Dads Never Leave You

I dreamed of my Daddy last night. One of those vivid dreams where you can almost swear that you’re in their presence. I love those dreams because it gives me faith in the Universe that those we love never really leave you – they just change energy into something else. I try and reconcile my faith as a follower of Christ with this and the only thing I can say is that I can’t define “Asleep in Christ” and so I accept these gifts of connectivity with awe and wonder at what they mean, but I don’t delve too deeply because it’s just enough that I got to talk to my Daddy last night, even if it was a weird dream that my cousin shot me and he was sitting by my hospital bed. We talked of modern things and his wisdom was the same – leave the past behind, move forward and above all else Take Care of Business. His mantra. My goal for the day. A reminder to focus on the present and take care of what I have control over.

I talked to him a little more when I woke up and sat in the sunshine outside. It seems like a California day here in Texas. Low humidity, awesome sunshine and a little Santa Ana-like breeze. Just the kind of day he would have loved and I can picture him in his hammock, strong and tan with his dogs and his little farm around him. My heart is full of him today and it seems that all of nature is in agreement that I need his presence around me today. It’s been eight years since he died and today is the first day I’ve been at peace with our new relationship.

I think I will plant something today to honor him. He could grow anything, make anything, do anything. He was my Daddy. I know I was a well-loved child, and I know he was proud of me – and today, I know he still is, and is still around me, guiding me, leading me and showing me how to navigate life and love the same way he did when he could tell me all I needed to hear.

Sometimes You Should Just Let Danny Elfman Speak For You.

I would really like to know you better
But sometimes I’m afraid that it’s not meant to be
I would like to believe in something higher
But I can’t get a grip on all the little things

When the night comes I cannot sit still you see
And the years they have not been so kind to me
Got a gallery of figures standing all in a row
And every single figure has a soul of its own
But I never look back
Never look back
Don’t turn your back on me

(Chorus)
(Hey yeah) My life has come unraveled again
Like so many threads
(Hey yeah) my life has begun unfolding
In so many pieces
(Hey yeah) my life has come unraveled again like
so many threads in the wind – drift away – drift away

There’s a time and a place
For understanding
And a time when action speaks louder than words
And I don’t seem to get no indications
And I don’t know how to get through to you
And when time like the pyramids
Has worn away
All the mountains and the valleys
Of the words that we say

We have got to make sure that something remains
If we lose each other we’ve got no one to blame
So never look back
Never look back
Don’t turn your back on me

(Chorus)

© UMPG Publishing, Oingo Boingo

The Whole Soul of Motherhood

I have a lot of kids. I mean, like a LOT of kids. Like the old woman that lived in the shoe. Except with a cappuccino machine.

Only two were gestated. The rest were gifts. Some were wrapped up nice and pretty, and some just sort of showed up alongside the others. Some are refugees. Some come from broken homes, and some from great homes.

I love them all, with a fierceness that surprises even me sometimes. When someone hurts them, or ignores them, it makes me really, really mad. I generally say something. There are generally expletives.

I didn’t realize that I was going to be mom to a lot of kids. It just sort of ended up that way because kids hung out with my girls and saw that my girls talked to me and liked me (generally) and I liked hanging out with them, and liked helping them figure stuff out. Little stuff like makeup. Big stuff like drugs and sex and abuse. Nothing really shocks me, and nothing shocks God. I remind them that He loves them more than I do and that talking about whatever the issue is usually diffuses the power it claims, and sharing a hurt or fear cuts it in half. And then I point them back to God and assure them that it is OK to trust Him, too.

Summer brings them all home from their various wanderings. Some are now in college and some come and go trying to figure out life. They know they always have a bed (or, at least a couch) here. I suppose that’s also my homage to my transient Daddy, too. I can wake up any given morning and find kids making eggs, drinking coffee, cleaning the kitchen. No keys needed. They know how to get in the house. The dogs bark, but quickly figure out they’re part of the tribe, too. They also know that I don’t tolerate any shenanigans – no drinking, drugs or smoking. So far, no one’s disrespected me by trying. Mild cussing won’t make me blush, but gratuitous cursing gets you time on the naughty mat. I also don’t allow you to bash your mom, or run away from your problems. Parents have it hard and I don’t judge. My house is safe, but your house is your home. Unless you don’t have a home and then this can be your home.

