Lighthouses. Seeing I’m 100 years too late, I’ll just slap a bumper sticker on my car.

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I sent a text to a friend visiting Tybee Island suggesting that her children might enjoy the lighthouse.

 

My dad would have gone to the lighthouse. Paid the donation and climbed to the observation catwalk with my sister and I in tow. Something to do. Dear dad always looked for something to do with us.

Me personally? Lighthouses are pretty images associated with the sea. I’d never diss a lighthouse. Jellyfish aren’t my favorite things either but I’d never talk smack bout a jelly for it hath sprung from the sea.

I’d never given much thought to them. Lighthouses, that is. Not like it is 1889 and I’m a crusty seafarer guiding my ship through the ink of night and don’t want to splinter the hull of my lady, shattering my livelihood and life.

Nope.

A friend once told me she collected lighthouses. I think of her every time I’m in a gift shop selling coastal trinkets. I see a mini lighthouse on a shelf. My hand hovers over it for a moment — should I buy this and send it to my friend — only to walk away dismissing the notion because surely one reaches a point in life when you say, “Enough” to the number of lighthouses scattered about your living room.

Lighthouses are for people who . . . I don’t know? People who are moved by them. The tall cylinder. The beacon. The rocks. The spectacular ocean spray.

Me not so enchanted. I’m bent toward dear sea turtles laying eggs deep in a trough they spent half the night digging.

Or surfing. An athletic skill with a board. If you mastered surfing — now that would be something.

Sharks.

I would never be a person putting a lighthouse sticker on their car.

 

Except I did.

What can I say? It was a winter day at the beach. The kids stared at their phones. Anything would be better to me than watching them silently scroll through their phones all day. I entertained thoughts of walking to the lighthouse.

Being a holiday week and not warm enough to spend much time by the water, there would be lots people to mingle with. Then we would have to climb. We would climb round and round surrounded in stereo with echos of chattering people and their excitement to be climbing a lighthouse.

Lighthouse People with whom I have nothing in common.

But as much as I never entertained the idea of climbing a lighthouse, I refused to be holed up with kids and watch their ability to run and jump and speak to each other in complete sentences atrophy before my eyes.

So we walked to the lighthouse. An exhibition of sorts. That made the whole going to spend-an-hour-at-a-lighthouse more palatable.

Two hours later after a winding trip to the top, something in me changed.

Now when I walk through a hedge of sea brush and look up to see the lighthouse a quarter of a mile away, my heart lifts. Upon seeing the black and white sentinel, it’s as if carnival midway worker shoved a tube attached to hydrogen tank into my heart and gave it a squeeze.

My heart plumps up. Buoyed. Floating. Breaking free from a doldrums sea.

 

There she is. I love her.

What changed in the electrical charges haphazardly firing in my brain? Maybe finding out that the light itself is just a regular bulb. Like the one you’d screw into a bedside lamp to read. A huge magnifying glass does all the work.

 

 

Maybe remembering the winding metal stairs and the sighing brick walls that have stood there. Silently. For so long.

Maybe I identify with the lighthouse keeper. The one waiting at the shore with the light. Climbing the steps to light the light. Stable through fog and storms so fierce the first two Tybee Lights washed away. Till someone got the bright idea maybe we should build this next one in a different spot? Hope she got a raise.

Not sure if I’m an official Lighthouse Person. Not ready to commit to traipsing up the coastlines clamoring up the insides of any old beacon.

I’m pretty monogamous with my lighthouses I’m guessing.

I wonder if they still need a keeper?

Just my luck to find the perfect career a 100 years too late.

 

 

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Ash Wednesday. No more Girl on the Train for me.

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I wanted to start this post with a coolio photograph of ashes crisscrossing my forehead but I won’t receive those till later this evening.

Which is best because that saves me the angst of deciding whether it is prideful to post a photo of my ashy forehead or an honest representation of my day. Or both. Which would lead me to fretfully weigh my hubris against my desire for honest journalism.

The infernal question haunting the dreams of all Real Housewives Who Would  Be Pulitzer Winning Journalists, or Bloggers, er . . . forget it.

Every year my sister and I give up the same thing for Lent. Sweets and Chips.

This year after much soul searching on the true meaning of Lent, I decided to give up Sweet and Chips. Said as any woman due to be Mother of the Groom in four months and wanting to drop a few pounds.

But I also want to grow in the spiritual sense as my waist shrinks by a couple of centimeters.

