Saturday, May 20, 2017

Time Keeps Moving On.....

It’s been a wonderful weekend spent with family celebrating Mother’s Day. Then later today, as I was looking at the calendar trying to decide whether or not a trip to see our South Carolina family was going to be able to happen at the end of this month, all of a sudden I realized – IT’S ALMOST SIX MONTHS UNTIL CHRISTMAS!

I can remember when I was growing-up it took SO LONG for time to pass. To get from one time to another; and now, it seems like everything moves at the speed of light. I’ve become to believe that’s why I have such a problem remembering anything anymore, it all happens too fast!

And I don’t remember families being as active when I was growing up as they are now. The parents went to work, and the children went to school, and everyone came home. They had supper, did homework, watched a little television and then everyone went to bed and got up the next day to do it all over again. The weekends were made for chores, lawn work, and riding bicycles in the neighborhood until almost dark.

These families now are involved in every single activity you can imagine! Tee-ball, ballet, baseball, soccer, and ALL of those activities are now weekday/night events – not just Saturday mornings. Kids belong to all kinds of clubs that have year around activities and someone is always running in one direction or another to get folks where they need to be.

It’s no wonder we can’t keep up with time, it’s stretched so thin, it’s about to snap in two. I don’t know how these young parents do it – I truly just don’t. When I get off work in the afternoons, it takes all I can do just to drive myself home some evenings. I DREAM of what my recliner will feel like when I collapse into it. I can remember some days that have been particularly bad that I jokingly said, “I wish I could afford a driver, I’m so tired I don’t even want to push the gas pedal.”

Real life story – one day last week:
I got home one night from my after-work hair salon appointment and as usual I was tired and starving. I was talking to my husband on the phone, as he was still driving and on his way home from a load. I'm telling him I don't even know what I want to eat, because I'm not even up to opening a can of Spaghetto's because I don't want to stand there and dig out the meatballs (I don't like them, and the cans without them taste different - weird I know).


He sat there quietly for a minute and then he said "Well baby, if it's that bad, do you think you're even gonna be able to chew once you figure out what you want to eat?" And we laughed, and laughed, and laughed.

I know that has to sound familiar to people in “my age group.” But the scarier question is – when did I start referring to myself like that?!


Saturday, May 13, 2017

Mother to Mother

Do you ever wonder if the day will come when you’ll stop looking at them misty-eyed and in amazement when all you’re doing is having a simple conversation about their jobs, their plans, or their life? Or when you’ll stop imagining the soft, squishy arms and legs from their childhood? Because when you reach out as you walk by, as they’re sitting at your kitchen bar shoving Tostito chips and salsa into their mouths like they haven’t eaten in days, and you give their arm a little squeeze, but all you feel is firmness and strength.  

When our children were growing-up, we spent so many days and nights praying for what we all have now. Children with decided paths, strong and positive points of views, and children who are finally independent and perfectly capable of surviving without us should they have to do so.

From toddler to teen and beyond; we cheered, we cried, we were disappointed and proud. And we all said at some point, “Gracious, I cannot wait for the day they’re all grown-up and I don’t hear Mama called a hundred times a day!”

But you know, that never turns out quite like anyone expects it to. The quietness is stifling. The amount of un-need and lack of attention we continue to receive is devastating.

If we’re lucky though, it all comes back when you least expect it to. And amazingly enough, it’s somewhere around the time that their lives are beginning to have big changes. Weddings, babies being born, their “baby’s” first day of school, teen angst, and “children” driving vehicles.

But what is more amazing that any of that is this: those misty-eyed looks, and soft, sing-song voices; now they come from somewhere else as well. It doesn’t happen every time, but probably one out three times that I call home during the week, my own mother will answer the phone and I can hear her telling my daddy in the background who it is on the phone. And when she says my name, it rolls off her tongue so soft and sweet, it’s how I imagined her to have said when I was a baby. And many times now, when we are talking face to face, her eyes will become misty as we reminisce about one memory or another.

I wonder when my children hear me speak now, if they translate that softness into what it is, or if you have to be a certain age to even understand that it exists. Kind of like those whistles that only dogs can hear; I wonder if only grown children can began to hear that softness again that was certainly used in their first days/years of life. That softness reserved for the people we brought into this world, for the people that we love the most.


Because that is the same softness that will reverse, and be used by children for their parents as those roles also change through the years. The cycle of love between children and parents is ever evolving. Happy Mother’s Day to all who help keep it going. 

Sunday, May 7, 2017

There's No Place Like Home

Sometimes the things less prepared for turn out the best. I love Quincy Florida, and I’ve lived here almost twenty years now, and for the most part it seems the like home. But there’s something to be said for the place where you grew-up to feel the most familiar at different times in your life.

This past week, on the spur of the moment, I decided a trip home was necessary – for my peace of mind and mostly because I needed the fellowship. I needed the sisterhood of all those girls, now women, that I grew-up with; I needed those same faces to remind me that this is exactly how life is supposed to feel right now.

So Saturday, as I pulled up at the decided restaurant in Albany Georgia I was so excited about all the faces I was about to see, and how much better I would feel when it was all over.

But let me backtrack a bit and tell you about what happened BEFORE I arrived at my destination. I saw a CVS as I passed by on route and I decided to stop and go in. I had about 30 minutes to spare and I was hoping they would have what I was looking for. First, I needed a new orange-colored tube of lipstick to go with my outfit as the one I had wasn’t quite the right shade of orange, and secondly, I wanted to purchase a selfie-stick.

I had wandered around a bit before I decided I might as well ask for help, so finally I approached two very young women who were behind the pharmacy counter, and asked could they tell me if they even sold those selfie-sticks. Just that one question sent these young ladies into gales of giggles. I stood there confused and trying to figure out why. I mean, is that not what they were called? Was that just a fad and they didn’t even sell them anymore? Or was it that they had never had a 53 year old woman wearing orange lipstick ask them a question like that?

At any rate, I found the selfie-sticks at the front of the store, paid for it and my lipstick and headed out to my original destination. And just as I knew it would be, it was a day of laughter, old stories, and hugs – many, many hugs.

The only thing was, not a one of us “old” gals could figure out how to hook-up that dang selfie-stick and make it work. No one could read the fine-print paperwork, half of us were pulling out our “readers” from our purses – EXCEPT for the daughter of one of my most treasured friends who had joined us that day. In a snap – Tiffany had that thing hooked-up, angled in the air and we were all smiling for memories. Maybe THAT was what those other young girls at CVS already knew was going to happen – and that was what all that giggling was about.

Home Sweet Home: you never really know how true that is, until you become just a visitor.