Wednesday, March 26, 2014

When The Credits Roll

It was a once-in-a-lifetime voyage. 
I mean, unless King George pulls a Garth and decides to retire....twice?

Cody and I traveled south last weekend to watch George Strait perform his last concert in the musical motherland of Nashville. What a performance from a class act. At the conclusion of every song we looked at one another and wondered, "What could he possibly play next to top that one?"

Each song was a hit of which the crowd knew the lyrics, even with so much left off the playlist. 
I guess it's hard to pack 40 years of number ones into a two-hour show. 

It's also tough to pick a favorite Strait hit, because so many resonate with life:
Write This Down - If I don't, I'll forget it
Amarillo By Morning - Show circuit theme song
All My Exes Live In Texas - Or did at one time
Run - I actually only do this if I'm being chased
Give It Away - Please, seriously, toss all of those cups
Does Ft. Worth Ever Cross Your Mind - Yes, and it makes my head hurt just thinking of it
Ocean Front Property - My house in Greens Fork I'm trying to sell...just blocks from the Greens Fork River!
Living and Living Well - Cody. 

But there is one Strait song that hasn't hit the radio waves, and maybe one day it will.
It is the kind of song that makes you three minutes late to work so you can listen to it one more time. 
The kind of song placed on every playlist you create, because it's a lyrical reminder. 
The kind of beat that makes you put it on repeat and crank up the volume. 
The kind of lyrics that remind you why you keep mascara in your console. 
The kind of title you print off and hang in your office:

When The Credits Roll

(3 minute song)

I've played the rebel teenager, 
the mysterious stranger

The wild child on the run

I've been the college dropout, 
the commitment cop out

The comin' home prodigal son

It feels kinda like a movie

Makes me wonder what I'm gonna see

When the credits roll 
and the show is over

And I see all the parts I played

Get a glimpse of my soul up on that screen

I only hope I can say

I was a little less villain

And a little more hero

When the credits roll

Was I in it for the money, 
was I trying' to be funny

Was it all about me being right

Was I a stand up witness, 
did I offer some forgiveness

Help somebody see the light

When the curtain comes down some day

I wonder what the Critic will say

When the credits roll 
and the show is over

And I see all the parts I played

Get a glimpse of my soul up on that screen

I only hope I can say

I was a little less villain

And a little more hero

When the credits roll

I always think about the different roles I've played in my life when I hear the song.
The neighbor in Greens Fork would say I've played the unprepared gal who never had enough sugar or eggs.
My sorority sisters might say I play the one who returns texts or phone calls 3 days later. 
The gal at Dillard's knows me as the habitual returner who can't decide on bedding.
The kid at the carwash remembers me as the gal who will - without fail - ramrod over the curb like I'm in some kind of hurry and then forget to put my car in neutral. 
Gary at the hardware store would say I'm the character who never actually knows what I want or need before entering his store. Always some big idea...

And I look at this list and realize that none of it matters once the Credits Roll. 
I don't want to be remembered for little, insignificant things - do you?
I'd rather commit to doing - even small things - with great love. 

What will you see once the Credits Roll?
A little less villain, and a little more hero?
In images and impressions, how will you be remembered?
The giver or the taker?
The forgiver?
The one guided by money?
The comic who hid behind humor?
The one who stepped up?
The hero?
The committed one or the one easily swayed?
The teacher?
The "just enough"?
The heartache?
The worker?
The example, good or bad?
The friend?
Far past the days when you're present in every day life, people will forget what you said and what you did, but what they won't forget is the way you made them feel. 

How will you be remembered once the Credits Roll?

I should have reached out to my neighbor and made an extra cake for she and her husband who work long hours. 
I should drop what I'm doing and answer those phone calls when friends need me. 
My hours should not be wasted by anything as insignificant as picking out bedding. 
I should have tipped the car wash kid for waiting until the foam covered my rear windshield before laughing at me.
I need to thank Gary and his employees for answering 429 questions while smiling and thinking, "Wow, she seemed more put-together in high school..."

