A Lesson in THINGS


This morning, I learned a little lesson about THINGS.

This comes ironically the day AFTER I snapped a pic of a thick glass bowl full of treasures and trinkets. They were the topic of an article I had just written in Druid City Living, the little paper I love to write for in my “Lake Living” Column.

5DDCC375-50D8-40F2-8CF6-7D419B50935C

The things were mostly meaningless without the story behind them, from places known and some I have to admit, unclear. My curious kitten sent the bowl crashing to my desk in a thunderous plunk and a pile of mess just where I was typing.

Until now, it sat on my windowsill between me and the sunshine. I glance at it now and then, remembering the times my babies (now grown) gnawed on a small melodic, silver rattle. It is nestled among feathers gathered from my parakeets and chickens as well as sheddings from gulls and a bluebird. It is accented by dried leaves, bright orange rock fragments from North Carolina, a golf tee and marker from Mountaintop, a small Bible with a magnifying glass tucked in the back cover that I got as a child. Sand dollars, some broken, some glued to a piece of wood. Sticks, mostly in shapes that spoke to me while I meandered a labyrinth with my best friend just before brain cancer sent her to a better place.

EF67B0E5-6F74-425D-B873-7562102A8704The slow motion movement from the bowl and the twice as fast dart of the cat is still engrained in my mind. A reminder that we can contain our things, but life still has a way of breaking our concentration, unleashing what is important.

I yelled at the cat, I screamed out loud. I watched in horror as he scrambled to the floor, then spoke aloud, “What is MY DEAL?”
BDA68D24-56AA-40BF-BA25-5452098EA62FSomehow, instead of cleaning it up, I ended up in my closet FILLED with trinkets, books and treasures. I sat on the floor. I took out a box I have carried around since I discovered it in the back of my mother’s closet. A glimpse into the life of the uncle I would never know, killed at age 18 in World War Two. Without his death my mother would have never been adopted. I would have never been. I snapped this pic of the box, the pic of, he, his mother and his sister at the time, before my mother was even a thought. The envelope returned to sender with the words “Missing in Action”.

I resolved today that things should either be displayed, shared (as in a museum) for some purpose, or TOSSED. I cringe at the third option. I used to rummage for hours in the upstairs rooms of my grandparent’s abandoned home. They closed it up, left every thing there after Allen died. What remained were things such as this chair, these photo albums, items of someone’s glorious yesterdays, avoided, forgotten.0E9266F3-0344-47AC-8973-40BC77A4D2E1

I scraped up the tiny shards of glass only after snapping a pic of the pile too. I could not deny that there was beauty among that mess as well. This pile of glass reminded me, even on my desk, of tiny grains of Alabama Gulf Coast beach sand where I collected so many of these things.

E8541A48-5734-45F7-B505-58F6D2C3BED6As I sorted to add them to a “non-breakable” plastic topped box I remembered some of the places I had stopped to snatch these things: a rock in a creek bed in Norcross, Georgia at a horse farm; a butterfly I vowed to wear in my hair if we bought it in Ashville, NC; A crystal ornament I couldn’t pack away at Christmas; a lock of my daughter’s blonde hair tied in mesh; shale looking items and sticks from the beach (because those are more rare there than shells); a paper American flag; a cork from our first anniversary.

We may think things will make us happy. Yes, these did, somehow, but they cannot replace the memories of the moments that go with them.

I culled a few shells. Perfect, hand picked, store bought shells I rescued from our beach house the week before my mother sold it with everything in it. I also took the less perfect ones I would often add to her “decor” collection, remembering the coolness of the water on my feet as I would search for them at the water’s edge. She probably doesn’t remember what catalog she bought those from. But I remember every creak, every uneven tile in the beach house floor when I look at these. I remember the home of my childhood that proceeded the newer version. The sleeping porch, the spiral stair, the wood balconies. The humming of my grandmother, the unusual softness of my grandfather’s fingers as he swirled his cane while rocking in his rocker. All of those memories simply triggered by a large rock my daughter, now 20, painted on a day when it was too cold to go outside when we lived there along the water’s edge in Gulf Shores. (We would also paint hermit crabs and release them in the bay across the street). I am pleased to discover I do draw a limit in my treasure collection.

Which brings me back to the lesson of things. None of these were elaborate gifts, jewels or shiny treasures. Even the rattle is coated in black. They are mere triggers for the memories that I hold dear.

I could toss them. But for now, I’ll just move them to a safer place. After all, the article I wrote just before this one was all about USING your treasures, making them a part of your every day life.

Looks like I’ll just have to keep the cat out of the china closet, because if I have it, I’m gonna start using it and quit saving it for that someday that might just never come.

Have a blessed, wonderful happymess ~memory making life!

Allison

 

 

Custom Graphic Design/ Newsletter APA Designs


Stop letting everyone else’s customers get all of the FUN PROMOTIONAL MATERIAL!

YOU TOO can have a great looking newsletter, e-mail blast or one page flyer.

I created a fun 8 page newsletter for the Bark in the Park Event.

The Link for the Newsletter in FULL /Design is here (in red):

BARK IN THE PARK 2 NEWSLETTER

Bark2 Logo

If you would like a quote for a newsletter (The one at link on Google Docs printed through Colonial Printing in Tuscaloosa)

Feel free to contact me for all of the details.

