Monday, June 10, 2013

45 Days

Good-bye, good-bye, world.
Good-bye, Grover's Corners....
Mama and Papa.  Good-bye to
clocks ticking.....and Mama's
sunflowers.  And food and coffee.
And new-ironed dresses and hot
baths.....and sleeping and waking
up.  Oh earth, you're too wonderful
for anybody to realize you.

~ Thorton Wilder, Our Town

I'm not certain when I first saw
Our Town or heard the character
of Emily, as a ghost, speaking
these words about the ordinary
things we mortals take for granted.

But I do remember
the catch in my breath,
tears welling in my eyes
as this character on stage
brought life into focus for
me in a way I'd never quite
understood it, before.

And I've never forgotten the
longing in Emily's voice as 
she spoke so lovingly of things
that, most of the time, slip 
under our radar.

It's been 45 not-so-ordinary
days since my last post.

My firstborn danced through prom,
plowed through senior finals, 
bloomed at her first art show/
graduation open house, whirled 
past graduation and attendant 
festivities, and is still smiling
her way through more grad 
parties on the weekends.

While we were caught up in
a flurry of celebrations, exams,
family comings and goings, gift
giving, hugs and kisses, life, as
it does, marched on.

45 days.

At my son's 8th grade banquet,
I had the privilege of hugging
the wife of one of my son's past
coaches; this kind man is now
battling cancer.  While we
spoke with tears in our eyes, all
I could see was her grace and
determination to hold things 
together for their son.

45 days.

I received an email from my
bestie in New Zealand:

Dear Suzanne, my darling 
dad died on May 19.....

My heart plummeted.

45 days.

A text from another 
bestie, Kathleen:

I wanted to give you an update 
from my oncologist.

It is good news and bad.....

We are focused on the good.

45 days.

Searching for my favorite
high school teacher on-line,
Google found her.

She died two summers ago.

73 miles away.

And while technically that didn't
happen during the last 45 days,
when I saw her lovely face smiling
at me from the page of Benson's
Funeral home, it might as well of
been, I felt it so keenly.

45 days.

Days that have me yearning, as
Emily in Our Town so eloquently
professes, for the ordinary ones.

For daisies in a jam jar,

laundry flapping on the line,

smoke wafting from the grill,

Gracie dog warm in my lap,

wine in the driveway at sunset,

cheering at baseball games,

eating warm berries,

bare feet in the grass.

These summer days, I want
to realize the wonder of this
earth ~

this life,

the blessedness

of ordinary,

tucked in among the ups
and downs that are bound 
to be there, too.

45 days.

What have yours been like?

I'd love to know.


all photos my own


Alicia said...

oh Suzanne...somehow you have a way of telling things that pull on the heart. so much can happen and change in 45 days. goods and bads. hoping you have a blessed summer.

Olive said...

I realized you had lots going on. Life sweet life.

My sweet uncle died last week and Joe and I visited the mountains that I so love for his funeral. It was good really to see those mountain people and hear the voice of my mama and my uncle. Someone said I had the look of my granddad who died in !947-she was very old.

Your kids are growing up and that too is bittersweet. love you, olive

Leslie said...

Hi Suzanne,

Sounds like you have a wonderful and rich life filled with the inevitable peaks and valley's. My youngest graduates from college this week and I've got a houseful of guests and a graduation party coming. It's crazy busy but I'm grateful and feel SO fortunate. I can tell by your writing that you don't take all that you have for granted and are so grateful for what you have.. so refreshing .

Enjoy the summer with the kids:)


Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

Oh Suzanne...this beautiful post makes my heart full and my eyes fill with tears. Elizabeth is such a lovely and talented young woman! I too, am so aware of time passing and much happening in my life this summer also, starting with an empty nest. Thank you for sharing your eloquent thoughts and reminding me to savor ordinary days. Miss you, my friend...XO

The enchanted home said...

Suzanne, your posts never cease to move and stir all kinds of emotions in me, they are so eloquently penned and always have such deep meaning. I am sorry for the losses and heartaches you are going through with those you love, on the flip side, congrats on all the good going on with your kids. I really believe that there is no such thing as perfect and that we all do the best we can to make it as good as we can and we need to enjoy and embrace the good when its given to us and allow the bad to make us stronger and forge ahead when we don't have a choice. Thank you for this always inspiring post...... I too plan on taking time to cherish and enjoy even the smallest pleasures this summer, planting a small garden, long walks, being near the ocean, picking produce from a local farm stand...all my favorite pastimes. Enjoy!

Sandy at You May Be Wandering said...

