The Wind and the Waves

Have you ever just needed a vacation? Just a break to step away from the every day? 

Yeah, me too. 

The past several months I haven’t been writing much. I’ve been reading and researching health issues. Sure, it’s great to learn about all that stuff, but after a while, it flat gets heavy! 

Our vacation came at the perfect time because walking away from researching was exactly what I needed. 

Quite honestly, I’ve had a ton on my mind and realized I’d almost taken up residence in Fear. Like it’s a town with an area code or something. Fear of what? 

  • Fear of a mystery illness
  • Fear of finding the right doctor
  • Fear of following the right path
  • Fear of finding the right remedies
  • Fear that these headaches would never go away
  • Fear of being enough and doing enough
  • And, just the general fear that creeps in out of nowhere 

When we arrived at the beach, it was like the ocean opened its arms and called out, “you are safe here.” 

In those moments, my soul searching began. In all the muck that fear creates, it’s easy to lose ourselves. But, I actually began to see myself again and because of that, I was able to set down the worries I’d been carrying. 

That beach set me free. Standing in the sand, all senses completely submersed, I found the healing power of the wind and water. After eleven days, I returned home stronger and less afraid. 

Since then, I feel more at peace about my health. Believe it or not, the right doctor did come along. So did some answers. Not all, but some and that’s a start I’ll take. 

I just thought I’d tell you where I’ve been for so long. On a healing path, I guess, that started with the wind and the waves. 

Childhood Summer

I’m a small town girl raising a small town boy and you will never know how much that means to me.

I grew up in a big house on a corner block in a tiny farm town. Little Bit is growing up in a big house in the country near a tiny farm town on the opposite end of the state.

This week I was reminded of why I love where we live. Two days before the 4th of July parade, I asked Little Bit if he wanted to go to the parade. He told me he wanted to be in the parade.

What?!?!?

In??? Oh man… I started scrambling around  trying to figure out how I could pull that one off. I mean, the deadline for getting into the parade had already passed.

I got on Facebook and summoned my friends for help. Help came. Someone suggested calling the Chamber of Commerce, so I did.

When I explained our situation to a gal at the Chamber, I was met with nothing but kindness.  In fact, she told me she’d never turn down a 10 year old boy.

Talk about small town America at its best! I can’t even get words around her welcoming  gesture. She didn’t even know us!

At 9:45 am on July 4th, we got our place in line between a couple of floats. Little Bit made his parade debut riding his scooter next to other kiddos riding their bikes.

As we made our way through the streets towards our downtown square, I couldn’t help but feel a little nostalgic.

Families lined the streets to watch. It was pouring down rain but no one seemed to care. Kids were gathering candy. The high school band was marching and playing patriotic songs. Behind us was the Class of 1967.

Last October my husband took a job transfer and we were supposed to have moved by now.  And though I’m fine with moving, I’m really glad we’ve stayed put.

After all, the parade alone has given me some wonderful memories and I know one day I will look back and smile as I remember my boy’s 10th childhood summer. 

Blogging Friends

I appreciate all of my blogging friends so much! This morning I woke up to find that one of them nominated me for a fun blogging award. 

Thank you, Cobs, for including my blog among the 11 you chose! That’s so sweet of you. I love blog awards! What a fun way to get to know each other. 
Guidelines: 

  • Acknowledge the blog that nominated you and display the award.
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger gives you. 
  • Give 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 11 blogs. 
  • Notify those blogs of the nomination. 
  • Give them 11 questions to answer. 

Cob’s questions:

  1. Is there one thing you’ve always wanted to do but still haven’t done it? Yes, publish a book. 
  2. What is your guilty pleasure? Dairy free coconut milk “ice cream” bars. 
  3. Who would be your dream dinner date? My husband. He works out of town 4 nights a week. 
  4. Do you have a favorite film? The Bridges of Madison County
  5. Do you have a favorite tv program? The Voice
  6. If you were given a badge that said ‘In Charge of the World but for only 60 seconds’ what law would you pass or what change would you make in that 60 seconds? I would make every single day “Be Kind Day.”
  7. You found an oriental looking, corked bottle on the beach. You uncork it and out pops a Genie. He/She grants you three wishes. Tell me your three wishes: 1. It would snow so I can learn to snowboard. 2. That our lake property would sell. 3. That I could cross the ocean and meet all my ocean-away friends. 
  8. What drew you into the blogging world? A hospital stay and being told I had some horrible disease- prompted me to stop waiting. 
  9. Which do you prefer, writing and posting blog posts or reading other people’s blog posts? It’s a tie! I love both. 
  10. You’re invited to a posh dinner this evening. What are you hoping will be served as your Starter? Crab legs 
  11. What is the one thing above any other, which you cannot eat, not even if someone offered you a thousand pounds/dollars just to eat a small piece  of it? Liver!! 

