Collecting Life

Sitting here thinking about things… I have many things to accomplish but at this moment, I just want to talk to y’all.

I know I have told some of you of my love of moving (can you feel the sarcasm in my words!) Packing is an absolute nightmare! I actually dream about boxes, tape, paper and bubble wrap! Just when I think I have made a dent in all of it, I step back and look around and realize there is so much more!

I have found things that I had forgotten I had…things the kids made in school, letters from friends(before internet), baby blankets and school pictures and paperwork from when I started my job with the state.  Some is worth keeping and some should have been destroyed years ago.

I am a hoarder of sorts… I like to collect things. I have collected pigs since my days in the Army. I started collecting plates about 10 years ago and I also collect antique bottles. I am very particular about what I buy and some of my selection is quite small in number.

My mother was also a collector.  She had a knack for antiques and would go to great lengths to find what she was looking for.  I have several of her pieces.  Nothing extravagant, but unique and beautiful none the less. I learned from her how to read the glass of a bottle or jar.  It’s hard to put into words but if you are a lover of antique glass you will understand what I am talking about.

Everyday I get a little closer to having all of it boxed up and ready to go. Of course the more I pack the larger the pile seems to get…lol

Now.  Not that this will have anything to do with packing, but I’ve been driving by myself for the last two days and I have listen to every radio station that Sirius has. My brain has been in overdrive…..so here goes..

Why is it that we not only collect things but we also collect people?  How can you have 1000 friends on Facebook?  Thing is…you can’t!  Now I understand that we meet people that we want to remain connected to for what ever reason.  I try to keep my friends list under 150 (try being the operative word).  I have friends that I haven’t spoken to in many years but they are still on the list for that “just in case.”  Now I’ve said that to say this…..sometimes we have to let go of our collection of people.  We have to do this in order to move forward with our lives.  You have to grow in yourself in order to appreciate others.  If you can’t do that…then it’s time to step back and reevaluate your life and the decisions you have made.

So there is something for you to think about until the next post….

carolyn

 

 

Saying Goodbye

How do you tell someone you love goodbye?

I haven’t really thought about it much until today.  I woke this morning as with nearly every other morning…coffee, news and social media…but today was different.  I was suddenly struck with the reality that I am leaving!  This is real!  The house is secured,the truck is reserved and the date to move is set.  Then the tears started and the truth was revealed…

I miss my children.

I am a strong-willed, strong-minded woman.  I am usually the last one standing but when it comes to my kids, well that is a different story.  My children, Michael and Savana are the barometer of my life.  Their highs and lows and how they handle those situations speaks volumes on how I raised them.  I always tried to teach them strength and that nothing in life comes free. Hard work, perseverance and honesty are the keys to great things.

Now I am leaving them.

Although they both left home years ago and of course with modern technology we communicate nearly everyday.  We have for the most part always lived in the same state.  In 6 very short weeks I will be 9 states, count them Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania away!

This morning when the realization of this came crashing down my children proved to me that all those years of struggle, conflict and tears completely paid off.  They have become what I have always wanted them to be and worked so hard to instill in them.

Right now my heart is breaking from the knowledge of how much I will miss them, but also at this moment I am overwhelmed with the pride I have for them.  These children, these 2 beautiful pieces of me are my legacy and for that I am grateful.

So this morning may have started out like any other but this day will end on a different note.  I know saying goodbye will be hard and I will miss them terribly but I also know that I have raised two strong and loving people and everything for all of us will be just fine.

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until the next post

carolyn

waiting for patience

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As I sit here typing, my mind is in overdrive. I am constantly going over and over everything on my daily list (and inevitably I still miss or forget something). So welcome to my world of little or no patience.

I continually remind myself of the quote “Patience is a virtue” and after years saying this over and over it hasn’t worked.  So here I sit typing trying to keep my mind somewhat occupied so I am not looking at my emails every 5 seconds!

Oh wait I should tell you what is really going on…..We found a house!!!! I am now ever so patiently waiting for the email with the lease. It has been a bit of a stressful weekend. At one point we were sure we would not get the house but the call came yesterday afternoon and we now have a house!

I know that everyone has their on strengths and weaknesses. I have always considered myself to be a strong self reliant person. I shun the “oh poor me” attitude. I am the kick you in the butt kind of person. As my friends have told me, I should never work on a suicide hotline. But alas I still have a weakness…… Patience.

I have been this way my whole life, but this has gotten worse with age. My belief is the job that I retired from last year had a large part in my lack of patience. You can only deal with stupidity and ignorance for so long before it completely wears you down. I have also learned that when you ask God for patience he loads you up with situations that require patience. I now ask for strength when dealing with situations that I have no patience for and this seems to work out better.

So here I sit typing this post, checking my phone every few seconds for an email, praying for strength and wishing that I had more patience.

until the next post

carolyn

Past, Present and Future

I could be talking about one of those 3 stone diamond rings but actually this is about friends and friendship.

