The To and Fro, Then and Now

Some time around the middle of the day, I was exhausted for any number of reasons I could choose from, so I stretched out for a few minutes with Miss Sophie supervising.  She’s really good at that.  The Fella was home, and the littles were working on their lessons, so I had a few minutes to close my eyes.

It was one of those weird, not quite deep, slumbers where I’m aware but also resting.  Hard to explain.  I was dreaming of sorts, I think, when I felt myself being pulled back up to the surface.

In that moment, this thought crossed my mind as the image of our backyard swing came into focus in my head.

It hardly makes sense, does it, as to why change is so hard for one who loved the back and forth and up and down of sitting in a swing?  How is it that so much is terrifying and worrisome when going higher than ever before used to bring such thrills?  Why is a leap into the unknown so frightful at times, when leaping from a moving swing filled all around with laughter and cries for “Again! Again!”?

Turns out my life is so much like being on a swing.  So what is the difference from then when I loved it so much to now?

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that on that swing I was controlling the “how high” and most of the time I could stop the swing when I wanted to and come back to stillness–to the balance found exactly in the middle of front and back, to and fro, forwards and backwards.

Balance.

If y’all need me, I’ll be in the backyard.  Looking for some of that.

Love to all.

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By Luke [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The One About My Dog’s Business and An Email from Pinterest

A couple of things that happened today–

Miss Sophie is a picky pooper.  I don’t mean to offend, but there’s just no other way to put it.  She will not go in our yard.  And she is very sensitive about where she will go.  It takes quite a bit of sniffing and turning around and sniffing some more and sometimes, even when you think “YES! Finally!” she turns around and walks away from that very spot that once seemed so perfect.

Some days it takes a really long time.

(Yeah, she’s quirky like the rest of the folks around here.  We’ve decided to find it endearing.)

Some time around the middle of the day, I got an email from Pinterest.  From PINTEREST.  Writing to me.  I just knew it was to congratulate me for pinning all the things, and that although my pins were the most fabulous, I had exceeded the limit of pinning without actually attempting to do/make/create one of them.

Thankfully, no.

It was to let me know that they’d had to delete one of my pins.  It had to do with the creator of the picture not wanting it pinned again and again and again.  It was a recipe for a special blend of essential oils to help with injuries.

Eh. *shrugs* Okay.

I was afraid it was one of the one of a kind crochet patterns I pinned that I am sure I will BEGIN WORKING ON TOMORROW forthwith.

The nice thing was how kind the email was.  Pinterest kept assuring me that it had nothing to do with me or anything I’d done.  It was all about the originator deciding they didn’t want their information out there.  But they wanted me to know in no uncertain terms that I had done NOTHING wrong.

Well, that’s a huge relief.

And it really was.  It was so nice to be assured that while something I did had to be affected, it wasn’t my fault.  And they went to such trouble and used such nice words to make sure I knew that.

These two totally unrelated stories have come together for me tonight to remind me of this–

We all have things–anger, impatience, frustration, sadness, pain, anxiety, fear among others–that needs to come out or we will go mad and become ill.  It just has to.  But instead of letting it fall wherever, we need to be deliberate about who we share it with and how.  All of our woes and worries matter, but we don’t need to let them fester to the point of blowing up and out at folks.  Be particular, find a good friend or trusted family member and share your stuff.  Perhaps sharing with a compassionate soul and getting it out in the open will help.  But if it should happen that you carry it too long, and you blow up at someone, take a lesson from Pinterest.  Tell them kindly it had nothing to do with them.  Apologize. And use kind words.  It does a world of wonders, y’all.

We all have messes and issues and troubles and woes.  May we all be as particular as Miss Sophie and as kind as Pinterest when we become overwhelmed by our own troubles and that stuff starts coming out.

Love to all.

Balls and Bicycles and Make-Believe

This afternoon was a joy-filled one on our street.  The weather was close to perfect, and all the children were out playing.  A favorite pastime seems to be bouncing a large ball back and forth to each other or playing keep away with it.  Some of them have started up two or three person football games.  That’s Cooter’s favorite.  He wasn’t sure about it, until one of his friends told him, “Act like he just called you a name, and then you’ll be mad and you can tackle him.”

Good times. Good times.

