Eighty Percent Chance of Rain

This whole past week I have clicked on my Weather app or checked the weather website every day.  Several times a day.

And then some.

We had our family Easter hootenanny planned for today, and so the weather watching was part checking, part praying, and part trying to use sheer WILL to bring good weather into being.

The chances of rain for today have been as high as 80% and as low as 20% for a few short hours this week.  We were real worried about a rain out.

Rain and things like wienie roasts and egg hunts don’t exactly mix too well.

When the percentage dropped down to 20% by Tuesday evening, I could see that downward trend wiping the rain all the way off the map by Saturday.  I sent a celebratory message with a picture of the forecast to the Gracious one who was hosting the whole event.

Yep, called it a win way too early.  The percentage went way back up and then down and then back up.  It’s been a roller coaster this week.  Last night it was still looking really iffy.

Such that I waited until after 9 p.m. to make the potato salad.  You can’t freeze that stuff, y’all.

I woke up this morning, a day that, as of last night still had 45% chance of rain around lunch with the percentage getting higher by afternoon, and my room was brighter than I expected it to be.  I went to the windows, and the sky was blue with white puffy clouds and bright sunlight streamed down from above.

I felt like I was in an alternate universe or something.  This was TOTALLY UNEXPECTED and definitely not predicted.

And the whole day was just like that.

BEAUTIFUL.

Maybe it’s just me, and if you don’t do this, that’s okay–better than okay, it’s great.  That whole preparing for the worst, and then it turns out no worrying was necessary after all–

yeah.  Where.  I.  Live.

Today was such a gift, a gift wrapped up with a bow of sunshine and good people and hugs and laughter and great food and time together with folks who knew me when and know me now and have my bail money and I have theirs (looking at you, girl–love you) and children running around proving they can look and find things…..

I am thankful.

And it soothed the soul of this Eeyore spirit, who figured that yeah, rain, that sounded about right.  We’d have to change all the plans and “make do,” and then the worst didn’t happen.  In fact, the best did.

I’m not even sure what to do with that.  I’m still beaming, and my mind and heart are still reeling from the shock and surprise of sunshine today.  And all of the wonderful things.

Or maybe the reeling is from the pollen.  It is springtime in Georgia after all.

May your heart be surprised with something fabulous that you never expected today.

Love to all.

img_1811

a picture perfect day that no one could have predicted

 

Rainy Days and Monogrammed Hoods

The rain.
Y’all.
And we haven’t even gotten the worst of it here where I am.

I’m not complaining–when I have the luxury of staying at home and not being out in it, I can find my happy place in the midst of these rainy, dreary days. Cool temperatures? Even better. (SOOOO ready for hoodie weather.)

Still, my concern has been we aren’t really outfitted for rainy weather here with my little crew.

It would seem, I’m recently discovering, that we have outgrown umbrellas. My children aren’t as small and compact as they once were when we could “everybody grab my leg and let’s shuffle walk/waddle over to that building” and I would carry the umbrella just so enough that they wouldn’t get very wet at all.

Now though? That doesn’t work. All but one would have to bend over double to grab my leg.

We have a couple of those vinyl ponchos, but I swanee those things have a life of their own. I shove them into a ball, tucked under the back seat of my vehicle. IT NEVER FAILS that at least once every other day, one or the other of those ponchos has crawled out from under the seat and is threatening to expand so as to take over the entire back of my vehicle. Not okay.

I’m over it.

As it looks like this is going to be a wet year, I finally decided they all could use rain jackets. I finally found one that could be tucked into its own pouch–hey, portable AND it won’t become a sequel to Night of the Living Rain Poncho and take over my world? Good enough.

I took all three children to the store to pick out whatever color would make them happy. Children’s sizes weren’t in stock, so I told Cooter we’d see about finding him one another place. The girls each picked out their favorite. When we went to check out, the sales clerk asked about monogramming the jackets. I had already told both of my girls this was the only and last rain jacket I’d be buying them. It was going to last them FOREVER. When the “m” word was mentioned, Aub’s eyes lit up. She is about monogramming all the things. Everywhere. When our Princess realized what was being asked, she wholeheartedly was on board. It sounded grown up and her sister wanted it, so YES. A thousand times YES.

Okay then. I had an ulterior motive. Maybe if they were monogrammed these jackets would be less likely to be tossed in a lost and found bucket in any of the various places we find ourselves on a weekly basis.

The next question was did they want just the left chest monogram or one on the hood too.

Sigh. The struggle is real, y’all. And I’m not talking about the rain anymore.

I could see in my oldest’s reaction that this would make her happier than a sunny day in Georgia. See my aforementioned comment about monogramming all the things. Everywhere.

Our Princess listened to the question when it was her turn to decide thread color and the like. Her eyes became so bright and her whole countenance was filled with joy.

She even clapped her hands. “Oh, YES! Please! Then when Maemae and Cap look down from Heaven and see it on my hood, they will know it’s me.”

