What Would Be Your Superpower?

Is there anything more magical than listening to two young people talking about the world and listening to their points of view?

It was the end of the day for classes. Two students sat at the table after class ended, both waiting on their dads to pick them up. They are in class together, so their conversation was easy and affable. They compared their thoughts about driving one day (at least four years away), and then talked about how old exactly you have to be. They talked about where their dads might be, since they hadn’t arrived on the dot when class was over. I was tidying up, and I assured them not to worry. As we looked out through the glass pane into the now dark parking lot, I told them about my friend’s question that helps so much when we don’t understand what or why something is happening–“What does this make possible?”

I asked them what they thought that might be. They giggled over some silly thoughts, and then we decided that this allowed us to have a good conversation together.

Immediately one piped up with, “If you could have any superpower in the world, what would it be?”

Y’all she was so quick with that question, I feel like it’s one that she thinks about a lot, bless her. Her friend sat for a minute and said, “All of them.”

I silently applauded her–okay, girl, you go ahead and ask for the world, dream that dream supersized–and then was brought back into the conversation by the inquisitor–“Did you hear what she said? She’d want all of them.” She laughed good naturedly.

“Yeah, that’s a pretty good idea,” I replied. “For your superpower to be all of them…..”

The one who had answered shook her head. With big eyes and the most sincere tone, she answered, “Oh no. Not all at once. You know, if I needed to fly somewhere…..then I’d have that ability. Or if I needed to do something else, I’d have that superpower. Just one at the time, you know?”

Bless her. I remember the Genie telling Aladdin he couldn’t make wishing for more wishes one of his three wishes. I guess that’s kind of what I thought my young friend was doing. Instead she was being really quite reasonable. Her superpower would be to be able to do whatever was most needed in any situation.

Wise beyond her years.

This day’s magical moment was me being allowed into the precious world and mind of preteen girls. Allowed to listen and talk with them and explore the world through their eyes. I’m thankful for their joyful embrace of the opportunity to just sit and chat for a few minutes in this oh so busy world during an oh so busy season. I’m thankful for the question that stirred the conversation and for the mind that genuinely wanted to know the answer. I am also grateful for a young person who saw the magic of superpowers quite logically. May we all take the time to assess what is going on, figure out what is needed, take care of it, and then let it go–and move on.

It reminds me of one of my Mama’s favorite lines. It was from the TV show M*A*S*H–Charles Emerson Winchester the Third said it on more than one occasion if I’m not mistaken. “I do one thing at a time, I do it very well, and then I move on.”

Bless inquisitive minds, sensible superheroes, and precious preteens.

May the magic of the season be memorable and long lasting!

Love to all.

Toting Twigs and Wayward Worms

One of the gifts that these strange times have given us is longer walks in the mornings. When we were first asked to stay home during the beginning of this pandemic, Miss Sophie, whose routine was thrown way off because *we*never*left*, convinced me to take her on longer walks in the mornings. Or maybe it was the other way around. Instead of our quick, hurry up, I thought you had to go ritual, we had leisurely meanderings through our neighborhood, waving from a distance at neighbors we hadn’t seen in a while and some we’d never met. The mornings in March and April and even the beginning of May were unseasonably temperate, and it was lovely.

With spring upon us and yards being watered again, the tragedy that has broken my heart each spring and summer began once again. Earthworms, who had either floated without choice or, tempted by the early morning coolness, crawled from grass to sidewalk, were left stranded on the concrete walkways as the days grew hotter. Some were able to make it back to the safety of the grass, but so many were not.

I carry a stick when we walk. Not a big one. A twig really. It’s not meant to scare anyone or anything (supposedly a gator comes around occasionally or so I’ve heard). It’s my worm lifting tool.

Yep. That’s a real thing.

