Monday, August 13, 2012

Dreams of a Dandelion

I was recently asked to re-post this so here it is my friend and Thank you for enjoying it!  

Can you call Home, home again?

What an amazing opportunity I had this weekend!  To go visit our childhood home.  
A home that we moved into when I was entering 2nd grade and I where I would live until I moved in with and became Mrs. Larry Seiber :  )  

This day fell the day after Connie's 46th birthday and right on Moms 70th!  
Unfortunately Connie was suffering from a migraine and still in the hopes of seeing the house, she trudged onward.   She called Daddy and Trish and they were going to meet us at the house.  
*Note:  I had not said anything to Daddy about the house because I was unsure of how he would feel about visiting it.  (He sold it after the untimely death of our Stepmother and our brother Blake)  
.....I happened to be online the night it went into foreclosure and immediately was interested.
I'm interested in:  
1.) seeing it
2.)  possibly buying it
3.) more interested in living in it!  
....I have been in the market for a home for over a in this apt since I came back from FL....
so I AM very interested in buying it for me!
so say you can never go home and while that may be true...
could God open the doors that I could to back to my home?  A home that held many precious memories of life and memories that  as a teenager, we're so grand!!  lol  

Really, I just wasn't sure how other would accept it.  

So.....Now I have EVERYBODY but Debbie here...

I see Daddy standing in the drive with his arms crossed....uggghhh, he is so hard to read sometimes!  lol
What does this mean?  We get out and he says, "Honey, this place is a mess".   My mind is in two modes:  okay, to Daddy, I'm sure it's a mess compared to the way he sold it a mess that can be fixed?  
Well....let's just say you decide based on the photos.

While the structure of the home itself is still very sound, everything else isn't.  The roof and CH/A unit are the same that were there when Daddy sold it over 10 years ago.  $$$

 KITCHEN:  ABOVE  These cabinets were one of the last big projects Daddy did.  I loved that you could see the old wallpaper and flooring from the 70's!   I HATED the filth!  Unbelievable!  How does someone leave a a tile back-splash this nasty?  Look at the shutters in the window...gross!!  

BEDROOM  FOUR:  BELOW   Ya gotta love the retro 70's light fixture!! It's amazing how some of these things are still there!  This was Connie's bedroom, then Blake's nursery when we welcomed him into our family in 1973! It later became our grandmothers room.   (No....we did not have it painted this color.  That seems to be the only common change throughout the house)
 MY OLD BEDROOM:  BEDROOM 3 was the place we discovered what happened to the family that had bought the home.  I couldn't believe a mother that is responsible for 5 children would write this on a door...well..what once was a door...The story is written and then drawn out.  I have mixed emotions on someone losing their home.  I cannot judge as I've not been in their shoes but ultimately isn't it that you cannot make the payments.  They owned the home less than 2 years and couldn't make the payments.  Just by doing some calculations in my mind it seems to me they may have over extended themselves...but again, I'm judging.  The thing is you buy a home,,,you're in it a little over a year, you must be - what???  3 or 4 notes behind before you get notice of foreclosure, and then you have like 60 days. I don't know all the wherefores and what's and who knows...someone could have fallen ill...I'm judging and I really, really DONT mean to!  I just found the note on the door very distasteful.

It was after viewing the home that Daddy spoke with a neighbor (same one who lived there when we were teens)  He shed a light on the "family" that lived, well, they obviously didn't have the same cleaning and upkeep ideas as we do. I pray this family finds shelter that's what matters and since I started this adventure my thoughts have turned more from me getting into the house and more to their finding a place to live.  I don't know you family...but I pray you learn from this misfortune and that your children are able to grasp from you a very valuable lesson in ownership, and I don't just mean in a home.  Ownership in anything they do.  Responsibility.  Not faulting others for their dream not coming true.  Accepting responsibility and acknowledging failure or loss is the beginning to building a future, in my opinion.  And hence...since this is my blog I am entitled to my opinion.  :)

This was my Daddy and Pam's bedroom.  I can remember Daddy building this vanity for I believe it was Pam's birthday.  Wow...the years that I can recall her sitting and putting on her makeup, then combing out her short, deep rich, black hair before bedtime while using her Ponds cold cream on her face.  I can smell it now!  There was a small shelf that ran the length of the vanity at the back before someone covered it all in mirror and she had a small bottle of "Holy Water" from the Holy Lands that she would use sparingly for praying.  I remember her placing a dot of that water on my forehead and praying with me on our knees when in 1982 I found out I was pregnant.  She was so excited and scared for me.  I was unwed and although I was living with Big Larry she was my biggest supporter along with Debbie and Memaw!!!  My whole family supported me, let that be noted!!  They just opened their arms and loved me the more!

