My favorite folks ! :)

30 June 2009

Lazy, or procrastinator, or ???

Bunch of little, unimportant things happening.

We saw a movie Sunday. (Transformers - Duane enjoys all of these type of movies. I'm maybe a bit more selective - i enjoy a good story line. I thought this one was a bit thin on the story.) We ate out after wards & i cheated & had a veggie sandwich on squaw bread. I need to learn to make it! However, i did find that the bread is not as "puffy" as i thought it was. It is heavy enough that it doesn't rise much & is fairly flat. Not my memory of it. It will lend itself to gluten-free fairly well, if only i can manage to do it.

Duane started the Tue/Wed/Thur schedule this week. I won't start until next week as my office is closed & i'm staying home. I've a ton of things to do. I feel like i've been very lazy & not done much. I'm going to create a list - on that blog - but one of the major things i'd like to have done when Duane returns is to have finished the trim on the front part of the house.

When he gets home we need to decide about the future of our garden. This is another year of container gardening, but lack of planning is the reason for it this year. If i'd worked harder & planned last year, we would have a regular garden. We have plenty of land here (well, it wouldn't seem like a lot to some folks; it is not uncommon here for a house to be on 2500 sq. ft. of land & no room for anything; our place is more than 3 times that size). But, while we have plenty of room for a garden, the way the house is situated limits us in where we can put it. Also, having over 20 trees on this property is great - except that also limits where we would put a garden.

I had a tomato plant that was doing great
before we went on our trip, but it was dead when we got home. Could be a number of reasons, but it is dead. We went to the nursery on Sunday & i got 2 other tomatoes. I like to grow them myself from seed i've saved, but haven't been that proactive this year. I also got a sweet pepper plant, & three strawberries.

I dreampt last night that i was trying to warn the high school of some folks who were planning to plant a bomb, but no one was taking me seriously.

I woke (at 4.45 AM) to what i thought were raccoons
in our trash. Very noisy. I turned on the light outside our bedroom & the noise didn't stop. So i went downstairs, grabbed a broom, & turned on the outside light & went out. A truck drove off but i didn't pay attention to it. Expected to have to pick up a lot of mess, but found nothing around the box or can. Then i realized that all our returnable-for-money recyclables had been removed from the recycling box. That was the truck. Not raccoons. I suppose they've been doing this all along, but we never knew as we were gone Monday nights.

And i thought of how serious bomb threats were treated when i was in school. I suppose they still are, if they still happen.

Sunday while we were out & about my eyes, but particularly the
right one, began bothering me. When we were eating i took out my contacts & cleaned them & put them back in. But as soon as we were home i got them out. And i could tell that my right cornea was swollen. My eyesight was worse than usual (it is about 20/300) & i had trouble reading with my right eye. So i decided to give my eyes a day of rest yesterday. But that makes me even lazier as i am rather blind without correction. I do have a very old pair of glasses i use in case of emergency, but wearing them makes me rather nauseous if i'm moving around. I think my eyes are better today. I'll find out when i try to put the contacts in. If i can't wear them, i suppose i'll have to see the optometrist in town.

I'm excited to be able to go to Farmer's
Market today, too. Also that i'll be able to spend some time. Most of the days we will go will be before we head down the hill to work, so it will be a rushed affair. We did do a run of it about a month ago, & found that doing it fast delays us by a minimum of 20 minutes. We can't get there any earlier, really, for they don't set up early. But if i take any time at all, it will delay us even more. But today i'll not have to be rushed. If i ever get up & get going.

Pics here today are Duane's. They almost always are, even when i forget to give him the credit. He's got such a wonderful camera that even when i take pics they usually turn out good. These were taken a couple of years ago at the Getty Museum, mostly the garden.

An interesting thing happened while we were on our trip. I've said before i spend an awful lot of time in bed as sometimes i haven't energy to be up doing things. Duane has often said, "I guess you'll want to go to bed" or be in bed, etc., etc. I suppose i had not been listening very closely. I reacted to those words, but didn't really hear what he was saying.