I don’t know how I got started or when the first worm called out to me for help. Before I started carrying my twig, I’d search frantically for a leaf or stick or strong blade of grass to gently slide underneath the sweltering, wiggling worm and lift him quickly to the safety of the dark, damp earth. I don’t know how many make it okay after or even the lifespan of a worm. I just know I can’t pass by one who has any wiggle left in him. He has to be moved to safety. (But no, for some reason, I haven’t brought myself to use my bare hands–I keep telling myself it’s gentler not to, but I’m pretty sure that’s what rationalizing looks like. ūüėČ )

It’s been a few years maybe that I’ve been doing this. I don’t think anything about it anymore. Neither does Sophie. As I go about my business, she takes a minute to ponder life or what smells were left where. So far no one has ever stopped me to say, “Hey! Whatcha doing all bent over and contorted like that?” or “Hey! Stop flinging earthworms in my yard, you crazy person!” All of which I am glad for.

It’s become such a natural thing for me on our walks that when the pandemic hit and Cooter decided to join me and Miss Sophie in the mornings, I didn’t think about him wondering what on earth his Mama was doing all stooped and bent over and talking to an earthworm like that–or why I was carrying a twig with me.

When curiosity got the better of him and he did ask, I explained sheepishly. I braced myself for my new teenager to have something sarcastic to say or some great knowledge to impart to me that would imply that maybe my efforts were all in vain. Let’s face it, I thought he’d tease me unmercifully. He loves me and respects me, but I could see it happening.

I did not expect him to go looking for his own twig and ask to “rescue” the next one.

But that’s what he did.

Side by side I walked with this man child who (don’t tell him I admitted to it) is now slightly taller than I am. He gained inches during this quarantine, and I’m now the shortest person in this family. Bless.

As we talked about everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) under the sun, we kept our eyes open for any wigglers. There were many who were already lost, sadly, but when we saw one still going, we’d excitedly and with gentle scolding (“look here buddy, go THAT way, no quit jumping, I’m TRYING TO HELP YOU, SIR) help another misguided bloke to safety. The joy was palpable, though we never tarried long after we got another one across. Miss Sophie’s patience has limits, my friends.

When I think of this quarantine, those lovely morning walks with dazzling blue skies, puffy white clouds, gentle breezes, and the perfect air temperature will be among my treasured memories. Walking with my favorite “little” fella and my precious pup, toting twigs and rescuing wayward worms–priceless.

I’ve thought a little more about those spring walks, since we don’t go quite as long or as far in the sauna that the outdoors here in Georgia has become. When he first joined me back in March, I didn’t set out to show my baby boy “how to keep worms from frying on the hot pavement.” He saw me carrying my twig and watched what I did with it. Then he found his own and copied me.

And I know that doesn’t just happen with sticks and worms. It happens with stock and words. What I take stock in, how I use my words to harm or heal…..he’s watching. Listening. Those hands that used to reach for mine– first to help him stand, then to step, and then to comfort–are growing and changing as much as his voice which is so much deeper with now only a few cracks or squeaks. Those hands, his voice–he can choose how they affect this world. He’s taking in what happens around him and choosing what he wants to be a part of, what he wants to change, encourage, develop, empower, study, share, love.

I’m thankful for a life where my baby boy carries a twig around our neighborhood and no one asks why. I’m thankful for a life where he carries a small stick for the survival of earthworms and not a bigger one for his own. The disparity in that is not lost on me. We are so fortunate that it moves me to tears.

Most of all, I’m thankful for parents who taught me to leave things better than I found them. To be a good steward of all around me. To know the little ones are watching and learning, whether we realize we are teaching or not. And that no creature is too small to care for and about. I’ve been one of those earthworms, finding myself somewhere on my journey that it turns out isn’t the best of places. I’m thankful for those who came along and nudged me back on the path, back where I could continue growing and living out my best story.

Wishing you all a walking buddy who wants to share all his thoughts and dreams and ideas with you along the way, a pup who is always glad to see you when you do actually finally leave the house, and someone to come along with a twig to lift you up and return you to safety when you find yourself lost and alone. Love to all.

I’m never quite sure what makes them leave their grassy homes.
My trusty twig and a backup piece of bark. It’s serious business, this, and one must always be prepared with backups.

Family Jewels

So this is it.  An ordinary day that has really big things attached to it.

And to be honest, I’m really excited.


For every single day, three years in a row, I’ve sat down at some point during my day, usually after all have gone to bed and the house is quiet, and I’ve shared a little bit of my day or my story or my heart right here.

And you’ve read these tidbits from my life.

Thank you.