At least until someone’s feelings or body parts get hurt.

Even then, this crew seems to get over their bruised arms, legs, and spirits pretty quickly.  It makes my heart glad to see them all out there, coming up with different things to play.  I am really thankful for these friends of my children and their families.  I was so enchanted by it this evening that I put off tackling Mt. Washmore (and it’s not because it’s my friend or anything), and I went out to sit on the front steps.  I took Miss Sophie with me, because she enjoys hanging out there too.

She is a pretty timid creature.  She is buoyant and loves our family people, but when it comes to others, she does this jump forward, jump back thing with her tail wagging that gets even more confusing when she starts barking at the new person.  She means well, she’s just socially awkward sometimes.  Much like the rest of us.

As we sat there and she did what she does best, sniffed everything in sight, our new cat who adopted us came up to say hello.  She is beautiful and is about as social as any cat can be, but she has her moments like all cats.  We have given her the moniker of “Luvvy” as in Mrs. Howell (from Gilligan’s Island, y’all) because she has this “fur muff” around her neck.  Very luxurious.  Miss Sophie finds her fascinating and announces her presence whenever she notices the feline through the window–sitting on the outside windowsill, sunning on the back porch, holding court on the front porch, wherever.

While we were enjoying the evening on the steps, Luvvy came up and walked close enough to get Sophie’s attention.  My fluffy girl tried to sniff certain areas as a way of saying hello, and Luvvy had no part of it.  Instead she walked by, tail high in the air, and climbed up on the cedar tree stump from where I grew up, Blackberry Flats.

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And that cat turned her head.  Away. From. My. Pup.

She knew too.  She knew exactly what she was doing.

And poor Sophie.  She kept wagging her tail and inching closer and even making little sounds of “Hey, notice me!  I’m right here. Will you be my friend?”

Bless her.

Luvvy finally had enough and slowly stood up, stretched, and hopped off and wandered away.

Poor Sophie.

She just wanted a friend.

Tonight I’m thankful for the friendships that have formed between the children on our street.  I’ve gone through a similar roller coaster of emotions I did with Miss Sophie with all of my children, “I just want a friend.  I want somebody to play with me.  I wish I had somebody to hang out with.”  Heartbreaking.

But no more.  I’m thankful for the balls and bicycles and make-believe that fill our afternoons and evenings.  I’m thankful for laughter and tumbling in the front yard and dance steps choreographed and dreams created about rooming together at college and living next door to each other many, many years from now.  These friends are the ones that sustain my crew and bring them all so much joy.

May we all find someone who will welcome us and toss us the ball or sit and giggle with us, just enjoying the time spent together.

Love to all.

for the fun of it, another pup looking for a feline friend–

A Boy, A Basketball, and the Light

Some days a moment stays with me to the point where I need to write about it, even when I had my thoughts all set to share about something else.

Tonight is just such a night.

This evening I took Miss Sophie out for a walk.  Cooter joined us on his bike, since he’s still grounded but needed to stretch his legs.  As we wandered around the corner and one street over, I crossed paths with a young man who was continuously dribbling a basketball.  Up down up down up down, pass to the other hand, and then up down up down up down again.  He was good.  And he kept walking the whole time.  (I wish I were that coordinated.)

Cooter and I went down a dead-end street and back up, with all the stopping and smelling that Miss Sophie wanted to do.  She was in her happy zone.  Cooter pushed with his little legs and made it up the sloped street, pumping as hard as he could.  As we got to the top of the street, there was the young man with the basketball again, heading back in the opposite direction.  We crossed paths again.

Something or Someone prompted me to speak.  (My daughter says I am channeling my Mama when I do this.)  “Hey, you’re really good!  You play on a team?”

He turned back to me, and his whole countenance had changed.  Because of THAT smile.  His eyes lit up, and I was blown away for a moment.

“Not yet,” he said, quietly.  And then with a little more confidence, “But I’m going to try out.”

I asked if it were for the local high school team, and he nodded yes.  “Well, best of luck to you!  You are really, really talented.”

He smiled, ducked his head, and we each headed in our own direction back to our homes.

I can’t seem to get the image of his face all lit up out of my head or heart.  What had looked like a young man meandering along on an early fall evening was actually a young man focused on his dreams.  Working intently on making them happen.

