Friday, October 7, 2011

One More thing about Flip Flops

They used to be called thongs.  A story I have been told by my parents was about a pair of thongs.  I must have been very small as I cannot recall this on my own.  They had bought me a new pair and apparently I loved them.  I wore them all day and that night I insisted on wearing them to bed.  As I would fall asleep, my feet would relax, and they slipped off.  I woke each time and cried until they were put back on my feet.  What patient parents I have!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Flip Flops

Flip flops are on my mind.  I have an orange pair of rubbery flip flops that I wear around the house.  Have had them going on three years and they are in pretty good shape.  That, of course, is a matter of opinion.  But, hey, they match my swimsuit.  This past week I bought a leather pair for $52!

Why?, you ask, would I purchase such an expensive pair?  Well, this past summer, and maybe even before that, my eldest son, John, said I needed new ones.  Mind you, he cares not that they are in pretty good shape.  He thinks the orange is too much.  Too much what, I don't know.

So, a year or so ago, my daughter and I were at Target shopping.  She needed shoes and found a pair.  I was admiring the leather flip flops and she saw and bought them for me.  I thought, great!  New flip flops and leather to boot!  So, this pair in my mind should serve to hush John.  He has seen me wear them and he approves but, I don't.  They are heavy, too heavy to wear comfortably.  I feel like they are dragging me down.

Back to my children and their flip flop advice.  Grant is no help as he wears the rubbery kind until there are holes, then he buys the exact same kind again.  Jen is a flip flop guru of sorts just like John and she's a girl of the female persuasion like me so that is actually helpful.  But I digress.  She tells me of a brand that is leather and at the flip flop shop at the mall.  John has also been touting the leather.  Alas!  They are expensive, $52 expensive.  So, I linger in my orange rubbery pair a while longer.  John sees me in them and I am chastised again.  I promise I don't wear them outside of my home any longer and he shakes his head in dismay.

Last week I am in Dallas for a conference with my BFF, Jill.  The hotel we are staying at is inside the Galleria mall.  We decide after dinner one night, in the mall, that we will shop.  I had spied the Flip Flop Shop (actual name of the store) that morning and thought I might as well take a gander at those expensive leather ones again.  With Jill at my side, maybe I would be brave enough to actually make the purchase.  The rest is history.  I purchased them and am trying to break them in.

They are lighter and will eventually conform to my feet or so I am told.  Ater the flip flop purchase we head over to Jill's passion, Teavana, a tea store extraordinaire.  She has $100 worth of tea to prove it.

Friday, September 16, 2011

September and Laundry

Finally, it is September in North Texas!  We have had 70 days of 3 digit temps here this year.  The record was 68 days and we broke it earlier this week.  I think it was about 64 this morning.  It is now 84 this afternoon.

The newlyweds were home last weekend.  They brought all their laundry.  Some things never change.  Kids doing their laundry at our house has been the norm around here until these two got married and moved away.  One weekend back and laundry was moving and grooving all day Saturday.

Our poor old washer broke down about 3 weeks before.  The repairs cost more than a new washer, so the new washer was broken in last Saturday by the all day washing marathon the newlyweds put it through.  Amazing to me it was.  Three very full baskets of dirty clothes arrived and three baskets full of neatly folded clothing, towels, etc. left Monday morning headed back to Little Rock.

Well, we enjoyed them muchly.  We owed them a little money from wedding deposits they had made on our behalf so we purchased a washer/dryer set for them this week.  It arrives Monday next week.  They will probably not need to bring home their laundry any longer.  Another thing that ends when you have an empty nest.

I must say that my laundry can be done now in half a Saturday.  Between hubby working at home and 2 kids gone within the last year and a half, it has been a breeze to complete the laundry so much more quickly.  And yes, while they lived here I did their laundry.  Oh, they did their own as well, but hey if I was doing mine, why not pitch in and do theirs too?  It's what us mothers do.  Getting laundry done must be therapeutic for me.  It feels really great to get it all done for the week ahead.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


So, to continue the story of Jill, here are a few things we discovered that still blows my mind.  She was back in Euless briefly for junior high but a different junior high than I attended.  Her oldest, a son, lives in Hurst near us with his wife and twins.  Her husband was born and raised in Simi Valley, CA where we lived for 3 years and had our first child.  She and her husband now live in Tacoma, WA just 3 or 4 miles from where we lived in Steilacoom for one year way back when my husband re-joined the Army.  She and her family had lived in Oklahoma for years (just hours from her son and me) and just recently sold that house to her daughter and family.  She met her Army husband in Germany while she was a senior in high school.  They married right after her graduation.  She has a boy and two girls, all older than our kids if I remember right.

