Motivation Saturday

Motivation Saturday

Yesterday was a lesson in motivation. My husband was up with the sun as I rolled over and decided to sleep in on a Saturday. Nothing planned. No place to be. It was heaven.

Sitting on the porch later with a cup of coffee and a perfectly toasted english muffin, I watched boats head out for the day. I thought of grabbing my laptop and writing a poem, but I was as lazy as the cat dozing in the sun.

Husband had an idea- why not go to the Jax Book Fest across the river at the library. Rather than taking a power walk, why not head across the bridge and explore?

Motivation to work up an appetite for lunch and maybe find a new book to read. I was up for the challenge.

This was the inaugural year of the book fest. Local authors-many genres represented: children’s lit, YA, romance, paranormal, non-fiction, and one book of poetry. I headed over to speak to the gentleman poet. His poetry was quirky but empowering. I walked away and later decided to go back and buy his slim volume. He was so grateful he autographed the book twice!

I spoke to a local newspaper columnist who has had national success with his book about a year exploring National Parks. Lassoing the Sun, by Mark Woods, weaves two stories- his sabbatical from the paper to spend a year at hand-picked parks to learn about them and the rangers who protect them, and about his mother who with Mark’s dad, taught him to love our national treasures by spending vacations at various parks.

I thanked Mark for visiting my place of work- a historic church on the St. Johns River as part of a newspaper series he recently completed- walking through Jacksonville. Our city is the largest in square footage in the U.S. but it is filled with beltways, highways but few sidewalks.

My question for him was- when are you going to write a book based on this series? He and I began talking about the time it takes to write a book, and the fear that there won’t be an interest in reading something you put your heart into. I assured him I know many people, myself included, who would love to read the whole series in book form. Blogging a book- he had never heard of such a thing! He agreed to give it serious thought. I walked away amazed that I had motivated a published author to keep writing!

As we walked down the grand staircase towards the exit, we spotted a mutual friend- a musician and author of three books published locally. As we caught up he turned to me and asked why he had not seen any poems lately on my blog. I explained that 2016 seemed to be a bad year for my writing, and my promise to begin 2017 writing more had fizzled as we geared up to move.

He told me my poems were good and that he always enjoyed them. He asked if I ever thought of publishing them. Of course I’ve thought about it fleetingly and then decided no one wants to read poetry, and about ten more excuses. He said, No excuses. Just do it. Pull them together and do it. And next year, you can have a table right next to mine. 

Motivation Saturday.

Just do it.




Dream Comes True

Wednesday evening I furiously packed the last few items in the house. In the darkness, I listened to the sounds of the house settling for the night. Surrounded by shadowy boxes, it was the last night in this house. Tomorrow I close this chapter, titled In Transition, begun ten years ago.

The moving truck arrived, and the cheerful workers carted out all the carefully packed boxes. Soon we were on our way, cars packed and one nervous kitty formed a caravan.


Slowly over the past three days, the place is taking shape. Pots and pans have found their place. Re-purposing an old cabinet turned out just as we envisioned. We play our favorite CD’s as we sort and store our old things that now look fresh in this new environment.

We pause and look out the windows at the city view. We take breaks on our porch, watching a kayak glide across the river. We smile, we laugh  and we look around us in wonder. Our dream has come true.    img_4856


As We Plan Our Escape

Come with me and escape~ Rupert Holmes

Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go.~ Herman Hesseimgres-1

We are in the final stages of the great escape from suburbia. Seven years ago, I remarried and we lived together with kids and a cat in my four bedroom, three bath house deep in the suburbs.

We dreamed of finding a place of our own- not mine or his, no memories of the past, just a fresh start for a new life.

Jobs, rebounding kids and life in general put our dream on hold for a few years. But our time has arrived. Step one was getting the house on the market. Second was finding a place to live. Third was waiting for the timing to work in our favor. We got our contract and put the deposit on our new place three weeks ago.

Now the clock ticks down as we work through the hard part- downsizing. Forty plus years of stuff to sort through. And we do all this while working full-time. Days off are filled with purging and packing. Every room filled with this somewhat controlled chaos.

There have been a few days when I’ve been overwhelmed by the enormity of this task. After years of moving (twenty-one times since I was a kid), I traveled pretty light. Each move was a time to re-assess some of the stuff we had accumulated. My shredder is working overtime, removing volumes of paper that I don’t need. I divide up knick-knacks and other goodies to the  kids, cajole friends to adopt my books, as we  create our piles: purge ( to charity), store, move.

I’m discovering how easy it is to let go of the very things I swore I’d never part with- realizing the once important items no longer hold any sentimental value. What I have learned is that my memories are my most precious asset. I don’t need a figurine to recall a great time from my past. And in divesting myself of so much stuff, my load is lightened. I won’t drag the baggage of the past into my future.

A few more weeks, thank goodness, to continue to sift through the piles. We are ruthless with ourselves and our stuff. If it serves no purpose- either physically or emotionally- it’s gone.

We have planned our escape from the past and look forward to many adventures in our new home.   imgres-3



Moving On

2017 begins with a bang!

I’m finally selling my house.

I’m distracted, harried, hurried, and harassed.

The clock is ticking louder, faster, marking the time- what little time I have left-to reduce my gargantuan footprint.

Downsizing is difficult. Downsizing is liberating. Downsizing is bittersweet.

So I pack up the past: three piles to separate fourteen years into manageable groups.

Move- Store- Purge

The future has arrived, and I’m ready for new adventures.images



We are what we keep?

It’s time to downsize. I’ve had thought about this since I was a kid. We used to play,

       if you could only save one thing from a burning house, what would it be?


I don’t have my vanity anymore, but I do have some things that I value. The bigger question is,

  what can I live without?

How many coffee mugs do I use in a week? Are these things enhancing my life, or weighing me down?

I want to lighten my load, free myself up for more fun and adventure. I don’t want to dust knick-knacks.

But, I’m learning that I can’t just jump in and toss things away. Before I can discard or give away, I have to learn to the simple art of detachment.


A lifetime of accumulation- books, pictures, little collectibles- I will weigh the cost of holding on to each.


I’m excited to begin this next chapter, and I am ready to shed another layer of the past. There are very special pieces that I will bring with me, but what does not bring me pleasure will be set aside.

I already feel lighter.





First of Fifty-five Adventures

This morning, husband and I went on a hike to the Teddy Roosevelt Area of Timucuan National Preserve in north of Jacksonville.

This was day one of my fifty-five adventures: my birthday began with a bang.

IMG_2478.JPG Timucuan was named for the Native American tribes who once roamed this part of Florida. The hammock and its trails are filled with live oaks, cedar, pine and saw palmettos.

IMG_2458.JPGWillie Browne and his family lived on this land for over close to one hundred years. Willie lived in a small cabin that is no longer standing (but the foundation is still there.)

The trail takes you around through the woods and along the salt marsh. We saw pileated wood peckers, snowy egrets, and other shore birds.IMG_2466.JPG

The first of many  adventures!



Fifty-five Things

Tomorrow is the day. The day that comes once a year whether I want it to arrive, or not.

The day that gives me a new number to practice for the next twelve months. No, it’s not New Year’s, it’s my birthday.


This year is one of those numbers that gets you thinking. I’m halfway through another decade and I want to mark it in some way. I’ve decided to jot down fifty-five things to do this coming year.

So far I have only twenty.  I want to try some new things, go on some short adventures. Do some things I’ve never done before.

So help me out. Give me some suggestions. Maybe it’s someplace you’ve gone, some new idea you had, or maybe it’s something you think I should try.




Add your ideas to the comments section below. I will publish my list when I gather fifty-five.