March 30, 2011

a lovely way to help

I’m not sure how I got there other than through a link to a link to a link… but there I was. Clicking had led me to a way I could help, when all I can seem to do is watch and feel helpless. Paper cranes for Japan? Yes. In fact, I knew we were already ahead of the game, the way her fingers fold them like lightening just because. When I told Laura about the project, she smiled and walked way, returning with…
more than one hundred paper cranes. She is my origami girl.

She asked for a box to mail them and I thought they might fit into a big envelope. I started taking them out, one by one, so many different sizes and out of so many kinds of paper. Big solid construction paper, scrawled notes across lined notebook sheets, the thin colorful origami paper, shiny gum wrappers… and this one I folded from the church bulletin on my birthday. I almost told her she should save it out... but I stopped myself. To second-guess her gift would be robbing her of a blessing, and time after time I remind myself that she has her own mind, her own ideas… her own way of sharing her heart. Instead I moved on, realizing I was wrong about the envelope, but wanting to see the rest of her beauties.

And then? She asked me to fold with her. In Africa I couldn’t quite get it… but I was willing to try again. She was patient. She was kind. And it was fun! Eventually I finished two all by myself, without looking to her expertise and asking now this?

Our box will go out soon. It may be one of one, or it may be one of two… only time will tell. And when Paper Cranes for Japan has collected 100,000? Money will be donated, and the colorful birds will be used to create an art display. I imagine it… and wonder how anyone could possibly create something more beautiful than the joining of thousands of hearts.

March 28, 2011

restless monday

I lay in the dark, a sliver of light crossing our bed. From the moon?  I try to remember what stage the moon might be in, and then decide it must just be the neighbor's porch light.  The clock reads 3:30... and I can't decide if I'm still tired, or done sleeping.  So I lay there.  Eyes open, staring at the ceiling.  And then with eyes closed, beckoning slumber, mind reeling. 
Broken appliances. Broken promises. Broken dreams. 
Only the least of these, mine.  The air conditioning can be fixed with a quick tune-up, due anyway.  But the dreams and promises?  I pray for my dear friend... as the bottom of her world falls further out of her reach.  God, I know you are right there with her.  Please, let her feel my prayers. 

My thoughts turn to Lent, and how I have not embraced it.  Not at all, and I wonder if it is too late... if I can catch up.  It was just two years ago that I discovered it fully... reading a devotion each day, carefully following His footsteps along the long road to the cross.  With Cam sick, we missed two weeks of church, and perhaps that is why I feel so lost.  But yesterday, during choir practice, it hit me all at once.  The tears slid down my face and the reality of Lent sunk in...
On a green hill far away, He shed His precious blood
We may not know, we cannot tell, what pains He had to bear.

But we believe it was for us, He hung and suffered there. 
It is coming... those brief days when He hung on that cross and lay in that tomb.  For me.   

When I came home, I moved my nativity from the piano, where it's been since Advent.   Somehow, I did what I promised myself I wouldn't.   I left Jesus in the manger.  And oh, I need the rest of the story.  I need this journey to the cross... and I need the journey  from the cross.  

That sliver of light in the darkness... it wasn't what woke me, and it didn't keep me from drifting back to sleep.  But while I was waiting to see if sleep would return, it kept me company.  In the dark of my heart, He is Light... and in the dark of night, He is my beacon.  And I trust that He can heal every bit of broken that resides in this world. 


I'm working my way up to one thousand gifts with Ann and the community that gathers around her...

66. the way I am filled with giddy excitement every time (every.time.) I see the deer on the hill.
67. making a left turn out of my neighborhood for the first time in... six years?
68. driving by and seeing that the cross has been added to the tower on our church building.
69. tiny beads strung around my wrist with no pattern... only beautiful memories.
70. four kids building castles in the sand...
71. Cam calling the castles the "suburbs."  He used another good vocabulary word that struck me as "grown-up" the other day... I wish I could remember it.
72. the hymn... as the deer. my favorite. You're my friend and You are my brother even though You are a King.
73. her quirky style and me being able to let her be herself.
74. a lunch date with two friends that lasted far beyond lunch... thank you, Cheesecake Factory, for not kicking us out.
75.  hours spent at the beach, with the cool breeze blowing in.
76. playful dolphins frolicking just beyond the swim zone... and the blessing of living in a place where I can see them in the wild.
77. a beautiful spring break. weather-wise and otherwise.
78. the peace that passes all understanding.
79. a couple of quiet hours to sit and read Heaven is for Real.  wow.
80. the excitement on their faces over purple ribbons at the county fair... each receiving a "best in division" for their photography.
81. the four of us at the fair together... so glad they aren't too embarrassed to be seen with us.
82. the view from the top of the world.

