Thursday, June 15, 2017

That's (Indy) Cub

During my last hour of work a co-worker who is a huge fan of the Game of Baseball finished a buy and asked if I wanted a special edition newspaper filled with pictures of the Cubs winning the World Series. 
We looked thru it together and I said...
I'm getting a little verklempt just thinking about how magical that last game was...

I went to put some records out and saw a customer wearing a Bryant Jersey and as I passed by him I said, "We were just reliving that last game!"
"It was a great one!" He said with a smile."

I was in the back room, getting ready to leave and was paged to the register.
I called and was prepared to give the "I'm done...not here" response, when the co-worker from before said, "There's something you need to see up here."
I went to the register and he pointed out the window...
showing me this:

I turned around and the guy with the Bryant Jersey was nearby.
"Is that your truck?" I asked.
He nodded.
"Wow! That's commitment! Can I take a selfie with your truck?"

I came back inside and he was headed toward the door...
I then noticed that he not only had a Jersey on, but was decked out, head to toe, Cubs Jersey, belt buckle, shoes and socks!

I said "Thank You! That's the Best Thing I've seen all day!" And I shook his hand.

It's a good thing I saw this car while it was parked and I wasn't driving...
I may have crashed my car doing a double take or trying to get a picture!

The great thing is...
I posted on Facebook about seeing a FireFly and marveling at the wonder of those bugs and my friend Mary commented:

"May today be filled with uplifting sightings and events, and this evening be filled with a bevy of fireflies!"

Talk about an uplifting sighting!!!

Directions to here:

Bookstore secret:
Don't tell Boots or my Boss, but since the Cubs won the World Series...
Every customer that is wearing anything to do with the Cubs, gets an automatic 10% off when I'm running the register.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Picture Window

"When you get where you're goin'...
Don't forget turn back around.
Help the next one in line...
Always stay Humble and Kind."

Dear Mom,

On the Eve of my 53rd celebration of having you as my mom and our 18th Mother's Day of you journeying on ahead of us...

I am hoping that Heaven has a picture window.

I hope that you can see how this picture has changed.
How these Grands of yours have grown,
how many wives and husbands have been added,
how your Daughters and Sons have become awesome Grandmas and Grandpas
and how many Greats those Grands have added.

My goodness how this picture has grown!

I'm pretty confident that there IS a window...
or at the very least a mirror.

Because I see your beautiful smile,
your humble gentleness
and your wonderful kindness in each and every one of them.

We all love you 
and We all miss you.
Happy Mother's Day Mom.

Directions to here:

The above quote is from the song Humble and Kind made famous by the country singer Tim McGraw.
But, you know what?
It was written by a mom.
Lori Mckenna is a songwriter and she wrote it as a simple prayer and a list of everything she wanted to make sure to tell her kids.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Another of the Greatest Generation has crossed over

Sometimes Facebook can really knock the wind out of you.
Today I was checking my newsfeed and about to go on with my day, when I read that a family member had passed away.
Bud Potter was one of the most kindest and gentlest men I've ever known.
I saw the words on the screen and I said out loud "No! Not, Bud! I wasn't done with Bud!"
One of the reasons I've wanted to move closer to family, is to be able to spend more time with people like Bud. He knew all the family that I had never met or was too young to remember. He knew their story and he had his own stories...and although I saw Bud from time to time...I never got to sit down and just listen to him.

Another Great from that Greatest Generation has crossed over to meet the others. 

God Bless you, Bud.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

What 'Now' Looks Like

I know, Selfies...

I'm sure if you follow my facebook page, you can see that I think selfies are great.
So much that I've been rockin' them and cuttin' off heads since the days of 110 instamatic film.

A lot has happened in my head, in my heart, in my family and in our world.
I have been reading a lot. Writing a lot. Thinking a lot. Growing a lot.
I've changed.

One thing I've zeroed in and focused on is practicing mindfulness.
Zeroing in and being awake to the present moment and being aware.
Being present.
In the Now.

There must be at least a hundred blog posts and stories I've wanted to share with you that I have either written and haven't posted or written on paper and haven't transferred to screen, or recorded vocally on my phone, but not transcribed, or formed in my head, but not sat down to communicate.

And that brings me to the idea of the meaningful selfie.
There have been moments in the last year...
that I have not wanted to forget.
"Ah ha" moments. Moments filled with happiness, sadness, joy, fear, sorrow, silliness and gratefulness.
In these moments, I've tried to remember to snap a selfie....
to be reminded and to see...
what that moment looked like.
I am a visual learner. A memory keeper.
I want to remember....
What joy looks like on my face, what fear looks like, what gratitude looks like.
A visible reminder of
What the "now" looks and looked like.

