“Reelin’ In The Years” Steely Dan 1972

Welcome back to SOLO at SIXTY!

Well… SWEATember is over and HOTober has arrived! The high today in Charlottesville is supposed to be 97. How can it be that hot on October 2nd?!? Unexpected. I have to admit though, unlike everyone else, I am LOVING the hot weather! Just not quite ready to say goodbye to the summer that I love…

“Your everlasting summer and you can see it fading fast…So you grab a piece of something that you think is gonna last…”  Reelin’ In the Years -Steely Dan

All of our football Saturdays in Chapel Hill this season have been very hot – mid-90’s, plus our seats face the sun. Should feel pretty good with fall weather… but there has been NO fall weather yet! So… we have been sweating in more ways than one at our Carolina football games! Week before last, we played Appalachian State and as embarrassing as it is to say, we already had a check mark in the win column. Especially after scoring in the first 17 seconds of the game. Unexpectedly, that was the highlight of our game… we lost. No excuses. Then this past Saturday we were playing the #1 team (at the time) in the nation – Clemson. Just wanted it to be a respectable loss (we were a 28 point underdog). We had a check mark in the loss column, until… we scored in the first minute of the game. “Wait, did we just score on Clemson?” The Clemson fan sitting behind us said, “We’ll give them that one score, it will be their last.” UNEXPECTEDLY, it was NOT our last, and, long story short version, we lost 21-20, after going for 2 at the end of the game for the win, and coming up short, literally. Still, it was an amazing game and so much fun! Who woulda thought that the Tar Heels would give Clemson such a game!?! So unexpected! And so welcomed.

“Expect the unexpected. Life is full of wonderful things just waiting to surprise you.”

After the game 2 weeks ago, I headed to Winston-Salem and spent the night with my sister. We needed to clean out Mom’s storage unit and planned to do so Sunday. Finally came to terms that Mom is never going to wear all of the fashionable clothes, nor use the household items and furniture we put in storage when her house sold. It was time. Mom had A LOT of clothes! And lots of lace, most passed down from my grandmother. Oh and some fur stoles and hats. Not to mention her figurines that were supposedly “blessed by the Pope.” No, we are not Catholic, but my Grandmother visited Italy once and purchased a lot of figurines that she said were “blessed by the Pope!” We worked hard, going through clothes and bagging them for donation. Kept the furs, donated the lace to one of my sister’s friends, and set up the furniture to go to a great charity. We laughed and we cried. Especially when we came across Mom’s wedding portrait and her wedding dress. She was so tiny when she got married! I kept the picture, and we just could not part with the dress. Also found the dress mom wore to my wedding 39+ years ago! Not sure why she saved it (we donated it), but then, I still have my “going away” dress, shoes, and hat (probably time to get rid of them too!). We also found a big box of cards that Mom saved. Now I know where I get that from! I save all of my cards and notes (especially those since becoming SOLO) and get them out at times to laugh over the funny ones, and feel the love in the special ones. I imagine that is why Mom saved all of hers. It was almost like taking a sneak peak into Mom’s life, without her knowing. And unexpectedly, we found it very emotional. Thankful to go through this now, when we could then go see mom, rather than later when she is no longer with us. OH and we debated on who got the portrait of my older sister and me (see below). We texted it to the family (my kids and nephew) to see who might want it, and one asked for the measurements, but I think he was kidding. So… I brought it home and it will be hanging in my house. Unexpectedly!

“Hidden blessings are like hidden treasures. Sometimes you have to dig to find them. May you be blessed to see your blessings in unexpected places. What appears to be a problem may actually be an answered prayer in disguise.”

If you are a “planner” like me, unexpected things tend to turn our worlds upside down! (Please don’t move my cheese!) There is no way to prepare for the unexpected, as it is just that – unexpected. But we should learn how to adapt to these events.  Take a breath, change of attitude, look for the positives. This advice was given to me 3+ years ago, and I truly have been working on being more adaptable. When I had surgery in April and was told I would not run for 5+ months, I had to adapt. Rested my knee, starting walking and cycling instead of running. Noticed a lot more while walking – when I run, I am usually looking down so as not to trip! And I have friends in cycle classes. Running is a work in progress! When my Mom gave up her phone and I wasn’t able to call her anymore, I had to adapt. I used to call her on my way home at night. Now I go see her in person much more often, and that has been a blessing. Hey, I have even adapted to being able to drink 2 glasses of wine instead of just half of a Bud Light Lime!

“Embrace the unexpected. The things we never saw coming often take us to the places we never imagined we could go.”

When the unexpected happens, and it will, know that you will survive. Yes, it may be difficult and painful, but know that you can adapt and find happiness again in a different avenue. Don’t waste time regretting the past, instead, enjoy the present, and embrace the unexpected, because as we all know, none of us is promised tomorrow.

“As much as you want to plan your life, it has a way of surprising you with unexpected things that will make you happier than you originally planned. That’s what you call God’s will.”

Best,

Leslie

PS Did you know there is truly a place called Tar Heel, NC?  I drove through it on my way from the beach to Chapel Hill!

 

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