August 9, 2015 § Leave a comment
It’s been so long since I’ve logged in here, it took a beat or two to remember my password. But truthfully I sometimes forget passwords to sites I log into everyday. There are so many to remember.
I have watched summer creep by mostly in a work-induced haze these past two months. In mid-May, 8 people at my company were laid off, creating quite the situation for those left without jobs and those of us left to continue to do the work. In our busiest season. When everyone takes vacation. And the deadlines I was responsible for doubled, or tripled. It has been no small miracle that books have still gotten to production on time and that, while it felt like it, I didn’t work any 50- or 60-hour weeks. Just a couple of 10-hour days. I am so proud to work with the people I work with. We all were in the same boat, and we helped each other row, or bail out, as the case required. We have laughed to keep from crying or pretended to politely ignore the tears.
I miss our coworker friends who have moved on, just about every day, and we all await news that they’ve all found new positions, which has been slow in coming. (Though just last week one of the designers did get a full-time job!) I am grateful to still have work, still have income, still be able to pay my rent. If previous jobs have taught me anything, I hope it’s to not let the stress build, to not “take it home with you,” and I think, praise God, I’ve been able to successfully do that lately. My mental state is unfettered by concerns about work when I leave, though my physical state may bear the toll of sitting at a computer for too long. Office-chair butt seems to develop overnight! I do feel tired most days and pretty drained in the brain and long for days that aren’t so go-go-go from moment to moment. Just this week, after two big book projects went to the printer, I felt a relief, that maybe a brief reprieve was coming. A glance at my upcoming schedules revealed that may not be the case, but at least the beginning of a book’s journey to print isn’t as intense as the final stages.
Thankfully, a long awaited trip to visit family in Portland, Oregon is upon us and from Thursday to Monday I’ll be traveling with my mom and Grannie to that beautiful city. I look forward to delicious eating, welcome relaxing, spur-of-the-moment exploring, and less sweating.
May 26, 2015 § Leave a comment
Weekends are great. Often, weekdays/nights can be too. A Wednesday surprises you with dinner with friends. You can take yourself to the early movie on Tuesday to get the cheap (a.k.a. normal priced) fountain drink. Sometimes you meet a friend for scones on Monday morning. But, weekends. The unfettered time stretching out before you as an actual oasis, not a mirage. Long weekends, that rare breed of 2 days+ to do your own bidding, are welcome indeed.
My mom and I drove to Huntsville this past weekend for many reasons: to see my cousin graduate high school, to visit my brother, to take my Grannie out to lunch for an early birthday outing, and just generally enjoy being out of the routine. Work and under-the-weatherness kept my dad at home, sadly, or we would’ve hiked something, to be sure. We stopped by the Huntsville Botanical Garden on Saturday to explore the Lego sculptures on display. I’m often bowled over by any form of artistic expression, and these Lego sculptures by Sean Kenney provoked the same reaction. Such time and attention to detail and planning these obviously took and patience working with Legos…which are tiny! There were lily pads, a rose, a dragonfly, a life-size gardener, a butterfly, a bison, and more. It was the kind of day so beautifully sunny and breezy that it eclipses all memory of days where the weather isn’t so fine. When we weren’t eating, we played Carcassonne and saw the second Avengers movie and slept in. Times like these remind me of when my brother and I were younger and lived at home and did things together all the time. Growing up and moving out are a natural progression of life, but I do find myself wistful for those days when all 4 of us were under the same roof. The wistfulness coexists with the gratefulness for such a family that desires to spend any amount of time together.
May 19, 2015 § 1 Comment
My mom and I used to plan weekends together, or just days where we’d do whatever we wanted together; we called them ‘girly days’. We’ve been to Louisiana and Franklin, TN to see plantations when I was in high school. We took a cooking class in Birmingham together. We spent a blissful few days in Asheville, touring the grand Biltmore estate after I graduated from college. We ventured to New York for my birthday one year to see a Jane Austen exhibit (me) and go to the top of the Empire State Building (mom…well, ok, me too). But, it’d been quite awhile since our last all-girls’ hangout fest.
Enter the Scott Antique Market. I’d heard of this place from friends and seen advertisements before. Mom had just recently been talking to a doctor at her work about it, and we schemed that we would go. It’s open the 2nd weekend of every month and May’s just happened to fall on Mother’s Day weekend. Couldn’t have worked out better if we planned it. We took our time driving the scenic route from my parents’ home in central-western Alabama, winding along back roads and through towns with no stoplights but picturesque old churches into Georgia and finally to the metropolis that is Atlanta. All day Saturday was reserved for the Market. The first building claimed us for the better part of the day, and I’m sure there was plenty we missed. (Especially at the 2nd building were there was a city of tents outside in the hot-hot sun.) There were some gorgeous, genuine antiques that were way out of even our dreaming price range. I had thought I might find some chairs for a dining table I’ve had since my first apartment alone, and that I’ll need now that my roommate is moving out and taking her table and chairs with her. I didn’t bank on it though. Come to find out, it was my mom’s sole motive for going. And, the stars aligned and we found some! According to the dealer, they are 100 years old. I’ll have to get a picture of them with the table.
After being fortified by Fellini’s pizza that night and breakfast at the Flying Biscuit Cafe the next morning, we added a vintage bookstore and a tour of the Margaret Mitchell House to our rambles before heading home. This time we took a shortcut called the interstate. Having such uninterrupted time with my mom was a blessing and reminded me of the importance of taking that time to spend with her. She is someone who always listens, gently advises, can’t work her phone, laughs like a seal, snores to wake the dead, and puts others above herself every chance she gets. She takes more delight in finding old books for my dad, chairs and an old map of Ireland for me than she does in looking for herself. (Though she did enjoy a bizarre dig through a table covered in brass jewelry ephemera once she caught a glimpse of a Santa motif she could turn into a pair of earrings.) The steadfast love of the Lord truly never ceases, and neither does my mom’s.