Monday, December 2, 2013

Unwrapped and Blooming

My desire to nest has been hibernating these last few years.  Living in a house that wasn't mine, knowing we wouldn't be there for holidays, my decorating style came down to this: what difference does it make anyway?

I was so wrong.  It makes a difference.

This year, we are still leasing but something is different.  Maybe it's our commitment to "bloom where we're planted" or maybe it's because we are in a location that is home for me personally, either way the weekend after giving thanks for an entire day with my family...WE UNWRAPPED CHRISTMAS!

As a family, we cleaned the house, agreed on a tree, and dragged out every Christmas thing we could find.  Some of that stuff hadn't seen daylight in years.

It felt good.  It felt right.  We were blooming like a Wal-Mart full of poinsettias, like we were home.

Ten sank down in the backseat in embarrassment as we drove through town with a tree strapped to the top of the car.  We were the Griswold's in Christmas Vacation.  I nearly burst out in song.

The ax flew to ready the tree.  Opinions and tinsel flew as we unwrapped things we loved.

Eight and Seven played wild games with Santa Bears that look like they came from a Coca-Cola commercial.

Today I am surrounded by an explosion of Christmas decor.  Baby Jesus rides a camel as I ponder the less than Biblical nature of our traditional nativity.  I decide I don't care because the kids know the facts and even if there were no wise men at His birth, I want my kids' worldview to be framed by their faith.

I want Jesus to be part of our Christmas.

Christmas isn't about days out of school or shopping and sometimes I feel like I could run away from all the spending and gifts and "X-ing" the Christ out of Christmas.

Other days, days like today, I know that our family is hungry for tradition and I know how valuable these coming days will be as we push back against the world and sow deep, fertile seeds of faith.

This month is a chance, an opportunity, to plant our faith firmly in the center of our lives and let it bloom.  This time is a chance to celebrate our faith loudly as the world around us is a little more open to hearing our beliefs.  It is a chance to say "Merry Christmas" and share a verse on a card instead of going with the Happy flow of the Holidays.  It's an opportunity to put a baby Jesus on our mantle instead of a Santa Claus.  This is the time to share Luke 2 when people are, perhaps, a little more ready to hear.

This is a chance to put our candles in the window at a time when some people are looking for a little light.

So Merry Christmas ya'll and let your light shine,

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Day I Learned to Love Nasty Weather

Sleet: small balls of ice that fall from the sky.  Typically occurring along with temperatures that numb fingers and chill bones.

I am sick today.  When I finally stumbled into the living room this morning, wearing long underwear and a sweatshirt, still freezing, my son informed me that it has been raining ice from the sky since 7:00 AM.

I believe I went back to bed.  The details are hazy.

There are so many things on my "Should Do" list.

In the movie "Bull Durham" an exhausted team of baseball players complained to Crash Davis wishing for a rain out.

Sleet works even better.

A bed covered in, well, covers beckons.  I accept.  What else is there to do?  The Brady Bunch is playing quietly on TV.

A big pot of chicken and noodles waits in the fridge, prepared when I was in better health.  That was yesterday.

Driving roads glazed with little balls of ice would be foolish.  Why bother?

As I sit in my rocking chair, having added a pair of flannel pajama pants, socks and a knit toboggan, I reflect on the fire.  I try to decide what to do next.  Keep reflecting on the fire or crawl back under the chenille bedspread and two quilts.  Maybe The Brady Bunch is still playing, I think it was a marathon.

If I feel better later, I might make a pecan pie.  Nothin' else to do today.  No "shoulds" today, just a day of rest.

Sleet never felt so good.


Sunday, November 3, 2013

34 Days of Blooming, and what I learned by falling short

Wrapping up the Bloom Where You are Planted series, I am a few days late and a few posts short of the 31.  Here is what I learned when I committed to writing on one topic for 31 days straight, and what I learned when I just didn't keep that commitment.

I turned my "want to" into a "have to" it became a chore.  Now I know why some artists aren't that interested in selling their creations.  They just let it pour out when and where it comes.  That's better for me, too.