Anyway, on this trip after a long day of driving, i said something about being tired. Duane didn't understand that, we had "just" been driving. And i replied that it wasn't that i hadn't been doing anything, but that i had simply been upright.

He was surprised, & i said,
"Why do you think i spend so much time in bed?"

He didn't have much answer to that & kind of stuttered & i was shocked into saying, "You don't think i LIKE it do you? Do you think i'm in bed so much because i WANT to be? You don't realize that i'm too exhausted to simply sit up?"

I think it was a break thru for both of
us. I'd been thinking i was lazy until this trip & i found that i couldn't do many of the things i wanted. That all along i had been doing what my body required & not just been being lazy. Maybe he thought i was being lazy, too, although at some level i know he knew i am limited. But i think it finally came clear to him that when i'm lying down it isn't because i want to be, but because i have to be.

Now i'm in the position to try & balance this. Because now i have "permission" to not see myself as lazy, i have "permission" to rest as i need, it is important not to take advantage of that & just give up. I must do what
i can. I am finding it a hard thing to balance.

I am thankful for what i have. And that i am able to get up & do what needs to be done, usually. And that i look "normal." And that even if i have a few limitations, they are not as severe as they could be.

I read the blog of Sara Frankl. A lot of people call her "inspirational," which is true, but somehow it overlooks the challenges she
faces & how hard she works. Sometimes i think that word just categorizes folks without ever seeing the truth of who they are or the reality they face. To me it is a word used to segregate someone but not really try to understand who they are or how they live. But i strongly recommend her blog. She has a zest for life that is inspiring. She also needs plenty of prayer as she is dealing with more pain than most of us can imagine. And she rarely writes of her disability. She doesn't want that to be the focus of her work.

I don't either, but i'm struggling here
to try to accept where i'm at, what i'm given, & what i'm going to do with it. And i use my writing to try to help me define all of that. So, my moto is that of St. Francis of Assisi:

Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things i cannot change,
the courage to change the things i can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.


25 June 2009

Well . . .

I've not written for a couple of days. It is not because i haven't anything to say! It seems i can always babble plenty of nonsense.

This week down the hill was busy. Not for me, but Duane was very busy.

At rather at the last minute
Tuesday evening, Duane asked me to go with him to Long Beach. He was going to work on the computer of an acquaintance of his & wanted me along. I did so - hopefully not with poor grace - as i really did not want very much to go. Downtown Long Beach is not my favorite place to be, especially after dark. It can be very difficult to find parking there as well. When we were leaving after he finished working, i locked the car doors as we were driving. I don't believe i've ever done that before. Any movie you've ever seen filmed in a "bad" looking part of LA looked very much like the area where we were.

It was a LONG evening; Duane was 3 hours working on her computers. She & i visited most of the time. She has 3 indoor cats & 8 outdoors on her patio in cages. She rescues cats & tries to find them homes. She raises money for their care. She's got a really sweet 8 month old that needs $1400 for surgery for his eyes. So we had much to talk about & i told many stories of our kitties' adventures. But our philosophies are very different.

It seems to me that she is trying to change the nature of cats. When i told her of Mac catching a bird thru our screen door she sounded heart broken. (I think i posted the story before, if you're interested i'll search it out.) Now, i
was surprised that Mac caught & killed the bird, & i was sad, too. But that is the nature of a cat. That is what they do. And while i hate to see animals on the street, abandoned & fending for themselves, i hate almost as much to see them caged. I was glad, however, that she doesn't take her extreme Veganism to the point of the manner she feeds her cats. And, honestly, her philosophies don't seem to be very parallel or rational to me.

So, it was a long night. She did provide snacks for us, but i'd not eaten & it was 10.30 before we left with a long drive "home" (to my IL's). Then we forgot that we met at a store & i had to backtrack to take Duane to his truck.

I asked Duane later if he was uncomfortable with her that he wanted me there. He said no, that honestly he hates driving in LA County & since i used to live in Long Beach . . .

