Posted in life

Update

So what’s up with you? I’d love to see some comments below — let me know how you are, what’s happening in your life, even if it’s only a couple of sentences.

Life’s pretty good here. It’s a little weird to be living a normal, non-eventful life when I know there are so many people dealing with the after effects of hurricanes and floods. I’m still working on putting things away after being gone for a number of days. As I put them (photos, negatives, sentimental this and that) back where they belong, I’m trying to cull the things that really aren’t important and organize the things that make the cut. Part of the reason: it was incredibly stressful trying to figure out which boxes to grab and which to leave behind when I evacuated. My goal is two-fold: to better organize my memories so that they can be enjoyed, and so it’s easier to secure them if we are ever threatened by storms again.

This past week has been a banner week business-wise. I had two appointments with potential window covering clients, and I am thrilled to say they have both selected me as their source. I am doing twenty plantation shutters for one client, and a combination of plantation shutters, decorative roller shades, and 2 1/2″ blinds (8 shutters, 9 shades, and 4 blinds) — so that is a real blessing. I have a couple of appointments on the schedule next week, too.

I’m hoping to finish up the editing of the photos I took during our “mother of all road trips” this summer and then I’ll share a little bit about our adventure. I should have already blogged about it, but truthfully I’ve been a bit overwhelmed by documenting an 18 day trip that covered over 4,500 miles. Our trip exceeded our (mine, for sure) expectations in so many ways — I just don’t know that I’ll ever be able to express it adequately. But I will try.

Posted in life, memories

My Island

My island is not really my island, but for the short period of time I lived there as a teen, I fell in love with the rather small rock in the middle of the Caribbean, and I’ve never forgotten St. Croix. Right now, she is being battered by the winds and rain of Hurricane Maria, and I have been and continue to pray that loss of life will be zero, and there will be some sort of miracle as far as damage goes.

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It was on St. Croix that I first experienced that painful ache of viewing something of indescribable beauty, and the overwhelming desire to record it and remember it as best I could. It was on St. Croix that I really started flexing my poetry muscles with any sense of satisfaction. Keep in mind, what I share below was written by a fifteen year old teenager. At the time I thought it was pretty awesome. And now as I wait for news, as I wait for answers to my prayers, I read these words written almost forty years ago and remember.


Twilight Sea

Silver moonlight,

Diamonds scattered

By a careless hand

Across the waters.

Cool winds,

Scents of hibiscus,

Ginger thomas.

Peaceful winds,

Quiet shadows,

Gently moving palms,

Swaying flamboyant trees.

Cool winds,

Peaceful winds, 

Bring the spirit 

Of a twilight sea.

(1979)


Turquoise in Portrait

The ocean:

A turquoise stone

Melted into fluid motion,

Waves capped with

Ivory froth,

Ivory that is swallowed 

By the turquoise sea

And comes forth

On the next wave,

Undaunted.

(1979)


The Lonely Ruin

Turquoise, sky blue, deep purple

Blended together in a velvet sea

Washing golden white sands.

Long, stony road

Through tangled vines and

Tall mahogany trees of an ancient rain forest.

Clearing in the forest —

Ragged, crumbling vine covered walls,

Hundreds of years having stood.

Silent ghosts roam the halls

Open to the skies.

Gentle rains wet the floors

That have known the tread 

Of the elite dwellers 

Of a bygone day.

Worn path leading away

Through hibiscus and sea grape tree

To a rocky, jagged cliff.

Below,

Turquoise, sky blue, deep purple

Blended together in a velvet sea

Washing rocky, jagged shores.

(1979)


Tuning into Memories

Every song brings back

The memories of a distant age,

Where life held no requirements 

On the spirit.

In my ear’s memory, I hear

The fading strains

Of our favorite band, Styx,

And the delicate taste of

Orange Lipton tea still lingers

On my tongue, while the

Click of backgammon die

Quietly punctuates the

Heavy heartbeat of the “Renegade.”

Those were such fine days,

The sun streaming down on

Your pale green shag;

I stretched like a sleepy Siamese,

And you accused me of

Laziness.

We raced down the hill to the courts

To play a game of one-on-one,

While Dennis and Dave sat in the red Datsun,

Feet on dashboard,

Ears keenly attuned to Pink Floyd dreams.

Sweat beads formed on your lip,

And I asked if you wanted a Coke.

As we walked toward the rec hall

Beneath the sea grape trees,

A breeze smelling of salt

Cooled us and made us long for Cane Bay.

(1980)

 

Posted in life

A Worthy Need

There are so many needs across my home state of Texas right now, so many people affected by Harvey and the flooding afterward. I ask you to consider donating whatever you feel led to give, whether it’s $5 or $500, to this Jones Creek couple. Wendy and her husband, Jim, are facing more challenges than just a little mud in the living room. Jim’s status as a heart transplant recipient prevent him from going into their damaged home at all due to his fragile immune system. Wendy is working her regular job as an administrative assistant, taking care of Jim, AND dealing with the aftermath of a badly flooded home with no flood insurance. My husband works with Wendy, and we are currently giving two of their beloved dogs a place to stay while they are displaced from their home. Keep in mind, even if you can only give $5, when many people do that, it adds up. Thanks for your consideration.

via Fundraiser by Robin Huff Stowe : Harvey Aid for Wendy and Jim

Posted in life

Jones Creek Tough

So thankful for these Jones Creek folk who looked out for their neighbors and their neighbors’ animals. Click on the link to watch Bailey’s video of their efforts. The music is pretty perfect, too.

