Saturday, November 4, 2006

A Star is born

How often is a mom humbled by a 5-year-old child?

My answer is, often. And tonight was one of those nights.

Lora has been taking singing lessons for a few months. She expressed an interest because a classmate of hers took singing last year. She also has a sweet little voice. She's been going once a week to a local girl, Deborah Mayeaux, who also has a beautiful voice. (and her dad fixes air conditioners).

Our local church fair was this weekend, and Deborah (an alum of the church school) got time for her students to perform. 

Frankly, we didn't think Lora would. At first she said she wouldn't. Then she changed her mind. We all expected her to freeze up, mumble a few notes and be a cute little 5-year-old curiosity.

Nope.

This child, all decked out in a pink leather skirt and vest and pink cowboy boots, marched onto the stage and belted out "Behind these Hazel Eyes." And she simply wowed the crowd (and it was a pretty healthy one, too, at 6 p.m. on a Saturday night.) 

I bawled my eyes out the whole time.....

Afterwards, many many people came up to her and told her how great she was. One little girl asked her for an autograph!!! (OH MY GOD). 

And Marty and I are simply amazed......










Saturday, August 26, 2006

Another cute Lora story

Took her to buy shoes (because she is a mermaid and has fins for feet!).  The guy at PayLess forgot to remove one of the security tags from a previous shopper's items. As she departed the store, the store's alarm went off.

Lora ran to the front and demanded to know:

"Who's stealing?"

Thursday, August 17, 2006

And a cute story

Monday was the first day of school for the high schoolers, so the first day Marty would have students in his class. Sunday night I said something like that to Lora.
"Tomorrow is Dad's first day of school!"
Lora: "Then where has he been going all week?:
Me: "He's been going to school, but the kids weren't going yet."
Lora: "Aw. Was he lonesome?:
Me: "No! The other teachers were there. But now the students will be there."
Lora: "I bet he'll be glad. I bet he misses his team."
Me: "Yeah. But he's going to get a whole new team this year."
Lora: "Why? did the other ones mess up?"

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Just what am I doing?

Some people think I'm nuts.

(Some people will continue to think so no matter what.)

But some people think I'm nuts for mortgaging myself up to my eyeballs to put a hole in my backyard that will only cost me more money year-round. 

Marty's best friend thinks we're nuts to be staying in this house at all. 

Sell! he says. Buy a bigger house somewhere else! he says. Get away from the plants! he says.

First of all, I love my house. Marty and I fell in love with this house the first time we saw it, even with the mothball smell and the the heavy drapes in the living room. Dotty Dottie (the previous owner) had very little interior decorating skills, but all we could see was potential. It reminded me of my Grannie's house. And that's why I loved it. It was different. It wasn't prefab. It  wasn't perfect (I mean, who puts their stairs in the bedroom???) And that's why I loved it.

But the backyard has always given me fits. Oh, I tried to keep it up. I had a nice garden and roses for a while. Then Lora Leigh came along and I never had the time anymore. Things got away from me. The garage started to fall apart. things got ugly.  I never liked to go back there anymore. Every time I tried to sit back there and relax, I couldn't. All I could see was all the work that needed to be done. I had no time. I had no help. I went inside.

And suddenly inside is so crowded.

So many people lost their homes to Hurricane Katrina's flood waters. I lost mine to a different invader. My house was perfect for me and Marty, and then for Lora Leigh. But add in two more grown-ups and it gets a little crowded. It gets VERY crowded. There's a line at the bathroom. There are passing lanes in the kitchen and the hall. And way, way too many voices.

Oh how I long to walk in MY house, in MY living room and hear nothing but MY breath. Pet MY dog. Sit on MY sofa. Turn on MY TV (OK they bought it) and flip channels with MY remote.

Better yet. Oh how I long to turn the damned thing off and sit down at my oh-so-lonely piano and fill the house with a joyful noise. I used to do that every so often when the house was empty, pretend I was a grand pianist giving a grand concert. I used to do it as a child at Grannie's too when her house was empty and I had the silence all to myself.  But the house is never empty or silent. It's soap operas Monday through Friday and spaghetti westerns all day Saturday. I go to work to find peace, or to my room.

All around us people are wrestling with their Katrina demons. Some are losing. Some deal, some don't. Some are doing the best they can.

I'm doing the best I can.

And I'm building myself a new room. It just won't have a ceiling or walls. I so want it to be perfect and beautiful and aesthetically pleasing when all is said and done so that when I go to it I can find my peace. I want to see what is done and not what needs to be done.

But even if it isn't, I know that I can close my eyes and find a moment's peace. It is silent underwater. No phones. No voices. No TVs. Hopefully, no demons. Just peace and quiet....

No matter how much it costs me.

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Timing is everything!

So it's nearly one year since Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and disrupted our lives.  One year since we all scattered to the winds, some never to return. One year since we all turned our keys in our locks, took one last look and and headed for safer ground.

It's been nearly one year since my in-laws lost a lifetime worth of possessions and memories in one giant tidal wave that Allstate Insurance refuses to pay them for. It was a flood, they said. Not a hurricane.....and nearly one year since they arrived on my doorstep with what they had left in a few plastic grocery bags. I think one year ago this weekend we were at that house -- Marty and me, Lora Leigh, Courtney and Katie, Casey and his friend, even Lollee,  enjoying the beach one last time. If we had only known ...

So, we move on.

Nearly one year later, we finally have plans for a cottage for them to live in. Folks are coming and going through my backyard to measure and eyeball and configure. We still don't have a price, however.

Nearly one year later, they are coming to dig a big hole in my backyard for a swimming pool I probably don't need but desperately need. I'm adding a room -- an outdoor room. They are due to arrive at 7 a.m. tomorrow to start digging the hole. They promise we'll be swimming by Labor Day....

And nearly one year later, there is yet another hurricane barrelling its way through the Gulf of Mexico....

 

Why couldn't the storm come AFTER the pool is built? Then it could help fill that sucker up?

Timing is everything!

 

 

 

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The View from here!

Just got back from the annual Louisiana Sports Writers Association Convention in Lafayette.  It was my 15th.  I won a third place award for a story I wrote last summer about a mom who coached her son's summer baseball team -- and they went undefeated. It was the story nobody read, as it came out the Sunday of Katrina. Everyone had evacuated.  And I finished second in the Prep Writer of the Year category. Pretty proud of that.

But I am most proud of the fact that this wonderful, fabulous group of guys I adore elected me their recording secretary. No, it's not just one of those figure-head positions, either -- like songleader of the 4-H back in the fourth grade. I'm now in the official officer rotation and, in a few years, I should be elected president of the organization. That means something. To me, anyway.

Oh. And Lora Leigh won an award.  She got to keep Matilda the kangaroo for life.

Oh joy.

In other news, there is a big red rectangle in my back yard. Sometime next week it should be turned into a mud hole. Sometime after that I hope it is turned into a Caribbean blue, glittering oasis....

 

Oh. And if my backyard isn't a total and complete war zone in October, between the pool and the Jane and Pappy cottage to-be-built back there, I have decided that we will be having a Halloween Booooo-fet. Costumes NOT optional -- so start thinking clever.

 

 

 

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Genealogy Central

If you're looking for some family history, visit Here:

Lyons Family Tree

 

It hasn't been updated in a while, but it's fairly comprehensive.