This Wednesday, I challenge you to join me:
Commit to living with the consideration of how the credits will roll once your show is over. 
I know I will. 
Because I'd sure like to be remembered for more than the shopper who holds up the line at Aldi's because I tried to fit 14 items into my arms rather than pay a quarter for a cart. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Company Comes To Visit

Anytime there are more than two !!!!!!!!!!! or all CAPS on my calendar, I know it's serious. 

Last week it was house guests. 
Shorthorn friends. 
From Iowa. 
Who only visit if there is a production sale.
Or wedding. 
Or en route to the Ohio Beef Expo. 
But they aren't just Shorthorn friends. 
They are full-fledged-repurposing-upcycling-bargain hunting-crafty-as-all-get-out-friends.  
I felt a little bit of pressure. 

I went from zero to my mother in 17 seconds after hearing they'd like a tour of the new Sankey homestead. 
Because I want a farm hose that will drain and coil itself in -10º temperatures.
Doesn't mean it's going to happen. 

But, I prepared anyway, in the only way I know how: The Bowman Binge.

I swiftly walked through every room and into a pile too embarrassing to blog about, I threw anything that would not exist on a Country Living cover:

Living room:
  • Mail
  • Chargers/cords
  • A box of band-aids
  • Fireplace ashes
  • Shoes
  • Boots
  • Heating pads
  • Suitcases
  • Sale catalogs
  • Angus Journals
  • Hereford Worlds
  • Shorthorn Country issues
  • Cereal boxes
  • Granola bars
  • Cook books
  • Wine aerators
  • Travel coolers
  • Socks
  • Coozies
  • Invoices
  • Mail
  • Sale catalogs
  • Angus Journals
  • Hereford Worlds
  • Shorthorn Country issues
(Do you notice a trend?)

With no no artificial forces other than my arms, like horizontal windshield wipers anything that hit the ground automatically went into the Bowman Binge pile. 
Company was coming. 
Everything was to be out of sight. 
I did the dishes then wiped down the shower with same rag. 
I'm fairly certain Patrick wasn't going to check the shower, but just in case he did...
I got warm while dusting and went ahead and took off my sweater then sprayed Pledge on it to cut down on any visible signs of laundry. 
I put all sale catalogs into the oven and any mid-progress craft projects were stuffed under the spare bed. 
No shame: The Walls were coming. 

The house ended up looking great. I mean, Not even lived in, great. 

And all was well until four days later when Cody got home and began asking where certain things his breakfast granola bars. 
Can I just say, it's a lot easier hiding something when company is on the way than it is finding it days later?

Our text conversation, 3/17, 8:45 AM:

CS: Where are my granola bars!!!
Me: Crap. Basement. Sorry. 
CS: What? Why are they in the basement?
Me: I did a Bowman Binge before Walls came to see the house. 
CS: So why is the food in the basement?
Me: I didn't want it on the counter. 
CS: You know it's a kitchen, right? Where food belongs?
(No response from me)
CS: I don't care who is coming to see the house, we don't need to hide food. 
Me (several minutes later): Ummm yeah. 
CS: Lindsay they are not in the basement. But all of my Angus journals are??? Why are they all down here? Where are the granola bars??
I didn't text that, but I sure said it aloud in my office. 

I knew I was busted. And I had every intention of replacing all of the binged items before he got home from his trip. Dang it. 

Let this be a lesson: If you want to see the place, just show up. This will give you a realistic view of how we live.
Food on the kitchen counter and Angus Journals archived on the end table right next to 3 remote controls and a stack of mail that may still have Christmas cards in it. And a shower that needs a scrub down. 

Now, if you'll excuse me...I'm going to continue my search for the half-dead house plant that I hid somewhere during The Bowman Binge. Because you know, fancy people don't have dead plants. 

I could have sworn put put it in the washing machine and put the lid down, but the only thing I found hid in there there was my iPad?

Friday, March 14, 2014

On The Road Again

I've been everywhere, man. I've been everywhere. 

