AdaLamar's Blog

A Sassy Girls Guide to a Life of Wanderlust

Remembering Rex Holiday

Posted by adalamar on May 13, 2015

The world lost a great soul today. Rob/Rex as many called him.  I called him friend, and it was an honor.  He ‘discovered’ one of my best friends and me, hired us and put us to work at the local radio station in my hometown- and inspired me to start what would be a 15 year career in broadcasting.  He was one of the best bosses I have ever had and he constantly encouraged others to be the best they could be.

I wrote a piece called Your Awakening several years ago, a piece about my search for love. And his response is below; describing his life and reassuring me that nothing was passing me by, that life not going as planned is a blessing, that I am, and what is inside of me right now, is enough, that I need not keep searching for what I thought I was missing in myself.  For he was a great writer as well.  Please enjoy the glimpse into the soul of a beautiful human being.
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Your Awakening Response:

Maybe.
I see it this way: from a guy who has pissed away more great chances in a week than most men will see in a year: I’ve been allowed to see incomprehensible scenery connected to a brain that “gets it”.
Without those missed chances I would have: never been able to speak of the pain of an aborted father in the throes of post-regret, nor spoken to others who are bleeding the same way. Never known the kind of fervor and spit and fire it takes to speak my mind into a howling wind and actually made it slice through.
Never known the dubious pleasure of bringing down a pseudo-Napoleon living as king of his particular hill in a school system I pay for.
Never heard the voice of a now-relieved-son thanking me for helping his invalid grandmother out of a winter storm
Never had the ocean-powered wave of gratitude wash over me when I, alone, stood with one, wrongly accused, against a courtroom full of antagonists. (Not-guilty, by the way)
Never known the sheer power of being the one in the fray who is COMMITTED.
Never been able to speak of true, unrequited, ripped-apart love to an adolescent who’s going through the same thing.
Never known the joy of vocally and VERY audibly cheering a teenager when they finally excelled at something and got their due for it.
Never seen the pain in a true friend’s eyes when they buried their youngest. Never been able to hold them and let them cry the way they would only in a true friend’s arms.
Never been blessed to help bear the pain of someone you love on any level.
Never felt so dirty and ashamed as to chase even my closest friends off.
Never felt the heat of a South Georgia summer.
Or the cold of a Kentucky ice storm.
Or the power of an Alabama thunderstorm.
Or the thundering beauty of a Mississippi sunset.
Or the caress of a Tennessee mountain morning.
Or the complete release of a hearty and block-shattering “KISS MY ASS” to authority.
Or of watching the pain
the pleasure
the ecstacy
the victory
of discovery.
Would never had heard the crowd’s approval swell like a big gentle wave in the warm Gulf.
Or my new bride, taking such care to dress in some kind of frilly underpinnings complete with garters and white stockings say, “…do you mind if we don’t”, on my wedding night.
Not a bit. I just drove three hours through nowhere, Mississippi to say to the hotel clerk, “I’ve waited 31 years to say this: I just got married, and I need a room.” I was tired. Be real.
I would have missed words like, “I do”, “You may take your planet home”, “Would you hand me the piano?”, “I want to try everything, tonight.”, and “Honey, wake up. Hannah Newton was killed last night in a car wreck. John was right behind her.”
Not all of these are pleasant or desirable but they are rich. A mosaic of life. If we didn’t like imperfection and character, photographs would far outsell paintings. It’s what we’re here for.
I would have missed the roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd, and the cussing of the GM.
And I would have missed you and your smile.
Most of all.
Stop searching. It’s already there.

Rex Holiday

 

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The Story of Life

Posted by adalamar on May 2, 2015

Life is messy. We have to, in our lifetime, deal with betrayal, lies, heartache and false friends. But in the end, those that try to harm us and hurt us only make us stronger. Better. And they hate that. The best revenge truly is simply being happy and living a fabulous life. And when you move on, happy and confident, it is your life returned to you. And each time we feel pain, we feel it a little deeper in our soul, until we are the beautiful, complex works of art we were meant to be. But life must carve out those deep spaces in us first.

When I was 19 I read a book called the Prophet. Amazing book. It changed my life. In it was the passage that said:

“But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure, Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor, Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.”

I decided right then and there, at the tender age of 19, that I would live a life that was full – full of love, sorrow, joy, tears, laughter and much, much more. I decided that I would make my life the great epic novel it could be. I have been soared above the clouds and crashed below the ocean. I have made mistakes and paid dearly for them. And I would do it all over again. Because in the end, everyone, those who like me and those who do not, will never be able to deny that I lived and loved with my whole heart.

But this life wears you out sometimes, wounds you, gives you scars. They heal, yes, but scars they leave just the same. And then we wake up, all tattered and torn, and wonder about our lives and get very introspective. I wonder if the choice I made to live life to the fullest, both the good and the bad, was the right choice? Then I read the following quote from a book titled Kisses from Katie:

I was like the Velveteen Rabbit. I was tattered and worn out. I’d been hurt and scarred and banged around a bit in the past year, but God was using all those things to help me become real. I was coming to understand that what it means to be real is to love and be loved until there is nothing left. And when there is nothing left, and we feel we’re all in pieces, God begins to make us whole. He makes us real.

These words spoke to my heart and soul. And I realized that only in living life to the fullest, can we truly honor God’s plan for us. Only in experiencing and loving till there is nothing left, can we honor the life we are meant to live. The desire to live a meaningful life of purpose is universal. It is in our bones, our blood, our humanity. We strive.

Because in this life, what really matters? It is not the big house or expensive things, though they may give us enjoyment. But they are not real. What is real is loving, playing, working, kissing, living, with all your heart. Those we hurt us show us who we are supposed to be, and give us the life we are supposed to have. They help us reach the heights we only would have imagined. So I thank all those who helped make me real.

Life fills us up, carves us out, makes us grow.  The pain we feel might crack, bruise, or maybe even break us for a bit, but then life, faith and love pour into us, filling up the cracks and crevices, making us stronger, better than what were  before, or even what we thought we could be. This is our journey, our story of life.

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And Should I Fall

Posted by adalamar on May 2, 2015

When you are a writer, you write on anything and everything you can get your hands on.  I have scribbles on napkins, paper towels, envelopes, note pads, receipts, scraps of paper, deposit slips…I have been going through my writings and found this gem from 2/2013. Enjoy!

If I Fall
And should I fall,
Hold my hand
Help me up and brush me off
Help me to dry land

And should I fall,
Treat me well.
Be gentle with this heart
It has been bruised before

Understand the fiercest of hearts
Is so because it is so tender
And so very vulnerable
But only when I feel safe to relax

And should I fall
Be ready for the best
Worst, scariest, most beautiful
Most amazing experience of your life

Ada Burch
2/28/201

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The Contagious

Posted by adalamar on April 29, 2015

In life, you never know who you are going to meet, where you might meet them or what affect you may have on each other. And whether it turns out to be a long friendship, relationship, or just a pleasant conversation, the twists and turns these people bring to our lives are priceless.   This was my experience today as I sat and ate lunch at a popular little place.

This has been a time of transition for me, as many very difficult chapters have come to a close. This has left me a bit weary and a bit melancholy for the wear.  I am stepping back, taking a break, slowing down and recharging my batteries a bit. It has been a tough road, and sometimes we just need to take a breath, and dust ourselves off before starting back again.

The conversation with this woman came at exactly the right time. She was very friendly and enthusiastic. She was passionate about what she did, and her purpose. And as I talked with her, her passion and enthusiasm started to rub off on me.  And I started to smile a bit and laugh. And I felt better about my day, and my writing and my goals.

She is retired military, a life coach, divorce counselor and public speaker who wants to empower women and young people.  It was clear she does what she loves and is very grateful.  She was a breath of fresh air and a much needed reminder to this tired soul.

And when she left, she left me in a much better mood than I was before.  And then when I asked for my check, I found that she had already taken care of it. A very sweet gesture from one woman to another. And I will pay it forward to continue the good will.  And whether or not I ever meet this lady again, she inspired me to have a better day and a bigger smile.

