the ups and downs of life

Archive for the tag “Home”

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.



Home. Nostalgia. I think of You Can’t Go Home Again by Thomas Wolfe. Can you? Is home ever the same?

It seems I only go home for death and funerals. I had a trip planned with my ex where we were going to visit my family for fun. Instead, this weekend I am going home because of my sick aunt. I am very worried about her and sad. It brings up a lot of memories.

I haven’t been home in several years. I haven’t had the money or time off from work. Now I do.I need to go. I think I need it not only for my aunt but for me. I need to clear my clouded head. I need to feel love and support from my family. I need those familiar people who know what a screw up I am but love me anyway. Those people who will hug me and laugh and cry with me at the same time. Who understand my tears. I have so many. I am a crier and they know it. I can cry on a dime. They know I’m a tender-heart and admonish me for it but know it is who I am. They know all of my hurts and know that I’m scarred and blemished and that is what makes me Amy. And I can’t help it.

I need home right now. My heart needs it. My head needs it. My soul needs it.

I think that while everything will always change, home will always be home.

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.



National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day

A peanut butter and jelly sandwich, made with ...

A peanut butter and jelly sandwich, made with Skippy peanut butter and Welch's grape jelly on white bread. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yum! National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day! What a great day! Such a classic. This is probably the first sandwich you ever fixed for yourself. It is a great food memory for most.

I love PB&J. So delicious. I think I could probably eat this for at least one meal 5 out of 7 days a week. Easy. I typically use jam instead of jelly. It’s only because it’s strawberry and jelly is smoother and jam has more whole fruit in it that has been jellied. You still get the same result. Yummy goodness! I do like other flavors, too. Grape and apple are good. But strawberry jam is my absolute favorite.

Now lemme warn you, though, that I am picky about my PB&J. I do not like my jelly to permeate my bread and make it sticky and soggy. Ewww! No. I put a thin layer of peanut butter on the two pieces of bread in order to protect my bread. Then I put my jam/jelly and then it is ready to go. I prefer it on white bread, but this can vary. I don’t have to have the crusts cut off unless they’re super thick and way too chewy. I like a cold glass of milk with my sandwich.

These sandwiches take me right back to a happy food memory. It’s a happy childhood time. And usually after having one I need my naptime! Does PB&J conjure up food memories for you?

Couponing Is A Uniting Force

It is amazing how years ago people would turn up their noses at using coupons and today it is a cool thing to do. People try to outdo others on saving. There are shows about Extreme Couponing. There are even crimes being committed where people steal Sunday newspapers in order to get coupon inserts. Coupons are hot!

Coupons are also a way to unite people. You can get to know people well by sharing tips and good deals using coupons. It is a great way to start up a conversation. The reason I bring this up is that is what happened to me this morning. I ran into a mom and her son at the local grocery store this morning. I usually stop on the way home from work because it is easier for me and the store is less crowded. Somehow this lady and I started chatting and we talked about coupons and saving money. She is new to coupons and is interested in learning so I told her to hit me up on Facebook and I’d give her all my info. It was such a pleasant exchange. Someone else spoke my language!

I have been using coupons since I was 13. My parents didn’t make me. I just loved saving money. I lived in the country so I had to get Daddy to drive me to “town” so I could use my coupons and he would indulge me and do it. He didn’t laugh too much when he saw my savings. He thought was I was doing was pretty interesting.

There are so many websites dedicated to coupons and saving money. One of my favorites is because they give great deals for all the stores throughout the South. Basically it is one-stop “shopping” for good deals. I also love my friends on Facebook because they tell about good deals and how to get them. Very helpful!

I don’t do extreme couponing. There is just me and the 2 cats and we don’t need 50 gazillion of anything. But if I find a great deal on products we do use and I can afford it, I stock up!

So unite with fellow couponers! You will not only enjoy great conversation but you might also get to share coupons. Love twofers!

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