 I also recall the day they purchased their new king size bed and Daddy literally had to push us up on it.  What can I say...we're all short!  lol We watched Saturday morning cartoons all piled up in the bed with tickling and giggling (that's one of my very favorite all time childhood moments) mind is running a million directions with memories right now!

 I sat on that bed along with Pam and asked my Daddy to escort me to my Senior Prom when I learned Big Larry was obligated to work out of town.  My Daddy said YES!!  Thanks Pam forever for suggesting I ask Daddy!!     My last vivid memory of this room was Debbie and I going through Pam's personal clothing, makeup, jewelry and her closet.  She had a collection of lapel flowers that she always wore as well as scarves and my.....they were full of her scent.  Her perfume lingered like that of the rose of Sharon on everything we touched.  Somehow in the midst of that difficult day we managed to find joy and hidden gifts she had purchased for each of us girls for Valentines day.  This messy as it appears holds tears of love, joy, anger and mostly tears of admiration for a lady that gave so much to take on the responsibility of stepmom to three young girls and love us unconditionally! She always said she was "BLESSED" were the ones that were "BLESSED"!!
This room was originally Debbie's room.  One wall wallpapered with a collection of orange/white/yellow stripes. It was the "fad" at the time.  Debbie had our Mom and Dads first bedroom suite and a beautiful yellow bedspread.  Who knew what a comforter was back in the 70's?  That bedroom suite is not in the beautiful Mt. Top Lodge over in North Carolina and looks brand new!!   So many memories of my big sister sitting on her bed and folding paper gum wrappers to create a "rug".  Polishing our nails, listening to music, her sharing her clothes with me and especially her Adidas tennis shoes and her Candies!!  (I can share more but she reads these posts and it would interfere with our Christmas gift idea this year so....sorry Deb!!)

Later on after Blake came along Debbie moved into my bedroom.  Therefore making Connie and I roommates in this room.  It was hell from Connie's point of view!  LOL   We actually took masking tape and placed it along the carpet to keep each other on their half during one of our arguments!!  She was such a tomboy and not that I was a sassy, prissy girl but she hated my makeup and my posters of Donny Osmond, Sylvester Stallone and Leif Garrett!  She actually took her GI Joe's and beheaded my barbies!  ohhhhh the days of sharing a room!!  It sounds like we hated each other which is quite the contrary, we just didn't see things the same!  We did outgrow our frin-emy stage!  

Sorry...didn't mean to load these out of order.  As I look at the carpet and walls this is the part of me that finds me feeling no sympathy towards the ones that lost this home.  How, How in the world can someone disrespect something so much by treating it this way?  What are these parents teaching their kids?  Seriously this is beyond sad for personal reasons...this angers me to think this is WHY kids today DO NOT APPRECIATE what's given to them and then you have the parents BLAMING the Bank.  REALLY??  How or what are you teaching your children by allowing them to draw continuously on walls, eat, drink, urinate and punch holes in what is suppose to be your home? These are the kids that are later convicted of crimes and the parents take no responsibility.  PEOPLE....OUR KIDS WATCH EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING WE DO AND SAY...THEY MIMIC OUR ACTIONS!   Don't expect your child to growup and be a working, contributing member of society if this is the way you are raising them.  To destroy, disrespect and not take responsibility!!!!  geesh....(stepping back down off soapbox, again)
Daddy's little bathroom that he totally remodeled with the exception of the flooring.  We called it Daddy's Library!  just saying....

This was the hallway bathroom.  The one the guest and we kids used.  I can remember my Daddy building the cabinets above the toilet.  I can also.....this is a good one....remember Connie and I listening to Pam and my Dad through the a/c vent above the tub when they would go into their bathroom to discuss things!!!  The secrets out!!!  haha!! 

The kitchen / den combination where so many hours of homework were done.  Countless hours around the table having family pow-wows, learning to cook, bake, cutting my finger so deep once cutting potatoes that I slid down the corner of the sink.  Pam took me to the ER for stitches and never once scolded me just told me that when it healed she'd show me how to do it a different way next time.   When we first moved into this home there was a bar and behind the bar the wallpaper was "recipes" of how to make multiple mix drinks.  I remember Daddy having the Aunts and Uncles over to play cards all the time and he'd give us kids a "virgin drink".  My Daddy enjoyed a nice drink from time to time but to drink on any kind of regular basis, never.  I think his example is how, where I learned to enjoy a nice glass of wine or bottle of beer.  He was setting an example and even as a child I remember watching them all enjoy each others company and filling our home with laughter during these get-togethers!  Family was and has always been important to my Daddy and I'm glad he taught us the importance of togetherness with extended family.