So what else to give up?

Dying my hair? Yoga? Raisins in my granola?

Nope.

It’s there at the end.

WORRY made my Lenten abstention short list.

So for 40 days that means . . .

No mental mastication.

No waking up at night allowing my brain to latch onto a million things that I can’t do one thing about at the moment.

No way you say?

Okay. You are probably right.

Worry and fearfulness have plagued humans since humans begat humans.

Fight or Flight.

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”   Franklin Roosevelt

The Girl on the Train.  Elaine Benes

 

“Oh, this is great. This is what I need, just what I need. Okay, take it easy I’m sure it’s nothing. Probably rats on the track, we’re stopping for rats. God, it’s so crowded. How can there be so many people? This guy really smells, doesn’t anyone use deodorant in the city? What is so hard, you take the cap off, you roll it on. What’s that? I feel something rubbing against me. Disgusting animals, these people should be in a cage. We are in a cage. What if I miss the wedding? I got the ring. What’ll they do? You can’t get married without the ring. Oh, I can’t breath, I feel faint.”

“I never worry about being driven to drink; I just worry about being driven home.”  W. C. Fields

“Nothing in the affairs of men is worthy of great anxiety.”   Plato

I bet Plato never had to tidy his temple for a baby shower with 40 women in attendance.

Christ used lovely imagery to illustrate the futility of worry pointing out the effortless beauty of the lilies in the field and how birds neither sow nor reap but are provided for . . . But Matthew 6: 25 – 34 is a lot to memorize.

This Lent, Psalm 37:3 is going to be my mantra.

Trust in the Lord and do good.  Easy peasy.

To memorize that is.

Trusting God in all things is more difficult.

Though staying busy doing good does help take the mind off your own troubles.

 

Giving up anything for Lent?

 

 

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Mailing away spit. Or will DNA change the way I keep house?

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My gag reflex has flourished with age.

I almost threw up collecting my spit in a tube.

 

The empty tube I spit into.

 

Collecting spit triggers vomit?

Pitiful.

Especially for a former tomboy who could transform a smidgen of dry bread coupled with a drop of spit into an siren’s call for an unsuspecting brim.

Why was I spitting into a tube?

Let me back up.

Our two youngest are ours by adoption. An amazing, incredibly complicated journey for the adoptive parents, it’s even more so for the adoptee. Who never really had a say in the whole thing in the first place.

When we received our babies years ago, I didn’t know anything about how adoption might affect the baby through child, teen or adult years — but I’ve become quite the expert by book knowledge and experience.

One thing is clear. Though those of us raised by birth parents have our issues, we also take things for granted.

Such as how both my children admitted extreme anxiety when faced with the standard elementary school introduction into genetics.

Questions like — What color are your parents’ eyes? Is your parents’ hair curly, straight? Blonde or brunette? — led one child to stare at the blank page asking how do I know? And that child became more distressed when the unknowing teacher innocently marked the paper incomplete.

How can I answer questions I don’t know the answer to? 

Finding and communicating with birth parents is a private family issue and one we discuss openly with our children — but as this past Christmas rolled around, I thought of another more general way for them find out more about their genetic roots.

Back to why I spit into a tube.

I ordered everyone in the family a DNA ancestry kit for Christmas. I researched the most popular companies and ultimately went with the one that had a $10 off Black Friday sale.

 

Now it’s obvious why my children would find tracing their ethic past fascinating. But why would I?

A lot of my ancestry has been researched and passed down.

A paternal great aunt traced my father’s family to the Minorcans from the Spanish isle of Minorca. In 1767 a Scottish physician, Dr. Turnbull, sailed to Minorca to find a labor force to build his settlement — New Smyrna Beach, Florida. My ancestors left their beautiful island in the Mediterranean to provide something close to slave labor for Turnbull’s New World venture. When my ancestors became sick of their indentured servitude to Turnbull, they slipped away to the beach and walked north to join the Spanish settlement in St. Augustine.

My mother has traced her family back to the Mayflower. I’m genetically connected to two of those smartly dressed Pilgrim passengers.

British Puritans and Spanish. Or that’s what I’ve always thought based on family members who have researched.

But what about my paternal grandmother whose maiden name was Camp? Seems Camp can be traced all over the place  . . . British, French, Dutch even way back from the Old Germanic Kemp.

