Wednesday Hodge Podge: A collection of thoughts

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.

  1. 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*

17 thoughts on “Wednesday Hodge Podge: A collection of thoughts

  1. Pingback: Sunday Bookends: The last swim, the passing of a queen, and a variety of books | Boondock Ramblings

  2. I don’t drink alcohol either. I grew up around many alcoholics and figured I was the one to break that chain. It was weird when I was a teenager, kids look at you weird when you refuse what they offer at that age. As an adult when you say you don’t drink you get a whole new look of…”Oh, I understand.” Like I’m a recovering alcoholic. I laugh to myself with that one because actually I probably would have ended up an alcoholic if I would have started drinking like everyone else in my family, seems to run in the family, they all end up being big drinkers once it is in their system, as life is not easy, we all go through hard times. It is best to be sober when life gets difficult. Loved how excited you got when your neighbor needed flour…that was so sweet and I bet those cookies were yummy.


  3. Good for you for tackling homeschooling. That’s quite an age spread. I really enjoyed learning alongside our daughter when I homeschooled her for a few years. That’s a fun story about the flour borrowing and the affect it had on all of you. It always will be worth it to deepen your relationship with God. Hope the rest of your week goes well.


    • Yes, we didn’t think we could have any more kids and had a very early miscarriage in between and thought we were done but then there she was. So now I am trying to figure out curriculum for a sophomore and a second grader! 😳

      Hope you have a good week too!


  4. I can relate to the ways in which you have changed and I am so happy about them. I also understand your point about no-one having improved with alcohol. My parents both drank quite heavily when I was younger and particularly my mother would get really emotional when she was drunk. One reason I don’t drink alcohol myself is that I have difficulty regulating my emotions as is (as does my mother, by the way) and I don’t want this to be made worse by alcohol.

    Good luck to you and your children on this new homeschooling adventure. I’ll definitely pray for a successful year.

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  5. It’s really freeing to let go of that worry about what others think of you and your decisions for your own family. I do think it comes with age though. I like your neighbor story.There is something really nice about having a neighbor you can call for flour or sugar or whatever. I think that’s how a neighborhood should be. Hope you have a great school year!

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  6. From one teetotaler to another, I agree with your mom’s statement. I too grew up with parents who didn’t imbibe in alcohol, but what really made a huge impression on me was the first time I ever saw a drunk person. She was having a crying jag and being sick at a wedding. I was only 9 or 10 at the time and I vowed right then and there I would never be like that person (who I didn’t even know).

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    • I was at a wedding one time and smelled the beer and it made me sick. Some of the people were just acting stupid and I asked my mom about it. She told me it was beer and they’d drunk too much and it wasn’t a good thing to her. She’d had an uncle who was very mean when he drank so she never liked people drinking around her. When she was dating my dad, she told him she wouldn’t date anyone who drank. He showed up smelling like beer one time and she was upset. He told her a co-worker had offered him a beer on a hot day and he’d taken a couple sips and didn’t like it and didn’t finish it. I guess she bought the story. They’ll be married 69 years tomorrow (Sept. 8)

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      • I think those of us who don’t drink alcohol have stories like that. My father had an older brother who was a falling down drunk a lot of the time and Dad vowed not to be like him. And Dad never had a drop of alcohol in all of his 90 years of living.

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