Away Too Long

I didn’t realize it has been almost a month since my last post until this evening.

The orchids have continued.  I’m not sure what kept me from the page.  I noticed my private journal has been somewhat quiet most days.  Just a spell, I guess.

My next to oldest friend came to see us.  It was so comforting to simply visit with him.  I look forward to him coming again and bringing his bride.  She is my oldest friend.  Fifty years this summer since we started playing together as babes.

Our best friend’s step dad passed away.  We went to see him and his mother one evening.  It was good to see them even with the circumstances.  His mother was in her characteristic animated mode.  Showing off the cows and wild deer and wild ducks.  Feeding everything that moves.

I attended my littlest niece’s birthday party.  She is three already!  I got to see several beloved family members and friends that are family. Pizza, cake, piñata and lots of toys to open.  Great fun!  Our baby girl, the one about to be thirty and a first time mother was there with our acquired granddaughter. She has a ten year old step daughter and is expecting our new girl in May.

Two dear friends and I went to the annual ladies’ retreat sponsored by our association of churches.  We had a special time.  It was a time of bonding for the three of us that is not possible in the settings where we usually encounter each other.  The retreat itself was okay, but we came away with inspiration and direction that came more from left field, so to speak.

He has been terribly busy with many obligations.  All I can do is continue to lift him up to Him for care and protection.  I try to stay alert to his needs that I am able to meet.  The Father is blessing his work in all areas.

I have some friends recovering from or going for surgeries and other medical procedures.  I am trying to be careful to lift them often to the Physician in my prayers.  He heard me the first time.  But, it builds my compassion and matures my heart to maintain contact with Him on their behalf.

I have worked on my Facebook news feed and my Tumbler dashboard and my Pinterest account to increase seeing scriptures and praises and prayers on them.  I have adjusted other things to reduce adverse exposures.

My friend asked me if I listen to contemporary Christian music.  I told her no.  Our area has limited reception to most contemporary Christian stations.  But, I have set my dial to some so I can try to tune in when possible.

I want to draw closer to Him.  I want to be more for Him.  That is one prayer I know He will answer.  Anyone who seeks Him with a sincere heart will be rewarded with Him making His presence known.

We anticipate a visit with our California Dream in the near future.  I can’t think about it too much.  I get giddy with excitement.  More than a kid on Christmas Eve.

So, yes, the orchids have been pouring down.  A sweet fragrance of blessings all round.  This is short and sweet, this evening.  I give myself credit for showing up on the page.  It is enough for now.

import 12716 463

Challenges

The week has been full of challenges.

I have had a very busy week at the 9-5.  We had a project to do on short notice.  The results showed I have made more progress than I imagined in a major audit that occurs next year.  Every three years we have an audit that requires annual documentation to be collected from dozens of areas. The information has to be compiled into folders.  I do a lot of the collecting and all of the compiling.  I have some co-workers who assist when they have time and I appreciate them like a glass of sweet tea in August.  The nice thing is that (Lord willing), the audit next year will be my fourth and last one.  I should be able to retire before it comes around again.

I also had a challenge to try to say the right things to a friend going through a major crisis.  She has a lot of difficult and heart rending things happening.  I reminded her that it will be okay, that she is strong, that she has a large support system.  I know He will take care of every need.

I am challenged with trying to write this post.  I am not feeling very inspired.  But, the exercise is to show up and type.  For one trying to develop a writing lifestyle, it is an important thing to just show up at the page.

He always encourages me to write.  I tease him that he just likes to read how wonderful he is and see me telling the world how wonderful he is to me.  He is my Valentine every day.  He has been for thirty four years.  He continues to amaze me with his ability to face the world with such bravado and touch the world with such compassion for others with less bold courage.  What a treasure is my True Love.

 

IMAG1090-2-1

Another Christmas Passes Into Memory

This has been an extraordinary Christmas for me simply because of the Jeep. I find myself thinking I will need to take it back to whomever it belongs to any minute now.  It doesn’t seem real that it is mine to keep.  I still can’t believe he bought me such an extraordinary gift.  Sorry my mind still doesn’t wrap around the California Dream living in the shadow of the mountain in the photo.  She is real and yet elusive in my comprehension.

