Wednesday, October 28, 2009

"she is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain..."

i'm babying my gym-sore muscles and keeping to my kitchen on this fog-blind rainy morning. it's my favorite sort of stay at home day - a rainy, grey, tuck yourself inside sort of day. i'm only home for the morning though. i'll be working a noon to niner because tonight i have book club. my favorite, no contest FAVORITE part of my job at the library. and this morning, in addition to finishing up the book we'll be discussing tonight - Shutter Island by Dennis LaHane (must use caps properly when referring to books and authors) - i'm working on our 2010 reading lists. i've got my titles narrowed down. rounding the bend to having it all wrapped up.

selecting titles for my two reading clubs is a task i'm uber serious about, hashing, rehashing, erasing, adding, scribbling notes on genre, place, characters, timing. and although so much work goes into it, this is a honest labor of love. crazy love. i'm certifiably nuts over books. always have been. the day i learned to read is pretty much paramount (to me, a bibiophile) to the day i took my first breath. i find life in books. stories. call me a bonafide book geek, cuz they're my number one hobby.

so as i finish up this process of honoring my "book club endorsement" to 22 titles that my 2 books clubs will pour through in the upcoming year, i do so with a big smile. a strong feeling of contentment and gratitude. for this grey morning (which if i were a better writer, i'd have a really cool metaphorical description of). my lists (something else i'm passionate about as a fervent reader - reading lists - and mine are the BEST in my humble opinion). a candle burning. a big fat mug of hot coffee. the cat lying next to me. and the thought of all those months ahead...sharing the joy of the story and of all the places we'll go together, my book club friends and i, on the wings of a book.

love from my kitchen on a tuesday morning,
"read, read, read."
william faulkner

Sunday, October 18, 2009

tuesday, october 27th...

i've been so frustrated with myself lately regarding my writing. through the course of a day there are so many things that inspire me to write, but for some reason those thoughts have a tough time making their way from my brain to the keyboard. i get all inspired, log on to blogger, start writing and then just sit and...well, just sit. not much more.

but today is different. i want to get this down quick, it's early in the morning. busy time for me, and for most everyone else too. getting the healthy lunch packed, cats fed, pouring coffee down my throat, getting my butt to the gym before the work day (sure fire stress buster-i'm back in the zone after a long hiatus). but today i wanted to make sure to get this one story down. this one thought.

yesterday while going through my morning paces (mentioned above) my brain was doing it's best to try to talk me out of going to the gym. i'm so glad i didn't listen. got to the gym, stowed away my bag, plugged into my ipod and got busy on the treadmill. as i was warming up i noticed larry, an old fella who's at the gym most every morning. health wise, larry's had some pretty close calls over the past couple of years. he keeps up with his exercise though. he and his wife. when i don't see him there for more than a few days in a row i get concerned that everything's okay with him.

this summer though, i haven't seen larry much. i've opted for outdoor exercise in the morning...walks in the woods, riding my bike, running, so i've been kind of scarce at the y. i'm back on track though and as usual, as i was climbing up on the treadmill yesterday i noticed larry, and of course i gave a wave and a smile. i didn't think too much of our exchange after that, just huffed and puffed my way through the first course of my workout. after 20 minutes i switched machines, again doing my best to talk myself through a few miles of running (without the benefit of a sunrise, the smell of the woods, the beauty all around me).

it was beauty of a different nature that took me by surprise as i made my way into mile two. as i saw larry approaching i disengaged my earplugs for a quick "hi larry, how're you today? it's good to see you!" this was his response back to me..."terri, i want you to know how much it means to me when you say hello to me every morning. it really makes my day. your bright smile, your energy...well, it really makes a difference to me in the morning. your friendliness and positive outlook really mean a lot to me and i wanted you to know that."

i'm not trying to engage my audience in loud applause, not writing this to give myself a hearty pat on the back. i will say though that i am a pretty positive person. almost annoyingly so. the reason i share this story is because i think it's important to remind ourselves of the affect we have on others without paying notice. it's funny how we don't even realize how a kind, heartfelt "hi, how are you" can be a real difference maker in someone's life, how our attitude - positive or otherwise might affect another. and furthermore, how infinitely important it is to pay mind to the fact that "an old fella at the gym" isn't just an old fella, but another heart, another soul to connect to if only with a simple smile and hello.

