In that day people will look to their Maker and turn their eyes to the Holy One of Israel. They will not look to the altars, the work of their hands, and they will have no regard for the Asherah poles and the incense altars their fingers have made. Isaiah 17:7-8
Greetings friends, it’s been a while. How have you been? I have thought about you time and again and how you helped me through my first year of widowhood. I had more than a few valleys and a few mountain tops where I had the opportunity to perch and view the distance from whence I traveled to the blur of what lay ahead. Then I was given the opportunity to step away. I am grateful I made that choice.
The first year I stayed quiet, sort-of, and was a homebody. Going out reminded me of everything I was missing: the driver, the other side of my brain to make the final decision for every quandary, and my entertainment, as nightly there were hours of stories so Archie could talk through the events of the day. Heartfelt Creations, as you know, has walked closely beside me. They showed up at my door many times with food, as I was not up to cooking, nor did I want to leave the house to get groceries. They were kind, gracious and supporting, allowing me time to pull away.
Welcome to a new chapter.
This year they offered me the opportunity to spread my wings, when I didn’t even know I had hidden appendages. For 17 weeks I have been and will be on the road either as a traveling team member at craft conventions (8 weeks) or teaching classes on how to use Heartfelt Creations product. When approached, I did not hesitate except to say I did not want to loose my “everyday gig,” working as customer service, with wholesalers, distributors, and giving tours. From not wanting to leave the house, to not being home on a schedule, THAT is definitely a new phase of life. Though I know this is just for a season, maybe this will be my only year to travel, this working road trip is forcing me to reflect on expectations, what my dreams were, the reality, and how that is helping shape my hopes for the future.
Why did I want to blog again?
As I travel I am meeting new people, thinking new thoughts, and remembering… . Some memories are bring a smile other tears but both are running through my head and need to come out some where. Welcome to some where.
My traveling buddy and I had a show in Grapevine, Texas–wow was that hot! Set up takes approximately 8 hours with loading, unloading a carefully packed Sprinter-using a wench, assembling grid walls, hooks, products, display boards, samples, and prepping areas for demonstrations. Finally, Heartfelt Creation’s mints go into place. Ta-da! Back to a hotel to collapse. The next day it is,”Places everyone! Places!” as we have local show help come in to help demo product. This was the first time I had met Debra, my new bbf. That would be barbecue best friend. What did you think I meant?
Deb was carrying a passport of my dreams! It did not contain stamped images from distant countries. No! It had fifty barbecue restaurants in Texas, described in great detail and carefully mapped out. WHAT?!?! She receives a stamp for each she visits and upon completion is in a drawing for a grand prize. No worries, she has until the year 2020 to complete/savor the task. Her hubby doesn’t even care for bbq that much, well at least not for smokey flavor. She and I spoke about different type of woods, my fear of using Archie’s/my smoker because it hasn’t been used in two years (“Youtube, Tracy, You can do it!” She encouraged) Debra sings soprano with a Christian music group (had to go home and practice a solo) has three children, none of whom share our extreme love of bbq, and is a teacher who loves antiquing as much as I do. She even has one or two booths to resell her found treasures. I was shocked we had so much in common. But two hours of chatting does not mean life long buddies, especially living 18 hours apart. What that did, however, was give me hope. Over the last year and a half I have had to search within myself to figure out what I really like, what I enjoy doing, and where I would like to be someday. Honestly, the last is still a an empty blank with no answer in sight. The first two, as you can see from my excitement with meeting Debra, has become crystal clear. Add in kayaking, walking, hiking, watching water, attending occasional sporting events, photography (especially city-scapes), classic cars, baking, cooking, coffee/chocolate and crafting and you have me in a nutshell (a very large nutshell, kinda bursting at the seams, nutshell). But, at least I know what I enjoy. A year and a half ago I questioned everything. Now I am appeased with the knowing I am who I have always been.
“What will this blog be like,” my office buddy, Chris asked. I honestly do not know. I just realized on my trip from Texas to Kansas City, KS, that life is completely different than what I thought it would be 30 years ago. I am not where I thought I would be, doing the job I thought was my dream, or living even remotely in the type of house I had imagined. With all of that being said, the core me is still who I have always been, but hopefully better from hard knocks, unforeseen blessings, disappointment, miracles, wrenching pain, love, forgiveness, and provision from/or allowed by my heavenly Dad.
The verse for today was a reminder that whatever Archie and I built together (“work of our hands”,”altars their fingers have made”) that we thought was sooo important at the time was meaningless when my world fell apart, when he went home. I felt like I was sitting in ashes and the only thing I could do was look up (their eyes to the Holy One of Israel).
Since I can make no more revisions to the first Book of Tracy Nunemaker-Cook, if you decide to hang with me, welcome to volume two on my journey4home.