Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Life Lesson # 2459235 ....

I almost titled this post "something-or-other Monday" and realized it's not actually Monday, just the first day back to work this week. Yippee to short work weeks!

As I was walking out to my car today after work I realized Chad is off work this week (it's an off week between the spring and summer sessions at Masterworks, the art school where he teaches). Normally he doesn't get home until late in the evening. Because it is absolutely blazing outside I reached for my phone to call and entice him to go to the pool with me. Of course I left it in my office and had to go retrieve it (glad I realized this snid-bit of information before leaving campus.) As the phone rang, I had a glorious thought: What if Chad did all of the chores around the house I was preparing to do when I got home?! I eagerly inquired about my wishful moment and was quickly disappointed that he did not read my mind and do what I hoped to do this evening. I was not nice. Consequently the phone call ended abruptly.

I called my mom to talk briefly about adult things (life insurance, blah blah blah...) and she told me to pray for my brother-in-law Chris. I hate when she starts stories this way because my mind immediately goes to worst case scenarios...he has a terminal illness, he lost a leg, his family died, he decided to become a Red Sox fan (worst possible thing in his world). Physically, Chris is fine. My mother informed me that a friend and colleague of Chris' committed suicide this morning after a dispute with his wife. Obviously there is more to the story than either of us will ever know, but I will tell you that I had a strong conviction thrown my way, because, well...let's face it....I had just been a jerk to Chad on the phone. Upon hearing my mother's news my heart broke for Chris, because he lost a dear friend, but also for the man's wife who is not only grieving but probably-to some degree-carrying around a heavy, heavy, weight. Here's hoping and praying the ultimate healer's power touches this woman's life.

My heart was hit with some lessons I thought I knew already: expectations without communication is bad news, words have more power than we realize (for good and for bad), savor with every fiber of your being those precious to you in your life today.

Chad did the dishes, laundry, cleaned the toilets, went grocery shopping, is currently cooking dinner, and bought me some of my favorite juice and ice cream. Gosh, I don't deserve him.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Memories

I just finished unpacking and putting things away from our little mountain getaway this weekend. Chad's parents recently built a fabulous mountain home right in the heart of the Smokey Mountains; Jonas Ridge to be exact. The house sits on the peak of the mountain; from the back porch you can see the sun rise, and on the front porch you can watch it set.

Any mountainous region possesses the same peaceful qualities. Nothing ever feels rushed. Chad's parents, Weston (his little brother), and Amanda (Weston's girlfriend) were there, and we even brought Koda along for the adventure. Chad and I woke up early today and enjoyed coffee and the crisp morning air on the back porch with his parents and the dogs (Max, the Keith family dog, was there too). We ate a full, delicious breakfast and then us "kiddos" headed out for an early afternoon stroll around Blowing Rock's quaint and cozy shops. I believe one of the greater things in life is enjoying a beautiful afternoon among antiques, one-of-a-kind decor pieces for the home, mountain folk, and Kilwan's ice cream-yum, yum!

(pistachio and kilwains tracks)

Most random find of the day: anti-fog goggles for dogs. (I'd like an explanation of the scenario in which such goggles would be used.) 

Dinner involved more great conversation over charcoal-grilled chicken kabobs. I haven't eaten that well in a while! It was sad to say goodbye to the family but perhaps even harder to bid farewell to the inviting mountain scene. On the way home Chad and I savored the last views of the landscape around us while singing along to some of our favorite tunes (okay....sang along...), and we remembered those who give up so much for us to enjoy our beautiful country. 

Alas, we are home. It's back to work tomorrow. The upside to that is I have two weeks left before summer vacation officially kicks off. Bring on more relaxing times with the family :)!

I hope you all enjoyed your Memorial Day as much as I did. 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Same Blog, New Location

Hey ya'll!

After a conversation with a sweet friend and fellow blogger, I decided to make a move to blogspot. My same simple purpose remains: to live, love, and share my experiences and meanderings with all those willing to read. I may be reposting some of my favorites from the old blog along with my new posts. 

Thanks for your faithfulness in following.

ps.  You must check out my friend's blog :


Permission to be "Old" Granted

I am twenty-six years old. Sometimes I don’t really believe myself when I say it out loud, but it’s true. In fact, if you browse under the “vintage” section of clothing items on Etsy, you may find some stellar 80′s ware-perhaps punctuated by the year of my birth. Really…”vintage”?!

My previous blog touched on the book Backwards in High Heels, well, here’s a bit more about it and its correlation to me. (I should get paid for these free plugs I’m sending their way.) The book is broken down into sections that feature various essays regarding life topics. One such chapter-twelve, I believe-is devoted to age, or the aging process. Essays range from humorous to touching, to anything the authors please. There is a chart on page 288 that lists about twelve items that you are granted permission to do when you’re “old”. (The definition remains open to interpretation.) I read these items-some reluctantly-outloud to my husband and mother while driving in the car. According to four of the criteria, I am “old”. I…

1. Am not embarrassed to go to bed at 9:30 pm, nightly. In my defense…I wake up at 5 am…you’d go to bed that early too if your alarm was in sync with mine.