And that’s the thing about life. You never know what might happen, who you might meet or the experiences you might have that are unplanned along the trip.  And would we really want it any other way?  We must always stay curious about life, those around us and the possibilities that are just around the corner.  We must always be aware that, in essence, we are all in this together, this journey of life.

We may get discouraged, we may fail 100 times or more, before even one success. We may have a hard time, we may be beaten down, weary, tired, feeling low.  But we can reach deep down inside, where the soul meets the spirit, and start the upward climb.  And when we get there, there will be others just like us, who have come a long way too.

And on a personal note, I took this as  Godwink, a little way to show me that I am on the right path, doing the right things.  And that everything will be OK and work out. I just need to be patient, have faith and hold on.

So join me, in my climb. Lets try and encourage each other together.

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The Friendships that Bind

Posted by adalamar on April 16, 2015

A word has been on my mind as of the last week, and what it means to me.  Friendship.  It means so many thing to so many people. And indeed, friendship can have meanings and manifestations for us in our own lives.

I believe that I am surrounded by the best friends in the world, and the past few weeks have really shown that to me very clearly.  The people in my life, that I am blessed to call friends, are fiercely loyal and help, in a heartbeat, when needed.  Not when it’s convenient, not when they can, or after this or that. But there, when you need it, no questions asked. In the time of despair, or darkness, or need.  They are right there, beside me, in the rain, late at night, with the laughter, wine, tears, support and love.

Yes they truly are my heart, and I am lucky to have them.

But they are not just the kind of friends who will be there for you, they are the kind of friends who love you, no matter what, warts and all, while still demanding that you be your best self.  This may sound contradictory, but it isn’t.  What do I mean?  I mean we all need, and are very lucky if we have, those kinds of friends who will call us out when needed. Those who will pull us aside when we get out of line, when we are not trying our best, when we are getting just a little outside of the acceptable level of crazy. They keep us grounded, and inspire us to be the best that we really, truly can be.

They are the ones who see us, in all of out faults and shortcomings, yet still believe in our potential. Which is why they won’t allow us to be anything less than what we can be. Yes, we may need some time to regroup, slow down, break down, melt down…but if we stay there too long, these are the friends that give us the kick in the pants we need to get ourselves out of there before we take up residence.

I have had my best friends call me out when making excuses, when I was not making the best choices, when maybe that dress did make me look…bad.  If my ego ever gets too big, my mouth too loud, my Grace too absent, my patience too thin…they will be right there, to tell me to put my big girl panties on, grow up, get over it, deal with it, snap out of it, grow out of it, break up with it, get it back, bury it, and what ever needs to be done to it. And I do the same for them.

In essence, your friends hold the mirror up to us, while over looking all the imperfections. They represent the best of everything we are, and what we wish we could be, while propelling us to be more than we thought might be. They are the space between the heartbeats, because in that is space is where live is contained.

I don’t know where I would be without these wonderful friends, who bravely follow, support, believe in, comfort…love.  In all my unloveable self. But they know, I am the same friend to them that they have shown themselves to be to me, we are that for each other. Friendship like this isn’t free, it must be mutually beneficial and reciprocated.

And as I sit at this keyboard and type, and sip a bit of wine, I realize just how blessed I am.  I didn’t always have such loyal wonderful people to call friends, for my heart to call home. And those are the friendships that bind.

And as I am transitioning from one area of my life to another, I am thankful to have them with me.

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The Digging of the In

Posted by adalamar on March 29, 2015

Recently I read an article that talked about Today is one of my favorite things to read. It is a guilty pleasure, because there has always been a fascination as to how people work, what makes them tick and the many different perspectives there are.  Recently there was an article about the best traits for those who are mentally strong. Two of the characteristics were grit and curiosity.

I think another one, though it did not make the list, is perseverance.  No matter what, you can’t give up, you must be able to dig your heels in and just do it.

Sometimes we need a break, so step away and clear our minds.  This can do wonders for our mood, our perspective and our outlook. And then there are times to just take control.

I have taken several breaks lately, but I am thinking that is the wrong way to approach life right now.  Instead of running away, or taking breaks, I need to dig my heels in deep. One of the best ways to get the To-Do list done, it to start doing it.  So little by little, I will check off the list.

And already there is a good start:  Belly dance and kickboxing classes have been started to help with exercise and getting back into shape.  Things have been put into motion career wise and will soon take place.  The rental house is coming together. I am getting ready to paint, and smaller things like laundry and cleaning out the garage are coming a long as well.  I am studying grace and forgiveness, improving the frequency of my creative writing and planning the planting of the garden.

I am better when in motion, even though rest and relaxation do have their place.  But what was I thinking running away, instead of facing the long list of To-Do?  And after the list is done, before the next one is stated, that is when to get away, to celebrate, to enjoy.

Spring is here and Summer is coming, and if the timing is just right, all can line up perfectly. The time is now. Life is now. And I cannot wait, as a serge of optimism runs through me.  Digging into life is going to be delicious.

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Driving Ms. Motivation

Posted by adalamar on March 29, 2015

We all go through those times in life were we have to take pause and figure out our next move. And sometimes it can be difficult to get motivated to take the first or second step, especially if we have felt overwhelmed or burned out.  It be difficult to get out of a rut..

Recently I have had trouble just doing it, whatever it is that I have planned for my next move, getting motivated to really put 110% in all of my projects and pans.  This is new to me.  I am usually very driven and serious about obtaining goals I have set for myself.

This week, I watched a friend’s video challenge about working out, and she asked, how do you get out of a rut? How do you stay motivated? This started me thinking…what does make people motivated? What drives you? From where does the passon come? And where is mine?

And so I asked, many friends, to share  their thoughts on motivation, passion and drive. One  of my friends said he plays drums, or goes to a park to eat and think or makes love to his wife. Another says what motivates him to keep going, even after failure, is to be better for his children and to show them that you have to keep going and keep trying always. To never give up.  He also wants to show them, through example, to always follow your heart and your dreams. And Yet another friend said it was his curiosity and sense of adventure that motivates and drives him to his goals. He wants to see if he can do it.

One of my best friends says when she is in a rut, she thinks that you have to step out of your comfort zone. She also sets realistic goals, prays a lot and has faith that anything is possible with God. Another friend says she meditates and says affirmations that help give her strength when she is tired.

All of these are great answers and reasons. For me, I think it is going to be a combination of all of these reasons and rationales.  I am stepping out of my comfort zone, quite a bit, stretching, reaching to grow and be better.  I pray and try to have faith, though sometimes it is hard and I fall short.  You should always follow your dreams, and indeed I am living them by being a writer. But there is still something else that is missing.

The trick is to figure out how you want you life to feel, and be motivated to follow the steps to make it so (yes, I did just quote Star Treck). There are personal and professional goals that have been set.  Bridget Jones and I are looking to loose that illusive 20 lbs. Taking my career n a different direction, finishing the book, projects on the rental house, and saving money are all on the agenda. OH, yes and finding my motivation.

And I think sometimes, when you have felt overwhelmed, confused, unsure, insecure or even a little lost, sometimes you just have to reach deep down inside, where the soul meets the ground, and pull your motivation up from deep within. You have to just do it, by sheer force of will, even when you have no desire to do so. Lack of motivation can be the motivation, to get past it, baby step by baby step. And the thing about baby steps, is that eventually you will travel miles.

And I never want to settle, never want to stop striving to be better, a better person, a better writer, and better friend, daughter, a better me.  And I want to be of service to others.  I am truly the happiest, when I am serving and helping other people for whom I care. To lavish love, care and friendship on those who are closest.  This is what makes me, my life, feel the best. And I want more of that.

And that is the thing about life, the gift of it, is that this life is ours to write  We write the life that we want, the story we want.  And if we really could have a map that tells us exactly how to get where we want to go, straight from point A to Point B, would we really want to take that straight path? Or, would we still choose the meandering sidewalks, and all those wonderful, unplanned people, magical moments, tears, laughter and stories that happen along the way?

Who cares if things get a little out of order on the journey?  And what does it matter if we have to put out a sign every now and then that says “remodeling, please excuse the mess”?  It’s ok, we can do it.  We can have the life we want to feel.

