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Life’s a Beach!

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You’ve seen it on t-shirts & bumper stickers:  Life’s a beach.

Memories of a walk on the beach at sunrise puts it all into perspective. 

Life.

It is many things.

And, yes…. Life is a beach!
It’s the beauty of the sunrise — sometimes glowing golden, sometimes backlit & bashful.

The sound of the waves — sometimes soothing, sometimes crashing.

The sea breeze in your hair — sometimes simply perfect, sometimes …well… a bit much.

Life is the grandparents who come down to the beach early to set up the perfect spot for their families.

Life is the kids who sleep on the beach.  On the sand, in the car, on the toolbox (!).

Life is the dad determined to cook breakfast for his son — but going to Plan B when things don’t work out.

Life is the family dogs frolicking in the surf and always just one step away from catching a bird.

Life is the runner – counting the miles and making the goals.

Life is the couple sipping coffee and studying their devotionals.

Life is the meanderer making her way slowly down the beach – snapping photo after photo while her head & heart sort through everything therein.
Life has highs — the glorious beauty of the beach, the love and laughter of good times shared with friends & family, the treasured walks alone.

Life has lows — the trash on the beach, the sunburn if you forget to reapply, the jellyfish.
So, yes.

Life’s a beach.

When it’s good. It is so, so, so very good.

And when it’s not, we simply must remember what to do.

Pick up the trash, dust off our feet and step back into the beauty.

And it’s all good again.
Then sings my soul…

On Being Teeta

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Oh how my soul does sing…

15 years ago, I was planning a wedding – my 2nd – to a man with kids.

I loved them then because they were his.

Their relationship was fragile.
Difficult at times.
But his kids were the pieces that completed him.

And I loved them for it.

Through their ups and downs, I watched and loved….
As he grew.
As they grew.
As all our hearts grew together into the single beat of family.

We beat as a family parallel…

One of the strengths I admire and treasure most in his kids is their willingness to, alongside their relationships to their mom and previous stepmom, to love me and let me love them.

A family.
A family parallel.

And then came the Grands.
And the heartbeat of our family,
took on a deeper, stronger,  tangible beat.

The kids — his kids I love as deeply and as dearly as my own, not only for who they are to the hubs, for for who they ARE, and who they are to me — have blessed us all with beautiful,  perfect darlings.  They have their Bubbie, their Honey,
…. and they have me.

And so.
Here I am.
A Teeta.
Not a grandma by birth but by a family parallel.

And OH, how my soul does sing.

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31 days?
I wasn’t sure I could do it.
31 days?
Did I have enough to say for 31 days?

31 days…..?

It seemed so daunting at first.
Scary.
Huge.
Too much.

31 days….?

Of writing,
Of sharing,
Of reading,
Of reflecting.

It seemed huge.
It seemed too much.
I’m so busy I meet myself coming and going.
I’m so busy;  how could I ever accomplish such a thing?

I’m so busy.
….for 31 days.

So busy being blown away by the experience.
So busy being enriched by the posts I’ve read.
So busy being stopped in my own moments.

Forced to be still,
To reflect,
To think,
To BE.

So here I am.
At the end of 31 days.
31 days…!
Each a little different.
Each it’s own flavor slice.
Each a reflection of who I am, where I am, how I am.

I set my goal.
I held my breath.
I jumped right in…
And wrote.

…for 31 days!

Then sings my soul…..

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I thought I might write about my private dance party in the car on the way to school this morning.

Then I thought I might write about the sticky note on one student’s answer document marked “Boogers?”

But then lunch happened and I found myself caught in a pop-up rain shower 1/2 a block from my destination, and I thought I might write about that.

Or the (resulting) look on my friend’s face when she stopped me mid-sentence and said, “Is it really humid?   Your hair is kind of …… uhm…..big.”

Or the mixed blessing of saying goodbye to a character of our town while visiting with so many other friends I’ve not seen face-to-face in far too long.

But then I came home,
Walked through the house,
And flipped on the light in the bathroom.

And the geckos were there!!!!!
….and they’re just so dang cute!

And there’s the slice!

….then sings my soul.

Humble and Kind

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Always be humble and kind.

Tim McGraw sings it….
Beautifully.

This man lived it….
Fully.

I was on my way home from my weekly manicure date with my grandma tonight,
With my grandpa on my heart,
When this song came on the radio.

The words are lovely and loving.
More so because they fit my Grandpa to a T.

It’s been 25 years since stupid cancer stole him from us too soon.
25 years…..
And yet I can still hear his voice in moments of quiet,
moments of incessant noise,
moments I need him near.

My grandpa was a man of wisdom and wit.
And 1,001 saying to fit the world.

“Christmas in July” when my Grandma walked in the room.
“What do you mean?” I once asked.
“Oh, Honey. I’m so blessed to have your Grandma…it’s like Christmas in July!”

They just don’t make love like that every day….

“If you’re not a part of the solution, you’re a part of the problem,” when I had a whiny moment.
“But Grandpa….” I’d plead.
“Well???”

‘Nuff said.  And he’s right. It’s a lesson I’ve taken to heart. It pushes me ever forward.

“Study long; study wrong!”
…OK….
This one was about playing dominoes.
Which he NEVER “let” us win.

But what tremendous life lessons we learned while shaking the bones at the kitchen table!

