Haiku Week, Part 6

I have taken more than a few moments this past week to look down at my feet in wonder. They truly amaze me. The same ten toes that brought my Mama and Daddy great joy upon being counted when I was first born, continue to share joy. I give thanks for my toes and my feet and how hard they work without much complaint (as long I don’t bring the foolishness of high heels back into our lives). One step at a time we go places together. And do things. They carry the burden that is me and have done so for nearly as long as I’ve been alive. They have changed over the years but never have they let me down. Such a great balance and team. My feet and me.

So it is with all of that I write:

Ode to my Feet, with love

These feet carry me
as far as my heart and mind
are willing to go


Haiku Week, Part 5

Those gatherings where the adults know each other but the children not as much, and by the end when it is time to leave, the children know each other better and have laughed more than any of the adults. Yeah those. Ever been to one?

The funny thing is–on the way home from such as this–I have asked my littles what their new friend’s name is. Most times I get a shrug. They don’t know, but they do know everything else about their buddies. They know the stuff that matters. I love it.

Family Reunion

laughter and giggles
children playing, joy abounds
making memories

Haiku Week, part 4

I’ve had moments in my life when I so wanted to record the moment for posterity that I came away feeling like maybe I didn’t really get to experience it fully. Don’t get me wrong. I think there are some moments that do need to be recorded in a photo or video, but not all. As Mama would nod and say, “Ecclesiastes”–a time for everything.

The past few days I’ve watched and paid attention to how much time folks spend behind their screens. (And at times, admittedly, myself included.) It worries me where we are headed as a people of community. Looking down or through the viewing screen and missing what is right in front of us.

Makes me sad.

Missing Out

watching the world from
behind the screen in my hands
I have missed it all

Haiku Week, Part 3

Oh, the grace of a new day! On a typical morning it is not long after I get up that they all begin stirring. Sometimes it’s before I can get myself put together good. But when I do sneak in a few moments…..aaahhhh. It’s like the universe is teasing me, because it is far too fleeting.

Rarest Sounds of Morning

all are still sleeping
the quiet amuses me
it will soon be gone

Haiku Week, Day 2

Have you ever had one of those moments when everything seems to be in its place and all is right with the world? Not only is it right, but you also have an incredible sense of clarity about where and when and how all will come together and be good.
I have. On more than one occasion. Usually something interrupts the beauty and peace of the moment and I’m back to real life–like a child who throws up in public or has a potty accident far from home or finding I’ve had toilet paper stuck to me awkwardly along with all that peace…..but before the interruptions, the return to the real world, isn’t it breathtaking?

Love to all.

fireworks in the sky
lights reflect on the water
all seems possible


Haiku Week begins


As I was going through some books from my parents’ house, I found this one. The Haiku anthology. I remember our teachers having us write haiku poetry at least once every year. Inspired by the rediscovery of this book, I decided to make this week “Haiku Week.” Over the next few days I plan to share at least one haiku or, in the event of the Haiku muse leaving the building, some other form of poetry. We will see how that goes. If you are inspired to write your own, I’d love it if you would share your creation. Love to all.

as I walk

the road not taken
is anyone here at all?
that’s reason enough

Mama’s Madness and My Own

My Mama had a saying.

Well, one among many.

“There’s method to my madness.”

That was her way of letting all know that she liked how she did things, organized things, and so on.  And asking folks to respect that.  It was interesting because she was the most organized person EVER.   Her liking her dishwasher loaded a certain way or clothes folded a certain way was a small price to pay for the fact that you could always find anything you needed anytime you needed it because–did I mention this before–she was the most organized person ever.  And not in an Ikea/Container Store/fancy basket for every little thing kind of way.  She made do with the simple and the basic and still had everything sorted in its proper place.  Even the toy closet organization made so much sense that the children never had any trouble putting things away.  Each and every visit.


I have found myself saying that exact same thing more and more lately.

Only mine has a little different meaning.

Mine is a near apology, a rationalization for how unorganized my things, my home, my life must seem to the outside world.

“There’s method to my madness. ”

As in–“I know you can’t tell it from looking at it, but I do have a system, and if you give me a minute or fifteen, I can put my hands right on what you are asking me about.  Be right back.”

I wish I had Mama’s knack for organization, but I don’t.  I’ve tried, and in the midst of organizing–squirrel–something comes up and it all flies out the window.

So no, I’m not super-organized.  I can be a bit flighty.  Ahem.  But I am particular in my ways.  “Set,” I guess some folks would say.  How I make my bed, load my dishwasher, fold the shirts and towels.  And after many years of living with the Queen of Organization not just once but twice and doing things HER way, I reckon I’m thinking it’s time I have folks doing it my way for a bit.

Even if my pendulum swings a little heavier to the madness, as opposed to the method, side of the spectrum.

Wishing you all a little more respect for your method and your madness.  Love to all.

