Sunday, September 7, 2014

September transitions

I love the fall, but the first hint of its approach always makes me think it's coming too soon, that it can't be the end of summer yet. On top of that, this late August-early September period brings other, more personal transitions.

Mom in 1937, athletic and single
For starters, this time of year puts me in mind of my parents, who for many years annually celebrated a raft of early-September birthdays among friends and neighbors with a party that featured lutefisk (that horrendous dish that my mother wouldn't touch) and Swedish meatballs. Happily, one of those friends celebrated her 103rd birthday Friday! Dad would have turned 99 last Thursday, September 4, and Mom would have been 98 today. Their anniversary was August 31, which also turned out to be the day we buried her 34 years ago. My brother Bruce died of a heart attack eight years ago on September 15. Grieving for them is not as sharply painful as it once was, but it seems to drain a lot of energy over a period of a week or two.

Mom, Dad, me, 1946
Then, too, it's always a let-down when Saint Paul Saints minor-league baseball season ends, closing out a big chunk of our social life for the year. But about 10 days ago the team played its last game ever at Midway Stadium, where we've spent 22 memorable seasons. The final game at the old park was surreal and sad.

A new upscale ballpark is being built downtown, in an inconvenient location we fear will not succeed. Worst, there are no provisions for tailgating. The Saints offered a distinctive baseball experience which relied heavily on the camaraderie of sharing food in the parking lot before every game. Current fans overwhelmingly preferred a new park on the existing grounds, but owners and the mayor decided they could find new fans downtown. Time will tell. We are buying season tickets for 2015 and hoping for the best. Last week we were the last to leave the stadium along with Chris and Wendy, who for 22 years have sat two seats away from us. Wendy sobbed the entire night, big tears rolling down her face. 

Dad in 2000, surprised at his own longevity
Meanwhile we are back to our school-year routine, with two adorable grandkids turning up every morning at 6:45 for breakfast and all the fun we can squeeze in before we drop them at school for their 8:30 start. As much as we enjoy them, it will not surprise you if I say I'm having a little trouble adjusting to the early schedule. 

For many months, as we scrambled to finish the book and prepare for the carousel's 100th birthday and do media interviews, we promised ourselves that by mid-August the rush would be over. Certainly, I thought, by early September I'd be rested up and ready to go. I'm not feeling that way, and I'm a little frustrated with that. But this is the start of a new week and I'm promising myself that while naps are still okay (and even decadently wonderful) I need to get moving. There are web sites to update, books to sell, gardens to tend, tap moves to practice, family members with whom to celebrate life.


stephen Hayes said...

If keeping busy keeps you young, then you'll mirror your parents' longevity.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Stress can just wear you out. Take what time you need and if your body says nap then do it. I think it takes longer to recover from all of life's events than it did say 20 years ago:)

DJan said...

I agree with Far Side. Rest if you need it, dear Nancy. I love to hear you say "tap moves to practice" because it puts such a fine image into my head. Fred Astaire is dancing there next to you. It gets easier to bear when we have these inevitable losses in life, but it still isn't any fun. But it's tiring, so please rest. :-)

Jayne Martin said...

What a full, rich, blessed life you have. I say there's plenty of time to rest when we're gone. Go dancing! Hugs!

AiringMyLaundry said...

I am not a morning person either, so I understand how hard it is to wake up that early. We're up at 640.

Jeanie said...

I hate to burst your bubble but I don't think the rush will ever be over! If it's not the carousel it will be the kids or tending to the seasonal shifts in home and life or someone's birthday or someone else's need for you. And that's part of life! The trick is finding the sweet spot where you can recharge as you need and when you need! Those naps sounds pretty good to me! (That early morning routine would kill me! You are indeed a good Gran!)

So glad you are posting again!

Unknown said...

Fall used to be my favorite time of year when I lived in Michigan but in our part of southern California you really don't even notice. Palm trees don't change color and the temperatures don't drop much. Love your old photos.

Sally Wessely said...

Keeping busy is the key to staying young and having a more fulfilling life. Of that I am certain. You are doing your part in the staying busy department.

The photos of your parents were such a treat to see. I'm sure you must miss them so much. Remembering those traditions that took place this time of year is a wonderful way to honor them.

Grandmother Mary said...

The seasons change as do we and the sad losses are part of it all. I'm with you in that they take energy and attention. Your list of to-do's sounds fab and fulfilling, though. Enjoy.

Lisa @ Grandmas Briefs said...

It's no surprise this time of year brings a flood of memories and a sense of loss. But those little grandkiddos arriving (so early!) at your door surely bring pleasure and delight. Best wishes for naps as you need them (without guilt!) and success tackling your full agenda.

Coloring Outside the Lines said...

I wonder sometimes why fall brings up so many memories. I always think about my childhood, which leads to thinking about lost loved ones. It sounds like your days are full..enjoy them! Have a great weekend.

Midlife Roadtripper said...

The fall always seems like a new beginning to me. More so than New Years. Too many years in the classroom, I guess. Not a morning person either, how good of you to take care of the grandkids that early and get them off to school. I'm thinking I won't volunteer for such duty.

Your life is full. Full of activity and changes. I suppose that is what keeps one moving. I think I need some movement.

FranE said...

Nancy, I have always enjoyed your blog and your comments kept me going when I started blogging. I have nominated you as One Lovely Blog. :-)
The Hummer.

FranE said...

OOps... here is the link
the Hummer


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