As I was sitting here pondering what to write about, I was looking at the Christmas tree. I plugged in the lights again.  I love colored lights on the tree.  I miss the adjustable twinkle lights we used to have.  I could turn the dial to the perfect speed to set a tranquil mood in the darkened living room.  I would sit and drink my coffee with just the tree lights sparkling to illuminate the room.

I will probably take it down this evening or tomorrow rather than leave it up through New Year’s Day. The thought makes me feel sad, as usual.  The feeling seems amplified because of the feelings about the Jeep being temporarily at my disposal.  If I take the tree down, Christmas is really over.  And I will wake up and the Jeep will be gone, too.

Craziness of my thoughts. My mind argues with my heart.

I am already looking into the next year. I have a line-up of projects to do.  I have the materials to do all of them, too.  Just need time and focus to get them done.  Time is not so much of an issue as focus.  I piddle around, stalling.  Stalling because the creative endeavor might not turn out the way I had hoped.  Or maybe I won’t be able to work it out technically.  Will I have the skills needed to turn the idea into a successfully completed project?

I am such a sporadic “crafter” I don’t have a depth of skills. I have hit a lick at this and a lick at that.  Never really committing to one thing or another.  I don’t seem able to get too involved in something.  I tell myself it is because the something isn’t Something.  That I am not really all that interested in it.  I’m not sure what is the underlying issue.  Maybe the shadow of my father’s illness?  Fear I will get too involved and go over the edge.  Maybe some notion that the only thing I should be really interested in is evangelizing lost people and anything that takes from that energy and focus is sinful.  Concerned that I will get lost in the “flow” of creativity and lose track of time and not have supper ready or my chores done and he will be put out or inconvenienced because of it.

Maybe all of the above. There is a song on the radio: “you keep a slip knot in the strings you attach”.  Yes. I do.  I don’t maintain long term relationships beyond my family.  I keep to myself most of the time.  Oh, I yak and laugh with co-workers at the 9-5 and with fellow members at church.  But, I have difficulty socializing outside those arenas.  The friends we’ve had over the years have, like us, moved along in life phases and most have moved geographically, as well.  The ones nearby are busy with other things.  No one has the energy to take time to be together anymore.

One of my hopes for the New Year is to re-learn how to “visit”. To drop by a friend’s house to chat.  To call someone up on the phone to trade gripes about some trivial nothing that happened to us.  To ride to town and go “fumbling”.  That is what my grandmother called what might be translated as window shopping or browsing.  All we would end up buying is a cold coke to drink on the way home.

Another Christmas passes into memory. Another year passes along right behind it.  I feel like Bilbo when he said, “I want to see mountains, again”.  The “mountains” I want to see again are friends.  I want to see my friends, again, and see them often and casually.  Without all the planning and strategizing it seems to take these days.  It feels like a mountain of a wish.  If it plays out, it will bring a mountain of memories.

Next Christmas with two Dreams in the world………………….

Come on New Year. Bring with you more time with certain little Dream girls.  Bring with you more time with friends.  Bring with you mountains of memories and tie my strings into knots.

import-12716-755

 

 

A Long Week

This has felt like a long week. I’m very glad for the upcoming three-day weekend and four-day work week to follow.

We have been working on the yard. He and our son cut a large oak down in the front yard several weeks ago.  It was way too close to the house.  It was a risk during storms.  The roots and overhanging limbs were too near the foundation and roof.  We have the debris almost cleaned up from that.

I am developing some more flower beds. I have a spiky yucca at the front of the house.  I decided I don’t like it being reachable by tiny fingers, so I am expanding the bed around it.  I have plenty of things to fill up a large area.  Elephant ears, day lilies, cannas, sago palms.  Although, this plan is subject to change.

There is a large mound of purple jew providing starts along the front of the house. I am trying to decide if I want to run it all the way across the front or stop at the front door where it is now.