Years ago one of the kids named me Mama Chelle. I was in my early 30’s, so I wasn’t in love with the name, I have to admit. It conjured images of a stout frau-like old woman, which certainly didn’t match my brain’s self-image. Now, a decade later, I embrace it and the dozens of kids that call me that, too. I’m honored. I’m blessed. My heart is full and overflowing. I have a great relationship with my girls, and they come first… but it’s pretty amazing that God continues to trust me with some of his other kids, too.

When Old Is New Again

 

It really wasn’t even a decision, really. It was more of a collective, family lightbulb moment.

Take Cathryn back to Annapolis Christian Academy.

Not “send” her back.

Not “let her go” back.

Take her back.

Through all of this mess with the church… the pain Ken and I have felt, the struggle to wrap our brains around the loss… she’s felt it too. It was a death to her, too. She lost a friend in Tricia, too. She saw someone she trusted do the wrong thing, and then ignore her. Her pastor, no less. It was a rough lesson to learn at a young age. Lesser kids might have abandoned their walk with God. She didn’t.

But slowly she became less and less herself. Less and less “Cat” – the sparkly, bubbly, energy-drink of a girl that everyone loves.  First it was grades. Then she broke up with her boyfriend for no good reason. She decided not to go to prom. She came home for lunch alone every single day. She was home every night, then every weekend. She cried for no reason. She argued about anything and everything. She dropped out of debate. She ditched tennis. She skipped basketball games. All of these one-by-one things were pieces of her that kept falling away like single leaves from a tree. Until she was just a little twig standing there in front of us.

We hoped that the group that came to our house on Wednesdays would give her purpose until things got better. She sang and worshipped as if her life depended on it sometimes. But she is the only girl, and these are kids still figuring out their faith. It wasn’t an anchor. But it was the best we could offer.

And then she got the note that she had been removed from the Presbyterian Mo Ranch Planning Team which was the last steady constant in her faith. Her last connection to who she was and what she was as a Presbyterian. Being an MPT was her last great joy – these kids were friends of faith that she played with, talked to, connected with – from all over the state. Now, this was gone, too.

CPC Port Aransas has “reported her” inactive in her Youth Group, and so she was ineligible. Without a word to us, a phone call or even an email.

I can honestly say, I’ve never – never – been angrier. In my whole life.

It’s one thing to strip us down as adults. It’s one thing to send a letter of rejection to an adult disguised as a termination of employment. You can “bless our hearts” and tell us you hope we’re well and go back to your little country club you call a church and forget all about those “sad little events.”

It’s quite another to ACTIVELY take down a child. What youth group is she “inactive” in? She’s not been INVITED to any events for the “new” program – and the “previous” program, and it’s youth director – WHOM SHE LIVES WITH – would check the box that she is quite ACTIVE as a Presbyterian. She leads kids each week in a study. She prays with them. She counsels them. She sings with them and eats with them and fellowships with them.

And yet someone – one guess who – has the audacity – the huevos, if you will – to check a box that blows up my kid’s world again.

I’m finding it harder and harder to turn the other cheek. And harder and harder to keep the secrets I know. Secrets that would demand a change in the pulpit, in fact.

But grace demands that I land on and stand on my knees. The mercy that has been shown me must be extended to those that don’t deserve it. Much as I don’t deserve it, in fact. It’s humbling, but true. I am a sinner, saved by grace. I sure do want to give Karma a list of people she’s missed sometimes. And some help. I pray instead.

And so.

She asks in a whisper to go back to Annapolis with tears streaming down her face. It is a hard thing to ask because I never wanted her to leave in the first place, and she is worried I will gloat, do the happy dance and tell her “I told you so!”

I do, a little.

 

But really, it is all I can do to keep from tucking her into a reed basket as if she were the tiny, football-sized-burrito-swaddled baby she once was and lay her on the doorstep of the school like an abandoned orphan with a note pinned to her saying, “please, help her” – knowing that the teachers there that have loved her, prayed for her, cried for her and fought for her will do just that.

Her headmaster was misty-eyed when we re-enrolled her. He said it was an answer to prayer. Her teachers rejoiced, and hugged her like a prodigal. Parents “liked” my Facebook status announcing our return.

