You Do You Boo

It’s Friday morning around 10:00 am, and I’m sitting at the massive wood kitchen table that has evolved into a giant desk. Looking away from the laptop screen onto the window I spot the mail carrier’s van sitting in front of my mailbox. Laying my glasses aside I head for the door, step outside and stroll through the front yard, across the street to the mailbox. That’s when I spotted it…

My neighbors had company and they were still seated in their vehicle with a clear view of yours truly. It bothered me for half a second, but then I felt my back straighten to stand at full height and lifted my chin as if I belonged there.

Here’s a detail about my walk to the mailbox. I was still wearing my pajamas, robe and pink suede house boots. This is not unusual and sometimes you’ll catch me still wearing that at noon if it’s a Friday, or weekend. (The joys of being single and working from home.) None of my outfit matches, so I’m sure it’s a sight to behold for a stranger, but my actual neighbors seem to think it’s part of Barb’s charm. Hercules commented recently, “That’s a nice robe you have there Barbara.”

When people ask, “What do you do for fun?”, I exclaim…”I write letters to people all over the world!” Silence. I wrote about letter writing last year that you can read here, so seeing the mail arrive is happiness for me. I don’t expect a letter in return, but opening the mailbox and seeing a small stack of them is sweet!

Don’t give a single thought what other people think.

You do you boo.

PS. If you’d like to receive a hand-written letter, email your details to Inbarbsworld@gmail.com

To Be Used

I’ve been doing some cleaning and organizing of the home. Still looking at each item and asking if it supports the life I’m trying to create, mentioned in this post here.

Yesterday I tackled the top of the Armoire. There was a large tray sitting up there along with a few other things that needed to find their place, or go. I knew this tray would stay, but it hasn’t been used since my daughter moved out to be on her own. It was purchased decades ago to be used atop an ottoman which in translation means, it was just for looks. It’s handmade and I’m sure since it came from my previous married life, it cost a small fortune.

My daughter and I made a deal while packing up to leave my marriage. Every item we take is to be used. I recall taking that ottoman with us because it was also handmade and the top opened for the inside to be used for storage. The tray came along with the ottoman, but we didn’t use the tray very much until we moved here. We would watch a show, or movie sitting in the middle of my bed and the tray became a picnic platform for holding our meal.

We had many picnics from that tray and it adds value to our life, but it needed to be used.

I sat it in the middle of the massive wood table and added some of my favorite things. Things that are eye pleasing, but also used throughout my day. If this tray could talk it would tell you it was bought because it’s pretty. It’s been moved around a lot but it’s favorite part of life was picnics. Sitting here this morning it looks happy once again to be used.

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.

Finding Water

There’s a rooster learning to crow and it sounds nearby. My neighbor across the street showed me her baby chickens months ago, but that’s the thing about baby chicks. You don’t know what you have until they grow.

Another neighbor drove by at 8:15 on a Saturday morning. I remember those days when the kids were young and life revolved around their schedule. Sitting here at this well loved farmhouse table, with the window open listening to the windchimes, I’m happy with the season I’m in and seeing the season’s I’ve passed through makes me grateful they’re a part of my past.

I’m reading Julia Cameron, Finding Water and in this book she’s trying her best to write, but struggling with her inner critic. Julia is so aware of her inner critic, she gave it a name, Nigel, to make arguing more realistic. They have showdown fights, but considering Julia has published over 40 books, not including screenplays, I see her as the champion. I discovered I’m reading the third book in a trilogy, so I located the second one for purchase. Now to decide whether to stop where I am and wait for the second book, or continue reading.

In Finding Water, Julia is in fear of having another nervous breakdown. She’s an alcoholic who stopped drinking at 29 years of age, but she’s writing this book, trying not to drink, so she won’t have a breakdown. I find this encouraging, mainly because I’m holding this book in my hands, so I assume neither happened. Finding Water was originally published in 2006 and Julia is still alive and writing. Even while going through hell it seems that writing helped her find the way out.

I’m purchasing an old typewriter. It’ll give me a way to write without filling in another handwritten journal, or looking at a screen. Julia and I are very similar in we write by looking out a window, it’s all about the view, or by taking a walk for inspiration. A new view is on my list next year, and it’ll be somewhere near water.

I can finish writing a book looking at water and you never know when you’ll need to refill a bucket or two. It’s the perfect book title because reading it feels like finding water, until the time is right to go in search of your very own. Here’s to finding water.

Resources: https://juliacameronlive.com/

The Trilogy of books include: The Artists Way, Walking in this World, and Finding Water.

Dream Up A Good Life

Over the years, I’ve used Facebook to post things that resonate with me. Kind of like a virtual scrapbook because of their memories feature. This time of year being pumpkin everything, it looks like I used to visit Starbucks…a lot.

Quite a few posts have become reality in my life. What I post are photos or memes reflecting what’s in my heart of how I see my life becoming, or being. Recently, I gave away my desk even though my original intent was to sell it. I called a neighbor to help move it outside so I could take photos to list it and leave it outside for pickup. He took a picture of it and sent it to his girlfriend to see if she wanted it and she did. We loaded it into his vehicle and I’m happy it went to a good home.

This is what I’m doing with a lot of my belongings by walking them out of the house. Some will be sold and others given away, but I’m clearing existing energy to make room for new, considering I’ve had some of these items for 20 years or more. There’s one thing I’m holding space for and it’s the large, wooden kitchen table for my daughter.

Since giving away my desk, I’ve been sitting at the kitchen table to work and write, but it was surprising to see this photo pop up this week in my FB memories from 5 years ago. It looks just like what I’m living today except the woman in the photo is younger, but her table is sitting by a window just like ours.

Five Years Ago

I’m not sure where this path will lead, but I do know to keep following my heart. The heart knows how to dream up a good life.

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.

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

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.