“You got your driver’s license?”
…every single time we got in the car.
His way of saying, “I love you.  Be safe. Take care. And behave!”

….and do you know?  I carry my license everywhere!

Humble and Kind.
That’s him.

Alfred Hoerig.
A simple man.
A great man.
Humble and kind,
Indeed.

Then sings my soul…..

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…and this is the view from where I sit.
In the tub,
Peering over the edge,
With bubbles up to my chin.

20,000 steps today.
Most made during the school day
In shoes not made for walking.

And so this is where I sit.
With the shoes not on my feet.

Aromatherapy a la bubblebath, ahhhhh.
Still too light to need the candles that sit ever at the ready.
But the time is right for dark chocolate.
(Always.)

For tomorrow we test.
And, yes, it’s a “we.”
Oh, so very much a “we.”

4th graders will write.
5th graders will “math.”
And teachers will pray….
A lot.

That the kids are confident,
Their learning true.
That they’ll seize this moment to apply all they know.

That even as they play this game we never chose,
They play to win.
To sparkle,
To shine.
To do their best.

Their best is what we’ve worked for,
and it’s what we pray for.

At least I know I sure do…
With 2 pairs of tennies on the floor,
And bubbles up to my chin.

They’ve got this.
We’ve got this.
We’ve all worked so hard.

That now it’s time to breathe….
No matter how many steps led to the bath.

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…..and the fluffy purple towel.

Then sings my soul…..

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Reflecting on this Easter Sunday was much tougher than I imagined it would be.   There were so many moments to savor:  the sight of my beautiful grandmother in church for another Easter service,  the Hubs and his mini-me Grand sitting on the grass playing with Hot Wheels from the egg hunt,  all the wonderful food and family time, …
But ultimately it came down to this.
Cascarone Wishes.

May every day contain a bit of Easter.
With rejoicing and rebirth,
Faith and hope,
Family, food, and fun.

May you have just the right amount of confetti in your hair.
And most importantly, of course, the sheltering arm of someone who loves you draped across your shoulders.

Then sings my soul….

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Grandboy  #1 experienced the highs and lows of losing a tooth today…
as only a 6 year old can.

At. High. Drama.

The illustration says it all.
Especially when narrated by the Grand.

Starting on the right — because the image bled through from the other side.

Which was, incidentally, another of the traumas of our morning.  But that’s a story for another day.

Today’s slice starts now, from the increasingly toothless mouth of Grandboy #1:

So, you see….
I was eating my donut.
Chocolate’s the best, you know.
But I was just eating and it started messing with my loose tooth.

I kept on eating but then!!!!!
It fell out!!!
I was lucky because it stuck in the donut….

But then everything went wrong!
Everything!!!!!!
I can’t believe it happened!!!!!

Did I mention high drama???  Oh my GOODNESS, high drama!

So then.
I put my tooth in my hand and came over to show you but BOOM!
It fell out of my hand!
Just. Like. That.

I couldn’t believe it!
You helped me look, but…
You LAUGHED!
You said it happens to everyone.
You said people lose their teeth then LOSE their teeth!
You said it happened to Josh and Kat, and all we have to do is write a letter, but I don’t know if I believe you!

So then I was just sad…..
Really, REALLY sad.

Josh called and Kat called and they said they wrote a letter.
They said the tooth fairy understands….
So, maybe…???

I sure hope this works,  Teeta.

I just don’t know if the tooth fairy is that smart.

Oh, that boy…
Then sings my soul!

P.S.
I made absolutely,  positively,  100% sure his Momma knows what the tooth fairy did at my house when this happened….
Because I know.
The tooth fairy IS that smart!

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It’s Good Friday and a holiday.
And this….
This is the view from where I sit.

At first glance,
SPRING!
At second,
So much more.

The redbird at the feeder.
The shallows in the nest.
The succulent overflowing the old wash tub mounted on a stump.

Life!!!!

A lone goldfish,
Swimming under the repurposed hunting tripod —
Now art over our crazy overgrown pond.

The bathtub iris,
Flourishing in the claw foot tub, rescued from a heap of discarded past —
Now a wildlife fixture on our porch.

The sparrows,
Perching on ocean bouys,
Treasures washed ashore and gathered on my coveted sunrise walks on the beach —
Now a resting place among the feeders.

Hmmmm.
At second thought,
The first glance was right.
SPRING!

Rebirth.
Regrowth.
Repurpose.

Renewed.

All while being serenaded by the Star Wars cantina chatter of my beloved swallows,
In the nest they’ve spent years building.
Nestled just so in the corner
Where we peek at each other under the curtains handmade by my mom….

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The view from where I sit.
Oh!
Then sings my soul!

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There’s no place like home.

As the gate opens,
I feel myself physically begin to relax.

Then, I see the cows…
And my heart soars.
Sugar’s here!!
The Hubs moved her across the road today!

Then the jackrabbit escorts.
With their long tawny ears
And little black tails,
They are definitely one of my favorite compound words.

And at the second gate, the pups.
Boomer, dancing in circles of joy because I’m home at last.
Latte, making her trademark & namesake “lotta” noise.

And finally.
Home.

Pups and I raced inside.
10 minutes to pjs, clean face,
And bedtime.

All is well.
Life is good.
Then sings my soul….