Not really.
Just 5 days in Colorado. 
Followed by 8 days in California. 
Rounded out with 5 days in Pennsylvania. 
Planes, buses and cars - I've logged a lot of miles in 2014.
My travels aren't extraordinary; they're a trip to the grocery compared to what most people do. 
But I have run out of clean socks and jeans that fit. It's time to stay home for a week. 

There was a time in my life when I couldn't wait to board that next plane. 
I guarded each boarding pass as though it was a golden ticket to a promised land, and in a lot of ways it was. I learned so much with every landing. It is money I'd never want back because the return on investment was exponential. 

Traveling now, I set my alarm, allowing me to hit snooze as many times as possible before stumbling down the stairs for a wake up shower. Forty-five minutes later I stumble to my Escapé in the dark, barely coherent and trying to remember if I've printed my boarding pass and if so, just where the hell I put it? Did I remember face wash? Biggest question of all: Am I driving to Dayton or Indy?

If there is anything I've learned after logging thousands of miles from prairie to coast in my twenties, it is this: I'm not a graceful traveler. There are gals who show up for the 6:10 AM flight looking like they just walked off of a Pinterest board. 

I'm not one of those. I'm typically the one holding up the security line because I can't get my boots off. It's not my fault they don't provide a boot jack. Every single time I walk away from security, frantically looking for my boarding pass and limping on one leg trying to stomp the left boot (right foot, stomp, right foot, stomp) back on while thinking to myself, "It's time to buy Sperry's for travel..."
Never do. 
Never will. 

I always try to find a seat at the gate that provides a view of the runway. Or one with an outlet next to it so I can keep my phone charged. Because if our pilot shows up for the flight appearing drunk, I'm going to need to call someone. Gate time (if I have any, due to too many snoozes) is the place to scope out fellow passengers and pick the ones to avoid. Which is tough to do on a full flight. 
Tough, but possible. 

Once on the plane I like to act like a real jerk, I'll admit it. I strive to be that person that people spot on the plane, and try to avoid. I act angry. I do not give pleasant looks. I rarely smile and I never talk. (If you know me, you understand that I've worked my entire twenties to achieve this ability.) No seat mates allows for more leg room and peaceful sleeping. And there is a story behind that desire. Are you surprised?...

Four years ago I was returning to Indianapolis from Denver after a week out there on business. About to settle down for a long flight's nap, two guys sat down in my row; one in the middle, one on the aisle. They were both in their forties, energetic, happy to be going to Indy. We struck up a conversation while other passengers loaded. I truly just wanted to sleep, but I visited with them anyhow. 

The next thing I know, I'm waking up to the plane touching down in my favorite fly-over state. Realizing I'm still in public, I quickly wipe the drool from my chin and reposition a bobby pin in my hair. I do not look pleasant when sleeping en transit. Head back, mouth open, totally oblivious to any beverage service or seatbelt announcements. Plane, car or bus, I'm usually asleep within 15 minutes of departure. 

Anyway, I straighten up in my seat trying to indicate a bit of class as I turn on my cell phone.
"Have a good nap?" the guy on the aisle energetically asks me with his whiskey breath. 
"Ha!" I laughed, "Yeah, I was out wasn't I?" I nervously asked, cleaning the eye liner from the corners of my sleepy eyes. Understanding that these guys just saw me catching flies at my worst, I said, "My mom always told me I'd never find my husband on an airplane."
The middle man replied, far too quickly, "She was right!"

His response is why I work a bit to discourage folks from joining my row. I am not looking for a husband (thank you, Jesus), I just don't want to be the subject of any Snapchats. 

Lucky for me, my traveling days will slow down a bit after next week and I can sleep on my way home from church with out anyone judging me. Well, almost anyone. 
I'll clean out my suitcase and find shirts so tightly rolled that I forgot I packed them. 
I'll use Google maps and find my way to the grocery to restock our kitchen. 
And I'll again have some solid grasp on what's going on at our homestead. 

