Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A Handful of Great Big Surprises I Never Saw Coming

Spring is officially here!  

Can I get an amen?

The weatherman somehow seems to have missed the notification.  

But that's ok.  

We're stretching un-exercised limbs after a long winter's nap and it won't be long
 til we're flinging our windows open wide to breathe deep the warm breezes.  
Padding around in the sunshine in worn, soft t-shirts and bare feet with vividly painted toenails.  
And settling in with a thick page-turner in the hammock that swings gently.

March had more than its fair share of surprises this year.   
And it wasn't just about the winter weather that refused to fade away ...


/   1   /

My man and I packed our bags and headed off on a long awaited, hastily planned last minute cruise to celebrate our 39th.  A question that never even dawned on our way-too-cluttered brains as we made our preparations?

There's no chance, is there,  that  .  this  .  just  .  might  .  be  .  spring  .  break?

Imagine our surprise / horror / disbelief as we made our way through the snaking terminal lines and discovered that there we were with a few other brave souls, some random families ...  and 1500+ of our new college friends more than ready to party hardy.  

Before we even found our bags, scantily clad and drink toting students took over every public space.  The pool area looked like one big 24 / 7 mosh pit and was pretty much out of bounds for those over 21 or under 18.  On the second day, just a bit overwhelmed by the whole chaotic scene, I indulged in my own personal pity party for a minute few minutes, prompting my husband to set off to discover a couple of quiet little nooks where we could regroup.


Undisturbed.


To be fair, any kids we bumped into here and there were polite and well-mannered and we met some very pleasant people on our journey.  When all was said and done, a good time was had by all of us who were sober and conscious enough to remember this end-of-winter grace gift.


Especially 1976's very young bride and her groom.


/   2   /

Back in the day you hand quilted your carefully gathered scraps with needle and thread over a wooden frame or with a big old hoop in your lap.  It took forever and a day, but the end result, the daily used heirloom, was always worth the time invested.  Always.

Times have changed, but the passion to creatively craft our masterpieces remains.  Check out this video and see long time Creekside commenter Debby showing us her stuff.  Surprise! This ain't your Grandma's quilting bee!     


To say I'm impressed is an understatement.  Simply wow, Debby.


/   3   /

Blogging?  

For me, it's penning words that tumble out of a very full heart that yearns to share a discovery or a truth or a musing.  Reading the same from the hand of others that are so inclined.  Coaching writers as they figure out what they truly want their online spaces to look like ... and relishing conversations that go deep to ferret out why we do what we do.

I love the supportive community that grows one post, one comment at a time, and the connection that knits one kindred spirit to another who truly gets who you are and what you're trying to say.  

the amazing Deidra Riggs
This month's surprise highlight?  The sheer relief in not blogging for 3 weeks.  

And sitting with Deidra's The Art of Blogging: A Series.  Hands down, her musings on writing and community are simply the best I've ever savored.

Deidra was gracious enough to chat with me just a bit about my own hurts as I've navigated the pathways in finding my place in the blogging community. The surprise?  Her wise and candid words to me quickly emerged to become a healing stream flowing into my heart.  Click here and scroll down to check out our little conversation.

And please tell her that Linda@Creekside sent you.


/   4   /

It wasn't all that long after I boasted about my culinary expertise that our aging oven burst into flames one morning while the weekend chef was attempting to pull together an egg sandwich.  

the fruit of my labor back in the day when the oven actually worked
Surprise!  

Sad to say, I haven't been able to use the lower half of my kitchen stove in about a month and a half as we begin to search for a new appliance to replace the ancient one.

No worries.

The 29 year old vintage crockpot has proven to be worthy of the space it takes up in the cupboard.  The grill was shoveled out of the snow and put back into service.  The little toaster oven proved to be a handy, seldom-before-used gadget.  

And the lack of warmly luscious baked goods straight from the oven can only be a boost toward my goal of shedding the pounds I've gathered about my bones during the long winter months.


/   5   /

I do love me some good games of Candy Crush. Maybe it's my therapy.  Who knows.

But I've learned caution the hard way.  'Cause if you play video games in the evening, be sure that you'll play them all  .  night  .  in  .  your  .  sleep.  

And THAT surprise is just not fun.  At all.





