Thursday, July 30, 2009

Blogger on Vacation

Dear Friends,

My Clayton is home for one more week (out of three) so I'm on vacation from Blogville. Even though he is constantly on the move, I want to be available to catch him whenever I can!

Don't want to miss sitting across from him at the kitchen counter while he grabs a bite or any other such 'boring' event. Every minute is precious when I may not see him again for 4 more months!!!

Be back soon. Continnue to have an awesome summer!

Bev at Hillcrest Cottage

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sunday Morning at Hillcrest Cottage

It's a very-unusual-for-an-Arkansas-July 72 degrees this morning. Nearby Sunday bells are calling churchgoers inside. The breeze is refreshing. The neighborhood is quiet. Occasionally, a hummingbird will zip past or the tiny red house wren will shyly drink from my birdbath. Mac the Labradoodle naps contentedly on the cool porch floor.

It's another Sunday in Hillcrest. I enjoy hearing the happy, small children squeals which float down Holly Street toward my porch. On a mornings like this, seems like everyone's drinking coffee on their porches, too. Sometimes a neighbor might lazily play their guitar.

Lots of joggers and walkers and all types of dogs have passed in front of my garden's brown picket fence. On this cool morning it was good to cut away the dead branches from my Black-Eyed Susans and Purple Coneflowers.

The day is young, and hope is high. Hope that I will accomplish something significant, love someone well, laugh at a funny story, speak a kind word, have discipline in what I eat, and be a healthy branch attached to the vine.

As I cleaned away the dead flowers in my own garden, I was encouraged to stay connected so I, too, can bloom. It is a beautiful Sunday morning at Hillcrest Cottage, and these words whispered to me:

I am the vine, you are the branches: he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

About Almost Being 50 and Stuff

I love pink and green and bunnies and secret garden places and old photographs and thinking about simple pleasures like family, updating my 1923 cottage house, and hammocks placed under shady oak trees. I love 76 degree temps when the sun is shining and naps at night on my porch when the crickets are out. I love when a new bird stops by my bird bath or when a flower pops up in an unexpected place or when I see a hummingbird up close.

I love telling new friends the story of how I met my husband when we were only 19 and were beach bums for a summer and about all the phone bills that followed.

I love when my 18 year old sends me a text saying, “ I love you, Mom.” (I can’t frame that message, but I can remember it.); equally love when my 15 year old hugs me and says, “I’m sorry I was so grumpy earlier today.” I love when my faraway son’s picture lights up on my phone, and he is calling...
just to talk.

I love that lots of my friends are nearly half of half my age kinda like the hoodie Jeff got yesterday for 75% off.

I love a new haircut and a t-shirt that fits well and doesn’t make me look fat. I love the sound of flip flops. I love it when my grass is weed-free, thick, and green. I love it that my front fence is finally finished, so Mac the Labradoodle can no longer escape to bark and scare the walkers strolling past on the sidewalk.

I love when I can sit on my front porch...

hearing only the soft sound of the fan jiggle...

as it slowly stirs the warm air.

I love to take a hot bath at day’s end, and I almost always thank God for running water because of one cold afternoon in Hawaii when I got soaked from an unexpected rain storm and returned too late to the retreat center where everyone else had used up all the hot water. I had to take the coldest shower... ever... and I have never forgotten that feeling even though I was 20, and it was over 30 years ago.

I love it that when I had lunch with a high school friend who I haven’t seen for 20 years, time seemed to have never left 1977 and there was no hint of awkwardness, even though I had to ask the names of her children and have no idea what color her kitchen walls are.

I love long bike rides on overcast summer days when there are no hills, and the sun is almost setting.

I love anything chocolate but can say “no” to most everything else.

Some of my most favorite moments are spent on porches, and I wish mine was ten times bigger than it is now.

I love to daydream, plan, and create. I love it when I give someone a really good idea, and they do it, and it is successful, and I don’t care much about getting the credit or recognition...
although an occasional “thanks” is appreciated.

I enjoy getting into a very hot car after being inside where the air conditioning is too cold. I also still like to bury my face in towels fresh out of the dryer.

My favorite smells are honeysuckle and cape jasmine.

Did I say I love bright pink, bright green, bright clear red?

I think orange goes with hot pink because it reminds me of a striped shirt I picked out in 5th grade. I can still remember my grandmother saying that pink and orange don’t go together, but I liked the shirt, and she let me have it anyway.

Thanks, Maw Maw because I think of you every time I see orange and pink together.

When I was in high school I had wanted to be a wrapping paper designer, and I am wondering what that career choice says about me.

Yesterday I flew a kite, and I am glad I did it.

I love the smell of puppy breath and the feeling of the little sharp teeth when they bite my fingers.

I love little boys and the very long stories they tell. I love holding a new baby and forgetting how little babies can be. Then, I look at my grown guys and wonder how they got so big.

I’m almost always sad at the end of each day because I don’t want it to end, but I’m usually so tired I know it must.

I love it when I am home alone...which is rarely...and I can play whatever music makes me happy endlessly... over and over... without anyone commenting or complaining.
When I am in my art studio doing something creative, I love it when my heart beats faster, and I think... just for a few moments... that I might have stumbled upon the idea that will make me a million dollars.

I’m glad that I adopted Mac the Labradoodle, and I know it makes people ‘sick’ to see how much we love her, but I don’t care. I let her lick me in the face. I love to put my nose to hers and whisper to her about how much she is loved. I know she understands what I am saying.

I love that I still live in the town where I was born. Sometimes I will walk through my neighborhood just to be amazed at the beauty of the trees, the gardens, and the architecture. The familiarity never bores me, instead makes me feel like I truly belong somewhere special in this great, huge world. I like big cities like NYC and London only for a few days because crowded places make me feel small...

and insignificant...
and who wants to feel that way?

My mom has a contagious laugh. I love to tell her stories about my boys. When she laughs, I do, too.

I can’t control that I am almost 50...but not quite yet...and I am determined to act my age, grow old gracefully without botox... but to never act old.
I look into the mirror these days only when necessary. Not very often, but sometimes, I think, Hey, you don’t look so bad today. I can’t control the effects of time, but I can make my dental visits a constant priority and I don’t have to be fat, so I’m working on that.

I’m turning 50 soon. I still dream a lot about the future. One day my book will become a reality. I’ve given up on the wrapping paper design company, but, not quite,

on raising chickens.

One day I’m going to be organized enough to plant a vegetable garden on time. I am going to faithfully visit the farmers market every Saturday. I will take a cycling trip through France...

probably after my house gets a new roof and windows that open.

And...I still want a tree house.

I’m never going to like brussel sprouts or drink beer or give up eating M & Ms.

I am never going to jump out of an airplane or go white water rafting, or learn how to knit.

My mom told me that I would learn how to play bridge in college, but it didn’t happen. I hope I will keep up with technology, but I still don’t want an I-Phone...

even if everybody else does.

And, lastly, I am still planning to buy that 3-wheeled cycle with a large basket. I dream of a day when someone can have my car keys because...
I'm tired of driving anyway.

But I wouldn't mind a convertible in a funky color.

So...what I think I am saying is that I am almost 50...but not quite yet... I think I am ready...

Bring it.