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“Dear Diary”



“Dear diary, it’s been a long time since I’ve written…”

It’s been months since I have posted anything on my blog space but it’s not that I’m not writing. The pile of napkins, receipts, and entries into my electronic notes will attest to the fact that my brain is still offloading so much that I need to write down before I forget it all.

Some of it would be considered just mere ramblings. Other notes, as everyone knows, turn out to be private or therapeutic. But it has been a long, difficult, and somewhat confusing year and apparently extremely “note-worthy.”

I’ve moved a few times, driven thousands of miles, grieved some big losses, and settled back into my hometown in Pennsylvania. I reside there by myself, work as a volunteer in our local hospital/clinic campus, attend the church I was raised, meet many new friends every day, and enjoy great food and fellowship wherever I go. Not to mention I have found many people that have known me or my family from decades ago – including a former babysitter. Encounters with these long-lost friends of the family have made me feel so welcome and loved it has been an amazing experience.

It’s a situation you would call bittersweet though. My family still resides in the South at the moment. That makes things tenuous, lonely, and let’s face it – it makes it difficult to cook dinners for one and freeze the rest! But it has been better for my health and as all my friends know, I clearly LOVE winter weather – right down to shoveling the snow!

In fact, as I write this, I’m visiting Alabama and missing a really nice snow storm up north. Everyone promises me though that there will be more snow to come and that I won’t miss out … They seem to grumble about it though, I’m not sure why…

As usual, my thoughts turn to the lessons I’ve been learning through all this uprooting. Some lessons are short and to the point, others – well I’m still tapping my fingers waiting for them to be resolved so I can move forward …

I’m hoping to get to write and post a few things this week but my neck pain is at the helm and we’ll just have to wing it as usual.

I have thought greatly on the loss of a friend over the last few months and also about turbulent family relationships and how to deal with them, survive them, and how to forgive and feel forgiven over some of the junk in life. You know, just the average daily thoughts because that’s where my life is at the moment.

My writings today are done with the sun streaming in through the windows, but I’m thinking of grey clouds and of driving back to the land of snow and cold … But both places make me smile, way down deep.

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2 Comments

Posted by on January 27, 2015 in Life, in general

 

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Home?

Home?

I’m surviving without internet service and wifi except for my incredibly smart phone.

Believe it or not….

Based on that knowledge, please pardon the fact that I will be posting from my phone unless I somehow find the time to park myself at a McDonald’s and order myself a chocolate shake and borrow their wifi.

I now live in a town where it takes 7 minutes to travel 1.2 miles. A place where learning the ever-changing speed limits is as important as memorizing the location of every back-jarring pothole.

This is the place where I was born and have always considered “home.” Living here again, however, has left me feeling displaced. This could possibly stem from the fact that most of my belongings are still in my truck….

Really – after a whole month I’m still driving around with my desk, baskets, buckets of kitchenware, quilts, sewing and drawing equipment … and one really long and obnoxious rug. Oh and a couple of mosaic tables.

And I feel lost, in the most familiar place I know.

My life …

Takes up one corner of someone’s kitchen

One small bed

One small closet

One shelf in the bathroom

One spot in the driveway

And one corner of a living room (my easel and art supplies)

This…. Is not my home.

Hmmm I wonder when I will no longer feel “lost.”

Pictures of “Home”

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Five Minute Friday – Imagine

Imagine
Imagine driving for 3 days across the country – by yourself.

I just completed this drive, and it spawned all sorts of stuff to write.

Problem was, I was exhausted and had no energy to dig out my notebook and pen. Let alone post it in time for Friday…

It was a long journey and some days I’m going to look back and wonder – Why? Why now? And what if I hadn’t done it?

Will it be temporary – this stay, or permanent?

The wanderings of my life – straight or slightly detoured – have always served a purpose. The purpose of this wandering has been clear on most days, but the end result remains to be seen. But, I will come away with some sort of perspective.

Last week in choir our words were part of a familiar Christian song…

“All I know is I’m not home yet”

May all our wanderings lead us home.

“When the earth shakes
I want to be found in you
When the lights fade
I want to be found in you”

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Five Minute Friday – After

susie2

After all these years…

Brian tosses me into the air over and over again.  I can’t get enough and I squeal “Do! Gain! Mo!” which in my little tiny toddler voice means do it again, more.

No matter how many candles are on my cake, I will never get those words out of my mind.  They are on the tip of my tongue at every family gathering and have to be one of THE best memories of my childhood.

My brother seems to like that memory the best as well.  He reminds me of it every time he has a chance.  It doesn’t matter that I’m 47 and he’s 57 and that I was probably 2 when I first started saying it.  These memories and that kind of time just stands still in a family.

The time when we all lived under one roof.

The time when we all shared one bathroom.

The time when we all ate at the same dining room table.

I was the baby of 5 kids and they all apparently thought that I was “their” baby.  I hear all sorts of stories about my arrival into the family and how everyone watched after me.  I also hear my sister and brothers point the finger at who was the first one to drop me.

And after all these years… it never gets old.  The retelling and the warmth of those memories… they’ll be ours forever.

*******

Curious about Five Minute Friday?  It’s like a Flashmob for writers.

A bunch of us, with a one-word prompt, write fearlessly for FIVE minutes and link up together. Join us!

http://lisajobaker.com/

 
 

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Travelog – A Trip Home

orange hill

As I slip between the Endless Mountains, my urgency to get home is amplified.  Even in the “almost” darkness I can see the silhouettes of the trees to my right and the hills on both sides of the road.  Darkness arrives quickly in October and had I known I was going to take this side trip I would have chosen a flight that landed closer to home than Philadelphia.  The change of plans was all my doing, or undoing I guess you’d call it.  I was headed to my hometown, leaving my former agenda in the trashcan at home.  I scanned the road, the cars, and the bank of the river – I did not want to meet up with a deer while driving a rental car.

