Tag Archives: relocating

Amazing, Moving Grace

paper-in-box-4608x3456_85917More than ever before I am grateful for grace today. This is particularly so while our new household seems to be in chaos.

 

However, I’m delighted to report that, uncharacteristically, my mind is not in chaos. I attribute this unusual phenomenon to being in familiar, excellent company.

While many tasks which would help us settle in hourly slip through the cracks, grace and patience abound. With rare, good humor (albeit sometimes twisted) we make our ways together through the challenges of blending our households. Compassion and care are the first rule – as is best.

Our maze is beginning to shirink. The piles and boxes of household and personal items including years of our collected antiquities is becoming less intimidating.

Our options are limited while we manage our very restricting finances, yet we hope to also integrate more modern technical equipment, particularly internet access into our new life together. For now, sister Erin and I focus on our short term goals – finding our stuff and somewhere to keep it all handy. All this while we keep our long-term goals to promote a full, rich life in perspective.

While the volumes of our combined paraphernalia (all necessary to daily life, of course) astounds we two sixty-something women, we laugh frequently (mostly at ourselves). We weep almost as often (sometimes for joy), we hug for any reason and we assure one another constantly, “it’s gonna be great.”

Family pops in frequently to assist with the heavy lifting. This all helps distract me from the huge inconvenience of being disconnected from my cyber-community.

I employ my old Galaxy S3 (without carrier service) as a tablet via my active cell Hot Spot. While I can do many tasks from my trusty phones, we have yet to discover why we can’t connect on the laptops. Up for the challenge, my patience and confidence are tested daily while honing my technical skills.

Now fourteen days since I separated from my flesh and blood family, my heart is calm overall. Though I wonder about my girls in Texas, I am confident this newest change in our family dynamic continues to be good for us all. And late in the day when my faith sometimes wanes, experience encourages and grace comforts me. It’s all good.

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The Road Again; Still

My life long friends, Erin and her baby sister Ellie and I hadn’t seen or spent actual live, local face time in about 15 years. With technology one can keep in touch on the phone and internet, etc. But it’s not the same as getting together in the same place, at the same time.

vega rig

My thirty-something-eth relocation brought about our reunion. These heroines drove a trailer south and east, through wind and amazing hail to collect my belongings and me, and then we three set out on our first road trip in decades. Crossing Texas and New Mexico en route to western Colorado I particularly noticed :

first Rockies

  • Hugs. Especially random hugs for no apparent reason. When they’re few and far between one really misses them. I’m glad to report they’re very easy to get used to again.
  • Body language and reading faces is kind of a big deal.
  • Coffee. I’m jealous of my girls who can drink coffee late in the day and still sleep like a baby. It’s so not fair while I must cut off all forms of caffeine before noon!
  • Aches and Pains. I’m astounded at how our bodies have aged over the years. The packing, lugging and loading took its toll on our bodies – before we hit the road on the 4 day journey. After the first 8 hours in the car, I re-discovered places that can ache from sitting.
  • Dings in our armor – we’ve discovered torn cuticles, broken fingernails and colorful shin bones. No bloodshed, no harm, no foul.
  • Junk food rules. Our healthy diets went out the window.
  • Exercise/physical therapy regime; in such tight quarters as a car, it’s hard to do the stuff we do to keep bodies moving freely
  • Older bodies adjusting to altitude changes can be entertaining.

With all of the above challenges, reconnecting with old, family roots makes the entire trip worth any stress leading up to the drive. What feels like home to me:

  • Remembering we were “green,” conserving resources and doing our parts to preserve the earth long before there was a Greenpeace.
  • We know every line and lyric to most of the classic rock hits, as well as the renown parodies and personalities of our generation (we all fondly remember Doctor Demento, Wolfman Jack and Wierd Al Yankovich).
  • We can drop a quote from a classic movie without explaining what it means.
  • We totally get each others’ fashion genre. Not too old to appreciate well fitted mid-rise jeans, we vowed to just shoot each other the day we eye stretch denim or elastic waistbands. This does not include jeggings. 😀
  • None of us minded coasting through Vega on HWY 385 (Route 66, people) to fill a stick of photos – without stopping the engine.
  • We like nice hotels. We agree we need a housekeeper and a spa at home.