Well.

Ahem.

Bless her. Bless. Her.

If it had been anyone else, I would have called them on manipulation. But not this one. This was all her. Authentic. And precious.

So yes, as if you had to ask, she got her initials monogrammed on her hood too. And the first thing she did after we picked up her jacket was put the hood on and smile. She nodded, and said almost to herself, “Yes. Now they can see it’s me.”

Oh baby girl.

Tonight I’m thankful for the rain and the sun and the thin moments when I feel my parents close. I do not take it lightly that we are able to go and get rain gear just because, and I am thankful for it. I give thanks for the joys that three little letters can bring in all the bright colors and fonts. I’m also grateful that I was able to find Cooter a version of the rain jacket as well, sans monogramming. (He will eventually outgrow his, and y’all know how I feel about hand-me-downs.) Most of all, I give thanks that my children still feel so connected to my folks–who adored each and every one of their grandchildren. I am so happy that they continue to live on in our stories, laughter, and tears.

Wishing you all a bit of sunshine even on the cloudiest of days.

Love to all.

"22 Regen ubt" by Tomasz Sienicki. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:22_Regen_ubt.jpeg#/media/File:22_Regen_ubt.jpeg

“22 Regen ubt” by Tomasz Sienicki. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:22_Regen_ubt.jpeg#/media/File:22_Regen_ubt.jpeg

Waving in the Rain

So Miss Sophie is very particular about her morning constitutional.  As I am limited as to how far I can take her in the mornings, there are days we go up and down our street, back and forth, until she is able to focus and make things *ahem* happen.

Rain, rain, and more rain

Rain, rain, and more rain

This morning it was cold.  And wet.  And raining.  I don’t mean drizzling.  It was pouring down as we went out for her to take care of business.  I was surprised to see the guys working on the new house on our street.  In this weather?  They are solid and hard workers, I’m not even kidding.  And skilled.  It fascinates me to watch them bricking up the house–they are true artists.

Because of the weather I was very eager for her to take care of business and for us get back in the shelter of our home.  Unfortunately, it took a few minutes for the rain to saturate through her lovely fluffy coat so she was unaware and happy.  She was all about sniffing the new smells and hopping over puddles.  Finally after a few minutes I saw signs that she was ready to “go.”  I breathed a sigh of relief and stood ready to wait with my bag in hand.  That was when I saw two of the house builders getting in a truck.

Nonononononono…..

But yes, they closed the doors and started up the truck.  Distracted, my particular girl gave up her intended task and watched them leave.

Oh me.  I was cold and wet and frustrated.  Having no idea how long it was going to take her to get situated again and thinking about the 100% chance of rain All. Day. Long. I was really frustrated.  And I found myself muttering under my breath, “I hate these folks working on these houses.  Man!”

Wait.  What was that?

On a fluff reality TV show where the word “amazing” is used almost every twenty seconds, a guest host came in and put a jar on the counter and called it the “amazing” jar.  A dollar in the jar every time that word was said.  By the time the episode was over, the jar was quite full of dollar bills.  Yep. Sounds about right.  They do say it a lot.

After I said what I did this morning, almost without thinking, I thought of that jar.  And it hit me–

those guys had no idea what I’d said about them.  They weren’t hurt at all by what I’d impulsively uttered.

But I was.  My heart hurt almost immediately.

When I thought of the jar, I wondered–

what if every time we utter a hateful word or have an unkind thought–

what if it helps to fill the Dark Side’s “jar?”

While I know those men didn’t feel a bit of hurt–they even gave a friendly wave as they drove past my bedraggled self and my wet pooch–I know something shifted.  My heart ached.  I wished I could take those unheard words back.

 

When they were working on the bricking yesterday.  It is amazing to watch.  They know exactly where to put each one, how to turn it, and they work as this amazing team, very efficient and organized.

When they were working on the bricking yesterday. It is amazing to watch. They know exactly where to put each one, how to turn it, and they work as this amazing team, very efficient and organized.  I don’t hate them at all.  I want to be as skilled and focused as they are.

Because I don’t hate them.  I’m actually quite impressed and thankful for them.   They are doing a beautiful job.

And yet, I think that somewhere, “Darth Vader” was probably cheering over the view of what he saw and heard me say.

I can picture him, fist pumping–“Another one for our hate jar!  Yes!”

I don’t know about y’all, but I don’t want to be a part of that.

Tonight I’m thankful for a reminder of the ripples our attitudes cause, even if they’re ever so small, and the reminder that every single word we utter and thought we have can change this world.  Even if it’s only in our own hearts, something shifts, something changes–

and I really want it to be for the better.

I’m sad for where my mind went in its frustration today.  I have a long way to go.  A major character flaw, and something to work on.

(Note to self:  When I’m wet and cold, I can go over to the Dark Side very quickly and quite easily.  No cookies required. Be sure to guard against THAT.)

