Story Walls

This weekend, I was attempting to finish a long, overdue task. I was on a break of many, as I did other things around the house. So, I thought I would share as I go down memory lane. Memories can make you smile and laugh and then turn right around and make you feel sad and cry.

The mother in me, I see the angled walls going up the stairs to our finished attic with memories on both sides. Through this pandemic, the attic space has been my go-to in order to do things, plus getting away, but I have wanted to do through the years. This is one of those, out of sight and out of mind places we try to ignore in our homes and ends up as a catch-all of stuff. Still, life moves forward and the project, becomes the thought, maybe tomorrow. Then years roll by just like that. Who knows, my paper all rolled up and protected might be dry rotted. I only bought one double roll long ago so I have no leeway to make an oops. The pressure is on.

Thankfully, I finally have a handle on the attic and it feels great. To organize, give away, pitch made a huge difference, not only in the attic but in me. I don’t want it, I don’t need it, I don’t want to see it so I put my organizational skills to work. Dividing up various items gives me a sense of freedom, and I will continue to do so.

So, before I start on another project of working on my kitchen with stripping the border, paint and have my handyman build in the space over my cabinets, and adding crown moulding, I WILL finish this task first. This makes me push through what I dread. For one, I hate wallpaper. With a stairway, the angle aligning with the steps is a pain so I hate it even more. I’ll say the same when attacking the border and removing. It won’t take long but I have procrastinated long enough. A friend informed me the other day that wallpaper is coming back in style. Nope, not here it’s not.

I grew up in this house and we later bought out the estate when my parents passed. The house is solid and built well. It’s an old house, it has its issues but I would prefer this than the stick built ones today. Concrete block from foundation up with plaster walls. As with the story of The Three Little Pigs, a great big huff and puff will not blow it over. A tornado will definitely do damage but it will not fly away as those newer ones around us, just everything in the attic and inside. So growing up, my sister taught me how to wallpaper on these very walls going up to the attic, which we did together. In that, it was fun being together and learning, it started a trend with me.

As my own family moved in, many years later and we remodeled, painted, etc. I no longer wanted the wallpaper previously hung so off it came. Lo and behold, I forgot that I wrote on the wall with the date (1982) and that she taught me how to wallpaper. That was pretty awesome. My own note and autograph was a nice surprise.

So now, with that being fun to read, I made the bare walls going up a place where my boys could write or draw. I also had them stand on the bottom step and I would mark their height, age and date through the years until they were too tall. With my two boys, they always had friends come over and many stayed often enough that they called me mom so they, too, got to sign the wall. I have many names, dates and drawings. I was in no hurry to cover these walls although it would look better with the carpeted steps. Definitely a conversation piece.

The future of this house, who knows if it stays in our family for a third generation or what but whenever somebody decides to remove the wallpaper, they will be busy reading the notes and dates left behind and continue the tradition hopefully. Today, as much as a chore it is to finish wallpapering, paint would be so much easier. I just cannot do it.

So today, the memories come alive within me as I see the walls. I remember the laughter, the surprise in their eyes and voice and questioning me if they can really write on the walls. Yes! Here is a marker, as they write and giggle. I hope my boys and their friends remember these walls and tell their children a story of the walls and hopefully do the same perhaps in their own home, leaving a mark.

I will cover up the walls and finish this task of my story on the walls with the visible memories that will remain for years to come.

Walls have stories and as the old saying goes, if only they could talk.

In the midst… I had to get wallpaper paste to fix the seams. It’s looking good. I’ll come back and post the final outcome and accomplishment and check this off my list… Thank God.

Digging Deeper

There are things in life that you may know what you want to do, from education, employment, marriage, family, etc., but also personal desires such as painting, yoga, teach a class or whatever and possibly even writing a book, which is where I am.

All through my life, even from a young girl, I made notes, kept copies of letters I sent out, always writing down book titles along with the name of the book, to jog my memory of a place and time. I did this for the reason that I might need them one day. Now why would I do that without a purpose? I have often wondered if the Lord was preparing me then for now.

Many times my notes and journals through the years kept my sanity, as I questioned myself, did this really happen. As I spoke to my counselor of various situations, I could refer back and read my writings, almost to the point of feeling very emotional, the anger to rise up and wonder how I survived those years. This was my life.

Questioning myself as I write my blog with thoughts of who would want to read my writings. I have tried different ways to write and grow in this area through the years to where I am today, writing here. Just me and sharing a part of me that majority of my friends and family do not even know. Blogs are usually short and limited information but in each one, they are a piece of a puzzle to me and for me to possibly connect with others of same or similar instances, thoughts and feelings.

Last year I made a weekend trip to my hideaway up North. Just me. I needed to make some decisions plus get out of the four walls where I feel stuck.  Unbeknownst to me, a Christian writing conference was advertised on Facebook. No mistake, I was to see this. I signed up, paid and spent many hours over the few days, taking notes and learning how to start, consider, piece all my notes together, etc. A private workshop for me.

I am one that needs organization to get my thoughts together and that is okay. Recently, I ordered a plastic storage bin for colored hanging files to departmentalize everything. The colored files were for me, the colors are pretty. I was all excited to have these items arrive so I could start immediately. Why hadn’t I thought of this early on?