Entertainment: Road Trip Games:

  • License Plate Bingo (no one keeps score)
  • Truth or dare is still a classic.

truck gamestruckingPlaying road tag with truckers (waving, coaxing them to blow the horn). Bonus points for getting one to use a Jake break 😉

 

 

  • Naming our favorite concerts ever and confessing our most embarrassing (or happiest) memories there.
    • Note: arriving at The Dead Show without tickets won, hands down.

At the end of day two on the road I look forward to more adventure and settling in – soon.

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” Proverbs 4:23 (NLT)

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Chickie

As I prepare for another relocation, yet uncertain where this length of my journey will take me, I think about people and events that brought me to the present.

A few years ago, while discussing a similar situation, my darling Aunt Chickie once told me, “I don’t have many words of wisdom for you, Dear, but I can tell you about mistakes, I’ve made them all!” Over the following hours, and the years afterward we laughed through her memories and with each visit the world felt far less severe.

Patty n Chickie

As a youngster I couldn’t comprehend Chickie ever making a mistake. Now I can appreciate how in hindsight some of her choices may have seemed so to her, but not to me. Raising three teen-aged children in the petulant 1960’s, I can only now imagine she may have felt fallible at times. As a single mother I certainly made some hard choices. She mastered putting any blunder behind her.

Most notable, Chickie never complained. Though a devout Christian, divorced, her inheritance was a devoted mother who often lived with her. She happily married again and became an exceptional step-mother as well. Despite any hardships, Chickie’s lively demeanor was a beacon to us youngsters.

Regardless of the desert heat causing my occasional sweaty, rank arrivals to her home, she always greeted me with genuine smiles, warm hugs and refreshed me. With each visit she told the best stories with helpful, happy, and usually funny anecdotes.

Chickie was a hero. She was and will always be a shining example of gentle, kind love that she consistently poured out on my siblings and me.

Today, while preparing a picnic lunch for my long drive ahead, I remembered helping Chickie make the same recipe I was employing. Long ago, gathering for a particular Memorial Day family outing, she welcomed me into her kitchen to help her prepare the potato salad. In her company I didn’t feel like a fumbling, awkward, insecure pre-teen. She made me feel like a welcome companion.

Blending the dressing into the chopped vegetables and minced pickles, up to her wrists with her bare hands, she suddenly stopped.

Looking intently in my direction, she wondered aloud, “Hmm… Did I wash my hands after I used the bathroom?” Then she overacted a relieved sigh, and answered, “Certainly I did.” Then as she eyed a piece of pickle sticking to her hand she added, “Oh, but then I fingered in my nose…”

For an instant I almost wretched, but, noticing the twinkle in her eye (and remembering how fastidious, the icon of a lady was about washing up upon entering the house and especially the kitchen), we both laughed heartily, drawing the rest of the family into the room with us. And so it always went at Chickie’s house.

Our only paternal aunt, she grew up best friends with Mother and our maternal aunts. Their combined talents for dramatically telling their stories from parochial school, like sabotaging the fearsome “Sister Rosetta Stone’s” yard stick/cane so it would break on the first strike, for instance. These first-person tales vividly etched in my mind, they provided me bright, happy memories. Such recollections often dispelled some of the menacing gloom and confusion that paved my coming years.

In today’s confusing and uncertain world I often draw upon the wealth my family ingrained in me. Chickie helped me recognize how princesses made paupers, we shine as we rise to heights which even darker, sadder souls would not otherwise aspire. Following her example, my sincerest hope is to shine God’s spirit bright enough to inspire others to rise also.

Mary Chickie Green Prince

“Chickie”
1927 – 2014

With fondest affection and deepest admiration.