I may have to let go of some possible futures, but that's okay.  Life is simplified when you let go of unrealistic expectations that don't make sense for you anyway.

I never did like worthless words.  Posting every day requires that I have something to say every day, something of worth.

At this time of life, I don't.

Sometimes, I just got nothin'.

Everyone's process is different.

My thoughts benefit from fermentation.

Wallowing in the feelings of the moment, putting them down by whatever means I can as soon as possible, then walking away.  Letting the words ferment, and His Word redeem the moments.

Coming back.

Stirring the pot and finding the blessing.

Adding some hindsight.

Sharing when I am coherent and not before.  

Watching for bloomin' moments to share created a synergy between my plans, my actions, actual life, and my interpretation of that life.

Because I was posting about making the most of life right where you are, I was watching for signs that my family and I were doing just that.  I made plans to facilitate living life fully and acted on those plans.

When life spontaneously happened, my interpretation was already happily prejudiced toward seeing "blooms."

About a month ago, I was struggling with the feelings and realities of starting over with my family in yet another place.  I wrote desperately about it every day, for two weeks.  Then the writing slowed, the issue became less prominent and the posts wandered.  The need was lessening as the goal was accomplished.

We were blooming.

Only a month ago, I was happy but lost.  Thirty-one (or 34) days later, I am calm and confident in this new life we are building.  Though we still have many decisions to make and adventures to explore, we are so just 34 days.

Thanks for sharing the journey, it means the world.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Double, double, toil and trouble...

Double, double, toil and trouble
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.
Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake,
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg, and owlet's wing,--
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth, boil and bubble.
--from Macbeth

Yeah, that's me sometimes.
I also do quite a bit of bubbling, toiling and troubling.
I don't know what a fenny snake is but sometimes I have an adder's fork for a tongue.

With three kids, I find myself talking most of the time.  Instructing, answering questions, reminding, answering questions, acting as referee, calling them to dinner, and answering questions.  Sometimes I even find myself...I also fuss every day.

I am starting to get on my own nerves.

There is a kid in my life, yeah, he's one of mine and sometimes you would think he doesn't have feelings.  Talking to that boy is like talking to a brick wall.  So, to get through, sometimes you need to use a hammer. I don't mean literally, I mean strong words, not foul language, just big, deep words.

Twice this week I cut that boy to the quick.

Both times I was wrong to do it.  Both times I used my big words to make a point that was irrelevant, unnecessary and careless.  If a friend spoke to me like that we'd have to have a long talk on the porch.

I cut my boy with my words and I saw it on his face.

Hell-broth, that's what my words were made from this week.  I fell again.

I apologized and pray that he forgets over time.  Literally, I pray that he forgets my ugliness, but who's to say if he can?

I tell my kids to listen more than they speak.  You know, the whole "God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason" thing.  

Practice what you preach, girl.  Practice what you preach.

If I listened to that boy, maybe I would know how to get through that brick wall, how to put velvet on the hammer.

Too many words are like a hell-broth, all full of junk, but certainly a charm of powerful trouble.

Powerful trouble.

So maybe I keep my dog tongues and frog toes to myself a little more.  

Maybe I make my powerful charms out of love and verses and acts of kindness instead of too many words.

If you see a big, black kettle laying by the street, I don't want it back.

How do you balance correcting behaviors with staying positive?  Consider sharing your advice here or on Facebook before you share so we can all chat...

Traveler on Facebook here

Saturday, October 19, 2013

It's Right There, right in front of you

Let’s talk about how “You can be whatever you want to be” is lazy and dishonest, because there are certain things you can’t be and shouldn’t even try to be.
The problem is that most of us look outside of our actual life to find our purpose in life, as if it’s just sitting in someone else’s house, on their cracked leather couch, waiting for us to ring the doorbell, if only someone would give us the address.
Oh, I hope you find where your deep joy meets the world’s great need, as someone once said. But I don’t think that happens by reading lots of books on finding your purpose in life. And I don’t think you’ll find your purpose in life by looking outside of your actual life.
The dirty little secret behind finding your purpose in life is that it’s right there, right in front of you, it’s just buried under the expectation that finding it will solve all of your problems and make you ridiculously happy.
--Steve Wiens at:
Don't tell anyone but secretly, I'm a dreamer.  I kinda like that about myself, but this coin has two sides. 

