this or something better

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Well hello there!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted so, as an excuse to keep sitting in this gorgeous cool breeze, I thought I would share some updates of what’s happening over here in beautiful Pennsylvania.

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we found THE BEST amusement park, Knoebel’s, just a half hour from our home, truly the best!

I’m not gonna lie, this life and our home here has turned out to be so much more.everything.…than we ever dreamed.  I have successfully adjusted my lifestyle to be here for about 3 weeks out of each month and in AZ the rest. Right now, at this moment, feeling this cool-enough-to-be-under-a-blanket breeze through the window, I am so grateful to be out of the scorching desert heat.
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I made this little vertical succulent garden–can’t believe it’s doing so well!

My family is adjusting well to this routine back in AZ also. My Dad is currently investigating a hip replacement (yes, at 86!) and my brother is very involved in activities from art therapy, where he is painting and drawing,  to two centers where he attends groups and of course, the chorus. He has a new friend, Jodi who he spends lots of time with. He even drove her up to Sedona to our home there for a long weekend. That, my friends, is a bonafide miracle and those who have been on the journey with us will get that.

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We have only been in our home just over 4 months, but have accomplished so much! I’ve painted nearly the entire downstairs, as well as Lillian’s pink bedroom and, most recently, our cozy guest room.

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We also, as of one week, have our…..KING SIZE BED! We waited a while to get it, and it is absolutely perfect. We found this gorgeous modern storage bed and filled it with an incredibly comfortable Casper mattress. We are in Heaven, sprawling all over the place and sleeping so much better.

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We wake up in the morning and push open the room-darkening drapes (which work!) to an expansive view of grass and forest. We’ve been hosting a family of foxes and two deer, which play and stroll in the back. I picked up a couple of chairs and small table at, of all places, the grocery store the other day, so we can sit out and enjoy the sunset every night. We’ve also been dining outside quite a bit, especially when we have Lillian, which is just so ahhhhhh.

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Speaking of dining, I actually signed on today to share a little life lesson story I experienced recently, related to our dining room table. It was kind of a big aha moment for me and I hope to share things like this on here vs. simple updates so all of us can be fed with a little bit of inspiration. God knows we need that.

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So….we have most everything set in the house right now except for one kinda major thing. We have no place to sit and dine (except outside). We have a nice dining area, right in front of the large sliding doors leading to the patio, but no table. I’ve kind of loved all of that open space, but still, it’s time we have a situation to eat beyond sitting at the small rolling island or on the floor around our coffee table. I think we will still use those places, as we kind of love them, BUT I need a place to sit up straight with my laptop and finish my dang book. Right now I’m at my cozy chaise writing, but it’s not really a place to be serious.

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ANYway, we started imagining what kind of table we wanted in that space, which will also be shared with John’s upright piano. It’s a perfect spot for the piano but does cut in to size for a table, so a wee bit tricky. We landed on wanting a farmhouse style table, with some industrial vibe, at 5 1/2 feet to accomodate 6 people but not be cramped.

We live in an area where there are lots of woodworkers and lots of reclaimed wood. So, I started with Craiglist to see who was out there that we could hire to fashion us our perfect table. And I found him! I went back and forth with this gentleman, discussing dimensions, table bases, wood stain, etc. We determined a timing to begin, deposits, delivery etc. We told him we would get back when we were ready financially to pull the trigger and send him his deposit, which happened in early May.

Then, homeboy carpenter just dropped off the face of the Earth.

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I sent him several messages in various forms from email to Facebook and…nothing. I was trying to toss money his way and...nothing.

I finally reached a point when I said to John “if he is this uncommunicative before he has our $300 deposit, then how will we feel about him after?” and that was that. I closed that door and went searching again.

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I found another guy, a little further away, who would make our table as we wanted and deliver it for about $900 total. A little higher than the first guy, but whatever, he did great work and was available.

Right up until the moment that he, also, completely fell off the map. I was actually texting with this one, and telling him we were ready to place the order, etc. and, AGAIN, no response.

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“What is wrong with these woodworkers?” I asked my husband. “I am trying to throw money at them and they disappear!”.

“Something better must be coming,” he said, alleviating me taking this weird behavior personally.

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I just let it go for a few weeks. It didn’t feel urgent and I AM ambivalent about filling up this spacious view of our backyard paradise….but the urge to start working on the book rose up last week, so I decided I needed to go a-looking again.

