Just a small town girl…

This week, so far, I have closed my eyes and listened to the leaves of the tree in my back yard rustle as the wind made it’s way through them. I have looked up to the sky and saw the most beautiful double rainbow with the most vivid colors I have ever seen. I have laughed across the dinner table with a beautiful friend, I have hugged a friend who was saying goodbye to her mother one last time, I have looked out over the Erie Canal at some of the most beautiful sunsets I ever remember seeing, I have been kissed by my three dogs, and have had to text “I Love You” to my daughter every night now that she is away at school.   It really is usually the smallest, most uncommon places or events that seem to stop us in our tracks and take us a step back so that we can see the whole picture. Thank God for the small town life that brings me so close to everything and everyone I need just when I need it.

 

This is my hometown…

A day at the races…

This past Father’s Day, I had gotten out of church and was resigned to spend the rest of my day doing yard work.  Even though the weather was completely gorgeous! Things have been non stop with end of school year activities…(especially with this being my daughter’s senior year) and I wanted to try and get caught up on some housework. Father’s day, to me, has always been kind of a “let’s just get through this” type of day. I really can’t even recall the last Father’s Day I spent with my Dad, and to be completely honest; some years – most years – we weren’t even speaking to each other. So, this being my second Father’s Day after my Dad’s death brought on certain feelings…but none that I havn’t  been already wrestling with this whole entire year. Regardless, my plan was to sweat it out and get some yardwork done. On my way home though,  I received a text from a friend of mine; she was at the Culvert Road dirt bike races.  These races have been going on every Sunday of the summer since as far back as I can remember. I decided to go…hadn’t been in years. Packed up some food and some drinks and was on my way! Their truck was parked right at the starting line….and oh how I forgot that feeling, that even  as an onlooker your adrenaline gets pumping when listening to the riders revving their bikes up,  getting ready to be let loose on that track. It’s especially fun when you know the people who are racing! Heading home that evening; covered in dust,  I reflected on how thankful I was to have this in my own town.  Instead of spending a day thinking of death, regret, and past chances, I spent the day laughing, spending time with friends and cheering on the riders. So, if you drive past my house and the lawn isn’t mowed, and the flowers havn’t been planted, and well, it looks like a hot mess…just know that I may be spending a day, down at the races.

This is my hometown…

Casting in the rain…

As the voices in the distance become fewer and fewer, I can feel the rain start to seep through my outer layer. The one good thing about fishing in the rain is you get the stream all to yourself. Standing, waste deep in the river and watching the raindrops dance on the water as it pours down on you, the sky is so gentle, and the trees calming. I look upstream to my past; the once crystal palace has turned into a rain forest, and where there was three there is now only one. Winds that used to roughen my cheeks, now send me kisses enticing me to stay longer. One more cast turns into one more hour and four more flies. I close my eyes and inhale all the world has to offer me. And the “whip” of the fly line is like an unkept promise, fighting for a second chance.

This is my hometown…

Feeling Blessed…

“Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one”

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This is my hometown…

The House That Built Me…

Driving home one evening and I was feeling frustrated after a listing appointment. Because I was sure the clients were serious this time, when they called to have me come over and get their house up on the market.

This happens more than I would like to say… people will call and want me to come out and get their house on the market.  But when I get there, I would feel so much resistance from them that I wonder why they even called me to begin with.  I would feel so frustrated, having taken the time to spend with them, the research and reports I put together prior to viewing the property in order to help with pricing opinion,  and to just know as much about the property as I possibly can in order to do my best job for them.  (Not to mention that this is my career and how I support my family; so that pressure is there too.)….and this was how I was feeling on that drive home….and then the song  “The House That Built Me” by Miranda Lambert came over the radio.

“I know they say you can’t go home again.
I just had to come back one last time.
Ma’am I know you don’t know me from Adam.
But these hand prints on the front steps are mine.”

Listening to this song made me start thinking that maybe their resistance is more about letting go – not their unwillingness to seriously want to sell their house, but maybe even they didn’t know how difficult it would be emotionally until they saw my car pull into their driveway.

In the rat race of life, you just need a long drive home after a trying day of work – going over in your head whether or not you have been making the right decisions or choices for your own family.

And then something as simple as a song comes on and my thinking goes from “why the hell did they bother to even call me?!” or “I’ve been spinning my wheels all week, am I going to be able to pay my own bills this month?” To …”maybe all they see when they look out their front door is their kids getting off the school bus after their very first day of kindergarten…” or “they thought they were building a life with someone that came apart, and the memories and moments within those walls was all they had left and the only thing keeping them together.”

Or, where I see a beautiful patio or garden that will enhance a showing and help generate a sale, they remember building that together with someone or maybe a beloved pet was laid to rest under one of those hosta.

I have to try to remember that when I am walking into someone’s home, it’s as if I am entering their heart and soul.  It may be whole and filled with joyful memories or it may be broken and torn or it could be both and just still trying to figure things out.

We attach so much emotion to places, I can drive around Medina on any given day and point at certain houses and tell you exactly what happened on a certain day that was a first, or a last, or caused me joy or pain; sometimes I could even tell you what I was wearing and what song was playing.  I know when people who have moved away, come back to town for a visit,  some of our conversations consist of reminiscing of what happened in a house we just past while en route to our destination.

Its small moments like this car ride home, that are slowly sculpting and shaping the type of agent I want to be.  I hope the next time I am feeling frustrated with the pressures of my own life, that this song will resonate in my mind…I’ll take a deep breath…and remember, these are hearts that I am dealing with most of the time…not necessarily houses.

“I thought if I could touch this place or feel it
this brokenness inside me might start healing.
Out here it’s like I’m someone else,
I thought that maybe I could find myself.
If I could just come in I swear I’ll leave.
Won’t take nothing but a memory
from the house that built me.”

 

This is my hometown…

My first love…

A fly fisherman’s home stream could be many things…the river closest to where they live, the river they made their first cast in or caught their first fish in, their favorite river – someplace where they hold a special memory; a place they feel the most themselves.  And people that grow up along any type of water seem to take on characteristics in their personality that only someone living right where they are could develop.  Sometimes I feel like I can even guess what type of body of water a person grew up by if any at all just from one conversation.

I grew up on the Erie Canal….a true Western NY Canal Rat….   I’ve always said Medina has two seasons….when the canal is full and when the canal is empty.  A lot of the stories from my childhood and into adulthood included a tale that took place near or on the canal. From swinging off of a rope into it for the first time, finding my friends Dads beer tied to a rope in the water to keep it cold, and getting drunk for the first time off of one can of beer.  To memories of driving with my friends Dad and uncle in their old bronco…not knowing really how close we were to death, and having the time of our lives!  Bridge jumping, catching crayfish, losing shoes in the mud of the spring just before the canal was filled for the summer.  During the dark moments of my life I turned to the tow path to clear my head or to just get away with a walk or a run, moments alone with my high school sweetheart and afternoon adventures with childhood friends. There was not much about my childhood in Medina that did not revolve around the Erie Canal.

Now, the canal is right in my backyard, I’m on it most nights walking my dogs, watching sunset after sunset over the bridges that connect our community.  Tonight I noticed that even though it was mostly empty, the water that was in it was still flowing, it was still alive, still moving…still making memories.

Even though I will always consider the Oak my home stream… the Erie Canal will always be my first love…my past and my present and always….my home.

This is my hometown