Since we've been back from our trip i've kind of been operating on Eastern time. That is good for me, because needing to be in bed by 10.30 & asleep by 11 is a very good schedule. I wake up very early in the AM anyway (unnecessarily - i don't want or need to wake up at that time) so being to bed early is good. I'd been hoping that the schedule would continue for some time yet. But it was nearly midnight before i was in bed, & close to 2 AM when i fell asleep, & i was awake before 6 on Wednesday.

I was hoping it wouldn't "reset" my body clock, but that hope is apparently vain.

So Wednesday didn't start very well. I had a lot of errands. Went to a local nursery & couldn't get anyone to help me. I was not my usual patient self & left in quite a huff - not getting the things i needed. Ran some other errands & went grocery shopping. There is a store in Costa Mesa - they've several in OC - where i like to shop. Good, organic food & good quality & quantity. But it is a crowded store. There is not much room in the aisles & often there are a lot of people in the store. I try very hard to be patient. I don't usually even say "excuse me" & try to push thru. In general i will just stand & wait until the person is done gawking & blocking the aisle. I have to say, people don't seem to be very observant of the folks around them.

So, there was a lady blocking the aisle i was in. Finally - not seeing me - she put her cart to one side & stood there for a while. So i began to go around her. Then she stepped out into the aisle, not in front of me, but into the side of my cart. I suppose she bumped her ankle, or i may have run over her foot, i'm not sure. And she started swearing. Not AT me actually, but very angry none the less.

I am so non-confrontational. I was upset for her, but was also angry at her as well. SHE walked into ME. Didn't look. She acted as tho she was the only person in that crowded store & simply stepped into the aisle after standing off to the side for thirty seconds or more & never looked. I did apologize. Got little response from her except that she'd recently broken that ankle. I apologized again, & as i walked off i was in tears. I was so very tired. Later i saw her - i wasn't crying anymore - & she had the grace to be friendly & not angry. I surely do not like shopping in OC, however.

My MIL says i'm "very sensitive." A lot of folks say that about me, actually. I don't like feeling that i am.

For one, it is perceived as weakness in our culture.

Also, Sis #2 often says to me of herself, "I'm so very sensitive. I feel things so deeply . . . etc., etc." When she says that to me it feels like she's saying she's special & unique & exclusively the only one who does feel this way (see previous posts on our competition). So for me to say "I'm sensitive, too," would seem to be challenging her & her perception that she is unusual & unlike the rest of the population. Besides, saying "I'm sensitive" is something that just grates on me. It is not something i can feel comfortable saying.

I finished the rest of my errands. Then, in a very unplanned move i decided to buy a small (3 ft x 3 ft x 18 inches) counter-top height table i'd had my eye on at a consignment shop for some time. I haven't much work space in the kitchen & have been wanting something i can use while cooking. I purchased it & with much work, pushing, pulling, & strain i got it into our Honda Fit. And i was exhausted.

When i got to the IL's & packed up the car, Duane's Aunt & Uncle arrived. Duane was delayed almost 5 hours by a problem with the computers at work. By the time i realized it was going to be late, i was very tired but not angry. Which is good, seeing as i'd been angry most of the day. Truthfully i was grateful, for if the problem had happened today he would have had to make the 2 hour drive down there to fix it. So the fact that it happened before he left was a good thing. And we visited with Aunt & Uncle. And his mama fed us dinner. And i did lie down for about an hour. And by the time we left most of the traffic had thinned out.

But i didn't fall asleep last night until quite late, was awake early this AM. And it is after midnight now. So much for staying on Eastern time.

I spent much of today in bed recovering. I do like the new workspace table in the kitchen. Plan to make some changes to it (different top, making it so i've more space) that i'll probably post on later.

I don't have to go back to OC until 7 July as my office is closed next week. I'm hoping to get a lot done in the next couple of weeks: finish painting trim on the outside of the house, cooking & freezing some meals, some gardening. But i have to pace it very carefully.

