the ups and downs of life

Archive for the tag “alabama”

Long Time Gone

I was gone too long from home. Going back to Alabama this weekend was just what I needed. I cried so much this weekend but it was cathartic. Many of those tears were tears of joy.

I went home because my aunt almost died last Wednesday. She rallied and is better. She is still nowhere near 100%. She is very ill and she is elderly. It’s not good. But she was talking when I got there and she knew me. She was confused, though. She asked me was I still married. No. I have been divorced 16 years. She laughed and said good. We all laughed at that.You find the humor where you can. She said some funny things in her confusion which was also really sad. But you focus on the good of it.That’s all you can do in hard times.

I had lost all of my childhood pictures years ago and another aunt was generous enough to share hers with me. I cried like a baby. I have pictures of me with my parents and other family members that are so precious. It broke my heart and made me so overwhelmed and overjoyed at the same time. I made everyone cry because I just couldn’t stop crying at first. The first pictures I saw had me sobbing.

I saw cousins and aunts and an uncle I hadn’t seen in over a decade. I was blown away with how much love a heart can hold. It was amazing. I knew I loved them, but my heart was overflowing with love.

This morning I met with one of my oldest friends who I haven’t seen in 23 years. He is one of my biggest cheerleaders and the one of the very best men of my generation I have ever met. I’m glad to have him as my best male friend. We got to meet for a quick breakfast and the only change in him is that he has gotten wiser and kinder with age. He told me I was still pretty and I actually believed it for a minute. I hugged him today for the first time in forever and it was like a time machine. I didn’t want to let go. It was as if I had gone back in time and hadn’t made all of the stupid mistakes in life, still had all of the people in my life that I had lost and I felt loved and safe. Who would want to let that go? Unfortunately, I had to. And thankfully for him, I only teared up a little. I couldn’t watch him drive away or I would have burst into tears. I had already cried so much that I just couldn’t do it.

I hit the road and drove through my hometown of Huntsville, Alabama and just soaked it in. I thought about the what-ifs of never having left and all of that. I love that place. My heart ached as I drove east towards Chattanooga. But I kept driving. It was an easy drive. I was happy to see the signs for Asheville, North Carolina, though. I have missed my mountains and my precious cats. It was good to get home here but I do miss home there.

Praying I can make another trip this summer or fall. I need it.


Dear Santa

Letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

It’s Amy. This year was quite the year. I will not say I was an angel, but considering all I had to deal with I certainly wasn’t the devil I could have been. I mean, I had to deal with an obsessive-compulsive Lawn Mower Man/Weed Eater Man/Leaf Blower Man just about daily. Lack of sleep and just plain ol’ meanness nearly drove me to doing some pretty drastic measures. I didn’t put out the extra rocks that I considered. I also didn’t put clear forks in the lawn, tines up, to maim the mower. Yes, I admit the thought occurred but I was rational. I figured I would get evicted if I did it. See?! I was good AND showed restraint! That should count for something! Right?!?!

I also didn’t pitch fits at work at times when I wanted to. I was cussed at on the phones at times and called in at crazy hours. I didn’t get to go home to Alabama as planned because things at work changed. But I kept on working and sucked it up. I worked while sniffling, sneezing, running a fever, and feeling like someone had run me over. Shouldn’t that warrant some good favor?

So, Ho Ho, I would like some things this year and think I am deserving. I would like:

  • A vacation get-away somewhere warm and quiet, but with internet access
  • A new bed that feels like heaven when I climb in it
  • A new laptop
  • A nice age-appropriate woman for Lawn Mower Man/Weed Eater Man/Leaf Blower Man to keep him occupied and TIRED
  • A nice age-appropriate man for me that will make me laugh again and possibly keep me tired, too (wink-wink)
  • A cat tower for my girls because they deserve it
  • More money in my bank account
  • Spa day for me

I think upon review, you’ll find these things to be not so bad. I could have said, “Screw it!” But I didn’t! I have been pretty good for the majority of the year. Yeah, there were some slip ups and my mouth might need to be cleaned out a little, but it’s not as bad as it could be. Santa, don’t ya have it in your heart to help a middle aged chick out? I mean, honestly, in the last decade you have been slacking. I haven’t said anything but frankly enough is enough.



Things I DO Like

Ok, so yesterday I posted about things I do not like. I don’t want people to think I am completely negative. I’m not. I do have a quirky and sometimes slightly pessimistic side but I do like a  lot of things. So I will start a list for those as well. And as before, these are random and not ranked. They’re off the cuff and I may update as I go.

Things I do like:

