Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Serving Up The Hodgepodge

Let's not even mention I'm moving in less than three weeks, and instead we'll jump right in to this week's edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge. Excellent! If you've answered the questions, add your link at the end of my post then leave a comment for the blogger before you. Here we go-

1. What would you say is your strongest sense?

It used to be hearing, but these days I need the visual too. I'm going with sight + hearing. I notice what people say and how they say it, but remembering something without a visual is a lot trickier than it used to be. Sight + hearing. 

2. Do you believe in the idea of a 'sixth sense'? Why or why not?

If it means intuition then I suppose yes, to a degree. Mostly when I feel prompted to tune in to a person or situation, or I develop an inexplicable awareness about something it's not random. I attribute that 'sense' to the Holy Spirit telling me to pay attention.

3. When do you most feel like a slave to time? Explain.

I'm not much of a slave to time at this point in my life. Maybe when I'm given one of those 'four hour windows' for a delivery or service call? 

4. Have you ever worked in a restaurant? How would you rate the experience? If you could own a restaurant what kind would it be?

I worked in a restaurant my last year of college. It was a nice place, nice people, and the best chicken and dumplings with a side of apple fritter you've ever tasted. For the most part I enjoyed the experience. 

Things I did not enjoy? Wearing a hairnet, a uniform that no matter how thoroughly you washed it smelled perpetually of all the cooking smells, a particularly demanding party of 11 who received stellar service and not only neglected to leave a tip but also shortchanged the bill before scooting out, rude patrons, and working on a Saturday night instead of doing something I wanted to do like hang out with my boyfriend. All of those negatives taught me something though...a lot actually, so I'm giving it an 8. 

I have never ever wanted to own a restaurant, but if you forced me I'd have a tearoom. 

5. Ever traced your family tree? Share something interesting you learned there.

I haven't personally traced our family tree but my dad did quite a bit of that before he died, and my sister put all his findings into a wonderful album for each of us siblings. There's much in there to treasure, but my favorite item is a tiny blurb in a newspaper clipping describing one of my great great greats. It was something written about him around the time of his death and said simply, " He was known as the most reasonable of men. He never lost his temper, but could stand for the right against any odds..."  

I'd be proud to leave a legacy like that. 

6. What did your childhood bedroom look like?

I had more than one childhood bedroom, but the one I lived in the longest was the one I shared with my younger sister for most of our growing up years. I know it had something on the walls when we moved in, and I remember my parents letting us weigh in on the wallpaper change we made. 

We chose something covered in small, soft pink, red, and white flowers, and my dad hung the paper himself. He even papered the ceiling because that was a thing back in 196O-something. The woodwork was painted red and my dad built a couple of tall shelves and then a couple of longer shelves were set on blocks to hold our books and trinkets. 

We shared a small poorly designed closet (again, thank you 1965), a dresser where we each had a couple of drawers and we slept in twin beds on either side of a window dressed in white ruffled tie-backs. Our bedspreads were white too, the same exact bedspreads and I think we liked that. Although I'm sure we hated it sometimes too because that's the nature of sisters sharing a bedroom. 

There was a second window in the room, with a view to the front yard. The room was light and airy, and before air conditioning we loved sleeping with the windows open. I remember a bulletin board on the wall above my bed, the sound of crickets outside the screen, and feeling safe. The floors were hard wood, but we had an area 'shag' rug between the beds, also red I think. 

Red is back this year in the world of home design, just FYI. 

Anyway, the thing I most remember about my childhood bedroom is my sister on the other side of the room. We argued, whispered, shared secrets, laughed, cried, and grew up side by each in that corner bedroom. It occupies a sweet special place in my memory. 

7. Anyone who knows me knows I love_______________________?

Words of course. 

8. Insert your own random thought here.

We're excited to be moving into our new home in a couple of weeks, and I look forward to walking neighborhood trails and exploring nearby mountain hikes once we're settled. We've logged a few miles in our current neighborhood too though, and I'm going to miss having easy access to this beautiful campus where hubs and I trek weekly to solve the problems of home construction the world. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 284

On the literal home stretch here with the house build, so not a lot of time to blog. I am determined though, to at least post the weekly Hodgepodge. Answer on your own blog, then fly back here tomorrow to share answers with the universe. See you there!

1. What would you say is your strongest sense?

2. Do you believe in the idea of a 'sixth sense'? Why or why not?

3. When do you most feel like a slave to time? Explain.

4. Have you ever worked in a restaurant? How would you rate the experience? If you could own a restaurant what kind would it be?

