About Sandy

Sandy has been a member since September 14th 2010, and has created 558 posts from scratch.

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The Same Parade

It’s a very long drive from Houston, Texas, to Eastern New Mexico.  When you get to the town of Post you’re almost home… but that means you’ve still got a little over three hours to travel.  And this was the case one day when Gary and I arrived at the main intersection in town only to be stopped for a parade.  At first we groaned, but we were grateful we were the first car at the intersection, giving us front row seats.  And there we sat for the next half hour until the last horse had passed and we were free to move along.

One year later some Facebook friends shared their frustrations at being stuck at that very same intersection in Post, watching that same parade.  Ha!  I flippantly told them I’d been there.. just relax and enjoy the parade with their kids.  But I understood.  It wasn’t their plan to be stopped there, and they too were trying to make that long haul across Texas in a day.

This is now my daily routine.  I need to make tracks.  I have much to accomplish every day, just like everyone I know.  But I’m stopped.  I’m sitting there at the parade trying to make the best of it.  Trying to appreciate that I’m watching it with someone I love.  Reminding myself at least I’m watching a parade.  It could be worse.  But it wears on me.

The parade lasts about 4 hours.  The floats, the animals, the bands… they’re nothing spectacular.. and it’s the same exact show every single day.  My passenger and I can only talk about the parade.  We may try to talk about other things, but it’s too distracting.   We must keep our eye on that same cast of characters.  It grows tedious, but we try to say the same nice things about those floats, and we talk about those animals with mustered exuberance.

The only thing that seems to change for me and my passenger is the weather, or the time of day we’re watching the parade.   She likes to have news playing while we watch that parade go by.  I would prefer silence, or maybe a little soft music.  I rarely try to get my way.   It’s easier to just let that news drone on and on… even though it’s a little too loud and I find it annoying to have to speak over it.

Sometimes I lose sight of the fact that I’m just at an intersection watching a parade.  Sometimes I feel like it’s a horrible traffic jam with nothing to see.  I do grow tired of those same old entries. Even worse, some days it seems much more like a wreck.  Regardless… every day… there I am… the parade’s passing by… I can’t move… I can’t hurry along to where I wanted to go… I can’t tackle the piles of things that are waiting for me at home.

But that’s the path I must travel right now.  It’s not easy to sit there with my mother every day.  But Alzheimer’s is certainly no parade for her either.

~

Make Room for Champagne

One of my closest friends was telling me a tale of kitchen space, or lack thereof, during the holidays.  A friend of his had moved across the country, gifting him with a supply of tonic water which he had no need for.  But you know how that goes.  One holds onto that sort of thing out of thrifty obligation.  I popped off and said I was giving him permission to pour it down the drain.

We had a fun conversation about how he could therapeutically empty a bottle at a time, symbolically pouring problems down the drain at the same time.   I went on to enjoy all the holiday hubbub and promptly forgot about this talk.

Skipping on to a few days after Christmas… I got a message from my friend.

And then the great phrase “Make Room for Champagne” was coined.   I loved having it running through my mind as 2018 was approaching.

Indeed!  Out with the old things that were taking up valuable space in my mind from the previous year.  Out with the negative feelings, the difficult days, old anger and sorrow.  Make room for the bubbly, the exuberance of fresh hope, new goals and dreams.

Give yourself permission to get that old jar of nutmeg out of the cabinet and toss it… along with some old resentment.   Get that pair of pants you don’t like that you’re never going to wear again, and remove them from your home… along with an old bag of guilt you’re carrying.  A new year is a perfect time to declutter our hearts and free up some sweet space for celebrating the good things in life.

Cheers to 2018!

~

I See Her

You will see us smiling with our Styrofoam cups from Pat’s. I will order a Vanilla Coke –  she first taught me about when I was a kid – and she has “never heard of it”.

You will see her commenting on Facebook. I will watch her place trembling hands to the keyboard, then put them back in her lap and ask me to type for her.

You will see us having lunch and laughing. I will tell her that French fries are made from potatoes, and that people eat ketchup on them.

You will see her eating a hamburger. I will assure her that I will order it for her when she’s nervously looking at the menu.

