Happy 2018!

Happy New Year!!!

Has another Christmas leaped through my life?  How fast it went!  I have started this year full of optimism.  Unusual for me to be in this place at this time of the year.  The darkness of the winter days hasn’t overtaken my mood.

Perhaps, it won’t do so at all this year.  I have been resigned to coping with the low moods all my adult life.  And yet there is always a part of me that believes it doesn’t have to be so.  If I claim I have a choice in how I feel and how I behave, then I must believe it and so prove it to myself.

I don’t have any resolutions for this year.  I have my continuing path of proving myself able to be better at each turn.

One thing I once believed has changed.  I used to believe I was strong and able to withstand pain.  I failed at withstanding. I became crushed in so many places.  Then, I believed I could never heal.  After a while, I decided I could heal, but the crushed places would ever be fragile.  Time never made a difference in the process.  Just lately, over the past year or two, I discovered something has been healing my broken places.  Love.  Just love.  Several girls have come into my life over the past few years.  First, my brother’s granddaughters brought a window of hope. Now, my own granddaughters have broken down walls.

I think about my own grandmothers.  I remember how important they are to me even now so many years after they left this life.  My aunts continue to impact my life.  If I can matter to any of these girls half as much as those women matter to me, I will be loved more than I deserve.

I wonder how things will be between all these little girls as we grow to know each other. And I look so very forward to the love that grows between us.

Happy 2018!  Happy Life! Happy Love!

P.S.  He continues to lift me up to Him.  His continued prayers for me and support of my off-beat self has no doubt had a larger impact on my current state of being than I will know in this life.  My love always loves me.  And besides………..he needs my love to keep him warm!

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Time On My Hands

This past weekend, I had time on my hands. I spent most of Saturday sitting in a deer stand and part of Sunday afternoon, too.

It was raining Saturday. The woods in the rain are lovely to experience.  The rush and patter of the rain.  The whoosh of the wind.  The dance of the trees and swirling of light over raindrops.  The noisy quiet of nature.

I spent time trying to focus the vision. I know one thing for certain.  I am a home keeper at heart.  Everything seems to come back to home.  I love to travel.  But home is my vocation.  I expend a great deal of energy and thought on my home.  Trying to figure out how to make it better.  How to make it stay cleaner.  How to make it more comfortable and user friendly.  How to make it kid-friendly, both crawler size kids and grown, married size kids.

If I move this over there and rearrange this closet. If I get rid of this and try to find something like that?  So it goes with me.  Drives him crazy.  I don’t mean to make him nuts with all my moving and changing.  Sometimes I get things situated and think it will work and it doesn’t.  Or something changes.  Or it doesn’t fit the way I thought it would.

I do the same in my deer stand. I have three chairs in each of my stands.  Each chair serves a different purpose.  It took me a bit to work out the best arrangement. I like to be comfortable.  It is a long time sitting.

But the reward of the confined space in the open woods is great.  I have to sit still and let my mind be my occupation.  I take my journal and write page after page of gibberish.  But, amid all the static, I hear that voice telling me this is the way.  I see the light for the next step.  The fog clears from the vision for a moment and I have a chance to make a note on my pages before it is shrouded again.  But, this time I am not in despair.  I have captured a glimpse of the vision on paper.  I have words I can refer to when I get unsure again of the next step.

Take the broom and sweep. Put away the paraphernalia let over from the past days’ adventures.  Clean the fish tank.  Pull a few weeds.  Cook a good pot of tortilla soup.  Get the coffee pot ready for the morning.  Figure out what tomorrow’s chores will be. Decide what closet needs attention.  Another page in my life has been written.  Today was a good one.  A good one preceded by good ones.

I just realized I am doing what my mother and her mother always did.  My mother’s sisters do the same thing, too.  That constant moving and rearranging in our homes.  And so the family connection flows.

I love hunting season. One of the main reasons is the time to unravel my mind.  And let Him show me wonders of his world.  And have time with him adventuring in the mud and rain.

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Busy Orchiding

I finally got to “unwrap” my birthday present this past Friday! He bought tickets a while back. He took me to see Travis Tritt perform! It was a wonderful event. The songs brought back so many memories of our past.

We have had so many wonderful years of living and loving together. We have had our problems, of course. But, we have continued to love each other through it all. We laughed as we remembered the songs. And we joked about some of the lyrics.

He has been helping me get a project done and I appreciate it so much. It’s one thing for someone to tell you they support your plan. But, actually helping move it forward makes all the difference.

