An Early Morning Trip Out Into the Rain

Ray and I were awakened around 5:30 this morning by the rumbling of thunder and the flashing of lightning as a thunderstorm rolled into the Sherman area. Rain came pounding down, which normally would be comforting when all snuggled in bed, but not this time. We had not completely covered the trailer out back, which had several remnants from the garage sale that we were taking to the antique mall. Alas, that meant getting up and going outside.

We crawled out of bed and the dogs were right on our heels. Cordie was barking with every clap of thunder and Frankie was shaking. Ray and I both got dressed and headed out to the back porch, but then Ray turned to me and said, “You wait here and watch the dogs.”

Far be it from me to argue over that suggestion…

By this point, the lightning and thunder were no longer simultaneous, but the rain was coming down in buckets. Ray went out and tightened all the tarps that were already on the trailer, then returned to the house. “Do we have any trash bags?” he asked, and I ran off to the storage closet to grab the box. I returned and watched as he cut out two arm holes and a neck opening and slipped the trash bag over his already wet clothes. He then reached into a nearby drawer and pulled out a plastic bag, which he put on his head, then added his baseball cap. “No need to get any wetter than I already am,” he said and then headed back out.

This time, he went into the barn and retrieved another big tarp which he took out to the trailer. After wrestling the tarp over it, he then closed the barn door and headed back into the house. All the while the dogs and I were standing on the porch watching as the rain continued to pour down and the lightning and thunder moved further westward.

Ray wiggled out of his trash bag raincoat while I ran and grabbed a towel for him. In just a few minutes, he was back in his robe. “Let’s go back to bed,” he said.

We and the dogs headed back to our bedroom.

We settled back into bed, and could now relax and enjoy the rest of the storm. The rain drummed on the tin roof of the porch next to where we slept, and rain-cleaned air blew in through the open window next to our bed. We snuggle back down into the warm covers and slept another two hours.

How lucky I am to have such a chivalrous husband. That level of gentlemanly behaviour does not go unnoticed. While I was ready and willing to go out and help, I must admit I appreciated Ray’s generosity. I am always willing to jump into the fray to help and I was ready to head out in the rain and get soaked to the skin. Still, I so appreciated getting a reprieve from that duty.

Thank you, Ray Beaty, for being such a good husband. You are a good man, now and always. Your wife loves you.


Sunday in Texas

I am sitting in what we call the “green” room in our Victorian, named for the dark green wallpaper with maroon flowers and the accompanying dark green ceiling. Two clocks in the room are ticking out of sync with one another, and one just rang four times though it is actually 10:03 pm. Clearly some adjustments are in order. However, I love this room; one of the coziest in the house.

green room

I am sitting on a rocker that is part of a three-piece Mission Oak set that includes 2 rockers and a couch. This was my 60th birthday present from my husband, Ray. We had both been admiring the three-piece set at Touch of Class Antique Mall for several months when Ray decided this would be an ideal birthday gift for me. We have been enjoying these pieces of furniture ever since. They work beautifully in the room and have the added benefit of actually being comfortable, which isn’t always the case with older furniture.

mission oak

As always, I am enjoying being here in this lovely old house. I feel enveloped in a warm swirl of color, texture and memories. We visited with friends earlier today in the front parlor with all the windows wide open and the lace curtains fluttering from an easterly wind. The air was so fresh it was lovely and Ray remarked, “People may very well have sat right here in this room on a Sunday afternoon 120 years ago.” Now if that doesn’t give one pause…

We went to church this morning at St. Stephen’s Episcopal church here in Sherman with our friends, Dav and Carol Griffith. We saw old friends there: Helen and Craig Summers and Frances Neidhardt. Craig’s parents were our daughter Sarah’s Godparents and Frances was a close friend of my mother’s and is the Godmother of our youngest daughter, Rachael. These relationships go back 30 + years, which, of course, makes them that much more special. We will be attending a special memorial celebration on Thursday evening at the church for Father James Garrard, who was the rector at St. Stephen’s for almost 30 years, from 1968 -1996. Ray and I knew him well and he was one of the finest priests either of us have ever known. We’ll definitely be there to celebrate his memory since he not only blessed our marriage, but also celebrated requiem masses for my father, my mother and two of my brothers. We’re happy we’ll still be in town.

