Friday, August 30, 2019
Saturday, March 30, 2019
I've always been drawn to the elderly. As a young girl, I volunteered in nursing homes; but, instead of handing out magazines or adjusting pillows, I emptied bed pans, fed the residents and rubbed lotion on weathered skin. There is a certain entitlement to dignity that comes with living to a ripe old age and as I watched this man navigating his beloved through the maze of overstuffed clothing racks, I felt compelled to assist.
"Sir, can I help you find something?," I asked.
"Well, I wanted to buy my wife a dress and I'm not really sure where to look."
I asked her size and told him he could follow me as I led him to the right section. As we walked, I asked him how long they'd been married and, with a gleam of pride he responded "well, we're goin' on 63 years now. She went blind four years ago and I've been getting her ready ever since."
As I surveyed her outfit, my heart smiled. Her hair was neatly coiffed and she was wearing a nice black and white blouse, pressed black slacks and simple black flats. What I found so sweet was her jewelry. Her earrings were long, dangly and sparkly matching her equally fancy necklace. I told him she looked like a million dollars and a smile stretched clear across his face.
As we approached the rack of dresses, I selected a navy one with little yellow flowers and a short-sleeved yellow sweater. He placed it in her lap and let her feel it with her hands. She ran her delicate fingers over the fabric and smiled exclaiming, "ooooh, this is niceeeee!" I told her she would look so pretty in it that he might get a little flirty with her. She giggled and smacked my hand in mock embarrassment.
Meeting William and Susan this afternoon changed me. I had spent the better part of my day in dressing rooms trying on bathing suits and feeling anything but beautiful. After cataloging all my flaws in the mirror, I stepped out, saw those two and realized that beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. He looked at her with such adoration that I couldn't help but fall in love with them myself.
We stood and chatted a while as they shared about their 60-yar old son battling cancer, their friend at church that is deaf but can quote the whole sermon just by lip reading and the fact that she had worked at that very department store 40 years prior. They were simply delightful and I am a much better person for having crossed their path.
I witnessed pure, unselfish love today. A man pushing a wheelchair to help his blind wife of 63 years find a new dress to make her feel pretty. As I hugged them goodbye, she said "God bless you for helping us."
Believe me, Susan, helping you blessed me more than you'll ever know.
Tears welled up in my eyes and I turned to walk away.
Saturday, May 07, 2016
As a Mom, I often fall prey to the realization that, contrary to my belief as a coming-of-age young woman, my mother actually DID know what she was talking about. Whether the topic in question involved boys, clothes, sibling spats... she really did have my best interest at heart when dispensing sage tidbits of advice. But back then, I would have just as soon changed my name and moved to Mars than to admit that she was right.
And she was almost always right.
Now, my daily encounter with a 14-year old son that thinks I am the possibly the UNcoolest person he knows makes me want to shake my teenage self and scream "LISTEN TO HER. She's NOT ancient and out-of-the-loop. She sees the bigger picture a lot clearer than you do!" If only I could.
Perhaps the biggest part of the struggle is wanting to share Mom-stuff with her or ask for advice when the boys are fighting or I feel like a failure trying to find balance each day. But she's not a phone call away. I long to commiserate on the challenges of parenthood as much as I would give anything to see her at my son's field day in her big floppy hat and sandals. I want to post a current picture of my Mom and me on my Facebook profile instead of a grainy image from over a decade ago. I want to give her yellow roses and share recipes and go to Mom & Daughter functions at church and all the perks of having an adult relationship with the woman that raised you.
I'm pretty sure the recent struggle goes deeper than the melancholy of a Mom-less Mother's Day. It is a soul-gripping ache for her to know my children and know me as a Mom. She would devour my oldest child's sarcasm and quick wit as much as she would cherish my youngest son's sweet hugs and tender heart. And they would love their Grammy, too. Her creativity and the cackle of her laughter would draw them in as much as her warmth of her hugs. I want them to know what an amazing woman their Grammy was.
So as the onslaught of this holiday rolls around in a matter of hours, I pause to reflect on the blessing of not only being a Mom but having so many fond memories of my own mother. I miss that selfless, artsy-fartsy, giving, funny, piano-playing, Skittle-and-sunset-loving woman. I was blessed to have her for 31 years and, for that, I celebrate this Mother's Day.
