Tuesday, July 31, 2012
I moved away from home when I was 18. I tried college for a while, because that's what you're supposed to do after you graduate high school. Sadly, I was miserably unsuccessful. I lived there (in Wilmington, NC) for three years, but was only enrolled for 1 1/2 years. After that, I moved to Colorado. I picked Colorado because 1. I'd never been to Colorado and 2. a distant cousin offered me a place to stay until I got my feet on the ground.
When I left North Carolina, I was actually running away. I still don't fully understand what I was running away from, but I wish now that I hadn't run so far and so fast. I think that by going so far away, I alienated myself. I will never again belong in North Carolina, but at the same time, I think I will always consider it my home.
I go back to visit from time to time--my family still lives there. One sister lives with me in Colorado and a second sister just moved to Ohio. Everyone else is in North Carolina. (By "everyone" I mean my folks, 8 siblings and their spouses, and 20 nieces and nephews.) I've been gone for 18 years now. That's 18 years worth of holidays, birthdays, "barn raisings", personal achievements, and heartaches that I missed out on. I missed weddings and anniversaries and births and all the celebrations and bonding associated with those events. I wasn't there to help pull the stump or rebuild the deck. When I go back, I am reminded of how much I missed. I am reminded that I no longer belong there. It makes me sad. I am an outsider in my own family. I am a stranger to my nieces and nephews.
But in Colorado, I'm great. People like me and they invite me to holidays, birthdays, and "barn raisings". I help celebrate weddings and anniversaries and births. I volunteer at the school in throughout the community. People recognize me in the grocery store and stop me to say, "hi" and ask about day. I exchange keys with my neighbors and send over warm cookies from every batch. People here know me. I belong here.
That's okay, isn't it? For a long time I didn't think it was. But I've changed my mind. North Carolina is not my home, it's just my home state. Colorado is my home now. It's a pretty cool place to call home.
Friday, July 27, 2012
Day 04 (yesterday) I was supposed to write about “Something you have to forgive someone for.” I spent the day researching and writing an assignment for school. By the end of the day, I had run out of words. I have writing assignments that I have to do for work today, so I figure I better get caught up on this blog before I run out of words again.
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
I think the greatest testament to my love of life is that my love is unconditional. I may not “like” all things about my life or my life experiences, but I accept and love them as my own. My willingness to open my eyes and my heart to the inevitableness of discomfort has allowed me to live life even harder.
I offer you this as a lighthearted example: I was cleaning my house on Sunday and sweating profusely. It was HOT and I don’t have central air conditioning. I was already crabby because—as I mentioned yesterday—I do NOT like to clean. That it was so hot was only making me more crabby. At one point, I flopped down in a chair and took a long drink of water. As I drank the water, I could feel the sweat beading on my head and running down my face, neck, and back. It struck me as amazing that I could actually feel my body sweating. As the droplet of perspiration swelled on my forehead, I resisted the urge to wipe it away. My patience was rewarded as I soon experienced the sensation of several small droplets joining into a gentle cascade down the contour of my face, leaving behind a trail of damp, cool skin. Twenty seconds ago, I was hot and sweaty and pissed off. Now I’m marveling at the mechanisms of the human body to cool itself. I look around my small house. I’m almost 40 years old and my furniture is still mostly a collection of cast offs from friends and relatives. No matter how much I clean and straighten, my home retains its cluttered, somewhat shabby, “lived-in” look and feel. But it’s mine. It represents who I am and what I stand for. And I love it just as much as I love the feel of that cold water rushing down my throat, into my stomach, and throughout my body. If I keep cleaning house, I might get to feel that same swig of water dampen my hairline.
Monday, July 23, 2012
I cried at the rodeo, too. It was right at the very start, the lights went out and the coliseum was almost completely black. The “Beef—it’s what’s for dinner” song started blaring, lasers were everywhere and about two dozen people came into the arena on horses—both people and horses had lights all over them. It was one of the coolest things I have ever seen and I showed my appreciation with a flood of tears. We were about four contestants into the bull riding before I pulled myself together again. My husband won’t go to rodeos with me anymore.
2. I always have to be planning something. I scour the internet for free family activities I can do on weekends with my daughter. I am always thinking of what needs to be done to the house next. I spend almost an entire week planning the next week’s menu. I can’t go into a store without a list. I will spend months planning a vacation. The last vacation we took, we met my husband’s family in Missouri. I got everyone to agree on a date and location and I made all the arrangements. His sister drove from TN, his brother and dad came from NE and we drove from CO. It took about 3 months to make all the arrangements, including planning meals and what to pack. I spent half of the ride to the vacation planning the next vacation. My husband said, “PLEASE—one at a time!”
3. The only thing I dislike more than cleaning my house is a dirty house. That’s right—read it again.
4. I do not like being wet. I’m the freak at the swimming pool walking around with my hands sticking up out of the water. I can’t be in the water for more than about 10 minutes at a time. It freaks me out. Of course, there are few things that I enjoy more than the feel of clean skin. So much so, that I often take two showers a day.
