Thursday, December 3, 2015

Dare Me...

Don’t ever tell me that I cannot do something. It makes my resolve bubble up like saliva around a sweet tart. I love a good dare. It gives me a focus and a purpose and a drive. Dares might just be the only way that I move forward in my life.

But no one dared me to sell my house and move into a townhouse a couple short blocks away. I can practically see the out- of- control 50 foot curly willow tree from my front porch! They haven’t cut it down yet even though I disclosed the snapping branches in the escrow papers. But they did remove the beautiful buttercup blooming Magnolia that Dale planted for me in the front yard three years ago. And the potted flowers on the front porch that I left behind because they were oh so pretty and I wanted the new owners to enjoy them… gone now and nothing to replace them.

“It’s not your house anymore” says my wise middle son.

I know, wise middle son.

I found this “Dare” card as I was decorating my new place and I put it in my downstairs bathroom. The red matches the lovely framed print of the Virgin Mary and Jesus that I purchased at the Uffizi Gallery Museum in Florence, Italy way back in 2000. The picture hung proudly over the toilet of my red powder room in the house that I no longer own. I’m quite sure they have repainted THAT room. Who paints a bathroom red?? Right?

As I read this card I see that it has taken on a meaning that is utterly circumstantial and profound in my current state of mind. Dare to believe in yourself. Dare to trust that you have what it takes to make it happen. Dare to savor all that life has to offer.

Dare to grasp that your Kansas is within you. OK.. ouch!

Some people are nomads. Wherever they can lay their head and set up camp is sufficient.

But some of us are always looking for our Kansas. Our home. We click away at our red sparkly designer flats and tell ourselves that there’s no place like it. There’s no place like home. And then we find ourselves constantly looking.

For that idyllic home. The one we dream about. The one that makes us feel secure and safe.

I ask myself.. where is my home? My parents are deceased. My children are college educated and gainfully employed. I’ve given away the sweatshirts, the camping gear, the tents, whiffle bats and balls, beach umbrellas, boogie boards, shelves of required reading for high school students and the magical closet full of suits that my three sons wore with permutations of ties, socks, shirts and shoes. The paraphernalia of parenthood has been dissolved and distributed. I am no longer the keeper of things.

Where the hell is my Kansas?

Someone, quick, dare me to find it!


9 Responses

  1. Rose,

    Your Kansas is your heart. Your Kansas is your children. Your Kansas will be their children.

    Merry Christmas in your new home. Merry new memories!

    • Sandra, You are so right! I am shamelessly attached to my sons and their offspring to come. Did you know there’s one on the way? Not sure if the secret is out yet. I couldn’t be more delighted! Life goes on and on and on. xo

  2. Your “dare card” is powerful, Rosemarie. Inspiring, poignant, and compelling, the words charge us to be all that we can be. A wake-up call. Which Virgin and Child print do you have from the Uffizi? Rich and I love art. In terms of your Kansas, I’ve always liked a quote from Frederick Buechner: “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” This place is both far and near, distant and immediate, palpable and intangible. It is, as Sandra says, your children and their children. It is also your work. It is at once wisdom, wonder, worship. It is also wandering and wounding. Above all, it is wealth — the wealth of love, generosity, and holiness. Kansas is within you, Rosemarie. I suspect you’re already there, standing with the wind of change around you, but knowing which direction the wind is blowing. Kansas is the “heartland” of your resolve as a woman, as a person, and as a servant of God. Kansas is your strength and spirituality. Decorate the landscape with sunflowers!

  3. Kathy, your response brings me to tears. I love that Frederick Buechner quote. I really need to raise my awareness to meet God’s calling. I get so mired in my personal muck! Today I sat with a student and her parents. She is pregnant and of course she will stay enrolled at Presentation. We support life. All kinds of life. It was a poignant meeting with her parents visibly relieved that she could continue her education this year and graduate next year. It was such a blessing being a giver of that good news. I need to remember that I am a servant of God and really revel in that role. My little back yard has not been planted as yet but I can assure you that there is a package of sunflower seeds sitting in a little basket in my kitchen just itching to show all their glory. I feel so blessed to have you in my life. xo

  4. Rosemarie, I have found your blog to be a healing balm for me. My mom and dad passed away in 2015 (dad in July; mom in December.) In my grief,I was feeling nostalgic and looked you up on the Internet. We went to the same high school and sat next to each other in Mr. Douglas’English class. That’s how I got to know you. It’s been 40 years since I’ve seen you, but your personality shines through on this blog.

    Sometimes when I’m driving around, I will smile thinking about one of your blog entries (wine and peanuts for dinner? Done that!) You always had a way of making entertaining stories out of the real stuff of life. And it’s a real pleasure to see old pictures of you, as well as your mom and dad.

    I’m really glad you started this blog!

  5. John, I’m blown away. Are you the John Jones who introduced me (Catholic me) to the concept of being “born again”? I remember you well. I’m sorry to hear about your parents passing and the grief it has caused you. And I know that well also. Your words are so kind and inspiring to me. I have been kind of “lazy” about writing and you have given me a new motivation to write. Thank you. How are you? Are you still in Anaheim?

  6. John, I am blown away. Are you the John Jones who introduced me (Catholic me) to the concept of being “born again”? I remember you well. I’m sorry to hear about your parents passing and the grief it has caused you. I know that all too well. Your words are so kind and inspiring to me. I have been kind of lazy about writing and you have given me a new motivation to write. Thank you. Are you still in Anaheim? Where has your life taken you? Fondly, Rosemarie

    • Yes, it’s me and I’m still in “the OC:” in Aliso Viejo, where the wilderness used to be, one city inland from Laguna Beach.

      I want to catch up with you!

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