Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Friends help with constipation.....

Friends help with Constipation. They really do.....

Abby has challenged me to be more creative with my blog titles....capturing attention.   So I am trying.

So, you might ask, what do friends and constipation have in common?

Well....let me try to explain.

For the past few days, more than that actually,  months to be exact, I've been especially missin' my girl-friends.  When I move, the absolute hardest part, without a doubt, is saying g'bye to a friend(s).  As Anne of Green Gables puts it so well........a kindred spirit.  sigh.  It cause me to cry buckets.

Each place we've been blessed to live, God has given me the absolute best ~~ a girl-friend kindred-spirit. Sometimes more than one.  They are a treasure to behold and never to be taken for granted.

They are the kind of friend you eventually have history with.  You don't have to explain background or why or who.    The kind of friend who knows how to listen well, with compassion, and doesn't try to fix. The kind of friend who will share a 3 hour coffee, or a long glass of wine, or walk with you until you are all talked out, cried out, or "done".  The kind of friend you can laugh with until you pee your pants. The kind of friend who doesn't drop her jaw when  you tell her how you are REALLY doing. The kind of friend who helps to lighten your load and deepen your joy. She is a true treasure indeed.  Irreplaceable.  ....And so hard to hug g'bye. Because you know, she will never ever be replaced.   This kind of a "friend" is one of a kind in your heart.

I am so much a verbal processor. And when I walk through LIFE and face STUFF, I long to talk and process and put feelings into words with a much.  This is HOW I figure out what is really going on inside of me. This is how life flows more freely for me...  It is. (I must make an addendum here, Keith is the best non-girlfriend-friend a wife could ask for, BUT he will be the first to admit that he is NOT a girl.) 

Well, today, as I was all backed-up and confused in my feelings and trying to explain to Keith what was going on.......I thought about how hard it is to get things OUT, when they have been inside  ... emotionally speaking  .... for quite some time.  And there are obviously a few layers of feelings to process through.  Sometimes, it's hard to figure out how to get the layers and piles of emotionally-backed-up-stuff out.  Do you know what I mean?  I walk around with this pained look on my face because I am all jammed up.............  needing a friend.

Are you getting it?  The title?

And so's to my girl-friends.  My kindred spirit girl-friends.  From sea to shining sea, you are a rainbow of precious gems in my heart.  I love you.  Deeply.  And I miss you.  Like crazy.  I do.  And I thank each one of you with all my heart, for being you.    For being a true reflection of God's kindness and compassion and listening ear --- with skin on. 

And I'm just sayin', I'm getting a little backed-up without you. 

Thank you.
For those of you that have been asking about our WAITING, and WAITING with us. Thank you.
The very fact that you are WITH with us, brings such encouragement, let me tell you....
To update you.............
*Keith returned from Kansas City safe and sound. Nick is settled into his home & routine, he is feeling well and strong and back to "his" normal. 
*Our furniture and things arrived from PA --- Kai prayed that whoever moved our things would do it with lots of TLC.  Her prayers were answered in such a HUGE way.  Scott and Jeremy (father and son) with United Moving were the best of the best (LOTS of TLC).  And Rudy and Gabriel in Paso Robles, who helped unload ---- well, they were equally amazing.  TLC to da max.
*And ~~ Derek and Abby and Kai and Jack and Bailey are all tucked into their home.  Home.  HOME. 
*Keith and I are settling into Maxine and spreading out a bit (Maxine miraculously grew). We are hanging out in Morro Bay for now, and taking a bit of time to regroup & refresh ....before turning the page.
*Thank you for traveling with us --- your company gives us TLC on this journey.  Thank you !

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Tulips in January

So…… yeah, it feels like the finish line has moved a few times.  (Mom put it so well in the latest blog)  But can I just SHOUT it from the mountain tops?!.....I see the finish line! GOD IS SO GOOD!!!!!!  First of all…..Thank you everyone for your support and encouraging words since my last blog entry.  You have no idea how much your love, prayers, and uplifting words blessed my heart and gave me hope.  You have hugged me across the miles with your support.  

The other day we went to Trader Joe’s for some groceries.  Love that store!  Well, we walked in and right there in the center of the store was a huge display of fresh cut flowers.  I LOVE fresh cut flowers!  But my favorite flower in all the earth doesn’t come around until spring time.  I don’t know if spring flowers are more dazzling than summer one’s because they are the first to come out after a long winter or if they truly are the most beautiful.  Walking towards the flowers, Kai tugs at my arm gasping, ‘Mommy, look at ALL the flowers! Oh, we have to get Gigi some flowers!’  Her enthusiasm totally makes the sunshine brighter.  And she pulled out a bunch of yellow tulips.  Tulips are my FAVORITE!  God gave me tulips in January.  TULIPS in JANUARY!!!  Helloooooo!  And it was that day, the rest of spring started to show up…….that was just a little over a week ago.

