Two of Everything

When my daughter and I first began living this life together, you could look around and see two of everything. The house has two bedrooms. There’s two overstuffed chairs in the den. Two blankets on a nearby shelf readily available.

We created a life for two.

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It’s time to open my heart for more.

I have these two bowls. They each have a plate that matches and I bought them years ago.

While shopping, I pay attention to other bowls that might match. The shape is so hard to find. They are shallow and wide. I wasn’t overly focused on the color, as long as they complimented one another. Then it happened. Strolling by a shelf full of bowls, that color caught my eye.

There was only one on the shelf.

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My daughter and I always use place-mats, cloth napkins and real dinnerware. We set the table for every meal, but maybe that’s not normal for most. What’s normal to us may look like a lot effort to others.

Today my darlings, if you set down at our table and see a bowl that fits, but doesn’t quite match…that’s the extra effort. I’m adding to the two of everything.

It’s Been Fun

A little role reversal occurs as they get older. My daughter said, “I want you to eat this weekend and that doesn’t mean only coffee.” 🙂

This morning, my daughter and I were laughing at some of our moments over the past six years. She has quotes from me stored in her phone. What’s even worse is she also has videos. Both are hilarious, but that’s been our life. 

We laugh so hard we cry!

Today, I was looking at my memories on Facebook. The pictures from 2013-2015 were so blurry. It was the beginning of our life alone together and I didn’t know then what I know now. Life was blurry and so were my pictures.

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It’s crazy what we went through while living in that house, but that’s what we were laughing about this morning. We’ve learned and don’t want to go through any of that again.

A life with no regrets can look and sound rather crazy, but it’s been worth it.

When we stopped laughing, I asked her, “Are you going to be able to use any of this?” She was happy we were referring to the past and said, “Nope, but it’s been fun.”

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No regrets.

That’s True Love

My daughter will be gone most of the day. She makes a Chemex, because she has it down to a science, whereas I do not. I sit in the den anticipating that magical cup of brew.

This morning she did something so special. She has this coffee cup she knows I love. It’s just the right size, and I use it when she’s not here.  When she is here, she usually uses the cup, but not this morning.

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Blue bottle coffee cup.

She sat the cup on my side of the table.

This was a special moment to receive this cup from her. It was a small gesture, and maybe to some go unnoticed.

The smallest of things create magical moments.

While she is out and about adulting, I began thinking what I could do for her. We have this inside joke now that she is almost 20 years old. I tell her she doesn’t need me nearly as much as she thinks she does, but there is this one thing she loves for me to do. Wash her sheets in perfume wash.

She’s jokingly asked if I will come and change her sheets the rest of my life. Well darling, maybe not every week, but when time allows, I will do that. It was 32 degrees this morning, so her favorite flannel sheets are being washed in perfume for her bed.

For me, it was getting to use her cup in her presence, but for her it will be these sheets.

That’s true love.

Healing in Hugs

I saved the last cookie for my daughter. She broke it in half, and brought half over to me. This is how we live our life.

We are sitting at the table together. She is doing school while I write. There is a difference between living together, and being present. When I stepped away from Social Media, I realized we didn’t hug each other as much as we once did. It was time for that to change. There is healing in hugs.

Some of my favorite daily activities now include, sitting at the counter of my favorite coffee shop, and being present for the person working behind the counter. To walk into one of the shops downtown, and hug the owner for no reason than they’re there another day. People in town wave when they see my truck. How many of those waves were missed?

I freely give my laugh, a listening ear, a smile, and hugs.

My daughter is finding her way through life, and the only thing I have done different is to be present, and give hugs.

It was awkward at first for me to just walk up and hug her, so to lighten it up, I counted. I’d hug her and say, “There’s one.” In my mind there was a minimum of three a day.

She is almost as tall as me now, but it’s still a hug, and it heals.

 

My Daughter Writes

…and she writes.

Simply Semloh

I’ve been staring at this empty canvas/shell of a blog for months, mostly wondering how to begin and how to introduce myself. I’ve had other forms of “social media” for years, but starting something new.. and trying to put who you are into a few words is more difficult than I remember. So I will just start by saying hello, and introducing some of the people, places, and the things that make me who I am.

Who I am is:

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Processed with VSCO with m5 preset Who I love

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In the blogs I write I will tell you more about the people and places in these pictures but this post is just an ice breaker, something to get the ball rolling and to let you know a little about me.
So, thank you for stopping by and now this “blank canvas” is a little less blank.

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Hopes and Dreams

Hopes and dreams. Otherwise, our lives merely exist.

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This photo popped up on my Facebook news-feed.

My heart ran as fast as it could into that photo! My life is simple, so skip the fancy couch. A Yoga mat, or pillow will do just fine. The view is what made filled my heart and soul.

To live by the sea is a ‘hope and dream’ of mine.

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God gives revelation in yearly increments.

