Monday, June 14, 2010

Early Morning Train of Thought

In the quiet of the morning, when I first awake - That is the time when I write down whatever pops into my head. At other times of the day, I may decide there is a subject I'd like to address, and I may schedule a post for another day. But it is in the early hours when I let my mind wander like this, and do not really know where it might go.

There is no title on the post. I haven't yet discovered what it will be about. Oh yes. I guess it will be about me, since my thoughts are turning back in time.

For the first twenty-three years or so of my life I lived in a quiet suburb of Philadelphia. "The Big City" was the Philadelphia of the forties, and even that was not really a part of my life until I had reached my twenties. It wasn't exactly "Mayberry", but not all that far from it either. I dreamed of traveling to distant places, but they were very romantic, unrealistic and unsophisticated dreams. My thinking was still pretty much governed by my own very little world, and influenced mainly by my mother and our immediate circumstances. I was still seeing the people in my life through the eyes of a child. I had not yet questioned them, nor myself. Nor my friends or neighbors or teachers, or the government. I think I was still following my mother's method of getting through life by not looking too closely, pretending that all was right with my world and we would all live happily ever after.

I think it was 1956 when I became restless enough that, when a friend from high school called to ask if I'd like to move to New York with her, without even thinking twice I agreed to go. I suddenly felt free, and wasn't even sure what I was freeing myself from, or why. Life changed.

In New York, I came alive. Things were happening around me. People seemed to have purpose and ideas that were new to me, and my own mind shifted into higher gear. I was delighted to learn so much more about my own abilities and to develop so many more interests.

And I met a man whom I recognized very quickly to be the one who would become the center of my life. There was no question. We would spend the rest of our lives together. Anything else would be unimaginable. I was home. We were married about a year later, and did, indeed, live happily ever after. - It was really only for eighteen years after, until his death, but it was my lifetime.

A couple of years beyond that lifetime, I moved to South Jersey with three of my children, to be closer to my sister and my mother. It seemed the thing to do. My husband and I had talked about this move for a long time. Just never seemed to go ahead with the plan. Life in New Jersey was very different than fast-paced New York. It was more relaxed. I was still in a sort of zombie-like state as a widow. My son was unhappy for a while, feeling he had been torn from his friends and the life he had known - although in truth, his friends had also left the home town to start their adult lives. My daughters thrived. We soon adjusted and slipped into the slower, easier way of life.

I like it here. I guess that's obvious, since I've stayed for thirty-two years now. It has to be obvious, even to me. But there are many things I dislike. There is the way-too-lay-back attitude of a large part of the population. The signs on the shop doors in the mall tell you that their hours are 10: to whatever. But If you arrive at 10:, they may or may not be open yet. When they straggle in they will tell you, "Oh, I didn't make it that early today. Something came up." If you call a contractor, he may - or may not - show up that day. "Well, the fishing was good." There are still an amazing number of locals who work all summer when the tourists are here, and then go on Workmens' Comp all winter. Between farming and fishing, it is only in very recent years that most of the kids do graduate from high school. Attitudes are changing. But slowly.

No, I don't like that attitude - especially when it extends to more important areas. Is it my imagination, or do doctors here not follow up on things as they do in New York or Pennsylvania? Is law enforcement just a little more lackadaisical? Well, that may or may not be so. (Pause here to look up that "l" word in the dictionary. That's what it says. A word I haven't used in a long, long time.)

But I like the quiet and slower pace, and the beauty around me. New development taking away so much farmland and forest makes me sad, but there is still much left. My mother and sister and many friends are gone now, but my own life is winding down and I find I have memories enough to get by on. My computer allows me to "travel" wherever I wish and to stay in contact with the rest of the world.

It's almost breakfast time. I should call a halt to this, find a title to fit if it's worth naming, and explore what my kitchen has to offer today. I may or may not decide to publish this. Not really very interesting. Oh well. Nothing else has presented itself. I always reassure myself with the thought that readers can always just hit "delete".


me ann my camera said...

Bobbie, As a young woman I always wanted to go away but none of my friends were interested or more interested in getting married. I went out west to Cslgsry with my brother and then made the move to Vancouver on my owm where my boyfriend (now husband of 44 years was going to university, We narried in Vancouver and then returned home to New Brunswick for just one tear, we are still here. You see my travel plans were circular. We introduced our children to big city life in Toeonto, Canada when they were all in elementary school. It was a nice education for them while my husband pursued studies on sabbatical leave. Then the circular route again, we returned home again. But all life experiences have been eye openers.
Computers and the internet is a wonderful way to travel and encounter so many interesting people as they share their thoughts and opinions online.
I enjoyed reading your thoughts today. Ann

Kathie Brown said...

Bobbie, I think I like these rambling of yours the best. How nice to get to know you a little bit better. My nana found the love of her life and when he died she never remarried either. She was also a widow for 32 years before she passed away. Your words give me comfort even though parts of the story are sad. I like it that you are so honest about where you have been and where you are going. Please do this again. This reader likes these kinds of posts!

Anonymous said...

Bobbie! Don't hit 'delete'! Your thoughts are always very welcome around here. I enjoyed this post very much. It's interesting to hear how things are in other parts. For good and not so good, it sounds like New Jersey is the Wales of the USA! I can relate.

Lackadaisical - a very fine word.

christopher said...

I think that you've got a very good natural sense of the world...keep posting your thoughts.

Dianne said...

I like your meandering :)

Is the "south" that much different from "up the pawkway"

I find everyone so damn frantic
maybe it's us NYers said...

Your posts are always interesting Bobbie. this is a lovely recollection. I wish my Mom would start a blog writing things down like this!

Rambling Woods said...

This is a beautiful retrospective Bobbie...

Mimi Lenox said...

Bobbie - I sit here with tears streaming as I read the last post you wrote on this wonderful blog of yours. I find the meanderings of your mind such a gift to me today and they have touched my soul.

Fly high into your new journey with open arms and expectations...just as you did when you moved to New York as a young girl and began your life. That decision led you to a rich and fulfilling existence here.

I have a tingle of chills thinking of the journey you have just begun.

Mimi TN said...

Well Bobbie, you are not ALMOST are there. I bet you arrived saying, "WOW, What A Ride." I wish you could tell us about it!