Friday, July 12, 2013

Faith in the Future

It has been another one of those days, when the blend of weather and personal schedule have come together perfectly. After days (weeks) of rain, we are now experiencing a string of cool, sunny days. The house is wide open with breezes blowing through, the laundry is hanging outside, and I have a stretch of afternoon where my immediate chores are done and I can now sit back and let time flow through my fingers.

Among the many recent reads was an excellent collection of essays about women friends, She Matters by Susanna Sonnenberg. I culled this quote from her: "When I leave the house, I prepare unconsciously for the pleasant social exhaustion of an intimate city."

That quote was my morning today.

I met my dear friend Margo downtown for coffee midmorning. I had laced my errands around our time together. From the first errand to the last, I was immersed in that pleasant social exhaustion of which Sonnenberg writes. To wit: the security guards at the county courthouse ("Hi, April, how's it going?"), the clerk in the Clerk's office ("Hey! Haven't seen you for awhile! How are you feeling?"), a farewell chorus from the security guards as I left ("Have a great weekend, April!"), a stop at the Symphony office en route to the library (and a kiss for Warren), and city staff in the Utilities office where I paid the water bill (another wish for a great weekend). As Margo and I sat at the long coffee bar that faces the street, I waved at a coworker walking by. Heading back to my car post-coffee, I passed a secretary from a downtown insurance office that I have been in and out of often ("How are you feeling? You look great!"). At the grocery, the greeter was a longtime fixture in our community, working post-retirement to help a family member through a medical crisis. We talked about the family member (doing better), about me, about the community.

All of the morning was interconnected, all of it was shot through with community and that pleasant social intimacy.

I'm home now. At the library, although I was there only to pick up one book on hold, I could not resist and came away with an armful (to add to the armful already at home). At the grocery, the school supplies caught my eye (school starts mid-August this year in this area). Single subject, college ruled, 70 sheets wirebound notebooks were 17¢ apiece.

17 cents.
Miss Ramona Dawn, age 10 months old! 

I bought five. These are what I use for my writing.

Earlier Margo and I had talked about grandchildren. Margo and her husband Gerald became grandparents twice over this spring when their two daughters had their first babies within weeks of one another. Of course, we also talked about Ramona, now ten months old (ten months!) and poised on the edge of toddlerhood. I spoke of the distance from here to her; Margo's grandchildren are within a half hour of here. Margo voiced an idea, "Well, when Ramona is 8, she can fly unaccompanied and come visit you every summer!"

That is a delicious thought and one I had never had. Briefly my mind flitted to whether I would still be around when Ramona turns 8. That thought returned as I walked to my car after the grocery store, but in an entirely different way. As I unloaded the five notebooks, I suddenly saw them for what they really were.

Yes, obviously, they are a bargain. I may even buy more. But they are also an act of faith in myself—that I will continue to write after a long fallow stretch, that I will fill up these five notebooks and five more after that, and five more after that, and so on into the future until Ramona is indeed 8 and on her way to visit Grandma April in Ohio.


see you there! said...

Go by more notebooks, I'm sure you are going to need them. I can't begin to express the joy of having a granddaughter. Yes, they can fly alone at a young age, ours has more flying time under her belt than many adults.


Anonymous said...

Unaccompanied at age 8? What airline? My experience is that they airlines have learned that this is a money maker and the age has moved from 8 (?) to 10 to 12 to 15 or 16 on some airlines. This is from many summers of buying tickets for nieces and nephews. The fees are outrageous. You might as well plan ahead and fly out to Portland yourself. Katrina

Ellen said...

Miss Ramona Dawn is just the cutest little ladybug ever!

I am so glad you have found faith in yourself, and in the future. Ramona is lucky to have you in her life, for however long and at whatever distance that may be.

Sharon said...

Oh my gosh, Ramona is so cute!!! I bet you are missing her. I'm bracing myself for the very same predicament. My first grandchild will be a 17 hour car ride away!

I love the way you describe your town. By the way, I met a person from Delaware, OH this weekend!! So funny, because she knows you! :)!