With that said, I will bid you goodnight.

I hope you have had a lovely Sunday, wherever you are.

I’ll be checking back in tomorrow.

A Day that Did My Heart Good

Today we had a fabulous garage sale with lots of customers, and I also had the chance to see some old friends who were kind enough to drop in and visit.

Judy Stevens Jeanes, Kathi Bowdoin and Elaine Bethel-Savage, all old friends from our hometown of Bonham, Texas, came by to say hello. Thank you all so much for taking the time to do that.

Me, Kathi, Elaine and Judy


Also, Jim Adams and his wife, Teena, came over for a short visit. Jim is family since his sister was married to my brother; it’s always good to see Teena and him.

In addition, Parker McComas and his wife, Gayle, were here not just to say hello, but also to put out some of their wares for the sale. Parker and Gayle are old friends from our Pig Branch Internet group and we keep in close touch online. It is always a pleasure to have them around and to hear of their latest adventures.

In addition, to all the visiting, we actually had a very brisk sales day. We are most grateful to the many customers who arrived with money in hand to bring a little bit of happiness to members of the four families involved in the sale. Again, a big thank you for making this such a successful day.

On that note, I will say goodnight. I am one pooped pup after working late yesterday and getting up early today.

I’ll be checking back in tomorrow.

Until then, I hope you will all stay happy and healthy.

Lots of Steps While Filling Our Sale “Wagon”

I walked 1842 steps today according to my UP by Jawbone, which is a variant of the FitBit. This little wrist device was my Mother’s Day present and also tracks my sleep and lots of other things I haven’t quite figured out yet.  I only received it last Sunday since we had a delay on our Mother’s Day celebration. But so far, I can say that I love having a way to track my fitness progress.

The 1842 steps was related, of course, to getting ready for our garage sale.  We unloaded all the furniture we brought from CA plus lots of boxes.  At the same time, our neighbors across the street and our friends from not-too-far-off also unloaded all their goodies.  No sooner did we start getting things all set up than people started stopping. We had a good little run of business without even touching our best stuff.  That was heartening.  Then another family arrived – these invited by our neighbors – and they were still setting up even after it got dark.  Two more families are bringing their garage sale items tomorrow morning so we should have a full sale.  As the old saying goes, “You can’t sell out of an empty wagon.” Alas, this wagon will be full to overflowing so that should bode well for all of us.

I am going to close now because tomorrow will come soon.  We will be up and out by 6 since people will start stopping by as early as 7 even though we said in our ad, “No early callers.”  That is the way of garage sales.  The early bird does truly get the worm in this case.

If you live in North Central Texas, then come on over and see us. We will be open from 8 (or 7) to 5.  There will be plenty of goodies to choose from ranging from Victorian furniture all the way to kids’ clothes.

May your weekend be full of fun or relaxation or whatever you need it to be.

I’ll be checking back in with you all tomorrow.



My Day Today

Today, I:

Went over and saw our friend Darrah Dunn’s new house (built in 1907) that he and his wife, Shann Schubert, just bought. Went room by room and talked about restoration/renovation.  We also walked around the yard and talked about various landscaping ideas as well.

Ate Texas BBQ (chicken).

Went to Touch of Class antique mall, saw fellow antique dealers there and made the rounds to see what new antiques and collectibles had arrived since our last visit.

Visited with our neighbor across the street, Amy and Scott Ellis. Talked about our upcoming neighborhood garage sale on Saturday.

Came home and unloaded our van of the antiques, collectibles and garage sale items that we’ll be selling here.

Cleaned and marked small items going to the antique mall to sell.

Visited with our friend Shann Schubert about the house she and her husband just bought and our thoughts on restoration/renovation.

Wrote this blog piece while Ray visited with our neighbors, Amy and Scott Ellis, in the front parlor.  Sorry, Amy and Scott, I needed to get this written and then head to bed.  I haven’t quite recovered from our cross-country drive.

Tomorrow: unload the trailer for the garage/estate sale.  Unload boxes and get ready for our sale that starts bright and early on Saturday morning.





