thought was just junk in case he could use it some time in the future. It was not a throwaway society then. Things were built to last and you saved your old clothes to pass on to others. Save yourself for that one special person was another mantra that was repeated to me many times by the older women in my family. Interesting concept in this day and age!
Today SAVE is not such an important word. If it’s broken, we throw it away and buy new. We spend our money because why save when it won’t be worth too much in the future. There’s no room in smaller, modern houses to save the junk Grandpa might be able to use later.
What was less worried about was safety. Children were free to play alone and unsupervised. Teachers did not stand at the gate while children waited for parents to collect them. At six I walked to and from school on my own. Nobody thought it was unsafe! I climbed the mountain with my siblings and cousins and spent hours unattended by adults on the beach. Was it safe? Who knows? Strangers did talk to us and we spoke back, gave directions or helped them carry groceries. Instinctively we knew who and who not to trust. I rode the train alone or with siblings or friends of similar pre-teen age. I walked home alone in the dark in my teens – nobody thought it wouldn’t be safe. The world was different then. By the time I became a young mother I would not dream of leaving my pre-teen child unattended on the beach. She was taught stranger-danger from the time she could walk! Save was a concept but not as much a when I was young. My kids know to save money but other things? I don’t think so.
And as far as teaching them to saving themselves for that special person? Well – the choice is theirs – I never mentioned that kind of saving but certainly I did teach them to be picky, take precautions and above all BE SAFE.
Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness this week is any word containing ‘vol’ I have chosen the word involved.
I have spent my life getting involved in all kinds of things. Of course it is important to be involved. You could not really survive if you were not involved. One’s first involvement is with one’s mother and then the rest of the family and how you handle this involvement determines how you cope with the rest of your life. I believe all the things I was involved in were right for the time the involvements occurred. I enjoyed my involvement in everything and was always busy with one thing or another.
When I retired it took a while to leg go of all that consumed my time. But once I let go I started to enjoy all the time I had to involve myself only in things that I really wanted to to. Not having a commitment to do something or go somewhere has been liberating and I am really enjoying it. I do believe that there is a time to slow down and let life just happen at it’s own sweet pace.
Don’t get involved, I keep admonishing my darling husband – but he still finds it difficult to let go and keeps getting involved in things he should have let go ages ago. That’s why we moved away from Cape Town – but the involvements seem to seek him out and drag him into yet another commitment. Oh well – it’s not too harmful, keeps him out of mischief and when he’s not involving me allows me more time to involve myself in my pleasurable pursuits that don’t have deadlines – like gardening, taking care of my home, reading, writing, learning another language, photography, doing number and word puzzles, bird watching, taking long walks etc. etc. Life is Good!
Enjoying a quiet glass of wine and a chat with a good friend – it’s all the involvement I need
This week’s Stream of Consciousness prompt is Limb
This immediately brings to mind the idiom “to go out on a limb” which means being in a dangerous or unrecommended position when making a decision to do something. I have often found myself out on a limb. While on that limb I have not felt I shouldnt be there at all. It’s only when the situation is over and I look at it with 20/20 hindsight that I doubt my sanity and say to myself, “What the hell were you thinking! What sane person would do what you’ve just done?” For example when Hubby announced that Number 1 daughter was having a hard time in her marriage I said – bring her on home – along with 2 tiny babies aged 18 months and 4 months respectively. Crazy – it was an insane time – the kids were hyperactive, Mom in no position to cope, I was working full time in a demanding teaching post – at the peak of my career and loving it and now I had to return to working Mom/Gran status. Yet I told everyone how great it was to have the privilege of helping our daughter raise her kids. I hardly noticed the exhaustion, the stress and the drama of fighting an extremely tricky custody case in court. When said case was won, I retreated from the limb and felt an incredible lightness and only then realised what we’d been through. But that was not the end – we continued to help raise the boys until they were 17 and 18 years old. When they were 4 and 5 I gave up my job and only took relief positions until they were 12 and 13. Why hadn’t I stopped earlier? – the pressure was off and I had time to devote to helping them through primary school – both were ADHD and dyslexic. During that time we went out on other limbs for other reasons and for other people and only faced the consequences afterwards. Sometimes we fell off and were hurt but we always picked ourselves up, dusted ourselves off and went straight out onto another limb. This happened when making decisions about our lives, helping out friends or complete strangers and never did we hesitate to think – what will happen if this doesn’t work out?
Gran with her boys in 2000 -Jay 3, Josh 2
Gran and her boys in 2015 Jay 18 Josh 17
Then one day we chopped down the tree, left the family home and retired to to our holiday home 230km away. Omiword – the hindsight – I read diaries I kept and exclaim to my husband – Why the hell did we do that! Were we quite mad! At a time in our lives when we should have been winding down and indulging our own needs we started over with a fresh new family and continued to live life at full speed ahead. And we don’t regret a minute of it. We survived and so did our kids and friends. But now! Now we’re doing our own thing. Now we’ve found a new tree with different limbs to go out on. Now the limbs are half as dangerous and purely for our own fun. We will continue to go out on them until they break with the weight of us and we simply can’t any more.
This week’s prompt is Ceiling/sealing
Here is my contribution.
Our original Struisbaai home has had a lot of extensions and adjustments made to it over the years. Part of our lounge used to be a semi-enclosed stoep (porch) The ‘roof’ over it seemed to be fine and we didn’t have trouble with leaks or anything and then all of a sudden I looked up and thought – strange it looks like the ceiling is falling down – it was buckled and bulging and didn’t look safe at all. I pointed this out to The Earl and he said – Mmmm – looks like we’ll have to do something about that – but it’s fine for now. And so I ignored it. At first it was hardly noticeable but over the past two years it sunk lower and lower but didn’t crack, break or fall down! The Earl place a stake on the windowsill to prop it us and said, “When we do the next alteration, I’ll have it fixed.” The plans for the alteration have been passed but building can only begin in two months time. Hopefully this ceiling will not fall down before then.
Please, Ceiling, don’t collapse before our next extension!
Today I’m taking up the Stream of Consciousness Saturday challenge. This is the prompt:- Take the title of the book you’re currently reading or the one sitting closest to you when you’re ready to write your SoCS post and base your post on the title only. I’m not asking for a book review or a synopsis, just whatever the title itself brings to mind. For example, Gone Girl makes me remember the first time I left home to live by myself. Or Lord of the Rings makes me think of all the rings I’ve owned in my life. Enjoy!”
I glanced across at my bookshelf and the first book that I saw was “The Girl Who Couldn’t Say No”
You should learn to say ‘No’ I’ve been told often enough by well-meaning friends. But I say – Why? I like saying yes. I like being available to my friends and family. If I can be of help to them, then why not? Of course I’m not going to let anybody walk over me – well maybe sometimes but those people who use and abuse me don’t last long in my life.
I believe that where there’s a need somebody has to meet it. And if one can – then why say no. My kids in the past often complained about people not reciprocating – I’d tell them – In this world you get givers and takers – we’re the givers and we’re the happier for it. Be self-sufficient so you won’t have to rely on others reciprocating.
I do not regret very much about my life. There have been tough times – but I say those were learning curves – what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Think about it – if you say no – you lose out on so much. Saying yes gives pleasure. If you give grudgingly you dip out on that pleasure. So I say whatever you do for others do it without expecting anything in return. The reward is the pleasure you get from doing something for a person in need. Most times it is appreciated but when it isn’t don’t become bitter about it – move on.
Now in my retirement years I’m indulging more of my own needs – and it’s wonderful – but I still like to say YES to friends and family – because I love them and they bring me joy. I like being the girl who can’t say NO.