Once 30 years had passed, I knew my life would change. At the age of 35, my daughter was born, and by 40, my marriage was an unhealthy space for everyone involved. After trying to make it work for 8 more years, God opened a door for us to leave. At 48, my daughter and I began our new life together, with God.

Seeing this quote by Jung stirred up memories. My life continues to change, but is it my life changing, or my soul?  My soul is awake as well. ‘Hope’, is what keeps us here, but ‘Dreams’ are where the soul roams.

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Which Way Home

I started writing a Blog lastnight, but again didn’t publish it. With this 30 day challenge, I’m learning I can write anytime of day. Mama always said, “Nothing good happens after midnight.” Well, in my mind there is nothing publish worthy after 9:00 pm.

This is what’s happening in real-time. I’m sitting at the dining room table at Smith’s house, listening to my favorite CD, drinking coffee from a red mug, and looking out the sliding glass doors at the lake. It rained lastnight, and brought in fog, so the lake is not visible yet. I know the lake is there, but I cannot physically see it yet.

This reminds me of this path of life we’re on. We know we have one, but we can only see so far ahead. God gives us just enough light for the step we’re on. We take a step, and there is more light, but just enough for that step. Sitting here this morning, I wish to see more steps.

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You can see how bright the light is over the lake. The sun is trying to burn away the fog, and restore a visual of what’s there. God is in that ball of fire. He wants us to trust Him even when we cannot see very far ahead. To enjoy the present moment, but keep stepping.

Some ducks swam across the lake, as I made more coffee, and ate a piece of chocolate covered caramel. It would seem I’m on a path with many detours, but they all lead back to my  heart. During the week I am in my little farmhouse, sharing a life with my daughter.

The weekends, I’m usually at the lake with Smith. He is a Chef, and normally has to work on Saturday’s. He’s at work right now, and there is a void where his presence is absent. If he was here, I can see him sitting on the couch trying to find some football on TV. My laptop and I would move to another room and continue writing in a more serene space.

He would come and find me periodically, and make himself known. I can feel him walk into the room, and he may touch me, but he wouldn’t disturb my writing. He enjoys that I write, and encourages me with that. He also tolerates being the subject from time to time.

The sun is becoming brighter as I finish up this Blog. It will be time to start repacking my things, load up my truck, and head to Radiation. Today will be #22 out of 30 treatments.

I was tempted to call and cancel today’s appointment, but that would just prolong the inevitable. Once Radiation is complete, I will have more options. My daughter is staying with her Dad until tomorrow, so it’s very tempting to stay one more day here at the lake.

I used to know where home is. Over time of driving back and forth, I’m not really sure anymore which house is home. For some time now, when I return to the little farmhouse, and walk inside, it feels like a house. My daughter gets there, and it feels more like home, but there is still a void. I find myself each day looking forward to going back to the lake.

Smith is the most patient man I have ever met. He has been waiting for me to decide when to bring all these paths together as one big path, and the three of us to live this life together. Home is where your heart is, and today it’s in this lake house, but getting ready to leave once again. I believe it’s time for me and my heart to decide, which way is home.

 

There’s Always More

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I was reading a lady’s Blog this morning, and the pictures were of her house at Christmas. She had gone all Martha with the decor, and it was absolutely beautiful. It reminded me of my Martha Stewart days, and my formal dining room looked much the same way. I recalled the year I had to learn how to tie cloth napkins to resemble a swan, and rest them on each plate.

The photo you see above, was our living room, after moving to Texas 15 years ago. It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long that we had this room designed specifically for this house. Each piece was painstakingly made, and bought for this room. The only pieces I have today from this room, are the two purple chairs. The rest stayed when I left, and I really don’t miss it.

It’s beautiful to look at, but do you know, we rarely sat in that room. This is the type room, that my mother would have covered the furniture with laminate. I walked through the room many a time, because it was a shortcut to my office. I walked through it so much that the hand woven wool rug started to wrinkle. That rug cost more than the truck I drive now.

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This photo is where my daughter and I moved to when we left. The little house on 40 acres. God had taken me from a 4,000 square foot house, to this 700 square foot one. It didn’t happen all at once. We downsized over time, but I can safely say, we lived in every square foot. I missed this earlier, but the round table is from the first photo, along with the purple chairs. I also still have the fringed, silk pillows, but they were replaced by these burlap ones.

My daughter and I have this thing we do. I say to her, “I love you”, and she responds with, “I love you more.” When I saw these pillows in a shop downtown, I knew they were for us. Somehow, the one that says, “I love you more”, always winds up in her chair.

I was thinking lastnight that my daughter was too young to remember all the grandeur. We have simplified our lives so much, I wondered if she realizes there IS more. I believe she does, and I know she remembers the house from the first photo, but does she know she can have more?

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This photo is our current dwelling, a remodeled 1940’s farm house, nestled on 5 acres. We grew to 1,000 square feet, and love every nook and crannie. Look at the shine of the wood floor! As you can see, we still have the purple chairs, and round table, and we spend a lot of time in those chairs. Well made furniture lasts for years.