And what do I Ant? A job that is creative, where I can work in a good collaborative environment, a book that sells many copies and inspires people to laugh and love. and in love, I want a man who I can laugh with, trust, and who makes me feel loved and wanted. In essence I want a life that feels good. And I can get there one baby step and one prayer at a time.

***Thank you to all my friends who contributed their insights on motivation, drive and passion.****

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Where the Woods Meet the Water

Posted by adalamar on March 6, 2015

We all have those moments, those trips in life that give us some space and perspective.  Some quiet time to release thoughts and ponder of decisions and as my travel partner takes a nap I type on the balcony, fingers flying across the keys like they have not done in quite a while.

My writing and creativity has been a bit stifled as of late. Sometimes you have to work through things before you can write about them. And I plan my future, adding details and filling in the blanks about what, where and how to get there. It’s a universal theme for many these days, the planning of what is to come, the goals we record to attain the life we want, well lived and well loved.

And as a cool breeze crossed my café, I think about many things when I was younger, and all that has brought me here today.

When I was 23, I knew I was good with words and good on a dance floor on a Saturday night.  I knew I was petrified of relationships but desperate and anxious for a man to love me. And I did fall in love, ridiculously in love, with a man who is still known as the love of my life.  Whose name I called, whose voice I still know, whose laughter still rings in my ears, even now when I talk to him and both of us have moved on from that place.

I knew I was hard-working and kind. I knew I’d spend the rest of my life devoted to my parents and my family.  I knew my address wouldn’t last long in the stifling, sticky enclaves of south Georgia.

But, I didn’t know a hell of a lot more than I did know.

Because you can’t anticipate the explosions, the messes, the deaths and the self-destructions of your 20s 30s and 40’s. You simply cannot anticipate Life.  You’re unable to forecast adultery, deceptions, newfound passions, and those alluring and unexpected opportunities that rock the certainties you’ve stood upon for as long as you can remember.  You can’t calculate and control feelings.  You can’t anticipate that moment you’ll become so entirely undone that you don’t even recognize the strands of self billowing out behind you, catching the wind and drifting away before you can grab hold again.

And there’s no escaping any of it, of course.  There’s no preparation either, other than the slow, steady build of a reserve of good friends, good wine, self-confidence, humor,  and courage—the pillars that, like Rome, won’t fall down when everything else does.

The pillars that, years later, decades later, remain, however cracked, however faded, however damaged.

I told this bright and eager young woman my heartbreak story tonight, and that time, those years, that one man, that part of me—it sounded so far away.  It sounded old.  And maybe that’s because even though my life has taken a radically different course than I’d ever imagined or hoped for, I’m making it work for me now, and I’m happy, fresh, acutely present and appreciative.

She studied me, and she crinkled her beautifully unwrinkled eyes, and said that it takes quite a woman to bounce back from such blows, such bleeding.

It takes quite a woman for many things:

Birthing a child, raising a good citizen of the world, burying a parent, contributing thoughtfully to society, giving generously, moving through the days mindfully and healthfully, constantly pushing against barriers and prejudices, surviving the betrayals, heart aches, lies and mis judgments, supporting and nurturing partners and families and friends, learning, teaching, loving, loving always—even when the heart beats slow and heavy and weary, and those pillars you yearn to lean against stand oh so far away and out of reach.

And as the sun sets, and the waves rise, as trees on the balcony shake their leaves, I sit back and let out a long, deep breath. It’s quite and adventure, this illusion of planning, this game called life that goes on. .And I think, maybe I have found my place, this weekend away, where I can write, where the wood meet the water, and both country and beach can exist. But life always marches to it’s own beat, and all we can do love well, be our best and hold on tight.

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Human Touch

Posted by adalamar on March 6, 2015

The human touch, something we may not think about every day. But yet it is so important in this day and age. And the daily rush of life and virtual everything, Facebook, Skype chats and online dating, maybe we lose sight of a simple part of humanity.

It was my turn, I thought, after waiting for a little while at the nail salon Time for a visit and a little treat for the trip to the beach. Soft hands and pretty red toes, a treat I had not allowed myself for a long time. And as my feet went into the hot water, and I picked out the colors, I felt the stress melt away. The stress of far too long, far too much, and far for little.

And then it started, the human touch, as they softly, sweetly, expertly applied the lotions and the salves to skin, taking off layer upon layer of what life had made harsh. The callouses of life, of making it, of surviving and fighting and living and loving.  And in that moment, I became acutely aware of just how long it had been since I had felt the simplest human touch. Nothing erotic, just human kindness?

When you are single, living alone, you really don’t encounter much change for human touching, outside of the sexual. And even on a relationship, touch may be few and far between depending on geography, time and the space between. Certainly my most recent relationship to go down in flames was practically devoid of any affection outside of the bedroom. No holding hands, no soft caresses, no affection, as fear replaced tenderness.

And in that moment, in that salon, with those strangers gently massaging lotion and applying color, I cried. Soft tears rolling down my cheeks as just the simple human touch resonated deep within me. How long had it been? I don’t know still.

There is a healing in the touch of human to human. A knowledge, a recognition, that we are of the same. How often to do mistake online chats and conversation for the same humanity as face to face, and seeing, feeling, hearing, touching someone else.  It used to be that digital was used when geography made meeting impossible. But now what has been used to make our business lives convenient has made out personal lives less, personal. And at what cost?  After all, it costs nothing to hug someone, hold them, give a pat on the back or a comforting embrace.

And I wonder, if all this technology has made us even more remote and isolated than ever before, even with instant communication at our fingertips? But then, how much true human communication can we really have over the digital? Words, tones, body language, facial expressions, even sarcasm, completely missed.

And as I walked out, pretty hands and feet, I vowed to live a life more touching.

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The Promise of Summer

Posted by adalamar on March 4, 2015

It’s getting closer, you can feel it in the air.  It’s stirring in the undercurrents of the wind. It’s coming, with the warming of the weather.  It is Spring and Summer.  Today, for the first time in many months I drove home with the windows down, radio up and shoes off. It was magnificent.

It has been a long, cold, hard winter, and I am ready for the good stuff.  There is a trip to the beach this weekend, and many more weekend trips to come. There is an actual vacation scheduled, the first in several years. And a new place to live promises great evenings on the porch, ready for wine and conversations.

My father’s cancer has slowed and will soon be in remission, my career has steadied, and family responsibilities are low.  After the past few years, I am ready to come out of the cocoon, transformed, gilded by the fire of difficult times, baked in the harsh light of heartache, set to cool in a body of tears. It is time to experience the promise of summer.

It is the promise of lighter times, smiles and laughter, warm days, cool nights, backyard Bar B Qs and late nights in. It is friendship and hugs, live music, street festivals, patio margaritas, and birthdays and weddings, and celebrations of life. I want to feel the wind blowing in my hair, as I drive with the windows down, friends with me ready for adventures and road trips to fun places. Chili cheese dogs at a Braves game, movies in the park, dancing in the rain. It is, in essence, the promise of hope. And just as the new leaves peek out from the safety of their branches, so must I leave the safety of my comfort zone.

And this year, this summer, I am looking for it. Love.  Not just a summer fling that turns cold with the first winds of Autumn, I mean the real thing.   Little boys dressed in mens clothing who are afraid of relationships need not apply. I want slow dancing in the kitchen, late night conversations, hand holding in the park, long hikes in the woods, conversations you never want to end, slow, rich, passionate kisses that make you dizzy. To find comfort and solace in another human being and be vulnerable right down to the core.  To build something larger and deeper than myself.

I feel like, for the first time in a log time, I am free to follow dreams, hopes and dsires that make life worth living. I want to set this summer on fire with life.

And I pray to bring the right kind of people into my life – those who match my level of integrity, faith, loyalty and honor.  Much heartache and drama can be avoided by not assuming that just because you get along and have compatible personalities that they are meant to be in your life and close to you.  It takes time, and seeing the clues as to who people really are, or at least not being blind to them.

And so as the weather gets warmer, my hopes are high. For everything good this summer, for love and laughter of friends and family. New experiences, old hang outs, and lasting memories to be made. The moments of building a life, living and loving well all the while. Yes, all of this is held in the promise of summer.