83. sharing the songs I have picked out for our kids to dance with us at their weddings.  their eyes got huge, but I am preparing for these days to come... especially with prayers over their future spouses.
84. surprise sightings at the beach... a nephew & a niece!

85. bright sunshine after the rain
86. deep-fried oreos hitting the spot.
87. riding the tilt-a-whirl with my son... sharing a memory of riding with my Mom & sister and how we learned you had to sit off-balanced for the very-best-ride.
88. a stress-free confidence booster for my girl.

March 25, 2011

spring break love

I have decided... Spring Break is my favorite. 
It is the prelude to Summer's song... a beautiful sampling of notes that lure me in and capture my heart.  The melody is bright and the sunshine that I crave singes my skin, but the harmony swings in below... a cool sweet breeze that blends with the heat of the sun and has me nearly swooning with glee. 

 
The measures are too brief to hold onto, calling my soul to soak up the right now... so I say yes instead of maybe.  We plant. We build castles. We tease and laugh and live.  After days pass on without names, the weekend sneaks upon us, marking time... forcing me to know that there are only three more days.  But three more days?  I choose to see the beautiful possibilities, instead of the waning notes.  And with my pencil, I scribble a fermata over the weekend and whisper to the conductor... hold it out for as many beats as you like.

March 21, 2011

into the fun

Only Monday, and Spring Break seems to be sprinting.  When the days are beautiful blue and breezy I find myself greedy for more... more fun, more laughter, more breath.  Maybe it is because these past two days haven't been all about fun... there has been a lot of bedroom cleaning.  A lot.  And we aren't quite done... yet.  But we have mixed our work with play... Laura with her friends, and Cam & I on our own.  Finally, last night, done with his work weekend, Eric joined the Spring Break festivities, and we are four.  Four, looking forward to the beach and the county fair (where, rumor has it, there may be some prize winning photography!) and whatever else might strike our fancy. 

In the meantime... let me count the ways He scatters my life with gifts...
51. soft pastel beauty inside a rainbow cupcake
52. writing for someone else... and discovering it isn't easy. waffling between dressing myself up and just being plain old me. realizing that plain old me is just-right.
53. a love note text... just because
54. anticipation growing as the week ended, excitment to be with my kids for break, and happy that that brings joy.
55. working with my husband.
56. racing around to complete the order and satisfy a customer.
57. a glance in the rear-view mirror showing the sun beginning to rise in all its rosy orange glory, and then the way it gave the rest of the world a pink-gold glow.

58. her 40th birthday giving me a chance to reflect on our 28 year friendship... and the many beautiful gifts it has encompassed
59. the splashes of a puddle across my ankles... and her voice saying it was a puddle. what else was i suppose to do?  and then, the mother/daughter high five.  pure goodness.
60. looking at his face and thinking that for the first time in 2 1/2 weeks, he looks better.
61. just the girls... three generations sharing a night out and enjoying the show.  and third row seats don't hurt!

62. being on the same page with a friend... it means being there for the good and the bad... holding each other up and laughing together.  sometimes all at once.
63. singing again... after being away.
64. the opportunity to pray for big stuff.  like healing... of unknown illness and a broken heart.
65. expressing frustration, and still finding love on the other side.

March 18, 2011

beautiful friday

The sun is streaming in, and I see blue sky through the window.  I wasn't sure I'd see the sun, since the fog rolled in about an hour ago.  It must have found somewhere else to roll to.  I've been sitting here on the couch for a while... and I think I even drifted off to sleep for a bit.  But I figure since I already walked, a nap is perfectly acceptable.  Now I'm just wondering what the day will hold... what it can hold.  There are options a-plenty, almost every one of them enticing.  Once the kids walk in the door this afternoon, we'll officially be on spring break... and I'm free through Tuesday.  I love my boss.  So my enticing options need not all be put into motion today... 

