The Best Things In Life Are Not Things


 

bracelet.

My Grandma B was my dad’s mom. It is funny how there is always a grandma who is a little closer than the other. Grandma B wasn’t it. Though I loved her and I know she loved me. I was the first grandchild so for a while I was pretty much it for everyone. But slowly the other kids came and my Grandma Nina-Mae was the one that was my soft place to fall for most of my life. I was born on her birthday, I was her first grandchild and up until she got really sick, we had a very special bond.

My Grandma B was closest to her daughter’s kids. So it surprised me that shortly after I’d had my daughter I received a funny little note. It came with some old pearls in a special clasped box and a few baby pictures of my dad who had died a few years earlier. The note said: Your dad bought these for me when he was over seas in the Air force. I thought you might like them. They may be worth something since he bought them for me in Korea.  It was a funny note. She didn’t end it “Love Grandma” she just ended it. About a month later, she died talking to her best friend on the phone. She had a brain aneurism.

I didn’t care how much they were worth. They meant more to me than I could ever say because of the random way my grandma had given them to me right before she died. Maybe she had a premonition. I am not sure. But it wasn’t so much the pearls, it was that she’d thought of me.

While she was still a little girl, I decided to give them to my daughter on her wedding day.  I knew in my heart that they would be hers someday. And always planned the giving to be special. I actually gave them to her at a special gathering of her brides’ maids at a sweet little brunch  she put on for those involved. My best friend and I were also invited to it and I thought that it might be the perfect place to gift her with the pearls so that she could decide if she wanted to wear them or if she needed to match a dress to them. She cried and it was a sweet moment. Just as I’d imagined it would be.

When trying to decide if they actually “worked” with the dress, her photographer suggested that she wear them on her wrist instead of around her neck, I have tried to be the kind of mom that sets my kids free and  not to barge in with my  own agenda or what is in my  head or in this case heart. But I have to admit that I was a little disappointed and annoyed with her photographer…. especially when during a dance they broke all over the dance floor, scattering pearls everywhere!!

I think my heart lurched a little, and of course, my daughter was devastated.  But what actually blew me away was how all the groom’s men got down on their hands and knees and deposited 4 pearls, and 7 pearls and 5 pearls and 4 pearls and 8 pearls… into my daughter’s hand. It was the sweetest thing I ever experienced. Sure the string of pearls seemed so important at first. After all my daddy gave them to my grandma….  But over the years I have had to remember….                                                                                                    That the best things in life aren’t things.                                                                            

And that it is those sweet unexpected moments where these grown up boys got down on their hands and knees to rescue my baby’s pearls. I knew without a doubt that these friends her husband had chosen to stand up there with him as he married my daughter represented what I’d always wished for, for her and that the best things in life are definitely not things!

marquee

I am in charge of the Marquee at my work; Today’s saying

The Chimney Rock Fire


 

 

E VIEW FROM OUR STREETview from our street

For the last week, my neighbors and I have been sitting on the edge of our seats as we watch the surrounding communities being evacuated as a fire rages around us. Since losing our store in the 2003 San Simeon earthquake,  (link below  -I’ve been asked about)

https://dianereedwiter.wordpress.com/2012/09/23/a-thing-of-beauty-in-an-unexpectd-place/

I have never looked at people going through a Natural Disaster in quite the same way since that earthquake. Not that I didn’t care, but things like that just seem so far removed  from  your own life. I didn’t truly understand. NOW I do. Before, it all seemed so distant. Now, not so much. Something changes you after experiencing something like that. It is not just strangers going through something on the news. Now, I stop and pray for them and understand. I’d like to think I learned more lessons from that experience; I know at the very least…  I view “things” as just “stuff” a lot more easily since then.
It became clear last night when things got pretty close and I was shaken awake by a very loud, reverse 911 call alerting our area that the neighboring community, where many of our friends reside had just been given their evacuation notice. Even now, it is not clear that we are out of danger. The electricity has gone out a couple of times and that kind of freaks me out because besides the layer of smoke resting on our whole town, I just assumed that our amazing firefighters were getting a handle on things. But have since learned that weather conditions have a lot to do with containment and growth and that it is just unpredictable.