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Posted by adalamar on February 25, 2015

Bargain Bin heartache

Bargain bin heartache
They go for a dime a dozen
So many on the street
From everyone all the way to your cousin

Hurry, hurry Get it all right here,
Hurry up now,
get it now while it’s hot
Empty your pockets boy
Let me see what all you’ve got

Ain’t she a beauty?
Up there on the stage
And if you hurry up and buy now boy
You can even keep the cage.

Don’t pay those tears no mind
They’ll dry up in time
Just say a few kind words, ya hear?
Her self esteem is on decline.

It’s just a bargain bin heartache, boy
As common as the cold
But just shine her up a bit
And no one will ever know.

Say the right words to her
And she’ll let you inside
Don’t matter if you mean them
Now, you’re taking too long to decide

She’s at a good price
For her age, condition and ware
But to get her out of those clothes boy
You’ve  got to pretend like you care.

So get her heartache in the bargain bin
You could find a treasure or two
But you really want to know a secret boy?
If you really love her, she’ll be good as new.

That’s the one and only polish boy
That don’t loose it’s shine
So take this treasure home, love her
And you’ll truly have a priceless find.

Ada Burch
7/12/2014

Running on fumes

I’m running in fumes baby
I got nothing left,
Exhausted and weary
Nothing to be kept whole

I got part of me only
A rip trodden heart
I am here in transition, stuck in first gear
I feel like things are in regression

Runnin on fumes, an empty tank
Ain’t nothing but Gods Grace an prayers
To get me through this journey
Feeling worn out,

Just one more step, I said 100 steps ago
Got at least another thousand on just this road to go
So please hold my hand, I might stumble and fall
Please understand if I don’t always come when you call

But dont give up on me, I beg you please
Once the soul is rested, I’ll again be one and whole
So just hang one with me
Because I am running on fumes baby..

Ada Burch
7/12/2014

Second hand heart

Take care of this second hand heart
It’s been given as a gift
Then given back
Over and again

It was given in earnest
Each and every time
Precious and carefully wrapped
Painstakingly thought though

But ones mans gift is another mans trash
And not everyone finds beauty in art
Or art in a sunset
Or love in returning eyes.

So be gentle with this second hand heart.
Tattered and torn,
But strong for the wear
And close the door softly shapd you leave.

.Ada Burch
6/15/2014.

No regrets

.I have no regrets, looking back on the landscape if this year, on this life. I have no regrets on what I have done and what has been left undone.

There are no words that haunt me, spoken or kept still. No actions that trouble my soul, no undone thrill.

There are no tears that have been dried or kept at bay, or escaping down my cheek from rims of wide weary eyes, that partake in regret.

No longing set free, no feelings left unturned. There is nothing to look back upon, and wish another way from me.

And as I look back at the rim of this year, this long, hard, undone, overdone year, that makes me want a other walk down the path to choose another road.

I am as for all of it, every bit. The complete all of it. I don’t regret a thing am am glad for it all, the good bad and the big and small.

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The Ash of the Wednesday

Posted by adalamar on February 19, 2015

It is Ash Wednesday today and the start of the Lenten season.And this season is going to be packed full of challenges, I can tell already.

Lent is a time to quietly reflect on life and where you want to go, from where you are coming and what you want to be.  It is a time of reflection and discipline.  This year I am giving up soft drinks, which is actually harder to give up than chocolate. I’ve never given up coffee, for the safety of all those around me.

What do you do when it’s Lent and you are over your head in everything about life?  I don’t know for sure.  Lent is a time to simplify, but what happens when life is complicated in the 40 days before Easter? Maybe that is when we need our faith and discipline the most.

While talking to a wise man about the struggles of work, he said something that really struck me: In life, you have to be disciplined enough to not let you emotions rule what you do. You stay focused, show up and do the work you need to do.

Oh, but that can be so hard. Because we are human, because we are busy, because we do have bad days, and stress and emotions. Because we have hearts and souls that are imbalanced and beautifully, wonderfully imperfect.

But that doesn’t mean that we can’t try, every day, to be better, do better feel better.

This year I am working on so many things, to read more about Grace, daily, to exercise, keep the house clean, writer more (have about 5 blogs I have been meaning to write), work harder, take time for me, relax, water the plants before they shrivel into brown sticks with no leaves…

And maybe one day I will get there.  Until then, I am imperfect in my flaws of over being overwhelmed by everything on the to-do list. Amazed at the little miracles I see every day, constantly curious about how it is all going to work out, and humbly hopeful about the outcomes.

I strive for Grace on a daily basis and failed miserably today.  An aggravating day exasperated by lack of sleep due to no heat last night, I huffed and puffed, cursed under my breath, yelled out some curse words even, jumped in frustration, and cried in exhaustion.

And yet here we are in Lent.  So here we go, committing to do the best we can, tomorrow.

 

 

 

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Richard Porter, Leslie Mathis, Channel 2 Action News and My Moldy House

Posted by adalamar on January 26, 2015

TV is a very powerful medium. Reporters and journalists are powerful individuals, telling stories and giving a voice to those who have none, those who have been wronged, or those who have stories that need to be told.  Today I was fortunate to have Jim Strickland of WSBTV, Channel 2 Action News be my champion.  After six months of trying to negotiate with the sellers Richard Porter and Leslie Mathis, who sold me a house full of toxic mold, it was time to be taken seriously. And so I contact Jim. And he thought the story was worth telling.

http://www.wsbtv.com/videos/news/cherokee-co-woman-to-file-lawsuit-for-moldy-house/vDCfCn/

I bought my first home in March of 2014. The honeymoon didn’t last long as one week into the purchase, the roof was leaking – and it never stopped leaking.

The there was the faulty malfunctioning HVAC system that barely cooled, left the house with 65-73% humidity and left me with $600 electric bills each month. Five, yes, 5 HVAC professionals later, and it was determined that the entire system needed to be replaced – even though the sellers said in writing that they had replaced the unit.Richard Porter and Lesle Mathis denied any responsibility, stating there was no materiel misrepresentation during the sale of the house and they had done everything they were legally responsible to do.

And then there was the mold – black, toxic, ugly and literally – sickening. And I was sick while I lived there – sore through, headaches, asthma-like symptoms, skin rashes, fatigue – all symptoms of toxic mold exposure. Not to mention my pets and the vet bills, or my elderly father who was there recovering from chemo for liver cancer.

Once I found out it was toxic mold, I moved out immediately. I stayed with my sister and with friends while “homeless”, trying to figure out what to do since i had been displaced. Finally, after moving all my possessions out of the moldy house and into storage, I found a house to rent.

Three mold inspections, one mold analysis, and one assessment by and engineering and air quality form later – here I am. And hopefully, with the filing of one lawsuit, the sellers will be forced to buy the house back and I can move on as well.

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The SImple Life

Posted by adalamar on January 24, 2015

These days, in the world of fast cars, fast food and faster turn-around, I have been enjoying the simple things in the slow lane. It’s not as much taking time to smell the roses as it is just catching my breath, and letting life catch up with me. That’s the thing about moving so fast, sometimes you have to let everything catch up. And sometimes when you are knee deep in it, just getting through it, you don’t have time. So you just move ahead at light speed and get it done.

But then what? After it’s all over, and the lights are dim, crowds are gown, cheers or jeers have subsided and all is quiet…then what?

Then you are left with slowing down, taking a break, catching your breath and just being still. I like to be still. That’s one of the things I like best about early morning (yes, I am occasionally up before or at sunrise – it does happen!).  The early morning is so peaceful, still and quiet. It is pure, before the day has set in; before traffic, and bosses, and deadlines, and emails, and phone calls, and bills and concerns,and …everything. Morning is when you can hear the voice of God, I think.

And so in this moment, I am taking time to slow down and be still. To find my grounding and roots. To make sure the foundation on which I build, and whom I might build with, is solid and secure. I take time to let all my emotions of the past year or so percolate and catch up with me, so that moving forward there are no remnants. There have been plenty of tearful moments as it all comes back – almost losing my Dad, seeing my Mom so tired and worn, being so weary myself, saying goodbye to old dear friends, and wondering if they were ever really there at all.

