{Weekend Wrap-up} Last Weekend in February?

The last weekend in February. Wow; just...WOW. This has not been a good month at all. It can only get better, right? 
CH & I kicked off the weekend with a Mardi Gras celebration at church. The Knights of Columbus do a bang-up job with any celebration they hold. We sat with a couple we didn't know, and some friends of theirs joined us. We left early; CH was tired and I had to get up early on Saturday.
Saturday morning, I went to a nearby church for a Women's Conference. The sister who spoke was young, funny, and really brought the story of Martha & Mary to life.  We attended Mass before the conference began. The church is fairly new, being built in 2008. I loved that it was built in the style of old churches. Just beautiful!
We went to Mass Saturday evening, because we thought the mass intention was for my daddy. As it turns out, someone in the office made a mistake, because the mass was said for a man on the 30th anniversary of his death. Oh, well. It was a little awkward when we both were in the Narthex of the church, ready to take up the gifts. 
That left Sunday morning open. We lazed around, then went down to Daddy's house & moved a few things. I spent the rest of the afternoon moving some things around to get ready when some other pieces of furniture are ready to be moved. Here's a bookcase my father made in its new home:
OH! I almost forgot! We booked our campsite for next year. Looks like we'll be spending New Year's Eve in Panama City Beach again. This time, we'll be waterfront. It's not The Keys, but it's a lot closer & we don't have to go through Atlanta.
Ash Wednesday is this week. What are you doing to gear up for Lent?

Something's Fishy with the Hodgepodge

1. Have you ever been fishing? Did you catch a fish? If so did you keep it or throw it back? If you haven't been fishing is that something you'd like to try?
I'm sure I've been fishing more than once, but the last time I remember fishing was at my Uncle Ed's house in NC...I caught an eel. So, yeah, I'm not much of a fisherman.

Fish out of water, big fish in a small pond, living in a fishbowl, packed in like sardines, this is a fine kettle of fish, plenty of fish in the sea, fish or cut bait...which fishy phrase most recently applies to some area of your life?
Right now, I'm feeling a bit like a fish out of water. There are some parts of the day when I just feel like I'm floundering. I know it will get easier with time.

2. What's something you're always fishing for in your purse, wallet, desk, or kitchen junk drawer?
My keys.

3. Your favorite fish tale or movie?
The Little Mermaid.

4. Are you sunrise, daylight, twilight or night? Explain why you chose your answer.
Sunrise. I love to get up early in the morning before anyone else is up and have time to myself. That's when I write, read, and pray.

5. What's the oldest piece of clothing you own and still wear?
My SC speech shirt.

6. We've got one more month of (officially) winter here in the Northern hemisphere. Are you feeling the need for a getaway? What's been the best and worst part of your winter so far?
With the warm weather, I'm definitely feeling a need to go camping, but it won't be this weekend. The best part of winter: camping in Panama City Beach. The worst, well, if you'll look back to the last few posts, you'll see what it is.

7.  The Wednesday Hodgepodge lands on National Margarita Day...will you be celebrating? Frozen or on the rocks? Are you a Jimmy Buffet fan? If so, what's your favorite JB tune?
Hmmmm...sounds like I may need to participate! I'm not picky about it being on the rocks or frozen. I love Jimmy Buffet!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

It's been so crazy warm here...I noticed yesterday that the Bradford Pears are in bloom. The Jonquils are in full bloom, too. I just wonder if Mother Nature has a big surprise for us next month!

