Abraham’s Journey to Home (and mine)

English: Abraham Goes to the Land of Canaan (G...

English: Abraham Goes to the Land of Canaan (Gen. 12:1-6) Русский: Авраам переселяется в землю Ханаанскую (Быт. 12:1-6) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Scripture, Abraham was told by God to pack up and start moving. But God did not tell him where. Instead, God told Abraham to go to “the place I will show you.” Abraham didn’t argue, although he did camp out at one place for awhile before he really started moving along on his journey. But, eventually he started walking (let that soak in) in earnest toward the “place God would show him.”

I never envied Abraham that trip. There are plenty of people I’d like to be in Scripture. The Woman at the Well comes to mind. The servants who watched the water turn to wine before their very eyes at the wedding (Jesus’ first miracle). Priscilla is intriguing. Philip, mainly because he literally got to space/time travel. But Abraham just seems old and tired to me when he begins his trek and like, he really would have been okay hanging out near the pyramids of home and simply enjoying retirement. That is exactly how I feel. Old. Tired. Ready for Retirement.

My biggest fear right now is that I will not be able to work as hard as I do for as long as I’m probably going to need too. My livelihood depends on me working. Period. From month to month, if I am not employed we don’t eat or have a roof over our heads. It is humbling.

So, while I wonder where home for me is, I am acutely aware that it might always be someone else’s home, i.e. a place that I rent.

I spent some time with a financial planner after my divorce, and we discussed whether he thought I’d ever purchase a home or not. He was very matter-of-fact about the whole thing when I mentioned the money I’d “throw away in rent.” He said, “How is it throwing money away? You need a home, and yet you can’t purchase one because you don’t make enough money. This isn’t about money management, its about staying out of the cold and the rain.”

Sometimes, a good reminder of the most basic sort is in order. It allows you to re- frame your thinking and begin to have a paradigm shift.  Abraham lived in the City of Ur of the Chaldeans. Reportedly, the place was very developed for its time. Houses had indoor plumbing and running water. There were markets and fresh produce. He had all the comforts of home. Then God said, pack it up, we’re moving, and Abraham finished out his years in a tent in the land of Canaan. Canaan would become the Israel of the Old Testament, and Abraham’s descendants would live in the land as their own.

So, sometimes the plan is less about the immediate and more about the eternal, as in Abraham’s case. It wasn’t about providing Abraham with a home. It was about bringing forth a Savior (Jesus) through a group of people whom God would build through the lineage of Abraham.

In my own trek, I am not living in a tent, but a nice rented home. Every night I thank God for putting a roof over mine and my son’s head. For paying the electric bill. For paying the internet, because my son needs it for college. For buying the groceries. For heat. For plumbing. For air conditioning. For cleanliness. For good landlords who treat us with respect.

Oh, there is a paradigm shift happening. From a home of 20+ plus years where the comforts of home were simply taken for granted, to a very real awareness of what a good thing hot water is.This type of consciousness is necessary if I am to discover my new home. I must first start to think of home differently.

Abraham followed God to unknown places, but in reading his story again, I do not see Abraham (or Sarah for that matter) all that focused on, where’s home? They seem more intent on where is the Savior (who would come through their child)? It makes me wonder if my focus is in the right place. Is it a home I am searching for, or a Savior?

Dating, Iced Tea and a Year of Silence

English: A Glass of iced tea.

English: A Glass of iced tea. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1. When you’re young and single, people ask you if you’re ever going to get married.

2. When you’re newly married and without children, people ask when you’re going to start having children.

3. If you have an only child, people ask when you’re going to get pregnant again.

4. If you have over four children, people ask if you’re going to stop now.

5. If you’re divorced, people ask when you’re going to start dating again.

Perhaps we should all just stay at question number one because question number 5 seems to just cycle back around to it.

But, to answer question number 5, since that is my current situation, and everyone does seem curious.

If, and that is a big if because I do not have a line of men outside my front door (or any other place for that matter), but IF some guy came along and wanted to date me, well, here’s what he would have to do.

He would have to sit across the room from me. In a chair. I’m probably on the couch. He would have to sit quietly in the chair for say, about a year. Just silence, no words.

After about a year, he could ask me if I would like some tea (iced tea, of course). I’m not going to answer verbally, but depending on how the year of silence has gone, I will either shake my head yes, or simply not respond at all.

If it is a yes and he brings me iced tea (with lots of ice…just saying) then he must return to his chair, and we would resume sitting in silence again. I really don’t know how long this second round would go for. I just can’t say.

