I Hugged A Stranger

[NoteOkay, so some of you got a little teaser of this post on Wednesday night.  Chalk that up to a blogging foul.  I really shouldn’t blog from either the iPad or after my bedtime.  Clearly it doesn’t work too well.]

BabyFace and I were walking back to the house from the mailbox when we were flagged down by a stranger on her cell phone.  Not in a frantic way, but in a “hey, I have something to tell you” kind of way.  She quickly wrapped up her conversation as she crossed the street, clearly heading in our direction.  There was a slight hesitation before she gave us a great big smile.

“I used to live in your house.”

[Awkward moment of silence.]

I tried to recall tidbits of information from the offer process, closing and short conversations with the new neighbors.  But the evening isn’t the best time of day for my tired brain. What I do know about the previous owners is that they moved out of state and were unable to be at the closing.  So I never had the chance to meet them.


I’m holding several days worth of mail and trying to keep track of BabyFace, who is roaming around my legs.  I stretch out my arm to shake her hand.  She returns the gesture.  Then, as only two women can do, we exchange looks and hug each other.

[Kids: don’t hug strangers.]

She tells me stories about the trees the planted in the backyard.  One for each of their daughters when they were born.  And the big pine tree up front was a housing warming gift from her brother.  I get to ask her where exactly they hung the towels, given there are no towel rods or hook anywhere near the shower.  [Turns out he threw his over the shower door and she hung her’s on what I assumed was the robe hook by the toilet.]  She warns me to never use harsh cleaners on the bathroom marble because even toothpaste can eat through it and they had it replaced three times.  I finally get to ask how they decorated around the adorable white picket fence in Marshmellow’s room.  And I get to tell her that the blue room now has a surfboard theme.

“Would you like to come inside?”

[Kids: don’t invite strangers into your house.]

Her eyes follow the driveway up to the house with a look of intimidation, followed by sadness, and more hesitation.

“Maybe next time.”

They are in town to move her mother-in-law into assisted living and don’t have enough time as it is.

Then we continue talking.  She’s been working on a scrapbook of sorts to give us about the house.  She wanted to give it to us at the closing, but something came up at the last minute.  Somehow I’m telling her that I just got a Cricut.  She has one too!  In fact, she personally cut out the saying found on the family room wall: LIFE IS A JOURNEY.  She cut it out of vinyl with the special blade.  Who knew?  She gives me a few Cricut tips, which I’ve pretty much already forgotten.

We stood outside for at least twenty minutes chatting.  I love Sally.  They built this house and planned to grow old in it.  Until a job moved them to Texas.  We plan on raising our children here and growing old here.  I’m not moving to Texas.

I feel better knowing how much love was in this house before us.  I hope she has some comfort knowing that love continues to be here and that I appreciate all of her attention to detail.  I could see us being really great friends.  Too bad she lives in Texas.

*Sally is a fictitious name.  But the story is real.



I’m Not In Charge of That – A Life Rule

In the spirit of the true randomness that will become of this blog, I thought I would post on a random life rule.  Not one of those mush life rules…like “Do unto others as you would have them unto you”.  [That’s the Golden Rule, silly.]  But more of a little life mantra to get you through your day.  Or that one craptastic moment in your day.

Perhaps I will never build a true readership if I can’t pick a topic and go with it.  But I’m just not that kind of gal.  I’m scatterbrained.  Sometimes I can be witty and thoughtful…other times I can be just plain crazy.  Okay, I’m always a little crazy.  But crazy can be entertaining, right?

If you think I should never, ever write something like this again, please let me know.  I don’t have to word dump everything on that comes in and out of my head.  I mean I don’t, because that might scare you off forever.  My goal is to only make you wonder.  [enter winky face here]

So here I go…I’m Not In Charge of That – A Life Rule

After my dad had his “episode”, my parents took a class on how to manage stress.  Wait, that makes it sound like he went crazy.  Rewind–after my dad had a heart attack, my parents took a class on how to manage stress.  [That’s better.]  One of the things that they took away was the saying “I’m not in charge of that.”

As in, I’m not in charge of the fact that BillyBob in cubicle 342B can’t get his work done and shows up in my cubicle to help finish it up at 4:57pm.  I’m sure the point is you shouldn’t take on the stress and worry over things you can’t control anyway.

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I try to remember I’m NOT in charge of THAT.

But it doesn’t always work out so well for me.

Sometimes I take control of things that I wasn’t involved with in the first place.  I’ve been told that I’m an overachiever like that.  I’m sure they really thinking I’m a control-freak and are just too nice to say that to my face. But immediately start bad mouthing me when I walk away.  I get it.  I really am a control-freak.  And an overachiever.  And a perfectionist.  Now try telling me I’m not in charge of that.

Sometimes I go bat-sh!t-crazy over the weather.  No, seriously.  It was when planning one of my daughter’s birthday parties when I realized I might actually be crazy.  My first clue should have been the fact that I invited her entire preschool class to the outdoor party.  All 25 of them!  And then the forecast showed rain.  And it did rain.  And it was cold.  And I freaked out.  It was super craptastic.  [The party was moved to the garage and we all survived.]

But sometimes I am able to step back and say, “I”m not in charge of that.”  And things still work out okay.  Even if it’s not the way I would have done it.  Or it’s not the exact outcome I wanted.

Sometimes it’s worth it to walk away and say I’m Not In Charge of That.

You should try it out.