It's Another New Kind of Normal

I'm desperately trying to get into a "new normal" since my daddy's passing. After my mom passed away, people said that there would be times I would pick up the phone to call her and then remember. That never happened. I did, however, have thoughts like, "Oh! Mama would really like this", and then I'd remember, but I never actually picked up the phone.
After 2 years of seeing my daddy almost every weekday and sometimes on the weekend, it's weird leaving work and not going to his house. There were times when I was at his house when we hardly talked; there were also times when we both napped as we were watching tv. We watched Bonanza and Gunsmoke, or the news. We talked about things that were going on in the news and with my boys. Daddy wasn't a big talker, but when he talked, you listened. 
Now, my siblings & I have the task of looking through the house; 54 years of memories. Some of the memories have been tucked away so deep that when someone brings it up, it all comes flooding back. Seeing Christmas ornaments that were made or little trinkets in the house bring back forgotten memories. Some are more meaningful to different family members; it's nice that each of us have individual memories with the house and with our parents.
One of my sisters came down on Sat. as I was packing up some things from the house. Before she got there, I looked at a peculator on the counter. I could hear my mom's laughter, hear the dishes being rattled during Sunday brunch, and smell the coffee. When I walked to my parents' bathroom, I saw Daddy's shaving brush, and I remembered how he used to puff his cheek out when he used that brush to lather up his cheek when he shaved. And I lost it. 
As my siblings come to the house and carry off what they want from the house, treasures that mean something to them so they can keep a little piece of our parents with them, reality is settling in. They're gone. It's up to us to carry on the things that they taught us. 
At some point, there will be another family living in our house. I didn't think it would bother me, or rather, affect me, but it does. There are so many memories in that house, so many years of memories. My parents moved into the house when I was 9 months old, so it's the only house I remember until I was 22. 
Being at the house brings comfort to me right now. As things are taken out, there's an emptiness, but, OH, what memories! The slamming of the screen doors in summer, sledding across the street to come in through the basement, leaving our snow boots in the hallway in the winter. Playing bouncy-ball in the hallway of the basement and roller skating down there. Taking the phone receiver to the steps to the basement and sitting on those steps for what seemed like hours...because that was the only place there was a little bit of privacy (we only had 1 phone). The Christmases & Easters that were so hectic. (I have no idea how Mama managed to make them so special...she not only had us to take care of, but she also played the organ at multiple masses during those holidays.) 
I don't think that people have that anymore; we live in a more transient society. As a culture, we want bigger and more new things, so people often don't live in the same house all their lives. My boys didn't. 
Like it or not, a new phase of my life has begun. Time to be a "true" adult. Most, if not all, of us are beginning to look through our own houses to clear the way for our treasures, our own little pieces of our parents. It is such a privilege to be their daughter; we are so fortunate to have had them as long as we did. As I reflect on both of their passings, I realize that they both went just as they wanted: Mama's was quick and before Daddy, and Daddy wasn't alone...and he's with Mama now. 

{Wednesday Hodgepodge} I'm BAAAAAACK!

1. What's the last thing you did that someone else thought was super? 
Helped take care of my daddy. 

2. The last thing you ate that tasted superb? 
Italian Cream Cake. (YUUUUM!)

3. Supersensitive, superstitious, superwoman, superambitious, supercilious, supervisor, ...pick a super word from the list and tell us how it relates to your life in some way recently or currently. 
Superficial: Within the past few months, I've come to realize that there are a lot of things that are superficial. I'm finding the things that really matter in life and trying to not pay attention to those superficial things.

4. Do you love easily? If you're comfortable doing so, explain why you think that is. 
I think so. I don't think of myself as a "hater".

5. Valentine's Day lands on a Tuesday this year. Will you mark the day in some way? If you're celebrating with a dinner out somewhere will it be on Tuesday or will you celebrate over the weekend? 
I'm not a big Valentine's Day person. It's just a date on a calendar.

6. What's something you are loving right now? 
My siblings.

7 Write a three word (or less) phrase you'd like to see on a Valentine candy heart. 
I've got nothing to offer for this one. I do like those little candy hearts, though! 😉  

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 
If you follow me on FB, you know my father passed away last week. My siblings & I actually have had a pretty good time sitting around and talking about just about everything. Sunday night, with the visitation, reality started sinking in. As my siblings who live out of town start leaving, I'm afraid it's going to be even harder; especially as we settle into a "new normal" and a new routine. I was so fortunate to have such amazing parents. They weren't perfect, but, as one of my sisters said, there was no doubt that they loved each one of us.

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