She Had Me Seeing Red

This morning as I was taking Miss Sophie out for her morning constitutional, the sun was shining, and it was already well on its way to becoming a summer scorcher.  In May.  *sigh*

After she took care of her business and we were heading back, the heat made me rethink my whole “open window” policy I’ve had lately.  Today was probably going to be an AC kind of day, I was thinking.  That made me think about power bill, and I thought back as to whether I’d already paid it or not.  That reminded me that I needed to see about replacing my debit card, because I am pretty sure it went through the washer and maybe the dryer because it’s a little warped, only it’s been a while since that happened, if it even did happen, so it wouldn’t work at the grocery store last night or the drugstore last week.  One simply does not need a sporadic debit card.

And then I started thinking about all of the other things that I had on my to do list and that was when I saw them in front of me and all but heard Mother Nature holler, “Stop it!  Hush up!  I can’t even hear myself think!  Why can’t you be quiet and listen for a moment?”


It stopped me in my tracks.  And in the quiet, I heard only my own breathing and the whisper of one word.


That was it.

As I stood looking at the red roses, I thought about little ones and wonder how many run-on sentences play through their thoughts.  Or would they simply cock their heads, look at the flowers, and think “red?” And then just quietly (or maybe not so quietly) be?

I don’t know.  But sometimes I think we/I might think too much.  Sometimes it might be more soul-filling to think less.  To shut out all the lists and the worries and the obsessing over things said and done and that which has yet to happen…..and just see the world for a moment.  In all its raw truth and beauty and brokenness.  Take it all in without analyzing or trying to figure it all out.  Just see.

The voice that had me seeing red today called me out.  Called me out of my own head and thoughts and paths I travel so often that the trail is worn.  It called me to travel down a quieter one, even for just a few minutes, and see beyond all the data running through my head like a ticker at the stock exchange.

Just see.






All the colors.  All the grass growing in the cracks in the sidewalk.  The little worms trying to escape the heat of the day. The birds flitting about preparing their nests.  The bees drawn to the delicate white blooms on the green tree by the house.

All of it.

As I finished my walk, I found myself breathing a little easier.  My step was lighter.  It was like turning off a switch–turning off what had been stifling me, like the heat in my closed up house before I turn on the air conditioning.  Turning off all the chatter.

May we all be able to find a few minutes to do that everyday. Turn off the endless input and processing in our brains, hush up, and just see red.  And all the fabulous palette of colors painted just especially for us.

Love to all.

My Heart in Pictures

This morning before I got out of bed our sweet Princess walked in with my Daddy’s tray that she dug out of who knows where.

“Mama I’ve been paying attention to what you eat, and so I made you breakfast.”

Y’all.  On an episode of a comedy show I was watching recently, the son used the “breakfast in bed” ploy to try to get his way with his Mama.  Time after time.  Once he brought in a bunch of bananas and a box of pop tarts.  Another time the tray he carried in had a carton of eggs and a package of bacon on it.


Not my girl.  She’s been watching.  My crackers with No Nut Butter and pumpkin seeds.  She even found one of the extra smoothies I had put in the freezer.  And a spoon on a leftover fancy napkin from her sister’s birthday party last fall.

To be known.  And loved.  And thought to be worth the effort.  A gift to be sure.


This sweet face in the sunshine.  Both gifts.  She follows me around and never seems to tire of finding me wherever I go.  That’s love.  And this is her sleepy face.


Aub and her Pirate sister playing and singing music on the back porch.  Hearing that sweet voice and guitar filled my heart and soul, full to bustin’.  I love these two girls.  What they can do when they put their hearts and talents together is beautiful.


This smile.  It usually means mischief is going on.  And yet it still tickles me to see it.  And when he laughs… just can’t help but laugh along, I don’t care who you are.


The grace of new beginnings and ever blooming friendships and the beauty of this time of year all overwhelmed me today.  And made my heart glad.

My Mama started many a day off reminding me, “This is the day that the Lord hath made.  Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Yes ma’am.  Today was such a day of rejoicing.

