Thursday, September 23, 2010

Teeny Bit of Joy

Guess how I caught joy today? I caught it with my hands wrapped around a bat, in my little black dress, barefoot like a tomboy, playing ball with my 2 sons. Does it get any simpler than that? Why do I always say no? It was so fun. And they were like, "Mom, did you play baseball?????!!!" Ha! Love it when I one up them! Too bad I'm now covered with mosquito bites! But it was totally worth it.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Autumn Leaves

It's HERE!!!!!! Yay! My favoritist time of the year! Is THAT a word??? WHO cares. It's MY blog! Yes - Fall is here and officially it will arrive at 3:09AM on Thursday. The kids are back in school. The days are a bit shorter but absolutely beautiful. The sky is bright blue - hence "sky" blue - the pregnant, white clouds hang like cotton balls and the air is warm but with that crisp quality that harbors NO HUMIDITY!
(What the HELL is that white DRIP!!!!)

I just love this whole time period from September through New Year's Day. January - April? Not so much! But September and October find me busy and high and happy and they usher in my favorite holidays starting with Halloween and ending with New Year's Eve.

My kids are also excited. Monday I found myself motivated to haul out those boxes of fall and Halloween "decorations" and I spent the afternoon cleaning and re-arranging to accommodate my "junk".

The kids were so excited when they returned home from school that day. But Michael was ecstatic! Actually, he has been craving Christmas for weeks. It's so funny because it's not the presents he is aching for as you would expect. He is craving the feeling that comes over us all starting on Thanksgiving week. He's very in tune to everyone being in an extra great mood during those four weeks (perhaps there is a lesson here?). He loves that we put together family Christmas oriented plans for each day of the weekend plus the baking and tree decorating, present buying and wrapping, the music and Christmas specials etc.

Ok how did I get on THAT subject? We're talking Fall here! Point being - he was so psyched to see the house "done up" because in his mind, it's the start of the holiday season! And his birthday week (October 14th is his birthday) really starts all the festivities.
This time of the year also brings with it a whole bunch of nostalgia. As I have expressed in previous blogs, September is my new year and I can't help but long for the "good ole days". Returning to college each year, falling in love for the first time in high school, the birth of my son, football!, moving to the beach into an academic rental one fall, leaf peeping and hiking in different chapters of my life...just so many great, aching memories.

I, personally, am indulging in long walks with Daisy and lazy afternoons in my hammock covered with comforters. I keep saying I'm getting to the beach one last time so a long walk in the sand is on the agenda and I'm planning to enjoy my runs a bit later in the day with the leaves falling around me as I cut through the crisp, cool fall air.

(Catch the Halloween kitty in the window above the hammock!)

Also - as you will recall, I have plans to enjoy every second of color that Mother Nature plans this year. I plan to soak it all in and catch the joy in the hopes of extending that joy across the rough spots that invariably creep in. Truly, it just doesn't get any better than this.

Best part? As Autumn "leaves", there are still weeks of joy to catch as we head to January 1. The key is to recognize the joy before it passes you by. Don't we all need to work on that? Don't miss it. Figure it out. It's there.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


I have to say, I LOVE walking Miss Daisy. (And when she comes with me in the car I am - Driving Miss Daisy - according to my friend Lynn! HA!) Now - I may change my tune come that first icy, sleeting, dark morning!!! But right now - I experience snippets of joy throughout my day with Daisy leading the way. We live on a dirt road here in the Emerald City and I grew up on this land. My father owns 60 plus acres across the road from us and when I was a kid, I spent much of my days in a barn that stood exactly where my house is. When I married my husband, my parents gave us this little piece of paradise and we took the barn down and built our home.
There is a path that runs from his property, across the dirt road, to my property and has been there probably over 80 years - since his house was moved across the road after the 1938 hurricane.

When I was a kid, our backyard was a huge 15 acre field that was bordered by beautiful stonewalls and acres and acres of woods. It is still the view from my father's kitchen. And, while I walk up that path to visit him regularly, I am willing to bet I have not walked in that field more than once in all these 20 years. Since adopting my little Daisy, I have taken to walking her daily up the dirt road and around the corner to his field. Each time I turn that corner and view his property from this angle, I am instantly transported back to when I grew up on this magnificent piece of god's country.

But I also experience a bit of melancholy because I know the day is coming when my family will not own this property anymore. I can NOT imagine that. We have been here for 47 years and although I don't live on his "plantation" anymore, I have had free reign to walk up that path from my house to his - forever. It is unfathomable that I will not have that freedom some day. So yes, that is a sad thought but what it does is it makes me appreciate each day that I can turn that corner and take in that view that I am blessed to have access to. I am so looking forward to seeing snow falling on my "new" view and I plan to imprint in my mind's eye the beauty of that field blanketed under the cover of snow.

But first I am reveling in the first signs of fall. It is my favorite time of year. Back in August, my daughter brought in the most beautiful leaf. I was shocked to see it's pure, almost glowing hues of gold and burnt red. After all, it was still August! But it was definitely in the air. It was overcast, rainy and almost cold at 5:30 in the morning when Daisy had me outside. The cool breezes were blowing through my bedroom at night and were a welcome relief from the perpetual heat wave that has engulfed us this summer. This week? Not so much! But still, I know it is coming. And last week I detected a brief waft of decaying leaves. That awesome scent of fall that I want to just roll in - the scent! Not the leaves!

