"In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy." Brother David Steindl-Rast

Monday, June 12, 2017

Downsizing

Today I am grateful for safe travels for several of us on road trips in recent days, and for vehicles in good working condition. I am also grateful for the comfort of air conditioning on humid days.

One of those road trips was taken by Sam and I yesterday to Iowa. We went to visit my mom in the senior hospice. It was important that I get Sam there to see Grandma in her new home, to get used to this new arrangement. It also allowed Sam time to help his Uncle Artie unload some loads of hay that he had just baled this week. 

Mom wanted to spend some time out at the farm, which was encouraging to me. Before we headed out there, Mom showed us the raised garden at the nursing home that she is tending, with the help of others. My sister Ruth and my brothers Artie and Lee, along with others, have helped her plant some tomatoes, kohlrabi, and a pepper plant.

Here is that raised garden:


It's a small garden when it comes to Mom's typical gardens. Gardens downsized, living space downsized, possessions downsized, short term memory downsized. All of these things are happening to my mom. That is the way of things as a person ages. It is to be expected. But downsizing doesn't mean disappearing.

It is heartening to me that Mom wanted to put some time and energy into caring for one of the three raised gardens at the home where she now lives. Gardening has been such a part of Mom's life and a very rewarding and fortifying activity for her. 

While we were at the farm, we walked out to the garden. We were able to enjoy some fresh lettuce at dinner and a few strawberries before we left to head back to town.

Downsizing in some ways, continuing to transform and emerge in other ways. Isn't that the best we can hope for? 

6 comments:

  1. Thanks. Downsizing can be a "sweetened, condensed" version of what is most important.

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    1. Sweetened and condensed is a great way to put it. Thanks Aileen!

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  2. Life is change; our peace comes when we can learn to adapt to the changes.

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    1. A big part of adapting is accepting. Thanks!

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  3. A very poignant and thought provoking piece.

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    1. Thank you Steve. These have been thought-provoking and poignant times for my family.

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