The Coat Closet

After my Grannie died in September, the big challenge was obviously going through the house where she and my Grandaddy had lived for 50+ years. Her house was meticulously organized, even her extra bedroom-turned-closet.

One of the first things my mom and aunt tackled was the large collection of linens. It was no secret that Grannie loved linens. Tablecloths, napkins, towels, OMGTHEHANDTOWELS, sheets, and comforters. They kept the ones they wanted for themselves and gave the others away to places that might be able to use them.

The other thing that was no secret that my Grannie AND Grandaddy shared a love for was their collection of coats, jackets, and sweaters. There were dozens, if not over a hundred. Because living in Southwest Central Georgia requires a large collection of winter wear.

Whatever: old people get cold.

Anyway, there was a large collection. None of the grandchildren wanted or needed any of the items and neither did my mom or aunt. They would be better served with people who truly needed them.

A little before Christmas, my mom and aunt packed them up and my mom rode around with them in her car for a while. Right before our first big winter storm of this year (who knew), I told her she needed to look for a coat closet of some sort to give them to or take them to Goodwill or the Salvation Army. People NEEDED the coats and she had them all in her car.

She called around to different churches, asking if they had a ministry that would take them. They all sent her to another church and another and another. Nobody had a coat ministry.

Finally, my mom got a man on the phone at a church that said, “Yes ma’am, come on and bring them to me at your convenience.”

So she did.

When she arrived at the church, the ladies in the office were very confused. Apparently they didn’t have a coat closet ministry, and my mom must surely have the wrong church. They talked back and forth for a few minutes, wondering who my mom confused them with, when they heard a man’s voice from the back office.

“Is that the lady with the coats?”

Even more confused, they answered, “Yes,” and he came to greet my mom.

The ladies kept on, “But we don’t HAVE a coat ministry, Pastor. Did you really talk to her?”

“Ladies,” he said. “We’ve never had a coat closet, but there’s a need for one. She has coats to give us, so we now have a coat closet ministry.”

Before my mom left, he shared a few more words with him. He told her, “God provided the coats for the closet; now He will direct us to the need for them.”

And so the coat closet ministry at that church was started.

And so it ever shall be.

Amen.

#snOMG: Makeshift Preparations and Being Lucky

#snOMG: Makeshift Preparations and Being Lucky

“Expect just a dusting up to about ½” of accumulation.”

That was the word on Monday night. At 8am on Tuesday, in spite of the forecast changing to 1-2″, our school district sent an email stating that, “Based on information we have received from the National Weather Service and our Inclement Weather Team, the OUR County School District will open all schools today.”

At 12:30pm on Tuesday, our school district sent an email stating that school would be closing at 1:30, to come get your kids. Luckily I saw it on Twitter at noon and left work. I left work that is 40 minutes away.

Three hours later, I pulled in my driveway.

I was one of the lucky ones. My son was able to go home with a friend across the street so I could park at home and walk to get him.

My husband, who was supposed to be leaving to go to Canada for work, tried to leave to head to the airport, spun out three times (full 360’s), and after 3 hours, abandoned his car in a subdivision because Uber was able to come pick him up. The airport shut down. No trip.

He walked down our driveway 5 hours after he left the office.

He was one of the lucky ones.

All under one roof, I realized I wasn’t prepared. I had prepared for maybe one night with just me and the kiddo. Jason was supposed to be gone. I had not planned for otherwise. I felt panicky knowing that I hadn’t done all I could to prepare for this mess.

We were prepared for fun, though. As reports of people being in cars for 8-9-10 hours crept in, we were throwing snowballs and dusting off the toboggan.

Fear and mass chaos gripped the Atlanta metro area while we sipped hot chocolate and took cute pictures in the snow.

photo

Around 7, it was decided that Jason needed to walk about a mile and pick up one of Henry’s friends whose mom, at that point, had been in the car for 7 hours and was sitting still where she had been for 2 hours. Jason bundled up, got his walking stick, grabbed Henry’s hiking boots for the friend, and set off in the dark and cold to retrieve an 8 year old whose mom was stranded.

He was one of the lucky ones.

There were children spending the night in schools. And cars. And floors in shelters. Henry’s friend spent the night and the morning here until his mom could safely navigate the roads to get him. We had pancakes and snow creams, went on the toboggan again and again, made snow angels and made memories. She was grateful and my heart was happy to be able to help her.

Our city wasn’t prepared for the snow, the ice, the traffic disaster, any of the insanity that has occurred. None of us were. I wasn’t prepared with food and stuff for more than just me and the kid, but we have managed.

We made (very cold) lemonade out of the lemons we were handed, because sometimes you just have to do that. At the ended of the day, makeshift preparations can make sweet memories. Because after all, as long as we are all safe, warm, fed, and together, we’re always prepared, very lucky, and full of love.

loveheartcollage

{Part 1} The Door To Christmas: The Story of The Christmas Room

{Part 1} The Door To Christmas: The Story of The Christmas Room

The door to the jewelry store was locked as soon as the clock struck closing time on Christmas Eve. Jewelry was put away, money was counted, the employees milled around to wait for their gifts that were always handed out after closing. My sister and I were twitchy to get out of there so Christmas could start.

