a dream come true.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Dreams are funny things. They come and go; changing with the seasons of life. A dream today may be a reality (or maybe even a nightmare) tomorrow.

I'm sure you already have figured it out, but I have lots of dreams. I have short-term dreams, and also too many larger-than-life dreams to count. In fact, I should call myself a "pipe-dreamer". Not that they are that far out there, but they are (at least in this phase of my life) very much out of reach.

For example, I'd like to live in Australia for a spell. Swim the Great Barrier Reef, cuddle with a koala, and maybe even meet the Irwin family (#1 Steve Irwin fan, right here!). Or totally be a surfer for a quick minute in California. (These two, however, are dreams that are possibly full of my worst nightmare - sharks. Love me some Shark Week on the Discovery Channel, but that's where my fluffy relationship with the toothy predators ends - on the television.)

See what I mean? A nutty, irrational dreamer. (But, if not for being nutty, what are dreams, really?)

Besides travel dreams and my pie-in-the-sky wonderments, however, my dreams are mostly pretty simple. You know - to have a happy, lively life full of cooking, sewing, watching movies and listening to music, decorating, being a good mom and wife... Basically, normal stuff.

But, in the last few months, a new dream has been ignited. Not a pipe-dream and not even a crazy-out-of-the-question dream.

It's simple really, and something I think about every single day...

Basically, there has been a void at the farm. Though lots of work has gone on, and we've even had an event (or three) out there... There's been something missing...

As you know, we started excavation on our land in July. Well, about the same time, my GrandPaul had a little "hiccup" in life and has been unable to come visit.

Even up until now, he's been dealing with the same health issues (though we are hopeful there's been a recent breakthrough!). Though we know he is improving, progress is slow (as we were told to expect). But, even with progress and him being tough as nails, his pain has (temporarily!) made it difficult to leave the rehab facility.

And though he'll eventually be well again and able to visit the farm as often as he pleases, right now it is imperative that he receive daily therapy and much needed pain medicine around-the-clock.

Are you wondering where all the dream talk is going to lead? Well, wonder no longer, my friend. Because here's where all of this talk is relevant...

Since we've bought the farm, I have passed every decision we've made by him. I want and need his advice and approval. Our land is just as much his as it is ours. He has memories there. His roots and heart are in that soil. It is as much a part of him as it is us.

Understand that I know he will soon be strong and mobile, and back to his happy and full-of-information self, but his focus now is on healing. As it should be.

But that hasn't stopped me from wanting nothing more than for him to come out and see the progress. And therein lies my dream... A visit...

Even though I so badly wanted him to come see all of the changes for himself, I knew that would only bring wishful thinking and, therefore, sadness to request such a thing to happen. After all, if moving around for therapy is difficult, traveling to another town is down-right ludicrous, right?

But then, with a simple text a few of weeks ago, a path for this crazy dream to come true began to form...

My step-grandmother had to come to town for an oil change and, seeing how she hadn't been able to see the land for months either, asked if she could drive down the new driveway. "Sure!" I replied. And with that drive down our winding driveway through the woods - in the middle of a gorgeous Tennessee fall day - she realized that a little "farm therapy" would be just what the doctor ordered for GrandPaul. This therapy wouldn't involve pain or nurses, machines or insurance. It would simply be a drive and a picnic. Nothing fancy, but something she knew he'd jump at the chance to do.

Little did she know that I'd jump, too. And maybe even higher...

Though the trip would be therapeutic, it would have to be timed precisely between medications and just after having therapy. That way, the schedule would be clear for a few hours and his pain would be at a minimum so he could just hang out; forgetting about the temporary health struggle.

And so, a couple weeks later, my dream started to unfold.

My step-grandmother, Glenda, and I had texted back and forth for a couple weeks, trying to wait for me to get over an illness and GrandPaul's schedule to allow a short trip out.

Then, just like that, she made the proper arrangements and the day was set!

The thought was to have a picnic, so P and I started cooking that morning right after breakfast. We were like chefs in a restaurant - there was constantly something on the stove or in the oven and a timer seemed to be sounding at every turn. Though we didn't know exactly what time they'd be able to make it out, we just knew that we needed the food to be done as early as possible, incase we got the "we're on our way" call.

