Thursday, September 11, 2008

it's the simple things in life, like when and where

I’m old. Sam Elliot is hot but that’s not the only thing that makes me old. Oh no. It takes more aspirin now to get me through a day sometimes but that’s not really it either.

What it really is is that I give directions by what used to be there. The new Virginia post office? Well, that’s where Rose’s used to be. Oh, Rose’s hasn’t been there in thirty years? Well, then, remember where Kroger’s was? Same place and at least that wasn’t quite so long ago. The new Kroger’s? Where the hospital was before they tore it down. How do you get from there to here? Turn left at the blue store. Except wait, they painted it white fifteen years ago and it’s named Green’s but it’ll always be the blue store to me.

My gawd, they changed the exit numbers on the Interstate in 1990 and I still know them first by their old numbers and I have to think to figure out their new numbers.

That’s why I’m old. It’s ok. I really don’t feel bad about it.

Like the other day, I got to reminisce about when I was 20 years old. About how we used to shut down the bars and ride the mechanical bulls and drink a lot too much and get up and go to work the next morning. Well, the same morning it would have been. And the people I remember, the people I had these adventures with, it is extremely possible that if they remember me at all, they remember me with ugly sorts of names because it definitely was a wild child period for me and a lot of times people like to remember the other person as worse then they were. Me, on the other hand, I probably was that bad. No wonder I didn’t accomplish much of substance. But I’ll tell you this; I had fun. It was a whole heck of a lot of fun and I remember those people with nothing but fondness.

I’ll tell you what else; I don’t need to go back and do it again. I wouldn’t be that stupid again for all the world, I sure did have fun, there are very few things I actually regret, and I don’t need to hang on to it. Or to wash my hands of it.

I was a privileged child, an outraged teen, a wild young adult who life came down on hard, like a pile of bricks. So then I was a very serious young adult, earnest young married with the highest ideals. I was a totally immersed mother while my children needed a totally immersed mother and now when a totally immersed mother would be harmful to them I have managed to take my seriousness and idealism, my motherhood and wife-hood and person-hood, my outrage and my privilege, and create this cowgirl’s current life.
Yeah, being old ain’t bad, ain’t bad at all.

many thanks to my cowgirl friends Cathy McG and the Divine Ms. D for the photo of me and Dollar and to my husband for saying, "you are so cute dressed up like a storm trooper" and to Kidd Rock for the song from which I get the title, a great song, All Summer Long


Alecto said...

OMG YOU ARE FREAKING WONDERFUL!!! (that's such a cool post and you just undid the tediousness of my desk cleaning today)

Cielo said...

Looking good!

How's your arm??

Matt and April said...

Hi CG,

Been reading your blog for years now, and wanted to thank you for your insightful posts and glimpse into your world. And for introducing me to Eleutheros blog, which I also enjoy immensely. My wife and I travel a similar path to yours through life, grew up in the country, settled back here and are raising our children on our farm. There are few people who can relate to being agrarian and contrary in these times, which makes you blog all the sweeter to read.

Keep it up.

CG said...

well sh*t alecto, you sure make me feel good!

And Cielo, ain't he just the cutest little thing? You would laugh at his personality -- he grits his teeth when he is being shod or getting a bath, he acts all grumpy, but he's really just the nicest little horse. My arm is fine now. Boy, it sure did look bad that night though didn't it?

And Matt & April, gee, thanks to you for the encouragement and I'm really glad you enjoy it some. Best of luck on your agrarian path.

annetteinalaska said...

Husband's comment is priceless! And you do look good. You look happy and at ease.

And I like measuring my "degree of seasoning" by things other than the little aches and pains, too. I like the sense of time spent learning and knowing and remembering. Well seasoned.

Kitt said...

Nice post. You've paid some dues but now reap rewards.

I would like to go back to those earlier days, but only knowing what I know now. No way I'd want to give that up.

Wendy said...

Love this post!

I do that, too - give directions by what used to be there, and they changed the Exit numbers a couple of years ago, but our Interstate exit will always be "Exit 5" to me. I have no idea what it actually is :). The funny thing is that I haven't lived here all that long, but I know where a lot of places "used" to be, because my husband is "from here", and he's always pointing them out to me ;).

So, yeah, I'm old, and I think about my "wild" days (mid-20's - after my divorce ;), and sometimes I cringe, because ... woo! I was wreckless, but I sure did have FUN!

I wouldn't go back - no way! I think I'm much happier as the "me" I've become than the "me" I was when I was wild and wreckless. i wouldn't change what I did, either, because I think having that perspective has helped ground me today.

Juli said...

I don't know a thing about being old, I'm content with just being.

But i do know that Dollar is beautiful and Sam Elliot is quite fine :)

CG said...

I have to clarify, Annette, that he didn't mean "cute" in a good way! He was definitely laughing at me. And I don't mind a bit.

annetteinalaska said...

I know. That's what makes it priceless. ;-)

CG said...

oh, he is SO sarcastic about all the horse stuff. And at the same time, totally supportive. I think people who mistake "oh you are so right, you are so good" for support wouldn't get it at all.

Cattus said...

More please on " I was a totally immersed mother while my children needed a totally immersed mother and now when a totally immersed mother would be harmful to them....". I am finding this very difficult. You are so wise. Just had a conversation with my 24 year old living on the other coast( of UK) about how we do it, how often do we ring up each other, etc. I would love to talk every day but we settled on not every day or even every other day but definitely once a week. I have to remember he is running a business, working long hours and living his life now as I always encouraged him up to do. We did reaffirm that we all want to return to Cornwall in a couple of years or so to be near the sea again and to have some land, horses, a spring to be in control of our own water and grow our food. So that is good. Perhaps I found a way to work with this after all.