Simply Sunday

The Adventure

“Well, we made it! I have no idea how you got me here, but here we are.” I laughed at my mother-in-law’s comment as I dropped her off at the airport. “I’m not sure either.”

I have driven to the airport many times. However, this was my first time since we moved. The route was completely different from the one I had known for the previous fifteen years.

I do not have a strong innate sense of direction. Nor have I spent time improving my directional skills. I am a visual learner and tend to find landmarks helpful. But if you tell me to turn north, south, east, or west, I will almost certainly get lost. Or at the least, a little confused.

When going someplace new, the maps program on my phone is a reliable friend. Enter the address, tap Go, start driving. (Exactly how we got to the airport.) 😉 Not only is there a visual guide, but audio instructions are also available.

Am I on a journey? Yes! Is there an eventual destination? Definitely! But if I focus only on the directions and stopping point, I just might miss the adventure!

Morning Thoughts

Leaving for work
This morning
Car packed for
A weekend
Road trip
Thoughts already
At the end of today
Think I’ll send
A text to Mom
See you tonight!

Little cardinal
Crosses my path
His brightness
Could not
Be ignored
His fluffy
Red feathers
Taking off
From the ground
Made me smile
Slow down as
I drove out of
The neighborhood
Rachel says every time
She sees a cardinal
It reminds her
Of her Papa

California, Here We Come!

This post is part of SoCS. https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/24840312/posts/3241112703

California, here we come! Well, actually it should say there we went! I would have to spend a few minutes calculating to remember exactly how many years have passed since that trip. But, oh, what a trip!

Just picture this-three Honda Odyssey vans and one motorcycle. A caravan from Oklahoma across the country to California. The whole family! Grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles, cousins-thirteen people in all.

Rest stops were longer than usual. And cousins were constantly switching vehicles, which was great for the adults. One stop even included kite-flying!

This trip has so many memories. We visited the Painted Desert, Grand Canyon, quaint towns, local restaurants. And our eventual destination meant visiting family and a trip to Disney Land. Not to mention, sandcastles on the beach and playing in the ocean.

No matter how much time passes, this particular trip will always hold a special place in my heart. Lots of laughter and actually very little stress. I think that may have had a lot to do with the three vans. 😉

All the kids are grown now. Some have kids of their own. And Papa is no longer with us. I know there will never be another trip like that one-and that is ok. California, we love you! And all the places between you and Oklahoma!

The Missing

I am here
You are here
We are all here
Tomorrow we go
Our separate ways
But the missing
Begins today…
Even in the smiles
Currently creating
Memories to
Carry us thru
Days ahead
The missing
Finds its way-
Sneaking in the
Backdoor of our
Thoughts trying
To distract us
From the present-
Unable to steal away
The happiness of
Togetherness
It quietly tiptoes
Back outside-
Tomorrow there will
Be no denying
The missing-
We will welcome it-
A reminder
Of lasting joy
Rooted in yesterday

Last weekend I visited my parents for the first time in six months! We were so happy to be face to face, holding on tight.

This past year, we could not celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas, or birthdays with them…to say we have missed each other is an understatement.

We knew the visit would be short, but that was ok. And even though good-byes may have brought a few tears, the smiles are what will last. ❤

Walking in Wyoming

I went for a walk in Wyoming
My eyes could not decide
Which way to look-
Up at the sky
What is that shade of blue?
To the right
Snow-topped mountains
To the left
Fields of purple hues
In between
A lake so crystal clear
I could barely tell where
The mountain stopped
And its reflection began
A few more steps forward
Stop and breathe
Take a seat on a rock
Feel the cool breeze on my face
Hold the hand of the one I love
Try to take it all in-

A Wyoming walk
Leaves a permanent imprint
On my heart and soul

Old Faithful

Sage-like, he
Stoically sits
Robed in a
Grayish-white
Beard of stone
Surrounded by
Enchanting
Displays of
Deep blues

Strangers pass
By-gazing at
The colorful
Exhibits before
Noticing a
Growing crowd
Encircling the
Quiet elder
In the center

As they wait
Some guess
Others doubt
Not knowing
What to expect
But questions
Instantly vanish
With nature’s
Grand display

Predictable
Yet, surprising
Unassuming
Yet, powerful-
A name held up
By its actions
Thru countless
Fragments of time-
Old Faithful

Power in Admission

I have shared openly about struggles with anxiety and depression. And I recognize there is always room for improvement in my coping skills.  

If I remember to breathe, it helps.  If I think ahead, I can prepare for problematic situations. Nevertheless, sometimes things just happen.

My husband and I just returned from a trip to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. Beautiful does not adequately describe either of these places. The vastness and variety in these almost untouched lands are overwhelming.

And yet, even during our wonderful trip, anxiety crept in. We had been exploring Yellowstone all morning and decided to drive to the Tetons. This was the first visit to this area for both of us, an adventure.  

This particular drive brought a little more adventure than I preferred. We were driving along, listening to history and information about the area, when the road suddenly took us right along the edge of Clark Canyon.  

A quick glance out the window, and I began to panic. My body had an instant reaction. My heart sank, began beating rapidly. My stomach felt like it had been turned upside down. I wanted to crawl in a hole. Yes, I endured. But it was not fun.