With all my heart, I thank you. ¬†I know what it’s like to have all the things to do and little time to click on a link or pull something up on a screen and commit to reading it, especially when I get a little wordy–yes, I’ve been called out on this, you know who you are, and I love ya. ¬†And still, you’ve done this. ¬†You’ve listened to my stories about growing up, raising children, being married, struggling through food allergies, letting my oldest grow up and leave the nest. ¬†You’ve multiplied my joys and divided my sorrows, and you’ve raised your fist at injustices right alongside me.

Thank you.

You’ve read the goofy and the serious. ¬†The mundane and the meaningful. ¬†The poetry and the prose. ¬†You’ve sat on my front porch and watched the delight and joy of children and heard the beauty in the songs of the birds and the frogs and watched the sun go down as we sipped the perfect cup of coffee. ¬†You’ve laughed with me and wept with me.

You’ve given me the gift of your time and your presence, and as long as I have my memory, I will treasure this gift.

This week, anticipating this day coming, I’ve thought about what I’ve learned in the past three years, and if you will allow me, I’d like to share them with you.

*Sometimes you can put your whole being–heart, mind, soul–into something, and it doesn’t resonate with a single soul. ¬†Speak it anyway. ¬†You need to let that light shine, y’all. ¬†Just because someone doesn’t notice it doesn’t mean it’s not making the world a brighter place. ¬†Shine on.

*People can be beautiful, broken, hard, kind, mean, intense, easy-going, light-hearted, broken-hearted, funny, somber, sarcastic, caring, compassionate, salty, loving, oblivious, and we need to love them all. ¬†It’s basically our most important job and really, it’s what we were created for.

* My family–every last one of them–are incredible people. ¬†They might not set world records in things that will get them in that book that was the most checked out one in our school library, but they set the world record at loving me and supporting and encouraging and taking my phone calls even though they have all the things to do. ¬†My children and the Fella have put up with my glazed stares when they’ve caught me mid-writing or mind-writing, and they’ve supported my writing by giving me space and time to do it. ¬†They’ve read my stories and they’ve proofed my writing and they’ve given me permission to share our life with others. ¬†I’m getting way more love and good stuff than I could ever deserve in this life, y’all. ¬†When I sit and ponder on it all, in the words of my oldest, Aub, “I. Can’t. Even.”

*I set out writing this in 2013 in the midst of the grief of having said goodbye to my Mama suddenly and way too soon less than two months before. ¬†Mama told me a lot of things–two of which were “You might need a nap, go lie down, and you’ll feel better” (she was always right) and “Go write your story, tell all of this in a book somewhere.” ¬†(Turns out she was right about that too.) ¬†Writing has and continues to heal me. ¬†The words that I’m able to pick out and put on paper take a confusing, wonderful journey and make a little bit of sense out of it. ¬†For that I am thankful. ¬†Every single day of it.

*The ones who have already left this world and headed on up to the House left me a few things. ¬†Even some that could be loosely called “family jewels.” ¬†What I have discovered for the past three years is that the most precious things my Granny, my Great Aunts, my Mama, my Daddy, and the others I love, who are gone from my sight, have left me are the stories. ¬†The memories. ¬†The joy, the laughter, the shared tears, the tiny little moments and the big ones–all which led me to this place right here in this place right now. ¬†THOSE are the jewels they left me that I treasure the most.

And I hope that’s what these stories, these three years of writing will be for my own people one day. ¬†The ones in my family now, and those who will be. ¬†Because my family is not complete. ¬†We’ve all kinds of branches and leaves yet to grow…..we’ve got strong roots to grow from, and that’s a precious thing. ¬†I hope that all of them will find something here in the meanderings I’ve shared to lift them in the dark days and something to laugh about on the joyful ones.

*Finally, I’ve learned that there is something worth writing home about in every single day…..if only you are willing to look for it. ¬†(And believe me, some days I was turning over rocks to look, but there was never a day without something, some thoughts or words or stories to share.) ¬†This is a journey made of many footsteps and many stories. ¬†One day, one moment at a time. ¬†The truth is that February 29th comes around once every four years. ¬†It is special. ¬†But if we are looking for it, March 29th can be just as amazing. ¬†As can September 19th or March 3rd or November 16th or February 10th or December 14th or the twelfth of Everyday. ¬†Each and every day can have a bit of light in it, if we stop searching for the big and amazing and star-studded. ¬†The journey of an earthworm can be just as fascinating as the snow that falls from the sky, if we open our eyes to the beauty embedded in all aspects of the journey.

