Boredom’s Eulogy

I’m pretty well sure that boredom is the devil’s work. Spinning out from a semi-productive day and when you sit down to relax, it raises its ugly head. Not enough, it whispers. Nobody to talk to. Nowhere to go. Empty, empty life. 

I’ve wallowed this winter, I think, and let boredom get the upper hand. So these days, when I rise to shake it off I feel my knees shake. They’re out of practice.

Time for a walk. Podcasts, music, I don’t care, just take those steps and feel the miracle that is strong, sure legs.

Maybe to clean an old drawer or closet. Stacking and sorting and throwing out a grocery bag full of years old geography quizzes.

Time for music, the best kind – I’ll be bossy and say it – the Classical kind. Just sit for a minute and let yourself slow, slow down and be happy for where you are.

Sit and read. Of the very book you like best, and don’t try too hard to impress anyone else.

Do something that is a little bit scary-new, like visiting an art museum by yourself. Talk to a stranger there. Don’t run away.

Buy fruit or vegetables from little old men under umbrellas, by the road, on the back of a truck. They surely will be grumpy but…that’s the point.

Or pray. Without ceasing. About the craziest things that lurk in your mind. About your health, sins and the vaguest of fears for the future; and your husband and that person you don’t know very well but can’t get out of your head.

The world is too big and God is too good, to be bored.

I’ve been told it’s a bad word.

As they say here, “Can I get an amen?”

 

 

Word Pictures

Sometimes there are moments so insignificant and wonderful that I take a picture.

Hoping to catch that feeling of bathwater running late in the evening and the smell of lavender and no lights on but here.

That Sunday afternoon lethargy with his head on my lap, ear buds in, reading while it rains outside and washes the failures of another week.

The time I wanted ice cream and he was hungry for Mexican food, but he pulled into exactly the right store and got me a waffle cone.

Trying to explain what ‘dabbing‘ is and why he should never do it in public and please stop dancing around like that because I can’t stop laughing.

So instead, the pictures are in my head. Blurry and ridiculous and they’re getting fuzzier all the time. But I won’t stop trying to pause and appreciate the moment for just exactly how precious it is.

 

A Guide to Good Adventures

Today marks six months since Wesley and I promised to have and to hold until we kicked the bucket. I thought to mark the occasion I would offer my list of ten helpful survival tips for road trips, errands, or pretty much anytime we get in the car on a weekend.

  1. Make sure your phone is charged. One car charger is all very well, but if you set off somewhere on foot, you’ll want healthy battery life in case of posting on Instagram emergency.
  2. In a similar vein, take the camera. That way you can fight over who gets to take the pictures and get video footage of anything that moves.
  3. Follow the GPS. Even if it appears to be taking you the wrong way, it actually knows what it is talking about 99.99% of the time. Wagnon Mountain Rd. might sound innocent enough, but after dark?  (Click to 6:02)
  4. Bring a book. Always, always, always. In fact, I often bring two. A book and a blanket can make the car a private little library retreat when you’re waiting in the Auto-zone parking lot.
  5. Nothing will make everyone crankier than being hungry. Correction. Nothing will make me crankier than being hungry. For everyone’s safety, bring snacks. (So many snacks.)
  6. And for the husband, bring an entire thermos or two of water. This is not a joke. It will all get gulped down and eliminates the small bottles kicking around underfoot.
  7. Since this is Alabama, I’ve also learned to bring an extra coat, sweater, shorts, hat, rubber boots and honestly, a bathing suit would also be wise. You may never know what will become weather appropriate before the day is done.
  8.  Add two extra hours onto the GPS estimated time of arrival. This machine generated guess does not include stopping at friend’s houses to look at lawn machinery, long conversations with various old men, or retracing your steps to take a picture.
  9. Pandora. Playlists are life when you’re stuck in the car. This also provides an appropriate context in which to disagree on the musical tastes of your spouse. Fight fair though and take turns in choosing the artist.
  10. Buckle up and be prepared to commentate on anything, everyone and everywhere you pass, explore, walk under, or listen to. Sharing new things is one of the sweetest perks of marrying your friend. In these first months together we’ve started our own repertoire of family stories and as the future unrolls we already find ourselves saying, do you remember when?

