Sunday, October 14, 2012

Our Last Sunday in Pueblo

No Place Like Home

As on every other Sunday, we sat in the "newspaper room" in our twin chairs reading the Sunday morning newspaper.  The pink chairs were purchased when we moved into this home 17 years ago.  I was expecting my first grandchild at the time.  I remember the salesman telling me these were perfect grandma chairs because they rocked and they swiveled.  I wasn't sold on the pink, but the chairs were so comfortable, and they did rock and swivel.  

Now, the chairs are very worn.  They are no longer pink.  Newspaper print has rubbed off on the fabric.  Babies have been rocked in these chairs.  Christmas morning activities has been witnessed from these chairs.  Easter egg hunts have been witnessed by these chairs.  My chair, the one on the right, held me when I heard the worst news of life. It was here where I heard my Amy say, "Mommie, Julie is dead."  

Still, this chair is always a comforting place for me to go.  It speaks of home, of family, of times with my husband as we rehashed what we read in the paper.  Back in the day, when my hubby was working, I'd sit in this chair reading and say, "I see you made the newspaper today."  Thankfully, he always seemed to garner good press.   One morning I read he had physically apprehended a student who had a knife in his hand as the student attempted to exit the building after making a threat.  That was after I had asked him what had happened at work the day before and had received the reply, "Nothing really."  When I read the news clip to him saying, "I thought you said nothing happened at school yesterday."  He said, Oh, that's right.  I forgot."  I guess it was just another day in life of a high school principal.  

Yes, this room, these chairs hold many memories.  We will take the chairs with us.  We've talked of getting rid of them since they are so unsightly.  I think they will make the move.  We will reupholstery them.  They are comfortable.  They rock.  They swivel.  We do like them.  It is the room we will leave behind.  This room, called the "newspaper room" by the grandchildren, was the setting for our last Sunday morning paper reading today.  I raised my coffee cup to my husband and said, "Here's to this room and our last Sunday in it."  

Sunday Routine

We needed to keep packing, but the sun was shining.  The weather was warm, and we needed to settle our minds about leaving the place where we have lived for so long, so we went to the Pueblo Riverwalk for one last Sunday walk with Boston.  We go to the riverwalk nearly everyday, but Sunday is a special day because so many others are there walking when the weather there on Sunday afternoons.  Located in the heart of Pueblo, a walkway runs beside the historic route of the Arkansas River.  Just this past week, on a beautiful fall afternoon, I spotted a beaver in the river that runs right through the middle of the city.  Can you see him in the middle of the photo?  Good thing I had my iPhone with me.  

Beaver swimming at the Pueblo Riverwalk
I captured this photo from the bridge over the river
We couldn't spend our last Sunday in Pueblo without going to our favorite spot to spend a Sunday afternoon.  We ran into friends who were either walking or eating on the pizza on the patio at Angelo's.    I don't think we can take a walk on a Sunday without spending at least 15 minutes chatting to friends along the way.  We will miss this.

How could we have our last Sunday in Pueblo without buying popcorn from Taffy's?  Well, we didn't think we could, so we went to get our Sunday popcorn.  They were closed!  How can that be?  The sign on the window said, "Closed.  No electricity."  That is when we remembered that the power was out all over downtown because there was a fire at the electrical plant.  We had learned that while chatting with our friends at the pizza parlor.  The waitress had come out to say to our friends that they were having some difficulty with the bill because the power was out because of a fire at the power plant.  Our car was parked right next to the power company, so we saw all the commotion as we left to go get popcorn.  I guess we should have known.

Another routine for Sunday involves Boston being groomed by Jim.  We came home so Jim could get that done.  The last roses were blooming.  I've tried to ignore the roses this week.  The sprinkler system is off.  They are not getting watered.  I decided to just let them die for the season and not get emotional. As I stepped onto the back deck to watch the grooming, I saw my beautiful Easy Does It rose was not done blooming yet.  I decided I had to snip the last blooms.  I could not let them remain on the bush to die.  I had to enjoy their beauty.

Try as I might, I can never quite capture the richness of the colors of this rose with a photo.  Of course, perhaps I should try to photograph it with something other than my iPhone.  We do have a fancy camera around here, a Nikon D90, but I never bother to get it out.  I guess I am not a serious photographer at all.  Despite the poor attempt at photography, I am amazed at the colors that do show in the photo below.  

Easy Does It
We may be in a state of chaos around here.  I haven't cleaned for several weeks.  There are boxes all over the place.  We are moving, but I decide I need one last round of roses in the house.  This bouquet was for the table next to my chair in the family room.  The roses go in my two favorite vases next to my favorite portraits:  one of father, and one of Julie surrounded by my seven grandchildren, her beloved nieces and nephews.  This week of goodbyes will go better with roses in the house.

I was struck by the absolute beauty of this:  the last full bloom from the rose bush I planted in memory of Julie.  It was the best full bloom from this plant I'd picked all summer.  It seemed to say, "I've saved the best for last."  

This day, our last Sunday in Pueblo, blessed with perfect fall weather.  We spent it doing what we love to do.  The day was full of sunshine and the colors of autumn.  The reds, the yellows, the oranges of fall put on a wonderful show of vivid color for us today.  

