I’ve always been a worrier—the kind of person who worries if she doesn’t have anything to worry about. And now that my life has been turned upside down, I realize how useless my worries have been.
My daughter, who might be the strongest person I know, tells me she’s taking life one day at a time now that her oldest child, my oldest grandson, has been diagnosed with a persistent and stubborn neuroendocrine tumor.
I think that one day at a time thing is a mighty fine idea. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Don’t think about what we might’ve done differently the day before or the day before that. Just live and be grateful for every day.
Studly Doright and I were in the Texas panhandle this past week. On our way to his mom’s place in Hereford, Texas, we stopped for the night in Wichita Falls where we picked up our son and his son, and loaded up their motorcycles.
The three of them, along with a carefully selected group of friends and family members, embarked on two days of motorcycling along the Canadian River just north of Amarillo.
It was our grandson, Jackson’s, first real riding experience. Outside of riding a little motorcycle around our yard at Doright Manor, Jackson had never really gotten to experience what motorcycling is all about—the hills and gullies, deep sand and water crossings. This week he encountered all of the above while learning to use a clutch and shift gears. By all accounts he acquitted himself admirably.
His Poppa, aka Studly Doright, had a blast riding with him and with our son, Jason. They’re already saying, “Next year….”
Studly Doright and I had a great time hanging out with our daughter and her family in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, last week. We ate a lot, played a bunch of fun games, enjoyed an indoor snowball fight with fake snowballs, played an intense Christmas game, and opened presents.
The week began rather inauspiciously when a bear made him/herself at home in my car, decimating a can of peanut brittle, but doing very little damage to the car. We apparently hosted a considerate bear.
My daughter stepped outside just in time to take these photos on the morning after we discovered the car incident. Wonder if this was our culprit:
The remainder of the trip was bear-free; although, we were on constant guard any time we were outside. Just look at this view from our deck:
I’ll leave you with photos of my loved ones. We sure missed having our son and his family with us this year, but were so happy to be with part of the family after such a stressful year. I needed the hugs.
On Saturday afternoon Studly Doright and I drove out to the Tallahassee RV Park to meet up with my brother and sister-in-law who were spending the night there before moving on with their big adventure.
They’d stopped by on Monday on their way to Fort Myers, Florida, where they’d pick up their new Airstream trailer. After several days of orientation and practice with their new trailer they were ready to hit the road. First, though, they needed to collect a few things they’d left at our house. Rather than have them drive all the way to Doright Manor and back to the RV park, we loaded their stuff into Studly’s pickup and met them at the park.
Their new trailer is beautiful—very posh and spacious. We enjoyed wine and cheese with them and their adorable dog, Gus.
We had a wonderful dinner with Kelly and Susan before bidding them goodbye and safe travels. Kelly says he’ll start a blog about their journey. If he does, I’ll share it with you all. It’s bound to be good.
Today was one of those days. My younger brother and his wife stayed the night with us on their way from Houston. Texas, to Fort Myers, Florida, where they’re going to pick up their brand new Airstream travel trailer.
They had their adorable dog, Gus, with them, so we kept our cat sequestered in the master suite last night. The two were aware of each other, but no one got chased and neither of them puked from nervousness, and we had a great visit with family.
It was a win-win. Still, I didn’t sleep well, and having the cat on my chest all night didn’t help much.
After breakfast at a local cafe our guests headed to Fort Myers and I came back to Doright Manor for a nap. The cat settled in beside me on the sofa in the den, and within minutes I was out like a light for the better part of two hours.
When I awakened it was as if I were in an alternate universe. The sky was dark, and I wondered if I’d slept the day away. I hadn’t. But a storm had blown in while I was napping making early afternoon look like nighttime.
I looked at the calendar on my watch fearing that I’d forgotten an appointment with the insurance adjuster, but realized that wasn’t scheduled until tomorrow. Then I began thinking about the carpet I’d ordered. It was supposed to have arrived on the 19th. Today’s the 23rd. Hmmm.