5. Ever traced your family tree? Share something interesting you learned there.

6. What did your childhood bedroom look like?

7. Anyone who knows me knows I love_______________________?

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Day 380

Do you know what you have a lot of when you build a house?

Dust. Also nails, bits and pieces of wood, fly-away product spec inserts, and more than a few half empty water-Gatorade-Propel bottles, but mostly, DUST. Since the installers were scheduled to start the floors this week hubs and I spent a big chunk of last weekend sweeping, vacuuming, and bagging up those half empty water bottles that somehow did not make it to the dumpster.

The dumpster that sits a few feet up the drive.

The one they have to walk right past on the way to their vehicles.

Our crews have been absolutely fabulous, but some clean up after themselves better than others. Some I'm guessing had bedrooms growing up that looked a lot like our job site. ahem

It was a gorgeous fall weekend and it felt good to make the house all 'Spic and Spain'. That's how my girls used to say it when they were small, and how we say it still. Of course 'Spic and Spain' is a relative term when you're talking construction site, but Hubs enjoys vacuuming and I dislike a mess so win-win.

The house looks like a house, and I need to say that because I wasn't sure it ever would. We're there now though, and I cannot wait to pour myself a cup of coffee in the kitchen and sip it on the back porch. There's still about three weeks of work that needs doing, but we have counter tops and cabinetry, the sinks and tubs are set, there's electricity in the lines, fans on the porches, and chandeliers hanging from the ceilings. We are happy.

This house feels good to us. We cross the threshold, look at each other, and we smile.

Hubs and I have lived in a bunch of houses, but our most favorite by far was our England house. We didn't own that house, but we did call it home for six years so it felt like ours. Every room had a door and a key and there were no closets and there was chintz on the bedroom windows that my oldest never could quite come to grips with, but we all loved that house and the home we made there.

Our house hunting trek to England was a whirlwind. We set some kind of record with the relocation company in that we viewed twenty five houses in a day and a half. Ours was the last house we saw but as soon as we crossed the threshold into the front room we looked at each other and we smiled. We fell in love with the beautiful beams and trusses running across the ceiling and the windows with a view that made our hearts sing.

That house wrapped itself around us and whispered 'this is home'.

Lake town in the Palmetto State is a far cry from a small English village, but our new house? Well when I step through my new front door-

...for one brief moment I flash back to my old front door and a house across the pond. The one that spoke home to me in a hundred little unexpected ways. I walk in and I look up. I see the beams and all the wood and a view that makes my heart sing. I feel this new house wrap itself around in me in a way that feels familiar....

I hear her whisper, 'this is home'.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

A Moving Hodgepodge

Welcome to this week's edition of The Wednesday Hodgepodge. I have so much to do in preparation for moving in three short weeks, which naturally explains why I'm blogging. You know how some people are stress eaters? Well I might be a stress blogger. When there's too much to do I like to come here and hide out.

Anyway, if you've answered today's questions add your link at the end of my post. And before you get back to what you're supposed to be doing, hop over and say hi to the blogger who linked before you because that keeps things cozy here.

1. What would you say is the best and worst thing about moving house?

Best thing? Clean slate, fresh start. 

Worst thing? Finding all the 'news' in a new doctors, new church, new someone to work their magic on my hair...that last bit really stresses me out, which I know is a first world problem, but it's still one of my least favorite things about moving. 

Also, because I experienced this yesterday...setting up a new television/Internet system. It takes hours and that's just the selection process. Everything has to be installed when we eventually move in, and then most importantly, somebody's got to show me how it all works. 

2. What's moved you recently?

In dealing with a difficult and heartbreaking out of town family health situation, the over and above kindness we were extended by a 'bureaucrat' moved me to tears. This person has a big deal title and definitely did not have to be the one to answer our questions, but he did it anyway. He set aside whatever he was working on and made time for us. 

We had no appointment, but through a series of go here, no you need to go there, etc we appeared on his busy office doorstep. He very graciously invited my mom and I, along with the two friends helping us out west, to come on in and tell our story. He pulled up chairs for everyone, and then really listened, which is pretty much a lost art in 2016. He offered words of compassion and took it a step further by offering practical assistance too. Practical assistance that was not technically 'his job'. 

