Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Thinking of Grace, and Old Dreams

54°f this morning, or 12°C, rain showers and lightning, clearing to sunny skies now.

Outside and inside, Spring advances!

Facebook popped up a memory from 12 years ago, when apparently we had lots of daffodils in bloom. So I guess this year isn't the only time we have had daffodils this early.

My granddaughter Grace is on my mind this morning, as she takes the bar exam for the next two days. Keeping my fingers crossed for her that it goes well. I know it is a difficult test, and she has been studying for months.

Grace's brother leaves the Navy in April, and will be home for a bit while he gets the next phase of his life in gear. Grace joked that here they were, like yours, back home again. But that is how it is sometimes as young people,  and sometimes even even the not so young, make major life changes. 

I was talking to a friend about this only this morning. She laughed and said, "Look at me! I thought I'd be living in Greenwich Village by now with my actor/director husband, and waiting on my National Book Award!" 

Her life went nothing like that,  of course. She started out well, getting her degree and a position as a book buyer for the biggest department store in our state capital. She traveled to conventions and such all over the country, had her own apartment, and was looking ahead to better things. 

Then the late 70s recession happened. The department store closed and jobs were scarce. She ended up back home and working for a lot less $$ at the local library. The husband never materialized either. Eventually she signed up for the Masters in Library Science degree through the University of South Carolina distance ed program, one of the first in the country. And that was when I met her, as I also enrolled in that program. She went on to become a library director, then the Youth Services Consultant for the state library commission, and now after retirement is president of the local library. But she never left her hometown again. 

So, while her life certainly didn't follow her dreams, she ended up with a great career in libraries, and living ourmt her life in her hometown, something that probably never entered her teenage head. My grandchildren may find themselves doing the same, but today there are more options available to them, and who knows where they may end up? Currently we have grandchildren in Virginia, California, Florida, Tennessee and here in WV. And I bet by the time all 14 of them find their homes, they will be in several other states 

When I think of my own path, I must admit I never really planned ahead at all. My parents raised us girls with the expectation that we would finish high school, get married, have babies and be housewives. I sort of followed that path for a while,  but like most women, found that we needed more income, and began working, then college and part-time work, on to full-time and my Master's degree, eventually becoming Facilities Manager for the largest library system in the state.  I never returned to my parents' home though, except for a month while my first husband was in basic training and I was pregnant and didn't drive. I ended up living 300 miles from where I was raised, and in deep country---that, at least, had always been a dream, as even my childhood drawings were of a little house in the mountains, surrounded by gardens, flowers and fruit trees.

How about you? Did your early dreams and plans come true? Or did you find yourself on a completely unexpected path?

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.


  1. Does this ever resonate with me! I'd wanted to be a nurse since I was 4 years old (no clue why!) and had a wonderful career in several states while "whitherest thou goesting with my husband and then taking along the 2 boys. I could work as a nurse anywhere! Lupus put an end to that but we lived in Tennessee, KY, TX, and now VA. I'm a quilter so am happy to sew when I have the energy, our younger son lives next door, and our older son and his wife plan to move here asap. Hope house prices and interest rates drop! As my Grandma used to say, "Do pray!"


  2. Wow, daffodils already! I am feeling very impatient. We had a good winter, but I'm done with it. As for how your future unfolds, I don't think I ever had just one idea. I had a hundred things I wanted to do and I did so many of them! I never felt like I was only ever going to travel one path, and I think that has been helpful to me. My husband *did* think things were going to unfold only one way, and he struggled (I think) a lot early on as life shifted and changed...

  3. I could not imagine going through what Grace is going through right now. I am a horrible test taker under pressure. Let us know how she does!

  4. My parents had the same expectations for their daughters. My life did not turn out as they expected. Shoot. It did not turn out as I expected. But I can tell you that I always played the very best game I could with the cards I was dealt.

  5. Good hopes for Grace, I can't imagine the testing!! The answer to your question is No. Things have not turned out like I thought they would.But I'm still here and kicking, so who knows ? I'm not dead yet. Annie Ann Austin

  6. I didn't really have specific dreams. I thoguht for a long time that I might become a man of the cloth but that certainly didn't happen and as thing turned out would have been a bad choice.

  7. I saw daffodils at a restaurant yesterday, but told myself I'd take their photo when leaving. They had all been cut when I came back outside. Shoot. My life has sure had twists and turns, and I think I've been rather imaginative in coping with it all. Following retirement I have finally been able to fulfill one dream of becoming a potter.!


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