Thursday, April 29, 2021

Bits and Pieces

* Met my newest grandbaby and snuggled her brothers on Sunday afternoon. Oh, so wonderful, and a little like being at work. LOL! I have the best job ever!

* I went the the third of my current pottery classes on Tuesday evening. Not quite back in the groove, but maybe I'll get there by the time it ends. 

* I got my hair cut on Wednesday. It's not drastically different, just a little shorter and freshened up.

* I worked an hour late tonight, came home and ate, did my laundry and broke the washing machine. Ha ha! (It doesn't want to spin...) Dropped my car off at the shop for repairs, withdrew some cash from the credit union, popped into target with Hannah, and came home to wring out my clothes and bail out the washer. Then I packed a few clothes in a bag.

*If all goes according to plan, I will be gone away for the weekend. I've taken both Friday (tomorrow) and Monday off work. My friend Gail and I are going east, to the coast, and a Sea Glass Expo. North Hampton, New Hampshire. We're going on an adventure!

Friday, April 23, 2021

Happy Birthday, Sweet Sixteen!

 She's here! Sweet Sixteen has finally arrived and she is beautiful! I can't wait to meet her in person.

Lyla Danielle, born in the wee hours of the morning, like her daddy so many years ago. She's just a little thing, not quite six pounds but entirely gorgeous.

We're all pretty excited at getting a girl! Now we wait for her Minnesota cousin, Number Seventeen, also a girl. (So exciting!!!)

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Clay in His Hands

 Grief. It never ends. It just gets traded in for a newer model.

She tripped over my foot. I wasn't careful how far out into the aisle it was, and when she came running by, she caught my toe and down she went. If I'd had my feet directly in front of me, she wouldn't have fallen. It was an accident, but she's insistent that I intentionally hurt her, even said I pushed her as well... and that I laughed. I heard her tell someone that I'm always doing those things, that I do it to make her look stupid, and that I'm mean and only care about myself... But that isn't true. The only true part, is that she tripped over my foot and fell. I didn't mean for it to happen.

My new pottery class started last week. Last Tuesday I was a little overwhelmed and had trouble just throwing a simple cylinder. Tonight, emotionally overwhelmed with relational complications of the past week, the temptation was strong to skip the class, stay home, and isolate upstairs in my room. I didn't want to go out at all, but honestly, it had little to do with pottery...

Two weeks ago I was feeling confident and self assured, and the past few days I haven't been able to shake the heavy blanket of self doubt and depression. I know that dark clouds will pass in time, as they always do, but I find myself wondering how long it will take to make up the lost progress of the previous months. I've come so far in the journey to healing, and yet I still find each setback frightening, especially when the feeling of loss and dread are so profound. It's a though a pair of giant claws are sunk deep into my flesh and I'm bleeding...

I could have stayed home this evening, but then I remembered the previous times when the things I love so much (children, photography, pottery...) have felt overwhelming, and I knew to stay home would be to let the depression win. So I went. I went to my class even though my heart was heavy, and once again God came through. He took my heavy heart and held me close. It was a good evening, a silly evening of cup handles turned gargoyles and conversations that made us laugh. And I am grateful.

(The faces were a group effort, each one touched by multiple hands as they were transformed from normal handles stuck on the wall, to faces.)

Monday, April 19, 2021

Bits on the Beach and a Bird in a Bush

 I had a bit of time yesterday afternoon to run off to the lake. I sat on the pebble beach and combed through the stones in search of beach glass. The mouth of the creek gurgled as it poured into the lake where the north wind stirred up gentle waves and attempted to push the water back again. 

I picked tiny bits of white, brown, and green glass from the beach while also attempting to keep my jean jacket wrapped around me. I usually dress in layers, and had intended to bring a heavier jacket along "just in case" but had managed to leave the house without it.

I'd been picking glass for a time when I looked up and noticed a few bright, orange objects along the water's edge. Goldfish crackers? I glanced to my left and all along the edge of the beach toward the rocks that just out around the mouth of the creek, was a line of goldfish crackers. They were floating in on the waves and beaching themselves on the shore. 

I'd already been at the park for an hour or more, and collected  a fair amount of glass, when the cold wind off the lake drove me to my car. I decided to go home, but when I reached to top of the parking lot entrance, a bright yellow forsythia bush caught my attention. I rolled down my window for a picture, and that's when I saw the cardinal. I snapped several pictures and was ready to pull out just as my friend Gail was pulling in. Of course, I had to turn around and go back for a while. By the time I got home an hour later, I was pretty much frozen. Ha ha!