I think that’s about it. Not bad, eh? I told you I was awesome.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
But I did it. I dragged my happy ass out of bed and I stayed up! I have always said that the hardest part of my day is the part when I have to get out of bed. Once I'm up, I'm up. I brushed my teeth, pulled on a t-shirt and shorts, laced up my sneakers and was out on the trail by 5:32.
I love being outside at the crack of dawn. It's a fresh day, and the possibilities are endless. Everything feels crisp and clean and in Colorado, even August mornings are brisk. And the trail I walk is right across the street from me. The area is full of wildlife. I always see deer and today, I saw a big ole fat raccoon. Sometimes I see coyote, fox, rabbits, and there are hundreds of birds. I'm also amazed at how busy the trail is at 5:30 in the morning. It's quite obvious that I am not the only one who enjoys this time of day.
So anyway--I got in two miles. Now, let's see if I can keep it up. My goal is to average 7,500 steps a day. That may not sound like much, but if you consider that I sit on my butt for 9-hours a day, 7,500 steps is a LOT!
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
My husband lost his job in March 2009 and we have since decided to start our own business. It's named, "Mark Made It". Mark (my husband) builds bird houses, bird feeders, bird baths, and butterfly houses. We have a Web site (www.Markmadeit.com) and are at the Parker Farmers Market part-time this summer.
So this bird thing has really started to consume us. I have a crabapple tree outside of my kitchen window. Its a beautiful tree and we filled the tree with whimsical nick knacks and a variety of bird feeders. We've started sitting at the kitchen table longer and longer every night to watch the birds. Then, after a few weeks and a couple hundred arguments over what type of bird is feeding, we bought a couple bird books.
I can honestly say that since March, bird watching from my kitchen table has all but consumed the entire family. We have a pair of binoculars, two bird books, a camera and tripod on the table at ALL times. We almost wet out pants the first day we saw a grosbeak. Then a few days later, I swear I saw an oriole. Seriously--that window gets more attention than the television.
So, anyway. Go check out my Web site and order a feeder. Meanwhile, I'll think of something funny to write about.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
This furniture is really pretty. The buffet is in good shape, but the table is fragile. I mean, it's a hundred years old and it wasn't the sturdiest table to begin with. So anyway, we completely fell in love with the polished up pieces and shortly after getting the Christmas decorations down, we decided to re-arrange the front room so we could accommodate it. The plan was that we would get rid of the book case and move the couch to where the book case was. We'd set the table under the front window and keep a picture puzzle on it all the time. The buffet would replace the hutch.
I emptied the dang-blasted six-foot book case (that was packed to full capacity) and hutch (where I kept everything that I didn't know where to keep), hauled the "old" stuff to the garage, swept, moped and dusted, then we hauled the "new" stuff in. It didn't fit. Not even close. I mean, we measured everything before we moved it, and it fit, but it didn't "fit"...know what I mean? The wood was too dark, the table stuck out into the room too far, the balance was all wrong...it just didn't work. It looked like crap.
We hemmed and hawed and bickered, then hauled the "new" stuff BACK into the garage and the "old" stuff BACK inside. I busted my butt all afternoon, cleaning and moving and I have nothing to show for it. We did end up moving the couch and the chairs around a little bit, so it does look different, but it isn't what I expected. And those dust monsters that resided under the couch have been evicted. And my floors are moped. And my hutch and bookcase are clean. Aside from that...
But let me tell you something, people. I scored BIG brownie points. How many women would re-arrange her main room (which is 1/3 of my entire house) to accommodate her husband's grandfather's cheap, old furniture? Unfortunately, these days, my brownie points are worth about as much as a Zimbabwe dollar. (For those of you who may not know, earlier this week Zimbabwe released a new 50 BILLION dollar note--it's worth $1.25USD.)
Meanwhile, I have a substantial pile of "stuff" next to my bed that needs a home.
Where does all this "stuff" come from? And why do I have so much of it? I just don't know what to do with it! Do I keep it, do I throw it out? What if I throw it away, but then find out that I need it?
Side A: NO! No. I don't need it. "When in doubt, throw it out!" That's what I always say! Why do I need a 10-year-old map of Washington DC? If I go to Washington DC, I'll get a new map. Dang-blasted things are free for crying out loud.
Side B: But it's a souvenir from our two-week, cross country road trip. I could put it in a scrap book along with the 8 rolls of 36-exposure film that we got double prints of. And those pictures are stored in those boxes along with every other picture I ever took over the last 14 years.
Side A: Okay, then fine...keep the map. But what the hell are you going to DO with it?!?!
Side B: You're right. I'll throw it away.
Side A: NO! WAIT--you could decoupage the back of that bookcase with it!