Category Archives: musings

Faith in Humanity

With all the horrors that surround us on a daily basis, the ones that leave us shaking our heads, shaking our fists, shaking in our boots, it’s nice to find out that kindness, compassion, generosity and chivalry still exist amid the ugliness.

Sometimes it’s the most simple of gestures that reminds us of this. Someone holding open a door for you when your hands are full or even when they’re not full. And someone coming to your aid when stranded with a flat tire definitely reminds you that!

This morning, as I drove GMan to school, one of my tires blew. And what could have been a stressful, nerve-wracking experience, turned out to be the most pleasant flat tire experiences I’ve ever had. There are a lot of factors that contributed to that, the nice weather, the fact that it occurred in an out of the way place where I wouldn’t impeded traffic or be in any sort of danger, and Bobby.

Bobby was the State of Tennessee employee who just happened to be in the right place at the right time. He came upon me just as I had pulled over and was looking at the damage. He directed me to a more level area in the parking lot, he got his jack and he proceeded to change my tire. I could have, possibly, done it myself had I needed to. And if I had been unable, I could have called my father-in-law or brother-in-law. (DB was, at that point, out of town.) And if I had managed it or if I had had to wait for someone, GMan would have been late to school and I would have been rather flustered.

But none of those things happened because of Bobby. We chatted, he talked to GMan, he got the “donut” put on and sent us on our merry way. GMan was only about 10 minutes late to school and even though I’m sitting in a Midas shop waiting for a couple of new tires instead of at home doing laundry and other household chores (like I had planned), I am grateful for this experience.

Grateful to have something to smile about. Grateful to be reminded that we can still have faith in humanity even when the world around us seemingly wants us to believe otherwise.

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Filed under life as a domestic goddess, musings

Mental Snapshots

A few weeks ago on The Office, Pam & Jim were on their way to get married and they had this exchange where they talked about taking mental snapshots of the whole wedding experience. I feel like I’ve been doing that for a couple of weeks now as Nashville has been in the throws of peak Autumn color and perfect fall weather (well…once the rain stopped that is.)

October sky

The photographer in me wanted to capture everything with my camera. There were many, many times that I would be out and about and kick myself for not having my camera with me. There were a couple of times that I was able to go back to a spot and take a picture of a tree I’d seen. Yet even when I did take pictures, they never seemed to quite live up to what I had seen in living color.

autumn color

Instead, I’ve tried to soak it all in and enjoy. My weekly routes take me through some really gorgeous parts of Nashville. It’s quite the miracle that I’ve not had an accident since I’ve spent way more time gawking at trees than watching the road. When I accompanied JBelle on her pumpkin farm field trip last week, the scenery along the way was breathtaking. I did have my camera then but most of the really good color I saw was along the interstate and it’s just not prudent to be stopping on the interstate to take pictures!

red leaves

This Autumn has been an unusual one for us. It’s been uncharacteristically rainy and wet. The result has been vibrant fall color juxtaposed again lush green.

tulip poplar tree leaves

I do love this time of year!

red & yellow

 

I take the pictures, Picnik.com makes them better.

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Filed under I take pictures, musings, Nashville life

Hello November

With a bit relief and wave of nostalgia, I relinquish October.

At the beginning of the October, I stood in front of our refrigerator filling out the dry erase calendar we use to keep track of our schedules. When I finished filling in all the known activities, all but a handful of days had something written on them. It made me want to cry. I don’t like being that busy. But, thanks to “Mother Nature”, a lot those obligations were washed away in a series of cancellations and postponements.

All in all, it was good month.

October collagebig boy bed

Yep, that’s 31 pictures for 31 days of October. (You can see the pictures in more detail on my Flickr.) Intentionally taking at least one photo each day for the past sixty-one days has been an odd sort of blessing. There have been days when I had no inspiration and just snapped a quick picture of…something. And there have been days when I was overloaded with picture material and took over a hundred shots. Yet through it all, I’ve captured  moments and memories, and I’ve collected objects of beauty and inspiration, and I’ve sharpened my skills, and I’ve enjoyed something. Truly enjoyed.

Which gives me hope.

Thank you to all of you who have kept me in your thoughts and prayers. Not much has changed since the Lacking post. As with all of life, some days are better than others. Some moments are better than others. Thank you especially for the encouragement to keep writing. I am going to attempt to write more.

Here I stand on the precipice of a new month. More pictures to take, more to be hopeful about.

Hello, November.

blowing out candle

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Adulthood: Everything you ever wanted and more

Do you remember how when you were a kid you so badly wanted to be an adult because adults get to do whatever they want?

You’re laughing, but I’m serious.

It IS true, to some extent, right? I mean, I do get to stay up as late as I want and eat what I want and really, nobody tells me what to do. Sure, there are bosses who have demands and officers of the law who say I can’t go that fast but for all intent and purposes, I do want I want to do.

