Monthly Archives: September 2008

The June Cleaver Experiment: Day Two

O.K., so you all think I’m crazy for doing this. Well, I am just little bit off if you must know the truth.

I am committed to seeing this thing through.

Look, I have to entertain myself somehow.

This morning I woke up well-rested with a better attitude. I didn’t have anywhere to go, so it was motivating to have to get dressed and put on make-up. I often do my AM housework in my PJs, and then get showered and dressed.

After sitting on the couch sipping coffee for awhile.

But it didn’t feel right to lounge around when I was all ready to go. I threw myself into it early, and actually got a lot done.

I did find a more comfortable pair of pumps in my closet to wear, so my feet didn’t really hurt. I had a skirt on and it wasn’t a problem to do housework in it. I even managed to get the clasp on the pearl necklace closed today.

There were a few times that the outfit was impractical. This morning when I let the dogs out one decided to wonder back into the field behind our house. He didn’t come when I called, and I had to go out and get him. The grass was wet and the ground soft. Heels really weren’t the right attire for my little hike. I should have put on some galoshes probably, but I was afraid the dog would be all the way out into the woods if waited to change my shoes.

Today was also trash day, and I pushed the garbage can up to the curb in my heels and in the rain. I imagine June never had to deal with the trash. I’m sure Ward or the Beav did that for her.

When the rain stopped for a few minutes I took my son David out to play. One of my mantras — you’ve heard this before if you’ve been reading a while — Dogs and small boys must be exercised outside daily. I had to give in at that point, and kicked off the heels in exchange for some flip-flops. I put them back on though as soon as we got inside.

On the upside, someone came to the door today looking for the neighbor’s house, and for once I didn’t have to wonder how disheveled and deranged I looked.

Because I just looked plain nuts wearing pearls and heels at home by myself in the afternoon!

Filed Under: Mom

And Now for the Question You’ve All Been Asking…

Are we going to be relocating south of the Mason-Dixon?

Well, unfortunately not.

If you’ve been following along you know we went down to Knoxville, TN last week, because my husband Dave was asked to audition for a Gospel Quartet that is pretty well known in those circles. It was a really exciting opportunity.

His audition was Wednesday morning, and he came back to the motel really happy with how things went. He felt his chances were pretty good. We spent the next few days talking about what it would be like to move to the Knoxville area, all the planning we’d have to do to move and if this was really want we wanted should they ask him.

Well, the call came Saturday that they had decided to go with someone the manager of the group had known for a few years.

It’s true in any kind of show business that it often comes down to who you know.

I know I’m biased, but I have no doubt that he has the talent.

Yes, were disappointed.

My husband has long dreamed of singing full time. The idea of living in such a pretty place with nicer weather was appealing too. And there’s something adventurous about starting over in a new town with practically a whole new life.

At the same time I did feel sad about moving so far away from family, especially because it would mean David wouldn’t get to see his grandparents as often. He’s so close to all of them, and they love having him around.

It’s a cliche, but it really was an honor that they even considered Dave, and that he did come so close to getting the job.

There will be other opportunities. I truly believe God is in control of every situation, and this just wasn’t the right thing for our family now.

I did learn a few things about myself. I was surprised that I felt sad about moving away. I thought I would be ready to high-tail-it out of Michigan and leave the snow and bad economy behind without looking back. But searching deeper, I also realized even if I was a little sad, I was looking forward to all the new possibilities. And if the call had said come, I gladly would have gone.

For now we’re back to reality and the daily grind. But if there’s one bit of wisdom I’ve learned in my 33 years it’s that it’s important to be content in your current situation even while hoping for something more. I think that if you’re always miserable because you didn’t get what you want or you don’t have enough, you’ll never be happy even when you do get that something more. Because if you don’t learn to be content, you’ll never have enough no matter what comes along.

So we’ll still be shoveling snow, but we’ll also still be appreciating the beauty of winter, even if we are freezing to death.