Our trip back East made it clear to me that i'm more disabled than i was allowing myself to be aware. When i'm home or in familiar surroundings i can adapt & adjust enough to look "normal" most of the time. I hate to have other folks know the limitations i fight.


23 June 2009

22 June 2009

Picture Blog Monday

Ok, you need to go over to Discovering Mars anyway, to see her pics. So check out her rules there for today's picture. And join the fun!


21 June 2009


This is my grandmother, great-grandfather, & dad with me when i was a couple of weeks old.

Duane & i often laugh over our bad timing.

He starts to give me a kiss without me knowing at the same time i decide to stretch & i slap him. Or vice versa. And so we laugh over our timing. And i've many, many examples of this. We usually laugh. Of course another example that is more difficult to laugh over is meeting each other long after i'd given up hope of meeting someone & having a family, especially as we could have met many years before. We had long-term, mutual friends.

But generally when something happens we look at each other, say "Our timing sucks!" & laugh over it.

But last month, just before we left i was hit with the realization that i probably have begun menopause & my chances of pregnancy have plummeted from about 5% to about .0005%. And yes that realization was inevitable, but did it have to come to me just before a long, strenuous trip to visit folks i really don't trust? Beginning a mourning period while visiting them was not something i wanted in any way. A month later would have been just fine, thank you.

My timing sucks.

And again, today i was hit with a realization about my family & the way that it functions. Today. Father's Day. The day i need to honor my father. Thanks so much.

My timing sucks.

I mentioned that Sis #2 interrupted some conversations with my dad & i was really angry with her over this. I thought about it, & decided to put my point in an email to my dad. (It was over organic food, food safety, etc.) This way i could make my point, open discussion if he wanted, but be calm & let him know that i'm not trying to judge or be critical, & not be interrupted by Sis #2. So i did. I did mention that i had been angry with Sis #2 & that Sis #3 suggested that the other might have felt "judged" tho this has me baffled. But that was not the point of my letter, nor the majority of it.

He responded a couple of days later. He didn't respond to my points or my disappointment. He stated PE.TA (of which i am not a member) is out of control. And he justified Sis #2's inappropriate behaviors.

My immediate response was disappointment & hurt - he didn't hear what i said! I thought, "Sis #2 believes she is his favorite child, perhaps she's right." (Which isn't a fair rendition of her words. She said she felt she has a "special relationship" with him.) I did not respond to his email. I didn't want to say things i'd regret.

But today, today i realized that this is the info i've been looking for.

I've long wondered why my sissies & i each felt so unloved & so competitive for attention, praise, & love from our parents. (Except, as i've said before, i essentially gave up that quest at age 10.) I've long known that we hurt alone & individually, we had no equipment to pull together & get thru things as a cohesive group. I've also known that i thought my mother had much to do with this, as she never praised any one of us to our faces, but she would praise our accomplishments (or someone not from our family) to the others so that we felt diminished & a failure in comparison. Or, on the rare occasion i would tell her someone hurt my feelings her response would be, "Well, why do you think they did that?" She didn't hear my pain but immediately leaped to empathy for the other person so that i felt the other person was more important & that i was, somehow, always wrong.

But knowing this never seemed to answer the full question. It seemed to me that a piece of the puzzle was missing.

It was important to me to know why my family was like this, as i didn't want to re-create this in my new family. I wanted to know how to teach children to be a team, to grow together, & to work together. The missing piece of the puzzle worried me. Of course, i'm a little less concerned about that now, knowing we won't have a family, but i was still curious.

And today it hit me. It wasn't just my mother who praised or condemned & didn't hear us. My dad was doing it too.

I know - in head knowledge - that my parents loved me, loved my sisters, etc. But the verbal messages we got over & over again was that we weren't worth it. Neither parent heard us when we were hurt, or seemed to care. There was no validation for unfairness & then assist in trying to cope with it. We were taught empathy - & i appreciate it greatly, i really do - but the empathy came on the wrong end. We were not heard, our pain was not recognized, there was no acknowledgement of disappointment, etc. Instead we were encouraged to look at the other person's point of view - a laudable endeavor - but only the other person's view point or our responsibility for our failure & never any comfort for the pain & disappointment. Thus, the feeling that we had no value, no measure of worth, we were unworthy of love.

