Have a dressed up day!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

when the only reason is just because

Hey you - you who are too good to me,

An old friend since first grade called me the night before I married you and he asked me if I was sure, really sure.  Rie, are you sure you know what you're doing?

A former boyfriend came into the bridal room moments before I walked the aisle to you and asked me if I was sure I wasn't making a mistake.  Rie, are you sure this isn't a mistake?

Neither knew you.  Neither had met you.  They only knew time had been short.  

But if they had known then what my heart knew -

that all the boys before had been replaceable - I had been replaceable - until you.

If they had known that when I was fifteen, someone - an adult - had looked at my then boyfriend and said these words to him - I guess love really is blind - about me.

And that I had carried those words around for years and let them take me places I should never have gone and that those words often marked my path and haunted my mind - until you.

Only I knew that on the night I had tried to tell you some things I didn't think I had the nerve to say,  you had fallen asleep listening - because you just didn't care, it just didn't matter.  That you had said now and to come are the only moments that matter.

Honey, my feet hurt in those eighty dollar shoes and you had seen me on our wedding day and our honeymoon had been cancelled and one of the candles wouldn't stay lit.  Remember?

We laughed through the prayer and got Allan tickled and he forgot the words to the ceremony.  Remember?

You went through the first car wash you could find and washed off the Just Married and I got mad at you and I lost the key to the cabin and you got mad at me.  Remember?

I love you.

Remember that, Okay?

And you, my love, I'm still sure about.

Friday, March 27, 2015

throwin' him a bone

I lost my bank card again.  It was really stupid, again.  I think I threw it in the garbage at the donut shop.   I absolutely know I did. I'm 100 percent plus eternity sure.  

Hubby says 
you lose your bank card alot.  

I say 
I do not.  

He says 
yes, you do.  

Then I remember this from 2010-

I lost my bank card a week ago.  It was stupid. No, really, it was stupid.  It's too long a story and too stupid, but mostly too embarrassing, to write about.

It fell out of my car at the grocery store.  I am 100 percent plus eternity sure.  Don't ask me how I'm sure - just believe me.  Positively, sure.

It has been eating at me that no one took the time to take it into the store and turn it in.  We live in a little city, it would have taken all of maybe three minutes to go into our small grocery store and do this kind deed.

He's Too Good To Me, who is 100 percent plus eternity less cynical than I am, believes maybe the person will drive to the bank and turn it in. Yeah, right.

But, I am no longer angry. To preserve my faith in humanity I have drawn a new conclusion. I believe that the person who found it is a world renowned heart surgeon, who found it at the exact moment he/she received word that a jet was waiting to fly him to parts unknown to save the life of a dying child - a child who will grow up to cure diabetes, all cancer, and save generations of lost souls - but only if he/she hurried. 

Somewhere at a private airport sits a car with rotting groceries inside - and my bank card beside them.

So, whoever you are and wherever you are - no need to bother when you return (You see, I'm quite convinced world renowned heart/brain/all vital organ surgeons read my blog).  All is well - card is cancelled and my mind is at ease. 

Thank you for all you do - whoever you are that found my card.

Yep, I remembered that.  Okay, so once every five years or so he's right.  Ladies - you gotta throw 'em a bone every now and again, right? 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

izzy, 2009

I'm sitting at the computer and she walks in and leans over my desk.  Long legs are ankled criss-crossed as her elbows rest inches from my keyboard, her fingers are cupped vertically over her mouth as she begins her story.  She's chewing cherry gum and I smell her sweet breath as she explains something she did three years ago.

She ends her story with, I wasn't that smart then.

She laughs and covers her mouth with her hand; a little self-conscious because she doesn't like the way her teeth are coming in.  Even at age ten it's obvious she has and will have beautiful hands.  Her fingers are long with strong shapely nails. There is a little mole on her left hand ring finger.  One day a wedding band will cover it and that's bittersweet because it is beautiful and unique.

I gaze into her eyes and move the hair back behind her ear.  It falls again, and I move it again.  I touch the two scars on her forehead.  Her face has big features - large eyes with long eyelashes that curl naturally, a nose growing a little faster than the rest of her face, and a wide mouth with full lips - until she smiles, and then the top lip nearly disappears. She's changing before my very eyes.  Slowly but swiftly.