Don't get me wrong. I love summer. I'm a beach girl after all BUT, fall is my favorite time of year and always has been. It's my New Year. I make my resolutions in the fall and I've always felt like I have a fresh start every September. Do you know that going back as far as sophomore year in high school, every time I fell in love it happened in the fall? (Ummmm - BTW it has only happened 4 times in 50 plus years! Not a gazillion!) And why should I be surprised that Michael entered my world in? The fall. Fall means new beginnings. It always has for me. It is the pattern of my life. I love the crisp days of blue skies and white fluffy clouds. I LOVE the kids getting out of the house and back to school! And I so love the fall holidays - Halloween, Thanksgiving and the whole pathway to the Christmas holidays. The problem is, I feel like I am so overwhelmed with responsibility that in recent years, I forget to stop and smell the roses - or in this case - the falling leaves.

But this fall, I am very much looking forward to catching some joy - walking my new baby across my father's field through the autumn leaves and really seeing that vista change this year. I can already touch it in my mind and because we all know how time passes so quickly, it will be here before I know it. The difference is - this year I'm not missing it. I will touch the crisp, clean air. I will breathe in that scent that you can only find at this time of the year and I will memorize each precious day that I have left to travel the land I grew up on. All because of Daisy...and also how could I forget? The catalyst for Daisy entering my life - my Michael...

Funny how that chain of joy came together!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Friday, September 3, 2010

Things I Love

I stole this theme from a blog I happened upon this morning. Yesssss, I'm plagerizing someone else's idea. So, Arrest me! too bad! I like the idea of writing about things I love!

First and foremost - obviously - FAMILY. Undoubtedly, my family of 5 is love. Not just what I love.

And here is a picture of both my own family of 5 together with many of my husband's 7 brothers and sisters and several nephews and nieces and even a friend of Michael's. This was taken last year on the day after Thanksgiving. Every year since 1990, on that day, this crowd (sometimes even more but almost always this core group!) goes out to a local Christmas tree farm and we cut down our trees. This year will be TWENTY years of this tradition! What is so breathtakingly awesome is that I loved this tradition from the first year and now my own children love it and it will forever be woven into the fabric of each of their lives!

Speaking of tradition! I LOVE traditions! I think a lot about the creation of tradition and what it means to you as an adult - to look back on your childhood and connect with them. When I was a wee one, the most important tradition for me was gathering with my cousins on every holiday at my very Italian grandparent's house. And sitting at the kids table for HOURS. It was SO MUCH FUN! As an adult, I created my own traditions - such as the one described above and the Easter Egg Hunt described in a previous post. Also, our tradition of putting orange candles in every window on the eve of Michael's birthday, October 14th and then changing all the candles to white bulbs, on Thanksgiving Eve. I also own an obscene amount of holiday "gear" to put around the house - for Fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter - aghhhhhh - it can be exhausting actually! The taking DOWN of this gear is the depressing part. But I know in my heart it is these traditions that my children will ache for when they finally leave home. And hopefully it will be these that they will return home FOR, each year of their lives.

Home? Did I say home? I LOVE my home! But, I especially LOVE my front porch!

I love that we gather on my front porch from April-November. Everyone who visits during those months sits in my extra "room".

Speaking of Hammock! I did say it didn't I??? Well, maybe not in this post... I LOVE my HAMMOCK!!! LOVE IT!!

Ok enough of the front porch. You catch my drift! Onto READING!!! I LOVE READING! I love reading in bed, reading in my hammock and reading at the beach. Reading while waiting for piano lessons, skating lessons, the bus...sometimes I think I love reading more than just about any other past time. Even more than sex eating!!! (I did NOT just say that! I did NOT! You totally heard wrong!) I read no less than 2 hours every day. Where does she find the time? You ask? Believe me - if you love it enough, you will find the time. While the rest of you are watching CSI, House and Glee, guess where I am? So check out my Top Shelf list that I update regularly. It's on the right side of my blog page.

Did I just say BEACH? Yesssssssssssss - I LOVE the beach! LOVE THE BEACH!!!!!! I love reading on the beach. (oops already said that!), my kids at the beach, my husband at the beach (well not just at the beach...but I DO like his mood better!) and I especially love sunrise at the beach. I'm the only one up, it's so peaceful, I can think without circumventing all the noise...yea, I love sunrise at the beach best!

Ok so one a few more things I love...

Blue! I LOVE the color BLUE! Ask ANYONE who knows me! Especially Missy and Karen!

So, I'm probably boring the crap out of you by now and certainly I love many more things than the above and below, but I have to include these: Fall, Daisy, The YANKEES!!

Oh and I love being in love. And I love kissing! And eating! I LOVE eating! Cookies, cake, candy, pie (common theme here? I LOVE SWEET EATING!!)
And you know what else I realllllllyyyyy love?