I can see possibility in almost everything but that leads to expectations and some expectations can suffocate reality.
When you see great possibility, you have to remember that it is just a possibility, a potential future.
Possibility is not to be used to measure or judge reality.
When possibility is used to judge reality, reality will never, ever measure up.  
You can't bloom where you're planted today when you are judging your garden by what it may be in the spring.
You can't be happy in this moment when you are judging it by a dream.
You will miss your purpose in this moment when your head and heart are somewhere else.
I know.  Oh, I know.  I write this to myself, as a reminder.
The softness of sweet Seven's cheek surprised me today though I get goodnight kisses from her every night. My purpose in all those other goodnight kisses was to be her sweet momma but I barely remember the brush of her face because maybe I was waiting for her to go so I could get back to what I was doing.
My purpose in this moment is to write my heart to you but I almost missed it trying to check a chore off my list.
My purpose is to love but I miss it even though it's right there in front of me.  
Our purpose is in the faces of our kids, the touch of the one we love, the cleaning and the earning.  Our purpose is in the voice of a friend who says it's all fine.
Feed and water the purpose right in front of you, let it grow into one of those possibilities that fill your dreams.
here and now,

The posts people like the most from this series:

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

When a Friend is Generous, even though you're leaving

I wonder if he even knew what he was doing when he gave Bob that bow.

We weren't there all that long but we had some good friends in Rocky Mount.  Tom and Susan are good people. The first time I met them, they were giving.  Giving their time, advice and stuff.  They gave us floats at the beach, told us the best places to go and treated us to an evening of fishing.

Tom and Susan are simply kind and they are the kind of people I aspire to be when I grow up and quit being so selfish.  They think of other people.

They give no consideration to what they might get out of the deal.

Susan supported my little business at the farmers' market.  Tom helped Bob fix our cars.  They had us over and fed our kids. There are other things, too, and they were in it together.  Both of them making the world a better place.

I wonder if Tom even realized what would come of giving Bob that bow.

As we approached our 1,280 mile relocation, Bob, always an outdoors kind of guy discovered that archery is big here in Oklahoma.

Tom had two bows.  The day before we left, he and Susan brought one over and had Bob try it out.  Said he couldn't use two, or maybe that was Susan that said that.  Anyway, Bob made more room on the truck and we left North Carolina with a great bow packed carefully in our caravan.

Ten is moody these days.  He doesn't seem to want to do anything except play Mindlesscraft.*

*Names of PC games have been changed to give me a sarcastic outlet while protecting me from some law I have yet to learn about.

With all of this talk of bows and a visit to the archery shop, Ten expressed an interest in a recurve bow.  Said he might want to check out the local youth club that trains in Olympic style archery.

Bob got that boy a bow, a nice one.  You see, we only had to buy one.

They go shoot most Tuesday evenings and on Saturday mornings.  They shoot for hours, that dad and his boy.  Ten is pleased with how his muscles are growing across those boy shoulders of his.  He is pleased with how it seems to come naturally.

Bob and the boy talk about fletchings and anchor points and "splitting your arrows in twain" and we all laugh.

Sometimes Eight goes with them on Saturday mornings and he shoots too.  My daughter and I don't see them for hours and we do our own things.  At the playground Eight crosses the monkey bars and rings incessantly so his shoulders will get strong enough to pull back a bigger bow.

Those boys have taken a big leap off the couch toward being little men and they talk with their daddy and they learn to control themselves and they learn how an arrow flies through the air and they learn how to be considerate of others so that you don't shoot them.  Really.

They learn how to talk to each other.

