Wednesday, February 27, 2013

My favorite Hat

A door stands to the left of our kitchen entryway. It opens to a small closet of a room, empty but for a single tall bookcase at the back. The bookcase is filled, but not with books. Each shelf is home for a handful of unique and beautiful hats. My collection is already extensive, and each year I add several more. 

My hand reaches automatically to the middle shelf, but as I do I accidentally knock a hat from the shelf just above. It falls to the floor and I stoop to pick it up. I brush it off and look fondly at the woven straw brim. It is simple, but elegant—trimmed in ribbon and flowers. Proper, but still spunky, it reminds me of white dresses, summer days and church picnics.

I gently return my church hat to the top shelf, and as I do the one beside it catches my eye. It’s completely white and styled complements of the 50’s. It looks brand new, but I know daily wear has left it even more comfortable than the first day I tried it on. A white feather floats on one side, and netting swoops over the front like a veil. This is one of my favorite hats, maybe because it reminds me of the day I brought it home—my wedding day. 

A soft smile touches my lips, but I must continue on to the hat I came for. It’s one of the newest hats in my collection, but also shows the most wear. I lift it off the shelf and eye it critically. A spitup stain peeks out of one side, and is that a pickle smear on the other? I've only owned this hat for eight months, but I love it. It’s the hat I was given the day my daughter was born. 

There is no time to linger over the other hats, although many are well worn and well loved. My daughter peers into my little room, wondering where her playmate has gone. I lift the final hat and place it on my head. For the next few hours I am mommy.

**

Written in January as part of my husband's 30 Days of Writing Prompts. He will be publishing the book next month, so stay tuned for more!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Records were made to be broken

#13: Records were made to be broken.

The rolling pasture stretched as far as the eye could see, dotted here and there with clumps of trees used to shelter cattle. It was early spring, early enough that even the Texas heat hadn't set in full force. The trilling of wild birds and grasshoppers filled the air with the sounds of a newly budding year. 

A trio of individuals stood at the base of a softly rolling hill. There were two men, one in his 20s, the other several decades older. A petite young woman stood in front, a long  blond braid down her back. Both of her hands uneasily gripped a small handgun. 

The young man coached from behind, "Lean forward a bit--yes, there you go, and Amelia--don't put your finger on the trigger until you are ready to fire!" 

Oh, sorry, Jack." The girl quickly loosened her fingers, as though the gun was a living thing about to bite her. 

"Good. That's right." Jack praised, then pointed forward, "You see those posts? That's where you will be aiming. Your goal is to hit the target on top. It doesn't matter where. You won't get extra points for being center mass. Just try to hit it."

He stepped back as the girl tentatively fired her first few shots. The targets didn't even sway, but Amelia pressed her lips together and tried again. Jack stepped back to rejoin the elderly gentleman. 

"Well, uncle, I never thought we'd be standing her together like this, Amelia taking her first lesson."

Jack's uncle nodded. "I've never known a person to be so dead set against firearms as your sister."

"Looks like that's changing now--ever since a couple months ago. She still hasn't told me what happened, but whatever she saw was enough to get her thinking."

"I guess it was." His uncle nodded downrange. "You've got some unusual targets down there."

"Oh, yeah--I found those awhile back and thought they'd be perfect. Reactive targets are the best for beginners--keeps them interested." 

As if to underscore his statement, downrange a shiny round target shattered into a hundred black pieces. A shriek of delight filled the air as the student made her first shot.

"I guess you're right about that." The elderly gentleman chuckled. "Looks like Elvis is still breaking records."

**

Written in January as part of my husband's 30 Days of Writing Prompts. He will be publishing the book next month, so stay tuned for more!

Monday, February 18, 2013

A Fresh Start


Continuing to count to 1000 gifts with Ann over at A Holy Experience.

463. A new dress finished
464. Tirza's first tooth
465. Making Tirza laugh while she nurses
466. Snuggling with my hubby
467. Tirza discovering windows
468. Tirza's first haircut
469. Monkey foot PJs
470. dimpled tiny hands
471. A sparkling clean house
472. delicious grassfed beef
463
473. A beautiful spring day
474 Cleansing rain
476. Sunshine
477. Daughter asking to be held
478. Madelyn, my helper
479. A friends faith in the midst of suffering
480. Beautiful baby Luke
481. Cheese on bread
482. a new recipe done perfectly
483. Girls laughing over dye and perfume

483
484. Beautifully colored handmade soaps
485. The beautiful trust a woman of faith showed when the Lord took her infant son home
486. Butter on bread
487. A delicious steak shared with my man
488. A yummy meal with my hubby for our 4th anniversary
489. A gallon of farm fresh milk
490. A Sunday afternoon nap
491. Luke's footprint on Psalm 139--baby with Jesus
492. Visiting with family for Chinese New Year
493. An aunts amazing talent in the kitchen
494. A beautiful camera strap
495. Faith in death
496. Clean hair
508

497. A tidy home
498. Sharing an audio book
499. Gliding on the ice alone
500.  Delight shared after gift given
501. My baby asleep
502. A movie shared
503. A quart of homemade elderberry juice
504. Spending valentines with my man
505. An old romantic comedy
506. Red roses
507. Over a gallon of homemade salsa
508. A fresh start

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The sock drawer

Peals of laughter sounded from the office where I knew my husband and our baby were playing. He agreed to keep an eye on her for a little while so I could get a few things done in the rest of the house. 30 minutes I challenged myself. I have 30 minutes to get this room where I want it.

His deep voice and her baby giggles made my heart laugh as I zoomed around the room. More than anything I wanted to go watch them play together, but I'd been playing with my baby most of the day. 30 minutes of focusing on something else would be good for both of us. 

 Socks always travel in pairs, so it would stand to reason that each load of laundry should always contain two socks of each kind. Yet more often than not we find an odd sock--the one that went missing. A baby is to household chores what a washing machine is to socks. At the end of the day I look at my to-do list and can't give a good reason this chore or that chore didn't get done. Somehow in making sure the baby survived another day, the time for doing the chore evaporated--just like that oddball sock.

Evenings like these were my way of going through the mismatched sock drawer--both literally and figuratively. I have the chance to catch up on all those chores that evaporated. I only had a half hour, so I had to make it count. With some peppy music on my side and a smile on my face, I could make that thirty minutes of focus worth two hours at any another time. 

As the timer went off I stood back to admire my work. I'd done well. I smiled at another loud giggle from the back room. It was time for mama to join the fun.

***

Written in January as part of my husband's 30 Days of Writing Prompts. He will be publishing the book next month, so stay tuned for more!