Knowing the pain of caring too much, knowing too little, and having just enough. Of deeply hoping, praying in earnest, crying profoundly from the deepest parts of the soul, genuinely loving and wholeheartedly believing, mostly because, all because, you simply could not bring yourself to believe anything else. To believe with such sincerity and passion,that by the Grace of God, it is so.

And so it is now, that I sit,on a Friday night, glass if wine in one hand while typing with the other. What about all those parties and invites? What about all those good times, places and people? Oh, they’ll keep. Right now, life is all about my warm blanket, a fireplace, a good book, maybe a TV show or two, the sound of a purring cat, my favorite fuzzy PJ’s, good music, a soft bed, the sound of the dishwasher and the knowledge that the simple things are what feeds my soul right now. Oh, I am not ready to come out of hibernation, not yet. Just a little while longer in my own warm little world. Maybe by spring I’ll be ready.

And then when I return, the foundation will be set, them support strong and life may resume at regular speed. To be flexible you must first be stable. And until then, there are my soft fuzzy sock, hot chocolate, and warm snuggles. Yes, it is the simple things in life.

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The Little Things

Posted by adalamar on January 14, 2015

It was a wet, dreary and rainy morning today. Not the kind of day that you want to be driving in rush hour Atlanta traffic. And yet there I was, stuck behind a thousand other cars.  And the directions to the attorneys office were wrong, and to a directionally challenged person, this does not help at all.

Actually, it wasn’t so much the directions to the office that was a problem, because I had the address. It was the directions to the parking deck, for which I did not have the address that was the problem. Thirty minutes, several one way streets and countless curse words later, I finally parked in the designated parking area for the law firm.

The meeting with the attorney was good and things are moving forward in a good fashion with the house of mold. I am optimistic about the outcome. Still, it is a very emotional subject, as you discuss, in explicit detail, everything that has happened, from the first time the roof leaked, to the first spot of mold, to all the sickness, moving out, staying with friend and finally finding a place to live. Describing the feeling of total helplessness as you watch a waterfall come down your walls when it rains.

Feeling emotionally spent, I went back to the car and headed to pay for parking – $20 flat fee for an hour.  But when I got up to pay, something strange and quite wonderful happened – the attendant said my parking had been paid by the man in front of me, who often does such things on a random basis.

And with that small generous gesture, a smile was back on my face. What a wonderful unexpected thing!  A random kindness, given to me on this rainy, cold and emotional day.

Always give back, when you can. For everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about and you never know when your kind act is needed for a weary spirit. It felt like a little hug, a Godwink letting me know that even on such a tough day, it will all be OK. Because  that’s what happens when we take care of each other.

And always pay attention to the little things.  When I was busy trying to get back to work and get many things done, there was this perfect little moment that made me feel so much better. That man will never know what a gift he gave – more than just the $20 for my parking.  He gave a tired girl a reason to believe, he gave a smile to someone who had just 10 minutes earlier been crying in an attorneys office, and he gave a reminder that while all days will not be perfect, we can still find the perfect even in the rain and cold. Yes, it truly is the little things in life. But when those little things add up to so much, can we really consider them little?

 

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Celebrate Your Life, Youself, Everday Day

Posted by adalamar on January 9, 2015

I am a hot mess. And I’ve been a hot mess for a hot minute. But during one month of the year, all of that is set aside for one purpose: the purpose of celebrating my birthday month. All month long

At first this tradition may seem silly, but it’s not. Your birthday is one one day a year, why take a whole month?

Growing up We always celebrated out birthdays in a big way. Because when you are born, when the world meets you and you meet the world, when your loved ones are given the blessing and gift of you, that day should be remembered and celebrated. The anniversary of your birth.

And when you celebrate your birthday for the entire month, it gives you an excuse to to what you want…because it’s your birthday month. But more than that, it reminds you to celebrate your life every single day, because every day you are give. Is truly a gift. Another day to see the miracle of a sunrise, or enjoy the comfort of a aa bed in which to sleep until light.

Celebrating the entire birthday month reminds us to enjoy chances in life, to not take anything for ranted, to be thankful and gracious for the life around you. It reminds us to truly celebrate ourselves and be happy with who we are. Right now in this moment.

No life isn’t perfect. Maybe you still can’t fit into those skinny pants, or your car is making that funny sound, or just whatever. But that doesn’t mean it will always be that way, or that you can’t appreciate the good things you have.

Enjoy the moments life gives you have passion and gratitude in your heart, celebrate each day and always be curious. Throw yourself into your life and the world. And don’t forget to celebrate your birthday.

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Don’t Mold Around Here No More

Posted by adalamar on January 5, 2015

With any new beginning there will naturally come challenges and obstructions. Do not become discouraged by them, do not fall into fear and doubt, but rather, cleave in faith and continue on, confident that the Divine is with you and that you will overcome whatever challenges and obstructions that arise. Remember, the challenges and obstructions we encounter are integral to a greater progress and our eventual success. – Gamze Ridley

Today I received the final word on my House of Mold…not only is it full of toxic mold, but I cannot return for any reason without a Hazmat suit because the infestation has permeated ever part of the house.  It is not safe to breath even for 5 minutes.  The house must be condemned and destroyed to make sure no one else suffers further illness. It is also recommended that I get further medical testing to determine the level of permanent damage to lungs and respiratory system.

Hearing this was rather overwhelming, even though on some level it was expected. My heart went into my throat and I could feel tears rolling down my cheeks.  Yes I cried.  I just didn’t expect it to be that…bad. And I threw myself the obligatory pity party for the remainder of the evening, sending out text messages, telling friends, discussing what it all meant.

And then I realized, this isn’t the end of the world. I will be fine. While the idea of living in that house for 6 months, when it’s not safe to breath for 5 minutes is terrifying, I am OK. Having my house condemned isn’t going to kill me, neither is walking away from the disaster and giving it back to the bank. Though it is not how I wanted it to be, “it is what it is and it ain’t getting no isser.”

And with that the pity party was done and I thought why not remain positive? After all, I have been extremely lucky thus far. Things could have always been worse. I could have been a lot sicker with many more health issues; I found the mold quickly when it could have taken years.

Part of  life is just getting through it. Things won’t always go your way. There will be adversities to overcome, challenges to meet, and difficulties to chase. And that’s OK.  Continual smooth waters are not conducive to forming a well rounded person. We must rise to overcome in order to find out just how high the human spirit can sore.

And while we may have a few scars or be weary from those hard times, they are worth it. For it is that which makes us great, which makes us richer, deeper, finer, more compassionate beings. It is what makes us our most human, and our most beautiful.

So, I will appreciate, maybe even celebrate to condemnation of my house and it’s subsequent foreclosure. Because that means I lived through it and came out the other side. I will appreciate the tears that may fall between now and then, for it means that I can feel deep emotion. I will appreciate the experience of the coming legal proceedings and pray for justice. And I will appreciate and celebrate all that this life gives me, because every day I breath is a gift. And I will appreciate the scars left behind, because they only add to the beauty and splendor of being human. And in being human, I find Peace.

And I will look forward and not fear the future. I don’t know what is coming in the days, weeks and even years ahead. But I am here. And this is a new beginning.

‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’
‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.’ ― Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

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New Year, Birthdays and Taking Risks

Posted by adalamar on January 4, 2015

Sometimes, one of the hardest things about writing is figuring out the opening sentence or line that might catch someone’s attention get them reading further and deeper. Just sitting down to write this post, I have come up with quite a few opening lines:

  • It’s that time of year again…my birthday month!!!
  • Just when you thought you were safe from another “New Year” blog
  • As I sit here, in my PJ’s…

And sometimes, planning out the next year can be just as challenging.  I for one, am beyond happy to see the end of 2014, and am ecstatic about 2015. There is a sense of optimism and happiness. But how does one go about changing their life for the better exactly?  Not sure on that one, though many thousands of books have been written, and many thousands more no doubt.  Maybe it’s really not an exact science. Maybe it’s all by trial and error. Wouldn’t it be great if we had a compass to tell us where to go for that good life we want, or when we may be veering off track? A magic 8 Ball that really did have all the answers?