All this leads me to this.  I am taking a break from writing for I Might Need a Nap for a while.  It might be a week (I have folks enforcing this, so yeah, it will be at least a week), a month, or maybe even longer.  I will come back and write here when the story is there.  But I am not going to stop writing.  It would be like no longer breathing to stop writing at this point in my life.

mama blogging meme

One of my people sent me this. She will remain nameless but she can bake her own cookies and I’m pretty much almost done raising her, so there’s that.

I have a project I’m working on which I am very excited about. ¬†It’s coming together nicely, but it requires more attention from me, and since that means letting go of the blog or my family…..well, in a saner moment, I made my choice. ¬†I am looking forward to sharing more details when the time comes.

I’ve also had someone come round who wants me to tell her story. ¬†I tried to explain real kindly that her timing wasn’t ideal. ¬†That made her harrumph. ¬†(That’s a real thing. ¬†If you’ve seen it, you ¬†know it.) ¬†She crossed her arms and stared me down over her glasses and just nodded and kept on rocking. ¬†That worried me more than the harrumph. ¬†I have tried to placate her, but she looks up at the clock and back at me from time to time, and I realize our time to tell her story is dwindling, so that’s on my agenda next as well. ¬†Helping her tell her story. ¬†She’s a character for sure, and I love her. ¬†So I’m going to spend some time with her. ¬†Because that’s what we do for folks we love.

Unlike other times when I’ve contemplated stepping away for a little bit, I’m excited. ¬†That’s how I know the time is right. ¬†I will be back, as there are more stories to come. ¬†But for now, I’m going to go to bed before the chickens are waking up, I’m going to read good books, I’m going to take long walks in the evening, and if anyone asks, I’ll visit and tell my stories in person. ¬†Because that’s something I want to pursue as well. ¬†(So yeah, holler, and I’ll come spin a tale or two–bring the back porch to y’all, so to speak. ¬†Turns out I get a kick out of that too.)

Thank you for sharing the journey. ¬†If you have a moment to click the follow button over there and sign up with your email, you’ll be sure not to miss any future stories. ¬†No worries if that’s not your thing. ¬†Just please come back to visit from time to time. ¬†Like I said, all kinds of good things going on over here at the house.

But first, I might need a nap.

I’ll catch y’all later. ¬†Make ’em be good to you.

Love to all.





Never Doubt the Power of the Moments

Another landmark moment. ¬†Cooter finished reading “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” a couple of weeks ago. ¬†Our deal is read it, and then you get to watch it. ¬†He had to wait to watch the movie until his big sister Aub came home from college Friday afternoon. ¬†He was ready to hit play the moment she walked through the door. ¬†Thankfully, he did let me get supper served first.

They all loved it. ¬†He got through the loss of his favorite character and handled it with strength and only a few tears welled up. ¬†(Though he’d never admit it) ¬†What’s funny is I had no idea that this was also a Harry Potter Marathon weekend on one of the TV channels. ¬†So last night, I found myself sitting up alone, about to write. ¬†I clicked through and saw that the very same movie had just started playing.

True Confession: ¬†The Harry Potter movies are the same for me as Princess Diaries 2. ¬†If they’re on, I’m watching.

So I worked a bit and listened to the movie in the background, pausing for my favorite parts. ¬†Towards the end, Harry is very close to being completely taken over by evil forces in his mind and heart. ¬†What saves him from that is a montage of flashback ¬†memories–a photo of his parents, hugs from his best friend, sitting and laughing over next to nothing with his two closest friends–one by one the people he cared about came to mind, and he was able not only to fight against the evil but also to say (and I’m paraphrasing here), “I feel sorry for you. ¬†You will never know what it is like to feel love.”


All those moments. ¬†The times we sit and just “be” with someone else–talking, listening, sharing, laughing, crying, sitting quietly–all of those moments are stored up as an arsenal against all the hard and dark and broken times in our lives.