The first people that purchased the home from daddy installed this fireplace/stove as this is where our big "Zenith" first color console use to sit.  HA HA!  The french doors were once painted white.  Pam and Daddy striipped them and stained them.  These led to what was "the playroom or greenhouse" before Daddy was inspired to turn it into a sewing/washing room for Pam.   This back door took many knocks from our neighborhood friends!!  Betsy, Cynthia, Tim, Blake (Betsy brother), Beth, Valentina, Lenora, Mrs MaryLou and Mr. Bill and our first "black friend, Pamela"   Living in what was an all white neighborhood and having the new black family become friends had it's challenges.  I'm thankful Pam never saw color and taught us the same!  The Bosticks encountered some hard times and, well, it didn't help when their teenage son decided to rebel....the point is we lived in an age of prejudice and every family had their own thoughts, values and moral ideas of how to deal with it.  Pamela was a good good friend to Connie and I've often thought of her over the years!  ...oh wow...this list could continue!  I've always loved that saying, "Backdoor friends are best".

The garage here holds lot of sweet moments that I got to spend with my Daddy.  Learning how to build just about anything.  His teaching me to use a band-saw, scroll-saw, jigsaw, sander, router and especially my airbrush and pin-stripping kit!  One Christmas we built solid pine trash bins, potato bins and frames for photos.  I even learned to shoot a bow and arrow and a pellet gun out here!   My kitten once climbed the brick wall side of the garage.  Well outside of my reach,  I was assured she would "land on all four" when she finally decided to come down.  Little life lessons for this girl taught by my Daddy.  We also had the ugliest dog named "Pick-a-nune" who was scared of everything and everyone....and one day our Mom and Grandmother drove us to pick up a Belgian German Shepard named Duke and he became the family pet forever and Connie's best friend for life!!   I honestly think the entire neighborhood knew Duke.  This was before there were "leash laws" in effect much less enforced!   My point being this garage held many playdates with cousins during the summer when it was only a patio.  Later it was where you'd find my dad after church and on any Saturday afternoon.  Working on a new project or exchanging projects with one of several neighbors!  Fond warm memories in a 2 car garage!

This is all original to the Living room.  Daddy had this insert removed from an old paint building in downtown Nashville.  We use to swear this is how Santa entered our home on Christmas Eve.  We use to sing at the top of our lungs from 8tracks (yes...8 tracks).  We would listen to Guess Who before they became The Who.  Our cousin gave us this 8track and we hid it from the parents and only played it when they were gone!  We also listened to the Bee Gees and many others while singing into our hairbrushes and dancing on the marble in front of the mirror.  The hallway door use to have "swinging bar doors" and we would make our great entrance down the hall and begin our songs.  Oh my..what childhood fun times I am reliving from a simple walk-through of my childhood home.   See...even in the midst of a can find joy and happiness!  This walls were a home to me.  A place of security.  A place where I tried my parents rules and learned many lessons.  A place that houses emotions, scars, tears and joyful moments. maybe you can't go back home in some sense....but I have the freedom in my heart and mind to go back anytime and relish in those years.  I'm thankful for my days of reminiscing!  I'm more thankful for a house that was built of walls and beams but a home it became made from fun and dreams!  It's in Gods hands if it works out that I should be so lucky to ever own this home and take pride in rebuilding it the way my Daddy's hands taught me to do.  What a sweet, sweet dream this would be for me to call home, home again!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

So in lieu of the 4th event at The Christian Olympics here is my video.  

The challenge was:
 To write a worry on  piece of paper.
  Then destroy it.
Follow that by sharing a dream.
Video them and share.

As I was completing this event I was learning that my trials in life are like that "worry".  
While I may give it to God in prayer.  I don't destroy it.  I have a tendency to keep pulling it back and trying to "fix" it myself.  How can we expect God to be in control if we don't relinquish fully our cares to Him?   
In the future I am going to crumple, stomp, eat, burn, run over and yep...even flush away my troubles once I have asked God to take control.  He is officially going to be the pilot!!  
This also reminded me that when our problems get in our way we run to God, quickly!
How often do we run to him when seeking our dreams?  
  When facing triumph, victory or  when planning and dreaming of a lifelong goal we forget to give God the praise and glory.  We seem to think we can do it on our own.  Don't get me wrong.  I am guilty of praying and seeking Gods direction but again...I try to do it on my own wayyyy too many times.  
God is our greatest supporter!  He rallies for us to win!!  He finds joy in us reaching our goal! 

I wonder....
If God had a Customer Service Department how many more complaints He receives than  compliments!?     

Cast your worry, your problems all your troubles over to the Lord and destroy all thoughts of them.
as the saying goes:
Write your worries in the sand
Your dreams in stone!  

Goodnight to all you athletes!!

