THE SIMPLE LIFE: Goodness Gracious!
Goodness gracious! How many of you even use such an expression? According to dictionary.com, this expression is an exclamation of surprise, dismay or alarm. Both goodness and gracious originally alluded to the good (or grace) of God, but this colloquial expression, which dates from the 1700s, is not considered either vulgar or blasphemous.
Good thing! So, I'll say it again. GOODNESS GRACIOUS! Plus, can you believe this phrase has been around for centuries??!
I have so many reasons for my surprise, dismay and alarm. I think I am the busiest I have been for quite a long time, and in order to just take an hour or so to write this column and vent for awhile is going to be so therapeutic.
Let's start with my personal life. It's just a crazy list! Getting my grandchildren out the door for school (this includes wardrobe choices GIRLS - that says it all), hair-styling decisions for a 6 and 10 year old (braids, bows, ponytails, wear it up, wear it down), get your mask, get your bottled waters, where's your bookbag, shoe choices, did you brush your teeth, where are my socks Nana? - you know, with girls it's always something.
Then, there's yard work that has to be scheduled, and my worker to be hired. There are lots of flowers ready to be cut down in preparation for fall/winter, and then fall decor and mums will be displayed soon. I did FINALLY find a reliable lawn maintenance man after suffering all season with unreliable people and no-shows. I am so grateful to know my lawn will be taken care of every single week through October.
Other things that have been or still are underway are shopping for and purchasing a new car, closing the pool for the season, organizing and redecorating the rec room and two bedrooms upstairs, planning and organizing Christmas shopping lists of gifts and decorations, a few doctor appointments and an xray, planning a few fall activities with the grandkids, planning a few outings for just me AND a mini vacation for me, auditioning for a Christmas play at Embassy Theatre (and hoping two granddaughters will join the cast, too). Seriously, I am not exaggerating my endless list of things to do!
Whiskers Inc. has an incredibly busy season through the end of the year, and our board of directors is busy with the Heritage Days Festival this weekend on Washington Street, Cumberland. So much had to be organized, sponsors to be secured, merchandise to order and hand-craft, baked goodies to make, logistics to be ironed out, and so many details you cannot imagine unless you have organized an event before. It's exhausting! Regardless, this weekend is supposed to be in the low to mid-80s, we have everything ready, so come see us and support our nonprofit organization. We will be located near the Allegany County Library, 31 Washington St.
At our booths (sponsored by Danny Clayton), we are featuring Mermaid Elle (swimming by from Florida for a few days), glitter tattoos, the Mermaid Pod, Cassidy from Mr. Toad's Pottery on Sunday, face painting, Meet and Greet some of your favorite characters, kitty cat and ocean-themed merchandise and crafts, Whiskers t-shirts (sponsored by Fast Cash), Caitlin's Cakery's kitty cats and under the sea cake pops (sponsored by Ruth Crout), homemade and pre-packaged cookies, brownies and fudge (sponsored by Ye Old Bake Shoppe) and lots of hand-crafted, kitty cat-themed merchandise.
Yes, there's much more Whiskers on my plate! Selling chances on winning a homemade pie (Ye Old Bake Shoppe) once a month for an entire year (drawing Sept. 15); social media promotions of all activities; finishing up a personal Facebook fundraiser for Whiskers (goal is $1,500 and we are at $1,100 to-date; deadline Sept. 15); getting ready to kick-off a major matching fund drive, initiated by two dedicated Whiskers' supporters; in the planning stages of our biggest event of the year coming up on Oct. 24 at Keyser Moose - our Annual Dinner/Auction. The Volunteer Sparkle Committee (co-chaired by Carrie Wolford and myself) will be meeting next week to get busy with auction items, certificates and gift cards, and PR.
We at Whiskers will start a scratch-offs wreath raffle on October 1 (sponsored by Danny Clayton), and kicking off our annual drive for Whiskers 100 Club for 2022. The big task will be getting Whiskers financials on the computer, and then getting all Whiskers cats computerized with information and reminders. WHEW. Whiskers keeps me very, very busy.
Next, my bake shoppe. Making customers and friends happy with fresh-made-to-order, made-from-scratch creampuffs, pies, fudge, cakes, cookies, brownies and blondies, lemon bars, pan goodies, party mixes, cupcakes, cheesecake dips and more. I spend approximately 20 hours per week on baking alone. GOODNESS GRACIOUS.
I am able to squeeze in time for writing my columns, my articles for Allegany Magazine, my theatre reviews and also working on my book - "Just A Cat.” A lot of these writings are done early mornings, late, late nights or like today - last minute to meet deadlines!
In addition to all of the above, I have to manage to do social media for EVERYTHING personal and business, time for meeeeeself, time to prepare dinner every evening, time for laundry and housework (ugh) and just time for some TV streaming every now and again. I think I might need a few more hours each day. What are YOUR thoughts?
There are a few people in my life who believe I'm retired (which TECHNICALLY I am). I've been retired since 2012, but you'd never know it based on my busy, busy schedule. But, for those few people, I hope they will read my column, and I hope they can understand my "Good Gracious" kind of life. I am 63 years old, and I am blessed to be able to choose what, when, how and why to do the things that make me happy. I pray there are those reading this who can say the same.
I want to spend the remainder of my life in devotion to those people I love, the activities and missions I believe in, and to God above who has given me grace and understanding to overcome many difficult things in my life. Today, I will try to be better than yesterday.
As for my GOODNESS GRACIOUS life, I wouldn't have it any other way. Being busy, even stressed with life's challenges and deadlines, makes me feel alive...invigorated. I also feel exceptionally inspired by those who work along side me, making the ordinary and mundane EXTRAORDINARY.
Goodness gracious, my deadline for submission is almost here. On to proofreading, and then off to the presses!
Until next week, live your best life. You only get one chance.