Store them well.  Make all the good memories.  Never question the worth of a kind word or a smile to a stranger.  Never doubt the good you do when you listen to the story of a young child or sing along to the radio with your friend.  Never feel that you are wasting time just sitting with a friend, each of you doing your own thing.  Never hesitate to share a laugh or encouragement or affection.

All of those things keep the light burning and in times of darkness will guide you home.

You matter.  Your words and laugh and all you are matter.  More than you can ever know.

Giving thanks for all the joyful memories I have tucked away and can pull back out when the storms approach.

Wishing you all the same.

Love to all.


To produce a patronus which is a strong protective force, you must think of your happiest thoughts and memories. Lovely….. By frostnova [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

A Dime For My Thoughts

A few days ago the littles and I were watching some videos about the Presidents.  One had a song about who is on this kind or that kind of money.  It was maybe a little beneath my two agewise, but it was a catchy tune, so we watched.

And I sort of sang along in the hopes that they would too.

Who’s on the penny? ¬†Who’s on the penny?


Who’s on the nickel? ¬†Who’s on the nickel?


(Did I mention I was rocking it while my two sat staring back and forth in disbelief between me and the screen?)

Who’s on the dime? ¬†Who’s on the dime?


Wait.  What?

What do you mean–Franklin Delano Roosevelt?

I don’t even think so, people.

I pulled out my trusty friend (my phone) and asked that very question.

Who is on the dime?

And I’m sorry–

NOT Eisenhower?

My whole life has been a lie, y’all.


How did I ever get that confused?

Who was the first one to tell me that?  Or did I just assume and no one ever talked to me about this VERY IMPORTANT FACT, so that on this very day, I totally embarrassed myself in front of my two very impressionable children and had my very world turned topsy turvy, up on its end?

I feel like I should be sarcastically thanking someone, but I can’t figure out who.

I love my children.  I love homeschooling them.  Most of the time.  I love it when I learn new things, like how snails grow their own shells or a quick way to calculate something or the amazing things we have been learning about the Bill of Rights.  I love the great things we read and watch and the awesome conversations we have at times.

But this–

This I did not enjoy.  AT. ALL.

And it’s such a little thing, isn’t it? ¬†I mean, I’ve spent more dimes than I would ever care to count or admit, and ALL THIS TIME I thought I was handing over Dwight D. Eisenhower, only I wasn’t, and so my world is a bit off balance right now.

What else have I assumed I KNEW AND WAS TOTALLY CORRECT in my way of thinking about–only wasn’t?

What else am I wrong about–in my thoughts, my understanding, my beliefs?

It’s scary, this thing of assuming what we know or understand is RIGHT.

Which is why, maybe, just maybe we should every now and then take a step back and listen to what others know and understand. ¬†We don’t have to take those things on or accept them as true, but who knows what we might learn if we are open to hearing it.

Just a thought. ¬†That’s my FDR coin’s worth, anyway.

……still shaking my head…..

Love to all.


And so now, looking at it up close, OF COURSE I CAN SEE THAT THIS IS FDR. How have I been getting this wrong all these many years?


bad news

so it turns out
I really can’t handle
any more bad news

I’ve decided that
based on the scientific fact
that I am sitting here
and everything in my head
resembles a ticker tape
running below the news reports

and we know nothing good
ever winds up there

so no more bad news


instead can we sit on the porch
and watch the breeze tickle the leaves
that are left after fall’s brigade came through
can we laugh at the children as they
do their best to imitate the big folks
while they play football or ride bikes
and just seem so free

can we pick up a brush and
splash the world with color
brights and lights and darks
and bring them together in one big
beautiful canvas that brightens
and lights up for miles around

can we curl up with a book
one that is light and witty
and whose characters find themselves
in the most unlikely of situations
but always work to find the happy ending
that is surely out there
if one
just holds on
long enough

can we sing at the top of our lungs
and dance in circles around the room
as the dog barks and the children giggle
and finally join in
when that certain song comes on that lifts
everyone’s spirits
every single time

can we measure and mix
and bake
and add all the sprinkles
to the cupcakes that make
everyday a celebration
eating them together in four bites
and downing them with the sweetest tasting water
ice cold and refreshing
laughter and cupcake wrappers
the remains of an afternoon well spent

so yes, just for today,
could we please let go of the what if’s
and what are’s
and what never will be’s
that drag my soul through the muck
so thick
that I can hardly stand up after

can we please turn off the news
and sit together
and tell the good stories
the ones that bring us all a little closer
and make us all smile

for today, it turns out,
I can’t handle
any more
bad news

tomorrow will be soon enough


By Hello Darlin at http://www.flickr.com/photos/hellonheels/ via Wikimedia Commons