In my 50 plus years I have had lots of friends.  A few best friends, you know the ones that know every little dirty secret about you and still love you anyway…  A lot of good friends, the ones that will have a drink with you or listen to you bitch about your boss(you know who you are). Then there are those people who come into your life and end up making such a profound impact that they are forever connected to you.  It’s not that they are really a friend but the relationship in itself is a friendship (does that even make sense?).

Can you remember your first friend?  I can.  First grade…Mrs Campbell’s class.  Her name was Pam. She was shorter than me and had brown hair.  Now the school that we went to was small.  Everyone knew everyone.  So as the years progressed my friends changed, as did everyone else.  By the time my Senior year came along my friends had changed to Paula, Rhonda, Wanda and Brenda. With a graduating class of less than 100 people at some point and time over the 12 years of school we were all friends.

Time moves forward..after graduation I still kept some of my friends from school but I made new friends from where I worked.  We had a lot of fun and of course it’s a wonder we were not arrested..lol

The I joined the Army and this changed my friend list forever.  Even though I served during the Cold War and for us the only fighting going on was with each other, our connection is just as tight as those whom have been in combat.  I would have given my life for my brothers and sisters in arms.  Unless you have been there it is hard to understand.  Carla and Linda, these two I met in basic.  Carla has been my constant over the last 30 years.  Divorce, kids, death, surgery and just about anything else you can think of.  We have had our highs and lows and no matter how mad we get we are still the dearest of friends.  Linda came back in about 5 years ago.  I don’t think we even liked each other back during our Army days but we now have a wonderful mutual respect and love for each other.  I am forever thankful for these two women in my life.

The friends made during those years in the Army are not limited to just women.  There were so few of us women and we had to rely on each other so much that deep bonds are created.  We may have fought or argued one minute but we were laughing and having a good time the next.  Social media has been a great thing for us.  We live all over the world but we can talk to each other everyday.  I have other good friends from those days and you know who you are.

When I look at my life now, I still have dear friends from my past but I have made good friends in what I consider this present time of my life.  I married my best friend.  It only took 45 years but I found him.  My life with Joel is everything I have ever wanted and more.

As my future unfolds before my eyes and this next great adventure stands ready to leave the gate I look back at all the people who have come into my life.  Those who have stayed and those that chose to leave and those that I kicked out.  Some of you I have never met in person, some of you I haven’t seen in 30 years but yet here we are still connected even closer than we were in real-time.  I hope and pray that all of you will continue on this journey with me.  I promise it won’t be boring!

until the next post

carolyn

Is it Leaving or The Next Great Adventure?

How many times in our lives have we left our home? Whether it be from our parents or an ex or to move away from the place that we have called home, how many times?
For myself that number is in double digits. I have envied the person who can live in the same town all of their life. I have never wanted to do this but I have secretly disliked the people who could.
I grew up in a very small town in South East Texas. The great majority of the people whom I graduated high school are still there. That town was never enough for me, I always wanted more. The military was my escape for many reasons, but mainly I just wanted out!
So was I leaving home?
I have lived in this county in East Texas for over 20 years and this is now home. My children grew up here. I have family that lives here. I have some truly good friends here. So with this move am I leaving home?  I have asked myself this question numerous times and for me the answer is not leaving but embarking on the next adventure of my life.

My friends think I am near insane to want to leave Texas and move to Yankee land.  I also had friends tell me was I crazy for joining the Army and moving to the other side of the world.  That was the best move of my life!  That was the move that helped me understand that I am a wanderer.

Those of you that live here understand that everything is 2 hours away.  Usually no matter what direction it’s going to take you 2 hours and most of the time you are still in Texas.  In Pennsylvania going 2 hours can bring me to possibly 5 different states and endless things to do.  There are downsides to moving to the North East.  People, lots and lots of people.  They are Yankees and for the most part they are nice.  Of course my deep southern accent helps.  I would like to think they find it charming but then again they are yanks  so who knows.   The winters for me will be brutal but I have lived in Germany during one of the worst winters and survived.  After years and years of thinking my skin was going to melt off of my body during the summers, I look forward to a mild, pleasant August for a change.

This move is not my leaving Texas but taking Texas with me on this great adventure.

so till the next post…..

carolyn

 

 

Springtime in Texas…

Does it have to be so green?

Those of you that live in this part of this state will completely understand what I am talking about but for those of you that don’t let me give you a run down.

When I say green I mean GREEN!   Everything is covered in a thick layer of chartreuse green pollen.  Anything that is stationary for a moment is covered in a chartreuse colored mess.   This stuff also causes headache, sneezing, runny nose, sinus infection and fever.  So next to flu season spring is pretty bad.