First I want to take care of myself.  Like many women, I stopped taking care of myself and took care of others instead. And when all was said and done, I was sitting on empty.  That is changing. I now look around at at empty house (except for the cats) and realize that I am bound by nothing…The world is mine to find adventure, with new things to trip over, places to fall into and new drinks to spill. I am picking up where I left off so to speak and it feels good. And scary. And exciting. And overwhelming.

I stopped working out and exercising. I stopped hiking, Stopped going to live music shows, or the botanical gardens. I quit fixing my hair, trying make up things and just having a bit of fun and enjoyment in general.  And adventure doesn’t have to be far from home, as long as you stay curious and keep quality people around you. For example, I had the best New Years I have had in a very long time. The best thing in the world, is when you are having such a wonderful time that you loose track and don’t even realize it’s midnight…

“Well behaved women seldom make history “- Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

And I want to take a vacation this year. On a beach. I miss the beach,  miss the water. It’s calling my name. FINALLY publishing my book is on the list. I had to put it down to tend to other things and now, just like the rest of my life, it’s time to start it back up again. So if any of you know any publishers….

Exercise. The Dreadmill, the bane of my existence. But exercise I will. Not just to loose a few pounds, but because I felt better when I was exercising.  And I have set up a wonderful workout/zen area in my bedroom that will be perfect for rain day workouts and Pilates. Also, the garage is organized with space for the heavy bag. Yes, it’s time to start boxing again! And maybe even jog around the neighborhood if it ever quits raining. If not, boating around the neighborhood, that could be good exercise too.

I am not going to take on so much crap from others. I can help and be kind without putting myself out or sacrificing myself for them. This may seem counter intuitive to having Grace, which I am also seeking. But I think they can go hand in had. In order to have Grace, you do not have to be a doormat. You have to set realistic and healthy boundaries for yourself and life. I have not done the best of either in the past.

“Do one thing that scares you every day.” – Elenore Roosevelt

But the main thing for this next year, is to take more risks and chances. When we play it too safe, we forget how to really live. And sometimes the best thing you can do is step out of the comfort zone and grow. I want to do this with life and especially love. Someone sent me a picture they have of the word “Love” written in the sand on thebeach. That is what I want my life to be, full of love, life and sand this year. And it’s of to a wonderful start.

But I am also reminded of something I read not long ago, and that in order to be flexible, we must have stability. So, before any adventuring into the sunset happens, I must first find that stable foundation from which to build and spring my life.  Maybe that is why I am taking much care in getting the house unpacked and situated. And after being displaced by the mold, it is great to finally be able to relax and have a home in which to settle.

And there it is, my new year, for the age of 42.  And each heartbeat carries all the hopes, dreams and fears that go along with them too. And so it is, that I start this celebration of my birthday month. A celebration of life, of anticipation, of passion, of chances and of love. And they bring an enthusiasm that boils up from that deep place inside, past the mind, into the soul and back again.

 

 

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And a Merry Christmas to All

Posted by adalamar on December 24, 2014

It is Christmas Eve, and I have to think back on the past year as I get ready to see my family.  It has been a long hard year, one that has seen unprecedented struggles within my family and friends.  I am so very blessed to have another Christmas with my wonderful father, and for that I am very thankful. But this year has also seen the struggle to purchase the House of Mold, discovering the mold and now the process of getting the house mold free and dealing with the legalities of being a victim of mortgage fraud.

And I am so very thankful to have my little house now, comfy, cozy, and warm. It is much smaller than what I am used to, but it is mold free, safe, and a great place to start over.

And with this year coming to a close, that it what the new year represents; starting over. And as my friends post the pictures of their year in that cute little book, I have no desire to post mine.  I remember this year well and have no desire to revisit in pictures. I am just happy I lived through it all!

But then there have been the wonderful moments too. Like purchasing my own home, finding out it really wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be.  Swimming my in pool and watching fireflies dance in the evening sky in the back yard.  Taking another chance and believing in someone.  No matter how many times I get hurt, I just cannot believe that taking a chance and opening your heart to someone new is a bad thing.  Maybe it is the hopeless, eternally optimistic person in me that believes that eventually – if nothing else than by the sacred geometry of chance, it will work out.

I have met wonderful new friends that have shown me so much love and support, even when they did not know me that well. They unknowing renewed my faith in humanity with their compassion, empathy, support, and kindness to someone they barely knew, and was not in a position to repay them. It was a beautiful and humbling experience.

And so I welcome this holiday season as the last part of the year.  And it will end well, I have decided, and hopefully the Grace of God will see that it is so.

To end this year with smiles and laughter, the quiet moments of love and family and thoughtful conversations that make memories that last a lifetime.  Preparing for the next year of my life, as I close the chapter on another.  For this year has been tumultuous and long. But that is no reason not to keep my chin up and stay always hopeful for the future.

 

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The Oposite of Seasons

Posted by adalamar on December 19, 2014

This is the season for parties, festivities, socializing, seeing old friends, making new friends and just a lot of hustle and bustle. It is a season of extraverts. But this season I am feeling anything but extravert.

This year I am feeling very be cozy and warm mama bearish. I just want to be home, or with a close circle of friends. Yes, the invites have been pouring in for this and that.  And surely these are people whose company I have enjoyed in the past. But my couch is so very comfortable and the fire is warm.

This year, after being terrible displaced from my home due to toxic mold, I am more appreciative of e safe place to hang my hat.  I want to make this space warm and welcoming to all those whom I love and care.

And as the pictures of festive parties, pretty dresses, fixed hair, perfect make up and lots of drinks are posted on Facebook and other social media outlets, I smile and click like from the comfort and warmth of my own hearth, on my flannel PJ’s and fuzzy socks (yes, super sexy, I know).

I sip wine and listen to my favorite music, unpacking, organizing, arranging furniture and getting settled.  And who says you have to be and about on the town seeing and being seen to be social? I have my friends close by, still meeting for dinners and drinks.  I run to theirs or they come to mine. It is nice and quiet and small and quaint.

There is home cooking – soups and sauces, new recipes and old favorite, smells and fragrances filling the house. Putting up and decorating the Christmas tree, with all the old ornaments from childhood that make me smile and love my parents. There is eggnog and mistletoe and kisses and laughter. There is the gentleness of starting over.

And sometimes, in the big world, it is good to be small and close.  It is good to make sure that all of our fingers and toes and accounted for and painted pretty colors, enjoying the small comforts that build the foundation of a good and happy life. Sometimes the small celebrations are even more meaningful than the big ones.

And sometimes, when it is all said and done, it is the building of many of those small moments that make a life worth living and loving. Sometimes being the opposite of the season is what gives it it’s meaning.

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My Sitcom Life: American Tashedy Story

Posted by adalamar on December 19, 2014

We all have those days where everything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Otherwise known as Murphy’s Law. That was my morning yesterday.

I set a pack of chicken out to thaw the night before in preparation of cooking a favorite recipe.  Those who know me know that I foster rescue kitties… So I get up yesterday  morning and what to my wondering eyes does appear? But the sight of pieces of chicken breasts, half eaten and scattered far and near. So the morning was spent tracking down what remained of the chicken. And let me just say that stepping on a piece of chicken early in the morning before even having coffee is not fun.

After the chicken was all cleaned up I got ready and it was time to leave. As I leave I realize it’s trash day. So I lean in to put my things in the car, and put my knee up on the seat. As I try to get out of the car…I notice the heal of my stiletto shoe is caught in the hem of my dress. So there I was, bent over, half way leaning into the car, hopping on one foot while reaching around to unhook my shoe. Finally got untangled.

Then it was time to get the trash can out to the curb. The very heavy trash can. And I tried to walk this very heavy monstrosity down a very steep driveway in 4” heels. And thought several times I might get run over by momentum of said trash can.  Legs can only go down a steep incline so fast in heels…and the trash can was gaining speed. Suddenly I saw my life flash before my eyes as I imagined the headline:

American Trashidy: Death by the Can

Forget Grandma getting run over by a reindeer, try singleton gets run over by the trash… the headlines would find ever clever way possible to frame the events that led to my death.  Thankfully I was able to steer over to the grass where I could dig my heels in (literally) and the trash can did not roll so easy. But it was a close call and I thought the trash can was going to win.