My mother was the overt abuser in our family. Especially when my dad wasn't around she pulled no punches (verbally with me, physically with Sis #2) & let us know just what she thought. By contrast, my dad was more gentle with us & so we saw him as a "savior." Besides the fact that mother was not abusive when he was around.

But this encounter with him in the last week makes it clear to me that we were getting the "unworthy" message from BOTH parents. There was no court of appeals in our family, no where that we could go & feel heard, no chance that anyone would grant any comfort. So, i think it was natural that we all, to some extent, would vie for my dad's attention as he was the less harsh of the two.

I guess this shouldn't be a surprise to me, as from the age of 10 the "imaginary family" i created to be a comfort did not include either of my parents. I was desperate for someone else, some other reality.

This may not make much sense to anyone else, but i feel i've found the last piece of the puzzle. The part that makes the picture come together. BTW, i'm sure that neither of them intended this. And i am positive that their own families dealt with them in the same manner. My mother especially felt unloved in her family & at odds with her sisters. It just is very unfortunate that they had to pass this on.

But, of course, it had to happen on Father's Day.

My timing sucks.


A day like any other


When we lost our first pregnancy, i really was confident that in time another would occur. I just had to be patient & have faith & pray & wait.


BTW, as much as i know you mean me well, for those who wish me "BFPs" when i request NOT to say it: This is a painful thing to read. I know we live
in a society that focuses on positive outcome, etc., etc. For those still seeking that & young enough to achieve it, i wish & pray that God grant it to you. But i'm at a different stage. I'm trying to accept that it will not come to us.

I've recently been mourning not only my barrenness, but my marriage as well. Duane is so wonderful & he deserves so much more. Life is so unfair. But in the past day or so i have come to the realization that i have to let this go, also. Because i made a commitment to him, to our marriage - "for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer. . . " whether we have children or not. I was thinking how much better he could have done, that i was being selfish in marrying him . . . etc., etc., etc. But the reality is that we are married, & rather than focus on "what ifs" i need to focus on "what now" & living fully in the moment.

That's hard for humans, i think. We tend to focus on past or future & let the present slip right by.

There's a lot bumping around my bloggy brain today.

For Mother's Day we took a picnic lunch over the mountain (that was the day of the snake). I've asked Duane several times what he'd like to do today, & the answer is always "I donno."

I find that frustrating. Also frustrating is when i ask what he'd like for dinner, or if we're going out, where he'd like to go. Answer almost always again is "I donno." Aaaarrrrrggggg!!!! Men!

We've been away from our church the past 2 Sundays as we were traveling. We let them know we would not be there this week, either. Didn't give an explanation. Except one lady who asked why. So i told her. We've made the decision not to attend either Father's Day or Mother's Day. And she asked why. I wonder if she knew what a loaded question that was? It could be because of abuse, for many folks it is. I guess people who have had children & give it no thought to how hard these days are for non-parents. Or children with abusive parents. But i simply said, "Because we've no children, & we want them, & we're not going to have them." I do tend to be honest. I wonder if i'll regret that later.

I sometimes have problems with the difference between honesty & appropriate boundaries.

We're working down the hill this week. Then my office is closed & so i'm not going down the week before 4th of July. Then we'll start the new schedule of leaving on Tuesday instead of Monday & work a couple of weeks. Then it will be VBS & i'll stay home that week to work & do the music with the children. How is it that is seems summer isn't far from being over when it just started?

When i still lived in my parents' home, when i was in high school, it seemed that time just crawled by. Every day was an eternity. But i graduated & moved away, & time has been moving at light speed - usually - ever since. The fact that i'm a procrastinator doesn't help too much either. Before i know it a year has passed & i've not done what i planned. In some ways that isn't so bad. What was all that important, anyway? In other ways it is really not a good thing. I'm old enough to say, "What happened? Where did all the time go? How is it that i'm so old & have never accomplished anything?"

