something old

My ancestors on my fathers’ side came to America from Bruges, Belgium. First stop was Ellis Island. While passing through the halls and completing the paper work, the family name was changed right then and there to Bridges. A more American sounding name.

While living in Europe, we had the pleasure to travel to Belgium. We toured Brussels, there we ate the local cuisine, Mr. Right learned new driving customs and we saw our very first Michelangelo carving in person. It took my breath away. That particular trip, I was short on breath. The handmade lace was amazing. swoosh, just like that, my breath evaporated.

The year was 1998 and son number one was eleven, son number two was eight years old.

We meandered, learned, dined, and explored the city of Bruges. It was a once in a life time experience. The lace, oh the lace, all hand made and valued. The needlework school demands that you tat and learn the art of lace making for 7 years before you can sell your wares and call yourself a professional lace maker. I went into several shops. Yes, I purchased a couple of pieces.

Mr. Right kept the boys occupied outside. Tell me, what 8 and 11 year old boy would be interested in lace? I went into one shop in particular. The ladies were kind and lovely to me. They listened to my plan with enthusiasm. Carefully and with precision, they lined up upon the counter, several handkerchiefs embellished with hand made lace. I left the shop. I came back in with one boy, the oldest. I said, “see those handkerchiefs? Which one is your favorite?” He pointed. The ladies took that one “out of the line up”. I left the shop again. I took out son number one and brought back in son number two. I repeated the process. I said, “see those handkerchiefs? Which one is your favorite? I took son number two out of the shop. I went back inside to pay.

You see, I came up with a plan. I would have the boys each chose their favorite lace handkerchief. I bought the ones they chose. I labeled them with their names. Then carefully wrap them away in my cedar chest. Seven and a half years ago, I gave son number one “his” handkerchief to give to his sweetheart when they became engaged. She carried it when they got married.

Yesterday, I wrapped up the remaining handkerchief and gave it to son number two to give to his sweet girl. They became engaged yesterday. She is now the care taker of her handkerchief. I hope she chooses to carry it on the day they marry.

Life is full of decisions, and when you find you’ve got one right, it is worth


I like the word serendipitous. I really like the word bliss. I love the word grace. Last night, while both baking in the kitchen, we were throwing out words that we liked and liked to use and hear.

The flip side of that conversation are words we don’t like to hear. I do not care for the words “no problem”. I don’t care for the word “whatever”. Mr. Right does not care for the word “especially”. I really, really don’t care for the word busy.

For some odd and strange reason, it has become a catch word. One that people feel pride in using. I would like to go on record as saying that I do not care for it, not one little bit. The word busy is not something to be prideful about.

It is used as an excuse. The word “busy” is used to make others feel less. I for one do not want to purposely make others feel less because of my words. It is not lady like nor is it full of grace. The word busy is used to tell the world you can not organized your time and calmly take on the tasks of your life. It screams to the world that you cannot be in the moment and handle each moment and event as they come about. It tells others you have over committed and have not gracefully learned to say no.

The older I get, the more I like learning to live in the moment.

Yesterday, a friend stopped her studying for finals and four papers due, to have a couple of cups of coffee. Right smack in the middle of the day, she had the grace to disengage for a few moments and be in the moment. She needed the rest. I think we all did. Just a couple hours to calm down and regroup and laugh a little. Yes, it was right in the middle of her brain going 100 miles an hour. Thinking back on the time, it made us feel special. She thought enough of us to take a break and add us to her day. I think and hope, it made her feel special that we went over to “make” her rest her brain for a small amount of time, give her time to clear the cobwebs. She never once said, “I am so busy.”. Yeah, we all know she has her plate full. College daughter home for the week, finals, husband, son, dog, birds, donating to others, her cupboards are bare and she says she needs to get to the grocery store to restock, an elderly mother needing time, …….I don’t have to list it all. It is called life. We are all trying to keep all the balls in the air and juggle and juggle and keep some sort of balance. (There is another word I like “balance”).

Today, I will give today importance. You just know I want to go on and on and on about son number two and daughter in law to be coming for a visit tomorrow. It has been way too long since we have seen them. I want to gush on and on about our upcoming holiday at the beach.

However, for today, Mr. Right and I will find out if we are going to be grandparents to another grandgirlie or a little grandson made out of snips and snails! We will relish today. Hey, there is another word I love “relish”. Our niece has a call back job interview today. This could be a remarkable day for her. We will wait for her phone call or e-mail to tell us the results.

I am choosing to spend my time and thoughts in today. Oh sure we have wonderful things on calendar, even for the coming week. Anticipation is a great feeling. The planning and excitement of things to come. Thanksgiving dinner, the trip to the ocean, swimming in the warm pool, board games to be played, snacks to be enjoyed.
Two family birthdays, yes the list goes on and they will come one at a time.

We are only given as much as we can handle. I like to remind myself of that.

I could list all of the “things” that I have to do. I could go on and on telling the world that I am busy. Urgh. Or I could dig a little deeper and find the grace and kindness to give power to each moment of each day. Relish it. Enjoy & embrace it. When we look to the next event or commitment we steal some of the joy of what is happening at that exact moment. I want to give importance and joy and my total care and concern to what is upon me. I don’t want it to hurry up and be over. (well, except for dental appointments). I want to be in the moment and “live” in the moment.

It does not make me more important or worthy if I am busy. It robs me of being in the here and now. Yes, it steals the joy from what we are experienceing. I like learning to take each day as it comes. Maybe by learning to enjoy and relish the good days as they come about, it will help teach me how to calmly and with purpose walk through the bad days & events.

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.

I want my days spent in grace.

first snow of the season

If we were still home schooling, today, we would read and
learn the poem “When the Frost is on the Punkin”
by James Whitcomb Riley.

Last night we got our first dusting of snow. Some of the white flakes landed on my pumpkins.

Since school is not in session, think I will just send a gentle reminder to son and daughter number 2, to toss in a warm coat into their suitcases. Four days and a wake up until we get to enjoy their visit. YIPPY!