This morning I woke up like it was the first day of school.  Earlier than usual, and feeling not as tired as I should, because….today is the day we get the keys to our new home!  And sooooooo……drum roll please……..the VINEYARDS have it!  Ding ding ding!  The rolling hills and vineyards will be our next resting place in central California.  Of all the dozens of houses we drove by, inquired about, and the few we looked at, 2 homes caught our eyes and both of them wanted our family to live in them!  It was a miracle by far….Paso Robles, in the northern part of San Luis Obispo County was a place we hadn’t considered until now.  But when we looked at homes here it seemed that all arrows were pointing this direction.  Looking back I am baffled.  We seriously drove by SO many houses that we saw were for rent in Paso.  Of those 2 dozen or so, we got into 3. And of those 3, 2 we LOVED and could see ourselves totally living in.  Knowing the difficult process we had to go through to even be considered, I have to say I wasn’t very optimistic!  I mean really, no jobs and a dog are pretty good strikes against ya when you’re looking to rent. And it seems in these parts, its first come first serve.  So if you aren’t the first qualified person to look at something, it’s pretty much gone by the time you inquire about it….AUGH! But as God would have it, He not only provided one house for us, but actually gave us two to choose from.  They both wanted us!!! 

So this little house in the vineyards is a 2-story 3 bedroom, 2 ½ bathroom in a nice neighborhood.  Everything is clean and fresh and recently renovated.  It’s located central to shopping, the highway, town down fun….AND wineries! It has a great river walk around the community and a playground taboot!  I feel like it’s more than I knew I needed.  It has lots of running space for the kids, a huge back yard for Bailey, a master bedroom with a walk in closet that is bigger than the bathroom in our PA home!  I feel totally spoiled!  Isn’t it just like God to give us more than enough, and a little extra, just because!  So this will be our home for the next few months or year or so as we explore and discover our new area.  This is my temporary ‘pot’…’s a nice pot!  

Looking into 2013, I feel that this year for us is about exploring, discovering and having lots of fun doing it!  There are so many places in the area I’m looking forward to discovering.  And to start with, Paso Robles is home to over 300 vineyards and wineries!  Its home to California’s mid-state fair.  The beach is a half hour away. And…there are avocado farms 15 minutes from here – YUM!!!!  Farmers markets and community events….and so much more to learn about.  I don’t have to get hung up on having everything perfect or planting roots now.  It’s just a season of fun and freedom to explore! I’m excited!  WE are excited! 
Derek & I watched The Hobbit the other night and what Gandalf told Bilbo before they left for their adventure was so right on. He said, “I can’t promise you’ll return. But if you do come back, I guarantee you won’t ever be the same.” We can totally relate!

It’s been an amazing journey!  Thank you God for dreams come true, adventures and tulips in January. 

   Here’s to the next season and to filling the next pages of our story with NEW adventures.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Who moved the finish line? ;-)

Diane here…

I keep starting to write/post/blog and then I press delete delete delete.  I’ve done this for 3 or 4 days now.  I don’t know what to say.

 What do I say in the waiting --- that in-between  time of now  ...  and not yet?   

What can I say while I'm waiting?  In 31ft?

It feels like I'm stuck in a holding pattern. You know, those times when  your tray table and seat back are in the upright position, and  you can see HOME out the window, but for whatever reason the pilot keeps circling the airport, and it feels like for----eh---ver.

Or those times when you think you see the finish line, only to discover it’s been moved!   You are stretching out to finish the race, only to discover you have yet another lap to go.   Augh.

It’s like I don’t know what to say in the in-between.

We’re ok.  We haven’t bonked each other over the head or anything.   I think Maxine has shrunk a few feet. But we’re ok.  I think our kids and grandkids are pretty amazing --- the way they are flexible, and hang-in-there, even when the wait feels toooo-long.

We’re waiting.  

Waiting for moving vans to arrive (taking longer than planned). Waiting for Derek and Abby to get keys to move into very cute home (that is a God story Abby gets to tell you!). Waiting for Keith to return from Kansas City where he has been with Nick for the past 10 days.     

Why is waiting so hard?  And why do holding patterns feel so LONG, and extra laps feel so EXHAUSTING?  The last 10 minutes can feel longer than the entire journey.  An extra quarter mile, can feel like 20.

So in the waiting….
We're learning how to be together.

And we're learning how to find time alone.

We’ve had good beach walks.

Kai is riding her two wheeler like a champ, doing laps around our RV Park with a confident smile.
Chester has learned that seagulls are almost as much fun to chase as squirrels.

Oh, and we went to see the Elephant Seals near San Simeon.  They have come to have their babies and then... make babies.
We've  have had some God-connections with different people.  He is so kind to put people in our path at just the right moment.
We are learning the lay of the land.
We’ve had moments of letting off some “steam”  ~~~ like one time when Jack started to scream because he was so frustrated.  Well, …we all just JOINED HIM.  “AUUUUUUU!!! “  He looked at us like we were nuts.  I think we were.