The perfect excuse to sit just a little longer and enjoy a second cup of coffee & chocolate chip Irish soda bread-turned muffin.... and dream about filling the coming days with plenty of living.

March 17, 2011

(not-very) irish eyes are smiling

Happy St. Patrick's Day!
I told you I would bring the cupcakes
I love a rainbow... in any form.  My friend Kathleen & I are always sharing some beautiful rainbow-y idea.  Pancakes, crayons, cupcakes... and so many more that just make us smile!  It took some doing, but I was thrilled with how these cupcakes turned out, and I think they will be a big hit tonight after dinner.  Yes, I said after.  We'll be sharing dinner with friends... and at their house they never eat dessert first! 

When Irish eyes are smiling, 'Tis like a morn in spring.
With a lilt of Irish laughter, You can hear the angels sing.
~Author Unknown

: :

How often do you simply stop and breathe His wonder into your soul?
The answers in my house would certainly vary… from hardly ever to at least eight times a day. You probably know without me even saying... that I would the be the eight. I can’t help myself...

Are you ready for our field trip? Join me over at Sharon's Hiking Toward Home for the rest of the story...

March 16, 2011

a field trip

I remember the giddy gasp of excitement that would filter through the classroom when it was announced that a permission slip would be going home. A permission slip meant… a field trip. It almost didn’t matter where we were going, the promise of a break in the ordinary was enough of a reason to celebrate. A field trip also meant a special lunch… Twinkies, or Hostess cupcakes, or the most decadent Suzy Q. My insides still quiver when I think about running my finger over the waxy paper, gathering the last bits of moist chocolate the Suzy Q had left behind. Of course, you couldn’t have a field trip lunch without something to wet your whistle. I would watch as my Mom wrapped that Orange Crush in foil before slipping it into my lunch bag… and I would feel special. Not out of the ordinary special, but the just like everyone else special that you think your soul needs to feel at seven and eight and nine.

Even though the destination was nothing compared to actual adventure of the field trip itself, I have saved memories of horse-shoe crabs on the beach, of the giant T-Rex at the Museum of Science, the Salem Witch Museum and Plymouth Plantation (although I would gladly banish the memories of the wax museum and getting wet in the crossing of the Mayflower!)

It seems today that field trips in school are far and few between, but when that permission slip does come home, you can bet that a special lunch is in order. And if I can, I chaperone… because I remember how much I loved sitting with my Mom on the bus on our way to anywhere. Twice a year, I have a field trip from work… and with giddy excitement, I scrawl the words on my calendar. It is always after lunch, and just down the road a few miles to hang an art show… but it is the break in the ordinary that I love.

Tomorrow, come on by and we’ll make a little field trip ourselves.  I have written my very first guest post, and you are invited. Sharon is celebrating a birthday and her two year blogiversary… at her very new bloggy home.
Don’t forget to wrap your drink in foil… I’ll bring the cupcakes.

March 15, 2011

his gift to me today

This morning, after a yesterday we both wish to wipe away, he sent me something beautiful...


'Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

And I think... there is no what if about it.
Thank you, Sweetheart... for being who you are. For knowing just what I need...

(and if you are only seeing a black box like Suz... you can click here for the beautiful song!)

March 14, 2011

the right words

After twelve days of sick, I am past ready for him to be better... but he wasn't. 
Forehead hot, eyes dark and without the sparkle of fun that makes me smile, and occasionally, a clutch of the stomach.  Eric took the day from work and brought Cam back to the doctor... and when he called to give the report of the appointment, I sunk low in my chair.  No answers... just letting this infection run its course.  I wanted a definite answer.  I wanted to know.  But we continue to wait it out, and there is no wondering who will break first.  It is me.  My mind converses with itself... raging at the infection, at the doctor, at myself and how I was so big and brave and trusting last Friday, and now I'm not.  And even a message from Eric letting me know Cam was now feeling great did not make the awful mood lift.  Maybe it made it worse. 

