Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Guess What?!?

Yep, I finally did it.

I got my own website, got the blog imported in over there, and I am fine tuning some of the details. So please visit me at The Mind of ~Ifer. Please, please, if you are following me here, or you have me on a blogroll, please update the link. I don't want to lose readers in the transfer.

Off to play with my new website!

Monday, December 7, 2009


As the light breaks the night into pieces, he begins his day. Talking himself through the motions, he lays out his best suit.

"Look Mama, I am wearing my suit today."

She would be proud of him this morning. He remembers her smile as he slowly buttons up his starched white shirt. Remembers her gentle hands folding down his collar, making sure it was just so.

"Should I wear my black tie or my brown one today, Mama?"

He settles his mind on the black tie, and carefully ties the knot. Mama is there again, straightening his tie, demanding perfection. He reaches for his pants.

"A sharp crease, just the way you like it, Mama."

A matching waistcoat and suit jacket are next. He can feel her there with him still, slowly closing each button on his jacket. Imaginary hands brush the lint off his shoulder.

"I can see my own reflection in my shined shoes. Are you proud of me, Mama?"

His dressing complete, he prepares to set out on his journey. He will wander the streets of this town as he has every day for as long as anyone can remember.

"I am all ready to go now, Mama. Did I forget anything?"

For the briefest of moments, his mind wanders back to that hospital room. Mama is there. She smiles at him one last time as she gives him his charge, "Take care of the ones you love, my son".

"I love this town, Mama. I will watch over them.".

This story is about Vern, a man that wanders the streets of our town. Nobody knows much about him, but on some days, he dresses in his Sunday finest and walks. This story is part of the Write of Passage challenge. Please check it out.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Blog Award!

While I don't usually do the blog award thing, I just couldn't resist when I received such a wonderful award from my blog-friend, Chelle. So without further ado, the Valued Blogger award. The rules are pretty simple:
  1. Tell your readers how your journey into blogging began. Be as verbose or shy as you like.
  2. Pick 3-5 fellow bloggers whom you adore and write what exactly it is you value about that person or their blog. The more you write about them the better. This is a chance to really appreciate your blog friends who have been there with and for you through thick and thin.
  3. Let the blessed winners know they have been awarded.
How did my journey into blogging begin? Well, I have always been a writer, a poet, a lover of the written word, so I have had a journal or diary of some sort as far back as I can remember. What got me started on this current blogging adventure was reading the Pioneer Woman's blog. I fell in love with her story, and I thought to myself "I have something I want to say", so I started blogging. It has been more therapy for me than I ever imagined it would be when I started.

Fellow bloggers that I adore?
  1. Julie's Photo Journey. Her talent with a camera is something I love and I long for. I see the stories and the emotions behind the pictures she posts. They are truly works of art, and I love them.
  2. Return to Innocence. I was orginally drawn to this blog because of the name, and the fact that it reminded me of a song I used to really love, many years ago. Since then, I have been really moved by the author's attempt to honestly deal with herself and her emotions. I love the fact that I feel, many times, that the author is talking herself through spots, and we have the privilege of peaking in the window.
I know the rules say 3-5 blogs, but honestly, I flitter about between a lot of blogs, but feel deeply moved by only a few, so there you have it.

And many thanks to Chelle for this award!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Global Warming 101

I was given a wonderful blog award that I will tell you about tomorrow, but for today...

I mentioned the other day that last year it snowed here in Southeast Texas for the first time in thirty years. Well, yesterday, for the second year in a row, Southeast Texas said loud and clear

"Take THAT Global Warming fanatics!"

Friday, December 4, 2009

Book Fair!

Across the street from our church office sits the day school. The only reason I need you to know that the school was there is that the periodic contact that I have with the preschoolers remind me of my childhood.

This week they had a book fair. An honest to goodness, Berenstein-Bear-laden, Shel-Silverstein- loving, Scholastic Book Fair. Earlier this week I had to drop off some papers in the hall where they are having the Fair, and I was instantly transported back 20 years (ok, so maybe it was closer to 25!).

For an instant, I am eight years old, standing in the library of my elementary school. Take a deep breath, inhale that smell of new books intertwined with the unique smell of the library. Look around at the glossy covers of all the new books, begging my little hands to softly caress them, to pick them up. Hear that crack of the spine when a new book is opened for the first time. Know that in my hands holds the ticket to another world.

