A lot of of packin’

 

A lot of movin’, A lot of rollin’
A lot of drivin’, A lot of strollin’
A lot of leavin’ here
A lot of arrivin’ there
Trying to go just about everywhere
A lot of thinking about where I’m going next

I could add a whole verse here about a lot of packin’ :

A lot of packin’, A lot of sortin’

It’s nerve rackin’, We’re transportin’

A lot of leavin’ there

A lot of arrivin’ here

Goin’ on a lot of love and prayers

A lot of thinking about where we’re goin’ next

 

I’ve wanted to write a post for a while but have been so overwhelmed by life. To try to make a long story short, I’ll share my husband’s facebook post.

From my husband…

As some of you are aware, I put in for retirement effective June 1 and we placed our home on the market. The house went under contract immediately and we close on 5/19/20.

Unfortunately a few weeks ago I was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer. We have consulted with UAB oncologists and decided to return to Jax, FL as planned and I have an appointment at Mayo Clinic this Thursday.

I wish all of you the very best in all life as to offer. Angie and I covet your prayers for strength, wisdom and that the Lord be glorified in our circumstances.

According to the Scripture all ‘our days are numbered’ so whether mine are few or many “I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Savior Jesus Christ; who with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for my sins…”

Please forgive me if I ever offended you in anyway, it is never intentional but still there is no excuse.

I pray his blessings upon each of you.

 

So, here we are in Jacksonville. We are home. One more night in a hotel and we move into an apartment for six months.  This is not the move we planned. We were going to buy a house -our last home -in Jacksonville with cash so we would have no mortgage payment going into retirement. God had others plans. And He has provided for us.

My husband will start chemo next week. Our lives will be much different. But I look forward to a sweet time.

There have been many silver linings in all of this. I have seen God’s providence. Had there not been this “pandemic” our two daughters would not have been free to come help us as they have. We have seen amazing things with these two girls. Young women. Their love and care for their dad and me has been overwhelming. From cooking, packing, and making phone calls for me to massaging feet, taking vitals and tracking meds and food for their dad, they have been here for us. I could never have done it without them.

Our sons, too, have poured out love and help on us. Our oldest with his nursing skills has been a comfort to lean on, traveling back and forth from Tampa, which is NOT a hop, skip, and jump away.   The younger son, thankfully working a new job, maintains constant contact and cheers us up. A few weekends ago they were all at our house in Bham. It was the first time we had all been together in over 13 years.

Silver linings and blessings from God.

 

 

Tell the Truth

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TAB

“It does not require many words to speak the truth.”- Chief Joseph, Nex Perce, from  The Wisdom of Native Americans, compiled by Kent Nerburn

 

So I have listened to The Avett Brothers new album Closer Than Together over and over, and my favorite song keeps changing. Tell the Truth has been a fav for a few weeks. I feel like there is a message in it for me. So I keep listening.

“I wanna make amends, but where do I start?
Tell the truth to yourself
And the rest will fall in place” 

“The Scott Avett-penned Tell the Truth, is a song about, ‘Well, where do I start? How do I start to change things?'” he muses. “The only thing I can do is with me.” –The Boot
“It’s one of these songs where one phrase is like the thesis statement. I think it’s a powerful concept that if you will just tell the truth to yourself, the rest will fall in place.” –Paste Magazine

 

 

Thanks for the Memories

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So, the Avett Brothers concert last night was great!  I’ll write more about it later. They played a song that I wasn’t real familiar with: Distraction #74.  There was a verse  that took me back to my freshman year of college.

So give me a try at describing just how difficult it is.
When you kinda love two girls to figure out which one you miss.
Stumble away from your stairway with your perfume on my clothes.
Well I kinda loved two girls but now I’ve kinda lost ’em both.

This could have been sung by Jack, though he didn’t really love me. He came to school on the heels of his high school girlfriend, Kathy. But, she was having none of it. Kathy and I lived in the same dorm, same floor, and were familiar with each other.

So, Jack and I met and started dating. His fraternity “Big Brother” and my sorority “Big Sister” were engaged, and that threw us together even more. By and by he and Kathy began dating again, also. Around Valentine’s Day he had the bright idea to send us both flowers. On the same day. To the same dorm. The girls at the front desk figured out what was going on and called us both down to get our flowers. Instead of the expected cat fight, we talked it out, decided he was an idiot, and we became friends. Jack did not like that one bit!

The following year (1978) I got married and Kathy was there to help serve the cake and punch. The last time I saw her was in 1985. I would love to find her now. I haven’t seen Jack since I left school in 1978. All that hilarious drama came flooding back last night when I heard that song.

Thanks, TAB.  🙂

 

Avetts in October #25: Today’s the Day

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Redwoods- 2018

Today is The Avett Brothers concert in Pelham, Alabama. As hard as it is to listen to sometimes, I sure hope they play No Hard Feelings.