“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”

Romans 12:9,10 (NLT)

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Girlz Move Party!

paper-in-box-4608x3456_85917 Days away from loading my worldly goods into a storage cube, leaving my household, my church and home for the past 24 months, I’m profoundly reflective.

I get weepy often lately, but it’s all good. The last tears are almost always sweet with happy memories and gratitude. What’s more, the grit in the experience polished me, so I shine like never before. All glory to God, images actually reflect more clearly today.

I especially appreciate how My Girlz, my friends in the blogosphere carried me these past weeks. I love that about women. Men and women may also connect, and I imagine men encourage other men, but I’m callin’ it; women instinctively do it better.

So here’s my morning line up, hopefully a reminder to every reader to never underestimate the power of the pack(forgive me):

What’s Next: A favorite Oldie But Goodie, Stomp, Kirk Franklin
Michelle at Two Are Better Than One, The Mallone Zone:  I Can Be a Little Punk Sometimes, Hollyn
Psychromatic Redemption: Ever ready Mesca consistently brings beauty, humor, new ideas and inspiration, like: Broken Arrows, Avicii

Simply Marquessa; Life is Just a Story. And I’ve Got a PenShackles, Mary, Mary

Ann Voskamp at A Holy Experience – Beautiful stories and images; When the Word is Hurting…
Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha at A Cooking Pot and Twisted Tales: Would You?
Diane at LadiesWhoLunchReviews, For a quick, hearty laugh
Lisa at Kids Crumbs and Crackers: Homestyle laughs with just the right amount of grit

 

“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” Proverbs 27:17 (NLT)

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The Best Choice Today

Have you ever faced a hard choice wishing it was not up to you? Have you ever regretted a decision? Welcome to my thoughts today, as I seem to bear the weight of the world!

whats right

 

Today I’m considering quotes. Usually quotes from my late brother help me most often, like “It’s not about who’s right, but what’s right.” But that’s not much help today.

I take more time making decisions these days than ever before. Perhaps that’s because America is caught up in the Presidential Election Primaries – so much information, the actual facts (verses misinformation or subjectivity), so little time. Maybe because I am older than I ever thought I’d be and yet vital, I approach many decisions more seriously. More than ever before in my history every choice seems more important in nearly every area of life.

Faced with making a decision that will directly impact my household, possibly my entire family, I’ve been profoundly circumspective the past few weeks – months actually. It’s not all bad. I’ve discovered among the blessings of aging is history; I can look back at choices I made and examine what was good, what could have been better and what didn’t work out so well – and why. As recently as a few years ago, my history had me reluctant to make decisions that had much bearing on anyone but me. One such choice about three years ago was to combine my household with my sister and brother. That decision brought me here, both geographically and metaphorically.

During weeks of introspection and examining the facts, thoughts from Louie Giglio’s book, I Am Not But I Know I Am come to mind (paraphrased):

  • I am not God. Therefore I cannot alter His plan.
  • God doesn’t have a backup plan in case I screw up His plan.
  • This story isn’t over, not even the results of decisions I regret because I chose while angry or hurt.

One choice that faces us all more than we even notice, is to do what’s best. Granted, I like to examine everything from every available perspective –  which often annoys my housemates. For example,

shall I:

  • get up now or go back to sleep,
  • eat cheese, eggs, beef or chicken, tea or coffee
  • walk in the morning or afternoon
  • spend now to save or do without

Under our intense circumstances our household often faces choices that ordinarily seem simple but are actually complex and have an impact on someone else or another area of life:

I’m groping here, but for example:

  • leave a light on in case someone in the household isn’t home yet (impacting the electric bill)
  • shop for food today because supplies are scarce or wait until the coupons and sale ads arrive
  • spend any more time trying to save a few pennies

But the biggest choice facing me now,

  • should I stay in my present household with family or move to somewhere more conducive to my needs.

