Tuesday, April 7, 2015

the act of.......

I wrote these words today in response to a friend's comment about putting my stamp on my new home and building on that.....
"You know, honestly.... I see this as the foundation of a new relationship that has long been ignored....the relationship I have with myself....as well as the relationship between me and God and the opening up and walking with faith through the days ahead."
the act of....rebuilding.
the act of....opening up.
the act of.....walking in faith.
the act of.....learning about myself all over again....the real me....and establishing a solid, happy, comfortable relationship with myself.
meanwhile, work progresses on the house. today it was like being in an anthill, there were so many workers doing so many different things.  and I'm so excited I can hardly stand myself! the contractor says I should be able to plan on moving in by the end of april. 
just in time to plant a garden....perfect!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

still kickin'...after all this time

well hello.....that is, hello if there's still anyone out there.  it's been a while, to be sure....and a lot has happened.
I've bought a house....not the dream one in the mountains...yet. But that's on my "To Do" list.  This one is not far from here. It's just right....all on one level, nice yard, 2 baths, big windows and lots of light.....and a HUGE room that will be my studio.  I'm very excited about putting my stamp on this place...I have lots of plans for things I want to do to make this house mine....which, given the unforeseen turn of events last month, is a very...VERY...good thing.
Two weeks after I closed on the house we had a cold snap...more like a cold ZAP...straight from the Arctic, it was. And it hung around for a while. We are not accustomed to such temps and wind chills  of below zero around here. And there was snow...and ice. And for a few days I couldn't get to my new house to check to see if all was well. I hadn't moved in yet because I was planning to do some updating and renovating. I'd been to Lowe's and Home Depot, picked out my flooring, bathroom vanities, new light fixtures....paint colors...countertops, almost talked myself into new kitchen appliances, etc...all the lovelies to make this home scream of me. And then....the Tour of the Arctic arrived...and stayed...and stayed...and froze everything. EVERYTHING. Pipes. Which burst. In my studio wall. And flooded my new house. It was ugly. I called the Water Dept., who came and shut off the water...no telling how long it had been spewing forth. THAT bill should be lovely. Soppy carpet. Soaked into the wood of the bathroom cabinets and some of the kitchen floor cabinets. Soaked up into the sheet rock in the studio. Traveled into every room in the house. Ugh, indeed. BUT...
my son-in-law has a friend that owns an emergency response team. We called. They came immediately. They stayed until late into that Friday night. And when they left, all the carpet and linoleum had been taken up and all of the cabinets had been pulled out. And I had called my insurance company....my homeowner's insurance was such a new policy it hadn't even been entered into the computer yet...but it was in effect....and had been for all of 2 weeks. The only way I can describe it is that apparently God thought my new home needed a baptism, of sorts. Out with all the old, in with new and lovely. And, amazingly enough, the things I'd picked out at Lowe's and Home Depot just the week before are the very things that insurance is going to cover. The company we called that first night is a start to finish company...which means they come in, clean up the uuuuugly mess....and FIX. IT. ALL.  To my specifications, with items I choose. So all those beautiful new things I picked out, insurance is covering.  To be sure, it is a backward and roundabout way to get a blessing....and I DID NOT think when I walked in and saw water spewing from my studio wall and almost ankle deep that it would, in any way, shape or form, be a blessing.
But....it is. Truly.  Think about it. None of my personal belongings was moved into the house yet, so I lost none of my things. The company we called can and will do all of the work for us, so we don't have to spend every night and weekend painting and putting in new floors. I get all of the beautifuls I'd picked out and insurance covers the bill.  It frees up some of what I was going to spend so that I can get new kitchen appliances and lighting. God surely and certainly does work in mysterious ways.
So yes...I'm still kickin'....and about to be very busy.  Such a transformation, this process from "my new house" to "my home"....and I'm so excited to begin this new chapter.  Onward.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

being different....being changed

what good could come from the past year? it was one of those years when one would have to really....REALLY....look hard to find something. But it can be done.
one would hope that after a year of being refined by fire...having layers sanded off....that some beauty would begin to come forth.
"you're different"...."you've changed"...."your work is different"...."not like everything else I've seen"...."that's really different"....and it goes on.
after the year just past, one would hope to be changed....to be different, and to turn the events of months past into something positive through those changes.
and that, my friends, is my plan for the new year. to transform negative into positive and to celebrate those changes and to be different because of it.  because it is impossible for me to have gone through the past year and NOT be changed...NOT be different.
so let it be. be changed. be different. be happy in the skin you're in. celebrate life.
let 2015 be the year of rising from the ashes.
love the life you've been given. every minute of every day. always.
happy new year.