The carpet company had required a deposit. Had I made one? I couldn’t remember. I knew I’d gone to their office to do so, but couldn’t remember actually making a payment. The checkbook didn’t have an entry either. Had I used a credit card? Suddenly I was certain that the reason my carpet hadn’t yet arrived was that it had never been ordered because I hadn’t paid a deposit.
I called the store, “Hi, this is Leslie Noyes. I think I ordered carpet from you, but I can’t remember actually making a deposit.”
The woman on the other end laughed, sort of, “We can sure check.”
A couple of seconds later she read off my address and said, “Yes, it appears you paid a deposit using your credit card, and we’re just awaiting delivery of your carpet.”
I wasn’t sure whether to be relieved or humiliated or worried for my sanity. I’m going to blame it all on the lack of sleep and the lengthy nap I took this afternoon. I’m going to avoid using sharp objects, though, for the remainder of the day.
This photo of our children, Jason and Ashley, was taken years ago when both were students at the University of Kansas in Lawrence.
Ashley arranged for a friend to take pictures of the two of them for a Mother’s Day collage. It’s still one of the very best gifts I’ve ever received.
I love seeing their young faces. Neither had any idea at the time what trials and triumphs awaited them, or the strength they’d need to develop in order to prevail. I’m proud of who they have become, but nostalgic for who they were. My babies.
Today in my February celebration of love I am featuring our Texas grandkids.
That’s D, above. D is our eldest grandchild. She’s 17 and a junior in high school. D is a talented tennis player on her high school’s team. She’s also developed an interest in baking, and has a weakness for macarons. Oh, she has a pet hedgehog and several cats. I’m not certain where this picture was taken, but it looks groovy.
J, her brother, is 13, and the next to the youngest of our five grandchildren. He plays trumpet in the school band and is a serious skateboarder. The kid taught himself to swim when he was just a little tyke, and he is fearless both in the water and out. He’s got a fine collection of knives, some of which he’s found while exploring at estate sales. He’s a motorcyclist, too. I think this photo was taken at a concert.
The two of them are smarter than I am. They get jokes that go over my head, and they actually get along with one another. I’m more than a little proud of them. I just wish I could see them more often.
Hallelujah, I’m finally in a festive mood. The humbugs have been banished, and the grinch is gone. What, you might ask, has prompted my change in spirit? It wasn’t just one big thing that did the trick, but a series of small events.
1. My daughter called me several days ago with more than a hint of excitement in her voice. She lives in Illinois, and the long, cold winters there take a toll on her. So to hear her bubbling over with happiness made me happy.
2. All of my Christmas shopping is done and gifts are either en route or already under their respective recipients’ trees.
3. Studly Doright and I attended a company Christmas party at a Humphrey Bogart themed restaurant in DeFuniak Springs, FL. Since I’d just mentioned the film Casablanca in a recent post, I thought that dinner at a place called “Bogey’s” was more than a coincidence. Before we arrived at the restaurant Studly and I both thought it was golf themed. Boy, was he disappointed.
4. Our daughter sent photos and video of our youngest granddaughter performing in her school’s holiday concert. Isn’t she adorable? (The answer is “yes,” by the way.) Note the cute little guy next to her with his puffed out cheeks.
5. Our daughter, who played trombone all through middle and high school, is playing again–now in her kids’ high school pep band. Her family lives in a small town, and the pep band is correspondingly small, so when she realized a parent was playing in the pep band she asked the director if he could use another trombonist. He could, and that’s why she was so excited (refer to #1). She played her first gig on Monday night at a basketball game.
6. We’ve gone three days without finding cat pee where it shouldn’t be. Knock on wood.
7. This morning I’m meeting a friend for a holiday art show at LeMoyne Center for the Visual Arts in Tallahassee and lunch at somewhere still to be determined.
8. Tonight Studly and I will attend the last of his company’s Christmas parties at Giorgio’s in Tallahassee. No ugly sweaters this time–I’m not sure whether that makes me sort of sad or extraordinarily excited. Leaning towards the excited; although, that means I probably need to put some thought into my appearance. At least with an ugly sweater I could just wear jeans.