I'd been on a pretty even keel until that point, but as we left his office it was this unexpected gentle kindness that made me want to burst into tears. Unprompted kindness nearly always does me in. 

3. Do you feel your life is moving forward, backward, or is on hold? How so?

There have been many days in the past year where I've felt I was spinning my wheels. We're approaching move in day now, so forward march! I am ready. 

4. On the move, move mountainsget a move onit's your move, or bust a move...which phrase best applies to some aspect of your life right now? Explain.

'On the move'- I looked it up just to see how the definition is worded and found 'in the process of moving from one place to another'. Yep, that would be us. 

5. What song makes you want to get up and move?

Lots of songs but I'm gonna show my age, and also be embarrassingly honest here...Dancing Queen by Abba, Be Young Be Foolish Be Happy by The Tams, Michael Jackson's Don't Stop Til You Get Enough, I Love You More Today Than Yesterday by Spiral Staircase, 1-2-3 by Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine, Love Shack by the B-52's, and Right Back Where We Started From by Maxine Nightingale (that tap routine from 10th grade has stayed with me some four decades now).  

6. Your favorite snack to grab when you're 'on the move'?

An apple or a bag of skinny pop popcorn.  

7. What one accessory makes your house feel like home?

Photographs. In frames, in albums, pinned to a board...they help me remember what home is all about. 

8. Insert your own random thought here.

She Reads Truth has their Advent book available for pre-order. It might feel a bit early to be thinking about Advent, but in this season of hurricanes, catastrophic flooding, my candidate's awful but better than your terribly awful candidate, ugly words, name calling, and angry people round every corner,  it feels like exactly the right time to shift our thoughts to the Prince of Peace. 

The She Reads Truth reading plan this year is entitled-

For this. This storm. This election cycle. This beautiful, tired, tender, troubled earth.

The book is available for pre-order now and ships beginning Nov 10. It's designed with daily readings beginning November 27-December 25th and includes beautiful artwork, lovely graphics, and even some holiday recipes, hymns, and scripture cards. If you opt not to purchase the book you can still read along daily on their website  

"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." John 16:33

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 283

I intended to blog yesterday but had to deal with window treatments instead. By deal with I mean talk hubs down from the ceiling when he saw the proposed cost. We've never done an entire house all at once before, but it sure makes me wish I were an expert seamstress. I'm generalizing here, but I feel like the cost of window treatments is always more than a little shocking to men. Same is true of wedding particulars, highlights in my hair, and decorative pillows.

Anyway, I may put up two posts today because while I'm not a gifted seamstress (drat!) I am a blogger and bloggers blog. In the meantime here are the questions to this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge. Answer on your own blog then hop back here Wednesday to share answers with the rest of the world. See you there-

1. What would you say is the best and worst thing about moving house?

2. What's moved you recently?

3. Do you feel your life is moving forward, backward, or is on hold? How so?

4. On the move, move mountains, get a move on, it's your move, or bust a move...which phrase best applies to some aspect of your life right now? Explain.

5. What song makes you want to get up and move?

6. Your favorite snack to grab when you're 'on the move'?

7. What one accessory makes your house feel like home?

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Friday, October 7, 2016

The Path Taken

I was thinking recently about all the pretty places I've lived along with an even longer list of pretty places I've visited, and concluded they're too numerous to count. I will say without hesitation the Pacific Northwest is one of the prettiest.

I lived more than half a century without ever giving that part of the country too much thought. I never had any burning desire to visit Seattle or take in the view from the Space Needle while drinking coffee, because that's what you do in Seattle, right?

It was a part of America on my list of maybe one day on my way to Alaska or Vancouver we'll plan a layover there and watch fish fly while sipping Starbucks, but it certainly wasn't anywhere near the top of my list.

Yes I have a list.

Also, Starbucks isn't really even my thing so nope, never had a burning desire to explore the PNW.

Except now my daughter lives there.

Having a child (okay she's a grown married woman, but still she's my girl) live on the west coast was never on my radar. Not even a little bit. But she does, so I've made three trips to the area in the past eighteen months, and y'all I'm completely in awe of the beauty. It's so green and I kind of want to break into song when I'm there '...and the hills the greenest green in Seattle...' Raise your hand if you grew up watching Here Come The Brides?

My daughter doesn't technically live in Seattle, a bit south of there actually but close enough. The geography might even be prettier where she lives because Mt. Rainer can be seen in all it's snow capped glory from the walking paths in her very own neighborhood. When I'm visiting I'm like that ridiculous tourist who walks around with her jaw hanging open while looking up, snapping a bajillion pictures as I go.

