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Ramblings by Rose Mary

Please refer to the Ramblings by Rose Mary main page for columns published in other issues.
Rose Mary can be contacted via e-mail at rwclarke@mibor.net.

 

 

 

 Travel Is One Aspect of Writer's Journey

 

I love writing in our rich language.. It is an individual act that is uniquely mine--something that I alone create.. It causes me tap into my internal being and see that the events of my life are interconnected like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that come together to form the whole.

People have asked how the twins and we got along in Paris and if it’s possible for septuagenarians and eighteen-year-old boys to share a room amicably for ten days. They can if they’re grandparents and grandkids because grandparents are the fun patrol. We’re not responsible for their upbringing, success in school, nutrition or the neatness of their rooms even though we may cluck around about it.

We weren’t worried as we’ve been traveling with them since they were little boys. In my mind’s eye I can see Bill at King’s Island with a twin on each side, clinging to his index fingers. We learned to give them what they liked to eat rather than what we wanted them to eat--forget things like peas, lettuce and broccoli! In Paris they were a blessing as they hauled my rollator up and down steps.

One of the smartest things that I did when they were little was to buy a bingo game and lots of cheap prizes to keep them busy. Later, they learned to make change when we played Monopoly. These days they’re vicious canasta players. The only time that they pout is when Bill and I beat them.

Also, however much grandparents may dote, they put up with little nonsense such as disobedience, sulking, back-talk and whining. Our grandboys learned when they were small that we mean business. We usually have to tell them to do a thing only once. Perhaps our age confers a built-in respect. On the other hand, we love them unconditionally and try to respect their reticences, quiet moods and opinions.

The curly-headed rascals who once threw a fifty-pound bag of birdseed on brother Bill are young men with beards now. They’re probably too young to understand that we wanted to have a last fling with them and expand their horizons by taking them abroad. As it should be, we shall be left behind as they embark on the next stage of their journey through life and enter realms where we cannot follow. It’s a wrench when the young leave the nest. I hear of "helicopter" parents who are in daily contact with their college-aged children. I say leave them alone. Set them free to learn and grow, take responsibility for themselves and find their own paths.

Attending their commencement carried me back to 1955 when L. E. Rogers presided in the old gym. I was sad to see this ending, but excited about going to college. I thought that it was a miracle that I was going to college because we had no money. Looking back, I see how cocky and naive I was. I sort of expected the means to go to college to fall into my hands like mana from Heaven. I had a state scholarship that paid for my books, $100 from Tri Kappa, and my mother eked out $15 a week from the meager salary she made at the greenhouse and from babysitting. I should have kissed her feet for the dire sacrifices that she made. Later Mr.. Rogers arranged a Kiwanis loan for me. Also, at one point I worked at three jobs.

And now Tony and Chris are undergoing the same rite of passage as they head for engineering schools--Tony to Rose Hulman, Chris to Purdue. Brother Bill is getting married and then is due to be shipped to Iraq.

Just as they’re moving into a new phase, so are Bill and I. A trip to Italy with Vicki this fall may be our last trip to Europe unless there’s a drastic change in the exchange rate. I hate the thought of "last" things--that is what happens when one grows old--the last car, last home, last trip . . .

Although I feel the winds of the winter of my life fast approaching, I still believe in Auntie Mame’s credo "Live!", and I intend to do so as well and as long as I can. I must make better use of my resources and each precious, fleeting day. Life is full of good things! My companionable spouse, friends, books, music, writing, perhaps a purring kitty snoozing on my lap once our travels are over, and my memories will keep me warm when winter comes.

 

 

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