painting a picture

•November 2, 2012 • Leave a Comment

A curve of dusty brown Carhart paints his wrist matching the wide and worn steering wheel of his grandfather’s truck.

His faded blue jeans and black baseball cap a crumpled swish of oil on the edge of the canvas.

His low laugh takes a bit to brighten to full height, but spills over the frame when it does.

His smile of hidden achievement.

His primary colors of emotion held close to the vest.

His sunbrushed, callused hands smoothing a blonde daughter’s brow as she sleeps.

The touch of his breath that lingers red after his rough cheeks call five o’clock.

Can you paint a picture of your life?

What hues reach an ease of presence, secruity…honesty?

An overwhelming richness that strengthens everything it touches. 

my life as a bookseller

•September 12, 2011 • 3 Comments

On my last day as a bookseller I am filled with mixed emotions.  This place as been both the bane of my existance and a refuge.  It is my tiny, small store enveloped in a corporate mess.  We were a group of individuals who ran a business well, made money, prided ourselves in displays and book knowledge.  We excelled at everything that was asked of us and had fun (most of the time) while doing it.  Despite the success of our world, the corporate machine does not work the same way and all the work is lost.  I have hated, physically hated, going to work some days and I have also found myself there hours after I should have been off.

Some things I have learned the past 8 years:

No matter how many times I have said the alphabet, I still need to sing it in my head as I am shelving a cart.

People are generally good…except when they become customers:)

To manage people successfully, talking is overrated…listen.

The look of  joy from your child when you come home from work can never solve the hurt of watching them cry when you leave, rough.

It is possible to have a group of people so different, so unique all in one spot and really like them all (ok, well…most of them).

The difference between a graphic novel and manga…that is really using my college degree!!!

I was blessed to meet a lot of great people and make friendships that lasted six months and also some friendships that will last forever.  People started working their freshmen year of college and then graduated, got married, moved on & then came back.  It has been a flame to many moths and it would have been a slight relief to find a better job and move on, but always be able to come back.  Now I have to move on by locking it’s doors…that is sad.  I know when a bestselling author has a new book, what you should read if you liked Terry Prachett and what book with a red cover was on display “just days ago”.  I also know my daughters loved reading books there, coming in to pick up Mama and running into the arms of my coworkers that have know become their friends. 

It is a place that will be missed.

a four-year-old thought

•August 5, 2011 • 2 Comments

“I wonder how many cherries I could eat…”

this independence day

•July 1, 2011 • 5 Comments

Its July 1st and I am about to begin my holiday weekend.  Relaxing, laughing with my daughters, sitting late at night by the campfire with my husband, enjoying everything.  This Independence Day I will be proud to be an American and even more so than ever, I will be proud to be an independent American woman.  I find myself surrounded everyday with the most incredible women and I am proud to be living this life with them in it and setting examples for the most important ladies…my two little girls.

Every day at work I look at some of the most generous, understanding and kind women that I know.  Each of them different ages, different lives and different experiences.  All of them with so much to offer.  There is respect and humor and commonality.    

I have the most wonderful friends that are just outstanding mothers and good people.  I know they would be there for me at the smallest request and would support me in any choice I made.  I strive to be a better person when I am around these women and am so happy to have them in my life and my daughter’s.  It could be as simple as a call, a question, an evening at a ballgame or sharing motherhood.

Without the women in my family I am not sure where I would be today.  I have these sister-in-laws that are magic to watch.  Even though it would be amazing to see them all the time, I still marvel at them from a distance.  Women who have been through the hardest struggles of loss and strife with beauty and resilience.  There is this network of mothers, grandmothers, aunts and cousins that don’t get spoken to on a daily basis (or even a monthly sometimes) yet I am blessed to have them. 

On this Independence Day I want to celebrate the independent, outstanding women in my life.  And despite all the roads left to be blazed, I am proud to live in this country and have the future laid out for my blue-eyed baby girls who will someday be the best women I will ever have the chance of knowing.

my gift

•February 3, 2011 • 3 Comments

I will teach my daughters many lessons: how to draw, how to tie their shoes, how to put on just the right amount of eyeliner, when not to call a boy, how to change their dad’s opinion, how to be strong, how to be decisive, what not to say at a dinner party, how to bake bread, what to do when your water breaks, how to change a tire, how to write a scientific paper that will get you an A, how to whistle, when to throw in the towel and when to fight like there is no tomorrow.  With all the things I plan on teaching them, the ideas I will unintentionally influence them about and the instances I will try to plan for, the most important gift that I can give my daughters has already happened…being a sister.  It did not occur to me until I saw them sitting close in a small polka-dotted chair that the lifelong friendship that has already started will pull them through it all long after I am gone.  Respect, love, unconditional acceptance, laughter and secrets are already so visible in their childhood gestures to each other.  It is a pleasure to watch and I feel honored to see it from the start. 

somewhere on this monday night

•December 14, 2010 • 2 Comments

When I came home late this evening after work I walked into a small cave of comfort and sleeping bodies.  Baby asleep in the crib, husband sprawled across the couch with a butterfly blanket across his legs, three year old feet hanging over the edge of the recliner.  The lights dim and music played from the repeating menu after the movie was left on.  Dishes were in the sink and the dog was stretching from his cozy protective spot at the base of the door.  All was right with my small world.  I went to close the curtains at the front window and saw the streetlight illuminating the flag across the way, it made me have that tightness in the chest and the catch in your breath when you feel patriotic and proud, the feeling that usually happens for most during Fourth of July fireworks, Memorial Day parades and news reports on the returning soliders.  I thought of how I was so secure here in my home when thousands were not so lucky, they are somewhere on this Monday night away from sleeping family, chores to accomplish and crisp sheets to slide into.  The men and women that are right now alert, watching, cold, protecting, translating, aiming and dodging…

There are many reminders everyday about how we should salute uniformed soliders.  This was just my one moment that might reflect every second someone feels at home waiting for their loved one to come back…

polished until it shines

•December 1, 2010 • 3 Comments

A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trial.                                   -Chinese Proverb

I was told this quote so many years ago and took nothing of it, then I heard it repeated to me today and I was profoundly touched.  I have to remind myself daily now how the trials and strife that I am going through will only prove a benefit tomorrow.  Life could be so much worse and love could not be so easily found surrounding me everyday.  I am lucky and should master a lesson without so much fear and questioning.   Every moment I worry I should add a moment of celebration, for every sadness I feel leaving for work I should remember the faces of my girls when I come up the driveway, for every doubt I should add a sense of accomplishment and for every negative I should add some thoughtfulness.  The example I set for them is the only thing I will leave behind…the women they will become and the choices they make will be my biggest measure of success.  So let the trials come and hope for perfection…or at least happiness.

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