And so it goes.

Last night i was mourning - again.

I've a feeling that 2009 will become "my year of mourning" when i look back on it later. It is hard to believe that when i began this blog less than 6 months ago, it was still with the hope of children, & instead it seems to have become my vehicle to accept a childless life. (Ok, this is funny - i've been craving another blog of someone with similar life interests - a childless-not-by-choice, 40-something, gluten-free vegetarian who eats "real foods" & is into natural & alternative health. !!! Think i'll find her? LOL)

The Bible can report "weeping endures for a night, but joy comes in the morning," but i'm not sure that author knew what he was talking about!

Anyway! I was sad about today & that Duane is
not a daddy, & that he's not going to be a daddy. Boy, it is easy to tell people to get over it & move on from their sorrows, but it is not so easy to do, is it? Anyway! I was picturing myself at the foot of God, mourning. I know i am a handmaiden of the Lord, & i was at his feet crying. "Thy will be done, & may i accept it." It wasn't a pretty or comforting picture. The picture i had in my head was one from the book of "Little Pilgrim's Progress" where the servant who had not done the bidding of the true King was bound & taken back to his "true master" Satan. And the servant was weeping at the feet of this evil one.

Nasty? Yes, but that was the picture i had.

Which tells me i
really don't have a clue about our loving & great God. I'm sad about that, too. Of course, i don't like God very much right now, i don't like where life is taking me/us & the things i will have to accept. It is hard to go into a blog & have someone casually announce that they have just completed the 1st trimester of their 5th child. Or a long list of other similar hurts.

But i've grown a lot. I can be angry with God without falling
into rebellion & sin & insisting on having my own way. I did that before. The first time i married it was because i was very angry with God & the way my life was going & i tried to force it. Didn't work so well for me. Later, after my divorce i went thru a similar time where i made many bad decisions. Didn't work so well for me. But i'm blessed in spite of all that, with my wonderful husband, our home & lifestyle, & all God's blessings.

But even tho i'm rather confused about it all right now, i do know that God promises good for me & i'm holding onto that promise.

It does seem to be my fate to always be holding someone else's child, never my own.

We've talked often of going to Forest Falls, but never do. Sounds like Duane likes that idea for today, so, off we go! :)


19 June 2009

More random stuff - no it's all complaints!

For someone with dyslexia, i read a lot. Blogs, books, newsletters, email. Lots of stuff.

I've never been formally diagnosed, but i do the word reversals, letter reversals, have trouble with right & left, & other issues characteristic of dyslexia. I also reverse letters as i'm typing, mixing my left & right hand letters, but i usually catch that quickly. I also have another form, it has a label but i don't remember what it is. It is where i read a word from the sentence below the one i'm reading & so it confuses me, sometimes.

I tend to read with one eye, because if i use both they often won't converge & i see two different lines of print.

Several years ago i took a class on mentoring others to read. At one point she was talking about this label of the name i don't remember. She said, "People with this issue will see wavy patterns on a flat wall." And i gasped, "You mean that's not normal?"

All my life i assumed that my word/letter reversals & reading words from other sentences was "laziness" on my part. I was in too much of a hurry to read it right.

Over all, this hasn't caused a great deal of difficulty in my life. It is not severe. No great difficulty beyond telling someone to turn right when i mean left, or causing me to read a little slower. (When i put the word "dsylexia" in my search engine & it asked me "Do you mean 'dyslexia'?" i had to read it about 4 times before i found my mistake.)

A year or so there was an email going around where nearly all the words had the proper letters but in mixed up order & most people can read it just fine. So, with the exception of spelling tests as a child, i don't think there has been a lot of problem. I do think it caused some of my problem in reading music & difficulty with learning both violin & piano.

My point here is kind of whinging, however. I read a lot of blogs, & some don't use any paragraph breaks. When i come across that page of black print my mind panics. Usually i end up skimming it & moving on. I can't read those pages. Too many words to get mixed up. Somehow paragraph breaks help me maintain my place on the page. Not having them is like trying to eat a block of concrete.