The tricky part is that the size we need is not very standard–66 inches–so having it custom made seemed the only way to go. Until…..

Lillian was playing on the floor next to me as I sat in “The Snugglette” (my chaise lounge area) and I just decided to throw out a random wild card google search for 66 in. farm table.

<<<<<insert choirs of angels singing>>>>

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Lo and behold, what appeared to mine eyes was this:table1

 

A 66 in. all wood and metal, vintage inspired, rustic, industrial farm table.

For 264 dollars!!!! Whaaaaaaaa????

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Now, granted, we had to forego the custom made and reclaimed wood part of our original idea.

But, yes, Universe, you can relieve me of that over $600 difference and provide something just about identical–even with the gray stain that we were seeking…with FREE SHIPPING. Yes, I will accept your offer.

Thank you!

I couldn’t wait to tell John as he was coming home shortly. I basically yanked him with both hands out of the car, saying “you have to look at this NOW”, as I drug him to my laptop, fearing this table, too, might pass before my very eyes before materializing. It was on sale, after all.

He was on board and….today is the day for delivery!

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Yesterday, we did kind of a post-game on this whole deal. John told me how he observed that I’ve come a long way from my usual dog-with-a-bone style of going after something I want.  Once it became clear that the woodworkers were not working for us, I was able to let go with minimal angst. I did notice a fleeting am I doing something to push these people off? thought float through, then laughed it off. I really did think something better might be on the way.

like this fireworks display that showed up out of nowhere from our backyard last weekend over a field of fireflies

This is such a big metaphor for me, and one I continuously need reminders on. In fact, I suffered two decades of traumatic and demoralizing dating before my BEST came along. You’d think I have this down.

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Yet, it’s a biggie. The letting go, the trusting, the realizing there be other choreography happening, the not pushing, the acknowledging, accepting then….receiving.

“This, or something better,” is a good phrase that works in my brain.

I’ll come back and post when I get the table all set up. But for now, I have some placemat shopping to accomplish.

Hope you all are staying cool or warm or….simply comfortable out there!

Happy Summer!

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it’s here!

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the truelove

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THE TRUELOVE

There is a faith in loving fiercely
the one who is rightfully yours
especially if you have
waited years and especially
if you never believed
you could deserve this
loved and beckoning hand
held out to you this way.

I am thinking of faith now
and the testaments of loneliness
and what we feel we are
worthy of in this world.

…and I think of the story
of the storm and everyone
waking and seeing
the distant
yet familiar figure
far across the water
calling to them

and how we are all
preparing for that
abrupt waking,
and that calling,
and that moment
we have to say yes,
except it will
not come so grandly
so Biblically
but more subtly
and intimately in the face
of the one you know
you have to love

so that when
we finally step out of the boat
toward them, we find
everything holds
us, and everything confirms
our courage, and if you wanted
to drown you could,
but you don’t
because finally
after all this struggle
and all these years
you don’t want to any more
you’ve simply had enough
of drowning
and you want to live and you
want to love and you will
walk across any territory
and any darkness
however fluid and however
dangerous to take the
one hand you know
belongs in yours.

Excerpted from THE TRUELOVE
From ‘The House of Belonging’
©David Whyte and Many Rivers Press

I’ve been reading and re-reading this poem for about fifteen years since the first time I saw the author, David Whyte, recite it at a conference. In 2013 I had an elaborate dinner party for six single women and part of it involved creating corn tortilla valentines with edible markers and candies to toss in to the lake in my town as a releasing of a wish.

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my Valentine dinner table and 3 layer heart shaped dark chocolate cake with rose buttercream – it was a fabulous evening

I carried my Valentine to the Tempe Town Lake bridge a few days after Valentine’s Day along with my David Whyte book and read this poem out loud before tossing my corn tortilla in to the only real water I could find in the desert.

Just three years later, on our wedding day, this poem was read as we stood over those rushing Falls releasing all of our past, all of our failures, all of our illusions of lost dreams in to that fierce water while committing ourselves to our future.

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Dreams can come true and if I’m not a living testament to that I don’t know who is. I had all but given up on myself and then this.

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If you’re interested in reading more of David Whyte’s beautiful poetry, first I highly recommend his book The House of Belonging which houses The TrueLove.. And if you click on his picture below, it will take you to some selected poems you can read online.

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