Saturday, October 1, 2011

Comforting anchors, as considered this October 1st


This is more than a month-by-month calendar. This is a fixture, as permanent to our house as the plumbing or wiring.

It's one of the calendars my Mom orders from the Miles Kimball catalog around early September. We were recalling the other day that she has been placing this same order, every year, for over forty years!

One goes on her bedroom wall, within easy viewing range of her bed, with its large numbers and uncluttered printing. Yes, Mom also has others hung on the walls, especially the ones from various animal causes showing cute puppies and kittens. This is the one, however, Mom automatically glances at when I'm telling her of some social or business-related function I'll be attending. It's her way, even at my age, of lovingly keeping tabs on me...(I sigh at the inevitability of that fact).

Another gets sent directly to my brother and his wife in their tiny South Carolina town, because, as he said to Mom one time, "It wouldn't seem like Christmas if I didn't get my calendar from you."

The one shown above has been hung on the kitchen wall for decades. I even recall--as far back as my days at John Muir Junior High--Mom marking doctor appointments and days I'd be late coming home from school in upper-case black marker notations. It was, for so long, the chronicle of our individual and family existences. Even when my son and I moved back here in 1988, Mom began noting, and continues to do so, "special events" on the very back page, which is the "Forget-Me-Not Diary." Such milestones have included when Eric and I planted the elm tree in the very back lawn when an old garage was torn down in 1988, the day I had the new back walk installed, and even when the cat Tiggy got spayed and had her teeth cleaned!

Fast forward -- and now I sadly admit that I've hardly ever looked at the kitchen calendar recently. It's there, of course, but I'm so dependent now on the one on my computer, with its email reminder feature. The only time I notice the Miles Kimball heirloom is when I'm standing, half-conscious in the early morning, brewing my coffee.

Even Eric, on one of his now-hurried visits now that he's married and moved away, remarked how the calendar is something he'd miss if it wasn't there.

In one of my recent redecorating brainstorm sessions, I actually thought of doing away with the kitchen calendar when I finally get around to repainting. But I don't have the heart. I hate to think of the void there would be if, in one of our family conversations, someone said, "Well, go look on the calendar..." and it wasn't there anymore.

No, the calendar stays, no matter what.

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