Love and rejoicing to all.

missing her light



the time came so quickly there was barely time for a goodbye

before I could call shotgun and hop in alongside you,
you were gone

and I’ve wondered what the last kind words you heard were

I hope they made you smile
as you took off for the stars

and made your home amid the Light
that reflects all the good that is you

It Goes Both Ways

This past Sunday we moved our college girl out of the dorm and back home.  Her and all her stuff.  I found myself saying something that I seem to be saying a lot lately, as I asked my cousin for help at the last minute.  “My lack of planning does not constitute an emergency on your part, and I hate to be a bother, but…..”

I do hate bothering folks.  And needing help.

I was raised by a strong Mama who often said, “The Lord helps those who help themselves.”  Which was what she said to discourage us from sitting around waiting on things to get done without us putting in any effort, I’m pretty sure.

Today, however, I was reminded of the original quip–one that my husband brought home from work with him.


“Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.”  

Yeah.  This one I don’t do so well either.  I don’t know if it’s codependency or being the oldest of my siblings or just my personality, but I tend to make emergencies out of other’s needs, last minute or not.  I loathe letting other people down.

Today it came to my attention that someone we knew might need some help.  I was concerned and frustrated, as this cold had me on a self-imposed quarantine until this evening.  (I’m old-school–I don’t go anywhere until I’ve been fever free for 24 hours. That was good enough for my Mama, so…..) I wanted to help, felt guilty I wasn’t helping, and yet…..

this person had not even asked for my help.

Still I worried over the details.  Maybe I should have offered.  Then my wise girl pointed out that this situation was like so many others that we’ve come across–the person involved tended to change his plans and his mind at the last minute.  Taking others along for the ride.

In other words, not our monkey, not our circus.

Not our emergency.

There was such an immediate sense of relief when I realized that.  It’s not always on me to help.  To make things okay.

If that sounds crazy, good.  You are in a healthy place, I think.  It has made me crazy at times, trying to rearrange my own priorities so I could help someone whose plans fell apart and needed someone at the last minute.

It’s good to help others.  It’s also good to have boundaries.

To take care of you.  And it’s even okay to say no sometimes.

It’s a fine line to walk.  But today I took a step in the right direction.  I let go of expectations that had been put on me by no one else but me.

Tonight I’m especially thankful for my cousin.  And his truck.  He not only showed up, he showed up with a smile and a willing attitude.  That was another of my Mama’s favorites:  “The Lord loves a cheerful giver…..and so do I.”  She always did love my cousin.  He’s shown up more than a few times with that smile and attitude.

May we all have good boundaries and the peace that those can bring.  And when it is right and we do show up, may we have a smiling face, a cheerful heart, and be all in.

Love to all.

An Unwelcome Visitor and the Havoc He Has Wreaked

We’ve had an unwelcome visitor to our home this week.  Unwelcome and unannounced.

He came in and started annoying each one of us in turn.  First Cooter on Monday.  And by Tuesday night, he was on my nerves.  That was when the Fella told me he’d had a bout with this rude guest on Monday as well.  This interloper and I really went round and round last night.  I told him I wasn’t having any of his uppitiness, and he insisted I sit down and pay him some attention and not get anything else done at all.

By this morning, it was Aub who came in complaining about him.  She was absolutely miserable because of the busybody.

Only our Princess has been immune to his forward and intrusive ways.

He doesn’t even say “Bless you” or “Gesundheit” when we sneeze, which seems to me to be extremely rude, especially considering it’s his fault we are sneezing.

Yes.  A Cold has come calling and will not take his leave.

During my bout with him I have learned a few things.

*I do not like colds.

*My children do not like them either.

*The way I can tell my son is on the mend is that he starts feeling up to aggravating his sisters.

*I run fevers so rarely that when I see the numbers go up, I’m in shock for a minute, and then I immediately look around for a grownup who loves me to come put their hand on my forehead just to make sure the thermometer is correct.

*My dog has a penchant for used tissues.  Disgusting but true.  But only the used ones.  I left a whole box of clean ones on the couch today and she never so much as looked at it.  Totally unrelated *ahem* I need a big wooden trash can with a heavy lid on it.

*Handwashing is underrated.  Or maybe overrated.  We’re all washing hands and doing the do, and it still has gotten a hold of four out of the five of us.

*My nose hurts.  I don’t care how soft a tissue is advertised to be, there’s just no help for the noses when it comes to a cold.

*Toilet paper can substitute for tissues in a pinch.  Or when you run out.  I mean seriously, four people with colds versus three boxes of tissues.   You can do the math.

