The general concept of change is one that I embrace. Realizing I’m afloat in the river of time, I don’t attempt to swim against the current. I just enjoy drifting along where the shore line remains in view and yet the scenery is constantly changing.

So, from time to time, along with my age, I change my mind, my toothbrush and my experiences.

My mother, though, clings to the constants in the life she has known. She is content to remain at the same general location she’s been since 1959.

Seated with her in her living room, we have a good view through the patio doors of birds flying south for the winter. She places her water glass on a lamp table — the same table I remember from my childhood.

I remember reaching up to its drawer and pulling the handle, a brass ring in a lion’s mouth. Today I would have to reach down to the handle, and the lion seems much smaller.

“Why don’t you sell the place here?” I suggest to her. “Buy a place in town with a small yard. Get new furniture — get a flat screen TV!”

“Oh, I don’t think so. I enjoy the peace of the neighborhood here.” She points outside. “I enjoy the view of the pasture fields with the animals.”

My younger brother pops in like toast at breakfast. He’s offering one of his frequent checks on her during the day. Mom mentions how secure she feels living next to him and his family. As he hears where the conversation is going, he remarks, “Mama won’t sell the place here.”

“This is home. I don’t know what else to say.” She uses her “my-mind-is-made-up voice.” Then she gets to the heart of the matter. “There are so many memories here: you boys, your dad. I know where each one of you have sat around the table.

“And the toy closet at the end of the hall is where three generations of children have played.” She points to a desk. “Even under there the grandchildren have played with their toys.”

She talks on and on, stimulated by something in the house or in the view from her windows. It doesn’t take me long to realize that she wouldn’t be happy transplanted to another location.

“I look over at the bulky TV. “You know,” I tell her, “at least you might get one of those flat screen digital TVs.”

Jimmy Lowe’s column appears every Thursday in the Daily Times.


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