So, what d’ya think?

Letter to Joffrey (on the night of his birth)

This letter was written to my oldest son, Joffrey, whom I adore, on the night of his birth. Enjoy! Those of you who asked for a re-read (I read it on the night of his going away party).

My Darling Joffrey,

Well, here we are exactly, and I do mean exactly, nine months from when all this mess got started. You were born precisely on your due date at 2:02 a.m. That either means I am punctual or you are. I don’t know which.

Its 4 a.m. and your father, Lord love him, is sound asleep on the floor beside us. He barely survived the whole birthing ordeal, and at one point they nearly had to resuscitate him, but we’ll keep that between us.

You are wide awake beside me watching the world with amazing curiosity. Your eyes are simply soaking it all in, and I am astounded at how I feel like I know you so completely already. I thought you’d come out a stranger to me but here you are, and you are Joffrey.

But, it is hard to tell if you know me too, so I feel a few facts to introduce your family to you are probably appropriate. I’ll start with the bad news first. (First lesson in life: it is always best to start with the bad news first.) So, here goes.

1. We’re poor.

2. We live in the middle of no-where.

3. We will never go to Disney World.

Now at the moment, and for the next few years or so, you probably won’t notice or care about these few points. But one day, I’m guessing around age 10, you’re going to go home with THAT KID. THAT KID will have every new toy under the sun, and will live in a cool subdivision (as opposed to the middle of nowhere) with a pool, and THAT KID will have gone to Disney World at least twice. (Probably more if he has rich grandparents, and by the way, you do not.) I imagine you will come home, arms crossed, and demand to know when you will be supplied with the same. Well, let me say now that you should refer to items 1-3, letter dated 4/20/89. You were informed.

Now to your parents. I’ll start with me, your mom. Again, I’ll start with the bad news.

1. I am horribly unorganized, which is really bad because you should see all the equipment that comes with you.

2. I absolutely never follow the rules, and here’s where it gets rough for you, so let’s just get this one settled. You, my dear boy, will have too. It isn’t my idea, really. It comes from all these parenting books I’ve been reading. It seems If I don’t want to raise a brat, I have to make sure you follow a schedule (again not my idea, I detest schedules) and rules. Sorry kid.

3. I can’t cook and really rarely make the effort. Your father and I eat out a lot. But, here’s the upside. I know most of the cool restaurants in Asheville, and we love Mexican, so its not all bad.

4. I am a terrifyingly horrible driver, which I inherited straight from your grandmother, but hey, I’ve discovered that car seats are super handy when a State Trooper pulls you over. Who wants to give the harried mom a ticket?

5. I haven’t figured a thing out about this world, and generally find myself lost in the middle of it, but I am hoping we can discover it together.

But lest you despair, let’s move on to your father, the more positive part of the intros. Your dad is and always will be one of the great things in your life. He’s pretty darn awesome, mostly because he can literally fix anything, which is why I married him. Everyone needs a good handyman around. So, here goes.

1. Your dad knows all the places to hike, fish and camp, and he knows all the names of trees. (Although, if you hear him say Dogus Woodus, well, feel free to roll your eyes.)

2. He drives a cool truck with a bunch of gadgets and radios on it, which you, being a boy, will so totally love. (Me not so much. I can never get into it gracefully, which provides your father with oh-so-many questionable jokes at my expense.)

3. He loves AC/DC and the Eagles so you’ll get long hours of good tunes.

4. He can quote most of Shakespeare.

See? Pretty good, huh?

But, a few positive notes about me, so you don’t worry this is a one-sided deal.

1. I am killer at Battleship and will kick your butt in it, but I promise to let you win at CandyLand. (Side note: Do not play your grandmother in Scrabble. It has been my suspicion for years that she cheats.)

2. I know all the kids books and I’ve been practicing how to read to you. (Your father did not enjoy this activity–pretending he was the baby or I was–and reading out loud, with emphasis, despite his aforementioned talent of quoting Shakespeare).

3. I’m not too big on homework, and chances are good I won’t make you do it. (I mean, what if a good movie is on??) Which brings me to the best point of all and one that I believe will give me a leg up on dad.

4. I will take you out of school on a whim for vacations. I love the beach in the fall and see no reason to miss it just because of school. What do you think now?

So, see? There is hope for dear old mom.

