Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Never Too Careful

You can never
be too careful.


Even Satan quotes scripture.

Never Too Old

Nope.
Never too old to learn 
something new.

Like how to fuss around
with an IPhone
and it's amazing
photo and video capabilities.

video

Keep in mind
if you will
while I have hair of the
mouse variety
notsomuch grey
notsomuch blonde
just something
painfully
in between.
I'm old.
I'm just not quite
THIS old....


although
I find the outfit
in this Ansel Adams
to be 
slightly mysterious
and altogether
fetching.

Nope.
My first camera looked like this


with film
that looked like this


and you had to be 
really really careful
when rolling it
onto the spool
that you didn't pull it out too far
or you'd
expose it to the light
and ruin your
first couple
of pictures.

So.
For one
such a this gal
who fell in love
with photography
at the ripe old age
of seven-ish
in all it's
black and white glory
the marvelous glories
of her
complicated
exasperating
mystery 
of an IPhone
bespeaks 
of miracles, wonders
and prompts
awe
of the very highest order.

I'm still learning.
The video
is CH OP PI ER
than I had hoped
a little
frenetic
for my vision
and
somehow 
the clips got a wee
widdy-of-a-bit
out of order.

But whatever.
Ron Howard 
had to start somewhere too.

Slow down, Opie
I'm right behind ya, man.....




Saturday, September 26, 2015

It's Never Too Late

Children come in all sizes.
Some of them very cleverly disguised
as adults.

Sometimes it's because they have
stuff
to work out
leftover from their
childhood.

Other times
it's because
the excuse
of their sorry childhood
becomes a
habit
and pity
becomes 
a warm blanket
and really
isn't it just easier
to act like a kid
and blame it on someone
or something else
than looking it straight in the eye
and leaving it all behind
and sitting down
finally
at long, long last
at the
grown-up table.


Regardless of pain
or experience
or heartache
or unresolved
indignities
inflicted upon us
when we were young
the truth is
our inner children
have earned the right
and need to be tucked in to rest.

Our little
inner kid
needs the grown-up
to step up
and take over.

These little spirits of our deepest heart
have suffered
long enough.
We need to put our arms around them
assure them
we're grown-up now
and we're going to be okay
on our own
and let them
finally
finally
at very long last
lay down their weary little heads
and be cared for
instead of
forcing them to be
our caretakers.

Growing up is hard.
Especially
if you wait decades
to do it.

Growing up is hard.
But scripture tells us
it's what we are supposed to do.

Growing up is hard.
But no right thing God instructs us to do
is impossible.

We can continue to lie
to get what we want
play with toys that belong to other people
and sneak around
doing naughty things
as if Dad won't notice.

Or we can finally decide
we're ready to put our Cinderella nightie
in a drawer
and close it
for good. 



Thursday, September 24, 2015

March of the Moving


The march continues.
My garage-size storage unit
is nearly full.

Some of my stuff is still to arrive
but the mound
is daunting.

The first time I
threw open the door
I just stood there
and despaired
of ever
ever
EVER
having the energy
or the strength
to empty it.

I have to rally.
It isn't going to empty itself.

So I reflect
back on my childhood lessons.

Lest we forget....


....a robin feathering it's nest
has very little time to rest!

And.....
we ALL know.....

 ...just a spoonful of sugar
helps the medicine go down!!!

So.
I shut the garage door.
Went out.
And I got some ice cream.


A practice I highly recommend.
And while we're losing our mind
to a dairy-high
we find renewed strength
to ponder the tasks ahead.

All the appropriate motivational phrases
come to mind.


Said by a fellow of great influence
and literary note
but I'm not sure he ever
had to empty his own
storage unit.

Just saying.


This, of course is a given.
I'm sleeping on a mattress on the floor
with blankets as sheets
rolled up towels
as pillows
and flashlights
to keep me from tripping
as I walk through rooms.

Clearly
the today I locate my sheets
and pillows
and lamps
will improve my tomorrows
in a big, big way.


Oh Lord.
Honest?
That little
I think I can, I think I can
train
is rolling along the tracks of my
weary mind
but I'm really
not sure I can, not sure I can, not sure I can.