Filed Under: Mom

The Motherland

We headed home on Thursday from Knoxville. But first we made a stop-over in Overton County in the Cumberland Mountains near the Kentucky boarder where my husband’s grandparents grew up.

The Cumberlands in Overton County

We got our son David all excited about the trip before leaving by telling him we were going to see mountains. He was disappointed in both the Smokies and Cumberlands.

“Why do all the mountains have trees on them? Why aren’t they big?”

The only mountains David had ever seen before our trip were rocky, snow covered peaks and cliffs on TV. I guess he was expecting Mount Everest.

Our first stop in Overton was Cub Mountain Cemetery where a lot of relatives are buried. We were hoping to find answers to some questions that came up during genealogy research. Dave’s grandma grew up on the top of Cub mountain, and his grandfather at the bottom. But they didn’t meet until after they both moved to Michigan.

Cub Mountain in the distance.

Driving up one side and down the other of the mountain it was easy to see why his grandparents never met. The modern, paved road is winding and treacherous. There are no guard rails and places where you’re an inch or two away from falling off the side into a gorge. The forest is so thick it would swallow your car, and no one would ever find you. There is one curve that is so tight you can barely turn the steering wheel far enough to make it around it. I imagine before there were paved roads you didn’t go up and down the mountain unless you had to.

Looking over the edge of the road going down Cub Mountain.

We left Cub Mountain and drove into the town of Livingston to find something to eat. It’s a nice town with a pretty square lined with antique shops that surround the historic courthouse. The camera batteries died just when we arrived at Livingston, so I don’t have my own photos of the town center.

Downtown Livingston, TN

In our search for batteries we wondered into the The Livingston Department Store which turned out to be a ritzy clothing boutique. They didn’t have any batteries, but we got to chat with the store keeper, one of the many friendly people we met in Livingston. As soon as she heard our flat northern accent she asked what brought us there. We explained about Dave’s relatives and Cub Mountain, and she told us, “It’s changed a lot up there. A lot of people have moved in.”

In not so many words she’d answered the questions we’d had when we saw the freshly paved road, once washed out, and the large, new homes that looked out of place in the back country.

Livingston had it’s share of fast food chains, but we wanted to find a local restaurant. We were hoping for some real southern home cooking. We ended up at The Parkway. Lots of local color and really good Lemon Ice Box pie.

We should have headed home after that, but we couldn’t resist stopping at the Overton Historical Society Museum. That was the highlight of our day in Livingston. We were greeted there by Syrine, such a warm, cheerful woman, you couldn’t help but love her immediately. We explained who we were, and she said, “Well, I think there’s someone here you’re related too.”

Syrine lead us to another room and low and behold there was a man there who was Dave’s cousin! Third or fourth, not exactly sure. But definitely a relative. And talking more to Syrine we determined she and Dave were likely related by marriage somewhere on the family tree.

I think the county’s motto should be, “Overton — We all cousins here!” I don’t mean that to be disparaging. It’s just a fact that the acorn doesn’t fall that far from the tree around there. Look, my mother hails from a place in Indiana where I’m related to 95 percent of residents, so I can’t throw stones in glass houses.

It was really interesting to hear their stories about Cub Mountain and Overton County. I wish I had recorded them on video. Syrine was hilarious, and I could have listened her all day, but we had to get home. We finally got back on the road headed north.

We were busy taking in the sites or chatting, and missed the main road that would have taken us to I-65. We ended up taking the scenic route most of the way through Kentucky on 61 through small towns and past tobacco barns filled with the summer crop still drying.

We did eventually find 65 at Elizabeth town, and the hills started to flatten out as we crossed the Indiana line. The mountains and hills are beautiful, but it was kind of nice to see flat, wide open spaces again. We arrived at our home in Michigan around midnight.

It was a really quick trip, but so fun. And I’m so glad we made that stop in Overton. Hopefully we can go back there soon, and hopefully Syrine will be there to greet us again.

Filed Under: Mom