Tuesday, July 18, 2017

My Feet in That Moment.

I climbed a mountain on Saturday. A literal mountain, not some sort of figurative challenge to overcome. Joe and I went to Stone Mountain in Georgia. Joe is a really outdoorsy person, and I am ... well, less so, but the weather was really nice in the evening, and we decided to give this a go.

There are a couple of trails you can take, but Joe doesn't like them because they are crowded, so we took the road less traveled that Joe is very familiar with. Now, Stone Mountain is granite, so the possibility of it being slippery is high. Also, the path we took was steep and definitely presented a challenge, at least for me.



While climbing, I realized I was spending most of my time looking down. It felt safer to me, to keep my eyes on where I was, making sure I didn't trip over anything or miss a step. It occurred to me that so often we get advice about keeping our eyes on our goal or looking ahead. But in this case, if I had kept my eyes on my goal (the top of the mountain) all I would have seen was the steep terrain -- the major challenge -- between me and the top. However, keeping my eyes on where I was allowed me to stay in that moment, to tackle my goal a little bit at a time, to not get overwhelmed by all I had to do. And I feel that there is a lesson in that. God tells us in Matthew, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

Keeping my eyes on where my feet were in that moment allowed me to accomplish what I needed to accomplish in that moment. I didn't worry about how I was going to make it to the top, I just concentrated on taking the step I needed right then.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Sally the Camel

I found out last night that I have betrothed myself to a man who has never heard the song "Sally the Camel."

...... what?

I mean, I guess, show of hands -- who's never heard of "Sally the Camel"?

It got me to thinking about the many things that might be regional (Joe grew up in Michigan ... is "Sally the Camel" not a thing there?) or generational, which is why people don't know them. For example, I do not think "Sally the Camel" is generational because Joe is only six months younger than I, and also I'm pretty sure that my sister Emma who is 10 years younger knows the song. (Right, Emma?)


But I do know that there are a lot of things that my sister Erin, only two years younger, and I are obsessed with remembering that Emma really doesn't know much/anything about. I have always been fascinated by this because Emma and I share the same parents, we're siblings, but we're far apart in age enough that we're of different generations.

For example, if I asked Erin what TV shows she remembers loving from childhood, I'm pretty sure that Jem and She-Ra would top the list. However, if you asked Emma, she might say Barney, and I'm sure some other things I don't remember because I was 14 when Emma was the same age I was watching Jem. Erin and I had Popples and Tamagotchis and Lady Lovely Locks. We remember when we first pulled out that Nintendo gun to go duck hunting and when McDonald's Happy Meal toys looked like this. Joe actually has a working Nintendo 64 and pulled it out the other day so we could play Mario Kart. He told me it looks even more outdated on newer TVs, and it did! But obviously we both remember when Mario Kart was the newest thing on the block.

But "Sally the Camel," really, though?

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Instabook

Last night I had a dream I went to the library. I was checking out books by Jane Austen.

So, yes, I'm pretty much dreaming about things I'm actually doing during the day. :)

If you, too, are someone literally dreaming about going to the library, and if you are an obsessive list maker like I am, then have I got an app for you! Now, I'm sure I'm forever late on this, and you might already know about it, but I sure didn't. So in case you're late on this like I seem to be, I thought I'd tell you all about ...

Litsy!

The short version is, Litsy is like Instagram for books. You can find people to follow to get recommendations, and you can also share reviews, blurbs, and quotes* from books like you like or are reading. Perhaps most fun, you can share the books you are reading, track the books you've read (your own personal reading log!), and keep a list of books you'd like to read. I decided to list the books I've read this summer since coming to Georgia (12), and Litsy informed me that I've read 3,792 pages this summer. Cool!

 *And you know I'm all about that!

You can keep track of the books you've read. (These are some I've read since the start of this summer.)

Litsy will keep track of the number of books you've read and also let you know how many pages that is. 


You can share reviews, blurbs about, and quotes from the books you read. 

I believe the Litsy app is available for both Apple and Android phones, so get to it!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Kiara, Tiffany, and Sabrina

It was finally sunny and warm today after days and days of clouds and storms and rain (thank YOU Tropical Storm Cindy), so I finally got to head to the pool.



I went around 11:30, and at the time I was going in, there was this young woman (mom? nanny?) and a little girl walking in the pool.

This would not be, of course, at all unusual, except for the fact that they were dragging in an inflatable unicorn.

I kid you not.

I have NEVER in my life seen a pool floaty this large and in charge. So,  of course, I did what any normal person would do, and I snapped a couple of discreet photos because someone else I knew other than I had to see this. Naturally, I texted these photos to two people: first, Colleen, because, well it's Colleen, and the second, Joe, because he needs to know the kinds of animals that live in his neighborhood.

#gladyskravitzneighborhoodwatch

Please look at this thing.