What if all the while I’ve secretly attributed my scattered undisciplined creativity to my warm weather, Mediterranean genetics and it turns out my DNA is over 50 percent Germanic? Old Germanic at that.

How will I now excuse an unmade bed at 11:30 in the morning?

The other day I placed my tube in the pouch and mailed it off.

 

I’ll share my results in a few months.

So Adios for now.

Got to go wash the baseboards and dust the root cellar.

Have you researched your genealogy?

 

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How Not to Finish a Novel. (Or Contracts Exam.)

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Hello . . . is anybody out there?

When last we talked, I’d started NaNoWriMo with two goals: write 1000 words a day and finish my first draft by November 30.

The month of November I powered through 28,389 words and came close to completing the draft.

After a shallow, deep breath on December 1, I revised my goal to finish by year’s end. To do that I felt I only need complete two mandatory scenes.

No sweat.

Well, I’m 7,651 words into the month and haven’t finished the first of those two necessary events.

What’s the problem?

My characters.

Let me explain. Last September I had the treat of helping my friend, author Deborah Mantella, lead a discussion of her debut novel My Sweet Vidalia for her book signing at Foxtale Book Shoppe in Woodstock.

 

At one point, the discussion turned to obstacles writers face.

I mentioned my need for stillness and how it is the opposite of our world today. Even when sitting, we flip through phones filling our brains with the chatter of news or social media.

Looking to the woman who asked the question I said,

“If I wanted to get to know you, we’d go out for coffee. Spend time talking. To find out what makes you happy or sad — and how through life’s journey you arrived at what makes you happy or sad — I’d take time to listen. That’s the way it is with our characters. We need stillness and time spent writing so they can tell us who they are and how they got there.”

 

That’s my problem with finishing these last two scenes.

I’ve put a Southern character briefly in Chicago in the 1950s. She’s young; she’s African American. I’m getting to know her, having her tell me what those years were like.

Code for time spent researching and not writing the important scene that comes when she is an adult back in the small Southern town — many years after she lived in Chicago.

I’ve studied on the Great Migration and the history of African Americans moving from the South to places like Chicago, New York and Philadelphia. Her time in Chicago is necessary to move the story but I don’t need to get bogged down researching the history of the Chicago school system and desegregation because she was of school age at that time.

I want to get to know her. I need to get to know her.

But I also want this flippin’ thing finished in 2016. Because it’s year’s end and that would be symbolic. I’m a writer and we live for symbolism like starting edits of a first draft on January one.

Sick bastards we are.

That’s where my first year Contracts final comes in. Way back in my law school days, Contracts was a four hour class (most classes were three hours) and its grade was weighted as such.

There was only one four hour test at the end of the semester with three questions.

Ten minutes before the exam was over, I was reviewing and refining my wonderful answers.  Then I turned a page and saw  . . .

an entire question that I had missed.

HOLY MOTHER OF BATMAN. There were FOUR questions.

Ten minutes left in a four hour exam and I found a question I should have allotted an hour to complete. My brain misfired so I couldn’t read the words.

I looked to my good friend (and great writer) Bob and dared a panicked whisper, “I DIDN’T SEE THE LAST QUESTION.”

Channeling every great drill sergeant in movie history he barked, “OUTLINE. OUTLINE. OUTLINE.”

Which I did.

Got a 73 on the exam which was okay considering my answer for a quarter of the grade was an outline. My law professor understood the basic points of the fully-developed answer I would have written had I taken more time.

I figure the same counts for finishing this draft. Outlining the scenes, leaving a structure to develop when there is more time.

Like January 1.

Thoughts?

 

 

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NaNoWriMo deadlines. Embrace the pace and get ‘er done.

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To any writer who’s active online, November signifies NaNoWriMo. National Novel Writing Month. The aim being to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.

I too officially signed on for NaNoWriMo, though for me this November is National Finish the Novel You Started in January Month.

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I know how my story ends. It’s just writing it.

And that seems to be harder than it sounds.

So I’ve committed to writing at least 1,000 words a day this month and more importantly to finish the first draft. This month.

(I know. I’ve written something similar many times.)

What’s different?

Recently, I read writer/consultant and online friend Jean Fisher’s post on how not to dread deadlines. She quoted Stan Toler’s five positive ways to think of deadlines.

Deadlines are friends. Property lines. Destination points. Managers. And voluntary.

