One day left …

The movers come tomorrow. Actually, some come today to crate up the televisions and a couple pieces of art (Do we actually have “art” pieces in our house that are worth crating compared to others?).

The movers are hired by the company which is mostly nice. The slightly not nice part is that we have no idea when they will show up. I guess we are lucky to know which day they will show up.

Moving Day is this sort of unknown black hole. We’ve never had movers. Do we still buy pizza?

It’s been almost 22 years since we last moved. Back then, we had friends with cars and trucks, pizza and beer. That was our moving company. Of course, we had one couch, one chair, a bed, maybe a dresser and lots of books. I’m not sure there was even a dining room table.

There was definitely a TV. There was something on TV that required that it be in the new house and hooked up by noon (Pro Bowl?). I think it was Tim who didn’t want to miss it.

I remember because we moved in July. The hottest day on record that summer. And we had a short window of time between when we could get out of the condo complex and when Tim needed to be in front of a working TV at noon. The condo complex we were moving out of was repaving the parking area so after 8 a.m. we couldn’t drive in to or out of the condo area. Everything we owned had to be loaded by 8 a.m. and headed out of the complex.

And we did it. By noon we were huddled on a couch and chair or the floor to watch the TV and eat pizza. We drank beer and danced on the patio that night. We talked, laughed and dreamed of forever.

We moved into this almost 2,000 square foot home with three bedrooms. It felt cavernous. Empty rooms and ideas for the future. Two floors of space and a whole lifetime to fill it up.

We did fill it up with two amazing boys, family and friends, memories of good times and sad times, laughter, Christmas parties, Sunday dinners and an almost never-ending supply of cookies, multiple dogs, and so much more.

This time we have a bit more to move. Rooms filled with furniture, stacks of books, a huge load of memories and maybe a few more dreams.

Kitchens, vanilla and family

I’m a baker. I love to bake. Cookies, cakes, sweets… Dinner is a chore, but whipping up a batch of brownies, that’s a gift. A gift to my heart, to family, friends, celebrations, comfort  and sometimes condolences.

When Neil was 5, one of his friends came through the door, took a huge inhale through his nose and said, “I love your house Neil. I love coming through the door. It always smells good.”

This momma will forever be in love with that child. I certainly consciously or subconsciously decided then and there to always make my house smell good, welcoming and inviting. Come on in, there’s food, comfort and family here.

Baking has taught me: one little friend loves the cookie stand better than the candy drawer (I take that as huge compliment.); One teen-aged friend thinks my house is broken if I don’t have cookies (and he likes to package some prettily to give his girlfriend); Another teen-aged friend and his family are brownie hoarders (batches have to be baked and specified who is the owner); I know who loves macaroons, who loves shortbread and who loves any and all cookies, who doesn’t like chocolate, who only wants chocolate and who will die for peanut butter and chocolate. All of which makes me smile and fills my heart.

Which brings me to today’s post… The baking supplies are dwindling. I might have one day on which I can bake left. Containers need to be emptied and cleaned. There might be a half a cup of sugar left. There’s a bag of flour that will never be opened. All my extracts will have to be given away. What about those cake mixes I stocked up on to make sherry cakes (try this. It’s GOOD!)?

Pack up the rest of the house. Put away everything else. But my baking supplies? My pans? My specialty spatulas? My “secret” ingredients for brownies?

It makes a baker cry.

And a crying baker can’t bake.



Next stop FSU Panama City

Jack graduated from high school last night. Our honor scholar — white robe, National Honor Society bib, cords from California Scholarship Federation, Math Honor Society and of course, Bowling Club! Made me think of how different Neil’s experience will be (clearly no CSF cord!). Jack graduated from my alma mater. My brothers all graduated from that school. Neil had big plans for his Cowboy years… but now he’s going to be a Balboa Academy Dragon (school slogan: Be BAD, do good!).

Jack decorated his cap with the Panama flag. Love the red, white and blue colors, and it was easy to find him in the crowd!

At our soon-to-be-local mall


Dean found champagne and cake at the Multi Plaza mall in Panama City. I might go to the mall more in Panama than here …

This was a couple weeks ago, but I thought of it today. It’s been more than 5 weeks since Dean left. He comes home tomorrow. He’s been lonely. We’ve been lonely. Sorry to see our time in California wrapping up, but so thankful that we’ll be together again.


Been telling people that I’m thinking of sitting by the front door till he gets here… but I’m the one supposed to pick him up.

Our new home


We gave Dean the power to find us a new home. If he’s expressing his love for us by the size of the home he found for us…

What we have encountered so far (I’m assuming our knowledge will grow greatly) is that there is luxury living that is affordable for those on a corporate housing allowance and then places the company won’t let us live in. OK, guess we will take the big house with the backyard near the kids’ schools and enjoy it. Come visit. There’s plenty of room.

Happy Mother’s Day

This year’s Mother’s Day is bittersweet. Dean is in Panama. Jack is sick. Neil is tired. I’m just cranky… In Panama, Mother’s Day is in December. Everyone gets the day off work, and it’s a big deal.

I’m holding out for December this year. Counting on a Mother’s Day do-over!