I'm the Mom.  I'm supposed to take him to the doctor, relay the bits and pieces of what's been happening.   I'm the one who isn't supposed to fall apart... especially over something that will eventually pass.  But there I hovered, between Mother's Intuition and Crazy. 

My mood was dark as I walked in.  I sought his face... the dark circles set me off again, and I retreated.  The mad boiled inside me, and I didn't know how to find my way back.  And so I went where I know I am always welcome, where I can haul all my junk.  And while I was on my knees, I asked Him to take it from me.  Take the crazy, take the rage, take it... please.  I flipped furiously through the pages and when I found today, I scanned more than read... desperately seeking the message I was sure He had planned for me.  Nothing seemed to fit but I refused to believe the right words were not there.  And then... they were. 
Be still and know that I am God. 
The tears were released and the crazy settled down just a bit... enough so that I could do what I needed to do.  Be still. 

From there I sought the sun, and let it shine right in my eyes. 
And the air was cool on my arms... almost too cool, but it gave me something to feel.
Stillness. Sunshine. Breath.  And the combination opened just enough space for the peace to start slipping in. 

give and take

I will be trying to figure out what time it would be if... for a couple of days.  But as with most things I cannot control, I accept it and move on.  If I were to give it too much thought, I might kick and scream and wish that hour back.  I seem to be at a point in my life when even one hour seems too precious to give up, even to Daylight Savings Time.  Life with my kids has gone from time flies to fast forward.  But how many hours do I waste?  At least one each day.  At least.  God gives each of us the exact same amount of hours in a day... it is what we choose to do with them that matters.  It makes me think about ways I should be spending them, who I should be spending them with...

So... this one hour that we skipped this weekend, it is not much in the grand scheme of things. 
And... in just a few months, it will be given back to us.  A gift?  That depends on each of us... and what we choose to do with it.

Counting 1,000 Gifts with Ann and so many other friends...
31. the card she passed me, the sentiments shared in her handwriting, and her good news... tumor markers continuing to fall-AMEN!
32. just laying next to him, waiting for the thermometer to reveal its rating.
33. schedules and bosses that allow for staying home with mr. sick.
34. the non-chalant way he handed me his progress report, and my continued amazement of his abilities.
35. four of us enjoying the st. patricks' day parade... no where else to be.
36. anticipation of where the ball with go, and the resounding cheer when it rolls in for a hole-in-one.
37. sharing breakfast-turned-brunch and endless conversation with such a great friend.
38. a cool front... and knowing I was not wrong about the last one not being the last one.
39. celebrating mardi gras with pancakes and king cake
40. her excitement about heading out to youth group.
41. a leather bracelet stamped with Isa. 40:31, and his excitement over finding it.
42. sitting outside to read... all of us.
43. his suggestion of sandwiches on the beach... twice.  We never got there this weekend, but it is the thought that counts.
44. a little nursing advice from far away, and how she feels close by, even though she isn't.
45. a few words from the woman sitting next to Laura at the parade... You should be so proud. She said thank you to every single person who handed her anything.  Yeah, we are.  And we thanked her right back, because she took the time to tell us.
46. tylenol. and advil.
47. the way he lets me tuck my feet under him while we are sitting together on the couch.
48. learning something new about Lent... I knew that giving up something was about sacrifice, but what I didn't realize is that you are supposed to fill those cravings with God.  It makes sense now...
49. hot, sweet coffee... and how much I love the Africa mug in my hands.
50. a safe place to live.

March 13, 2011

sunday splashes

It has been the kind of weekend I'd like to make last forever... with weather you can't believe and everyone schedule-free.  It reminds me again and again that love lives here... and it makes getting through the junk of life easier.  More worth it. 

Friday night I was anxious to be outside... but I hate to always suggest the beach, knowing I am the only one who truly loves it.  After checking my coupons I called Eric aside for a private meeting... and we were all in the car, on our way, in ten minutes.  It was funny that neither Cam nor Laura even asked where we were headed... I suppose the days of an exciting mystery ride have long since passed!  But when we arrived, there were smiles, no crowds, fresh air, laughter... and more than one hole-in-one!

