Thursday, September 20, 2012

What I Will Do Today

It's quiet here this morning. The sun is just now coming in the window with yellow light. Green trees still shadow the yard, yet a month from now they will be thin and brown and at the mercy of the wind.

It's these sweet early moments that cause thankfulness to rise up in my heart. How wonderful a soft woolen sweater feels! How delicious a cup of black coffee! How intoxicating the scent of a pumpkin candle glowing in the other room!

And this day is mine...I can choose how to live it.

I will choose to work a bit. The recent rains have fed the grass and made mowing a weekly chore once again. I will crank up the mower and my lawn mowing music and pave perfect rows across the yard. All the while, I am alert to fallen leaves with hints of purple and yellow, the way sunlight on the pond looks like shredded gold, and the hop, hop, fly of timid birds. Can this really be considered work when I am renovated by it? Spiritually awakened? At peace...

I will also choose to clean house today...for awhile. There is an unspoken pleasure at the sight of freshly vacumned carpet, the shine of polished wood, the way fabric-softened towels stack up in thick rainbow-colored piles.

I will stretch my mind today. Open the door to flowered words ...and try my best to make my brain say what my heart feels. Moments are lost if not for words. But the secret is to write them down in such a way -that years later, with just the simple act of reading it again, can cause waves of emotion that take you back in time. My effort is not lost if one day my children and grandchildren can read what I've written and somehow know me.

I will talk to my husband on the phone today. He will call on his break and we will discuss weekend plans. We'll laugh. We will reach across the September miles with invisible arms and hug one another.
I will eat the pear I've been saving. It is the color of honey with caramel freckles and I will probably need a napkin as I savor it quickly down to its skinny brown core. Then I will have shaved ham with a slice of white cheese and a fat red tomato. I may even dig in the cabinet past the old Cream of Wheat and stale crackers to find a hidden block of chocolate that melts like pure joy on my tongue.
I will greet this day with hope, happiness and gratitude. For without those things, what is life?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Having Faith

It's funny how little things happen in your life- 
and then later you realize they were big things.

I got a phone call last night and someone is coming 
to look at the house on Thursday. 
Chances are, our house will be on the market for several months, but there is also a chance that phone call 
may change our entire life...

Our plan for many years now has been to settle at the cabin. 
(I call it Final Roots.)
We are at the point that we don't need extra bedrooms, 
fancy decor, 
or a yard to show off. 
Our mind is set on a huge garden, 
bird houses, chickens, tranquility 
and a cozy little home. 
A place where we can rock on the porch, 
ride 4-wheelers in the creek, 
and see millions of stars in the night sky.

I see it as a place where I can set up an easel and paint- 
or have a work table full of smooth gourds
ready to be explored  -
or stained glass pieces wanting to be assembled 
into a window for the kitchen.

I can also see my husband in his overalls and cap
welding a metal gate for the path,
carving a cypress branch into a walking stick,
and tinkering on everything and nothing
like men sometimes do.

Don't get me wrong.
I love this house...

I remember the first time I saw it.
It was small, and baby blue
and the yard hadn't been mowed all season.
There was a Harley-Davidson sticker
on the kitchen door,
a pile of metal in the fence row
and a grove of pine trees that showed signs of decay.

It wasn't even for sale.

But I prayed.
We needed a home where the kids could go
to the only school they had ever known.
We needed a yard.
A porch.
A place to call our own.

For almost two years we had lived in
the back of my husband's plumbing shop/laundromat.
I hated it.
But, as with most things, I hated it with a smile-
and tried to make the best of it.

The first time I walked through the yard at this house,
I knew in my heart that this is where I was going to live.

My husband convinced the owner to sell,
we convinced the bank to give us a loan,
and we forced demanded asked the kids to help fix it up.

I remember it being so cold while we renovated
that my coffee froze in the cup,
my daughter Becca fell through the bathroom floor,
and it took days and days to strip the place
down to the studs.

The kids were actually good sports.
They learned to use drills, hammers, pry bars
and (to their advantage) -bathroom breaks.
They buttered foundation blocks, mixed mortar,
fetched wires, carried insulation, rolled paint
and sanded drywall.

We were quite a team.

And, with all of us pitching in-
we made a dream come true.

But the kids are all out of the nest now.

Their bedrooms are empty of school awards,
favorite pillows and photos of friends.
There are no dirty tennis shoes on the floor,
wrinkled clothes in the corners,
or late night phone chats that drift down the hallway.

During the day, it's just me and the dog.
At night, it's me and my husband and the dog and the TV.
And empty rooms that never get used
except for an occasional overnight guest.

This is the sort of house that needs to be filled with laughter
and slumber parties and jelly on the kitchen chairs.
This yard needs to be busy with baited fishing hooks,
the thump of basketballs,
the joy of capturing fireflies...
The house needs a new family to love.

And I hope it finds one...

I've learned that simple little things
can become big things when you pray...

But I also know that the plans you have for yourself
are sometimes not the plans that God has for you.

You just gotta hold on and have faith.

And enjoy every minute of the journey...

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tongues Are A Waggin'

I live in a little community where the most exciting thing to happen in awhile is having our potholes filled with asphalt. We have a post office, a bank, a gas station and a grocery store. A school, some churches, and lots of corn fields.

But right down the road in the neighboring town is something that recently set gossipy tongues on fire.

They built a strip club.

Now, this isn't just a little hole in the wall.
It's not a saloon wedged in between the antiques barn and the condemned video store.
It's not the old fix-it shop converted into a theater.

It's a giant pink and purple pole barn that advertises GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS!
(And more).
At night, three neon X's light up the rooftop.
It's gaudy, tasteless and really has no business in this little town.

But honestly, I pass the place nearly every day and rarely give it a thought. As long as the dancers, patrons and whatever else goes on there stays inside, then let them be.

(I do believe in Karma, though, if you know what I mean....)

This morning as I was taking my husband to work, and we were approaching the club, his head suddenly jerked to stare out the window.

"Looky there..." he sighed. "Oh, myyyyyyyy goodness..."

I jumped into Alert Mode and strained to see if some half-clothed floozy had stepped from the pink party lights into the soybean-dusty air.
I half expected to see a blow-up doll of carnival proportions flying above the interstate.

But no.

My dear husband was breaking his neck to see four John Deere tractors with bush hogs lined up by the roadway.

Whew! Close call! He sure was lucky!
Because my wrist slapper was feeling particularly well-oiled this morning and my elbows were nice and sharp for rib punching.

Then he said it was a sure sign of growing old when you get excited about tractors instead of tramps skanks lovely dancing ladies.

And we laughed about it.

Places like this strip club come and go.
And most likely this one will go soon.

After some research, I found out it's a $15 cover charge, you have to bring your own booze, and customers rated the dancers a 2 on a 10 point scale.

A 2.

No wonder those tractors looked so sexy!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Hello, You Two!

Dear Two People Who Read My Blog,

Kinda sucks when you pour your heart out and your audience leaves the room.
Or worse yet, doesn't even show up for your party.
I'm feeling that way today...
Maybe it's the fact that I haven't taken the time to reciprocate by visiting you all. Don't blame you, really.


I'm in this funky limbo lately.
Can't shake it.
Feel like I need to do something creative, but nothing comes out.
I call it Creative Constipation.

And, hey- it hurts!

So, I think I'll go right back where I was a few months ago.

 But you two really won't mind, will you?

So...see you when I see you!
Much love to you both!