Wishing you all a day of filling the “amazing” jar instead of the hate one.  Let’s make it a good day and smile–and wave in the rain.  In the words of my brother, “It’s never that serious.”

Love to all.

 

Rainy Day Reading

It’s been a lovely, perfectly dreary rainy day today.

And I have loved it.

Days like this are perfect for reading, something I haven’t taken time out to do enough of  lately.

So, after I hung the cheerful twinkly lights across my back porch, which is my roost and sanctuary, I sat down to read.

And I read three books.  In a row.

Yep.  THREE.

I know, I couldn’t get over myself either.  Here I’ve been unable to really focus and read much of anything, and I go and read three books in a row.

*insert selfie high-five and pat on the back for me here*

Yep.  Yay me.

Oh, wait–did I mention they were children’s books?

Ah, well.  Ahem.

Yes.

Three wonderful books related to Thanksgiving.  They were all great stories. Well written, beautifully illustrated.  I loved each one, and if you can find them at your library or have time to go to the bookstore, you will want to read these too.  I just know it.

One of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions is watching Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.  I am sure I frustrated my Mama on more than one occasion because I was more worried about not missing my favorite performer than I was about helping her in the kitchen.  It just wasn’t Thanksgiving if I didn’t get to wave to Santa on the small black and white TV we had all those many years ago.

Now it’s the same.  I love watching it with my children.  I’m a little busier these days than I was back then, but I do love that parade.  The history, the wonderful floats and balloons.  And then I found this book and read it today, and I do declare it just made it all the more special for me.  This is the story of the puppeteer, Tony Sarg, who was asked by Macy’s to build puppets to be featured in the very first parade, alongside animals from the Central Park Zoo.  And as the crowds got bigger, Mr. Sarg had to make his puppets bigger so they could be seen above the heads of others.  A true story with great illustrations and facts galore.  I can’t wait to sit and read this with the littles and then watch it all click on Thursday.

This book tells the related story of why the parade was first begun.  It’s a fictionalized account, as the “real” Mr. Macy had died years before this story is set, but even with poetic license, this book does a beautiful job of talking about heritage and remembering who your people are and what their traditions were.  I love the spirit and the joy in this book.  And Milly let loose in Macy’s–how much fun would that be?  I’ve often said I’d like to go to New York City for 24 hours.  Only. (But I’d prefer to travel the ol’ wriggling of the nose method…..or floo powder, thank you very  much.)  Looking at the window displays in Macy’s and walking around inside would definitely make the “must do” list.

The last book I read today was the true story of how Thanksgiving almost wasn’t.  Did you know about this?  I am sure the turkeys, just like the one on the cover, are not happy one bit with Sarah Hale, the woman who wrote many, many letters over 38 years, asking that Thanksgiving become a nationally recognized day.  It was actually President Lincoln, in the middle of the turmoil and chaos of the war, who finally said yes.

This true story is told with a clever sense of humor.  I laughed out loud when I read this line.

“Never underestimate dainty little ladies.”  –Laurie Halse Anderson

I think I want this quote framed and hung, because there is more truth than a little bit in it.  Anyone who ever met my Mama knows that.

This book also had lots of interesting facts we shall feast on together tomorrow.  One little tidbit, Sarah Hale is the author of the nursery rhyme, “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”  Ms. Hale taught school and a student actually had a lamb follow her to school and wait for her all day.   The book also touches on Ms. Hale’s advocacy for education for women–wonder if she ever visited Wesleyan?–and her stance on women’s rights in general.  A great story that I didn’t know before.

 

Thanksgiving is one of my very favorite days of the year.  I love pie.  So there’s that–boy, do I love pie.  My Granny’s sweet potato with coconut, my Great Great Aunt’s Buttermilk custard–I miss them all.  And I miss my Mama’s dressing.  She would bake cornbread and let Daddy eat a little bit–but there were no leftovers for him to have the next day.  It went in the freezer for the dressing later on.  I think she started saving it a couple of months out.  That and breadcrumbs.

But I digress.  What I love the most is the being together.  The warmth, the stories, the memories being made.  This year we will be back at Blackberry Flats for the first time in years, and it will be quite wonderful–I’ve already decided.  The children will climb trees, and the grownups will talk, football will be on, and naps and third helpings are a given.

This year will be quite special as always, but thanks to the stories we are going to read and talk about this week, I think it will be even more so.  I can’t wait to hear their laughter over the illustrations and lines about dainty women being a force to reckon with.

Mama always encouraged us to be thankful every moment, every day, but I am grateful that we have a day set aside where quiet reflection is a must, where people dance in the streets to celebrate a melding of their past and present, where a puppeteer can make big dreams come true, and where the whole country comes together, if only for a day, in one accord.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Love to all.

 

(and if you get a chance to read one of these books, I’d love to hear your thoughts)