Best I can come up with
would be the $180 bucks 
I'm going to save
every month
when that storage unit
is empty.
That's a harvest.


And yet.
I get tired.
My car is only so big.
My legs are only so long.
And I am an old lady.
Confucius got old.
I think he probably
would have said
"Debbie, it's ok to stop.
And rest.
And maybe have a Bailey's on ice.
Because you're worth it."

I really think he would.


Ohhhh SHUT. UP. Sam. 


And indeed, this is true.
I learned it when I was a mail carrier 
lots of years ago.
I would come in off the country route
where I delivered mail to 500
of my closest friends and neighbors
along a 75-mile
mostly gravel
path
and I would crawl into bed
and cry
because I knew 
I had to do it all over again the next day.

But!
What I learned
is that a great nights sleep
is awesome medicine
and I'd awaken before the birds
to hit the ground running
and do it all over
again.

Thus
I know
I can do this.
I can do this, I can do this I can do this.


And eventually
all these crates
will be empty
and there will be light from a lamp
and a bed that is made
with pillows even
and I'll
finally
just maybe
feel like
I have a home.

One step in front of the other, girl.



Thursday, September 17, 2015

Parking Lot Mornings


My insatiable need
to get up in the
wee-smalls
of every morning
provide some of the most 
exquisite
parking lot moments.


When my spirit
is nudged from sleep
before 5 AM
I know there is a reason 
I'm supposed to be awake.

If 
perhaps
only to see a
perfectly lovely sunrise
and be thankful
I am alive.

I get up.
I get moving.
And I take
as many moments as feels right
to welcome
the beauty of another day.


Saturday, September 12, 2015

Summer Dresses


My mom.
Hoarder of fabrics.
Collector of
buttons
and pins
and bobbins
and quilt magazines
all in hopes
of future beautiful things.

With the sidewalk as my runway
I was a school-girl model
for her hand-sewn creations.
And honestly
secretly envious
of the girls with store-bought clothes.

Simplicity was a common a word in our home.
Pattern packets were old friends
my mom pulled from the cabinet
and used 
over and over again.



Ordinary things
for sewing hands
cluttered the counters
and covered 
the dining room table.



Except at Thanksgiving
when the table was cleared
of the sewing hardware
and threads
and zippers
and replaced
with
fine china
and
five fat roasted
Cornish Hens.

Because my step-dad
didn't like turkey.

Yawwwwwn.
Stretch.
Burp.

And the table
turns back into
Sewing Central.


All these years later
after closet cleaning
drawer emptying
and box sorting
some of
the rolled scraps
and leftovers
landed
with me.

An artist of another sort.

I'm finding peace
and lots of smiles
in the woven memories
as I bring them to new life
on my canvases.


Although I should probably call this one
Camp Shirt-Summer Dress-Fifth Grade Nightgown
in commemoration
of all the life passages
and moments
I see in these
patches of fabric-store memories
I probably will just
call it

Torn Summer Bouquet

and smile
because no one really really knows
but me.



Friday, September 11, 2015

Making a Small Life


I moved.
Relocated. Changed my address.
Packed up all my stuff 
and hit the road.
Not by choice.

Nevertheless.
I moved
and
continued the process
of making my life
smaller and smaller
and smaller still.

Because smaller feels safe
and it feels happy,
and smaller 
just feels like a place
where I can spend the winter
tending to the frayed edges
of my weary soul.

God led me
to just the right place.


I call it The Elf House.

When I first walked in through the front door
I expected to be greeted
by a small herd of
welcoming gnomes.

It's full of tiny-this
and tiny that.
Tiny handles
on tiny cupboards 
and
tiny bathroom
with tiny window.

Most of my friends
have closets
bigger than the 
square footage of my 
combined 
living room and kitchen.

But I'm ok with it.
More than ok, really.
I don't feel much like an elf
myself
but it seems an elf house
is just what I need right now.

Hardwood floors creak in my elf house
just like they did
in the house
where I grew up.

