Palms UP!

Welcome back to SOLO at SIXTY!

“Somebunny loves you!”

The Easter Bunny is scheduled to visit this coming Sunday, April 1st (no fooling!). Where did March go? Here’s hoping it goes out like a lamb! I don’t know about y’all, but I am ready for spring to arrive. Will the REAL SPRING please stand up and stake your claim, otherwise summer will probably kick you to the curb.

Last Sunday was Palm Sunday. You must be a Moravian if you can sing the Hosanna Chorus and fold your palm frond into a cross on Palm Sunday. I was a Presbyterian this past Sunday (nothing wrong with that!) and I watched the children of the church enter waving their palm branches, and even though there was no Hosanna Chorus, it was still special. I miss being a Moravian on the BIG church holidays of Palm Sunday, Easter, and Christmas, and always try to make the Easter service back in Winston-Salem with my family. This year will be no different.

So why am I away from the Moravian Church most Sundays? There are no Moravian churches in Virginia. When I moved to Charlottesville 21 years ago, I searched for a church for my family, and when people would ask “what we were” and I answered Moravian, they thought I was saying Arabian! They had never heard of the Moravian Church, which is a protestant faith, much like the Methodist Church; very active and popular in NC and PA. “In essentials, Unity; in non-essentials, Liberty; in all things, Love.” Basically: Follow the 10 Commandments – the essentials; have freedom to make your own decisions in the non-essentials; use love in all decisions and actions. I have educated my friends and co-workers about many Moravian traditions such as Lovefeasts, Moravian stars, and sugarcake, which I make often and bring in to share.

Palm Sunday begins the Holy Week celebration with the triumphant entry into Jerusalem as palms were waved (hence Palm Sunday) and ends with another big celebration on Easter Sunday. But in between the celebrations are devastating lows – a betrayal and a crucifixion. Very often, life mimics this – happiness, followed by lows, before rebounding. Thankfully the highs seem to outnumber the lows.

“Life is a circle of happiness, sadness, hard times, and good times. If you are going through hard times, have faith that good times are on the way.”

I have experienced many highs and lows over the past couple of years, but I try to concentrate on the highs. This past weekend was one of those high times. I had dinner with my younger daughter and her friends who were visiting with their new baby. I got to hold this precious baby and inhale that sweet baby scent. Also cheered my younger daughter as she successfully ran the Charlottesville 10-miler. And, I got to see my older daughter, son-in-law, and my precious granddawg Saturday afternoon.

“Standing alone doesn’t mean I am alone. It means I’m strong enough to handle things all by myself.”

I am proud of the many things I have accomplished SOLO – moved into a new house, set up all new accounts in my name only, stood up for myself many, many times, and this past weekend I bought a new car. As you all know, I travel a lot, SOLO. I loved my old car, purchased BD (before divorce). But I have put a lot of miles on that car since becoming SOLO, going wherever I want, whenever I want, and it got to the point where I either needed to trade it or drive it until it died. So I decided to trade it for one with even more safety features. And boy did I succeed!

“Success doesn’t just come and find you, you have to go out and get it.”

I am a researcher when making a big purchase and this was my biggest purchase since becoming SOLO. After checking out Edmunds, Kelly Blue Book, and Consumer Reports, I went to CarMax to see what my car was worth. Looked at the local Volvo dealership where I was sure I would find my car. Since I was visiting my daughter and son-in-law in Richmond Saturday afternoon, I decided to see what was at the Volvo dealership there. They went with me – did not want me test driving alone. My sweet son-in-law, who always drives, was such a trooper, sitting in the back seat holding on for dear life while I was test driving the new Volvo. Not because I am a bad driver (heaven forbid!) but the salesman had me testing out the safety features. One is “Adaptive Cruise Control”. He had me driving down Broad Street and told me DO NOT touch your brakes. I caved … had to hit the brakes or else I thought I would hit the car in front of me! He made me do it again and NOT touch my brakes. Lo and behold the car stopped on its own – adjusting speed and stopping due to a car stopped in front of us without me ever touching the brakes! WOW! Then I had to swerve over the center and side lines (son-in-law was green and holding on to my daughter at this point) just to see how the car vibrates and auto corrects back in the middle of the lane. AND I had to parallel park. Now I admit I am a terrible parker which is why I always choose a parking space I can just pull through. But this car parallel parks itself. I kid you not!