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Video credit: Bailey Alexandra Fairchild

From Bailey’s FB page: Finally got this video done! Most of these are CR 400 on the Jones Creek side. My family and I got to help 5 kids, 17 horses and a few steer out of the water. I can’t express to you how proud I am of our little community. Home is where your heart is and my heart will always be in Jones Creek, TX! A huge thanks to all the people that worked with us including some of the owners and a family from Florida that drove down here just to lend a hand. I know it’s long but I had a lot of pictures I wanted to include lol. Hope y’all enjoy and feel free to share!

Posted in life

“Insert Your Own Title Here”

Yep. I got nothing. For days I’ve been staring at the catastrophic events unfolding around my little islands of refuge. We evacuated to my sister’s house when the hurricane was bearing down on the Texas coast. Six people and six dogs in 1100 square feet.

Yep. It was stressful. Nerves were raw and people got cranky, because we all handle things differently. As soon as the coast appeared clear, we headed back home. Only to learn the stationary storm had dumped 9+ trillion gallons of water over 50+ counties before finally leaving to inflict its abuse elsewhere, and that flooding under clear blue skies and bright shining sun is a real thing.

Yep. I packed up boxes of photos and negatives and a few things that can’t be replaced, like my red and white checkered Better Homes & Gardens cookbook my Nanny gave me in 1976, and my PaPa’s old Stetson hat that I requested when he died in 1986. I grabbed the chihuahua and I headed back to my sister’s house, while my much braver husband and daughter remained in Jones Creek. From 20 miles away, I kept up with their service through Facebook — how my daughter took care of her 9-year-old “little sister” so Sierra’s parents could try to save as much of their belongings before 8+ inches of water flowed into their home. How my husband and our daughter’s boyfriend filled sandbags and then took them to a woman who had no one to help her protect her home from the waters. How my husband cooked and served hot dogs to our weary neighbors one evening, laughing and joking the entire time to keep their spirits up.

Yep. I’ll admit I still struggle with worry. The fact that our house, which is only 0.6 miles from homes with several feet of water in them, stayed dry is almost surreal to me. For days I’ve watched every county report of waters rising, wondering if we would escape. And now that the county reports the water is going down, I still worry about us, since we are downriver from the communities that have seen the worst of it and are now cleaning up. The river has dropped 2 inches, but the creek is maintaining its level. I’m praying the drop in the river will contain whatever is headed our way and we’ll hold steady with  no further loss to our village. I am hopeful.

So here’s my plan: while I’m no good at filling sandbags or cooking hot dogs, I am pretty good at researching information and I can clean up messes and swing paintbrushes. So I’m leaving the photos at my sister’s (just in case), and I’m heading home today to do what I can do best. There’s so much misinformation going back and forth on Facebook regarding how to clean up after the devastation, so I’m researching the CDC website and other reputable sources to share with the community. While there are hundreds, even thousands that have been affected by the storm, I’m going to work on helping those in my little community by cooking and doing laundry and whatever else will reduce their burden while they try to get back to normal.

And I’m going to give thanks that things aren’t any worse than they are, and that we are all still here, together.

Posted in life

Love this girl and her wisdom!

Warning: this post may be slightly unpopular. You know what fashion trend I am completely over? Shirts with words on them. You know what I’m talking about…they’ll have random words like, “How about Tacos” or “#squad” or something like “Laundry Day.” The whole I’m-really-trying-to-look-like-I’m-not-trying look. And listen buddy, you ain’t foolin’ anybody. Just take your poly/cotton […]

via The Angry Feminist — BeautyBeyondBones

Posted in life

We’re Back!

We are back. My favorite guy and I went on an 18 day road trip covering over 4,000 miles to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. I have to say, if we were able to travel from Texas to South Carolina to Upstate New York and home again with only two very small squabbles, I think we are good for the next 25 years. (Hey, everyone gets a little cranky after traveling 600 miles in one day. Don’t judge.) I have to tell you, I was already planning our next trip before we made it home. I’ve really got a hankering to see West Texas, specifically Big Bend, and possibly the Macdonald Observatory. I’m so lucky my guy is the easy going sort and will go just about anywhere with me — doesn’t really care when or where. He just throws some clean boxers in a bag and starts up the car!

I hit the ground running when we returned and I’m still catching up on business. I took a ton of photographs during our travels and I’ve a lot of stories to tell. (I spent part of our last couple of driving days typing rough notes on my iPad while my guy drove, so I wouldn’t forget things.) It’s going to be a few more days before I can get things written and posted the way I’d like, though. I’m thinking about doing “daily” installments, where I tell the story of each day we were gone, and share some corresponding photos, too.

Let’s shoot for starting Monday. See you then!

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Road Selfie (Usie?) when we ventured off on our own after spending a few days with our Honglings in South Carolina.