All summer long I drove past the vines thinking how cool it would be to try making some wine, juice or jam from the grapes on the fence.
Yesterday I realized that another summer and fall were gone and that I have thought about those grapes every year for the past five years.
I never went as far as actually picking some grapes to begin the process of making something out of them. I never began the reading process as far how to make wine, juice, or jam out of wild grapes.
The grapes left me feeling sad for all the things that I planned on doing this past year. Seeing them still hanging on the vine and the apples still hanging on the trees at home combined for a feeling of loss.
I started to think about what I have to show for my efforts in the past year. Did I do anything noteworthy? Did I deepen relationships with friends and family? Did I grow in my job, learn something new or was this past year just like all the others?
This year has been different from others when I stopped to think about it. I stepped out of my comfort zone and met new people. I get up earlier every Wednesday morning and drive a half hour to another town to my new-found friends for bible study. I challenged myself to get up earlier each morning and write. The grapes may still be on the vine but not because I was plodding along doing the same old stuff but because I didn’t have time. I choose to fill the time required for wine making with other things like writing and bible study.
So where does that leave me in the relationship department? Lacking for sure. This is where I need some work. I have taken my family for granted. They are always here with my coming and going, living their lives. We have spent very little time interacting.
This past week I have tried to do better. It’s not so hard picking up the phone to call my son who doesn’t live at home to say hi and how is your day or week going. It doesn’t take that much time to call my daughter who is at college when I am in town to say “Would you like to go for lunch?” After all I still need to eat lunch and sitting down to eat with my daughter at a table for lunch seems so much more civilized than a McDonald’s meal in my car on my way back to work. I did call her this week for lunch but she was busy but at least I called.
Christmas is coming and it is always a stressful time. Relationships are hard because the expectation levels are high. This year I truly want to focus on some visiting with family that is above the usual exchange of pleasantries. Perhaps choosing to get to know just one new thing about each person I spend time with this season. That’s my goal and I’m sticking to it.