kayaking on Loch Leven near Glencoe, Scotland, 2018

kayaking on Loch Leven near Glencoe, Scotland, 2018

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

High School Graduation -- one of many milestones

This is what I did last weekend.

I was shocked when I logged on here and discovered how long it had been since I last posted. Well, I've been a little busy. With both boys graduating in the past two weeks, family visiting, a graduation party . . . it's been a bit of a whirlwind.

One would think after all that, I'd have something interesting or insightful to say. I'm not really sure what to say. Or think. Plenty of thoughts and emotions are swirling around and colliding in my head. And I guess I'm still trying to process and sort them out.

Certainly, there is pride. I'm so proud of these two guys. Both have excelled in their own unique ways. And as a parent, I'm pleased for having brought them safely thus far, though I take little credit for that. Safe keeping is out of our hands to a great extent, and I give God all the glory.

And there's also humility. My sons are so far ahead of me when I was there age in terms of talent, maturity, and morality. And I marvel at how that happened. Again, praise God.

There's a bit of sorrow, as I know my life will never be the same once they both enter college this fall. I'll miss them. They won't "live" at home, but will be more like perpetually welcome visitors.

But there's also joy, realizing how far they have come and knowing they have their whole lives ahead of them and I can't wait to see what they do.

There's anticipation, for Bob and I to spend more time together; to do things and go places we've put off over the years, especially since living in Louisiana where we've had no family to keep an eye on the boys if we wanted to go away.

It's a lot to ponder. A lot to look forward to. These are exciting times in the life of my family.

What are your thoughts? Any tips for this soon-to-be empty nester?

Friday, May 17, 2013

Starks Mayhaw Festival

The Starks Mayhaw Festival is this weekend. Mayhaw is a southern fruit tree. I'd never heard of mayhaw prior to moving to Louisiana. But I do think it is a fun word to say, even if you can't eat them right off the tree. Kind of like crabapples, in that respect. Mostly people make jelly with them. Or wine. I doubt I'll make it to the festival again this year. But I went last year and had an interesting time. You can read about that trip here.

How about you? Did you find anything fun and interesting to do this weekend?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Mother's Day 2013

It's that time of year again when we celebrate moms. As a mom, I miss my son Eric who has been away at school on Mother's Day for the past three years. As a daughter, I miss my mom (she lives in Pennsylvania) and wish I could be with her on Mother's Day. (I love you, Mom!!)

Here's my beautiful Mom and I, taken on her 70th birthday in 2011.

Me and my boys, taken about a week before Mother's Day last year. Am I really that short?

And here's a flashback to a fun special Mother's Day from 2010.

I have no idea what we'll be doing this Sunday. What are your plans? How will you celebrate Mother's Day?

Friday, May 3, 2013

Cleaning Out the House, Literally and Figuratively

We had a garage sale last weekend. It’s a lot of work – sorting through drawers and closets, gathering things together, sneezing through the dust in the attic, exploring boxes that haven’t been opened since we packed them up in Pittsburgh six years ago. I put a price sticker on each item -- on toys and games we no longer play, CDs we no longer listen to, picture frames, kitchen and house wares, collectibles. On memories.

We hauled it all outside to the driveway before daylight. Early birds perused the boxes before we even had everything organized, but that’s to be expected. Then we attended to a fairly steady stream of shoppers until mid-day, when we boxed up the leftovers for Goodwill. For our efforts, we gleaned a few hundred dollars. But more importantly, my house feels lighter. It’s a great feeling, purging the excess, releasing what is unused; the unnecessary stuff that merely takes up space and creates clutter.
The whole process got me thinking about more than uncluttering my house. I pondered what I might eliminate from my life, to make my spirit lighter and less messy. How about stress and worry. Situations that cause me disappointment. Negativity of any kind. Yes, these things need to go. Somehow I suspect this will require a longer process than having a garage sale. But with even greater benefits.

I recently participated in a study with my church, First Presbyterian Church of Lake Charles, on Tommy Newberry’s book, The 4:8 Principle: the Secret to a Joy–Filled Life. It is based on Philippians 4:8:
. . . whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.

It’s the same concept as having a rummage sale of the soul. Purge the negative. Focus on the positive.
It’s a lot of work. But so worth it.

What do you need to rid from your life?