In Awe of the Moment

You know I’m feeling better when I slip on a sarcastic saying t-shirt and go for a walk. That will be the one time you bump into a neighbor you’ve never met before and they’ll want to stop and chat, but you hold firm to no apologies for the shirt.

Afterwards, I really wanted a cup of coffee, but not just any coffee…I wanted a magical cup of brew, so that idea took me to the coffee shop where I first purchased the shirt. When I stepped into the shop, the girl behind the counter busted out laughing and commented on the shirt. I ordered my favorite drink, picked up a couple of funny cards to send to friends and came home.

The coffee tasted like magic.

During my walk, I couldn’t get over how perfect the outdoor temperature was. I stopped at one point in the middle of the street and looked up at the sky to marvel at the shade of clear blue. I could have stood suspended in that moment for an hour, but heard a truck coming up behind me and moved out of the way. If someone would have looked out their window and saw me wearing this t-shirt with my face tilted toward the sky they probably would have wondered what the heck I was doing, but that didn’t bother me.

If they asked I would have told them….

I’m standing in awe of the moment.

You can listen to me read this post here:

Share What You Know

It was this time last year that I was walking though Wal-Mart when I cut through the grocery department and noticed two young girls, no more than 20 years old, walking toward me. They were squinting at a list that had been torn from a small notepad. No doubt handwritten and most likely in cursive. The vibe was they were exasperated trying to locate what was on the list. As our paths crossed, I heard one of the girls say through gritted teeth…

“Why do we need half and half? It’s just watered down milk!”

This was one year ago, but I still remember it like it was yesterday. I didn’t say anything at the time, but wish I had. You see my lovely reader’s…there are younger generations who need what we know.

My new neighbors still have their water hose connected to their outside spigot. The weather forecast is predicting below freezing temperatures later in the week. I’m not going to wait much longer before asking my neighbor if he knows what to do to winterize that outdoor pipe. They are young, so they may not know, but I don’t want to see water gushing out of that pipe and flooding his garage when I could have said something to prevent it from happening.

Share what you know.

And for the record….half and half is a combination of milk and cream.

Welcome to the Next Chapter

The first time I saw it was on a walk to the postal store to purchase stamps. Peering through the storefront window at the concrete floor smeared with dust, I assumed the space was being renovated. There was a massive, wood work table encompassing the middle of the room and then, over to the side, there it sat…a Potter’s wheel, so part of the dust was from clay…

A female Potter who was slinging clay in her garage during Covid, took a leap of faith and rented this space. My heart is full to have this studio within walking distance of my home. She began offering private classes, but with her being new in town, they filled up quickly. Once the dust settled in my own life, an email arrived revealing classes with openings, and I signed up instantly.

This week will be class 4 of 6 and it’s been a challenge. By the world’s standards I wouldn’t look very successful considering it took 3 classes to complete 2 tiny pieces, but I see all the small successes it took to get two pieces complete. The things I’ve learned about myself and the process each piece is called to endure has been worth it. The Potter’s wheel is a truthteller. The type of energy brought to the wheel reveals itself through the clay and the outcome is literally in your hands.

Last week at the end of class I stood gazing at all the beauty on display wondering if I could ever make something similar. It was my third class, but I wanted my two little pieces to look like these pieces in front of me which took the Potter years to achieve. For now, my success is showing up each week to learn.

Standing on a shelf in front of me was a notebook that captured my gaze. The cover reminded me of something M, my neighbor who moved would draw. It felt like the book was whispering, “I want to hold your next chapter.” As I stood there trying to discern the best way to reach it through the maze of breakables, my feet started moving like they knew the best route. I reached the notebook, took it to the counter to pay and left the studio to begin my walk home.

This notebook standing among the pottery was God assuring me, “You know beauty and you can write.” Welcome to the next chapter. In gratitude, Barb.

Practice the Toot

I went for my morning walk. If I can get out the door by 7:00 am, the air is cool, crisp and a delight to the senses. That didn’t happen this morning, it was more like 8:30 am, but I went anyway.

Stepping into my front yard, I hear a car coming down the road, but didn’t think much of it until I heard the horn. It was my neighbor from the end of the street and he always toots his horn when driving by. When I was a kid and on up into my 20’s, that was considered a greeting when someone tooted their car horn. It was to get your attention so you’d look their way to see them smiling and waving at you.

Maybe you didn’t realize the car horn was once used as a kind gesture. Similar to making your bed first thing in the morning, and putting the grocery cart into the cart return. These tasks aren’t new, it’s how we were raised.

My truck is over 10 years old and I cannot recall the last time I tooted my horn, if ever. To do this, you press on the horn with two, quick presses so it goes toot, toot. It’s something that will need practice, so the next time I leave home, I’ll have to drive by my neighbors house to practice the toot.

The Throw Away

I don’t really know how old he is. I asked him once, “When is your birthday?”, and he looked at me and said, “Now Barbara…that’s just rude!”

I wasn’t asking to figure out his age. Just thought it would be kind to drop him a birthday card in his mailbox. This man is my neighbor and somewhat of a Guru. If I ever have a question about everyday life, I ask him because he will have an answer. If he doesn’t know the answer, he will find it.

There are clues of a well lived life. As of now, he lives alone with a couple of dogs, but get him talking about his past, and he refers to, ‘We’, so there was a ‘we’. He was in the Navy, and still has a love for the water. He used to own a boat, but I feel something tragic happened because he sold it, and doesn’t like to talk about it. When I tell him, “Mr. M, you have an answer for everything!”, he says, “No Barbara, I’ve just been here longer.” I’ve lived beside this man for almost 4 years, and still don’t know how old he is.

After Christmas I excitedly reported to Mr. M that my daughter gave me a cordless drill, so he wouldn’t have to walk over with his every time something needed fixing. He shared his philosophy with me about drills. He hasn’t invested in a new one in years, so the ones he buys are considered throw aways. They only last a year, or two if you get a good one. They’re refurbished and he picks one up at the junk shop for $20 as needed. I know he’s getting up in age, but it’s like he didn’t want to outlive a drill.

He’s looked at the really nice ones at the home improvement stores, but they’re expensive and an investment. What we invest into this life, determines the quality in which we get to live. That day we were having this conversation while sitting on his front porch, but as I stood to leave I told him…”Mr. M, it’s okay if your drill outlives you.” I saw him a month later, and he proudly showed me his new Ryobi drill.