*Apparently I am the only one who can fill the water filter pitcher.  This was true until I had a meltdown over it being empty, and then our Princess decided she could figure it out.  I’m sorry for the fit, not sorry for the results.

*My Cousin is witty and funny.  She’s even funnier when I’m sick.  And she knows just the right number of “poor baby’s” to offer.

*Cabbage can be a comfort food.  The person offering it an even bigger comfort.

*The same person whom I cut up an apple or fixed a meal for the day before will stare blankly at me when I ask for a glass of water from my spot on the couch where the Cold has pinned me down and won’t let me get up.

*Mamas cannot be sick.  It’s against the law or something.

*I’m sorry I didn’t pay closer attention to my own Mama when she wasn’t feeling well.

Tonight I am thankful for the numbers on the thermometer being on the downward trend.  I am thankful for my family despite what I might have said in my *ahem* fever-induced delirium.  I am glad that a Cold is all that has slipped in on us this week, as we have things to do and people to see and joys to celebrate.  We need some good health up in here.

Most of all, I am thankful for those who listened to me whine and didn’t knock that pity pot right out from under me.  To have friends and family who love me in sickness and in health–that’s a huge gift I do not take lightly.

Wishing you all good health and no unannounced visitors.  Y’all stay well.

Love to all.

Time to Unplug and Reset

I’m feeling a bit sanctimonious, y’all.

That is the code word that Mama and my Great Aunt used to say when they had done something that they really didn’t want to do.  Or they had problem-solved like a boss.

And I have done that second one.

We bought our washer two years ago this past February.  It was during Mama’s HospitalStay.  We had only had the previous one around 18 months, so it was still under warranty when it decided it wasn’t going to cooperate anymore.  Because I was at the hospital so much, my Fella handled the selection and the purchase.  I’m not too picky when it comes to things like this–as long as it works and is dependable, I’m good.  (Well, okay, I am quite fond of the no-agitator in the middle component.)

Fast forward to the last few weeks.  Our “new” (yeah, it still qualifies) washer plays a happy little tune when it is done.  It’s at least fifteen seconds of musical notes.  But a few weeks ago, it started beeping at us.  Mid-way through the cycle.

This was not a happy tune.

The flashing symbols meant nothing to me, so I hit the Pause/Start button again, and off it would go. It only happened every few loads, and then it would go on and finish after I hit the button.

Then yesterday happened.  It took me. ALL.  DAY.  LONG. to get one load done.  I kept hitting the button and it would go for a bit and then play the “not happy” tune, and it was like we were starting all over again.

I refuse to acknowledge that the life expectancy on a washer could be two years or less.

Last night I sat thinking and fuming and wondering what on earth could be going on.  I miss my Daddy even more at moments like this.  As a young man he worked for his Uncle in his appliance shop.  Washer problems?  No sweat.  I called my Daddy.  But as I sat there meditating about my situation, I realized Daddy might not have been able to fix this one.  It surely has some kind of computer board or something similar running it.

Wait, did I just say think “computer?”

My Daddy was a whiz on those too.  And I can remember him telling me when in doubt, restart it.  Even unplug it and start over again.

A couple of weeks ago someone whom I respect who is very wise talked about how we need to plug back in to renew our spirits–how we are not creatures that keep a permanent charge.  I like that image.  Taking time to plug back in with reading, meditating, praying, thinking, or just being from time to time.  It does tend to recharge my spirit when I make time for those things.

But I also think there comes a time when we need to unplug from all that is going on around us.  All that has us unable to continue on our way, get done what needs doing.  All the hectic hustle and bustle that has us spinning our wheels and just about beeping with frustration.

Sometimes we need to unplug and reset.

I climbed up on top of my washer and reached behind it to unplug it.  I counted to fifteen.  I don’t know why, but I do remember that for computers Daddy told me not to restart it right away.  Give it time to cycle down.  And since this has a computer board… 15, I plugged it back in.  I loaded it up and pressed start.

I sat down and prepared to wait.  While I was writing last night, I heard nothing.  No unhappy tunes.  And finally, I heard the sweet tune that brought a big ol’ smile to my face.

Laundry washed.  Unplugged, reset, and fixed.  Done!

Yep, I’m still floating on my sanctimonious cloud after a day of doing lots of laundry.