Well, my brand new perfect baby, the sun is rising and those blame nurses will be in here soon to poke and prod, so let’s get a bit of sleep while we can. Tomorrow we start an amazing 18 years together. Sounds like a long time, huh? Your grandmother says it isn’t, that it goes by in a blink. I hope she’s wrong because already you are the delight of my life.

Sleep sweet, dear child. I love you, Mom

P.S. I forgot to mention that your pediatrician will be here bright and early. I can tell you now, you aren’t going to like him, but don’t worry, they say it only hurts for a second.

Looking for Home at Downtown Abbey

So, here’s my new blog. Since I hate the whole design aspect of blogging and really only like the writing part, I left it exactly as the WordPress folks gave it to me. After about 30 seconds of serious “design thought” on my part, and trying to navigate through the “themes” and “backgrounds” available, I gave up and started writing.

If you have followed my other blog, South Turkey Creek Notes, you’ll know that I left the farm almost exactly a year ago–at the insistence of the ex who now resides there with the new mistress of the manor–and moved about an hour away. Since then, my foremost thought (aside from wondering when I will EVER LOSE these stupid ten pounds) has been, “Where’s home now?” A very potent question and one I have not answered as of yet. Hence the name of the new blog. I am nothing if not original.

That’s why I kept the picture (header) that came with the blog address. If I am looking for a new home, why not something akin to Downtown Abbey? Preferably without that awful O’Brien woman or Mary who just can’t seem to be nice to Edith no matter how well her world is going. I admit to being smitten with the show, having caught up on all three seasons on my Kindle. Everyone wants their own tribe and Downtown Abbey captures that need for kinfolk, whether they be servants or Her Ladyship. I’ll go for a walk and find myself wishing I had an Anna that I could confide in, or a Dowager that could impart wisdom to my circumstances (love how she handled Ethel’s dour situation), or a Carson to tell me I am his favorite. That show works because under one very big roof there is a community of people who love, support, comfort and confide in one another. And, they do it with impeccable manners and fantastic clothing.

So, I’m looking for a home. The old one is gone, along with its gardens and old logging roads that I spent hours walking on, and I have no idea where the new one will be, but I might as well dream of Downtown Abbey while I search.

Saturday Link-it Up: Chocolate Cake (Says it All)

Saturday morning and I’m headed to work. This is my second week at a new job. I love it, but talk about tired. I mean the crawl into the tub, crawl into the bed kind of tired. But, it is a good tired. I feel like I accomplished something at the end of the day.

So, speaking of productive and feeling like you accomplished something, check out this cake.

This chick astonishes me. Her husband likes “boxed cakes” and that bugged her. So, she tried and tried until she successfully made a “from scratch” cake he liked. This is the result. I admire her resolve. I’d still be making the boxed cakes (which, I’ll admit, I have a fondness for).

So, her husband is happy and she’s happy. Sometimes food really is the way to a man’s heart.

Enjoy!

Saturday Link-it Up: Get Adventurous

Okay, I’ve been helping my Martha’s out the last couple of Link-it Up Posts. This week is for the Mary’s, but you Martha’s with an adventurous bone are allowed to come along too.

I just got back from buying a new rain jacket (the Columbia type, not the Gwyneth Paltrow trench kind), and rain pants, and waterproof hiking shoes. I bought them because that’s the sort of clothing I need. I rarely need pretty clothes because I work outside in the sun, rain, snow. I also live in a place that just does not lend itself to pretty clothes. I’m talking animals, gardens, dirt roads, and MUD. Which, is really my preference.

While making my purchase, I kept thinking about this woman who lives on Graemsay Island, a Scottish Island, population 27. She does health research for some medical companies. But mostly she enjoys her life on the island, and makes trips to the surrounding islands to visit friends, and hangs out with her chickens while gardening. She is AWESOME. I bought my rain jacket envisioning that I lived on Graemsay, and visited my neighbors on adjacent islands (in my new jacket), and gardened while looking out over the ocean.

Check out this picture.

Do you see the ship in the distance? How cool is this picture?
I’d live here in two shakes. If I didn’t have MP, and BD, and the Coast Guard son, and the teen, I’d be off to Graemsay Island. I do love an adventure.
So, today roam around her blog. It will fascinate you. Her life is simple and yet, so completely out of the ordinary that it is a daily adventure. And, we all need a little adventure, right? Here’s the link. Enjoy and be adventurous!

Another Saturday Link-it Up: Almost Forgot St. Paddy’s Day

Forgive me. I’m not Irish. The only thing I do on St. Patrick’s Day is plant my sweet peas, as in the flower. But, even that date is too late for them, as they prefer the cool, so while they do grow, they don’t bloom.

