“Morning is an important time of day, because how you spend your morning can often tell you what kind of day you are going to have.”
Lemony Snicket, The Blank Book (A Series of Unfortunate Events)
Driving over 60mph on the on ramp to I10, due to a demanding vehicle behind me, wasn’t good enough. Nope. Not here in Houston. The impatient person revved their engine and flew around me, barely keeping it on the road…then breaked suddenly due to the heavy merging traffic! I slowed down amazed at the antics here, trying to not blast the driver with negative thoughts.
Breathe…. just Breathe…
Good morning, Houston.
With the time zone change I fielded late night, early morning phone calls from Alaska. Let’s just say that this move is rough on everyone. A little sad, a little frustrated, I finally rolled out of bed and got a very early start praying for everyone, including myself!
Have you ever had days that make your eye twitch the very first thing? I’ve tried patiently to muddle through things but right now I’m just going to admit to everyone right here, right now, that life is rough at the moment.
Pray. Breathe through it. Pray some more.
Stepping onto the 28th floor way too early for most folks, I was greeted by the vultures perched just outside of my cube’s window. It’s time to start the day, the scary vulture eyes watch me. I’m going to name him Moe.
I ignore Moe and say another prayer.
Good morning, Houston!
I am blessed to have my car back in my possession. To celebrate I pulled up the TexasTravel website and searched for a day trip and discovered a handful of wineries within easy driving distance. Scanning the list I settled on one and navigated my way to Hwy 290.
If I had given it much thought I would have looked for an alternative route since I’m not a big fan of 290. But once on the construction laden highway I was committed. Following Siri’s directions I barreled along with a slew of others escaping the city for the day trying to avoid concrete barriers and rocketing vehicles screaming down the road.
90 minutes or so later, Pulling off the highway onto a rural road, I felt myself relax into my car seat, letting the country road guide me past ranches towards a tiny vineyard tucked away in the rolling hills. To be honest I have no idea where I am. Am I the only one that sometimes still misses old school paper maps? But where would we be without the marvelous Siri navigation?!?
I finally found the slice of heaven in the Texas Hill Country at Peach Creek Vineyards. Stepping into the cool, dim interior I was warmly greeted and the rules of the tasting deftly explained.
Choosing to sit outside on their covered patio I selected 5 wines to taste while enjoying the easy rocking chair and letting the view of the vineyard wipe away the stress of 290.
If you get the chance this is a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. I indulged in a cheese plate and sipped a few wines. For $8 you can taste 5 wines from the menu. I made it through 3.5 reds and was pleasantly surprised at the flavorful reds.
Sadly I had to get back on the road so I didn’t partake in the last tasting. Im a firm believer in drinking responsibly, especially if one is driving! Saying goodbye and tucking the complimentary wine glass and bottle of wine I purchased in my trunk I headed back towards Houston, pretty satisfied with my first exploration of the Hill Country. Can’t wait to see what’s around the next corner!
My car finally arrived after journeying thousands of miles on boat and truck. It desperately needed a bath.
Over dinner my girlfriend told me about Mister Carwash on Gessner. It sounded like the perfect Saturday morning plan. She warned me to arrive early because it gets pretty busy and I’m happy I did. Cars were already lined up and it was only a little after 8a.m.
Mister Carwash has over 30 locations, so the nice guy told me, while convincing me to sign up for the monthly car washing service (with the promise I can cancel at any time). No wonder most of the cars here are shiny!
In Anchorage, cars are dirt encrusted most of the year and no one blinks an eye. Our roads conditions in Alaska are a bit more rough around the edges compared to this bustling Texas city.
With coffee in hand, I left my car to be vacuumed and washed, wiping away the evidence of the long journey it had just recently traveled. From the comfy waiting room I can watch the cars glide past the wide windows, the hard working employees working their magic.
You have no idea how happy I am to be reunited with my car. It’s a small chunk falling into place, reminding me how wonderfully blessed I am with this new chapter in my life. I’m so very blessed and grateful for all that God has given me. Good and bad, it’s been a bit of a challenge but through it all I’m treasuring the days as they unfold.
My mantra for today is “be present”.