Tonight I’m thankful for the wisdom of those whom I’ve traveled alongside on this journey.  For the ones who remind me to plug in to the Good things and recharge, and for the ones who remind me sometimes it takes unplugging to reset and be ready to take on the world again.

May we all find something to feel sanctimonious about today.

Love to all.

The Packing Up and the White Shoes

Twenty-five years ago today I graduated from college.  I don’t remember a lot of the particulars but there are a couple of things that stand out for me about that day.

The night before, Sister had come up to spend the night with me.  Though she is three years my junior there have been times in my life when she has taken over and helped me through a hard time.  This was one of those times.  We visited while we packed my things–something I had been putting off.  About midnight we ran over to Denny’s for some sustenance in the form of fried mozzarella sticks and nachos.  (Two of the basic food groups for us back then.) When we got back to the dorm, Sister told me to go on to bed, rest well for my big day, and she would keep packing.

Which she did.  I should probably call and tell her thank you for that again.

The next morning I woke up and hurriedly put on the special one piece dress/culottes outfit that I had splurged on from Karats and Keepsakes–the only way to describe it is to say it was completely and totally ’90’s.

And I loved it.

I threw on my white shoes, because they matched it best, and because well-it WAS after Easter.  As I ran out of my dorm heading towards Porter Auditorium, one of my classmates pointed out my white shoes (“yes, thank you, they are pretty awesome, aren’t they?”) and kindly “reminded” me that all graduates were supposed to wear black shoes.

Oops.  Did I miss that memo?

Nowadays all information at my alma mater seems to be disseminated by e-mail.  Back then I am sure this was announced in a meeting. I can pretty much guess which one it probably was.  Only my mind was in a million different places about that time… future plans, moving back home, saying goodbye to sisterfriends I would miss dearly, and how to leave this place I had begun to call home.

Two thoughts for the young women I know who are about to graduate soon–actually no, this is a message for all of us.

Pay attention.  Listen up.  Don’t get so bogged down in worrying about your future that you miss out on what’s going on in your present. You might miss out on something important.  And it might be more than a fashion faux pas.

And here’s the other, even more important thing:

Have each other’s backs.

No matter what.

See, my sisterfriend who called out to me about the shoes–she was in a hurry too.  She had her mind on the BIG THING about to happen.  But she took the time to notice and to help me out by pointing out my mistake.  Kindly, I might add.

It’s so easy in this world where pushing ahead and success are so valued to just focus on ourselves, isn’t it?  But I challenge each one of us to take the time to notice.  To make the time.  And to help.  Offer a kind word.  Let someone know something they might have missed before.  It doesn’t take anything at all away from me to take a minute and say, “Hey, those are cute, but today we’re all supposed to be wearing black shoes.”

And it sure gives a lot to the one who hears those words.  (Seriously, what was I thinking? While the white shoes matched the outfit UNDERNEATH my graduation gown, they stuck out like a sore thumb with my black cap and gown.)

Two days ago I helped my rising junior finish packing up her things so we could move her back home.  Home from the same dorm where my journey at Wesleyan began.  As I moved around her room, consolidating and packing, I remembered Sister and gave thanks.  Paying it forward seems only right, you know?

Tonight I’m thankful for Sister and my sisterfriend, both of whom were interruptible.  Both of whom set aside what they had going on–for a minute, for a night–to help me.

That’s humbling right there.

May we all be so fortunate to have such a gift in our lives.

May we all strive to be that gift to someone else.

Love to all.

The Ones Who Will Take the Wheel

A couple of moments that make me feel better about our future and the hands that will be at the wheel…..

We are fortunate in that we are able to record shows we like or watch them with minimal commercials.  However, recently we had something on that we wound up watching with commercials.  We usually mute them, but for some reason one snuck through.  It was one for a medication.

No, not that one.

Thank goodness.

It went on and on, making it seem like life would be so fabulous and beautiful if I took the medication.  Then there came the warnings.  Could cause, might make you feel…..

“What?!?” Cooter exploded.  “Why on earth would someone take a medicine that could KILL YOU?”  He stopped for a moment.  “Wait!  Why did they even make a medicine that could KILL YOU?!”

Exactly.  He walked away, his head-shaking echoing the thoughts in my own head.

This evening our Princess and I were on the road, headed back home.  She was in the backseat reading her book.  We turned onto the main road and wound up following behind this truck.

