challenges, mental health

A Tragedy

It was spooky season. Fall in the air. Football on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It’s fall y’all. In the south fall is intertwined with football, cheerleading and tailgates. Fall is fun with friends this time of year. Sometimes too much fun. Sometimes the fun clouds our judgement.

This spooky season tragedy hit too close to home. A beautiful girl. A kind spirit. A smile to light up the room. A friend to many. A good one gone too soon. A community left distraught. So much lost in an instant. One who will never make it to graduation. Such a loss for her family and friends.

One decision ended in tragedy. One momentary lapse in judgment. We all have them but many don’t understand that choices can have devastating consequences. This hits less than a year after another young life was lost in the same community. Different circumstances yet same outcome. A young life was lost. Just barely 16.

Some of the same kids are dealing with grief again. The same school system shocked. The same counselors rallying to support the young lives dealing with the chaos. Social media memory reals. So much to process. All the while life is expected to go on uninterrupted for many. Sadness lurks. Loss is ever so present. Death is not kind.

As you read this post, think of those you love. Cherish the moments. The memories. Take the pictures. Save the voicemails. Record the giggles. Don’t wait. Tomorrow may be too late. Also be aware of how loss lurks and impacts those around you. Check in on others often. Do your part. Ask questions. Be ready to listen and share in the burden of pain.

Make time for others. Choose empathy over sympathy. Be present with those who need support. Remind young lives of the importance of safety in and around vehicles. Seatbelt priorities. Number of kids in one vehicle. Driver experience. The list goes on and on.

Be cautious around holidays when many celebrations take place. Being alert on the roadways can be a life saver. Parents make sure your kids have lifelines to reach out to in case of an emergency. Consider location tracking even if your teen feels it’s a violation of their privacy. Keep communications open.

High school.

College.

Young adulthood.

It’s all the same for parents. A parent will always worry. It’s because just one tragedy could be their life sentence without their loved one. One day at a time is all we really have. Live your life to the fullest. Every day.

Pray for the community, family and friends of this young girl. Now and in the future. Sadness is hovering on my home front. It tears me up but only time can help feelings settle. A new normal. All I can do is support and help process the loss. Not an easy task with a teen.

anonymous letters

Speed Bumps

This post is definitely going to fall into the random category. I’m not sure what else I would classify speed bumps under, but for today I’m hoping you enjoy the random topic.

I suppose my speed bump story started about 9 months ago. A random black wire or cord was draped across the road near my home. Clueless me had no idea what it was but it did look like a power line draped across the road. I can’t recall who I mentioned it to but I was informed it was a speed survey. Low and behold there was a small sign the other way down the road that I never would have seen confirming the speed study.

I didn’t care too much about this event as there are plenty who speed down my road but I was just keeping to myself. Then a petition came. It was for approval of speed bumps, speed humps or speed tables. Again didn’t think much about it, but it was approved. There may be 20 houses on my street and only a percentage had to say yes.

Why is this a big deal? Taxes! Those twenty houses pay for the bill of installing and maintenance. Not the four neighborhoods with hundreds of homes that exit onto the street, just the 20 houses. The bill was $35,000.00 and the amount is spread out over time. Not such a big deal but I would have rather had the option to spend my extra money elsewhere. Such is life.

The installation was messy. It took several days this summer. The project was done as far as speed humps but the signage wasn’t up yet alerting drivers. Well, we had a car go in a ditch. We had motorcycles jumping the speed humps. The list goes on and on. The safety concerns created by the installation that was to make the roadway safe. 

A few of my favorite after installation fun facts are:

Everyone avoids the speed humps by driving around them into people’s yards leaving the most horrendous tire tracks. Oh how mad my neighbor was since he just sodded the area that butts up to the road.

The family that asked for the speed bumps is an older couple. They vacation in Florida 8-9 months out of the year. This means they haven’t even been in town to see the mess they created.

And my favorite is the husband and wife duo that holds their hand over horn while going over the speed humps every day. Every trip. Every time they go over the speed bumps. As if this does anything other than annoy the people who live there. 6 am the guy goes to work. How do I know? Every day like clockwork he holds his hand on the horn as my dogs try to enjoy their morning pee session. I shake my head every time thinking how miserable is this person?

Just a random topic. A rant for you to giggle at. An observation post. For some reason I never really thought about speed bumps until they ended up on my street. I didn’t know there was a process for installing them on your street. I didn’t know why humps or bumps or tables were chosen. I just didn’t notice because it never crossed my path or mattered to me.

Hoping safety prevails in the tale of the speed bumps. Hoping a motorcyclist doesn’t crash in my front lawn after jumping the bump. Hoping the guy and his wife picks up a new habit soon of honking their horn elsewhere.

In today’s crazy world I’m just adding the speed bump story to your day for shits and giggles I suppose.

celebrations, hustle

The List of 49

In 2022 I will hit the big 5-0 birthday. Will I be successful at 49 and blah at 50? It could happen or it could be my perception. I’m pretty sure I’ve written about this coming of age in many ways over the past few years. The now is finally here. I’m in the 60-day approach window. A panic time of sorts.

Did I accomplish enough by the time I’m 50? Did I cram too much in as I near 50?  Will the lingering pandemic ruin my big 50 bash? So many questions in my mind. There is obviously no guidebook for hitting 50 or maybe there is and I didn’t read it! In lieu of a fancy book, I’m going for the condensed blog version. Snippets of my fabulous life. The list of 49 idea is in motion or technically has been in motion for years.

