books, fall, and scarves

I know it’s just the beginning of August, but I crave fall. My favorite season seems that much farther away since we moved deeper south. Still, I can sense a change in the air, a shortening of days; the casting of shadows lengthens, and the morning feels a bit cooler (well, maybe that’s just wishful thinking). The boys and I are already reading Halloween books; I’m thinking of spicy breads and beverages, and in the morning I add an extra dash of cinnamon to our oatmeal. I’m soooo ready for the coziness of autumn!Read More »

Panaway, My Gateway

I’m familiar with essential oil blends, but I mostly have experience with single oils, such as lavender and rosemary. Panaway is one of those oils I didn’t have a way to compare with other oils. The first time I massaged it on my husband I thought it smelled like something my brothers used after football practice. I didn’t really touch it for a few days after using it, not that I didn’t like it, but it wasn’t what I needed at the time.Read More »

Masks

I used to make myself up everyday. I was in my twenties, and I had a great deal of self expression, which is good, but what was truly at play was a need to put on a mask so that people wouldn’t see the real me, the vulnerable and insecure me. I was a contradiction, I wanted to be seen and hide. I thought my self worth was wrapped in how I looked and what I did for others. All in an effort to like me.Read More »

Lessons

We all begin somewhere. Not one of us is born knowing everything or anything. I watched Quinn write the beginning letters of our names, having to instruct and guide him with proper placement. As an adult, it took me a long time to realize that what I didn’t know could be learned, and what I did know could be unlearned. That there is no shame in having to find the answers or ask for help.Read More »

I’m doing a thing

We’ve been in our new town for five months. It’s been a great transition for us, but not without its challenges. This has all been an adjustment with a new state, city, home, schedule, and two littles ’round the clock.

Lately I’ve been revisiting my purpose here, you know, who and what I am outside of mom and wife. I’ve gone from running a nonprofit at a historic site to planning activities for a four year old and trying to keep the one year old from putting toys in the toilet. Really, it is so much more than that, though. I love this time with them.Read More »

Under the Pecan Tree

We walk every morning in our new town.

One of the delights about our neighborhood are the abundant pecan trees,

Which Quinn requests every time we go.

We scour the ground on Tuskeena Street, under the shade of the pecan trees.

We look for the lightest colored shells, they usually give us the sweetest nuts.

We smash them under our shoe. Quinn brings his heel down, shoes flashing green.

The nut rolls, I bring it back to him.

He tries again, it’s almost pulverized. We check to see if it’s a good nut.

My little boy, so young, has already learned about bitterness.

“This looks like a good nut, Mommy.”

It was, plump, sweet, giving.

We stand there, sharing the moment.

I see the early Autumn sun shining on him, his brother. There’s a cool breeze.

I am reminded of these moments with the women in my life.

My memory is of picking black berries with my grandmother,

Watching her tat with strings pulled from grain bags.

Walking out to the field so that she can dig up thistles. She had her own personal vendetta against them.

They were as prickly as she was.

My mom gave me an appreciation of old things, antiques, historic sites, experiences.

We gardened together.

I remember her diligently taking care of me while I was sick.

She showed me what love is.

Imperfectly.

I look at my son’s darkening hair in the sun, his blond locks long cut off.

I have a thought that I am creating a memory for my children. For Quinn.

He, too, will look back on this with fondness.

He, too, will say my mother loved me.

Imperfectly.

New Life

I’m writing this new entry in the rocking chair while Finis is asleep on me…from Wetumpka, Alabama. We said goodby to our sweet home in Knoxville on September 1st and made it here after closing on our house. It took us one day with two kids and a huge moving truck.

Why would we move to this small town just north of Montgomery? Opportunity and a chance for a better life.

Calvin and I both worked for non-profit organizations with a collective experience of twenty years. As rewarding as the work was to help preserve our local history at Mabry-Hazen House and Marble Springs State Historic site, the reality was that our path there wasn’t sustainable. Calvin worked a second position with the local tourism bureau as a contract employee. Things became tenuous with that position, so the search began for a new career path. We were heading in this direction for other reasons, namely the uncertainly over insurance. Then, Calvin was approached by a colleague in the Alabama Historical Commission who is ready to retire and he wanted Calvin to take his position at Confederate Memorial Park. This was going to be a state job with benefits and resources we never had in Knoxville. After much discussion and additional interviews, we knew this was the best fit for our family.

We’ve been here for almost two months and now that we’ve settled into Alabama life, and I’m a part-time work out of the home mom, I can finally say that it’s been a long time since I’ve been happy. I’m feeling it in my heart that this is the best place for us.

Our life was stressful, uncertain, and we were stretched thin. The kids noticed this, too. I felt that Quinn and I had a disconnect in our relationship and this transition has allowed us to bond. It’s been delightful to see the boys fall in love, and to see them grow and develop. Today my days are filled with activities, long walks, home care responsibilities that Quinn participates in, art, reading, and whatever else we decide to do with the day. We have our challenges, of course, but we work through them.

I’m returning back to my yarn, too. After I complete a WIP (work in progress for my non-knitting friends) that’s been ongoing for two years, I’ll start making inventory to sell locally and online. I’m so excited to do something I love as my creative outlet.

I’ll have more updates, but wanted to check in and say howdy. It’s been rather hectic, but I hope to be more present here in the future.