The truck that was regularly puffing out black smoke on the road in front of us.

The dump-style truck that was regularly puffing out black smoke on the road in front of us.

As it picked up speed a puff of black smoke rose up from the pipe above the passenger side door.  I continued following the driver as a song I knew came on the radio.

“Is that completely necessary?” our Princess piped up from the back seat.

For a moment I wondered just how loud I’d been belting out that song.  Then I wondered what the characters in her book had done.  My confusion led to enough of a pause that she questioned me again.

“That black smoke up there–is it necessary?  Why do some trucks do that?”

I could have made something up, and I think I might have–I said it had to do with the kind of truck and the exhaust and the whatnot.  My girl crossed her arms and looked thoroughly disgusted.

“Seriously?  It’s just making more work for the poor trees.”

Oh, bless her.

“It’s like they don’t even care.”

“So, this is a problem?” I asked her.  She nodded.  “Okay, so what do you think we should do?”

She didn’t pause for a second.  “Make and drive solar-powered cars.  Only they need to be able to save up power too so we can drive at night.”

She blinked, and then went back to reading her book.

And that right there.

The young ones are paying attention.  They are wondering why things are being done the way they are done.  They are setting out to be good stewards–of their bodies, of this planet, of everything.

Let’s don’t mess this up, y’all.  We need them and their good ideas and strong convictions.

We need their passion.  And their hearts.

Love to all.

scatter seeds of kindness

spring breezes
planting and tilling the soil

and the thought washes over me
like the rain pouring on the dark, rich soil

all those years, each one of them,
Daddy planted the seeds
always dropping more than one in each space
patiently, gently, with his weathered, worn hands

in all those years
he harvested what grew from the seeds
he’d sown

with gratitude he gathered and picked
and cut and dug

and never once did he waste a breath
or a moment’s worry
over the seeds that did not grow


Pumping Gas in My Pajamas…..

I put on my purple plaid “silly pants,” aka pajama bottoms, and I got in the car.  It was as I was backing out of the driveway that I realized I needed gas if I were going to get to my destination.  There was no time to go back in and change.  So it happened–I pumped gas in front of God and everybody in my pajama bottoms.

This wasn’t a dream.  It actually happened Friday afternoon.  Fortunately, I am over the age of 40, and I just about didn’t care if folks stared at me in my silly pants pumping gas at the gas station next to the only traffic light in my little town.  These things happen, right?


I was invited to be a part of the 14th Annual Storytelling Festival at Wesleyan College, my alma mater, and we were encouraged to wear our pajamas.  It was an honor to be asked to come back home and be a part of it, but it was bigger than that.  It was a chance to share stories.  Stories about the people I love, where I come from, why I am who I am.  And all of the laughter and tears that go with that.

Despite the traffic-stopping gassing up, the littles and I were only a couple of minutes late.  The attendees–students, professors, staff, and their children–were getting snacks and playing with the balloons spread out over the blankets under the half tent made of sheets.  It was such a fun setting, and here’s the cool thing.

This event?  This evening of storytelling?  This was the FINAL exam for an education class.

How awesome is that?

I was so impressed when I learned that.  The fact that the professor values hands-on application of the learning instead of mere regurgitation of the facts–that is huge.  Once again, I was overwhelmed in a moment of gratitude that my daughter chose this college.

The evening was delightful.  The students shared their stories–from personal and true to tales from homelands to fables.  Funny, magical, exciting, and intriguing.  A staff member told a story impromptu, because when students all team up and beg you, well, what else can you do?  He did extremely well, and his story was in Cooter’s Top 2 pick.  Another alumna told her story, one that she said her own students ask to hear regularly.  Absolutely hilarious.  The one shocker of the evening was when she asked for songs you listen to, no one said, “Let It Go.” Considering the age range of the young girls there, well, I was very surprised.  Especially since it is still our Princess’ favorite.  The woman who shared her story about her brother and “got to get the enemy”–she had us all interacting and saying the right thing on cue–it was adorable.  She was adorable.  And her story alone made Cooter, only one of three or four males in the entire room, very glad he went.

