Sunday, September 22, 2013

if we knew then what we know now...

I fell asleep thinking of those words. And then trying to recall where they were from. Yes -- I remember: they're from a movie that my younger girl and I watched umpteen times when she was still in her years of exquisite dancing. The Turning Point. About the moment when you decide whether to continue or to stop dancing. Because to be great, you can't do it on the side. You have to put your soul and energy into the enterprise.

By the time she reached high school, my girl had her own turning point -- dance, or academics. She chose the latter.

It wasn't traumatic or difficult (I don't think). She was a beautiful dancer, but the world of dance is like the world of football -- it places great physical demands on you without necessarily a promise of success. Opting for schoolwork at the very least kept many more doors open.

I think when you pass a certain age (say sixty), you have to stop keeping all those doors open for yourself. You need to slam them shut, even if it limits your options. In other words, you need to decide how best to spend your most treasured resource  -- time.

And as I work through my law materials, my lectures, as I look outside at my lingering garden (spotty, but still occasionally colorful)...

DSC00715 - Version 2

...I think about how this year, I'm doing just that.

In the meantime, Ed is on the roof. (To a commenter: it doesn't look that way, but yes, the roof does slant. And, for the curious, he's not just putting in a panel of glass. He is cutting some twenty panels (so that they meet code) and installing them between the beams. Incredibly tough, because once down, he can't walk on them. Right now, he's pulling up the old roof -- a challenge in its own right given that he can't even get to the nails holding it down. So pry from the inside, pull from the upside. Over and over again.)

DSC00717 - Version 2

And because I am somewhat terrified that with his prying moves he'll come crashing down, I prefer to focus not on him, but on the flowers that are just refusing to call it quits.

DSC00718 - Version 2

If you ask me why I am such a huge fan of daylilies, surely I'll point to these guys, blooming away on a cool, late September day.

DSC00724 - Version 2

Isis is not happy with the noises, the movements, the bits of roof flying to the ground. He meows, he paces and finally he gets Ed to come down and pay attention to him.

DSC00723 - Version 2

Don't feel too bad for the cat though. He has been well cared for. Indeed, he has been nibbling on leftover trout meat daily. Bits of fish and skin as a special treat, morning and afternoon. (And then we speculate as to why he's been refusing his canned kitty food back at the sheep shed.)

In the evening Ed and I play tennis again. A heavenly game of gleeful jousting and volleying in the pine scented courts.

To get to the park, we always pass Farmer Lee's old fields. May I forever remember these years where, leaving the farmette, I could glance over Ed's shoulder (from the motorbike) and see her flowers.

DSC00720 - Version 2

Sunday morning: I glance at the thermometer: fifty out there, on the porch. Forget it. We'll eat inside.

But it is a beautiful day. And I think that if anyone has that sense of being suddenly older, wiser, gentler, more confident, more happy -- it would be my older girl today. She was married a year ago, on an equally splendid (if somewhat blustery) day. Did they know then how blissfully content they would be in the year ahead?

A flashback and a look to the future: one couple just married (to the right), the other -- now engaged (to the left).

DSC05534 - Version 3
September 22, 2012

Breakfast. In case you are wondering why we want to replace the roof on the porch -- look how much roof we have out the kitchen windows. Light -- soon there will be light. Yeah!