One day Ten shot with Grandad and he began to learn to listen because this isn't Mindlesscraft but there are points at the end of those arrows.

You are going to leave a legacy.  Your arrow is going to fly, so take aim and aim well and aim high.

Tom, thank you for giving Bob that bow, and for being his friend.

Susan, thank you for being kind when I was a stranger.


This is another post in the Bloom Where You're Planted series.  If you only read a few others, pick these...
Bloom Where You're Planted
Love Does, our story
Do the Next Thing
Pecans Come from Pecan Trees, or the nut really doesn't fall far from the tree

Monday, October 14, 2013

Pecans Come from Pecan Trees

During one of the two precious hours a week that I am alone, I picked up a book from a box that should have been unpacked, ahem, awhile ago.  The book literally flipped open and there it was.

"Lord, guide my words that I might bless and not curse those who follow in my lineage.  For Christ's sake, Amen."  
--Bill Glass in Champions for Life

Oh my words!  Whether you are a person of faith or not, you know the power of words.  We all know words that bless and we all know words that curse.  Which have I chosen this day?

And this blooming stuff?  I already knew that my attitude had affected my children. When I was stressed, they nearly shut down. As we settle into this life, they relax more every day.  As I make a home, they find a home.  

Guess it's true, the nut, literally, doesn't fall far from the tree.

It isn't just words, but tone, actions and life itself.

It isn't just lineage that is affected but friends, home, landlord, or coworkers.

And this is just me talking here but I think it might be true that you are doing one or the other, either blessing or cursing.  So if my words don't bless, then...

That I might bless and  not curse everything that follows in my path.

What does the path look like for those who walk behind me?

Can I choose to make it a path of blessing?  Yes, I think I can choose to bless, most of the time.

Lord, guide my words that I might bless and not curse those who follow...


Continuing to find ways to make the truest life right where you are at this moment, this is the 15th post in the Bloom Where You're Planted series. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Do the Next Thing

The fourteenth post in the series, Bloom Whe You're Planted about living fully wherever you happen to be...

Nothing personal against leasing but I want my own stuff.  I want to do what I want with my home, you know?    Maybe paint walls green or plant flowers dreaming of how they will look two years from now.  Maybe rip out a bush, or better yet rip out eighteen bushes in order to see the birds outside the windows.

In itself, this house is a blessing.  Great neighborhood, lots of space, big beautiful windows and the backyard is a total dream.  But it isn't my house.  So I pouted in my heart.

Before I was finished pouting, the bathrooms needed to be cleaned, and there were dirty dishes to be done.  Laundry got washed and folded and needed to find a home.

Then something strange happened.  I started to settle in.  I don't own this place, but it can be my home.  I can't do everything I want, but I can do a lot.

I did the next thing that needed to be done.  Nothing fancy, just the next thing.

Who would have thought that was the remedy?  Who would have thought that cleaning this house would make me feel at home?  Who would have thought that putting my things on someone else's shelves would affect my attitude?  Who knew that setting up my boy's bunk bed would calm his soul?

When you don't know what to do, just do the next thing that needs to be done.  It might amaze you.

And it really is a great backyard...

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Letting Them Bloom

This must be the 13th post in the Bloom Where You're Planted series instigated, yes I said instigated, by The Nester.  I say "instigated" because this blogging every day stuff is hard.  I want to skip it.  But if I weren't writing to you my friend, if I weren't looking for good stuff in my life, I would probably be staring blankly at the TV.  I figure for me, right now, this is better!

This "blooming where you're planted" stuff isn't just for me.  It isn't just for grownups who pout because this fridge is smaller than the other one or introverted moms who would prefer to hide in their own little heads and not make the friends they desperately need.

The kiddos need to bloom, too.

They need to be allowed to bloom, to make their own new life in this new place.

They need help to find their way.

Robert started school at a traditional, public school for the first time in his life on September 17.  This is the right thing for right now.  My high energy, extroverted boy was wilting at home with his introverted momma who used up all her words by noon each day.  Big decisions are always complicated but I have to admit that at this time, it is the right thing for this child.