I guess you might say that my bubble popped and I stopped living in lala land and began looking around trying to figure out “IF” we were notified…What would I take? I began taking pictures of things that I might need for insurance purposes and made a mental note of everything sentimental that I would grab. Notes from my dad and my kids, ones from my husband, & my mom. Pictures, important papers,  And then my eyes fell on my Bible. Now days I use an electronic app  as my Bible, and that, not often enough. It is worn and weathered with highlights and underlined verses and something about it comforted me, as I held it for a moment and then placed it inside my “important box.”

Today we still are on stand by but it seems to be moving away from us. We never know until we hear a new report. But I just sat down to take a break and glanced at my Bible and took it with me to read. And realized I’d been missing something so special by not sitting down with that old worn out book.  I flipped through it and God started speaking to me as I read highlighted and underlined verses. It is so crazy how each verse that I’d marked at another time in my life was meant for me to read today…

As for me, I shall call upon God, And the Lord will save me. Evening and morning and at noon, I will complain and murmur And He will hear my voice. He will redeem my soul in peace from the battle which is against me.    PSALM 56: 16-18 

Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.           JAMES 1:12

Jesus knocking

I love how God finds me

right where I am.

whether on solid ground

or on shaky sand

sometimes stepping off the foundation

away from the rock

sometimes ignoring His calling

and  gentle knock

Always so busy

and as

rushed as can be

while He ever so patiently

waits for me.

d. reed

FIRE 2

Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything; tell God your needs and don’t forget to thank Him for His answers. If you do this you will experience God’s peace which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus.

PHILIPPIANS 4; 6-7 

One last thing…. Whatever you may be going through… God is nudging you to remember that HE is just a prayer away.  Praying is like a soft rain after a long drought, it is like falling into your daddy’s arms after a long absence.

 

God Bless you.

Looking Forward


plane in clouds

I have come to the conclusion that I will always need something to look forward to. I was born in Seattle and four years later, my dad was transferred to California, and then Colorado, Missouri and Illinois and then back to California where I grew up in a place called  Palos Verdes. When we moved, my dad promised my mom to always send us “home”. He kept his promise, no matter where we were, every summer, without fail,  we would pack our bags and fly to Seattle. So no matter what, I knew that every summer I had something pretty big to look forward to.

I think that I zeroed in on this particular discovery after my daughter’s wedding. I was so focused on the planning and whatever part I played in the tasks I was given, I didn’t have a lot of time to go to that corner of my mind that is clouded with those things that bring me down. When I was a young mom, I did art shows. I created all year-long and knew that almost half a dozen times a year, I had a place to go. I was a part of a creative group of people who added to my life in ways that I am only just now recognizing.

I have been back in the corporate workforce for over a decade now. (Working for someone else.) My husband has turned my art studio into his office and our indoor office into a guest room slash office that was supposed to be where I was going to write.

Not really the place I had in mind inside my head. But I am there now, writing this. The plan was that I would work part-time and start writing my book. I did write my book. But as I have read and learned, I see the flaws and mistakes in it, and well, at least I have the bones. I know the story. I just need to rewrite it. Easier said then done.

blue house

When I was first married, before kids, I had  the sweetest landlord, Mr. Allen, that was working on the house in front of our apartment. It was an amazing craftsman’s style home and I think that he saw that I loved it as much as he did. Everyday, he would take me on a tour to show me all of the things he’d fixed or installed the day before. Good ole’ Mr. Allen, we were buddies.

We had a little agreement that someday, I would move in there. We even shook on it. But I remember talking to my friend who lived next-door and us agreeing that if he ever finished it, he would probably die. His daughter had a friend that wanted to move in there and so she stepped in and thought she was helping her dad by hiring a carpenter to finish it and sure enough shortly later, he died. I have no doubt that we all have the need to contribute and create and when that seizes, we all seem to falter.

I am not sure if I have a great or profound message here. I guess I just needed to write this out for me. To give myself a kick in the butt so to speak and understand that I am the only one who is in charge here. Regarding my health, both mentally and physically. I can’t wait for anyone to do it for me.  I also know that I am a creative person and I need to create again and look forward to something.