I’m sure it was close to 5:30 when I pulled into the Hampton Inn’s parking lot, relishing the fact that I had a nice place to stay in such a small town.  Occasionally I stay with a friend, but this is where I wanted to be on this visit.  I could hardly wait to go for a run tomorrow on the streets and sidewalks where I spent most of my childhood.  This wasn’t where I learned to drive because I was only thirteen when I moved from this small town, so getting back on the sidewalks was on my list of things to do.  It’s an odd thing to most people to say that you miss walking the sidewalks of your hometown, but it’s one thing that would just make this trip all the better.  Years after I moved when I was an adult, I would actually find driving around town to be quite disorienting.  Over that time away, I leapt from skateboards and bicycles to being married with three kids and driving a mini van!

Another thing about “home” I was looking forward to, or maybe salivating over, was getting some real Italian food.  There have always been many Italian families in this little corner of America, and until you live away from this place, you never understand why your parents talk endlessly about the food.  My husband and I can appreciate this after living in Germany – we STILL talk about how great the Greek, Italian, and Syrian food was in our little German town.

So, after checking in I head to my favorite pizza place for a calzone and take it back to my room complete with soda from the vending machine.  Another thing I don’t indulge in very often is soda… but I HAVE to have some with my calzone or it doesn’t feel complete.  I’m pretty sure there were M&M’s for dessert too.

Between the sheer delight at the gastronomic feast and a good movie on TV, I check in with few friends to solidify our plans for the next 2 days.  Another little gem of this small town is a breakfast and brunch cafe complete with many homemade bakery items.  Their omelets are excellent and their bakery carries gluten-free products and some desserts exclusive to Pennsylvania.  I think every meal I had that weekend was literally “a slice of home.”

The best part of breakfast or brunch is, of course, spending it with friends that have made a huge resurgence in my life since their 25th class reunion.  I left in 8th grade, but I was invited to attend the reunion and really enjoyed finding out how close you can still be after the passing of nearly 30 years.   Marriages, kids, the passing of classmates or parents, and lots of “I wonder where so-and-so is” were discussed.  More than that though, there was this deep-seeded feeling of having never left.  It’s almost a lovesick feeling to leave everything you’ve ever known in your short life and then come back and feel so welcomed and missed by your dear friends.  And each time I leave, I eagerly await the next visit.

In Girls Scouts we used to sing a song that said “make new friends, but keep the old … one is silver and the other is gold.”  I’m not sure why that stuck with me all those years, but like a seed that is planted on good soil, eventually it grew.  It’s something that you really come to understand years later.

When I read some of the other verses to this song, I knew and understood how precious even just one friend from childhood can be.  “A fire burns bright, it warms the heart … We’ve been friends, from the very start.”

Life is hard – in case you didn’t know.  We all take turns hitting low spots in the valleys or spending a little time on top of the hill feeling that all is well and good in our lives.  What’s really great though, is when you can share these times with the friends that know you through-and-through and maybe have a laugh about it, or just exchange the knowing and understanding look that says “I’ve been there too my friend.”

Sometimes, words aren’t necessary with a really good friendship, just the knowledge of who we are and where we came from…

 
4 Comments

Posted by on April 3, 2013 in Life, in general

 

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Five Minute Friday – Home

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My change of plans upon arriving in Philadelphia was all my doing.  I left the former hotel reservations in the trashcan in Alabama.  Sometimes things just need to be upended, turned around and I needed a visit home more than anything.

Home, as in my hometown where I spent my first 13 years.

Home, as in where the cemetery holds more memories than any photo album I own.

Home, as in the place where just about every face is a newcomer these days, but old friends are not hard to find.

That’s what I desperately needed – my friends.  That and some Italian food!

I had a short weekend but it was packed with quaint little get-togethers in a great little café that serves the best omelets. I wish I could say that we’ve all kept in touch for the nearly 30 years since I moved in 8th grade, but truthfully, we’ve all been on some seriously separate paths.  Thankfully, I was welcomed to their 25th High School reunion a few years ago and that is when all of my oldest and dearest friends came rushing back into my life.

It has been almost a lovesick feeling to leave everything you’ve ever known in your younger life, but a great reward to come back, be welcomed, and know that you were missed.  And each time I leave, I eagerly await the next visit home.

Living “life on the move” can be hard.  As people, we have all hit lows and highs in our life.  But the really great thing about spending time back in my hometown with friends is the laughing, the knowing looks, and the understanding you receive from those who know you through-and-through.

My friends – they are my “home.”

Home?  Talk about getting a song stuck in your head!  The minute I saw the word prompt for today…Simon and Garfunkel started a serenade in my brain.  Homeward Bound was the tune so here’s a link for you to listen:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RsTNxVtS4c8

Curious about Five Minute Friday?  It’s like a Flashmob for writers.

A bunch of us, with a one-word prompt, write fearlessly for FIVE minutes and link up together. Join us!

http://lisajobaker.com/

 

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Five Minute Friday – Welcome

Welcome…

Welcome LORD Jesus

Into my life

Giving me liberty, desire, passion and grace

The ability to pursue all that is righteous.

Welcome Holy Spirit

You, most of all,

For empowering me to be the person

God needs

To fulfill His purpose through all my measly means.

 

Welcome my brothers and sisters in Christ

Come in to my home, my heart,

And my family, most of all.

Reside with me in the place where we are all safe, warm, and sheltered…

Growing together in God’s loving home.

Learning, serving, worshipping, loving.

His welcome mat is always out, His Love forever abundant…

Welcoming us with open arms.

My doorstep beckons you “Welcome!”

 
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Posted by on October 5, 2012 in Five Minute Friday Flash Mob

 

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