Sunday, August 24, 2014

Standing on the precipice ready to fly

My newest column which will be published next week. Early for you on the blog. Check out all my columns on The Holmes County Bargain Hunter

My August is a precipice, a steep cliff that keeps dropping away from me ever steeper. I stand on this edge not only peering out at the drop, but looking ahead in the distance. I can’t quite make out what’s ahead in the hazy ephemera, but I know it’s there – solid and warm - waiting for me to arrive. My husband stands with me on this cliff, just a step back, and together we watch our last child prepare to leave the familiar nest of home.

Together we launched our eldest into her future some five years ago, and I wept. Four years later we delivered our middle child to her destination, and I wept. As I write, in two days we deliver our youngest to his starting point. I have been adamant over the years that they consider what is different - to see what is out there for them that doesn’t keep them near my sticky fingers. Those mom-fevered dreams that give you the itch to “drop in” with cookies or something they might need just so you can see their face. We bade them consider something that will be of value to themselves and then the world – not something that involves getting a “degree” for something they aren’t passionate about.

The hot sting of tears behind my eyes has become normal these last several weeks, and I’ve let the floodgates open. I embrace it and know that each tear that rolls down my cheeks is one more step in giving my child wings - wings to fly to unknown parts where they can collect themselves and their future. I’ve fixed my eyes on what I know to be true and right. Definitively we know this is where Hunter belongs. People may say, “Why are you sending him to an art school? How is that valuable?” I want to say to each and every one of the doubters, “What are YOU doing that is more valuable than this? How is your business degree, your teaching degree, or your degree in accounting any better or wiser a choice than any other?” We each have a choice in how to direct our lives and one way is not more important than any other. If we all chose to stay in the vicinity and get the same degree what a boring life we would all lead. I want to break down the walls surrounding our community and shed light on what is out there to encounter. We too often stay in our safe little boxes and peer out timidly around us with a judgmental eye. I reject sameness. I embrace diversity.

For now, we are carefully packing up each and every shoe, sweatshirt, and pillow. Socks are being bundled together and with each one my mind goes back to that tiny frame of his, now so broad, who curled himself into my lap for comfort each time the world hurt him. I let myself roam in those memories, walk around in them and pick him up just to bury myself in that tender neck one more time. I would be remiss to not let myself mourn what was – what remains in my memories. He is standing on the precipice as well, having fought his way to it, his frame now rugged and ready. He has forged his way through hands that wished to keep him down, sequestered, through words that traveled misleadingly on tongues without care. I laugh with him as we look ahead to the start – the start of his life on the edge. It’s a place where you make your dreams or drown in them, there in the highest of heights looking down uncertainly against the unknown. I see him there, standing on the edge, and I see him as a preschooler, so small and unsure. As quick as that image comes I banish it. We are behind him, ready to push him off that precipice – so he can fly away. 

Next week when I climb the stairs to his room and sit on his bed, now stripped of its trappings and pillows, I will cry. I will think of him in that big city and I will be joyful. I will savor his scent so recently departed and I will smile, because I know he is where he needs to be. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014


"Silence becomes cowardice then the occasion demands speaking out the whole truth and acting accordingly." -Ghandi

Monday, August 11, 2014

Success/Failure: Summer 2014

Though not yet published in print or on the website for The Bargain Hunter, here is my newest column. Some successes and some failures - yes, we all have failures and should voice them so we do BETTER. Let's be honest here.

Successes and Failures: Summer 2014 Edition

August is half over. I repeat - August is half over.

I really did have a lot of plans for this summer. Read books that have been languishing on my shelves, go swimming, start writing my book. Alas, I did read two books and went swimming twice. Go me. Did I start writing my book? No, but I feel the writing bug coming on and soon my house will be a vast, empty echoing hall of its former self when the kids leave the end of August. There soon will be no more excuses.

This is my compiled list of successes and failures (not really failures per se…) of the summer of 2014. Hey, we all have aspirations of at least TRYING to accomplish things, don’t we?

    1) Hunter’s grad party – success. We’ve nailed the graduation party thing to within an inch of its life and if anyone needs wisdom in this area, well I’m here for you, but not literally. I’m done throwing grad parties until the kids need help with THEIR kids. My break has arrived. We’ve figured out what you need to buy to stay within your means because really, Dollar Tree should be your friend. Who’s going to know that the sweet hanging lanterns in your trees cost $1 instead of $10? NO ONE. Don’t let the “dollar store” stigma get any foothold in your mind because they are lies.

    2) Maintaining my perennial garden – success. I weeded it on my hands and knees several times in the spring and now? Looking pretty even though it’s August. I call it the “English garden” feel which really means it’s a rambling mess. I don’t know how all those perfect gardens in Holmes County continually look weed-free. What am I doing wrong? Oh yes, I remember now, I dislike gardening. The flowers know. My pots look amazing though because I purchased the flowers from that pretty little greenhouse on Weaver Ridge. Good stock produces good flowers and even I – the avidly hateful gardener – can’t kill them. I did get some killer deals there and also hit The Petalers on their last day which meant 50% off. Score.

    3) Garage sale at my house – success/failure. Because I loved the Noah movie so much I believe that God decided to deluge my house during my garage sale in June. I’ve never seen it rain that hard for that long. Let’s just say big-screen TV’s and rushing water don’t mix. The sale was a success, though, for all the people that came out and shopped anyway. We sold a ton of stuff and still managed to make the sale look inviting even with all the rain. #JunkFlingForever

4)   Losing my sister-in-law in Mexico to cancer – failure. Malena was diagnosed back in December of last year, at the age of 47, and gave a good fight. She faltered in July, and with a way being made, we trekked down there for her funeral. It was good to be with my husband’s family during this time so that was a success even though the trip was heavy and hard. We miss you, Malena.

     5) Managing my new venture – success. I’ve transitioned from a desk job in an office to my home office. I am in love with working from home and especially the ability to write from my haven – the front porch. It takes discipline and good time management so I’m adjusting to those things. The freedom, though, and the power you feel that you are in control of your own self and destiny it can’t be compared and was the best choice I’ve made in a very long time.

If I can successfully get my kids off to college then that will be my last success of the summer. Even though they will be missed, I look forward to the calm stillness that will be my home come September. I claim even more success for myself and my husband in our home-based businesses because we CAN and SHOULD speak goodness over our endeavors.