Friday, August 26, 2011

What I am going to remember about today...

After thinking about what I wrote last time, I did this today:

I went outside after taking a shower and lay in the sun on the picnic table for 30 minutes and waited for my hair to dry.

While I was there, Tickles, our dusty old kitty cat, at first made himself comfortable on my stomach then, after I petted him too much, moved next to me where he purred and fisticuffed my earphones.

Frankie cried and whined at the back door the entire time because he wasn't allowed outside. Lucy carried on too, but she didn't know why. She was just following brother's lead. That's what Lucy does: follows brother's lead. Brother loves being the leader. When I got inside I gave them both a biscuit for pretending to be overwhelmed with happiness at seeing me.

On the way to work I took the scenic route and drove past Springcreek. Last time we were there, my older daughter Ashley, found little grey frogs by the bazillions. I didn't have time to look for any today.

Once at the shop (amidst what I felt to be great chaos and dozens of time pressures... even though this is a gigantic over statement) I stopped for a few seconds to look at my old paint set from when I was a girl. My dad bought this for me for my tenth birthday.

Tomorrow I will go by to see him and remind him about those paints and tell him about what old Tickles did and how Frankie and Lucy acted and about the little frogs at Springcreek.

God's blessings on my family.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Gimme Fall.

Gimme Vegetable Soup Saturdays and Roast Beef and Potato Dinner Sundays and a great big pile of covers where I'm crowded up with shivering fat wiener dogs and a very dubious husband who really doesn't want to watch Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho again, but will.

Gimme warm Angel Food Cake when the neighbors come for Bible Study... all covered over in the last of the years' strawberries and whipped cream that begins to steam when it touches the cake. Lord willing, we will always meet together.

Gimme a fire too hot for good sense in our old black rusty wood-burning stove that billows smoke into the house and into our clothes and into our lungs. (The number of years added to our lives by the warmth from that old stove vastly outnumber the days taken from inhaling all the smoke.)

Gimme windows that are shoved all the way open and propped with broken dowel rods on days too cold for such as that and clear black nights when the stars aren't drowning in humidity.

Gimme an end to this Summer Hibernation when the days are too long and too hot and too sticky and too many.

When I began working on a revision for The Frame Shop's website, (trying to update it for a sort of seasonal look with colors, etc.) I came down with such a homesickness for Fall. I feel this antsyness every year in August but this year has seemed inordinately hard. I don't know why but yes, I really do...

My whole life: I wish it away.

I wish it wasn't so hot. I wish it wasn't so late. I wish it would hurry up and be Fall then Thanksgiving then Christmas then Spring. I wish dinner was ready and I was done working and I had this office cleaned up and my thank you cards out and my dogs washed and my laundry finished and...

Somehow, I always think it's going to be better as soon as...

And what needs to be better?

Well. I don't know.

If only I had a cool night and could breath then I'm sure things would be better.

One time, fifteen or more years ago, a woman I worked with told me to stop wishing away my life. She said one day I would no longer be young and I would have wished it all away.

Ten years before that, I had a boss tell me the same thing.

When I was in high school, my grandmother told me to stop wishing away my life.

I'm not a young woman anymore. The woman who told me that fifteen years ago has been dead now for half a decade.

While I'm wishing and waiting and saying Gimme Gimme Gimme, my life is going by and I think I'm missing the majority of it.

I wished away today. There were too many problems at work. Too many hard things to do.  Too many interruptions.  Too many aggravations.

I came home and cooked green beans and roasted ears from my uncle's garden and mindlessly gobbled it while impatiently waiting for the computer software to catch up from the changes I'd made while editing a huge photo. The only thing I know about dinner was that the green beans were limp from overcooking and the corn was so hot I couldn't stand it. Because I missed it.

And so, I came to think about all this because of the picture I decided to use for the header on The Frame Shop's website. I regularly draw these intense pictures with millions of things happening all at once, but I can only handle about a half thing at a time in my own life. When it gets to be more than that, I just wish it would all get over.

Wonder why that is?

Why do I like such chaos in those pictures but I long for simplicity and peace?

It occurs to me that maybe I live this stupid way on purpose?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Working on your Crown?

Do you suppose that when we're goners and get up to Heaven God will give us a real for goodness-sake crown?

You know, the Bible says we get one so I'm betting on it. And I am very intrigued by this crown.

A year or two ago I started fiddling with the idea of this promised crown and wondering what exactly our crowns will look like. What will they tell about us? What will they mean? Will we be embarrassed if ours is just some litty-bitty gold loop thing like a hair band and everyone else has a big fine mighty one?

My thinking is, that while I want one that is ludicrusly humongous and diamondy and intricate, I don't want to get too set on a design because I'm pretty sure God will have an idea for a crown for me that's ten-millions better than any dumb idea I can think of. I don't want some lame preconceived notion to cheat me out of the dilly-whopping crown God would have thought up for me, if I should have earned one.

Along these lines of thinking, however, in the last year or two I whipped together about 15 or 20 mixed media crown pieces and I still have several of them. Each tells a different story but it must be deciphered. Some are lively and chaotic and others are simple and sweet. Some tell stories that are bold and strong and some tell stories that are meek and small. A few are showy and a few are understated. There are party hats and crowns designed for big strong proud aggressive lives.

Jesus wore a crown of thorns.

Maybe I've been on the wrong track with my crowns.

Maybe I need to think about these projects some more... My silly little mixed-media pieces, sure; but mostly the crown God will choose for me when I'm up in Heaven.