Those purple chairs have held many a conversation. They have been slept in, and cried on.

I had my daughter late in life. She was a gift from God once I got sober. She hasn’t seen the driven woman building a successful business. She hasn’t seen me wanting for more. She has seen a happy Mother who loves to write. I had all the success I could handle before she was 5 years old, but exchanged it for a simple life, and to spend time with her.

Will she keep a simple life as she grows older, or will she have a lot more? I asked her and she said, “I may have a bigger house, depending on how many kids I have, but it will be minimalistic, furnished with only the things I love.” I said, “Like we did here?”, and she agreed. My choices for us have paid off, but I suppose if we want it, there’s always more.

 

 

One Step Further

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My daughter was having an emotional day yesterday, so I decided to give her one of her Christmas presents early. It’s a full length, body pillow, encased in faux fur.

She squealed with delight, and hugged it all day. She gives everything dear to her a name, so lastnight I asked her, “What did you name it?” She said, “I might call it Donny.” I said, “Oh! Like Donny Osmond?” She gave me a puzzled look, and said, “Who?!?” She knows who he is now.

Having her late in life, there is always a gap to be filled in. Thanks to those gaps, she appreciates the Beatles, and John Lennon. She went one step further, and found a vinyl by Julian Lennon. I wasn’t aware Julian had recorded an album, so we get to learn from each other.

Living life together, we do things for one another everyday. It’s not something we think about, it just naturally happens. If I’m washing my clothes, and have room for some of hers, I go get them and wash them too. If she has been driving us around in her car all week, I ask her on the way home to stop for gas. I pay for her gas, so she doesn’t have that worry. We just go one step further, and my hope is, every relationship we have is like that.

There is nothing I wouldn’t do for my daughter, and this year proved that. For years, she has wanted to make a Christmas card, with a photo of our life together. My daughter is creative, and she can get some wild ideas. Like lining up all of our animals to be in the picture, like literally herding cats! This year, I was able to finally make her wish come true.

She wanted our shirts to match, but still wanted it to look Christmasy. We opted for an indoor photo, and included our dog, Mochee. She sat up her camera, and we tried to pose before it started automatically taking pictures. It got to be pretty ridiculous fast, and after trying for a while, we both gave up.

It was a fun experience, but she didn’t expect anything further. She was content that we tried. She even velcroed a necktie on our dog.

When she went to visit her Dad over the weekend, I found a picture from the shoot, and took it by Walgreens. I had written a Blog about our new tradition with the snowman hat entitled, Make Life Fun. During the photo shoot, I had put on the hat to lighten the mood.

You may have already guessed, it was the best picture of all of them. Would it have been my choice of photos? No, but it was the one photo we were both smiling, and the dog was being still. She was filled with glee when she returned home, and discovered a stack of Christmas cards waiting for her to send out.

She sent one to all her friends she had addresses for. This small act brought her so much joy, and now it’s a new Christmas tradition.

Her wish for the past three years had become a reality.

It didn’t take a lot of money to make her wish come true. It just took some time, and I will happily spend my time on the ones I love. Give your time to the ones you hold dear. They will cherish the memories, and you will have a full heart. The time you give is more valuable than all the money in the world.

Go one step further.

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Where You Lead

I heard the best line ever yesterday.

My daughter, and I were sitting in a restaurant, when this little old man approached our table. He nodded at my bald head and said, “Is it medical? Or do you want your head to look that way?” I busted out laughing.

I thought when I lost my hair thanks to Chemo, I would learn how to tie all these beautiful scarves to cover my head. Well, that didn’t happen. I live in Texas so, scarves are hot! In the beginning stages, I thought I was covering my head to make myself less scary looking.

It turns out, I was covering it to mask what I am going through. No scarf? People approach.

This has been a week of love, and learning.

My daughter turns 17 on Monday, August 8th.

I took time and gave her a little something each day that reminded me of our life together, or something I wanted her to know for the future, along with a note. On Day 5, yesterday, she looked at me after reading the hand written note, and said, “It’s sounds like my Mom, and a Writer.”

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She texted me this picture last week, and it made my heart smile. I’ve been chastised for being her friend, more than a Mother. Who says I can’t be both? She is my very best friend, and these last 3 years have held the happiest moments of my life. This week, we have been Netflix binging on a show called The Gilmore Girls. This show describes our relationship.

 

I give her some of the craziest advice coming from a Mother, but to her, it always makes sense. She would write the really good ones down, and go back to look at them later, when she needed a good laugh. I have always asked her not to call CPS on me, and she never has.

 

When I left her Father, it was right before my 50 birthday. I told my daughter, “I’m not counting anymore birthdays. I will buy cake, because we will always eat cake, but no counting years.” It worked too, because when people ask me my age, I have to really think before answering. With her birthday coming up, she made the same announcement to me.

Growing up is bittersweet, but growing old is optional.

My darling girl, always remember, “Where you lead, I will follow, Anywhere that you tell me to. If you need, you need me to be with you I will follow where you lead.”