Kai and I had a breakfast date, (it had been a long time since she and I had had a Gigi-Kai day), at the Madonna Inn where everything is PINK PINK PINK.  I showed Kai where her Gigi used to go ballroom dancing with her Cal Poly friends, and of course she and I took a twirl or two.   And we drank hot chocolate with whipped cream and pink sugar sprinkles.  Kai said it was yummy and she whispered in my ear, “Gigi, you could totally get a job here.  They make hot chocolate as good as you.”  I laughed.
We’ve visited the library --- and Kai got her very first library card.  So EXCITING.

Abby and I shared lunch together ~~ sitting by the bay.  A glass of wine and fresh seafood. We talked about silly things like ...Chester getting a job with the barking seals.  And serious things like... relocating and starting over.

I am enjoying watching Jack grow taller, hearing him say new words, and figuring out how to jUmP!

I love getting to  know Derek more and more. A few days back I was telling him how I felt about someone  keeps moving our finish line!  He laughed, saying, "So, who's finishing? More to come!" Laughter and perspective, just 2 of the many things I love about my son-in-love.
I went to see Les Miserables by myself yesterday, and I cried.  Literally held onto my scarf like it was a warm blankie and sobbed.   After the movie, the entire theater broke into applause and then most of us just sat quietly, not moving.  Such a story of passion and redemption and love and forgiveness. 

…. And after the movie I parked under a street lamp along the bayside, and talked to a  long-distance dear friend on the phone for over an hour.  Processing the movie….and life.  A ranger passed by a couple of times, checking on me.  I sorta hoped he would stop so I could tell him how we’ve been traveling for 4 ½ months in 31 feet and how good it felt to have “girl time” and over an hour of uninterrupted adult conversation.   J
It won’t be long, and we will “land” & cross the “finish line”.

It has been such a grand journey --- and not one us wants to minimize how grand it has been.  It has been AHH-MAY-ZING. 
But ohmygoodness, we are totally smellin’ the barn and ready to get this baby landed, and feel the red tape across our chests.   ;-)
P.S. Abby just poked her head over my shoulder and said, “Are you gonna cry?…….. This is your last blog with ALLLLL of us in Maxine!”    Buahhhhhhhhhhhhhh,  (where is my scarf?)


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

I feel like a tree

Abby's thoughts.....

Here we are in central California, trying to settle into a new life.  Trying to make a new home.  Trying to FIND a home!  I don’t share this to complain, I just share it to be REAL.  This is where I am at today on this journey.  Some days of this journey are exciting and thrilling; other days are full of doubt; wondering where hope is and what bend it’s around.  

We are facing reality now.  Far from the place we used to call home, far from familiar, and I’m trying to remind myself that it’s all going to be okay.  We are still living in Maxine, and the Maxine grace-o-meter is getting low. Everyday we look on for rentals.  There are few to choose from and of the few, the rent is more than we paid for our mortgage!  It looks bleak.  And today I wonder again, did we make the right move?  YES, comes a soft whisper from heaven. And good reminder to hear when there are days you still wonder.  I suppose the storm looks bigger than it really is, and the rainbow after the storm is usually brighter than expected.  So I have to believe it will all be okay, but this is a road I must walk down.  A road I must travel today before I get to my destination. And i guess, it's not really a storm, it just feels like a big mountain right now.

Today I feel lost.  I feel like a tree uprooted.  A tree that was once strong and lush, developing roots in rich soil.  But now, this tree is vulnerable, raw, exposed.  I look right and left, north and south looking for the RIGHT place to plant.  I so desperately want to plant in healthy fertile soil, yet I realize, I’m only to be planted in a temporary pot for now.  This season of time here is about discovery.  Discovering new places, new landscape, new cultures, new life, new firsts. Nothing has to be permanent.  That’s why we are renting and not buying. Sounds exciting, right?  So why am I so concerned about the color of my new pot, or the location of my pot, for that matter? The hurdle for me is, it’s not like a job brought us here and picked where we are going to live for us.  We are the ones making the decision.  AND, it feels like a BIG decision.  Lots of decisions!  Where do we live? Go to school?  Get jobs? Church? Friends? Life?! Do we live in San Luis Obispo, a fun college town, or Paso Robles in the vineyards, or Pismo Beach on the coast?  All have great things about them, pros, cons, etc. I know it sounds silly, and you may wonder, why am I all worked up about it? But, I think.... what if I don’t like my new pot?  What if the tree isn’t planted in the RIGHT pot?  What if it’s not as good as my old solid ground? 

But really, when I step back to look at my life, has God ever NOT taken care of me?  Has He ever led me somewhere that didn’t have a purpose?  Has He ever NOT provided for me?  I meekly answer, no.  And really, the truth is, He’s always given me more than my expectations.  So why would He stop now?  Why would He take me on this journey, only to drop me off and leave me?  I know it’s all going to work out.  I know we will find a home.  I know that we will find happiness and a good life in this new land.  It’s just hard because it looks strange and I don’t know what it’s supposed to look like. I’m sure there’s a good pot to be planted in.  It doesn’t have to be perfect. And the cool thing is, I can move this pot anywhere until I know for certain what ground to plant it in permanently.  

So...those are my thought.  Just me being real.  This is my journey I am living right now. 

Thanks for listening.