You will see her breaking into a big smile and giving you a hug. I will tell her every day, every time she asks, the names of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and nieces and nephews.

You will see her talking about her animals at church. I will tell her it’s okay that she didn’t know who she was visiting with, because it’s “been a long time” since she’s seen them.

You will hear her tell the sweet stories about her dogs. I will tell her that her poodle’s name is Summer.

You will see her sitting in a group smiling. I will comfort her when she tells me she tries not to say much because she’s afraid she will make a fool of herself.

You will think she didn’t hear her phone ring. I will do what I can to help her remember how to answer it while she struggles to not lose control over the misery of being unable to figure it out.

You will see us laughing while we buy matching shirts. I will be trying to make one more happy moment between us.

You may think you see her. I see her.

Special Treasure

I have this tiny treasure box.  Perhaps I should say I “had” this treasure… but it’s mine for a few more hours.  Very soon it will belong to a young woman who celebrates becoming Sweet Sixteen today.

The delicate little case has been mine for 49 years, always sitting someplace in my home where I’ve been able to enjoy it daily.

It was a gift from my aunt, given to me the night before her wedding… a precious thank you gift for being a flower girl.  I was five years old, and I have vivid memories of walking up and down the hall in my grandparents’ home along with my cousin, practicing to perfect our steps as we dropped petals from our baskets.  We felt so big.  The photo reminds me we were itty bitty five year olds.

The treasure is not the box.  The treasure is my aunt.   And not just this aunt, but also the other women I’m blessed to have in that role.  Sharon & Jane, Jan & Marilyn, Sheryl & Sandy… these names flow through my life, beautifully woven into the fabric of my story.  They’ve all treated me to gifts I’ve treasured.   They’ve read to me, played with me, taken me on coke dates when I was still a child.   They’ve been with me at the wonderful celebrations of life, and we’ve stood side by side through the tragedies too.  These women continue to affirm their love for me, and I want them to know they’re all treasures to me.

As for the keepsake that inspired my thoughts today, it’s going to have a new home with my cousin… the granddaughter of the bride who entrusted my tiny hands with such a lovely gift all those years ago.  I know she’ll cherish it.

~

Vows

It’s never been a dream of ours to someday renew our wedding vows.  We’ve toyed with the notion of possibly buying a wedding ring for Gary since he’s never worn one due to his line of work.  Even so, I don’t think either of us envisioned a ceremony of any kind.  Perhaps just the joy of shopping on one of those cruises we love so much.

So it came as quite the surprise to both of us that we got so carried away in June, spending a week making plans, buying a dress, including a best man and a maid of honor, selecting music, smiling at each other with happy tears.

A preacher called us one Friday evening and asked if we’d be willing to help him out.  He wanted a marriage illustration to go along with his sermon on the church being the bride of Christ.  He thought we might have a little vow renewing ceremony.   We told him we’d be happy to help out.   We had a week to prepare.

From the moment we hung up the phone we began to get more and more excited at the thought of how much we were going to enjoy it.   And it was a great surprise on that Sunday morning when the sermon took a twist and I got to come down the aisle to “Faithful and True”.

I’m just telling you… if you’re like us, and you’ve never given any thought to renewing your vows, give it a go!  We loved it so much, we may just have to enjoy another wedding ceremony every year or two!

These are the vows we exchanged.   I wrote them a few years ago for a marriage enrichment class we led at our church.  They’re based on the fruits of the Spirit from Galatians 5.

With all my heart, I want our marriage to be filled with the fruits of the Spirit, and before you now, I ask God to help me keep these promises.

I will love you forever.

For as long as we live, I want to bring joy into your life every day.

I will strive to make our home a peaceful refuge from the world.

I will be patient with you, and ask you to be patient with me.

I will shower you with kindnesses. Both big and small.

I promise to follow Jesus Christ, for only in doing so can I be a good husband/wife.

I will be faithful to you, and will keep our marriage pure.

I will be a gentle mate. Rejoice with you when you’re happy, cry with you when you’re sad, and take care of you when you’re sick.

When we disagree, I will talk with you calmly, and will practice self-control.

May God bless our marriage as we live and walk in the Spirit.

~