Wednesday, May 29, 2013

This Week on Obsidian Drive

Some would say that living out in the country would be boring. No bright lights, no movie theaters, no shopping malls...

I say, "Pshaw!"

Living in Teller County Colorado might not be everyone's cup of tea, but I love it. My hubby and I love living above the clouds and awake most days still awed that the Good Lord would have it in his plan to allow us to live in such a beautiful place.

In 1986 I was living in Little Rock, Arkansas. I was attending Agape Church and one weekend in June of that year the church hosted a women's weekend. The keynote speaker asked us to write down on a piece of paper where we wanted to be one year from that date and put it someplace we wouldn't lose it. The speaker was touching on the scripture about God giving us the desires of our heart. I wrote down Colorado never really giving it a second thought. One year later, almost to the day, I moved to Colorado Springs. Talk about an answered prayer.

So much has happened since moving to Teller County. Last summer was the Waldo Canyon and Springer fires. It was a harrowing time with roads closed, evacuations of over 30,000, hundreds of homes lost, 2 lives lost and all we could do was wait it out...and pray.  During the fires I broke my right foot and all the medical facilities were closed to anything that wasn't fire related so I also had to wait that out for a couple of weeks.

Everyday I look out my front window and see the beautiful landscape before me. I see owls, elk, deer, coyotes, foxes, eagles and hear the screeching cry of the mountain lion off in the distance. In the early summer, we enjoy the beautiful simplicity of the columbine, our state flower. Hummingbirds are so curious they fly right up to us then zip away out of sight. Even as I wrote that line, one flew by.

Last summer a bear invited himself in through our bedroom window while we were at church one Sunday  morning during the fires.

A few days ago my cat, Jack, brought me a mole. Not a thing that grows on your skin and sometimes needs to be removed. A creeping, crawling, hairy, humongous mole that he caught somewhere and killed. YIKES! Then he brought me a bird. Then he and his sister, Jill, found a nest of mice under the shed, drug them out and played chase with them.

So is life in the mountains for everyone?  Heck, no! But it sure is for me. I love to hike. I love to visit the hot springs over in Buena Vista or Ouray or Glenwood Springs. I love to walk around the National Fossil Beds just around the corner from home. I also like to get gussied up (a clean shirt and pair of jeans) and head into town for the newest movie.

If you're ever in the neighborhood, honk and wave, slow down and yell, but watch out. Consider yourself warned. You might just like it and have to stay a spell.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

"M" is for the Many Things She Gave Me

Tomorrow is Mother's Day. A day celebrated around the world, for there is no other person in the world whose relationship affects us more than the one we have with our maternal units.

Whatever we choose to call her, the role she plays in her children's lives is that of nursemaid, nurturer, educator, mental health professional, cosmetologist, teacher, judge, jury, correctional officer and warden all wrapped into one,  head chef, bottle washer, diaper changer, nanny, referee, physician, seamstress, party planner, coach, ump, encourager...and the list goes on and on.

Our mothers are our mothers, but as I was reminded earlier today from a reading in "Chicken Soup for the Mother's Soul", we seldom know them as the great, great ladies they are. My mom was one such lady. Born Dorthy Mae Carroll, people always misspelled her name thinking surely it was Dorothy, but no, it was Dorthy and many folks called her Dot. That 'Dot' is also another word for period or so be it... or dot, dot, dot...the continuation of a thought. Both are correct in the case of my mom. She was fierce. PERIOD. She was kind. PERIOD. She was a fantastic cook. PERIOD. She had a heart easily pricked. PERIOD. She always heard my side of a story and gave me another chance. Dot, Dot, Dot.

I remember her best sitting at our Kimball spinet piano playing "All God's Children Need Someone to Love". As a child, I thought hearing her play and sing was the best thing since peanut butter (and if you know me well, you know how I love my peanut butter!!). It was from her that I got my love for music. When I began piano lessons in the third grade, I practiced hour after hour and if I sounded anything like my son did when he began taking saxophone lessons, she had to have been grinding her teeth or screaming into a pillow sometimes. All I can say about that is God love her! Because all those lessons led to a life filled with the love and joy of music.  (As a side note, my son actually won his age group at the Denver Jazz Festival when he was in the 10th all my screaming into pillows and the literal crawling of my skin paid off, too.)

My mom taught Sunday School for as long as I can remember during her time on Planet Earth. Seems to me she taught Adult Women's classes and they always seemed to love her. I recall getting out of bed every morning, early, and getting ready for school only to find her just where she'd been the morning before: at the kitchen table studying her lesson for the following Sunday morning. I never told her, but I was impressed by her stick-to-it-ive-ness, her allegiance to the women she taught, and her love for the Lord of whom she taught.

Mother loved to sew. She made clothes, but the thing I most remember are these 17th Century dolls she used to make. The were hand sewn and the faces hand embroidered with yarn hair she sewed on. The dresses they wore were beautiful and they even had little pantelettes. My niece, Pam, my eldest sister's daughter, named them Toots, because that's what all the grandkids called mother. Pam said they looked like Toots. And they did! And to this day, I think it's safe to say we all have a Toots doll proudly displayed somewhere in our homes. Mine is wearing a dress made from fabric she used for a dress sewed for me in high school. No one is allowed to touch my Toots doll. She's almost 40 years old now and if she's like me has brittle bone disease. She's a prized possession, made with love from my mother...a great, great lady. As a matter of fact, when Mother had the coronary that sent her to the Great Beyond, she was working on a Toots doll for someone who never received it. The fabric and the pattern was neatly laid out on the sewing machine table right where she left it when she fell ill.

So to my mother, now in the arms of Jesus, I say, "Mother, you are a great, great lady and I am thankful you were my maternal unit on Planet Earth.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Message to the Pamelonians

I must issue a disclaimer here. The title 'Message to the Pamelonians' is actually taken from my niece Pam's husband's updates on Pam's breast cancer battle and sojourn through the world of chemo, radiation , and surgery.  Pam is still taking chemo, but has not been able to receive it the past two weeks because of lower numbers in her blood work. My sister, her mom, tells me she can see the disappointment in her eyes and demeanor when things don't go as planned, but Pam is a go-getter and has done her research and is taking her vitamins and eating right and kicking cancer's behind.

For those of you who have been praying for her, thank you, and KEEP IT UP!

Last week Don and I received an invitation to her daughter, Caroline's high school graduation. I remember when Caroline was a precocious little girl who knew me as "the one who draws". She's grown up to be artsy and creative as well, so hopefully I will be able to one day say, "she's my great-niece who fill-in-the-blank". For now, she's the girl who loves her mom, takes care of her, has awesome videos on You Tube and is about to rock her world.

I can't imagine how proud Pam is now of the daughter who is graduating from a Science Magnet school in Little Rock and heading off to college, all in the midst of her mother's battle with breast cancer.

Pam has been named The Race for the Cure's Honorary Survivor for 2013. She's honored and is fighting the good fight.

Pam: I love you, girl.

From "the one who draws",