I don't think I've ever been so giddy about a picnic in my life. I'm sure if you had seen me at any point that morning, you'd have not seen anything but a smile on my face. There was too much excitement for anything else.

Then, at 3p on the dot, I got a text from Glenda signaling the start of their trip to the farm. My heart almost burst with excitement. It was actually going to happen!

When they arrived, I was overwhelmed with emotions. As I fought to hold back tears (which didn't work...), the reality that he was finally able to visit and see everything for himself was almost too much for me. We had been sending pictures and videos, but it's just not the same. I wanted him to understand it all. Really know what all of these changes mean, ya know? A new driveway. A new house. A new plan. Things that are all impossible to feel over cellular waves.

Though the farm is still a work in progress and the house is far from complete, I couldn't have cared less. It was a moment - a memory - that I'll always keep. Seeing him enjoy the sun, the amazing fall weather, the driveway, the house site, the chickens, the food, and busy little P showing her gymnastic moves...

Not only was I over-the-top excited to see him and show him so many cool things, but the "therapy day" ended up being on my late Grandma's birthday.

Happy birthday, beautiful lady!

It was a day to celebrate birth and changes - both in life and in the grand scheme of things.

And the day was perfect. Truly, as far as I'm concerned, it couldn't have been more fabulous. No how, no way!

As we sat there eating lasagna, my dream came true. Such a simple dream - with good food, beautiful scenery, and the best company there is. And, in that moment, there were no people on this earth I'd have rather been with...

So, GrandPaul, what we all thought was therapy for you turned out being not only a dream day for me, but one of the most memorable days of my life. And though I'm sure that was a hard day for you, know how much I so needed that. Simply your presence at the farm brought a light that was unexplainable. And your kind words about the direction we've been going is worth more than gold. But, even more, your constant encouragement and love, even through the pain, is priceless. Thank you. And I love you.

And, Glenda, you have no idea how thankful I am for all of your efforts to make such a day possible. The stress and exhaustion isn't overlooked. I know the finagling was difficult, but thank you for it all. It was chicken noodle soup for the soul.

So, until next time, I'll dream about having another picnic, maybe even inside the new house. Heck, I'll even plan out another menu. That way, at the drop of a hat, I'll be ready. Ready for another dream date with some of my favorite peeps.

After all, who said dreams only happen once in a lifetime? Nobody. So get better soon and come on back out - we're ready when you are!

a whirlwind of a week.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Hello and forgive me. I've been thinking a lot and writing so little. But, no worries, I'll get you up to speed on us...

We've moved to a new rental, started excavating for our new house (!!), and had P's 4th birthday. And that's not all, that's just one week of events.

To say that it all was a whirlwind wouldn't do that week justice. It was *rough* for this ol' lady.

And during that insane-o week, my aunt and I pulled a nearly 72-consecutive-hour move to the new house. All without a wink of sleep.

(And, just incase you've ever wondered if you could survive life as a teenager in an adult body, the answer is easy - no. You'll not spring back like a rubber band and your kids won't think you're cool. In fact, they'll still wake up at the crack of dawn requesting gravy and biscuits, and give you no grace when you don't even have enough energy to turn on the stove. After all, you're old and you know better.)

Speaking of being old, let's get on with the birthday of my sweet P-diggy. We had such a fun party and celebrated with many friends and family members. I was so grateful to have everyone come out to shower P with love. It was amazing!

And now that she's four and sassy as ever, things have changed. She no longer wants me to dress her, help wash her hands, or even attempt to make a decision on her behalf. She's practically a teenager and wants to be treated as such. "I can do it all by myself" has become her signature phrase...That is, however, only until she realizes that four is still too young to do many things, in which case I'll hear her growl and pass the task onto me. Yep, you read that correctly - growl. Apparently this is something I do when I'm frustrated (and probably have my entire life...), but didn't know until my little shadow decided to copy me...

In other news (but still on the topic of P), she has finally finished her first season as a soccer player. She had a blast and very much enjoyed having an audience every week. (And watching tiny people run around after a ball that's not much smaller than them...in shorts that hang past their knees is pretty much the best way to spend an autumn evening.) 

P and her best buddy.

Soak it up, little one, soak it up.

(And thank you for always reminding me to slow down and count the stuffed animals. <3)