No Matter What Direction

A lot of things can happen in a week. Sometimes, a week passes in an ordinary fashion. Sometimes, it does not.
My dads’ dog died this past week. It was sudden and unexpected. “Casper’ was a samoyed and though he was eleven years old, he had the face of a puppy-and no ailments.
He was a rascal of a dog. Daddy could hardly work on a motor without Casper peering over his shoulder, for Casper was downright nosey. He was a happy dog and always ready to fetch a ball. He barked whenever anything came up, like lunch or he couldn’t see his folks. We had made sure that Casper and Daddy visited, when Daddy became confined to the bed. Casper loved Daddy and Daddy loved Casper.
When Daddy passed, Casper took on a new mission. He didn’t let Mama out of his sight. I think it is safe to say that Mama likes dogs, but saying she is a “dog lover” would be a stretch. Casper did not take this in to account and went on about his business of being a very devoted guardian and a loyal friend. . . and when he died, Mama cried.
A day or so later, I went to the cemetery with Mama. It was the first time that I had been since Daddy died. Mama tends his grave, lovingly. My sisters have bought flowers and have been more attentive than I have been. They visit the grave regularly. I think now, that I will do better.
Afterwards, Mama and I went to her parents grave, (my “Pop and Grandmama”), then to Aunt Josies’ grave, Aunt Agnes, Mama Hodges, Aunt Virginia until we had seen several generations of our people. It dawned on me, how many loved ones that we had lost. I remembered them all . . . Mama Hodges, sternness-and her pound cakes . . . Merry, flashy Aunt Agnes , quiet ,gentle Aunt Virginia . . . .and I missed all of them, suddenly and deeply. It seemed so long ago, too, longer than it had ever been, since the days we were all together. To their credit, they each, left an impression on me that has not tarnished over the decades. Love is not prone to fade -like old curtains. I realised, that I was still, “living off their love” . . and gratitude washed over me, like rain. Oddly, I did not leave the cemetery, feeling depleted. Instead, I was full of gladness for the gift of my elders.
Since, that day, I have wondered if some of my stubbornness about abandoning the “old ways” might be some sort of tribute to that beloved time. I do think, that a lot of precious things have been discarded, in our haste to do more, go more and have more.
September came and at last, it is a bit cooler. I went to see my little grand daughters. There were at least five dolls sleeping in the guest room, so I had to enter quietly. Lyla and now, Brynn are full time mothers and have “children” to tend to in every room. The minute Lyla is dressed and had breakfast, she makes sure every doll has risen and brushed their teeth, Brynn will use whatever she has at hand for a baby blanket . . .a dish towel suits her just fine. She plops a baby in a little carriage and off she goes strolling the house. Brynn has even convinced her Uncle Tres to hold a doll, tenderly.
I am constantly amused for it is serious business to tend to those dolls.

With a bright day dawning and a slightly cool breeze blowing, all of the dolls were put to bed, one day and we visited with the laughing river, a while. Lyla looks for birds and fairies. Brynn looks for unsuspecting cats. On this walk, Lyla and I talked about old trees and all they offer. I am always in awe of old trees.
On Sunday morning, after breakfast, I stayed in the kitchen.  This day, we were going to visit “Aunt J” .  Aunt J is Wills’ aunt, but we all claim her.  She is a cheerful, thoughtful and generous soul.  She is always doing something for others, and so today  I would make some dishes, that she especially likes.  Lyla was not interested in the pimento cheese or the chicken salad. but when we needed to whip cream for a dessert, she was glad to help.
My friend Elaine, was out strolling with Miss Thelma, that afternoon after the visit with Aunt J.  I had a basket of the same fare, I was delivering to Miss Thelma.   What a sweet sight it was to see the two of them.  There we stood in the sunshine while Lyla danced around the willow tree.  
Vector illustration of tree with falling leaves
 The next day, I came back to the rabbitpatch, where the floss flowers are blooming.  The purple loosestrife is blooming too.  Around the curve in the garden path, a  small sea of pale lavender and periwinkle blossoms greet me.  What a lovely pairing of colors, I always think.   Further on, the ” Autumn Joy” is shyly sporting pale pink blossoms, which will deepen to burgundy, by October.  Morning Glory vines  claim every bit of territory, that they can.  It is a good thing that I am so fond of them. 
September is a lovely time and is like a threshold to that glorious autumn season.  Right, when I am sure I am going to wilt in the sweltering southern heat, a September morning will dawn cool . . .and full of morning glory. 