While i'm complaining - grammar!!! "Her & her husband" "They're place" "You're pet" i could go on & on. Don't the schools teach this stuff any more? Oh, well. Let me just say that grammar does matter because folks will consider the writer uneducated if really poor grammar are the building blocks used. Some believe it doesn't matters too much, but it does make it hard to read. Lots of folks have really interesting stories, but i find that if i'm bogged down by the grammar i have a hard time getting thru it.

I've edited this numerous times now, since i'm complaining of grammar i want to make sure mine is right!

Ok, can you tell i'm still a bit tired from the trip? :)

The pics have nothing to do with my rant. They are just some Duane took on the way home & i think they're cool.



Actually, we got home Tuesday afternoon, but i didn't want to post until i had pics to add. I was lazy Wednesday & didn't get out to do the pics until yesterday. And it has often been overcast & cloudy so i had to time my pics as well. Weather has been below normal temps tho yesterday did get to 71 F. The lows have been in the 30s, & one night even under freezing.

But we returned home to find the roses
blooming & the apples & peaches growing well.

The apples.

The peaches. I was worried because this tree was so loaded, but the tree is taking care of that itself. A number of peaches have stopped growing. They fall off at the slightest brush of my fingers. The ones the tree feels it can support stay put firmly. The tree isn't very big, & i have brushed off quite a number, but we still have many, many left. I'm hoping this means the ones that are left will be sweet & full of nutrients!

Tuesday was also my birthday, & coming home was the best present i could have. Duane took me to dinner, & didn't even fuss when i ordered food i shouldn't eat (i love manicotti!). Other than that i kind of forgot it was my bd. My ILs had given me a gift earlier & my MIL baked gluten-free brownies for me on Monday. I'd told Duane i wanted my present to be the massage i got while we were in Cumberland Falls. So by the actual day we'd already done a lot of celebrating.

Yesterday was the "Women's Birthday Luncheon" where the women of the church go to lunch together, but it isn't very tied to birthdays, we go whether there is one or not. We usually have about 10 show up, +/- depending on the season.
It is my job to call all potential ladies to get a head count & then call the restaurant either for reservations or to warn them we're coming! Some places in this tiny town don't do reservations. I've 22 ladies on my list to call, but it sure seems like more.

Mac & Jazz seem very happy to have us home. Mac must have been stressed by our leaving, he's sneezing. When we moved to Big Bear we boarded both cats at the vet for a few days (& Jazz became a male less male parts) & both cats
got some virus. It resolved, but since then, when stressed the virus will recur. It doesn't seem to bother Jazz much, but Mac has had it come back a couple of times.

The first day home, particularly, Mac seemed to waver between being very glad we were home & very angry that we had left. Jazz is very matted & rather dirty so we can't help but wonder what he's been into. Our theory is that he somehow managed to get into the fireplace behind the wood stove insert. It kind of looks like soot on him. And i did not leave my home dirty! I promise!

Anyway, i'm so thrilled to be home. Don't want to leave again for a long time. I was talking with one lady yesterday. I'd guess her to be in her early 60s. She & her husband are leaving for Egypt soon. They do a lot of traveling. She says they are going to the "harder" countries first while they are still physically able to do harder traveling, & saving other places like European countries for when they are older & less able to travel.

I'm very glad for her, of course, that they are able to do what they want & enjoy to do, but that is not my desire. Which is a good thing. This trip made it clear to me that i'm more limited than i was willing to acknowledge, so i couldn't. But i also don't have much desire to travel. This could change someday, but for now i'm happy to be home, stay home. If i don't see all the wonders of the world, i expect to see them in the New World, Heaven, as they were meant to be.

When i first moved to Long Beach (Los Angeles County) i read a book written in the 20s & set in the area. The things she was writing of - the countryside & flora & fauna - have long been lost under housing developments & shopping centers. I found myself longing for heaven to see Los Angeles as it was meant to be.