Just after the intermission, it was my turn.  I learned many, many years ago when I was in 4-H not to write out what I’m going to say in public.  Outline, yes.  Work it out in my head, absolutely.  Write it down word for word–epic FAIL, guaranteed.  This was what happened when I was headed to Rock Eagle for our District Project Achievement.  I had my whole presentation written on note cards, word for word.  Only when we prepared to leave from school–I could not find my cards.  I spent much time after our arrival trying to rewrite the thing.  The words were gone.  Once I put them down on paper, I couldn’t recall them at all.  From then on, whenever I was planning on public speaking, I just made notes in a semi-outline form, and winged it from there.

So the day before the festival, I sat down and jotted down the main parts, a few key words, of the stories I wanted to share.  I even copied them on yellow paper, in honor of the senior class, in the hopes that my “class spirit” would distract the audience from the fact that my memory isn’t what it used to be, and I needed a crutch–just in case.

Turns out, when I got up there, I didn’t need the crutch.  I put the card on the chair with my props (yes I am a sucker for bringing the story to life with visual aids–goes back to my storytime days with the library), and I never looked at it again.  The stories from years past at Blackberry Flats came to life in front of my eyes, as I told about the cedar trees and cutting the grass and our old school lawn mower and the snake in the tree and my Mama.  Oh, Mama.  I wish she had been there.  She could bring a storybook to life like nobody else I’ve ever heard.  My Daddy though–I can recall long afternoons of sitting and listening to him and my Granny telling stories about our family.  Friends.  Folks in town.  It was a sharing of the history.  Of how things used to be.  As I grew older, I loved even more to hear Daddy share with us the tales of folks like Grandma Jane from so many years ago.  And about the old high school.   And the Easter baskets he and my Uncle dug for themselves out in the yard on Easter Eve.  So many great stories.  So many words released into the air to wrap around another’s heart and be locked up tight for later reflections, time and time again.

I come from a long line of storytellers.  I didn’t really think about that until later last night, sitting in the quiet of the memory of the evening.  I love putting the words together and recording them for my children to read at their leisure later in their lives.  But what I realized last night is that stories are alive, and they beg for breath and to be told and heard and felt in a way that only sharing aloud can make happen.

In that moment, sharing the stories with people–some whom I knew, some I had never met–we shared something else.  Our hearts.  Our quirks.  Our hopes and fears and what we find funny.  We shared a moment of togetherness, of connection.  And in that moment, I was home in a way I’ve never felt before.  My folks and their stories and the very essence of who they were swirled around me in the room, and for a moment, they were there.  The stories gave them life and breath once more, and it was exhilarating.

As the evening came to a close, I saw where my Fella had texted in response to my simple text: “Here.”  He too used one word: “Fun?”  As we got in the car to head home, I wrote back: “Beyond fun.  I now know what I want to be when I grow up.”

When I walked in the door from our wonderful evening of sharing stories and laughter and fun, my Fella looked at me and said, “So what is it you want to be?”

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Lisa at My So-Called Glamorous Life: The Adventures of a Domestic Engineer introduced me in her blog as a “master storyteller.”  To be honest, I was gobsmacked.  And honored.  It brought tears to my eyes.  I wasn’t sure that it fit just yet, but I knew when I read those words that I want to be just that–a master storyteller.  My Daddy and my Granny were two of the best.  They could weave a tale that would capture the imaginations out of one strand of yarn.

And last night only served to validate that desire.

I want to be a master storyteller.


Tonight I sat around the fire pit with Mess Cat and Aub while our Princess, Cooter, and Shaker chased each other around the yard.  We caught up and talked about what had been going on in our lives.  We shared memories of years past, and we laughed until we just about cried.  While sitting there, I realized that deep down inside all of us is a master storyteller.  We all come from folks who used to sit around the fire swapping tales.  And for the past two evenings, I’ve rediscovered the joy of doing just that–fun, entertaining, meaningful, and connecting folks–all without a device or gadget in sight.

Last night when I arrived at Wesleyan, the young woman who had invited me told me they were being graded for their final.  I had a horrible flashback to all dreams I’ve had, like one does, of showing up in class in my pajamas not ready for the test that was about to be handed out.

That makes me laugh.  I was in my pajamas, back in college, and there was a test.  But you know what?  I think I am ready.  For the next step–for becoming a storyteller and giving life to the things I write.  I am not sure where the journey is headed, but I know I’m ready.

After all, it’s who I come from.  A long line of storytellers.

Love to all.