I am sure these events were very entertaining to my neighbors to say the least.  They were probably drinking their coffee and laughing that the new girl was dancing around and trying not to die a trashy death.

The rest of the day went surprisingly smooth, after I actually got out of the driveway. Such is the life of a clutz.

I can hear you laughing.

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Of This and Thats

Posted by adalamar on December 9, 2014

It is the winter season, the holiday season, the shopping season, the everything season it seems. And as life hurries by this time of year, it seems that my writing has slowed down a bit.  Indeed it can be hard to find the time to write about thoughts and life and love and the spaces in between, when you are right in the middle of it.

And so the struggle for balance continues. And I breath, and I let go.

To be flexible, you must first have stability. A solid foundation on which to build. A place where you can move, and twist and bend as you need when life requires you to be flexible.

And as I chase stability through the empty halls of what once was to be, and in the echoes of what is coming around the bend, I yearn to be there already. I repeat the word over and over in my mind, like a mantra, and I breath. And I stretch, reaching for my goals, driving ever more, ever deeper into the life that I want to claim as mine. And I breath, and as I let the thoughts and worries drift away. The house, the mold, the attorneys, the company, the job, the career, the family…

I have started working out again. Slowly, building my strength up to where it used to be.  Slowly, building up resistance and tension, muscle, control and tone. Stability requires strength. And I want to push my body as much as I push and exercise the mind.

And as I unpack in my new home, as I begin to settle into what will be my life, I strive in all that I do, for strength and stability; to be flexible when life throws a curve ball.

And there is a sense of satisfaction and optimism. This year is coming to a close, the new one is full of all my dreams and possibilities. It is full of all the thises and thats for which I strive. And I know, in that moment, that anything is possible, if I hold on and believe. Endurance, strength, stability, flexibility are what my heart pumps with each beat, inside each cell and fiber of me.

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Taking Care

Posted by adalamar on November 25, 2014

It is that time of year again. That time where we take pause to give thanks for what we have and who we have in our lives.  And this year, as I looked around, I saw the landscape change.  There has been much more taking care this year than in the past.  By that I mean my friends, family and I all taking care of each other. It is a fluid stream of handing off the “I’ve got this” baton to each other.

This year there is so much for which to be thankful – my Father’s cancer going into remission is the biggest. Followed by me having and finding a safe, mold free place to live. The new job, my new life basically.  But there has been so much help along the way. My sister and neighbors watching over my pets, my sister and great friends opening up their houses to me, offering a place to live while I figured out what course of action to take with the House of Mold. I was given a safe place to sleep and live, eat, laugh and play.  Friends were coming out of the woodwork to help and s=check in to make sure I was OK.  And I am so very thankful.

And I have been able to be there for my friends as well, offering support, free writing services, advice, a shoulder, cooking and much more.  This year, more than any year, I feel like we have formed a community for each other, a place in which we can go, and work, and live and love, and truly know, we are not alone.  That is a wonderful thing to have in this world.

And so this year I am thankful for taking care – thankful for those who have taken care of me, and for hose whom I can repay the favor. And this year, it is truly a celebration of the beautiful souls I am blessed to have in my life.

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Safe and Settled

Posted by adalamar on November 15, 2014

Here it is, the eve of the move. The eve of finally having all of me in one place. It’s hard to pick up the pieces when you r life is scattered in many directions, in storage units, and garages, and the trunk of your car, and in your mother’s greenhouse and a friends spare bedroom…and a thousand other places it seems.

Home. It is a special word to me. A place that is my sanctuary, my safe place. It is where I go to take off the armor of the day and let my guard down. This is where I am safe, this is where I am protected from the outside elements. This, this is my Home. And for a person like me, it is so tough to be somewhere, that is not home.

The mold is still in the house, as the sellers and I go through the dance of negotiations. One seller is helpful, the other seller, Richard Porter,  refuses to speak, only to say we have nothing to speak about. And I breath, knowing that there are plenty of people investigating him and criminal charges pending.

And I focus on my future. on unpacking. On getting settled in for the winter. On making sure this place, this space, is my home while I am here. It as been hard getting here, there truly are no words to express the amount of tears, pain, worry, stress, emotion and hardship. To be displaced from you home, through no fault of your own because Richard Porter tool illegal shortcuts.

To have no place to go, to face the possibility of loosing everything you own, to be sick fro the mold, to have your loved pets sick, to have to figure out where to go and what to do has been overwhelming at times.

And I look around, at where I am now, typing before bed and I am thankful. I have been given a home away from home. A friend who opened up her home to be when I had nowhere to go and nothing to offer in return. A friend who gave a safe place to land, while trying to navigate through difficult waters of life.

She gave more then a bed and warm place to sleep, but hot coffee in the morning, breakfast burritos, encouragement when I was too lost and upset to even make it off the couch to cook or do dishes. Yet she was there, with all her Grace, caring and making sure I was OK. She gave conversation and laughter, the Blacklist and funny show clips. Warm towels, clean washcloths, and friendship. She seemed to understand that I needed a moment, to be a mess, to collect myself and regroup. I am the one who takes care of those around me. Yet I was in genuine need of support.

Something I wall always remember and pass on whenever I can.

And here I am now, on the eve of being safe and settled and I know, deep down where I hear my heart beating, that I could not have done it, gotten here, without the love and support of such wonderful family and friends. And as I drift off to sleep, one last time in the warm and comfortable spare bedroom of my friend, I know that I have been kept safe while here. And in the short span of 24 hours, I will be getting settled. My life will, after several months of seemingly moldy chaos, will once again be manageable.

And my heart and mind rest deeply on the thought.

 

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The Sweet Bitter Whispers

Posted by adalamar on November 3, 2014

It was as if all of the happiness, all of the magic of this blissful hour had flowed together into these stirring, bittersweet tones and flowed away, becoming temporal and transitory once more. – Herman Hesse

There are money moments in life that are bittersweet. And there are plenty of times in our lives we must “catch and release.” Funny how many times these two concepts intersect.  And many times when we clear away the noise, separate the innocuous, the ancillary and the imperative, and see down to the nitty gritty of it, we can just take a moment.

And so in the hectic of packing (with horrible movers), in dealing with banks and lawyers and sellers, I took a moment to look over each point. And there is was, the sweet bitter.  I said goodbye to all that I thought and dreamed and wanted. Because I really saw what was there.  A house that, in the sort time I lived there, was a nightmare.  From the roof the very first week, to the mold even on that day.

Lets face it, the reality did not measure up to the fantasy. So it is better to shed, and come out of the other side stronger, better, finer, shinier, than to stay in an old. But there must be a goodbye, a salute to the view from the mast bedroom, having a sauna and an amazing all marble bathroom. The adventure of going from backyard swamp to a swimming pool. Chasing a dog around the neighborhood. Finding a snake in the living room, sliding down the stairs countless times, planting my first tree in my first back yard of my first house.

The pride of having my parents over for the first time. Drinking wine outside in the back yard watching the fireflies dance like magic. Planting flowers along the back wall. Walking barefoot in my back yard.  Meeting my cool and wonderful neighbors who turned into wonderful friends. Discovering all the birds that loved that flowers and trees.

Of Dreams and Whispers

My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return. – Maya Angelou

And as I turn away I hear dreams whispering in my ear as my heart beats to the rhythm of Next. I hear whispers of a new home that is more manageable, less costly. I hear the want of a new back yard and new trees and new beginnings.Whispers of laughter, dinners, conversations with friends, watching movies, and a home that is more comfortable for family and loved ones. I hear whispers of romance and soft kisses, slow music and lazy Sundays. And I know there are many smiles to come. Because when you get still and very quiet within yourself, you can hear God’s voice, whispering, guiding, calming, beckoning. And when I hear that, I know, deep down in my bones, that all will be OK.

And that is the great thing about life: We write our own stories, we can make our own rules. So it doesn’t really matter what mistakes are made, what paths crossed or even who gets the house, the sellers or the bank. Because we get to write the story of our lives. And the story might still be under construction, but that’s OK. Because it’s never too late to change the ending.

