Tuesday, November 10, 2015


I turned 55 last Friday. I was thinking that in honor of that milestone, I would list 55 things about me that I would like my readers to know. Then I realized that I probably don't have 55 readers and making lists that long would probably discourage anyone who is considering following.

So, first, you're welcome. And second, in honor of my faithful readers, I will only post a list of ten things. I will just dip my hand into the fishbowl and pull out a slip of paper to determine what category my list will cover.

List 10 topics that are on my mind lately. I'm glad I picked this because quite frankly, I've had a lot on my mind lately and maybe by listing them, I can come up with the sub-categories for the blog.
Here goes - in no particular order.

1. Getting married. I'm getting married on June 4, 2016. A little strange being a 55-year old bride.

2. Finding our new home. We have two. We would like to sell one and buy another one in the South. We've started exploring and need to do more of that.

3. Retiring. Having sold my business after 15 years, I am currently on contract with the new owners until 1/31/16. After that, who knows? Maybe you all can help me figure that out.

4. Faith. It's been about 7 years since I belonged to a church or attended regularly. I miss it. My faith is strong but I think I'd like to be part of a church community again.

5. My 20-year old daughter. She's always on my mind. And frequently on my nerves. Off at her junior year of college - I miss her greatly.

6. Crochet and crafting. Don't laugh. My mother taught me to sew and crochet many, many years ago. Right now I'm relearning crochet and it's my latest board on Pinterest.

7. Whole 30. I guess the topic is really better nutrition - eating right, drinking less, more exercise, etc., but I started another Whole 30 yesterday so that will be a focus for the next 28 days.

8.  My fiance. He's really a wonderful guy. I don't give him enough credit.

9. Politics/Current Events. Watching the debate tonight while I crochet! We're in a pickle in this country. We need some leadership.

10. Books. I have a casual little book club on Facebook called My Beach House Book Club. This month we're reading The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.

As soon as I wrap this up I'll think of 5 other things that are on my mind. But I just got a phone call from my girl who wants to discuss her day. I need to get that call done by debate time!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Looking at Retirement or Something Like It

When I posted in the New Year, I was really looking forward to being able to write about the pending sale of my business. I knew that I had been given a preliminary contract which forbade me from talking about the negotiations publicly, so I figured I would wait until I could talk about it. In the meantime, or so I thought, I would write about all the other things that were happening. When I posted in January it was about getting pink eye for the first time. What I didn't realize then is that I would have several more rounds of it before the infection cleared. I was miserable. And so happy once it finally cleared only to discover that my tear ducts had completely closed, which left me unable to wear makeup and tearing constantly.

Factoid: Our tears do not come from our tear ducts; our tear ducts are their to drain our tears. And they are part of our sinuses. You hear about babies having tear duct surgery but rarely adults. So, of course, this happens to me because I can't just get normal crap like most people. Several years ago when I almost died of C-diff colitis, my research basically said only geriatrics and toddlers come down with this, not healthy 40-somethings. What can I say - I have to stand out somewhere. So yeah - not blocked tear ducts, but closed tear ducts. My eye doctor TWICE performs a procedure where he takes tiny little snippers and snips open the opening to my tear ducts. Within a few days of each procedure, they close up again. So about a month ago (mind you people, I have worn minimal makeup since Christmas 2014. Thank goodness I have John because it's scary, trust me), I have real surgery - general anesthetic included - where they insert tubes into my tear ducts that look like fishing line and tie them off inside my sinuses. Seriously. Here's what it looks like:

You can see the tube running from the top tear duct to the bottom. This is not my eye, but that's what it looks like. For 7 weeks. I'm in week 3 and I don't know if this is working. Still lots of itching and watering. If this doesn't work the next step is more invasive sinus surgery where they make an incision on the sides of your nose near your eyes. Let's not talk about that now.

The point of this was simply to state that I was so excited that I was going to be writing about all the things that have been happening in my life but I wasn't able because I couldn't talk about the possible sale of the business and plus one is not really up for writing blogs when they can barely see. So ten months after my first bout of pink eye, I'm not really sure what's up with my eyes but there are a few milestones that I plan to write about in the upcoming posts:

1. I did sell my business. After 14 years of wondering what my exit strategy would be,  it showed up looking for me.
2. John and I have set a wedding date - June 4.
3. We're researching possible retirement moves to the south. More on our trip to Wilmington, NC soon.
4. My daughter is finally at her dream college and I'm a somewhat empty nester.

So much more. But I'll leave things here for now. I've missed putting my thoughts down. More soon!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Pink Eye and the Fog

The week before Christmas, with many gifts unwrapped and projects unfinished, I came down with pink eye. I had never had it before, so at 54 years old with a goopy, itchy eye, I became quite disabled. For three mornings I woke up with my eye sealed shut with the crusty infection. During the day, it would itch so much that I would have to lay down with a hot cloth over my eye and just rest. This isn't something that I normally do - especially during the holidays - to lay down with nothing but my thoughts. I did a lot of thinking.

One of the things I thought about was the precious gift of sight. Having had Lasik surgery 4-5 years ago, I still have the doctor's orders in my memory, "Do not rub your eye!" And so, as I rubbed and rubbed, I would worry about whether it was possible to move that top layer around and injure the eye further or even go blind. I'm not sure if people who have never had eye surgery would worry about that over a simple case of pink eye, but I did.

At one point, laying on the bed at John's house, I was thinking about what my life would be like if I went blind. Although my mind turned to something that I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit, I am actually glad that it happened. It was a moment of clarity about where my focus should be in the New Year. John and his son were in the living room watching television which I could barely hear and I lay in the quiet bedroom with a warm cloth over my eye. I thought, "If I were blind, I would not be so distracted by other things. If I were blind, I would focus more on Christ and prayer." Within seconds of this thought, I was incredibly aware of what had justs gone through my mind and I was humbled. I really need to remember that and focus more on Christ. I need to learn how to overcome distractions to devote myself to Him.

I was finally able to drive and make it back to the Beach House on Sunday night and I awoke in the morning to a thick fog over the Chesapeake Bay and the lovely song of fog horns from the ships out on the bay. As I sat in the back room listening to the fog horns and drinking my morning coffee I thought about the beauty of that lonesome, mournful sound. Ships calling out in the fog to one another, "I'm here! Take note!" My thoughts went to my previous musings about being blind, and I felt instantly that God was underscoring that with the sound of the fog horns. The Lord said, "I'm here! Take note!"

I am not a New Year's Resolution type of person. Seriously. I'm not in bad shape, but I am not motivated so much by creating challenges for myself. I seem to focus more on relationships than getting in shape. In 2014, I enjoyed some wonderful milestones and a few setbacks. I'm pretty happy with my life and I don't feel like I would be happier if I weighed less or made more money. But I do feel the yearning for a closer relationship with my maker. I remember how I felt when I relied on Him more and I do want to work to get that back. I remember my morning coffee and Bible reading and how that set the tone for my day. I remember the fellowship I felt when I belonged to a church and I miss that.

In many ways, my relationship with God is better than it was back then and in others it's not. I think the best place to start may be what I was shown in the week leading up to Christmas. Be still, close your eyes, just wait on the Lord's fog horn and follow that sound.