Little Lost Sleep

I don’t usually dream. If I do dream, I usually don’t remember that dream unless I dream about Thurmon Munson, a Yankee ballplayer who died almost 40 years ago. That dream I remembered and blogged about it. Weird – I know.

Two nights ago I was awakened by a new dream and I woke up early this morning replaying it in my muddled brain and decided to blog about it. It worked for Thurmon Munson -never dreamed about him again.

A dear friend died on January 31st, just weeks ago. I wake up thinking of him every night. I picture him as a kid living in the stories he wrote about his childhood in Dallas, his storied life in the Vietnam War and with us, his writer friends. I don’t want to forget him. I don’t want him to be dead. I don’t want anyone to be dead.

The dream that woke me two nights ago was about Bossman. He died in my dream. I guess I should call it a nightmare, because it scared the crap outta me. He was lying in bed looking pretty rough and as he was ‘leaving’ his face became young and fresh and happy. He looked at me with a beautiful smile of peace. Then I woke up.

I can’t shake it.

There’s a bit of an upside of this. It’s put some of our crazy life into perspective for me. I shared the dream with him and he was touched, and a little freaked out. If you lived here, you’d be freaked out, too. Lately our family puts the fun in dysfunctional.

Later this morning, he and I will go to church and get recalibrated. We recalibrate with God from home, but doing it with church seems to make it stick.

Dreams. They aren’t all filled with rainbow farting unicorns.  unicorn

 

Catching-Up is Hard to Do

Happy New Year!

It’s New Year’s Eve and our house is full of modest activity. Bossman is cleaning off his desk, The Queen of English is probably watching a Hallmark movie or is at her desk editing bird pictures from today’s sit-outside. The Man-Boy is in his bedroom meditating after trying to figure out all the problems with this blog over the last few days. I’m sitting here, drinking a Pumpkin Spice Latte with Wild Turkey. Don’t judge.

A lot has happened this past year. Good and Bad, of course. The Queen of English has been afflicted with Meniere’s Syndrome for almost a year. It’s horrid. Her POTS, postural orthostatic, tachycardia sydrome has been pretty steady at being just ‘bad’. The good news is that she’s finished her novel and has gone through three edits. I’ll keep you all posted when it goes off to agents. Her birding has also been pretty steady. 99% of her sightings are from the backyard and she’s ranked 6th in the county for species sightings for the year.

The Man-Boy, 43, has moved from Oregon to our spare bedroom. He’s job searching and ready to start over in the south where the weather is warmer and brighter. He’s a helper to all of us and has lifted his sister’s spirits quietly by just sitting and watching Hallmark movies with her during the holidays.

Bossman has played golf two to three times a week in good weather and enjoys poker night with the neighborhood guys once a month. He keeps busy with tons of bookkeeping and paperwork, shuttling The Queen to therapy and appointments, finishing handyman work around our house and anyone else’s who needs it.

Our ‘chosen’ grandkids are the lights of our lives. Kate is almost 17 and Cannon will be five on our birthday. Such fun with these two!

Last year started out with a bang for me. I had basal cell surgery on my nose in February which took six hours because the wonderful, amazing Doctor  William G. Stebbins rebuilt my nostril. I love showing it off. I stick my nose up in the air at a lot of people. In March I had two wisdom teeth removed. The only outcome of that was the tattoo I decided to get of Bernie Sanders. (get it?)

I’ve been active in my three writer’s groups, one which Bossman has now joined, and another with just chicks. I also am a leader in our church’s Poets and Writers group.

I attended two family weddings and four graduations in Mississippi, New York and Atlanta. I traveled to EUROPE!!! It was a dream-trip~ France, Switzerland and Italy. Words fail me. I went with 14 others from the Journey Church Arts Collective and we had an experience of a lifetime. The bonding was unexpected and is still so very strong months later.

Last February I was approached by my friend and Creative Pastor, Brett Mabury. He asked if I thought I could write lyrics. “Sure! I think I could do that.” Meanwhile a little voice was yapping at me, “What? What? You? Write lyrics??? hahahaha”.  Well, those lyrics were for a song that was hopefully going to be included in a movie; which opened this December, and had music from Journey Church people, including my song. I took all my friends and family to the red carpet premieres in Franklin and Nashville. I had to join a union. I met the actors in the movie, Believe, and we have three songs, including mine, that are three of 91 songs submitted for nomination for an Academy Award for best original song in a motion picture. We will find out January 24th if we’re nominated. One song, by Rachael Taylor is Number One on the Christian Music Charts right now. She sings my song, Mother’s Theme (I didn’t name it that), in the movie and on iTunes. The DVD should be coming out in January of 2017.

