Tuesday, August 26, 2008

rockin' friends

So... a couple months ago, my dear friend SuziQOregon emailed me to discuss the possibility of a Girls Weekend. Her husband is a runner who does the Hood To Coast Relay. Her thinking is that since she's done the supportive wife thing already, why don't we have fun instead. I'm totally on board with this plan! My sweet husband will probably have to work anyway. We set our plans for her to come up here and both got excited about having the time together.

In the interim time, I'm on the phone with our mutual friend, Mel, who lives in Florida. During the course of the conversation, I learn that Mel has some flyer miles that need to be used before October. I encourage Mel to check her calendar to see if it would work for her to come here during the Girls Weekend. Let's surprise SuziQOregon! Mel checks her calendar, only to discover that she had already lined up a business trip for that weekend. Dang!

SuziQOregon and I continue to anticipate a fun and yet relaxing weekend. I find a cool bottle of wine for her. That's the thing we do. Most times when we see one another, we give a gift of wine. Some very fun bottles have been exchanged!

Finally, Saturday morning arrives and I'm at the restaurant, impatiently waiting for her to arrive. I'm distracted by the fact I've agreed to loan some stadium chairs to a co-worker who is picking them up from me at that same time. SuziQ walks in as my co-worker is leaving. Big squeals and hugs! She says, "I'm sorry I didn't bring you a bottle of wine today, but I thought you'd like this better." She steps aside.

Standing behind her is Mel from Florida!!!

More squeals and hugs and I am rendered completely speechless! (y'all know how hard that is do to to me!) I'm overwhelmed and tearful and amazed that they pulled off this absolute surprise for me. Apparently they had been planning it from before the time SuziQ emailed me in the first place. Totally cool!

SuziQ and Mel have been listening to my heart. They have heard about the loss of a long term relationship and have helped me in my grief over that loss. They have listened and encouraged me during the stress-filled moments of this year. To be completely honest, they have done so for longer than that. They put their love and friendship into a practical application of a joyful time together.

I'm still overwhelmed at how fantastic the weekend was for us. We have these great memories of our time... even if we never made it to the Casino or Applebee's. But we did see the Muffin Man, so it's all good.

...may there be mercy and blessings poured out on my precious, rockin' friends.

Friday, August 22, 2008

little old folk

Bob... he's 85 and walks faster than I do. (my pace is 3.5 - 4 miles per hour) He's been Mall Walking every day for 15 years. He's the encourager of the morning crew. Walks with everyone, matching his pace to theirs. Getting folks to move while he finds out their stories and loves them.

Jack... he's 90 and walks slower than most anybody. But he walks... leaned over, slow as the turtle and greeting everyone with a smile. His handshake is still firm and pleasing.

Dale... he's old and crabby, the stereotypical "grouchy old man". When I asked him how he was the other day, he told me "I always hurt when I walk". It obviously makes him mad, but he does it anyway. Brutally honest, but persevering in spite of cancer. He teased me today and I thought that a wonderful thing.

Arlo... he's a flirt! "Good morning, pretty ladies" is his byline. To us, in our late 40's or to the other ladies who are well into their 60's and 70's. But when you talk to him, he always mentions his beloved wife, who passed 10 years ago. And there is always a tear because he loves her still.

George... he walks with a cane and his carriage is still erect, more so than most. He forgets a lot, but not to come to the mall and walk. The other little old men look after him and make sure he is okay.

Dee... she's mid-50's and walks fast! She told me that she used to walk at the mall years and years ago, and that the same little old men were walking back then. It's cool to hear that.

Mila... she's a professional woman, 60's, who walks at a good clip and seems a no-nonsense person. Yet, she's got a frivolous side because she revealed her vanity when she told me she wished her hair would do like mine does when it looks nice curly or straight.

Rosemary and Zach... in their 70's, they walk together. I think they are married, but I'm not sure. She is a painter whose projects I've seen exhibited. Beautiful! He has lost his voicebox and speaks with the aid of technology. Their smiles are joyful.

Mr. "T"... can't really name him because he is my boss's dad. He walks like a bulldog, and can't quite figure out how I know who he is (or how I know when his birthday was!), but he moves along at a great clip in spite of injuries to his leg from an infected spider bite.

Mrs. "T" and the girls... she's my boss's mom and walks with 2 clients of mine. They chatter and laugh and keep themselves fit in their late 60's, early 70's. It's glorious to see their smiles and hear their laughter!

There are others who walk in the mornings at the mall and are only faces yet. But... they are faces that I know and care about already. They look for us in the mornings. They ask about either of us if we are missing. They care.

...may there be mercy and joy in the presence of those who are older.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

it ended!

After 4 weeks, the neverending garage sale has finally ended. As I drove home this evening, I watched them put the last item on a truck. The yard is cleaned up.

Really too bad there wasn't anything interesting enough to stop and see what all the hullaballooo was about.

Also really too bad that they didn't sell more stuff because that truck was loaded to the gills.

...may there be mercy if they are moving and nice new neighbors.

Friday, August 15, 2008

neverending garage sale

About 3 weeks ago, some neighbors put what seemed like everything they own out in the yard for a garage sale. As I passed by that weekend, many things left and the amount of items lessened.

And then it started.

More things came outside and were placed into the yard. A few things were gone that night. For about 10 days, more items appeared each day, with just a few things leaving. Then... another 10 days when nothing new came out, but each day a few things were gone.

Today, a boatload more items came into the yard!

Yep, neverending garage sale is here! I watch it with interest because the things that look like they might actually be useful are still there, 3 weeks later, but the things that I consider garbage are gone within what seems like moments.

Trash or treasure, it's all about perspective.

...may there be mercy and a good sale (with a cleaned up yard soon!) for my neighbors.

Monday, August 11, 2008

tough day

We lost another friend and co-worker today, the second one in about 8 week's time.

Dwight lost his battle with pancreatic cancer. His wife said that it was a peaceful passing.

We will miss this lovely man.

...may there be mercy in mourning and comfort for his family.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

baby steps

This whole making better choices thing can be really hard to do. It's just so dang easy to grab anything that is convenient to eat or to decide I'm too tired to get up and exercise.

But... the good news is that I am doing it!

Don't get me wrong, I'm definitely enjoying myself some days with extra treats. But did you notice that it's "some days" and not all day, every day? Yep, that is some huge progress for me. Especially the part where I am deliberately choosing to have a piece of fruit instead of a candy bar when I want sweets!

I'm also getting up at 5 a.m. every work day in order to get awake enough (and coffee'd up enough!) to meet a coworker at the mall for a 2.5 mile walk. Yep, I'm officially one of the "Little Old Lady Mall Walkers" now. I find it hilarious and am enjoying the time.

One thing that I've decided in all this... for the moment, until I get myself back to a healthier normal, I'm not worrying about my weight. Now that does not mean I'm eating myself into oblivion. Instead, I'm making far more healthy food choices, but not worrying about the scale or following my Weight Watchers plan.

More important for me to concentrate on the input of healthy foods, getting my exercise and ensuring my sleep. This body has not been cooperative lately and I do not like that at all!!

One thing at a time and baby steps. Once I'm back into a healthier mindset on what I am doing for intake, rest and exercise... then I'll take the next step and start journaling food again... and adding portion control back in, along with figuring out exactly how people really do stop eating when their bodies are full.

...may there be mercy in the baby steps.