Be present in all the little moments. Even a Carwash.
Third time’s the charm, at least I’m hoping it proves to be true in the case of my house hunting escapades. Like all fairy tale adventures it seems that it takes the mythical number three to get it right.
This afternoon, after a few signatures and a check, I committed to buying a brand new house. Why I hadn’t done this when I first arrived to Houston I’ll never know. But it’s better late to the party, than not at all.
The first house just wasn’t meant to be, a contract was written prior to mine.
The second house, sad from lack of care and in need of too many repairs, I had to walk away from.
But the third house, a beautiful gem, that sits on the street of dreams, will be ready to move into at the end of June. Seriously the street name is El Sueno meaning the dream street. How cool is that? The layout and the location is pretty spot on.
The best part about a new house is being able to move in and not worry about repairing or replacing things. Just my cup of tea!
“Flour and butter, cream and sugar, words and images — all the ingredients for a rich, tasty story.”
― Rona Simmons, The Quiet Room
Oh my goodness, I’ve been busy. The days are speeding by and I am getting less and less done. On the bright side its getting brighter and warmer and muddier out…Hello, Breakup! The very last one that I will experience. After 25 years I think I’m ready for a real spring.
But Sunday is for baking and I’m taking a few minutes to share pictures from my trip to Iowa (no time to bake this weekend). I just had to test out my son’s kitchen and what better way to do that than bake some cookies for the guys. After being pried out of Trader Joe’s (LOVE that store!) we made it back home, supplied for the next decade or more with pantry staples.
I baked. And fed the guys piping hot cookies straight out of the oven.
Cookies = Love
Tip: Freeze extras! I made an extra batch to freeze. Wrap the cookies in freezer Ziploc baggies to pull out to enjoy later. Yum!
I must get my hormones in check! The waterworks turned on hugging my son goodbye this morning. Poor guy!
Heading back to Anchorage, I already miss the guys and our easy going days. To be honest, this trip has flown by too quickly, making me wish for more time. Unfortunately time is something we never get back once it’s spent.
The guys spoiled me with a beautiful room decorated just for me. It was like stepping into a hotel room. A robe and slippers laid on a scrumptious bed piled high with beautiful bedding. I absolutely loved waking up and falling asleep in in my nest surrounded in dark purple walls contrasted in white trim. They could rent it out on Air B&B!
I met Mr. Abraham for the first time. It took a little bit for him to warm to me but by the end of my stay I’d say he will miss me.
Breakfast at La Mie Bakery Thursday morning was a treat. Go for the pastries! Ignore your diet. This is a lovely spot to indulge your sweet tooth. The place was bustling and tables were filled with happy customers. I’d personally pass on breakfast although they have a very nice menu. The noise level was over the top competing against the pop music playing. But if shouting over breakfast is your cup of tea eat in. I’d recommend filling a box up with your favorite pastries and heading outside to really enjoy your treat.
It’s time to board. This flight will take me to Chicago, then to Seattle and on to Anchorage. I’ll post more as time allows.
“But let there be spaces in your togetherness and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.” Khalil Gibran
The last few weeks I’ve spent lost in everyday details of a fairly busy life preparing to move. But to be honest, I have also found myself lost between hours, disconnecting myself from the altogether overwhelming list of “to dos”. Instead, because time is so short with Miss R, I have indulged us both in play and overnight stays whenever I can.
“Will you remember me?” I asked her over the new Moana Lego set just recently erected with her momma’s help. She tilted her head, the way she always does when her young mind puzzles through something. She nods and chirps, “of course.”
My heart hurts thinking about our soon to be separation.
I think ahead to summer vacation and the promised two weeks when my little family will join me in Texas. The “to dos” come crashing all around me and, instead of the momentary sadness of missing my grandchild, I focus on all the blessings life has bestowed upon me.
Gratitude swells within me. I have worked towards this move for awhile. For years I have yearned for warmer weather, a fresh start and new opportunities. I am so blessed and so grateful for this next chapter in my life. But, being human, I also recognize the sadness, the profound grief, of this imminent move.
My list of “to dos” is calling me. Guess its time to get busy before I get lost in the hours again.