We probably were in Simi Valley at the same time at some point since her in-laws still lived there when we did.  She said they visited a lot back then.  They have both since passed away.  No doubt she comes into our area very often via DFW Airport to see her grandbabies in Hurst and her daughter in Oklahoma who now has a boy, another grandbaby to visit.

And then we are in the same field.  She is the guru for Pierce County Library Sytem in Washington and is in charge of all things Polaris.  I am in a single building library but I am also in charge of Polaris.

I think what is most interesting is that God knew all this but our paths never crossed where it was logical, Simi Valley, for instance or Hurst, Texas.  He made it so that there was no other way to explain our meeting but Him.  Syracuse, New York?  Who would have thought?  God had ordained this meeting so that all honor, praise and glory was given to Him where it belongs.  And we do give it all to Him!

Back to the meeting in Syracuse.  I left for the airport that Saturday afternoon and Jill stayed on for some additional training the next week with Polaris.  We had exchanged email addresses and Monday morning one of us wrote the other.  Don't remember who wrote to who.  But I do remember that we were still discovering so many things about each other that she was quite emotional.  At one point she said to me, "Becky, I have to quit doing this until I get home cause the trainer can see me crying and he thinks something is wrong."  Or something to that effect.

As we continued to communicate, we just would get overwhelmed with how unlikely it was that we would ever meet again, much less in the circumstances we did.  She told our story on a local radio station and I called in our "friend" story on a Christian station here.  It just amazes us still how God works.  He must have had a lot of fun getting us back together.

So now when we go to PUG, we share a room and stay up every night for hours talking.  We still have so much in common, like military husbands, grown children, and grandchildren.  We have empty nests now to commisserate over.  This year the meeting is in Dallas.  I think I will room with her at the hotel so we can talk late into the night.  She will spend one night with us in Hurst and actually visit the twins and their parents for a while too.  She is making a week of it.  God is good, all the time!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Childhood Friends

I had a lot of childhood friends.  It seems as I got older I brought home strays.  There are two of these in particular I remember.  One was Frankie (a girl) and one was Nancy.  These two were the unlovely, poor kids.  I found them in elementary school around 5th-6th grades. Nancy lived in our neighborhood if I recall and would come over to play. Frankie was a foster child if my memory is correct.  I only knew them for a short time and never saw them again.  Since we were not close, I don't think about them a lot.  The reason I remember them is their poor family situations and that theirs was so different from my own.

Then there were the friends from church.  My best friend in high school was Liz.  I found her at church when we were probably 4 or 5 years old.  We remain good friends today but in high school we were very close.  I had other friends from church too.  There are a few I stay in touch with via Facebook.

Then there were two friends I met in my younger elementary days and for whatever reasons they both moved away.  Martha and her family moved after 3rd grade.  Our mothers were friends from church and the neighborhood so we stayed in contact over the years off and on.  She was at my wedding.  I lost contact with her after that and have not been able to locate her though I have tried in years past.  Jill and her family moved away after 2nd grade to Guam as her father worked for the military.  We wrote letters for a while just like I did with Martha for a while.  Then we lost touch and I guess sometime in 3rd or 4th grade there were no more letters to and/or from Jill.

Over the years I have thought about Jill a lot.  My thoughts have been mostly about where she is and if she knew Jesus.  Martha knew Jesus and no doubt we will catch up in heaven if we don't see each other before.  But with Jill, I had no idea.  Honestly, I cannot remember when we first met, if it was 1st or 2nd grade but I know she moved away after 2nd grade.  So as I say, over the years I have wondered about where she is and what she is doing and mostly if she knew Jesus.  And to that end, I prayed for her when I thought of her.

