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| Guest Columnist | Harry M. Covert | Hayden Duke | Jason Miller | Ken Kellar | Patricia A. Kelly | Edward Lulie III | Cindy A. Rose | Richard B. Weldon Jr. | Brooke Winn |


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April 10, 2014

New Beginnings

Patricia A. Kelly

It’s spring again. Some said they couldn’t imagine it ever coming this year after the incredible amount of cold and snow we’ve had. It made us believers in old stories about riding to school in horse-drawn sleighs. In many recent winters, we haven’t even needed snow tires.


But now, tiny tulips are blooming in my front yard after all. My magnolia tree’s buds are popping into blooms. It’s a wonderful time, the return of life, warmth and color to our world. It’s what keeps us going. It’s a new beginning.


We’ll have another this year with the election of our first county executive and county council as we begin charter government. If you’re going to vote, be sure to be sure about your choices.


Our fellow columnist, Roy Meachum, is experiencing a new beginning, too, as his doctor and family suggested he stop rambling around alone in a big, two-story home; but, rather live in a community. He is now cozily ensconced in a lovely apartment, living independently, and being served delicious meals twice a day, whether he needs them or not. New prospective friends have welcomed him, providing opportunity for continued dialogue and connection.


I’ve told him he’s beginning his dotage, and that he should make the most of it. He says all the changes are bewildering, but that he’s more comfortable than he was in his house. He’s close to very attentive family and accessible by a beautiful country drive from his old friends here.


His beautiful Weimaraner, Goethe, decided to go back to his Virginia rescue. Last I saw him, he was in a home in the woods in the company of five – yes, five – other Weimaraners, all smiling and cavorting. I’m sure he’ll miss Frederick and me, as I will miss him; but I’m also sure he’ll get good care and likely find a really good home of his own one day soon. He and I have promised to keep in touch.


My mom, and other members of her Fairfield condo community, is beginning to move back into their apartments after a devastating pipe freeze in January that seriously damaged 12 units.


It’s been a well-handled but devastating experience for all. Imagine awakening to the sound of water flowing inside your walls, followed soon thereafter by swarms of people, poking holes in your walls, ripping out carpets and installing huge fans that run for days. Then, all your possessions are carted away, and you are forced to move out and live with your daughter in an unfamiliar home, with an anxious, huge foster Weimaraner and a tiny cat, who is always trying for a little lap time in the face of the disruption of her life.


Mom moved back last week and is finally home, content, even surrounded by boxes. Her new beginning has begun at last. I must salute her for her resilience.


As for me, I’m shaking my head, dusting myself off, and wondering what it was I was doing when my life was completely disrupted. My new beginning, too, I guess, even though it’s largely a return to normalcy. I’ll dust and vacuum, wipe up some spots of dog drool from a very precious visitor, finish up some undone projects, and plant a few shrubs to replace those frozen forever by our tons of winter snow. I’ll leave for my delayed trip to visit my aunt and uncle in Texas, and get on with things.


One thing I’ll definitely gain is new perspective, something life often provides, if you are paying attention. The upside of chaos is being forced to do just that.


Taking a moment to begin again can be a good thing, even if inspired only by a change of season. There are way fewer “have to’s” in life than one might think.


Maybe it’s time to take another look at what you want to be when you grow up. If you decide to grow up, that is.


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