It's been a stressful few days and I wish I'd been in a better mindset last evening when a few family members were here. Most evenings I can tolerate, and even enjoy, the noise and activity of the kids, but I struggled with it yesterday and went to up bed later feeling "icky" inside. I am so thankful that God always knows when I am in desperate need of a friend. A phone call from someone who cares can make all the difference in the world.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Making Plans and Buying Tickets

 Last Sunday I went to visit my friend Laurie, who like me, is planning a vacation. Her plans were take her through NY State to Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Then she will circle around and come back through the same states on a different route. The fun piece is that she will actually be visiting the same area as me, but at a different time, and my plans will take me to a specific destination. 

There will be mountains, rivers, train rides, and hiking. I can go shopping, take myself out to eat, or enjoy the comfort of the mountain farmhouse on a rainy day. I expect to renew old acquaintances and make new friends, and quite possibly take a walk down memory lane or hear some old stories about my own family that I may have never heard before.

This morning I purchased a ticket for the Mount Washington Cog Railway. It's been 50 years since I rode up the mountain on the Auto Road. I can't remember all of it, of course, but I do recall passing the timber line and the white-knuckle ride back down, with Mr. Cooper pumping the brakes the entire way. Small children very quickly pick up on the danger of a situation, and I was terrified. The railway looked like a much safer option to me and I finally have plans to make it happen.

So far this is a solo vacation. My sisters are unable to make the trip and I haven't yet decided if I want to take anyone else. Some days I wish for a friend along on a few of the activities, like zip lining (not sure I want to do that alone...), and other times I like the idea of having the time and ability to decide for myself. Either way I have time to decide. It's too bad that Laurie is going three weeks before me or we could have met up somewhere along the way. Who knows? Maybe I have another friend who might be passing through at the end of June...

Monday, April 12, 2021

Oh, There I Am!

There are moments when I am very much the same woman who started this blog a little over 15 years ago, and others where that woman feels a million miles away. There was absolutely no way I could have known in 2006 where the next ten years would take me, ... or the five following. There have been days so difficult that I didn't know how I would find the strength to survive. I learned how to cry again... when I thought that piece of me had been lost. The cap blew off the bottled up pain deep inside, spewing forth in torrents of tears, broken dreams, and gut-wrenching realizations. Healing felt impossible. The mountain before me insurmountable, the raging storm unstoppable... and yet, here I am.

Moments of searing pain still catch me off-guard, but my waking hours aren't consumed by the deep, unending ache. I've learned to love and forgive, to let go of what I can't control (which is just about everything), and to work on the only one I have any power over at all. Me. God continues to open my eyes to the world around me, to teach me new way, and to carry me over chasms uncrossable. 

There remain situations I don't understand. Life is about relationship, and relationships, quite frankly, can be hard. Only God sees straight to the heart. He knows me intimately and loves me anyway. It doesn't matter if I'm in a good mood and having the time of my life, or if I am angry and incorrigible. He's always just a prayer away, and that's not very far at all.

I am entirely thankful for the chance to find myself again, and even more grateful to have God holding me as I do. I'm looking forward to learning to new lessons, finding new friends and renewing old friendships, and taking deep, unhindered breaths and I climb new mountains.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

My Sleepy Little Life

I don't have much to say this afternoon. I took a ride to Williamson yesterday and then went back to Webster Park, because it's still my favorite spot to relax. Searched for beach glass, watched some people, took some pictures. The lake levels are very low this spring. No flooding. Such variety from year to year!


I'm enjoying the longer days and gorgeous spring weather as much as possible. I've taken some fabulous naps in my car during my lunch breaks and soaked in the warm, sun-filled  drives home after work. I'm back to a somewhat normal schedule of  7:15 am to 4:15 pm. Enjoying the toddlers in the morning and the babies in the afternoon, and loving my time in the kitchen too.

It's time to firm up my summer vacation plans. I need to make a reservation or two. I'm pretty excited.

(Pictures from my stop at the lake yesterday,)

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Easter and Stuff

Both Sunday morning Easter services were already at capacity by the time I attempted to reserve a seat, so I attended the 9 am service online. I was a little disappointed to find there was no communion at the end of the sermon (I was prepared...) but God knows my heart. I nibbled some crackers and drank my grape juice anyway, and was thankful. 

Easter dinner was spent with my friend Gail and her parents. It was a very nice, relaxed afternoon. When the day was far spent and the conversation waned, Gail and I took a ride to the lake to hunt for beach glass and both came home with a fine collection. We're planning a weekend getaway to a Sea Glass event in the not too distant future. (I'm feeling adventurous. Ha ha!)

This week I've managed to all but empty one of my savings accounts. I'm putting money into an IRA so I can continue with my affordable NY State health insurance, that I didn't use at all last year. I feel poor until I remember that my savings isn't entirely gone, just temporarily inaccessible, and hopefully growing. The good news is I DO know how to save money, and every time I've needed a chunk (for car repairs, a new camera, more car repairs, etc...), it's been there.