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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Hidden Things

What are the hidden things in my mind and heart? What drives me to do things I do? What prevents me from doing things I want or need to do?

I often seek occupation with a hobby. I have tried to get involved in several different types of arts or crafts. I don’t get much further than buying some supplies. Sometimes, I do a project or two. But, then something will come up and I will have to put the supplies in a box and clear the work area. Nothing more happens. Things stay boxed up until I get rid of them. I seem to associate pursuit of artistic things as with my father’s mental illness. He would often reach for the arts when he became manic. Perhaps that is why I won’t let myself like arts and crafts enough to keep going with something. Perhaps there is some other totally different hidden thing that gets in the way.

I make lists. I have written of this before. I make lists and remake lists. I have lists of things I need to do. Lists of things I like. Lists of chores I need to do regularly. I recently noted in my journal that I feel if I could ever get the list right, or get the right list, my life would be all worked out. Life would not feel so hollow. Not sure if that is the right word. There seems to be something missing in my every day moments.  This compulsive behavior has both good and bad properties. In a sense, I rely on the lists too much. I spend too much time working on them. On the other hand, the lists keep me on course to get chores completed, to keep my nine-to-five job duties prioritized, to keep my home supplied with essentials like milk, eggs and toilet tissue. I don’t know why I list. Fear of forgetting. Struggling to put order to my scattered thoughts. I don’t know why I do this either.

I refuse to ask for help. Not in a stiff-necked way, but in an “I don’t want to trouble anyone with my incompetence” way. If I ever do ask for help, I am usually so far gone I don’t know what to have someone do for me. So, I just don’t ask and give up until I can go again. I let myself go with unmet needs because of this.

I did not learn this from my mother. She was a five-star general at getting people to help her get things done. She did it with love and honesty and great home cooking. “I want to do project X. Y’all come Saturday and I will cook a roast and some beans and make a cake.” She would get everything to do her project and to prepare the meal. Extra hands would help in the kitchen and on the project. We made grand memories in the process.

Why won’t I even ask him for help with simple things that I struggle with? Little chores around the house that I may be behind on or just need to get ahead on. I don’t know about this one. I have realized I never asked my childhood friends about anything either. They were putting on makeup and I was too embarrassed to ask how they managed to apply eyeliner. That sort of thing. I don’t know where they learned things. I just figured I wasn’t clever enough to figure it out and they were.

He gave me a generous gift card for our anniversary. I spent almost all of it on shoes. What I needed was pants. Shoes and purses don’t depend on my size. Most blouses and tops will go from one size to another without much problem. My top half doesn’t change sizes that much when I am thinner. But, my pants size will change if I ever get my diet and exercise going in the right direction. My crazy mind thinks if I buy pants now, I won’t have money to buy smaller pants. Or that it means I am giving up getting fit. Or what? What is the hidden issue here? Why won’t I buy clothes that I really like and want to wear that fit me now?

I wonder at my quirks. I don’t mind having the more harmless ones. I want to know why I do what I do. Why I behave and respond the way I do. What makes me withdraw into myself and not allow others too close. I want to know why so I can undo the more harmful ones. Even knowing why may not help me change things. But, it is a start.  I want to do better for myself so I will have a better starting place to do for others.

I don’t know why I love the full moon so much. I love her rising over the lake. Is it because my grandmother would come to visit when the moon was going to be full just so she could take us down to the lake to see her rise over the water? Did she really time her visits that way or did it just work out that way very often? My mother’s mother is the reason for many of my favorites. Full moons over the water, jungle print fabrics, canna lilies, pampas grass, cemeteries, red “tennie” shoes to name a few.

I went down to see her the other night. I had almost given up when she appeared from behind the low clouds. I still feel excited anticipating her appearance and restless when her light shimmers around me. Restless to walk along quiet, white sand roads, listening to the voices of the past echo through the stories Granny always told me. Laughing and playing. Yes. I do know one certain reason I love the moon. My granny who loved me and understood me so deeply bound me to the full moon rising over the lake by loving me in the beams of light shed from the evening sky. Here is our August moon, Granny.

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More Tropical Living

For my entire memory, I have loved tropical things. Seas, jungles, birds, fish, flowers, foods. My Granny Sally made me a “ta-ta” out of a jungle print of leaves and animals backed with brown corduroy. I still have it. It is one of my treasures.
My mother used a queen sheet to cover the opening to the living room to allow the window unit to cool that room while we watched television in the evenings. It was also an African animal jungle print. It hangs in our house a few feet from where she used it.
Banana trees and elephant ears have always been among my very favorite plants. The exotic mimosas that populate my part of Texas and bloomed at my Granny Arie’s house are dear to my heart. Rich man’s grass aka pampas grass is another favorite of mine.  I am accumulating some things.
I have been working again toward a tropical garden. I am making great progress. I did not expect my dear husband to assist the way he has. He has given me generous gifts toward it.  He has encouraged me and offered real labor assistance often.  I am very grateful!
The palm tree he bought me years ago seems to have finally decided to put on some height. Its growth spurt has symbolic meaning for me. I am finally creeping out of my dormant state and into a new period of growth as well, it seems.
Before next week’s post, I will turn 49. Nearly half a century. I intend to live the next half a century being kinder to myself, truer to myself. Growing myself into the fullness of my being and growing my garden into the fullness of a jungle garden that lingers from the daydreams of my childhood.  It is my intention.