“O-o-h, O-o-h Child…” Five Stairsteps 1970

Welcome back to SOLO at SIXTY!

“Was it kinda like a whirlwind?” We moved to Charlottesville in April of 1997. One year later, in May of 1998, a tornado hit my old neighborhood in Clemmons, NC, where my sister and brother-in-law were living. It was devastating, but luckily no lives were lost. Homes, on the other hand, were damaged beyond imagination. We headed down to my sister’s armed with a chainsaw, waters, and other supplies to help them clean up all the trees down in their yard. Their house was spared, unlike so many of my old neighbors’. My grandmother was still living then, and kept asking “was it kinda like a whirlwind?”Oh yes Grandma, it was definitely like a whirlwind!” And that has become an inside family joke for us, any time life gets a bit crazy, we say “was it kinda like a whirlwind?!?

“Life is a whirlwind of many opportunities. Choose to embrace all of them in deepest gratitude.” Michelle Cruz

My life has been like a whirlwind these past couple of weeks. My sweet son got engaged and I got to be part of it! We are all still riding the high from that excitement. My younger daughter was offered and accepted an exciting new job in Charlotte, NC, and found an apartment half a mile from her brother, all in the span of 2 weeks. Her last day at her “old” job was this past Friday, giving her a week to pack up and move. She and I have been going through closets, cabinets, drawers, paring down. Many trips to donation sites and the local dumpster. Sold unneeded furniture and updated furniture going to the new apartment with a fresh coat of paint. I have become a master painter – thank you Rust-oleum spray paint! Amazing what a coat of paint will do for an old lamp (or 2) and a piece of furniture (night stand, wine cart, trunk, stools, and a desk!). Also painted all the knobs separately (same color as the lamps). Only problem I faced was painting before the temperature rose to 90 degrees which meant some early morning painting days. Thankfully, my driveway is a blacktop, though areas are now a bit darker than others. YIKES!

“Old, peeling & crusty paint has to be scraped away to make way for a new coat. Letting go of the old in life can sometimes feel like you’re being scraped & sanded, but it’s just prep work for beautiful new hues.” Jane Lee Logan

I have been thankful for the whirlwind of my life recently – it has kept me unbelievably busy so I don’t have to think about next week, when my younger daughter is no longer living in the same town as me. She and I have had a lot of fun together these past 3 years, fun that I would have missed out on had I not become SOLO. (Always a silver lining!) I am so happy for her though – this move is going to be great for her! And I’ll have 3 kids (now that my son is engaged!) living in the same town. I’ll readjust, put a fresh coat of paint on my life and move forward, it’s just that I am scraping and sanding right now. And it hurts a bit!

“Change is hard at first, messy in the middle, and gorgeous in the end.” Robin Sharma

My younger daughter and I have been spending time together doing things we have had on our to do list. Visited several more wineries, one we have not visited before but sampled at the Wine Festival in May, one we have visited before but wanted to go back when there was music and food, and a return visit to the winery where my older daughter got married. Have not been back there since 2015 and it has expanded to include a brewery and a distillery. Plus they were serving brick oven pizzas Monday afternoon, so we took advantage of my younger daughter not working this week, and went there for the afternoon. Besides she needed a break from packing and I needed a break from painting! Saturday, after painting furniture and packing, we headed out to Cunningham Creek where the wine was flowing, the music playing, and the food delicious! We even played cards while sharing a bottle of wine and enjoying the music. Gosh I am going to miss this girl! It’s so fun when your children grow up, become independent, and become your friend. You no longer have to “discipline” them – they are responsible for all of their actions! I am lucky that not only am I my kids’ momma, I am their friend. And nothing I love more than being with them. Needless to say, we have a lot to look forward to coming up soon, from beach trips to football games.

“Home is where mom is.”

I always want my kids to feel that my house is their home. Even though they have their own places, and though this is not the house they grew up in, it is my home, and where we all get together as a family. So… home is where mom is, and where families gather. And actually, my basement if filled with the majority of my older daughter and son-in-law’s belongings as they transition to their temporary apartment until their house is finished, so my home is really their home right now! And I don’t mind a bit!

Yes, life is definitely in whirlwind status this week and next (moving my older daughter and son-in-law next weekend!). Plus my younger daughter and I took advantage of our last time to work out together and had personal training with our favorite trainer. AND I moved up to walk a lap, jog a lap status for half a mile this week, a mile next week, outside the following week! I had to take a breath and write my blog y’all. Actually, it is therapy for me. So the whirlwind stopped for a bit to let me finish the blog before heading back to my daughter’s to pack up. Moving day is Saturday, of course the hottest day of the year by far, both here in Charlottesville, and in Charlotte! But we will be prepared. The whirlwind continues!

When your life seems to be “kinda like a whirlwind”, be thankful. It is most likely a blessing in disguise. And when big changes come into your life, power through all the scraping and sanding and put on that fresh coat of paint and look for “the beautiful new hues” because as we all know, none of us is promised tomorrow.

“Ooh-oo child…Things are gonna get easier…Ooh-oo child…Things’ll get brighter…”  Five Stairsteps 1970



PS  On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon, which he did for over 3 hours. “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”  So… Monday night, July 15th, the International Space Station was visible for 6 minutes at 10:29 pm and my kids and I were all outside watching it and texting each other at the same time, from different cities. Cool, right?


One thought on ““O-o-h, O-o-h Child…” Five Stairsteps 1970”

  1. Leslie, I was struck with a bit of nostalgia by your remarks concerning the space station and the frantic texting taking place with all of you. In the school year of 1940-41 I was a sophomore at NCS, (hold the applause now) and we had the most wonderful thing take place in the dorm where I roomed. Known for its advanced engineering school, each floor in the quadrangle of upperclassmen received a telephone with outside dialing connections. Just how far advanced could we go ? We had reached the ultimate !! And now—space station ? Walking on the moon ? Texting ? DUH !!!

    Liked by 1 person

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