Monday Monday

I haven’t been here in awhile – the blog, that is. Life kind of took precedence. Right before Christmas I got sick and stayed that way for over a week, including Christmas Day. Then New Year’s Eve came with out-of-town family visiting and before I knew it, January 4th was upon us.

Friday, January 4th at approximately 7:00a.m. we got into two loaded-up vehicles and headed for Georgia where my husband and I would deposit our oldest son for at least five months worth of schooling. It would be a good and fast trip. Very little lallygagging. We spent Friday night in Meridian, Mississippi and were in Atlanta by about 1:30 Saturday afternoon. We attended a short orientation at our son’s new school, helped him move into his place, and said good-bye. My husband and I found a cool place for lunch in Decatur and after enjoying a fairly leisurely lunch, headed back to Meridian for the night. We left Meridian around 7:00 Sunday morning and were back home in Central Texas by about 7:30 Sunday Night. Four states in two days – we were pretty exhausted!

Then came Monday morning. My husband went to work and I came face to face with that empty nest I’ve been expecting for so long that I wasn’t sure it would ever actually arrive. You see, I have had children in my home for almost 38-years. My children. Four of them by birth and one by adoption. Our oldest boy, the one we just took to Georgia, is 24-years old. He’s lived with us his whole life except for his freshman year in college when he lived in the dorms. Even then, he was only ten minutes away and his little brother and sister were still at home. My oldest child is turning 38 tomorrow and the nest is finally empty.

I did okay Monday morning. I went about my usual routine and felt okay. Then, when my husband went back to work after lunch, I started busying myself almost without thinking about it. I kind of felt like I was trying to avoid something. Then the smallest of things happened and created a big thing. I opened the living room blinds to the backyard and almost immediately flashed on a memory of my boys playing back there. Wham! It was all over. I started bawling and the tears didn’t stop for probably a couple of hours. And when I say “bawling”, I don’t mean delicate little sobs. I mean gut-wrenching bawling. I’m not sure I’ve ever cried so hard in my life. It took me quite by surprise. I expected I would probably cry at some point, most likely at more than one point, but not this. The pain came from deep inside. I was afraid that my insides were going to become my outsides. I can probably attribute some of that to my melancholy personality and natural drama queen tendencies, nonetheless, the heartache was real. That was one week ago today.

None of my children live with me anymore. Not one of them will I get to see and talk to every day – actively participating in their lives. It’s over and there’s no going back. I think the finiteness of that hits me hard. I like having choices, options, and an undo button. There really are no “do-overs” in real life though, are there? There are second chances, for sure, but the situation is still not exactly the same as the original one. Some things are just definite and my kids are definitely not living here anymore.

After Monday, things actually got a little better. My husband is so sweet and such a positive person! He can see the silver lining on anything. He encouraged me to do things; have lunch with a friend, go to the movies, whatever would make me feel better. So, that’s what I did. I got out of the house for at least part of the day every day. I deliver for Grub-Hub part time and I did some of that. I went on an outing with my daughter and five grandchildren. I had coffee with a friend. I got my hair done. Friday night we finished out our first week as empty-nesters with dinner and a movie – a date night. Very appropriate, I think. I am learning quickly that the key is to keep busy. Make plans and set goals. Pour into other people’s lives. Call and text your kids and let them know you love them and are thinking of them. And when the tears come, let them come. They will pass.

I’m beginning to look more at the positives and enjoy more time to write, crochet, re-decorate the house, be with my husband, get up and go somewhere if I feel like it. It’s a new season for making new memories and I’m actually starting to get a little excited about that. To quote a special friend, “I eagerly anticipate what the Lord has for me.” Bring on the Mondays!

Monday Mug Shot

This week’s mug is a classic.  It’s one of those thick, heavy mugs you’d find in diners back in the day (I’m not sure how far back, but I remember them from childhood).  This particular mug comes from a place that first opened in 1953 and as far as I can gather, the logo hasn’t changed since.  Maybe the mug style hasn’t either.  🤔

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I first visited the Original Pancake House in Eugene, Oregon when we were in the process of adopting our youngest daughter, Leah.  She was in foster care there and I took a trip from Texas to visit her before she came to live with us.  I had never been to a Pancake House and I was immediately taken by the hominess of the place.  It was very comfortable and the pancakes were delicious!  Little Leah thought so too.

I could do a whole review on my one and only visit to Eugene and its Original Pancake House, that actually originated in Portland and now has international locations, but that’s not what this post is about.  I will say, however, if you are ever in Eugene you might want to give the Pancake House a try.  You might even be able to snag a retro mug like this one.  Or, if you happen to be in one of the other twenty-eight states where they have locations, you could try them there.  😁

This mug transports me back in time a bit with it’s classic style and retro looking logo.  It also evokes memories of the beginning of our journey with our sweet Leah who just turned twelve.  I can’t believe it was nine years ago and yet it feels like yesterday.  Time passes so quickly sometimes and I am thankful for memories that seem to make it stand still for just a moment, and the things that facilitate those memories, like this mug.

☕️☺️💕

“Don’t California My Texas”

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While sitting in the hospital waiting room yesterday, I noticed a man sitting across from me wearing this T-shirt.  Being from California originally, I kind of scoffed at the unwelcome message to Californians.  I was tempted to say something to him, something witty with undertones of sarcasm.  I bit my tongue, however, and said nothing.

I realize that Texas has been flooded with Californians over the past ten years or so, and that our ways are a little different, but still, we are all Americans.  It’s not like we’ve invaded a foreign country.  I’m sure there are some Texans who would disagree.  Those who would like Texas to be its own country.  So far, however, it is still a part of these here United States.

I believe part of the issue is housing prices.  I don’t really understand the world of finance very well, but I’ve been told that we’ve jacked up the price of housing and ruined the market.  I expect it has something to do with the fact that we sold our houses in California for ridiculous amounts and bought mansions in Texas outright.  Well, I’ve heard that some of us did that.  We didn’t do that.  Anyway, like I said, I don’t have a firm grasp on how all of that works, but I know there are Texans who resent us for it.

I think they also think we’re weird.  Although, in Austin I think we blend in pretty well.  You know, “Keep Austin Weird”?  That’s they’re motto.  Austin actually reminds me of the San Francisco Bay Area (where I moved from); Oakland or Berkeley.  It’s funky and eclectic, full of artists and very ethnically diverse.  If I had to move to any part of Texas, this is the place most like home.  I’m not actually in Austin proper, but close.

I would like to say something to my beloved Texas friends.  Don’t be too quick to judge someone just because they recently relocated here from California.  We all have a different story.  For example, my husband was born here in McAllen.  His parents are from Austin.  Much of his family lives in Central Texas.  His parents moved to California when he was three months old.

My father was raised in Conroe.  I attended Kindergarten in Baytown and graduated high school in Needville.  I have cousins who were born and raised here.  All of my siblings live here and have for most of their lives (long story).  I was born in California and have roots in Texas.  I like to refer to myself as a “Texicalian”.

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Not only do you not know everyone’s story or their possible ties to Texas, but you should be proud and honored that we chose your great state to relocate to.  And not just Californians!  I have met people who have relocated here from all over the country!  They chose Texas for all sorts of reasons, but choose Texas they did!  As someone who identifies as part Texan, I think this influx of out-of-staters only serves to confirm the greatness of “The Great State of Texas”!  I think it’s something to be proud of!

🤠🤠