Unfortunately, it comes with a price. Because along with being able to do what I want to do are responsibilities exponentially greater than my leisure allows. So when I spend too much time doing what I want to do, all those responsibilities are still there, waiting for me.

And now you’re wondering what my point is because you already know all this.

I think I’m having a “mid life crisis”. Or an existential crisis. Or maybe just a really hard dose of reality.

I didn’t sow many oats in high school and college. I was a “good kid”, kept my nose clean, etc. And what I did sow I kept to myself and tried to not be caught. But in the past few years, I’ve found myself sowing some of those oats left in the bag. And this year, in particular, I’ve been railing against the tension of doing what I want to do and doing what I have to do.

Is this what they meant when the said it’s not all it’s cracked up to be? Probably. So here I am stuck between the thrill and the bondage of freedom. Remembering my 15 year old self who couldn’t wait to be older and living with my 35 year old self that can’t seem to accept the truth.

One foot in Neverland, the other in comfortable shoe, ready to take on the world.

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Coming into focus

Lately, I’ve been taking a lot of pictures.* When I have the camera in front of me, I’m focused on focusing. I’m looking for the best angle, I’m fussing over lighting and I’m focused on capturing the image in front of me.

Focus.

I put the camera down and my life becomes blurred. What do I focus on next. Do I: Write? Clean the kitchen? Tweet? Fold laundry? Update Facebook? Run errands? Read blogs? Make phone calls? Send e-mails? Prepare and cook the next meal? Look for a job? Do housework?

Endless possibilities and responsibilities. I’m having a very hard time focusing. Too much is forgotten, neglected…dismissed, unfocused…blurred.

When I try to focus on the tasks at hand, I’m overwhelmed. When I try and step back to look at the big picture and gain perspective, I’m even more overwhelmed. Caught between what I desire to do and what is desired of me. Wrestling between what I used to believe and what I now believe. Balancing motherhood and womanhood. Coming to terms with life and mortality and forever.

Wanting everything to come into…focus.

whitetuberose

*I’m working on a year long project with Blissfully Domestic that involves taking at least one photo a day and posting it to a Flickr group. Our official start date is October 1, if you’d like to join us.

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Tethered

I got the opportunity to hear Scott Hamilton speak back in July at Lipscomb’s Summer Celebration. He joined Rhonda Lowry (Lipscomb professor and wife of the university’s president) in a session called Walking in the Spotlight: Conversations with Christian Celebrities.

Scott talked about his journey into skating, his battle with cancer and meeting his wife. It was his wife, who took him to church and propelled him toward a relationship with God. Before meeting his wife, he described his belief and faith in God as being somewhat general and vague. He said it was “untethered”. And if this had been a cartoon, you would have seen a light bulb turn on over my head.

tigertetherballIf we were to play a word association game, “tether” brings to my mind the game of tetherball. And specifically I think of the tetherball pole at Camp Manatawny. We are usually at camp during the week that high school Juniors and Seniors attend. The tetherball during that week is rarely utilized for it’s intended purpose which is a game played between two people. At best, the ball gets batted around the pole by pre-campers (children of staff members) or a lonely or bored camper.When it’s being used, it’s flying high and far away and then eventually wraps itself tightly around the pole. Other times, it hangs listlessly beside the pole, waiting.

The tether ball is a fairly accurate metaphor for my faith. Sometimes, I’m swinging high and far away. Sometimes, I’m wrapped tightly around that pole. And sometimes, I’m just hanging there. But no matter what, I’m always attached, bound, connected, tethered. God is not letting go and neither am I.

photo credit: Brian L. Romig

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School Memories

Lindsay at Suburban Turmoil has a giveaway post up on her review site. To enter the contest she requested that you leave a comment with your favorite back to school memory. I was trying to think of a specific memory about going back to school, instead of the general feeling of extreme fondness for back to school supplies or the high level of anticipation I experienced as I looked forward to entering each and every grade. From somewhere very far back in my school memories came this:

When I was in first grade, I had a Holly Hobby lunchbox that I had been super excited about when I picked it out at the AFB PX. I couldn’t wait to use my Holly Hobby lunchbox. Yet, when I got a glimpse of Misty M.’s Strawberry Shortcake lunchbox, Holly Hobby was suddenly very old fashioned and not so exciting anymore. I knew I could not get another new lunchbox and I spent the rest of first grade coveting that Strawberry Shortcake lunch box.

Before second grade, I BEGGED my mother for a Strawberry Shortcake lunchbox so that I could be like Misty. Much to my delight, she relented and bought me the lunchbox. On the first day of school I excitedly entered the classroom with my heart’s desire of a lunch box (and the self satisfaction of being just like Misty) and low and behold, Misty had a Fox & the Hound lunchbox.

I was crushed and bewildered but I learned a lot that day (though it would take another 15 years or so to really sink in*) about being myself, about not having to always be just like others and of being thankful for what you have.

*Oh, who am I kidding! I’m STILL learning that lesson!

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Filed under I blog they blog wouldn't you like to be a blogger too?, musings