Friday, November 26, 2010

The Second Joy I Caught This Morning

I just had to post this because it gave me a great laugh this morning!

The White Lie Cake

Alice Grayson was to bake a cake for the Baptist Church ladies' group bake sale in Tuscaloosa, but she forgot to do it until the last minute.

She remembered it the morning of the bake sale and after rummaging through cabinets she found an angel food cake mix and quickly made it while drying her hair and dressing and helping her son Bryan pack up for Scout camp.

But, when Alice took the cake from the oven, the center had dropped flat and the cake was horribly disfigured. She said, "Oh dear, there's no time to bake another cake."

This cake was so important to Alicebecause she did so want to fit in at her new church and in her new
community of new friends. So,being inventive, she looked around the house for something to build up the center of the cake. Alice found it in the bathroom --- a roll of toilet paper. She plunked it in and then covered it with icing.

Not only did the finished product look beautiful, it looked perfect! Before she left the house to drop the cake by the church and head for work,

Alice woke her daughter Amanda and gave her some money and specific instructions to be at the bake sale the minute it opened at 9:30, and to buythat cake and bring it home. When the daughter arrived at the sale,
she found that the attractive, perfect cake had already been sold. Amanda grabbed her cell phone and called her Mom.

Alice was horrified she was beside herself. Everyone would know, what would they think? Oh, my she wailed! She would be ostracized, talked about, ridiculed. All night Alice lay awake in bed thinking about people pointing their fingers at her and talking about her behind her back.

The next day, Alice promised herself that she would try not to think about the cake and she would attend the fancy luncheon/bridal shower at the home of a friend of a friend and try to have a good time. Alice did not
really want to attend because the hostess was a snob who more than once had looked down her nose at the fact that Alice was a single parent and not from the founding families of Tuscaloosa, but having already RSVP'd she could not think of a believable excuse to stay home.

The meal was elegant, the company was definitely upper crust old South...and to Alice 's horror, the CAKE in question was presented for dessert.

Alice felt the blood drain from her body when she saw the cake, she started, out of her chair to rush to tell her hostess all about it, but before she could get to her feet, the Mayor's wife said, "What a beautiful cake!"

Alice, who was still stunned, sat back in her chair when she heard the hostess who was a prominent church member say, Thank you, I baked it myself."

Alice smiled and thought to herself, "GOD is good."

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Really Cool Thing

I had the coolest experience today. I was pulling out of the ATM and heading out of the parking lot of the shopping center in the Emerald City this afternoon when I saw a bunch of Harleys pull in. The Emerald City has a popular "townie" pub that I frequent at times in this shopping center and I often see bikers parked for a beer. As I pulled over to let them pass, I suddenly realized there were not just a few Harleys. There were not like ten Harleys. Or even twenty Harleys. There were like more than a HUNDRED Harleys!

I literally pulled over, opened my window and with a huge grin on my face, I watched all these bikes pull into the parking lot FOR TEN MINUTES!!!!! It was AMAZING! It was so loud and so powerful. They just kept coming and coming. Every once in a while I poked my head out the window to see if the "parade" was ending and I was filled with glee like 10 times when I saw more and more bikes and no end in sight! I was in joy heaven!

And the people on the bikes were SO interesting! And the outfits! There was this one chick. She had on leathers like I had NEVER seen. Not that I am a Harley chick leather afficionado but whoa. She looked like a tough ass beautiful indian princess with long leather fringe - I mean LONG - hanging from every part of her jacket and pants. There were guys in Santa hats and no shirts on (now it was a nice day today but it's NOVEMBER!!!) Guys riding alone, couples riding together and LOTS of women on their own hogs! And the bikes were so BEAUTIFUL. But my favorite part was most definitely - the deafening roar - it was mesmerizing and it filled my body. I LOVED every second and wanted it to go on and on.

And, I knew I had friends in the group because I know my friend Sharlene has her own bike and so does Lynn. My friend Ronnie surely could have been there. I looked for them all but there were sooooo many bikers! Turns out some of them were in that crowd. I just missed them - probably because I was too busy catching joy!

Oh, and you know the best part? This was a Toy Run. They were collecting toys for holiday giving to the kids who might not have gifts this Christmas. How F'ing cool is THAT?!!!! And I know you Harley dudes are always doing big charity rides. You guys rock! Thank you for all you do!

Hmmmmmmm - maybe I need a bike! Haaa hahhaaaaaa! Woohoooooo! Sharlene? Lynn? Ronnie? Tracy and Colin? Roadtripppppppppppppp!!!!!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

It's Almost Over - It's Almost Here!