Books were of utmost importance to my parents. Book fairs were a time when I could always be certain that we would find the money to buy a book. And no, not the fun sticker books that all my classmates were drooling over. My eyes would light up when the teachers passed out the pamphlets a couple weeks before the fair. I would treasure that paper, I would pore over the selections time and time again, knowing that I could make just one choice. I could get just one book, but oh! which to pick?

I realize as I type these words that the wonder has never gone away. I can walk into a Books a Million or Barnes and Noble today and feel the same wonder. The same overwhelming awe at the aisles and shelves of books. So many books to read, so many adventures that wait for me, how can I choose just one?

As I stood there this week, transported in time for the briefest of seconds, I wanted to thank my parents for this love of the written word. I want them to know that I do believe that words can change lives, that words can take you to other worlds, other times, other lives. That words can mold the way I think, the way I view the world.

And I wondered... was I the only child that was punch-drunk with love for the book fair?

Thursday, December 3, 2009


I know it has been a full week since Thanksgiving, and I have neglected to share stories, but every time I sit down to write a blog entry, I forget that I meant to tell you all about it.

A week late, the story of our Thanksgiving...

Most Thanksgiving, Mike's extended family plans a get-together, and this year it was at his Aunt Cindy's house. Now, growing up in a military family, I can tell you that in my childhood we never had extended family holidays. Holidays for us were a more intimate time of my mom, dad, and us kids gathered around our table. I don't regret that for a minute, and I look back on those childhood holidays with a fond and warm heart. Those are treasured times that are not diminished in the least by the negative events that have taken place since then.

But I never had a big family gathering at Thanksgiving, until I met Mike. The first couple years, I have to admit, were pretty awkward for me. I wasn't sure how to fit in exactly, and I so desperately wanted everyone to like me and to accept me. I had a good time each year, and I was silly to worry so much, but such is my nature.

Slowly over the years, I have had the chance to get to know his family, and to feel at home with them, so I was really looking forward to this Thanksgiving gathering, and they did not disappoint.

It was everything you read about a family Thanksgiving being. Two generations of kinfolk gathered around a long table (actually three tables put together), covered with more food than we could possibly eat (although we certainly tried). What I love most about it is the conversations that go on during dinner. The joking, the reminiscing, the funny stories they told, it was all part of a magical memory that I now have.

It is another memory I will hold close in fondness and warmth. And someday, this is the kind of family environment that I hope to pass on to our children. Families are never perfect. There are always those issues that rub people the wrong way, the personalities that are never going to perfectly match, the hurts and the words that only families can understand.

But this Thanksgiving, I counted myself blessed to be a part of a family that understands what being a family really means. That no matter what happens, no matter the family squabbles that may occur, that underneath it all, is family. That foundation remains strong and firm. That foundation is forever.

And as we sat there on Thanksgiving, I looked around at the people that I used to think of as Mike's family, and I realized that they are MY family now too. And that in the future, should Mike and I be blessed with a child, they will have this family too. They will be surrounded with memories and relatives. Most of all, they will be (as we are now) surrounded with love.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!

Yesterday, December 1, it was almost like the weather was following a script designed to make it feel more like Christmas around here. We woke up to a chilly morning, and throughout the day, the temperatures dropped. Folks, it's COLD out there now (well, cold is a relative term and in this case refers to the temperature dropping below 50 in Southeast Texas).

The weather people are prediciting possible snow on Friday. SNOW! In Southeast Texas! It snowed here last year too, for the first time in 30 years. I remember Mike got up in the middle of the night to get a drink or something, and he woke up me saying "baby... it's SNOWing!" The wonder and excitement in his voice was a beautiful thing, and like children on Christmas morning, we got up and got dressed and went out to take pictures in the snow at 3am. The next morning we woke up to find a beautiful white town, and until about noon that day we got to enjoy the postcard effect on our town.

I hope it snows again this year. Even if it doesn't, the cold weather outside is getting me in the mood for Christmas. It's cold outside, warm in my office, I have instrumental Christmas music playing on the pandora, and the office tree is set up and cozy warm, decorated in shades of red and gold.

Is it really only December 2? I love this season for so many reasons. I love the warmth that I feel each year. I am ready to welcome Christmas.

In the eternal words of the Whoville song...

Welcome Christmas
While we stand
Heart to heart
And hand in hand
Welcome welcome
Christmas Day