Sunday, July 27, 2008

Falling Rain

Well, Winston and I are visiting Laurel, James and toddler g-daughter, Wendy. When we arrived we felt that we were also visiting an unborn g-child, "Bitty". Thursday I went with James and Laurel to view the first ultrasound and we had sad news. The baby had "stopped" growing. No heartbeat. Just a still little form remaining.

"Into each life, the rain must fall".

I lost four early pregnancies in the 70's and had not given those long ago emotions much thought in decades. But it all came bubbling back.

The Lord gives and He takes away. We are greatly comforted by the knowledge that there is a purpose in every experiance we have, both the joyous times and the sad times.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The True Meaning of Junk

In the past few days I've had a bee in my bonnet to get rid of the clutter in my house.

This is no simple matter. For one thing, if it were easy for me to get rid of clutter, I wouldn't have collected it in the first place.

It is a love-hate relationship, between clutter and me. I cherish my piles and bins of stuff, while resenting the messiness and sheer volume of it.

So the day before yesterday I took step #1. I targeted the most offensive site - the bedroom which was Sean's. All the boxes, bins and piles came out of their hiding places.

I don't know about your clutter. Maybe you don't have any. If you don't have any, I'm not sure that I understand you. But I guarantee I'll admire you!

My sister-in-law gives me a subscription to Martha Stewart's magazine and the one thing I marvel at is the sleek lovely barren beauty of every room featured. That's what I like. That's the goal! But still I wonder, what does a person who lives in such a home do with all their junky treasures? They can't fool me. Come on! They must keep their kids' report cards, special baby clothes, VCR tapes of events in the 80's, letters, and the like. I'll bet off-camera there is a bin lurking around the corner. Or 11 of them stuffed into a closet. Gotta be.

Anyway, the project is on. Hubby comes home for lunch every day and scowls at the piles on the sofa. It's like a living thing. I clear out and toss 3 lawn and garden bags of junk in the daytime and when I awake in the morning it has spread down into the hallway. Like an amoeba.

Just in case you have any interest in what the piles consist of, I'll give you a rundown;

Tea lights, in bags and loose.

Cassette tapes. About 50 of them. Gotta listen to them all because there might be some with my precious childrens' voices on them. My children are now parents themselves.


A shirt a size too small with stains on it. I was going to shrink myself and take it to the cleaners and wear it again. Right?

Shoes that look like a refugee's footwear.

Recipes! I mean a lot of recipes! I am not lying here. I spent hours watching Fox news and looking at each one. The weight of the paper, clipped out of newspapers over a decade+ and ripped out of magazines is estimated to have been about 8 pounds. No kidding. 3/4 of that pile is going to the curb. I am never going to make Oysters Rockefeller.

Now I have to confess a small sin here. I think it's a sin...? If you ever go to the doc's office and are leafing through a magazine and can't finish the story about whether or not this marriage can be saved and discover a hole where the counselor's assessment would be, then you will know I have been there.

I am stealthy. I can tear out a recipe with almost complete silence. It's a fine art. Like pick-pocketing, maybe? The trick is to go slooooow. I would consider selecting a doctor based on the quality of the magazines in his waiting room. Better Homes and Gardens, Southern Living and Good Housekeeping are on my hit list.

How ironic. Good HOUSEKEEPING.

Is there a support group out there for recipe addicts? I really want to get help now.

Next post I hope to be able to show you how sentiment drives a GREAT deal of my hoarding problem. If an item reminds me of a happy time, however mildly, I want to keep it. Maybe I can get Missy to help me post a photo of the wierdest item I have kept - I mean since, oh, 1962?

All for now. The pile is marching into the breakfast room and leaping up onto the table...

Monday, July 7, 2008

Three Weddings in Three Years: Bonanza!

When our oldest son Walker announced that he was engaged to be married, I was all in a dither. I realized that not only would I be gaining a new daughter, but also the dress-up wardrobe of my dreams!
Having not worked in years, I had a pretty skimpy and dated set of jackets-with-skirts and blouses-to-go-with skirts which worked fine for church and club meetings. The navy one. The green one. Here she comes in the maroon one again. On any ordinary day I would be seen in jeans, a camp shirt and Target flip flops.
Now my elder son, my baby, was getting married!
I wanted to do back-flips down the street! I told everyone I knew and had to restrain myself from telling whoever was in line behind me at the grocery store. We were adding Missy to the family! I had tons to do! I had a rehearsal dinner to plan! Showers and parties to attend! The wedding itself! Meeting her family, her friends!
Then it hit me. Clothes.
I needed new clothes. I needed to represent my son well, look stylish, even chic. The mere fact that my daughter Laurel was so excited about the prospect of her brother getting married and her enthusiasm for accompanying me on my urgent shopping excursions made it all even more delightful.
I was reminded of many years ago when I went shopping with my mother, not with an eye on what she might buy for me, but great joy over the fact she was going to buy herself some new dresses for a trip to New Orleans to visit her relatives. I recalled how pleased I was to see her in a flowy floral skirt for the first time with a new handbag to match.
So off we went, my daughter and I. My mental list was extravagant, but I was on a roll!
A lovely salmon-colored Capri pant set with beaded pants caught my eye, a deep turquoise pant set for a shower, perhaps, the luscious moss green sik blouse, the sleek black slacks. The shoes! My chunky black office heels would never do! Sling-back pumps with that impossible needle toe...then the DRESS. That all-important dress for the wedding. Mother of the groom! Imagine that! Gliding elegantly along on 3" champagne colored strappy heels in a matching bolero jacketed sequined dress fit for the Academy Awards! Gorgeous!
I wanted to look wonderful, even glamorous for my son. It was an expression of love no doubt lost on a male child, who most likely just wants Mom to remain Mom.
Suffice it to say that on my son's wedding day, I was stunning! Plus the clothes rack in my closet was practically groaning with brand-new snazzy apparel.
Not a year passed before our second son breezed in with Stephanie on his arm, to tell us that they were engaged! With ruthless glee I informed my husband that I really needed not only a new mother of the groom dress, but also at the very least a "going to the airport" ensemble to pick up his relatives at the airport. With matching shoes and handbag, of course. It worked.
Barely down from the second wardrobe blitz in two years. Just a little breather, then daughter Laurel and James announce that, yes, they are engaged. I'm off to the mall again! Three weddings in three years! Apparel in every conceivable hue and style, beaded and shimmery or simple and sophisticated. Shoes, bags, clip-on ear-rings, three different mother of the groom dresses fit for a coronation at Buckingham Palace.
Now I have run out of children and out of excuses to descend on malls with the zeal of a pilgrim in the wilderness...won't somebody invite me to a fancy-dress event?

I've got the dress, the shoes...