Happy Mother's Day, Mom. I may not have realized it at 14, but this 44-year old woman knows all the sacrifices you made for me. I realize that you knew so much more than I ever gave you credit for. He wasn't right for me. That skirt was too short. I really can do anything I set my mind to. And, yes, being a Mom is the hardest--yet most rewarding-- thing I'll ever do.
Get ready for this Mom.....
You were right.
Thursday, February 25, 2016
Wednesday, October 07, 2015
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
That fact was making its presence known at 5:45 this morning as I struggled to get out of bed to do my morning walk. As I lay there compiling all the reasons I did not need to go, my phone buzzed and my accountability partner in Nashville had issued a FitBit challenge for the day.
So, I toss the excuses to the side and peel myself off the mattress and walk, ever so begrudgingly, to the closet to change. With shoes laced up and earbuds in, I took my first steps down the driveway into the darkness. The air felt like October should-- crisp and clean and inviting-- and the sky was a palette of deep blue with a smattering of stars waiting to greet me. I knew this was a good decision.
Often when my mind is amuck (which is all of the time of late) losing myself in music is a welcome distraction. This also proves to be a helpful remedy when I'd rather be snug under the covers (one foot out for good measure, of course) than pounding the pavement in the name of health.
As I made the final stretch back to the house I glanced at my FitBit and it read 3,175 steps rather than the 40 or so with which I started. I gave myself a mental pat on the back and decided that starting off my day with a sky full of stars and my favorite songs isn't so terrible after all. All it took was a little willpower and putting one foot in front of the other.
We'll see if I am this motivated when that alarm sounds tomorrow morning.... :)
Monday, October 05, 2015
Also, how the orchestra is situated and the way the graphics billow up behind him... this video is close to perfection. As is the song.
Thursday, September 24, 2015
Tuesday, August 04, 2015
Praying she'll be ok...
Monday, August 03, 2015
I took the boys to lunch today at a local deli. Their soup of the day was potato which is Daniel's favorite. And there, atop the cash register, sat two sizes: Regular and Large (two cups of slighty differing capacities.)
So I ordered: "I'd like a regular potato soup, an order of nachos, and a large drink. Thanks."
"We're out of the regular soup," the rocket scientist behind the register informed me.
"So, do you have any other soups?" I inquire.
"Oh,we have the potato soup. We just don't have it in regular."
What about unleaded? I'm so confused. The room is starting to spin a little.
I take it a little further. "So, you have the potato soup but I can only buy a large portion?"
"Yes," she replied.
"Is that because you ran out of regular-sized cups?" This is beginning to entertain me.
My left eye is now twitching.
"Well, do you THINK that we might be able to buy a regular-sized amount of soup but you just use the larger container so that I won't have to buy $5.50 worth of soup that he won't finish?"
"Fine." SHE is now annoyed with ME.
But it gets better.
She rings up my order and, as she is scanning my credit card, there is a coupon for today's special laying at the counter. FREE NACHOS with purchase of a large drink. (A $3.00 savings).
"Ma'am. Um, if today's special is a free nacho with a large drink and I just bought an order of nachos and large drink, wouldn't my nachos be free?"
She looks at me as if I just landed on the counter in a spaceship.
"Well, it would but I just charged your card."
"Yes, I SEE that but could you not undo that considering I bought those two things and it's today's special and the nachos should be free?"
"My manager is not here."
At that point, I seriously looked around for a camera crew thinking I was on an episode of Punkd or What Would You Do?
You know, there are times in life when it's just not worth the fight. When the difference between fighting for what is right and curling up in the fetal position underneath the first booth on the left is nothing but a fine little line. There are times when stupid is simply stupid (Yes, Jacob I said the S-word) and you just decide to go on with life.
I'll just consider that $3.00 a small price to pay for a ringside seat at Are You Smarter than a Gnat?
Sigh. Pass the Midol, please.
Sunday, August 02, 2015
"Will you play Legos with me, Mama?"
Nooooooooooo my inside self screamed from a deep, selfish place.
