30 June 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Just Duckie!

"If it walks like a duck....."
Find out the story behind the photo (and the rest of the quote) in tomorrow's edition!

Photo Taken: 27 June 2010
Edited in  Photo Explosion: Watercolors

For more great Wordless Wednesdays and Reading.

28 June 2010

Pink Moon (Part I) - The Song

I first heard the ballad, "Pink Moon", as a child.  Not having any idea who sang it or what it was about, it was more like a lullaby to me (my lullaby)...drifting off to sleep to the almost folk rhythms of "pink, pink, pink, moon"; driving me through soft curves and quiet nights into all things magical and delightful - and pink.

You see, I grew up with my mother.  She would sit and play beautiful music with her own fingers on an old and out-of-tune piano; her strong voice belting out old hymns and maybe a random Barry Manilow or Carpenters tune.  But my exposure to the outside world of music and to the radio was limited.  Rock music was not allowed and there was certainly never a spontaneous explosion of dance for sure!  Not inside the home anyway.  Not in front of me.

My father, on the other hand, was a bit of a music buff - or better described, he was obsessed.  He appreciated every style and artist and era.  Coming by it naturally, his father sang with an amazing tenor voice in a gospel quartet that gained local popularity after recording their first (and only) single.  The last gift my dad gave his mother before passing was a more permanent CD of the one-hit-wonder converted from the worn and scratched 45 that she held so dear.  I heard it once.  I can still hear it if I close my eyes and listen close with my heart.

During biweekly visitations with my dad, he would often withdraw into his own homemade studio; mixing eight tracks and tapes long into the night.  He would strum along with his generic department store guitar and sing when the mood struck, sometimes teaching me a few note, but always letting me howl (off key) right along with him until I grew tired.  I would often fake getting sleepy so that he would pick me up and swirl me into a waltz or walk me to bed in a two-step.  Once there, he would quiet the music to something more soothing.  "Pink Moon" was my favorite.

I'm honestly not sure if that is the truth or fiction.  It is simply what I know in my head and how my memory serves.  As with many recollections of childhood and especially in regards to those we love and were estranged, fantasy or wishful thinking can sometimes replace reality.  I am OK with this one.  I had forgotten all about this particular story until a few years ago when Volkswagen used "Pink Moon" in one of their commercials.  Rather than fast forward through the DVR, I sat frozen in time as my mind flashed back to those precious moments - tears and longing streaming down my face.  

I hope you enjoy the new music on my page.  Thank you for taking this ride down memory lane with me.  I hope it makes you feel soft and magical and delightful - and pink.

25 June 2010

Project Baby Has Been Terminated

I lost my job.

Just like that.  Cutbacks. 

I got the call and was given notice with reasons and some other words said, but I didn't really catch it all.  My brain immediately went to, "Project Baby Has Been Termninated" - and stopped.

I have worked from home for this particular company for 4 1/2 years.  It was an honor to be recruited by the CEO; hand-picked out of a vast crowd of online advertising professionals.  I fell into the industry 7 years prior when I had made the decision to seek out a job that inspired me.  I stumbled across a new local start-up that was expanding at an incredible rate.  I applied for a customer service position through an online job listing.  The internet was still in its infancy and keyword cataloging for search had not yet been fully developed, but my research on the business and its owner pulled news articles from coast to coast. He was apparently kind-of a big deal!  His success started while still in high school as the creator of an entertainment gaming website, driving more traffic to it through this wild and untamed frontier of the worldwide web than any other.  I interviewed with the young owner/entrepreneur at a Starbucks as the offices were still under construction.  While I am no genius, I could grasp the concepts and the mind blowing potential they held - and I was excited.

I was quickly promoted and continued to move both upwards and laterally and through a strategic company split 4 times, soaking up experience and knowledge into all aspects of the business.  I thrived in the collaborative work environment where I met some of my favorite friends and worked side-by-side with some of the top developers and forward thinkers known still today in the space.  Technological advancements and the evolution of the online space was, and continues to be, flying at the speed of light.  I now find myself having to clamor to stay in the game.

As with most job decisions, there comes a time when you hit a crossroads.  I was there.  Through management changes and company restructuring, I found myself alone, unhappy with my surroundings and restless to focus on simple things; things of the heart and the home.  My husband had returned to school after finally deciding on a career change himself, which left me tethered to my job as the bread winner. The Biological Clock Beast had, again, reared its ugly head.  I was good at my job but was dying to get out.  So I did.

