Tag Archives: women baby boomers

I Talked to My Mother This Week

It has been a while since our readers have heard anything from us!  Sorry!  We hope to do better in 2016. First -time grandmotherhood for Jane and a job change for Annice made things a little crazy!I  But, here we go again!  Welcome back to Oops50, which should really be called Oops60 at this point, but we are fond of the original name!  Here’s Jane’s first post for the new year.  And, please, send us your posts!

Jane
Jane

I talked to my mother the other day.  The only reason that is worth mentioning is that my mother is dead. Here is how it happened.  I was driving by myself on a fairly long road trip—the perfect circumstance for me to think too much about things that are worrying me—and I realized that I was feeling overwhelmingly sad.  I just had one of those awful, down-to-your-toes sadnesses, and the first thought that came in my head was “I wish I could talk to Mama right now.”  That thought made me even sadder because one thing I miss more than anything since her death is the ability to pick up the phone and talk to her about things—bad and good—that happen in my life.  But then, I had this thought:  ‘why not just talk to her now?’  And then I entered this very strange place where I imagined myself dialing her number (since most of my conversations with her happened over our land line and not by cell phone!), and then I had a conversation with her.

First, I apologized for not calling in so long, and then I launched right in to telling her about everything that was on my mind. And, the next thing you know, I was crying—just like the old days.  I talked and talked and cried and cried, about every last little thing that was bothering me, and as I talked and cried, I felt the muscles around my heart start to loosen up, and I could feel myself start to breathe a little easier, and I realized how much tension and worry I had been holding in.  And then—and this is the really remarkable thing about it—I felt that tremendous sense of release and relief that I used to feel when Mama would say something as basic as “I hate for you to be feeling this way, darling” or, her standard, “Get some rest, and I know you will feel better.”  It was as if Mama, from across the miles and years and clouds or whatever is between us had said, “Everything is going to be all right,” and, wonder of wonders, I believed her.  And, for the rest of the day—and even now, a few days later, I’m still feeling the effect. 

My family of origin!  Mama's in the middle, with me to her left.
My family of origin! Mama’s in the middle, with me to the left, back row.

I have to say:  I’m glad I was on a road trip when this happened and not driving down a street of my town.  No one could see me or overhear me, so they couldn’t accuse me of losing my mind and hanging out with ghosts.  But I had this urge to share this experience on the blog because I highly recommend it to those of you have a mother who has moved on to her reward:  give her a call sometime!

This Beautiful Life

3 Peonles
3 Peonles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s been a while since my last post, but with family emergencies, work, and trying to figure out the weather to be able to put my garden in, all I can say is, where has the spring-time gone?!

So much has been going on for all of us, that it’s nice to take some time to appreciate what happens all on its own in nature – without us doing anything.

Since moving into our house in 2002, I’ve been watching the way the light moves, seeing what can go here, what would look good there, and now, after all these years, the flowers and trees and plants are happy where they are and are just doing their thing – bringing a pure joy and happiness that makes my heart open.

Believe me, I am not going to enter any contests, nor will I be posting these on the hundreds of sites where I could “share” them.

I can’t handle the crazy things that are going on right now, I don’t want to comment and write about the things that don’t make sense…all I want to do is to share what I see coming up and blooming in my garden.

Enjoy this Beautiful Life.

Sadhvi

SADHVI

Oriental Poppy
Oriental Poppy

All content and photos are protected by copyright law. 

Capturing My Grandparents

post 50 women

My grandfather, Surry Parker, was more of a myth than a man.  I never met him, since he died before I was born—even before my parents got married—so my only knowledge of him was from the stories people told.  And there were tons of stories—about, for instance, how he sped into Washington, NC in his Model A Ford, in the very earliest days of cars on the road and speed limits, and got stopped by a policeman, who said he would have to pay a fine for driving too fast.  My grandfather handed the policeman double the required amount and told him to keep the change because “I’ll be going out the same way I came in.”  Or there’s the one about the one or two times when my mother’s date might have stayed a little too long in the parlor, inspiring my grandfather to throw his shoes down the stairs, yelling, “Janie, tell that young rooster to go home!”  Or there’s the much earlier one about how he made my mother, five years old at the time, stand in the middle of a pile of dead-but-still-wriggling snakes in the Great Dismal Swamp (where the family lived in the early years of my mother’s life), so that he could get her picture, since he loved to take pictures.  My mother never questioned him; she did as she was told, but she remembered those snakes with terror to the day she died.  I was always proud to have Surry Parker as my grandfather, and all those stories played a useful role for me.  Whenever I was afraid of doing something bold and daring, or even just slightly out of the ordinary, I would think of one of those stories, and that would give me the courage to move forward.