I'm content that if i don't see these things here, i will experience them in greater joy when i get to Heaven.


16 June 2009


Yes, i've often been homesick on this trip.

The funny thing is, it is not Sugarbear i'm homesick for. Well, it is, of course. I like my home. I miss my kitties. But that is not what i'm talking about.

I think i've mentioned before that i consider "homesickness" - or at least the type i experience - as "longing for heaven."

I don't remember ever "wanting" my mama. I did not like returning home. It was not a safe place for me. Have spent my adult years creating that home, that safe place. And i like my home. I'm not agoraphobic, but i could easily become someone who never leaves home. Still, part of me can feel homesick, even when i am home.

Sometimes it is for the first cutting of hay in Montana (usually around 4th of July). Or the first feeling of crispness of fall in the air. Or the first snowfall on the Montana mountains.

Maybe because i lived in the South as a young child & have vague memories of it that are pleasant, but i often had the homesick feeling this trip. Part of it, i think, is that i'm homesick for past days: playing with cousins, running free, my grandma's garden & her fruit trees & wonderful green grapes & picking blackberries; watching my grandpa with his bees & pet coons, skunks, & crows & his gentle manner all around; listening to my cousins speak (they had the most beautiful accents that i felt i lacked after we moved to Montana) & watching my younger cousins do silly things.

The house of my B. grandparents is gone now. I see no trace of the house, their gardens, grapes or fruit trees.

There are more subtle things i miss. I remember playing in the grounds behind the house that we lived in when i was six. I say "grounds" because i don't remember it well. I think there were some scattered trees & lots of rocks. I know there were woods too, but farther back. When we found a lost dog & owners came to claim him it turned out they were true hill people ("hillbillies" is the term often used in an unkind fashion). But they saw how much i loved the dog & in simple graciousness they let me keep him. And when he was run over by a car (we lived on a busy highway) within six months i was old enough to think, "If i had let them take him, this would not have happened. Had i let them take him, he would still be alive."

I remember the fall colors in the hollow (meaning a little valley) we lived in after that house. The year i was seven. It was a furnished rented house & had many nooks & crannies & interesting things to discover. But it was the beauty of the fall colors there that i remember most. I also remember trips to & from the grandparents then. They lived in central KY & TN, & we lived in East TN. I remember visiting the Great Smoky National Park & thinking it very beautiful.

Somehow, a beautiful view, especially of trees or hills or land, that reminds me of the days
when i was younger gives me a homesick feeling. It is a mysterious feeling somehow, ethereal & very difficult to describe. I understand how stories of elves & wood gnomes & fairies & mysterious folk came to be. I feel that way with beautiful woods around.

And, i believe this is a longing for heaven. A deep desire to fill a hole within that cannot be filled this side of death. Part of it is a longing for a simpler time, childhood, when i felt somewhat sheltered & things were not so hard to understand.

Jesus told us "I go to prepare a place for you, that where I am, you may be also." I know some folks have taken that verse (& the one about "in my house are many mansions") very literally. That Jesus is the master builder/carpenter & is creating a home for each & every one of us. I don't know that i see it that way. If it is that way, it makes me very curious for what my home will look like. Because i am so very eclectic in my likes. I like craftsman built houses, & Tudors, & old time farmhouses, & A-frames, & Swiss chalets, & stone houses, & barn-like gambrels, & well done Spanish-stuccoes, & log cabins, & houses with dormers & gables. If God puts all those things into a home for me, it will look odd indeed. And yet, i know if God does it, it will be perfect & it will go together.

But that is not my expectation of heaven. I
expect, when i reach the presence of God, i will be HOME. For the first time in my life truly HOME, & where i belong. I think, for the very first time i will not be longing for something else, something more. For the first time i will be complete.

And so, until i "meet my maker," until i have the joy & honor to be in his presence, i expect i will always be a little homesick.

P.S. I'm adding this to "Wednesday Walk" because of all my old memories. Hop on over to Lynnette's blog to check it out!