Little Hopes

As I write this my son is asking for something again from his bed. Why do kids take forever to go to sleep? I must remind myself all the time that they grow up so fast and soon they won’t need me for much of anything so I better be thankful they still need me!

I woke up this morning feeling sad. I really didn’t want to face the day and was hoping to sleep all day and pretend the day didn’t come. I was hoping. I took my kids to school and wanted to crawl back into bed again. But I didn’t. I made my sorry butt get out and walk because I knew I wouldn’t get rid of the yucky juju unless I did. I still was not so happy when I got back from my walk and had a therapeutic talk with a friend who reminded me of some much needed things. I then started thinking about that word hope and what it meant.

What does hope look like? What color would hope be? And would I recognize it if I saw it? Is hope that feeling that things will turn out the way you wanted them to turn out? Is it a thought — a confidence that all things work for good? Or maybe a belief that all things happen for a reason so there is something good you can learn from everything?

I really don’t know. I know I tend to hope for big things. I have “my” master plan and when things don’t turn out the way I want them I get discouraged. So I decided that I would ask God for a small hope everyday. Nothing huge but just something that reminded me that there is a master plan and The Master has it all under control without my help.

So I focused on today. I prayed God would give me a little hope today. Nothing huge just something to look forward to. Right after that I went to start my car and it didn’t start. I had to laugh — that was definitely not the little hope I was counting on!

So I shifted gears (not literally, remember the car wasn’t starting) and thought about a little hope that could brighten my day. I remembered a book on joy that I had ordered and thought how fitting that my little hope could be my book to brighten my day. It did come in the mail. And it was bright yellow. So today hope is yellow. I wonder what color hope will be tomorrow.

Back on the Court

My son and I played tennis this morning and I didn’t end up in the emergency room. Okay, I am exaggerating again, I have played tennis with him many times and ended up all in one piece.

A year ago I was hitting the ball around with my son in front of my house. I didn’t feel like driving to the tennis court so we made a makeshift court on our street (dodging the cars as they came off the highway was a challenge, but they usually honked to warn us they were coming.) The problem with playing in the street is that the street has a curb. We were about at the end of our “game” when my son dropped a shot right over the “net” and being the competitive person that I am, I ran for the ball, dove, tripped over the curb and landed on my shoulder.

The pain was excruciating, but the humiliation was almost worse. I kept thinking man, this hurts, and how many neighbors saw it? I haven’t played tennis in the street since then. I have no desire to spend all morning in the emergency room. The drugs afterwards were almost worth it, but the year long healing wasn’t!

My son is almost 13 and has improved his game so much in the last year. It helps that he has played so much more than I have, but I think his age also gives him a slight edge over me—at least when it comes to energy. I try to make up for that with skill. That doesn’t work so well now.

I surprised myself with some pretty decent whacks at the ball. I mean I wasn’t great, my backhand was horrible, but I held my own, and wasn’t even tired for a whole 10 minutes! It was only 500 degrees at 8:30am so cut me some slack here. The sun was beating down on my face, but I kept going. I looked my opponent in the eye and determined I would give him my all, even if I was sore in the morning.

After 60 minutes of getting beat at the net and listening to the victory screams of my son, he let me know that I might want to trade sides for a little while (we weren’t playing a real game just hitting back and forth.) I went over to the other side of the net and was welcomed by this nice breeze. The kid has the best side the whole time! The breeze was enough for me to get my mojo back though. I took two breaths and determined that he would be hearing my victory screams and watching my victory dance.

I did finally beat my son at the net and nature heard my victory screams but I had no energy for a victory dance. I left the court happy I survived almost 2 hours of partial humiliation and near heat stroke and held my own. It also helped that I looked cute in my tennis skirt.

Salt Water

I have a hard time living in the present. I am usually 5 steps ahead thinking about what if this happens or what if that happens. Or sometimes I go way back and think what if I had done this or that. It isn’t necessarily because I think I made bad choices as much as I am curious about what could have been (sometimes it is wishing I had made a different decision like when I stole the gum cigarettes from the corner store.) So when I go on a trip I tend to go past the trip in my mind and think about going home. It is a very annoying habit I have. I want to be where I am in all things. I want to enjoy the present as it is happening because it goes away so fast. For some reason the ocean seems to make me stay in the present. I try to enjoy every minute of it because I know it will be awhile before I will be there again.

I grew up only 45 minutes from the ocean and I think I took it a little for granted. I guess that is the way it is with most things in life. When you have something so accessible you don’t appreciate it. My mom and dad both grew up in Monterey, Ca so we visited it often. I really didn’t realize how much the feel of the breeze against my cheek, and the sound of the crashing of the waves against the rocks had become something I needed.

I now live about 3 hours away from the ocean, and I try to go as often as I can. When I am there I try to inhale the air hoping it will stay with me long after I leave it. I try to memorize the sound of the tide going in and out so I can close my eyes and be there in my imagination. I take shells and rocks home with me so I have a piece of the ocean in my house. Nothing calms me like the ocean.

When I was younger I imagined visiting so many countries and seeing so many things. Now I imagine visiting so many beaches! I’m thinking I should plan and save for a worldwide beach tour. I could fly to Florida and spend a few days in the keys, then off to the Carribbean and stop at an island or two I’ve never been to for a week. I could then fly to Cape Town in South Africa and see the beach there. Next I’d be off to Seychelles–which is supposed to be incredible–then Australia, New Zealand, and wrap the trip up in Hawaii. I wonder how much that would cost and how much time it would take to really enjoy the trip? And, could I go that far and not stop in my adopted country, Spain?

