Against the wind


trees

Watching the leaves be blown into a pile I see nature fight back.

The blower pushes forward, the wind pushes back.

The man operating the blower knows his job is to get the leaves off of the paths and into manageable piles. Nature fights against him blowing them in every direction. Scattering not only leaves but sticks and bits of grass along its route. No concern for the aesthetics, for nature in all of its forms, has beauty, even in the chaos.

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The man fights. For a moment is seems he may win the battle. Then the wind changes direction, bringing with it gusts on all sides. Or so it seems. Leaves dance around everywhere: the man, the yard and the once cleared paths. Nature seems determined to lay the leaves in colorful patchwork on every surface.

The man is powerless to stop it, yet he forages on, valiantly blowing and cleaning sections he just did on order for it to appear he’s controlled and conquered Mother Nature.

It isn’t possible. In the fall with all of the trees that surround the property, there seems to be and endless supply of leaves. What you clear now will have another layer upon it within hours. By the following day, it can look as if it hasn’t been cleared in days.

leaf pile

Nature at its finest.

Covering the buildings and grounds as the season changes. Never caring about safety, how it looks or where things land. It is changing and readying the land for the colder weather: hibernation for some and emergence for others. Its very own dance of which we have no control.

Sit back and enjoy the beauty. Let the wind blow all around you.

Just remember, you can’t catch the wind!

Have a fabulous day and as always Keep Hope Alive!

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The perceptions of expectations


Expectation. Noun: the act or the state of expecting: to wait in expectation. The act or state of looking forward or anticipating.

Expect. Verb: to look forward to; regard as likely to happen; anticipate the occurrence or the coming of: I expect to read it. I expect him later. She expects that they will come. To look for with reason or justification: We expect obedience.

I have observed how, in my opinion, people place expectations on people and things to a great degree. Their happiness and moods seem to depend on the actions of others or things that we really have no control of.

I, myself, am guilty of putting expectations on people and places/situations/things that I have no control of. Yet I let it control my level of happiness and emotions. Sometimes I get upset that people do not meet up to expectations I believe they should be following. Sometimes I realize this is completely irrational and have to stop and remind myself that I have control of no one, with the exception, somewhat, of the boy and even he is his own being. I expect him to mind, follow directions, show respect and use manners. I also expect him to have an occasional meltdown or act out. He is after all only 5.

However, it seems when it comes to adults, I have to decide if I can live with people not living up to what I “thought” my expectations are of that person. Straight off, people who continually lie or try to bring any harm to me and mine are gone. Sorry, I can’t have that. But what about those “other” expectations that seemed so important in the beginning?

Let me share an example. When I first met a friend of mine we clicked immediately. We did things together, share our lives and had a grand time. She became another “sister” to me. Then I moved across the country. While we spent many hours in each other’s company prior to my moving, she was notorious for not using her phone, losing her phone and forgetting to call. When I moved I don’t know why I thought this would change, because by that point, we had known each other several years and I had already accepted this about her. I realized I could choose to walk away from a friendship or accept the way she was. I chose to keep her. I know I have things about me that she chose to keep me over those things that irritate. I am grateful. We have been “sisters” for nearly 20 years. We have gone through all kinds of life situations, good, bad and plain hellish, yet we have stayed friends because for better or worse. We chose to keep each other. We have both forgotten something that was important to the other and have both chose selfishly at times, yet we work to keep our friendship.

In spite of the “expectations” people have of what friendship should be like, I continue to cherish this valuable friendship in my life. We could both choose to end our friendship, but why would we when it is a treasure to have someone who truly cares and has your best interest? She has a spouse, child and family who is also there. Yet she keeps me around. Most likely for entertainment but we find each other hysterically funny and definitely find something of value in each other.

Oftentimes I find that I am not living up to expectations of others. Sometimes I realize it and will talk to the person about it. Other times I have no idea I have even “messed up.” Many times it is miscommunication or misunderstandings. Rarely do I loose friends. I see it as life is precious and the humans in this life are a part of something larger than just us. Each and every one of us are different. We all have different thoughts, feelings and beliefs. I do not agree with everything my friends and family do or say nor do they agree with everything I do or say. Yet we still choose to be around each other. We choose to continue to have relationships with each other, even when it can be hard.

I believe we choose to change those “expectations” because we love that person enough to know that we want them as a part of our life, even with the craziness, no matter what it may be.

We change our perception of what our expectations are because we don’t want to lose someone special to us over something we may not agree with or even like, but the overall person is most definitely worth it.

