Starting Again

Canning Plum Tomatoes

Out of the ashes of lives past we are reborn.

With last Thursday’s death of Mother, as well as that of our friend Lillian Davis, life continues. As we linger around funeral arrangements and schedules, phone calls and meet ups, emails and social media posts, something positive is on the horizon if we can only see it.

Like the single concertina note that begins the David Merrick musical Carnival! it’s familiar and quickly to be accompanied by other instruments. We are uncertain where it will go, but only for a few moments, and then we’ll get swept up in, “Direct from Vienna…”

Warehouse work occupied my last shift at the home, farm and auto supply store on Wednesday. We prepare for the holiday retail season and new merchandise arrives daily. There were trucks to unload, inbound shipments to process, and on line orders to fill. Our store is doing reasonably well compared to our daily goals, although a large-scale competitor is building a new store nearby. Fleet Farm expects to extract $2 million per week in revenue from the area. Our sales and those of others may take a hit. At the end of the year I’ll assess whether to continue there in 2020.

The orchard didn’t need me yesterday because of thunderstorms in the forecast. I used the time to work on funeral arrangements, then we went to the visitation for Lillian. Her children, who were in 4-H with our daughter, are grown and handled themselves well in a tough situation. Lillian would have been proud of them.

Summer plans have been scrambled. To get away from the death reminders I canned the ripe plum tomatoes yesterday. There will be more. I see a physician today and hope to develop next steps to control my glucose levels without medication. Jacque and I have plans to start cleaning the house and downsizing, a process that will go on for a few months. There is more to life than these existential errands.

We do what we can, hoping for the best, and try to make positive contributions in a fractured and turbulent society.

Or as the character Yoda said in the Star Wars movies, “No. Try not. Do… or do not. There is no try.” We can do better.

4 replies on “Starting Again”

This has been a difficult week for your u, Paul. Thank your for sharing these thoughts. Canning tomatoes sounds like a good activity, comforting and hopeful. Thinking of you today as you say farewell to your mother. She raised a fine and thoughtful son.

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