At home, I then was blessed with this rose.  The tinges of yellow blending into vivid orange softened by light pinks and apricots around the edges of this beautiful rose reminded me of a sunset.  Drinking in a beautiful sunset at the end of a day always brings such joy.  One is grateful for such a gift that reminds us of the blessing of that day as it ends.  Such is the feeling I get as I look at this rose.  Our days in this place that has been our home for so long are coming to an end.  Jim has lived here nearly 61 years.  I have lived here 20 years.  This is the town where we met as teenagers and where we have lived as married couple.  We will miss it all so much.  We will miss the town, the people, our home, our special spots around this house, our garden, our flowers, and so much more.  We carry so many memories with us as we go into a new day.  This season may be ending for us, but we are not done blooming yet.  We are off to cultivate new memories in a new place.


I'm adding my daughter Keicha's post about our dearly loved home.  Read it here:  Letting Go.


#1Nana said...

it must be an emotional time for you. All your cyber friends are cheering you on as you make the move to your next chapter. You take the memories with you, the rest is just stuff.

DJan said...

Such beautiful roses! Your iPhone takes fantastic pictures, Sally; why mess with anything else? I am thinking about you as you make your way into the next part of your life. I love those chairs and I'm glad you're taking them with you. Sending you cyber hugs and hope you remember to take good care of yourself! :-)

Olga said...

Bittersweet, but a beautiful final Sunday in Phoenix. I am sure that every box contains memories. I like your attitude about moving--embracing the future. Best.

rosaria williams said...

You will make new memories, plant new roses. It's just a few centuries since we all decided to settle in one place for life. Most of our DNA belongs in that meandering life, searching for food and shelter in the plains, in the caves, by the rivers.
I don't miss a thing I left behind or give away when we moved up here. Not a thing. I had learned to move forward from the time I left home, at seventeen, to search for a new life in America.

The best part about all this is that your energy will go in making new connections, planting new roses and let the past remain what it must be, gentle reminders that life goes on, and what is done is done.

Happy Trails to you.
It is indeed a privilege knowing you.

Jeanie said...

Your roses are really beautiful, and I have no doubt that you will make sure there will be beautiful roses at your new house. I hope the move goes well.
BTW, my chairs that rock and swivel are red....I love them, but we don't use them near enough.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

Oh, Sally, so much living and loss and love, so many memories. It's so hard to say "goodbye" to a long-time home. Bob and I left our home of 29 years in California to move here to rural Arizona two years ago and it was quite a bittersweet experience. I so know what you mean about the last rituals, visiting the favorite haunts and leaving behind the beautiful, planted or built to stay memorials. (For us, it was a lovely stone waterfall we built on our slope in memory of Aunt Molly -- we called it "Molly's Falls" and took comfort in the sound of rushing water -- something she loved so much.)

But you're so right that a new home and new place means great new adventures. You will make it so much your own and create new rituals on Sundays and discover new favorite haunts. And, of course, you'll always have those old memories while making new ones.

My best wishes for the smoothest of moves and much joy in your new home!

LC said...

Oh, this was such a moving post. Thank you for capturing and sharing with vivid word pictures and iPhone images the sense of place and the significance of home and life lived there. Your last three sentences are the perfect closing.

thisisme said...

Hallo Sally. I found this post to be so bittersweet. So many memories, so many years spent there, memories of your precious daughter, and your lovely roses. The love you have for Julie always shines through your posts my friend. The colours of the rose in that last photo are beautiful. As you say, "saving the best til last". I love how you closed this post -" This season may be ending for us, but we are not done blooming yet. We are off to cultivate new memories in a new place. " I so wish you well for the move, and pray that you will both be very happy there. Take care Sally,

That corgi :) said...

The roses are so pretty; where you took that walk looked neat too; never saw a beaver so that would have been a treat for me! Moving is always so challenging, especially if one is leaving a beloved area with lots of fond memories and the work to get done seems like it will never get done, but it does all work eventually out and like so many said before me, you will make wonderful new memories in your new town and home. Wise idea to take the chairs with you since so many memories are related to them; they do look comfy too!


Blissed-Out Grandma said...

Sally, I'm glad that your last Sunday in Pueblo was such a beautiful day, and that you brought the wonderful roses inside. You will have some difficult moments as you make this move, but I love the positive attitude you and Jim bring. "We are not done blooming yet." That is a great mantra! I might have to borrow it for my own life!

Chatty Crone said...

I know you still hurt and always will. The last rose was beautiful. And yes take those chairs - you will be sorry if you don't! HUGS.

Linda Reeder said...

I'm glad you took the time to have a regular Sunday for your last in Pueblo. Saying goodbye is important. This must be a bitter sweet time for you. Packing up is not nearly as much fun as unpacking in your new home will be.

Sandi said...

Oh Sally, I don't think I could think of giving up those chairs, either! What a lovely, yet tear bringing, post. My eyes filled when I read about you sitting in your chair when you heard about Julie. They filled again when I saw that perfect last rosé in Julie's memory. This post makes me think of a plaque deb gave me that says, "May the blessings of each day be the blessings you need most". Truly your last Sunday at home brought you the blessings you needed most. Loving hugs to you.

