Holidays

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The land for which I’m meant

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

For being a self-proclaimed control freak, there are a lot of things about my life that I did not plan, that I could not have planned.

I’ve experienced:
unachieved goals
unanswered prayers
unfulfilled dreams
mistakes
defeats
derailments
dead ends

I’m sure I’m no different from anyone reading this when I say that I have not always gotten what I wanted.

But I’ve also experienced:
surprises
provisions
little graces
big graces
friendships
victories
adventures

I don’t understand it.  I can’t see the pattern or the grand design, and I have no idea where this life will lead – is leading.  Half the time, I am bumbling around in the darkness, just praying that I don’t stumble off a cliff and splatter at the bottom of the canyon like an egg.

But even in the midst of the confusion, I can recognize that there are things to be thankful for.

  • I am so thankful that somehow – somehow – I live in Denver, Colorado.
  • I am so thankful that my family is, for all of our brokenness, made up of the people who are in it.
  • I am so thankful that I have a body that works, that will run me 13.1 miles in Seattle on Sunday.
  • I am so thankful that I work for an amazing company in a job that provides me with enough (more than enough, come on) income.
  • I am so thankful for car insurance and that the fact that my car was stolen means that I am lucky enough to own a vehicle at all.
  • I am so thankful for the friendships that have carried me, encouraged me, and sustained me.
  • I am so thankful I did not marry any of the men I thought that maybe I could have married.
  • I am so thankful for my cities – Seattle, Nashville, and Denver – and that all three are equally “home.”
  • I am so thankful that my plans are not The Plan.

I am so thankful for the twists and turns, the things I could not have predicted, the “no”s when I wanted “yes”s, the tears when I wanted joy, the loneliness when I wanted companionship, all of which have propelled me further down the tracks through the land for which I’m meant.

And I’m thankful for you, known and unknown readers, my companions on this written journey.  I wish I could bake each of you a pie.

Happy Thanksgiving.  May our hearts overflow with gratitude even for the things that we don’t understand.

Holiday weekend airport pickup

Monday, September 5th, 2011

Julie: “What color is your car – red?”
Me: “No – dark green.”
Julie: “Oh!  Samsonite – I was way off.”

Will bribe for friends

Monday, July 4th, 2011

By this time on Saturday, I had already climbed to the top of the highest mountain in Colorado.

Annie Parsons - Mt. Elbert

Today, I am still in my pajamas, drinking coffee, and trying to figure out how I’m going to survive today’s heat.  I think I’ll bake for the neighbors in hopes of being invited to their BBQ that I overheard them talking about through my office window when they were on their front porch.

You wish I was joking.  I kind of wish I was joking, too, but… the cake is in the oven.

O-Emma-G

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Fanciness, merriment, and roistering.

Bacon-wrapped jalapeños stuffed with cheese.

And then, as if the night couldn’t get any more awesome, KARAOKE.

And even better, twirling at ROBERT’S.

I didn’t even look like a hobo.

Today, though?  I totally do.

Lordy.

Holiday hobo girl

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

This is the week, the one that happens every December, the one that I always tell myself that I’ll do differently next year but I never do.

It’s the week before Christmas, which always seems to be busier than the week of Christmas.  Parties, people, events, high heels, big hair, sugar, wine, beer, money that slips away like a hand full of water.  It’s the most fun, most crazy-making week.

I haven’t worked out since Sunday, which makes me feel completely deranged.  There is a pile of clothes, shoes, coats, and bras on my bed, and I just keep pushing it over to climb under the covers at night.  I haven’t been getting enough sleep.  I’ve eaten cookies for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  My toenail polish is chipped.  I haven’t responded to emails and texts and phone calls (I probably owe you one – I’m so sorry).  My level of busyness is making me a gigantically cranky stress ball.

Tonight is our company holiday party, and last night, I pulled out the dress I was planning on wearing.  It’s wrinkled and dirty from last year.  Why do I never learn to have the dress dry-cleaned at the end of the season so it’s fresh the next year?  Now I’m going to look like a hobo.

So yes.  If you see a cranky, deranged woman in a stained satin dress wandering the streets of downtown Nashville tonight, hobbling in her high heels because of her broken toe and carrying her lipstick in a bindle instead of a purse, that’s me.

Or it’s Mindy McCready.

It’s either Mindy McCready or me.

Holiday weekend

Monday, July 5th, 2010

As we waited for the sun to sink in the west, 4-year old Kate asked me why the fireworks hadn’t started yet.

“Because,” I explained, “the sky is still light.  The sun needs to travel all the way to California before it will be dark.”

I felt proud of my explanation – until little Annabelle piped up, “I thought the EARTH turned.”

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how I was owned by a 6-year old.

For the rest of the details of my holiday weekend, watch this:

This Land from Annie Parsons on Vimeo.

Outside

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

This weekend marked the beginning of the Best Summer Since 2007.

The summer of 2007 was my favorite to date.  I still lived in Seattle, and spent every waking moment outside in the sunshine, on the water, in the mountains, with friends.  I knew that my life in the Northwest was a ticking clock, as I was leaving that September for the great unknown – so I took advantage of every opportunity I was presented with.

