Wednesday, April 6, 2016

A-Z ing In the Hodgepodge

Welcome to the Wednesday Hodgepodge! If you're visiting from the A-Z Blog Challenge today you'll find my post on Letter E by scrolling down to question #8.

The link here today is for Wednesday Hodgepodge posts only. 

Thanks for understanding! Please don't forget to visit the blogger linking before you, because comments make the blog world spin. Also, I'm sure this looks a little long (-er than normal), but remember you're getting a two for one here today-ha!

1. What does retirement mean to you? Are you planning for it, not thinking about it, looking forward to it, or dreading it?

I've actually thought quite a lot about this word, since we've recently lived it. My husband retired in February, 2015 but then an opportunity came his way that sounded interesting so he went back to work in February, 2016. I think when I was younger I envisioned retirement as full time relaxation, but I'm just going to say it... I don't know if we're really built to retire? Retire from a particular career or job maybe, but then moving into some new venture that keeps us active, thinking, and contributing. This much I know for certain-it can't be all about me. 

2. It's International Guitar you play? Does anyone in your family play? What's a song you especially like to hear played on the guitar or a favorite song featuring the guitar?

Do I play? Just the air guitar teehee. Do I wish I played? Absolutely-I love the guitar. My brother and brother-in-law both play, and so does my Daughter1. 

c. 2008

One song I especially love to hear on the guitar is Free Fallin', originally by Tom Petty, but a favorite when played by Daughter1. Tom's pretty good too. 

3. What's your comfort food?

It depends on the day and when you ask, but right this minute? Spaghetti and meatballs sounds like it would fit the bill. Definitely says comfort to me. 

4. What's one activity or area of your life where you absolutely never procrastinate?

Making my bed. I do that first thing every single day, because an unmade bed makes me feel like the whole house needs cleaning, and a neatly made bed gives me the illusion all is well. 

5. Who does the grocery shopping in your house? Does your local store bag the groceries for you or is it a do-it-yourself kind of place? Do you like someone packing your groceries?

I had a ridiculously lengthy answer to this question, and when I read it back I noticed it was as long as some posts I've written. I'm going to let it stand on it's own later in the week as part of the A-Z Blog Challenge (Friday-Letter G). You're welcome. And here's my short answer to the actual question-

I shop. They bag my groceries. Shudder!!(But I'm working on it)

6. What's the coolest thing you've seen in nature?

Gotta be a big black bear at the end of my driveway.  

Or lumbering up the hill beside the driveway. 

Or doing his Friday morning banking. 

I don't miss New Jersey's April snows, but I do miss her wildlife.  

7. Share a favorite quote about home.

"Home wasn't a set house, or a single town on a map. It was wherever the people who love you were, whenever you were together. Not a place, but a moment, and then another, building on each other like bricks to create a solid shelter that you take with you for your entire life, wherever you may go." 

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Using this space for today's April A-Z Challenge post. 

Day 5-E is for Eternity

I have a terrible sense of direction. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say I have no sense of direction. Occasionally hubs and I will be hiking a series of trails or driving someplace where roads criss cross, and I'll say, 'Where in the world are we?' He thinks it's hilarious to respond-'Earth'.  

It is kind of hilarious.  

So here I am, on planet Earth, and there are so many things to love here, a new house being one of them. There are so many ways to get lost here too, to wander off the trail or miss a turn and wonder where in the world you are. One of the conversations we've had around the topic of retirement is how important it is to have a purpose in life. We're built for purpose and I think we feel lost and dissatisfied without one.  

When you build a house you're all in, or at least we're all in. We're pretty much all in kinds of people here all the time, but particularly when tackling an all-consuming project like a home build. I know my house will be lovely when it's finally finished and I look forward to all the life we'll live there. 

Here's the thing matter how many hours, dollars, or design decisions are required to bring this project to completion, in the end it's still a house. And a house is not a purpose, it's a thing. While things can bring us momentary joy they cannot satisfy the deep, deep longing of the soul. 

A soul craves purpose, and when I examine my life I see much of my purpose has been focused on making not a house, but a home. 

A home where little girls feel safe to learn and grow and discover their own purpose.

A home where a man can be his authentic self, set down the cares of the day, and find rest. 

A home where physical needs are met in the form of meals prepared, clean clothes in the closet, appointments scheduled, bills paid, and worries soothed as you're tucked in tight at the end of a day.  

A home where kindness, forgiveness, gratitude, hospitality, and generosity are taught and caught and aimed for anew with each day we're given. 

Building a house is not my purpose. Making it a home might be. 

"For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come." Hebrews 13:14 (NLT)


  1. Beautiful reflections on home, Joyce. I know this Earth can be a wonderful place at times, but I do long for my *real* home. Have a blessed Wednesday!
    Best Wishes!