He has set up a deck out back. It needs some more work.  I am already enjoying it, though.  I have supplies to transform a table and chairs to use outside under the carport.  I want the barbecue pit easier to use and a spot to camp when I am tending the groceries on the fire.

I love being outside. When we lived at Campers Cove, I set up a space with a glider, throws, pillows, a table.  I surrounded the area with pots of tropical plants.  It was situated so I could leave things out all day and go back and forth to my work and my rest.

The porch here is enclosed with windows. I love having it.  I spend most of my free time out here.  But, there is something about feeling the outdoors that has a healing effect on my soul.

The digging in the dirt I have been doing is also working its magic. Whether pulling weeds, relocating a plant, watering and feeding things, raking and burning, all are helpful.

I made a comment to a co-worker about my future retirement. I indicated certain things would change for me because I would have a different lifestyle.  It would be more like the way I lived before I joined the 9-5 throng.  I decided I don’t want to wait until later to have my chosen lifestyle.  I will do as much as I can in the time I have to create the life I dream about.

He has been helping me get things done I am physically unable to do. I am a middle-aged, fluffy female. My muscle strength is limited.  I have no idea how to make a tractor or chain saw work even if I were strong enough.  Thankfully, he has been spending time out with me doing those sorts of things.

No, I won’t be able to do everything right now. I can do a great deal, though.  So, I have started digging in the dirt with earnest. I have made up my mind to tackle big projects I have been putting off due to lack of time and energy.  At least that was my excuse. I will make the time and the energy will come.

I have made myself let down some barriers and visited face to face with some people. I have stepped out of my comfortable cocoon and connected personally with others. I still have a ways to go with this one.

I read a book that explained human energy. Barring physical illness, human energy is largely emotional.  It certainly is for me.  If I am tired after a long day or long week and he mentions something I really love doing or someplace I love to go, suddenly I have a surge of energy to get going.  If it is someplace or something I would rather not engage, I have even less energy and more fatigue.

I know if I get moving and keep moving, I will get to my goal. My destination, whatever it may be.  Or at least I will travel on the path toward it.  The journey is the thing.  To keep traveling the journey path.  Whatever it is and wherever it goes.

I believe if I keep following not my fickle heart, but the Spirit leading me, I will have contentment and satisfaction when I lay my head on my pillow to sleep. I listen to my gut feeling, my intuition.  That is where I find His answers for me.  I have known Him so long, I recognize His instructions.  A gentle peace or a hard conviction.  Or just a knowing something is right.  I don’t always heed, but He takes care of that, too.

Just a chair in the shade, a glass of iced tea, a flower or two around. Birds, frogs and bugs serenading me.  Pondering whether to move that plant over there or over here.  Plucking a ripe cucumber and a few squash to take in for supper.  Getting my heart ready to love him when he comes in the door.  Pretty good journey path if you ask me.

More Connections

Friends, friends, and more friends!

Friday with a couple at their special place simply referred to as “the hill”.  We hadn’t seen them in nine months.  Just that couple of hours were wonderful.  Touching each other’s lives again.  Feeling like we had never been apart.

Saturday a road trip took him and me to spend the next 24 hours or so with our bestie.  Our best friend and I have been friends since I was 14.  When I met my husband, they also became best buddies.  Our friend has a lovely wife and three of the most wonderful sons I have ever met.  Crawfish, huge delicious crawfish were on the menu for supper.  Lots of laughs with the larger group of their friends.

Sunday, home and a nap!  My porch felt wonderful!  I laid up and read a book all evening.

Monday morning brought severe weather to our area.  Many of our neighbors and friends are still without power.  Thankfully, ours came back on earlier this afternoon.  He spent a good part of his day going round the neighborhood helping neighbors with trees and clearing the side roads.

We did get to see another couple of our friends.  She is a precious lady in my life.  I can go to her with my heartaches and my happiness and her compassion never ceases to amaze me.

