Friday, August 29, 2008

Life in My World--Nostalgia Nonsense

I was bit by nostalgia earlier in the week to the point of being sad, but it seems to have passed. I don’t know why, but the beginning of Fall seems to trigger longing memories more than any other time of year. When I see nine year old boys with slicked hair I get sad. When I see nervous high school girls I get sad. When I see college kids buying laundry baskets I get sad. When I see kids running on the soccer field or wearing a football helmet or see corn stalks drying out in the field, you guessed it, I get sad. Argh. I have so much to be happy about and so much to look forward to that I’m embarrassed when I lose focus. Pathetically enough, this is a repeat problem. I remember my first semester of college. I was in Hawaii, but missed Idaho. (Hard to imagine wishing for gray sagebrush when surrounded by blue oceans and green foliage isn’t it? But thus it was.) My older sister, Chris, wrote me a letter that said, “I hear you’re homesick. Well, don’t be. The garden is full of weeds. Dad is cross. Mom is sick in bed. The little kids are fighting. I’m canning peaches. The floor is sticky. The flies haven’t died. I repeat, DON’T MISS HOME . . . enjoy Hawaii while you can.” Amazing the power that letter gave me to refocus.

Here are a few great things I have to look forward to. You’ll see why it’s embarrassing for me to get hung up looking backwards when forwards has so much in it.

1. I got my menagerie of supplies organized so I can work on some projects this fall. This is a huge improvement over the antique washtub and assortment of boxes and bags I have been using. Now I’ll be able to work on projects without taking over the kitchen table for a week at a time because I can work from the cart and then wheel it away. I have several scrapbook projects that need finished and two Christmas advents. I’ll post the ideas as I finish (or give) them.

Cali-me-Ande at West Point 2007

2. In two weeks we head back to New York for Abe’s “ring week-end” at West Point. Ring weekend celebrates Firsties, or seniors. There will be an official ceremony as well as a formal banquet and dinner. Abe also has a football game that weekend in New Jersey. He is the quarterback for the Sprint Football team and it’s always fun to watch him play. I love the spirit of West Point. It is on a bend of the Hudson River that was strategic during the Revolutionary War. The granite buildings are solemn and sturdy and it’s an honor to be able to walk among America’s history. It’s also inspiring to associate with the young men and women who are preparing to serve our country and lead our military.

3. I read an article on Alaska Governor Sarah Palin a few months ago after she’d just given birth to their fifth child. I was impressed with her story and admired her values, confidence, influence and vision. After being announced as Senator John McCain’s running mate today, it will be interesting watching this presidential race, especially because of the passion people feel for their candidate.

4. I came home from work today and Ande had dusted and vacuumed everything as well as cleaned the kitchen. She said, “I thought you’d enjoy a Saturday with everything already done.” So I have a tomorrow to look forward to that doesn’t include dusting, vacuuming or cleaning. (And I thought I missed pigtails.)

5. A friend called tonight and wants to go yard-saling tomorrow. We haven’t gone together in a few years and we’re a perfect pair-she likes glass, I like baskets. We’ve only wanted the same thing once.

6. We have a trip to Utah, a trip to Idaho and a trip to Philadelphia this Fall. Add the Scrapbook Retreat in November and that’s a lot of times to get to eat out.

See what I mean? Longing for people in the past makes no sense when I have such opportunities with those same people in the future does it?

Do you get nostalgic? For what?

What is something you look forward to this Fall?


Susan said...

My dearest Jane,

I so wish I could go and watch Abe play football too! He was by far my favorite quarterback to watch. You just knew that he was really thinking about what he was doing. Too much fun.

I'm jealous of all of your trips. I'm hoping to hit Utah at some point to visit Tyson. I miss him terribly!

Hope you're enjoying your new classes!

deidra said...

I've caught myself getting nostalgic lately. Mostly for longer days and later sunsets. I'm not ready for autumn. I don't want to give up summer quite yet!

Jenny said...

I won't bore you with my long list of nostalgic things. That letter your sister wrote--very wise and something we all should remember!

As far as Pallin goes--I am on board. She is quite the woman.

So many fun trips that lie ahead. ANd what a sweet gift from Ande. Happy garage selling!

Susan W. said...

It was 106 degrees at 9:00pm last night, so I look forward to reasonable (read: double-digit) temps in the fall. I always welcome this time of year, but I get nostalgic, too.

Both of my kids were born in the early fall, and with Erin, I was able to take six glorious months off from work and just enjoy her and the time of year.

Every year since then (9 now!), I have longed to be home for the start of school, the change in weather, baking cookies, decorating for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, etc. It kills me to have to work this time every year! But, I guess, at least I have those wonderful memories.

Anonymous said...

There are a couple times a year when I get sad- autumn turning into winter is one of them. The letter from your sister is fantastic, thanks for posting that.

All your trips coming up sound awesome! I have never thought to go garage sailing with someone...I need to find that friend!

Jill said...

That letter from your sister is so great! I get nostalgic sometimes, but then remind myself that I'm only remembering the best parts and that I was nostalgic for other things back then as well. It's all bittersweet!

Would you like to come to Creative Friday while you're in Utah?

Sandy said...

Hi Jane, I love that - longing for people in the past makes no sense when we have so many opportunities in the future! Well said.
Thanks for your comments on my blog.
Happy almost Fall!

michelle said...

I am dying over that letter from home! SO great. Did you just pull that out of your memory? Wow.

West Point sounds like a great place to get to experience.

Your trips sound like such fun! Is there any chance we'll get to meet you when you come to Utah?

Finally, when did you switch to this blogger format?! Now I can comment easily, you will be seeing a lot more of me... (yes, I'm that lazy.)

Marie said...

I loved the letter from your sister. That was a great way to get focused!

I get nostalgic whenever the kids get to a landmark. Then all of a sudden I realize how much time has passed. Too fast. It is too fast, Jane!

Julie said...

I love the fall colors and get nostalgic for wheat harvest and the way the fields look. Luckily we have a wheat field here next to our house and they had the combine out Saturday! I also love school shopping and have fond memories of going with my mom and buying sweaters and new stuff for school. I do miss going to BYU football games (and USAFA football games). It means Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner!

Lucy said...

I'm almost the opposite when it comes to fall. I feel almost giddy around 3:00 in the afternoon, when the sun feels warm, but not summer warm,and I remember walking home from school in it. Or when I see kids with backpacks and think fondly of not-bent-yet folders, freshly paper-bagged covered books that aren't yet marked all over with doodles after hours of boring lectures. I love fall.

I'm glad you have so much coming up to re-focus on. It's a lot! Enjoy it all:)

Becky said...

Maybe this explains my funk...I have been really struggling emotionally the last few days and it just might be nostalgia. Of course, it could also be the fact that Halloween is coming up (NOT my favorite holiday!).

However, your good attitude and looking forward have helped me. Tonight, my husband will be home with no obligations and I can look forward to having him all to myself once the little ones are in bed.