Once I get this page back up and running,
I hope to share some of those many stories and blog posts with you....
but for now...
I'm introducing the idea of the meaningful selfie.
(too bad it's such a scary one ;)

Here's the story behind this selfie....

For two years now...
I've known that it is time for my life on Main Street to draw to a close and that I need turn and face north.
(That story is a whole other blog post).

So, in September...
I and the other residents of our apartment building got a letter from the landlord that he had sold the building to the Carmel Redevelopment Committee.
(yes, Main Streets fate is as bad as the name of that committee makes it sound)
However, I was not blindsided...
I was not frantic.
yes, Of course.
I LOVE this building.
I LOVE this apartment.
I LOVE the lives that have crossed paths living here.

I do not want this building to be demolished.
But, if you know anything about what has been happening in any corner of Carmel,
we all knew it was coming eventually....
And, what a few years ago would have devastated me,
was not a huge blow,
because I had already made peace with the fact and resolved that my time here was coming to a close.

We were originally told we would need to be out by Dec. 31....
giving us a three month window.

But then, we were contacted by the City and told that they were extending our leases into the new year....and the very earliest would be Spring of 2017...possibly summer or fall.

So, the elephant was still in the room...
but not standing on our chests.
We eased on the fretting and packing.
We went on vacatons.
I went to Baptisms. I went to parties. I went to Sunday dinners.
All the while I kept purging and packing...
One neighbor went ahead and pursued other housing and just last week moved to another place.
I was amazed at how quickly it all happened for her.
But, I decided to spend December working on Family Christmas video and New Year's Party plans and then,
when the Sunday Dinner Martha's go off on their winter vacations...
I would hermit myself in Indy and focus on packing,
hoping to move in April...
And starting a new chapter around my Birthday...
Happy New Year to me!

So, imagine our surprise Wednesday night...
when we who are left on Main Street found a letter from the Committee in our mailboxes...
stating that the new date is NOT the spring as were had been told...
but it has been changed to Jan. 31. !!

Needless to say....We are not happy.

The moment you realized you've been screwed and double screwed.
(so that's what that looks like)

Directions to here:

Never, ever believe anything a politician or a Real Estate Developer tells you.

Directions to here:

Also: Vinyl is heavy.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Flashback Friday.....Claiming the Exclamation.

A little over a year ago, on Sept 24, 2015, 
I was standing at the register and could not contain my happiness and joy at the news that my brother found out, that after a long summer of thinking that cancer was in his lungs, a biopsy determined it was not cancer, but instead it was a lung infection.


rather than dancing and shouting my Hallelujahs and scaring customers who lined up to pay for their books,
I took a pen and notebook and drew out my excitement, 
set it in front of me and smiled at it every time I felt like shouting:
"My Brother!"
That was a little over a year ago.
In between there has been celebrating, holidays, doctors appointments, scans, waiting, wondering, Sunday dinners, laughter, devastating news of others with cancer, funerals, births, more doctors, some aches and pains, birthdays, vacations, doctors with differing opinions, more scans, more waiting, more wondering, sunny days, rainy days, more opinions, more waiting...more wondering.
The wondering and wondering and wondering.

Through all this our thoughts run the gamut of emotions.
I don't know about you, but it is unfortunately easier for my brain to revert to doubt, caution and fear...
rather than hold on to the good, positive and hope.

I've read some about this and realize I'm not alone.
There is a thing called the Velcro/Teflon affect.
Which basically says our brains hold on to negative experiences like Velcro - they tend to stick.
and our brains treat positive experiences like Teflon -
they tend to slip away.

I am really trying to practice staying mindful and be intentional at turning this around.
Sitting with and being with what comes,
the possibility of good and the possibility of bad...
and letting it be.
But also,
having a mindset that rests by holding onto the hope and acceptance instead of the doubt and fear.

So, this week...
I am making this Exclamation Point the "lock screen" on my phone...
Using it as a visual and constant reminder to my brain to be mindful to hold on to hope...
instead of being consumed with fear.

Directions to here:

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Goodwill Find...Perfect Timing

I had a pretty horrible day at work a few days or so ago.
Certain people, words, actions to me, making me question where my fun, easy job went.
Sunday Dinner helped take my mind off it, but driving back to Indy was spent brooding and grrrrr-ing every mile.

Even more so, cause it was my dad's birthday and I was working....grrr.
I got to Indy and had 20 minutes or so to kill, so I stopped at the Goodwill.
I almost left and then this shirt popped out at me.