She leaves and moments later returns again as her hands nervously play with the tie on her robe.  She's bargaining with me about her bedtime.  It's a nightly ritual.  

If I could go back in time I would study her face and write down every detail at every age.  The way it changed.  The way her baby face disappeared and became the face of a girl on the verge of the verge of womanhood.

But, I wasn't that smart then. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Repost from 2/29/12 and why are there days like this?

It was ten o'clock on the night before the cake was due. Six hours had passed. Only another half hour to go. Finishing touches and placing the dump truck on top.

This story has to be told. Not for what happened, but for how it ended. 

He only wanted to watch. Some kids, most probably, would have to stay away. They might put their fingers in the mix, or the icing. But he doesn't really like cake. And he is a good boy.

So he's standing up on a chair by the cake.

She only turned away for a second.

But in that second he could only just look at the button no longer. He had to know what that pretty purple button did.

I heard the fall and the scream at the same instant.

I turned from where I sat, less than an arms length from where the cake had been.

I moved to the floor beside her, taking her bone tired body, working in the bakery since 6:00 that morning to come home and bake again, in my arms and said words that comfort failed.

That face I love. The one with eyebrows and eyelashes like mine. The narrow one with the high cheekbones and small mouth. I take that face into my hands and promised words I can't even remember.

It wasn't just any cake. It was to celebrate a year that eleven months ago we weren't sure baby nephew would ever see.

When the fear was that this day, which should bring first birthday joy, would only open wound that never heals. A fear now only a memory.

And here it was, one year later, joy indescribable. Thankfulness unending.

Happy birthday, sweet Crosby.

The list was made and her daddy was on his way to the store before I went into the back room.

Where I took his whole little boy body of my son into my arms. This little body choking out I so so sorry in sobs. This little body I womb grew and protected and cried forth.

I held on and fought the tears that I couldn't let come.

This is when a mama has to shine. When a mama must be unconditional.

When hand needs to be gentle and pain already felt in little heart is all the pain body needs. When gentleness must be chosen over harshness.

When she must be comfort and lighthouse and haven. When she must, without fail, show son more important than cake.

When she must fulfill a promise made when only hand touched and rested through flutters and then kicks and stomach large and I whispered the first I love you.

All while my other love was trying to push back pain and hurt and do what adults with responsibilities do. What cousins who love great and celebrate life do.

Keep going. Start over. Forgive.

Why are there days like this?

She only cried when she went to the front porch and called that young man she loves. The one with the red hair and gentle blue eyes and slight Cajun accent. The one Katrina brought us. The one who doesn't eat cake but loves a girl who lives cakes.

The one who has taken our place in so many ways, and that's how it should be.

He rushes over and his presence brings comfort and laughter. The only one who could have done that on that night.

So all who love her start over with her while this little one . . .

heart broken moments before when sister went to him and held him and loved him and promised him all was forgiven and good, finally slept in what was comfort love peace - and safety.

And when all was quiet and the clock showed 3:00 am and light shown on just the two of us . . .

Mama, go to bed. I've got it. I won't be long.

I'll go to bed when you go to bed.

When you can do nothing but love - isn't love what you do?

Love and watch and stand guard over heart that once beat in rhythm with yours - and always will.

This is why there are days like this. So love can show off.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

When your imagination runs wild

We'd only been married a few years the day we trespassed and snuck into the old yellow house.  I had to talk him into it.  I had powers of persuasion he couldn't resist in my younger finer days. 

It was deserted.  Neglected.  Dreamy.

My fascination with old homes must have begun -

I'm not sure.  In the womb?  When I was knitted together by a God who singled me out to be a one and only.  As did He to you.

In the tenth grade Mrs. Neely asked us to curl our tongues.  I couldn't.  I still can't.  She said it was genetics.  Mendelian inheritance.  Now they say not so much.  Environment plays a part.  Go figure.  What'd we know thirty-five years ago?  Not much, apparently.

Attached ear lobes?  Detached?  Genetics.  Recessive inheritance. 