It may be worth taking a look at your perceptions and weighing it against the overall picture.

Sometimes, expectations are way over-rated!

I hope y’all have a fabulous day!

Keep Hope Alive!

 

Fabulous Saturday – Relax Y’all!


Greeting and I hope you are all having a fabulous Saturday!

Some may still be celebrating with friends and family. I hope everyone got to eat well and spend this holiday with those you love and enjoy.

It seems mine was a bit of a blur but still wonderful! Cooking, cleaning, little sleep, driving, family, more driving, more family – full of maos but like I would have it any other way!

We did no shopping in my group. In fact, we slept in and ate breakfast then got ready and went to the local zoo.

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I love the one where we are but at the local smaller zoo, we have more options and interactions. The boy and I got to play with the baby kangaroos. They are so cute and sweet. One even rolled over on his back to have his belly rubbed. We came two years ago and the boy was having none of the kangaroos but this year he relaxed a bit and enjoyed petting them. He was a bit taken aback when we were playing with one and another one came up and started chewing on my shirt.

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We also got to go into the Lemur exhibit and play with the babies… let me note here they are 6 and 7 months old, kind of like toddlers! The enclosure was somewhat open and they were flying around everywhere. They were like kids with long arms and fluffy bodies! The boy and I were in there quite a while. I even got pooped on but wasn’t leaving (their “babysitter” kindly handed me a paper towel to clean my shirt) as the boy was just fascinated. I mean how often do you get to hang out with “wild” animals and play with them like you would puppies? I am sure we were in there for at least 30 minutes. Once we were out, I turned over the boy to the family and dashed off to the restroom to clean the poo off of my shirt!

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After several hours of visiting with the animals, feeding, constant hand cleansing and running around, we decided it was time for dinner. No one was really in the mood for turkey or ham so we went the full on sea food route!

Sometimes you just need a day or two to relax and enjoy life.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money or make complex plans that involve diagrams to get through it. You just have to be able to relax your mind and body and go with the flow.

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I will save my Ironbowl post for tomorrow…. In case you don’t understand that it is the Alabama Vs. Auburn football game in Alabama always played after Thanksgiving. Yes, it’s a big deal! At print time the game hasn’t happened and I don’t want to jinx it! I will say, doesn’t matter what happens, ROLL TIDE BABY! I have hope!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and enjoy life!

Keep Hope Alive!

 

Happy 200th post to me and oh yeah happy black Friday!


Happy fabulous Friday after Thanksgiving!
Know to some as “Black Friday”, of which I am not partaking of thank you very much, but This Friday, today, is the 200th post of Fabulous Gracelessness!
Yes, I have been writing so much that it is now up to 200 on this blog and I have followers! LOL like less than 50, but I have them and I am thrilled with each one. It’s hard to believe people actually enjoy reading what I write and put out into the universe! I know that not everyone likes everything, I may also be a bit delusional but I do know there are some of my posts that weren’t as good as others. Sometimes I go back and read my stuff and think, “what was going on in my maotic, twisted head to write that?!”
Just to clarify, I write how I feel and what I think about life as I see it. Sometimes I will expound upon some subjects with references and information or links to other sites. I write poems and personal essays and thoughts. It can be random and often I get passionate about my thoughts. I know I tend to ramble too! I am working on it.
I had no clue what I was getting into when I decided to blog. I had been laid off work, was recovering from major surgery and was doing a lot of soul searching. I had an active 4, now 5-year-old boy, who I am challenged to keep up with but would not trade anything for him and the bond and love we share. I have always kept journals, I’ve written for several newsletters, written articles, poems, short stories and other random bits. I love to just write. I was writing a few articles and getting paid a tiny bit when I realized I could somewhat come up with things on the fly with a deadline. If I could do that, I certainly could do a blog. I have an amazing friend who kept encouraging me and nudging, without actually screaming to my face haha, to at least try it. I thought how hard could it be to write a blog?
So I jumped.
Free falling does not describe the thrill, frustration yet peace that I get from writing.
It is a challenge to meet my daily post quota. I have learned to plan ahead, and try to keep a few back, which isn’t hard because I have so many things running through my mind I want to write about! It is hard when I haven’t written said topics down and it may or may not be in one of the 5 or 6 notebooks I carry around with me! If I am out and about and a topic comes to mind, I try to write it down. I also use the voice to text for my notes but more times than not I can’t decipher what Simon (the male Siri) took down. I don’t think he understands southern as well as I thought! Sometimes he can be spot on.
Plus there is the time involved to actually do it daily! I want to keep my readers engaged and maybe, just maybe, touch one person and make them think and realize they are not alone.
After all it is my blog and, while I have it, free speech shall flourish here! My thoughts, my mind, my maos, this fabulously, graceless, crazy mama from Alabama whose life motto is Keep Hope Alive! That which does not kill us makes us stronger, but stranger! We are not alone! Life throws us some crazy curves and we have to deal with them the best way we can. We are blessed if we have others in our lives to help us and walk with us along the way!
I never thought my life would go the way it did but I truly couldn’t be happier! Yes, things still stress me out, but I believe that things can and do get better once you get through all the mental crap that tells you that you can’t! You can! It may be hard as hell, and you may just have to walk through it, but you will get out if you Believe in yourself. It is the first step and also can be the hardest.
I started writing my blog when I was basically at a very low place in my life. Writing and holding myself accountable made me want to do it better and keep going.
Since I started writing, I have better relationships with the people in my life, I am still scatterbrained and flaky at times, but I am also finding I am stronger and more organized. It is still a process and it is literally one step at a time many days, but I am moving forward. I wanted to get a job writing and I wanted to take care of people. I got both just a bit differently than I envisioned but it is better than I could imagine. I found love and a peace I haven’t had before. I feel I am a better mama to the boy. I am finding my patience and learning more about the complexities of myself daily. I often pull from personal experience or situations that are close to me. It’s nice to hear friends and family say, “Don’t put this in your blog! Or if you do change my name!” it fulfills me in ways I didn’t know I need to be fulfilled.
So on this Black Friday, I am celebrating with my loves and not shopping… unless it’s for food or maybe ice-cream!
I will keep cranking out my maotic thoughts and working toward the goal of 1,000 posts! Only 800 more to go!
I hope you all have a fabulously wonderful Friday!
As always, Keep Hope Alive!!!

