Can You Keep Life “Fresh”?

There are two tents and eight 20-somethings in my 87-year-old parents’ yard.

As I pull in the driveway, a complete stranger greets me as he makes his way back to the campsite.

Oh, yeah, I thought.  My mom mentioned that my nephew and his friends camped there last night after a concert.  It did not occur to me that they would still be there at 3pm when I drove in for a visit with my niece, in town from Colorado for a short visit.

I wondered what I would say if my future grandchildren asked to camp with 7 friends I didn’t know – in my yard.

That’s my mom.  You have no place to stay, or you need someone to hear your struggles?  Look no further.  All are welcome!

I appreciate the comfort of routine, and as empty nesters, Peter and I have quite a nice routine established.  At the same time, I realize how important it is to be comfortable with disruption of that peaceful, predictable pace.  I always want to invite a little “messy” into my life – the good stuff that isn’t predictable.

I think this takes a continued willingness to actively deviate from life patterns, in other words to practice it.  Left to our passive tendencies, don’t most people just passively slide into a rut before they know it?  And then, isn’t it extremely difficult to be comfortable outside of it?

Although we have no grandchildren yet, I can see how important it is to welcome – even encourage – kids and stepkids, along with their significant others, dogs, friends, . . . . along with the messiness that a good life contains.  If they don’t feel welcome, they will not come – simple as that.  One more thing – cook it and they will come.

Note:  Here’s our current source of practice with messiness – Kilty, a small but feisty Westy we are dog-sitting this week.  There is nothing like a dog – especially someone else’s dog – to keep it “fresh”.   She has the bark of a dog many times her size, and seems to magically appear under foot at all times.  Super cute though!  I guess I have to forgive her for the housewarming gift she left under my desk when she first came over – a little nervous in her new surroundings.

2 responses to “Can You Keep Life “Fresh”?

  1. Nice! At age 51, I embraced fitness and healthy eating for the 1st time in my life – and two years later this August – have never looked back. I learned that life can be messy and nothing bad happens – in fact, a whole lot of fun can accompany a little “messy!” Some days I look around to see piles of work-out clothes waiting for laundering, another pile waiting to be put away, then there’s the gym bag in a state of perpetual being packed or unpacked. I wonder if my house will ever have the kind of order it used to have again! I hope I would not hesitate to say “welcome!” to my nieces or nephews if they asked to camp out in my yard with a bunch of friends. Now is all we get. Yee – haw!!! Thanks Kim!

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