Drive Thru Open

This evening on the way home from swim practice, we passed the Taco Bell not too far from our house.  I noticed it was closed the other day–for remodeling, I finally figured out.  The work truck parked outside was a pretty good clue.

Tonight their marquee said, “Drive Thru Open.”

Really?

What amazes me is that this is the second sign like this that I have seen in the past couple of weeks.  The Arby’s across town was being renovated and rejuvenated in a big way, and their sign also indicated you could pull through and get your supper fix.

Even with the wires hanging from the removed ceiling tiles and ladders propped up inside and the doors wide open for easy access for the workers.

But still, they were cooking back there.

I suppose I should comment on their tenacious, go get ’em spirit.  That they are carrying on as usual despite all the “bumps” and ladders in the road.

I might should, but I’m not.

Sometimes, folks, we just need to shut down for a day or three.  If things get to the point where we need renovation, rejuvenation, and healing, the time has come to shut things down so all of that can happen and happen well.

Not some rush, half-way job while trying to keep things going anyway.  There are no good shortcuts when it comes to healing.

The folks that love us will be patient and will be there when we open the doors again.

May we all have the strength to be weak and allow our souls the time they need to replenish.

Love to all.

2015-04-17_21_17_00_Taco_Bell_restaurant_at_night_along_Mountain_City_Highway_(Nevada_State_Route_225)_in_Elko,_Nevada

It’s not our Taco Bell, because I was driving and couldn’t get a shot, but well, you see one, you’ve pretty much seen them all….. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3A2015-04-17_21_17_00_Taco_Bell_restaurant_at_night_along_Mountain_City_Highway_(Nevada_State_Route_225)_in_Elko%2C_Nevada.jpg

Turning the Page

Tonight as I toss my hand up in some semblance of a goodbye to 2014, I find myself looking ahead.

Sometimes looking back is just too much to handle.

This hasn’t been a bad year, it’s just there were firsts that were hard on the heart–and a lot to learn as I navigated the emotional and tangible aspects of living without someone I love.

So I look ahead.

I’m not looking ahead to 2015 as this set of days that will change my life, my world, my outlook.

Only I can do that.

But I am looking forward to each day as it comes.  Tomorrow, then the next, and then the next.

And in doing so, tonight I decided on my “word” to focus on each morning, noon, and night of the days in the coming year.

In the past couple of years, I’ve chosen “interruptible” and “with.”  So this year, I’m switching it up a little bit.

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and

See, I don’t want to walk into closed doors or situations and let them control me and where I can go in this life.

At the close of this year, should I still be up and walking and talking (and typing), I want to be able to say as I look back at 2015 in retrospect–

When I faced adversity (and this will happen), I kept on walking, and…..adversity didn’t dictate my next steps.

When someone’s actions were hurtful and broke my heart, instead of shutting down, I took that pain and…..I grew stronger and learned whom I could trust and love.

I didn’t let pain, loss, hurt, darkness, or brokenness have the final say.  When facing the cracks and pain in others, I showed them I cared, but I didn’t let their pain make me bitter, and…..I never walked away from a chance to love.

When I was short on time and long on to do’s, I took a deep breath and…..I got it done, one thing at a time without letting the feeling of being overwhelmed open the door to anxiety and frustration.

When I questioned the wisdom of the Universe and asked “why?,” I thought, “Okay, this may be what life has handed me, what is on my path right now, but it will not stop me.”  It happened and…..and then I faced it and did what I could do.

When I had an opportunity in front of me–

to be kind, to try something new, to reach for a goal, to give something with meaning, to share light with another,

I stopped and saw what was needed and…..I moved forward in love.

Tonight my heart is at peace as I put away one calendar and pull out another.  I know all the answers for good things and happiness do not lie in the turning of the page, but instead in the choices I make.

In the coming days, it is my fervent hope that I will not let my circumstances and situations become the final word.  I want to always follow with “and,” and then direct my own course.

Wishing you all a lovely and safe New Year’s day filled with big dreams and an even bigger, more wonderful reality right in front of you.  Make it yours and then…..