But y'all!

Mt. Rainer is just crazy big and beautiful.

And the trees! They're so tall and so green and so tall. I leave there with a crick in my neck, and don't even get me started on the water. I've made it clear on my blog how I feel about water, but every body of water is just a little bit different, and Puget Sound is one of the loveliest.

Now I have a child who lives there, and while it's beautiful it's also a long, long way from here to there.

When you're a young mom assuring your kindergartner she can indeed go into the birthday party room/Sunday School class/ballet lesson while you wait just outside the door, you do not for one minute imagine there will come a day that same child will live thousands of miles away and love it. LOVE it! 

And when you do you'll flash back to the small girl child who needed time to size up every situation before jumping in. You'll scroll through a mental timeline of the seasons you've walked together, and will note how each one made her ready to embrace the right now.

You'll feel waves of gratitude for the way God fits our lives so perfectly into place. At the way He orders our steps and prepares us for what's next before we even have an inkling of what's next.

On my recent impromptu trip west my daughter and I were walking and I was blabbering on about how lucky she is to live in a place filled with so much natural beauty, and she declared that God poured on the pretty in The Evergreen State.

We decided maybe God created from east to west and when it came time for Washington He had a lot of green paint left and some extra mountains too. We like to say He made it extra pretty there because it is. Extra extra pretty.

So when the day comes and roles are reversed, and you're the one who doesn't want to let go of the hand holding yours, and your once upon a time hesitant kindergartner reassures you life is an adventure and right now hers is Washington, well...

Knowing she's landed in the middle of extra extra pretty helps a lot.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Written Word

Hodgepodgers see note here. 

I sometimes participate in a Friday link up called Five Minute Friday where we're given a one word prompt, and then we write for five unedited-unspellchecked minutes on that prompt because we love the written word and need to spill some on a weekly basis. A few months back someone in the group collected a bunch of entries that had been posted in the FMF link-up over the course of the past five years, and she put them together in a book, and that book is now available on Amazon (all proceeds benefiting The Vine School and Take Action in South Africa), and I have an essay there with my surname missing a letter, but as I said-unedited. Like this post. ahem. 

Anyway, I got a copy of the book this week and I re-read my entry (which originally appeared on my blog in September 2013) and I missed the girl who wrote it. I've been thinking about how I used to write about things I think and feel and notice and now I seem to just write about what I do, and I don't like that nearly so much. I promised myself I'd try to get reacquainted with that girl and I know there are far too many ands here, but sometimes stream of consciousness is necessary.

I've had a lot going on. Big things and hard things and family things that need tending thousands of miles away and between the house build and the things that have needed tending there's not a lot of time to write. I do have five minutes most days though so I'm going to try more five minute entries, less novel-esque tomes.

Starting tomorrow, because this one is already bordering on wordy.

I saw my daughter1 in The Evergreen State last week. It was a bit spur of the moment, but I accompanied my mom on a trip she needed to make to Arizona, and since we were already on that side of the country we said, "hey why not?". My mom hadn't seen daughter1 since daughter1's wedding in January 2015, so this sidetrip was a real bright spot in an otherwise difficult week. My mom and I then flew back to SC on Saturday which made for a grand total of five flights and some 4,478 miles but who's counting? My mom is such a trooper y'all. For real.

Also, I'm moving in something like 28 days and I tried not to think about that too much while I was on the other side of the country, because there were many, many other things to think about, but yesterday I paused for a minute and realized I'm moving in something like 28 days. I've got furniture in storage in another state, furniture we purchased in NC waiting on a delivery date, furniture we purchased in SC also waiting on a delivery date, furniture in the apartment that needs to be collected by the rental company, utilities to transfer, utilities to organize, official address changes to be made in writing to a thousand and one people and service providers, window treatments to give the go ahead to, and quite likely a few hundred other little bits and pieces I don't even know I don't know.

On Sunday evening we took our builder and his wife for a boat ride, and as we made our way back to our dock the sun dropped into the water with a glorious watercolor flourish. There were very few boats on the lake and as the sky turned from orangey pink to a deep dark indigo I let the quiet wash over me.

We are known and loved by the One who made this. The One who gives us second chances, new mercies, and beautiful sunset skies. The One who says don't worry about tomorrow.

The One who says don't worry.