In The Now

My little guy has gotten up the past few mornings saying he had some strange dreams the night before. Then be proceeds to tell us about them.
He’s right. He has some pretty off the wall dreams.
And last night, so did I.
I was awakened early at the end of the second one and the clarity of what had happened and how real it all felt was very unsettling.
In the first part I was at Bare Bulb Coffee where we go to church. I was sitting with our friends and my friend’s son was reading aloud for all of us. While listening I started flipping ahead in my copy of the book to mark where I was assigned to read. I thought I was being quiet and unobtrusive but I guess not. My friend leaned over and said, pointing a finger, “I think you need to be listening, Missy!”
Wow. In my dream I was ashamed and embarrassed. I knew she was right. I wasn’t focused on the here and now because I was too busy looking ahead.
I get it.
And if that wasn’t enough of a wake up call, the dream morphed into another different dream entirely, like they do.
I was in a crowd. Shopping. An open air market kind of thing I guess, because we were outside. I had a cart and my wallet was in the front child’s seat. I walked away from my cart for a moment. I can’t remember why now–maybe to look at something for sale or for a bathroom. As I turned back, I saw someone grab my wallet and run.


For whatever reason, this is a great fear of mine. When I say great, I mean HUGE.
In my dream I screamed my head off, and someone actually stopped the guy. I think I was going to get my wallet back when I was awakened suddenly.

But before I woke up, in the moment when I saw the person running away with my belongings, I thought, “Yeah I figured this would happen eventually.”
And I heard my own voice echoing in my head–“You got distracted, not paying attention in the now, and look at how that worked out for you.”

Oh my. I think I may be trying to tell myself something. I’m overwhelmed right now and have been crazy busy. For months I’ve been planning and organizing and focusing on a future event.
And it breaks my heart to think about what all I have lost or missed because I wasn’t listening, wasn’t focused or invested. In. That. Moment.

Tonight I will rest my head, and I hope to have sweet dreams. I have turned over a new leaf today. I hope a sudden storm doesn’t flip it back over, but today I vowed to start focusing more on the now and less on six days, six weeks, six months down the road. Now.
I am thankful for friends, whether from my “real life” or from within, who will tell it like it is. Point a finger, call me Missy, and expect me to do better.
I mean, now that I know better and see what the distractions and being focused on the future steal from my now, how can I do anything less?
Love to all.

On Missing Folks

Last Saturday I took our Princess to her activity for the morning.  It was a beautiful day, and I had some wonderful visits with good people while I waited on her.  Meanwhile back at the “ranch” Cooter and the Fella were having some guy time, and Aub was at work.  After our Princess finished her fun, we ran a couple of errands before heading home.  By the time Cooter and I were together again, it was mid-afternoon.

He came and sat in the recliner with me.

“Hey, buddy, how’re you doing?” I asked, pulling him close to me.

“Good,” he said, relaxing and leaning in.

“Me too.  I had a good time today, but I sure missed you.  I’m glad you had a good time helping Daddy.”

He sighed.  “Well I did.  But I tried not to think about you or I’d miss you too much,” he exhaled, and I swanee y’all, I think his voice quavered slightly.

I hugged him tight, as I thought about how wise he is for someone so small.  Yes, baby boy, I try to use that for coping too.

Maybe if I don’t think about them, I won’t miss them so much.

I’ll let you know if it ever works.

Wishing y’all more than enough joyful memories to help as you feel the pain of missing someone.  Love to all.

Learning to Love the Red Lights

“I hate red lights.”

It was Cooter, piping up from the back seat.


Well yeah, we were at a red light.  And we were running tight on time.

In true Tara time.

I was born late.  Several days past my due date.  And I’ve been trying to catch up ever since.  (Or so my folks always told me.)

Running at the last possible minute.  Just about–oh, pretty much always.

So I’m sure my little guy’s strong feelings of dislike for red lights comes from me and my impatience with them when we are on our OutandAbouts and NEED to be somewhere.


I am sad about that.  As his words echoed in my head, I realized that red lights can be good.  They make me look around, outside myself.

When I am at red lights, I have a moment to breathe, right where I am, before continuing on my journey.

Red lights are not for or against anyone–they turn red on the just and the unjust.  Everyone gets a turn to stop and a turn to go.  Eventually.  Though I am waiting, others are able to go ahead.  And that’s the ebb and flow of life.  It’s not all about me.  We all get our turn.  Eventually.

Finally, when I am sitting at a red light, it’s the only time when I am on the road that I am able to make eye contact and remember that there are other PEOPLE on the road.  It’s not just me and my destination.  The road carries many stories.  And for a moment at that red light, our stories intersect and join.  And then we are all off again, headed to the next chapter.

Tonight I am thankful for family time in the Go-mobile, for that time where conversations are a little different, and maybe even at times a bit more focused.  I am thankful for the thoughts of my children, which make me think, and inspire me to become a better person–if for no other reason than to become the parent they deserve for me to be.

And I even appreciate red lights.  For the times they make me slow down, breathe, remember who I am, whom I am with, and for making me look around outside myself and outside my vehicle.  And see. Others.

May we all have a day of appreciating the red lights in our lives.  Love to all.