The Little Things

I have been so very absent from this place. It was a haven I frequented regularly for a couple of years, when my nest was newly empty. Recently though, my mom commented that she missed my writing. My mom doesn’t ask for much. She is the most low maintenance woman I know. So, in honor of mom and her appreciation of the little things, over the next few weeks or maybe even months if the well doesn’t run dry, I will be sharing some of the little moments that, even though they occur often, they never cease to take my breath away.

Let’s be honest, if the reality of your life is better than you expected, you’re probably pretty darn happy. Fortunately, my feet stand firmly in a spot where I don’t need a lot of pomp and circumstance to make me smile. Don’t get me wrong-dreams are good, ambition is fuel, and passion transforms a single flower into a bouquet. Life, however, is made up of moments-cuddling in bed moments, seeing an old friend moments, and lunch on the patio with the sun filtering through moments. How about the moment after the rain stops and an arch of color fills the sky? How can this not be up there in your that was an awesome moment file?

So, without further ado, I want to thank my mom for keeping me grounded enough that even when big dreams were filling my head, the simple moments in life helped me not inflate the version of my own existence.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. You are simply the best.

003 (3)

friends and guests

I love small towns. I get them and they get me back. There are no strangers in a small town, because first you are a lady or a gentleman- a friend or a guest. Teenage boys open doors for you, and step aside to “let the ladies pass.” Traffic on the sidewalk surpasses the traffic on the street. Patrons look you in the eye, smile and say, “hello.” Jaywalking isn’t a thing, because who needs a crosswalk? I’ve yet to be disappointed by a small town.

IMG_1256

My friends and I spent the past weekend in Salado, Texas. I promise I was able to breathe more deeply and think more clearly. The sky was gigantic and the stars begged me to explore them. Not one single person brushed by me in a hurry. Cell phones? They had to be around, didn’t they? I don’t recall hearing one.

Born and raised in a small town, it’s safe to say that’s where my heart continues to live.

My address begs to differ.

The best gift

Like every parent, I’ve laid awake at night worried that I’ve passed on my neurosis to my children. Let’s see. I’m claustrophobic. I about had a panic attack when my doctor recommended I have a MRI for the headaches I was experiencing a few years ago. It took me awhile, but I convinced him that a CT scan would give us sufficient results to move forward with my care. When life gets hectic, I can’t wait to grab onto the first familiar routine within arm’s length to calm my racing heart. I used to love to fly, but now I don’t and I can’t even tell you why. I just don’t. I’m not sure if this qualifies as a full-blown phobia, but I have a thing with germs. I wash my hands constantly and I have disinfectant gel in my car. Thank the Lord the grocery stores finally installed the handy wipes right by the grocery carts. I like to sit on the aisle, or at the very least one seat in from the aisle. Do not pin me in the middle of a crowded room of chairs all occupied by bodies. It freaks me out. I don’t know why. I’d rather stand. This isn’t a phobia, but more like a major flaw navigating through the world that my children had to bear witness to over and over during their childhood. It’s the inability to get from point A to point B, unless I’ve been there at least a dozen times before. You do not know how much the invention of GPS devices has meant to me. The first day of my daughter’s fourth grade year…yes she was ten and I was thirty-seven, I had no idea where to turn to get us out of the new neighborhood we had just moved in to. I heard this little voice from the back seat….”You need to turn here, Mommy.” Meredith was my GPS before I officially had a GPS.

Despite all of this craziness that has come and gone and sometimes come back again in my life, I have always put myself out there. What you see is what you get. I’m not good at faking how I feel or what I think. If you ask me, I’m happy to tell you as well. I know what I like and what I don’t. So where am I going with all of this?

I was just thinking about how well my children know me. Each and every time they surprise me with a gift, it represents a piece of who I am. They ask me for suggestions on what they should get other family members for Christmas or birthdays, but they always tell me they already have mine narrowed down or figured out.

It gives me peace. Despite getting them places late, and making them crawl over people to get an aisle seat, my children know who I am and what I’m about.

