Once upon a time I had all the time in the world. Time for her parents, time for my parents and I made plenty of time for our children.
Time doesn’t wait, does it?
Now, with grandchildren, I’ve learned my time is limited. I live on the outside, looking over the fence, watching them grow up so fast, counting my own years and wondering when.
Grandparents know what I mean when I say “when.”
Three of the grandchildren lived 200 miles from us. Two lived 600 miles to the north.
We had to leave, to be closer, to use the best of our time until it’s “when.”
We moved 200 miles north.
This new place is smaller. No sun room. No hundred year old majestic oak trees in the yard. No laundry room. No basement. No back patio. No third bathroom. No long hallway for hanging family photos. No den. No breakfast room, no dining room, and no office for me.
So, we gave away our life’s collection of junk. It went to the local thrift store. I hope the newlyweds find joy in what we had. I hope they put it to good use. We certainly did.
We boxed up and hauled off the old china. We kept what was new. We gave away the stainless flat ware. Today we use the silver we didn’t use for forty years.
Sue did keep some of the crystal. It’s a woman thing I guess.
We got rid of the old school desk where the boys got up their homework. It’s gone now, along with its scars, dings and scraps from 40 years of growing three boys to manhood. One had written his name in a drawer. Another had written something not so nice underneath.
One of the boys took the twin beds, another got the bunk beds. They were always theirs to have anyway.
We had too much. We had to get rid of our stuff. It had to go.
We left a hard wood floor and an oak staircase for someone else. They can see where a young Windham boy forgot something he needed for a ball game. He ran down the hall, up the steps and back down, wearing his steel baseball cleats. We left the tree where one boy carved his initials with his Boy Scout knife. We left the new concrete steps where I put a quarter in the wet cement.
Now, I sit in a folding chair and watch my granddaughters play soccer. Today I can take them to the snowball stand on any afternoon, instead of having to wait until we drive to them or they drive to us.
I have had plenty of time in my world, I don’t have that much time in their world.
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