Friday November 9, 2012

Harriette Leidich

I was sorting some old magazines the other day and in the August Smithsonian there was a report about how there are still some California prospectors who are "going for the gold." I read the article and was reminded that I had three bachelor uncles who "prospected" in those California mountains, staying there for years. This was after World War II.

They came out of their mountain camp as middle-aged men and never worked again. We often wondered how successful their search for gold was. We do know that they used hydraulic methods to bore into the mountains and also did placer mining with dredging and washing methods. They had staked their claims on property that an old uncle had laid claim to, apparently in the early rush to California gold fields.

I believe they stayed in this mountain retreat the rest of their life. They had followed their gleam!

***

It seems that all of my life I have been tucking things into drawers, shelves and cubby holes trying to not quite dispose of them. Some time later I find those "treasures" when I go looking for something else.

Sheets of typewritten material turned up recently and I thought dome of the tips were choice. One find said, "Times change and we change with them." (I believe this statement was credited to a book in the Bible.) I change every day because I am slowing down. It’s then I stop and count my blessings.

***

Oh, how I wish I was young again and could hop on a plane and be whisked away to another continent to explore the charm and way of life far away. I would like to observe them in their way of life.

When I get these feelings of wanderlust I think about a time when a friend and I decided it was boring in our little town and tripped off to Europe. No special destination -- just go. Travel agents are very good at making suggestions.

It was a time of retirement so we packed bags and flew away for another look at an European way of life. It seemed so easy to do. Now when I get these feelings of wanderlust I have to stop and realize I am rooted to my home with several limitations, mainly health. It is then that those feeling of wandering disappear.

I have lived in North Bennington for almost 18 years and have found friends, activities, peace, and yes comfort. I feel that I could not have found a better place to spend the last years of my life.

***

Regina Brett, at 90, wrote in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, a lot about life’s experiences and offered advice. I keep her comments on my desk and gain something of composure as I check them occasionally.

Some of her remarks are worth passing on to you. She says

"Life isn’t fair but it’s still good." "Life is too short to waste time hating anyone." "Pay off your credit cards every month." "It’’s okay to let your children see you cry." And she goes on.

We could all profit from these suggestions when we think of life not going as we want it to.

Harriette Leidich, a retired journalist, lives in North Bennington.