We Made It!

We arrived in Sherman, Texas from LA via Ojai, CA about an hour ago after 24 hours of driving over two days.  I took the dogs for a good walk since they (and I) had been cooped up all day and yesterday in the van.  Ray stayed home to settle in a bit while we were out.  I walked the dogs down to the town square where there is a courthouse.  It’s about four blocks from our house here.  Here is a picture of the courthouse:


What struck me the most on our walk was how completely quiet it is here.  We arrived around 10:30 pm and in a ten block walk I saw exactly four cars and no people walking. The only sound was a night bird (not sure which), the distant sound of cars on Highway 75, the swishing sound of the four cars passing on the street nearby and a distant train whistle.   This lack of sound is significant for me since I live on a busy street in LA that is four blocks from the Sunset Strip and four block from Santa Monica Boulevard.  The sound of cars passing by, people chatting while they are walking, occasional helicopters, barking neighbor dogs, police and fire sirens and distant traffic on the nearby boulevards is simply part of the fabric of living there. It is often quiet in the dead of night, but that means 3 or 4 am, certainly not 10:30 pm.  So the quiet here, particularly at this hour, is striking. And welcome.  Coming to Texas is like having strong warm fingers working all the kinks out of my back and neck.  That is one of the reasons I love to come here.

Another is to see all our friends here.  We’re having a garage/estate sale on Saturday here at Lyon House -716 North Crockett St., Sherman – so if you’re in the area, please drop by  between 8 – 5.  We have brought lots of Victorian furniture and collectibles from an estate we’ve been handling in LA, and there are some very cool pieces.  Plus our neighbors and various friends are bringing items to sell too so this should be quite a sale.  It is also a great way to see friends in a concentrated fashion.  Our time is always limited on these trips so this works very nicely.  Come on over!

Okay, I am headed off to take a bath and then head to bed.  Ray was kind enough to get everything all settled while I was out with the dogs, which was awfully nice. It’s great to be here in this house again. It’s been several months since I’ve gotten to enjoy it.  Here is a night photo of “Lyon House,” our Victorian here in Sherman:


I am grateful that we have arrived safely.  That is always a relief.  Now we can settle in for a while.  That is a treat in itself.  Hooray.

I hope you are having a good Wednesday evening.

I’ll be checking back in with you tomorrow.

Motel 6, Holbrook, AZ and Guy Clark

I am sitting on the bed in a Motel 6 with Frankie; Ray is on the other bed with Cordelia. This is just for writing. Later, the dogs will be on one bed and we on the other, I hope. That is unless we all end up in one double bed, which might be slightly crowded given that Cordelia is a rather full-figured gal. We will see. Whatever the case, we are here in Holbrook, AZ where we are staying for the night. Motel 6 has a liberal pet policy, which makes it perfect for us and our furry friends.

We stopped slightly early – 100 miles – because it was raining and we are pulling a big trailer. I was driving, and with all the splashes from the big rigs as they passed us (yes, I was going a sensible 65 miles per hour because of the trailer) we concluded that 100 more miles was going to be pretty tough particularly since we left home at 6 this morning, CA time. No good comes from a tired driver…

So here we are in our cozy room with orange and blue bedspreads and orange curtains and the dogs seem happy to be out of the van. We’re happy too though we usually drive much later the first day of our two-day trek to Texas from California. Alas, we are making up for our early evening by starting at 5 rather than 6 am tomorrow. I don’t mind that. Fewer vehicles on the road, and hopefully no rain. I am a morning person, after all.

I am very sorry to hear of the death of Guy Clark today. He was only 74 and that’s far too young to die these days. I have loved his songs for a long time now and also his sense of humor. He can write a song about anything, as demonstrated by his song, Homegrown Tomatoes. “There are only two things that money can’t buy, true love and homegrown tomatoes.” So true. He was a master at writing songs about his own life that were so honest and open that they ended up having a universal appeal. That is no small accomplishment.

Here is a love song he wrote for his wife, Susanna, and it gives a clear picture of the true love they shared. Susanna died in 2012.

Rest in peace, Guy Clark. You will be missed.