two 47-year old songbirds

My friend DeNae Handy came all the way down to Springville from the big city in order to sing with me. We had a blast singing and talking and hanging out.  This lady is a professional.

How cool is the blogosphere, helping us to make great new friends and share our talents together?

Click on the titles below and enjoy.

We Three Kings
What Child Is This?

knowing my place

Know your place.  

We've heard it from parents, maybe teachers.  Interesting to note that in this context "place" has nothing to do with physical space and everything to do with social behavior.

We all need our own places.  In THIS context I mean both physical AND social.

I have my places.

I have my dining room and the table in it.  Around this big slab of pine many great conversations have taken place with my children and good friends.  Lots of food has been served at gatherings where we invite friends over and cook Indian food and talk and laugh.  At the right angle you can see scores written from when we have played cards or Boggle or other games.  Pine is good that way.  It holds on to things. I may refinish this table in the Spring, but it is staying in this house because it has become an important place to me.

The den.  This is mostly my husband's space that we designed and decorated when he was bishop, so that he could have people over to talk.  But I like that it has that kind of history.  It has become, since that time,  the refuge.  When the kids come in they are a little more careful to keep it clean and to even speak a little lower.  We write in here.  We sing and record in here.  We read and gather our thoughts.

There are other spaces away from my home that I crave as sanctuaries (North Carolina sandy beaches, the Duomo in Florence, Italy, the temple).  Physical space matters.

Sacred groves, if you will.

Then social places.  I can lead.  I can follow.  I can sit.  I can do.  I can be the chameleon I sometimes need to be.  That little voice tells me, Know your place.  And I try to respond appropriately by following instinct.

Places matter.  Stand in holy ones, but help people out of ones that are not.  What good is a place if it is never shared?


Tomorrow I will start the day by rolling over and giving my husband a big ol' smooch, because I am thankful that he loves me so much and treats me so well.

Then I will get my exercise on at my Zumba class, because I am thankful for a hard-working body that has responded well to my efforts during these past months.

I will then come home and hug my kids (including my married son and his wife who are sleeping over), because being a mom has helped me to realize what life is all about.

Later in the afternoon I will visit and eat and laugh with extended family members who have grounded me during all of these married years.

And at the end of the day I will kneel down and make an accounting of these things, because being thankful means you count and recount all of the ways you have been blessed.  I will use my fingers and my toes.  My life is good.  Real good.

low and comfy

"Sometimes the low, comfortable notes are the ones we go the flattest on," she said, as we stood at the mic recording some music.  So true, I thought.

So we sang and sang until we felt spent, and I found myself making a little secret fist beside my leg when I had to hit anything besides middle C, which, after a few hours, is my most comfortable place.  The place where I feel true and wholly me.

Today my son was unhappy with himself for a B in an easy computer class, so I told him, "Sometimes the low, comfortable notes are the ones we go the flattest on."  And he looked at me and nodded.

mean old me

Coming home from lunch today I was behind a thirty-something-year-old guy at a stop sign when I saw him chuck a Big Gulp cup out his window.  This a total trigger for me.  And knowing that it is a trigger I heard myself say, "Oh, dang it," because I knew I would have to follow him and confront him about it.  Yep, I just knew that about myself.

I hate confrontation, really, but as I get older I realize that sometimes you have to say things that need saying.  Like when I hold parent/teacher conferences, and after I inform the parents that their son is not cutting it on letter sounds the mom looks at her son (her 5-year old special education son), points at his chest and says, "You need to study more!"  At this moment I make sure to say that thing that needs saying.  I say, "Actually, we can't expect him to take the initiative to study on his own.  He needs you to guide him through it."

Confrontation doesn't always need to take the form of yelling or arguing.  It can be a calm interaction where you state your opinion, which is opposed to the other person.  Unless you throw garbage out your window in my town.  In that case you may get an earful that sounds a little something like, "Was I mistaken when I saw a big cup flying out of your window back there?  I will chase you down again, you better believe it."

my reasons to make it work

Tag-team parenting.  Yes, that is the new popular sport at the Burton house.  A little two-ships-that-pass-in-the-night action too.  But somehow we have been able to stay afloat because we love each other and we love our life together.

I have too many friends to name that have had their marriages fall apart lately.  I won't pretend to know the details or the reasons why, but I do know that a mid-life crisis is a real thing.  Men can feel trapped.  Women can feel invisible.  And often once one of them feels a chance for change they think it has to be done without the other person.  My life can only be different if I start all the way over.  Sometimes this may be true.  In extreme cases.

I love my husband.  I love my kids.  That's it.  No preaching.

1. My roller derby profile pic for Halloween (47 and proud of it).
2. My attentive husband.
3. #3 and #4
4. Lola, our new bunny
5. My misionario Mexicano.
6. My sweet DIL and #1 son.