Now as I have not been to Pennsylvania in the Spring, I have made it for every other season. I have been told that the pollen problem is not at bad there.  I can say that once we cross the Tennessee state line into Virginia my nose actually stops running and I don’t have issues until we cross back into Tennessee….Pretty awesome I think…

I have been an allergy sufferer for most of my adult life and I look forward to living somewhere that I don’t have this problem or at least it won’t be nearly as bad.

th1TTREE6XTexas Bluebonnets will be one of the things in this state I will truly miss.  This is my most favorite of all flowers.  Those perfect little blue and white flowers can turn a barren landscape into this most beautiful place.  I have done the research and they will not grow that far north so other than the numerous pictures and paintings I have in my home I will have to settle for the Pennsylvania native Sundial Lupines.

lupineThese are beautiful but they are not my bluebonnets and for that I am sad.

There is a point to this post.  Not only is Texas very chartreuse green but it is also vibrant blue and pink and yellow and orange and all the colors of the rainbow in spring.  This state becomes almost magical during this time of year.  It can last 2 weeks or 3 months depending on mother nature and her mood swings.  I know that Pennsylvania will also have a magical side but for me my heart will long for Texas in the spring.  I will dream of my green pollen covered vehicle and deck furniture and fields and fields of bluebonnets.

until the next post

carolyn

 

My life with the cat…….

DSCF2265Now is that not the sweetest face you have ever seen???

So let me give you the back story on this creature.  My husband decided that when our daughter graduated from high school and he didn’t want me suffering from empty nest so a trip to the humane society was in order.  75 dollars later we came home with this tiny precious ball of fur.  The women at the pound assured us that he was 8 weeks old and ready for his shots.  That should have been a red flag but he was so precious that I don’t think I was really listening.  Our vet told me a week later that he was closer to 5 weeks than 8.  So as it turned out I was raising another child….

When a kitten is taken from their mother to soon they do not learn how to communicate or learn any manners (for lack of a better word). So I became his mama and the teenage years truly sucked!

Our daughter named this adorable creature Beau Hutton.  The name came from the movie Country Strong and she was in love with the character.  So he is called Beau, Boo Boo and a few other choice words depending on his temperament and if his has woke me up at 4 am so he can be fed.

Now don’t get me wrong I love this creature and he is my child but he can be a needy little chit.  For 2 solid years I walked around with scratches and bite marks because I did not understand what he was trying to communicate and there were several times that I considered taking him back but we survived the terrible teenage years and our relationship has evolved.

I am not allowed out of his sight.  As long as he can see me when he opens his eyes it’s all good.  He is not a lap cat, never has been. He has his own terms for affection.  He will lay on me at 4 am and purr so loud that you think life flight is landing on the house.  All he wants is for me to get up and  feed him.  He likes to play fetch and at 11 lbs he sounds like a horse running thru the house.

Now since you have read all of this you may be asking yourself “What does this have to do with you moving?” Well let me explain……I will be driving this adorable creature across 9 states in what takes approximately 21 hours!  It will be just me and him(and my bff Carla if I can talk her in to it).  Am I stressing about this?  The answer is YES!  He is not a traveler. I am more worried about him than most anything about this move.  I want this transition for him to be as smooth as possible.  I have read every article I can find about traveling with a cat and so far nothing has helped.  So if anyone has any advice on this I will gladly take it.

until the next post

carolyn

Want vs Need

How familiar is this?

We all have this war. For some everyday. For others from time to time. For me it is an every minute of everyday battle! I don’t think I have always been this way but lately it is become quite apparent.

When my husband and I made the decision to make this move we started a list of the things we wanted and the things we would need in our new home. I have lost count at exactly how many times that list has changed.

Here are some of the highlights:

1. Has to be pet friendly. Now because of the cat this is a want and a need on his part since the house will really be his and we will be his servants.

2. Garage. I call this a want due to my husband having lots of “man stuff”. If there is room for my car then it becomes a need. 😉

3. We are what I call “vehicle poor”. I believe that this is a southern term since I said it to a northern realtor and she had no idea what I was talking about. So a large drive way or property is a definite need.

I should explain that we will be renting for a time or until I have found the perfect property with which to build our forever home or we find the perfect house.
Now the operative word in the above sentence is “renting”…Holy Moly!!! I have spoken to more people with property management companies than my friends. The applications not only wants your bank account number but also your first born child, your left kidney and two pints of blood…….this in itself is extremely frustrating…..but it does fall under the category of “need” even though it is something I do not “want” to do……

Okay getting back to the list…..Nothing haunted…I would absolutely love a civil war era home but with my luck the place would have so many ghost it would turn into the movie Poltergeist and I don’t need voices speaking to me thru our 70 inch flat screen! Just think of the problems that could cause while trying to watch The Walking Dead or Black Sails…….want and need…..

But when it gets down to it, when we drive up in May I just want to leave knowing that we have found a decent place to call home for a bit.

So until that happens I will continue my relentless harassment of real estate agents and scour the internet in hopes that the perfect place will just appear and everything will fall into place.

until the next post
Carolyn

Hey Y’all

I decided to start this blog when my husband and I made the decision to move from East Texas to Central Pennsylvania.   So follow along as I tell the trials and tribulations of the move and home search.  There will be some stress relief (which can be humorous)and some funny(even if just for me)things happening along the way.

until the next post……

carolyn