Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Schooled in The Hodgepodge

Welcome to this week's edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge. If you've answered today's questions add your link at the end of my post then go leave a comment for the blogger linking before you. There's the bell....

1.  What's happening where you live in terms of schools opening? How do you feel about it?

Currently schools here are set to reopen in about three weeks with both in-person and virtual options. Families have to commit to one or the other for at least a semester.  God bless the teachers navigating all the unknowns, fearful parents, angry parents, normal first day of school jitters, and so much ??? 

How do I feel about it? Well I don't have children in school so in theory the plan shouldn't affect me at all. However this goes down though, I think we all will eventually feel the ripples, perhaps even a few big waves. Teachers, parents, kids of all ages, and the people in charge are in my prayers right now. 

2. What's something you still do 'old school'?

Use a paper calendar, send real greeting cards, bake from scratch...lots of things. 

3. August 4th is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day. Will you/did you celebrate by baking a batch? Eating a batch? Nuts or no nuts? Homemade or store bought? Soft and chewy or do you prefer your cookie to snap when you bite into it?

First things first, homemade all the way! Soft and chewy and skip the nuts. Course if you've already added nuts I won't say no. Actually oatmeal chocolate chip are my favorite. 

While I like the idea of baking a batch, I definitely wouldn't eat a batch. I'd eat just one. Or two. Maybe three. 

4. What are you starved for?

Peace in our cities. 

5. Anything new and interesting on your August calendar? What is one thing you're looking forward to this month?

Honestly no, but that's okay. It's summer and we're enjoying the lake,  a lot of porch sitting, dinners from the grill, moonlight, casual weirdly spaced get togethers with one or two friends and neighbors at a time, all outdoors where everyone brings their own everything to keep it cootie-friee. Perhaps one day we'll look back and say, 'well that was interesting'. 

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Has anyone read American Dirt? What did you think? 

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 380

Here are the questions to this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge. Answer on your own blog, then hop back here tomorrow to share answers with all your friends and likely a few random strangers too.

1.  What's happening where you live in terms of schools opening? How do you feel about it?

2. What's something you still do 'old school'?

3. August 4th is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day. Will you/did you celebrate by baking a batch? Eating a batch? Nuts or no nuts? Homemade or store bought? Soft and chewy or do you prefer your cookie to snap when you bite into it?

4. What are you starved for?

5. Anything new and interesting on your August calendar? What is one thing you're looking forward to this month?

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Check Engine Light

In other words...welcome to your fifties.

Relax, it's not all bad but there are a few things that catch you by surprise when you hit your fifties, and number one on my list would be how things don't work the way they've always worked. How you go to bed feeling perfectly fine and wake up with some inexplicable ache or pain that in our house are dubbed 'sleep injuries'.

I've written posts about my 20's (here), my 30's (here and here) and my 40's (here), and wanted to hit this current decade before the next rolls in. Barrels in? Eases in? Really hoping it eases in, but since this is 2020 it will probably barrel.

Also, lest anyone's confused, my birthday is NOT today. Carry on.

Once you turn 50 your temple is in need of some significant maintenance, starting with your roots that abruptly and quite rudely need tending all the way down to your mysteriously aching feet. The bigger thing though is there's this thought that niggles at the back of your mind, slowly making its way forward and you kind of scratch your head and think, wait, what? I'm not old. Am I? You have to admit you're not exactly young either, and you need to make peace with that.

It's a process and I bucked and kicked a little at the start. It took me a couple or four years to find my rhythm with this new age, new season, new me that's still the old me inside but definitely not the old me in the mirror, at the eye doctor, or the gym, the salon, the dermatologist or a host of other places.

We're always being told you can do anything, be anything, it's never too late....but when you hit your 50s you know that's not quite true. Yes you can, and I think should, step out of your comfort zone at any age, learn something new, be bold and be brave, but also there's your back to think about and how you like going to bed at a decent hour and why can't I remember a person's name when I only met them five minutes ago?

In writing these decade posts it's been interesting to look back and see what all transpired in the course of ten years. I started my 50's with the most fabulous fun surprise weekend in one of my favorite cities on the planet-New York.  I wrote about it here so won't rehash that now, although I wouldn't mind reliving it in person one day.

When everyone calms down I mean.

At the start of my new decade we were living in the wilds of Northern NJ, a hop skip and jump from the Big Apple. One daughter was a very recent college grad embarking on a career path, and one daughter was still a college student. Nothing makes me realize a decade's come and gone in a flash more so than reading back that last sentence.