Or Maybe He’s Not Creepy…..

Today Aub and I were doing the Out and Abouts and wound up at the grocery store. ¬†It’s very unusual for me to find myself there twice in a week, but sometimes it happens. ¬†We were just there Wednesday, but I didn’t get enough of this and forgot to get that, so there we were.


At the grocery store.

I promised myself I wouldn’t do this again.

Still. ¬†There we were. Circling the parking lot. ¬†This time I knew I was circling–looking for a parking spot that wasn’t way on the other side of the gas station. ¬†I am a picky parker, especially at the grocery store. ¬†I admit it. ¬†I like to park very close or–yay–right next to the buggy corral.

As we headed up to the prime spot next to a corral, Aub pointed out the guy pushing one of those race car buggies made especially for shoppers with small children. ¬†“Ewwwww, look, that guy is pushing a child’s cart, and he’s all by himself! ¬†What is that? ¬†Is he planning on picking up one or two inside? ¬†That’s creepy as mess.”

I took in the situation as I eyeballed my parking space and made sure no one else was gunning for it.  (I can multi-task like that sometimes.)  The guy was fairly young, wearing a coat, and sure enough, he was pushing a cart for children with no children in sight.  That was when I caught a glimpse of something underneath his jacket.

A name tag.  He worked at the grocery store and was commandeering shopping carts from the parking lot.

Well, now, that makes a whole lot of sense.

Bless my girl, it was one of those moments where we laughed a lot longer than anyone else would have, and it was funny to us. ¬†But all kidding aside, we all do this at times, don’t we? ¬†We see something without having all the facts and looking at it with face value, we tend to pathologize it. ¬†Point out how messed up it all is.

When in fact, it very well could be something else entirely.

Like maybe the clothes someone’s wearing out to the Mart isn’t an indication they’re crazy or broke or really messed up. ¬†Maybe they’re grieving or their washer is broken or they haven’t slept in days because of something they are going through.

Maybe it’s because of something not…..very creepy.

Just a thought.

Life is hard, and it is easy to jump the gun and make quick judgments. ¬†That’s called survival, right? ¬†Tonight I’m thankful for those times when we can take time to pause and reassess…..

and discover it’s really not creepy after all.

Love to all.


By Jim (http://www.flickr.com/photos/alphageek/121953651) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

P.S. ¬†I’m really proud of my Aub though. She’s always a good advocate for those who need it most, and children who might be picked up by creepy people are definitely in that category. ¬†Love you, Aub. ¬†Good looking out. ¬†‚̧


Me too

Two of the most beautiful words–


No.  Right now, in this moment right here, they are THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WORDS EVER to hear from the mouth of another.  Or from the keyboard of someone else.



About a week ago I shared a meme on Facebook about how you know you’re a Mama if you keep running the same load of laundry for three days because you keep forgetting to move it to the dryer.

I prefaced it with something like “I will neither confirm or deny. ¬†Ahem.” ¬†See? ¬†Even though I was saying THIS IS ME, THIS IS THE CRAZY I AM AND DO ON A REGULAR BASIS, I was leaving a little bit of doubt so maybe folks wouldn’t really know the CRAZY I am.

Yeah.  Right.  They knew.

It’s scary for me to share things like that. ¬†I like my mask. ¬†I like my doors and walls and staying put behind them. ¬†I joke about parading my crazy on the front porch, but other than some cobwebs that need sweeping up and some old Christmas greens that I should move to the fire pit pile, I really DON’T like to share my crazy that openly.

