We’ve shared many a cuppa on a cold winter morning… We’ve rejoiced over the first hint of springtime. We’ve laughed over the pratfalls of Life, and have cried together as we bade farewell to old friends who have crossed over. We’ve endured a lot of hardship and have learned to be open and honest with one another!
We first met as Neighbors in the Spring of 2006 and we’ve been friends ever since. Ten years’ worth of words scribbled on the back of napkins and envelopes…Notes penned from the porch swing at the farm—the Old Home Place… Notes written from the Indian Cave… from the River Bluff of the Mighty MO…from the shadowy glens of the Barada Hills….
And of course—lots and lots of postcards sent from the Lost Coast of Northern California! I’ve been your “Western Correspondent” for many years as I continue to crisscross the nation with my carload of stuffed monkeys.
What a journey it has been! The good and the bad…the ugly and the sweet…Hope and sorrow. Laughter and tears, all cobbled together in this thing we call “Life”.
If we could remember the last ten years with clarity, we would be amazed at our own resilience—at what we’ve endured…What we’ve gained and lost, and where our dreams have taken us.
You see how quickly the last ten years have gone? The next ten will go even faster, my Country Neighbor.
We are saddled to a runaway horse that we can’t rein in…galloping…galloping madly toward the Finish Line. The pace is quickening. Faster and faster we go… And at the end of that race, it will be determined if we’ve “won or lost”… Whether we’ve lived a profitable life or not!
Will we be surrounded by friends or foes at the end of Life’s Journey? Will we be cherished…or will we be shunned—living like narcissistic Hermits on a “Mountain of Madness”… only concerned with Me, Myself, and I?
You know, folks…In my line of work as a Caregiver, I’ve seen a lot of people on their deathbeds. They’ve lived nearly a century, and now they are facing their final moment. It’s crunch time—a deadline like none they’ve ever seen! Some people go into eternity peacefully, with joy on their faces…. Just tickled-to-death! But some of them go scared-to-death!—with gritted teeth and clenched fists. Wishing for just one more day…one more hour…one more moment. One more chance to make things right.
They had so many decades—almost a century—but somehow they didn’t make peace with themselves, with God, or with others. They didn’t stop and smell the roses! They didn’t tend well to their Garden of Life. They let the weeds take over and destroy their marriages, and their relationships with families and friends. They were neglectful and unwise… and so very stubborn!
What is growing in our own little gardens, my Country Neighbor? Are they bristling with thistles, or are they blooming with love and fragrant blessings?
When I think of who I was ten years ago, I realize that I needed some serious “weeding” (and still do!) I wouldn’t want to relive those years over again, but I wouldn’t want to give them up, either! I’ve learned so much.
The old Rose Garden might have some thorns, but there are some beautiful roses, as well. They are relics of our Age-of-Learning. Medals of Honor…even Badges of Courage—especially when we can admit to our own mistakes and inadequacies! Through this growing season, we are learning to be flexible, teachable, and forgiving… not rock-hard and ugly. We’re letting the spring waters bubble up from inside of us—watering our own gardens and others’ as well.
The choice is ours, of course. It’s time to let go of the things that hinder us and make us crabby ol’ Neighbors—fighting over the backyard fence. It’s time to grow up and let go of all the foolishness…to stop micromanaging other people’s lives! To stop all the enabling.
Remember, my friend. “Only God can unfold the Rose”…so don’t try to do it for Him. Just breathe!… Be grateful for each new day of Adventure, and allow others the freedom to “breathe” as well. That’s my motto for life, and it’s a good one, if I do say so myself!
I’ve enjoyed each and every day of our friendship, my Country Neighbor…each and every passing Year! What do you say—shall we go for another TEN…? That will put us at the Year 2026. Wow. It’s a long ways off, it would seem. But in the blink of an eye, we’ll be at the end of another decade… And only God knows what will be happening in our world ten years from now! Let’s do our best to make it a good decade, folks!
And now I’ve got to sign off. It’s going to be a busy day.
I can see that my stuffed-monkeys have all fallen off the bed. The place is a quite a mess… But I can hear the bees buzzing outside my window and the morning sun is just beginning to peek through….
The roses are starting to bloom, folks! My fragrant Garden is awaiting me!
Love you all!