Letting Go

Dear Friends,

It’s been much too long since I posted anything here… blame it partly on limited to no internet access over the last nine months or so; partly on my needing to work through some things personally and to be able to find my voice again – more on that in the next post.

Anyway… last year, especially the second half, was about letting go and the lessons I learned along the way. After being let go from my job due to restructurization of the company, I let go of my apartment, put everything I own into storage and went “home”. Home for me is a relative term as I don’t truly know where home is. My parents have not lived for almost 30 years in either of the houses or towns in which I was raised. But I’ve always told my kids that “home” is where mom lives, so I guess that is as true for me as anything.

I let go of my car and took the train across the country toward home, whatever and wherever that is. I had intended to post a blog about the wonders of train travel, but that somehow didn’t feel right or necessary.

I spent a few wonderful weeks with my beautiful daughter and then went to visit my parents. What I had intended as a visit for a month or two turned into seven months in which I worked very hard helping them to let go of 50+ years of accumulated “stuff”. It is extremely difficult for either of them to let go of anything, but I persisted, gently.  We took several truck and trailer loads of metal to the scrap yard. We had four yard sales and donated the leftovers to a church sale and a thrift shop. We/they let go of a LOT of stuff and barely made a dent. But they discovered how good it feels to let go of unnecessary clutter and so now they are on the path to letting go of things that have no significant value – monetarily, sentimentally or symbolically. It’s a start.

After nine long months of “sofa surfing”, I have had to learn to let go of my independence, my privacy, my peace and quiet, my way of doing things, of running my own household, of pretty much any semblance of control I once had over my life. I have learned how little I really need materialistically. It seems that no matter where I’ve been in the past few years, something that I “needed” was in storage on the other side of the country from where I was at the moment, so I learned to make do, to find creative ways to fill the need. I have learned to live with just what I can fit into a smallish car. Sometimes when I didn’t have something that I “needed” I would think “what if I had lost that in a fire or a flood or a hurricane?” as so many people in the world have done in the past few years. It is indeed freeing to learn what is truly important.

I have learned to let go of my belief that I was in control of my finances and to trust God and the Universe to supply my daily bread. He has been faithful to do that, teaching me to rely fully on Him, not for my monthly bread or my yearly bread, but for my daily bread. It is so easy to pray as in the Lord’s Prayer, “give us this day our daily bread” without truly hearing it or knowing what it means. I now understand that concept and am thankful both for the lesson, and for the fulfillment of my daily needs.

On a deeper, more personal level, I have been able to let go of emotional ties to people and memories and negative energies that have been holding me prisoner for too many years – most of which I was not even aware. I have let go of past hurts, of walls that I had built. It has been hard and painful and cathartic. I have wasted too many years not realizing that I needed to let go of those things in order to move forward in my life. More on that in the next couple of blog posts.

And now as I “sofa surf” at my aunt’s home for the next couple of weeks, I continue to let go of things, of issues, of past hurts and painful memories. And I am grateful for those experiences that have taught me so much and for the tools with which to remove them from my present and future reality.

I saw a great movie a couple of weeks ago – The Gambler, with Mark Wahlberg. At one point in the movie his character says, “I want a real love, a real home and a real life.” That is exactly what I want as well and have set my intentions on those things for the near future. I am now on a quest to find a nice old camper to “glam up” and make my home for the next several months or a year so that no matter where in the country I am at any given time, I can have my own space and my kitty with me. It is time to regain some autonomy, to take “home” with me, wherever on the planet this gypsy goes from here.

I am on the brink of a brand-new bright, shiny future and I can not wait to see what’s in store for me next! I invite you to come along for the ride!

Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 of Letting Go.

Happy Easter!!

It’s the day before Easter. My mom has taken my brother and sister and me shopping for the accoutrements to complete our Easter outfits – white patent leather Mary Jane’s, tights, purses, hats and gloves for my sister and me, shiny black shoes, new socks and a clip-on tie for my brother. We go home and I try on the new dress my mother has stayed up half the night making for me – a dress that matches my little sister’s and probably my mom’s. Occasionally we get “store-bought” dresses for Easter, but more often Mom makes them. I add the tights (“Be careful you don’t snag them!” Mom admonishes…”), the shoes, the gloves, hat and purse and twirl in front of the mirror, trying to see all the way around myself. Satisfied that everything is perfect, I carefully hang the dress and put everything else in a neat little pile, ready for church in the morning.

