About Sandy

Sandy has been a member since September 14th 2010, and has created 557 posts from scratch.

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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.



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.


Tex New Mex Rocks

Oh my goodness!  I’m so caught up in this new hobby.  I’m not always one to jump on the bandwagon, but this one grabbed me and wouldn’t let go.

Here’s the quick story.   My cousin moved to Ohio and found a painted rock at the library.  She kept telling us about this rock thing.  Then another cousin and my aunt went to visit her, and they got hooked on painting and hiding rocks.  So when they got home to Eastern New Mexico and West Texas, they got the rest of the family hooked, and started this Facebook group… Tex New Mex Rocks.

It’s a phenomenon that’s sweeping the nation.  There are rock groups everywhere doing this same exact thing.  Paint rocks, hide rocks, find rocks, share on Facebook, repeat, repeat, repeat.  It’s just the sweetest “random acts of kindness” thing, and it’s with absolute delight that I’ve watched our group grow.  My cousins started our FB group in March, and in less that 3 months we’re well over 5000 members!

So many things I love about it.  Great stress release for me.  I’m not much of an artist, but I’m happily content to splash out some paint and create a little cat on a rock.  Then it’s wonderfully fun to put it out somewhere in town for a random passer-by to find.  Painting around a table with family and friends of all ages is marvelous, and that’s taking place all over America in these groups!  

I know how fads come and go, but I sure hope this one stays around for a long, long time.