Thank you to Joyce at From This Side of the Pond for her Hodge Podge feature, which she hosts every Wednesday. For more information about it, click HERE.
- Tell us a little bit about the best birthday you’ve ever had.
It’s hard to really think of the best birthday I ever had because there isn’t a birthday that really stands out to me as “amazing” exactly. In 2020 we traveled two hour to Seneca Lake in Watkins Glen, NY and picked up something from a restaurant, sat outside and watched the waves lap up on the rocks.
My niece called me out of the blue, which was a shock because my five nieces rarely talk to us even when we try to reach out. Her call, and especially her voicemail, meant so much to me that I actually cried. It was the last time she called me and now she rarely answers my texts so it is a bittersweet memory, but I usually try to focus on the sweet.
2. In what way(s) have you changed in the last five years?
Oh, that is a deep question that could turn into an entire blog post at some point. First of all, I don’t hinge my worth on whether or not people approve of me now. I don’t wait around for others to show me that I am important to them. When people make it clear I am not wanted in their life, I walk away and accept that. I also no longer stress when others are upset at a decision I make that is right for my family. I used to focus way too much on what others thought of me and I’m not going to say I never do, but it is much, much better than it used to me.
I ruminate much less now on how I believe a person perceives me and instead have learned to let it go. I have also let go of the idea of super close, movie-like friendships. I wanted that so much for so long that I was desperate and would let people walk all over me just to be sure I didn’t lose their friendship.
Now I am myself and if they don’t like it or aren’t interested, oh well. Life is too short to sacrifice my happiness to try to be liked.
3. What’s your favorite thing about the street on which you live?
My street actually feels like a community, unlike the street we used to live on in another town. In our previous home we had one neighbor who invited us to her house or acted like we were real friends. We lived there for 18 years and were never invited to anyone’s house for dinner or to hang out, other than the house of the neighbor behind us who is a grandmother and just a super sweet woman. I still keep in touch with her.
The other night my new next-door neighbor (new for two years anyhow.) texted me and asked if I had any flour. She was making cookies for a Labor Day party she was having the next day that she had invited my entire family to (including my parents who do not live here). You know how in the movies people go next door to borrow a cup of sugar? I’ve always wanted that to happen and here she was asking for a cup of flour (well, more like two but who cares!)
“I have to go outside and meet Dawn!” I told my husband, practically jumping up and down. “She needs to borrow flour! Like in the movies when people buy a cup of sugar!”
I ran downstairs and told my teenage son where I was going (since it was dark) and he said, “Oh my gosh! It’s like when neighbors on TV borrow a cup of sugar!”
We were both so excited that it was . . . a bit sad, actually.
But my neighbor made the best chocolate chip cookies with that flour, so it was totally worth us being absolute dorks about it. We also had a great time the next day at her house for the cookout. My daughter went swimming in the small pool in their backyard (it was ridiculously cold! I stood in it for seven minutes with her and couldn’t feel my legs), our dog socialized with their dogs, and my parents enjoyed chatting with the father of my neighbor and another friend.
4. The Hodgepodge lands on National Beer Day…are you a beer drinker? What’s a recipe you make that lists beer as one of the ingredients? If not beer, how about yeast?
I am not a beer drinker, no. I am not a consumer of alcohol at all. Part of the reason for this is that I was brought up by tee-totaling parents, but another reason is that I had a heart condition when I was younger that made me very dizzy and feel out of control, which I hated. I don’t want to get drunk and feel that out of control feeling so I stay away from alcohol altogether and don’t feel I have suffered at all from not drinking it. I am not against others enjoying alcohol in moderation but my mom always said she never saw anyone who was improved by drinking alcohol (at least to excess) and I tend to agree.
5. As I grow older, I would like to be a woman (or man, if there are any men in the HP today) __________.
Who focuses more on my relationship with God than what the world thinks of me.
6. Insert your own random thought here.
We started our new year of homeschooling yesterday and I am looking forward to learning with my almost 16-year-old and almost 8-year-old. Neither of them, however, is actually that happy about learning. Pray for us. *wink*