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I has been snowing since Monday night. The local forecast never mentioned more than a couple inches, but we probably have eight or so now, with some settling.  My parents said there is very little snow at there house out in the country, and they usually get more than we do.  I learned that our neighbor Enid was born in a South Dakota blizzard and, it seems, she goes out in one, too.  We have said goodbye to four of our neighbors in the past four years.  Only five originals remain here on this tiny street.

Enid was the first one to greet us when we moved in on St. Patrick's Day ten years ago.  She came with cooked June apples and a smile.  It seems this was her way.  Like something from Stars Hollow, she was involved with the Welcome Wagon for many years.  She welcomed people who moved to town fifty years ago!  I really enjoyed seeing photos of her when she was young and her children were small and Don had no grizzly beard.  There was no hiding my smile.  Funerals for full, long lives are happy affairs, as much as we hate to say goodbye.

I told Don and Enid's oldest daughter of her parents singing their off-key "Happy Birthday" to me in 2013 and she said, "Oh, no!  Now, she's one of the family."  It was fun to share memories and hear stories.  She told me that we could use their garden plot as our own if we wanted to!  And, to keep on picking the raspberries.  I'll admit, that was a joy to hear.  This is how we hold people in our hearts and ease the loss.  It is community.

One thing that I shared with the family was about a dog that had taken up residence under Don's old boat.  The dog showed up mysteriously some time before Christmas and left just as quietly, shortly before the snow storm.  It would always stay with the boat and eyed us warily as we wassailed the apple trees.  They, in turn, told me of a dog their father had who was always at home, until they went out.  Then, he would have adventures, but be waiting right by the door when they returned.

The connections and interesting happenings have been on my mind a lot lately.  With three of our neighbors, all dear people, I could feel them slipping away and I mourned them months before they were truly gone.  They were all tired, all ready.  It was good, though painful.  Don and Enid's second daughter will live at their home for some time, and I suppose that keeps things going in a comforting way.


( 4 trees — Plant a Forest )
Feb. 10th, 2016 07:55 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you got the chance to say goodbye, but I am sorry for your loss.
Feb. 11th, 2016 09:21 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :-)
Feb. 11th, 2016 05:35 pm (UTC)
I've found that it's very hard for me, when the old people die. I guess because I feel more of a connection with them, than with people of my parents' generation. They represent living memory of a bygone world, a different way of life, and I think the loss of that living memory is especially sad. Your friend sounds like a very friendly and special lady; I'm sorry for your loss. That is lovely, that you can remember her as you garden and pick raspberries. - Stacey
Feb. 11th, 2016 09:22 pm (UTC)
You are right. My great-grandmother saw such change in her 102 years. She was born in the Edwardian period! These people had connections with others that we cannot know. The lived in times when even telephones were a big deal. It is a blessing to know them, for sure.
( 4 trees — Plant a Forest )

A Blessed Wilderness

It was just like being in heaven, being in there. In those days there was no road. The park was all a blessed wilderness. I have often thought what a wonderful people we would have been if we had wanted to keep it that way.

~Adolph Murie, biologist, on Denali


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