"Um, do you mind if Mama finishes her show and then we'll play?"
Guilt. That sweet little voice. They're only young once. Trace Adkin's voice blaring from the radio in my head, "You're gonna miss this....you're gonna want this back..."
Oh for Pete's sake I think to myself as I begrudgingly peel myself off the bed and walk upstairs. The show can always wait, I guess.
"Lego time!," I announce in my best faux-enthusiastic voice as I reached the entrance to his bedroom.
Just the look of excitement on his face was enough to make me want to crawl under a rock for being so self-absorbed just a few minutes before.
"Yay! OK, here is the plane I've been working on and I really need some help making it look nice. OK, Mommy? OK?"
That sweet little voice.
I stretched out on my tummy as he poured the box of Legos out in front of me--a cascade of colorful squares, Lego-man body parts and the occasional miniature Lego weapon.
That's when it began. All of the thoughts of what I was "missing out" on by giving up my "me" time dissipated as I carefully constructed gun turrets, outfitted my pilot with the latest in Lego head gear and debated whether or not the sides of my plane were even. I was having a ball.
Pretty soon, my thirteen-year old came in, plopped down and said "You can go if you want to. I'll help him. I'm sure you're not having that much fun." With a sly smile I replied, "There's no place I'd rather be." And that statement couldn't have been truer.
I mean, I'm sure the lead characters of my Netflix drama are somewhere tapping their foot waiting on me to return. But they can wait. Because this afternoon the "me" time I thought I so desperately needed was actually me, my boys and a mixed-up, scattered pile of little colorful pieces of plastic.
And you know what? I couldn't have been happier.
|My building partner|
|Will he do it? We Emmett run down these innocent people just lying there minding their own business???|
|My version of a forklift driver :)|
|Don't mess with the one-armed Lego lady! She's one tough cookie!|
|The captain of our plane, pirate ship-thingy.|
|The full-sized view of our ever-so-impressive construction.|
And, perhaps my favorite pic of all... two brothers playing quietly in the soft sunlight of a Sunday afternoon. Pretty soon, the six years age difference between them will be a chasm. But, for now, Legos unite them and it's a sweet memory indeed.
Saturday, August 01, 2015
Thursday, May 07, 2015
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Tuesday, November 04, 2014
I miss you, October.
Sunday, November 02, 2014
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Above my cracked windshield
Each one of its burnt umber leaves
Dangling as they danced in the breeze
This spot suited my need for nature
Ironic as the cars and buses on the highway
Buzzed by just feet from the nose of my car
The perfect place for my hurried fiesta
Crunchy taco in hand, I delighted in this little haven
A solitary spot in an otherwise urban landscape
A lone tree in an empty parking lot
Providing a pastoral backdrop to my lunch on the go
The dark clouds on the horizon brought with them
A strong breeze and, dare I say, a nip in the air
A far cry from an unseasonably warm yesterday
A signal that my autumn had finally come?
Windows rolled down, I follow a leaf now detached
As it swirls in the air, finding its resting place
Atop a slightly ajar manhole cover nearby
Others dangling above watching, anticipating their fate
Crunch, crunch goes the salty taco shell
The breeze whips through my hair, I exhale
An unexpected respite in an overly scheduled day
A caravan of school buses hustle by
All too soon my time here is finished
The car rider line beckons, I am soon on my way
I will recall with fondness my time here
A cool autumn breeze, the dance of brown leaves
And one crunchy taco
With just a dab of sour cream
Licking the salt from my lips
As the world rushes by
Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Monday, October 06, 2014
|Jacob absolutely adores his big brother|
|One of my favorite signs of Fall... MUMS.|
|My little water bug enjoying the waterfall at Stars Mill|
|Daniel being very patient with Mom snapping his picture :)|
like the trees in the Fall, our house, the sun and the stars."
Thursday, October 02, 2014
After months of using a little bitty phone that had a fondness for swimming, I have finally gotten a new phone. It actually works and it actually takes pictures and, although it feels a bit like I'm holding a laptop up to my ear after using that tic tac of a phone, I love it.
