Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Greatest Childhood Ever.

The first 9 years of my life were spent on eight acres of wooded heaven along scenic highway 11.  My dad owned a pottery business selling ceramic pieces all over the Southeast.  He worked out of a studio that he built on our property.  We didn't make much money, but it just didn't matter.  

I had no idea of the financial struggles that my parents faced.  All I knew was that my Daddy was only a couple hundred feet away, all day long, if I ever needed him.  I realize now how rare a gift that is.  I had no idea of the worries that my Mom gave to Jesus every day.  All I knew was that she was there, baking bread from scratch and shaking "snow" (sugar) onto our Cream of Wheat in the mornings.

Not many people have their parents there, loving them, almost every single day of their young lives.  It isn't usually practical or possible for both parents to be at home, and thats fine.  Sure, we were dirt poor, (see photo) but we never went hungry and we had an eight-acre Eden, all our own, in which to play.  

My dad helped my brothers dig a Dirt Hide-out in the side of a hill complete with a dirt stairway and a slide for a quick getaway.  We had an abundant supply of summer blackberries and a creek that made for hours of childhood bliss.  My brothers and I would tromp through the woods all day long, pretending to be on grand adventures.  My poor Barbies usually ended up with dirt and twigs in their hair after trouping through the great outdoors.  If my Mom ever needed us, she would ring a big iron bell.

Most importantly, we had our Mama and Daddy there, loving us unconditionally.  Singing us to sleep every night and teaching us that "... our dear Heavenly Father, He loves us and He's holding us safe in His arms..." (from a lullaby that Daddy sang).    

I realize that my family and childhood is far from perfect - no one's is.  I'm just really thankful for the one that God gave to my brothers and me.

The picture was taken by a newspaper that wrote a story about my Dad's business.  Whenever my Mom sees this picture, she says "Oooooooh, wow... we look like refugees!!"  I look like someone just woke me up from a nap.  I still make that face when Jim wakes me up.    

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

USS Sara Thompson

So I Wikipedia-ed my name and lo and behold... I'm a naval ship.  No 'h' at the end of Sara or anything.  I've provided an easy access link to Wikipedia so you can promptly do the same.  You're welcome.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Let Us Sing Alleluia...

St. Augustine said,

"Let us sing alleluia here on earth, while we still live in anxiety, so that we may sing it one day in heaven in full security.... We shall have no enemies in heaven, we shall never lose a friend.  
God's praises are sung both there and here, but here they are sung in anxiety, there in security; here they are sung by those destined to die, there by those destined to live forever; 
here they are sung in hope, there in hope's fulfillment; 
here they are sung by wayfarers, there, by those living in their own country.  
So then.... let us sing now, not in order to enjoy a life of leisure, but in order to lighten our labors. You should sing as wayfarers do -- sing, but continue your journey ... Sing then, but keep going."

Monday, September 15, 2008

You May Not See It, But I Do...

I've thought many times that I've married a man that looks remarkably like my father.  I'm sure there are all kinds of psychological (or psychotic) reasons for this, but it really does freak me out sometimes.  These two pictures really don't capture it, but you get the idea.  

I grew up knowing my Dad in paint-and-clay-splattered jeans and a Hanes pocket tee.  When Jim worked as a painter this summer, he came home in the same attire.  It was almost too much.

Their personalities have many commonalities, but are mostly fairly different.  God has blessed me with a beautiful and healthy relationship with my Daddy and, well, I really have no words for how much love and adoration that I have for my husband.

Thank you, Daddy, for showing me how a man should love and cherish his woman.  And thank you, Jim, for putting that into action every day, selflessly and faithfully.        

Thank you, my Heavenly Father and the Lover of My Soul for being the fulfillment and true substance of these men here on earth.  They are but a shadow of who You are in relationship to me - as wonderful as they may be, they will fail and never come close to the fullness of You.  

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008

Oh man...

So I was browsing blogs and my friend Katie posted her 5 favorite things to do at the beach. The comment that I typed to her became a blog post in itself, so I figured I would go ahead and share. I'm longing to be at the beach and will eventually get there, come December when we go to West Palm... the days need to hurry up!! For you beach bunnies, here is a list of what I do at the beach:

1. sit all day in one of those short chairs right where the waves come up.... of course you have to move it as the tide comes in and out..

2. enjoy an "easy-read" women's novel (NOT a sleezy-read, mind you) while sitting in one of those short chairs.

3. when your hynie falls asleep, walk down to the pier and back, collecting shells and sand dollars..

