Perspective

A sweet colleague today commented on how much she had enjoyed my blog over the summer and I had to, once again, wonder why I hadn’t really blogged since I’d come home from the beach. 

Lisa and I discussed this on the way to the car and I said that I felt like I didn’t have anything important to say lately. Upon contemplation this evening, I reflected that “important” is truly about perspective. 

Today was day 1 for students returning to school. Three days of pre-planning had left me mind-numbingly tired. But as students arrived today, the heartbeat of the school regained its normal rhythm and life returned to the work-normal. Exhausting. Satisfying. Controlled chaos. And a beautiful thing to be a part of. 


Love these girls!  They make work feel like a comedy show all day long. And no, I am not pregnant…they’re just skinny!!! I’m normal…remember it’s all about perspective people!

People are amazed when I tell them how wonderful most teenagers are. What you see in the news is so not the norm. When their faces light up when they see you and rush in for a hug, it’s like one of your own children returning for a visit after a long journey. This world will be fine with these young people…it’s a realization you only get to experience when you’ve watched them blossom from bratty freshman to confident seniors. When you no longer feel this way about students, it’s time to retire from teaching. 

I’m moved. I’m settled. My new loft feels like home and is spectacular. All my people are finding some level ground after a trying few months. School has started. The planning and collaboration is breathing new life into old lessons. The beautiful chaos that is teaching has begun. The routine of a schedule is welcome and life is “important” again.  On a side note…is it weird that I heard a crackling noise from the neighbor above me and for a brief moment I thought there might be an announcement in my living room?  Yes, it’s day 1 of a new school year!

As the night closes in, I reflect on the beauty of living alone…eating a frozen pizza for dinner…only buying enough things to make one trip from car to house…being positive that there is always toilet paper on the roll…taking my bra off at the front door…going to bed before nightfall and no one to judge. 

And I just want to point out that even though I now have 80 channels to watch, not a thing interests me. For the record, this mindset often happens with the men in my life too!  More than one friend has noted that it’s no wonder I can’t keep a man. Oh well!

Living large in a small space!

Wow!  It has been a busy few weeks. When I think that less than 3 weeks ago I moved from a house to a small loft, it is remarkable the progress made. 

A great friend has shown me how I can make a small space into a statement home. A statement of who I am…with a few pieces that express me and how I want to live. Tonight she drafted her husband and daughter to install the “piece de resistance” to the loft. (Thanks Darrell for standing on a ladder for an hour and Emma for using those cheerleader arms to hold that heavy chandelier while he wired it)! 

I’ve always been in awe of chandeliers and I finally have a space with high ceilings to accommodate such a piece. It is nothing short of spectacular!


A couple walls have been painted (another friend) and more than one friend has shown up to help me do all the things I couldn’t. 


Don’t judge my pillows…that’s where Lisa and I reclined to watch the light “show” unfold…but notice that beautifully painted accent wall!

Friendship is a funny thing…the give and take of that relationship really works when you’re willing to put in the time. Lisa and I often talk about how having great friends makes for a great life. I can honestly say that the time consciously cultivating friendships will come back to you ten-fold. Make the time. Make the effort. That’s a gift no amount of money can buy. 

Loft Living!

I have completed the daunting task of downsizing and moving into a much smaller place. It is a very soul cleansing thing to do for your life. I went from a 3 bedroom home with full basement to a 1 bedroom loft…yes, on purpose!  These are the things I learned by living smaller. 