Still, I shared it because on rough weeks (okay, and maybe not so much ONLY the rough weeks), I’ve been guilty of this. ¬†It struck a chord with me. ¬†It made me laugh. ¬†I had to share it. ¬†Because I get it and because as I’m easing closer to the big five-o, I’m hopeful that with that decade I will find grace to be all the CRAZY that I am and not be so guilt-filled or lost or overwhelmed by it. ¬†That’s what I’m hoping for.

In the meantime, I’m leaking little bits of it here and there.

And you know what?

Folks responded. ¬†Folks I’m close to and folks who knew me when and folks from all over–they responded. ¬†You know what they said? ¬†Nary a one said, “Wow, Tara, get it together. That’s very wasteful. ¬†You are really wasting our natural resources, and one day your grandchildren can blame YOU for their water shortage. ¬†And high energy costs. ¬†YOU. ¬†I can’t even believe that you can’t remember to move a load of laundry over to the dryer before it sours. ¬†Really? ¬†I think I might have to unfriend you…..”

No.  Not one.

The ones who responded were filled with grace.  Most said those magic words:


Last night I wrote about Robert Pine being Chris Pine’s father, and how that discovery amazed me. ¬†I figured I was the last person on the planet to learn of this, and everyone else would think–“Okay, Tara, old news. ¬†Move along.” ¬†But they didn’t. ¬†Folks said, “Me too.” ¬†And I didn’t feel quite so out of the loop.

I’m rambling here. ¬†The thing I want you to take away from my true confessions here is that there is magic in the words “Me too.” ¬†Say them to someone. ¬†Listen to their story and when it resonates with you, when you find a kindred spirit, no matter how broken or crazy or silly the thing is, tell them. ¬†Let them know they are not alone. ¬†Tell them “me too” and watch their face change. ¬†Watch them smile or crumple in grateful tears. ¬†Let them know it’s not crazy to love the things they love or do the things they do or eat the things they eat. ¬†If you can own it, do. ¬†Tell them “Me too.” ¬†Shout it. ¬†(Well, okay, maybe not in every case, you don’t want to scare folks.) ¬†It’s good news to let someone know they aren’t alone. ¬†And some good news deserves to be loud and proud.

Here’s my last point, and I hope you will take this one to heart as well. ¬†If something resonates with you, yes, say “Me too.” ¬†That’s beautiful and powerful and healing. ¬†But when it DOES NOT resonate with you, when you have no idea what it’s like or how someone can feel/think/believe that way, don’t turn your back on that person. ¬†Don’t walk away, don’t yell “Not me” or take off to tell everyone else about what you just heard. ¬†Maybe you can’t say “Me too,” but there’s something else that is just as magical.



And the words, “It’s okay. ¬†I’m trying to understand. ¬†Tell me more.”

Powerful good magic that.

We don’t have to have all the things in common to be with another person. ¬†To be comforting. ¬†To lift them up. ¬†Sure the “me too” moments are wonderful and reassuring and really, really good.

But so are the “I’m listening, tell me more” moments. ¬†The quiet moments of just sitting in the ditch with someone who is there simply because she loves you. ¬†She might not get it, but she loves you so she’s there.

That’s good stuff too.

You think so?

Me too.

Love to all.


there are times when the words come easily
and flow quickly,
faster than my fingers can fly across the keyboard

other times I sit and ponder and read
and try to find the words

and perhaps, it has just occurred to me,
that instead of searching for the words
that seem to elude me

those moments could best be spent
embracing the quiet
the stillness




By Sini191 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Living Art and the Day We Had

Today was a day of all the things.


It actually started last night. ¬†As I sat on the bleachers watching my oldest swim for the last night before the bubble goes up over the pool for the winter, I got a notification on my phone. ¬†The Auvi-Q, our epinephrine auto-injector that could potentially save the life of my child with food allergies, was recalled. ¬†At first only certain lot numbers, and then the word came down–ALL.

For a few moments, I could not breathe. ¬†The leftovers from her meal that she’d barely touched at the restaurant before swim practice were waiting for her after practice. ¬†Everything there was supposedly safe, but now–without our safety net–I was suddenly ill at the thought of letting her eat it.

