Monday, May 16, 2016

I Recognize You Now

I finally put my finger on it.  It was grief.  I am emerging from an eleven-month period of feeling acute loss.  Tears would well up at any time.  Driving in the car on the way to work was Prime Time for tears. I figured it out two weeks ago.  I can name the day when it started, and I can now give it a voice.

I am fifty-nine years old and I have eight grandchildren.  This is amazing to me. My four children are essential to me.  I grew up with them, tried not to break them, and now they are my friends. I lean on them, and remarkably to me, they occasionally lean on me. While it may not be strictly accurate, there seems to have been one or two grandchildren per year for about six years. They run the painter’s pallet from blonde with bright blue eyes, light brown locks and soft brown eyes, black hair with gray-green eyes, and most recently, strikingly red hair with Texas blue bonnet eyes.  While my children are the air that I breathe, my grandchildren are the blood that runs through my veins.

In a string of summers my husband and I have helped our children move to and from towns to accommodate entry into colleges, transitioning into graduate school, overseas jobs, medical school, or dental school.  With the exception of mainland China, they all been relatively close to home, until last summer.  They all seemed to travel further away from home, all at once.

My second son, his wife, and two daughters moved in with us for a short time.  They were expecting a third daughter around Christmas.  The raven haired child was born and brought home to a busy household. We all settled into a routine. I looked forward to coming home every day. There was noise. So much noise.  But, this noise filled the part of me that loves noise.  I raised four children and I remembered the noise. The screaming, the fussing, the pouting, the relling (running + yelling), the laughter, the hugs, the chaos and the joy of it all revisited. It was the chance of a lifetime, doing it all again while trying to get it right this time. It was a chance to fix my own parenting mistakes, and be of service to my family.  I count this family time as one of the greatest gifts I have ever received.

And then last July, the POD was delivered, followed by the yard sale and the packing of the POD.  And then came the truck to pick up the POD, and I lost it.  That was the moment when the loss was squarely faced, and I watched the POD roll away, followed shortly thereafter with a large portion of the blood that runs through my veins.

My first brush with deep grief, took a while to identify because it left me stunned.  So there, I’ve said it. Part of me is in Louisville, Columbia, and Provo, and I’m still breathing, and I’ve got a pulse. And most importantly, I’ve felt great love. I’ve been enlarged by love and that’s all together painful and wonderful.  Now I know grief. I realize that this was just a practice run for future times. I’ll leave that thought for another day.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Local Color - The Produce Patch

The Produce Patch
4363 Thompson Mill Rd.
Buford, GA. 30519

Cameron Oliver & His Mom, Lynne
The Produce Patch is another great reason to live in Buford, Georgia.  Their produce shop is located at the corner of North Bogan Rd. & Thompson Mill Rd.  They sell fresh, local produce, canned goods and local honey.

Lynne is a beautiful and gracious lady.  Her son Cameron will help you select the best produce.  I picked up a bag of South Carolina peaches today.

Here's Lynne's email:  the;

They have a Facebook page you can like:

Lynne Oliver, The Tomato Lady,  770-912-8547

The artwork got my attention first. A family member, Terry Sandstrom is a professional artist that works on movie studio sets.  I'm a fan!!!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Pat Conroy's Death of Santini

I read the book in 3 days.  I woke up at 2 AM to read the book, went back to sleep, and finished it this morning.  It's great to be on Christmas break! This book is about so much more than Pat's dad, The Great Santini, a distinguished Marine fighter pilot, so well described in his book by that title.  We meet Pat's mother, father siblings, grandmother, grandfather, and others that have touched his life. He writes about the filming of The Great Santini, and how the book and movie heal his family over time. It is a story of mostly forgiveness that I can relate to in this time of my life. Incidently, I discovered that Pat's ancestors come from Sand Mountain in Alabama. I claim the same ancestral locale in Northern Alabama. My Dad has told me many stories of the place so that I understand the poverty that drove his grandmother to flee to Atlanta.

I can tell you that this books makes me want to go back and reread Prince of Tides, a book that made me weep, and Beach Music.  I've read all of Conroy's books except for his cookbook & My Reading Life.  I plan to pick up a copy of My Reading Life this week to see what's on his list.

I've read most of Hemingway's novels.  I put Conroy right up in the same league with Mr. Hemingway & here's why...

Conroy's novels make me laugh aloud, ache in resonance with the characters, long to see the landscapes he paints with words, and most importantly, makes me want to read them again.

In a world full of paperbacks, I buy hard copies of his work. Enough said!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Ann's Rose

Little did I realize that the rose that Lauren Ann and I planted together when she was still in high school would be a gift that would be returned to me each year. This is a shot taken from the garage window. I noticed the roses blooming when I pulled into the garage and stepped out of my car.  Memories as fresh as the blooms drew me to my daughter and I sent the photo to her by email saying "I miss you."  Her response, "Just a reminder of how much I love you."

Friday, April 12, 2013

My world is lovely...

Loves remotes...just like a man!

and trains...

but, who wouldn't love this train???

The hair cover was almost a deal breaker for Ellie.

Lovin' this cow milking thing!

Poppy loves it too!

Two maids a milking

Followed by ice cream

Saturday, April 6, 2013

My Love Affair with Handbags...

started with my Mom. She held the coordinating shoes and handbag rule as one to never be broken. She made sure that my Easter dress, bonnet, patent leather Red Goose shoes, and patent leather handbag were a coordinated ensemble.

Red Goose Shoes (Not all Red Goose shoes were red. Mine were always white or black.)

I enthusiastically adopted my mother's philosophy when in high school. My Christmas wish when in the ninth grade was for a brown leather John Romaine, single strap satchel bag. That bag was followed by a Aigner fish basket shaped bag with leather straps. I actually found the exact bag on a vintage bag website. Now I wish I had kept it!


These flowers were a gift from my Joyce Crank, my visiting teacher.  I noticed that the light was just right at my kitchen window...