I have not shared my; What I Know For Sure-isms…. for a while so here are a few for those sitting on the edge of your seats waiting for more! (JUST kidding!!!)

  • I must always try to keep myself busy enough so that I don’t pause long enough to allow my mind to wander too far away.
  • Only I can create the version of myself that I want others to see.
  • Success starts when you  believe in yourself.
  • Your own opinion of yourself is what matters first.
  • Telling people your plans does not work as well as showing them.
  • I am my only limit…. people have achieved much more with less.
  • The past is a place of reference, not a place that I need to reside ever again.
  • Sometimes what consumes your mind, can control your life.
  • I can live my life with people but no one can live my life for me.
  • I want to live my life in such a way that someday someone says to me:                        “Because of you I didn’t give up.”

 

 

You Have A Memory On Facebook


I wrote this several years ago when I was going through something that hit me like a Mack Truck. My first husband had recently died and my nest was empty. I was in the process of re-inventing myself and a Friend Request on Facebook literally rocked my world. For almost a year I took a powder. Pouf and I didn’t even know who I was. Once I’d been loyal and honest and felt that I had a decent amount of integrity. And the next, I was falling down a rabbit hole that didn’t have a rope.

Through a lot of work I found my way back but I am not proud of who I became for a while. The Friend request was from someone who’d destroyed my confidence when I was a teenager. The relationship was subtly abusive and hard to describe other than that of a frog sitting in tepid water, who finds himself smack in a pot of boiling water. The getting out and getting over it and the memories almost did me in.

Today I read… YOU HAVE MEMORIES ON FACEBOOK…. It was the post below. I’d written it before too many followed my blog. It was safe. We were all strangers. I am writing a book about my journey. Of abuse, of reconnection, of second chances to say everything you ever wanted to… Like I said, I am not proud of my choices but I don’t regret them because they made me who I am today. Someone who appreciates today and has stopped looking back.

The Post was titled;

YOU CAN’T LOSE SOMETHING YOU NEVER HAD

You remind me of the ocean, the smell of the waves, the scent of summer, of heartache, of endings… of beginnings… of engagements and breaking up, of learning for the first time how to put aside dreams and learn how to survive the pain of heartbreak, you gave me my very first broken heart, you remind me of a never ending love that has weaved it’s way through the decades that have passed, the place in my heart that still hurts if you touch it, you are the reflection of my youth and my hopes and sorrows.

You taught me how to love and were the keeper of my tears. You challenged me and you suffocated me. You believed in me, maybe more than anyone ever has and yet you smothered me, snuffed out all the confidence in me. I sailed boats with you and flew planes!  I mean “I” actually FLEW a plane without an engine because of you! When you believed in me. I believed in me! I discovered that I could do things that I never would have thought of doing, if it had not been for you. Oh how you took me to the top of the world and then, oh but then… you dropped me and oh how I crashed. And even today, I’m not sure that I ever recovered. Maybe that is why I let you back in, to go back and get pieces of me.
You loved me and you hurt me over and over again, you left me found me over a lifetime of hellos and goodbyes, I loved you and I hated you, and yet I forgave you , fantasy and reality cloud into one, I see so clearly and am blinded at the same time, I understand because I know your pain and yet I can’t overlook my own, I give up everything for you and  escape with my life, I never look back and remember it all, I am safe when I am falling, I am silent when I am calling, I lose my soul and find it again, i pray for forgiveness, I believe and I doubt, I fail and I succeed, I dream and then I look back and remember, I laugh and I cry all in the same breath, I dance in my head and ache in my heart, I grasp at my youth and cling to my wisdom, I crumble where I am and gather the lessons I have learned, I turn around and find you, I let go over and over again, I sing from the mountain tops inside the silence of my imagination, my heart is stopped, I thought that I could change things, somehow fit you in to that place you left so long ago and yet the space has been filled, maybe not perfectly but slowly, I think that as I fill it with new dreams around the healing wounds, I might still have a chance at surviving this whole crazy place that I have found myself in, I take a breath as  I fall on my face and pray for strength to stop the madness.. and feel my heart begin beating again. And finally realize that …..

Someday I want my book that I am ripping apart once again, to give hope to the broken hearted and strength to those that haven’t even reckoned with their own strength yet!