Right? RIGHT?!?

It took all I had to not get in it, especially because that poor thing seemed to spend most of its time at the pool floating around with no passengers. (As Colleen said, "Where is its owner?")

The little girl to whom the unicorn belonged was soon joined by two other little girl friends. The pool is not large and not crowded, so I could hear most everything the little girls were saying, and they really made me smile. From what I could hear, the little girls' names were Alexis, Ashlyn, and Caroline. However, every time Alexis would say, "Ashlyn!" Ashlyn would reply, "My name is Kiara!"

I definitely smiled to myself, remembering the days when we were all young and wished to have "prettier" names than we have. Names like Tiffany and Sabrina. You do you, Kiara.


Combined with the fact that the radio was playing songs by such artists as En Vogue, the Fuguees, and Mariah Carey, it all made for a pretty great day at the pool. :)

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Small World.

Yesterday I visited a Walmart in Cumming, Georgia (where Joe lives). As I got out of my car and was heading to the entrance, I heard a man say, "What part of West Virginia are you from?"

"Huntington," of course I answered.

"That's where I'm from!" he said.

"Really?!?" I said.

YEP.

He told me he graduated from Huntington High School. I told him I did too!

He asked me what I was doing in Georgia, and I explained about Joe. Then he asked me if I liked it here.

It was a really nice conversation.

I really think that there is nothing people from West Virginia like more than meeting other people from West Virginia. :)

Just a little bit of home away from home.




Monday, June 19, 2017

Different State, Same Anna.

This has all happened before, and now it's all happening again. 


Welcome, summer. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Love With No Place To Go.

I have so many wonderful things going on in my life now -- it's summertime, I'm getting married, I get to see Joe for most of the summer -- but, for some reason, I have been really down the past few weeks. I have been short with people. I have been sad. I have been really stressed. I haven't had any energy or been excited about anything.

I really couldn't figure out why.

And then it hit me.

It's grief. I'm still grieving.

I read this article, and it really helped me. Several key things that stood out are
  • Behavioral responses are widely varied and may include wanting to sleep with the departed companion’s toys or blankets, avoiding sleeping in the bed you shared with your pet, being unable to remove his possessions, continuing a routine as if your companion were still alive, a compulsion to memorialize your pet
  • Instead of remembering all we contributed in love and quality to our friend’s life, we focus on self-criticism and condemnation – the time we were too tired for one last walk, the time the demands of life left our sentient being with little attention, the time we went on a vacation or journey and could not bring our friend ... Even those who devoted all to their animal’s life and health can experience devastating guilt. We ruminate about our failures to be the perfect steward, conduct a harsh retrospective of our worthiness to have such a devoted companion and find ourselves lacking. 
  • You will mourn in proportion to the quality (not necessarily the length) and the significance of your relationship. Those whose animal friends were their only source of companionship may find it very difficult to move on. 
  • After your companion has died you may imagine another course of treatment, another day, an earlier intervention, would have changed the outcome. You would usually be wrong. Often our recollection of those final moments is hazy with grief and we may minimize or forget the reasons that led to this merciful conclusion.  You may feel your decision was premature or that you waited too long ... You may therefore assign the guilt for the loss to yourself instead of the illness or event which truly took the life of your pet.
  • The end of the animal’s life may seem like a final ending to your own and exacerbate clinical depression.
  • Choose to recall the entire movie of your life together and not just the snapshot of its ending. Death does not represent the totality of any relationship, but requires us to transform a physically present relationship to its spiritual counterpart.
I have been crying a lot, and nights are the hardest. I think the combination of being tired at the end of a long day and being alone cause the nights to be almost unbearable at times. 

I don't mean to keep talking about Snicks's loss all the time, but that's really almost all of what's on my mind right now. (Please see bullet point one.) I know things will get easier as time goes on, but I'm still right in the thick of grief right now. 

I saw something today on Facebook (shared by KLOVE) that spurred me to write this post. Everyone has experienced some sort of grief in life, and these words just hit me as being so, so true:


"Grief is just love with no place to go."

That's EXACTLY how I feel. I have so much love, but Snicks isn't here to receive it, so it has no place to go. 

I look at puppies and dogs (but not rabbits, I can't look at the rabbits) on the internet all the time (in fact, I feel like I've seen NOTHING on Facebook lately but lost/in need of adoption/about to be euthanized dogs, puppies, cats, and kittens, but maybe that's just because I'm extra sensitive right now), and I want to go adopt about 11 of them. But I know that now is not the time, and getting a new pet is a big decision that I have to prayerfully consider. I'm fortunate because Joe has a wonderful dog, Asha, with whom I get to spend the summer, so my love will have some place to go for awhile. 

Again, I wish this blog wasn't all sadness lately. I, too, miss the days of the funny student story posts. And the cute rabbit photos too. :) We'll get back there. We will.