jilla27@gmail.com

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Chaos and Cranberries

Please bear with me to the end (before judging me!) :)

My husband and I are empty-nesters, and love it. We are also parents to six awesome adult children and a growing number of loveable grandchildren, and live on a lake in Minnesota… so we have a lot of “visitors”, especially in summer.

Our house can go from sixty decibels to double that in a moment’s notice on many weekends. Sometimes the house feels like it’s pulsating with a heartbeat of its own… the grandchildren, TV, grown-ups trying to be heard above it all, barking dogs… and a lot of laughter. And sometimes it can get a little crazy.

The cleaning, food prep, laundry, before/during/after is daunting (and yes, they are all great about helping out!) and I think it's the switch from easy to hectic that gets me every time. I know, it sounds like I'm complaining--and I'm not, because I know that every single piece of effort I just mentioned is worth it. I know that.

But sometimes, when I’m escaping out the door for a quick trip up town for more milk and bread, my feet crunching on dropped cereal on the floor, and scouring the cluttered-with-everything-under-the-sun counter for my car keys, while gingerly handing over a sleeping baby and maneuvering around a sword fight between grand-kids, I find myself breathing a calming sigh of relief in the peace of my car as I head to town.

On the short trip, I appreciate the quiet, already looking forward to crawling into bed that night, even though it might only be 10 a.m. And just as I start to question my sanity, I drive by homes in our small town where I know for a fact, people are sitting inside… all alone. And wishing they had a little chaos and company to fill their lonely days.

And I remember. I think back to years ago when I felt lonely—in a house too-quiet and too-clean. Never again do I want that daily solitude, I remind myself, never again.

I also think of the main character in the book I've written. I made the poor woman so lonely! I killed off all her friends while dragging her through an empty nest and divorce. (Mean of me, I know!) SHE would have loved to be a guest in our chaotic house, reveling in the noise and clutter.

So, give me cereal crunching under my toes, chocolate hand-prints on the windows, endless laundry and total exhaustion. It reminds me I've been blessed with people I care about and am lucky enough to have in my life. Nobody sang it better than Barbra Streisand ~ "People who need people are the luckiest people in the world."

For this upcoming holiday season, my wish for you is this: A little chaos with your cranberries, and maybe a fallen piece of pumpkin pie squished between your toes.
Then I’ll know you've been truly blessed!

9 comments:

  1. Wonderful, Jill. Thank you. Missing mine right now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Normandie. I hope you get a chance to see your family over the holidays!

      Delete
  2. Wow. Now my house seems far too quiet, lol. Enjoy your chaos, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, you too, Kerry! And we also are celebrating Christmas this week with some of our kids, and our youngest is getting married Saturday. So, a hectic week (which explains why I'm a little behind on my CP feedback!)

      Delete
  3. Absolutely LOVE it and my sentiments exactly . The day my house is more like a museum is the day I need to be put out to pasture. Give me little fingerprints on the windows and crumbs between the couch cushions!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Michelle, I enjoy our peace and quiet but wouldn't want it every day - life would be too unfulfilling that way! As generous and helpful as you are, Michelle, I doubt your house will ever be empty! :)

      Delete
  4. I was moved by your insight Jill, Far to often we Women struggle between the two. Thanks for the well needed reminder.

    ReplyDelete