As some of you readers may know, each year I write a New Year’s list of sorts. It’s normally in January and dedicated to that month in time. I love re-reading these lists (just 31 days) in upcoming years. This year is special to me thus I opted for a list twist.
This year the list will expand to a recap with a few highlights from the vault to round out my 49 list. It’s dedicated to some things I celebrate or remember over those 49 years or maybe it’s just random facts for those who don’t know me well. The list may seem odd to some but intriguing to others. Without further ado, below you will find my list of 49. In no particular order and each has a longer story but of course you just get the highlights.

  1. I was born of course and had a wonderful childhood. I lived in one family home with married parents and siblings. This in itself can be an oddity based on current day.
  2. I went to public school.
  3. I was a tomboy.
  4. I ziplined.
  5. I traveled internationally. More than once.
  6. I’ve traveled to many states but I haven’t been to Washington state, Hawaii, Oregon, North or South Dakota, Michigan, Wyoming, Nebraska, and Wisconsin.
  7. I’ve built businesses from scratch.
  8. I’ve sold or dismantled businesses.
  9. I’ve operated a franchise/multi-units.
  10. I’ve been snow skiing and water skiing.
  11. I’ve wakeboarded, knee-boarded and wake surfed. I prefer water sports.
  12. I’ve ridden a horse in many states and abroad.
  13. I bought a tiny home.
  14. I went snowmobiling and it was fun.
  15. I built a glamping site.
  16. I have many great friends and love meeting new people.
  17. I’ve driven a mini van but I’m more of an SUV girl.
  18. I like vintage cars, muscle cars and basically any ride on wheels with flair.
  19. I’ve ridden on a motorcycle but can’t drive one.
  20. I like and use recreational vehicles such as a jet ski, four wheeler, boat, camper, and dirt bike.
  21. I like soft blankets.
  22. I’m an author.
  23. I’ve played whirly ball, kickball, wiffle ball, and tennis which also has a ball.
  24. I played hockey and like to skate in boy’s skates. The black hockey-style skates.
  25. I enjoy CrossFit.
  26. I have a shoe collection, car fetish, and I am a hair fanatic.
  27. I’m a loyal Starbucks customer.
  28. I like pizza. I like it a lot. Not sauce so much.
  29. I have tattoos and will get more.
  30. I grew up in the north but love living in the south.
  31. I’m looking forward to 2022 and all the year has to offer.
  32. I think gas is expensive.
  33. I have learned a lot about who I am and keep toxic people at bay. This is a requirement for life balance.
  34. I like outdoor activities.
  35. I like temperatures in the 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit over cold.
  36. I am looking to do 50 new things in 2022. Never done by me that is.
  37. I’ve lived in four states.
  38. I’ve lived through a pandemic. Something I never planned for and somehow it keeps resurfacing!
  39. Betty White just died just shy of 100. A true golden girl. Gonna miss that icon.
  40. I’ve held true to my mantra of looking for sunshine in the shittiest of situations.
  41. I played Topgolf and really suck at it.
  42. I’m due for some fresh ink to celebrate 50.
  43. I’ve hit the height as a woman-owned business that many dream of but never achieve. 
  44. I bought a farm and grow things which was never on my bucket list per se.
  45. I focus on learning each day, week, month without question.
  46. I like freshly baked homemade cookies.
  47. I can’t cure stupid no matter how much I try and I may give up after trying for so long.
  48. I don’t like wearing masks. Thanks Covid for an experience I never wished for.
  49. I like blue raspberry slush puppies.

Well there you have my random list of 49. A new list about me to help ring in my upcoming birthday. I’m sure some will giggle when they read this but it’s a true recollection of me at random points in my years lived. Not all-encompassing but tidbits for those who want to get to know me. My life on the web, unveiled. Wink to the one who inspired my thoughts herein.

adventure

Hitting the Road

I’m about to hit the road for many short trips over the next few months. I plan to take it all in. The views. The time away. The experiences. The people I will meet. 

I feel fortunate to get up and go. Some destinations are more exciting than others this year but I’m just happy to be on the move. Looking ahead to new destinations. Time with friends and family. I don’t care if the car rides are annoying or long. I will be making memories.

I will document some of my destinations or the ones that I feel have merit for a post. I know I have one escape on the water in a tiny house with breathtaking views and great star gazing from a skylight. I won’t share every detail which means I will selfishly keep some adventures to myself. 

I’m on the road to 50. As I approach that milestone I want to see more, do more and explore more. Near and far. I want to stretch myself. I don’t want ordinary. I want once in lifetime experiences.

Some travel may include a hotel. Some may include an excursion. Others might be a one-of-a-kind stay. One might be all about the the play time. Blue skies, sunshine and adventures are on my horizon.

Off I go.

dare to be different

Blu

Blu was her name.

She was born in 1965.

She has lived many life stories.

She has had many adventures.

She has a solid core.

She has traveled many miles.

She is ready for new stories.

She ready for new adventures.

She will travel many more miles with me.

Blu is new to me.

Blu is a 1965 Chevy Stepside C10! She is a little weathered but she has aged with grace. She is the oldest car I have ever owned. She is a beautiful shade of powder blue. She is ready to hit the road or the show.

Her last job had her as a photo prop for many families looking for a cute photo setting. I guess the photographer has moved on to a new backdrop. Her loss is my gain. Now Blu is on to bigger and brighter adventures with me.

My first ride with Blu: I had the windows down. Air flowing through the cab as the engine purred. The oversized steering wheel was a blast to use. It somehow just made the ride complete. No need for the radio as I was listening to all the new sounds of the vehicle. 

I rode by the waterfront. Then traveled the back roads. I hit the speed bumps. I idled at the traffic lights. With each traffic stop,  I had some conversations with those admiring her beauty and badassery. It made me giggle a bit but inside I was beaming with pride.

Oh the memories I will make with this vintage vehicle. Definitely checked an item off the bucket list with this purchase.

Beep and wave if you see Blu on the road.