Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Whoa! Stop the clock;-) The big 40!

I turned 40 today, January 6, 2009! Should I feel differently than yesterday? I don’t know;-) I will say that I’ve reflected a bit, because it’s sort of amazing to think of all that’s happened in my life and in the world in the past 40 years. Also what hasn’t happened that I still hope will...

I do know it’s true when people say they don’t “feel” a certain age. I certainly don’t feel like I’ve been alive for 40 years. It’s almost too large a span to take in all at once. Heck, just the past decade is enough to keep me reflecting for a while. Right now, though, the past couple of years are really due for some reflection – I’ve been meaning to write about them and now is a perfect time!

On my birthday last year, I didn’t even know where we’d be living by the end of the month. Shades of December 2003? Yet I was working, and had been working for three years for the same place. However, in January 2006, I’d decided to rent a house through my workplace. We’d been living in a small duplex for almost three years, and so wanted to live in a real house again. We wanted to have a dog, and space, etc. – it was huge for us. So when the opportunity arose to rent this house, we took it. I knew it was a stretch, especially when the rent was raised another $25 a month before we’d even moved in. However, we chose to do it because our desire to live in a real house and some place more normal was so strong.

What we couldn’t know is that the house would be offered for sale two months after we moved in. Because my former workplace leased it through another employee, they had no say. This came as a huge shock to us, and to the other tenant who had rented the “shack” on the property. It was as big of a commitment for her as it had been for us – she’d been living in a cheap motel for about a year before moving here. None of us had any savings, and there were very few rentals available at any time.

We had no idea what to do. We were all in a state of fear – the worst place to be for a positive outcome. It’s in that place that you start recreating or re-attracting the same things that didn’t work in the past. I’d learned so much during the time since we’d lost our home in Oregon. However, when I found myself in a situation where I was faced with losing my home again, I froze. I couldn’t seem to hold on to the one thing that meant more than anything – a safe, secure home.

So, we all kept hoping and hoping the place wouldn’t sell. The house needed a lot of work, the market was really slow. Surely, out of all the homes for sale, this one wouldn’t sell. Of course, it was shown repeatedly. Few things are more intrusive than having to show a home that you just want to live in. By November, our neighbor was so fed up with it and with the place we worked. She gave it all up; she quit her job, and went on a song and a prayer up to Washington State.

She endured great hardship (including her own period of homelessness), but survived and is rebuilding her life. I know she reads my blog, so I want to say how proud I am of her!!! It’s more than just rebuilding a life; it’s regaining who we are that we lost during that time.

I know I write a lot, I also know there’s a lot that I’m not writing about the above situation. There’s a small part in my heart that still needs to forgive, though I’ve done pretty well with it:-) I have risen above it, and I’m so appreciative of the blessings in my life now.

Yet, as I said above, by January 2008, we were facing homelessness again. The house had sold at the last moment. We had until the end of the month to get out. Yes, it was the last minute, but we hadn’t come up with any viable solutions since the house had gone up for sale. The only rentals coming up weren’t available until more than a month after our date to be out (and would have required a level of debt to my workplace that I was so reluctant to incur, but didn’t see a way around it).

So, what happened?

I’ll let you know on the next post. I want this be a chapter that ends here. I have moved on, and only write this to show the miracle of what happened next…

The above photo was taken this past Sunday, and is titled "January Rose":-) It's a little mini rose that's been under an awning. Oh, and just had to type this - Happy Birthday to Me!!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A New Year a New Challenge!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! May 2009 and beyond offer you many wonderful opportunities and blessings!

It does seem a good time to make changes, and in that vein, I’ve decided to change my daily challenge. After 35 horses, I believe I’ve proven to myself that I can indeed draw again:-) I’ve proven it so well, that I want to do more. I want to draw in color, and I want to do other subjects. In fact, I’ve started something new tonight. However, it’s going to take a little longer because it is color.

I’ve become much faster through doing my horse ACEO’s, but color still takes more time, and I want to do my best. I don’t want to rush just to produce something each day. Yet I want to keep up with my challenge, and produce as much as I can. I’m going to change the name to Erica Lea’s Drawing Challenge, and go from there:-)

So, to symbolize change and color and productivity, I’ve gone through all my photos and picked this shot of one of my African Violets. It’s very bright and colorful, isn’t it? The colors became much deeper as the temps cooled. It’s also my most prolific bloomer at the moment, and hasn’t stopped since it came in the mail this year. Its name is “Mac’s Galactic Glory”, and it’s a chimera. In violet terms, that means it doesn’t propagate true from leaves like other violets. If you propagate from a leaf, you’ll most like get something different from the mother plant. So there you have it, change, color, and productivity!

I love my African Violets, and have about 45 now. That’s a story for another day;-) In the meantime, I hope you’ll follow me on my artistic and life journey here. It’s been pretty amazing so far!