 
What's surprising you these days?
 
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/  /

Having fun chatting with Mary  *  Holley  *  Emily  *  Leigh

40 comments:

  1. What is surprising me is not really a surprise. The weather turned warm enough to ride my bike without all my winter gear. Just my bib shorts and a jersey. this week it has been back down into the 30s and lower. I shouldn't be surprised though. It is Spring in Indiana. Glad you had a chance to get away.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My husband's chomping at the bit to get out there on his wheels again, too. Maybe you guys could meet somewhere halfway between Indiana and the east coast??

      haha

      ;-}

      Delete
  2. Congratulations on your anniversary! I am loving this week's forecast and am itching to play in the dirt. Unfortunately, the sod here in Louisiana is still very VERY soggy and it will take more than a couple of days of sun to dry it out. I'll just have to be content with sitting on the front porch and reading in the sunshine. :) P.S. TOTALLY know what you mean about playing Candy Crush at night.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh ... sitting on the porch reading sounds heavenly right about now!

      I'd have to get a shovel to make that happen here ... so please read an extra chapter or two for me, ok, Pary?

      ;-}

      Delete
  3. AMEN on the springtime arrival! I am so excited to work out in my garden this year.. even though a rodent ate up all my bell pepper seedlings. *sobs*.. but with all my blessings, how can I be upset?!?! hehe! Yay springtime!!! - www.domesticgeekgirl.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love your blessings perspective, Gingi!

      Let's count 'em!

      ;-}

      Delete
  4. 1.Spring is here in TX--will send your way.
    2.Plan to check our your conversation---WHY am I doing this?
    3. Laughed out loud on your good fortune? of being captivated with the Spring Breakers for a cruise!

    Blessings, Friend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Send some pansies, bluebells, whatever glorious color you have in bloom, Lulu! We're all so starving for some colorful blooms in the northeast.

      Brrr ....

      Delete
  5. Well that's quite a handful of surprises. So glad your time away ended up still be a time of refreshment. How awesome that you and Deidra could have a conversation. She is just delightful. I had a chance to meet her at a conference last year. And I love her Art of Blogging series.

    My most recent oh so wonderful surprise . . . our eldest son joined us for church on Sunday and he received a surprise welcome home from the congregation. He also very much enjoyed the sermon. Afterwards when we sat down for lunch he said to me, "I think I might be coming around, Mom."

    Imagine the look on my face!!!!!!

    Praise God!

    Please continue to keep him and his wife in your prayers.

    Always a breath of fresh air when I stop by for a visit.

    Love you, friend.
    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You've made my day with the news of your son 'coming around!'

      Praying that the Lord will continue to pull your son closer and closer to Himself, Beth. He is so able to do that. And his faithful mama and all her friends are pounding on heaven's door for his spiritual awakening.

      Celebrating with you, dear friend. And thanking God for the work He's begun ...

      Delete
  6. I love your surprise cruise and the newness of spring. I am sure some of your other surprises were not as pleasant-such as your oven going up in flames.

    Thank you for sharing the Deidra Riggs series. Guess what I'll be doing this summer-catching up on all those good reads I have not had time for! Yippee!

    My biggest surprise is the how fast the time is going and before I know it my school year and career will come to an end. 46 more school days to be exact!

    I hope you will consider coaching me some more in the future! I treasure your advice and encouragement. Love you and can't wait to "hang out" with you again in the future.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I bet you're counting the minutes, friend. Although I can imagine that there will be tears and many mixed emotions. What a milestone! And what a transition you have to anticipate ...

      I'm ready to coach when you are! Just shoot me a quick note when you're ready to roll! It'll be fun to reconnect on that level ... you're an incredible woman and I anticipate what God's going to do in you and through you in this next season.

      ;-}

      Delete
  7. As so often before, I'm surprised that I ain't dead.

    I used to joke that after WW3, the only life that would be left would be cockroaches...and me. Might be some truth there, after all.

    And here's your joke for the day.

    Why didn't God let Satn kill Job?

    Because God didn't want to be unemployed.

    Think about it for a minute, and then start groaning.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2015/03/why-marriage-is-important.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm groaning, yeah, I'm groaning.

      Don't quit your day job, man. Just keep on writing those marriage posts, will ya'?

