Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Okay, I will have to admit that I would not choose to pack up everything I own into millions of boxes.  But since I don't have a choice . . . I am enjoying some aspects of this dismantling of our home: 

It's really fun to find things that I haven't seen since I unpacked them 5 years ago.  

It feels cleansing to get rid of so much stuff that we don't need any longer.  (And nice to pass it on to someone who thinks they DO need it.)

It will be nice to be dust free for a bit.

Asking Leslie to pack up her old Legos and finding her sitting in the middle of the floor immersed in playing with them.  (She may be ready to go off to high school but the lure of Legos is still there.  Love that.)

Asking Leslie to pack up her old Barbies to give to a friend's little girls and . . . (see Lego entry).

Knowing that this job is almost finished and soon I'll be relaxing in Michigan . . .

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I was going to change this song but it is just SO appropriate for what I am feeling right now.  This is our 14th move in 22 years of marriage.  14!  You'd think I'd be used to it by now.  (I am pretty good at packing boxes, thank you.)  I am just a little overwhelmed by all the stuff we have to cart around in this life.  Do I really need all of my little collections?  Do I really need all of Leslie's baby stuff?  Do I really need all of these shoes?!  Do I really need all of these books?  I guess I must.  Cuz I am packin' em up once again.  

In the song he talks about some stuff he leaves behind and he wants it back.  I always leave stuff behind.  I don't really mean to but somehow I do.  A few years ago, Les and I were back in Michigan and we were driving by all of our old houses.  One of them still had all of my cute little cement garden bunnies and squirrels in the yard.  Les said, "Those are still ours!  I want them back!"  Ha.  Just like her mom.  I really regret that I had to leave the painting that Arnold did for us.  When we moved to Florida I had a really mean mover and Bret was already in Florida so I was doing it on my own and I didn't stand up to him when he was doing such a lousy job and refusing to take certain things.  The painting was so big that I couldn't even fit it in my car to take it to a friend's house.  

I guess this nomad life we have is exciting in some ways.  It lets us try lots of different things. We've lived on the lake, near the sea, in an arts and crafts bungalow, and a noisy apartment, a neighborhood where all of the houses looked the same, a neighborhood with a gate, houses with a best friend for Leslie next door, and neighborhoods where I knew everyone on the block. What will this new chapter in our lives bring?  (And what do you suppose I will leave behind?)

Friday, June 19, 2009

something to read & something to watch

Amanda Soule's The Creative Family.  Love her blog.  Love this book.

I Capture the Castle.  This was one of my favorite books of all time (by Dodie Smith) & I had kind of forgotten about it.  When the film came out I missed it but came across the dvd just recently.  We all watched it last night.  And we all adored it.  Right up our alley.  It has an R rating for some brief nudity (the stepmom is an artist and a nudist) but it was really appropriate for even a pre-teen.  The story is set in the 30's in England and is told by a 17 year old who lives in a castle with her very artsy family.  

Yes, I am still avoiding the boxes.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

today i tunneled out from under the boxes and followed my mom and leslie lou to waterside mall.  yippee!  retail therapy.  may just be a band-aid but it makes me feel good just the same.  i love a good deal & one of my favorite shops is leaving south florida & was having a fabulous sale so i bought some cute pants that actually fit me and a few cute t-shirts that cover up the big thing on my arm from the doctor last week.  we also had a nice lunch at nordstrom & some girl talk.  now i am somewhat revitalized and ready to take on the mountain of boxes that is calling my name.  

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

summer salad

This is our go to summer dinner.  Really easy.  Really light.  Really yummy.
We use romaine lettuce and boneless chicken breast.  Bret and I also like to add onion, peppers, and other veggies but Leslie likes hers with just chicken, lettuce, and dressing.  Here is the dressing recipe:

1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil 
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon crushed mint

Pour lemon juice and oil into a jar with a tight fitting lid.  Add the salt & pepper, garlic, and mint.  Shake jar to blend.  

Friday, June 12, 2009

love this . . .

This being human is a guest house
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrow,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice
meet them at the door laughing
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.           -Rumi

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


summer should be sleeping in, pancakes for breakfast, flip-flops and bare feet, the pool, naps, reading, reading, and more reading, evening bike rides . . .

so far, our summer is:  stressing out, not being able to sleep, knots in the stomach, wondering where we will be in the fall, going one direction and then turning and going in another . . .

i am making a conscious effort to make this summer fun despite the fact that things are a little upside down right now.  leslie is doing a good job of keeping my mind on what is really important.  being together.  somehow the other stuff will all work itself out.  

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Dear Leslie,

I was so proud of you last night - up on that stage, so poised and grown up.  It has been everything to be your mom and watch you grow into the beautiful, caring, lovely young woman that you are. It's amazing really - to still see in you the seeds of the little girl you were and the sprouts of the woman you are becoming.  A heart that is brimming with compassion.  A knowledge of who you are and what you want.  An independent streak that sometimes challenges me.  A person who cares deeply about others and the world around you.  I love you, my girl.  And I am so thankful, every day, that I am your mama. 



Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The heart wants what it wants.  Who said that?  My heart wants to be in Michigan.  I was already there in my head.  So close.  Seven years of waiting.  Biding my time.  Finally we decided to put it in God's hands.  Just put everything we own up for sale and see what happens.  If nothing happened then we'd make the best of it.  Stop complaining . . . about the heat, the bugs, the hurricanes, the cranky old people, the heat.  Well, you know the story.  It sold.  All of it.  And the timing couldn't be more perfect, could it?  Leslie poised to begin high school.  A new start for her no matter how you look at it.  

Me.  Already planning.  Wheels turning.  Picturing autumn . . . walks in the leaves, the smell of cider, apple picking, real Halloween.  Summers on the lake, parties in the backyard, teaching Leslie to water ski.  Leslie starting high school with old kindergarten buddies and her sister/buddy, Emma.  Christmas with real snow.  Home.

Now, a hiccup.  Bret has cold feet.  Freezing, really.  How will he start a new business in a climate where even the big guys are going bankrupt?  Will the move be disastrous for us financially?  He's losing sleep.  We're talking big bags under the eyes loss of sleep.  He's asking us to reconsider.  

Leslie is too much like me.  Already in Michigan in her head.  Planning how she and Emma will meet downtown for coffee.  Planning high school in a place she knows and loves.  The heart wants what it wants.  We are heartbroken.

Today I drove around looking for a place to move if we have to stay here.  I found myself sobbing.  I don't care where we move.  I don't want to be here.  I was already gone . . .