Our son sent video posts of the amazing waterfalls on the road to Hana.  One of the videos has his voice in the background.  It is just a passing word or two.  But, I listened to it over a couple of times.  Just to hear him.  Yes, we can call on the phone.  But, the time difference and the reception on his end along with my job place restrictions regarding cell phones reduce the window of opportunity for that.

The best part of the past few days was this evening.  My daughter turned 28 today.  I cannot begin to describe her endless wonderful qualities.  I would certainly be accused of exaggeration by those who do not know her and scolded by those who do for leaving out their favorite thing about her.  Generous to a fault, incredibly smart, energetic, creative, compassionate, sassy, stubborn, beautiful……her father and I were blessed with a brief supper date this evening.  We had planned on a slightly grander event, but the weather put us off from that trip.  Still, no matter where we are or what we do, time with her is all that matters.

Orchids pouring like the waterfalls of Hana, like the powerful storms of a Texas spring, like the love of friends and family.  Filling my life and my heart with a lovely fragrance and beautiful blooms.

 IMAG1393-1-1

A Weekend of Orchids

What a wonderful weekend!

I spent time with my aunt and my beloved cousin working on a special project.  How wonderful it was to have time with my cousin not sitting at the side of her hospital bed.  She is the toughest, frailest woman I know and I love her dearly.

I spent time with him.  We traveled to my niece’s home to attend her little girl’s first birthday party.  Our littlest great-niece holds his heart in her little hand.  He adores her and she adores him.  We went early to get some special time with the family.

We were able to help my niece and her husband get things together for the party.  I love the two of them so much.  She was the first child in her generation and I was still at home when she came along.  She was my first baby to love.  Her husband is such a loving, dear man.  He is precious and funny and I am always glad to see him.

The day also brought a moment or two to hug my brother and my wonderful sister-in-law.  My nephew and his sweet wife were there with their charming little boys.  It was great to see them!

Sunday morning brought a surprise to my door.  One of our “like family” friends came to visit.  We were expecting him and thought his wife was coming.  Instead he brought his mother.  She and my mother were best friends growing up.  It was wonderful to spend time with the two of them.  Our visits are usually as part of a large, loud crowd when we all gather.

We don’t all gather nearly often enough.  Mother had us all together three or four times a year and smaller groups rounded up in between those times.  Daddy was either on the ship or didn’t mind when he was home or didn’t say if he did mind.

I will not dwell on that.  We have plans in the works to gather some more.  I have a milestone birthday coming in the summer.  Time for a big party!  Meanwhile,  some smaller gatherings……….perhaps not so far away from Mother’s way afterall.

A note about the photograph.  It is a camping spot we used often and referred to as “the point”.  It is a short walk from my home and is full of memories for the people who loved my mother and her gatherings.  The park is only open for pedestrian day visitors now.  But, there are many ghosts of memories………..

IMAG1675-1-1

 

Busy Mondays

This has been a busy day!  Work was slightly hectic.  My own doing.  Sometimes I don’t follow my own rules to pace myself and not let “it” get to me.

But, after work, the busy-ness was terrific!  I got the tree put up and decorated.  I set up a little vignette on the table next to it.  I arranged his dining table centerpiece with the antlers and poinsettias.  I cooked up a couple of steaks and some shrimp in a lemon pepper sauce to go over them for supper.  I have been doing this fairly frequently these days.  Steaks on Mondays.  Sets the week off to a good start.  Why save steak and shrimp for weekends?  Weekends have their own rewards what with all that play time!

Life is wonderful!  Even on hectic Mondays!  I hope the rest of my week finds me as productive and uplifted as today.  Whether it does or not, I am satisfied with today.  And since today is what counts, it is enough!

Getting ready for a Happy Christmas!  Even with my heart that stands before me half way around the world, we will still make merry with the ones near to us.  My angel baby will be with us.  We will get to the see our little girls again I hope.  I have a visit to see my brother planned.  I have already attended a wonderful holiday gathering hosted by one of my dearest friends and her husband.   Happy Christmas has begun even now!