      ;-}

      Delete
    2. Yeah, I think I'll stick with the marriage stuff! Having too much fun doing that, anyway!

      Delete
  8. Sorry to be negative, but is "the man" wearing dark socks on a cruise?? No wonder the 1500 college kids stayed on the pool deck. They were probably too scared by the style of the older guy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very funny! Next time we take a sisters / brothers-in-law jaunt, we'll see who's stylin'!

      haha

      ;-}

      Delete
  9. Hello Linda -- recognized the blue toenails from reading your email this morning. :) Lovely, uplifting post and so glad you got away to celebrate -- even amidst all those bikini clad kids!! Blessings...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No one gets to take away our joy, right?!

      ;-}

      Delete
  10. Love this post - it is so commendable that you enjoyed the trip in spite of all the crowd. My husband and I have found that some of those "surprise" trips have proved to be the most memorable. Thanks for sharing !!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Even a long drive on a Sunday afternoon can be a pleasure ... you just never know what you'll discover 'round the next bend ...

      Welcome, Rebecca!

      Delete
  11. Much Fun !! and good finds too!
    Blessings Linda

    ReplyDelete
  12. Congrats on your 29th! Enjoy spring Enjoy your cruise! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Springtime brings bunches of warm blessings! I think it's my new favorite season!

      Delete
  13. Your painted toenails look so cute! :) I have been wearing flip flops more consistently this week and need to work on mine.
    I love spring!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just can't wait for barefoot weather, Sarah ... it's one of my favorite warm weather treats!

      ;-)

      Delete
  14. Love your bagful of surprises!! Thanks too for sharing your conversation with Deidra - how beautiful!

    Sorry about the stove!!! Hope your new one is a delight! I noticed in the background of the picture of the cobbler (???) that you have the very same canister set that my Mom had while I was growing up - warm, fun memories of learning to bake and cook using those canisters. Made me feel at home in your kitchen!

    Take care, dear friend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How cool that the canister set brought back some fond memories of your mama's kitchen, Dar. Although I've gotten rid of most of my kitchen collectibles, the ones I still have bring a smile to my face whenever I use them.

      Which isn't too often these days since I'm missing an oven!

      haha

      Delete
  15. Oh Linda, the thought of all of those college spring breakers makes my hair stand on end. You took it in much better stride than I probably would have :). At least you had some fabulously cute blue toes! Thanks for sharing that blogging series. I'll definitely have to check that out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your first line cracked me up, friend! I had to pray for grace more than once out on the big blue sea. Even though my self-absorbed plans didn't turn out exactly like I might have wished, I had to trust that God had a plan.

      And I think it was grace. Learning it once again. And living it out in the chaotic atmosphere.

      ;-}

      And yes, the blue toes made me smile in the midst of it all ...

      Delete
  16. I've gone Cruisin' during spring break as well : ). I was the same age as all of those spring breaking, but was on the cruise with my mom! We spent most of the time reading and worrying about the huge tabs the spring breakers were racking up each day! Congrats on the anniversary!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, that's a thought, Meredith! I wonder how things might have been different if everyone had brought their mamas along!

      ;-}

      Delete
  17. I am really enjoying Deidra's series on blogging, too. She rocks :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, that woman goes DEEP! I so appreciate her perspective ...

      Delete
  18. I can only imagine the stress, I mean joy's of celebrating Spring Break! I've been loving what Deidra is doing over at Jumping Tandem. She told me to journal while I'm on break, like put pen to paper, and it is helping. It's amazing the meals you can accomplish without a stove. We once rented a space without a stove and went with it - between the crockpot, electric skillet and microwave we survived quite nicely for several months. Glad you enjoyed your time away from blogging and glad you are back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good to see you again! Yep, some of my best journaling is done when I'm not putting my energies into blogging. That yearning to put pen to paper is a strong pull, isn't it ...

      Thanks for taking the time to visit today! I've missed ya'!

      ;-}

      Delete
  19. Glad you were able to enjoy your cruise in spite of all the Spring Breakness!

    ReplyDelete

Welcome to the table, friend!

This is where we gather and hang out. I'd love for you to pull up a chair and jump right into the conversation. Or simply say 'hello.'

l'll be dropping in to visit you sometime soon ...

Linda

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