When You Don’t Have To

When the flooring in your house is wood and tile, but you have one rug in the breezeway. That one rug is where the dog will choose to barf.

Sunday afternoons were once spent cleaning house, but I don’t have to anymore. Living solo, the house stays pretty clean and now when I walk through the house each piece receives a questioning glance of, “Will you be a part of the next chapter?” If the item doesn’t speak to my heart, it’s posted for sale.

There’s one table I absolutely adore and what sits on it changes quite frequently. A couple of weeks ago, my daughter noticed the change and said, “Should I be concerned you already have a silver tree on display?” We originally purchased it as Christmas décor, but I believe it’s pretty anytime of year. The metals are fascinating décor, so I went one step further and moved more silver onto the table.

A new fragrance by Voluspa in the middle.

This morning I was outside watering the plants and thought, ‘you don’t have to’, because they’re calling for rain tomorrow, which is unreliable, but taking it one step further the plants really didn’t need it. It was routine from doing it all summer and now the temps are cooler so the plants need less from me. Let me tell you my darlings…that is a mighty good feeling when your life needs less of you.

Maybe I’m past the ‘needs’ of life and my heart is calling me to listen to the ‘wants’.

When we first moved to Texas, we had to follow my then husbands job here. From that point on, every house we moved into we did so because we had to. Sitting here today some 20 years later, my daughter and I wanted to move here, but now that she’s living own her own, I don’t have to stay. With my type work, I can live anywhere, or travel around living in various places, but when I think about staying put, my heart whispers…you don’t have to.

A Full Tank

Being a single Mom and financially stable, may not coexist at first, but it was the most rewarding season of my life. It’s been a long road, but rest assured the road will lead to greener pastures.

The journey of the single Mom offers a continual concern over money. We lived in the country and drove 30 minutes to the nearest grocery store. I’d become dependent on my truck’s gas gauge to be accurate and indicate when gas was needed, until that one time we ran out of gas. It’s unnerving to break down on a country road with your daughter, but we called for help and it came. That was the last time I depended on a gauge in my truck and from that day forward I kept at least half a tank of gas in him.

Time rolls by and you figure out how much you can spend each week. You ask for a raise at work and take side jobs for extra spending like Christmas and birthdays. You’ll pile pillows on the floor and lay down side by side only to stare at the ceiling fan. A conversation begins as light-hearted giggling, but becomes deeper until you realize your voices are now a whisper and tissues are needed. You’ll take turns cooking so they can be creative in the kitchen, knowing full well you’re going to clean up afterwards. Those are the most memorable meals.

Over time you make more money, or want fewer things, but somehow time and money line up. My truck has gone from having half a tank to a full tank, but he’s not the only one. My daughter grew into a young adult and moved into her own home this year, but thinking about everything we went through to get to this point has me writing this with a full tank.

Feature Photo by Reed Geiger on Unsplash

My Happy Place

There’s a place 15 minutes away, drive time, that feeds my soul. You need places like this in your life, and if you don’t have one, I encourage you to find it.

The sun was shining, but the air felt cool. It was day three of wearing the same jeans, but that’s the day you barely feel them on your skin. They fit so well the day before wash day. I added a snug fitting t-shirt, and a cable knit sweater for warmth. Slipped on some well-worn sneakers, and headed out the door.

When I arrived at Hill Country Water Gardens, I walked into the gardens and stood there, taking in the sounds around me. The sound of water splashing, birds singing, and the crunch of the sand as people walked by were the most prominent. A man who worked there saw me and said, “Good morning. How are you?” I grinned and replied, “I’m happy.” He smiled as if we shared the same secret.

My happy place specializes in outdoor water gardens, but they sell plants and pots as well. Every display is a presentation, and they sell work by local artist’s.

This face is at least 5 feet tall.

They winterize the fountains, and shut the water off in the cold season, but on this day, they had some running. My feet followed the sound of running water and splashing until I stood in what resembled an outdoor amphitheater of fountains. These weren’t on display yet. I’m thinking it’s where they stored them for the winter, and were just now testing them for leaks while letting them run. Each fountain had it’s own tone, but together they were a full ensemble. There was a child twirling in the midst of them like a mini ballerina.

The space felt like a sanctuary where the fountains were waking up after a deep sleep. Another employee walked by and said, “Good morning! How are you?” The same response came out of my mouth, “I’m happy.” She smiled and nodded in agreement, as I went on to share, “This is my happy place.”