Two of my grand children were born in September.  Brynn, two years ago, which seems impossible . . and little Ryan a year ago.  Brynn is now talking and Ryan is walking.  My nephew, Brandon was born in September too-on his dads’ birthday, at that!  Brandon and I used to ramble in the woods, looking for old bottles and other relics.  It seems that  it was just a few years ago, but Brandon, is a young man now-a noble young man, that makes me proud and glad.  . . so those walks I remember fondly, happened a long while back.  
September is a time to remember. It is a time to “ask for the old paths ” , and to ask “where is the good way” ?  It is a time of gratitude for our children , bestowed on us like holy gifts.  I know this . . . no matter which direction, I look, backwards or forwards, or sideways at the present  . . . my  blessings have always been abundant.








32 thoughts on “No Matter What Direction

  1. Wonderful picture of your father and Casper. The older we get, the more we have experienced the heartbreak of seeing loved ones—be they furry friends or people—die. Lots of loss. Part of life, but not always easy to bear. But onward we go, living life while we can.

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  2. How blessed you are to have so many loved ones so close that you can visit them all.( I’m wondering where you put your Dads dog.Crazy but they are family too.) I have several ‘pets’ planted close to my garden and my dream is to have a family cemetery across the road from me. We haven’t had a final rest for my husband ,my parents or my BnL.
    as we wait for the decisions to be made and property to be deeded.
    A plot fenced in with Dogwood tree in the center and azaleas at each grave site. Simple ground level stones to mark each spot. A dream to be fulfilled soon I hope.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Casper is buried at my mom’s house in the shade of an old oak. I like your idea about a little cemetery. My cousins’ little son died at the age of five, in an accident last year. My cousin made a little cemetery right then, on a patch of the farm. I love you Beverly-and aren’t we glad that cobs is back!

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  3. So sorry about Casper. He must have missed your dad so much, even with your mother still here. Often an older dog will die not long after the person they loved. Your mother must have thought Casper was the last link to your father. September birthdays – My daughter (14th), son-in-law, (12th) and granddaughter (11th). We have birthday week with the three of them. Such a nice post Michele.

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  4. The wonderful photo of Casper and your Daddy could be our Cody and my husband. And Cody was like that with everyone. Guests didn’t always know what to make of a dog with such a forward personality! And I understand all that you share about your loved ones who are gone now for I feel the same way about mine. God Bless Michele. Your writing always fills me up in some way.

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  5. Oh I so love September too! So sorry to hear about Casper. Our pets are family too. I can’t believe how fast your little grand babies are growing! Time does seem to fly as we get older. I hope we can all stay safe and have a peaceful rest of the year. Hugs❤️🙏🏻❤️

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  6. “Love is not prone to fade -like old curtains. I realised, that I was still, “living off their love” . . and gratitude washed over me, like rain. Oddly, I did not leave the cemetery, feeling depleted. Instead, I was full of gladness for the gift of my elders.” I love this, Michele! Wow. So, so wonderfully put. I really love purple loosestrife here in WI. Some hate it, because it’s invasive, but I purposefully looked for it this year and I really was delighted to see it again. So beautiful!

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    1. My dear Amy, who gives me hope-thank you. and I have well behaved loosestrife, for I only allow it to grow in beds. Mama does not like it, because it blooms too late! I laugh every time I remember that! haha! Blessings and peace to you and your darlings-love Michele

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  7. I’m so sorry about hour father’s dog! I’m sure that was hard, if for no other reason that he was another reminder of your father. And I agree that some of why we want to cling to the past is all the good people who we have lost, and we can’t bear not to remember them. That’s okay, I think. They are a part of who we are, and live in our hearts forever.

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  8. You always inspire me❣️ Casper went to be with your Dad unexpectedly and my prayers are with you. What blessings indeed. I love hearing of your grandkids and life on the Patch. I enjoy your writing so much. Have a blessed day and week 💕

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