What a lovely and well stated is truly bittersweet and much can happen over a short period of time. We need to live each day to the fullest!

Congratulations to your daughter on her accomplishments and hugs to you for the ups and downs of the past weeks.


Low Tide High Style said...

45 days I have missed your poignant words...welcome back! And congratulations to your children on all of their accomplishments!

xo Kat

michele said...

oh suzanne, you're pulling my heartstrings tight here. what a time of celebration and grief for you. what a loving family is yours. 45 days for me? recovering from surgeries. a couple freakouts surrounding brca2 biz. tears through the entire graduation ceremony. doctor appointment after doctor appointment. 6 days of sick worry about the left chamber of my heart and risk for stroke. celebrating my mom's last chemo treatment. spiritual growth and and enlightenment. helping my sis recover from mastectomy. welcoming my son's GF into our home for the summer. and now preparing my heart for the loss of my breasts. i love my life and feel so blessed to be living it. i hope we never lose this wonder, my friend.

Unknown said...

I started your post grinning so big and am ending it in tears of understanding and empathy. XO You've been through such an intense emotional journey these 45 days. It's been an intense time for me as well, and I'm so very, very thankful for this day of peace and rest and sunshine sneaking through the clouds and lovely memories of a camping trip this past weekend. :-) "Oh earth, you're too wonderful for anybody to realize you." I love that movie too.

Hartwood Roses said...

Suzanne, it is so wonderful to 'see' you!! Though one day seems to blend into the next, into the next ... when you put it into perspective like this, such a seemingly short time can hold so much. Congratulations on your daughter's graduation. That's a really BIG accomplishment for all of you. 45 days ... life happens.

Gina Howie said...

You have such a beautiful way of expressing yourself. My heart is full ~ loved your post.
Wishing you all the best!

Laura @ 52 FLEA said...

A beautiful post. Thanks for helping me think of the important things this morning. Have a wonderful summer!

Sue said...

What a beautiful post. You so eloquently express what I so often feel ~ hence the name of my blog, Ordinary Miracles. The slam of a screen door, the sound of a sprinkler, the taste of lemonade, reading a book to my grands, I just want to slow it down:-)
Thanks for the words.

Katie Clooney said...

What a gorgeous post!!! You are a brilliant writer!!! I am your newest follower!! Hopefully it won't take you 45 days to post again!!

Joanna said...

Your 45 days have put you on a rollercoaster, that's for sure.

I am thankfully not having to cope with any difficulties - either of my own or those of the people I love. My daughter is finishing her big post-16 exams (GCSEs) and has to decide whether to go to 6th form at a local school or be that little bit braver and go to the local college. My son is searching for another job having decided that barbering is not for him - problem is, there are not many jobs out there! IAll the while we are still building our workshop-garage/laundry room/toilet. Oh the mess! However, in the light of what some of your loved ones are coping with (and your readers), the mess is nothing.

I love 'ordinary' days :)


Sylvia said...

You are back and I am happy to read your wise perspective on life. You always rekindle the light of ordinary things that make life meaningful and quite extraordinary. Thank you!

lisaroyhandbags said...

So much can happen in 45 days. Your post made me both smile and teary eyed. Mine have been filled with surgery, recovery, moving - a roller coaster of tears, worry and happiness. I'm looking forward to my next 45 - flying back to Canada to see our families after a year, hugging my parents and enjoying some relaxing downtime in Muskoka. Buttertarts, roasting marshmallows, getting out on the lake and listening to the crickets at night. xo

Palomasea said...

You are a brilliant storyteller, dear friend. I have been thinking of you during your blog break...hoping you are experiencing many moments of bliss...
So lovely to hear much good news, but along with that, the inevitable downs occur.
Wonderful advice for all of us...
Enjoy the warmth of the season, beautiful Suzanne!
Much love,
- Irina

Lisa @ Shine Your Light said...

Oh I've missed you Suzanne! But I know you've had so much living going on in your house in the last couple of months. It all sounds wonderful and happy and joyful and I'm sure a bit bittersweet too. My heart is with you through it all, and I know you of all people are capable of soaking in each and every moment, every day. Sending lots of love to you!! xxxooo

Melissa said...

Good morning Suzanne from way Down Under...not far from your beloved friend in NZ...

Firstly, I recall your daughter and her artwork in her early days-she is so beautiful, so talented and such a blessing to you still...the family photo is just lovely!

Is your son in the 8th Grade now- he is soo tall and good looking if that's ok to remark on as a mother of three!