Love to all.

 

 

One of These Things Is Not Like the Other……

“One of these things is not the other,

one of these things just doesn’t belong.

Can you tell which thing is not like the other,

By the time we finish this song?”

Anyone remember this song?

Can you name that show?

Yep, Sesame Street.

And now it’s in your head.

You’re welcome.

Recently I was in the checkout lane with a cart full at the Grocery Store.  Usually I stand scanning magazine article titles, making sure there isn’t anything I need to turn the littles away from.  As we move closer to the belt, I ignore the candies and whatnot shelves, after a quick scan for triggers to our food allergies.  (Sometimes it feels like I’m scanning more than the checkout clerk.)

But one day recently I stopped short of ignoring and stared.  There was something that gave me pause for a moment.

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Because that doesn’t belong.

I know where cornbread can be found in the store–over near the deli and bakery section.  On a table out in the middle of the floor.  But it does not go in the middle of the gum and candy and gift cards and discounted books in the checkout line.  Huh.  Interesting.  I can remember that cornbread doesn’t go there, but I could not have told you what was there until something that didn’t belong showed up.

It took seeing something that was out of place for me to actually look around at what was there and notice what did belong.

Sometimes it’s like that in my heart.  Deep in my soul.  Sometimes it takes something feeling out of place before I really take stock of what is in there.  To figure out what belongs, what is in place, and get rid of the negativity and brokenness that doesn’t go there.

I wonder if there’s a regularly scheduled “check” in the grocery store to return misplaced items to their rightful places.  There must be, because the sight I saw is a very rare one.

Maybe I should consider scheduling similar checks for my own heart and spirit.

It’s a thought.

Love to all.

 

A Colorful Old Gal, I Hope They’ll Say

So just for fun, let’s revisit all of the colors I’ve brought into my house so far.

The "garage bathroom," freshly painted and beautiful.

The “garage bathroom,” freshly painted and beautiful.

First there was the lovely blue green in the “garage bathroom.”

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Now you can’t see that wall. Books stacked all against it, waiting for their big move.

 

Next we moved on to “Autumn Moon” in the living and eating and kitchen areas.  It took a few days, but it is done and I still know it’s the right color.  Seven years of marks and dirty hands and baby prints gone.

You’d think, as sentimental as I am, that I might be a little sad over that.

Ah, but no.

I am celebrating the absence of the green marks on the beige wall where Cooter beat it with his little green wooden hammer.  I am ecstatic that the tape marks from the pictures and signs that my girls have taped up are gone.  And those pencil marks, which someone tried to erase, outta here!  Even Miss Sophie’s baby prints (gnawing marks) are gone.

Heartless Mama maybe, but things are being put in order, looking fresh and crisp, made anew.

Yes.  I think my soul was craving this.

We have moved on to the next room.  The room that never really earned a name beyond the “big room” because of its multi-purpose or lack thereof.  It’s soon to be called that lovely and glorious name of “library” or “reading room.”  Books and more books.  All in there together.

Yes.

As I was contemplating what color to put in this room, I came across a picture on Pinterest that took my breath away.  The walls were…..

pink.

Or as I’ve been calling it–PANK y’all.

And the color immediately brought back memories of my Great Great Aunt’s home in the historic district in Macon.  I was fairly certain she’d had a pink room, but it’s possible that I was only recalling the dainty chair with the pink pouf as the seat.  How I LOVED that chair.   I emailed my siblings as to whether they remembered a pink room there.  Sister wrote back.  “Yes, there was.  And there was a picture of a lovely woman in that room.  And green carpet.  If there wasn’t, don’t tell me.”

Aren’t our memories precious and dear, all that they contain? And what gets fuzzy around the edges?

So I began to look at more pictures of pink rooms.  I felt compelled to create a room to remember Aunt Maye in.  She was a petite, quiet spoken love who never had children of her own.  She fell in love with the old house near Coleman Hill shortly after saying “I do” to her husband.  He knew it, and he bought it for her.  They were very sweet together and happy.  Until age caught up with him and Alzheimer’s took the joy away from her eyes.

