Charm

I was listening to the radio on the way home from Jake’s soccer game yesterday, and the conversation was about something that people in this day and time are seeking.  In this day of soaring gas prices, unbelievable food prices, war, crime, etc., people feel that something is missing in their lives. 

I know I personally never watch the news anymore because even locally there’s just too much crime, too much drama, and even what is supposed to be “news” is more about “hollywood” and the “unreality” of it.  Is the fact that Brittany may be pregnant again really news or just silly gossip that in the big scheme of things means nothing?  I’d rather hear about the new academy for special needs children that has opened or even have a local look at 87-year-old Mr. Morrow’s vegetable garden and how he does it than whether or not Brittany has her kids back. 

What this radio personality said we were all longing for is CHARM.  Boy was she right!  I know she hit it right on the button for me. Does this ring true for you?   For instance, I drive through an older area of a town 10 minutes from here and the houses take my breath away.  I’ve done this for years hoping to see a for sale sign on my favorite. They were built probably in the 1920s or 1930s in the shadow of a textile mill.  The neighborhood is laid out almost in a grid pattern with adorable tree-lined streets.  For the most part the houses are “charming” craftsman style homes with clean white siding and colored shutters with the cement porches painted blue or a dark red, there are flower boxes on some of the windows, huge gardenia bushes blooming, and irises and hydrangeas showing off their color in almost every yard.  I could literally drive around and around taking in each and everyone of these houses, noting something I love about all of them.

The radio host went on to say that we all go looking for charm in different ways.  Some purchase homes like I mentioned above and create escapes from their 80-hour work weeks.  Some turn off the televisions altogether and try to bring a family closeness back into their lives. 

This is what I feel like charm is, what I miss, and what I’m searching out:  I remember walking up “the road” to my grandmother’s house, up to the top of the hill, stopping to pet the dog or the cat, and then opening the screen door at the kitchen, and calling yooooooohoooo!!!  (You never had to knock and the doors were never locked.) I’d hear a yoooooohooooo! right back and “in the bedroom!”   Of course, I knew that’s where she was because 9 times out of 10 if her chores were done, she was quilting.  I’d walk to the bedroom and there she’d be with a pieced quilt spread out on her bed in some phase of completion.  It might be a Dutch Doll pattern or flower pots, but it was always an applique style because that’s what she loved to do.  She’d ask me if I wanted a Pepsi or something to eat, tell me to clean off a chair, and ask me what I was up to.  The windows would be up all through the house and the breeze coming through made you think it wasn’t 90-degrees outside.  There was no AC, no fans going, it was just where the house sat under the trees in perfect placement with nature that created this setting. 

There we would sit and talk and laugh.  She’d make dinner for us and tell me not to worry about the dishes.  She’d walk me down the hill and halfway home, and of course I had to call her to make sure she made it safely back, too.

THIS is what I miss in my life.  Not just my grandmother, but that comfort, that CHARM of a lazy day spent with someone you love. 

Last night, we spent the evening with some friends.  It’s the closest I’ve come to the feeling I had way back then in a long time.  We left a little late to go over for the party, and when my cell phone rang (charming, right?) I knew it was Lisa checking to be sure I was okay and on my way.  Once there, it was that feeling of comfort.  Jake played, we sat outside and watched the birthday girl and her friends enjoy themselves in the pool.  We worried when Jake went with them down to the pond until they returned, but it was what you’re supposed to do…that kind of worry, not was someone going to abduct my child or something horrible like that.  It was just saying to Haleigh several times, don’t let go of his hand, watch him. 

And then what happend?  One of their neighbors came up and she and her daughter used to be our neighbors in another subdivision!  How nice to see them again!  Anissa and I were both pregnant at the same time, so we saw how each child had grown and changed in the few years since we bothed moved from the neighborhood. 

I know I’m rambling a bit, but it was refreshing.  It was calm in the middle of worrying about work and health and anything else.  It was cutting the birthday cake and watching presents being opened.  It was a charming evening. 

What I want to know now, is what is charming to you?   How do you describe it?  Can you relate to this at all?  Do you feel like something is missing or are you comfortable with things as they are?  Tell me! 

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14 Comments

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14 responses to “Charm

  1. Susan

    I loved my week I just spent in the mountains away from it all. I find charm in small things and warm memories. In old songs and in warm relationships. Like you…I miss this kind of bliss . I want to live it daily ..not just when I go on vacation. Great topic Jan!

  2. For me, I think charm is something that looks magical or perfect. For instance, those old victorian mansions, complete with overgrown rose bushes hugging the home. Or those homes with the beautiful front porch, complete with chairs or better yet, a swinging chair. Lazy days in the backyard sleeping on a hammock with a pitcher of fresh (not store bought) lemonade. (not that I’ve ever done that) could also fit that idea.

  3. Rajah1116

    I think like this ALL the time! I would LOVE to live in the 50’s….be a stay at home mom, wear a dress, make lemonade for all the neighborhood kids that yard hopped their way to my place….I long for that simpler time…and I wasn’t even there for it!

  4. You are ever so right Jan! We’ve become too busy in this day and age to be “bothered” with charm…
    I miss it….~sigh~

  5. kristina

    Oh how I miss sitting with my Gram playing Crazy 8s and rummy….drinking Fresca out of it’s green bottle with a straw. I truly have no idea why she had a TV…it was never on. We would pass the time singing, playing games, baking and pressing wildflowers….I was never bored!

  6. CCORIGINAL

    I AM ALWAYS IN SLOW MOTION COMPARED TO EVERYONE ELSE BUT LOVE TO STOP AND SMELL THE ROSES!

  7. patti h

    I say the same thing. I think that is what is lacking in families today. We still do Sunday dinners and we do not turn on the tv (except for football) we play card games or board games. We have always sat down every night as a family to eat dinner with no tv and we talked about our days. I really think we need to bring back the *charm of family* Great topic to discuss

  8. I remember days like this from when I was a kid. I hate that the charm and innocence of those days has been shattered.

  9. Robin

    I completely agree with you! I miss the month during the summer that I would spend at my Nana’s beach house. We just spent time walking on the beach, playing, talking. I know that even though Emma is little we have been trying to get her to talk about her high points of the day.

  10. Ah yes, Charm. To me charm is windows open, books, live music played in a livingroom or on the porch, going for a walk, less is more, unplugged, holding hands, natural light, cicada song, dandelion bouquets. Its laying on the grass, building a snowman, tending a fire, writing a letter. Its slower. Its quieter, its personal. Its not new, not perfect, not sterile. It fits. Its peace.

  11. The neighborhood you describe is my dream neighborhood! There is a street in the town I used to live in that has nothing but historical houses. Ive taken many walkes up and down that street just dreaming of even knowing someone that lived in any one of the beautiful houses. The “cookie cutter” neighborhoods that are poping up EVERYWHERE even during this real estate crisis, are MOST defininatly lacking charm!! Hmmmmm one day when I’m rich…………..oops dreaming again! =0)

  12. Aaaah…thank you for posting this, Jan! I wish I could bring a little more charm into my life!

  13. btw…You’ve been tagged! Go check out my blog! 🙂

    http://gab423.blogspot.com/

  14. Thanks for playing, Jan!!! 🙂

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