Happy Thanksgiving with all the nostalgia


 tgiving turkey

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my fabulous friends!

I hope you are all somewhere warm and happy with your loved ones, or at least those you can tolerate some!

If you are working on this day of thanks, I thank you. I hope you will get to enjoy with others at some point and time this thankful holiday.

I can’t help but think back to the Thanksgivings when I was younger.

My mom would be shopping for food, planning all week the previous week as well and would begin the cooking at least the day before.

Depending on who was hosting the family Thanksgiving, it could get a bit crazy but we were all happy to be spending time with relatives we got to only see on the Big 3 Holidays, which were back then, Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. We celebrated Memorial Day, the 4th of July and Labor Day as well but those seemed more laid back somehow and the Big 3 were always a labor of love with all of the family and friends attending.

If it was at our house my dad would always be working in the yard and/or moving things where mom needed to ready the house for all of the family who showed up.

The numbers varied but I don’t think it was ever less than 18! If everyone was in town and extended family showed up, plus random friends passing through or without plans, then we could get past 30 people for Thanksgiving! It made for a big circle through the house when it came time for the blessing!

give thanks grateful heart love

My brother and I had tasks delegated to us of course but it seems like we always complied and were eager to help. It may have been we knew it was getting closer to Christmas and Santa was always watching! I do know that though we thoroughly enjoyed seeing other family and friends, we had signals and plans for every situation that may arise! We did love watching the company come through the doors, but for some of our relatives and friends we didn’t see as often, they were the ones known to pinch cheeks, rub out heads and talk to us as if we were toddlers. So from the ages of about 5, lil bro, and 8, myself, we formed a bond that has lasted a lifetime for surviving large family gatherings! We did a lot of sibling bonding during the family gatherings. As we grew older we talked in code and would make up scenarios and talk them out, laughing hysterically at each other. Only he knows what it’s like from my perspective and only I know his. It makes me more thankful for him. I miss him more on the big 3 holidays if we aren’t able to be together.

Of course, we don’t celebrate the holidays like we once did.

We no longer have the larger family celebrations as so many are no longer with us. Others move on or move away.

I miss the scent of the house with all of the foods and people spreading out everywhere. I miss the laughter and joy, the tears too that were shed as we remembered those who had passed. Yet still giving thanks that we were blessed to have them in our lives and how they impacted us.

There are so many things I miss.

I am also so very thankful that I have the memories of those very things that I miss.

thankful people

Those parts of me that may be time long gone, but definitely not time forgotten. For you see, they make up the very fabric of who I am and how I see life. Though some perspectives have changed, I can see where others have not drifted from their origins. The parts that remember the smells, the sounds, the emotions and the underlying love and comfort that comes from those nostalgic memories. The ones I will never forget because they are imprinted on my soul.