I really couldn’t ask for a better gift.

fresh perspective

Have you ever looked at something for so long that you are no longer able to see it in a fresh, new light? I have. One of my friends recently commented on a wall hanging that I had posted on a community swap page. I couldn’t figure out why it was garnering so much attention.  I mean it was a distressed piece of wood with three large crystal knobs screwed into it.  I guess the three decorative panels between the knobs were attractive. Let’s get back to my friend. I still remember the first thing she did when she came over to pick it up. She flipped it over and said, “Great. I’ll pop these panels out and put family photos in their place.”  Genius. Why didn’t I think of that? And oh by the way, sorry for the drive over here but maybe I’ll just keep it!

Unfortunately, some of my relationships have not gone unscathed from a similar scene. You know what I’m talking about. Take for example a friend that you’ve hung out with for God knows how many years and she’s a good friend and all, but nothing spectacular jumps out at you when you are around her.  Then someone new joins the group and she is just amazed at how funny your friend is and she can’t get enough of her stories. Really?

Sometimes I just have to take a small step back or not even take a step. Standing still and breathing in simple nuances works too.

It’s funny how a fresh perspective can pop up from the most unassuming places. Sometimes, it’s been staring me in the face all along.

The 3 R’s of the Early 80’s

Oh my gosh, you guys, my husband and I have been cleaning closets, organizing and painting in an attempt to update our home that we bought in 1997. I know that is not that long ago to some of you, but before we purchased this house the longest Todd, the kids and I had lived in a place was five years. Well, we brought a lot of STUFF when we moved to this house and then we piled on another 18 years of CRUFF…I know it’s not lady like to say crap, but stuff does not paint an accurate picture of what we’ve been sorting.

Apparently, the three R’s of the early 80’s were Rock, Roll, and Ruffles. If I find one more mauve colored pillow with more ruffles than pillow, I may puke. Why did I love that color SO much? If you need a visual, I found this one.

lace, mauve, and rufles

Okay, to be clear the picture above is NOT a room from any house that we lived in, but my daughter did have a lovely Pepto-Bismol colored bedroom when we lived outside of Dallas, TX when she was like 5 years old. In case you are wondering, yes; I thought it was a great idea.

We’ve also dusted off a few album covers…I think the cool term these days is “vinyl’s”.  Who didn’t love Pink Floyd, Van Halen, and Def Lepperd?  Who am I kidding, in my stack I found Chicago, Olivia Newton-John, Hall and Oates, REO Speedwagon and wait for it…Jon tight pants Bon Jovi.  Could that guy wear leather or what?

Finally, I leave you with this from the walls of my home, my sister’s home, my friend’s home, and my neighbor’s home…

80's geese

Who doesn’t love geese?

Double Nickel

A woman’s skin tells volumes about her life’s story.  Genetics, experiences, stress, and how she handles the whole thing called life is legible for all to see. Skin, much like an artist’s canvas, stretches from the uppermost crown on her head to the tips of her longest toes. When young, her skin is taut, elastic, even pliable. As she ages, her skin thins out…almost disappears in places and then it decides to hang out around its favorite joints.

My skin has been staring back at me lately. I don’t care for its tone. Yes. I have brown spots and spider veins. Fine lines border the outermost corners of my eyes. Creases have taken up residence in the center of my forehead. It’s hard to distinguish freckles from moles from brown spots from “what are those spots?”. If all of the dots were connected on the surface of my body, you’d discover that my 55th birthday is right around the corner.

I don’t apologize for said spots, nor from the divots of scary spots that were removed by my scolding dermatologist. Yes. I know better now, and with that knowledge I lather up regularly. But my freckles, creases…okay call them wrinkles if you must, brown spots, and spider veins tell a story of a life well lived. It’s my story and you can’t have it.

I wouldn’t change my zinc on the nose and kick the can until sundown childhood for the world. What about Cancun with my husband of ten years to celebrate our anniversary? So what if Todd didn’t get the sunscreen applied evenly on my backside and I looked like a candy striper for a month. Those are good memories, people and my skin has recorded each and every event.

Be gentle on the woman in your life as she ages. Trust me; today and every day she is putting her best face forward.