ACA wasn’t perfect, it never will be perfect.

But real families never are.

 

 

 

The World’s Loss is Heaven’s Gain

 

I wasn’t blessed with a sister. I had two brothers come along 9 and 12 years after I was born, and some of the mysteries of siblings somewhat escape me. I love my brothers, don’t get me wrong, but we don’t talk very often and when we do it’s about pretty simple stuff. I got married when they were still in elementary school and moved to Texas, so it’s just different, I suppose, from some families.

Like the one you see above. On the left is my friend Tanya. She’s also my daughter Cathryn’s “real” mom of sorts. They are hilariously similar in ways large and small.  They laugh, they bring joy to everyone they meet and they’re the center of many people’s attention for their infinite goodness, love and strength. They sparkle. Cathryn dated Tanya’s son for a while, but even if she hadn’t they would still be close. When something happens in Cat’s world, she wants a hug from me, and then a hug and an hour to talk to Tanya. I don’t mind – love multiplies with both of them. They’re glittering soul-mates.

In the middle is Phyllis, her Mom. We call her Honey, which is what her grandsons Chase and Maxx called her when they were little and that just kinda stuck. Honey pretty much describes her, too. Without being cliche’, she’s the sweetest person I’ve ever met. She “adopted” my husband Ken a while back since they were both in the theater and had a million funny things to talk about. My husband would walk through fire for her. He adores her. When I met her she quickly became one of the women I most admired and loved, too – and I don’t like a lot of women, to be honest. She’s smart, always sees the good in people, shares her love and faith freely, and takes care of more people in large and small ways than most churches. She’s my hero.

On the right is Tiffany.

Truth be told, I haven’t spent a lot of time with Tiffany, but I know and love her as much as her Mom and Sister. This week Tiffany lost her hard fought battle with cancer. And for 487 days from the diagnosis until she passed, this was a journey that was gracefully shared with the world. There was a cord of three that showed the entire world what it meant to love someone through a crisis.

From the outside looking in, it was astonishing. And they had no idea how astonishing it was.

When Tiffany was first diagnosed, she came down to her mom’s house and we all sat on the deck overlooking the harbor and enjoyed the sunset. It was when things were still uncertain in terms of a treatment plan, and Tiff was in quite a bit of discomfort. That was the first time I saw them in action and it was completely foreign to me to see such love poured out on one another. Tiffany would shiver a tiny bit, and Tanya would move her blanket around her more tightly while in mid-sentence about something else completely. No words were exchanged about wanting the blanket moved or being cold. Tiffany would glance to her right for her glass, and Honey would be holding it ready to hand to her. They instinctively knew.

Tiffany became the center of their universe and they were orbiting her. 

This seems simple. Most people wouldn’t notice these things. But it was indicative of  what was to come. Tiffany was surrounded for the next 18 months with that same light, love and care. She was never alone. She never had to worry about anything except fighting hard.

That night, after watching a true family, I told Tiffany that I was jealous of having a sister. They never took it for granted that they were best friends, and never, ever missed an opportunity to say, “I love you” or smile.

She said that night that I could be her Sissy, too. She understood that love was meant to be shared and she shared it with everyone. She knew that she was loved without end, by her family, her friends and her savior. She understood that love was multiplied and never divided when shared with another.

I was not the only one that saw the miracle of her journey. When we had a candlelight service as she was sent home to hospice, nearly one hundred people came and prayed for Tiffany – who didn’t even live in Port Aransas. Most of us watched her journey on Facebook and cried as she lost her hair and cheered as she watched her beloved son graduate from high school. Every milestone was celebrated.

And prayed over. And praised.

Lesser families, and lesser women would have lost faith. Tiffany never did. She never lost faith that she would be healed – even if that wasn’t an earthly healing. She never questioned her God’s plan for her. Her mom and sister praised God for His grace and mercy. They prayed for the wisdom of the doctors and thanked God for the gift of time.

It was astonishing. It remains astonishing.

There is a deep sadness for me at her passing, that isn’t “quite” made better by knowing that she’s in a very real afterlife with a very real Jesus. I know she’s out of pain, and for that I’m grateful. Selfishly, I wanted her cancer-free and sitting on the deck at her mom’s house. I cannot pretend to understand why that wasn’t the plan.