Saturday was spent apart. He went to work on things for hunting season. I took one aunt to see the other. We had a smaller group this time, but still had a ball like always! Shrimp gumbo, brownies and homemade ice cream on the menu. Old fashioned dresses and bonnets for the group photos.

Our daughter had her iPad full of photos from the wedding and honeymoon. The aunts spent a long while looking through all of them while the cousins peeked over their shoulders.

Sunday was my first week to teach in my new full time position for the senior adult ladies class. Teenagers have nothing on them for being rambunctious! I love to teach and am looking forward to the continued experience.

After service Sunday evening, we caught up with a couple from church and had supper. We are in the process of getting acquainted with folks at our new church. She is precious and has been warm and welcoming to me from the first day. But, then, so has everyone else. We have been blessed to find a church family so full of love for the Lord and for others.

Looking forward through the fall weekends, I have lots of plans.  Festivals, birthdays, Hallowe’en, hunting season.  It will be the holidays before we know it!

The weekend brought many orchids. Monday, not so much. Maybe Tuesday will be back on track. Meanwhile, I will savor the fragrance of my weekend blossoms looking forward to many more.

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Connections

Sunday afternoon was wonderful! My mother’s two sisters and their daughters and I were together visiting.  Recalling shared memories and retelling family lore.  Lots of laughing and talking!   Connecting with the past and making new memories.

I spoke with my daughter this afternoon and heard from my niece the other day. Holiday plans are taking shape!  We will be connecting over the long holiday weekend.

Since there will only be 4 of us for our official family dinner, it will be a challenge for me to cook the meal. I am accustomed to cooking enough for 6 or more with enough leftovers to divide into three parts for another 6 or 8 servings.  I have some ideas forming about how to create traditional dishes in reasonable quantities.  We’ll see how it turns out!

Of course, I will have some company over the long weekend as well. So some things will work to prepare new dishes from leftover dishes.  Maybe I could do a whole turkey after all?  I have a wonderful recipe for turkey salad I got from my mother-in-law’s step mother.  Even recipes connect the generations and memories of the past.

Great food and wonderful company! Two perfect things for which to be very thankful!  Now to just figure out how to connect the Skype to get through to Maui……………..

Fall in Southeast Texas has it’s share of beautiful color……….connecting the long hot summer to the cold wet winter.

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Generations

I had a wonderful time snuggling my great niece this past weekend. She is five and a half months old and starting to roll over. She is the happiest baby! My older great niece actually talked to me and seems to be getting accustomed to me. She will be four this fall. I wasn’t around her much earlier on due to various circumstances in my life. They live a two hour drive away. I spend the night when I go.
I have enjoyed getting to know my niece as an adult. I was her shadow the first couple of years of her life. I was in high school when she was born. The first of her generation in our family. There is a photo I took of her at about age two on her icebox put there by her husband. Her oldest daughter looks exactly like her except for the hair color. I told my niece how proud of her I am. She is honest, realistic and direct about her opinions and feelings. I decided later she got that from her maternal grandmother. We wondered together where she got it. Finally, it dawned on me!
Later during the weekend, I had time with my own angel baby. She may be all grown up and taking care of me now, but she is still my baby. She helped me get a load of festive flip-flops on sale and went with me to see our dear friend for her birthday. I am humbled by the blessing of my daughter.
Our friend’s sweet hubby had cooked ribs and such for supper. We crashed the family party and ate supper. A moment in time to remind my friend that I love her and to remember that she loves me.
Had to run as soon as we ate to get home to see this man of mine. I missed him. Kissed him bye Friday morning and didn’t get home till after nine Saturday evening. Even when we aren’t in the same part of the house, just knowing he is close by keeps me from feeling lost and alone.
I spent Sunday camping under the gazebo our son and his bride left behind. Books, music, crochet, writing tablet, journal, cookbooks. Hours and hours sitting and thinking and reading and planning and writing and scheming.
I am saving up time to fly to Maui to see my other blessings: my son and his bride. So, I haven’t had my week off for vacation this summer. I will be off a few days later this month for the longhorn sale. But, I am missing my mid-summer regrouping time. Time to putter around the house and reconfigure things. But, I am cooking up a plan……………if it works out………the results will most likely be published.
Trying to keep connected to the generations of my family. I confess I have neglected the upper generations. I must try to rectify that situation. My aunts need to be on my list of visits, too.
But, the hardest part is leaving him. Even for a little while. Even to go see very dear loved ones. My heart is bound up with him. I sound like a silly school girl in love. I still get nervous and giddy waiting to see him. He is my best connection. The one that keeps me grounded, yet soaring above the clouds.