I love making new memories and foraging new traditions. I love that I will take some of the old and blend with the new. Never forgetting those who taught me the true meaning of Thanksgiving and those still in my life, as well as those who are no longer here. I love sharing my journey with the people in my life now. I love how wherever I have lived I always find a way to share it with others and them share with me. I love that Thanksgiving is a day where you can just be thankful, no matter if it’s old or new traditions. Or maybe it’s a tradition in the making.

I hope you all have a wonderfully fabulous Thanksgiving!

Always Keep Hope Alive!

peanuts tgiving

Thanksgiving Eve


thanksgiving eve

It’s Thanksgiving Eve and we are running around,

Last minute shopping and errands abound.

Our intentions are pure, our plates are too heavy,

We scramble and drop and repair all our levees.

All while smiling & chatting, then we began baking & cleaning.

It is then we understand gratitude’s real meaning.

We plan for tomorrow, but also for the days after.

Just remember my friends, let’s finish this chapter.

We will stay up too late, way into the night,

To make sure our work is a beautiful sight.

We work very hard to make things just right.

We give all we have with all of our might.

We cannot forget why we celebrate this day.

We give thanks for our harvests and a safe place to stay.

We often forget about those who have nothing.

We should share in our feasts, our homes and give something.

Don’t let your heart be hardened with greed,

Please remember there are so many in need.

I ask you to remember in all of your running to not get an attitude,

Please smile and say thank you, for ‘tis the season of gratitude.

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Happy ALmost Thanksgiving!


happy almost thanksgiving

This week we celebrate Thanksgiving.

It is now 2 wake ups away.

There are many posting on social media what they are thankful for each day. People are contemplating recipes, relationships and what they will wear.

Some will be celebrating through the weekend as they could not get together with their loved ones on the actual day.

Some people are still working and some will have to work on Thanksgiving.

Countdown.

I am thankful every day. I am thankful for my boy, those I love, family and friends. I am thankful I finally have a full time job that is close to home. I am thankful I have a roof over my head and food to eat. I am thankful the jeep is still running. I am thankful for all my boyfriend does so much for me. I am thankful for those special friends who do more than ever asked. I am thankful I learned to control my temper years ago… Orange is a fall color but I don’t look good in it! I don’t “post” it on the social media. I am not sure if it is required, but if so, I am breaking that law. I don’t feel the need.

I have 2 recipes to make which won’t be hard but as my friend says, “It so smacks of effort!” They will get made and who knows?! I may bake a cake as well but I am learning to stop over doing it because I am harder on myself than anyone else is.

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My relationships with those I love and care for are good for those keeping track. The boy is my world and I love that pretty much everyone in my world gets to enjoy his existence with me.

Fashion is not my thing. If things come together well that is fabulous. I am sure that folks sometimes stare at my wild, crazy hair and whatever clean ensemble I grabbed up. Not that I don’t actually make an effort to look decent but I have no idea of designers or color shades. I sometimes wear the makeup and again, my wild, wild hair that I usually pull up because let’s just face it, much easier! Although it keeps my head warm in the winter!

I have to work, of course, no matter if with a client or for myself it seems I have work to do. I am learning how to go easier on myself and not push too far.

Countdown.

2 wake ups and it’s Thanksgiving.

The next day we go crazy and fight others for material items after a day of thanks.

Not me! I am going to take the boy somewhere fun and will be doing no shopping!

I hope you all have a fabulous day!!!

Keep hope alive!

 

 

 

Maotically, Murphy filled Mondays


monday

I swear the maotically weird day started because the man walking his dog hexed me. He put his bad juju on me because he thought I was interrupting his morning walk. Honestly I was just trying to leave my neighborhood and make it to work on time. I was patiently waiting for him to, illegally, cross the street with his cute dog who wasn’t on a leash. I would never hit an animal! Or anything else if I can help it especially before 8:00 AM, I mean the coffee is barely got me conscious!

I was a few minutes behind but the traffic was light I was going to make it! My GPS was on and I didn’t have school drop off so my route would be shorter.

Then Murphy steps in. “Keep going for the next 4 miles” says my GPS man Simon. Yo Simon, the road is Closed! Why wasn’t that in there! Doesn’t the wolfen update the maps nightly or something?!

keep calm murphys law

Since I once drove that route for over 10 years I figured it would be no problem… right! I forgot how many red lights there were. Then I got on the open road and well opened up, praying all the while to not be late, to get there safe and without a good driving award for my speed skills.

