Friday, October 24, 2008
Pumpkins and Ghosts
I recently went to my hometown to do some shopping and also to where the first 13 years of my childhood was spent. The second part was really quite by accident. My girlfriend had called to tell me the skirt that I loved at the boutique where she works was marked down. I had also gotten a post card of the neighboring stores around that little boutique to tell me they were also having a wonderful sale. Whimsys had Vera Bradley, Lollia and also Crabtree and Evelyn Naturals all 20% off and of course there was also my skirt! My girlfriend had suggested that If I came early enough that I could stop by her house (out in the country) first to see the spare bedroom she just painted and also wanted to get my approval. We rushed around the house, so that she could show me this and that before she had to go to work. Her son has grown cotton and I also wanted to get some photos of that before I headed into to town. She then insisted that I go to this pumpkin patch where this lady is like Martha Stewart. Laurie promised me I wouldn't be disappointed. She jotted down instructions in how to get there. There was also a barn that I wanted to get a picture of, but was very bummed because I couldn't find it. When I arrived at the pumpkin patch, there were a lot of photographers taking pictures. I enjoyed watching them as they were trying to capture the perfect picture. As I stood there watching I had to wonder what they saw in their frame. After they would leave to go to another area, I would go over to where they had stood and just look. That is the beauty of taking pictures. What one sees through the eyes of others. I find that so fascinating. My girlfriend was right, I wasn't disappointed. It was in fact beautiful. After the experience of the pumpkin patch, I went to find the cotton field and got some photos of that too. I then made my way to where this magnificent sale was. Although I had missed the exit because the next exit was pass the town and I had to make a big J loop. I ended up lost out in the country trying to get back to the highway and then things started to seem very familiar to me. I knew exactly where I was. I came into the back way to the town of Merced where I grew up as a child. I turned down my old road and as I drove very slowly by the house where we used to live, I couldn't believe how small it looked. There was the kitchen window, my mom and dads bedroom window, and the two bathroom windows. I stopped the car and just looked. I could see my aunt Kim, my little sister and I skating down the sidewalk. My mom pulling weeds with her bandanna on. My dad with the garage door open with all of his tools working on the old red dodge pick-up in the drive way. Looking down the side of the house, I could see into the backyard. So many memories... I started to cry. It reminded me of the story, The Christmas Carol and going back in time with the ghost of the past. Only they were very good memories of a very happy time in my life. Then it only made me sad to think that when we moved from this house to the town where we moved to, my life had changed with my parents divorcing. Well, then you know which ghost comes next, the ghost of the present and everything in between those two ghosts. I thanked God that the ghost of yet to come hadn't come to visit me.
I have experienced this once before; it happened when I posted on my blog when my birthday came this year. At the time we had just found out not too long ago that my husband had cancer. I looked at the picture's I had posted, and I felt very sad because I knew how things had turned out for that little girl and what she was going through to the present day. It was then that I looked at myself like a third party (me~myself~and I). I felt as if I was this little girls best friend or mother. I was kinder, a lot more gentle and loved her a bit more. In the aquatics class at the end, we are to hug our self; it is a stretch, and I found myself doing longer stretches than anyone else with the help of the class instructor bringing that to my attention as well, in saying to someone (me), "Looks like someone needs some extra hugs!" In fact that is what I was doing... giving myself a hug.
When I made it to the little boutique, my girlfriend Laurie said, "Girl, where have you been? Did you get lost?" I said, "Yes, actually I did." I told her about missing the exit and where it took me. With Laurie being my girlfriend since childhood , she knew it brought a lot back driving down that road. She asked me if I was okay, and I assured her that I was. Writing this, I had to smile. I had also called and told a very close girlfriend (the one friend that has come into my life the last ten years of it), about my day. She also knew what "driving down that road" had meant for me and also asked if I was alright. I feel very blessed with my girlfriends. They know where I have been, know who I am and they love me for it.