Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A Smiling Post

There have been so many unusual occurrences in our world lately that I decided today's post needs to elicit laughter.  I pulled this great one from two years ago just before Kristin's wedding.  (Third daughter to marry; final wedding for the Hawley clan.)  It still makes me laugh.  Hope you'll enjoy it. too! 

The Derriere Dilemma

Warning #1 - This is a total "GIRL" post.  Men won't enjoy it at all.

Warning #2 - This is strictly from the humorous file!  Not a single, spiritually-significant point to be found.  Unless you count "laughter is good medicine."

I found my mother-of-the-bride dress back in May.  A bit of a miracle really.  We were searching for possible bridesmaids' dresses when I spotted it.  Someone else had already determined it to be the perfect dress for their special event and had it on hold near the register.

It's that ambiguous taupe/gold/neutral color that I've never thought I could wear well.  But I wanted to just try it on and see.  The young sales lady agreed; so I slipped into an adjoining dressing room.

When I came out, the girls all had a fit!  (Which is southern for "became visibly excited!")  Although it would need some alterations, it truly was a stunning dress.  Turns out I can wear that color after all.

They grabbed a camera phone and snapped a couple of pictures.

Did I mention that it was marked down - 75% off the regular price?!!  More attractive still!

"Well if this lady doesn't come back, please call me."  I gave the sales lady my cell number.

"I certainly will!  You need that dress for your daughter's wedding!  I'll keep my fingers crossed."  The young lady helping us had gotten excited with us.  My sister says it's an affliction we have - drawing other people into our vortex of life.  I prefer to call it a gift!

Long story short - the other lady did NOT come back.  Adriana (the sales specialist) called right away to excitedly report that the dress was mine for the taking!

I got it home and immediately started working to lose a few pounds.  I am, after all, a pastor's wife.  Just because I can zip something, doesn't necessarily mean I should wear it!

Walking toward everyone, the dress looked perfectly modest in every way.  But when I turned sideways or walked away?  My "derriere dilemma" became immediately apparent.

Most women have an area of their body they would change if they could.  And for most of my life, the part I would gladly change (by diminishing it), followed me everywhere I went!

Mom made most of my clothes during the growing up years.  There was always a noticeable dip in the hem to compensate for the extra distance the back of my skirts had to travel.

(This became a real problem for my younger sister when she got my hand-me-downs.  She didn't have a derriere at all, it seemed.  Consequently, when she wore my clothes, it looked like Mom had made a terrible mistake with the hem which hung forlornly in the back.)

I spent a lot of time standing next to walls and sitting as a teenager.  Dress patterns and fabrics were chosen based on their ability to slenderize and camouflage body flaws.  Industrial strength pantyhose kept everything contained on Sundays.  

Fortunately, I married a man who saw my derriere dilemma as a positive, not a negative trait at all!  He could always spot me on campus he said, because my skirts did a cute little flip when I walked.   

A few years ago, while watching a fun movie with the girls, I discovered that I was simply ahead of my time.  The lovely female star was walking away from the camera and the vent on her stylish trench coat was pulled open badly because of her own derriere dilemma.

I was mortified on behalf of my newly found derriere dilemma buddy.  "Why in heaven's name didn't the costuming department check that before they sent her out to be filmed?" I asked the girls.  "Just look!  She must have been so embarrassed when she saw that they didn't fit that properly!" 

The girls looked at one another then burst into laughter.

"Mom!  That's her claim to fame," they explained.  "She's known for the junk in her trunk."

"The junk in what trunk?" I asked, bewildered.   I'd never heard the expression before.

"She has a nice bootie and she shows it off whenever she can." (My girls have always enjoyed educating Mom!)

So here I am at 57, having chosen a dress that's truly lovely; but still a little concerned about how it will look as I walk past people to take my place at the front of the church on October 24th.


As you age, things shift.  Well, they actually start to droop.  And in most cases, that's not such happy news.

Short Aside:  WHY do clothing designers highlight this?  They intentionally choose names like - Sag Harbor and New Dimensions!  There's even an entire clothing store known as Dress BARN!  "Barn" brings to my mind large, lumbering animals like cows and pigs!  REALLY?!  End of rant; return to post.

Compensating for the droop demands a return to industrial strength foundational garments.  And an entire evening wearing such garments can cause discomfort, breathlessness or even fainting.  (Thankfully, I haven't experienced that!)

 I'm getting to the GREAT NEWS.......

For those of us who've struggled through the years with too much "junk in our proverbial trunks" the age shift actually brings us to the proportions enjoyed by the other two-thirds of the female population!

Oh, Happy Day!  Thanks to the ten pounds I've sweated off and the alterations adjustments and the all-important age shift.........I won't need any breath-suppressing under-garments at all for the wedding!

My Derriere Dilemma has been dodged, yet again!

Saturday, November 19, 2016


Frank and I slept on a mattress on the living room floor last night.

No, it wasn't an attempt at romance or camping and there wasn't even storm damage to blame.  Although we were in survival mode.  Meagan and Nathan's recent move into their own home has left our home looking rather barren and may I add, far too quiet for my taste.  But that's another post.

Before their move, I had snagged new carpet from a sub-contractor at a ridiculously low price.  Our house is about 60% carpet and we were still living with the original from 13 years ago.  Carpet cleaners can only do so much with flooring as well lived on as ours was.  So the plan was out with the old, in with the new after the big transition.

Only, we ran into a time crunch. Thanksgiving is less than one week away.  My dad and his wife will be arriving on Tuesday.  Other guests will be joining us for the wonderful turkey feast on Thursday.

The fella we found to install the new carpet had to do it this weekend or wait until after Christmas.  With all the company we have planned for the next four weeks, the old carpet would never do.  Consequently, "Calvin the Carpet Guy" became our new best friend.

He nonchalantly swiped at dust bunnies and spider webs I had no idea existed within my walls.  Chipped paint and peanut butter hand prints have been my primary decorating look for so long that it made me a little sad to start scrubbing them away.

Calvin was only able to complete the living room and master bedroom on Friday.  The remainder of the house had to wait until Saturday.  Ever the resourceful one, my boy scout husband set up the television and our king size mattress (complete with proper bed linens) in the living room.  The finishing touch was Gracie's bed at the right corner, where she usually sleeps in our bedroom.

Every other stick of furniture and article of clothing loomed rather menacingly in the kitchen and dining room.  But we just didn't look over that way.  Instead, we settled in for a movie and hot tea. I can't say how the movie ended because we both fell sound asleep.  But we made another memory and laughed about how odd Calvin would think us if he should arrive to start work earlier than expected.

I'm happy to report that every square inch of flooring that should be covered with toe-tickling fibers now is and most furniture has been returned to its appropriate location.  The new padding makes it feel like walking on cushions.  And there isn't a juice or coffee stain to be found - anywhere in the entire house!  WooHoo!

I had promised myself that no matter what else happened,  I would write today.  So here I am a little fuzzy headed and hoping to encounter a hot tub shortly.  But I came across a great line I wanted to share with all the savvy readers of Embrace the Grace.

"Gratitude makes what I have more than enough!"  WOW!

Don't you love that?  It certainly spoke to my heart.  And it applies so beautifully to almost any circumstance you can think of.  Especially when life is topsy turvy, gratitude can make the chaos more manageable.

Here's hoping your Sunday will be blessed with church going, song singing, Bible exploring and friend hugging.