A View From Above
© Copyright 2021 by Edie Jones
Photo by Jordan Steranka on Unsplash
ACA 2000, Albuquerque, New Mexico. That is what I read on my cup, as I sit here relaxed looking down at the waves. 2000 was the year of the last American Camping Association conference my husband Ted and I attended.
We had moved to Oregon in 1991 to fulfill a long-cherished dream to purchase a children’s camp. We sold the camp the year after the conference and with the money burning a hole in our pockets, we bought this beautiful home on the Pacific Ocean. A little piece of heaven, far from the hustle and bustle of traffic and daily life. I come here less frequently now that Ted has passed, coveting the days any of our four kids can join me. Soon we will have to face the question whether to keep or to sell.
As I watch my son and his family play on the beach with my dog, I smile at how lucky I am. Even though our house is referred to as being on “beach front” property it is high above the Oregon coast on a bluff that allows an amazing view of the surroundings. Sunsets are often beyond description and walks on the beach allow for memorable discussions. I know I’ll join the family later today.
Watching the waves roll in I muse how their dance reflects the changing patterns of life. They come from afar, gradually gain in size and froth, spread out and join another coming in horizontally. Then they crash on the sand to quickly rejoin the incoming waves and start again.
I focus on the rocks where waves splash with fury and fly into the air. It reminds me how, as in life, we can crash into obstacles that derail our goals or we find a way around them and start again. Sometimes we must completely back up, just as the waves do that drift away from the shore before they roll in again with gusto.
Seeing the results of the “twenty-year storm” that took out the ladder that allowed beach access from our property I am reminded that some humans also rise to greatness. Some among us reach great heights, leave behind reminders of what’s possible and are long remembered. Never perfect, sometimes leaving scars, however, like Abraham Lincoln a pillar among us all.
Here I am, in my eighties; now a widow, with parents gone, one brother deceased and grandkids growing into adulthood. Whether I like it or not change happens and I need to change with it.
Life has been good to me. The difficulties of many have not come my way. Instead, a loving, devoted husband, four attentive and caring kids, and now seven grandchildren fill my plate with love and affection. If there were problems, they have faded from memory. Only the good remains.
I remember mentioning soon after we purchased the property that I could picture the little boys running and playing on the rocks and in the caves. At that time, we had four grandsons but no granddaughters.
My youngest son asked, “no little girls?” and immediately feared he had given away the gender of his brother’s expected first child. Ted and I didn’t want to know. We loved the excitement of the surprise. The expectant dad, my scientist son, remarked, “Mom! If they have the science to know, why wouldn’t you want to?”
Now, it is he with his wife and two daughters running and playing ball with my Golden Doodle. Though my primary home is inland, this is where they always want to return. I love having them with me and seeing the intelligent, adorable young women the girls are becoming.
They have just flown in from Germany where they live. Being on European time they arose early and were eager to get down to the sand. I’m still in my bathrobe, enjoying my coffee, and thinking about the years gone by.
I watch and marvel at their independence and skills. One will soon be entering the Technical University of Munich as an architecture student destined for a career that used to be male dominated. The other has the most amazing spatial orientation for constructing puzzles I’ve ever met. She has no problem figuring out where to place pieces even when the puzzle sits upside down in front of her.
I used to think I’d like time to stand still. I know I’ll feel that way again when they get ready to leave. However, I love having all seven of our grandkids at the pinnacle of stepping out into the world. Two have graduated from universities and have jobs they enjoy, two are in college, one is about to enter, and one has a couple of high school years remaining. What wonderful, individual people they have become.
They have been parented well. Unconditional love, encouragement to follow their dreams, and the instilling of a strong work ethic and sense of responsibility have put them on a good path. Ted, with his Republican roots, is probably turning over in his grave knowing they all come from families leaning progressively left. Despite of that he would still adore them as I do and burst with pride at the people they are becoming.
Yes, the waves remind me that time doesn’t stand still. They roll in, gain in magnitude, crash with excitement and then disperse. The same with lives. We come into this world and learn, grow to exciting heights or peter out early, make our mark or don’t, and then fade away. Like the water, we leave an impression on the sand that remains until the wind and sun dry it to become the many particles of life that have been here before.
No, time doesn’t stand still. I too have grown, made my mark which I hope leans on the positive side and am slowly slowing down. Instead of being down on the beach with them I am content to sit here with my coffee, musing about the last conference we went to, and wondering what else I can do to fill their visit with happy memories.
am Edie Jones, a
retired Parent Educator who loves to write. My self-published
books Raising Kids With Love, Honor and
for success and Walker’s Wisdom, His Journey
from Puppy to Big Dog have been well received locally, however
have not been especially lucrative. I also write
occasionally for our local weekly paper The Nugget News and a
local parenting magazine called The Bend Nest.