Wayback Wednesday

One of the benefits of staying at home during the COVID-19 quarantine was that it gave me time to reassess the “stuff” I have acquired over the years.  I did a merciless, no-holds-barred purge of my closets and bedroom drawers, throwing out or donating all the clothes that don’t fit, are too worn and threadbare to be respectable, are not suitable for my current life (as evidenced by the fact that I can’t remember the last time I wore them), or make me feel dumpy or like I am trying too hard.  This process was traumatic, but I stuffed my feelings along with the rejected garments. I ate some chocolate and plunged ahead.  I also trashed some of the souvenirs from my working life.  I did not get rid of everything, but I did discard items that no longer sparked joy.  I cannot imagine why I ever thought it necessary to move across the country with a list of emergency contact numbers for people I temporarily managed two years before I left the workforce.   

As I conducted my shock and awe purge of joyless articles of uselessness, I ran across some writing I did over the years.  As some of you know, I always wanted to write, but the business of making a living pretty much dominated my life for 30 plus years.  I forgot that I had, in fact, been writing during that 30 years.  I tended to write a bit or piece of something and stuff it in a drawer.  I am beginning to think that my reason for not pursuing my writing was only partially about time.  I think a big part of it was about fear- fear of failure, fear of exposure, fear of myself.  I do not have a lot of the material I wrote in my prime, but I do have a few things.  These pieces, strangely enough, seem to be remarkably like what I would call “blog posts” today.  Most of them were written long before anyone had ever heard of a “blog post.”

As I was reading these relics of the me I used to know, I found myself chuckling.  They reminded me of a time in my life when my priorities, self-image, and outlook were different than they are today.  I remember the me who suffered way more than her life conditions merited.  I remember the me who did not believe in her own worth.  I enjoyed knowing her. I enjoyed maturing her into someone more settled, more joyful, and more confident.  As I read these older writings, I remember I liked the girl who wrote them.   She was kind.  She was funny.  She had a great sense of life’s absurdities.  She was introspective.  She was committed to becoming the best person she could be.   She had a catchy turn of phrase.  She believed in the beauty of the soul. 

I realize all those qualities I admire in the girl who wrote the articles I found stuffed into drawers are still me.  They are simply better and more polished and more well-integrated now.  That makes me happy.

I have now written over 500 words now to give you the backstory for my main reason for today’s blog post.  I think I am going to share some of that early me with you over the next few months.  Every now and again, I am going to post something I wrote years ago as a “Wayback Wednesday” blog piece.  I hope you will enjoy them and that you like the girl who wrote them as much as I have come to like her. 

Do you ever come across a picture or letter or some other souvenir of another time in your life?  How does it make you feel?  Please share your perspective by leaving a comment.  In the alternative, you can email me at terriretirement@gmail.com.

Have a wayback wonderful day!

Terri/Dorry 😊

The Turtle Whisperer

Today, I was driving down the main road of my subdivision.  What distinguishes this thoroughfare as the “main road” is that the speed limit is a breakneck 25 miles per hour, as opposed to the more sedate 20 miles per hour in most of the development.  I was driving along when I noticed that the car ahead of me was stopped in the middle of the road about 50 feet ahead of me.  There was a person on the meridian next to the car.

Now, it is not unusual where I live for people to stop and chat with each other.  It doesn’t usually happen when one of the residents is driving and must come to a complete stop to carry on the conversation, but the situation is not unheard of.  I didn’t think much about it, other than to chuckle that people seem to find this practice completely normal. 

What was distinctly abnormal was what happened next.  The guy on the meridian began jumping around as if being attacked by murder hornets.  He was running at and around the car.  It was a disconcerting sight.  The way he was bouncing around, I wondered if he needed help or if he was some sinister oldster zombie character trying to eat the brains of the person in the stopped car. 

Then, I saw the reason for the bopping around.  There was a small turtle in the road.  Apparently, the car stopped to avoid hitting it.  The guy on the meridian went to move the turtle from the road, but it started “running” to get away.  Unfortunately, it was running in circles around the car.  It was kind of funny to watch the man try to outrun a turtle.  We are all old here.  The guy eventually caught the turtle and carried him to safety on the other side of the road.  Good job, sir! Pretty cool.

We are an animal-loving bunch here in my neighborhood.  A couple of years ago, the alpha male alligator must have decided that one of the juveniles was getting too big for his britches and forced him out of his pond.  The junior alligator, disoriented and confused, ended up in the park area at the front of the development.  I think he was okay until he got to the path that leads from the “main road” to the clubhouse/mailbox area.  I think the paved road flummoxed him.  He began walking in circles.  Some of my neighbors found him and set up a little parade of people to guide him to another pond across the street.  There was a video on Facebook of our stalwart residents shepherding the alligator to smoother waters.  I don’t think I would have wanted to get as close to him as my neighbors did, but no harm done.  In another situation, someone put up yellow police tape around an oak tree that was housing a new owl family.  They wanted to give the new momma and daddy owl some privacy with their babies. 

It is nice to live in a place where people pay attention to this sort of thing.  It warms my heart.  Some people retire so they can stop and smell the roses.  Some people retire so they can stop and help the turtles. 

What unique characteristic do you like best about where you live?  Please share your perspective by leaving a comment.  In the alternative, you can leave me an email at www.terrilabonte.com

Have a helpful day!

Terri/Dorry 😊