But I will take the lessons that Tiffany’s life taught me, and watch the women that loved her best, and do what they do. Love, laugh, celebrate, praise and pray. Despite the sadness of losing Tiffany, they continue to praise their God. Their love carried them through and one can only hope to be loved like that in their lifetime.

Tiffany Beth, you were an extraordinary woman, from a family of extraordinary women. I was honored to know and love you. I will do my best to take care of your mom and sissy as they miss you for all time, but forgive me for not doing it as well as you – no one could.

Yeah – I’m THAT Mom.

Oh. My. Stars.

Seemingly overnight, I became THAT Mom. The working mom. The mom that’s got a meeting and has to miss Monday Morning Moms in Touch, and the one that sent a text to her assistant last night at 10pm to please bake a cake for her kid to pick up at 7:15am. Horrifying, right? It took me 18 years, but I’m driving an SUV. I’m talking on my Bluetooth headset in the carpool lane. I have a standing order at Starbucks and they know me by name. I’m booking flights and keeping a bag packed for business trips. I ordered a new Oakley Messenger Bag and didn’t balk at the $120 price tag. I live and breathe by my Google Calendar and Blackberry. I say things like, “Let’s Huddle Up Next Week” – which is the new millenium version of “Let’s Do Lunch.” – Even I make myself throw up a little.

I’m THAT Mom. I buy my way out of volunteering. I beg for rides for my kid. I haven’t made a real dinner in at least six months and that’s counting Thanksgiving, which I had catered this year for the first time in 20 years of marriage. I send my Husband Facebook Events for our weekend plans and I make my kids Tungle Me if they need some one-on-one time.

Our favorite restaurant Kody’s in on my Blackberry SpeedDial as letter “F” for FOOD. Quickbooks yelled at me for spending more there than my car payment last month.

I’ve had my own business for more than 10 years – so why the uber-insantity now? For starters, business is better than ever. I’m finally doing what I love to do full time. I get paid to speak and tell people what to do as a Social Media and Internet Business Consultant and I co-own a wedding planning business for brides coming to the little island paradise I call home. And I suppose it’s because I’m seeing the writing on the wall. In just a little more than 24 months, my baby will graduate and begin her college career and next stage of life. My eldest is already in college and like all almost-empty-nesters, I started to think about what I wanted to be when I grew up about a year ago.

I’m not done being a mom, mind you. I still #MomStalk my kids on Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and via GPS loaded on their phones. I stalk them lovingly in ways they don’t even know about. (BTW- If you need some tips, hit me up. I’m like the Kaiser Soze (NSFW) of MomStalkers) It just seems like someone hollered “Game On” – and now it’s on. Wanna huddle up next week with some Facetime and Skype about it?

Can Anyone Spare A Time Machine?

Every single Summer of my childhood I looked forward to the last day of school, knowing that within 2-3 days after that final day my Grandma GG would show up and whisk me off for “THE SUMMER” to a place where it stayed light until 10pm, fireflies lit our night sky, we could see every star in the universe, we stayed out late to play freeze tag, I worked at an ice cream parlor with her, and I had an endless supply of quarters for Defender and Skeeball in the village arcade. fleetreview

Growing up, nothing much changed from year to year. The same kids came back, like a refugee summer camp. I had friends from the Palisades – the neighborhood where my GG had lived since the 1950’s, friends from Orange County whose parents owned major Jaguar and Cadillac car dealerships, friends that were kids of rock stars, movie stars and TV stars escaping the heat of Los Angeles. None of this was important to me. Summer was the great equalizer. Sure they were rich, but could they outrun Donny Loth? Sure their parents were important back in 90210, but could they beat my high score at Ms. Pacman?