When I first started writing for publications, I took deadlines as literal lines in the sand. You cross one late and your laptop drops off a sheer cliff into the Bering Sea. And no one hires you again. Ever.

As the years went by and life’s obligations kept increasing, my line in the sand attitude shifted to one where deadlines were more of a suggestion. A time frame. Until your editor sent a panicked email.

I wasn’t terribly late. At least not every time. 

Reading Jean and Stan’s thoughts made me again see that deadlines are good things. Goals to keep us on track to accomplish things before we find ourselves 89 years young.

So what am I doing differently?

Getting up at 4 a.m. on weekdays. I used to get up at 5:16 for coffee and quiet time. That’s when I decided if I got up an hour earlier, I’d still have my quiet time, then an hour to write.

With the house dark and quiet, I focus better and can usually get 500 words done by 6:00. Then it’s time to awaken the rest of the house.

Except the cats and dog who have been up with me since 4 a.m.

Members of my writing group — would be novelists like moi — are using NaNoWriMo the same way. To spur them on to finish their first drafts.

So here’s to deadlines.

May they keep us writing when:

We don’t want to get out of bed to turn the alarm off in the bathroom. But of course I have to get up and turn the alarm off before it wakes up my husband.

The real struggle is standing in the dark in the bathroom fighting every fiber of my being that wants to rush back to bed.

There is laundry that you could do later when the kids come home. Errands to the store that can be done after 1000 words. Bills can be paid after the daily word allotment done.

You stare at a blank page to start a transitional scene and it would be so much easier to start a load of laundry than suffer through a halting, stop and go, fretting that this isn’t any good 30 minutes.

A deadline for first draft means screw it being perfect. Start writing even when your muse is still asleep (the lucky sob). You’ll figure out something. It might be just the thing. It might not. Anything can be changed in revisions.

Above all — keep that story moving to cross the finish line.

By November 30.

Anyone else a fan of deadlines? No?

 

 

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Cub fans ~ hold on to those World Series tickets.

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Especially if you are a Pack Rat such as myself.

Gina’s post about her beloved Cubs going to the World Series triggered memories of those exciting years in the early 90s when the Braves went from worst to first.

John and I had been married a few years, were childless and lived 10 minutes from Atlanta Fulton County Stadium.

I commented to Gina that I should have one of those early Braves’ World Series tickets somewhere.

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Here’s what I found in my bedside table. Not a World Series ticket, this was for a playoff game against the Pirates. They lost this game but Game 7 was one of the all time great Brave finishes with Francisco Cabrera’s two out bottom of the ninth hit scoring David Justice and Sid Bream.

Hence, the Braves made it to the 1992 Series against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Dad came up for a game. The one clear memory I have of that night was looking down and thinking something is not right with the maple leaf on the Canadian flag.

 

 

 

But why wasn’t the World Series ticket crammed in the back of the drawer to my bedside table?

You see Gina, World Series tickets are big and very fancy. Just the kind of sentimental keepsake a reformed Pack Rat such as myself couldn’t bear to throw away.

Then I remembered.

Upon entering the stadium in the crush of folks, I went to the bathroom. (Some women tend toward paranoid at the notion of being trapped in the middle of a long row of seats at important sporting events and having to excuse themselves over and over to the bathroom.)

I went to the bathroom, waited in a very long line of women, took care of business, washed my hands, came out, met dad and up we went. Arriving at our section in the upper deck, we pulled out our tickets.

Alas I had no ticket.

Blood rapidly drained from my face through my throat — pooled in my stomach — and I became very sicky.

My dad had driven seven hours. We stood inches away from our seats. And I had lost any proof that Seat 113, Row 14, Aisle 312 was my very own.

No one in the universe felt worse than I did at this moment  — with the possible exception of the person who attached the Canadian flag to the pole upside down.

No memory remains how we talked our way to our row.

Once seated, I constantly checked the entrance to our section for a character clad in dark leather wearing a grimy, bent-to-hell New York Yankees cap. The specter who was sure to march up to our row, motion at me saying, “Hey, missy get your @** out of my seat.” Then Braves’ Security would arrive to escort dad and I in the walk of shame back down the ramp to probable arrest.

I didn’t relax till the seventh inning. If that.

Thankfully nobody in the crowd coursing through the cement ramps of Fulton County Stadium found a trampled ticket face down in a sticky pool of Budweiser.

And messed with my World Series memory.

So hold on to those tickets all ye Cubs and Indians. And enjoy the show.

