Still Too Much

Last week I did a photo group of what I was taking with me for five nights in San Dimas, California, via plane trip.

I still had two shirts I didn’t wear. I opened my Nook for about 3 minutes on the flight out there.  I didn’t wear or need the jacket I took.  I would take it again anyway.  I left my damp swimsuit with my son’s bride to run through the wash and stow.  We had a late evening swim the last night I was there in the newly filled pool.  I plan to need it there, again.

Hollywood is an experience! The crowds on the street were a little overwhelming. Like midway at the fair here in the country.  I did love the opportunity to see some things in person.

The pier at Santa Monica is crazy. Well, the folks on it seem to be. On the pier and along the boardwalk we saw some interesting characters.  I know what slacklining is now.

I got to put my feet in the Pacific again. I always try to take a photo of my feet in the sand at the edge of the water.  Just one of my personal traditions or rituals.

The best part of my trip was simply the visit with two of my favorite people in the world. Just being in the house and watching them living was worth more than anything.  Did I mention how talented his bride is at decorating their home?  So lovely and tastefully done.

Well, actually the best part of my trip was this:

I had the privilege of feeling our little one kicking and squirming. I got to hook up to Facetime and share a photo session with him.  It was a shoot of her perfect little face and a wonderful little hand and two little feet with legs crossed at the ankles.  The wonders of technology exposing the miracles of Him!  It is all so surreal.

It’s good to be back home. With him.  But, come on November!  I am ready to fly again.  Next time we go together.  For a very special someone’s Grand Entrance!

There was a lot of too much this past week. I took too much stuff in my bags.  I was stunned by too much traffic in the Greater Los Angeles area. The concept of that little girl growing is still too much for me to grasp.  I can’t completely write or even think about her.  I become overwhelmed with too much emotion, still.

I will set aside a day, soon, to let my mind and heart go. I will let it all be too much and when my tears have been shed, I will know it is all much too wonderful, still.

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See What I Mean?

My friends are skeptical about my claim of packing light. This post will be unusual because it is photographic evidence and comments regarding my “luggage” for my trip that starts tomorrow.  I will fly to California tomorrow and spend five nights with my son and his bride.  We will stop off to get a few products like deodorant and shampoo before we go home for the evening.

Exhibit One

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Foreground is jeans and tennies for wearing. See the backpack in the background?  A pair of pants, a pair of shorts, a few t-shirts, swimsuit, pajamas, undies are assembled on the bed.

Exhibit Two

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Rolled up to stow.  Jewelry and undies in the small bags.

Exhibit Three

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Room to spare in this regular student size backpack (Wal-mart).

Exhibit Four

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My purse has a journal and small notebook that I carry most of the time everywhere.  Plenty of empty space here.

Exhibit Five

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These items will load in the morning.

Exhibit Six

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Purse, backpack, white denim jacket, Nook bag.  I weighed the whole lot and it comes in at 16 pounds or so.

Almost ready for take-off!

One thing wrong with the whole deal.  He won’t fit in my bag.  Already the pain of missing him has started.  I will have to enjoy the company of our children doubly for his not getting to be there, too.

 

Traveling light.

“I travel light.” That is a line spoken by John Wayne in the film In Harm’s Way.

It is an idea I adopted a long time ago. Just an idea. I have not applied it across the board in my life. Yet, I want to travel light in all areas.

When it comes to going on a plane trip or to the river bank, I generally take bare basics and one or two frills. My purse could be, and sometimes is, very tiny.

I pack a small bag to go away usually. One exception is a trip he and I take to a cattle sale.  I tend to pack a lot of clothes because there is no time to wash and sometimes a need for two or three outfits a day.  An auction barn can be a pretty grubby place.

There are some additional areas in which I would like to reduce my baggage. I have a book bag.  It contains a zipper bag of pens, sticky notes, markers, paper clips, etc.  I stuff my bag with a journal, a tablet, another book or two, an envelope of odd papers and bills.  Even when I know good and well I won’t have time to even look at this stuff, I feel lost without having it along to some places.  As if something will happen and I won’t have the things I need to keep my head straight.  I want to feel more confidence in my memory.

Another item is morning coffee. I always take a cup in the car on the way.  I’ve already had a pot before I leave.  I usually only drink a sip or two on the ride.  Then, I have a travel cup of cold coffee to haul out of the car.  Extra baggage from habit.