I loved my childhood in Lake Arrowhead. I am particularly homesick this summer, for many reasons. Mostly, I miss my Grandma and she absolutely loved summer. We would walk the 3 blocks from her tiny cottage to the lake and camp out at Orchard Bay, eating peanut butter and honey sandwiches and drinking Shasta Grape soda until our tongues were purple. We were the first ones there, and the last to leave. Sometimes my cousin Jeremy would join us and those were the best days of all. She would let us wander into the orchard behind the beach and eat bitter crab apples and there was a secret swing to play on. I couldn’t go by myself, but if Jeremy went with me, we could go.

sportsman

One time Jeremy and I were in the water and since GG was the best playmate ever and could do handstands in the water, we called her – over and over and over, “Grandma! Grandma! Grandma!” She was on the beach with her best friend Pauline Loth drinking Olympia Beer and just had her hair set to go to the Sportsman that night with her husband, my Fafa. Finally, she exploded in exasperation, “If you yell Grandma ONE MORE TIME… you’re gonna get it!” – which we knew meant a smack on the butt with a flip flop.

Daring the sting of the dreaded flip flip, but now also knowing she wouldn’t come in the water to get him, Jeremy replied, “What would you like us to call you? OLYMPIA BEER?” – and that was her name for the rest of the summer and for many others, too, shortened to just “Oly.”

Jeremy and I would be trotted around the mountains to her favorite places – the Yacht Club, Sportsman, Monte Corona and the Royal Oak were her top picks, but the Little Villager across the street from the Royal Oak in Blue Jay was mine. Owned by Betty Pekus, my Godmother, it was the place where I had my first and only “Boy Cheese Sandwich” – so named because Jeremy thought I was saying “Girl Cheese Sandwich” when ordering, and felt it was quite sexist. Only the Cedar Glen Malt Shoppe with it’s super-thick peanut butter shakes could woo me from the Little Villager, but long summers insured time for all of the best things to be crammed in, over and over again.

My GG was a little sassy, and I’m pretty sure it’s embedded in my girls. Every year she would “adopt-a-dock” – which I later learned was code for trespassing. Her rationale was that she lived there full time, owned lake rights and had lost her own dock in her divorce from my Fafa. So, she would stake out the lake, sometimes in Emerald Bay, sometimes Orchard Bay, and figure out who wasn’t using their dock that summer and move right in with her folding chairs and pink floating rafts. By the 4th of July she knew she was home free if no one showed up to claim it. If vacation renters came up for the weekend, she would play dumb, bluff if she needed to, and name drop if anyone questioned her. She always pulled it off and until I was about 16, I didn’t know any better. She always told me, “Oh, so-and-so asked me to keep an eye on it this summer for them.” cafe

I miss my lake. I miss the later summers of the Blue Jay Jazz Festival, and the Rotary Wine Tastings. I miss our friends Bev and Jay and dinners at the Chef’s Inn with Randall. I miss being on my Fafa’s old wooden Chris Craft and eating corndogs with ketchup from the Dam Grill at the North Shore Marina. I miss Tavern Bay and the smell of pine trees, and the honeybees that invaded my the tree in GG’s front yard. I miss honeysuckle and the fireworks over the lake.I miss skiing with Shaneen on her boat, “Kenyaketchme.”  I miss my Grandma’s old friends from the Elk’s Lodge – Mickey Haskins, Betty Baumann and Betty Pekus, my Godmother, whom I called my Dodo. The “why” of that nickname has long since faded in shadow, and sadly, I have no one to ask. I miss Santa’s Village and swimming with my Daddy at Deep Creek.

svshow

I haven’t been back since my Grandma died. I’m not sure I can ever go back without having a nervous breakdown. It might just be best to let everything remain frozen in time in my mind rather than go back and see it all without her. Who knows? I used to love Summer with all my heart, and now I’m content to ignore it and work right through until Fall. In 11 days my girls are back to school – one to College and one a Sophomore in High School. Maybe next Summer we’ll all go back and make some new memories. Or maybe I’ll just see if I can find a time machine on Ebay and take them back with me to when it was my very own magical place.

I Am Pretty Freakin’ Sick of This.

Relay for Life - 5
Image by portorikan via Flickr

Cancer Sucks.

It’s a battle-cry of the mighty group of committed volunteers I work with on the  Relay for Life committee but it was also for the better part of five years the thought that woke me in the morning, and knocked me out at night.

Statistically, it’s probable that you know someone with, or affected by cancer. There’s no Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon here – you probably have one degree at best. This disease is no respecter of race, age, maritial status or parentage. It kills mommies, babies and sweet old ladies that have never done anything to anyone.