  • You have to really decide what is important to keep and what can go. For instance, I kept pictures but I let go of my kids’ school work.  I also got rid of all my school work from college. 
  • I’m not a big “keeper of things” anyway, so this cleansing was not too bad. It is amazing how much lighter you will feel without having to be the “keeper of things” for everyone. 
  • I chose to have a few fabulous pieces (furniture) that were real statement pieces and fit the ambiance I was trying to create. It’s a process and I figure I will know if something is right for my space when I see it. 
  • I had several great antiques that my father had given me over the years and wanted to keep those so I had to find a new purpose for them. That’s been fun. 
  • Smaller space means you must put everything back where it goes immediately or it clutters quickly. 
  • Giving up the garage means I might get wet one day!  Lol. As my daddy says, I won’t melt. 
  • I’m closer to work. Closer to restaurants (you know I don’t care to cook). This was an important realization when I thought I wanted a kitchen island in my space…but it’s not necessary because I don’t want to cook. I can use that money for a more practical piece. 
  • I truly have had more visitors than ever before. And all of them say, “this looks like you!”  And it is. I felt at home immediately. 

The only downsides:

  • I can see the workout room from my couch…some guy works out every night…I don’t like him reminding me that I’m being lazy. 
  • My tub has no back slope…I can’t lounge in the tub. Why would you make a tub that isn’t lounge-worthy?  
  • I live in the Carpet Capital of the WORLD and I can’t seem to find a large rug for my living room that doesn’t cost a fortune. It’s my new mission. I rarely lose these battles and I don’t intend to lose this one.  
  • Ordering rugs online is a hassle. And a crap shoot. I won’t even go into what it takes to return one of those babies. 

The trick to living in an apartment setting, especially when you’ve come from home ownership, is to find one with great management. 


This loft space is in an 1880 textile mill that has been transformed into lofts. It’s amazing. Exposed brick. Concrete flooring. Original wood floors. And the most majestically beautiful 10′ windows that will get your tail out of bed when God intends you to get up. 

I had lunch with my friend (Lisa) the other day and she said, “you look better than you’ve looked since I’ve known you!”  Of course, I did have a new haircut, new color, makeup on (not a summer norm), and was well-rested from a 5 week beach getaway. But I think it’s the move. I think I feel free. Free to travel. No maintenance (house or lawn). No plants to water. I feel renewed. I like change. I’m embracing the new life. 

Man!  I am too old!

  • Too old for moving.
  •  Too old to sleep on a blow up mattress. But I did for a week between vacation and the move (see previous complaint).
  • Too old for those new-fangled remote access/video tellers at banks. Those that know me well know that I am a stickler for good customer service. A teller on a computer screen just does not do it for me. 

Well the house closing is complete. The move is in the books as they say. Thanks to my son and one of his friends, I am completely unboxed.  It really feels good to downsize and get rid of stuff. If you know me and read this, do NOT buy me anymore stuff. Let’s find another way to celebrate. 

I always marvel at the great friends I’ve cultivated over the last few years. There are a few long term friends but for the most part it has only occurred to me in the last 10 years how truly important great friends are to my life. 

My oldest son came by and brought their young daughter and I was terrified the whole time she would fall on my concrete floor and bust her head. My new home is definitely not little kid friendly. She’s a cutie and brings out an adorable side of her father. He is definitely smitten with her. 


My friend and painter came by to help me choose some wall colors. He has a great eye and is very meticulous. If you ever need a painter, let me know. 
My two closest friends came and visited and offered a different eye to my placement of things in my new place. Isn’t it funny how we have a “place” for things and can’t imagine things in a different role? I will have to say that the close friends I have now are ones that would defend me rigorously to others, and totally call me on my bullshit once we’re in private. That’s friendship at its most productive. 

My Daddy will come visit my new place this weekend and we will catch up…really don’t do that enough…I need to be better at that. 

School starts back in a couple of weeks and hopefully I will be good and settled by then. Life has finally settled down a little and at least at the end of the day I don’t stink…it has been crazy hot. 

Got me a new haircut and color today. Now a manicure and pedicure and I should be good to go…now I just need to find someone to take me somewhere. Lol

The big move

My last night at my house…people keep asking if I’m going to miss it. I’ve thought about that in the last couple of days…mostly because I don’t have cable and it’s forcing some introspection on my part. 

This is the longest I’ve lived in one location…ever. 10 years. Half of Chase’s life. He seems much more nostalgic about the move than I do but he’s being helpful and supportive…although he’s decided my new condo (historic loft built in the 1880’s) is haunted based only on its age. As long as it’s haunted enough to force adulthood, the spirits are working their magic well. 

