Almost There

Almost. That’s a good word. Very hopeful. It’s been a good five years at least. But I think it’s almost done. My little novel, that is. It’s a really patient one. I mean, it’s put up with me for a long time, and never bugs me when I have taken months away from it. And sometimes I have done that, although its always in my mind. I have to be in a certain state and have a certain emptiness and calmness in my mind to concentrate. Otherwise the things like kids, work, kids…keep yelling too loud for me to think about it. So it really has had to be patient a good deal. But now it is beginning to stir and to stretch its limbs because we can see the end of the tunnel. Now the question is, what to do with it. Recently a friend’s husband published his own novel on Amazon. That has a certain appeal to me. I just want to share my little ideas with others. And hope that someone else out there finds it as moving/entertaining as I hope. What have you, bloggy friend’s of mine, done with your own achievements?

Neighbors

This Sunday,as I sat in the back of my tiny church with the rest of the small choir, struggling to keep two sleepy red heads from fighting, I strained to hear the sermon, as it was one which I thought could use a little repetition. Our current ‘supply priest’ has a real knack for sermons. He started out quoting one of my favorite childhood shows, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, and went on to discuss the state of neighbors and neighborliness. The sermon touched a lot of us, who realize that so much has changed (although much more has stayed the same). People in these suburban mazes don’t know many of their neighbors who live right next door, and forget sometimes that even those you don’t know are neighbors. It’s nice to get a reminder once in a while that people really haven’t forgotten, they just need a nudge.

There was the time that one of my daughters (I forget which now) was crying over a lost helium balloon from Friendly’s on her birthday. I remember commiserating with her and trying to entice my other daughter to share her balloon (it didn’t work),when a young man, probably still a teen, ran into the restaurant and came out with a new balloon for my daughter. That always will stick in my heart. Then just this past week, my oldest decided to bake some sweets and some pasta for an elderly friend of ours who doesn’t get around very well.

This morning I got a text message from out township police department sharing that there had been two burglaries in the area. A few months ago there had been a prowler who was never caught. And that’s just in our very small and safe area. It makes one wonder how many people have forgotten to be neighbors even in a small town. That is, until we see these small acts of kindness. They may seem small but are not small to the recipient. So take an extra 5 minutes and stop by the lemonade stand that those two noisy 8-year-olds put up and buy some super sweet lemonade, or give your grandparents a call. It’s a small price but the reward to both parties is extensive.

As my dear friend said this Sunday morning, make it a beautiful day in the neighborhood.

Memories

Recently an old friend of mine sent me a message concerning our hometown. It seemed that she had gotten the chance to visit one of those mysterious places from our childhood that we held in awe. We all had them, be it a ‘haunted house’ or that old cemetery where you frequently dared one another to enter. In this case it was a building we called ‘The Guitar Factory’. I guess it had been at one time, although my mother told me it had been converted into artist’s studios. Since I knew enough artists along with my mom, that sort of put a damper on the romance. However, there was also a character to go along with it. An older man with a long gray beard who rode his bicycle through town. The poor gentleman was probably the nicest of fellows, and had to put up with our giggles. We called him Weird Beard and pretended that he lived in the guitar factory for some reason which probably made sense at age 8. Anyway, along with the astounding news of my friend’s visit to ‘The Guitar Factory’, she also sadly wrote that ‘Weird Beard’ had passed away. Her news awoke some memories of our old town which have probably been forgotten by many.

We lived in a quaint old town with quite a few characters. The kind who seem to inhabit towns small enough and old enough to have a strong personality. There was Walking Bob, Sunoco Tom, and Tiny, the village homeless lady who of course had grown up in a very wealthy family who live in the ‘Castle’. As children we never knew the stories of Sunoco Tom (who drove a huge old car with fins covered with gasoline brand decals) or Walking Bob, probably there were none, but the one about Tiny – well that was mysterious enough to capture anyone’s imagination. Word had it that her family was swindled out of all their money and she was left penniless. (I never knew if the story was really very truthful, but I like to believe it is) The Castle was actually a largish house on the outskirts of town which had since been divided into apartments. I have told my own daughters the story of Tiny, capturing their own imaginations too.

It seem to me that we all should be able to have known a place, our hometown or maybe a summer visit to our Grandparent’s, which contains mystery and romance. I don’t know if many of the kids growing up today have that. I know my own daughters don’t hear of anything like that in our own particular suburban jungle and that saddens me.