Those anxious feelings crept back in later that night. I had trouble sleeping. Would tomorrow’s drive be similar? Slow, deep breaths finally helped, and I was able to sleep.

The next morning, we were on the road again. We had a basic plan of places we wanted to see. Our first stop was great! Some incredible, colorful geothermal displays. But soon, I was feeling afraid of the unknowns. Would we have to drive on any roads like the one yesterday? Just the thought and anxiety began to rise.

Finally, I said it aloud. “The thought of a drive like yesterday is making me feel panicky. I’m not sure I can do it.” After saying those words to my husband and allowing a few tears to fall, I felt much better.  

He knows me well. His response was reassuring. Soon we were laughing and ready to face the rest of the day. He even asked a park ranger for advice on the least scary route for our last stop. (Which apparently was not an unusual request.) 😉

Now, I would be lying if I said there were no other moments of panic. However, they did not take over my thoughts. My physical reactions were not as severe, and I was able to enjoy the beauty of the places we visited.

No, I did not want to admit how I felt. But, oh, I am so glad I did. It was an important reminder there is power in admission.

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Artist Point Overlook

Dreams

Yellowstone National Park
Midway Geyser Basin Trail

Disappointment
Has the power
To freeze
Each fiber of
Imagination

Once faced
And released
Fears melt away
Leaving behind
A clean slate,
A catalyst
For growth

Taking a step
Back-viewing
The world with
Fresh eyes
Brings a new
Appreciation

Creativity
Awakens
Stirring
Both mind
And soul
Reigniting
Dreams

Home to Home

I left home at the mature age of seventeen and, except for one summer, never came back. My mom often reminds me. 😉

Before college, I had lived in the same house my entire life. I attended the same school, first grade through senior year, and was surrounded by extended family.

And even though I needed to find my own path, the place where I grew up would always be home.

A recent visit with my parents caused me to think about the word home. Especially the idea that home has little to do with the actual place.

As I pulled up in the driveway, my dad was waiting under the carport. Mom came right out as if she’d been listening inside for my car. Soon, we were talking about everything from the kids to work, politics, church. And, of course, the pandemic and quarantine.

They’re so cute. ❤

As an adult, I enjoy this time alone with my parents. Being there by myself means my only role at that moment is a daughter. Even if this visit brought some adult daughter anxiety.

Due to the current pandemic, I had to be very careful about where I stopped on the four-and-a-half-hour drive from our house to theirs. My parents are over seventy, Mom a breast cancer survivor and Dad with diabetes and kidney disease. Their health is currently good, and I couldn’t bear the thought of exposing them to this virus.

My anxiety quickly faded as Dad asked, “How’s my little girl?” Mom said more than once, “I’m so glad you came.” At face value, simple phrases. Yet, they wrapped me in the love and security I experienced growing up.

When going to visit my parents, I say I am going home. And when it’s time to leave, I use the same phrase. I guess both are true. Home is about the people not the places.

I may have to leave tiny pieces of my heart behind when leaving one, but I know they will be refilled upon arrival at the other. Not the same, but new, and whole.

A sweet paradox, traveling from one home to another. ❤

Green Green Grass of Home by Claude “Curly” Putman, Jr.

The old home town looks the same
As I step down from the train
And there to meet me is my Mama and Papa…
It’s good to touch the green, green grass of home


I’m Dreaming of a…

Dreams are interesting. Some seem so real. Real to the point of waking up in tears or hysterical laughter. I can instantly connect those dreams to actual conversations or events. Others make no sense, just a jumbled mess of images.

I don’t pretend to know how this phenomenon works. And it’s not often that I remember my dreams. When I do, they are usually crazy! Such was the case last night. My first thought after waking up-Where in the world did that come from?

In my dream, I was riding a bus to NYC by myself. I was seated near the back of the bus with a blanket. A woman approached me and said, “Show me your gun.” “I don’t have a gun,” I replied. But she continued to ask.

After a few minutes, she seemed to believe me but insisted I come to sit at the front of the bus. I followed her to a front seat. Then I realized my purse was still at the back. “May I at least go get my purse?” I asked. “No, but I will send my assistant to get it.”

The woman gave me something to drink. It was in one of those little cups like you get on an airplane. I sipped my drink and watched as her assistant walked toward my purse. He looked more like a bodyguard. I remember thinking, “I hope he doesn’t go through my purse.”

Suddenly I felt groggy, and my head started spinning. Looking down at the empty cup I thought, “Oh dear. I think I’m in trouble.” That’s when I woke up.

It didn’t take long to uncover the mystery behind my dream. Earlier that same day I was at glee club rehearsal. We have an upcoming field trip that takes place after school hours. Sharing information about an evening bus ride with 4th and 5th graders lead to a million questions.

So, that explains the bus.

That evening, my daughter and I talked about her going out of town this weekend. She is an adult. She has traveled alone before. But this is her first time to make this particular trip alone. And I must admit, there was a little bit of an “anxious mom” feeling.

So, that explains the travel problems.

It also explains the following conversation with my daughter this morning. 😉

I wonder what I’ll dream about tonight. Hopefully, it will not involve a bus or a drugged drink. I’d much rather dream about snow. Who knows? Maybe I will dream of a white Christmas. On second thought, with only seven school days left before Christmas break, that might be expecting too much. Sweet dreams!