Ground Hogs Day


Hi Jenny Renny!

This week was Ground Hogs Day. Or as your sister/cousin’s girls call it: Donut Day. Almost forgot to get a donut, but made a special trip to the store, just to sneak one in! I’m not sure how the donut tradition started. My sis, your Aunt, remembers the story about Grandma Smith making them on GHD when your Pops was a kid, so our family tradition goes back at least as far as that! It was so fun seeing all the family posts of donut enjoyment.

Your Marno did love her a donut! It seems fitting that Ground Hogs Day was the day I finally buckled down to do the final dispersement from her estate. I’ve been putting it off for months under the guise of it would take a chunk of time I just didn’t have. I realized, as I pulled out all the documents and the spread sheet I’d created to keep track of everything, that really, it was about finality. Marno gave you an Angel kiss from me almost 3 years ago now, but somehow, doing the final paperwork and writing the final dispersement checks from the estate puts a punctuation mark on her absence. Gotta admit, I cried a little bit. There’s tears when writing checks and then there’s tears when writing checks! Haha! My tears were sadness, missing, responsibility, resistance tears. But they were also thankful tears. And tears of sweet remembrance. And tears of awe, as I remember how your Marno and Pops chose to live their life, spend their money, raise their family and provide for the future.

And that damn Ground Hog says we’ve got 6 more weeks of winter coming!!! 😉

The rest of the week was a stay at home week, as in work at home, not work on the road! You were good at carving out time. Time to work, time to rest, time for friends, time for self, time to play. I’m not very good at that. For me, it’s either time to work or time to waste time! Anyway, I got a lot done this week, not just almost finished with Marno’s estate, but desk cleared, todo list sorted, one email box cleared, almost. (Are they ever cleared??) Oh, and laundry! Which also is never done!

I also spent some time this week checking in with my body. Had a chiropractor appointment. It’s been a year since my last bad back experience, and I realized I’ve spent much of the last few months in a not-good back space, so decided to start to really fix that. And then I slipped on the newly formed ice on the sidewalk and biffed it!! Such a klutz. Laughed at myself, like you always laughed at yourself when you got hurt. Then went back into the office to warn the little old man with his walker, and his wife, that the sidewalk was murderous and to be careful! Do you know what happened next? The chiropractor, a man I really just like, made the couple wait until he got a cup of salt, and then he walked out with them, in the freezing rain, sprinkling salt in front of them and making sure they got safely to the car. I think salt actually needs a little time to work, but the point was that he went out of his way to care for someone else. There are good people in the world, everywhere I look! That same night, we closed the store early, to get Team Members home as early as possible, as safely as possible. Posted on FB, so the information could make it out as far as possible. Lots of positive feedback, some disappointment, one angry guy that just doesn’t count. But, I can say, no injuries, no accidents and it’s just chicken!

This week, I’m feeling thankful, generally. Relearning how to talk to you is part of that, Sweetheart. I know my heart continues to commune with you, but I so miss sharing life with you and am finding that while talking to you in this way will never be the way it should be, it is better than not talking to you. You are so good about just allowing your peeps, including me, to express their heart, mind and spirit with simple acceptance. You never felt the need to fix someone else, and rarely offered advice, unless someone asked for it, then you always had great advice! I’m doing my best to learn from you, my sweet redheaded teacher! I continue to aspire to your presence and grace!

Today, I’m thankful for Ground Hogs and donuts, whatever Ground Hogs are!! I’m thankful for Marno and Pops. I’m thankful for gentlemen who care about others. I’m thankful for work to do and accomplishment and space to do what needs to be done. I’m thankful the estate paperwork is almost finished. I’m thankful Team Members got home safely in scary weather. I’m thankful biffing it was laughable, not disastrous. I’m thankful I continue to learn from your example, then and now.

I’m thankful for today!!




Friends and dinner

Hi Sweetie,

Working this week, the first road trip of the year, I’m finding myself sliding into the complaining, in my head and out loud, that I really started to notice last fall, as I was constantly traveling and just over dealing with people. Most people don’t believe me when it comes up that I am not a people person, but I know you understand this. You, too, would get to the point of just being done with people, though I think for you it was more about needing quiet time with yourself, for me, it’s about feeling assaulted by people’s attitudes and energy and anxieties.

So I’m reigning that in and sharing the happy in my day. I got to have dinner with long time friends! Friends I haven’t seen in several years. Their little boy is 5 going on 6 and other than a quick hug at our yearly conference, I haven’t gotten to sit down and share in their life since their little guy was around 1. We had Mexican food at a place in the middle between where they live and where I am working. A 45 min trip took me about 75 min! When I got to the restaurant, she asked me if I was crazy with the traffic. My reply, not really. I’m so thankful that traffic just doesn’t really get to me. I can plan and be diligent, and then, it’s not up to me! Can’t change it, can’t fight it, so I don’t. And I’m so grateful for that! These friends have work in common, though not in the way they did when I first was getting to know them. It’s fun to hear how his business is growing and how the crazy woman started teaching high school math. What the…?!?! Brave woman! Not me!! It was fun to get to see them interact with their little boy; tender and clear and timely and truthful and consistent and…just sweet.

This dear woman and I have a deep connection. As we would meet on the road, years ago, her doing her work, me doing mine, we did our best to sit down for a few minutes and catch up. We shared deep things with each other. Sometimes it’s almost easier to share with a compassionate heart that doesn’t reside in your day to day world. That’s the relationship she and I have. She always asks me about you. Her question today, “How did Jen show up for you today?” What a PERFECT question! She must not have seen the gorgeous sunset as I entered the restaurant, or she wouldn’t have needed to ask that question! She always asks about your little brother, too, and celebrates with me, as I love my kids out loud. Thank you, Sweet Friend, companion of my heart. She shared with me how she is missing her Dad. He was a safe place for her, as she was an adult. A consistent encourager to her and someone who always had time for her, always had space for her, someone she could receive from. As a fellow giver, I connect with that. Needing someone to receive from; receive encouragement, receive space, receive forgiveness, receive a hug in the form of words, receive lack of demand, receive grace. I hope she has that again, if even for a moment. I would be that for her, in time of need, as I know she would be that for me.

Today, I am thankful for safe travels in bumper to bumper traffic, Shipley’s Donuts, chips and queso. I’m thankful for friends who are easy, and who go out of their way to connect with me. Such a gift. I’m thankful for someone who cares enough to ask how you are in my day, today. I HAVE to remember that question. It’s appropriate for so many people so many times! I’m thankful for the weird end of day congregations of mockingbirds in Houston. Randomly (to me, probably not actually randomly), at close of day, giant flocks of these birds gather together to commune before calling it a night. I have no idea why they do it, why they choose to congregate where they do, or what is really going on in their heads, but it’s interesting to me, that they do congregate. And interesting is happy making, for me. Oh, and they’re a little bit creepy in these giant flocks, which also peaks my interest!!

As I mark the 1/2 way point of this work week, I’m thankful that today, I was reminded to be thankful.

I am thankful for today!!