This week he brought home his second invitation to a birthday party.  I know nothing about this kid, these people, this place.  Nothing.  This is not my usual mode of operation, to drop my kid off with people I don't know to do who knows what.

On several occasions this week I contemplated losing the invitation and hoping he would forget.  "Do you really want to go?"  I asked.

I knew this was my problem, my own personality holding this boy back.

I knew it wasn't fair.  Or right.

Grab the purse and throw in a book, prepared to sit there the entire two and a half hours if circumstances or safety issues warrant my presence.  Take the boy.

It was a small place about eight minutes from my house where people can race some kind of toy car on a slot track or something.  The party was the only gig going on.  The birthday boy's parents greeted me at the door with a big sister, plenty of people to keep an eye on eight boys indoors.

I thanked the boy's mom for inviting my son, the new kid.

Robert's eyes pleaded for me to go.  So I did.

When my husband brought him home, he informed me that the folks there said Robert was the life of the party.  He beamed as he told us about his new friends.

I didn't see this coming, but it's right.

Letting him bloom, getting out of the way, this is right.

learning to let him bloom,

If you only read three others from this series:
Love Does, our story
Good to Know...another story about Robert settling in...
When you move back home...

Friday, October 11, 2013

Blessedly Ordinary, but not today

Joining Lisa Jo Baker today for her five minute Friday blog party with one of my favorite posts (can I say that?) about finding the extraordinary in the ordinary.  Apologies for the repost but today is definitely not ordinary because yesterday he was nine and now he's ten!  We have a day planned that involves bacon and wild animals and another Ultimate Death by Chocolate Cake!


I want to write, to have interesting things to say, maybe make a difference to someone.

But I am really, really ordinary and most of my days are not interesting at all.  My day, on paper, would not inspire.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Love Does, our story

This is the 10th, or maybe the 11th post in the Bloom Where You're Planted series inspired by Mary Englebreit and The Nester's 31 Days series.  

Almost 13 years ago, I traveled from Tulsa, Oklahoma  to North Carolina for a wedding.  

My wedding.

Love does that kind of thing.

Sometimes love even goes out on a limb like that.

We married six days after I arrived and settled into my husband's home.  We worked together, faced trials together, made a life together.

Love does that kind of thing.

We rocked three babies together.  We reached across the dark to feel our little ones breathe.

Love does things like that day after day, long night after night.

I was in North Carolina for almost 13 years.  We made a life but every day there was a moment when I was not at home, because my heart wanted to be Home.

This summer, B applied for a position in Oklahoma so that I could be close to my family.  It was a long shot. 

Did you know that divine intervention is real?

About four weeks later, he was in Oklahoma.  I stayed another month and then he came back to get us, to move us 1,280 miles. 

Let's not pretend.  He came back to get me, to move me 1,280 miles.

Love does that kind of thing.  Love goes out on a lot of limbs.

B left his friends to bring me back to my old friends.

Love does that kind of thing.

He left his family so that I could be with mine.

Love does that sometimes.

Love talks and dreams and plans and waits.  These things are sweet and smooth and they feed the soul.  These things blow gently like a warm breeze or soothe like cool water.

But love also does.  Love takes action and wields power.  Love has the undeniable power to blow pine trees over in the night and move the seashore, little by little, like the tide.  There is power in a love that does.

Love is like that sometimes. 

Love talks and dreams and plans and waits.  These things are good.

But I am also blessed by a love that does.

Thanks B,

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Not Someone Else's Work

Make a mess, be a sloppy first draft, scribble in the margin.

But don't turn in someone else's work.

--Emily Freeman at Chatting at the Sky

Emily's words keep echoing through my mind today.  She's talking about your life being like art. She's leading us toward making art out of life and life out of art and how its all beautiful and messy but it has to be your art.

What does my work even look like?

Everything has changed since I thought I knew.  Changed for the better but still changed.  I feel a little lost.

