Living a Legacy – Seeing the Signs

“Did you notice?” I asked him even though I knew he didn’t, and was too busy to even care.

“Notice what?” he responded, not even looking up from his task of pulling wires.

“The dumpster”, I responded.

“Yeah, it’s here”, again, completely disinterested in where I was going.

About a half hour later we were both out in the driveway tossing various construction debris into said dumpster when I asked him, “what color is the dumpster?”.  At this point I want you to know something about my husband, he’s color deficient. Not color blind, color deficient. He can see primary colors but shades and hues of colors, combination colors, secondary colors, etc., are not colors he can see.  That said, I was pretty sure he didn’t know the dumpster was purple.

He looks at the dumpster, “it’s blue??” not totally convinced of it, but taking his best guess.
“Nope. try again.” I reply.

He looks at it a bit more intently as if the dumpster is going to out itself to him, or perhaps he can see into it.

“Purple. Is it purple?” he asks with this “are you kidding me?” tone in his voice.

“Yep. It’s purple.” I respond with a smile.

Who on earth ends up with a purple construction dumpster?

We do.

Why, you wonder, is this important? Because his Mom’s favorite color was purple. We were in her old bedroom tearing lavender colored walls back to the studs as we are beginning our remodel on the house that my husband and his brothers helped his late brother Duane build 30 years ago.

This house was a replacement for the old farm house that had done its duty as a home to a newlywed young woman who purchased it while her husband was across the world fighting for his country in WWII, and she was home trying to build something they would be proud of. Later, a second old house was brought in and attached to the first as they raised six very lively boys to adulthood. So, after their Dad passed, Clarence’s older brother built for his Mom who lived with him, a brand new house. Her dream.

Eleven years after his brother’s passing, here we are now bringing that farm back into the family, remodeling that house to make it our own, knowing we’re continuing a legacy not started by us, but I sometimes feel, almost for us.

The first day we showed up as the new owners and I let myself wander about the yard. I came across a patch of wild onion behind the garage. Our friends who have lived there the past decade had never seen them before. I had a feeling. A couple weeks later when I walked into the garden shed and saw the word “Peace” marked into the concrete…I had a feeling. When flowers sprouted that hadn’t been seen in over a decade, again, I had a feeling. And when a purple dumpster shows up from the waste management company and is set in front of our garage…I just know.

Later that day, I was on the lawn mower mindfully mowing as this yard is new to me, and there are rocks and trees roots and stuff that make it feel a bit like a mind field in certain areas. In my slow going, I stop and wonder: how long has that old fence post stump been there? Who put that rock at the base of that tree? Why are there wild onions in the landscaped border behind the garage? As a mow in between the pine trees Clarence’s parents planted when the farm was new and young, I have a feeling of coming home to a place that has never belonged to me, that  I never even thought to want, but somehow know I am meant to be.

There are huge changes that are being brought about by this move “north”, for Clarence, for our kids, our families, and friends and most for me and my work. While I don’t have all the answers to the how’s and when’s and what’s, somewhere deep inside me, in the stillness, I stop and allow myself to rest in on occasion. It’s like sitting on the lawn mower, I simply know everything is being laid out in front of us, and I see purple.

While we know through many signs we are being guided by Clarence’s family: his late Father, Late Brothers Duane and  Vern, this writing is especially for his Mom, Lorine. I hope to make her proud.

Forever the journey, Anne

Leave a Reply