My clothes closet truly is extra baggage. Clothes I don’t wear for a myriad of reasons. I have read about the 333 project.  Thirty three articles of clothing for three months.  Interesting reading.  Not going to happen with me.  At least not yet.  I have read about French women’s style.  Allegedly, they have a few white shirts and dark pants and a pair or two of shoes to achieve their legendary style.  More interesting reading.  I can’t pay attention long enough to put that kind of closet together.

When I look around my home and life, I don’t have as much as many Americans. I have tons more than most of world’s households.   As I get my mind ready for a plane trip, I will need to pick out what will go in a small backpack and a medium size purse.  Five nights, four days.

I want to travel light. Moments like this make me think about the baggage I carry.  What about the baggage in my heart?  Thankfully, the load seems lighter each year.  Learning to let go of the things that need to go. Learning to let be the things that need to be.  Letting it go and letting it hurt.  Letting loose and letting love flow through.

As I look back over this raveled thread of thoughts, one common thing emerges. Baggage comes in many forms.  A coffee cup, a heavy suitcase, cluttered closets, a burdened heart.  My theory is that all these areas overlap as layers.  When the layers are peeled back, truth is revealed.  What is the truth of my life?

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Difficult Times

The past few weeks have been trying. Several areas of my life have been in turmoil.  I came home early from the 9 to 5 Monday.  I couldn’t stop crying.

I did what was needed to manage the situation. A little dinner, a little nap, a lot of Scripture and prayer. By the evening, I was better. Drained, but better.

Tuesday was better and today is going fine. Tomorrow is Friday Eve.  So all is well.

The weekend holds promise for a blessed time with the clowns…I mean the girls. Our party theme is clowns and our menu is salads.  I am going retro with a Jell-O molded shrimp salad.  I was thinking maybe my aunt’s Southwestern Salad would be a good one, too.

I should not have been so down after Saturday’s adventures. Fishing, breakfast at the lake, a nap, a buggy ride at the lease.  He and I had a great day.  I was feeling ill on and off all day Saturday, though.  I still don’t know if I was stressed and depressed or fighting a real illness.  That is the thing about the depression. It simulates the symptoms of a cold or the early stages of the flu.  Body aches, fatigue, fuzzy head.  I usually manage the thoughts and feelings pretty well.  Especially the thoughts.  The feelings and the body symptoms are the difficult part to manage.

A lot of prayer, some rest, some talking to golden friends, his nurturing love, His nurturing Love, all worked together to put me on track.

The cherry on top was a short video of a high-kicker from Cali! That made everything grand, again! Funny how grands will do that!

I cannot overstate how grateful I am for the healing I have experienced the past few years. Recovering from the devastating grief our family has suffered has been a slow process.  I still reel from it if I let myself think too much about who is missing in our lives.  But, the future is full of hope.  The future is full of beauty.  The future is full of love.  All the love from all the past loved ones will continue into the future through our generation to the next.

I recently read a book that asked what I would want to be remembered for at my passing. I hope I am remembered for believing in love and the power it holds to restore and renew and prosper the mind, heart and spirit.

My political statement: His Love Matters.

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Texas Heat

Sweltering. Steaming. Suffocating.

The heat drains the body’s energy and smothers the mind’s thoughts. I try to keep going.  My heart aches for those who work outside and those without the benefit of air conditioning.

I suppose if I worked in it all day, it would not hit me so hard. I am not conditioned to it.  If one can be conditioned to Southeast Texas in August at midday?  Long after sunset the heat lingers.

I have so much I need to be doing. Inside and out. After getting in a car that has been sitting in the bald open parking lot all day, the last of my will power seeps through my pores and puddles in spots or soaks into my clothes.

I arrive home just wanting to sit quietly and drink a sweet iced tea.

Yesterday, somehow, I did get a few things done. I stopped by the hospital to see about a friend. I did some wash, some mending, repotted (hopefully did not murder) an orchid. I got the outside plants watered.  I put fresh sheets on the bed. I helped him put out hay.

Today, I have been again to see about a friend in the hospital. I have the dryer going. I chopped up some cooked chicken in preparation for chicken and cheese quesadillas for supper.  We will be attending the evening Bible study at our church a little later.

I say all this to remind myself that the Texas heat has not defeated me. Though my mind is sluggish, I am still attending the keyboard.  Good food and clean clothes are at hand.  I am eternally grateful for the central air in our home.

I love summer. I plan to ask for a boat trip to go fishing and swimming this weekend. I’m not sure what is on his agenda.  I want at least one more run before the dog days end.   Him, me, a fast boat and a cold river.  Especially him.

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