I’ve been a gypsy my whole life I think. A place doesn’t anchor me. My people anchor me and as I get older I realize how vital those people are to the world I want to inhabit. I’m really excited about this new move…feels like I’m moving into the next stage of my life somehow…not sure why but it just does. 

My BFF came by and walked the loft with me so I’d have a visual for the movers tomorrow. Lisa is going through so much chaos in her family right now and I don’t know how she’s getting done what is getting done…but if you’ve never met the goal-setting, check off the list, keep it moving, mentality that is the ball of fire we call Lisa, you’re missing out. Please continue to pray for her brother who is continuing to have difficulty and hospitalized….even while his old house closed today and his new house closes tomorrow and the family is moving 2 hours away. Again, the tornado that is Lisa has it under control. Or at least the illusion of control…and that’s really all that matters. 

My oldest friend, Tammie, is also still spending as many moments as she can with her grandmother who is on her last days. She raised Tammie so it’s like she’s losing a parent. This getting old and growing up and dealing with grown up things is exhausting!

Movers in the morning. Hopefully closing on my house on Wednesday. The new adventure starts this week. And then school will start in three weeks and interfere with that adventure. 

Things I’ve noted during the move:

  • I have a lot of crap I don’t need. 
  • Downsizing and getting rid of unnecessary stuff is cathartic (listening Dad?). 
  • I really should dust more. Maybe my ghost cleans. 
  • Is it rude to leave stuff for the new owners (nice silk curtains that match the walls; shelving in the basement; Waterhose on a nice spinning holder; my alcohol in the freezer)?
  • How clean are you supposed to leave the house?  Like perfect?
  • Are you supposed to tip movers?  One is the owner of the company. 

My new mattress comes tomorrow and since I’ve been sleeping on a blow up mattress for several days, it will be heaven. The interesting thing will be how I’m going to handle floor to ceiling windows that have only blinds on them…lots of beautiful morning sun but I may have to change my “I hate mornings” way of thinking. 

I’m glad you guys are going on this journey with me. 

What is it about a sunset?

I mean, I get the awe we experience from a sunrise…it’s the promise of a new day. But if sunrises are the beginning…is the sunset an end?  Sunrise is fresh and new…so is a sunset spent and old? If one brings us light, the other brings us darkness. As an English teacher, darkness always harkens in danger and turmoil. 

I watched many sunsets in the last month and each had its own character and beauty. Some the camera just couldn’t do justice. 

However, every evening, many would gather on the beach and on the dock to watch this day-ending beauty. It took me about a week before I realized that the real majesty happens after the sun disappears over the horizon.  Now that’s spectacular. The horizon has a beautiful glow that few painters can capture. 

So are you a SUNRISE or SUNSET person?  I think I’m a sunset person. I’ve been contemplating what that says about me. I think it’s like everything, to have one, you must have the other. When will we be as awed by the ends as we are about the beginnings?  
The sunsets were spectacular and one of the things I will miss. It was permission to settle in and permit your body downtime. Kristi and the grandsons are finishing out my rental…hope they remember to send sunset photos from Mimi’s Island. 

Home…temporarily

Made it back to the house. It’s mostly packed up but it’s still so good to be home. This time next week I will hopefully be closed on my house and in my new “home.”

Every time I have to drive through Atlanta, I wonder how I can get to Tybee without that drive through hell. Several observations:

  • You have to be a special kind of person to manage that commute everyday. 
  • I’m always thankful there is a “traffic jam” so we can drive at a speed that would not cause death if I get hit. 
  • I will often pray and cuss in the same span of time. 
  • First responders must live in a special kind of hell…one where you can’t reach the very people that need you. Bless them!
  • Those young boys on crotch rockets that weave in and out of traffic need a good ole’ southern ass-whooping. 
  • We are all truly at the whim of every other single person on the road with us. It’s a shared trust that we will all do the right thing and not endanger everyone on the road. 
  • Several soul-tugging wrecks made me think how all of us leave our homes every day not realizing we may be the ones who don’t come home. No one thinks it will be them…well maybe the crotch rocket riders do…who knows what the heck they’re thinking. 