The trip to Europe and the song have been highlights of this past year. What a blessing to have these happen late in life. I’ll turn, cough-cough, the magic age of Social Security benefits in May. It’s never too late to have some exciting firsts. God has plans for us that we never see coming, sometimes.

Florence, Italy
Florence, Italy

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Hangin' in the Paris Metro.
Hangin’ in the Paris Metro.

Discomfort Zone Warning (originally written on August 31, 2016)

Editorial Notes:

Today is December 18, 2016. The post below was written just about 5 weeks before I left for Europe, which was totally amazing and unforgettable. Life has been busy and I will try to catch you all up on it in the next few days/weeks/hopefully not months.    Susie.

 

 

I’ve just realized I leave for Europe in 35 days.

I just stopped breathing for a minute.

Over the last few months Plexus Slim and P.T.  has helped me lose almost 16 pounds.

I’ve been going to physical therapy for four weeks to strengthen my bad arthritic hip, which is now working much better since the tune-up has started. My therapist has added exercises each time I go. It takes me about an hour to do them. We’re working on strengthening my earlobes now.

My travel wardrobe is something I’ve been focused on. Our group of twelve from Journey Church Arts Collective will be welcomed by artists at a Paris Gallery on the first night we’re there.  I’ve done enough work on this old body, that skinny jeans are now in my wardrobe. I am far from being skinny, but these are very slimming and got two thumbs up from the discernible daughter. Finally. It only took me 40 years to pass a fashion test.

I’ve collected numerous Pins, from Pinterest,  that will help me pack light as well as dress comfortably, but not in PJ’s, on an overnight flight to Paris. Ha. There it is again. Paris. {{{sigh}}} And have I told you I was going to Lausanne Switzerland and Florence, too? {{{sigh}}} Overwhelmed in a good way.

We’re looking at small laptops so I can write and post while away. After using a computer to get my thoughts down, using a pen and paper is like getting out the horse and buggy to go into town.

The excitement among my fellow travelers is growing. People are still raising funds to help offset the trip. If you’d like to help someone financially I’m going to post a link at the end of this blog. Prices for the trip have risen, people have had circumstances happen and are in need of help for this Arts Mission Trip. Life is short. Opportunities are sometimes few. Generosity is alive and well. Personally, I’ve been humbled beyond words and to tears by the generosity of family and friends.

Spread the love if you can to an artist with the mission to learn, explore, disciple, befriend and eat pastries. Well, you all know I’m all about the truth.

Thanks for reading me!

Susie

Teary-Mom Time of Year

I’ve been reading a lot of posts on FaceBook from my friends about kids going off to school. Some are going for the first time, some are returning in the middle of completing steps to graduating from high school and then some are moving on to college which might be hours or days away from home.

My kids are not kids anymore. They are in their forties and I am no longer a young mom, teary -eyed at watching them go through childhood. I am an older and wiser teary-eyed mom watching them go through life’s trials and heartaches. One has a medical disability and the other is looking for a fresh start in a new state.

I wrote these two poems during my younger-mom years. The first was in 1981 when my youngest started Kindergarten.

 The Quiet

The day has come, it’s finally here
They’re gone all day, there’s no one near.
There seems to be one sound I hear,
The quiet; how it hurts my ears.

 

The second poem is when my first-born son went off to college.

First Son

Why didn’t anyone tell me how I’d feel
when I walked into his room to raise the blinds
and faded squares and rectangles glared from the walls
once covered in posters of fast cars and pretty women?

Why didn’t anyone tell me how I’d feel
when I looked into his closet that used to be
packed with jeans and tee shirts and sneakers
and now holds only empty tangled hangers?

Why didn’t anyone tell me how I’d feel
when I answered the phone on the first ring
and it wasn’t one of his buddies calling
and more importantly, it wasn’t him?

Why didn’t anyone tell me how I’d feel
when I realized this was the end of his
childhood, the beginning of his future
and a new beginning for me?

Did anyone tell him how I’d feel?

Children growing older and doing what we’ve raise them to do is heart-wrenching sometimes. It’s a time of growth for kids and for parents. It can be survived, and looking back, the memories are sweet and real.

These tears will become cherished memories.

I promise.