Friday, December 19, 2014

when Christmas comes

when Christmas comes, I will be in the house I grew up in.  I moved back here just over 2 weeks ago, in the same room that was mine when I was young. The decorations are up, the trees decorated, some of the gifts purchased....and that's about as far as we've gotten so far.  The past few months have been consumed with packing and moving....with the primary move over Thanksgiving weekend, which left Thanksgiving dinner as something of an afterthought. Now here's Christmas.....next week.  How DOES that happen so quickly?!
when Christmas morning comes, there will be the laughter and joy of children opening gifts, excitedly racing in to see what Santa brought. that hasn't happened in this home in a long time...but that's exactly how it's supposed to be. there will be the traditional variety of ham, sausage, tenderloin biscuits for breakfast....but dad won't be here on Christmas eve doing the cooking this year. His spirit will be here, though....and I and my children and grandchildren will do our very best to make this Christmas one filled with joy, even though we will be missing "Greatdaddy" and "Papa Ed"....our first Christmas without my dad and husband. Mark Schultz has recorded a song I would encourage you to listen to..."A Different Kind of Christmas"....that sums it up quite nicely. Things will never be the same. Christmas is changed forever. That said, it now falls into my lap to do for my grandchildren the things my parents did for my kids....make good memories. Have a joyous Christmas that focuses on the real reason we celebrate, that centers on giving and sharing and good times.
so here I am....with Christmas coming next week, in the home where most of my growing up Christmas memories were made, given the chance to do the same for my children and grandchildren. I so dreaded moving at this time of year....but hindsight is 20/20, and already looking back to the recent few weeks, I can see how it all unfolded just as it should.
when Christmas comes, there will be love in this home, even in the missing them part, even tinged with sadness.....but in this place, when Christmas comes, love wins....in the smiles, the laughter, the joy of simply being together and wrapping each other in a blanket of love. the circumstances are not what I would've chosen, but gifts come wrapped in the strangest ways sometimes.
yes. when Christmas comes this year.....love wins.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

when they listen

i'm in my last 48 hrs in this house. I have a storage trailer in my driveway that we've been loading for several days. On Tues., they're coming to pick it up and put most of my worldly possessions in storage for an undetermined stretch. me? i'm moving in with my daughter and her little family. she and her hubs bought dad's house earlier this year after his passing. there is extra room....that's what happens when one builds a home for 4 kids....so I will be moving there for a while. how long hasn't been determined but it will be till after the holidays and the beginning of the new year.
moving is a chore. really. and with part going into storage and part going to my new digs, it's even more dicey. I mean.....how am I supposed to know what i'll need in the next few months? sigh.
but anyway....it's almost done. one must make the best decision one can with the information on hand at the time and move on. if I've told my kids that once, I've said it a hundred times.  never in a million years did I think they were listening, much less that they would repeat it back to me verbatim.  and that's when you know.....they're looking after you. and they were listening. they've opened their homes to me. both of my kids have said I can come stay anytime, for as long as I need. and you know.....i'm pretty sure they meant it.  "here, mama, let me carry that"...."be careful of those steps, mom"..."don't pick that up, mama, you'll bust that rib again"...."I can do that, mom, just leave it there"...."sit down, you need to drink some water and just breathe"....and so it's been.  I even heard "we need to stop for a while. she's had enough. she's done for today".  now I must tell you this....I don't think fragile is a word that's been used to describe me....ever. not physically anyway. tough as a little draft horse, maybe...but fragile? nope. never. that said....my kids are wanting to take care of me, in whatever state i'm in. just like I've always done for them. when they were small I remember telling them more than once that people would come and go in our lives but the one thing that would always be the same, would always be constant, is the three of us. they needed that reassurance from me...that we would always be together and be there for each other. because that's what families do. that's how families are. i think they were listening.  and though my new home isn't ready yet and i'm having to leave this one sooner rather than later, it's ok. I've discovered what the silver lining is.
they were listening. and even with other people in their lives now....it really is still the three of us....plus more.
always and forever is true.

Monday, November 3, 2014

and still....the waiting

Lord, I'm not telling You what to do or when to do it...but I don't think my timing is exactly aligned with Yours right now. I need you to intervene and do a Mighty Work in this house situation. The days are ticking by.....and I need a place to land before Christmas. I'm not waiting well....and with every passing day, the panic creeps in a little more.  Show me so I can see, speak so I can hear.....calm these fears and reassure me that You've got this.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


I absolutely, totally, with my entire being detest packing.
in the beginning, i'm always trying to keep things organized. all the bathroom towels and washcloths
go in this box, kitchen in this one, etc. I do/did try. really. but then the laundry comes out of the dryer and oops....here's a set of sheets that didn't make it into the right box. oh well, no matter.....they can go in the box with the socks because they'll be going in the bedroom, too...oh and here's this throw pillow off the bed. so I suppose keeping things in room-appropriate boxes is semi-organized. 
and then......
then comes the day like yesterday. a day when you realize time is ticking and slipping by and you're(I'm) so ready to be gone...to be somewhere other than here.....that it begins. The "open box, insert anything" method of organization and packing. That is me. The only question I ask now...."Is it going with me?" If the answer is yes, it goes in a box. Any box that will get it safely and efficiently from Point A to Point B. My goal is not necessarily to arrive organized.......just to arrive. With all my stuff.
My thoughts are that it will be something akin to Christmas morning when I begin to unpack. I won't know what's in the box, just that whatever's in there is mine.
oh and yes, there's this.....that day when you actually run out of boxes. Mm-hmm. That happened, too. Enter stage left:  garbage bags.....heavy duty. The ones with fragrance. So now, not only will everything arrive safely, it will arrive smelling good, too.
there are those days. the ones where you'd almost just as soon leave it all behind and start over from scratch.
but then you remove your self from the angst for a while. you brew a cup of tea and go out into the sun and breathe. and you try to wrap your mind around what is actually happening here. that you are being birthed into a new life. and that being birthed brings with it pain even in the joy and anticipation. and that it is not a quick process...but it is indeed a process in which one can't skip steps and jump to the good part. you...I...must go through it to get beyond.
even if it means packing. because any good journey is worth it.