Now I had everything to get started but I could not do anymore than place my colorful hanging files in the clear, plastic storage bin to admire. I have a tendency to procrastinate with one excuse after another, and I did so. The desire was there but there was a dread of digging through all of the notes and memories. Fear of going back through some dark days with depression lurking and eager to choke life out me yet again. I knew this digging would cause some emotions within me that I would rather keep stuffed down, as my former counselor would say that I did. True. I knew I would have all sorts of emotions come up but it was the anger within that scared me.

Just as in a session several weeks ago, my present counselor and I discussed a situation I faced twenty years ago maybe. I have mentioned this before in a session with my former counselor but this time, it affected me. I could not stop the tears and I had anger for days, with my husband the father of our boys, which did in fact scare me. I avoided any and all situations with him, as I was angry. This was something I needed to deal with, within me, as he could care less, not remember what happened and what good would it do really, except make me look like a crazy person. My notes, prove otherwise.

So now, I had to go dig through my notes and read about the incident that caused this emotional outburst, questioning my own mental state. Did this actually happen? Was it a movie that I perhaps viewed? No, it was in real time, in my life.  With this, now I am digging deeper in my years of old notes, filing them by years. I can only do this a bit here and there, and that was in just reading the date and maybe a glance of my notes. Enough to remember what was happening and caused a lot or turmoil within. I had to and still take breaks from this digging in order to process, sometimes days or a week or so.

To even consider a book, of course, the thoughts of who do I think I am. Nobody wants to read my book, I have nothing to say, I am a fool and you know how the negativity comes. In return, to counteract the negativity, then it is just for me and my healing. Knowing, too, there are others that can relate to my story and perhaps provide hope when there is none.

As I was taught in counseling, turn the negative thoughts around, which I am trying to do more so. Why would I have made and kept all of these notes in my possession, if not for a purpose. All through the years, my fear was of a house fire to lose it all but they are all safe today. The iCloud holds a lot of my thoughts in notes and pictures now to do the same. Technology is wonderful. Like the old saying, ‘your head is in the clouds,’ well, actually it is.

Just this past year, I was standing in church holding my hands in front of me praying, Lord put a fire in my hands of your anointing, if I am to write. Nobody knew what I prayed, as I stood there alone. Soon after, two ladies prayed for me, as I wrote in a previous blog. It was when the woman grabbed my hands and said they were like fire of the anointing. How could that not be God? 

Several months ago. I was messaging my sister and sent her a picture of my Crepe Myrtle bush I had bought with her back in late 2018 or early 2019, when visiting. I came home, planted it where I could see it from my bedroom window. After the winter months, it was just a twig. It must have died I thought and I was so disappointed. 31F53C4F-A54B-49C3-B982-0C2E84098C07

As I was messaging my sister about the twig and how I thought it was dead, I even told my husband back in April to just mow over it, it’s dead. Hopelessness. 

Here is my bush that is growing, just from that twig, in April, 2020. I am so excited and this gives me hope and joy within. It is twice as big today.

This is just like life and of our gifts and talents. We think they are nothing and dead. Not good for nothing. Give up.  BUT GOD…. I joked with her that I was going to preach the next day at church. I realized I was preaching to myself.

Even if no book comes from digging deeper in my storage of many notes through the years, perhaps the Lord just wants me to dig deeper within for healing of many hurts, pain and trauma. There is a purpose. One day I will know, but I have to trust Him. For now, I am but a twig.

Woman at the Tree

Have you ever stopped and noticed an image in wood grain of a door, in various paintings or other inanimate objects? I’m sure you have at some point in your life, you have done just that with clouds. It’s fun and is actually relaxing.

I have lived in the present house for twenty years now. It’s an older house and actually it belong to my parents so I grew up in this house, too. The yard is about an acre, not too big and not too small although as we get older, it seems to get bigger and be more than we prefer to deal with.

The back yard was full of trees and bushes when my parents moved in, back in 1964 and was thinned out. When we bought it in 1999, we took out trees also. There is this one big maple tree in the middle of our back yard. This tree after all of these years still provides shade and perfect where it is, but I have recently noticed a figure of a body in the trunk of it, a full body. As I stand at my kitchen window doing dishes or just looking out and watching the birds, I look at this tree and realized it is a body of a woman. I felt she deserved a name, which is Tree-na, of course.

Apparently, I need to get out more. Throughout this pandemic, this has been fun to view and get lost in the imagination of the tree. Why have I not seen this before?

Do you see her? Her head is tilted down, my opinion. Once the weather is cooler, my intention is to give the body an outline with paint and color to enjoy even more and it will be a definite conversation piece. Perhaps a fright to some, which makes it even more fun. 

If all of these years living here and being in this house, looking out into the back yard, from childhood basically, this woman in the tree never stood out to me. Now though it is one of those things, I cannot unsee. I wonder, how much more do I not see around me or in front of me, wherever I go. Lord, open my (our) eyes.

This year has been a year that none of us will forget as we shake our heads in disbelief of the chaos, confusion and fear. I wonder the same, how much more I do not see around me or in front of me, wherever I go. Lord, I (we) need your discernment and protection.

“Open my eyes, that I may behold wonderful things from your law.” Psalm 119:18

“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15-16

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12

Pareidolia was at one time considered a symptom of human psychosis, but it is now seen as a normal human tendency. Pareidolia is not confined to humans. Scientists have for years taught computers to use visual clues to “see” faces and other images.