Joy has been hard to come by this week. Not even fleeting. So I decided to take things into my own hands and get me some. First I went and got a full body MASSAGE on Tuesday. Maybe I should have said take things into someone else's hands??? OMG! Need I say more???? JOY TO THE WORLD!!!

Then after another joy drought, I grabbed my camera late this afternoon and went on a photo hunt. I must say - the roses are trying to squeeze every last second out of their season. I just love them! My red roses refuse to breathe their last breaths. Their still graceful petals are etched with black but to my eyes, they are just beautiful.

As I walked my property I realized that Mother Nature was putting herself down for a long winter's nap but not without a fight from more than a few protestors!

I found a beach rose blooming by my pool fence amongst the beach rose hips!

And this femme fatale? Breathtaking!

I found beautiful colors still clinging to branches and seed pods gracing the landscape that took my breath away.

I still have the most delicate of Chrysanthemums braving the fall breeze!

Isn't this pine cone absolutely perfect?

But Thanksgiving is upon us and then we all know what's next! Honestly? It makes me feel happy that my favorite holiday is in two weeks and the Christmas season starts that very next day with the annual "Find the Christmas Tree" trek and the showing of - CHRISTMAS VACATION!!!! Much joy coming! I AM excited!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Much Needed Moment

There have not been a whole lot of conscious joy moments lately.
But today, I had SPONTANEOUS joy! You see, there are many different kinds of joy. Most of the joy I catch is in retrospect. I remember a moment that made me happy and I feel joy.

Then there is the joy you are conscious of as it happens. Like I'm hiking with my family and I say to myself, "This is so awesome. I am catching joy. I need to roll in these moments."

Now spontaneous joy - THAT is different. Here's an example. Now - if you have ever had children, (or a puppy, maybe?) this will resonate.

Do you remember when your first born (or all your borns) was sleeping in their crib at like 4 months old? You come into their room first thing in the morning. You see them lift their little head when they hear you enter and then they greet you - with the biggest, sweetest most amazing toothless smile/giggle one could EVER imagine, kicking their little legs and waving their little fists? And you break into a spontaneous smile (because you couldn't possibly NOT break into one!) and start cooing to them? That is spontaneous joy!

So you may or may not know that before kids I was a devoted skating fan starting way back in 1968 with Peggy Fleming winning Olympic gold in Grenoble. I followed professional skating religiously for years. As a young adult, I actually hired a coach and skated for about 2 years. I suckkkkkkedddddd!!!! Remember Chris Farley on Saturday Night Live? He was wayyyyyyyy better than I ever was!!

Now why am I boring you with all this? Well, my only daughter Brooke who is 8, refuses to play team sports. So me, dreaming of being able to figure skate for most of my life, decided to try Brooke on skates.

One October Saturday morning, I sent her out on the ice for the first time EVER in a Learn to Skate class of little kids about her age. It was a nightmare. She could not stand up, never mind move. SHE HAD NEVER BEEN ON THE ICE BEFORE. WHAT WAS I THINKING?????? She cried for 20 minutes as older girls repeatedly picked her up off the ice and tried to keep her upright. Not only did I cry for her from the sidelines, I did everything I could do not to throw up. About half way through the 45 minute lesson, she was escorted off the ice and into the safety of my arms. There she wept her little heart out and I cried right along with her. After about 5 minutes, she lifted her head off my shoulder and said, "Ok, I have to go back out." WHATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT??????

And so she did. It was only afterwards that I was told by her coach that she had made a deal with Brooke. The deal was that she would let Brooke leave the ice and be with her Mom as long as she promised to come back out before the class ended. That's my Brooke...determined, bright, driven...

Brooke now skates several hours a week at two different skating rinks, has her own coach and loves it. Whoever said you can't live vicariously through your kids? I watch every second that she is on the ice. I'm addicted.

The reason I am telling you this story is because today, I was in the stands surrounded by the book I always bring, but never open, the newspaper I never read, the checkbook that I always plan to balance, but never do (all the things I bring to occupy my time while she skates for two hours) when I watched my daughter, after only TWENTY skating months, execute 3 perfect backwards crossovers into a waltz jump into a side toe hop into another waltz jump. Now I know only my facebook friend Aileen could possibly know what I am talking about - but WHO CARES?!!! The point is - I smiled the biggest, most spontaneous smile - almost EVER. Complete, spontaneous JOY!