Sunday, February 21, 2010
The day after my grandfather’s funeral, Jonathan and I drove back to Nashville. I was less than thrilled about the thought of returning to my daily life in Middle Tennessee. If I had it my way, I would have stayed in Knoxville –oh– forever.
Here’s the thing – I adore my family. Even when they’re driving me nuts and I think I can take no more of them, I love them. Spending time with them makes life worthwhile. They’re what it’s all about, really.
At my grandfather’s funeral, the preacher (who is a relative) recalled Papaw’s love for family.
“If you drove by the house and saw one of his grandchildren playing in the yard, you could be sure Papaw was close by, playing along with them.”
He was always there. When one of us grandkids got sick at school, Papaw would pick us up and take care of us. Every birthday party. Every dance recital. Every baseball game. Every get-together. He was there.
He always showed up. And it’s amazing how something as simple as another person’s presence can change the way you view your own life. Your own priorities.
Life isn’t so complicated, after all.
Money doesn’t matter so much. Forget about dollars in the bank. Save what you can, spend what you can. Set financial goals, but keep them in perspective. The cost of a family vacation or a weekend with friends may be a few hundred, or even a few thousand dollars. The memories you’ll receive in return are priceless. Love doesn’t cost a dime.
Careers don’t matter so much. Forget about the paperwork, reports and projects. Work hard, and give it your best, but keep it in perspective.
It turns out, appearances don’t matter so much either. Forget about having a designer life. The perfect home doesn’t exist. Neither does the perfect body, outfit or hairstyle. Take care of yourself and your home, and buy yourself a cute outfit every now and then. But keep it in perspective.
When it comes to the grand to-do list of life, all you really have to do is be there. For your family, your friends, the people you love most. Nothing else matters.
I’m almost 28. I have a wonderful husband. A terrific family. A house. A job. A happy, comfortable life. But something’s missing.
It’s time to choose between the life I thought I wanted and what my life should really be about.
Trying my best to follow my heart… hoping someday it will lead me home.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
My sweet grandfather died a few days ago. He left suddenly. Unexpectedly. I’m still not quite sure why.
I don’t have the eloquence to explain what he meant to my family. Probably because I didn’t fully understand myself. Until now.
When the phone rang at 3:00 a.m., I instantly knew. My mom spoke through tears. Then my own began to well in my eyes. I don’t know what she said. I don’t know what I said. I hung up and sobbed uncontrollably.
My Papaw died that night.
I didn’t get to say goodbye.
I guess, in most cases, you don’t get that chance. I should know that by now.
I loved my Papaw. I adored his sweet smile and his sweet stories.
He’d nudge my arm with his elbow and say “Hey Melinda, did I ever tell you about the time I went swimming on New Year’s Day?”
Or maybe he’d tell the one about being in an earthquake when he was in the Army. Or playing baseball as a kid. Or he’d tell me about an off-the-wall adventure with crazy Curt, a character from his youth.
That man could certainly tell a tale.
The last time I saw him, my cousin Katie, my mom and me turned typical story time into a game.
“What was the first movie I ever saw?” Papaw asked.
I looked at Katie, a little unsure. “Shirley Temple,” she mouthed behind Papaw.
“Who was the most famous person I ever met?”
I needed help on that one too. “Roy Acuff,” Katie and Mom whispered in unison.“Roy Acuff!”
“How’d you know?” Papaw asked.“I know you better than you think, Papaw.”
I tried to convince him I should get a prize for answering all the questions correctly.
Last summer Papaw turned 80. At his birthday party he told me he was going to live to be 100. I told him he could do anything he put his mind to.
I’ll miss him so much.
He left suddenly and unexpectedly, just as the rest. In my mind, he’s in Heaven with my brother, Greg, and my aunts, Kathy and Vickie. They're probably playing croquet. Or rolly bat. Maybe even Scrabble. Actually, Vickie and Kathy are probably playing Scrabble while Papaw and Greg throw a baseball back and forth.
Mamaw and Papaw last Easter. They were married for 57 years.
Mom and Papaw at Christmas
Me and Papaw at my college graduation. Looks like Papaw graduated too!
Papaw and Leah
Thursday, February 11, 2010
If you put my iPod on shuffle, you’d hear lots of:
- Jack Johnson
- Ben Harper
- Jason Mraz
- Norah Jones
- Dave Barnes
Lots and lots and lots of John Mayer.
So cliché, I know.
I love his sound, his voice and most of all – his lyrics.
I also kind of like the fact that he has no internal filter. Mostly because I don’t have one either, and my stupid mouth gets me in trouble a lot too.
Last night, Jonathan and I got to hang out with Mr. Mayer and a few thousand other fans at Nashville’s Sommet Center.What. A. Show. He played a lot of his older hits and several songs off the new album, but also sprinkled in a few fan favorites, like “Comfortable.” Oh man, I love that song.
A quick recap of the night...
Braylon and Grace at dinner
The husband and me
A lil sepia tone
Opening act - Michael Franti & Spearhead
Cameron and Thomas hanging out with the lead singer
Hello, Mr. Mayer.
A couple of shots during John's now infamous pubic apology
Monday, February 8, 2010
Monday, February 1, 2010
Tonight, on a whim, I decided to bake. I do this occasionally, because I am obsessed with my mom's homemade icing recipe. It's easy, and it's delicious. I've been craving icing lately, and with Valentine's Day right around the corner, it's was the perfect excuse to make a few (by few, I really mean 33) cookies.
Here's the best icing recipe EVER. (Disclaimer: This recipe is delicious and in no way healthy.)
1 lb. confectioners sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
3 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Mix with beaters, adding ingredients as you go (no particular order). You may want to soften the butter and shortening to room temperature. Add additional sugar and/or milk as desired.
It's really that simple.
The cookies are Pillsbury sugar cookies. Nothing fancy. This icing recipe is also perfect for chocolate cake.