11 Random Facts about me… I love: 

  • Wildflowers
  • Iowa
  • That my great aunt is 98
  • Little Bit
  • Bubbles 
  • Our little blue plastic swimming pool
  • Vintage furniture
  • Summer
  • Rainbows
  • Country roads
  • My parents 

I nominate:

  1. Ladies Who Lunch Reviews
  2. Rabbit Patch Diary
  3. The Purple Almond
  4. Weird Guy With The Dog
  5. Cooking Without Limits
  6. Restless Jo
  7. The Wilden Marsh
  8. Vintage Cookbook Shelf
  9. Joshi Daniel
  10. The Apples in My Orchard
  11. One Creative Family
  12. I’m doing 12- ha! Farm Life Best Life

My questions :

    1. Light or dark chocolate?
    2. Sunrise or sunset?
    3. City streets or country roads? 
    4. Homemade casserole or 5 course meal? 
    5. A dozen roses or an armful of wildflowers? 
    6. Favorite color?
    7. Most loved season? 
    8. Cream pie or fruit pie? 
    9. Favorite song? 
    10. Swim in a creek or swim in a pool? 
    11. What’s one kind thing someone has done for you? 

      *** If you have an award free blog, feel free  to skip this or to comment here if you like. 

      Stumbled

      Figuratively or literally, have you ever smacked into something when you weren’t looking? 

      Funny how that happens sometimes. 

      A friend and I have a word we jokingly use to describe our friendship: stumble. She stumbled into my life and I stumbled into hers.

      According to definition #4a on Merriam-Webster online dictionary, stumble means “to come unexpectedly or by chance.”

      Now, do I truly believe my path crossed with hers at that particular moment by chance? Not really. We had been acquaintances for nearly a year. 

      To me, “stumbling” is simply Fate walking into the room and setting a suitcase down. 

      I have a theory that the Universe gives us what or who we need when we need it/them, even if we don’t know we need them. Gifts.  

      Not all the time, of course. Even though that sounds tempting, getting what we think we need all the time probably wouldn’t be all that great. I’d imagine that’d make our journeys way too easy and probably a bit boring. 

      Sometimes Fate’s suitcase shows up when sorrow has been relentlessly pounding at the door. The gift tucked under the socks and pajamas may be a card in the mailbox among a pile of bills or the doorbell ringing and a friend who had no idea what to do, shows up with a meal and a listening ear. 

      Other times, Fate’s suitcase appears when life is absolutely normal. Gifts in those moments may actually be missed because they look like common occasions. Packed beneath the toothbrush could be those instances like thinking we are all out of our favorite food, then finding an extra bag of it in the bottom of the freezer, or instead of gas prices dropping the day after we get gas, it drops when we pull into the station.

      Once in a while, Fate’s suitcase sneaks in when things are a little off, but nothing is terribly wrong. Between the jeans and t-shirts may lie the gifts of opening a birthday card and seeing $20 fall out, getting a phone call from someone who rarely calls and it’s NOT bad news, or calling a company when money is a little short and finding out they’ll extend your bill. 

      I’m pretty thankful that the Universe sort of throws things into our paths.

      Seems like the most amazing things happen when we’re looking one way and turn our head back around and looky there! Something we weren’t expecting to see. 

      The beauty in that, is the grace of receiving, simply because we stumbled. 

       

      When Those Hats Came Full Circle

      What brought you to live in your current town or city? 

      Seems like there are several reasons why we live where we do:

      • a job 
      • college
      • location- skiers may choose a mountain town, while surfers may choose the beach town
      • love the town we grew up in and stayed put
      • moved to be closer to family
      • good schools for the kiddos
      • love the land outside of the town
      • the hats

      Whoa, wait a minute. The hats? 

      Believe it or not, the very first time I visited this rural Missouri town, I knew I loved it. My sister and I traveled several hours from our big town to photograph a high school graduation in this small town. At the end of the outdoor ceremony, the seniors threw their cowboy hats way up in the air at the same time. That was it, I was hooked. 

      After the photo shoot was over, we went back to our big town. Life adventures led me to living in other towns and even in some huge cities. But, I never forgot about the image of all those hats in the air.

      Several years later, my husband and I were house hunting within about a 50 mile radius of that fateful, long gone, graduation photo assignment. Any guesses where we bought our very first home? You got it! The town with the hats. 

      Now, I guess that may seem like a silly reason to live somewhere, but to me, cowboy hats are symbols. Similar to farm trucks or barns, cowboy hats tend to represent farming, ranching, families, early risers, hard workers, an abundance of faith, and kind hearts. 

      I grew up in a small farming town and my family’s roots run deep in the Iowa farmland. Even though we don’t farm ourselves, farming is a big part of who I am. 

      I “fit” here. No one even thinks twice that I drive a pick up, because most of the gals around here drive one, too. I feel just fine wearing my coveralls into the grocery store on days the wind is bitter cold. I’ve worked in this town and volunteered in this town. We choose to raise our son here. We bank here, eat here, and shop here. 

      In fact, a couple days ago I heard about a family owned store in town that I’ve never been to, so yesterday I went to have a look. As soon as I parked, I almost felt my heart expand a little. 

      The building is old and quaint. You know that “homey” feeling you get when you visit an old friend’s house after you haven’t seen them in a while? It was like that. Welcome at a place I’d never even been. 

      After stepping in the door, I noticed it was a really nice home decor shop. I started to look around, when I heard the greeting from a kind gentleman behind the counter. 

      When I turned to look his way to answer, I nearly fell over. He was wearing a beautiful,  black cowboy hat. In that moment, I knew we are exactly where we are meant to be, when those hats came full circle.