Fast forward to 2002.  I work at a library with the computers.  We use Polaris, an ILS (Integrated Library System) for our checking in/out, etc.  My boss and I go to Syracuse, New York that October to check out the possibility of putting together a user group for the software.  We are there when Polaris Users Group (PUG) is formed.  The group meets annually in Syracuse and now in a different location every other year.  For 2 or 3 years after that my boss went alone.  She then became pregnant with twins and I took her place and I think it was either 2005 or 2006 while the meeting was still held exclusively in Syracuse.  I have not been there for at least 2 years and so I discover there are many new faces.  

The meetings/conference lasts from Thursday to Saturday at the hotel where we stay.  So most attendees are in one location.  On Thursday one lady in particular caught my eye as she seemed very knowledgeable about Polaris.  I thought to myself that day that I should get to know her better.  You know where this is going, right? 

By Saturday morning I had not seen her again.  I came to breakfast at the hotel and sat with some acquaintances.  There is just a half day left before I can head home.  Suddenly the lady I had wanted to meet shows up next to me and asks if she can sit with us.  I tell her of course and we get to talking.  Our name badges indicate our first names boldly, our last names smaller and our library under that.  She begins asking how long I have worked in Euless.  I tell her I also live there and have most of my life.  She says she went to elementary school there.  I ask which one and pretty quickly we divulge our maiden names and are in complete awe that we are Jill and Becky, best friends from 2nd grade.

As we are talking we decide we will attend the rest of the day together and try to catch up.  Nearly impossible after 38 years!  We both tried not to cry and from my point of view, it was quite cool that we found each other after so long.  Definitely a God thing as far as I was concerned.  Apparently, it was a pretty big step of faith for Jill.  She had felt isolated and alone for a while in her spiritual walk (thank you, Jesus she knows you) and let me know right away that she was pretty much obeying God when she asked to sit with us.  She is so glad she did and we are both blessed that she did. 

This is already so long, I will begin another entry to tell you the rest of the story.


Friday, July 29, 2011

One Week Done

Well, not really.  The newlyweds have only been gone for two days.  But the week before that they were on their honeymoon, so it feels like one week is complete.  They are settling in nicely.  I got three texts this morning with pictures of the apartment.  They have done a really nice job decorating.  Purchased a couch this morning.  Coffee table and end tables are on the schedule for tonight.

They live in northwest Little Rock.  On the third floor, their choice. To eliminate noise overhead from upstair neighbors.  So I asked if the couch was delivered.  It was not.  They had a "little workout".  But as my mother said, "they're young."

Jen was interviewed yesterday afternoon for an outpatient clinic job at Arkansas Children's Hospital.  She felt really good about how it went.  She is in the running as one of the top three candidates for the job.  Prayers for all that to go as God intends.  Kyle begins his August rotation on Sunday.  Praying that goes well for him.

On the homefront, I am doing fine so far.  Dad is not so good.  A little emotional about the baby girl being married off especially since she is not nearby.  However, he is in no way unhappy about her choices.  Kyle was meant for Jen and Jen was meant for Kyle.  God has seen to it that they found each other in His time.  It has been great to see.  Looking forward to seeing them grow as a couple, a new family.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Less Than Two Weeks

I have not posted in a while.  Much too busy to think about it.  But I realized today that my blog's name, Almost Empty Nester, will no longer be true in less than two weeks.  Our youngest child and only daughter, Jennifer, will be getting married July 17th.  This is Wednesday, July 6th, so she marries a week from Sunday.  We are very excited for her and Kyle.  They have both sought God first and found each other in His timing.

Jennifer is very happy and very excited.  She and Kyle will be honeymooning and then return to Texas briefly before making their first home in Little Rock.  They are both anxious to get there and begin their life together.  We are very excited for them as well. 

But then the other day, Jennifer asked me if I was going to be okay.  I said I would but admitted to her there are times I get teary-eyed thinking about this new chapter in our lives.  I will miss her tremendously, especially since she will not be nearby.

So now I will have to change my blog title to Empty Nester.  Somebody remind me to do that after the wedding!