4. when it gets too hot, float in the water - every once in a while, when you feel like it, body surf a wave

5. when you get hungry, head back to the condo/hotel room for a big sandwich, pringles, and cold crisp red grapes. (don't change out of your suit, of course)... quickly go back out to the beach...

6. when you get back to the beach, build a sand castle/mermaid/turtle/shark until you're exhausted and ready to..

7. take a nice shower, put clean clothes on and, with your loved ones and your boiling sunburn, go eat lots of seafood at an overpriced but delicious restaurant.... collapse into a coma of sleep

8. do it all over again the next day!

Only 99 days to go...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Cell Phone Challenged...

I am so grateful for my few and dear friends.  God's grace is abundant in community, and I'm eternally thankful for those that He has put into my life.  

If you happen to be one of these aforementioned friends, you know that it takes some patience to functionally BE my friend.  No, not that I'm hard to love - in fact, I've been told that I'm pretty easy to get along with.  However, when it comes to contacting me, via my cell phone... good luck.  

I carry my phone with me all the time and it's always fully charged but I seem to CONSTANTLY miss calls.  That wouldn't be so bad, but subsequently, I forget to return those missed calls.  I have it on silent most of the day since I'm in therapy sessions, but then forget to turn the volume back up... an endearing "quirk" that Jim just looooves.    

I'm also very subject to the awful, slippery cycle of "keeping in touch".  Let's say that my friend Susie and I run into each other.  We have a nice conversation and end it with a phone number exchange and a promise to have coffee together.  A week later I'll remember that I am to call her, but inevitably am in the middle of some other activity.  By the time I remember again, it's been a month and I dread calling because she'll know that I've forgotten about her and am a horrible friend.  At that point, I usually decide that too much time has passed and I don't even make the call.  

I have a handful of friends (you know who you are) that are so truthful and loving to me and will say, straight up, "Sara, it's time that you call me - you're not being a good friend."  Or (my favorite) "If I'm ever in AA, remind me not to pick you for my accountability call... ya won't pick up!!"

Yeah, it's funny, but at the same time it breaks my heart that I'm not more gregarious when it comes to phone relationships.  Is it that I'm subconsciously uncaring for my friends, or just really air-headed?  What's my deal??                    

Monday, September 8, 2008

Sunrift Adventures Has My Other Brother...

On Saturday, Jim and I went and helped at the big annual Sunrift sale.  It was from 9-6 and was the craziest, most exhausting fun that I've had in a while.  We arrived at 7:45 am, signed in, picked up our volunteer t-shirts and attended the information meeting.  I was placed bagging behind the register and Jim was a boat loader - Sunrift, of course, sold hundreds of kayaks and canoes on this one day.

I was really not prepared at ALL for what came next.  At exactly 9 am, the doors opened and at least 200 people flooded in, ready to get their better-than-the-day-after-Thanksgiving deals.  Everything from fleece jackets, shorts, sweaters, camping gear, shoes (about 400 pairs sold at the end of the day!) bikes, and other outdoor odds and ends were sold non-stop from 9 until about 1 pm - one long line that fed into 3 registers.  We bagged and tagged constantly and then it slowed down a bit.  If you haven't been, you definitely need to be there next year, the weekend after Labor Day.  You have to see it to believe it.         

I relay all of this information to you for the sole purpose of bragging about my brother.  Thats right, my oldest brother Matt is one of the big wigs at Sunrift (no matter what he says).  I was so proud to be his sister as all day long I heard from other workers and volunteers, "I'm not sure... ask Matt."  Or "I don't know... better clear it with Matt first."  It wasn't just me that saw it either.  At the end of the day, the owner Bo gave big thank-yous to everyone that helped out.  His exact words were, "This wouldn't have happened (i.e., the best sale yet) if it were not for Matt."  Matthew was able to land some prime commercial spots on TV for the sale, including during the Olympics.  

I'm just really glad that I could be there and appreciate what he does.  I simply had no idea.  Love you, Matty.    

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Birmingham Has My Brother

My brother Michael, Chez to me, and his wife Anna have just moved to Birmingham, Alabama.  They found an awesome loft apartment right downtown and everything we've heard sounds simply fantastic.  Anna is currently working as a behavior analyst, analyzing behaviors (oddly enough) of children with autism, at Glenwood Inc.  and Michael just got a job working at John's City Diner , an upscale, historical restaurant in downtown Birmingham.      

I love them both so much and can't wait to come be near them again!  It's hard sometimes to grow up and be far away from each other, but I'm so excited for the wonderful things they're doing... not to mention a really cool place to visit.