Saturday, November 28, 2015

Fixer Upper heaven...

Another Shop I Adore...

In this day of extreme social media and technology overload it’s easy to develop an obsession about celebrity. We see their every move and quickly become acquainted with their daily lives. Each and every aspect of their fame is chronicled for our enjoyment in excruciating detail. I personally am not one to get wrapped up in celebrity (?), although I do remember once being obsessed with Bette Midler some years ago after seeing her perform – I was sure that she and I would be close friends in another universe and time, if she only knew me.

Even though I am world away from Waco, Texas living in California, I am pretty confident that Joanna Gaines and I would be girlfriends if I lived nearby. From the first episode of Fixer Upper that I watched, I sensed that she is genuine.  And you only have to watch a couple of episodes with she and her soul mate Chip to wish they were your friends living down the road.

So it should have come as no surprise to my Texas native/hubby Dave that one of my coveted destinations during our recent trip was a stop at Magnolia Market in Waco. Joanna’s new storefront at the Silos had not yet celebrated their grand opening, but it was hosting a soft opening nevertheless, much to my delight. In fact, the very next day, all of Texas was hit with a major storm, so our timing for our brief visit was fortuitous.

Naturally I secretly hoped to meet Joanna and Chip there, but it was not to be - get real, Laurel..they were out filming the new season episodes! Their absence didn’t hamper my enjoyment of my shopping experience, as I could sense their love and energy following me around the tables and shelves of beautiful and unique home decor.

I remember the episode where these were placed in a craft room for kids..

The Sales staff were trained well...or were they just naturally nice like their bosses?

These stems were my favorite item...
Although the store did not ship (you can of course order online and they will ship) I was bound and determine to bring something from the actual store home in my carry-on. I would have loved to bring home their classic magnolia wreath as a momento, but I was pretty sure the overhead bins would not be kind to it. I will have to be content to order it online.

Dave couldn't resist documenting my visit - he knew how excited I was to be there!

So what did I come home with, you ask?

Only a few more days and the new season of Fixer Upper will start. Dave and I can't wait to watch Chip and Joanne make another dream home out of nothing!

Laurel. And they make me laugh.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Gift of Life

As I sit in front of an immense pile of Black Friday ads from the newspaper, the front page peaked out from under the stack. Under all that wasted paper,  a small photo gut-wrenched my heart right out of the holiday hustle/bliss anticipation that I was feeling and right into the “OMG, this time of year sucks” feeling that rears it’s ugly head.

The photo was of a hand holding a picture of a beautiful young woman with the byline “Out of tragedy, a life is saved.” I knew immediately what the story line was – a young woman unexpectedly died and her family donated her organs to help save the lives of others. I have read this story before many times…different people, same outcomes. And I have the same reaction every time – a flood of regret.

Jon was a beautiful, generous young man. He had checked that box on your driver’s license that allows for organ donation. In my shock that fateful morning, I couldn’t figure out why they worked so hard to keep him alive with such a fatal head trauma injury...why the Life-Flight…why all the tubes and injections? All I could see was that my beautiful boy was gone, so “No, you can not take any piece of him…why are you asking me that?” In my profound grief, I did not consent to his wishes. I never gave it another thought for years.

A few years ago, a dear friend lost her husband because there was no spare kidney to save his life.  And that’s when it hit me. Hard. All I could think of was Jon’s perfect 18 year old kidneys, his strong heart, his healthy lungs, his beautiful brown eyes…all lost. A decision I made in agonizing grief, but in the clear light of day and 20/20 hindsight became my life’s biggest regret.

I immediately changed my own drivers license to allow for organ donation, but as the years click by, I’m not too sure what they will be able to use. They can have whatever they want. Organ donation often gets a bad rap these days, especially with all the negative press over fetal tissue donation, stem cell research, cloning, etc. My brain can’t even wrap itself around the morality or otherwise of these issues. My personal decision in 1991 was not one of politics or religion - it was one of a mother who wanted to hang onto what was my son. 

Grief is strange...I love that it often moves to laughter in time. I confess that I secretly waited for some young woman to knock on my door with a baby in her arms telling me that it was Jon's.  Can you imagine? Crazy dreams of grieving..all those what ifs. But how nice it would be to know, right now, this morning, that his heart was beating in another young man with his sense of humor and zeal for life? It would be beyond nice.

So go ahead.. check that box yourself. Give your consent. Give life.


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