today is particularly significant with respect to what i'm speaking of. there was another instance, another person who touched my life in just such a way. a library patron with an enormous heart, a beautiful spirit, who really made a difference in my day whenever i saw her at the library. she always took the time to say hello, how are you doing my dear, how's your dad, your family, how's that grandson doing? through these casual exchanges we became friends - an unlikely friendship, her being in her seventies and me on the fun side of forty. in the course of our friendship, "my miss nancy bebarski" helped me through a very difficult time in my life.

my miss nancy moved away a couple of years ago. before she left we met for breakfast. one last time enjoying the company of one another. it was so hard to say goodbye that morning. actually, i don't think we even said it. we just hugged. a long hug. as i walked to my car i felt the tears come on, and before i drove off i sat and had a good cry. i think she did too. her car didn't leave the parking lot any quicker than mine did. we both knew that would be the last time we'd see each other.

my miss nancy bebarski is an angel in heaven now. i'll be attending her visitation later today, seeing her for the final time and wishing so much that i could hear her voice again, but feeling so blessed that i can still hear it in my mind. and i'll say to her, miss nancy? i just want you to know how much it meant to me to see you in the library. you always made my day. your beautiful smile. your gentle, caring way. your confidence in me. you really meant a lot to me, and i just wanted you to know that.

a lady. at my library. a relationship that began with a casual greeting but developing into so much more. you never know the impact your presence can make in the life of someone else. thank you larry. thanks miss nancy. you've "made" so many of my days.


Monday, October 12, 2009

turning corners, changing directions...

isn't this pic the coolest? i love it. it was taken on lake pepin in stockholm wisconsin on a recent visit. huz and i visited the most beautiful place i think i've ever seen. honestly, we both agreed that maui had nothing on this little hidden gem of a hamlet up in the mississippi river just a breath south of minnesota. we hit the road to escape the stress of a most uncertain reality, both in our personal, and also our professional lives. we needed to connect. with ourselves. with each other. since our visit, i feel myself coming back to life a bit. huz has a new direction on his life map - a new job, which he is very excited over. me too. we needed this. a new place. new faces. new opportunities and a new point of interest on the map that is our lives. this has been the happiest, scariest, sometimes saddest, most misunderstood summer of our married life. but we made it. us two. and now? we're feeling pretty good together. so excited for each other. huz with his new job (yay god - thanks to his blessings, and of course to good friends for pointing us toward new directions) me with my kick ass library job and my new granola gig. life's pretty good if you just give it a chance, you know?

this summer we've experienced some very trying times. but with a true and honest love, a firm foundation and blessings from above, we're sure to make it through. when i look at my husband, i see the future. and from where i stand, it looks pretty good. like the beach. at sunset. through the eyes of a child. innocence. trusting love. what more is there to life, when it all comes down to it? being there for each other. the way we promised to be, oh so long sickness and in health, in good times and in bad. you know the verse. and it's through the test of time that those words come to mean so much more...the promise of a lifetime.
wifely words of wisdom (and learning and growing each day)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


from my life as i knew it. seems like from my own self these days. just not there. somewhere else. wishing i could get back. not knowing which way out from what's keeping me from being "happy, sun-shiney" me. read this here friends, this is no call for sympathy or concern. i'm just weathering times right now that test the will, the strength, the ability to move forward and leave what's done behind me. we've all had times such as this, and i know i've said that before. here. and we all get through eventually, don't we? but despite that, it doesn't make a rough road much smoother, does it?

i've missed writing, but i've been kind of hiding out. keeping away, not sharing words that might give clue to the feelings i just can't express right now. i'm hopeful. always, i'm that. if there's one thing about me, it's that terminal positivity which makes me, well me i guess. it's there, somewhere. but right now i'm just doing. doing my best to recognize and give thanks for the blessings that come with each day. trying to see my way ahead of the uncertainty that lies before me. trying to convince myself that i can trust, believe, "move forward."

i'm writing tonight by request. someone i love very much has missed my words, and for that i'm touched and so grateful. hang in there with me, okay? it's just a time, like others and certainly not the last. trust. move forward. believe. be at peace. just words? or can i finally believe?

as i sit here and listen to the wind blowing change in all directions outside my window, i'm wondering where it will take me. i wish i could just grab onto a windy coat tail. ride away to destinations unknown. where winter is just another sunny day, no bone chilling days forcing me to stay hidden indoors.
a short story - life being stranger than fiction,