Random 5 Sunday – Coyotes, silence and Carpe Diem

It’s Sunday and I’m still in a bit of a fog after being “away” on vacation.  I went home to the family farm in Saskatchewan – to visit Mom, attend a wedding, and catch up with family.  Here are my random 5 thoughts from this past 10 days:

1. Lessons. Other travelers sure were chatty.  On 3 out of 4 flights I had someone older sit next to me and once they learned what I was up to every single one spoke longingly of their departed family members.  Some had a parent or sibling remaining, others had none.  It was not lost on me, as the youngest of 5, that time marches on and there will come a day when I don’t have them anymore.  Coincidences are just His way of remaining anonymous.

2. Time.  I found myself wide awake before 5:00 a.m. most days (that’s 7:00 a.m. in MI) and outside soon there-after. Hitting my 5 mile daily walking goal was a breeze. Most days I walked 6 miles before 9:30!  That time gave me the opportunity to visit with my brother & sister-in-law, chill with the farm dog & kitties, and drink in the intoxicating fragrance of freshly cut hay.  Ahhh.

Stevie the dog and the road to home.  An Emjayandthem (C) photo

Stevie the dog and the road to home. An Emjayandthem (C) photo

3.  Silence.  I hadn’t realized it until I was there but opportunities for meandering conversations with Mom don’t happen as frequently as they used to.  She doesn’t hear as well now and it frustrates her to miss out on things.  And as busy and restless as I tend to be, it was challenging to sit in the stillness with her.  But I’m glad I did because opportunities still came.   Case in point:  The day we left for the wedding city, a 2+ hour drive, I could feel her anxiety and sensed she might pull the pin on our plans.  It took several hours for me to get everything loaded up and once I had her buckled in I asked, “You ready, Thelma?”  Her response? “Let’s do it, Louise!” That – and a fist bump from my 85-year-old Mom – and we were off.   Traversing roads she hadn’t traveled for years I laughed when she chatted and commented the whole way there.  She told me, more than once, that she never could have gone without my help and thanked me time and again for making it so much fun. Priceless!

Me, Mom and my Sissy, Mother of the Bride.  An Emjayandthem(C) photo

Me, Mom and my Sissy, Mother of the Bride. An Emjayandthem(C) photo

4.  Milestones.  We had fun at the wedding but, as we suspected might happen, the excitement and schedule left her a bit weary.  Plans to go out for a birthday supper were changed to a gathering at home instead.  She got into her comfy chair, surrounded by kids and grands, and smiled all afternoon. We enjoyed take-out Chinese food and my sister’s delicious home-made chocolate cake with Opal’s Caramel Frosting .    Between the pictures taken and the smiles shared we all felt a pinch wondering how many more times we’d get moments like this. Not one to dwell on such seriousness, she polished off her Caesar (aka Bloody Mary) and asked that we move outside — it was too hot in the house and she wanted to visit where it was cooler.  In the dusk of twilight, we listened to the yips and yelps of nearby coyotes and Mom had her own “Carpe Diem” moment right there.

Mom's 85th 2015

Mom’s comment: “I’m glad there are 2 big candles instead of 85 small ones!!” An Emjayandthem (C) photo.

5. Appreciation.  Being away from Hubbs made me appreciate him even more. How I missed our daily conversations and comments and humor.  How I missed being able to chat with my boys and get regular updates on their lives. I looked around my childhood bedroom and laughed to myself that the same types of things “saved” there are “saved” in my MI home.  I am my mother’s daughter in a very big way! My first morning back in MI youngest boy commented that he’d always known I did a lot (around here) but he didn’t know how much until he had to do it.  “All I did was clean and tidy up and take care of things and water your plants and look after the pool and … wow you do a lot!”  So as much as I love going away, hey, it’s good to be back home again.


*I’ve missed all my blogging friends and am way behind on reading your posts. I’ll catch up as soon as I can – in the meantime – how’s your week been?






Categories: Beauty, Faith, Family, Fun, Growth, Home, Life, Mom, music, Personal, Relationships, Seasons, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

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22 thoughts on “Random 5 Sunday – Coyotes, silence and Carpe Diem

  1. Oh, MJ, I love reading your random posts! I can always count on some combination of funny, wise, or thought provoking observation from you!

    Glad your visit with your mom was good. I did 10 days with my mom the end of June, to celebrate her 75th. Like you, I had some moments of reality. She moves slower than she used to…I see signs of aging that I haven’t seen before. Those realizations of the circle of life are sobering, and also precious.

    I’m also, once again (or maybe always) playing catch up with my blog…my posts, and reading my “regular” blog buddies! Glad I’m not the only one! But I’ll tell you as I tell myself…take your time! This is not a competition!

