Growth ans Fireflies
My sister is in the process of moving, most likely a plane ride away. Over the past two years, we’ve endlessly talked about her plans while I was processing my own.
A lot of significant changes were on the table. Relationship status, home sales, employment, and aging into a new decade.
Along the way, there were ups and downs, and all around with it, but in the end, everything fell into place as intended.
Now that we’re in the final stretch, the reality of getting on a plane to visit is sinking in on my end.
At 15 months apart, we were raised like twins dressing alike and doing everything together until our teenage years when we had different circles. As we grew into ourselves, we were back together again, having our children together and, most recently, becoming grandmothers.
We’ve been so busy cheering each other on that I haven’t thought about the enormity of this potential distance apart. Yes, I’m happy, proud, and excited about her future ventures, but suddenly I feel nostalgic about what was.
These feelings showed up in my dream last night. I dreamt I was approached by someone requesting I write a passage for their book. It was based on a missing woman, and I was to write it as if I knew the character when we were children. This is how it went.
We were two little girls with big imaginations playing in the basement of our rowhome. We always had each other, never needing outside playmates. As the younger of the duo, I would pretend to be a mother of 4 at the tender age of 9, providing our dolls with the nurturing they deserved. At the same time, my sister, who loved school, bypassed the teacher and went directly to playing a principal, making policy changes, and firing the Barbie and Dawn doll staff members.
On hot Summer nights, fresh from the bath and dressed in matching babydoll pajamas, we would grab our Maxwell House coffee cans with holes punched in the lids to catch fireflies in our yard. We went as far as adding grass to eat while they were being held captive, then, after counting our inventory, we let them go before heading to bed.
I woke up with mixed emotions as I wrote everything down not to forget a signal detail. It shook me on some level. The passages were vivid, and the memories were something I hadn’t thought about in decades. Why now?
Laying in bed, eyes wide open, I thought about those two little girls in the basement. Those roles now look more like survivor skills. Me providing the nurturing, I hungered while my sister did her best to gain control that was nowhere to be found in our house, both happening as we were still playful little girls catching fireflies.
Like us, our parents did the best they could with the knowledge they had at the time. I’m grateful for the consciousness to recognize this for what it is without casting blame on myself or my parents.
Now, off to work where things won’t be so deep ❤
Enjoy the Ride!
Back in January, when we decided to move to another state, after 58 years of living not only in one state but one zip code, I knew things would be challenging. Correction, I did live in another zip code for the first 15 months of my life.
In October, we purchased a home to use as a second residence while renting our apartment at the complex I like to call “The Resort,” but the universe always has bigger plans. A heads up would be nice.
We landed at The Resort after selling our home of 30 years to our son and surrendering to the inflated, dog-eat-dog real estate market in our area. Sorry, you’re not getting my soul for a house.
A CURVEBALL ARRIVED just when I was getting used to the thought of weekend getaways and vacations at our home. BAM! A colleague of my husband’s announced his retirement in the same area where we purchased our home. He saw this as an opportunity served on a silver platter, while I saw more of a Taco Bell drive-thru moment. Yup, fear, and doubt were playing center stage.
I had more to think about in my defense, like leaving my job of 18 years. Oh, and let’s not forget MY CHILDREN. I compiled a list of excuses a mile long. I presented my case without a single dramatic courtroom moment and concluded that the jury had spoken; it’s time to pack your bags. Maybe it was just the thought of packing for the second time in a year.
Financially it was a no-brainer to make a move. Sentimentally, in my mind, it was just not happening. Meanwhile, I am the first to tell anyone, “why are you holding on to that?”
As the months and days went on, reality sank in that this was actually happening. But I just couldn’t trust that this huge life change was happening for me and not to me. Even though examples were in my face clear as glass every day, without fail. At this point, even the universe had its hands in the air.
What does a girl do when she just can’t seem to get a handle on trusting what’s best for her? Oh, she consults a Psychic. That’s right, folks, if Abraham Lincoln could do it, so could I. Google it; it’s a fact.
How did that go, you ask? Well, I’m currently sitting in my new home writing this post. We moved in over the weekend during a freak Nor’eatser storm. Drowned Rat Moving Company may be a new business venture.
All week I watched the weather report showing a Nor’easter with flooding rains and 50/60 mile an hour wind would be hitting the area. There couldn’t be a better metaphor for what I was leaving behind. Well played, Mother Nature, well played.
Typically I would have looked at this storm as “a sign” that we shouldn’t move. I’ve spent too much time and energy playing victim. Those days are over. Guess what else storms bring? SUNNY SKIES.
I’m entering this new adventure with an open mind, heart, and growth. This chapter is called: Knowing my Worth and Acting Accordingly.