There came a time that I had to replace it.  I loved my new one!  No more long daily commute, no more corporate BS or micro-managing!  I got to attend trade-shows again, some in cities I had never been!   I really LIKED who I was working for and with and was again inspired by the opportunity to seek new clients with an expanded base of services from which I could provide.  I am a hard worker and doing so from home actually made me MORE job-obsessed and more productive than being in an office full of distractions.  I consistently aimed high to meet and exceed not only my own personal sales goals, but also the core values of our performance review even before we had  them.  The personal sacrifices I made were great and I never took any of the minimum days allowed to heal from trauma or illness and not once even ate up my vacation days to the fullest (hindsight tells me unfortunately so).

I was again promoted through some regrettable turnover; however, it felt good that my peers had 'nominated' me to do so.  It felt even better that my boss agreed and was thrilled that I was interested.  I had my work cut out for me as the failing economy was starting to reflect on our business in so many ways and for so many reasons.  When times got tough I remained optimistic and flexible...even offering to cut my own salary in half for the benefit of the bigger picture.  My proposal was denied.  I had a great team and got to hire one more that remains as an asset to the company.  The others are no longer there for one reason or another.  The company has restructured.  It wasn't enough.  I am out.

I feel betrayed.  A bit lost.  A lot confused. 

I am a believer that all things happen for a reason.  I can't see it now.  I hope I do soon.

24 June 2010

"Woven in Prayer" - Part One

My quaint old house faces a busy side street with a covered porch nestled within the long arms of a maple tree.  It's character weathered by time as it bravely looks out over the ever-changing world atop a secluded little hill.  My husband has plans to enclose a portion of the area to create a formal foyer inside.  But until then, MY plans are to create a quiet and welcoming spot to greet friends, watch birds and read the morning paper - anything that will fill the large, cold and cracked concrete vacancy. 

When I was a young girl, I often thought I had been born into the wrong era.  Even into my teen years, I collected things that would today be flea market treasures and surrounded myself with what they now call shabby chic decor.  My style had less to do with a lack of fashion or design sense, but more out of love for all things Victorian in look and feel.  Fine linens and floral china patterns, soft colors and airy ferns - even hair bound into a loose Gibson.  Thank goodness it was the 80's and those awful doily collars WERE in style!

...but I never got my wicker chair...

I had wanted one; high in back and painted white.  A place to throw a few pillows that I had stitched out of Granny's old hankies or curl up with a good book and a tattered quilt from the hope chest.  A symbol of solitude and protection to me - of a simpler time.  That is just what my front porch needed now!  In this age of blinding internet speed, I looked towards the first place I knew to hunt one down, Craigslist of course.  My initial search came up empty with sets that were too modern or too far away or too...something.  I just wasn't feeling it.  So I continued my day as usual, not giving the subject much more thought.  

I typically take a break at lunchtime to walk my dog and clear my head.  It is during this time that I focus not only on the task at hand, but on private meditation that may turn into informal prayer.  My talks with God have been more like requests lately when it comes to "the baby thing"; asking for an open mind into new opportunities, wide eyes to recognize one when it is right in front of me and for a prepared heart into the unknown - and for peace.  Such was my prayer that day. 

At the end of my work day, I felt rushed to get it all wrapped up so I could head out and catch my nephew's baseball game.  It was sunny and I had been missing the kiddos!  As I started to fly out the door I halted to run back and grab the cell phone I had forgotten still charging in the office; waving a "just a second!" hand at my impatient husband who was revving up the engine and waiting for me in the driveway.  I grabbed the phone and glanced at the computer left open on the desk.  The wicker chair flashed in my head.  "Oh, I'll just check once more", I thought.  

There...on the very top listing, just posted a few minutes before, was not ONE chair but TWO!  Painted an updated brown, adorned with tastefully simple cushions, at the right price and close-ish to home.  Like a cat on a mouse, I pounced; not only emailing but calling as well - afraid I would miss my chance to snag them if I didn't harass the poor sellers.  Never once did it cross my mind that it might be a scam or that I might need to be careful for weirdos - I wanted those chairs darnnit!  The next day, I was making arrangements to pick up MY 'new' wicker chairs.

The story ends there, right?  Not so fast.

My drive to claim the bounty was about 45 minutes - plenty of time for wandering thoughts and more talks to myself and to God.  I felt blessed to have healed from so much going on lately, that my elders that recently landed in the hospital were also on their way to recovery and that things at work were starting to stabilize again - and that my house was REALLY starting to feel like home.  The urge to nest was returning and I embraced it.

