Reflecting on a Jar of Costco Pickles

Gentle Reader,
To say that life has been hectic would be an understatement. So much to blog about, so little time. Add to that the complete meltdown of my old faithful laptop. The one I held onto even when I got a new one for Christmas. I liked blogging on it because I knew exactly how to do everything on it. I'm an old dog who is slow to learn new tricks. It had a major overheating problem but I had learned to work around it. Until one Sunday morning when I printed off something for church and left it open and running without propping it up for air to circulate under it. I came home from church to find it cold and unresponsive. Since my in-house IT Support is on a mission, I was left to stare at it in shock and disbelief. How could I have been so careless?

So I am forced to stop living in the past and get on board with the new technology--which of course will be obsolete in a few months. I may even update my iPhone. Sam will be so proud. It's just that I like things the way they are. I am resistant to change. Which is probably why I keep getting forced opportunities to experience change and deal with it.

Life goes on as they say and I am adjusting to relocating (again) at the same time I am adjusting to the shift in my family dynamics. For so long I have enjoyed the happy chaos of a full house. For years it has been my daily routine to do three loads of laundry (minimum) and cook large quantities of food. I did not know the meaning of peace and quiet and couldn't imagine "alone time". I rarely had the luxury of thinking an uninterrupted thought and anytime I needed to talk on the phone, it turned into a game of hide and seek while I tried to find a quiet place as my children followed me from room to room and closet to closet with their loud insistence that I was desperately needed. I was up early with seminary goers and up late for heart-to-heart discussions and then on call through the night for nursings, bad dreams, sniffles, tummy aches or sometimes just that unnerving stare from a child standing by my bed that would startle me out of slumber.

It was my life and I wholly embraced it. It was my work and my glory to bring to pass the mortality and daily sustenance of those souls I had been entrusted with and I  was determined to give it my all.  I knew that one day these amazing people would grow up and go out on their own. Some days it didn't seem to be happening fast enough...but then Scott went off to BYU and suddenly it was like someone hit the fast forward and  he was on a mission and Siara was at BYU then Shanna followed her. And on it went one after the other until we were down to Sam and Shane, collectively known as the "little boys". Not so little any more.

So that brings us to now.  Our refrigerator/freezer got zapped by a power surge during a lightening storm while we happened to be out of town. We came home to the stench of rotting food and had to throw it all out and start over. I headed to Costco to replenish our food supply and began the familiar trek up and down the aisles. I came to the pickles and  looked at the gigantic jar of delicious kosher dills. I started to reach for it and then stopped as I was flooded with the realization that since Andy is working in California and Sam would be leaving in a few days for his mission, it would just be me and Shane. My life flashed before my eyes as I thought of all the giant jars of pickles we had consumed. Including many jars of pickles we canned from the cucumbers we grew in our garden. I thought of our food storage in Camas with its shelves and shelves of food staples including a shelf of pickles. I was blinking back tears and trying to remain composed as I drew back my hand. I would need to buy a small jar of pickles at the Big Y on my way home. Although the shrinking of our household happened gradually, suddenly my realization of it came in a cosmic shift. Standing in front of the pickles in my local Costco.

 I pondered this as I drove home--I was alone in the car and free to think uninterrupted thoughts! The truth is although the household is shrinking, our family--like the universe,is expanding. It has grown with the addition of spouses and grandchildren. I can accept the changes that keep coming because I know one thing that does not change: our family is eternal. And some of them  don't even like pickles.


Anna said…
Touching post. Sad and sweet.

This is my favorite line that gave me a chuckle:
"...anytime I needed to talk on the phone, it turned into a game of hide and seek while I tried to find a quiet place as my children followed me from room to room and closet to closet with their loud insistence that I was desperately needed."
Love it. So true.

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