We too have had 45 days of life throwing very large curve friend with a suicidal son...another, a mother of three, forever in a wheelchair now due to a holiday fall from a balcony.
Family stresses after the loss of my husbands father are coming to the front...needing to be dealt with and finalised almost two years later...these things have been our 45 days..

I totally feel your need for normality...washing on the line...jam jars of flowers from little hands...books at lunchtime..."wine in the driveway at sunset"...Enjoy your summer between the other realities of life S.

Thinking of you...
Melissa x

Shelly W. said...

Wow. Lots going on. I just had a chat with a friend the other day, and we both reminisced about how, when our kids were little, we thought we'd have so much time to ourselves when our kids got older. Just the opposite. It seems that I have to talk time in huge gulps these days--there's so little of it.

So sorry for your sadnesses, but also happy for your joys. I was happy to see a post from you again, friend!

Jill Hinson said...

Mine has been similar to yours....ah, life. You always know just how to weave the words just 'so' and so beautiful...
Hoping to hug your neck this summer....

Bonnie said...

I am deeply moved by your eloquent words that give me much to ponder.


Suzanne, I like the way you honor life ... its hard times and it good times. And you give your energy to the people and things you care about.

Our 45 days have been about our daughter's wedding and now ... recovery. :)


pretty pink tulips said...

Darling Suzanne, so wonderful to know what you've been up to. Life's precious moments, right?

In the past 45 days, my oldest has completed his first year of middle school (whew!), my youngest cried that 2nd grade was over, we took a fabulous family trip to London, my mother had a 2nd surgery as a result of a horrible car accident (which was a hit and run) and my sweet uncle had a stroke, from which I don't think he will awake. He was an amazing heart surgeon who traveled and lived life to the fullest. Perhaps it will be a blessing that this will happen quickly. So, big things, little things, some sad, some happy. I guess that's the reality of life. And, how much can happen in a short time. I am focused on a special summer....rode bikes with my oldest today and played a board game with my youngest. I'm going to try and "be in the moment".

Cheers to your darling daughter and my prayers goes out to Kathleen.

Happy summer!!!
xoxo Elizabeth

patty said...

i just love to read your posts, suzanne... they just move me. it's been a crazy 45 days indeed. much to celebrate, to pray for, to remember. for me? high school and middle school graduation; a trip to spain; a pick pocket crime; trouble mending; a new patio; opportunities; struggles. yup. life marching on. i hope will be able to post more... ;)

Marina PĂ©rez said...

Hello Suzanne! My name is Marina and I live in the south of Spain. I've found your blog and I've love your style. So, You have a new follower from Spain.


Marina Perez

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...


45 days is it? I have noticed. Because to go that long without the talent of a writer who seems to know how to capture the spirit of OUR state (what fab summers we have) and to zero in on an emotion by using just the right words and rhythm, you begin to feel the emptiness. OUR state, OUR town, OUR WORLD. We all contribute to it, and when just ONE disappears to fades away, there comes a void where there was once a fullness of life.

Thank YOU for coming to seek me out. It will be indeed a busy summer, but the class at The Loft is energizing and so exciting. I'm flying to Los Angeles to see family in two weeks, dashing off to Wisconsin this weekend, and writing all along the way.

WE GOTTA GET TOGETHER SOON! Much love Suzanne, Anita

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...


Somehow I missed I guess. This post echos my sentiments the last few weeks. I am becoming more and more aware of the limits of life and age. My father in law suffered 3 mini strokes in the last 30 days, he is 85 ans stubborn as a mule. His attitude is affecting the health of my mother in law. In the last 45 days my friend had her last chemo treatment, the wife of my husbands friend was diagnosed diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer and given 7 weeks to live. My step-daughter bought her first house and I found a spot on my nose.

The ebb and flow of the cycle of life.

I have missed you! Thank you for the reminder that life is precious, we have to seize the moments that God has given us!

Have a wonderful day, xxoo Elizabeth

Just a little something from Judy said...

This post sure presented me with true inspiration as I face another day in daily life. Your way of writing touches my heart in many special ways. Your words and pictures go so well together that I almost get lost in the moment. Thank you so much for all that you shared in your two most recent posts. I have been blessed once again by my visit here.

What a beautiful family picture!


Well....sometimes "life" certainly takes over......opens its jaws and swallows us whole. We then fight to be released and get some balance.....hope your summer gets slower so you can take it all in!!!

Vava (aka Virginia) said... HAVE been contemplative....and again, thank you SO much for visiting my tiny blog. My 45 days have been hard...but I AM leaning on Him and that bubble of hope. xoxo