I loved my girls college years, their friends, having them at home for breaks, long talks in the kitchen as we cooked holiday meals together, maybe not so much the moving them forty gajillion times in ridiculous heat and suffocating humidity, but those years were awfully sweet in terms of watching them become full fledged adults.

While in my 50's our extended family experienced the devastating loss of one we held so dear and it marked these years in a way very few things can. I was reminded over and over during this decade that God truly is near to the broken hearted.

Time has a way of steam rolling ahead. My girls finished school, one added a Master's Degree to her resume and one married, birthed two babies, moved to the other side of the world.

We retired relatively young, and I say we because even though hubs was the one who retired on paper,  we're a team and we both had to figure out what our new everyday would look like. Also, we moved south and built a house which wasn't aggravating or stressful at all. Ha!

I've traveled a lot in my 50's, made lots of new friends, still treasure the old who knew-me-when, and drum roll...I was given the best title in the world-Nana. Be still my heart.

And now it looks like I'll be rolling in to the next decade during a pandemic.
With a side of crazy because people have lost their ever lovin' minds.

As the decade winds down I can say I've grown accustomed to the new old me. Some days there's still a level of frustration at not being able to jump high and fly fast because in my head I can still jump high and fly fast, but mostly I like knowing God isn't finished with me. That He gives me new mercies every single day, more chances to be a better wife-mother-sister-daughter-friend than I was the day before.

I drop that ball a lot, but I keep picking it up, re-planting my feet forward. If there's anything I've acknowledged in my 50's its that time is fleeting and you never get it back.

So I rage against time, not with botox and plastic surgery, but with grace and forgiveness for others yes, but also for myself because that's where true contentment is born.

I wake up every morning and before my aching feet hit the floor I sing to myself an old camp song...'this is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it...'  Some days the WILL! has to be capitalized and exclaimation pointed, but in this season I know with a certainty I haven't felt since my 20's, that how you view your life is a choice. I choose joy.

I want to be grateful for the gift of each new day and for the long list of things I love starting with my hubs who has retained his boyish charm, my beautiful daughters who are solid in their faith, their compassion, and their integrity, granchildren who light up every corner of my heart, and the beauty of creation right outside my window.

The proverbial 'they' say 60 is the new 40 and since I absolutely loved my 40's I'm saying cheers to this next new decade looming large in my front window.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Saturday Summertime Sweetness

The world is a bit of a drag these days, but rest assured there's still sweetness to be found. Catching up on some of that goodness here today and not mentioning the long list of things making me crazy. It's a choice y'all.

Let's roll it all the way back to last weekend when we trekked over to a semi-nearby South Carolina town and my daughter's future in-laws. Fun fact-both my girls m-i-l's have the same first name.

Anyhoo, celebrations in the age of Corona are a lot of work and a bit of a brain drain. The hostess has to think about a thousand little details that would never have occured to anyone in the pre-virus days of hosting parties.

Things like space between tables, disposable towels in the powder room and disposable masks too for anyone needing to come inside. How to serve food without anyone actually touching the utensils (a masked server with a gloved hand because hi it's 2020), and of course the weather is a worry because we need to be outdoors and it's a bazillion degrees in July, and we want people to come, but not too many people and whew! It's a lot.

Flowers and hand sanitizer as seen on Pinterest. Well maybe not but it should be.

In spite of all the hurdles daughter2's future in-laws did a wonderful job of making the whole event feel so special and I know the bride and groom felt well loved and well celebrated.

Even the sky on our drive home was cheering them on.

The soon-to-be-marrieds came back to our house for a couple of days and spent most of that time packing up Daughter2's belongings for her move north. Not going to elaborate on that because this post is all about sweet things, remember? I might mention it some other day when I'm telling you about all the things that make the mothers of grown children simultaneously sigh and smile, but that day is not today.

We enjoyed a lovely leisurely dinner one night at a place on the lake, and I'm here to tell you going to dinner by boat is definitely sweet.

The sun was setting as we motored home and it was an all around picture perfect evening.

Tuesday hubs and I met neighbors for tacos at a spot we enjoy. You eat at wide tables on the patio and the servers wear masks and it's not completely normal but it did feel almost normal. As normal as things can feel in this very strange season.

Speaking of not normal we've had some wicked storms this week, but the upside to all that is this-

God keeps His promises.

Yesterday hubs and I packed a picnic lunch, loaded up the boat, and headed to one of the beachy islands in our lake. There are many, but we'd never set up in this particular spot before and we loved it.  All tucked away in a cove away from boaters and people and everything.

The weather was sunny, hot, and humid aka perfect for swimming, fishing, and reading...

Forgetting for a moment all the turmoil in this upside down world and counting our blessings instead.