I like shoes

Ever since I was a child I had this thing for shoes. I know it is common knowledge that women love shoes, but I loved them even as a little girl. I remember trying to wear my neighbors shoes. They always had the latest styles and I got stuck with the cheap kinds so I would try to wear their hand-me-downs. The problem was that they had smaller feet than I did so when they were handing their shoes down to me I had to fold my toes in half to wear them. There were so many sacrifices that I made to make my feet look good–until my mom found out.

Most of my most vivid memories are about shoes. One time my mom managed to buy a beautiful pair of brown disco boots that I wanted for Christmas. I loved those boots and it killed me to walk out of the store without them, however, my mom had tricked me and had bought them and I can still remember opening that box on Christmas morning. The other special thing about those boots was that I have a picture of myself in my boots posing with my late dad when he had won a teaching award.

I remember when I was probably around 8 or 9 and my sister asked me to walk to the bakery and buy her a chocolate éclair (life was different back then and it was safe for me to walk to the store at that age. I wouldn’t even think of sending my daughter alone to the store now.) This was actually a frequent request from my sister. She would get these cravings and I knew how important that éclair was to her. So anyway, I took her money for the éclair and walked to the bakery. When I got to the bakery the lady told me they were out of éclairs. So I turned around and walked out of the bakery and into the corner store. I never should have walked into the corner store because there before my eyes were the most exquisite plastic high heeled shoes I had ever seen. All I could do was imagine putting those “glass slippers” on my feet. Without thinking, I bought the plastic shoes.

I dragged my feet home wondering how I was going to explain to my sister that her mouthwatering éclair had turned into a pair of cute plastic heels. I hadn’t thought of that when I bought them. As I slowly walked up the stairs to my home my sister dashed out of the house and grabbed the bag…of shoes. I will never forget the look on her face when she saw my darling shoes. She was not happy. I tried to explain that the bakery was out of éclairs, and needed to use the money, but no explanation satisfied her. So I went into the house and opened the package to put on my heels. I walked around the house a few times and twirled and then the heel broke and I learned to never take my sister’s chocolate money and spend it on plastic shoes. I do spend my money on occasional pair of cute shoes but I avoid the plastic ones now.

The Morning Comes Too Early– Redux

This was a post I did in 2007. I figured since it is 2010 and I have NEVER re-posted a post that I would re-post this one…Since the writing of this post I have successfully gotten up by 6:00am some mornings and I even have a garden that feeds my family of five. Hold the applause, yes, I am incredible.

Morning has been coming too early this week. I think the harshest punishment you could give a prisoner would be to make them wake up at 5:00am every morning and run for three miles. After their run, they would be allowed to smell coffee and watch other people drink it in front of them. They couldn’t have one drop. We’d call it the morning torture. Could you hear the cries of agony? “No, not the morning torture, not this early, what is that smell? No, s-t-o-p. Just a little drink–I can’t take any more, put me in solitary confinement anything but this! NOOOOOO!”

My youngest son has been waking up early this week to give him a head start on his crabbiness. Okay, I’m the one who’s crabby. I try to reason with him, and explain to him that it’s just too early, that unless you need More

Main

I visited my home town again recently. It was a sad occasion, a funeral. I came back with a different mind set of my home town this time. I have always mocked my home town, but I realize now that it wasn’t too bad of a town to grow up in. What is sad though, is that the downtown I knew is gone. And, tell me, why is it when you go back everything seems so small like you are a giant now. Why do we seem to remember everything through the eyes of a 9-year-old (if you have read my blog frequently then you know I have said this before I still don’t get it.) I will write more about the town in future posts, but for now, main street is the topic–not cruising it though — still another story.

The street that really seemed small was main street. I remember when I was little that my mom would not allow me to cross that street by myself. It was the big street where everyone drove fast (30 miles an hour). I didn’t need to cross the street most of the time anyway. If I needed some gum or pop rocks I would go to the corner store (it had another name, but it was on the corner so that is what we named it), if I needed a Betty and Veronica comic book then I went to Henry’s bookstore (oh man, I just found out they started publishing those again. I must find a comic store) and, if I needed a maple bar or an eclair then the bakery was on the right side of the street so I didn’t need to worry.
I said all of that to say that I really didn’t cross the street too often…until I got to the age where I needed 78 vinyl records and the record store was across main street. Once again the store did have a name (Radio Shack?) but we called it the record store because it had records.

One day my brothers wanted to go to the record store to buy — yes, records. For some reason my brother wanted to cross the street alone first and look at something and he told me to stay on the other side of the street. I didn’t want to stay on the other side of the street all by myself — it was scary. I wanted to follow my brother. So I did follow my brother and didn’t bother to look for cars. I can still hear the brakes on that Datsun pickup (I’m guessing on the Datsun, but details make for a better story.) I don’t know who was more horrified, the driver of the pick-up truck or my brother. So, it is surprising why main street looks so small because it seemed HUGE back then.

A February to Forget…

February was not my month. It just seemed that things kept going wrong. There wasn’t anything incredibly horrible that happened for which I am thankful, however, it just was yucky. I got robbed by an ebay fake-ugg seller and then paid full price for the real things. I like my REAL Uggs, don’t get me wrong, but, I still almost paid the same price about TWICE to finally get the real thing. I was sick in February. The kids were sick in February. My husband was sick in February. February was just a pile of things that just didn’t work out right.

I was hoping March would be better. So far it is only a bit better. Today, was a turning point, though. Even though our bank account looks pathetic and everywhere around me someone is moaning about the economy, I refuse to let March turn into a month of self-pity. Even though McDonald’s didn’t have my shamrock shake, I will overcome! My business will only get better and I will fight to make March better. Don’t tell me that March is half over because I am now seeing March as half full!

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