I arrived at the sellers' home.  It was warm and welcoming with a cute wreath on the door.  I rang the bell and was greeted by the woman-of-the-house, tall and slender with the auburn hair I have always envied.  I was graciously received inside where her husband led us all down to finalize the sale.  Conversation was easy and I didn't lift a finger as the goods were loaded and strapped up for me in the back of the truck.  I had enjoyed the process and was happy to have 'clicked' with this charming couple.  Off I went.

More time for my thoughts to meander as I drove back home.  I found myself recalling the details of the couple's newly finished basement and appreciating the decor - paying special attention to the landing at the foot of the stairs where children had been playing with a toy car track of some kind.  They had mentioned two children, young but not babies, a few years apart.  What an absolute charming family.  I silently wished them well.  

Once home, I couldn't wait to set up my front porch!  I had purchased a large outdoor rug to cover up the barren and damaged concrete slab.  I was afraid that the double package would be too large, but they fit perfectly, looking like they had always been there - like they belonged.  A side table and a potted flower later...and WHAM!...instant cozy completeness!  It felt like a peaceful little sanctuary.  

I had some work to complete, so headed back to my laptop.  Just then an email popped up from the mother whom had found a new home for her wicker chairs, checking to make sure I had made it back without blowing away.  I responded and couldn't resist including a quick snapshot of the new digs.  I finished up the loose ends that had taken me back to my office and closed it down for the weekend ahead; throughout which I told everybody who cared (and I'm sure some that didn't) about my little story and the nice little family I got to meet. 

When I returned to get a head start and clean out junk emails from my work email account on Sunday night, I saw that I had missed a few from the seller.  She had followed-up with a quick inquiry about my blog and "the baby thing", apologizing if she had crossed the line and adding that her interest was peaked not out of some weird nosiness, but from experience and wanted to offer any help if she could be of any resource to me.  You see, her children are adopted.

Little could I have ever conceived on my own that my childhood desire for a woven symbol of refuge would turn into a present-day obsession to fill a tangible void.  An indirect answer to prayers?  The start of something bigger to which I am being prepped?  Or just a far-fetched coincidence and an over-emotional heart and an over-imaginative brain.

I have a feeling this is not the end of The Wicker Chairs Story, do you?

23 June 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Woven in Prayer

Love this idea - 'stolen' from my favorite blogger.
Check her out here!

Stay Tuned....for the Story Behind the Photo.
You'll be glad you did! :)

Photo Taken; 23 June 2010: 
"Woven in Prayer"

For more great Wordless Wednesdays and Reading.

21 June 2010

(RE)Connecting the Dad Day Dots

I missed my dad today.
I had been looking forward to spending the first Father's Day with him since - well, since my childhood; during every other weekend visitations.  You see, we had only reconnected just four short months before his death last year.  He had not been a part of my life since before I was married.  He did not walk me, his only child, down the isle.  He will never get to see his one and only grandchild.

But this is a day to celebrate!  And I do not want to bring it down with sadness from days gone by.  I want to remember the good!

The good is that he loved me in the beginning and in the end.  The rest of time is just middle-stuff.  The good is that he told me that he loved me even as brain function stole away his ability to speak.  He said it through blue eyes that look like mine.  He said it through the squeeze of my hand; with his crooked little pinkie inside my hand having that same crooked little finger.

Little girls need their dads.  The woman that I have become loves the dad that the little girl had.  I  somehow found a man to marry that loves me in all the middle-stuff ways that a little girl needs to turn into a woman.  I can now pass that GOOD part of love down to a child, God willing someday.

Thanks, Dad.  I'm glad you are spending Father's Day in peace with YOUR dad AND your Heavenly Father.  Now that IS a reason to celebrate! 

10 June 2010

If Tomorrow Never Comes

Tomorrow is my birthday.


Sweet because I am so blessed to be having a birthday. Period.

Bitter because there is still no BIRTH DAY!

But if tomorrow never comes (queue up the sappy Garth strumming), I am complete; and I know that those I love KNOW that I love them.  I am so blessed to be turning 38 (there, I said it) when there are those that I have loved and knew it that did not get to see that day for themselves.  I am healthy in body and wealthy in soul.  

And I have ONE YEAR left to enjoy a REAL BIRTH DAY!


Related Posts with Thumbnails