Daddy’s Girl

I’ve had a bit of a revelation recently. I’m a little like my Dad. I doubt many of you reading this have any idea what this means or why that’s surprising.

He died 9 years ago and I maybe saw him once every year or two in the 5 years after I left college, which was when I lived closer to him than I had since I was 8 when my parents divorced. Some years before the divorce, maybe 5 or 6, we had moved out to a house on 18 acres and a pond in Bogue Chitto, Mississippi. As it turned out, my introverted mother didn’t like being 30+ minutes from “town” (whoda thunk?). It wasn’t the sole cause of their marital demise, of course, but didn’t help.

I have terrible long-term memory but I recall him growing vegetables and such. We had cows, but they weren’t ours as we leased our land to someone else for them to graze.

After the divorce he tried gardening again at a different property (6 acres) and he had blueberry bushes, as well.

Remind you of anyone?

He was a very intelligent man and would get really into various things only to lose interest at some point.  After gardening came fish (tanks everywhere!) and then “collecting” (he even opened up an antiques shop after retiring from teaching).

I may have some tendencies that way (knitting, anyone?),  though I don’t think gardening is going to be one of those things. I just get so much satisfaction from growing a little food and raising our own egg chickens.

But yeah, it’s funny how as you get older you start to see your parents in yourself (I’ve got my mom’s hands and her preference for quiet and solitude). As a parent, we want to see that we’ve made an impact, but I think we always want our kids to do just a little better than we did.

I imagine my dad is rooting on my gardening ventures and my mom is proud that I’ve been able to cultivate a village of friends, something that was always a challenge for her.

I hope and pray that wherever life takes, Nolan, he’ll do even better.

Choices and Blessings

I was driving home yesterday from Busch Gardens and contemplating some things.  It was this amazingly perfect day where my friends were all able to join us at the last minute and there was no drama and no hiccups and we left right before no-nap meltdown time. Beautiful weather, beautiful friends…just an all around amazing day.

As Nolan finally took his nap on the ride home I was contemplating how blessed we are. In so many ways.  I was thinking about how I sometimes wonder when the other shoe will drop. Is it actually possible to be this lucky? Surely something bad is going to happen.

But then, I was thinking…there have been lots of times when I/we could have not felt so blessed.

My parents got divorced and we moved away from my dad.  My grandfather got AIDS during a surgery (in the mid 80’s).  I was overweight for most of high school, nerdy and not one of the “cool kids”.  I had to have back surgery at the age of 14.  I’ve lost a lot of family in the last 10 years, including both my parents and I’m only 35. Josh lost his job at one point, a few months before he started with the police department.  I had post-partum depression after Nolan was born. Josh now works a stressful job with unfortunate hours.  My marriage is not perfect, my child is not perfect (whose is?). I am not perfect and neither is my life.

This made me think that perhaps the blessings in our life, or the feeling of having been blessed, may have more to do with the decisions we’ve made.  The choices we’ve made when faced with the bad or the hard.

I know that things are not always as simple as this makes it seem.  We don’t always know what the good choices are. But maybe it’s more a matter of making choices for the right reasons.  Perhaps then, even if it wasn’t the best choice, it can eventually lead you down the right road.