Originally posted, June 1, 2013...
Each year about the time the leaves begin to fall from my backyard trees, I begin the hibernation process. Black storm clouds hasten it and slowly but surely I retreat from civilization into 'the den' inside to ride out the depressing winter.
My apparel also changes from the bright yellows, greens and blues of summer to the dark hues of ... really, just black! And always, and without exception are those purple socks!
Thank goodness they don't come out of the drawer that often, but when they do, you can be sure it's a down time in my life. ... The kids leaving home, weight gain, getting older, each one a bona fide purple socks time. And I only say that because it's true.
Take this past week for instance. After writing a wonderful community column for a newspaper for nearly 12 years, suddenly it was over. No warning that the end was near ... except for the statement on that little piece of paper inside a fortune cookie last month. It said that I was in for a 'BIG change' in my life.
"What do you mean by BIG change?" I thought, as I scanned the front and back of that startling announcement, hoping to find a phone number or at least a website (bigchange.com?) to visit for more information.
Unfortunately the 'BIG change' came. I packed up my belongings, hugged those I'd known, left the comfort and surroundings of a place I was familiar with, and would have probably stayed at the rest of my life, and returned to ... 'the den!'
You guessed it ... purple socks time.
Didn't even realize, what with the blinds closed and me, dressed appropriately in black (and purple, of course) and feeling that death had come prematurely, that I had thrown in that proverbial towel, so to speak.
Took me a few days to go through all the mementos I'd gathered in 12 years, and brought home. There were wonderful cards, letters, photos and even a handmade nativity set. But what grabbed my attention immediately was a booklet filled with snippets about one subject. It was entitled "Don't Ever Give Up Your Dreams," a gift from a sweet grandma, whose grandson I'd featured in a recent column.
On the attached card Christine wrote, "I want you to know how deeply I appreciate the wonderful words you included in your column about my grandson, Will. And thank you so much for what you said about this old, old, grandma, too."
Suffice it to say, memories flooded back of all those whose stories I'd told, the conversations, laughter, tears and most of all the joy and love.
Hey, it's not a miracle ... at least not yet. Starting over at any age is hard (and I'm middle age only if I live to be over 120). But I've decided there are a lot more stories out there I'd like to tell, more joy and love to be felt and NO ... I'm not finished quite yet.
... As for those purple socks?
They're all that's retired in this house. Going barefoot these days. Love the feeling!
♦Hope you'll let me share your stories and photos here at my new residence "In a Nutshell." Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.