  1. God. I love God more than anyone. He has sustained me through life when I thought I was going to die. When nobody else cared about me I had God. And I know some people will say that people cared about me but they didn’t show it so therefore I don’t feel they did. But God did. He talked to me and that is amazing in itself. He took time from taking care of the world to talk to me. Just a woman in Asheville, NC who needed some guidance. That is huge. He really has the whole world in His hands.
  2. My cats. Anyone who knows me knows this. They are my loves. They are silly and funny and make my heart smile.
  3. My computer. It allows me to keep in touch with the outside world and entertain myself. It is multi-functional.
  4. Friends. Real friends. Not fake ones or fair weather friends. Friends who are going to be there for you no matter what.
  5. Art. Looking at something beautiful speaks to my soul somehow. I don’t know how to describe what it does for my heart.
  6. Painting. I love to paint. It is therapeutic for me. It is a way to recreate something beautiful. I like to do landscapes and things so I try to capture the beauty of something that will change and keep it frozen so people can remember that image.
  7. Writing. Writing is cathartic for me. I used to be scared to write. What if someone didn’t like what I wrote? Know what? Who cares? I like what I write so I really don’t care if others do. I mean, I like when they do but I don’t care when they don’t. Does that make any kind of sense at all? Anyway, I like to write.
  8. The beach. I love the beach. I love it during the day. I love it at night. I love the sand between my toes. I love walking where the water is swirling around my ankles. I love the sounds.
  9. Pizza. Pizza is so versatile. It is a food that can be changed in so many ways and you can come up with so many varieties. I like variety.
  10. Driving. I like to sometimes drive with no destination. Just drive along and look at the scenery. It’s relaxing.
  11. Movies. I love to just watch movies sometimes. I like all kinds. I’m not just a chick flick kind of girl. I like action and drama and chick flicks too.
  12. Reading. I like a good book. I like to read chick lit as well as biographies.
  13. Thunderstorms. I love a thunderstorm where the thunder is this low rolling sound and it is soothing.
  14. Rain. I love rain. Some people complain about how it messes up their hair and stuff. Hair will dry. So I don’t care. I love rain especially when I am trying to sleep. It’s such a soothing sound and it makes me relax.
  15. Weight Watchers Frozen Yogurt Pops. These things are phenomenal. You can eat 2 and they’re only 120 calories! And 2 is a serving size! You can’t get much better than that.
  16. Crinkle cut french fries. There’s all kinds of fancy fries out there. I like good old-fashioned crinkle cut. They get crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. That’s how a fry should be.
  17. Soft cotton sheets. I love the feel of cotton sheets when they’re really soft. I don’t want silk or satin sheets. They feel kind of weird to me. But cotton for some reason feels so good and makes me want to wrap up and just not move.
  18. Socks that conform to my foot. I love those kind of socks. I don’t like baggy socks that twist and turn. That is a yucky feeling and annoys me.
  19. A clean house. I do like a clean house but you couldn’t tell it by looking at mine. I am not good at it and don’t like doing it. I need a maid.
  20. Flip flops. I think flip-flops are awesome. I like that I can just slip right in them and go.
  21. Smiles. I love when people smile. Not at the expense of others but just an innocent, casual smile. It is nice to see.
  22. People who are real. They don’t put on airs or try to impress. They are just who they are unapologetically. I love that. They’re the salt of the earth and would do whatever they could to help you. They love you for who you are and don’t try to make you fit their mold.
  23. Garlic mashed potatoes. These are so yummy and I could eat them daily.
  24. Chicken Marsala. I just thought of this because of the garlic mashed potatoes. I love this with them.
  25. Bubble baths. I love to just soak and relax in a hot tub full of bubbles.
  26. Hank Williams Jr. His music is fun and loud and he is who he is. And if  you don’t like Hank Williams you can kiss his ________.  🙂
  27. Concerts. Speaking of Hank, I love concerts! I have seen Hank 3 times so obviously I like his concerts. But I love music so I like going to concerts.
  28. Music. I like a lot of different music. It is a way to relate my mood to others. I can’t always figure out how to say how I feel. Yes, I know that sounds odd seeing how I love to write. But sometimes I get blocked and don’t know how to express what it is that I need or want to say.
  29. James Taylor. This is definitely not ranked because James Taylor is my favorite musician of all time. He has the most beautiful voice to me. It is such a sweet and pure sound. Lately it has been hard to listen to him because some of the songs remind me of my ex but I will get back to him. I love him too much to be without him.
  30. Kosher dill pickles. I don’t know how they differ from regular old dill pickles but it is amazing. Love em and could eat a whole jar.
  31. Good memories. I love sometimes sitting and thinking over old good memories. I sometimes get nostalgic and have to push these thoughts away because the memories can be good and bad. While they are good, they make me miss the people who I had them with.
  32. Sweet tea. I’m from the South and we drink sweet tea. I don’t like mine overly sweet but I do like some sugar. And you have to put the sugar in while it is hot or else it won’t blend. And I like Luzianne tea bags. Oh how I do like a nice glass of sweet tea!
  33. Massages. I don’t just like a massage; I love them. I have a hard time relaxing. Massages are a way to force my body to relax and it allows my mind to just shut down.
  34. Gain laundry detergent. I love the smell of Gain. It makes my clothes smell so good.
  35. Sleeping. I don’t sleep well and when I can sleep I love it. I like to just crawl in the bed and crash hard.
  36. Fires in a fireplace. It’s soothing and comforting as well as providing warmth.
  37. Snuggling. I don’t have anyone to snuggle with currently but I do like to. I like to feel close to someone.
  38. Being pampered. I can count on one hand the number of times I have been pampered. I would like for that to happen more often. it’s so nice and makes me feel truly cared for.
  39. Migun Beds. I wish I had one. These are massage beds that you can lay in and select certain numbers and that number will give you a specific type of massage. It helps align your back as well as provide a massage. It’s so nice.
  40. North Alabama BBQ. They know how to do it right and I do miss it! For the pork they use a vinegar based sauce that is heaven. And for chicken they use a white bbq sauce that is made from mayonnaise. Yummy!
  41. Ice cream. So many yummy flavors and nice and cold. Such a wonderful treat.
  42. Games. I love to play games with friends such as Scattergories. That is so much fun!
  43. Colgate foaming toothpaste. It really is great stuff. I like how it actually foams and makes my teeth feel cleaner. You have to watch it, though, because if you use too much you will look like you have rabies and are foaming at the mouth.
  44. Losing weight without trying. Don’t you love when that happens? It’s rare but I love when it happens!
  45. Compliments out of the blue. I like when someone says something nice to and about me out of the blue. It’s nice to hear something positive for a change.
  46. Doing random acts of kindness. One of my favorites is when I am downtown and have extra change on me and I see the meter maid coming and I start feeding the meter for people. 🙂 I love doing that!

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