Quiet the mind and the soul will speak

It’s been some time since I’ve written and I’m sorry about that.  I don’t like to write just to have something to post.  I also don’t always want to talk just to talk.  Sometimes … I just need quiet.

My job is so busy right now – and while I am not complaining, it takes effort to carve time out for me.  Work is all encompassing – meetings bleed into evenings, projects spill into weekends, and boundaries shrink as more is piled on and more is expected.   Still – I accept invitations to get out the door and off to someplace new.  I don’t mind travel through poor cell coverage areas (yay quiet!) and I relish hours in the car by myself.

The world seems so loud these days ~ we still have a land line and callers tend to be Telemarketers, Automated surveys, Charities I’ve never heard of .. and older relatives.

I realized the other day that sadly I no longer have the excitement about the phone that I enjoyed as a girl.

See, at our farm, we had a party line hanging in the kitchen and when that phone rang we kids raced to answer it.  Maybe it was Grandma calling to invite us all for cake & coffee on Sunday afternoon.  It could have been Mrs. Prentice calling for an upcoming 4-H meeting I was to attend. Often, it was my cousin giving me a quick call as she saddled up her pony J. Jay and headed my way  – “meet you in the middle!” we’d yell.  Our farms sat about 2 1/2 miles apart – with fields and hills and trees in between.  We’d race up, sweaty and breathless, and ride together back to one farm or the other (or Grandma’s).  Sometimes we’d turn our faces and braids to the north and head to the river valley, talking and dreaming and laughing all the while.  Other times we’d turn south and follow the canal trails down to the lake, jumping our ponies over puddles and logs like the Equestriennes we thought we were.

the best view is from the back of a horse!

the best view is from the back of a horse!

Sometimes a phone call was an older sister’s new beau –against our giggles she’d take the phone as far as the cord would go – and away from prying ears of snoopy siblings.


That harvest yellow farm phone was our lifeline: Phones brought wonderful, happy news – “back to bed, the bus won’t start,” “your cousins are coming for two weeks after your birthday!”, “You’ve been accepted to summer camp!” “So and so’s birthday party is at the rink this year and then a sleepover for all you kids!”

Phones also brought somber news – a car accident, a diagnosis, a funeral to attend or cook for or both – and sometimes calls were on behalf yet another dumb teenager stuck at the beach and a request for Dad to come and help.

I can still recite my parents’ number and, even with Mom gone, I’ve called it since.  Her harvest yellow phone is now gone, too.

In the quiet ~ it’s the memories that remain.


Does the world seem noisier to you these days?  How do you manage the noise in your life? Do you still have a land line? Who calls you?






Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Faith, Family, Fun, Growth, Home, Life, Mom, Opinion, Personal, Rants, Technology, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

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13 thoughts on “Quiet the mind and the soul will speak

  1. Ah yes. The change about phones. We keep a land line so we have communication when the power goes out – which it does a number of times a year. And we keep a corded phone that gets plugged in when we need it. It’s the number that all telemarketers call. We have caller ID, so instead of racing to answer the phone, we wait to see if we recognize the caller. If we don’t, we don’t answer. I know that if my husband would just answer the call and ask them to take us off their list we would get fewer calls, but he refuses. Plus, when it’s an automated call, you can’t really do that. I wish I could have a way of my phone automatically rejecting calls that are auto-dialed.

    • I have tried the “asking to be off the list” thing and I don’t think it’s working – the most annoying calls are the ones where you answer, there’s nothing there, then you say Hello? and then the script starts. I either hang up or push about 7,452 numbers in a row – or I start speaking in French. Depends on how feisty I am at that given moment 🙂 MJ

  2. Welcome back! It is noisier. Like cymbals crashing!

  3. Yes … I feel this.

    Loved the vision of you riding your horse to meet your cousin in the middle. So different from my city childhood. Yours was the kind of childhood I read about in books and longed for.

    I remember the excitement to answer a ringing phone. Before caller ID, there was always the hope of something good and fun on the other end of the phone line.

    I remember a white rotary wall phone and our home telephone number (still.) I remember getting a second phone for the downstairs. (TWO phones! It was a big deal!) I took that downstairs phone and stretched the cord all the way to my bedroom where I could shut the door. I had gab sessions with my high school girlfriends. Mom wondered what we could possibly have to talk about after spending all day together at school.

    We still have a landline. Mostly, it rings with solicitor calls. Sometimes, it’s one of our moms. The phone has definitely lost its thrill for me and often I wish I could just disconnect for a while.

    Wishing you some peace and calm amidst all of the busyness.

    • I had forgotten about our “meet in the middle” until I wrote it – and it occurred to me how fortunate we were to have the freedom we did. Freedom to ride and explore and be — “be home in time for supper.” was the guideline!

      Remember the Brady Bunch having a TV in Marcia’s room and in Mr. Brady’s office and I thought they are soooooooo cool! We only ever had one – so I would have been super envious of your ability to have a 2nd phone in the house!! 🙂

      Thanks for weighing in and for hearing the noise with me!! Bests to you, Tee. MJ

  4. You haven’t lost your writing touch. Great stuff. I grew up with a party line as well. Write when you can. I enjoy it.

    • Aww, thanks RR. Did your Grandma rubber-neck on the Party line? Ours did 🙂 She wasn’t good at covering her heavy breathing – ha~!

  5. Deb

    Yours 243-4804, mine 243-4270.

  6. We still have a landline, mostly because it is hooked to our alarm panel and we’d have to change all that to go digital, and we don’t need the expense. Recently, we got a call on it from a friend who is in the hospital, and that was the only number he had. The pharmacy recording calls when Rxs are ready. Other than that, it’s all telemarketing or political. What a wonderful time for you and your cousin, riding your horses, anywhere you wanted to go and it was OK. I had a friend who “met in the middle” when visiting her house or mine–but we had to walk!

    • somehow I missed your comment, Patti. Yes we still have a landline — check to see if your provider participates with “NoMoRobo” – a service that blocks telemarketers – within 24 hours of connecting with them all those annoying calls stopped 🙂

      My cousin and I were awfully lucky to have the freedoms we had to run, ride and play … dreamy!

      Cheers, MJ

      • Our carrier didn’t when I checked before, but I’ll check again in case that’s changed.

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