I called the pharmacy and found out they were not even aware yet.  But the pharmacist was compassionate and took time to look it up on-line and even offered to call our allergist for a prescription for the Epi-pen first thing this morning.

It was the best we could do.

And so it had to be.

Last night was filled with anxiety, fearing all the what ifs, without that safety net. ¬†All of the food in my house–and I am a very careful shopper–suddenly seemed risky.

But we finally got everyone settled and in the bed, and this morning was a new day.  I called the allergist myself and was assured they were on it.  I started to breathe a little easier.

Then our Princess said she didn’t feel very good. ¬†Sure enough, she has run a low-grade fever most of the day. ¬†She just had some sort of weird allergy-related weekend virus two weeks ago. ¬†And here it is, it would seem, back for another visit.

By midday, Cooter was also down for the count with a bad headache that caused stomach problems or vice versa.  In the middle of it, it hardly mattered.  I can get debilitating headaches from time to time, and it broke my heart to see my baby hurting like that.  He spent most of the hours between 3 and 8 sleeping it off, bless him.

In the midst of all of this, our Princess’ best bud, a sweet girl who moved into the neighborhood over the summer, came over with her big blue ball (they all love throwing it around in the cul-de-sac) to see if her friend could play. ¬†When I told her they were both sick, sympathy and compassion was evident in her eyes. ¬†When Miss Sophie heard her voice, she came running to the front door. ¬†Our Princess’ friend J is the pet whisperer. ¬†She promptly sat down on the front porch and started loving on Sophie, who ate it up. ¬†I guess she and her needs had taken a backseat to my sick babies today, bless her. ¬†As J told me about her day and about her favorite dogs of years past, I took a moment and sat down on the floor just inside my front door and listened. ¬†As I sat there looking at her sweet face, this child whom I prayed for–a good friend for our Princess, I felt as though it was a sacred moment. ¬†This young girl was sharing her heart with me. ¬†The joy of having a pet who understood her and the pain of losing her in recent years. ¬†Sweet and funny stories.

I wanted to sit there forever. ¬†That she found me worthy to hear her stories–that put a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye. ¬†She is such a love. ¬†She is a beautiful soul, and I’m thankful for her in our lives.

Not long after she left, Cooter’s buddy came by with the oyster crackers his sweet Mama had offered to pick up at the store for us. ¬†They are the one thing Cooter will eat after having a stomach bug, and we were all out. ¬†As I took the bag from him, telling him thank you, I felt something cold. ¬†I looked up, puzzled. ¬†“Oh, there’s chicken salad from Shane’s in there,” he said. ¬†He shrugged and smiled that precious smile of his. ¬†BLESS. ¬†Being thought of and cared for like that–well, it took my breath away, and when it returned, I breathed out much of the weight of the day. ¬†Chicken salad. ¬†Being thought of. ¬†Thank you.


Later this evening, I was closing up the house. ¬†I had opened up the windows, hoping that the fresh air would help get rid of whatever this “mess” is that keeps getting ahold of my young’uns. ¬†Enough is enough. ¬†It was a lovely day to have the windows open too. ¬†As I went to close the window in my bedroom, I looked out. ¬†The sky was the most delicate blend of pink and yellow and the trees in the back were just gorgeous. ¬†I stopped and actually breathed in and out and gave thanks for the painting before my eyes. ¬†Living art–our Creator is good at that.

Tonight I am thankful for replacement epi-pens and the ability to get them quickly. Not all of the allergy Mamas are so fortunate, and I hold them in my heart and in the Light tonight as I am able to rest a little easier than I did last night. ¬†I give thanks for the most wonderful neighbors that anyone could ask for–surprise visits on the front porch in the quiet of the afternoon and surprise gifts of chicken salad, never mind the text messages checking on us and grocery store acquisitions that make our life easier–so lucky to be doing life with these good folks. ¬†Most of all I give thanks for living art–the trees at the beginning of fall, a sunset through the woods, the look of compassion in a young girl’s eyes, and the shrug and grin of a gift offering young fella. ¬†All beautiful, all life-giving. ¬†I am thankful. ¬†And humbled. ¬†So much more than I deserve.

Grace. ¬†I’m thankful for grace.

Love and grace to all.