Saturday, July 24, 2010

Starting anew

Well, life has come full circle. The last of the at-home kids has flown the coop. He had the audacity to make Eagle Scout, turn 18 and move to dad's all in a matter of a few weeks. No more of my babies are at home. It sure is quiet around here now. YES!!!! lol

Things I miss:
I miss the hub-bub of having children in my home.

I miss totin' 'em to activities. I miss the miles we drove and the talks we've had in the car going to/from homeschool events, scout meetings and Church activities.

I miss not knowing what's going on in their day to day lives.

I miss "Mom, take us to the park." (When did they last ask THAT??? When was the last time we did that? Did I realize at that time that it would be "the last time"? Nope. It just never happened again. And I guess that question wasn't needed any more as they could walk or ride their bikes to the park themselves. Yeah, it's been a few years. In fact, quite a few of them.

I miss "snow days". If you homeschool and have a "snow day", you go play in above park. You drag 3 kidlets in the plastic sled to the park a mile away and take turns riding it down the slopes to the railroad tracks below. And then you load them all up again and hike back up the hill to your house with them in tow. And then you make "Snow Ice Cream". That too has been a few years ago. And the last time, well, I never knew it would be the "last time".

I miss all day reading sessions, where a good book was read aloud to them. We'd spend the day, the WHOLE day reading. The Chronicles of Narnia, The Boxcar Children, Harry Potter, Star Wars, and many, many others. We never got around to diagramming sentences, but my kids have a huge vocabulary and speak standard English very well. I think it was all of the reading we did. A lot of the books were "Classics". When was the last time someone asked; "Mom, read to me?" Another "tradition" that faded quietly away, never to return.

I miss being able to ask; "sweetheart, will you get me ___?" and having it appear. Now I have to stop what I'm doing, get up and get my own darn stuff. Phooey!

I miss those long philosophical discussions on life. But only if the discussion wasn't about why they shouldn't be in trouble for some infraction of house rules. lol

I miss being the center of a little one's world. Of being the go-to person in case of hurt or happiness. I miss skinned knees and new discoveries.

I even miss "mom, we have NOTHING to eat" in a house that has about 1000 lbs of wheat, 200 lbs of rice and 200 lbs of beans as well as shelves of canned goods. That translates as "mom, there's nothing available to nuke and I don't want to actually FIX something."

I miss having someone to talk to all day long. And those all night long talks too.

Things I DON'T miss:
Putting something down and having it sprout legs and walk away. Nope, sorry, don't miss that a bit. I LIKE that I can put something down and it is still there when I come back for it. Most notably: pens, paper, books, food, my knife sharpener, etc. Of course, my glasses STILL seem to walk around on their own. I think Great-grandpa Adams has moved in with me. I know for a fact that it was he who moved stuff in my Nana's house! Aunt Karalee TOLD me so!

I don't miss filling my jug with water and going to drink out of it and it being empty - 5 minutes after I filled it. Of course, now there's no one to make go fill it either.

The house now stays clean. Wow. I clean the bathrooms... and they're still clean four days later.

I straighten out the shelves and they stay straightened out.

I clean the fridge and there's no mustard or ketchup on the shelves.

I do the dishes and they're DONE. No more magically appear in the sink. Of course, now I have to do them ALL the time instead of just SOME of the time. But there's only a few to do. Unless I invite one or more to stay for dinner. Anyone want to come to dinner?

I don't miss the three "invisible foster children" I used to have. I'm sure if you have kids, these foster kids have spent some time at your house. You know their names or at least heard of them - Not Me, I Don't Know and I Didn't Do It. I say they are invisible because I've never actually SEEN them. But I know that they lived with me because my KIDS knew them! My own kids were great. They NEVER misbehaved, never got into stuff or made a mess! It was ALWAYS those rotten foster kids. My kids would SEE them do stuff. And were VERY willing to rat out such ROTTEN kids. Anytime anything happened, my kids would tattle on them.

"Who left the fridge door opened?

"Not Me!"
"I Don't Know!"
"I Didn't Do It!"

"Who left the candy wrapper on the FLOOR?"

"Not Me!"
"I Don't Know!"
"I Didn't Do It!"

But I do know WHY those poor children were in foster care. I've never actually MET their mother, but I've heard of her! You probably have too. Her name is "Everybody Else's Mother". I mean REALLY! Who ELSE would let their 10 year old get a TATOO? Or pierce their TONGUE? Or date a guy/gal that was 5 YEARS older than your teen??? Yep, only Everybody Else's Mother! THAT'S why her kids are in foster care. The rest of us have more SENSE than that woman!

