Sunday, August 28, 2016

Back in the Saddle

Well, a lot has happened while I've been on my little vacation from writing.  Some good.  Some not as good.  Let's start with the not as good.....

My sweet mother-in-law, who's suffered from Alzheimer's for several years now, was moved into a nice assisted living home.  It had become difficult for Davis' dad to physically care for her as she's declined a good bit over the last few months.  He was valiant and faithful in his care for her and still his main concern in life is her and her contentment.  Of course, this move has been an emotional one for all of us.  It marks the end of how things have always been.  You know we all have those turning points in our lives when either, through death or growth or a thousand other reasons, something changes and life will never return to the old way again.  After 62 years of marriage, their home won't be the same.  Holidays won't be the same.  Traditions will be altered.  Our family won't be quite the same. 

I think it's true what they say about women being the heart of the home.  They provide warmth and tenderness inside its four walls and bring the loving finishing touches to family gatherings.  I started to realize this the first time I drove up to my Grandmother's house and she wasn't there to sling that side door open to greet me.  I wasn't sure I'd ever had to open that door and let myself in.  Nobody yelled out, "Who's that coming to my house?" in a chuckling voice.  Something was missing.  Something had changed.  Her warmth was gone.  And when I walked through the screen door into her kitchen, I lost it.  Right there.  My life had reached a turning point because her presence was missing from that place.         

Now, my mother-in-law isn't like the ones you hear jokes about in late night tv monologues or see on the big screen as the antagonist.  She's never been overbearing or critical or nosy.  She has never pouted or put on guilt trips or demanded her opinions be heard.  No, she's just quite the opposite.  She's humble, kind, and giving.  She's selfless, hard working, and gracious.  Always ready to help.  More concerned about you than herself.  And even with dementia, she still has her same meek spirit.  I wasn't sure there was another living soul as kind and selfless as my own Mama until I met Davis' mother.  And for that, we have both been and continue to be doubly blessed in the mother department even as life takes a little bit of a turn for us.
Blair and her Granny

On a happier note, we celebrated Blair and John Samuel's August birthdays while I've been away.  I rearranged some furniture.  Painted the sunroom.  Worked a lot of hours putting out new merchandise at the stores.  Caught up with some friends.  Did my share of relaxing.   

And, perhaps most notably, Carson got his driver's license since we last talked.  Now, those of you who have driving children know what I'm talking about when I say that having a new driver in the house brings out all kinds of conflicting emotions.  Oh, all the worries about fender benders and distractions and speeding.  You want to keep them safe and start them out slow......but you're out of Ro-Tel tomatoes for which your Pinterest recipe clearly states "No substitutes" and there he sits.....eager to drive somewhere.  Anywhere.
You know how it is those first few days that they drive to school. " Now, text me when you get there and when you leave to come home."  Every time the phone rings, you're like, "Oh, Please don't let it be him saying he's jumped a curb..... Backed into a beamer......Rear- ended a Mercedes......Turned in front of a Porsche.....Side-swiped a Corvette......Knocked over a parked Harley."  Because, well, you know insuring a teenage boy driver is only slightly less expensive than keeping a space shuttle in orbit.  So far, he has an impeccable driving record so we're good. 

Another interesting thing happened while I was gone.  My brother, Lee, (left) raced in the Trans-North Georgia last week.  He biked 350 miles across the entire state through mountains and forests and some paved roads in only 2 days and 22 hours which according to my calculations is 2 days and 21 hours too long to ride a bicycle.  During the almost 3 days, he slept a total of 6 hours and grabbed whatever food he ate at gas stations along the way.  Starting from the South Carolina state line, the finish line was the Alabama state line which calls into question not only his sanity but our relatedness.  He finished 8th at 41 years old and I'm a very proud sister.....or, at least, they say I'm his sister.      

So anyway, I've missed blogging.  I really have.  I do enjoy this more than you can imagine.  But, from time to time, I get bogged down in my own self-imposed pressure to be interesting enough to warrant your time.  Sometimes, I think it's good to step away from your routine and get a fresh perspective on the things in our lives.  Does it belong there, first of all?  And if it does, just to take time for a deep breath before you get back out there.

Hope y'all have a good Monday!   




  1. Welcome back! I agree, it is good to step back, or even step out of your comfort zone at times. I did that this summer. I went to China with my daughter & family as they adopted my 6th grandchild (other 5 are bio, between 2 daughters). Speaking of comfort zone, have you heard of a squatty potty? Oh my!!!

    It was a journey of a lifetime & now my eyes are open to international adoption. God is good. I knew that but boy I've seen His works & stand amazed😇

    Enjoy the convenience of your new driver. I've been through it with 2 now adult daughter but starting over with the grands. Brings me to my knees. Ok, knees are crackly so I do pray sitting. Have a blessed week!!!

  2. I'm sorry about your mother in law. Mine is sweet too, and she has short term memory loss dementia. These changes are hard on everyone.

    Congratulations to Carson! My kids are good drivers too, and its so helpful!

    Glad your back!

  3. Missed you!! I love your posts! So sorry about your MIL but pray it's a blessing to you all at this time.

  4. Good morning Joni,
    Family, home and work has been keeping you busy from your blog. I always think that some blogs I read is like a journal for the blogger. I think it's neat! There is a lot of changes, some happy and a very sad one, very hard to see someone you love need full assistance and especially for your Father in Law caring for his wife, Bless them. Congratulations to Lee, Carson, Blair and John Samuel!
    Are you getting Autumnal decor in the stores, if not Halloween?
    Finding everyday Joy ( like cooler, dryer weather ) is what I'm striving for:).
    Have a Joyful day and glad to hear from you:), Kathleen in Az

  5. Welcome back, Joni! You were missed more than you know! You could write about dust bunnies or tree frogs and I would enjoy every word! Your humor and insight and sweet sensitivity and genuineness are the things that endear you to all of us. So sorry about your mother-in-law. We are to the age when life changes are inevitable but still heart-wrenching. I pray for peaceful transitions for all of you. And a peaceful heart for you every time Carson gets behind the wheel! Looking forward with excitement for your next words!!!

  6. I am so glad that you had a nice break! It is so good to hear from you again!!!

  7. Glad you're back! My husband and I both lost our dads this past spring, so I definitely understand what you mean about things changing and never being the same. We are still getting used to our "new normal. I hope this transition has been easy for your mother-in-law and father-in-law. Now, your brother?!? There are just some people we will never understand! :)