I am going to find out what my own work looks like.

Instinct tells me that you figure it out by not looking for it.

You figure out what your own work looks like by living it.

You pay attention to what you do well and what drives you to action.  You listen to what calls to be done when and if it has worth.

Maybe the rest of the stuff on your list needs to be revised, no edited.  It needs to be edited right off.

Your work is different than mine.  That's what makes it yours.

I think my work starts with a living faith and commitment to tightly weaving family together.

My work is creating peace and brutally starving discord.

 It is being the woman my husband still believes he married.

My personal work is dealing with the world with integrity and refining my physical health.

I will not confuse my work with someone else's.  I will turn in my own work.

Thanks Emily F.,

This is the 10th post in the series, Bloom Where You're Planted.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

If I Were Someplace Else

This about the 8th or 9th post in the Bloom Where You're Planted series.  Thirty-one days of learning to put down roots and grow and really live right here.  The Nester started all this so you might want to click on over there and check her out.  To read the rest of the posts in the Bloom Where You're Planted series, go here Bloom.

Wishing to be somewhere else is a dangerous game.  I suspect it would pretty much kill your chances of living fully where you are.

I am not doing that today.

I am going to practice being grateful today.

Today, right here, is a list of things that would NOT have happened if I were someplace else:

My kids playing for hours at the park with their cousins.

Seeing the sunset over the pond while Eight counts frog calls in the dark for Frogwatch USA.

Signing school papers for Almost Ten and listening to him discuss the personality traits of various teachers.  (Apparently Mr. C and I have much in common.  In other words, don't annoy him either due to his tendency toward crabbiness.)

A raccoon standing in a flower pot on my front porch eating bird seed.  (Yeah, I know that isn't a raccoon, apparently my flowerpot is a wildlife magnet cause that's where he was.)

A raccoon/skunk trap in my yard.

Eight getting mad at his daddy for ruining his science experiment by watering one of the four plants meant for his science experiment.  He allegedly watered the one that was supposed to get "no water" when he washed the porch after removing the raccoon trap.

Making Angie's three layer chocolate cake.  Wow.

The kids making plans to spend Christmas Eve at their grandparents, without us!

Things that would not have happened if we were somewhere else. Good things.  

I am sure there would have been other good things, but not these things.  These things are precious, and I am watching for more!


Monday, October 7, 2013

More Than an Existence

"The purpose of life isn't to arrive at death safely..."
Christine Caine

Days fly by and it would be easy to give in to exhaustion, to wish for the end of our To Do list.  But is that really what we want?  The end of the list?

Maybe the list should be revised.

Our goal, you and me, is not to survive the day but to thrive in the day.

Our goal is definitely NOT to make it to the end but to make the end, the middle and all the rest as full of life as we are able.  We are to make life.

We are here to live and in life, to glorify.

We are gifted for this.

It is through the life we live that others can see life and want it, too.

Wherever we are today, you and me, live well right there.

I feel a cool, clean breeze in this calm moment where I can complete an entire thought while my children play in the Oklahoma sun.  

Where are you really, right now?

Sunday, October 6, 2013

When Your Neighbor is Really a Superhero

Neighbors.  They are always butting in.  Then again, maybe that is just a matter of perspective.  

When you are looking for reasons to settle instead of reasons to run, it's like seeing flowers in the sunlight instead of the dark.  Like seeing them the way they are meant to be seen.

As a family we tend to keep to ourselves.  When we moved to Oklahoma a month ago, we leased a home to give us time to find our way around before buying our "long-time" house. 

We moved into an older house with red bricks and a big porch in a beautiful old neighborhood with big beautiful trees, expansive lawns and swimming pools.

We moved in next to McBride.

McBride is 89.  His grown son lives three houses down around the corner in an ultra-modern home built in the 1950's.  My kids call it The Fortress of McBriditude.  We suspect that is where McBride goes when he needs to hide from his public.

You see, McBride is a super hero.

