Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Real Mermaid Thanksgiving

I got off the plane from Cali at 1am. At 7am I hit the pavement running for real estate and got as much done as I could before 10pm. That's because at 3 am we were piled in the car for a 17-hour drive to Florida. Our destination was Weeki Wachee to visit my 98 year old grandma.

We met up with my brother's family (all 8 of them), my sister's family (only 4 of them came) & my mom. We all stayed in the same condo complex on Hudson Beach.

I love birds and there were birds outside my grandma's nursing home, birds in the lagoon outside our condo, birds everywhere. I am so blessed I got to see pink spoonbills, bald eagles, osprey, snowy egrets, peacocks, and some weird birds I don't even know what they are (yet).

We got local seafood and cooked it up in our condo kitchens and had a feast of crab, red snapper, bay scallops, shrimp, clams, complimented with southern hush puppies. Omg. so good.

We went kayaking. We talked religion. We talked economics. We told stories. We laughed.

We visited the grandma and heard wonderful stories from the 1930's.

The cousins took lots of photos together. We sat in the sun, we went out to dinner, we woke up late. We drank fresh coffee on the balcony and watched out for manatees and dolphins playing in the lagoon.

Games were played. People napped. We watched fish and shark swim around. We admired gorgeous Florida flowers and palms.

For Thanksgiving everyone was in the party house at the same time for a huge traditional turkey meal. I cooked turkey breast & stuffing, and brought pumpkin pies. We got in one huge circle, held hands, and my brother prayed over the meal. (miss you Dad)

Becca's boyfriend drove over from FSU and spent the night. He brought his explosive energy to our game-playing and stepped the competition up a notch or two or three.
Our last day it was so hard to please everyone, but everyone came along to see the the Mermaids of Weeki Wachee. So glad we did. It was really fun and Florida institution. (and that's where I saw the peacocks and eagles) We really missed Rachael and her husband. That would have made the huge week long Florida party perfect.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Tennessee Weekend

We went to a wedding in Tennessee.
It was in a charming white country church with steeple, among the yellow-leafed ash trees.

We posed for a lot of cameras.

The next day we just "hung out" sharing You Tube finds.

While some of us played thinking games involving shouting out answers, others watched college football, or did homework, or talked and talked and talked. And, of course we ate lots of fattening foods like homemade hot fudge sauce on vanilla ice cream.

The bride and groom stopped in from time to time.

In our hotel room there were enormous guffaws and hilarity and belly laughing. I tried to sleep through all the cousin-sister-brother silliness.

Life moves too quickly.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Pain Pain Go Away

I once wrote that I didn't want to start another blog post with the words, "I am pain free.'" I don't want my life to center around whether I'm in pain or not. Yet, here it is again, and I guess I can't escape the fact that my life does center around pain. I'm coming off several days of being completely disabled due to pain. I was pushing through the pain and symptoms through the week and on Friday I couldn't ignore it anymore. Yet, I had a closing 30 minutes away from my home on Friday. I remained unshowered in the same clothes I slept in while I worked diligently toward closing. The whole transaction was tangled up in a title company, bank, private mortgage company fiasco. So the whole day was spent making phone calls, then texting the buyer, then emailing the agent, then calling, then emailing, then texting. This went on for the entire day with me trying to solve problems and relay messages and forcing the title company to do their job. Besides, the buyer had to vacate her residence the next day and had the moving van coming and all movers. We were going to close this thing as long as it was up to me. Sick or not sick.

So I finally showered, put a suit on and some make up & drove up to the title company for closing, not knowing if the deal was going to happen or not. The pain was so severe I had to pull over twice to rest, and sob, and regain my strength. At one point I panicked and thought I just cant make there. How I am going to make it back? I called Olin and cried saying I was stuck on the side of the road in no man's land and what was I going to do? He prayed for me over the phone and told me if I could make it there, he'd come pick me up and leave the car there to retrieve later. That calmed me down enough to journey onward. Thank goodness for cell phones.

When I arrived I met the buyer for the first time. She is young, very pretty, and obviously smart-as-a-whip. Her agent had told me she's a Christian, and her last name is the same as a church friend I had over 25 years ago. I asked her if she was related to my church friend, and sure enough she is her daughter. It's funny how in the midst of the excitement of meeting a kindred spirit all pain dissipates. We shared stories about Jesus while we waited for the title company to get their package together. It's such a small world. I told this buyer, I'm pretty sure you were at my wedding because your mom was pregnant when she sang at our ceremony. Yep, that was her in there.

This sweet gal is buying her first home to be near the church plant she is helping to start. She is in charge of the children's church. Listening to her stories of her community of faith made me sooooooo nostalgic for a community of believers. I told her, "these are the best years of your life, so I hope you really enjoy them!" She had such a joy talking about the excitement of planting a church I know she's enjoying it. Though I know all the sacrifices she's making too.

She signed all her papers, I signed, then we shook hands parted our ways. I was in such a fog of pain I left my purse there. At least I hope that's where it's at!

Then Saturday was gorgeous but I just moved from my bed to the couch to my bed to the couch. Becca went to breakfast and church with a college friend that was in town. Olin and I stayed home because I was suffering. I layed on the couch and watched "meet the candidates" and had intense philosophical and political discussions with my husband instead. He prayed me for four or five times.

Tomorrow is the Monday agents tour of homes that I don't like to miss. So I'll have to see how my head is tomorrow. For future reference, I'm going to try and write shorter blog posts and happier ones too. So just to give you a preview of coming attractions: Two weeks.... Palm Springs, California here I come.