Life changed like a sneaky snake

Published 9:00 am Thursday, September 14, 2017

By Sue Staton

If one ever thinks their lives do not change that much, they need to check out an old phone book or an old address book to see that it has.

In fact, it changes right before your eyes almost like a sneaky snake.

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On Sunday afternoon, this revelation hit me between the eyes as I went through my address index card file to update it and clean out the extra “stuff” I had stuffed into it. 

Some of these things included address labels torn from envelopes and put in there for safekeeping.

I also had several recipes I had hastily written down on the index cards to keep to make one day. If I ever made all the recipes I have cut from magazines. I would be in the kitchen constantly.

I could not believe how my life has changed by looking at these address cards. It was an eye opener for me that life does get away from us even more than I realized.

For example, by the time I had finished cleaning out the address index file, I had deleted about 50 cards from it. I was shocked to learn how many people I had at one time been so very close to had passed away or had moved and we lost touch. Some had been in my home at least once a month for meals and playing cards. Others we met through my children or some just moved away. Even though we promised to stay close, we did for a while and then life has a way of taking over.

One such group was a camping group I named “The Good Times Bunch” because of all the fun we always had together. There were about 30 other campers we were also very close with. We spent summers together and some we took trips with. We all welcomed the year 2000 together. At that time, our lives seemed nearly invincible for us.

We would begin camping in April and stayed until we were told Fort Boonesborough had to close for the winter. A lot of them would take off for Florida while some of us snowbirds would go down and see them. We even spent New Year’s Eve in Okeechobee with them. They all impacted our lives one way or another. Since that time, so many of our camping friends have passed away.

As I looked at other names the memories flooded my mind again.

I could not believe how many addresses and phone numbers I had written down for my daughter. Some were when they were in college. One was when my oldest granddaughter was newly born and then some years later when she and her mom moved to a new address when her parents divorced.

I remembered the good and bad times. Then, I came upon my granddaughter’s last address of her senior year of college. I thought of all the many addresses my other daughter, Shanda had while at the University of Kentucky.

It hit me, had life really been this fast? When? How?

Each address brought a different memory of my visiting them.

I saw all the addresses my sister and my brothers had lived at and remembered how happy I was when my middle brother, Raymond, finally moved back to the U.S. after being overseas in the Navy for so many years.

The phone book was the same.

When I saw my mom’s old phone number and address in one of the books, the tears swelled. I thought about how at one address my daddy was still alive and our family still felt whole, but with his death that all changed.

My mother never seemed settled after that and our family moved her in and out of apartments after she sold the home she and daddy lived in. I think in one year she moved five times or more. No place seemed to suit her.

Just seeing her address made me realize how much water had passed under the bridge, so to speak.

So, if you think life doesn’t change that much, just clean out an address file or go through an old phone book and you can see it really does. 

Sue Staton is a Clark County native who grew up in the Kiddville area. She is a wife, mother and grandmother who is active in her church, First United Methodist Church, and her homemakers group, Towne and Country Homemakers.