Locked out….again

The very first post I ever wrote was about me getting locked out of my house. It was a chilly but sunny spring day and due to a door malfunction, (yes it really WAS the door’s fault) I found myself locked out of my house with half of the groceries in the house on the kitchen floor. Over an hour and a soaked pair of pants later (car washing mishap) I was able to get back in the house thanks to a friend with a spare key. That was a good four years ago.

This time, it wasn’t the door’s fault, it was mine, and sort of my daughter’s. It was a simple case of talking to a friend as we left my house, and realizing after the door slammed that my keys were not in my purse. Never walk out distracted. Fortunately, I carry a spare to my car in a hidden place and have a garage door opener. So problem solved right? Wrong! My 6-year-old, always eager to be a help, in that 6-year-old rationale, raced ahead of me into the house. She wanted to be the hero of the hour and find the keys by herself. Thinking quickly, she slammed the door and locked me out so she could look for the keys herself. I pounded on the garage door while my friend pounded on the front door, both of us yelling and hollering to open up. Finally my threat of withholding a favorite cartoon hit home, she opened the door and we found the keys. While this was going on, my older daughter and her friend had wandered down the street, bent on raising money for one of their school clubs. Of course we were late for an appointment because these things don’t happen in the middle of a lazy afternoon. In a move which I thought was cooler than Tom Cruise’s in the MI movies, I grabbed my youngest, tossed her in the car while both of us moms each took a different route around the block to confront our eldest daughters. They simultaneously leaped into our respective cars and away we raced just in time for our appointment.

Frequently I have thought that parts of my life resemble a sitcom. But that day, I was pretty sure it was more like a cross between action and a Mr. Bean episode (without his yellow car).

Tooth Fairy Wisdom

My 6-year-old recently lost her first two teeth. She has become quite an expert on the habits of the Tooth Fairy. I suggested she write a post, but she declined, so I suppose I’ll take a whack at it. I have included a few facts which I have learned.

First, the Tooth Fairy is undoubtedly a lady. I assume the job is just to delicate and requires a steady hand.

Second, I learned that her wings are very fragile and she has issues when it gets too cold. I wonder if there is a strong market for wing warmers? This little factoid I came to suspect after watching the latest Tinkerbell movie. But the experts reinforced my suspicions.

The third and very important thing to know about our favorite tooth hunter; she is so tiny that the heavy fancy bags sometimes used for the teeth are too heavy for her. She is a tiny little glowing fairy and can’t lift those heavy bags. So remember, parents, beware of gimmicks claiming to help the Tooth Fairy find those little teeth. I suggest a very light cotton drawstring, maybe a barbie purse or something similar might be useful.

I also learned that the good fairy must be pretty patient. My daughter, so proud of yanking her second tooth, (she was afraid she would swallow it like the first one) she brought it to school for a day before actually leaving it for the Tooth Fairy. She still made out well. The price for teeth has certainly gone up.

Bling Monday update

Yeah, yeah, I know it’s Thursday and I’m just getting around to updating the general blog-o-spere about my Monday plans to sweep the blues away with clothes. It didn’t work. Why? Because it was cold and so my bed didn’t want me to leave it. Because it was being so clingy, I had to push the snooze button on my alarm and so I didn’t have time to get too bedazzled. I barely had time to shove some jeans on and warm boots before grabbing a random container of food from the fridge and racing to work. It was just fine however, the Monday blues were probably busy in someone else’s Monday.

Should I try for another Monday? Maybe I should accept that Monday is just Monday and keep the comfy jeans handy. I can always wear the ‘good’ boots.

boots

Happy Anniversary

I just got a notification on my blog that it was my one year anniversary. Well, this is cause for a celebration. I can hardly believe it’s been on year. I can’t say I’ve written as much as I would have liked, or finished my novel (it’s sooo close). But then that’s part of the fun of life, it never goes how you plan.

Rehashing the year that has passed, I can say it was hardly uneventful. It’s been fun and tiring and filled with tons of memories. Vacationing in Florida with my daughters and mother was a huge high point. Visiting the Grand Canyon last spring for the second time was also a bright memory. Sense the trend? I love to travel. But also, leaving one job and starting another was a part of that year, as well as the usual rough patches and those golden days when you can relax and let yourself be a kid again. Like playing in the snow (for the first 15 minutes, before the realization that it’s cold really kicks in), and hide and seek with the kids. Those were all highlights that are popping into my head as I type. The best part of the one year anniversary is, I have so many plans for the next year. I can’t wait to share them either.

And now to celebrate, I think I’ll go get myself a cappuccino smoothie.