Thursday, May 20, 2010

An Iris Morning

I live in a very old house with lots of what I like to call "personality". And despite the fact that some aspects of "personality" are a little inconvenient, I love my little house. I love my neighborhood filled with beautiful trees and a fantastic, diverse group of people. However, with a backyard full of junk from old neighbors (that my landlord keeps promising he will take care of) and a set of new neighbors that like to leave cigarette butts and Pabst Blue Ribbon cans all over the front porch, I'm starting to tire of being the "rental" on the block.

I started looking at other options, and with that have started to wonder if I really do love this place all that much. I mean, a dishwasher could be nice, and having my washer and dryer in the same room might also be a nice change. It also wouldn't hurt to have a real furnace. (My old heater was pretty awesome actually. It was probably put in here in 1920 and looked very cool and vintage. Then it got a gas leak and was replaced with the kind of heater my dad put in his garage. It's a very classy sight as you walk through my hallway).

As I walked out of my door on Sunday morning to see the pile of junk my landlord still hasn't taken care of, I felt the recent resentment swelling up inside and started mentally going through my options once again. I was stopped short when I rounded the corner and saw that my irises had bloomed overnight. And I remembered why I love this little apartment. I planted my first flowers 2 years ago during my first spring in this house. I have watched the plants I placed into the ground bloom and flower and mature for two springs now. What surrounds my irises may not be beautiful right now, as the rest of the yard needs some love, but each spring, my irises come back again as beautiful as ever.

I learned as I planted these irises that we can't always see how beautiful a flower will be immediately. We have to bury it in the ground, water it, and hand its fate to nature. And even as we wait, we find ourselves surprised one morning when the sun has finally coerced soft lavendar petals out of their cocoon to finish off the spring in full bloom.

In the last two and a half years I have learned about planting flowers, but I have also learned about falling in and out of love, about finishing something I started, about believing in myself and trusting in the Lord, and about building friendships that will continue to bloom throughout my lifetime. And whenever, wherever I go, I will always be glad for the time I spent in this little house in the avenues.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Graduation... and all that comes with it

It's Official. I am a college grad. The downside to that is that once again I find myself trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. I would have thought that by the time I was 31, had a cosmetology license, and a bachelor's degree I might have a clue. Well... I sort of do. It's just that now I feel like I need to move on to the next step. Which is... yeah, that's my problem.
But here are a few pictures of the big day and the after parties:

Two nights after I finished my last class, I headed to Huntington Beach for a mid-singles conference to celebrate my achievement. Yes, "mid-singles conference" is pretty much all it implies. I vacillated between loving the pick-up-and-go lifestyle that I enjoy as a single woman and feeling like I was back in junior high because of all the awkwardness that comes when 31-40 year olds try to flirt with each other in a church gym with 80's music playing in the background.

That being said, I picked the right people and the right place for a mid-singles conference. I stayed in a beach house with about 17 other people, which meant the party was pretty much always at our house. And, I spent the weekend hanging out with one of the greatest girls I know. Okay, so the point was to meet men. Well I met a few. And they were all right. But Jen and I got in some good bonding time, even sharing the couch one night since the fold-out bed was worse than a sleeping bag laid out over a rock pile.