 

“Why does it seem so often to be a human quality to forget those who have done good things for us, and to remember those who have hurt us?” – from Sold Into Egypt by Madeleine L’Engle

 

“Even as a tiny girl, she would just absorb the meanness of people around her, and as that strange girl slapped her,  Margaret literally turned the other cheek. ‘I just took it,’ she said sixty years later. ” – from Ava’s Man by Rick Bragg

 

Avetts in October #24: A lot of movin’

In anticipation of The Avett Brothers concert TOMORROW, I have been writing  a series of blog posts connecting some of their lyrics to words of some of my favorite authors.

“And in every place he abandons he leaves something vital, it seems to me, and starts his new live somewhat less encrusted, like a lobster that has shed his skin and is for a time soft and vulnerable.E.B. White

I love E.B. White, best known to most for his classics, Charlotte’s Web and The Trumpet of the Swan.  But it’s his essays that I like even more.

I have moved a bit in my adult life. We have lived in 11 houses in our 40 years of marriage. I get what White says about leaving something vital behind. We’ve left friends and family too many times. A few moves, though, let us, like the lobster, shed a skin and leave behind an old unwanted crust. Every new house, every new beginning, brings with it a time of being soft and vulnerable. But, nearly every house became a home that was hard to leave. All I know is I don’t want to live encrusted like the lobster. I want to be soft and vulnerable.

A lot of movin’, A lot of rollin’

A lot of drivin’, A lot of strollin’

A lot of leavin’ here

A lot of arrivin’ there

 

Avetts in October #23: Love in real life

In anticipation of The Avett Brothers concert on October 25th, I’ve been posting a series  connecting some of their lyrics to words of some of my favorite authors.

 

“Ah wants things sweet wid mah marriage lak when you sit under a pear tree and think…”

– Janie,  from Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

 

 

“…what they had discovered in those years was not the love people whisper about over candles, but the kind they need when their baby girl is coughing at three 0’clock in the morning.” -from Ava’s Man by Rick Bragg

 

 

From “Love Like The Movies” 

 

I don’t want to be in love like the movies

Cause in the movies they’re not in love at all

With a twinkle in their eyes

They’re just saying their lines

So we can’t be in love like the movies. 

 

 

Avetts in October #22: Brothers

 

 

Katherine Paterson is another one of my favorite children’s authors. Many of you may be familiar with her book, Bridge to Terabithia, which has been made into a movie. Twice. Two others that are also wonderful are The Great Gilly Hopkins (also a movie) and Jip, His Story.

 

“…among  children who grow up together in a family there run depths of feeling that will permeate their souls for both good and ill as long as they live.”  – The Invisible Child- On Reading and Writing Books for Children by Katherine Paterson

One of the first TAB songs I ever heard was Murder in the City. It’s still one of my favorites.

 

“I wonder which brother is better

Which one our parents loved the most

I sure did get in lots of trouble

They seemed to let the other go

A tear fell from my father’s eyes

I wondered what my dad would say

He said, “I love you and I’m proud of you both

In so many different ways”

 

 

 

Avetts in October #21: A Sock Without a Boot

 

“And Tiller? Without you, I’m just a sock without a boot” – Sairy from Ruby Holler by Sharon Creech

Sharon Creech is one of my very favorite children’s authors. Her books are full of endearing characters and heartwarming stories. Just like The Avett Brothers’ Songs.

Sairy’s words to her husband, Tiller, remind me of these lyrics from I Wish I Was.

 

I’m not a song

I am not a sweater

I’m not a fire

I am something better

I’m a man in love writing you a letter

Will you take it

Will you keep it

Will you read it

Believe it

I love you

I’m sorry

 

I love watching the thought process as the song is put together. As a poet I can so relate to this.

 

Avetts in October #20: You remember what I say, son

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Georgia – July, 2009

“If’n you live, Will Tweedy, you go’n be tempted, and you go’n suffer, and you go’n die.  Ain’t no way out of it. But with the Lord’s hep, you can stand up to temptation, and live th’ew the bad times, and look Death in the eye. You remember what I say, son” – Grandpa from Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns

 

I can’t add much to the words above and the lyrics below.

 

Live and die, we’re the same.

You rejoice, I complain,

but you and I, we’re the same.

Live and die, we’re the same.

You and I, we’re the same.

Hear my voice, know my name,

you and I, we’re the same.   

 

Avetts in October #19: Winter In My Heart

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Asheville, 2009

 

In anticipation of The Avett Brothers concert on October 25th, I’ve been writing  a series of blog posts connecting some of their lyrics to words of some of my favorite authors.

I’d tell myself to stop judging others. And then thirty seconds later, I’d do it again. This, I realized, is why I don’t like going to crowded parks. It’s not just that I don’t like all the other people. I don’t like the person I become.  – Lassoing the Sun – Mark Woods

I think there are times for many of us that we don’t care for the person we’ve become. There can be many reasons, such as  grief, loneliness, stress, or other reasons, that cause us to act like someone that we wouldn’t want to be friends with.  In Winter In My Heart, I feel the sadness and helplessness. I’ve been there. And the line, “I don’t know what the reasons are” is gripping. But, winter is a season, though it can sometimes a long one.

 

It must be winter in my heart

There’s nothing warm in there at all

I missed the summer and the spring

The floating yellow leaves of fall