    Welcome back to your nest!

    ~ Sheila

    • Hi Sheila – yes it is hard to see the changes. A friend’s Dad just passed at 74 — Mom is 11 years past that! We’re very fortunate to still have her – she is still extremely sharp, just doesn’t go quite as quickly is all.

      Those moments with her are like none other — and I appreciate them all that more.

      Cheers! MJ

  2. Diane Helminiak

    What wonderful memories you have with your family. It makes me miss my mother today as I read your blog. It’s sad that God makes the elderly weak and makes bodies and/or minds leave them before they are ready to go. Glad she was able to celebrate her birthday with children and “grands”.

    Glad you are home safely…

    • Thank you Diane. I agree that signs of aging are hard for us to take but, as my Mom would say, “beats the alternative!” She has quieter days now but she’s still game for a visit and that makes me smile 🙂 MJ

  3. Sounds like a great visit that contains memories you will treasure forever! Your Mom is looking pretty good!

    • It was .. there were moments that weren’t as I’d expected but that’s ok, that’s life, right? She had a really fun time at the wedding and on her birthday celebration (her bday is coming up, we just celebrated early). She smiled all day! MJ

  4. #1…Holy cow!!! Just look at that flat old piece of land!! Nothing but miles and miles of God’s Country spread out before you. While others talk of “fly over country” (namely the Midwest) I can’t help but feel sorry for them and what they’re missing out on. Maybe someday they’ll miss a flight and have to stay overnight and experience a slight breeze brush up against their face as cicada’s summer song echo’s through the branches of a leafy canopy. I can only imagine what a big old thunderstorm looks like as it gathers strength and energy as it marches without mercy across that grassy plain….or the stars at night time.

    #2…You had me at “freshly cut hay” True story.

    #3…If given the opportunity I’ll chat with others about their trips too. It’s just the way I’m wired…wanting to know “what’s your story”. Life’s too short to not ask questions.

    #4…Milestones….that pinch in your stomach…? Yeah…I get them too. Kids leaving for trips. Kid flying around to different countries and possible terrorist threats. Kids going to college and the melancholy feeling that I get when I see my grandmothers faces in my Mom’s face and my aunts face. They’re not spring chickens any more. Time marches on. That ol Heaven’s stockpiling my friends and family. : /

    #5…Glad that you’re home. I wondered about your visit and prayed for a safe and healthy time.


    • I agree, RR, about those that fly over all that flat country — they’re missing prairie songbirds, grasses whipping in the wind, the smell of sage and more. That fresh cut hay was divine! If you could bottle that … oh man!
      I understand your pinches with kids going hither and yon and seeing time march across the faces of your family elders … and I appreciate your kind thoughts and prayers, too. Can you imagine if we sat next to each other on a flight? We’d probably miss the next one, talk about a yak fest!! 😀 MJ

      • bennett10

        Flight attendant “Uh…we landed twenty minutes ago….do you two care to take your conversation to the terminal.?” LOL

  5. Shirley Matthews Dunn

    MJ, what memories you made on this trip home. I love the picture of you, your Mom, and sister. Your Mom looks so sweet and happy to have her daughters together once again. I believe in distance makes the heart grow fonder too. I know your husband and sons are glad to have you home.

    • She was very happy to have us all together; I’m really glad to have that picture of us esp. since that sister is the one who had a heart attack a few months ago .. she’s lucky to have survived to BE at her daughter’s wedding. Sniff sniff! Thank you for your kind thoughts as always, MJ

  6. May Heaven surround you and your loved ones with golden days.

  7. I am so happy you are back and “at it” again in cyberspace. And I know the wonderful times you had during your family visit will stay with you for a long long time. Your Mom looks like a real charmer and delighted to be with you and your sister in that sweet photo. How fortunate you are to have a great family and to forge such memories of a loving “homeplace”.

    • Thank you, Dor. We had lots of fun. There are definitely changes but I’m thankful to have the opportunity to see them all 🙂 MJ

  8. What a wonderful trip! Thanks for sharing. Love John Denver, too.

  9. Sounds like a wonderful opportunity to spend time with your mom. What precious times and well spent!

  10. I love the way you always find the lessons in your life experiences. You have a gift for finding the silver lining in most things and it sounds like you squeezed all of the love and happiness you possibly could out of your visit home. I’m so glad you had such a great time.

    P.S. Great picture of you, your mom and sis. Hope you’re framing that one!

    • Thank you; it was not the trip I expected but still rather wonderful. Can’t believe it’s already been 2 weeks since I was there. Yes that picture is one I treasure and you’ve reminded me to make her a copy 😀 MJ

  11. Pingback: ‘Till next time | Emjayandthem's Blog

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