Thursday, October 9, 2014


We are so close...

Monday, August 25, 2014


I had a conversation with my neighbor today about losing our memory.  She's older than I am and joked about not remembering things if she hasn't written them down.  I'm the same way.  She used to call it "mommyzheimers," while I say that the children ate my brain.  What I began to realize as we talked was that I have always had a conveniently poor memory.  I take pictures and write things down so that I can remember them.  It's not dementia or Alzheimer's, it's just the way my brain works.  I've learned to embrace this as a part of my life.

Some days it's a good thing.  My grandmother used to say, "I'll forgive, but I'll never forget."  I've found that forgetting is a great path to forgiveness.  I sometimes wish that I could forget more things, but I probably need to (and benefit from) remember certain things for the lesson they've taught me.  I believe my poor memory has protected me in the past, and knowing who I've managed to become, I think I'm happy about that for now.  Intentionally vague, yes.  Protective, yes.  Healthy- well?  I'm not sure.

Some days it's a bad thing.  Recently, a woman very dear to me died unexpectedly.  She helped raise me.  I learned about faith, in part, because she endured/embraced me in my childhood.  I know that I would not be who I am today if it weren't for her.  Not remembering enough of her has me feeling guilty, sad, and lost in grief.  My mom died 8 years ago.  Forgetting her is heartbreaking.  I try to keep her alive by sharing memories of her with my siblings and my children.  I wish I could grasp some memories of my aunt, so that I could help keep her alive for her children and grandchildren.

If I could turn back time, I'd listen more.  I'd write more (and burn fewer journals).  I'd try to remember.  Especially the important stuff.

My aunt took me to church with her.  She took me to the NYS Fair a few times.  One year she handed me a pen and paper to write down my number and hand to a boy (I was 15 or 16).  I remember her calmness.  I remember her playing organ in church.  I remember her laugh.  I remember her hug when my mom was dying. I remember hamburger gravy and fruit salad and flowers and baking.  I remember that "God is great.  God is good.  Let us thank him for this food.  By His hands we all are fed.  Thank you, God, for daily bread.  Amen."  I remember that there are always ways that we can give more of ourselves.

Service.  How can I serve more?  This question has been tugging at me.  I pray that God guides me to the answer, and that I'm not too stubborn or afraid to follow through.  I also pray that I can draw upon more memories to share.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A bit of kitchen

July 31, 2014
Pleasant Row is amazing. We have reached a “Wow,” moment and it has been pretty fantastic.

The kitchen floor was put down and sealed about a month ago.

Then I painted.

But, by far, the biggest “Wow” was when we reached this stage yesterday:

I am so proud of us. Kevin and I have been working hard for this kind of wow. We have a TON of work to do. And this little wow may be what keeps us going.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

It's not 5 minute Friday, but I did have a late cup of coffee and the kids are asleep so I figured a few minutes could be spared for some writing.  I also missed last week, which was supposed to be about friends.  I have been really cherishing my friendships lately.  I have been amazed at how much my friendships have bent and morphed to adapt to the changes in our lives.  Careers, children, travel, projects, time management failures, forgetfulness, and moving have all affected my friendships.  I am very lucky and blessed that there are close friendships that have endured.  I thought one would fail for our different directions, but it turns out I think it makes us stronger and closer.  I thought one would fail for distance and then lost connection, but here we are reconnected.  And that doesn't account for the friends that became family and the family that I proudly call my friends.  My best friend is my husband.  He and I share moments daily that I couldn't begin to share here.  They're difficult to describe.  Sometimes it's a touch or a word or eye contact that just validates me and confirms that he is my love and the best friend a girl could ask for.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Five Minute Friday # 2

“Mom, wanna see something cool?” Always. “Mom, this dinner is the best. Thank you.” No. Thank you. “Mom, I love you.” I love you too. They are my glue. Three little tubes of super glue that fix me when I'm broken. They also tend to break me. “Kids and parents don't go together. Ever.” “I just don't want you to talk to me anymore. Ever.” And the screaming tantrums that are unidentifiable. Being a mom is tough. My mom told me that. I get it now, and I wish I could tell her. That is the thing that sticks with me most nearly 8 years after she died. I wish I could tell her about each and every moment that I realize what she was talking about years ago. I wish I could show her that my children are a lot like me when I was a kid, sometimes as payback for how I was to her. They talk too much. They yell and stomp. And they love with their whole heart in ways that I never knew possible. Thank God for these blessings and for all children.

Five Minute Friday

Friday, April 11, 2014

Five Minute Friday- Paint

Reminds me of my youth when I tried to mimic my older sister- so good with artistic ventures. I loved to paint. Acrylic in particular, because that is what art class always used. I painted something in high school that still hangs on my wall. It's a Holstein cow on a beach. It was on the topic of juxtaposition. The challenge was to create something that put two things together that didn't seem like they belonged. I still love that. And I love that it reminds me the meaning of juxtaposition. So painting was a creative venture that I truly enjoyed. I even painted in college. My classes were much more critical then. I painted a book to honor my brother, who died when I was 13. He was “chasin' the horizon.” so the paintings follow that idea. I don't know where that book is now. I hope I find it again someday. Then there is big boring room painting that has been my only painting adventures in ages. Approximately 15 years. Then there is kids. My kids would LOVE to paint more, and I would love to allow that, but the mess.... oh the mess.... something changed in me over the past 6 years and I have found it difficult to let down my hair and play. I love to play. But I also feel the pressure to keep things neat and tidy. Where does that pressure come from, if not from myself?

Five Minute Friday