(perhaps a few shots did go into the drink though...)

Saturday we ended up sunburned.  I know better, and I remembered to think about the sunscreen, but forgot to actually bring it along.  So my feet burned, along with the rest of me, as we watched the St. Patrick's Day parade go by.  Two hours of bagpipes, leperchauns, Irish dancers and more!  Cam was really the only one who escaped the red of the burn, hidden under the brim of his hat. 

And today, with springing forward, we all hunkered in and some of us stayed in our pajamas past noon.  Normally we'd be rushing about getting ready for church and on the road by eight, but with a Sunday off from choir, and a little bit of a setback for Cam, we let the rushing slip on past.  There has been breakfast and crafting and cooking and... laundry.  But mixed in to all of it, there has been togetherness, something I don't take for granted. 

I'm hoping the fun of the weekend works it's magic on the upcoming week... happy Sunday!

March 11, 2011

ten on ten {march}

Take a photo every hour for ten consecutive hours on the tenth of each month.
Document a day of your life and find beauty among the ordinary moments.
Thank you Rebekah... for hosting the fun!

I'm all about finding the beauty among the ordinary... and although it is already the 11th, I did spend yesterday snapping pictures to share.  And was there beauty?  Yes... always, yes.

I'm so happy to be back in the habit of a morning walk!  And as we make our way back around the cul de sac, the sun is dawning.  Most mornings I have time to sit and enjoy my coffee before the rush of getting ready for work, but on Thursdays I leave just a bit early and stop to get an allergy shot on the way.   I always eat my breakfast in the car though...
On the drive I watched the dark clouds gather in the rear view mirror, and didn't expect to see even a sliver of sunshine today... but there is was, sparkling in through the trees!  It wasn't too long though... before the storm blew in.  And Florida really knows how to throw a thunder storm.  The rain pelted my window and the palms were bending in the wind... but I was already safe inside, so I just enjoyed the show.

I could smell the watermelon gum in my desk drawer... I think it was calling me to ignore the chocolate!  The afternoon was filled with frustration over uploading pictures from our Friday event to photobucket... everything was moving in slow motion.  But time still passed and I was happy to pack up and head for home.  When I get in the car on Thursday afternoons, there is a smile and an urgency to get home and start the weekend!  I love a four day work week!
I had just a few minutes at home before I left to pick up Camden... on his first day back to school.  I was relieved to see his smile, and also to hear that there wasn't too much make-up work in his backpack.  We decided to check in on Eric & Laura over at the high school... running a mini-concession stand for a band event.  Cam didn't have to be convinced... he knows there is always a snack in it for him.  And I am happy he's hungry! 
It was a good day.  A long day... sprinkled with bits of beauty.  But perhaps the most beautiful piece of the day?  Hearing from Ann that her tumor markers are down again.  I wanted to jump for joy... and I think I did after I threw my arms around her and whispered a prayer of thanksgiving! 

And once again I realize that ordinary is beautiful...

March 08, 2011

{virtual coffee}12

I've been looking forward to today and being a little chatty... Amy is always such a great hostess and I've found a few very special spots through {virtual coffee.}  Stunning photos, touching words, and really beautiful souls.  Grab your favorite mug and head on over...

Today I'm wondering if I am the only one drinking my coffee laced with gingerbread.  Admittedly, I am a holiday hoarder... four bottles of gingerbread syrup lining the top shelf in my pantry and three loaves of cranberry swirl bread left in the freezer.  It makes me happy... and I'm not really hanging onto Christmas, just the trimmings.  But I did finally get all of the decorations put away!

If you were really popping in for a visit, I'd invite you to stay for dinner... pancakes. 
It is Mardi Gras Day, after all! 
Even though we fell in love with New Orleans out of season, we have fun celebrating with the tamer traditions of the city!  So there are beads on the table and King Cake for dessert. I've never made it before and I'm hoping it is good! How did I choose from the zillions of recipes? Oh, this one had me at almond filling! (And when I couldn't find my vanilla, I reached for one of four bottles of almond extract!)

