Monday, July 7, 2014

One of these days...

One of these days...

...I will live in a house that I designed, filled with fixtures and pieces that I picked out, on a lot that I chose because it is overlooking a body of water and has unusually large trees. I will hold my grandbabies on my lap in my porch rocker, sway with them and their parents in the hammock out back, toast marshmallows in the firepit, and dig for worms in the compost bin. My truelove and I will hold hands and walk nowhere in particular, singing the songs of our youth, remembering how easy love is, despite how difficult marriage can be. heart will skip with joy when my children call me, their caller ID bringing instant smiles and excitement that they want time with their giving tree. They will tell me the tales of the life I wished for them, sharing their woes, simultaneously breaking my heart and filling it with pride. I will wait for them to tell me that they are coming to see me or that they want me to come see them, whether they are minutes or continents away. I will do whatever it takes to make my old body available for them, just to have one more opportunity to hold them and breathe them in.

...I will spend my days in the service of others, giving time to some young kid who needs an adult friend, to someone older who needs a young friend, to causes that heal my old wounds and expose new ones. My money will come from the work I've already done, and it will be enough. My needs will be few, my wants will be fewer, my bucket will be full. I will take time to do what I enjoy, to be myself, to discover my gifts every day.

...the number of continents I've visited will outnumber the ones I haven't. I will have the opportunity to live short-term in any of a number of countries and cities. New York, London, Toronto, San Francisco, provincial France, the Riviera - at least one of these would have been my home for weeks, or months, or a year. I will have lived the lives of the locals, developed a new perspective, and captured their essence in writing or film. And home will have always been home.

...I will capture the dreams of a middle-aged woman whose life is already better than any dream, and I will share them with other dreamers, in search of fellow travelers. Y'all come along.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


Picked blackberries with the truelove last night. They grow wild everywhere along the roadsides out here in our little neck of the boonies. I love that he wants to do this more than I want to. I love that he talks me into it and we go off together like a couple of young lovers or old married people (is there much difference?), holding hands, toting buckets, devil-may-care.

You forget how brambly and prickly blackberries are until you are reaching for just one more juice-laden big'un and every article of clothing is pulling in a different direction because it's caught on a different vine. But that doesn't stop a die-hard, slightly OCD picker. There is such tremendous satisfaction in removing every ripe berry from any given cluster of vines before moving on, knowing that there will be more ripe ones the next day. Foraging like animals, sweating like pigs, paying careful attention that Brer Snake is nowhere near, we picked four cups or so before we gave up and trod through the woods to get back to the road.

So tonight we are making a blackberry pie with our harvest using some recipe found online that only called for ingredients we had on hand. Well, we only marginally had enough sugar, and couldn't find the cornstarch anywhere, so we sent out a mass text to the neighborwives and scored a few tablespoons. (Beauty part is that we found ours when we were cleaning up...) Who knows if it will turn out okay, but with enough ice cream, it's sure to satisfy, at least.

The hardest part is not picking the berries, although working for your food makes it so much more satisfying than buying it ready made. It's not waiting for the crust to reach a perfectly golden-brown state of flaky goodness. It's waiting for the darn thing to cool and set. I'm not at all hungry and have actually put on a couple of previously-lost pounds in the last few days of sloth, but I am READY for some dang pie. The anticipation is the struggle and the test of one's mettle. Truelove is going to want to cut into it as soon as it's out of the oven, but I'm going to try a little delayed gratification for once and see if I can wait until it reaches a reasonable temperature.

Then again, the ice cream cools it off, right?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Saddle Up

Remember that scene in The Lion King when Rafiki says, "It is time" and goes all baboon-loony about Simba claiming his throne? So, that's where I am these days.

It is time to get back to the pleasure that is putting my words into a computer and seeing what comes out of them. I've neglected my writerlife for too long now. I thought about starting a few different blogs with different themes - one place for family life reflections, another for teaching perspectives, still a third for my "work" with Voyagers in Adolescence - but here's the thing: all of those are inseparable parts of this chick. So, if you're here, be prepared to never know what to expect.

It is time to assess my priorities and time expenditures. Time is so precious, and here on the first of July already, I am sensing the wasted hours so far this summer - just sitting, watching tv, thinking about getting up and doing something, and lordhavemercy the social media obsessing. The most accomplished I've felt all summer was the day I entertained myself by making a "ta-dah" list (on twitter, like a dork) instead of a "to-do" list. But it's time to make the occasional list of tasks that must be handled. It's entirely too easy to neglect my responsibilities or to pawn them off on the other people who share my life. It's even easier to neglect the responsibility to use the gifts I know I've been given. If you would, please, be patient with me and recognize that, more often than not, this blog will be random and nonsensical, very drafty, and largely unimportant. But it will exist. I will work out the kinks of making it part of my routine to share thoughts with you and let you decide if they mean anything. I know I need to develop a writing discipline. I also need to get back in touch with the other talents and/or passions that have been too long dormant. So don't expect this to be my only creative outlet!

It is time to awaken and behold all the majesty that this life holds. I can't help it that I was born a chronic optimist and that finding silver linings seems to be one of those gifts I mentioned. I don't have time for negative energy in my space, whether I create it or it surrounds me. It's high time I focus on shifting what I can and separating from what I can't shift. Mine is a charmed life, and I want to live grateful for it.

So, I'm in the saddle again, heading somewhere bound to be beautiful, hoping you'll join in the journey on occasion. I'm a glutton for attention and praise, but also a big fan of honesty. Comment, people. Interact with me. If I say something stupid, challenge me. If something here resonates, tell me your story. We all need to connect in real ways about real life. It is time.