Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Confessions of a Pioneer Woman

Confessions of a Pioneer Woman

PW asked a question .....

"How similar is your life now to how you imagined it ten years ago? Twenty years ago? Are you exactly where you imagined you’d be? Or are you constantly asking yourself, “How did I get here?” Do you mourn the unrealized plans in your life? Or are you happy no matter what your circumstances?

Well, actually, she asked you can plainly see.

So, I thought "why not answer?" It's an easy one for me....I am exactly where I subconsciously dreamed I'd be....except I did think we'd have a little more spending money during these not quite empty nesting years.

I added the word "subconsciously" because I believe if we play our cards right, listen to our inner heart, that we will end up where our earliest dreams take us....the earliest ones, not necessarily the ones we begin to dream in high school or even college.

When I was a little girl growing up in a farmhouse in South Bend Indiana, I wanted to always live in a farmhouse, on a working farm, surrounded by livestock and croplands - minus the turkeys...didn't like turkeys...they scared me! (It was my job as a five year old to feed those huge suckers....they were inside a completely caged area that required me to walk amongst them with my bucket of feed. When I scattered that seed, they pecked so near my feet, I knew I'd someday lose a toe....)

I remember playing "house" in the living room, lining up all my dolls and then standing behind the long curtains that flowed in the front window and praying "Lord Jesus, please don't come back until I've had the chance to be a mommy" ( I was a Baptist Kid...FYI). I pictured my husband as tall, blue-eyed, blond know, the All American Boy Next Door.

I used to go into the large cemetery that lay beside our house and wander through looking at all the graves.....(I got in big trouble once for taking all the memorial flags off the graves and bringing them home....this resulted in a one of my favorite memories with my dad because he took me to the fence where I stood on the planks and listened to him tell me what those flags meant, the sacrifices those men and women had made to the freedom I enjoyed as an American kid and then made me go put everyone of them back. ) I have visited cemeteries and graveyards in every country and every state I've ever been lucky enough to visit....that early fascination with them has never left me.

I used to love listening to my parents talk of how they met or their own childhood memories. I loved to sit at a kitchen table and listen to the Aunts tell about our ancestors. I loved to read historical stories.

Today, every one of those things has come to life for me.....

I live in another old farmhouse, surrounded by crop land and if I just cross the street that runs behind our house I can see livestock.... no turkeys anywhere in sight though!

I'm a Mommy to three wonderful children - two of them young adults now, but one still requiring active parenting for a few more years....

I still visit old cemeteries whether they are attached to a church, surrounded by trees in the center of an active field, or slowly disappearing in the encroaching woodlands, but now I look for my ancestors in those burial sites...( I never touch those memorial flags....instead, I stop and think about standing on that fence, listening to my dad....) I collect money at family reunions to restore or replace family tombstones.....

I still love to hear the stories of my ancestors and their lives, but now I follow up on those stories in courthouses and libraries and genealogical centers.....

Some things are a bit different then I imagined they'd be.....I mean, my husband isn't a blond, blue-eyed All American Boy....he's a second generation Greek American, but he's the one that helped me to realize those dreams of my earliest childhood.....

For a time there, in high school, I dreamt of being a singer...owning the stage and the hearts of my fans...that is until I toured for awhile and quickly realized that I couldn't be a career musician and NOT TOUR and if I toured then I'd wouldn't be at home every night in a little farmhouse surrounded by kids and crop lands and livestock...and that's where I want to be when I turn out the lights.....

I've got almost ten years on the PW but like her, I'm content with my life and the choices I made to get me exactly where I am right now...and that, my friends, is to me the definition of a successful be content in the choices that led you to where you are at the moment.

There are still a few things I can imagine doing in my future.....dreams that may one day have voices loud enough to incite me to thing I've learned through my life is that we change, we bend, we are molded by our daily life and our life experiences...old things pass away and we become a new person in the passing.....and our current, or most recent choices are as much colored by our childhood dreams as they are by the place we find ourselves currently existing....and the path we traveled to get there.

For today, I am exactly as I dreamt I'd be when I was that little girl in a farmhouse in South Bend Indiana! And as the PW wrote...."I'm deliriously content".

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