Sunday, March 27, 2011

Giving a Little

This is perhaps a double-edged sword about giving a little and reaping the good things in life.

We recently put our home on the market, yes, even with the dismal real estate situation, we thought that now was the time to take this step. It's based on several things. With consideration to the recent medical problems for both of us and the economy (ah, yes the economy), we thought that even though we love our home and our location, this might be the best course for us. When we made that decision it tugged at my heart. At our age? I thought. Do I want to be uprooted again? We've moved a lot in our 16 year marriage and prior to that my life seemed to be one long dislocation. But that is the past and now is now.

You see, we are not young anymore and things like maintenance and upkeep become more entailed and difficult. Our lovely home is bright and cheery and just what we always dreamed, a late-life gift, if you will. The five window, pale yet sunny-yellow kitchen is a dream come true. The spacious rooms are just that -- spacious. The laundry/pantry room is not a closet but a real room. I could go on and on about the pleasant surrounding we have occupied for the past six years but it isn't necessary. To top off this accolade, we live in a 55+ community with wonderful friends and neighbors. There is a Clubhouse for interesting activities,a great pool, tennis and an executive golf course to name only a few of the 'amenities'. The activities sound like a vacation heaven and yet you can opt to take part or not. Of course, our weather is wonderful except for our brief, unusually cool winter, and I know that makes our northern family and friends giggle. Cold to us is anything under 65°.

So why are we leaving? Well, for starters we aren't leaving our community, just the large home. There are other homes right here that are smaller, more compact and beautiful on a smaller scale so we wouldn't (hopefully) be leaving our utopia, just changing addresses. We are praying that this course of action will actually take place, and if it doesn't, well, although we can't turn back or erase the number of years God has gifted us with(nor do we want to), we know that whatever happens will be the right thing. We both find comfort in knowing that what we decide doesn't really matter because long ago we put our lives in His hands. So perhaps a double-edged sword might not be the right phraseology. We are blessed, not only by our surroundings but by the most important choices we made a long time ago. We put ourselves in God's hands and that's what really counts.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Fine Line

Sometimes some really good things happen and when it happens to you there is a fine line that must be considered. Is a show of exuberance a bit over the top? Could a lovely compliment be fodder to an inflated ego? Recently, I received an unusual and exceedingly welcome telephone call. When I hung up I ran through the house and told my husband the happy news. Gentle and loving guy that he is, he has to have the lowest level of outward excitement quotient in the world. He was happy and impressed. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Last Friday I received a telephone call from Gwen. I have to admit I didn't readily recognize the voice or the name but the caller continued. "I met you at Office Max and then you spoke to our women's church group in January." Oh, yes, now I remembered Gwen and her quick smile and friendly manner.

"Good to hear from you," I replied, thinking this just might be another speaking opportunity but she had other ideas.

"Remember I bought one of your books, Following Daddy?"

"Yes," I replied. I did remember she purchased a book but wasn't really sure which one it was. It was quite a long time ago. "Hope you enjoyed it."

"Oh, I did and now I've downloaded your latest book, Forgiven, to my Kindle," she continued,"and I love it."

Wow, I thought. That's good news and I thanked her for her continued interest in me and my work and her kind words about Forgiven. Compliments are always welcome and I knew she wouldn't have called if her praise wasn't true. But that wasn't the end of it.

It seems Gwen has just had some surgery and so is confined to bed and home for about six weeks. I commiserated but again, that wasn't the end.

"I'd like to purchase the rest of your books," she said.

It's always nice to hear from a satisfied reader and their glowing comments are manna to a writer, so after the smallest pause, I agreed to provide her with the remaining eight books.

Saturday I delivered the books and we had a nice chat. "When's your next one coming out?" she called as I turned to go.

"I'm working on it," I said.

"I'll be looking for it," she called.

I've said before that writing is at times a lonely occupation but it has it's moments and this phone call was one of the nicest. Now the conundrum is, do I post this blog with the self-serving message or do I just privately consider this event as a pleasant and very special occurrence? Will it be bragging? Will anyone else be impressed and should I care? It was a lovely, personal endorsement from a reader. After a lengthy soul search, I don't know what other authors would do but I think I'll just put that little feather in my cap and post this blog. Let's see what happens.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Blue Skies

The words to an old song begin, "Blue skies smiling on me, nothing but blue skies do I see." Well, I think I have really come to a blue skies time in my life. Today I was given a 'go ahead' by my cardiologist. Now I can drive, and just in that gift have gotten back a lot of my functionability (if there is such a word). I know, I know, start slowly. It's funny that about two years ago I was telling my son, right after he was taken off life support, he'd have to take baby steps toward recuperation from a very serious ailment. I advised him to take it easy, one step at a time and that one had to crawl before one could walk. Last week he reminded me of that advice. "Take baby steps, Mom," he said.

So today, for a very personal celebration of my passport back to being me, my husband, Lenny and I went out to a late lunch. We went to Olive Garden, one of our favorites and had a delightful lunch together.

I kind of think we have lots of 'blue skies' moments in our life, most of which we sail past in our hurry to get on to the next stage. Of course, most of the time you have to have a few clouds in your life to recognize and gratefully accept the 'blue skies'.

I haven't been able to write and that is upsetting to a prolific writer but I feel the urge to go on now with the manuscript I'd been working before I broke my foot (that's old news now) and really didn't get back into the swing of things during my most recent set back with the heart thing. BUT, blue skies are with me again. I do feel better bit by bit and I have plans—not to the extent I had before when I filled my calendar and days with all kinds of good things, but setting a slower and more reasonable pace for activities doesn't seem boring anymore.

I've made up my mind that I'm going to do things differently. For instance, I plan to get a little moderate exercise in each week. I'm going to the pool just to walk in the water for a while and then I just might rejoin the water exercise group I belonged to months and months ago. With the real Florida blue skies overhead that should be no problem at all. In fact, speaking of our weather, we are back to the usual which means temperatures in the high 50s to low 60s overnight and up in the high 70s and low 80s during the day. Of course we have our usual and traditionally wonderful breezes blowing the Spanish Moss about on the huge, rugged, old Pin Oaks. Truly a comforting sight alone—did I mention the blue skies?

Another self-promise is that I'm going to write even if it's a little each day. I'll get that manuscript sorted out and on its way!

I'm also promising myself and anyone who happens by this blog, that I'll post more often. Sometimes I don't post because I think I might not have anything of any interest to anyone, but you know me…I do love to 'say'.

In the meantime, I'm enjoying my blue skies. Hope you are too.