Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Weekend of Learning

Hey there kittens!  It’s been too long, and for that I apologize.  I’ve been a bit busy with life in general and a wee-bit vacation that I just returned from.

“OOH vacation!  Where did you go?  What did you see?”  I can hear ya’all already.  Well, if you must know, I went to Point Marion, Pennsylvania and I saw exactly what I needed to see – myself.   I went with a wonderful friend and was able to share with her my passion for the town, the house I practically grew up in (my Grandmother’s house), and a totally different side of me.  The side of me that is calm, relaxed, and just flat out happy.  Not a side many get to see often; and it’s a side I haven’t seen myself in quite a while.
We had a lovely time, doing things that most people would not find very ‘vacation-like’.  We played games at the kitchen table, talked about everything from growing up to growing old (I feel so much older than I am most of the time), went to the mall, saw a movie.  We walked around the river and went to Friendship Hill (a National Historic Site).  Above everything else, we explored the small house where I spent so many of my childhood hours.  We were confronted with the past, the present and what I hope is the future for me.  Bootsie, my grandmother’s cat who crossed the Rainbow Bridge MANY years ago, made quite a few appearances; and I came out of the experience with 9 spider bites.  Apparently I am VERY tasty. 

I love this little town.  With a population of somewhere around 1,000 (though I think that might be generous) and a total footprint of just over 9 square miles, it’s nestled in the convergence of the Cheat and Monongahela rivers.   The town is quiet, and at just about any given day at any time you can absorb the quiet, laid-back attitude the town gives off. 

In the midst of the adventure I learned things about my Grandmother that I would have never imagined.  Things that make me smile and realize she was SO much more than just “grandma”.  I’ll keep the details to myself but man ...what enlightenment.   Moreover, I learned a many great things about myself …things I never imagined I’d learn. 

Radios and Televisions
I think we turned on the television once during our 4 day stay at the house; to watch a movie.  Other times, it was just the radio playing in the background.  However, often it was neither and I could just listen to the quiet that comes with being in Point Marion.   Birds, insects, occasionally a dog barking … and that’s just about it.  Once in a while you’d hear a car or truck jetting up the 119 hill; or a teenager’s radio – but nothing like you do when you’re in a big city.  I realized this weekend the reason I constantly have my television on at home – or my radio – is to drown out the other noises of where I live.  People arguing outside, slamming doors, thumping car radios, traffic, marching bands, fire trucks, and the list can go on and on.   I don’t want to hear other people living, so I turn on something to make noises that I prefer.  Strange, maybe – but so very true. 

Spiders and Their Homes
Spiders.  I. Do.  Not.  Like.  Them.   This is not a major revelation, but it was something that was quite obvious this past weekend.  Spiders just plain freak me out – I’m not necessarily afraid of them – and I don’t care if there are fake ones around or anything like that.  But I don’t like their creepy legs, and their quick movements.   Spider webs … yea, I don’t like them any more than the things that inhabit them.   I did come to a realization though… the thicker the leg of the spider, the more I dislike it.  There were several different types of Spiders trying to kill me this weekend—and the thinner the legs (regardless of the size of the spider) the less I minded them.  However, you get those beefy legs on a spider and it’s “bye” for me.  Just flat out creepy. 

I adore eat-in-kitchens.  90 percent of my down time this weekend was spent in the kitchen. Either cooking  (yes, I cook :-p), or sitting at the table playing solitaire, or Farkle.   There was something so relaxing and just perfect for me about being at the table in the kitchen.  I don’t have that opportunity right now, as my kitchen isn't big enough to ‘live’ in… I have a dining room table, but for some reason it is not the same. 

I remember way back in 1993; I had an apartment with my now ex-husband that had a slightly larger kitchen.  We had a small desk in there where I would pay bills and write grocery lists… and I remember sitting at that desk for hours, just being comfortable.   I suppose the fascination with it isn’t all that new, but the realization is. 
PS kittens...this is not an opportunity to remind me that I “belong” in the kitchen  J
Learning About the Past
I realized that I might not like history all that much, but I love learning about the past when it comes to my family.  I found myself helplessly fascinated going through things that belonged to my grandparents.  It’s amazing the things you can learn about someone even when t hey aren’t there to talk to.   From greeting cards (oh the cards) to letters, newspaper clippings to autographs of celebrities, even surprising books.  I learned so much about the people my grandparents were .. beyond the grandparent role.  I loved every second of it. 

Learning About the Present
I learned that even though so much has evolved and the world is a much more ‘connected’ place, small towns are still small towns.  People still smile and wave at you, the girl at the quick mart will still call you “honey” and when the one police officer in town would probably rather give you a hug than a ticket.  (Please don’t hug me).   I learned that I like this way of living, I like the way I’m utterly relaxed when I’m in that town, and I love the way I feel about life in general.   I move at a slower pace, because to drive faster seems almost morally wrong.  I walk slower because the scenery is amazing and the hills are a bit tough to handle at times.  Things are just so much more laid back… it’s not quite Island life – and almost better for some reason. 

Learning About the Future
If things work out the way I want them to, Point Marion could be my future.  I would love living there, in my grandmother’s house.  Being responsible for maintaining her and my PapPap’s legacy and their home.  I can take some of the burden off of my father who regularly goes there to ensure everything is alright with the house.  I can help out my family by paying the taxes and utilities, and in the process start saving more money for both myself and my daughter’s future.    I could finally have a place to call my own, and be proud of where it came from.
There are some obstacles to overcome before I can make this dream a reality.  I know that if it’s not meant to be it won’t happen, but that doesn’t mean I won’t do everything in my power to help it along.  I want this more than I’ve wanted something in a while, and fight for it I shall! 

So, that’s about it for now, lovely and devoted readers.  My weekend away was a weekend spent learning about myself and what I really want.    My personal challenge to you is this:  do some self-reflection and learn something about yourself that you never knew.  Don’t make it easy on  yourself, dig deep and find a revelation.  It’s in there somewhere, I’m sure of it.

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