It’s never too late to Enjoy the Ride!
Age Is Just A Number
It’s time to be inspired by the passion, the message, the power and the determination that can not only be heard, but can be felt through the voice of Lillie McCloud. Personally, I have never heard this song and if I’m being honest, it’s not something that I would seek out for my playlist…until today. Age is just a number folks!
May you all have goosebumps while you Enjoy the Ride!
LWTTD … Take 2
Today marks quite a milestone here at Life With The Top Down. One year ago today I decided to take the plunge into the great big world of blogging. I nervously hit that big blue Publish button and sent my first post The C-Word out into the blogosphere. I had a love/hate relationship with that button for quite some time, but we’re cool now.
Yesterday I took a little trip back in time and discovered that I really have come a long way through this journey. The first thing I noticed was that my overall well-being and my writing skills have both grown quite a bit in the last 365 days. Along with my ass, but that’s another story.
It was also nice to discover that my girl Miss Four Eyes was the first and only person to like my words. We all know how important it is to be acknowledged. MFE is a breath of fresh air. She is no doubt an old soul who expresses her youthful, yet wise self perfectly both in and outside of her posts. Thank you MFE!
No matter how things go down, you never forget your first and that stands true for followers as well. My very first follower or followers are Daryl and Devon. Do the math, yes it was a threesome. I have laughed, loved & learned quite a bit through their views on politics, current events, black history & music. They certainly keep things real, which was an immediate attraction for me. Thank you D&D!
Of course, the list of people who have sat shot-gun with me on this ride and were kind enough to bring their support, inspiration and encouragement along, have certainly grown over this past year. They include my real life family & friends, along with a new group of virtual friends that I would consider family. You all deserve a great big thank you, thank you and one thank you very much for the road!
I wasn’t sure what my expectations were for this venture, but I did know it was something that was absolutely necessary for me… for so many reasons. I was at a point in my life where my kids suddenly left me in the dust…they decided to grow-up and I was finally handed the pink slip. Of course they call me back occasionally for advice, assistance and we can’t forget the big one …money, but all in all they were doing their thing and I needed to do mine. It was my time to shine!
Sometimes things just pop into our lives to help us along the way, like Kathy over at Friday Night Family, who I hadn’t seen or spoke to since high school did! There she was, this blast from the past, encouraging and inspiring me to find what makes me happy. Well done Kathy…well done indeed!
“You can’t reach for anything new if your hands are full of yesterday’s junk.”
So, I finally decided to unloaded some junk mostly fear and give birth to Life With The Top Down on March 4, 2012 at 12:58 pm. Her first year was a quite a challenge, but I think she is ready to enter year 2 with vigor and excitement.
Hope you will all continue to join me as we … Enjoy the Ride!
Keep It LOCAL
Daily Prompt: Think Global, Act Local
Thanks Daily Prompt for this wonderful subject line this morning. This prompt has provided me with the perfect opportunity to bring awareness to the growing concerns within our food sources, while dusting off my brag book to give props where they are due. Looks like a win, win to me.
“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” Antole France
As some of my more seasoned followers already know, my nephew Evan started a Food Truck a little over a year ago. The concept behind the MOO Food Truck was to provide his customers with classic American Food made with ingredients sourced from LOCAL family farmers. I am happy to report that shortly after his one year anniversary, Evan has expanded into the world of brick & mortar.
MOO’s latest venture is a sit-down eatery at 4010 Durham Road in Ottsville, PA. This wonderful little spot features seating for 46 satisfied customers, along with the ability to call ahead and take-out. The menu includes some claim to fame favorites from the MOO Truck, including the ever popular MOO burger, MOINK (Moo w/bacon), seasonal salads and my guilty pleasure; his to die for hand-cut fries. As if that weren’t enough to get your taste buds in a frenzy, he has added some additions to satisfy a broader array of followers. The MOO dog – chili on a hot dog, veggie burgers, chicken burgers, veggie chili, homemade soups like chicken soup and sweet potato and leek soup, grilled cheese, shakes, root beer floats, local soda, french press coffee and even a PB&J sandwich – local jam, homemade peanut butter, buttered and grilled. Sweet Jesus…
The coolest thing about his concept is the bond he creates for his customers with their food source….literally. Hanging on the walls throughout this venue you can look into the eyes of the farmers who raised the animal or grew those veggies for this eatery. This is subtle way to introduce a new mindset that will enable customers to make better choices when it comes to sustainable & ethical eating.
This method of serving food certainly limits Evan’s quantity, by it raises the roof on the QUALITY of food he provides for his customers. He takes pride in serving the community, every customer and the earth one burger at a time. Enjoy the Ride!
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