Thursday, June 28, 2012

Red And Yellow

I don't need a new mechanic after all.  Monday morning my car overheated while I was running errands.  That led to a trip to a garage near my daughter's house.  The news was that Lily May had blown her head gasket and there is other work that needs to be done soon.  I had her towed to my daughter's, and Monday night we did an online search to see what was available for 2012 Outbacks. There aren't many left in the state, but there was a red one at the dealership where I wanted to do business when the time was right ~ which turned out to be last night ~    

Her name is Annabella and she is the nicest car I've ever owned.  Now I feel safe driving more than two hours from home, and I will have reliable transportation for whatever job I find for the fall.  She intimidates me a bit, but I made my first run through the drive-up at Dairy Queen tonight, and I think we will become good friends ~

In other news I've had six phone calls with my investment advisor and two trips to the local office to keep my account current.  In between managing financial matters and car shopping, my daughter and I spent five days decluttering and organizing.  Today I painted her kitchen the color of golden honey ~

It will be another early day tomorrow.  The guy who bought Loretta the Legacy [alive and well and living in Boston] has bought Lily May and will have her towed to his garage.  I like to think he will get her running again and find her a new owner, too. There's painting to finish in the kitchen and many things to do before we leave for California on Monday....The days are just packed!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

What's Different

I would not call myself an early morning person. I never have been and I never thought I would be. However, something has changed and I am ready to start the day earlier than seems reasonable. I posted on Facebook that I am worried because 6:30 a.m. now feels like sleeping in.

It's true that there is a lot to do. School has been out for ten days and, due to circumstances beyond my control, I am working with a new financial advisor and looking for a new auto mechanic.

The jury is still out on whether or not I will stay with the investment firm I researched and personally selected - the second in four years where the woman I worked with has moved on. The problem is that I have my own ideas about where I want to invest and the men I've tried to work with are not interested in what I think. Their first question is always, Do you have money invested elsewhere? Yes I do, in my education and in the education of my children. Women look at my financial and personal history and say, Your investment is in your children. So I may pack up my proverbial bag and follow Meghan to her new firm, where at least I know I will be heard. I need to move quickly because I have some money to move by July 1.

I don't have the luxury of time with car maintenance, either. In the last eight weeks I stopped in unannounced a couple times to the repair shop I have trusted for five years. Something was amiss. Since January the cars have been disappearing from their lot and mechanics have been disappearing from the garage. The last time I stopped in to have my battery checked and a headlight replaced I was the only customer in sight and Andrew asked me to pay in cash. I don't carry cash, so he asked me to drop it off later in the week. No one answered the phone that Friday; I stopped to put the money in the key drop on Saturday to find the owner repairing a garage door. Unprompted he started spinning the story that business has been slow because people don't have work done on their cars in the spring. Last week I called to schedule an oil change, only to get an answering machine. We stopped by the shop on Friday to find everything closed up tight and the sign gone. A friend recommended her mechanic, who changed my oil and fixed a rattle I've had for a year, so that may work out.

Changes, always dealing with changes. The words "embrace the changes" came to mind last night on the way home from my daughter's house. I am helping her paint her kitchen. Any big job like that requires days of prep work before you get to the fun of painting. One thing has led to another and now three rooms are involved in the renovation. We are rearranging cupboards and creating storage solutions for most of the downstairs. It's fun to meet the challenge of the job together.

It makes sense that my days are starting earlier than ever. It has been a long time since I have had so many things to take care of and so much to look forward to.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Glimpses Of Seattle

The campus of University of Washington ~

Travis in front of More Hall, where he had most of his classes ~

Still on campus, a view of the sound ~

Shopping in downtown Seattle ~

Lowell's Restaurant at Pike Place Market for Saturday lunch ~

Sidewalk inlay outside of Pike Place Market ~

The Tallboys playing in front of the very first Starbucks, 1971 ~

The Bullitt Center, the greenest commercial building in the world ~

Seattle's working waterfront ~

Sunday breakfast at Alaskan Sourdough Bakery ~

Music for celebration provided by a string quartet ~

Light compliments of sunshine through stained glass ~

Happy graduate and proud mom ~

Good-bye Seattle...until July ~

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

All I Ever Wanted

I got home from Seattle last night, tired but happy.

I was back at school today, where things went fine in my absence. I tied up all loose ends before I left for Seattle, so all that's left is a day and a half with students and finishing up end of the year paperwork, inventory, and room cleaning. When I walk out of the building Thursday afternoon I will be ready to start my summer!

The weekend in Seattle was a gift... time with my son and the chance for him to show me the city where he has made his home. He packed two bags, moved across the country, and earned a graduate degree all on his own.

I could not be more proud.

Tonight I am savoring the memories.

The graduation ceremony on Sunday was held in a hall that used to be a church. I sat there marveling at the stained glass windows, content and totally present in the moment. I thought, this is all I ever wanted, for my children to follow their dreams. I thought, this is all I hoped for, that my children be happy, healthy, and independent.

Gratitude filled my heart.

I have everything I ever wanted.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Seattle: I Have Arrived

I was awake at 2:30 am and waited for the coffee maker to click on before I got out of bed. I was on the way to the airport by 3:30, which seemed unnecessarily early until I saw the line at airport security suddenly get long as I was going through the screening. A TSA official said that the later than usual start meant that people would be rushing to catch their planes, and he was right. While I sat waiting for my flight to board I heard a half dozen names called over the intercom as doors to planes were being closed for departure. Shortly after each announcement I watched people appear at one end of the terminal to make a run for the designated gate. It was worth losing a few minutes sleep to not have to endure the stress of running late. I had a three-hour layover in NY. Then it was back in the air for six hours before a safe landing in Seattle. A thirteen-hour day of travel: long and tiring. A visit to a city I've never seen: exhilarating. A hug from my youngest son: priceless.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

On A [Bed] Roll

The king-sized bed arrived early... with the wrong slats.  I knew when they were delivered that they were too short, but they were the only slats on the truck.  We kept them and I placed a call to the store.  The salesperson thought it was a problem with the company, which was closed down for a week either side of Memorial Day.  Long sigh.  Then a call came a few days later that in fact our bed slats had been left in error at another house in another town, and we had their slats.  It took a few days to get things switched around, but we finally had all the right pieces to the bed but no mattress.  So off we went one evening to pick out a mattress [no need for a box spring with a platform bed], and it was delivered last Friday.  Happy sigh.  I love the new bed.  We've always wanted a bed made of cherry.  The walnut stained spindles perfectly match the dresser~ 

And the bookcase, which was salvaged by my mom from a neighbor's give-away pile 36 years ago and our first real piece of furniture~

Ta da ~

I have slept great the last four nights and greeted each morning without a stiff neck or sore back.  Sometimes making a change is just the right thing to do.