Here We Are.

“Well here we are”, said Mom as we drove out of the driveway on Monday morning at 5am.

“What does that mean?”, chortled Dee from the back seat. Hysteria set in. I should have gone to the bathroom one more time before getting behind the wheel. We were on our way to Kentucky to see Mom’s sisters.

To say it was a command performance negates the fact that the 3 of us get along beautifully, but performance it was. Mom wanted to go and we wanted to be with her. Northerners, (in our family) have to perform for the Southerners at times. More like we need to prove the Northern relatives aren’t a bunch of dimwits, and power comes in numbers.

We have a hard time sitting and talking but we appreciate good stores and good food. Southern stores, Southern food.

We had our roles to play. Mom was the Big Sister (BS). Dee was the advisor (A). I was the driver (D).

The Advisor bucked up the Big Sister and the Driver spoke when spoken to.

“You are the BS, you call the shots”, reminded A.

“Wait…does that mean I get to call the shots with you?” asked D.

“Turn left for the mall”, said BS and A.

Funny how short that conversation was.

When the discussion got political,

“Not going there”, said A.

“Preaching to the choir”, added D.

“I wonder if it was wise to bring the girls”, thought BS.

“You are going to take off that awful jean jacket before we go to the party aren’t you?”, asked Sister T.

D nodded and wondered if her dress, without the jacket, would make her look fat. (Yup.)

A smirked.

BS ignored it all.

“I want chicken for dinner “, announced A.

“Not KFC I hope”, said the Southerner.

“Of course not”, said A, D and BS.

Luckily our cuz suggested a place started by the Colonel’s ex-partner. His contribution to the secret recipe may have included cooking the chicken until it was bone dry but it sure was good.

BS showed a sense of humor, diplomacy and kindness throughout.

A exhibited an uncanny ability to set up challenges. “Hey D, how many times can you include the word kale into the conversation”.

D focused on not having anxiety attacks while driving on 4 lane highway cloverleafs.

BS and D equate their ability to keep relatively calm due to yoga. A got it from osmosis. (Power in numbers.)

So what if you have nothing to talk about besides your children or kale?

So what if your outfit isn’t quite right?

So what if your dinner isn’t up to snuff?

So what if your flight gets cancelled and you are stuck at the Philadelphia airport?

Things happen and then then they are over.

Life is funny, I mean really funny.

When you take a moment to analyze impatience, insults, or irritation, you can always find humor.

Would you rather laugh or cry?

Here we are, but not forever.

Make the most of every moment.

Namaste- our Southern relatives are AOK!

hush puppies

I’m Proud to be a Vermonter.

Gratitude is a big theme in yoga studios during November. It’s a reminder not only to give thanks but to savor feelings of contentment. Be proud, happy and grateful for the simplest things, everyday things, not just nailing a headstand.

Dee and I ran into the local firewood man at Rumney’s store.

“I’ve moved the car. Plenty of room so anytime you’re ready”, she says.

“I’ll be by next week or so. It’s the same wood your sister is getting. Some green.” he warns.

I’m grateful and a little bit proud that the wood man knows we don’t need seasoned wood to keep the stove going, by the Jesus . I’m also grateful we are on the delivery list without me hounding HoneyBun.

“Wait. It’s hunting season. You sure you mean next week?”, I ask.

“More’n likely in a couple” he grins.

Mom and I are at Gaudette’s Dress Shop. As Mom takes the clothes to the the register, I slide my wallet back into my pocket because (conveniently) I notice a sleek, retriever type dog, out the window in the middle of the road, oblivious to the traffic driving around it.

As pedestrians look on curiously and drivers look on impatiently, a woman at the cross walk tries to call the pooch over. She’s ignored because the lingering scent of squashed squirrels is much more interesting.

I see a long rope attached to it’s leash. I walk on to the road without concern. Who would dare honk or drive into me. I step on the end, limiting the dog’s movement, and start roping it in. For a moment I feel like I’m the main act at a rodeo. Disappointingly no one cheers or applauds except for the mailman woman.

Moments later a woman walks down from one of the last hidden hamlets of Old Manchester with two other dogs in tow.

“She’s with me! I hoped there would be a Vermonter down here who wouldn’t be afraid to catch a dog on a Goll Dern leash.”

The owner may have been grateful but probably not as much as me. She called me brave… sort of. Coming from a multi-generational Vermonter, the comment meant something.

The Discount Beverage Store is one of the only stores open on Thanksgiving. This I know because two years ago there was no celery in Mom’s icebox for the stuffing. The DB isn’t know for it’s vegetable department but they did have a deli. Fingers crossed.

The owner started working there when he was 10 years old, obviously a native.

He gave me a whole head of celery, no charge. That’s one for the books. Neither Mom nor I will forget it by God.

Gratitude is a never-ending story, a stream of conscious and unconscious connections.

I’m grateful to to buy wood, to build a fire, to have a home, to feel brave, to save a dog, to accept a compliment, to give a compliment, to have food, to take a chance, to support local business, to have a Mom who buys me an outfit, to read, to write, to have a family, to have friends who help fix the roof, to be a proud Vermonter.

I’m grateful that the practice of yoga reminds me to be thankful at all times. Jesum Crow, I am thankful I didn’t look at my watch one time during class today. I’m just glad to be here.

Namaste- a little gratitude goes a long way.