Complete… by JoAnn

A window with christmas decorations and candles in the snow.

When I wash my dishes, I fondly look out the window at my backyard and beyond. I have several trees in my yard, and I often see a variety of birds. This past summer, I had a Jackrabbit and a Cottontail bunny that appeared a few times. There is a squirrel that lives in one of the trees as well. All of these creatures make my day much brighter when they decide to visit, and I catch a glimpse.

Beyond my backyard are acres of a farmer’s field. The field was full of small trees and brush when I first moved into my apartment. After a few years, the owner decided to put the field to good use. They took many weeks to clear the field and prepare it for planting. Their first crop was soybean, followed by corn. This year, much to my surprise, cotton was grown. That was a shocker to me. I have lived in this area for 30 years, and cotton is a crop you don’t see much anymore. When we first moved here, cotton fields were a plenty, and the gins stayed busy during the season. But soybeans slowly took over. So it was quite the change to see cotton growing in my backyard.

The cotton grew beautifully, and the farmers spent several days in a row picking it up last week. Their large harvesters started their hum at daylight and finished after dark. The field is now clean, and I can see as far as my eyes will allow. I adore the view this time of year when all the leaves are off the trees.

I have been placing collectibles on my windowsill for some time. I enjoy something pretty to look at along with my view. Most of the trinkets have memories attached, like a little ceramic container with a Robin bird painted on it that my daughter Robin gave me when I first moved into my apartment. I have a tiny glass bottle that contains sand from when my daughter Chelsea and my son-in-law Jake went on a cruise to the Caribbean. I also have an owl figurine wearing a chef’s hat and holding a spoonful bowl. There are a couple of pieces that I adore because they are simply vintage. I love vintage items for the history and memories that they hold. But no matter what I have added to my kitchen window sill, it seemed incomplete. It never looked quite as cute or made me as happy as I desired.

One day, when I was cleaning my living room and making room to display Christmas decorations, I picked up an old clay cross I had bought at a thrift store for a couple of dollars. I love crosses and have several displayed on my walls. But I needed nails to hang it and kept forgetting to buy some. So it had just been hanging out in my living room. I looked around, scoping out my apartment. What could I do with this cross? Maybe I should re-donate it. I read the scripture embossed on the front. “He has made everything beautiful in its time. Ecclesiastes 3:11”. Golden wheat is embossed across the center as well. I really love this cross. I didn’t want to give it back. I looked up at my kitchen window sill. Maybe it would look okay among my other little treasures for the time being. I placed it in the center of all my lovelies. A smile came across my face like a ray of sunshine after rain. The old cross had found its home. The window sill that I never felt was complete was now perfect!

It’s funny how something so small can give me the biggest smile. I don’t quite understand how silly little objects can bring me such joy, but they do. I am certainly not alone in this. People have forever been collecting “things” that bring a smile to their faces. To me, that old cross, and the small items my children gave me, are just reminders of the things I dearly love in my life. Little things that make my life feel complete.

I will continue to downsize my home as I age, continuously rotating out the clutter. But the little reminders that make me smile, those things will stay forever.