1800's Farmhouse where I grew up

Monday, June 27, 2011

Amish Country

As little tykes, my kids loved family trips to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania to not only visit the Amish but to throw themselves wholeheartedly into their lifestyle.  Of course, at seven, adopting the Amish lifestyle for my daughter meant wearing a bonnet with her t-shirt, sneakers, and shorts, and taking a buggy ride behind a somewhat aromatic equine. Not the traditional garb of this religious sect, but her excitement was palpable, and she was a sponge soaking up the local color and customs.  My son, on the other hand, was topped off with a railroad workers cap, as his love of the country was tied to the railroad in Strasburg.

My husband and I returned to our idyllic vacation spot alone recently, to find the area has been built up considerably, catering to tourists, some who seem to view the Amish lifestyle like a foreign venue at Epcot Center.  These are real people with real beliefs and real customs, not teens and college students hired to portray someone at a theme park. I really think people tend to forget this fact.  Personally, I will not take pictures or interfere in any way with the daily activities of this sect, which caused me to react with surprise when an Amish woman driving a buggy waved to me when I stopped to let her pass.
Regardless, it remains a beautiful area, and for the country nuts like myself, the shopping couldn't be more rewarding! 
A warm country hug to all,
Lisa <3

Friday, June 17, 2011

Lighten UP!

The sun is a little brighter today, and my step is a little lighter.  I spent some time on my first day away from school to walk around my yard and "just smell the roses", although roses are one type of plant of which I am not a fan. They are beautiful, I concede, but the scent is too much for me and there is a formality to the blooms that do not fit into my lifestyle.
Easy, beezy, and yes, beautiful... is my goal for turning my winter dreary home into my summer oasis. Plant by plant the conception I have of a calm summer retreat takes shape, first in my mind and then in dirt and furniture arrangements.  The serene blue pool, trickling bird baths, colorful plants, palms and ferns swaying in the breeze...HEAVEN!
The only place I find greater serenity is at the BEACH, where I can leave the daily tasks that must be done to upkeep my little home oasis ...well, at home!
My deck is now nearly transformed into a place I intend to spend the majority of my summer in peace, both reading and writing, thinking and praying, enjoying private time as well as time with family and friends. 
It's time to kick back and lighten up.
A warm country hug to all,
Lisa <3

Monday, June 6, 2011


My posts of late have gone from slim to none...and I apologize to my faithful readers who look to me for some funny anecdote or an inspirational story that is worth their time reading.  Truth is, between end of the year activities, changes in Mom's care, some issues with other loved ones, and a complete lack of inspiration due to all I have mentioned, I have stopped pressuring myself and refused to feel guilty for not posting daily as I have in the past. But I miss it.
There are many days that life gets to you, and tried and true ways of relieving stress come to the rescue. Sometimes, though, the rut one is in becomes a real depression....and it takes more than blogging to set my corner of the world right again.  There are just times where I realize that these days have all melded into YEARS of caring for Mom and her situation at the nursing home. That is not meant to be read as a complaint, just an observation of the reality.  Either way it has become a struggle.
Struggling to get up for school in the morning, struggling to make myself exercise and eat right, struggling to make the world right for students who have found it to be so wrong for them, struggling to be there for others when I feel no one is here for me, compounded by struggling to make myself take that daily walk through fumes from urine and excrement, and face the lined, sad faces of those forgotten by their loved ones.  Recently it's all been a struggle.
My woe-is-me, self-pity-party has me realizing I am facing some depression right now and need to step up and out in taking care of MYSELF for a change. This is one of the hardest things a mother and caregiver has to do. We are not wired to put ourselves first or take time from others to fulfill our own needs. BUT, it is much needed.  A necessity of life that can, for me, no longer be ignored.  Truth is, Mom could live to be 93 as did her own mother.  She is now 82.  I don't want to look back on the time I had with her and regret NOT seeing her frequently. I also don't want to look back at years of my own life lost to the oblivion of Alzheimer's that Mom is now facing....hers OR mine... should that be my life sentence.
For now, I am praying I reach June 17th with an element of style, compassion for my students, and a few marbles still intact.
I need summer. I have a book to write and a beach to visit.
A warm country hug to all,
Lisa <3

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Time Flies

As the school year winds down I find myself short on time to do the things I WANT to do, in favor of doing things I HAVE to do.  Not that the "have tos" are things I dislike. Picnics, parties, awards ceremonies. Tragically they all come with extra calories in the form of celebratory foods that have caused me to "find" about 7 pounds I thought I had misplaced back in the fall!
I have a student who struggles with never having enough time to complete the things that are important, surprisingly... including school work. We have put our heads together to find a workable solution to the fact that sometimes time just FLIES. It is a hard concept for a child living within the autism spectrum, but something that we are managing none the less.

Today I am the one who is struggling with the fact that time does indeed fly, and always when we need it most.  It also flies when you aren't looking and find a school year nearly behind you.
Sadly, I already anticipate summer vacation flying even faster, but for now will do my best to live in the moment and enjoy each passing minute.
I hope you do too.

A warm country hug to all,
Lisa <3