To Be Seen

“It’s better to be seen than viewed”, said the cashier at the gas station. That phrase has stuck with me for almost a year. We were just making small talk, and then those words fell out of his mouth as I headed toward the door.

The people who walk through our lives are important, and we need to pay attention to who steps in and what they say because most have a message.

When we first moved here, there weren’t many people walking this neighborhood. There was the occasional runner, or someone would zoom by on a bicycle, but no one just strolling the streets. A year ago I began a simple habit of walking to the end of the street as a friendly presence in the neighborhood. I’ve met a good many neighbors and been doing this for long enough now, when they see me coming they stop and talk.

The time or day doesn’t matter so much as the doing.

This is not considered exercise. I literally step outside in whatever I’m wearing and stroll the nearby streets. My daughter got tickled at me one day when I walked out the door and forgot to leave my glasses at home. I was wrapped up in my favorite cardigan and my glasses were still sitting atop my head as we strolled, but it didn’t bother me because I want to be seen for who I am.

A writer.

To be a writer, you need to release your words. To be a good neighbor, you need to keep them.

An excerpt from the book.

I enjoyed all of your fun comments on my previous post Embracing the New. Here’s a couple of photos I shared in my Fearless community taken with my new phone. I wanted to capture the tiny detail of the yellow flower blooming, and it did that, but it also but picked up every vein in the leaves. I love how the pot sitting below is blurry like it’s not supposed to be the focus.

Focused on the details.
The bigger picture.

We do not see our size. We do not view ourselves with accuracy. We are far larger, far more marvelous, far more deeply and consistently creative than we recognize or know.

Pg. 48 of ‘A Right to Write’, by Julia Cameron.

Here’s to showing up in true form and allowing ourselves to be seen. Much love-Barb.

Footprints

We didn’t allow the snow and ice to hinder us from taking a walk. After the first fallen snow, it was light powder and easy to walk through, but then a fine layer of ice fell on top. That made it a little more challenging, but where there’s a will, there’s also a way.

Photography by Simply Semloh

You have to stomp your foot through the icy layer, to get down to the powdery snow. There your footing will hold, and not slip. Here we were, stomping our way through the neighborhood, and it was invigorating to say the least, at an outdoor temp of 18 degrees.

We made a trail of footprints. Some were on the road, but most were through the edge of the neighbors yards. The road had turned into a solid sheet of ice, so we had to make our own path off the road. The next day, I went for a walk alone, but found myself following the path we had taken the day before. Even though the snow was melting away, I could still see some of our footprints and it made me think.

What kind of footprint do I really want to leave for these neighbors? Not just a snowy one alongside their yard, but a footprint in their life. My thoughts expanded to what kind of footprint do I want to leave on this world? Thanks to the snow/ice storm that shut down Texas, I’m pondering footprints.

Love and Light

Today is her birthday and she turned 21.

She’s not here though. She’s in England.

It’s an odd feeling for both of us. We were texting the other night about her turning 21, and she said, “I wish I were five.” Well, my darling. I remember five, and wondered if I’d do anything different? Then she said, “We have a beautiful life.”

bayandmomo
Here she is at 5 years old.

She is the reason I started this Blog.

Just because I’m  taking a break from Blogging, doesn’t mean I cannot celebrate this day with you. The meaningful work-To serve the people I care about by writing another chapter. Let’s write more chapters.

One of my favorite pictures of us was right after we moved into our first home together. It was a tiny house situated on 40 acres of land. I kept her hook baited, while she fished from the pier. That pier is where I stood with God every morning before dawn. That was also the house that taught us how to kill scorpions.

We were walking to the truck, and you grabbed me for a selfie. We weren’t wearing any makeup, and I had forgotten to use eye drops that morning, but it was a moment. Even blurry-eyed, we have that ‘deep in your heart’ happiness. Our life felt groundless, as the only thing we knew we had was God, and He has us.

2014
March 2014

We’ve had chickens, kittens, dogs, and a baby duck live with us. You think it’s normal to hang a disco ball in an old oak tree. When we decided to move, I had to leave it there because it was infested with ants, but you bought a new one for here.

The light from the disco ball dances across the kitchen table where you sit, but today even though your chair is empty, the light is still there. Our life is made of love and light.

I’m here to wish you a spectacular birthday! It’s a new chapter and you’re holding the pen. Touch it to the paper my darling, and make it what you want. Feel and see the love and light.

theworld

On My Own

My daughter is out of town this week.

I’m trying to take care of myself without her. She’s in charge of protein shakes, and I’m coffee. This morning I had to make the protein shake by using the Ninja, on my own.

The Ninja blender is the best blender I’ve ever used. You could drop in an iceberg, and it would emulsify it. I nearly sliced my finger off the first time I cleaned it, so it’s had my respect ever since!

But, I did it. I began my day with protein, and then moved onto Chemex. She’ll be proud.

My daughter reads instructions. I’m a dedicated instruction reader when it comes to putting things together, and how to properly use machinery, but somewhere along life’s journey I stopped.

When my daughter is here she makes the shake, and I clean the blender, but I know better than to get anywhere near it’s blades.

I thought I was so smart squirting dish-washing liquid in, filling it with warm water, and turning it back on, like making a shake, but with bubbles.

After it runs for a while, simply rinse it, take it apart, and let it dry.

Ninjaclean

My daughter said, “Yes ma’am. That’s how you’re supposed to clean it. I read it in the instructions.”

I need to go back to reading the instructions. 😀

Google Can’t Laugh

I bought the most obnoxious wreath. I had to warn my daughter that my crazy was unleashed and sent her this picture.

wreath

She’s in England and I was going to let it surprise her when she walked up to the front door, but couldn’t resist sharing it.