After test driving, we truly were starving and at this point, my son-in-law needed a beer. The salesman made an offer on my car and an offer to me to purchase the new car. That is when I pulled out the CarMax offer and discovered they match offers. GREAT! Then I made an offer and they countered. At this point I said, “We are starving and I owe my son-in-law a beer.” The sales manager came over, offering to order lunch in for us and I declined saying I needed to play with the numbers a bit. And of course they were not buying the beer. Well, I guess they did not want us to leave for fear we would not come back. “Ms. Madigan, what will it take to get you in this car?” Told him. He countered. I countered. He accepted and I was truly shocked. And starving! Told him to get the paperwork together while I treated my kids to BBQ and a beer at Buzz and Ned’s. And I drove home in my new car! There is only one downside… new cars do not have CD players! What’s with that?!? How am I supposed to listen to my books on CD? My Christmas CD’s? All of my birthday CD’s my brother-in-law makes for me?!? My daughter assured me we would figure that out… it’s called downloading Mom.

“Believe in  yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.” Christian D. Larson

OK, one more biggie I accomplished SOLO! When I got home, I realized my garage doors would not open automatically with this new car. I needed to sync my garage door openers to my new car. I am sure my neighbors were wondering what I was doing with my garage doors going up and down multiple times, me on the ladder pushing the “learn” button on the garage door, then running back to my car to try and sync it many times. But I was finally successful. SOLO. I was very proud of this feat! Another high point, made so much sweeter after fighting my way through some lows.

I am looking so forward to this weekend. Another happy time. I get to be a Moravian on Sunday. I get to see all of my kids and my dear family in NC. And show them my new ride. I hope your Easter is very special and you get to spend time with your loved ones. Don’t forget to tell them how much they mean to you, because as we all know, none of us is promised tomorrow. And remember, things do get better. Always. Life goes on.

Hoppy Easter,



9 thoughts on “Palms UP!”

  1. Another very entertaining, informative blog!! Thank you also for mentioning that CarMax will match offers. We have purchased from them before and did not know that. We are still driving our 2006 Jeep we bought from them many years ago. Congratulations on your beautiful car. Happy Easter
    Karon Evans

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Leslie, I certainly relate to both subjects you offer this week. Kathleen’s family were Moravians through her father, but I was brought up as a Methodist (Ardmore United Methodist). Old Betsy and I have been together through 165,000 miles, and I have no plans to get rid of her. Betsy is my 2004 Buick Century. With exception of 52 miles she had when I drove her out of Flow’s lot, we put the rest on together. I might add she has a couple features you might like. The dash has both a disk and tape slot. Nyah–Nyah–Nyah !!

    As for the Moravians, K and I wanted to go our own way after marriage, so we left our home churches, and joined Home Church in Salem. K gave me some instructions on Moravian customs which included the handshaking ritual during communion. At that time you only greeted the person sitting to your left and then on the right with the handshake. Today, people run all over the place grinning and shaking !! Wouldn’t surprise me if some day we all will run out on the street stopping cars shaking and grinning. Olivet was her home church, and she would laugh telling me as a small child the women sat on one side and the men on the other.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Leslie,
    Wow! So many accomplishments! 😃You’ll have to help me someday when I get a new car….love the parallel parking!! 👍 Have a Happy Easter! 🐣🐇🐰 Irene

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Leslie – It’s Tessa, a little late to the party! For now, I just want to wish you a Happy, and Blessed Easter with your lovies. I had heard about your blog, but retired, chilled, and then decided to work for the Department of Defense as a part time PE teacher in the Northern neck of Virginia. Give those three beauties a fist bump, high – five, hug from Mrs. P. And the same for you. Can’t wait to catch up; let’s plan a little FL (back in the day) lunch this summer. Love and peace always.


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