2. Always have a book of stamps in my purse-mine are in my wallet. Why does this make me old? Got mail?-I’m simply prepared.

3. Wear socks to bed. Apparently “old” has many similarities to young and underpaid and trying to save on heating.

4. Listen to public radio. A quick and efficient alternative to catching the news, mind you, between 5:30 and 6 am on weekdays. Again, in self-defense, I am neither Republican or Democratic (Independent, I vote on personalities and issues, not partisan lines) and I have recently silenced NPR in the afternoons for the more optimistic and less cynical alternative: music.

So…I’m old. Or at least a quarter old-based on century aging lines and the chart on page 288. However, on Friday “jeans days” at school, from behind 95% of the Hopewell population thinks I’m a high school student. I’ll take what I can get.

Patterned Scarf

The music school where Chad teaches lessons, Masterworks School of the Arts, produces several show choir theatre performances each year. This past weekend Chad ran sound for the junior show choir’s production of Mulan. (I love that Christina Aguilera song “Reflection”-something-or-other, so pretty.) The school rents an auditorium for these shows on Main Street in Mooresville, North Carolina, a location that just so happens to be one of my favorite afternoon walking/antique shopping destinations. Yesterday I decided to drive up and enjoy Mulan while helping out the production crew, but not without a pit stop to my favorite shops first.

I wanted to begin at Ye Olde Mantel, a concoction of scattered trinkets and treasures, but could not find the storefront for the life of me. I eventually asked an elderly woman if she knew of the store and she pointed me directly across the street with a look on her face like as if I had three heads. The store is under new ownership and changed its name. To my delight, they kept some of the old pieces the original store housed, but a lot of their previous items-that made the store an adult playground-were gone. : /

Somewhat disappointed, I crossed to the east side of the street to scope out a small boutique with cute bags and scarves adorning the front display case. After perusing the store until five minutes after closing time  (I couldn’t make up my mind!) I settled on an elegant, yet spunky gold necklace and a patterned scarf. As I walked to the cash register-all the while chatting with the cashier-I had the urge to ask if they accepted cards. The cashier’s expression dropped as she said, “No, sweetie, just cash or checks. You do have a check on you, don’t you?” I did not, in fact, nor did I have over $3 and some change in cash; not enough for my purchase at hand.

Many thoughts raced through my mind. What kind of store was this that they don’t except cards? It’s 2011 for crying out loud. Soon I’ll be able to pay by scanning my thumb  print. If I went to the ATM to get cash I’d have to walk five blocks to my car, drive five more in the other direction, then drive back to pay the woman and end up being late for the play. Chad’s voice in my head told me to walk away. So, I did, but not without bashing the lady for her outdated practices (Inside my head, of course-don’t judge, it was a fabulous scarf!).

I immediately called Chad to prompt him to share in my frustration over the situation. It wasn’t until today that I sat back and looked at everything from a different perspective. What I enjoy most about Mooresville is the time warp you feel you’ve entered the minute you drive, walk, bike, rollerblade, skateboard up to Main Street. It takes you back to the days when you were a kid and piled in the back of the woody station wagon to travel to town to get penny candy, or an ice cream cone, or maybe both. You were never in any rush and there was a peace about the evening; no cell phones for people to reach you on, no facebook, twitter, or instagram to keep current on, just you and the peace of your company sharing in the setting of the summer sun. It’s a joyous feeling to visit Mooresville.

The cashier is no longer my retail rival but a testament to the days of old when time went slowly and days were simple.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Backwards in High Heels

I met one of my best friends in the entire world, Sarah, during my sophomore year in high school. Sar (as those close to her call her) and I immediately clicked, but our friendship grew stronger with the discovery of shared interests in: soccer, eclectic clothing, rock music, hour long road trips to the largest T.J. Maxx within driving distance, singing loudly with the windows down in my VW Jetta (R.I.P. sweet car), and so many other ridiculous things girls do.

Most memorably, Sar was by my side when I received the news that my brother had died. She cried with me, held me, and listened to my convoluted ramblings of a teenager trying to wade through grief for months on end. She never judged me and was always there. Sar’s birthday is on April 15 and I bought her a book that both epitomizes our current relationship and made me laugh out loud in Anthropologie. Two British authors penned the book “Backwards in High Heels: The Impossible Art of Being Female”. Sar and I laughed, cried, joked, snuck out of our houses, played soccer, talked, traveled, grew up, and survived together while trying to figure out what being a woman was all about in this crazy world-we were teenagers! This book is perfect for her, for us, so I bought it. What solidified my purchase was that part of the introduction reads, “The literary equivalent of conversations women have every week.”

Gosh I miss her! Sar lives in the town where we grew up, in New York, with her dashing Italian-born hubby and beyond beautiful daughter Giada (pronounced Jah-da)-while I enjoy North Carolina with my most amazing man.

Here’s to good friends and the understanding comfort that passes without words.