 

The Lord has his eye on the sparrow —

and those of us scattered-of-mind at the most inopportune times.

Lost tickets anyone?

 

 

 

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Go to that High School Reunion.*

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“Things are great . . . with an asterisk.”

After first seeing the Facebook announcement for my 35th High School Reunion, I looked at it. Then I looked at it again.

The passage of 35 years was so hard to conceive and my arithmetic so weak, I took out paper and pen and subtracted 1981 from 2016.

Gag me . . . it had been 35 years.

I vowed to lose 5 pounds. Take every yoga class for the next four months. Pick out a dress. Face lift. Butt lift. Skin-on-my-legs-especially-the-skin-above-my-knees lift.

Months passed and it was two weeks till the reunion. I weighed about the same. I’d made it to three yoga classes the month of August.  Nothing had been surgically lifted, so I packed some make-up, a pair of Spanx and rubbed self-tanner on my legs.  Though I did think it the perfect excuse to get a facial.

 

Reunion photo credit to Ricky Silva. Can you find me?

Reunion photo credit to Ricky Silva. Can you find me?

 

Random thoughts on attending your 35th High School Reunion.

— Commit to going. Don’t think about it. No one ever gives birth or adopts children, signs up for a marathon or goes to a class reunion if they ruminate on it.

— Note to the venue. For the love of Mike, when most party-goers are over 50 — dim the lights on the dance floor.

— Try on the dress you decide to wear before the night of the party. I bought a dress last spring and never once had it on again until the night of the reunion. Whatever mojo I felt in the dressing room wasn’t there reunion night. Didn’t like it. At all. Thankfully, I did bring another dress. But logic says to try the dress on before leaving your closet in the rear view mirror six hours down the road.

— To those who went to high school in Florida and haven’t lived there in a while. HAVE A BACKUP PLAN FOR YOUR HAIR.  I completely forgot about the Florida humidity. It was raining as well. My hair went up in a coated rubber band.

— Your mother can show up at the party before you, talk to people, and you laugh about it. If my mother would have shown up to a high school party 35 years prior, I’d have dropped out of Winter Park and enrolled at Edgewater under an alias.

My 83-year-old mother dropped by the party before I arrived. (She was eating in the adjoining restaurant.) She walked in and started talking to all my high school friends, and some of their children. When I arrived my friend Ann said, “Did you know your mother was here?” She laughed saying,  “I looked up and thought that’s Jamie’s mother  . . . this is wild.”

 

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This photo is Facebook credited to Ann who is in the middle of this pic. Ann who talked with my party-crashing mom.  (I think her husband must have had the phone.)

 

High School Reunions are wild in a Twilight Zone sort of way.

Facebook is for cowards. Nothing can substitute the authenticity found in a face-to-face conversation after 35 years.

I heard a great phrase today. Out having breakfast in Madison, we were approached by an acquaintance we hadn’t seen in a while. He asked the standard “How are things?”

We gave the standard reply, “Things are great.”

To which he said with a smile, “Things are great with us too  . . . with an asterisk.”

By the time you’re heading to your 35th High School Reunion, everybody can say, “Life is great  . . . with an asterisk.”

Asterisks don’t discriminate. They are equal opportunity offenders in the form of losing loved ones, of divorce or divorces, children heartbreak. Financial struggles or collapse. Job traumas. Battling illness as if our lives depended on it. And the universal of challenge of experiencing our young selves — becoming not so young at all.

We’ve have lost the urge to play the comparison game to feel better about ourselves. If I asked you what you’ve been doing the last 35 years, I was truly interested in finding out your journey. Not to boast on my superstar decades headlining as wife, mother — and writing a blog.

On Facebook you get a bunch of amazing photos. Ones people post after they deleted the first fifteen they took.

It is a great way to keep up but,

With Facebook you can’t throw your arms about somebody’s neck in a squeeze or learn how fun life can be with a sugar monkey. Or giggle with friends you giggled with 35 years ago.

 

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Thanks to Michelle for this snapshot.

 

So as Nike said back in the day,

 Just do it and go to that reunion.

What’s to lose? It was quick. Just a few hours and then done.

Just like high school.

Just like the last 35 years.

 

 

Thoughts?

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I’m invoking the Erma Bombeck Rule. (My personal Erma Bombeck Rule that is.)

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The first rule of blogging is immediacy. Or is it frequent posting? Then there’s good content.