My degree of separation is  one. I have never been diagnosed,  but I have lost more loved ones to this disease than anyone should have to bear. No daughter should have to know what a condom catheter is or why her Dad needs it and how to put it on because the nurse is busy. No granddaughter should have to clean feces off their granny’s hiney while they both wish they were anywhere but there, mortified at the circumstances.  I’m not whining about my plight, mind you, I’m saying that something needs to be done.

I believe that Relay for Life is a beacon of hope for those touched by this disease, whether they are fighting back, a survivor, a caregiver or simply a friend or loved one.

The first year that I attended Relay for Life in April 2007  I was a little numb – and I don’t remember much except my own tears and a lot of purple. My Daddy, Michael Honiker, died on June 9, 2006. His autopsy showed that he was cancer-free after a month of in-hospital chemo, but his heart was weakened and he suffered a massive heart attack the night before he was to be released to go home.

The same day my Daddy died, my Grandmother, Gloria Goss, was diagnosed with throat cancer. She smoked for 55 years and quit the day she learned she had Emphysema in 2001. She quite literally beat the odds at least five times – it was amazing. Her first diagnosis in 2001 with lung cancer came only by the grace of God. She went to the hospital for a cardiac stress test, was told she needed a triple bypass, left with stents because her emphysema wouldn’t allow anesthesia – and here’s the amazing part – her cardiologist caught the tiniest speck on her lung and sent her to an oncologist.  She had 2/3 of her left lung removed as an outpatient at a doctor’s office in Fullerton. He’s only one of 3 that can perform that surgery laproscopically.  She beat lung cancer – a near impossible feat – and learned to live with reduced lung function, which was hard since she lived at 5000 feet altitude in Lake Arrowhead. In 2003 when we moved back to Padre Island, she came with us and loved everything – but the humidity. When she was diagnosed with throat cancer, Ken and I became her primary caregivers – commuting back and forth to California, passing each other like ships in the night, seeing each other for only 6 days out of 7 months, taking turns handling her affairs and needs – and, most importantly, loving her through it all. She passed away at home October 17, 2007.

I relay for them. I relay to raise money for the American Cancer Society research so that the new treatments aren’t toxic enough to kill the patient along with the cancer. My Daddy won the cancer battle, but lost his fight for life. cancer (I will not capitalize the word) will not win the war if I can help it.

I relay for my  Grandmother, who had wonderful care at Loma Linda University Medical Center. They are on the cutting edge of proton radiation therapy and it gave her added years with us – it’s less invasive, more specific and carries less side effects.  We were blessed with the gift of time because of it. Time to go to the beach, have shrimp boils, enjoy sunsets and laugh. We laughed a lot. More funding would make that kind of therapy available to more people than just those close to MD Anderson, Loma Linda, John’s Hopkins and Stanford. We were blessed to be close to Loma Linda, but most are not.

For my Stepdad, Mark Connolly, who died of liver cancer at just 51 years old – his diagnosis came too late for any treatment and he suffered more than he needed to. For his mother, my grandma, Merle Connolly, who was a tireless devoted volunteer for the Oakland Children’s Hospital, and was one of the most wonderful selfless women I ever knew. She was the first of my many loved ones to go.

And I relay for those still fighting back: I relay for Ken’s aunt June, and his mother Pat – and their ongoing battle with breast cancer. For my friend Carrie’s son Troy. I relay for our friend Mike Jones, now a survivor.

I can’t save the ones that are gone. And so, mostly, I relay for my daughters. I relay because there is a history of this disease, in almost every part of the body, in our genetic makeup. I relay to raise money so they can benefit from research and treatments in the future and for education and awareness now. cancer is preventable in many cases with the right information and action.

This is too important to leave to someone else. I have to do my part. And so, I relay. I join with others with similar stories and struggles and together we offer each other comfort, encouragement, information – and  hope. Hope that one day this disease will be gone from the face of God’s planet and that the small part we played helped bring that about. I believe it’s possible.

Has cancer touched your life? Tell me your story in the comments and visit cancer.org for resources for patients, caregivers and survivors – the money we raise at Relay events make these services available – and they’re awesome – rides to appointments, resources for wigs, mammograms  – whatever the need it, chances are there’s a free resource. You can make a donation here if you want. If you would like to join in your local Relay for Life event (there are thousands nationwide), visit RelayforLife.org and search for the closest one to you. If you’re in Port Aransas, TX and want to hang out with the coolest committee that bleeds purple, visit relayporta.com and get signed up. Or email me!