The secret is that we must always be curious. Curious about life, love, our friends, strangers, dreams and what’s around the next corner. Always have the courage to keep being curious, to keep seeking, keep asking, keep learning. Adventures are waiting.

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning. – Albert Einstein

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His iPod

Posted by adalamar on November 3, 2014

I now know what it is like to find the iPod of a loved one who is gone. We listened to his iPod on car trips, music playing the the background as we talked of life and laughed, and made plans for the future. He told me about his favorite songs, about the artists, the stories of how the songs were written and what they meant to him.

And sometimes we did not talk at all.  Sometimes we just listened, each in our own little part of the world, yet together in our own shared space.

Music is such a personal thing, what you have on a tiny machine. How you cataorize them, which are your favorites, which song off of which albums, which covers of which sings. A snapshot of a person. Right there, on their own playlist, the soundtrack of their life. All the theme songs, sad songs, happy songs, work out songs, driving songs, relaxing songs, break up songs, make love songs….all of it, right there waiting with one word: Play.

And as I lay there in a bubble bath and listened, I cried. It was real, he was real, the love I felt was real, the trust I had was real. Even if the man, the person, no longer exists on this earth.  And it meant something.

And therein lies the comfort.

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Mold

Posted by adalamar on October 27, 2014

My first home, supposed to be the American dream. Five months into living there, I found black mold. It was everywhere – above the refrigerator, in the master bedroom, in the crawl space, in the living room, by the air return, in the air vents… I was getting sick, my pets were very sick. My Dad, who was recovering after several chemo treatments for his liver cancer stayed with me….Then I had the mold analyzed. Black Toxic Mold (Stachybotrys chartarum). Pictures say a thousand words:

And as if all this mold wasn’t enough…there were leaks in the roof!  The leaky roof was part of what caused the mold.  I man who installed the “new roof” came out several times to fix it.  He had no truck, instead drove a mustang convertible with the roofing and construction supplies in the trunk. He had no ladder or even utility knives.  When it rained, all I could do was cry and watched, horrified, as the water poured in from the  outside….

The HVAC system was the other cause…Five HVAC professionals said the same thing: The system is no good. Takes no humidity out of the house, will cause mold issues, needs to be replaced ASAP. The furnace is over 20 years old, was taken from another house, installed incorrectly and has not place for an air filter.  Here is the leak from and the water pouring from the walls.

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The Forward in the Foremost

Posted by adalamar on October 20, 2014

 We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.Walt Disney

It is said that in order to keep growing, we must keep moving forward. That we can only attain our sense of balance as we grow and move and learn. As I look around I find this to be true in my own life. But first we must let go of all of the old, all of the bed, all of everything that did not deserves well in the past, to make room for all the good that is coming in the future.

And I breathed in, and I held my breath, and then slowly, purposefully, intentionally, meaningfully, I exhaled. I let go of what was not good for me, and for which I was no good either. It’s not enough to have those in you life that are good for you, you must be good for them too. You don’t want to hold them back, or stifle in any way. So let them free. And when you see them soaring, out in the distance, their beauty will take your breath away. And you can smile and be thankful for them.

And you keep moving forward, keep discovering, experiencing, trying, growing, needing, loving, laughing, seeing, crying…everything-ing.

I think that the power is the principle. The principle of moving forward, as though you have the confidence to move forward, eventually gives you confidence when you look back and see what you’ve done.Robert Downey, Jr.

I took the time to honor and mourn what has come to pass. And now what is left? Everything. Everything in life is left. And I feel it in my bones that it has worked out the way it should. Life is like that. It is the start of a new week and a new job, I will have a new house soon, new friendships, new adventures with my friends and family. And it is all right there in a place called Forward.

Abraham wasn’t perfect. He failed, made mistakes. But, he would go back, get right with God, and then just keep moving forward. He didn’t quit when things got hard. He just kept on going. And everywhere he went, God was there. God was with him. – Anne Graham Lotz

And I know, deep down, it always is as it should be. And the experiences we have make us richer, deeper, truer people. Our flaws and out scars make us our most beautiful, our most human. So when we do share ourselves with another, in friendship, in love, in family bonds, they see us in all our imperfection. And somehow, their imperfections pour over our own, filling in the cracks and making us stronger.

You are always a student, never a master. You have to keep moving forward.Conrad Hall

But first and foremost, we must take that first step forward. And then another, and another. And in this Fall, this season, this moment, I hear my own footsteps as they land on the ground. Forward. And it makes me smile, gives me hope and excitement of the future to come. Chin up, feet forward, heart open.

Life is good and full and promising. And again I take a deep breath, hold it, say a prayer, and fall forward….

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All That I leave Behind

Posted by adalamar on October 17, 2014

“It doesn’t mean much, it doesn’t mean anything at all. The life I’ve left behind me is a cold room.”

In order to move forward in anything, we must leave behind. And as I stand on the rim of a new chapter, cracked, worn, weary and a bit ragged, I take a breath and pause.

I see all I have left behind, looking down the road of this chapter about to be closed, seeing pieces if myself littering the landscape like old paper.  I leave behind this old life, The  dreams of a home, of laughter and memories in a house of mold.

I leave the backyard of hope, the pool of dreams, the balcony of life, the mountains of soul, the view of height and the breathlessness of the first.   And I leave behind the anger, the fear, the hopelessness and despair of the moment. Indeed I too leave behind those moments of confusion and tension and clay. I let go of the fighting and struggle of wanting to be recognized as human, as real, as a woman. I let go of all of your that every single heartbeat carried.

But most of all, I let go of you, yes you. I let go of all my illusions of who you are, and once was. Every breath that I held for you, I now exhale. All tht my arms carried for you, I set down. Twenty three years of knowing, of wishing, dreaming, wanting wondering. I now leave behind.  I leave behind your pictures, your clothes, your food, your You. I let go of all those notes and letters wrote and never sent.  thoughts scribbled on napkins, and notebooks, and cards, and paper towels. Thoughts wanted in the night, and day and in the morning.

All the daydreams and possibilities. I let go of the sheets and the bed, you smile and how your voice felt in my ears. I let go of all of it, the whole of you.  I leave behind your secrets. Yes I carried your secrets for 23 years, secrets you never knew I knew, I leave behind in this place, never again to be known.

I let go of everything that was you. Because you are no more, you are not hear, are not there, are no where to be found. I looked for you, I waited for you. And now I leave you behind, or the memory of you really.

And I wonder if you were ever really there at all?

There is no trace of you now.  And I leave behind that sadness of missing you. and I close that door.

And step into a new room.

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The Ready

Posted by adalamar on October 17, 2014

It is almost a magic thing when you feel the seasons change. It could be something as small as just a sigh chill in the air, but you feel, you know, the season has shifted and you are ready. And in this moment, of Fall changing to winter, I am ready.

Ready for what is next, to find my new place, live, unpack, make a home, FEEL at home. I am ready for great boots and opaque tights, cool mornings and warm coffee. I am ready for fires and fire places, looking for firewood and hiring the cozy crackle, reading by the warm fire.

I am to ready  flirt, to smile, to laugh. Ready to be kissed, have long conversations and see what comes next. To feel the rush of wonder and hope.

Ready for the bruises to be healed, for faith to be returned, to finally exhale as those baby steps bring me closer, with every beat of a heart. I am ready to shed this skin, jaded as it is, and be new.

I am ready to learn, grow, experience unfamiliar things in unfamiliar places. Ready to see the sunrise for the dawn of a new day. Ready to discover who I am under all this weight that has been carried. Ready to let go and be free of extraneous noise and unfocused light.

Ready to push my body, farther than it wants to go, work it harder than it is willing to give. To go deeper, work harder, be braver, than I have. To wake up with all that is dear, close to me with no distance.

I am ready to pray and have faith. To truly do andbe the best I can. To do all that I can, with faith and singleness of heart. I am ready to be love, wholey, and give myself to the delight of discovering life, and all it’s entrappings. Ready to stay up late reading, curled up on the couch, not wanting to to leave the story. Ready to write pages upon pages of all that is in the story of me.

Ready to have Grace. That’s the hard one. Ready to keep with the 4 agreements, not taking it personally, knowing the reaction is more about them.

And I am ready to live.

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