Lately, I haven’t done much of anything with my blog. So I’m going to invoke the Erma Bombeck Rule.

To be fair, this is my personal Erma Bombeck Rule. One that resulted from something I heard she said.

Later in her writing career when asked if she made notes of possible column ideas while on an extended trip with her husband, she replied no. Whatever was interesting enough to write about would be there — without notes — when she got home.

That idea intrigues me. Does it work with blogging? So many posts never get posted if I’m not able to write immediately.

It seems old news.

Who am I kidding? Old news?

That applies to CNN not my blog.

So I’m invoking Jamie Miles’ Erma Bombeck Rule on future blog posts for a while. Especially, since my WIP takes the majority of my writing time these days.

Things that happened yesterday, last month or last year — events that I wanted to write about and should have blogged about — I’m going to post about in an untimely manner.

It will be interesting to see the stuff that stuck with me without referring to notes to jar my memory.

First up  . . .  my 35th High School Reunion last August, which I should have written about last August.

Or that’s what I used to think.

 

 

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Lemonade — or something stronger? Raising money for Ronald McDonald House Charities.

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This isn’t my first rodeo raising money for Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC), so you wouldn’t expect a rookie mistake.

Wait. I’m getting ahead of myself.

Two years ago, my son Joe (then 11) and I joined TeamRMHC to raise money for the RMHC of Central Georgia. We trained for the RunDisney Princess Race Weekend with approximately 200 other runners from around the country. Joe and I ran the 10K on Saturday and I ran the half on Sunday. We raised $1,8oo for the RMHC in Macon. Here is our group at a meet-and-greet in 2015 at the Walt Disney World McDonald’s, of course. The group raised over $165,000 to be used when families with children receiving care at Children’s Hospital Navicent Health cannot afford the $15 per night fee.

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It was a lot of fun and a great experience. So when I received an email this July about joining again I asked Joe if he was up for it in 2017. 

“I’ll think about it,” he replied.

Joe is my gamer. This would be a good way to get him outside as he prepared for 6.2 miles in February and hopefully reinforce the need to help out others experiencing tough times.

Have to say, I was a little surprised when Joe came to me a month later and said he’s ready to run and fundraise. This time, we talked Dad into joining our Running Miles for RMHC team.

So back to how I started this post.

Having been a part of the 2015 team, I knew each team member needed to raise at least $750.

No problem, right?

Last time, one of our more successful efforts was a Lemonade and Sweet Tea stand.   So, while it was still warm we planned the same on the one weekend in September we all were available. I dropped the tea and since a few batches of cookies last time were very popular — this year I made tons of them.

No matter that the Georgia game kicked-off at 12:30.

Build it and they will come.

Well, come showtime — our now 13 year old wasn’t thrilled with standing out on the street, saying that last time kids at school said they had seen him.

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Joe in September 2014 reeling in the donations.

 ~~~

Two years later, this is how the Lemonade Fundraiser went down.

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Give us a half a point for effort — but John and I agreed — something looks a little odd about grown-ups with a Lemonade stand. So whether it was the University of Georgia game or the creepy adults-asking-for-donations-with-cookies factor, business was slow.

Where’s Rent-a-Kid when you need it?

I did the next best thing and texted my neighbor to ask if her son could help.

With a buddy by his side, the reluctant Running Miles for RMHC team member hit the streets.

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And what started as a trickle. Got a little less tricklely.

A few of our fabulous donating folks.

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Yoga instructor Shawn.

~~~

 

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Our daughter woke up and donated money for a cookie breakfast.

~~~

 

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The Grandparents.

~~~

 

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Young lads after playing their first football game.

 

~~~

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Mary, yoga instructor. And an amazing artist. She uses her hand and paint and a brush to do these things called paintings. I do too occasionally . . . Only difference is that hers are amazing and mine more kindergartenesque. (Not that I’m jealous, cause I’m totally going for that kindergarten vibe.) Lots of folks are into it. Granted, the vast majority just display paintings by their own kindergarteners. But I’m confident with time, the stigma associated with adult kinderart will erode and I will sell a painting. Or maybe my husband will agree to hang one in the shed with the lawnmower?

~~~

Good neighbors.

