You know you’re doing the parenting thing right when your twelve-year-old is looking at you with a combination of doubt and amusement. At least, that’s the way I figure it. So the other morning, my beloved dog woke me up at 4:30 as she paced back and forth down the halls and up and down the old wooden staircase of our house over and over. I finally convinced myself to give up on the tossing and turning bit and groggily ventured downstairs and to my fuel, ahem, coffee maker at 5:58. As I was pressing start on my favorite kitchen appliance, the electricity went out. Noooooooooo!
The first five minutes of the power outage I was optimistic. I lit some candles, chatted with my ten-year-old, (who was so excited to be using her new flashlight in the dark), and I decided to start my Bible study. But all I could think about was that coffee. So when the power came on about forty minutes later and I had the first cup of deliciousness in my hand, I was dancing across my kitchen. Now, some people know that kitchen dancing is kind of my thing, but this morning I got lost in the moment. All I know is that I glanced up mid-one-woman-conga-line to see that look I mentioned a minute ago coming at me from my 12-year-old. I was singing the Conga beat, (da-da-da-da-da-da), coffee in hand, my favorite cozy robe on, dancing across the kitchen and in place of shouting “Con-ga! Con-ga!” I was singing, “Cof-fee! Cof-fee!” What can I say? I like my coffee.
A little while after my earlier than usual kitchen dance party, I had just finished my yoga and was at the sink, when I spotted a hawk on my neighbor’s fence. I got excited. I always do when I see hawks. I think they’re so cool I had to include them in my teen fantasy book series, HARMONY RUN. I showed my daughters, who both thought the bird of prey was neat, and enthusiastically alerted my husband. Meanwhile, the hawk flew to another tree. By the time Charles got to the window all he could see was, “something black.” Based off his description, I gathered he didn’t quite seem convinced his dream woman had seen a hawk. (Maybe her overactive imagination had gotten carried away again?) To be honest, I think he was only on his first cup of coffee, so maybe he wasn’t as alert as yours truly. Still, in my ongoing quest to prove to Charles I’m holding onto a bit of sanity, I tugged my boots on, grabbed my camera and a winter coat to go with my yoga pants, and headed out into 23-degree weather.
The hawk moved from branch to branch despite my stealth-like approach, (snow boots snapping every twig and crunching every leaf in my yard), but I kept praying that I could just get one picture to show that man. And voilà. I got one, and only one, picture. But thank you, Lord- that’s all I needed!
When I went back inside, my 12-year-old was laughing, the doubt still lingering on her beautiful face. She nodded towards my yoga Capri pants and shook her head. “Cold, Mom?” she asked. “Yes, but I got the evidence I needed for your dad,” I declared triumphantly. The girls were impressed with the photo. And Charles…well, he took one look at the photo and said, “Oh…wow!” surprise evident in his expression, and that made my dash into the cold worth every freezing moment.
I may be a coffee-chugging-one-woman-Conga-line, but I’m not seeing things. Well, not all of the time, anyway. 😉 Don’t forget to look out your window, friends. You never know what you may see. And the next time your morning cup of coffee brings a smile to your face, why not consider doing the kitchen Conga line? I promise I won’t judge. I’m too busy amusing my children.
Today, in honor of the man, my dad,
Who brainwashed the younger me,
I’ll try to live by his favorite rules
I’ll do my best, let’s see…
I’ll start with the indoor waste
‘Cause a clean trash can is a happy trash can,
Empty each one into the central outdoor bin
Then scrub each container best I can
I’ll put on some classic rock
Throw in some eighties big hair greats,
There’s something about cleaning your house while belting lyrics
To Bon Jovi and Whitesnake
I’ll Windex every window, TV,
Anything that can gleam,
I’ll clean out my cabinets, closets, and drawers
I’ll douse everything in bleach
I’ll try not to overdo it
Every so often I’ll have to take five,
I’ll spend it watching a classic war movie
With the surround sound cranked up high
I’ll tackle each item on my yellow legal pad
Understand the importance of this list,
Work hard, accomplish goals, and cross off each item
After I’m done with it
I’ll do good, what’s right
Treat others how I want to be treated,
Have my friends over for roast
And once they are seated…
I’ll tell my favorite jokes, the old, the new
And sing my favorite tunes,
We’re not gonna take it, no, we ain’t gonna take it
And Beans, beans, the magical fruit
Pass the sugar, Sugar, the honey, Honey,
And please pass the tea, Bag,
I’ll reveal the origins of baby carrots,
How they were taken from their moms and dads
I’ll ask my kids if anyone is picking on them
Offer to beat up a bully or two,
Run five thousand errands, cleaning as I go,
There’s so much dirt, so much to do
I’ll try to be like Dad, the birthday man
Leave a trail of laughs and smiles in my wake,
He touches lives with his humor and kindness
He’s one of a kind, one of the greats
So, today, in honor of the man who taught me to dream big
Who taught me how to ski,
I’ll try to accomplish this daunting list
But at the very least, I’ll scrub my trashcans clean.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD! I love you!
Love, Princess (AKA your favorite middle child) Sarah Louise
Here are a few ‘wildlife’ photos I took while visiting family in Indiana recently. Most of the photos were taken at my brother’s house on a lake, and the rest were taken at my Mom’s house or hiking near her home. That fox got away before I could get a nice photo, but there is always next time. Now that I am back in the Sunshine state, where I have already seen a couple of alligators lurking in the ponds that dot our landscape, I must admit, it was a relaxing visit to the Hoosier state… I didn’t worry about an alligator surfacing from the depths of my brother’s lake…not even a little… and those turtles and ducks were kind of cute. 🙂