I’ve Been Committed

Decisions

 

I woke up around 5:30 this morning thinking about the commitment I made two days ago. Bossman was with me, so he’s a witness. We talked about this commitment yesterday and in celebration of my commitment, he committed by making a tee time for himself for 9am today .

So, I’m laying, or lying in bed, thinking about what I’ve sworn to do. Seriously? Again? Good gravy, Marie!  All the decisions that go with signing on that damn dotted line have just hit me between the eyes. My intentions were sincere and I was even excited when I signed and handed over my credit card.

I joined a gym. Planet Fitness. Like I need another planet. I have a hard enough time balancing the two I’m trying to function on now. Earth and the one people think I’m originally from. Probably Mars, or maybe Neptune. Mars is pretty and I can see it at night, I think I’d like to be… . Squirrel!

The clock next to the bed is glowing at me. I’m wide awake. Last night, I told Bossman I was going to get to the gym three days a week and Friday was going to be my first day. Today is Friday. My problem is making decisions. Now I have to decide what to wear and what time to go.

Clothing: Definitely not the skin tight workout bottoms I see women wearing at Kroger. (I’m envious knowing they made decisions and have already been to the gym) Not the baggy pair of knit black pants I wear around the house with the stains on them. Not the knit knee-length pants I only wear in the house that are semi-loose, lightweight and need to be worn with a long, sturdy tee shirt to cover the tummy area because that’s where they aren’t loose. I settle on a pair of knit crop pants that miraculously aren’t skin tight. I’ll top them off with a t-shirt of some sort with a neck that won’t choke me when I’m gasping for air on the elliptical machine.

Shoes: I have sturdy sneakers that pinch my toes a little bit, and I have neon nylon Nikes. So, the Nikes have it for today.

Time: It’s 6:30am. People will be hitting the gym before work. I’m avoiding the gym when it’s at its busiest.  There is absolutely no reason for me to be there during rush hour with women having to shower and get ready for work. The fewer naked women I see at the gym, the better. I’m modest, self-conscious and have a problem dialoging in my head about details. I’m detailed oriented and I don’t need any naked information scurrying around me that might end up in a blog or story. Well, maybe… . No! No rush hour gym time!

Now, another decision. Shower before the gym or after? I’m exhausted just thinking about going. I won’t shower or maybe I will shower. I feel better after a shower. So maybe I will. Yes! I’m going to shower!!!

Gosh. I’m ready for a nap and I’m not even out of bed yet.

 

A note from Susie:

I’m glad I wrote about this decision making issue I have as I laid in bed this morning. The whole reason I joined the gym in the first place is to increase my stamina for walking. You may have heard that I’m going on a trip to Europe (still can’t believe this) in October. Paris, Lausanne and Florence. Journey Church Arts Collective is taking about 15 of us over to share the love of Christ, our artistic gifts and our hope for a better and kinder world. My personal plan is to represent my faith and my country, and the expectation I have that Americans will pull our country together and become united–to where we are blind in judgment when we see the color of people’s skin and  we’ll be wise in choosing a new leader; and to travel to Paris, take Parisian’s hands in mine and tell them “I’m sincerely sorry for your enormous loss.”

I am not afraid to travel but I will be observant. God has made it clear that I’m supposed to be on this trip. There is a reason. I’m not sure what it is, but I’m praying that I will make Him, and all my supporters, smile at  my efforts while I’m abroad.

As always ~ Thanks for reading me.

Susie

 

Hope is like peace. It is not a gift from God.
It is a gift only we can give one another.

Elie Wiesel

Every Evening Wonders

A few hours ago, I walked out my backdoor into the day’s twilight and my focus instantly shot up into the dusky sky and stuck on the glittering  red planet directly in front of me.  I was filled with awe at Mars and its backdrop of a fading blue sky, with cotton-candy-spun dirty white clouds. My eyes shifted to the right where a brilliant white star  or possibly, Saturn, stole my attention. Shifting back and forth between the only two lights in the sky, I was filled with innocent wonder as the fireflies, far beneath them, flitted through the trees, mimicking the two brilliant lights and begging for my attention.

How clever for our Creator to mimic His stars, planets and tiny little flying bugs. From the astounding mammoth creation of the Universe to the tiny, short termed lifespan of our fireflies.

I am awed and child-like.

mars-fireflies-5-29-2016-Matt-Pollock-upstate-NY-e1464643394703

Photo by Matt Poll, upstate New York, May 29, 2016