At this moment, I am taking a really long hard look at my life over the past year. So much has changed, so many things have happened, and as I look back, I can see God's hand in all of it. I can see how He has used events to shape me, mold me, and strengthen me so that I could handle what was ahead of me. For these lessons, I am thankful. Glad they are over, glad they are behind me, but again, thankful!!
This time of year is rich with memories for me. Even though autumn was never my dad's favorite time of year, I find myself thinking of him these days more than usual. A farmer by trade and by nature, he was. He always said in autumn everything is dying. The autumn is, of course, the time of harvest. So vivid in my mind are the images, the sounds and the smells of harvest surrounding my homeplace. There was always a hub of activity at each day's end with the harvesting equipment coming home from the fields, the grain bins humming and producing that distinctive smell of soybeans drying. Added to that was the cool nip in the air and the acrid smell of someone stoking up a wood burning stove. In the middle of the community sat a tiny general store straight out of a storybook.
As the days got shorter, the golden glow of home came earlier and earlier. At my parents home, there was a fresh-brewed pot of coffee each day, around about five o'clock, when my mom and dad would gather to reflect on the day and get caught up on each other's goings on.
My dad has been gone 14 years now. My mother is getting on in years and her general health has begun to decline. The community itself, where she has lived for over 60 years, has changed as well. No longer is there the hub of activity at the homeplace. The grain bins, long ago, swept away by a tornado's mighty winds, the farming equipment vanished, and even the wood buring stoves replaced by modern conveniences. The general store, gone as well.
All of these things I noticed one afternoon recently as I dropped my mother home after a doctor's visit. As I backed out of her driveway, I was struck by the lonliness of it all and will have to keep all of this clearly in mind, when the time comes for us to move her to her new home. As much as I am a sentimentalist and a traditionalist , this is one change that I am accepting readily now. I never thought I would.
One last thought for the day, on a lighter note!!! This year has been an abundant one in terms of harvest at the Norris household., and, well, actually the surrounding area. We have three apple trees that have never in their 20 years, produced more than a handful of fruit. Like wise, our ages-old pecan tree, only once in memory produced enough to make a pie. Not so , this year. Take a look at this bountiful harvest!!! (I have to confess, the pears are from my mother's tree)