The summers of 2008 and 2009, I lived in Nashville, and had no desire to be outside.  Whatsoever.  At all.  I was in a bad mood for 4 months.

It’s amazing to now live in a place where I WANT to be outside again.  Between Friday and Sunday, I walked 27 miles.  And then yesterday, along with some family and friends, I climbed Mt. Rosa.

Y’all, my freckles are out of control these days.

My goal is to climb at least 6 14ers this summer, and walk 1,000 miles.  I just pulled that number out of the air right now, but you know what?  I bet I can do it.  I bet I can walk 1,000 miles before Labor Day.

I bet it so much that I’m writing it on my blog.

Maybe not the most festive post, but…

Friday, December 25th, 2009

I need to tell you about yesterday’s drive.

Wait.  First, Merry Christmas.  Merry Christmas!  It’s heeeeeeere!

Now for the rest.  It should be obvious by the fact that I’m posting this blog, but lest you wring your hands throughout the holidays, I should let you know that I made it to Colorado last night.  The trip took me 11 hours rather than the typical 9, but all in all, smooth (albeit white-knuckled) sailing.  The roads really were icy.

As I drove, I was thinking that one of the worst insults someone could give me would be to call me a bad driver.  That would connote incompetence and stupidity – neither of which I’m really going for the gold in.  And after yesterday’s drive, I am even more convinced that when it comes to driving, I am extremely proficient.

There was only one moment in which I kind of lost control of the car.  I say kind of because it was when I was going over a bridge, and the ice is always worse on bridges, but you HAVE to drive over them to get to the other side – so I couldn’t do anything about it.  Anyway, when I hit the ice, I felt the wheels spin and try to grip the road, but they didn’t find anything – isn’t it weird that we can FEEL when the tires are freaking out? – so they spun more, which made the car lurch, and the Honda CATAPULTED forward.

If my heart were a horse, in that moment, it would have reared up on its hind legs.

Luckily, dry pavement was waiting on the other side, and everything was recovered (minus my pulse).

So, all in all, an inconsequential story.  Sorry.

In the entire 11-hour drive, I only stopped once – in Hays, Kansas, at 2:06pm for gas and lunch.  But I was severely disappointed to discover that every fast food joint had closed at 2:00 for Christmas Eve.  My only option was to go to a little grocery store called Dillon’s and choose a sad, underwhelming sandwich from a rack near the deli: wheat bread, Swiss cheese, and turkey – the watered down kind.  There were no condiments.

I also picked up a Gala apple, but the first bite I took of it included a significant chunk of my lower lip.  I cussed, and then felt sorry for myself because I could no longer eat the apple with gusto.

When I finally hobbled in the door at my parent’s house in Colorado Springs, I announced that all I want for Christmas is a butt massage.  No one offered.

Happy Christmas to all of you!

Snow and angels

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

My deficit of sleep and surplus of emotion have left me with a raging case of stress acne.  Just in time for Christmas!

This Christmas Eve morning finds me in Kansas City, having driven out of Nashville yesterday without crying a single tear.  Scrape a face off Mt. Rushmore to make room for mine – I’m hard as stone.  Actually, I think I’m just tired of crying.  I’ve cried a lot these past few weeks in anticipation of this move – because as convinced I am that it’s the right decision, it still hurts my heart like whoa.

The plan is to continue on to Colorado today.  There’s a blizzard stretching all along I-70, growing progressively worse the further west you go.  So all that “I’ll be home for Christmas” talk?  Might be IN YOUR DREAMS, sucker.

But if the past is any indication, there are angels that fly with my Honda.  May it be so today – and for you, too, if you’re traveling.  Merry Christmas!

Christmas casserole

Monday, December 21st, 2009

This weekend, Facebook really chapped my ass (a phrase that I have recently decided is very worth using).  I tried to upload pictures from the JAM House Christmas Spectacular – at which we had a fantastic time and packed our home with more people than we ever imagined – but the old ‘Book translated my vibrant images into dull, grey-toned disappointments.

See?

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Why??  Facebook has let me down.  People need to know that my dress was not forest, but EMERALD.

That said, those two gentlemen flanking me?  The one on the left is my new friend Matt (SHOUT OUT), and the one on the right is Paul – or PZC, as he is known on this here blog.  Paul – besides being one that I outright avoided a goodbye with last night because it would have made me cry way too hard and so it was easier to pretend that none of this is actually happening – is the one who made a makeshift vocal booth for me in his closet when we recorded a song back in October.

Now, that song is finished – listen!

Lines of Love by annieparsons

That’s Matty Rineer on lead vocals – isn’t he great?  Actually… I’ve never met him, just recorded backup vocals for this song that he wrote and had already recorded the lead parts for.  So don’t take my word for it – he could be a psychopath.  And didn’t Pauly do a fantastic job with the recording and mixing?

On Saturday, multiple strong and manly gentlemen showed up at the house to help me load my pod.  Let me just say, I highly recommend the ABF ReloCube – as well as having generous and rugged man-friends.  In one hour – ONE HOUR – my entire life was packed into a 6’ x 7’ x 8’ box.

relocube

Day after tomorrow, I leave.  Ice storms are in store.  I hope the Honda makes it.  I hope I make it.  I hope I don’t spend Christmas morning in a ditch.