There have been times when I have spent more time recording life than just letting it happen. It may stem from my years in journalism – the need to write things down – and more recently my enjoyment of photography and the desire to capture the beauty in a particular moment. But this is not one of those times.
My sister and I have spent a great deal of our “free” time working to get mom’s new house ready for her move-in. The date is rapidly approaching, and we have done a tremendous job (if we do say so ourselves) of preparing what we can prepare. We have moved car loads of boxes from one house to the other, moved small pieces of heirloom furniture that we don’t trust with a mover, ripped out carpet, painstakingly painted the ugly brick fireplace, stained the fireplace mantel, scrubbed floors, cleaned woodwork, and cleaned the bathroom. Before you express concern over painting a brick fireplace, let me assure you that this one was genuinely ugly and not at all becoming to the room. I will also give credit to my husband who helped with the carpet tear-out and has been keeping up with a few things at home while I have been focused on mom.
My sister is seriously the white tornado of cleaning. No amount of grime, no matter how small, escapes her cleaning rag. She is relentless. The two of us may permanently smell like Murphy’s Oil Soap. I would hire her to clean my house, but I would have to clean it first before she came over.
After all of this work, the place is nearly ready for the move-in. It would be, at least, if the contractor would get off the dime and finish the small projects that were originally scheduled to be done by now. Don’t get me started on contractor standard time: slower than slow. Seriously, if I had as little to show for the time I spent at work in a single week, I would certainly have been fired a long time ago. Okay…soap box put away now.
At any rate, all of this physical work has left me with little time to reflect and record. The 30 minute drive to and from mom’s house is usually spent thinking about what still needs to be done, either at the old house to get things packed and ready, or at the new house to prepare for the move in. Not today. The drive home was just before sunset with extraordinary autumn color painting each hillside. The glorious fall foliage has been hanging on longer than usual this season, probably owing to the fact that we haven’t had too many really cold and frosty nights yet.
So today on my drive I let all of the worries about moving an octogenarian into a new home float free. I will pick up those concerns again tomorrow. Tonight, I spent the twilight hours driving through an autumn wonderland. The small town where mom lives is surrounded by hills. As a result, every direction right now offers a stunning view of gold, red, brown, and green in their splendor. It was sincerely an enjoyable drive through a carpet of color that only Mother Nature can execute in its finest form. I would have paused to take a picture, but honestly not every scene needs to be captured and recorded. Some can simply live in my head, where I can recall them at a moment’s notice with no need to download files. Real life memory may be better than a 16GB micro card.
Then, just as I pulled into the driveway at home, I noticed the moon. It was low in the sky, hanging just above the now crimson leaves on the blueberry bushes, and in just a couple of days it will be a full Hunter’s Moon. Stunning. I couldn’t resist and grabbed the camera. So much for just living without recording, right? Some habits die hard.