My failure with sweet peas noted, I have another failure to confess. I make one kind of cookie. The kind with the dough already wrapped in cellophane and purchased at my local Ingles’ (grocery store). And, even those don’t turn out too well.

But, I want to make cookies.

I want to make the kind that Martha Stewart makes. The ones that look like little works of art that children squeal with delight over before devouring, because they taste good too. The ones that look like these.

Pot o’ gold.
And these. Four-leaf clover.
BD could make these. She’s a great baker. MP will have so much fun with a mom who can churn these out (and a Dad who is never going to let her date, so too many cookies won’t really matter for her).
Anyway, here’s the tutorial on how to whip up these gems. This blog is so super-cool, and so seriously a sweet-tooth lover’s dream. Its called Sweetopia, and cookies and cupcakes is their thing. You’re going to love it.

Here’s the link for the cookies. St. Paddy Day Cookies Tutorial

Okay, so off to the soccer game, but I really want to see pictures of these if you make them. Enjoy!

Saturday Link-it Up: Easter Display

So, I’m doing this link-up early, as I’m headed out in the a.m. with the teen for yet another… wait for it… soccer game!

And, guess what? Today the teen got an offer from the soccer coach at the college he wants to go too, so guess what that means? Another four years of soccer games. I seriously thought my “soccer mom” days would be over when that child turned 18. If he goes pro, I’ll be the a soccer mom at 60.

Well, moving on. Easter is coming up and it is my favorite day of the entire calendar year. Eggs and bunnies aside (though, I do love eggs and bunnies, and can’t wait to dye Easter eggs with Miss Priss), I love the day because at my church we spend the first part of the Easter service with the pastor shouting, “He is Risen” and the congregation shouting back, “He is Risen Indeed.” And shouting in church is just plain fun.

Not too mention what we’re shouting about. We’re shouting about Jesus rising out of the tomb. Which is, of course, my favorite person, EVER. So naturally, Easter makes me happy.

That’s why I chose this link-up. Its an Easter decoration for your Easter table. Since, I’ll be going to the Cracker Barrel, I won’t need a decoration. But, I figured some of my Martha gals would. So, daffodils and colored eggs are the catch of the day.

Enjoy! And, please send pics of your pretty Easter tables as I love to see what you do!

Saturday Link-it Up: Strawberry-Almond Clafoutis

I so love the name of this gal’s blog, that while I don’t cook or follow her more health food lifestyle, I do read her faithfully. Her writing is fun, and her cooking is brave. For brave, check out this recipe on Strawberry-Almond Clafoutis. Even she admits to not knowing what one is, but that didn’t stop her trying to make it.

Here’s the link. Admit it. You love the name of her blog too. I mean who doesn’t take the simple and complicate the h-e-double-toothpicks out of it? I might write my next post on the many ways I can do that, with style.

chicken tender (Complicating the Hell out of the Simple Life)

And here is clafoutis. If any of you discover what a clafoutis is, and where they come from, let me know.

Oh, for my all my gluten-free folks, while this recipe isn’t, most of her’s are. She just didn’t think she could get that brave with a clafoutis. Whatever that is.

Enjoy!

Biker Boots and Other Fashion Necessities

I got this “do” coming up this weekend in Hilton Head, and I need clothes. Not just any clothes–or not just any of my clothes, my more fashion-minded friends are insisting. So, I must shop.
Fashion savvy chick that I am, I went to my favorite fashion blogs to see what’s what. The weekend soiree is a wine and food festival on the beach.
I started with Blonde Salad, my favorite fashion chick in the blog world. I adore the name. She is currently in Paris, attending fashion shows, and she is wearing these boots for her casual walk-about-Paris look. Check them out.

I want the black pair, cause that’s how I roll.

I also want the purse, and a dog to put in it.

.

My other favorite fashion blog is Le Blog de Betty. She’s featuring jeans this week and I’m loving the look. I think the jacket would go with my biker boots.
I wonder if I could get my hair to do that? Extensions?
Here’s my accessories found at Fashion Chalet
So, I’m good. Shopping done, and beach-y food-wine festival clothing look complete.
But, I’m guessing my friends, D & D, will say noooooooo, Cinthia. Not happening. And, here’s what I’ll end up with.
Minus the scarf. I just can’t rock a scarf.
But, I’d probably choose this one. 
Because I love a hammock.
(The beach dresses found at Land’s End.)