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My grandfather as a young man
oops50 women
My grandmother

But there was also a problem with the stories, in that people in my family got so caught up in talking about Surry Parker that they never really talked about his wife, my grandmother, lovingly called “Dovie,” except to say that she was basically one of the best people that ever lived—and that she loved Surry Parker!  But I would like to have known her better.  I would like to be able to get a picture in my head of the real Dovie, not just the one on the tombstone with the engraving, “Her children shall rise up and call her blessed.”  Don’t get me wrong:  I loved those words, and I desperately wanted to be the kind of mother who would inspire that kind of saying on her grave.  But I also wanted to know more about my real grandmother.  I wanted to know what kinds of things excited her or irritated her or made her happy or sad.  I wanted to know what her vices were—she had to have at least one, didn’t she?

I’m thinking that kids nowadays are lucky because they have at least a decent shot of having videos of people who have died before them.  I would give a lot to have a video of my grandmother—one that included sound!  We do actually have one movie of her, since my grandfather also had one of the first movie cameras in his area (he loved technology!), but it’s a very jerky, very badly lighted 16 mm film, and it has no sound.  So, the only impression I have of her is of someone walking around like Charlie Chaplin and turning her face away from the camera.

Which makes me think this:  you should be careful to tell your children stories about the people who went before them, even the ones who weren’t extroverted or dramatic.  And you should take real pictures of people, real videos, of them doing the ordinary things that make up their lives, like cooking or telling a story or laughing.  You shouldn’t only take pictures of them on special occasions, all dressed up and stiff.  You should capture them in their natural habitat!  What I wouldn’t give to have a video of Surry Parker and Dovie not just looking good for the camera but having a real conversation together, maybe arguing about the wisdom of making their five-year-old daughter stand in the middle of a pile of snakes just to get a good picture!

Sadhvi Sez: Giving Thanks

Sakshi the Chestnut Roaster
Sakshi the Chestnut Roaster

Being married to a chestnut roaster who’s been making people happy for many years now means we don’t have a big get-together with friends and family on Thanksgiving Day (since he’s working!).  Not having children or family that live close by is the other reason why there is no big gathering.

With everyone else being occupied with Thanksgiving, I feel like I am playing hooky from life.  I secretly love that feeling, and am grateful that it’s possible.

It’s been a busy week, with just about every type of bad weather you can think of — constant heavy rain, extremely high winds, bone-chlling cold, and today, thankfully, weather that they have in heaven every single day — the bluest skies with lots of sun and no wind with mild temperatures.  We did wake up to snow, but having the sun shine made it all right with me!

While driving home everything felt so mellow.  The streets were almost empty, and there was a feeling of peace and calm.

When I got home I took our dog “Bello” for a long walk, and met an older couple who are familiar in the way people are when you say hello while passing them a dozen times or so in the last 10 years.  For some reason I laughed out loud when I saw them.  They stopped and asked me how I was, and I said, “Good”.  They told me it’s the first time there has ever been snow on Thanksgiving since they could remember.  I asked them how they were, and they said, “Good. I mean, we’re still walking!”.  Which made me smile, because it’s so true.

I got back home, fed the chickens and the rabbits, and then started cooking dinner for us.  When he got home, we sat down to eat and we both said we thought it was the best meal we ever had.

I don’t know what is happening, but I am feeling so grateful these days.  I think I even realize how special it is to be alive.  I must be getting older.  The next thing you know is that I will start to act wise.  I will let you know when that happens!

“Gratitude is the wine for the soul. Go on. Get drunk.”
— Rumi

 

 

The Art of Receiving

 

Barbara Brady

How many of you are comfortable giving to others, but not so at ease when it comes to receiving or asking for help yourself? 

You’re not alone.  Especially if you’re a woman!  We’re taught from an early age that it’s our job to make sure everyone else is taken care of, even at our expense.  Sayings like “It’s better to give than to receive” don’t help.

 

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The truth is, if you’re blocking either giving or receiving, you’re blocking the natural flow of the universe. Giving is active, masculine energy, and receiving is passive, feminine energy.  Both are needed to be whole.

There’s also nothing “noble” about refusing help, gifts, or compliments. When you allow yourself to graciously receive, you’re giving a gift to the giver.  Think of how good it feels to give to another.  If you don’t allow others to do the same for you, you’re depriving them of those same good feelings.

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One way to become a better receiver is to change the thoughts that don’t support you in receiving to supportive (and believable) beliefs.  “It’s better to give than to receive” becomes “It’s best to give and receive to keep the divine flow of life moving through me”;  “I don’t want to bother anyone by asking for what I need” becomes “If I ask for what I need, I give someone the gift of giving, which feels good”; and “I don’t deserve this compliment, money, etc.” becomes “I am worthy and graciously accept this compliment, money, etc.”

Barbara Brady

Life Transitions Coach