In other news, the boy who has been sick for a full week might be headed back to school tomorrow.  I'm probably more nervous than he is... wondering if he'll be strong enough to make it through the day, or have enough energy to give the instruction his full attention.  If he really goes, I'll need to make him promise, promise, promise to call home if he starts feeling poorly.  Last week when I sent him against my better judgement, I made him promise to call if he didn't feel well... and we didn't hear anything from him until he had ridden his bike home.  That was when we discovered he had a fever.  And when I asked him if he felt bad during the day he said no... only he was really, really tired.  Ahem!  It made for a very quiet weekend...

If we were really meeting for coffee today, I'd hope you would have a good story to share... and that we would laugh together.  I'd ask you if it was warming up in your neck of the woods and hope you'd smile and answer yes!  When March comes tumbling in, I'm ready for the bright colors of spring, but I'm still hanging onto the hope that we might have two or three cool fronts blow though before the summer heat starts to simmer.  For now though, the weather is just about perfection.  I wish you were here!

March 07, 2011

digging deep on monday

I'm joining up with Ann again, continuing this list of gifts. 
I will tell you that it was far into the week before I heard the whisper of God... the reminder that I needed to be looking for the gifts He was placing before me.  I usually don't need that nudge, gentle or otherwise... but I suppose I got so caught up in me and my own to-do lists that I looked right past the beauty He was laying out before me.  And then... once I started, the week got messier and my heart grew heavier. 
So today I dig deep... and know that the gifts I count are not all beautiful to the naked eye... but beautiful, just the same. 

On my way to 1,000... #15-30
- a butterfinger birthday cake, much appreciated
-the gathering of people who really care about the marching band and their kids participation
-ann's real hair.. soft and curly
-the silliness of a "massage" in a bottle... and that it took me a while to catch the joke
-an unexpected quiet evening at home... even though the reason for it made my heart frown
-real mail, real handwriting
-not being in charge of our sick son.  Oh, how I wanted to be, but I had to let it go and put the trust in my very-capable husband.  It was so hard to go to work and leave them behind, but in it, I found the gift God was pushing me to... trust.
-the not appendicitis diagnosis
-working in my big-girl shoes, and not falling apart
-the intuition to tell the difference between a God-whisper and my own imagination... at least in the instance of thinking it was more than just a bug
-a heart-shaped breakfast... and that the smile it brought gave me what I needed to head out the door to work.

-four of us, in one room, just living
-a figuring-it-out kind of brain
-the unexpected smile on the other side of my door, and the visit we shared
-starting the day off walking
-the realization that God is my safety net in this tightrope of life.

March 06, 2011

the tightrope

Sunday.
Day five.
Day five of fever and stomach pain and not feeling hungry... and when your fourteen year old son says he's not hungry, the world feels foreign.  He is doing just fine.  We talk, we watch TV, we hang on the couch... and ever since the doctor ruled out appendicitis, I am breathing without too much worry.  But I wander, feeling lost... and my heart cracks when I see his flushed face and those dark circles that are resting under those beautiful brown eyes.  Even though he says he's not hungry, I offered up a few dry tortilla chips for distraction, and he gladly nibbled.  Now he sleeps, in the middle of the day... and I am somehow lost again.  
This mothering job does not get easier... and sometimes I wonder if it is actually harder now than it was when they were little and depended on me for everything. 
Then... I knew it was all up to me. 
Now... I walk that tightrope strung up between then and independence.  Looking ahead, there is not much rope left... and I wonder if there is indeed enough length left before me to teach the things I feel I have neglected, or forgotten, or more accurately... never thought to teach at all.  As I glance back at the quivering rope I wonder if it might be possible to backtrack just a bit... and find myself stretching my arms out for balance as I tip towards hovering. 
But when they are sick... they are still my babies.  I am bound by the laws of motherhood to hover.  It is what we do... along with the temperature taking, the medicine doling, and the pressing of hands against foreheads as if by some magic force we might know what to do next. 
But today... I don't.  I don't know what to do.  So I look to the Healer, and ask Him again to provide all we need... to be healthy, to embrace peace.