    My A2Zs @ As the Fates Would Have It & Promptly Written
    Follow Me (Ravyne) Twitter|Facebook

  2. Ah, Joyce, we are on the same page with thoughts of earth being temporary and eternity in our heart. Your random thought is beautiful. I may even save it. Yes, we are made for purpose and life is vain without it. Happy Wednesday. Love the bear pic!

  3. Great post Joyce although you can keep your bear lol Yes home doesn't have to be the perfect house, if that were the case my house would never be called home! lol Looking forward to the groceries post.

  4. Love your home quote and love, love, LOVE your #8!!!! Making a house a home and investing in my family has been my life work as well. Good to remember its not a location and can be recreated when you have to pull up stakes and relocate. You wouldn't know anything about relocation now would you ;)

  5. I am not looking forward to our snow/cold this weekend. Hebrews 13:14-a great verse to live by and I love the song that goes with this. Have a great day.

  6. I love how you described what a home is. So true!

  7. Oh yes - bears in Jersey! I have seen a few too! And, I also 'must' have that same illusion of a clean house with made bed. I also love getting into it at night after it's been made all day. I'd have to be pretty sick to not care about that.

  8. I sort of miss your bear pictures from NJ, and the fox ones, too, but I'm enjoying the lake pictures almost as much!
    I can't wait to read your post for the letter "G" :)
    Thanks for linking me up, last week. I can see the linky just fine, this week. Strange...
    Enjoy the rest of your week!
    Kathy (Reflections)

  9. I love what you wrote about home and eternity!!! Happy Hodgepodge sweet fearless leader!!

  10. Hi Joyce... I have a terrible sense of direction. Great words on the true meaning of home. Have a good week.

  11. Seeing a black bear on your driveway does take the cake...WOW! Free Fallin' is a great that song! Your quote about home really hits the mark. Enjoy your day, Joyce!

  12. I love "Free Falling", it's one of my favorites. Tom Petty spoke in a clip on American Idol last night and I was explaining to my kids who he is. Of course I started singing... "She's a good girl, loves her mama. Love Jesus and America too."! The kids knew it right away :)

  13. My parents lived in a fairly urban area of the Orlando region and had bears all the time because they were near a state park. It was always kind of amazing to see but at the same time, annoying because they'd rifle through all the trash cans!

  14. Loved the post, loved the photos, loved the questions. It was a win-win Wednesday!

  15. I love the bear photos and story. I bet you will have some critters visiting your new home. :-)
    Some amazing birds, ducks and maybe a beaver on the lake. I am looking forward to finding out with you. I love nature.

    I enjoyed your quote about home.

  16. Great thoughts about retirement and your A-Z is spot on!!! Always, always love stopping by and wish I could actually "stop by" and enjoy a cuppa with you.

  17. I do hope to keep busy when we retire but in a new way hopefully going on new adventures each day! Yes Free Fallin' was on the link I posted and we do love that song. Good answer on making the bed, me too first thing in the morning! Yes the bear outside your house is very cool and a little scary to me.

  18. A bear in your driveway?? Oh my!! I love your home quote. I like to have my bed made every day too. I just can't get back in a messy bed!

  19. Making a home is one of the most important jobs in the world. We can make a home anywhere we are all together, true? I would love to see a bear among all my wildlife!!

  20. Great pictures of the bear! We had a momma and two cubs in our yard several years ago but didn't take any pictures. I have no idea why. Maybe we were in shock??

  21. You have written great thoughts about home that could be used by others to fill in the #7 answer.
    I like the questions today and might do a post but #4 might keep me from it. We'll see.

  22. Joyce, your writing on Eternity is so sound. After I posted my blog, I remembered a phrase I am using more frequently these days, "This world is not my home, I'm just a pass'n through." Although I worked outside the home for many years, part-time while the kids were at home then full-time thereafter, my main purpose was to make home a place of love and security. It is such a blessing to see both of my children doing the same with their respective homes and families. Yes, retirement is grand but I'm not home yet.

    Yes, to the bed making. That is the first thing we do when we get up. I love that we always do it together.

  23. Were you stalking that bear? LOL Too wild to see that. I went to Mt. St. Helen's hoping to see a bear (from a distance) and only saw one on the sign that says watch for bears! LOVE Tom Petty on the guitar!

  24. I'm pretty good with directions, however...I do NOT go by East/West/North/South. I more prefer...on the corner across from XYZ or up the block from ABC or keep going right. Drives the Hubby crazy. LOL

  25. Moose are amazingly huge when it's just you and them in the quiet of the woods! Looks like some significant progress has been made on the lake house. All the best!

  26. Love the bear pictures! We have those too around our house. And mountain lions, which I have fortunately not seen yet.