Thursday, April 24, 2014

{Some} People


I received a text message from
my daughter recently, who has 
been dealing with some roommate
challenges at college.





(Her) I feel like my cousin!

(Me) Which cousin?

(Her) The youngest one.

(Me) Why?

(Her) "I don't like people!"




While the author of the quote is my
three year old niece, who uttered
these {now infamous!} words when
asked why she'd sidelined herself at a
tot's gym class, haven't we all had those
days when we were just fed up with
some people?

It might be a coworker, a client, or
the loud woman on her phone at 
the next table during your quiet time 
at the coffee shop.  It might be the
teacher who ignores the two
emails you sent (the second one, a 
follow-up to the first).




It might be a neighbor.  Every 
place my husband and I have lived,
there has been one neighbor that
we've dubbed the problem child.

You probably know them. 


They mow their lawn at 6AM on
Sunday or drive too fast down
the street, or leave their poor dog
barking outside for hours on end.




One morning last week, I unrolled
the newspaper to the sight of a
grieving woman, tears streaming
down her face, who had just witnessed 
a bomb blast at a bus station in Nigeria.

The next morning, the front page
featured a little girl with a prosthetic
leg, marking the anniversary of the 
Boston Marathon bombing, where she'd
been severely injured and her younger
brother had lost his life.




I found my niece's declaration
bubbling to the surface.

I don't like people!

But I took a deep breath, and I
pushed the paper aside.

And I made the decision not
to let some people get me down.




Not bombers or problem child 
neighbors, not loudmouths at the 
coffee shop or absentee teachers.

Because for every one of them,
there are more who are equally

wonderful.




The rescue workers who volunteer
to go into bad situations like the one
in Nigeria and lend a helping hand or 
a soft shoulder.

The teacher who helps your child
learn to soar.

The neighbor who lets your dog out
when your are stuck in traffic.




You probably know them, too.  

They make me want to sing out,

I love people!




Now, I don't know what happened to
make my little niece decide that she
doesn't like people, as she's uttered 
more than once (!)

But I do know this.

As her life unfurls ahead of her,
the good ones will outnumber
the bad ones.

Thank goodness :  )


xo
Suzanne






{Picture of my niece,
courtesy of her mom.
All others, P&H.}






Friday, April 11, 2014

Green Leaves






I remember walking on a 
blustery day last fall and
noticing green leaves,
plastered to the wet pavement.

Brown leaves, red leaves,
golden ones felt right, but
the green ones just felt
wrong, somehow.



A neighbor's yard....earlier this week.

When conditions are ideal,
I love walking with my dog,
 Gracie. 

But when they are not, due to

rain
gusty wind
sub-zero temps
humidity
mosquitoes

all I want is for her to 
hurry up,
so we can go home.





If you think about it,
that's a lot like life.

Because, from the moment
we are born, we are
headed home.

Only some of us, like those
green leaves, are going to get
there sooner than they should.





When life is smooth sailing,
we don't think about heading
home.  We are savoring the
journey and want to stay out
on the water as long as we can.

But when gusts blow up and
the going gets tough, we don't
really see the view or take
pleasure in the trip.

We put our heads down and
wish we were home.





My (ever wise) husband has
a saying:

There is no such thing as bad
weather.  Only bad clothes.

It's how we respond to what
life throws us.  If we cloak
ourselves in courage, grace
and faith, as many whom I
love have had to do over the
last year, the walk through 
hard times is more bearable,
the road a bit more smooth.

Perhaps you are one
of them.





Now that the pavement is clear
and the remaining patches of
snow are mostly gone, Gracie
and I have resumed our walks.  
Technically it's spring, but I 
remember to dress warmly so I 
can enjoy the view.

Soon the trees will begin to bud.

Green leaves will appear.





Clad in grace, we will embrace
this new season as we continue
our trek towards home.

Thanks for walking along.


xo
Suzanne



All photos my own.




Thursday, April 3, 2014

Enough


I am not a packer.

Even with the prospect
of fun times ahead, I find
the task of boiling down
what I need to squeeze into
a roller board suitcase to
be daunting.





Clothing decisions.  Vitamins
to count out.  Little bottles to
fill up that must fit into a TSA
regulation-sized bag.  Or, if I
am a bringing a larger bag, 
is it weight compliant?

Ugh and double ugh.




I admit, it's a job that I put off
until I can't put it off any longer,
because it forces me to consider,

What's enough?


Look who came along!


Three days into my family's
spring break, I received a text 
with the very sad news that our
neighbor's home had burned to
the ground.

That family, like mine, was out
of town when it happened.




I can't imagine the shock
of getting a phone call like that.

The thought of what they had
lost and the rebuilding ahead
swirled through my mind the rest
of our vacation.


My dad and my nephew : )


Walking each morning before
breakfast, my husband and I
chewed on the question of
what if.

What would we mourn 
the most?

Besides photos and a few 
precious momentos, we concluded,
not much.




As long as all of us were safe
and sound, that would truly
be enough.

The rest of our stuff?

Replaceable.




One night I had a conversation 
about this very topic with my
bestie of 25 years, Fiona.

43 things, she interjected.

What? I asked.

I counted how many things in
our home are truly meaningful
to me.  

43.




As I packed to go home--
that's always easy--I tucked
seashells carefully in my 
sneakers and wrapped my
small camera gently amongst
my clothes.

Little things.  Memories.

For this trip, just enough.




As to my own number, like
Fiona's, I'll have to think about
that one :  )

How much is enough, 
for you?



xo
Suzanne


All images my own.

{Spring Break 2014, with 
our extended family.}