Monday, October 29, 2012

Reflections of Myself

Unlike Jon Katz, my blog will be about getting caught up in the hype of the Frankenmonster Sandy Storm that is revving up to hit us in Vermont. I have a TV in almost every room, thanks to my electronic minded husband and so I plug in many times every day and succumb to news hype on a regular basis! Storms generate real fear ever since marrying my husband. I have already spoken of his Irish luck. Lightening has struck him three times and our house has gotten hit by a tornado! I now expect the worse, pray for the best, and am relieved and thank the Lord when anything passes us by!

I have already sent my husband off to get water and batteries, and I have pulled out the emergency basket left over from Irene. With dreaded anticipation I await the expected attack and I have already resurrected memories of seeing Irene's damage in Vermont. Roads, buildings, homes, covered bridges and even mountains washed away in flood waters while my husband was in China on business reassuring me from afar that such storms don't happen here in Vermont!

I am not lulled into complacency by his false reassurance that he is "home" for this storm and that with his trusty cell phone he is connected to the storm's path and will provide for my safety! He is already denying that it will be as catastrophic as they are predicting, and so I am the "sole martyr" in my family, frantically preparing for the worst. I am filling all plastic containers with water and putting them into my freezer to fill the empty spaces, and am throwing all flashlights in the emergency basket. I will bake bread, and cupcakes, after all food is comfort and needs to be available for feasting while disaster hits and I have learned my catechism well; even Christ had a last supper!!

I will do my laundry and vacuum, and attempt to use every electrical appliance if I am do do without electricity for almost two weeks! I lost my power years ago and have learned well how to do without it, BUT doing without electricity is another story! I do like running water, and heat and other such conveniences. No, I was not the one that added an electric hair dryer to the emergency basket found on the shelf in our dark basement, found by flashlight in the middle of a storm one night, but I would add my electric sewing machine, and my 18 baskets of wool if I had thought that we would have to evacuate!!

I have an old treadle machine but it is buried or I would have an emergency sewing center set up and ready for such times as instead of tranquilizers for storms, I do plan sewing projects to divert my attention from howling winds. I am going to clear paths to get to all my projects without killing myself in the dark, though I didn't see that on any disaster planning lists!

I am counting on my husband and daughter to do the fall clean up in the yard, an effort procrastinated, waiting for white snow to cover everything. No, serious storm winds would likely propel flower pots and garden tools through our windows and being the control freak that I am, I need to calm this storm as best as I can!! For Irene, I insisted on tying the lawn furniture and our BBQ to our deck, perhaps hoping that if we floated away, my ark would have everything we needed!

No, unlike Jon Katz, I will turn on the TVs all over the house, as I vacuum everywhere today, and will heed the warnings and prepare for The Second Coming and I will post my last fall blog in case this monster storm drives us right into winter, making it, too soon, unseasonable. Coincidentally, it was titled A Reflection of Myself and fits right in with an updated reflection of yet another side of myself...and so I will simply continue the theme of this right into the next. I think that is what Garrison Keillor does when he tells stories? I had planned on keeping part of myself a mystery to my readers, but not now. I will be transparent and show all of myself in one blog!? Well, almost all of myself! I am thick and have many sides actually!

So, onto yet another reflection of my self, as seen during our annual fall foliage ride that my husband and I took right before Columbus Day Weekend, which is the peak time for leaf peeping in Vermont. Usually we are late season fall leaf peepers, finding time only after most of the leaves are already on the ground. No matter where the leaves are, we still enjoy our annual foliage fall ride in Vermont! Stopping for hot cider donuts and fresh apple cider and bringing home some fallen leaves to wax and display, we don't miss this annual event to enjoy Vermont's scenery every fall!

This year we got out to sight see the day after a craft show. We were too tired to stop to photograph much and we were just grateful to be seeing the beautiful leaves while they were still on the trees! Suddenly we passed a strange looking field of giant sunflowers. We couldn't believe our eyes and turned the car around taking time and energy that only moment earlier we didn't have to get pictures of this macabre scene. Clearly the state of what were once beautiful giant sun flowers, gone by seemed to resonate with us! This was truly our sort of foliage.

Though I have issues with turning my ankles on un-level ground, I jumped out of the car and waded into the rutted field to catch close up pictures. I related with these poor flowers that were clearly past their prime. I half expected them to be like the flowers in Disney's rendition of Alice in Wonderland and to raise their heads and suddenly complain about their ailments and conditions. Clearly all stooped over, they were suffering, like mysel, from some sort of rheumatism. Some even had their faces planted on the ground. Yes, I thought of them as reflections of myself, as I felt just like they looked!!

As I post these personal photos, and write about them, I am reminded of a homily by one of my favorite priests. He was a bargain shopper like myself and brought "home" a note-worthy bargain: an old weather-worn statue of the Blessed Mother. It had been outside in another church's garden for a few decades and was now pock marked and worn. Our priest had an artist in the church paint her for our church garden, but before putting her there, he placed her in the front of the church and gave a whole homily on her, focusing on the real life of Mary. "For all that Jesus' mother had gone through," he said, "this statue likely bears a closer resemblance to the real Mary for no matter how pure and radiant her life, she likely did show a bit of wear and tear after all she had weathered", he proclaimed.

It truly made me appreciate my life and appearance with a new perspective. No longer slim, or beautiful on the outside, yet my faith, resolve and perseverance is stronger than ever! Aren't many of us like these once beautiful sun flowers, perhaps a bit worn and droopy faced, faded and anything but radiant and glowing, but still standing, however bent, giving our gifts and stretching ourselves to weather yet another storm? I believe like these flowers, we can take new pride in our stretch marks and extra fluff, wrinkles and white hairs. Age comes to us all and we are not supposed to look like we are twenty forever, especially after surviving catastrophes and disasters and other such storms in our lives!

We can relax from all of the peer pressures of our youth. Growing deeper roots and gaining character that helps us to weather whatever storms come our way, even monster ones, with faith, confidence, humor, love, patience, and forgiveness?.....Well, OK, I still have some things to work on!!


  1. Hi Jane, This was great! I hope Jon K. reads it. He would hoot! I love your levity,your dryness, your sarcasm,your silliness.
    FYI: I would put a blowdryer in my emergency basket. :)
    And I seriously agree with your philosophy on aging.

  2. Dear Cindy, I do write for you!! Sometimes I truly wonder if anyone will get my bizarre humor! I am so glad that someone understands it! You are so validating! love you, jane