Most of you know I live in a 55+ community. While I'm on the negative side of 55, many, many of the residents here are well into the plus side. As you might imagine, death is not an uncommon occurrence here.
It was the death of one of our residents last week that has me pondering life in general this afternoon. Her name was Ann. I didn't know her. I've looked at the last 3 picture books that the park has done and she's not in any of them. I don't know if that's because she was very old and couldn't get down to get her picture taken, or if she just didn't have any friends in the park so didn't care.
That's about as far as my pondering would have gone about Ann, if it weren't for a pile of trash. There was a huge mountain of trash out front of her house on Monday. That made me a bit sad. I'm sure Ann thought the things in those bags were treasures. Now, they're trash. Just like that. I think of all the things here in my home that are treasures to me. Bring me joy to look at. Have a story that touches my heart. The day after I die will it all be out at the curb? Probably. That makes me sad too.
I have a horseradish jar full of pennies. Doesn't everyone? Now, when I die, the kids will look at that and wonder what the hell? They'll take the pennies and spend them and toss the jar. They won't know that I've had that jar since May 22, 1982. They won't know that my Mom put every penny in that jar and kept it in the little night stand she had next to the kitchen table. I don't know why. I know that she touched every single one of those pennies though. I know she washed out that horseradish jar to put them in. I've got that jar sitting on my knick knack shelf. I see it every time I dust and I think of my Mom. I've thought of having the pennies melted down and made into something, but somehow, they're just so special in that jar. It makes me smile to look at it. I'll keep it until I die.
I'm sorry, I digress. As usual.
Den is working for the park on the maintenance staff now. He was at work last week when one of the guys brought in this accordion file they found in a pile of trash.
They knew he was a chef and they knew I love to cook, so they gave it to Den to bring home. You see, it was full of recipes.
We started going through it today. Some hand written, some cut out of magazines, some printed out on the computer. We spent hours going through them and only got through the first 2 compartments. I'm convinced they're Ann's. I put some aside that look so wonderful I just have to try. The ones I didn't like, I just couldn't bring myself to throw away. I put them back in their respective slots in the file. For what? I don't know. I just know that she found them special enough to clip and save and I just can't throw them away.
There is writing on a lot of them. A random word 'good', 'this was great', etc. That shows me she actually tried a lot of these. Awesome. One actually made me laugh. It was a typed recipe from a friend I assume. The friend had written 'too spicy, I'd cut out the green chili's'. Ann had made X's all through that line and in her own hand wrote 'She's crazy!'. Freakin awesome! Not only did someone give her that recipe, she tried it. You bet your ass I'll be fixing it. With the chili's of course!
I wish I'd known Ann. I think we'd have gotten along well. I'd like to find a friend of hers. Talk to them, find out about her. A story behind these recipes. I'm looking forward to spending more time with this file.
I hope when I die, and this file is sitting out by the road in the trash pile, that someone like me picks it up. Learns a little bit about me. Wishes they'd known me better....
Peace be the journey
Why yes, I do believe
3 years ago