March 02, 2011

treasure of the heart

Wednesday is junk mail day... but folded in the middle of flyers and ads and catalogs I will never order from, there was treasure.  Plucking the gold envelope out of the stack, I could tell it was real mail... and when I turned it over my fingers raced to tear open the flap.  But I stopped... and took just a moment to first hold it to my heart.  Her handwriting is precious to me.  It has always been the most beautiful writing... the handwriting I have always hoped might flow from my own pen.  But my squat loops are so different from her delicate, precise script.  I know I will save this card, and its envelope forever.  Because her writing is a part of her... my one in a long equation of grandparents.  And though she lives too many states away, she is never far from my heart.
We were lined up on the hard pew of the church, waiting for Cam's piano recital to begin... and my Mom leaned over to me and put a big envelope in my hands.  She smiled and told me she had finally decided on the perfect Christmas gift for my Gramma.  Intrigued, I reached inside... but before the sheets of paper were fully exposed, my curiosity turned to tears.  The kind of tears that overwhelm and humble.  There were pages of my own words tucked in that envelope... a subscription to your blog she said with a smile.  And while they might consider my words a gift... these two women are a gift to me.   Because while my heart pours out the words for me... those words somehow become more when someone else cares about them, when someone else feels them as deeply as I do. 

So Mom and Gramma... thank you.  Thank you for loving me and supporting me.  Thank you for being amazed by me, even though I might think that is just a little much.  I love you both!

March 01, 2011

{virtual coffee} 11

If you were meeting me here at my house for coffee this afternoon... you probably would have been waiting in the driveway for me.  It took me forever to get home from work!  I'm not sure there are cars left in any other state (and the other day I heard that there are no more rental cars available in this state!) and then it started pouring down rain.  You would have thought it was snow with all of the brake lights and half the speed limit!  But after a string of eleven perfect weather days... and some great ones leading up to them... perhaps the rain is as foreign to us as snow.   I finally did make it home, and the rain seems to have all but stopped.... so I think Camden will make it home from school without my help.  And if there are just a few raindrops. he will be thrilled to ride his bike through them.

So here we'd be... sipping warm delicious coffee.  I'd invite you into the kitchen while I finished up a dessert for tonight's band booster meeting.  I hope it'll be good... I never made it before!  But I found the recipe here, and I'm hoping no one will be injured in the stampede!  At tonight's meeting I am going to be brave... and put my name in for vice president for next year.  Being secretary was way out of my comfort zone... and this is far beyond even that.  But I think I can do it... I think I might even be good at it.  And next year both Laura & Cam will be in marching band.  I'm both excited and in a state of disbelief.  This will be it... our one overlapping year.  From the beginning we said we'd be very involved... because our family would be a part of it for seven years.

Oh HI Cam!  Yes, he made it home.  Just a little wet.  And if you were here, you'd smile, then he'd smile... and you would melt. 

This weekend he & Eric camped with the Boy Scout troop.  I did get to missing them... but Laura and I had some great time together.  We poked through the bookstore, shared a great conversation over dinner, and... spent two hours watching the waves and the birds. 
With books and beach chairs and shoes that slipped off in the sand... we sat and enjoyed the afternoon as it stretched into evening.  As the sun set, I stood in it's glow, just beyond ankle-deep in the waves... and a dolphin swam right on by under the sun.  And as the sun melted into the sea, and the water rushed around my feet... my heart couldn't help but worship.  It really was a beautiful weekend.

If you were really here, I might share a bit of my day with you.  My boss asked me to tag along with her when she went to pick up some art supply donations.  A husband had called us to empty his wife's craft closet, as she had passed away less than two months ago.  The closet was filled with treasure that will go to our recycle room, and then into the hands of public school art teachers.  But I ached for this man's heart... I could tell he was still shaken by her absence.  Their home was full of her... every wall, every surface... thousands of photos.  And I wondered... if he will stay there, or move on.  It made me think of my Grandma, too... and I am thankful to have a couple tangible memories to hold onto. 

Thanks for stopping by today... sharing coffee and conversation with a friend is one of my favorite ways to spend the afternoon.   If you need another cup... hop on over to Amy's Lucky Number 13.  there is always plenty of coffee to go around!