But even after those unpacking moments, it is with fondness that I'll look back on the endless amounts of TSA travel size hairspray I've gone through and 50+ lb. luggage restrictions I've blown right past and remember this: 

And made me a wife, after all. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Stick With Me

Have you ever had that day where your plans are completely taken over by the course
That was yesterday. 
And my intention to write was completely hijacked by a few favorable events that I can't complain about -
Angus friends in town for a late dinner after a full day of sorting stock,
Preparing for Shorthorn friends en route to the homestead and a
Late night calving cows under our barn.

I have a story to tell this week, though it isn't going to happen this morning. Stick with me, would ya?
Life happens. 
And it's especially sweet when it's unassisted :)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


Two weeks ago I wrote from California; this morning I write from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. I'm at this historic holy ground to learn more about transformational leadership and the incredible impact it can have on an organization and individuals. Our days have been saturated with debate regarding leadership during the Battle of Gettysburg; my focus is here this week. 

I have limited time to write, but I do want to share with you my favorite character I've learned about through preparation of this week: Col. Joshua Chamberlain. 

The day before the biggest battle of the Civil War, Col. Chamberlain inherited 120 men who had no where else to go. The soldiers, who felt such a strong sense of alienation, were tired, disrespected, nearly starved and terribly worn. Chamberlain desperately needed these men to join his team. But they absolutely no desire to continue to fight when treated poorly by leadership who did not understand them. 

Off the cuff, Chamberlain gave the following speech, which I believe changed the entire direction of the Civil War. His words, built on unity, shared values and belonging, inspired a group who seemed to be too far gone. 
They went on to prove their worth on Little Round Top. 
The Union went on to win the Civil War. 

“I’ve been ordered to take you men with me, I’m told that if you don’t come I can shoot you. Well, you know I won’t do that. Maybe somebody else will, but I won’t, so that’s that.
Here’s the situation: The whole Reb army is up that road aways waiting for us, so this is no time for an argument like this, I tell you. We could surely use you fellas, we’re now well below half strength.
Whether you fight or not, that’s up to you. Whether you come along is is…well, you're coming.
You know who we are and what we are doing here, but if you are going to fight alongside us there are a few things I want you to know.
This regiment was formed last summer, in Maine.
There were 1,000 of us then, there are less than 300 of us now.
All of us volunteered to fight for the Union, just as you have.
Some came mainly because we were bored at home, thought this looked like it might be fun.
Some came because we were ashamed not to.
Many of came because it was the right thing to do.
And all of us have seen men die.
This is a different kind of army.
If you look back through history you will see men fighting for pay, for women, for some other kind of loot.
They fight for land, power, because a king leads them, or just because they like killing.
But we are here for something new, this has not happened much, in the history of the world.
We are an army out to set other men free.
America should be free ground, all of it, not divided by a line between slave states and free – all the way from here to the Pacific Ocean.
No man has to bow. No man born to royalty.
Here we judge you by what you do, not by who your father was.
Here you can be something.
Here is the place to build a home.
But it’s not the land, there’s always more land.
It’s the idea that we all have value – you and me.
What we are fighting for, in the end, we’re fighting for each other.
Sorry, I didn’t mean to preach.
You go ahead and you talk for awhile.
If you choose to join us and you want your muskets back you can have them – nothing more will be said by anyone anywhere.
If you choose not to join us well then you can come along under guard and when this is all over I will do what I can to ensure you get a fair trial, but for now we’re moving out.
Gentlemen, I think if we lose this fight we lose the war, so if you choose to join us I will be personally very grateful."

Words are immeasurably powerful.
They can break or build. 
And at then end of the day, everyone just needs to know that they have value

The guy at the gas station. 
The gal at the counter. 
The teacher who needs to hear it. 
The one who cleans up the table after your crew. 
The annoying friend. 
The supportive neighbor. 
Your husband. 
Your wife. 
Your hired help. 

Each have value.
What are you doing today to ensure they know it?