But the pink is about celebrating her and the treasured memories.  Having Co-Colas in the kitchen with her and then her saying, “Let’s go into the house.” (She was raised in the time when the kitchens WERE separate from the rest of the house.) Oh how I used to wonder why she said that!  The Fruit Stripe gum she kept for us, and the alphabet blocks stored behind the glass of the bookcase.  The Church’s chicken picked up special for us for our lunches with them, and the sitting quietly while she and Mama visited in the hopes that they wouldn’t change the channel, and that we might catch a bit of Aunt Maye’s “stories” on the TV.  The huge furnace grate and the basement below that seemed a bit scary at times.  The way she made us feel so special by letting us play with her lipstick.  She never complained that we mussed up a stick or used one down to the nub.  She was a lovely person, and pink is a lovely color to remember her by.

Three quarters of the way there--with this lovely color called "Sweet Baby's Breath."

Three quarters of the way there–with this lovely color called “Sweet Baby’s Breath.”

So crazy or not, the room is 3/4 of the way there.  By this time tomorrow night the pink will be all done.  And the books will be in place by a week from then, barring anything unforeseen.  The dark wood is lovely with the light, airy color.  I am surprised by my choice, (and by the family’s acquiescing) but not disappointed at all.  It suits.

It's a little softer by lamplight.  And the lamp, though you can't see it here, has sweet pink blossoms painted on it.  Pulls everything together.

It’s a little softer by lamplight. And the lamp, though you can’t see it here, has sweet pink blossoms painted on it. Pulls everything together.

The pink's a little softer by lamplight.  And after moving furniture I decided to bring out my sweet kokeshi dolls from Japan.  They make me smile.  Now that the littles are older and won't try to lick them or eat them *ahem* it's time to enjoy them once again.  I am getting into this fresh and anew thing.

The pink’s a little softer by lamplight. And after moving furniture I decided to bring out my sweet kokeshi dolls from Japan. They make me smile. Now that the littles are older and won’t try to lick them or eat them *ahem* it’s time to enjoy them once again. I am getting into this fresh and anew thing.

As can happen when these projects get started, now the foyer, the last of the common areas is looking a little, well, boring, if I may say so.  It’s beige.  And I finally bit the bullet and made the decision to change the color in there as well.

So here’s the question…..

All of these areas are separated only by archways–there’s the beige foyer next to the pink room on one side and the chocolate brown man cave/office on the other.  All are joined together so to speak. We are not touching the man/cave color.  It’s rich and lovely and does NOT need painting.  So it’s staying.

So what color, do you think?  I’ve just about decided on one, so I suppose it’s a bit risky asking.  Let me just say Pinterest is a wonderful tool–you can look up just about anything–and when I looked up historical colors for the home, this lovely shade came up and I thought, that’s it.

It’s green.  Slightly in the direction of chartreuse.  I went and got samples tonight.  Y’all know me, I had to get three different shades to try.  (We are going to have a humdinger of a homeschool project at some point with my myriad of paint samples.)  We were moving furniture around tonight, so we haven’t tried them yet, but we will.

I am embracing my new colorful home.  Did I fail to mention that Aub’s bathroom is a lovely deep shade of purple now?  And it will be adjacent to the new green too.  So exciting.

It’s the little things in life, you know.  I hope that Mama is smiling at me, turning over a new leaf, being a lot less conservative in my choices and going for it.  “Dream big, baby girl,” she used to say.

In the words of the young folks, “YOLO–You Only Live Once.”

But instead of using it for an excuse to wreak havoc and not care, I’m using it as an excuse to let my wings stretch out and my spirit soar.  The color is coming back into my cheeks and my heart.  And my home.

Besides, as I told my painterfriend, I want folks to walk through here after I’m long gone and say, “Well, she certainly was a colorful old gal, wasn’t she?”

Yep, that would be just about perfect.

Love and vibrant colors to all!