Today, I’m not sure when she’s coming home. Her flight from England was canceled. I have to let it go and lay it at His feet. God has a plan, I just can’t see it yet.

She messaged me this morning and asked if I was okay. Of course I am, but I told her, “Google doesn’t laugh with me.” (We have a Google Home Mini) My daughter has the app on her phone and she loves reading my history of what I’ve asked. Now, I’m wondering what all I’ve asked! 😂

About a week ago, the power went out. I found myself saying, “Hey Google? Is there a wreck nearby?” My daughter just screamed out laughing. We both did. FYI…If the power goes out, little Google Home dies. I’m still laughing while typing this.

crazy

We laugh all the time. It’s not something we try to do, it’s just part of living this life together. It’s fun! When I asked Google, “Hey Google? Can you laugh?”, it said, “Sorry. I haven’t learned that yet.”

Poor Google. You need to learn to laugh.

Dear Team at Google. Google can’t laugh.

Rise Above It

My daughter is in England. She messaged me this morning, “We are on the coach heading to Manchester!” I said, “Are the horses pretty pulling the coach?” 😂

I appreciate all of your suggestions for Name This Meeting, but I’ve placed it back in drafts. That’s not how it’s done. The name of the meeting is chosen by the group, so for now it’s called Women of AA.

♥ ♥ ♥

My daughter loves to fly.

When I took her to the airport yesterday, it was empty. The media will cause fear and panic. Fear is like a flame that spreads like wildfire, but this made our experience better. She wasn’t on a crowded flight.

Women like us don’t follow the masses.

We stand our ground for what’s right.

We make mistakes, but learn from them and move on. We’re not too proud to admit we got it wrong because we are willing to turn it around by doing what’s right.

My daughter reminded me of this.

It may look dark and cloudy, but once the plane rises above the clouds, you can see the sun. It doesn’t stop shining, and my God doesn’t stop handing out grace.

If a storm is brewing in your life, let me encourage you to rise above it.

inflight
Photo cred. Simplysemloh

The Water Bottle

She drove to the store to pick up a few things. I had written ‘Hydrangeas’ on the list, but she spotted daffodils and instinctively knew which to buy.

Daffodils are displayed on the table.

I have this thing about pretty water.

When I see a pretty bottle of water, I purchase a couple. One for her room, even though she’s not normally here, and the other one rests on my bedside table.

I call it my ‘weekend’ water bottle.

weekendwater

Today, as my daughter was leaving for the store I said, “If you see any pretty water bottles at the store, grab us a couple.”

When she returned home, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the water bottles she had chosen. I think she outdid mine.

But, you know? I can’t help but feel like something really good happened here. She knows what a pretty water bottle is, and she knows what to look for.

waterbottlebay

This shade of emerald green sparkles from across the room as the light hits it.

She’s on her way to a beautiful, adult life my darling. Even with the water bottle.

Maybe You’ve Changed

My daughter made my Chemex this morning. She was getting ready to leave for classes, but paused long enough to do that.

That’s true love.

She stayed home this weekend, so I didn’t make weekend plans. I just wanted to hang out with her in that weekend vibe. Life has her on a rapid schedule right now, so it was different for her to just chill. We went to one of our favorite small towns yesterday and strolled the streets of downtown.

lattes

We walked into one of my favorite shops, or so I thought. There was a day not too long ago I would drive to that town just for that shoppe. It’s full of Artisan goods on display and for sale. One of my favorite Potters has his work there and I soon found his display taking up a corner of the store.

I picked up one of his coffee mugs and cradled it in my hand. It didn’t have the same feel as the mugs we use today. My daughter said, “You know I will slip some of those mugs from Dad’s for you if you want.” I used to collect this potter’s work, but left all of it in the cabinet when we left.

Placing it back on the shelf, I said, ‘Nah.’ Our mugs feel like love when you hold them.

This mug belonged on display.

Leaving the shoppe, I looked down at the sidewalk and told my daughter, “I didn’t see anything in there today that resonated with me. It used to be one of my favorite shoppes, but maybe it’s changed.”

She stood with me in that moment and softly said, “Maybe you’ve changed.”

Best Thing Ever

Earlier today, my daughter and I were talking about our little book of ‘Never Agains‘. Then she flipped the conversation around and began talking about the best thing ever. Like, the ginormous bag of cotton balls we purchased, just because it’s the biggest bag we’ve ever seen. (pillow size) We can always use cotton balls.

A couple of weeks ago, we were out shopping, and came across a Valentine’s Day display. It was in the kitchen area of the store, and my daughter fell in love with a little whisk. She’s uses her favorite whisk so often, we were questioning how much longer it would last.

I scooped up the whisk from the Valentine’s display as we continued walking through the store. I didn’t look at the price.

When we arrived at the self-checkout, we scanned it and stared in disbelief at the register display. The whisk cost $1.00.

whisk

Today, we flipped the book of ‘Never Again’s’ over and began writing ‘Always Again’s’, from the back of the book. This little book now has two covers. One is ‘Never’s’ and the other side is ‘Always’.  I’m curious to see where they meet.

The bag of cotton balls, and this whisk are written in the ‘Always Again’ side. As you can see, the hearts stamped on the handle are fading from use. It’s been loved.

Tonight I believe our little book, and what we’ve written in it, is the best thing ever.

It Was Time

“Do you want a new Christmas stocking?”, she asked. I hadn’t thought about it till that moment.

secret

I haven’t had a new Christmas stocking since the divorce. The one I brought with me is laying in a box of unused Christmas items. These items that at one time, we enjoyed having, but they no longer resonate. That was my stocking.

Letting go of what you once were makes room for the new.

stocking

My new Christmas stocking is completely different than the other one. This is how my daughter sees me today. She knew before I did that it was time.