The place has a smell.
It's a combination of
time-worn
lived-in
and perhaps
the collective life experiences 
of the people who came before me.

People who made pancakes.
And grilled cheese sandwiches.
They got ready for work
in the tiny bathroom 
in the morning.

They fussed over
the tv antenna
with rabbit ears
and foil
and maybe
they would know
what I mean when I say
as annoying as it was
I would love to change channels 
with pliers again
just one more time.

I bet they did that here.
Many years ago.

Now there is a satellite dish
on the roof.
I won't use it
but it's there.

I bet the big trees towering over the place
wondered
what on earth
when they installed it.

And now
to set about
making a tiny little empty elf house
into a home
for a weary spirit
and her shrinking world.


Saturday, September 05, 2015

Soft Paws and Cold Noses


I adopted my Chuck
when he was an old man.

I knew we wouldn't have very many years together.
As it turned out
it was just about 14 months.

We lost him this summer.


And of course
I miss him.

But I'd adopt him again
even though it hurt so much
when he left us.
The hours of brushing
and cruising gravel roads
and hanging out
in front of the fireplace
and laughing
over all the funny things
he did
were just too precious
to have missed.

Love ya, man.
Can't wait to see you come running to me
along with all my other best pals
when I get to heaven.

Meanwhile
my work at the pet groom shop
provide me with
lots of
furry company.


Opportunities to snuggle
and comfort
and play
and laugh.


With all kinds of creatures
both great and small.
 

I'm just too busy loving on furry dogs and cats
to be sad about Chuck. 
Remembering him makes me smile
as I fuss over every one of them.
I've got such awesome, fun memories.
They're just the sweetest.
And I'm making more.

God sends lots of new friends my way
for me to cuddle up and love. 


And I'm just grateful.


Thursday, September 03, 2015

Debbie and Her I-Phone 5


Debbie gets her I-Phone 5.
Clearly Debbie is very happy!
It is her first big-deal phone
since she gave up her little flip-phone
which she has had
since she
finally
got rid of her
Princess phone.

The one with the twisty cord
and the pink handset.


Debbie is something of a
technological fossil. 
Still, she is happy!
Envision villagers dancing
peasants rejoicing
and small bluebirds
winging across the sky.

While she's notsomuch
into the disco-hippie
orange case
Debbie knows she will
get used to it.
She's pretty sure.


Then Debbie gets home and realizes she has
no clue how to use her new phone.
Debbie is
clearly
befuddled.


Debbie perseveres
discovering
her sweet little I-Phone 5's ability
to take photos
ROCKS!

She snaps photos
hither and yon
here and there
out and about
all around the town.

For about three days.

When all of sudden
there arose such a clatter....
well not really a clatter....
but she did spring up from her sofa
to figure out what was the matter.


There is a great disturbance in the I-Phone force.
Say it isn't true!!!!!!!!
Debbie can no longer take pictures!!??
Or dowload
anything.
Nope.
Nothing.

Because her phone says
it's storage is full.

Which is weird
because it's a new phone
and she barely knows how to use it...
...could she REALLY
have filled it?
Already??

She visits her Verizon store for answers.
Verizon guys say
Debbie
your storage isn't full
but we can't fix it.

Debbie turns to her online BFF
only to find disturbing news
about her I-Phone 5.


In .44 seconds Debbie finds
over three MILLION
places to visit on the subject of
"My I-Phone says the storage is almost full."

Only to find
a plethora
host
and virtual
stampeding herd
of I-Phone 5 users
are having the same problem.

And the only way to fix it
is to visit the Apple store.
And she'll end up doing this
more
than 
once.

Ohhhhhhh.....


Debbie is not so happy with her decision now.

She goes to sleep thinking
Debbie should have kept her flip phone
Debbie should have kept her flip phone
Debbie should have kept her flip phone

ZZZZZZZ
sniffle
ZZZZZZZZ
snifflev sniffle sniff
ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

ZZZZZZZZZZZ



They All Lived to See Another Day


When my first son was small, he dropped his pacifier to the floor.


