We Interrupt This Program…

I’m so excited!  I’ve taken today day off as a vacation day, and in a couple of hours I’ll be leaving for a long weekend out of town to a few of my favorite places.  Downtown Ventura, Santa Barbara and Solvang.  There’s just something about breaking out of the normal routine, and heading out on an adventure that really fills my Joy Tank to overflowing.

 Ok…and it keeps me sane, too. ;-)  It’s times like these that I just want to dance around with my hands in the air, shouting, “Wooo WHoo!  I’m FREE!”

Anyway, I’ll be back late Sunday.  In the meantime, I’d like to say something about all of you that I’ve come to know here in Blogland.  Your presence in my life makes it that much richer and fuller.  Only someone who doesn’t ‘do this’, doesn’t understand the friendships, love and care that can develop for people whom you’ve never set eyes on.  But let me tell you – some of my closest relationships over the years have been with people I met via the Net.  We’ve never stood in each other’s physical presence, but we’ve shared our hearts…our fears…our successes and joys and heartbreaks with each other.  And THAT is what makes a ‘real’ relationship.

So as I traaalaaalaaaa off for my weekend out of town, just remember this:

YOU MATTER.  You make a difference in the world and – more importantly – in the lives of every single person you touch here in Blogland.  You matter and make a difference in my life.  I am very often completely floored by the wisdom, humor, creativity and REALNESS that you bring here to share.  I’ve laughed with you and at you :)  (in the BEST sort of way).  I’ve shed tears with you, and for you…and for me.  I’ve grown into a better person because of you.

And it doesn’t matter whether we ‘met’ yesterday or months ago.  I consider you a precious gift in my life and – if I could – I’d reach through this screen and give you the biggest hug, and smather kisses all over your cheeks.

Because in my own way – in our own way – I love you.

Have a wonderful Friday and a GREAT weekend.  Talk to you soon!

Peace….Your friend,

Grace

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Dreaming For Escape

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….”The Crystal Ball”, by John Waterhouse

I want a new life.

Not a completely new one….just a majorily overhauled one.  I really really really want a physical existance that supports and inhances my inner life.  I want to own my own home in a lovely natural setting.  I want time.  Time to create.  Time to rest.  Time to do all of the things that have been in my heart for so long.  Painting.  Writing.  Volunteering at the arboretum.  Homemaking.  Crafting.  Cooking.  Tending gardens and relationships and my spiritual life in a slower pace lifestyle that allows me to breathe.

Can I get real for a moment? At 50 years old, and after 30 years of doing it, hitting the commuter traffic every morning for some 9 to 5 desk job is getting old.  Neither of my divorces were from wealthy guys – so I didn’t take away any booty in the breakups. My body is really beginning to complain from being locked up at a computer all day.  I need to move!  Bodies were made to move! And more than just flinching and strentching and coffee-gathering.  Add two more hours a day making the commute (a frustratingly ridiculous short distance, really – only 12 miles each way) and ugh!

Southern California is a tough place to live when you’re a single gal, on a single income, trying to keep your head above water.  Studio apartments go for $1000 a month.   I stole my 3 bedroom, in today’s market.  But it still takes well over 50% of my paycheck just to put the roof over our heads.  Gas it snuggling up close to $3.00 a gallon.  You practically need a second job just to pay for some a/c usage during the 100 degree plus weather (it was over 90 here day before yesterday). 

Want to know what “faith” is?  It’s thinking I’ll ever be able to afford a house on my own here.  Even in the worst part of town, prices are ridiculous.  Foreclosures are hitting the market faster than you can say Multiple Listing Service….and the only people I know who are buying houses are those taking down huge salaries, or those that are minorities and qualify for special funding programs.  They don’t even need to be legal, in some cases.

So what’s a middle aged gal in the shrinking middle class to do, who wants freedom and financial security and TIME?

She begins writing. 

She begins writing about her fantasy life….what it will look like, what it will feel like and smell like.  She places herself as the main character, and allows her imagination to create that perfect life, as a perfect escape.  Maybe that character will own the quaint, exclusive B&B she’s always dreamed of.  Or the restaurant that serves only homemade breakfasts and lunches from ingredients purchased at the Farmer’s Market.  It will be a place where the patrons will know each others names from visiting so often to enjoy fresh, hot scones and herbal teas while surrounded by the work of local artisans.  Perhaps she’ll have that studio overlooking the ocean, or a hillside of trees, where she’ll put to canvas what’s in her heart, or put to paper that novel that’s been inside of her since 4th grade.  She’ll bask in the spring sunshine as she prepares her garden, hands thrust in rich warm earth that brings her pleasure at the deepest core of her being.  And in the Fall, she’ll harvest what she’s sown – the vegetables and flowers, the relationships and the inspiration.  She will love and be loved, and will flow through the seasons of Life with peace, joy, creativity and a warm generousity born of a grateful heart. 

I think I’ll name her Grace.