Steps

004

I have loved seeing all of the photos shared by my friends of their children and grandchildren in an outfit specifically selected for their first day of a new school year. As for me, the years of waking up early to prepare my children for a new year of learning and life has passed me by. Together, we have checked off every milestone from birth to college graduation, and believe me when I say…each and every precious step has been well documented.

Maybe it’s because I still remember the excitement of starting a new school year from being a child, or perhaps my memories are more recent from raising two children of my own and working years upon years in public schools, but the birth of a new school year continues to evoke excitement, motivation, and hope in every cell of my body for the best of what a day has to offer.

While my steps are now recorded by a black device clasped around my wrist and a bottle of water filled to the brim, I join with you in celebrating another great school year.

The best is yet to come!

~Becky

 

Where Does a Girl Hang Her Purse?

The brain is a fascinating mechanism, isn’t it?  It keeps us on high alert when a dangerous situation is possible or imminent and it allows our bodies to function on cruise control when our minds are, you know, preoccupied.

Let me share a recent example of the latter.  I work for a pediatric home health company and because of a cancellation, I found myself in a grocery store between clients.  I decided it would be wise to stop in the restroom before shopping.  It wasn’t until I was washing my hands, that I realized I was standing in very close proximity to a man who was doing the same.  In my shock, I blurted, “Oh my gaud, am I in the men’s restroom?”   My revelation startled him and he quickly made an about-face to double-check that urinals were indeed hanging on the wall.  Thankfully, he had a sense of humor and we awkwardly joked as we made our way out of the men’s restroom.

I was too stunned to even be embarrassed.  No lie.  The only thing that seemed amiss was the back of the door to the stall was missing the hook to hang my purse.  Irritating.  Secondly, the shoes peering out at me from the adjacent stall were, how do I put this, not my style.  Frankly, I remember thinking, “I wouldn’t be caught dead in those things.”

Yes, in my state of auto pilot, I marched right by the urinals, used the toilet, and passed by the same urinals to wash my hands.

“Don’t take yourself too seriously.  You’ll never get out alive.” ~Bugs Bunny

Breathe

001

Today is such a great day
to do something
wonderful;
and yet, I sit here
just me and idle time
thinking of what-if’s
with pure joy
and contentment.
Is that because
the best I can do
is dream about
what’s beyond
the treetops and
feathered clouds?
Well, maybe it is so.
All is right when
time stands still,
even for a moment.
I can breathe
again.

Hippie Hollow Has to Wait

I was so excited for this past Wednesday morning to arrive.  I had an early morning appointment with my dermatologist to remove stitches from my rear end.  Yes, in my much earlier years…late teens and early twenties…I liked to frequent the tanning beds. As a result, I had a place on my bum that I had to have biopsied.  Biopsy came back, and while it wasn’t cancer it was a moderately atypical mole so more tissue had to be surgically removed.  Two weeks later, my stitches were finally extracted.  I felt liberated. I didn’t have to worry about yanking out my sutures because I was too active.  It is summer after all. So, after dinner I climbed onto our hot tub which is attached to our underground pool.  I’m the one who likes to brush the sides of it to keep it clean, and it had been somewhat neglected.

Next thing I knew, my body was in full splat position onto the not too soft pool decking below.  Of course my bum made contact at the exact spot where the stitches had just been removed early that morning.  I was bleeding and in pain.  I went into the house to assess the damage and I discovered the wound was split wide open again.  I called for my husband to get a second opinion.  Since it was late in the evening, urgent care seemed to be our best option.  Long story short, my bum had to be stitched up again in the same exact spot where sutures had just been removed a few short hours prior.

So what does Hippie Hollow have to do with all of this?  It’s a clothing optional park on Lake Travis just outside of Austin, Texas.  People come from all over the country to “hang out” there.  I don’t want to give the wrong impression.  I’m a pretty modest gal. Even in my youth, I wasn’t one to sunbathe in the nude.  But for you locals, the title caught your attention, didn’t it?

While I won’t be gracing the banks of Hippie Hollow, for the next two weeks I am back to limited exercise and limited activities until the sutures are removed.  I’m not sure what is going on with me right now, but I appear to be an accident or embarrassing moment waiting to happen.

Happy Summer.  I hope you get to “hang out” at all of your favorite spots.

~Becky