I quickly picked it up, washed it with soap and hot water and gave it back to him. When my second son was small, he dropped his pacifier. I picked it up, dipped it in my iced tea glass to give it a rinse and gave it back to him. When my daughter was born, she dropped her pacifier. I picked it up, stuck it in my mouth to clean it and gave it back to her.
All three of them lived to see another day.

I once let my toddler daughter crawl into her bed with a face and jammie’s covered in peanut butter. 
She was tired. I was tired.
She lived to see another day.

My son dropped a dish on the kitchen floor when he was around 8 or 9 years old and it shattered.


 He looked at me with eyes wide, worried he was in trouble. There was a pile of dishes on the counter at the time and I just looked at him, swept my arms down the countertop and pushed every single one of them onto the floor ~ where most of them shattered into pieces, next to the dish he broke. And I just grinned at him and laughed. “Dishes don’t matter, we can always get new dishes. Accidents happen.” We never, ever ran out of dishes. But my son grew up and eventually, I ran out of time living at home with him as his mama.
We swept up the broken glass and laughed that day.
We lived to see another day.

I sent one of my sons to the first day of Kindergarten with his shoes on the wrong feet.


We didn’t notice it until years later when someone pointed it out in the “first day of school” picture we posted during his graduation party. 
He lived to see another day.
And nope, he doesn’t even walk funny.


I did lie to my kids about one thing when they were growing up.



When we drove by a summer pond full of cows cooling themselves in the water, I told them those cows had no legs and every morning a kind farmer brought a crane out and lowered them, one at a time into the water to float for the day. Of course, my kids figured out those cows had legs. 
We still called them floaters when we saw them.
And they all lived to see another day. 

When my three kids were really little, we once spent the entire day together in the bedroom, on the bed in our pajamas, watching TV and eating popcorn.



When it got dark, we just pulled up the blankets and went to sleep in a bed that was kind of full of kernels. I’m pretty sure a random cat or two were snoring in there, too.  It was the only room with air conditioning. It was hot out. We slept like rocks that night.
They all lived to see another day. 

She had a lunch box, but more than once I sent my daughter to school with lunch in a brown paper bag. The sandwich was shaped like a sandwich. The potato chips had salt on them.
The Oreos were double-stuffed.
She thrived and grew.
She lived to see another day.

My kids went to half-day Kindergarten and didn’t learn to read until long after Mrs. Ihde introduced them to The Letter People. They all read just fine now.
They all lived to see another day.

My children will tell you they got spit baths on the way into church many Sundays. I dispute this twisted reporting of family history but it’s three against one. 
One fact remains: 
They all lived to see another day.

When I was a busy mom, if I mopped the kitchen floor once a month, I was doing good. There were usually baskets of unfolded laundry sitting around. Our cats favorite place to sleep in the afternoon sun was on the kitchen table, right about where the main dish would sit a few hours later during supper. The toilet paper roll was usually empty.
No one except mom seemed to understand the mechanics of it. 



We cheered the big fish they caught even though Dad sprained his ankle running to help reel it in, camped out in woods during a thunderstorm even though our sleeping bags got ruined and stayed up late to watch Dr. Who with them even though we were really, really tired. 

They grew up wayyyy faster than we ever wished.
And they all lived to see another day.

Through the years, my kids came home with pockets full of rocks, random bugs, naked lady playing cards and baby bunnies. On bulk trash day they came home with cracked hamster habitats, old televisions, aquariums and cement lions from the neighbors curbs. Into our autumn front yard they dumped bags of leaves to make a big pile to hide in, after raking up all the neighbors yards.

"Weren’t they so nice to let us do that, mom?”
They played in mud puddles, caught earthworms on rainy nights and sold them from the back porch, kissed our dogs, dressed up our cats and ate the occasional sandwich smeared with full-on-fat mayonnaise that was a week past the expiration date.  

I should have checked expiration dates more often.
I could and probably should have used more Lysol.


I definitely could have spent more time sweeping.
I could’ve stayed up just a little later to sort all those socks, too..
I didn’t. I was pretty lazy.

Honestly, it was just more fun to hang out and not take life too seriously.
Guess what?
The coolest thing happened. 

They all lived to see another day.