Christmas Eve was always spent at Grannie’s. It was tradition. It was how Christmas started.

After we got home from the store, my parents seemed to mill around for hours. My grandparents and Aunt and Uncle knew to wait for us, that we would be there as soon as we could. It seemed like my parents were never ready – always having to throw together some last minute gifts and having to pack the car and grab the food. I’m sure they were more organized than I remember, but it seemed like it took a short eternity to get to Grannie’s house.

Over the river and through the woods we went, with a trunk full of gifts, a food dish or two, and butterflies in our stomachs.

I’d say we had a small, tight family. There was Grannie and Grandaddy, our mom and dad and the two of us, and my aunt and uncle and their two sons. Small and mighty we were.

Part of the magic of Christmas growing up was starting the holidays in The Christmas Room.

We would all arrive, us late as usual, and the moms (women) would take to the kitchen and prepare the spread of carbs and desserts. I think there was some protein in there, too, but I stayed far away from all that! Was better to build up our energy stores with dressing and biscuits than to waste time eating turkey.

The men would count the pictures around Grannie and Grandaddy’s house to see which family “they liked best.”

The kids would ask every 3.7 seconds, “WHEN ARE WE GOING TO EAAATTTTT???”

Finally it was time to bless the food. Uncle Gary, being a good Southern Baptist Deacon, always had the honor. We wrapped around the table, hands held, parents trying to separate the kids to avoid the inevitable giggle-fest that organically happened about midway through the blessing. Their attempts to stop it were in vain.

Giggles commenced. First the kids, then the dads, and finally once we all proclaimed “AMEN” the whole group erupted in laughter.

Dinner was had – adults at the table near the door to The Christmas Room, kids in the kitchen at the small table. We ate as fast as humanly possible. There was no time for seconds or talking. Eat. As. Fast. As. You. Can.

And the parents ate as slooooowly as they could. In fact, sometimes it seemed like they weren’t even TRYING to eat.

So we waited. And waited.

After being as patient as possible, we would start hovering around the door.

door

Much like the door in Willy Wonka, this door was the way to the magic. Inside this room, FUN happened. Inside this room, Santa has already stopped by.

It was the door to Christmas. 

Eventually, after hovering over this door and offering to take the adults’ dishes to the kitchen, after the adults moseyed their way to get their cameras and coffee, after we all went to the bathroom because there could be NO breaks, after ALL that…

the dads went in the room to “check things out.

hangs head

…to be continued

Read Part 2 here.

Stream of Consciousness Sunday: Fathers

Stream of Consciousness Sunday: Fathers

Obviously, today is Father’s Day, so the prompt will be about just that. If you don’t want to write about a father in your life, feel free to just dump your brain on your site. That is, after all, going back to the core of #SOCSunday.

Today’s (totally optional) prompt: Fathers

stream of consciousness sunday

My dad is kinda cool. He’s done awesome things all my life, like flying a plane, making amazing jewelry, playing rock music on weekends… and being a big ole goofball!

He’s also had cancer twice. Strangely, both types of cancer have been treated without any chemo or radiation. Thyroid cancer and prostate cancer, both “gotten” with surgery.

Yesterday, in honor of my Dad, Henry and I ran in the ZERO Prostate Cancer 5k/1 mile. It was so much fun… running with others who were there because they, too, had been touched by prostate cancer.

So Daddy, on this Father’s Day, I want to thank you for being you. For always doing and helping and fighting and listening. For working hard so L and I could do some of the most amazing things ever. For putting up with Mama (wink wink) and for giving me an idea of what a husband should be like.

Love you! xoxo

Zero5k collage note

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This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…

  • Set a timer and write for 5 minutes.
  • Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spellchecking. This is writing in the raw.
  • Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
  • Add the Stream of Consciousness Sunday badge to your post (in the sidebar). .
  • Link up your post below.
  • Visit your fellow bloggers and show some love.

Henry Takes The Wheel

Today is Mother’s Day. Obviously.

Henry has been asking for a blog for a while now, and he will be getting one in a few weeks. But today I invited him to be a guest writer here on my site. I wrote this intro and passed it on to him and Jason to handle. I figured since it wasn’t my favorite day in the world, I could at least make it funny and look at it from a different angle.

Here’s Henry to take the wheel.

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my mom is nice, funny,and fun.one time me and mom went to NYC and went to the zoo then went to the LEGO HEADQUARTERS.

I love my mom beacause she’s good at cooking food.Great at tennis and reading.Fishing too.My mother is happy  when I cook for her and draw her pictures.My mom is good at making cookies and brownies.Also having fun with me and my dog.My mom wants a new car me not to be annoying and a new dress.ONE last thing is to be happy.XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXXOXOXOXXOXOXOX HENRY

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