Heating Things Up & Slowing Them Down

Annah Elizabeth2 Comments

Phew! Is it ever hot and muggy on this Tennessee morning!
Though I knew it was wishful thinking, I hoped that those dark clouds blowing in last night would have brought with them a little cooler air.
Um, no.
This morning’s air is stifling, muggy like a swamp.
As I walked across the parking lot, wiling my mind to think about this post, all I could think about was how freaking hot it was, how gummy my skin felt at the end of the long day in a sweatbox gym yesterday.
It’s seven-thirty and the morning and it’s already heating up.
Though that will be one of this week’s last Happy Moments, it’s a great way to start. Titles and words and wondering how we’re ever going to string them together to make some sort of sense are like our best friends and worst enemies.
And aren’t we in our glory when those thoughts pop into our head?
Could those Moments be the creatively genius sprites Liz Gilbert says we all have access to?
If you haven’t seen her TEDTalk about our universal brilliance, it’s a must see.
Thanks to Madame Liz, I’m feeling happily brilliant this morning!
That expression about things heating up is relevant in so many ways, Journeyer.
As you know, we are definitely warming our tires and burning up the highways as we make the roughly three thousand miles trip to help our son relocate from Shreveport to Charlotte.
The landscapes thus far are spectacular and scenery changes provide a fresh look at an otherwise ordinary life.

Imagine this gloriousness if your view wasn’t filtered through a bug stained windshield!

Fortunately for Fave and Warren and I, our seven day marathon trip is being broken up into several components.
Warren and I have been working feverishly in preparing to leave, so we welcomed our nice first respite.
We made a stop in my hometown of Raleigh, where six of our family members were able to join us for dinner.
Thanks to Yelp, I found this fabulous place called The Poppyseed Market.

According to our delightful waitress, Emily, the restaurant began in one small room and then took over two contiguous spaces as it grew. The owner named the establishment after her grandfather, whom she called “Poppy.”
Our delightful waitress! Look at those dimples she inherited from her mom!
Sign over the Kitchen Door
If you’re ever in the Raleigh are, this place is an absolute must for great ambiance, local brews, and food that is unparalleled, whether it be a sandwich…

…an authentic Philly Cheesesteak…

…beet salad…

…or the most scrumptious North Carolina raised Butternut Squash lasagna…

I’m drooling just remembering how each bite of that deliciousness tasted…
Following that meal, we popped in to see my dad and stepmom; they weren’t supposed to be in town but ended up canceling their trips due to a health issue. No matter how brief the visit is, spending time with family is always a good time.
Heck, and I say this jokingly and with all the love in the world, but sometimes with families brief is even better.
And when you have a sis who stays up all night with her partner preparing a delicious send off breakfast, life just gets better and better.

The second leg of this trip is broken up by a training seminar that Hubby and Son are putting on in Tennessee.
For any of you Crossfit enthusiasts, this magnificent building has everything you need to heat up those muscles and maximize your workout.
I, myself, don’t like sweat running down my bra or my back, or dripping from my forehead for that matter!
I guess you could say I’m a little bit spoiled since all of my exercise growing up was either in or near a pool.
The thirty people I’ve been watching and photographing these past two days certainly don’t seem to mind a sweaty body, but then, they do come prepared with gallon jugs of water and sweat rags and appropriate clothing.

Hmmmm…I wonder if there’s something out there that would disguise the tomato red flushing that comes with strenuous exercise and makes my face look like a salad topping…
Guess that’s another problem for a different day!
Speaking of this group, they have been one of my week’s fondest, happiest memories.
In a few short hours a number of them have become like a part of our big extended family; they are warm and generous and interested and totally interesting people, people who aren’t afraid to share their stories and their lives and their vulnerabilities.
That sounds weird, right, that these strong, athletic individuals would be vulnerable? But aren’t we all that way when we are first leaning something new? When we are tackling something we’ve never done before?
The smiles on their faces as they set new personal records and learned something they didn’t previously know or the excitement they exhibit when something they didn’t quite understand before coming to this seminar suddenly makes complete and total sense…all of those Moments have fed my happy, Journeyer.
Isn’t it great how happiness spreads like that?
Other moments that made me smile include the boxes of donations I delivered to the Salvation Army and the chocolate chip cookies I made for Big Guy and Beauty before leaving home, sort of like sweet forget-me-nots.

I delivered a few of these treats and a card to an elderly, widowed neighbor who would be undergoing surgery to remove a segment of her cancerous bladder in two short days.
And I dropped off a few to the auto body guy who is ready to repaint Zee! I am so excited about this first phase of restoring this little car to her glory days. And there’s nothing like buttering up the guy who’s going to paint your car.
Talking about sweet, there’s nothing like spunky and playful ten-week old kittens to brighten your day. The young couple Fave is staying with rescued these felines from the dumpster in their apartment complex.
The sight and scent of these fresh blooms was a welcome reprieve when we stopped for a potty break after so many long hours in the car.

And then there’s this little bit of bittersweet joy…
Bessy, named after the handle my grandpa gave his automobiles, has safely transported our family all over these United States for more than seven years.

Though her exterior is starting to rust from years of New York’s salted winter roadways, her heart still chugs along…
Fave commented numerous times over the seven hour trek from Charlotte to Tennessee about how comfortable the seats were.
Happy happens, Journeyer, whether it be sitting on a comfy chair inside a 2004 minivan, staring at the landscape around us, waking from a good night’s sleep, or in the conversations we have with others.
That said, I’ve even had a few delightful (some might say delusional) exchanges with myself.
One other glorious side effect of this trip lies in the fact that Warren and I have a break from the heavy conversations we’ve been having since beginning therapy.
That sort of work is equally necessary, exhausting, and frustrating, for there is always tension and trauma when we have to revisit our old painful stories.
Who knows, maybe this little diversion, this bit of slowing those discussions will heat things up in an entirely different context.
What about you, Journeyer? What sorts of events or Moments heated up your joy this past week? I’d love it if you’d share any or all of them here!
Yours in healing, hope, and happiness.


2 Comments on “Heating Things Up & Slowing Them Down”

  1. Catching up on your travels and all I can say is better you than me! Even if you have been near my terrain and will be settling your Fave a couple of hour south of me. Probably heading up good ole I-77 on your way home from there and, once you get clear of the Charlotte traffic, it’s not a bad drive. Be sure and roll up the windows as you roll past the Dobson exit sign, there’s a hog farm to the right and chicken farms along the way as well. And when you’re heading up the mountain, look off and see Pilot Mountain rising from the piedmont, the patchwork of tobacco farms and homes scattered around it — it’s a glorious view so I hope you don’t do it on a foggy morning. We’ll be close in geography as well as spirit. Happy trails.

  2. Ah, Angela, wish I’d caught up on my correspondence before I made it home! That view sounds like something I would have enjoyed. Not sure which route we took, I just followed Daphne’s (that’s our GPS) directions. But, thankfully, our windows were up the entire trip because it was so bloody hot, so if I passed those stinky farms I didn’t notice!

    Will likely be making more trips to Charlotte to see my son, so I’ll have to remember I-77. 🙂

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