As I walk out of my bedroom, I can smell the unmistakable odor of eggs boiling. As soon as they are cool, we will cover the dining room table with newspaper and watch in fascination as the little tablets of color fizz and melt into the water and vinegar solution. The water slowly changes color as the tablets dissolve – pink, green, blue, yellow, purple, orange. We each get four eggs. I take up the little wax pencil and carefully write my name on one, draw hearts on another, a squiggly “Easter egg pattern” on the others before carefully dipping them into the magic color baths. I am impatient, but I want them to be beautiful, so I take the little wire lifter and repeatedly lift my eggs to examine them, return them to the color, check them again until I have achieved the perfect shade of lilac or lemon. I will not eat the eggs, but they will look pretty in a basket on the table tomorrow.

Once the eggs are colored, the mess is cleaned up and we’ve had dinner, it’s time for baths. Mom will roll my hair on soft, pink foamy rollers so that one side of my hair will be all long, beautiful curls in the morning, while the stubborn side of my hair will remain stick straight. It is a ritual repeated every Saturday night throughout my childhood. I fall asleep dreaming of chocolate bunnies and jelly beans (the black ones!) and how excited I am to wear my new outfit to church in the morning.

Today, Easter has an entirely different meaning for me, as I focus on the reason for the season, rather than the commercialization of it. I praise God that He gave me Jesus to do for me what I could not do for myself: To clothe me in His grace, to color my life with joy, to bathe me in the Holy Spirit, to curl my toes with His Love, to ensure my eternity with the One Who died for me and rose again.

I wish you a most blessed Easter full of love, joy, peace, happy times with family and friends. And chocolate bunnies!

Welcome!!

Hello!  Welcome to Gypsy’s Joy, where we will discover life’s small moments…together.  My interests are numerous and diverse, so I can assure you that this blog will never be boring!

First, a little about myself.  I am a trained and certified Chef specializing in Pastry.  I am also a Tea Specialist with a desire to sample as many teas as possible.  Within a couple of years (when I’m done traveling for a while) I will be opening a tea room and spending lots of time playing with sugar and chatting with friends both old and new over unending cups of hot tea.

My two kids are grown and long out of the nest and now it’s time for me to Follow my own Bliss, which involves travel – lots and lots of travel!  It will also entail purchasing a new (old) home and re-decorating, which is another of my vocations and passions.  I’ll be looking for your thoughts and opinions as I breathe new life into what is now a blank, stark white canvas.

I also fancy myself an artiste –  at least in the art of homemaking.  Don’t be surprised if an occasional blog about a sewing project or homemade candies or cordials shows up!  Maybe we’ll bake our way thru a favorite bakery cookbook, a la Julie & Julia 🙂

Over the next year and a half to two years, I will be doing some extensive traveling.  We’ll see new sites, visit old favorites, taste delicious foods, explore quaint shops and dusty flea markets.  Tea rooms are definitely on the list!   And bakeries.  And chocolate shops.  And… well, you get the idea. We may take an ocean cruise or a river cruise, fly to Europe, travel by train across Canada.  Expect lots of day trips and weekend jaunts as well as cross country road trips.  There is so much to see and do!  But of course traveling is always more fun with a friend, so please join me on this magic carpet ride!  If you can’t join me in person, then at least curl up in a comfy chair with your favorite beverage while I tell you about it.  You never know where we may end up, but I guarantee we’ll have a blast!

I would love for this to be an interactive blog.  Please, please send me your thoughts, ideas, recommendations for places to visit, your favorite restaurants, a local festival or event not to be missed.  Your input will make this adventure more fun and exciting for both of us!  Please use the form below to contact me.

Thanks so much for visiting Gypsy’s Joy!  I can’t wait to meet you and share an adventure or two with you!