It’s been a wild ride so far, Wesley. Here’s to 6 months times 120 more!

 

Where Did You Come From?

When I miss you most, I’m driving down a strange split road, where people drive 65 mph and stop at lights on a dime.

I miss you when I’m paralyzed with indecision about whether this store, an unfamiliar sign and front, will have what I actually want.

When I get in the car and just circle aimlessly, wishing I knew where to find the green space that I’m craving.

Where to find the friendliest librarians, the freshest produce, the cheapest thrift items.

All the things I took for granted when I knew every route like the back of my hand, when I could expect the rhythm of every restaurant and hiking trail.

I miss strangers knowing exactly who my parents are and the trust that extends from familiar face to familiar face.

A warm sweetness of blossom and asphalt hang around my door now, interrupting the crisp apple of a memory. Fresh bread greets my mind when I walk through the doors of my hometown and I’m hungry for it.

Hungry for the comfort of knowing and being known. Wherever we are, this is the human search in our food, our hobbies, the places we go. Doesn’t a baby know exactly where it belongs because that is where it finds comfort?

You can love something new, while still missing the old and that is my constant balancing act, my privilege, challenge and bitter sweet joy in this season.

And I have to ask. What do you miss the most about where you came from?

 

Mama’s Day

I went searching for a picture to post on Mother’s Day, and ended up with too many.

It’s impossible, it seems, to capture in one frame what my mother is. I know her without second thought, but sometimes I feel like there is no end to every feeling or memory wrapped up in who she is.

All the unspoken patient moments and the sacrifices I’ll never understand.

The times she listened to my adolescent weeping.

When she’d send me outside to play.

The no’s along with the yes’s.

Her days sweating under a June sun in the garden.

Her face softening as she holds a newborn.

The little ways she  laughs or asks about things in detail.

And how my Dad adores her.

She’s a skort and tank. A stern mouth and laugh lines. Fabric and hammer. Wisdom and eye roll.

She’s lemon flavoured with coconut whipped cream, and this year, I’m more thankful for her than ever.

xoxo

Dear Little Lippy

To the girl you are and about to be, learn to laugh. It will help.

Those excuses you make? The verbal twists and denial? Just shake it out in the wind and while you’re at it toss the temper next. Slamming doors will never make you feel better.

Learn to apologize because you are grieved with your wrong doing, not because you hate conflict. Ride out the silence until you can say the words right, to God and your friend.

Waste no time wondering if you are pretty or have personality. This is only obvious to the people around you and seeking reassurance will interfere with the business of actually living.

Kill worry and turn it into prayer. Every time your sensitive stomach twists for the people around you, beat Heaven’s gate in confidence on their behalf.

Trust God. That what He says is truer and better than you will ever know. Trust that He does not hold secret suffering to tease you with and believe that His kindness will never stop.

Thank the people around you. See the world through their eyes, the brother, sisters, parents, old man and don’t be afraid to acknowledge their quiet greatness.

Play as hard as you can. Don’t be embarrassed by your own imagination. Eat popsicles and rhubarb pie. Hold lots of chickens.

And in awhile, you will grow up.

 

 

Five Minute Friday: Sing

I’m shy about singing when I know people are listening. I don’t want them to think my private enjoyment is actually meant as performance for them.

I remember Mom once telling me that I didn’t sing as much as I used to and that she missed it.

We second guess ourselves too much.

I try to shake off the self conceit from time to time. Perhaps with practice it will become second nature and recently I caught a glimpse of that.

Walking through the store I sang to myself, not realizing it and when I did, not caring.

I know people who will burst out anywhere at anytime and I hope to become that someday. Less worried about myself and simply glad to give voice to what’s on my heart.

To sing is a deep expression of attitude and choice, deeper than I realized as the child that my mother heard from her office chair.

And now, choosing to find my way back to that girl, I’ll give voice again to those watermelon sweet days.