Tough as Woodpecker Lips

Annah Elizabeth4 Comments

Laugh with me, Journeyer!
It is 8:29 on this Sunday morning and, for those of you who follow these weekly posts, you know what’s coming…
We are on the road, AGAIN…
Another nine to ten hours of driving today, this time to take Beauty back to college.
As I looked through this week’s photos, the experiences seemed so far away.
Given the fact that we’ve covered so many miles over these past seven days, I guess those happy moments were that distant.
Time seems to warp when our lives are crazy busy, when we’re juggling children and work and phone upgrades and paying bills and washing laundry and watering plants and feeding people and pets and walking ourselves and our animals and trying to keep relationships going…
“Tough as woodpecker lips.”
Though I can’t recall the context, I haven’t forgotten what that gold old southern boy gym owner said during last weekend’s seminar.
“What exactly does that mean?” I asked.
“I’m not really sure, but you can imagine how tough they must be,” he replied.
That’s what comes to mind this week, Journeyer!
We are all as tough as woodpecker lips, because that sort of strength is what it takes to survive life, sometimes.
My cyber friend, Angela Schmoll of The Reluctant Grandmother comes to mind right now.
Today is the one year anniversary of the last day she saw her son in the flesh, the last time she hugged him, the last time she got to tell him, in person, that she loves him.
Today is also the one year mark since she hosted a granddaughter’s birthday party, the event that brought the family together.
Today, as she celebrates the growth and boundless joy of one child, she grieves the end of another life and mourns the incessant turmoil that contributed to that demise.
All I can say is that we do have to be as tough as woodpecker lips when life presents us with such extremes.
Join me Journeyer, in holding space for Angela, for all of us who might be facing such complexity.
And let us remember that always, always in the midst of chaos and uncertainty there are moments that feed our happy organ, instances that make us smile, warm our heart, give us a sense of peace, or present us with closure…
Moments like these simple pleasures from my hectic week…
The Hampton Inn’s fun little welcoming gestures that remind us of simpler, more relaxing times…
In the elevators…

In the hallways…

I loved walking the beautiful LSUS campus one last time, strolling down these arbor-ed walkways and listening to the song of the cicadas…


My mama’s heart swelled with pride as Fave’s friends and neighbors and peers talked to us about how much they’d miss him, about the wonderful role model he’s been for their own little ones…


…when he talked about how much fun he had decorating for Halloween and entertaining the neighborhood children…


I loved listening to Fave and his roommate, an underprivileged youth mentor, delight in how excited the group was going to be with all of the donations he was leaving to them…

I was so happy to be able to say goodbye to many of these people who have become like family these past four years…

This quote taped to the gym door certainly talks about how striving for new heights is like being tough as woodpecker lips…

Speaking of closure, I enjoyed seeing Fave’s enthusiasm as we made final visits to some favorite stomping grounds…

…visited a few places he’d wanted to see but had never gotten to…

Isn’t this sexy?
The “little fella,” a blue-tailed Skink that Fave rescued from inside the boot store


…and I loved the wonder in his voice as he pointed to this glorious “sendoff sunset”…

…and I loved sharing in his excitement when he spotted his first armadillo…

Rounding out the week was Beauty’s twentieth birthday gathering…

…taking her back to college (photo to come)…
And school shopping and lunch with Big Guy (who didn’t want his face in the photo)…

These are the moments that carried me through a very tough week, Journeyer, one in where I definitely had to be as tough as woodpecker lips…
What about you? What instances brought you joy or peace or happiness?
Until next time, yours in healing, hope, and happiness.

    ~AE

4 Comments on “Tough as Woodpecker Lips”

  1. What a lovely week! I guess I’ll have to toughen my lips up for when my time comes. Mine are entering grade 4 and 1 this year, and it’s just over a week until I have to go to work and put Bae in daycare. Must squeeze as much fun as I can into the next two weeks!! Thanks for the reminder!!

    1. Hi, Liv! I’m guessing it feels like a big surprise sending one to daycare, one into the perceived official start of school, 1st grade!… And 4th grade?! Though I enjoy something about the many stages of the different ages, 1 & 4 have always been some of my favorite grades!

      The world is opening up to those 7 yr-olds and tends to be so full of wonder and self-independence, and then those lovely 4th graders…who are more self-sufficient, yet still full of wonder and awe and love for the adults in their lives–in between the needy stage and that first breaking away one…

      Enjoy these next few days, but that said, know that you have an exciting year ahead of you!

      Always a pleasure bumping into you! Thanks for being here. 🙂

      ~AE

  2. I only faltered once during the party. I looked at my parents and had the thought that they were missing something, and I realized it was someone and that someone was my son, who thanks to his addiction had been deprived of a license again when I saw him last. Because I’d braced myself, I shook it off and went on, happy with little girls in princess dresses playing with Switch N’ Go Dinos. Thank you for keeping me in your thoughts and prayers, because I know that helped as well.

    1. I’m glad you were able to find enjoyment in those princess dresses, Angela! And, might I add that I don’t consider your reflections on what & who were missing from that day to be a falter of any kind. You are entitled to grieve when and where and how you need to, just as you are entitled to live and laugh and love during your period of grief…

      Somehow I get the feeling that you honor that balance very well…

      Hugs, Friend!

      ~AE

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