Great American Road Trip: Prologue

You can force a rosebud to open, but you spoil the flower.
from Streams in the Desert
I am officially homeless. For the next months a bed won’t be guaranteed. I may spend several nights in one spot with a friend or family member, but I have nowhere of my own to lay my head (save the back seat of my Jetta). 
I am thankful I have a car and Stella. I have amazing friends and a loving family. I may have lost a lot in the last month, but I still have more than most. My heart is broken and sore, my eyes ready for tears at any moment, but the Lord is near. He is ever faithful. He is so good to me. (Sometimes I feel like His favorite. He spends so much time with me and gives such good gifts.)
I am in West Hollywood now. In LA for the last time until God knows when (I think I will live here again, but I won’t again come alone) I think I will go to the book store and stock up on books for my journey then maybe indulge in Charley’s pancakes for one last time… 
Leaving LA is so bittersweet. This city wasn’t good to me, I walk away with a broken heart and broken dreams… but for a plant to grow, the seed must be destroyed. It hurts, but in the end will be worth it. 
“it is better to walk in the dark with God than to walk alone in the light.” from The Still Small Voice

Bumpers as Soapboxes

South of the 10: Los Angeles: California (I don’t know the name of the neighborhood…)

It’s nice to see someone else echoing my sentiments. In February. I love seeing Christmas stuff that is up all year. Now that I think about it, I should have left a note on this truck. Dangit!

Mission District: San Francisco: California

Hi, your license place is hecka awesome, but you drive a Beamer, live in the Bay Area and are surely eating a delicious dinner in The Mission. What could you possibly have to complain about?!

Free Falling

It started last Sunday- no Saturday Evening at Nina’s house. I got irritated with Jimi on the drive over and had just gotten back from a disastrous work week in Las Vegas– my composure was worn quite thin.

When we walked in the door Nina asked how I was, and standing in the middle of the kitchen with 3 other couples I could not answer, only cry. It was a surreal moment in many ways. The moment took me back to when Granddaddy died and seeing Mom cry about it. The way she put her hand over her mouth like it might hold it in, and then heaving shakes when it didn’t… That is just how I cried on Saturday night, though for fading dreams and tattered nerves, not a lost Daddy.

Nina hugged me and thanked me for being honest (as if I had a choice!) and Nancy was attentive and caring. It was a short breakdown, but it is somehow seared in my memory. I was wearing Aunt Mary’s plaid jacket.

The next morning we went to Grace Community Church. I hadn’t heard much about it, except that my mom knew who the pastor was and that I may have heard him on the radio a time or two.

The Church was much bigger than I was expecting, but not at all overwhelming. We found our seats and the service began. The music was presented by a 100+ person choir and large symphonic band. Not an electric guitar to be found. The songs were all sung from the Hymnals in front of our pews. Now this is Church. It felt so good to worship God in a way not specific to popular culture.

John MacArthur’s sermon totally blew my mind. He spoke not of how we can become better people, or of the sacrifice Jesus made for us, or of what we can do for this or that… He taught about the Church. Who we are in relationship to God the Father and God the Son. The Father made a promise to the Son before time began that He would give him a bride. The bride is the Church. We are a gift from Father to Son- the reason they love us so much is because of the unbelievably perfect infinite cosmic love between the two of them as Father and Son. We as the Church (Christians) get to play a role in this cosmic love story that is SO MUCH bigger than us. Praise the Lord! I don’t know about you, but I am so glad it’s not all about me. That’s just too much pressure, and not enough substance.

So church was amazing I couldn’t wait to text everyone all about it.
That night I fell asleep reading God’s word and reveling in the delight of learning something new about our God.

I dreamed I was flying…. flying up! up! up! ‘Til I could go no higher. I realized once I got all these thousands of feet up that I could not fly down. I started to fall. Falling like a bad dream, falling that makes your stomach hurt and your heart race.

Then I realized that there was nothing I could do to stop the falling. Nothing. The pain and fear were only making matters worse. So I rolled over onto my back, still falling, and let go. Let go of the pain and fear and I just relaxed. I knew God was there. I knew He would catch me. I knew not when, or how, but no doubts plagued my mind. There I found the “Peace of God that transcends all understanding” (Phillipians 4:6 & 7).

I have never in my life felt an absolute release of anxiety like that and I did not want to let it go. I took a personal day off of work to seek out God and what this all meant for me. Can I feel that peace on a regular basis? The Bible says I can, but how can I hold onto it? (The key, of course, is to let go!)

The next day I went into work as usual. When I arrived, my boss called me into her office to discuss what I assumed was the recap on the week prior. She prattled a little bit then said, “I can’t afford to keep you….” Don’t know what she said after that because my ears were thumping so loud. thump thump freefall thump thump just relax thump thump….

So here I am. Free falling.

Don’t Block My Driveway!

When one lives in the suburbs or a city that doesn’t require a car, one takes their driveway totally for granted. 
When one lives in LA and their garage is barely the width of a car and the driveway is even narrower- every inch of the driveway is necessary for getting the car in the garage unscathed.
(And, yes, I know I am so lucky to have a garage to park in.)
Since street parking is scarce (though better here than in other neighborhoods) people get brave and start blocking driveways. Now, they aren’t so bold as to totally block the way, just to let their bumper hang over a foot or two. This doesn’t seem so bad, until you realize that a foot or two is about half the driveway and suddenly it is impossible for one to get a car in and out of the garage. 
This happened last night when I got home from Trader Joe’s. There was a blue Mazda hanging about two feet into my driveway. So not cool. So I called LAPD and had them ticketed, thankyouverymuch
Moral of the story: If you block my driveway I can and will have you ticketed.

Spotted: Helena Christensen

Shane & Nikki took me to lunch at the cafe in American Rag in 3rd today, so delicious. We sat on the sidewalk and had a really nice time catching up on life and the wedding. When we get up to go I noticed Helena Christensen sitting a few tables down from us. Awesome!! Her eyes are amazing, but she was disappointingly leathery… must be all the tanning and smoking… 
I love seeing famous people. Especially when they are fashion peeps. Thanks West Hollywood and Shane & Nikki!

Beverly Hills: Pros and Cons

So I had to go to Beverly Hills for a road appointment today. (Road appointment: think Avon Lady but with a rolling rack with a body bag hanging on it.)
It is nice to get out and it breaks up the day… but it’s a gigantic pain. I spent most of the time going over the pros and cons in my head. I should have emailed them to myself, but who has time for that?
– Being in Beverly Hills on a major shopping street during the day on a weekday exponentially increases one’s chances of seeing a celebrity. I love celebrities.
– Cruising with the windows down and the radio up on Robertson Avenue during office hours on a beautiful day. Gotta love that. 
– The abundance of coffee shops makes a pit stop inevitable. (Thanks Peet’s!)
– Beverly Hills = $$$ … seeing people rolling in Bentleys and Lamborghini’s gives me a) hope that I may one day roll in a G Wagon and b) that at least someone has money.
– Did I mention the high chance of seeing someone famous? Cause that’s a good one. 

– Not actually seeing anyone famous. Ugh.
– Did I mention the body bag on the rolling rack? Picture that… now picture me trying to get it all out of my car. On a slant in a parking garage. Next to a $200K car. 
– Being the only one on the street that is working… and sweating… and rolling a body bag. (This is a pro on one count- the homeless people didn’t ask me for money. There were two of them. Hey, if I was homeless you better believe I’d be panhandling in the richest part of town!)
– Going back to work.