The hardest part of the process is considering the list under the category,

What if

Some choices offer immediate results so they seem simpler. Those involving others and bear more dramatic, long-term or unseen ramifications are more challenging. With all our advanced technology, seeing ahead is sometimes as difficult as ever, particularly when our choices affect the lives around us.

“The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” Spock

When faced with difficult choices, I rely upon intensive prayer and fasting. Even then answers can seem subjective, especially to my vision in the moment. So, whenever possible I give myself time. I dread the chance I may have missed something important simply because there’s so much to consider. While I’m undeniably an emotional being, just as able to make a decision that could be influenced by my feelings in the moment, faith also guides my decisions.

When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild. But whoever obeys the law is joyful.” Proverbs 29:18 (NLT)

When open communication is tricky, confusion and offenses weigh in, being no more self-centered than the next human, my maternal instincts tend to override other logic. Still, I’m careful about doing something or entertaining thoughts that seem to be all about me – essentially evil.

“See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.” 1 Thessalonians 5:15 (King James Version)

Today my search for wisdom and direction led me right back where today began. My only plan remains to prepare myself to be ready when the time comes to either stay or move.

“If only you would prepare your heart and lift up your hands to him in prayer! Get rid of your sins, and leave all iniquity behind you. Job 11:13-14 (NLT)

A die hard scout, I shall prepare for whatever, continue listening and wait.

Good talk. Thanks!

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What A Ride

Part of preparing to relocate from Southeastern Washington State to North Texas, Roan and I experienced one of the roughest landings of both our lives.

But leading up to that, our brother Seagh, Roan and her almost-twenties daughter, Opal and I talked for months about combining my household with theirs under one roof. We hashed over each facet and question, until a year later we decided to just do it. I’d move away from my sons’ families. Roan and I would move for her new job in Texas. Seagh would keep his job in Boise, spending his weekends in the apartment at the Ranch, and Opal would take an apartment in town close to her job.

In three days including travel time, Roan and I did what often takes months. We located the best home for the two of us for the next two years, signed a lease and then headed for the airport to return and pack it all up.

Before takeoff

Before takeoff

On the flight back to Washington we were road weary and too physically exhausted to sleep when the Boeing 727 began lifting, dropping and seemed to twist before we approached the Gorge. Within a few minutes, I turned my head down to look around my shoulder and noticed white knuckles all down the aisle. Then the flight attendants strapped in too, announcing we were experiencing some turbulence, blah, blah, blah – an understatement.

Instinctively, I began to pray to remain calm. The rollercoaster ride of the past few years flashed a few still shots through my mind. But then suddenly, I saw like a video, scenes from a rodeo years before playing a continuous loop. I understood the heavenly reply immediately.

With the next upward buck from beneath me and a hard dip to the right, balancing on my seat, I lined up my head, hips and heels, I believed I could feel reigns in my hands, close to the mane. Soon I leaned into the turns as I rode around the barrels. Roan caught on, laughed and let out a “whoop!”

Grinning, she lifted one arm up as we lunged and rocked along, not bothering to look at the other passengers around us. Determined to ride it out, all previous drama faded into oblivion. All I could hear was:

“… Life’s a highway
There’s only one way
You’re gonna get through it
When she starts to twist
Be more like Chris
Pull your hat down tight
And just LeDoux it…*

Though we boarded, weary and worn, we walked off that plane onto the Pasco tarmac with our packs slung over one shoulder feeling delightfully revived. Striding along, we glanced at one another and I had to say it, “Good ride.”

There’s been a few times since when sliding off and walking away crossed my mind. Instead, I pull my hat down tight…

* Good Ride Cowboy, written by Jerrod Niemann, Bryan Kennedy, Richie Brown and Bob Doyle, recorded by Garth Brooks in tribute to Chris LeDoux (October 2, 1948 – March 9, 2005). Emi Blackwood Music Inc., Major Bob Music Inc., First Wind Music, Major Bob Music Inc. O/B/o Cowboy Hat Trick Music, Major Bob Music Co. Inc., New Songs Of Sea Gayle, Rope And Dally Music.

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