It's from the record shop that's in the hometown of my old boss.

The old boss that would constantly remind us:
"It's just books." 

I saw God wink and I heard Chris Turner​ say "Honey" and I laughed out loud and just like that I became the owner of yet another black t-shirt.
Burden lifted

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Sunday Morning Coming Down....The Bluebird of Happiness

A few days ago,
I put a record on.
It was one of Helen Jean's records.
My Mom's record.

Perry Como on vinyl.
Helen Jean's record of Perry Como singing,
"In the Garden."

I thought about the recording of Grandpa Bryant singing,
"In the Garden" that Mom and I found in Aunt Carol's record collection.

I thought, 

what a gift that must have been for my mom to hear him singing.
I thought about the look on Aunt Mary's face when we played her the recording of it, the last time we went out to Maryland.
I thought of how it must have felt for them to hear his voice after he being gone for 40 some years.

I thought,
I'm just here listening to Helen Jean's records and how it would be nice to let others in the family hear Mom's Perry Como version of "In the Garden."
So, I lifted the needle, backed it up, dropped it and recorded the very end of the song....
"And the joy we share

as we tarry there,

none other has ever known."

The ending of the song was very slow and touching...
I pressed stop and smiled and sighed.
I saved it to post to Instagram.

Perry went right on into the next song...
And unfamiliar tune,

but I knew right away,
I should have kept the camera rolling ----
but, by the second or third line, I was weeping Beautiful/sad tears so hard I would never have been able to hold the camera steady because my whole body was shaking...
'cause it was so very obvious that I wasn't, 

"just listening to Helen Jean's records,"
 but that the heaven's had opened up and Mom and Dad seemed to have stepped right into the room.

The line that cracked open the door was the one about a Bluebird in the trees...
at one point in time, in my young life,
Mom had given me a deep blue glass Bluebird and told me:
"That is the Bluebird of Happiness."
I remember thinking, okay? Thanks?
I put it on my shelf in my bedroom, 
next to my rock and bottle collection.

Over the years,
I've thought about it now and then...
whenever I hear of or see a Bluebird mentioned.

But I never really figured out why she thought a pre-teen girl,
interested mostly in Little League and Starsky and Hutch,
would want a glass bird.
And why, she was so intentional about giving it to me and telling me its meaning.

And then I thought of how I had just had a really good and happy morning "on the couch" with my journal and my daily reading,
and how I am finally, FINALLY, beginning to grasp what it means to live in the moment, every moment, this VERY moment and to just sit with what is...
And the happy gratefulness and peace that comes from the practice of simply being awake, aware and present.

And I thought, THIS.
This must be all she and he ever wanted for any of us, all of us.

And at that moment,
all my wondering of what they would think of me now and my story...
my whole story...
just melted away;
because I knew in an instant that all parents ever really want for their children,
is for them to be happy.
And, Mom,
my mom....
she had looked forward and wished that for me so long ago,

when she gave a tweenager
(who still had sooooooo much growing up to do)
a Bluebird of Happiness.

Oh, Mom and Dad ---

I am reading my journals from the early 90s from when I was living at home and I think, how I would love to just have ONE of those days back.
I don't care what we would do,

I don't care if we just sat and watched TV all night long...
I would just love to be sitting in the same room with you.
To have lived more,

grown up more...
To know you now.
To talk about that Bluebird.

Thank you for giving me the Bluebird, Mom.
Thank you for all your hard work to make us happy, Dad.

And thank you for rushing in the other day,
bridging the distance,
and letting me know you see me,
see us.
That you are still here with me and with us
and that you love me and love us.

I love you too ----
and I miss you so much.

How grateful are we,
that we have been given the blessing of you --
and your legacy of love and happiness.

We all Love you.

May the Lord Bless You and Keep You

May the good Lord bless and keep you,

Whether near or far away.
May you find that long awaited, 

Golden day today...

May your troubles all be small ones,
And your fortune ten times ten,
May the good Lord bless and keep you,

Til we meet again....

May you walk with the sunlight shining,
An' a Bluebird in every tree
May there be a silver lining,
back of every cloud you see...

Fill your dreams of sweet tomorrows
Never mind what might have been.
May the good Lord bless an' keep you,
Till we meet again...

May the good Lord bless an' keep you,
Til we meet again.

(words and music: Meredith Wilson)

Directions to here:

I am embarrassed to say that the Bluebird has been buried on a shelf for the last several years.
(the symbolism of that, is a whole other blogpost in itself)
I'm happy to say that I found the Bluebird and have moved it into the living room, to the window, next to the couch, where I can see it when I journal and read.