I don't know how they began to suspect it but we are pretty sure it's true.  

Maybe it is the rumor about McBride climbing on his roof.  This rumor was told to Eight and me over the fence by his own son.  McBride's son said that if we saw him on the roof, we should tell him to get the h#)) off.  Eight told me later that he shouldn't talk to McBride's son without supervision because he cusses.  I tried not to laugh at his careful little ears what you hear.

I think we actually got the idea about McBride because of  how he mows his lawn.  He is incredibly fast.  Not for an 89-year-old man but incredibly fast for any man.  His aforementioned son said that he mows fast so that he can get in the pool.  He gets in the pool even when its freezing.  This is Oklahoma people.  It gets cold when the wind comes sweeping down the plains.

About three mornings ago I looked out my kitchen window and there was a ladder leaned against McBride's roof.  I know now that he does get on the roof.  But I also know his secret, he doesn't fly.  I will never tell.

Yesterday Almost Ten climbed up in the old sycamore tree between my drive and McBride's.  My husband was watching from the window as he tested a new freedom. When Bob walked out to check on him, he discovered McBride on his way out.  With a ladder.

McBride to the rescue.

My children are delighted to live next to a hero.  My children are delighted to live next door to McBride.

here's to seeing the flowers in the daylight,

The other posts from Boom Where You're Planted:
Good to Know
Bloom Where You're Planted
Blooms Start With Buds
It Takes Work to Make Blooms

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Good to Know

Even though we had been there at least every year for their whole lives, this summer was different.  When we were there in July, the three children were, well, they were strange.  They were quiet and as four days passed, they got quieter.  It was embarrassing really.  I felt like a bad mother.  

Then we moved.  Now that place we used to visit is just down the road.  This time when we went to visit their grandparents, they were strange.  It was embarrassing really.  I felt like a proud mother.  It was wonderful to see those three children bubbling with energy and emotion and raw enthusiasm for life and making memories.  

At one point I thought my daughter was going to stand  in her chair at the table trying to tell a story to the family.  Her family. 

We were celebrating Almost Ten's birthday.  He smiled when he saw the balloons tied to a line from the house to the bell.  His smile bloomed full when he saw the sign on the front porch.  The sign they tied there just for him.

He knew the cake was going to be there so that was no surprise but the pinata on the table blew his mind.  When we all stood around watching him open his gifts, gifts chosen just for him, that boy turned redder than an atomic fireball candy.  The best part was that he knew those gifts were chosen for him.  He knew that his grandparents and his aunt had picked them out just for him.  He knew we had conspired to make this special, for him.

His laughter rang around the house as he chased his brother and sister.

He said he'd never had a birthday party before.  I frowned, we always have a birthday party.  Then I realized what he meant, "But it was always just the five of us, wasn't it?"

It was strange really, how the children had changed.  Their perspective had changed.  They are no longer visitors in this place.  Now they belong.  The people here know these children now in ways they had only glimpsed before and it feels good to be known.

It feels good to be known.

It's good to know.


This continues the 31 day series on blooming where you are planted.   For more encouragement on choosing to live completely right here, right now, follow along by subscribing or liking the page on Facebook.  The other posts are here:

Friday, October 4, 2013

Grateful for Today

This month I am writing for 31 days on how to "Bloom Where You're Planted" and its late and its Friday and I almost forgot entirely.  (Thanks to Kellie R. for remind me tonight that I blog!)  

Part of building a life right where you are is finding wonderful little things right, well, where you are.  And there.  And over here.  So, I don't want to keep you but let me show you just a few of my little things.

Behind every one of them is a big, beautiful prayer of thanks.

Feel free to share your own wonderful things...

The other posts so far...
Bloom Where You're Planted
Blooms Start With Buds
It Takes Work to Make Blooms

Thursday, October 3, 2013

It Takes Work to Make Blooms

This is the fourth post in the 31 day series, "Bloom Where You're Planted" and let me say, this takes work!

It's hard to post every day.  It's hard for me to even remember to post every day. 

