When I'm not so caught up in my mental to-do list that I don't notice my surroundings, much less the people passing by, I often study the faces, clothing, mannerisms of people I meet - and wonder... What's your story? What do you do? Where are you from? Who are the people who matter to you? Where are you going? Why? What do your dream of for your future? Why did you want to become a banker, lawyer, flower shop owner, teacher, artist, photographer, dance instructor, secretary, architect, etc.?
The city of Statesboro recently installed park-style benches along the downtown streets. Instead of facing out, they face the storefronts. Is it me or is that backwards? The streetscape really is lovely and laidback. One of the bank parking lots is used as a farmer's market each Saturday where local growers sell produce, flowers, homemade breads and crafts. The first Friday of the month businesses stay open late and the downtown restaurants offer free samples and wine tastings. Below is a video that has some neat pictures of the town as it was growing. Disclaimer: It isn't well done. Why the heck are they shooting film through tree branches?
Rob detests coupons. Anything that requires a slow down or check-out confusion isn't worth the savings in his opinion.
A friend told me that the Wednesday edition of the Savannah Morning News has a giant coupon section. She clipped and snipped her way to $30 on a grocery bill one week. $30 is nothing to sneeze at, so I figured I would stop and pick up a newspaper on the way to work this morning. I slipped the change in the slot, opened the door to find the only newspaper left was the one they put in the front glass. Of course it was wedged in tight (all those coupons inside) and turned into a two hand job to wrestle the thing out. Of course Ms. Coordinated managed to fumble around and the sections separated. I grabbed section A, B, C, and D with both hands but just missed the coupons and watched in horror as the door slammed shut. Locked. With my coupons still inside. Of course I didn't have enough change for another go.
So I'm going to take this as a "sign" that we aren't coupon people.
Half a lifetime ago, I was in the twilight of youth and the dawning of adulthood. College, marriage, career, parenthood, all lying in the unknown. Dreams of adventures, travel, people, places, milestones and wishes were jumbled up inside. Excitement, anticipation, knowledge, fear, certainty, questions, answers, hope, joy. There were millions of choices still to be made. But with each choice made, the jumble lessened. One path chosen, others passed by.
One day. It seems like such a small increment. Yet that is where life is lived. In the moments that make up such a small window of our lives. Good things. Beautiful things. Horrible things. Blah things. Tests, chores, phone calls, decisions, graduations, marriages, childbirth... Each event altering the choices that will be made in the future, until one day you wake up and realize that the bestseller hasn't been written, the grand trip hasn't been scheduled, opportunities have come and gone, and perhaps your greatest adventures involve the ones you read aloud to your children or watch unfold on the movie screen or TV and the most thrilling part of your day will be when your child "gets it" during a lesson on line segments and graphs.
Caught up in those moments that make up a boring day, but all together knit the pieces of our lives together to form an adventure. Nothing that anyone would write about or fight for, dream of, or maybe even remember. A quiet life, where dreams of novels and fame, successful careers, places to go and people to meet are replaced with smaller things. Time to read, report cards, refrigerator art, date nights, a comfortable chair and a glass of wine.
When I was pregnant with J.T. ten years ago, I had some of the most vivid, strange dreams I have ever dreamt. One recurring nightmare featured me sitting in a college class, asking the other students why they were so diligently reviewing their notes before the beginning of class. Of course a test was scheduled for that day. Guess who hadn't studied?
The metaphor for that one is obvious. I didn't feel prepared for childbirth or a newborn! Which was true. When he was born, I thought to myself, I need another month. Then I'll be ready. Which of course ISN'T true. I don't think anyone feels adequately prepared for parenthood. I still don't.
Let's try something more difficult to interpret. Last night I dreamed that I was suddenly in Australia, having skipped the 20 hour flight, etc., wondering why on earth Rob and I decided that I should go alone and leave both husband and children behind. Was I in Sydney touring the sights? Trekking through the Outback? Diving off the Great Barrier Reef? Surrounded by blogging friends at a fabulous restaurant sipping wine and relaxing? No. Mary and I were touring a wildlife sanctuary and I was being attacked by..... turtles. Weird, lizard-looking turtles.