Needless to say, I have a lot of picture taking to catch up on. :)
Sunday, September 28, 2014
Actually sat a few rows behind him at the Garth Brooks concert Friday night and could see him singing along...I'm sure he got plenty of performance ideas because it was a phenomenal show.
Here are a couple that both happen to deal with memories. Hope you enjoy as much as I did discovering these...
More Than a Memory (Garth Brooks)
Making Memories of Us (Keith Urban)
Friday, September 26, 2014
I have marked one job off my list of potential careers...mascot. As Pounce the Panther in yesterday's homecoming parade, I learned first-hand what it's like to have throngs of kiddos dancing from each leg, the sun beating down on your furry 100 pound head and viewing life through the mesh of an open animal mouth. :-)
But, dont tell anyone but I actually had fun dancing and high-fiving and posing for pictures. And Jacob loved walking through downtown holding my hand as the official mascot of the mascot.
But, as fun as it was to be Pounce for a day, I can assure Big Al that I won't be clamoring for his job anytime soon!
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
As I rounded a curve it came on the radio and a smile instantly crawled across my face. The opening chords so familiar and comforting, I sang along as the cool, refreshingly fall-like breeze whipped through my hair. So many of the lyrics are favorites...
"her moonlit wings reflect the stars that guide me towards salvation..."Maybe it's the poetry of the words and the way they dance on the beat of the song. I have always felt something when listening to "Africa" though I've never been quite sure I've known exactly what that something is. Other lyrics simply strike a chord with me:
"I seek to cure what's deep inside, frightened of this thing that I've become..."And then, of course, there is the comedic relief I feel each time I listen to the main chorus:
"It's gonna take a lot to drag me away from you. There's nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do..."For some reason, I had this vision of a slave ship steaming toward Africa and all these strong men rowing as the lyrics sang "there's nothing that a hundred men ON BOARD could ever do..." Why a slave ship? Heck if I know. It just seemed to fit the cadence of the song and, well, I still giggle each time I think about how I have belted out the wrong lyrics since I was in elementary school.
Of course, there are many other contenders for this top title. "Fields of Gold" by Eva Cassidy moves me with its subtle, almost angel-like melody. Sugarland's "Fall Into Me" is one of those songs that is both soothing and soaring and there are others by rock bands and country singers and even a few rap artists that I crank up whenever they're on evoking a range of emotions. But few have matched the timeless "feel good feeling" that I have by listening to "Africa."
And here is one of my favorite covers:
"There's nothing that a hundred men OR MORE could ever do."
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
So excited that the worship leader at our church got a four-chair turn on The Voice last night! He is an amazing performer and killed this song (which is a favorite of mine anyway). He chose Blake as his coach...I can't wait to see him progress through the season.
Saturday, September 20, 2014
Monday, September 08, 2014
Sunday, September 07, 2014
Written Sat. Sep. 6
The Devil and I had a little chat today. The fiery furnace blazed all around us and the waves of heat singed my brows as rivers of sweat cascaded down my neck. I squinted my eyes before snapping to as the strains of the fight song began. Where am I? My thoughts swirled like the crimson and white shakers all around me. I realized I was not in Hell but attending a college football game in the deep south at 11am on a 97-degree day. Guess it's hard to tell the difference.
The first home game of the year was a scorcher for sure both in temperature as well as yards of offense for the Crimson Tide. With 621 yards, Bama nearly broke its all-time record set in 1973. But Mother Nature took pity on us and decided to open up the skies causing the game to be called due to weather with just over 7 minutes remaining.
Now it's back to Lake Lurleen, an ice cold shower, more football and a golden retriever to snuggle with. Roll Tide.
Sunday, August 31, 2014
I am so angry at myself for tucking my phone in there while loading up towels into the car before heading to the pool. Forgetting it was in there, I dove into the water and swam a good 5 minutes before realizing what I had done.
I'll be without phone for at least three days while it takes a nap in a bowl of rice. I don't hold out high hopes of its recovery.
No phone for three days? Insert sound of hyperventilation here.
Sunday, August 24, 2014
I did video my favorite of the evening..."Hard to Say I'm Sorry" and loved that they did an extended-extended version with those horns. I will try to post that tomorrow but right now it's 12:30am and I'm ready to hit the sack.