I would love to help you get the word out about YOUR business.

This design began as a blank slate. If you have material already in Word format, I can create one of these (ready to email to your customer email list or send to the printer of your choice), for only $150 (until May 30).

This price includes material for an 8 1/2 X 11 (finished size) newsletter from a folded 11X17 page with center spread. (can be smaller)

($150 for a 4 pages/ $275 for 8 pages) (actual printing cost will be additional).

Includes: as many pictures as you would like to provide, Two “articles with full content from scratch” written by me, and Four edits of the final draft). Additional,content/edits are charged by the hour ($20 for this promotion).  Will divide payment/collection into two months (credit with $5 fee) for my ARTSY friends if you mention this promotion.

I am a member of SCBWI, Women’s Council of the Chamber of Commerce of Tuscaloosa and Alabama Media Professionals and assure quality work and satisfaction.

OTHER SERVICES:

I can also set you up with a BASIC website that HOSTS for free

Visit mine at www.allisonpadams.wix.com/allisonadamsartist

or www.allisonpadams.com/artist-site (if you have lots of GRAPHIC content)

OR www.allisonadamsrealtor.com (this is a paid site by the year but I can design you one and it

will pull in your MLS information (for REALTORS only) ) This one is more complex so starts at $350.

For a basic site I charge $200. and show you how to update and maintain the site. (you provide the graphics as a jpg). That is for the initial setup. If you decide to make changes after signing off on the initial design, edits will be done at 20-$30/ per hour.

See these sites you wish you knew how to use? Let me help get you in the “know”. For a postcard or mailer layout with QR code $40 per item with training on how to do it yourself the next time. (ex. Vistaprint)

Custom Photobook layout created from Snapfish or Picaboo (you supply the photos on Dropbox) $50.

Contact me HERE if you would like a quote or to set up a meeting!

SPRING IS A GOOD TIME TO CHECK THOSE “WANNA DO FOR MY BUSINESS”

GOALS OFF YOUR LIST!

Allison

Also find me on LinkedIn

Note: I did NOT design the flyer~ but can do graphic design upon request

Photography: Photo shoot $100 on site (you get one time use of 25 of the digital images). Any reproduced will be negotiated. See my photography on FACEBOOK 

Alabama Women Bloggers Introduction


I am a new writer for Alabama Women Bloggers and am so glad I ran across them on a quiet rainy night and have joined the team!

As a note of introduction to each other we are doing a “link up” of our members…..hope you will pull up a chair,

send me a link, and lets get to know each other!

Image

A Taurus with a recent birthday on May 3~ I am rounding up towards the big number with lots yet on my bucket list!

I was blessed to get a taste of the Birmingham Blogging life where I wrote for MagicCityPost.com before moving to Lake Tuscaloosa with my husband of ten years~ Chad (back near home in West Alabama~ Livingston).  That is where I jumped off into the world of regular blogging.

Both of my B’HAM favorites are hosting meet ups soon. Javacia Bower is hosting a Blogista Mini Conference on June 19 www.thebloganistaconference.eventbrite.com
(www.seejanewrite.com)

and Wade Kwon (a male but I met him through See Jane Write~ so hope that counts)

The social media conference is sponsored with Southern Company and called Y’all Connect –  in Birmingham on June 13.

If you can’t make the conference he usually offers follow up information afterwards.

I had a blog in 2000, before it was called blogging and have since written for newspaper, Montgomery Living Magazine (I was an interior design major) and Southern Beauty Magazine as SOUL Editor doing cover interviews with LeAnn Rimes, Emily Proctor and other celebs.

The thing about blogging…we don’t fly anywhere anymore for the “story”….it is all by phone or email, but still just as exciting as we want to make it! I am dodging internet bursts as I post this from the beach!

I have a son, 20 (musician (brentmccolloughmusic.com), an 18 year old daughter who is headed to Bama next year, a step daughter recording in Nashville and a nine year old prissy blonde haired little girl who loves softball and has a Black belt in karate.

I’d love to connect on Google 

I love ALABAMA and have lived in Montgomery for eight years, lived on the white sands of the Alabama Beaches for four years and after evacuations have decided I am hoping to be on the rock of Lake Tuscaloosa as my “forever home base” where I can cheer on the Tide each fall. I also frequent forestry meetings at Auburn as I am a REALTOR with Duckworth Morris Real Estate.

I still cry when I watch Forrest Gump, more for the brilliant mind of the writer than the actual show as I am half way through writing a novel.

I sell my paintings at festivals in the South, particularly on the coast, hopefully soon to be in Seaside. I am also working on a series of photography on canvas.

ALLISON ADAMS ARTIST SITE

I thought I was having a heart attack two weeks ago…..and Bell’s Palsy…I was healed 🙂 another story for another day.
Still dragging around songs, I have written that my musician son calls “poems”, but after thinking I wouldn’t be able to talk or sing.

I’m not the best but hey, I have the songs in me! This year I will be getting them out one way or another!

I am ready to live every day like the last and embrace who I am…work on the bad, embrace the good and instead of
complaining….just try to be a better person!

Find me on Facebook