Good neighbors stopped by on way to Georgia Tech game.

~~~

With the boys pulling them off the streets, and me clogging my Facebook feed with photos, and begging — it ended up being a very successful outing.

But we did have lots of cookies and brownies leftover.

So I bagged them up and team member Johnny Miles took them to his Sunday School class the next day, and his Tuesday morning Men’s Bible Study.

Guess the total amount received for all those cookies.

Four hundred seventy dollars and seventy-eight cents — $470.78.

Do you believe it?

A huge success!

It sure didn’t feel that way when I was doing my best Johnny Carson impression.

 

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Johnny Carson. That’s what I think when I see this photo. Maybe David Letterman. I’m not going to lie and say this photo makes me think Jimmy Kimmel or Jimmy Fallon. I’m old and remember staying up late when I should have been asleep and watching Johnny.

Too old to be sitting at a stand asking for donations, but where there’s a will and a most excellent cause — the good Lord will provideth a generous Sunday School class and Men’s Bible Study — as the way.

While John and I sat there watching the grass die, we talked about new money laundering raising strategies in light of the changing Miles RMHC team dynamic — two middle-aged adults and one soon-to-be teenager.

So be on the lookout for ways to join the giving.

~~~

One last thing.

 

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Look beyond the dead grass (we are having a drought here) and see the balloon.

The balloon I bought last Friday, the day before our event, in hopes of attracting attention our way.

That’s why I’m doing this again for Ronald McDonald House Charities.

The balloon.

Or the story behind the balloon. I’ll get to that next post.

 

And as long as I have your attention, any fundraising ideas?

 

 

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I’m too selfish with yoga. Or why would I post a photo of Auburn’s mascot?

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I had an active imagination as a girl.

That’s code for . . .

I used to lie every now and then, like at show-and-tell. Because what I did in my mind over the weekend was a lot more interesting than sharing what I watched Johnny Quest  do on Saturday mornings.

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So this lying thing comes naturally. If no one gets hurt. And I believe it in my heart.

 

Okay. That’s stupid.

I’m very content with life right now so I don’t feel the need to lie — even about age. But if I’m tagged by another blogger, why not rise to the challenge?

What was the falsehood in my last post on why I haven’t been blogging?

 

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True.  I have been writing on my WIP. I figure it takes me 90 minutes to write 500 words. Three hours for 1000. I hate that there is only so much creative time and energy the good Lord provides me with every 24 hours. It still is my goal to post at least once a week — and set aside time to read other bloggers. But I’ve fallen short of late. I do miss the community of blogging and I’ll be back.

Between the other two, becoming a yoga instructor or falconer — seems most folks think I’m on the road to certifiable yoga.

Well.

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Nope.

Not that I am not enjoying the flush of new love with yoga. I just have no interest in leading anybody anywhere.

I check my responsibilities at the door. Lie on my mat and leave the driving to Mary or Shawn or Grace — or Elise. I’ll get to your class someday.

Anyone. But me.

Yesterday, during savasana after Mary’s intense Vinyasa class, I fell asleep. I can’t do that if I’m making sure everyone else relaxes. Or massaging their temples like Shawn, or singing like Grace.

I want to exert and check out mentally. Yeah, I know. Concentrate on my breath, keep my heart higher than my hips, try not to fall on my neighbor during anything  . . . but

A girl’s got to know her limitations.

I would not be a good caring yoga facilitator.

I’m selfish with my yoga.

 

On the other hand, the thought of spending hours on end with a hawk, a dead rodent and traipsing in the woods excites me.

A girl’s got to know her limitations. I know.

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The eagle has always been my favorite animal on those stupid personality quizzes, except age 14 — 18 when I went through a dolphin is my favorite animal phase.

I know Auburn’s mascot is a Golden Eagle. War Eagle VII is named Nova.  There is no reason on God’s green SEC turf that I would know that (or post a photo on my blog) except that I love, love birds of prey. And he’s the George Clooney of birds of prey.  Gorgeous.

 

photo credit War Eagle VI. May he RIP.

Though a long and deeply committed process, the more I read about falconry — I think it’s possible.

And a dream of mine. Somewhere out in the fields of Morgan County, might be a Redtail Hawk pining for a mate (figuratively speaking) for a season of our lives.

When I want to space out while online this is one of my favorite sights. Stalking an osprey’s nest in Montana.

 

 
So that’s it. Thanks to Julia for tagging me and bravo to Kenya Johnson for playing along when I hit the ball in her court. Check out Kenya’s blog and see if you can catch her in a falsehood.

What do you think? Falconry or no?

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