Barb said...

A lovely and nostalgic post Sally. That rose is so stunning. I hope you can plant some bushes at your new home. Your pics are wonderful - I've been using my phone almost exclusively the past couple weeks. (Sure wish I could see a beaver.). PS I might have that same pink swivel rocker!

Linda Myers said...

Nice chairs, Sally. They hold the memories and they MUST go with you.

Say "yes" to the new adventure, my friend.

joeh said...

Gee, I don't even know you and I am sad to hear you are leaving town.

Your home seems so beautiful, but I have a feeling the beauty is in the inhabitants as much as the house. I am sure you will bringing it with you.

Joyce said...

Roses are always a good idea. Bless you as you move into your new home. I know you carry memories both sad and sweet as you leave one home for another. Take care!

Rose said...

Sally, I know this must be a very emotional time for you, but I like the positive message at the end. Life is full of so many changes, we have to embrace them if we are to move on with our lives. It sounds as though you are making the most of your time left in Pueblo to take in the sights and smells and everything you enjoy one last time.

I meant to leave you a note some time ago about my best friend who also moved last month. She and her husband were downsizing, but rather reluctantly. The hardest part for her, besides the memories, was leaving her garden. We helped her dig up some favorite plants, including a couple special ones planted in memory of her daughter who died much too young, and she took a few to plant in the tiny garden she now has. The rest she shared with me and a couple of other good friends, so her garden will live on, in part, in our gardens. I hope you can take Julie's rose with you, or at least a cutting--it's so beautiful.

I hope the rest of your move goes well, and that you soon bloom in your new home.

Isabelle said...

I do hope the move goes well.

Terri Tiffany said...

I know you've told me why you are moving but I don't remember and your post made me so sad that I wanted to say "Don't move!" But I know there must be a very good reason?? I am sad for you but happy you had so many good memories there. The move will be a challenge but take it from someone who has done their share and know you will survive and bloom again.

Dee said...

Dear Sally, this poignant posting reminded me of how I wandered around my home--where I'd lived for 32 years--when I moved from Minnesota to Missouri three years ago. So many cherished memories we have of our homes--yours in Pueblo and mine in Stillwater. But you are so wise in knowing that new memories will be given birth in your new home.

I wondering one thing: are you going to dig up Julie's rose and take it with you? Peace.

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

You have been preparing for this moment and now the time comes. Your head if full of what you remember and it will be with you. The new place is a structure and will be the new place for new memories and they will blend together. It's a natural process. May you enjoy the new surroundings.

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Oh, Sally, this is bittersweet. It makes me sad, that you are moving from your home ... but I know that you will love your new home and love being closer to the kids and grandkids.

I remember when Mom sold our home of 40 years. Thank you for sharing this with us. I think that was pretty nice of that special rosebush!


Kathy M.

becca said...

beautiful post

Janette said...

I remember the chairs from another post :>) They will feel good - like a warm glove of home in your new house.
Thank you for sharing your last Sunday with us.
Travel lightly and sleep well.

Jeanie said...

Oh, Sally, there is such love in this post. I'm glad you are taking those chairs; I wish you could take the rosebush, too -- it is so very lovely. How hard it is to leave a spot that is filled with memories good and bad, family, love, life. But yes, you will indeed build new memories in your new place. I wish you Godspeed as you close your door and move on.

troutbirder said...

Being a nostaligic person my self I thoroughly enjoyed this post Sally. We had similarl feelings some ten years ago when we sold our home, divided the property and built a new home in the woods next door. We needed a fresh start after the the loss of or son but also found it comforting to remain in place with friends....

Anonymous said...

Dear Teacher -- What a lovely place you've been for so long. Yes, take the chairs! My parents had a set in green...6 grandkids grew up spinning in them, and the youngest (my 25-year-old son) claimed them for his new apartment with his bride. All of the other furniture in their apartment is based on the two swivel chairs.

Moving is hard, but being at a new spot can be liberating.

DrumMajor (via Gigi and Kay's Musings)

Linda said...

Hi Sally, this is a very moving and beautiful post. You are such a lovely person, I am certain that joy will follow you wherever you go, and whatever your pursuits may be. Warm hugs to you.

Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams said...


You have written such a moving post.

Although it's not easy to leave a house behind when such beautiful memories were made in it, know that you nurtured it along for the next family to enjoy.

Think of the atmosphere of love, and caring that will emanate from the walls. We are to live in a house for a set time, and then it's time to give it to someone else to love, to enjoy, and to add in their memories.

It's all part of the history of the beloved house. You can tell which ones are loved the best, they open their arms wide, as if almost to hug you hello.

Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

Kay said...

I've been so busy lately with our long stay in Illinois but I did see this post. I thought I'd written my thoughts, but I must have gotten distracted by my granddaughter or some other thing. You've written such a beautiful, melancholy post.

I can feel your pain because I've certainly felt it too. However, there's a lot to look forward to and knowing you, I know you'll be finding lots more to enjoy and eventually love about your new place. I hope Jim is doing all right. 61 years is a long time.