Dimples?  Dominant genes.

Right handed?  Left handed?  Genetics.

Clasp your hands.  Left thumb on top?  Or right thumb?  Genetics?  Jury's still out on that one.

Love of deserted buildings?  Must be genetics.

She found a mystery buried in the barn.  It was a tale no one tells.  The young girl married and then - not?  No one knows the whole story.  Or at least no one's talking about it in this one red light mountain town.  It's been a shush tale for a half century.

An old ring box.  An old photo. Who is the mystery man and who is he?

And then there's always the time spent in Paris.

A pretty raunchy novel buried in the hay.

Oh her imagination was running wild.  That great big beautiful smile and spilling ideas and webs of deceit and . . .  maybe murder?

Aren't we incredibly made?  Knitted together by God who created this, the Gerenuk-

and this, the Amazonian Royal Flycatcher-

and this, the Sunda Colugo-

So there's a little imagination running wild on a beautiful lazy mountain afternoon?

No harm?  No foul - play . . . baby bones?

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Repost from May 29, 2012 - Louisiana's Best Kept Secret

At first we really didn't think anything about it. All children love animals, do they not?

It's been since she was very young, but I'm not exactly sure how old she was when I first realized how deeply her heart is connected to God's fifth and sixth day creatures.

 It was after the love of rocks.  There were buckets of them spilling over, weighing heavy and always on the floor.  Patience wore thin the day I put handfuls in the garbage.  She was barely four.  She'd never know.

And then she began to look for her rocks.  The rock that looked like the fish was missing.

Mommy, 'ou see me ittle wock that ooks ike . . .

and then another . . .

and then another. 

Big round innocent trusting eyes holding up chubby fingers to show me size.

I swallowed hard each time and gave her my sympathy and helped her look and


It was after her love of pink and all things pink.  After the Polly Pockets had been packed up and the stuffed animals began to stay on their shelves.

After Jay Jay the Jet Plane and Bibleman and Squinkies.

But I knew before the day the small dog wandered into our yard and she convinced me to keep him for a few days.  Signs were put up and no one claimed him.  He was healthy and well cared for and I made the mistake of convincing her to let him go. 

He'll find his way home, Izzy.  If not, he'll come back here and we'll do something else.

He ran straight out of her arms and into the street.  Right in front of a car.  I heard the scream and wiped tears for what seemed liked forever and I thought of the rocks I had thrown away and wondered if she would think I had thrown this dog away.

She doesn't.

Over the last couple of years it has become apparent that it is more than a passing phase.

Her brain reads like an encyclopedia of animal knowledge.

And her heart . . .
is like shelter.

It makes room and houses and cares and is safe refuge for all animals big and small.

We knew we were going the night before, but waited until morning to share - just the trip, not the location.

Surprises are as fun on the giving end as the receiving end -
don't you think?

It's Louisiana's best kept secret.  An hour east of Baton Rouge and an hour north of New Orleans.  Ten curving miles out in the boondocks down Highway 445 to 40 East.  Past old barns.  Past century old homes falling down around their stories of love and laughter.  He thinks they need to be torn down.  I know they just need life breathed back into them.

Then there it is, one and a half miles on the left.  Right before the sign telling you children are welcome at the Ole Post Office Pizza and Daiquiri.

It hides in the middle of nowhere.

They look like they are coming, two by two. 
 And then some.

And they are everywhere.

She didn't speak at first.  I thought maybe I was wrong and this was not such a big deal.

It's not Africa, baby.  Maybe not a real safari.  But we can pretend, can't we?

She didn't say a word.  We drove down the curving dirt path to our waiting jeep.  (The private jeep is the way to go.  Trust me.)

Then she rolled down her window and breathed deep and there it was.  That big beautiful smile.

Daddy, I didn't know there was a place like this here.

Yeah - he always gets the credit.  He doesn't throw away rocks or kill dogs.

Some surprises are better on the giving end,

don't you think?

I confessed a couple of years ago about the rocks. 

Thought she'd think it was funny.

She didn't.
Drawing of me losing my cool courtesy of budding artist, Izzy.

Have a dressed up day!

. . . put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Colossians 3:12