I made it to work only 5 minutes late and still shaking a bit over the drive there which got a bit hairy towards the end. But I made it!

I worked my 10-hour shift and enjoyed my client’s company. We watched Alabama slaughter that other team and then it was time for me to go.

I had my bags and cooler ready. I just couldn’t find my keys.

It seems when I ran out earlier to grab one of my notebooks, I put the key on the seat, locked the door and went back inside. Sometimes I wonder what my brain is actually processing, like why I put the key on the seat in the first place and not in my pocket?! I do not need to work shifts this long with not a lot of sleep and having had back procedures two days prior. But I needed the funds!

I learned that if the window is cracked and I use a coat hanger, I can open my door. I was impressed with myself but a little freaked at how easy it was. Note to self, don’t leave windows cracked unless you know no one else can get in!

Finally I was headed home! After a call to mom, my man and then getting fuel for the Jeep because it was cheaper on that side of town, I began my drive back home in the dark with the GPS leading the way. I thought, somehow, that it would remember the way I went that morning and the road closures. No such luck. Did I mention it was dark?! I have a bit of night blindness and my contacts felt glued to my eyeballs. I knew Murphy was having fun with me again. Of course the signs aren’t on the road I was on for the detour and I ended up going around in circles praying I would find my way!

I finally recognized a road that I knew led to home and called my boyfriend, who since I was running so late, was meeting me at a local restaurant. I asked him to please order me a strong drink. He already had! I don’t drink much or often but sometimes I need something a bit harder than sweet tea to get me through!

I finally made it home and got a little work done after a nice relaxing dinner.

Of course I was up the next day because you know, no rest for the wicked!

Tomorrow is another day. I still don’t get to sleep in like I want to! I may just hibernate this winter. I wonder if the boy and everyone would want to just get a nice, warm cave away from it all and hibernate? Not such a bad idea!

I hope you all have a wonderful week! It’s a short holiday week so you can make it.

Keep Hope Alive!

week weirder could it

 

 

 

Who takes care of those who have no one?


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Working in the field I do, I often wonder, who takes care of those with no families? I think of how challenging it must be to find good help for our older generation. Most people are on a fixed income of some sort and filling out forms and documents are challenging for anyone, no matter what their income is.
A friend of mine and I were discussing the filling out of Medicare forms and how if you leave one little thing off or check the wrong box, it throws the whole application off and you have to basically start over.
It is beyond frustrating for people who are completely cognitive and somewhat able to follow the convoluted directions given, whether online or written; however, for someone who has no one to ask or turn to for help, it would be a complete nightmare. It is a nightmare for many who know what they are doing and who can do it themselves or have families, but what about those who don’t? What happens to those people?
Have you ever visited a nursing home or assisted living? Have you seen the people in the common rooms and hallways who don’t know you but always wave and smile at you like you are a ray of sunshine on a rainy afternoon after long days of storms? Chances are half of those people have no one. No family or close friends. Their contact is with the caregivers, residents and people who come to the facility for entertainment or to see others.
Any time I am going through to see someone I make it a point to say hello to everyone I see. I wave or say hello depending. Sometimes I know a lengthy conversation can ensue and I know how to handle that situation yet I still open myself up for conversation. One thing I always get is a smile or hello in return. I was even asked to a dance and also a marriage proposal from one of those hellos!
Recently I decided it was time to change my insurance for myself and the boy. Since I no longer work for a corporation, when I was let go, I was given the option of cobra insurance. For those not in the know, it is the same plan you had, just at a much higher premium and coverage lasts for anywhere from one to two years. I had the two-year option, but it is too high so I am finally getting around to changing it. I also was making an appointment for a MRI and checking to see if the dental insurance I pay out the wazoo for had paid for a regular office visit from July. I was on the phone for 5 1/2 hours! And I get to call back on the insurances and MRI next week because of course things can’t be done when some folks say they will be done.
I was so very frustrated and still am. It’s annoying as hell and I have to make myself stop and ask myself again, “Who does this for people who have no one?”
Every one of the people I have cared for have families. Even if it’s “extended” family they have someone(s) that can help them out through most of the madness.
That includes getting groceries, toiletries, cleaning, help with bills, finances, insurance.
I have seen people who have families that you would expect to be helping but then don’t and the person ends up losing a car or getting their power or phones turned off simply because the bill wasn’t paid. There was money in the bank but the bills were not paid. They are supposed to have someone yet no one was paying attention to them knowing they need help. That straight up angers me to the core.

