Last Saturday night I pulled out my grandmother's slide projector, propped it on my kitchen table, and went back in time through the images splashed on the wall above our stairs.
Most I had never seen before, like the one above of my grandmother standing in a field of bluebonnets. What you are seeing is actually an iPhone capture of the projection on my wall. I felt the need to share these with my siblings and cousins, and that was the fastest way.
The quality was greatly diminished, of course, but I felt it gave them the same dreamy quality I was feeling as they carried me back to my childhood. To me, this one looks more like a painting than a photograph. Don't you think so?
One of my cousins (the one on the left in the image below) has offered to scan all of these. She is also the one who regularly visited my mom, always bringing new clothes and treats, so her generous offer doesn't surprise me. I am blessed to have her!
(The beauty on the right is my big sister. The little brat in the middle is me, of course.)
In my opinion, that was definitely a sweet way to spend a Saturday night, and the gratitude and reactions from my family even sweeter.
Here are some other sweet!s from the past week...
A tiny hummingbird appears to have taken up residence off of our back deck.
Since I no longer keep a hummingbird feeder, this seems strange to me.
(I read several years ago that the sugar-water can turn rancid really fast in the extreme heat of our Texas summers, potentially poisoning the little birds. It's necessary to change out the water often, and I don't trust my memory to do so.)
So the semi-regular sightings of this busy little bird is such a joy. Several times it has flown close to me as I stand saying my prayers near the railing, and this morning it flew up to my library window, just a couple of feet away from me at my desk.
My mother was partial to hummingbirds. I like to think she somehow has a hand in sending this one to say hello... and make me smile.
(How can you not smile when you see a hummingbird?)
I have no photos of it, but I do have this one of Lake Austin taken from a home an agent friend was holding open this afternoon.
I was on my way home from showing properties to a high school friend's son, so I decided to stop and say hi to my agent friend, and check out the listing. Three sweet!s in one trip!
I'm still working my way through the mountain of my mom's things in my living room. Yesterday's box was full of some items from her room at the nursing home.
Overall, I'm at peace with her passing. But for some reason emptying this box made me acutely aware of the physical absence of her from my life, especially seeing her Bible bag, which contained both her and Daddy's Bibles, along with several notes tucked in the pages, and also a cardboard Easter egg box I gave her full of Hershey's miniatures this past Easter. There were still several pieces of candy left.
Now, I believe in heaven, and I know it is much better than chocolate. And I truly am happy that Mama is at peace and with Daddy now. But the tears came anyway, and I let them.
I still count this as a sweet!, because to miss someone, they first had to be a part of you. To feel sorrow or sadness, you must have also felt joy and happiness and love.
They were and I did. Amen.
I had a second article published in TexasHillCountry.com called "Beyond the Bluebonnets - 5 Other Things You Should Know About Willow City", about a small town near Enchanted Rock, one of my favorite places. Yay!
Going to my office to pick up a commission check and discovering another one I hadn't expected!
Another University of Texas mom calling me for help, based on referrals from other parents.
One of my clients had specific requirements and a busy work-travel schedule. After working with her off and on for about a year, we finally closed on a property last week that turned out to be just what she was needing.
We won in a multiple offer situation, so that was doubly sweet! To celebrate, we had lunch at the Shady Grove, one of my favorite restaurants.
(This photo is of the back of the restaurant - taking a photo was an afterthought! But look at that tree!)
Summer nights... refreshing, soft breezes, stars speckling the sky, cicadas and frogs singing in the background.
As usual, there were a few lakefront properties on the Lago Vista property tour this past week. I never get tired of seeing a full Lake Travis!
Giving another agent a ride on the tour and getting to know her better.
Some friends from my church warning me they are trying to convince some friends in California it's time to move to Austin and want me to help them when the time comes.
I spent the 4th of July outside, but not out on the lake or even in a park eating hot dogs and hamburgers. I took advantage of a holiday (and the sudden motivation) to mow our small front yard, organize my yard signs, and just generally clean up around the outside of our house.
Most importantly, I discovered the joy of a power blower! I had so much fun clearing the clippings and dead leaves off the porch floor... and then the small insect webs off the ceiling!
I didn't know it could do that! Much better than using a broom.
Afterward, I rewarded myself with a Shiner Ruby Redbird beer on the porch swing. I don't normally drink beer, but it just seemed like the patriotic thing to do.
(It was awesome!)
Despite the national tragedies of this past week, I hope all of you had plenty of sweet! moments. But more importantly, I hope you rededicated yourself to love and forgiveness, including forgiving the inexcusable. I believe it will take each of us doing that to attain true peace in our country and the world.
The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you.
~John E. Southard