So, all in all I miss them more than I'm glad they're gone. It's sad. When I finally removed all the reminders I have on my Mozilla Sunbird calendar, I HAD no reminders on my calendar. Well, I have "rent due", 'insurance due", "Phone bill due", and "Church" left on it along with family birthdays and anniversaries. Other than that, it's blank.

Wow, now I've got to get a life. It will be different than it's been for 21 years. Full of different things. Different opportunities, different trials, different hopes, different heartaches. But whether or not it's a happy life depends on me and my attitude. Will I choose to find the good in the new life or will I choose to excessively mourn the loss of the old life. Well that depends on whether or not I also choose to look at the happinesses and freedoms of the new life and remember the hardships and trials of the old life to go along with the nostalgia for things as they were. For the remembered past is colored in love and loss, but the unlived future is colored with uncharted territory and uncertain results.

And that's where adventure lies! So set you sails and "drink up me hardies! Yo ho!"


LizBeth said...

Wow!! So good to read you so soon. Now you have time to write a book! ~Liz

Darlene said...

Or start a business - which is what I'm TRYING to do. (Ok, so why am I blogging instead of WORKING?) lol

It will be an online business. Selling organic baby goods. Hopefully I can get it going and make some money with it. Or not. Good idea, lots of competition. Gotta find a niche and that will help!

LizBeth said...

That sounds interesting! Keep us posted. ~Liz

LizBeth said...

Darlene, there is a free set of tapes about home business done by Greg Harris here:

You really don't have to make a donation. They mean it. They won't put you on a list.

Until you get your online business going, would you be interested in something like being a personal chef? Since you would be using their kitchen for their meals, you wouldn't need a home kitchen set up to please the health inspector. Might help people do up their own freezer meals once or twice a month. Take a stool to sit on so you don't have to stand up all afternoon.

Greg Harris tells about many homeschool families who run gift basket businesses. Many companies buy gift baskets to give to participants at conventions or attendees at board meetings. People with money give gift bags to guests at weddings. They hire people to shop for them.

Just a couple of thoughts. Might lead to another thought that would really work for you.

Praying for you. ~Liz
Do you still use your email on your profile page?

Darlene said...

These are some good ideas. I'm not sure how well these would work here. This is a small town and the people are not very well off. It's not a bad town, just not the financial base to do something like this here. Now if I lived closer to Atlanta - specifically Buckhead, Roswell or Sandy Springs, then any of these would work well.

Yes, my profile address is correct. keep telling me I should write a book. About what? I don't think I have enough recipes for a "cookbook" nor enough tips for a "frugal living book". What are your ideas about this subject? (If you don't mind me asking.)

I'll go listen to the tapes. Thanks for sharing that link with me.

I'm working with the LDS Employment Center. They have free seminars that I've been taking. This last one was a 2 Saturday workshop on self-employment. It was GREAT. And those classes are free to anyone that wants to attend them. Only catch is, they're in Tucker, GA. For some people, it's too far to drive.

LizBeth said...

Yep, Tucker is too far to drive!

People like to read the stories of others' lives and what they have learned along the way. You tell good stories. Of course, a book isn't something that pays the bills right away, but it could sure be a long-term plan. Maybe a combination frugal living, biography, and cookbook? Your blog? Dolly Freed isn't the only person to write an adventure. Everybody has a story.

There sure are a lot of single moms out there who have been making do and trying to get their kids raised. I know one right now who has met herself comin' and goin' to get her boys raised right; just got one off to college and the other is a senior in high school who suddenly decides he ought to go live with his no-good dad. She feels like she can't win any way she goes. If You Can Talk, You Can Write, by Joel Saltzman. Best way to start is write something everyday, and write about what you know. Don't try to tie it all together nice and neat, just start and see where it goes.

But for the present . . . . look for a niche, or a bunch of niches.

Will your health hold up to housecleaning? A friend of mine does that. Had no idea people would pay so much to get their floors mopped and the bathroom cleaned! Regular people, not rich people.

I used to tutor an Indian lady who decided she wanted to get her high school diploma. The BIA paid me by the hour, very well.

Teach phonics to kids who haven't learned to read in school? Or teacher's aid in public school? (gag, yes, I know!).

How to Survive Without a Salary, Charles Long -- pretty encouraging.

Are there any junior colleges nearby that offer training related to local businesses? Do you have any regional planning authorities in your area that could point you toward business opportunities?

Have you figured out how much you need to live on, bottom-line?

Looked over etsy shops to see what is selling? Could you make-do with several streams of income that would add up to enough to meet your needs?

House-sitting? LIve-in help for an aged person who doesn't have to go to a rest home?

Just thinking off the top of my head. I figure if you have enough ideas, a good one that works will eventually emerge. ~Liz

LizBeth said...

If it saved anything, it may be cut off. I just got a message that said it was too long! ~Liz