So, just what exactly does a crown of righteousness look like, anyway?

Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. 2 Timothy 4:8

Love to all, d.

P.S. I'm also hoping we get to wear shoes with pointy-up ends that curl around like my Hot Snots wear. But, PLEASE! I do not want pointy-up toes that curl around.

Another P.S. If you're not standing aside and allowing God to design your crown, time's a wasting. If you don't get with it, mine might end up all bigger and fancier than yours and won't you feel so stupid then?  Seek, grasshopper, seek!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Who does she think she is.... entering a contest?!?

Entering contests sort of reeks of self-promotion and a big giant bobbling head. I never could understand why so many people would do it... especially when I would (very critically and superior-ally and judgement-ally) look at whatever they had made to enter the contest and think to myself, "who do they think they are? I could do better than that."

Oh my goodness. I should not admit that.

But unless you're a fat liar, you must also admit that you have looked at the decisions others have made to enter a contest and laughed at them.

Seeing someone enter a contest and then deeming that others are not very good contestants is funny. Because we know -- completely KNOW -- we could have done such a better job if only we had entered. We end up feeling all superior. And the fact that we did not, indeed, enter, proves that if we had, we would have won. Period. No need to enter the contest.

It came to me in the last few weeks that I have had this snotty attitude and I am appalled to realize it. 

Since when did I begin to believe I was something superior? I never thought I was... no, I never consciously thought I was. But subconsciously, I'm not so sure. Why have I always acted so silly over someone else's decision to try things I was unwilling to try? Why so smarty-pants and know-it-all? Why such a jerk?

It came to me in the last few weeks. My friend Amy is excited to enter her photos in the local fair. We are going to frame them. She told me she always enters and it's not for the prize money ($5.00 top prize) and not for the competition, per se. She does it because it's an adventure and it's fun and it's something to look forward to. Mostly, she does it because she "just wants to."

And so, because of Amy, I thought about contests. And I thought about what entering a contest might really mean to a contestant.

When someone enters their creative endeavor into a contest, that person is vulnerable. It follows, I think, then, that that person must also be confident. They are going to risk sometimes enduring the snickers and sneers of others. They are going to risk losing. The bottom line is, they are risking baring their souls for others to simply dismiss.

Brave thing to do.

And even if you win, some are going to think your entry is the worst.

And so, because of Amy, I thought about contests some more. And I thought about what entering a contest might really mean to me.

It would mean actually doing something instead of just talking about it. It would mean risking (perceived) humiliation when people laugh at my entry. It would most likely mean losing and feeling sad even if I told myself I didn't care when I entered (which is what I always do).

And so I did it.

I entered the Cloth Paper Scissors contest called "Home Sweet Home" and I was so embarrassed and proud and, good grief, I have logged onto that site numerous times to look at all the other contestants entries and, good grief, has it ever been fun!

A picture of my little entry is posted above. And here it is on the Cloth Paper Scissors website:


If you decide you are going to rate me, I hope you aren't secretly sneering at how stupid my entry is. Believe me, this has crossed my mind!
Love to all, d.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bringing in the Laundry

After coming home late this evening from my mother's where we celebrated my sister's birthday, I hurriedly brought in three loads of laundry from the line. Almost everything had dried stiff and scratchy and full of sunshine and wind and the prayers of thanksgiving I had uttered while I hung each towel and sheet.

Mosquitoes weren't quite biting yet and lightning bugs weren't out as I started removing the linens but they were before I finished. The air wasn't quite crisp with night, but my down comforter was beginning to dampen with dew as I folded it into the last basket on my third trip. It will need a tumble in the dryer.

I had told my sister I had to leave her little party early because I was afraid of seeing a 'possum when I went to the clothes line. Although Frankie, my wiener dog, raises his hackles routinely as he guards the yard, nothing is afraid of him except a silly pit-bull-faced-bushy-tailed neighbor dog that my younger daughter thinks looks ferocious. Frankie runs all over the field and into the weeds barking at rabbits and gathering ticks. Lucy, my other wiener dog, is deaf with old age. She doesn't wander as far but spends most of her time sniffing the clothes as they come off the line or wallowing into the wild onions that are everywhere on that side of the yard. If I pay too little attention to her, she licks my toes until I acknowledge her.

Even with companions like these, who isn't scared of 'possums that are bold enough to come up to you at the clothes line in the gathering darkness?

I'm scared of a lot more things now than I was as a kid. I'm scared of the darkness that envelopes the yard after dusk. The skies will still be blue and clear, but not the yard. It's full of shadows that could harbor anything at all. My grandmother told me that's where the Booger Man is. Who's to say she wasn't right.

I'm scared of twilight and the mosquitoes and not being able to make out what a noise is. It's a perfectly wonderful and delicious shivery unease that I remember as a little girl as I willed my feet to fly home on the dirt road from my cousins'... surely something pursued but never quite caught me....

Then night comes and the mystery is completed. The dusk-to-dawn lights speckled across the 30-or-so miles we can see from the back of our house become our neighborhood and someone is home. The frogs sing. Whippoorwills call to one another. Crickets chirp. Sometimes I hear owls. Oftentimes I hear the coyotes as they meet up for the evening.

During the summer, my sister and I, along with our mother, gather ourselves into blankets and watch the stars. It's cold out at night no matter the time of year and you always need a blanket.

And you lie there and feel important. The same God that made all of these made each of us.

God Bless.