I am the woman set a daily alarm to remind me to pick up my 4th grader.  Seriously, I am scared to death that I am going to be late to get my boy.  Sure, I would remember eventually...what was I saying?

We are trying to think big, learn the layout of this town and find what our kids call our "long-time" house.

There are boxes to unpack, totally new routines and unexpected expenses.

My temper is often short and there is much hard work.

If you want beautiful blooms and good roots, you have to do the work.  You have to do the work when the earth is still rocky and barren and maybe you can't see anything good.

At least not yet.

Seedlings start small and they are fragile and tough at the same time.  You have to protect seedlings from frost but even tiny plants can grow through concrete.  I choose to keep sowing.

The rules of the harvest say you reap what you sow, you reap later than you sow, and you reap more than you sow.

I will keep sowing.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


This is the third post in the 31 day series "Bloom Where You're Planted" for the month-long blog party at The Nesting Place.  After a cross-country move back to the place where I was raised, this is a time to focus on living completely present in each day.  For you and me, it's the perfect time to stop wishing for what might be and live fully right where, and when, we are at this moment.

I have it easy I think.

My move was back home.  Back to my roots.

I am soaking it up.  Soaking up familiar restaurants, the same old streets, friends that I have known for 31 years and their grown children and grandchildren.  Grandchildren!

Back to my roots. 

Fed by my roots.

Knowing family in new ways-we are all 12 years older now-but loving the familiar sound of their voices, their senses of humor and our shared memories.

Even the land feeds me.  I love the way everything seems to be moving in the Oklahoma wind.  I love knowing instinctively which direction I am going even when I don't know where I am going.  I love the big airy sky open for all to see and the miles and miles of land.  Feels like I can finally take a deep breath.

I love that my kids and husband are seeing me in a way that they never have before.

Never realized that my own roots could feed me this way.  It makes me happy to plant a whole new life here. 

It will take hard work and constant tending to start again in a new place.  I am planning on a good harvest. 


The other posts in this series...
Bloom Where You're Planted
Blooms Start With Buds

Feel free to subscribe by email or if you find it easier (like I do) just like the community page on Facebook at:  Traveler In My Own Backyard

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Blooms Start with Buds

The Nester challenged us to write for 31 days on one topic.  I don't have it in me so I've asked for divine help and I am Giving Up On Perfect so there won't be any pictures of my actual "bud" in this post.  However, the commitment is made and I am showing up where I am supposed to be!

Change is good sometimes and in truth, I love change.


When your whole basket of life gets thrown up in the air, you struggle to catch it all and it seems like most of it lands in different places than before.  Well, that can be a little hard on a girl.

We moved. Again. My husband and I gave our word to each other.  One more move before the old folks' home.  I mean it.  When we arrived I found myself closed right down.  I didn't want to unpack or put my things in another cabinet that didn't belong to me.  I didn't want to spend another dollar on a house that wasn't mine.  As far as moving goes, I was done before I got here.

Then my kid unpacked the bird feeder.  He was happy with this find, you know the cheap plastic kind with a green roof.

The front window is really big and as we sat in front of it looking out and doing school, we saw a perfect view of a bird feeder.  If we hung one up, that is.  So I found my shepherd's hook and got my purple flip flops dirty when I pushed it into the thick clay.

The grocery around the corner had bird seed.  A smallish bag with no commitment suited me perfectly.

Wouldn't you know it?  There were mums by the front door of the store.  Big, beautiful mums of that unusual orange color.  That bird lovin' boy likes orange right now.

The kids and I marched out with great ceremony and set our stage, hook, bird feeder, seeds and orange mums in a terra cotta pot borrowed from the rented garage.

A bud, all balled up and tight loosens a little.  The first of the fall.  It's a tiny orange mum.  In case you're wondering.

Other posts you might like:
Bloom Where You're Planted
Superman's Secret Identity Revealed
and the big reveal...
The post where I secretly talk about maybe moving to Oklahoma but I can't tell anyone yet.