One of the things I’d missed on the island was some good veggies. I stopped and had a veggie plate and a salad. So good. 

An interesting thing for me…and kind of full circle in an odd way…when I left I turned off my cable so I am now trying to use an antennae to get a few channels. If you’ve been with me through the whole vacation, that was my first week “ordeal” at the beach. I’d like to think I can figure this out and survive without cable…well at least for a week anyway!  Lol

Last Day Eve!

I can’t believe it’s almost over. I will head home tomorrow and often reflect on the great pictures I have to commemorate this amazing vacation. It has been a dream come true. 

As I looked for parking in town for the fireworks tonight, I almost gave up…it was very crowded. But I found a spot and walked several blocks to the beach. Pretty night and the fireworks could be seen from as far away as Hilton Head in addition to the beautiful Tybee Island fireworks. 
As I pack, I realize I have one complete suitcase of clothes that I didn’t wear even once!  The hardest part to going home will be makeup, doing hair, and wearing a real bra. But I guess it’s not fair to subject the rest of the world to my laziness. 

Thank you all for following this dream with me. Next up is a move from a 3 bedroom house to a one bedroom loft…should be interesting. But if I’ve learned anything on this trip, it is that I can totally live with a lot less and love it!  

The end is near!

I can’t believe my summer dream vacation is coming to an end. But alas, life moves on. A couple more days and back to reality. Home to a move and back to school in less than a month. 

Retrieved my wallet today. All was intact!  Yay!  And then a great surprise of old friends. My old neighbors (they left me years ago) were in Savannah and came out to visit me on the island. Love them. Truly amazing people and neither ever meets a stranger. We must make a point to see more of each other. 

Weather was weird today. Thunder and lightening on and off all day. And then a weird storm blew up…tiu know those storms that cast a strange color light outside…this was it!
The white glowed as if a fluorescent light was on it. Even the sand glowed eerily. But it did run off the many new people that have arrived this week. 
Tomorrow fireworks on the beach and then getting ready to head home and back to my real life. 

Best laid plans!

Well I had the day all planned out. Sleep late (watched a movie really late last night); go eat at Macaroni Grill (long ways); and go see Jaws (since it is nearing the end of my stay). 

All was going well until I left my wallet at Macaroni Grill and didn’t realize it until I got back on the island. Of course, by then it was gone. Oh no!  No money. No cards. Yikes!  I called my debit cards and one credit card (thank goodness I only have one) and got them cancelled. 

A huge thunderstorm (along with very startling warnings on the radio) blew in. Again, impressive lightening. Resigned myself to whomever got my cash needed it more than me and started the planning. 

Disclaimer here…my friend Lisa has been “harassing” me for a long time to not carry my “important papers” in my wallet (social security card, my kid’s birth certificates, etc) but old habits are hard to break. So, of course, I had to call her and tell her she was right!  Ugh!  (On a sad note, her brother is going through some terrifying repercussions from back surgery…please include them in your prayers). 

If you’re a man and you’ve never had to go through changing your name on your drivers license and social security card, you will never understand the frustration. Let’s just say, there is a reason there is an armed guard at the social security office!  So I was already bracing myself for the ordeal. 

I figured I had been so blessed lately that it was only fitting that I have some strife. That’s where I was mentally when the call came…they found my wallet!!!

The storm passed, literally and figuratively, in that moment. 
And then I got a message from a dear friend I haven’t seen in a while and they are in town so I will see them tomorrow. I will still have to make a bank trip (can’t undo the cancellation) and go pick up my wallet, but all is well in Kay-Land tonight. 

Maybe my cash will still be there. But if not, then someone needed it more than I did. And I can live with that.