Thursday, September 15, 2022

Sharing Our Stories and Poetry Friday: Goodbye Evergreen Lane

It's been awhile since I've written except for Spiritual Journey Thursday posts. Our summer was overfull with moving and getting settled in a new-to-us place (closer to daughter's family and only 30 minutes away from where we used to live). 


When I saw the SOS prompt for August: Say Hello or Goodbye, I knew I would need to write a goodbye post to the house we've lived in for 25 years. I made a final visit to our home on Wednesday so I could say goodbye. This is what tumbled out.  



Goodbye Evergreen Lane


Goodbye 25 years of memories on Mercer Island,


beginning with chants of “our house,” as we passed you on West Mercer


until our hoped for dream became a reality, and we moved in.


Our fifth and seventh grader ventured forth


to forge new friends in the Northwest.


Before we knew it, homecoming parades and Island Celebrations


and All Island Band nights became family traditions


and we found ourselves comfortably at home.


Far too soon our nest emptied as Blake and Sara


headed off to college and new adventures.


Days when they returned were the best - 


longed for, relished, and celebrated.


And then their spouses joined us around the table


for games and big breakfasts and laughter and love.


And then the longed for grandchildren arrived


to play with toys from their parents’ childhoods


to roam the bamboo trail on adventures with Grandpa


to bake cookies and read stories with Grandma


to bubble play and scooter time on the paving stones


to crank homemade ice cream in the summer


to the wintry delight of sliding down the snowy little hill.


Through it all we’ve loved you so.


Soon you won’t belong to us,


but our memories are rich 


and you will hold a forever place in our hearts. 


- Ramona Behnke

Friday, September 2, 2022

Spiritual Journey Thursday: How Do We Build Community?

Maureen is hosting our gathering this month with the topic of community.

I thought we might have written about community in the past, so I searched the term "community" on my blog.  Guess what? Almost every blog post I have written comes up in that search. Spiritual Journey Thursday friends are a community, Poetry Friday friends are a specific community who gather around poetry. Sharing Our Stories and Two Writing Teachers are other examples of writing communities that nurture my writing life. These communities are virtual communities (although I have met a few of you in person) and I cherish the friendships and community we share around our shared interests in writing, literacy, teaching, observing the beauty in our world, seeking for spiritual growth, and for some of us, being grandmas.

Spiritual Journey Thursday brings us together for a sacred pause each month to check in with our spiritual batteries. I love the insights that each member brings to our topic of the month. Our backgrounds are varied, but we share an interest and desire to strengthen our spiritual lives.

We moved from our home of 25 years in July. I feel bereft without that community of friends with whom I have shared so much. We moved 30 minutes away in order to be closer to daughter and son-in-law and the grand boys. And so we have a new church community and a new neighborhood. I'm working to be a builder, to reach out to create community in this new neighborhood and church congregation. 

I'm close enough to my old friends to make occasional trips there to stay connected. But I want to build community in my new setting. My niece, who also moved this summer, sent me this text on Sunday: "Yesterday was the first Sunday I started to feel 'at home' in my new ward (congregation). It's taken a lot of me being very chatty and friendly on Sundays." Wisdom from the upcoming generation! Community is created by being chatty and friendly. I'm hoping I remember that next Sunday.