The giant sucking sound you hear is…

Time.

I woke up this morning to discover that summer is over and I haven’t accomplished a damn thing I set out to at the beginning of the season. Sure, there’s lots of excuses – but only one reason. A combination of laziness, distraction and apathy. There’s a confession for you, huh?

Entrepreneurs, be warned. Take heed of my Tale.

For some weeks we’ve been trying to make a big move from Padre Island to Port Aransas. It’s where we really live since our church, theater, work, bands and a good deal of our friends are. Despite it being just 17 miles from our house, it seems like a continent away – especially when we drive home late at night after a long day 5+ days a week.

Things haven’t been coming together quite as planned.

We haven’t been able to find a rental – they’re either $2200 per month or $600 a month for a one-bedroom beach shack. Not that I wouldn’t mind a beach shack someday, but I’ve got two teenage daughters and they’ve got STUFF right now to deal with. I’m reluctant to sell my house on Padre Island in this economy, preferring to hang on to it until we’re right side up again. So, we need a basic 3 bedroom/2 bath condo/house that won’t break the bank or make my Grandma turn over in her grave. I think her adjective would be “hovel” for a couple of places and I would be in big-dog-trouble for even thinking of letting my kids live there. I’m not a snob – hey, I grew up in a trailer, but I think the roaches were expecting to be co-signers on a couple of the leases.

There’s also the question of where they’ll finish school. We finally, after much soul searching and agony, agreed that our younger daughter would leave her private academy and start her Freshman year at Port Aransas High School. This is a big ‘ol whoppin’ deal for Mama. She didn’t want her baby girl to write a book someday filled with angst and regret that she didn’t get the same (read: privileged) education as her sister. Seriously, that stuff keeps me up at night.

Coming down to the wire and with the deadlines next week of sports physicals, 2-a-days, paperwork and the general end of summer, and without any resolution in sight, this week I pulled the trigger, and she’s going back to her private school. This simplifies things tremendously. Our eldest daughter is a Senior, they can experience all the great things together like the formals, retreats and activities, for only this year. I would always feel it was a missed opportunity if they didn’t, and so for that, I’m happy.

It does, however, continue to present the “WTH” questions… We’ve got half our things packed, half in weird configurations. Do we take the hit and sell our house? Lease it? We’re back to the drawing board, after having drawn some specific plans for our life – and moved all summer toward them. It’s left us drained, frustrated and tired.

Which brings me back to the sucking sound. I had a lot of plans for my business this summer, and I learned a very valuable lesson. Don’t wait for the right time – the perfect time – to execute. You’ll just lose time. I waited all summer to get moved before re-launching http://travelwebmarketing.com because I didn’t want to be overwhelmed trying to move and service new customers. In the end, I was just overwhelmed with the minutia of trying to deal with a failed plan.

Next time, I’ll execute and keep working at it to refine and work out kinks. It’s a great product and a great time to offer it. Now I just need to dig my office back out of boxes, get that whiteboard back on the wall and get this summer started.

A Month of email in Just TWO Days

How is it possible that a month’s worth of email could pile up in just two days? I left for Dallas on Thursday to watch my eldest daughter play in the State All Star Volleyball Game (Notice the all-caps. It was very, very prestigious. Her mom said so) and I kept up with my email via my Palm Smartphone, answering those that needed answers and weeding out the NRN’s (No Response Needed), like the good little fan of GTD that I am.

While my kid played her little heart out leading her team to victory as starting setter, sweeping the opposition and, I must mention, earning the title of ALL-STATE ALL-STAR MVP (and Texas is a Big ‘Ol State, right?) my little inbox grew fat. More than 100 emails that demanded my attention this fine Monday – the start of Spring Break, I add bitterly. No beach for me. No shrimporee, beer bong, wet t-shirt contest festivities. Nope. I need to sit and cull more email and answer questions like a pasty cube dweller, rather than the awesome work-at-home netrepreneur that I really am.

Then again, I’m really not one of the cool kids, so I’ll just get back to email and twitter now, throw on an episode of Battlestar Galactica on Hulu and grab a whip-whip-frap-frap.