Peace lies within

Today I was contacted by a gentleman with I am a new member to this volunteer organization. I may have written earlier how I became involved with the group but in a nutshell it came out of my photography web blog. A few years ago while living in New Orleans I came across an old military cemetery. It was while in that cemetery I became intrigued with its history as there were so many men from Tennessee buried their. I also didn't understand the reverse colors on what I always knew to be the confederate flag.
 I then traveled to a more famous, historical part of downtown New Orleans and began photographing the crypts there. I was amazed at how much damaged had been caused over the years from the weather, especially hurricane Katrina, to the monuments. Most all of these are above ground and I guess it's safe to say more than on half of all of them have very, very significant damage.
Cemetery's are peaceful, very peaceful actually. It broke my heart to see the conditions of all these memorials where people "lay to rest". I've also had some very close times with my Savior while walking through many of what I call "gardens of life" although it's a place of death.  ....if only they could tell their tales.  Then I think what their impression of today's world would  be,  and I feel ashamed.   
Well, after some time photographing a lot of these I felt urged to publish a few. It goes to say I've had different reactions as some people don't find the peace that I do in cemetery's.
I met an individual yesterday while photographing in one cemetery. I seriously had sweat dripping from my face after having spent well over two hours shooting virtually every stone there. It was so hot and my brain kept telling me to head back to the car..but something just kept calling me to stay and photograph the memorials people had brought and lay in memory of their loved one. There were all sorts of things in this private, on a hill, family site. It was well groomed and showed age from the mid 1800's. There were recent services as late as 2010 by the inscriptions on the headstones. I was taken by the articles that people left and that were inscribed ... one must have loved fishing as much as my boys do for his headstone was not only in the shape of a bass jumping out of the water, it also had the nickname of "fisher" and an etching of a catfish on it. Several had live flowers that had struggled to stay alive due to  the long drought we have suffered.  Some had artificial flowers that were vibrant in colors....made me wonder that the person being honored must have been very "colorful". There was a cigarette lighter laying gently atop one with a rebel flag engraved on it, as well as a rebel flag deeply embedded in the soil next to it. It's tarnished edges and fading showed it had been there for sometime. There were several babies with lambs lying around their headstone with "Baby".

In fact one family had 5 plots and each simply read "Baby Burnett" followed by the final one that read "Baby Michael". As my eyes followed the trail of their path it ended with Mom and Dads. Mom surrendering her life in the act of childbirth as well. My emotions pooling in the corner of my eyes. The father shortly thereafter. My nursing background made me think of colera or yellow fever due to the year.  

 It was then that I noticed all the angels. Not that I hadn't noticed them before it's just that I'm telling you they shouted out, SEE US?? I did see them, in fact, I saw more than I realized at first glance. Maybe I hadn't noticed them all on my first walk through. They were everywhere. It seemed they appeared at the base of some headstones and I would have bet and hour earlier they were not there. It didn't take me long to become obsessed with catching them in the lens of my camera. Angels that were white, angels with dirt on their wings, angels tangled up that when untangled became a porcelain windchime. Remembering how dripping wet from heat I am, a sudden whisper of wind thanked me by offering a melodious song by the chorus of tiny angels. then off alone sat a concrete angel. I thought for an instant about Martina McBrides song. But, my mind quickly changed gears and I was in a moment of praise.
"I come to the garden alone...while the dew is still on the roses, and the voice I hear calling in my ear, The song of God discloses. And He walks with me and He talks with me.... and He tells me I am His own....and the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known.
He speaks and the sound of His voice is so sweet the birds hush their singing... And He walks with me and He talks with me.... and He tells me I am His own....and the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known."

what a blessing to be in this moment...away from the world....caught up in the beauty of death, life after death.  Eternal life in Jesus.  
needless to say I spent over an hour photographing these angels . It's then that I heard the sound of a car in the distance. I turned to see a man, standing, watching me. I gathered myself from the grass as I was oddly positioned when he began walking towards me asking me "Did you know her? Are you family?" I replied, "oh, no, I was just taking photos of her angels" It was then that I learned the "rest of the story" ...

Dear Lord, If I forgot to tell you today let me say it now.  I am so very grateful to be in your loving care.  Thank you for speaking to me in the wind, in nature.  Thank you for making me "weird" to others, but "by your design".  It's moments like today I feel close to everything in life.  I know we're all created differently and thats what makes the world colorful and full of action.  I only wish others could feel what it is inside me that gets my emotions flowing.  My words don't seem to be flowing today but you know what I trying to convey.  May others, in their own way, learn to hear, see and feel your presence all around them.  May they grow to know that you are all around them and only a whisper away when trials arrive.  May you bless those that read these words and may something speak to them.  Maybe when they see the  next sunrise, or sunset they'll take just a moment to close their eyes and think of you...and THANK YOU.  

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