I am glad I stopped and noticed.  That was a Gift for me to see.  That light though. A precious treasure.

We all have a light of sorts inside of us, don’t we?  We just need someone to notice that thing about us that makes our heart and soul shine, and then…..

Look out, world.  You’re going to need sunglasses, we are so bright.

Tonight I’m thankful for the reminder that people are always more than what we see.  There are so many stories in each one of us, and if we take time and are open, we might even be blessed enough to see one.  I’m grateful for the chance to see that light in the young man, and for The One who helped me to speak up to begin with.  I am inspired by this young man’s intensity and focus.  I am also thankful for the reminder that things are not always what they seem.  All I saw at first was a young man playing around with a basketball, when what I was really seeing was dream-making in progress.

It felt almost sacred, being a witness to that moment, all that effort.

May we all have someone who will see the light in us and remind us that it is there, and may our hearts be glad and filled with the drive to keep trying until we make our dreams happen and our light shine even brighter.

Love to all.

Ode to the Belly Rub

Tonight as I sat down with my laptop in my usual spot to begin writing, I looked over at my right hip and this, y’all.

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You might say we are attached at the hip.  That’s the same spot she waddled over to the very first time we met.  She sighed, and then she plopped her little head down on my thigh.

Just as she likes to do now.  Every.  Single.  Night.

It’s kind of her spot.

The thing that gave me pause tonight–even though this behavior was no different, is how envious I am of her.

Oh, it’s not all the naps she gets to take–though there is that.

It’s not that food is in front of her almost before she needs it–ready to be eaten.

It’s not even that she is always cute, no matter the time of day.

It’s that this girl knows how to ask for what she needs or wants.

She used to come up and nip playfully at my hand when she wanted a belly rub.  Not a fan of that with all those puppy teeth, I taught her to pat my hand when she was in need.

And so she does. Whenever she feels the need.  Whether it’s been five minutes or five hours (rare) since her last belly rub, she knows how to ask.

Because she knows what she needs, and she trusts us to provide it.  And if we get a little thick-headed, she also knows she can use her voice (very loudly) and point out to us that she needs some more food or she’s ready for bed or she’d like to go outside.

Oh, to be that way.

To know exactly what would make things better, first of all, and then to trust that in asking, it will be provided.

To know how and whom to ask.  All while smiling.  (Or, you know, tail wagging as the case may be.)

Yes.

May we all work toward becoming more secure in the asking, and find ourselves surrounded by those who care enough to reach down and rub our bellies.  So to speak.

Love and happy asking to all.

Maybe I Should Wear a Cone of Shame

I don’t know that I’ve ever had a Monday so stereotypical as this past Monday. You know, one where you’d really rather just pull the covers up over your head and go back to sleep?

Yeah.  That was my morning.  Between me and Miss Sophie, we stayed in the road for appointments.   One in town and one out of town.  By the time we were all home and settled back in, it was mid-afternoon.

That evening my sweet cousin texted me to check and see how we were all doing.  Because she has a hot spot she won’t leave alone, Miss Sophie had to wear a cone–the “Cone of Shame,” as some call it.  It’s not serious, but she keeps scratching so the cone was the obvious solution.  As I told my cousin about both visits that day, she wrote back, “Well, at least you’re not having to wear a cone too.”

Well, if that isn’t the truth!

After I laughed and appreciated having someone on my side who can keep it real and yet keep me laughing (a true treasure), I got to thinking about what she said.  And while I’m glad I don’t have to wear a cone, I’m not sure if maybe I shouldn’t be wearing one.

After all, I tend to pick at things until they fester up again, instead of leaving them alone and letting my heart and soul heal.

In cases like that, a cone around what is worrying me would be a welcome reminder for me to leave it alone.  Let it go.  Move on and beyond.

I was thinking about this today when something that frustrated me a few weeks ago started rumbling around in my heart again. After a few minutes of reliving it and getting all riled up again, I realized what I had done.

Opened the wound.  Felt the pain again.  Set the healing process back all over again.

So yes, please, could I borrow that cone of yours, Miss Sophie?  It seems to be working for you.  Maybe it’s time I learn to quit picking at those worrisome spots.

May we all learn to let things go.  Even just a little.

Love to all.

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