negativity

Again, I wonder, who helps those who cannot do for themselves?
I have purchased food for families standing in the grocery store parking lot. I have cried with them as I gave them what I would have considered “not much” but then they had nothing and were so grateful to have something to cook for their family and promised me they could “make it work.”
I volunteer with a local group who helps provide children with Christmas and things people may be in need of throughout the year. I believe there were 2 or 3 house fires and countless people losing their jobs as well as family members taking on children for other family members. People who need immediately and there isn’t always an option to wait for assistance from the local or state government.
When I hear of someone in need and know of something I or someone I know can do to help I get make it happen. It may not be everything they need but they are grateful for the step in the direction of something.
But it still isn’t enough!
Right now we are facing hunger, poverty, homelessness and people without medical care in our own communities.
We are also being asked to help others who are seeking refuge from evils in their own homes and communities. There is a split census on what should be done about these humans who did not choose to be driven from their homes and country. Some believe we can give help somewhere closer to their home country. Others believe we should allow them into our country and communities.

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It is still the same question, who takes care of those who cannot take care of themselves?
To my knowledge, we don’t choose where we are born and our circumstances. If that was the case no one would choose to be born into hunger, poverty, tyranny, have no medical care or nowhere to home. No one would choose to be born into violence, hatred, servitude or oppression.
I know and understand taking care of oneself is a challenge. Taking care of yourself and your family adds even more stress. But I also can’t help but think of those that I can help in addition to myself and my loved ones. It may be in small ways, maybe not all the time but I can still make a difference.
I pray that others will feel their humanity and find it within themselves to help just one person this week. Not to “look good” by being philanthropic but to do it because it’s the right thing to do.
It is something which is a whole lot better than nothing!

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Signing off giving y’all some food for thought and a boat load of happiness on this fine, cold Sunday!
I hope you all have a fabulous day!
Keep Hope Alive!!!!
Lady Maos

Watching the world…. driving and being the passenger


As I it in the passenger seat I watch the world go by.

Since I drive so much, sometimes it is nice to sit back and let someone else drive so I can watch the view.

The perspective from passenger to driver, I’ve learned, can be vastly different.

Driving, I am always aware of the cars around me and sometimes miss the scenery because I have to pay attention to the other drivers, the road and keeping it between the lines. I do get to see and enjoy the beautiful scenery sometimes, but not as much as when I get to sit back and ride. I enjoy driving but I also enjoy not having to drive… depending on who is driving!

As the passenger, I am not only free to watch the scenery, but the other drivers we pass and the little things you miss when you have to drive.

The pretty flowers on the right side of the road, the peculiar looking human staring at you from the next lane, the buildings and businesses off the road.

On long drives, especially if I am on country back roads, I tend to look for the animals in the trees, the ones in the pastures and the homes of others. I always wonder what kind of people live there and what they are doing at that very moment. I sometimes make up stories in my head about them. I admit I do this while driving too if I am alone and the road is long.

I love singing to the radio and I equally love the sound of the tires on the pavement with no other noise but road noise.

When I’m in traffic, I will often crack my window to hear the music and occasional conversations of other commuters who have let their windows down. Often I hear a song I love and try to find it on my radio, and if I can’t, have been known to sing along, and loudly, to the other person’s radio!

I learned to drive at a young age, out in the country, three on a tree and then later in the parking lot of the local college. I loved the feeling of freedom that driving gave me. It still does, though I have to remind myself of it the more I age!

Sometimes it seems like I live in my car, running from place to place, between work, the boy, errands and things we need. I keep extra food, tissues, jackets, toys and wipes in my Jeep in case we happen to get stuck for a while. My friends joke it’s like I am prepared for the apocalypse with all the crap I carry around. Maybe I am. Or maybe I just like to be prepared.

After living in Atlanta for nearly 11 years, I knew it wouldn’t be a short ride to wherever I was going, and I guess I really started carrying so many provisions when I was living there. Since moving back home, I find I am often early and with time on my hands, I might as well have that snack I packed because it will be a while until I get to eat!

So when I get into someone else’s car, with my many bags, and they ask me why I need all that “crap” I can say I am prepared for almost anything! No one complains when I hand out drinks, snacks or crayons. And I’ve never hear nary a complaint when the googly eyes come out… who doesn’t love to put googly eyes on things?!

I hope you all have a fabulous day!

Keep Hope Alive!