Sunday, August 22, 2010

Best Day

The mountains were wonderful (it's moderately difficult to be back in the Texas heat, but great to be home) and one day up in Crested Butte - I found myself thinking that it was, quite possibly, one of the best days of my life. Sitting here at home, with the smell of freshly baked Reeses Pieces cookies in the background, waiting for my son to return from a laser tag birthday party, I'm not sure if all of my best vacation memories are from just one day (I doubt they are) but they blur together happily and I realize they all have one thing in common - the four of us were together, laughing or enjoying a new experience.

We took a trail ride- just the four of us, through the Gunnison national forest. I've honestly never seen anything so beautiful in my life and as I rode through the aspen, I felt closer to God than I had in a long time. I admitted that to my daughter later. She raised her eyebrows at me, agreed that it sounded kind of corny, but then told me she knew exactly how I felt.

We wondered around a farmer's market on a beautiful sunny day. The kids and I got henna tattoos as I wore a daisy in my hair. Later that day, I listed to John Denver as I drank in the mountain air. (Nothing takes me back to the happy days of my childhood like John Denver. I must admit, however, that I still sometimes picture him with the Muppets when I hear him sing. He was my favorite guest star.)

We took our horse guide's advice, and ate pizza at The Secret Stash. The food was fabulous (pizza with figs, prosciutto and truffle oil) but the ambiance was even better. We sat on cushions in an attic decorated like something out of Tibet, complete with tapestries of Ganesh and Shiva (I think those were the devas and devis I recognized...but I'm no expert) and listed to the best ever hippie music playing over the speakers. We had so much fun -  it was truly one of those hours I want to remember forever.

The four corners of our family connected at each of these moments. We have seven more years under the same roof and I want more hilarity, more beauty, more connection. More "best days."

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Mountain Mist

When the mist rolls in, it covers your mountain so completely that you can hardly believe it still exists. It feels as if this beautiful, verdant, enormous entity has been wiped from the face of the Earth.

The stability of the mountain, which seemed so certain when it was obvious from your window, is suddenly in question. Everything disappears into a gloomy greyish soup.

Wiser souls assure you that the sun will return and burn off the mist. You watch and wait, then try to distract yourself with other activities so that you don't have to look at the grey.

Eventually, the sky is blue and the last pieces of fog are releasing their hold on the mountain.

You're filled with gratitude for those who went before you and assured you that mist evaporates. The mountain brings you even more joy than it did before -- because you know it never left your side. You love the sun, which cleared the mist and  allowed you to see the truth. And yet, you accept the mist. You know it will return and hide your mountain.

But - when it happens again, you'll be the wise soul. You'll know that your truth is the mountain, not the mist.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


I've received some good advice this week from a few friends and strangers. It's the kind of advice that I already knew in my head but my heart wasn't really there yet. The truth of the advice is beginning to penetrate my heart and it took everybody's advice to get me here.

The week began at church. It was Youth Sunday, which I remember with great fondness from my own teenage years (oh-so-many years ago). Two brilliant young women gave homilies to the congregation. (I gave the sermon one year when I was a teenager, which was quite the radical activity in my Southern Baptist Church.) One of them spoke about how happiness isn't supposed to be a destination, rather it's a choice we can make about how to live our lives. I suppose you could say the same thing about anything - peace, joy, contentment, even LOVE....

I really am an upbeat and happy person for the most part, although my husband doesn't always believe it about me because I also have a tendency to think about EVERYTHING and I might sometimes be just a wee bit hard on myself. I have to point out to him that just because I have a multitude of emotions, perhaps even many within a single afternoon, that doesn't negate my overall happiness. I'm certainly not gloomy. As a matter of fact, the adjective "perky" is used to describe me (to my FACE) much more than I would like, as an almost-39-year-old woman who is attempting to develop a poised, professional reputation.

And yet...

I will admit that I have a tendency to focus on the shadow instead of the sunshine. If I could burn calories with angst, I'd be slim as a rail.

I intend to remind myself each day to stop thinking about my destination and instead focus on each day's journey. As one of my friends pointed out this week, none of us really know where we'll be in a year. It's not a stretch for me to be happy about where I am right now - because I truly believe I'm in exactly the right place. I don't know where I'm going, but I'm clearly on a path.

Just remind me, when you see me, that if I'm living for tomorrow then I'm not living at all. (Another great quote from Sunday.) I might glare at you if I'm in one of my moods, but deep down I'll know you're right.

Friday, August 6, 2010

R2D2 and Me

Today I was at Target, hunting for a Star Wars backpack for my son. I'd already struck out at Walgreens and HEB so my fingers were crossed that Target wasn't going to let me down. Well, the gods of back-to-school were looking upon me with favor because I found a great one - complete with multiple laser blasts AND my son liked it. A lot.

Whew. Score one for mom.

Actually - score TWO for mom...check out this folder that is IDENTICAL to one I had in first grade. I got so excited about it that I spent a good five minutes hunting for the Princess Leia folder  - it was my favorite... the one where she's holding her blaster and looking around the corner with that oh-so-1976 Bonnie Bell lipgloss. I adored that folder. It was my pride and joy when I was sitting in Mrs. Mall's first grade class. Too bad I couldn't find it today at Target.

I told my son he could have the folder as soon as I'd taken the picture for my blog. If I'd found the Princess Leia one, I don't think he would have fought me over it.