dearanonymousfriend

Ramblings from a would be writer

Grateful…

Yesterday I was in a funk.  Big funk.  I was tired and weary.  I spent most of the day chiding myself for feeling that way and yet, I could not get out of it.

Finally, late last night I went to my blog.  I figured that I could possibly write, but knew that if I attempted anything , it would come out wrong.

I have a dear friend who, when we are in that frame of mind, say to one another, “Step away from the computer”.   We have both, on several occasions go online and written something that we regret as soon as we hit the enter key.  I did not want to make that mistake yesterday.

The next best thing is to read.  So, I went to my reader section on my blog and got caught up with others in the blogging community.

I am grateful for being able to read other blogs.  It does help me.  I read blogs from all over and it gives me a glimpse into lives of others.  Soon, the focus goes off of me and onto others.  That is a good thing.

This morning I have had the pleasure to chat with two of the bloggers I read.  One is in London and the other New York City.  These women bless me so very much, and I am grateful for them.  They encourage me to break out of my funk just by their words and their conversations.

It does help to refocus your thoughts.  I can have a tendency to withdraw and just keep myself alone.  We are people who need to be with other people, we need to touch lives and allow ourselves to be touched.

What helps you to get out of funk?  I would love to hear from you.  Thanks for stopping by.  Cathi (DAF)

 

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There’s a spiritual lesson in there somewhere…

I try to find lessons in all areas of my life.  I think I have done this most of my adult life.  I have learned things cleaning a toilet.  I try to see things from how I think the Lord would talk to me.  I guess that means in parables, or stories.    I have a whole list of things that I have learned that way and for all of those little lessons, I am grateful.

I have nursery duty this month at church.  It really isn’t a duty because I get to snuggle with a little boy who is usually ready for his nap and he is willing and ready to be rocked.  You can’t beat rocking a baby to sleep while sitting in a comfy rocker knowing that rocking is the only thing you are required to do at that moment.

Anyhow, today the little boy was awake the whole time he was in the nursery.  But, he wanted to be rocked anyhow.  We rocked and played and he giggled, which is like heaven whenever a baby giggles.    He left early since his mom had to work, so I was able to sneak back into church and catch the end of the sermon.

From what I heard the pastor (a guest speaker from Michigan) was encouraging us to keep the flame lit.  Not to run short of oil.  It was great and I will need to go back and listen online to the beginning of the message.

We came home and had a lazy afternoon.  Earlier this evening we sat out on our screen porch and hubby started looking at the pool.  There was a faint green line around the bottom of the pool.    He looked at me and said, “you have some algae growing in there.”   Not exactly what I wanted to hear when I really wanted to do nothing the rest of the day.

I asked if I what I was thinking it needed was right.  I was right and I started to grumble about doing it today.  Hubby told me to wait until the morning and I almost agreed, but, there was something else.  By waiting, it would give the algae a bigger hold on the pool.   So, grabbing the necessary things, I went to the pool and started working on it.  I brushed it and loosened the growth (really not much), then I shocked it and added a few more chlorine tablets to the chlorinater.    Easy stuff, actually.

You see, this week, I haven’t done any maintenance on the pool.  It has rained non stop and when it has taken a break, I have been in the middle of something else.  We tested the water a couple of times to make certain it was okay and it was.  So, we waited.

The spiritual lesson here, at least for me? We can be washed cleaned by the blood of Jesus. We can have the right balance to us.  But, if we decide to just ‘be’ for a while, we have the chance of becoming stagnant.  Thin lines of green can form in our souls and if we do not stir ourselves up and renew ourselves with the bleaching of the Word of God, or prayer, that spiritual algae will continue to grow in us.   We will begin to grow murky and not be good for much.

In the New Living Version of the  Bible, Psalm 51:2 says, “Wash me inside and out from my wrong-doing and make me clean from my sin.”

Today, the lesson for me made me think about how clean I am.  I am going to spend some time this evening seeing if there is any spiritual algae growing in me and what I need to do about it.

I know this is a bit different from my usual writing, but, it is something I wanted to share.

Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate you.  DAF (Cathi)

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What I did over my summer vacation…

School is starting up again.  Some of the kids returned to school this past week, some will go back on Monday.  The schools in the area have been busy with lawns being mowed and more cars in the parking lots and signs signaling the beginning of the school year.  I know that in several of those classrooms there will be an assignment for the students to write about what they did over their summer vacation.

With this in mind, I have decided to  write about my summer vacation(?).    This summer did not turn out the way I had imagined it.  But, that is okay.

It’s not so much what I did over the summer that I am thinking about, it is what I learned over the summer.

I have learned that hoses do leak.  Sometimes they erupt sending a deluge of water all over.  I have learned not to wear my glasses when working on hoses because I end up not only being drenched, but also not being able to see since my glasses are dripping water and not providing me a way to see which way to go dripping wet.

I have learned that maintaining a pool is a daily thing.  I was so used to seeing hubby out there doing ‘something’ and me getting changed to go into the pool and lounge.  I have learned that the lounging only comes after the cleaning, backwashing, checking the chemical levels, adding what is needed, straining the basket in the filter (my least favorite part) and trying not to squeal like a girl when I see dead toads in the filter, bloated and looking up at me…  Ewww….

I have learned that wasps are mean.  I don’t react well to bee stings.  But, it has been years since I have been stung.  I forgot how they feel.  I forgot how they itch and itch and swell.  I forgot that the swelling stays for weeks, not days for me.  Stupid wasps.  They tricked me into a false sense of security and feeling victorious trimming bushes, except that last one… it is still wild and going off in all directions.

I also realized that even though my body aches and my legs ache and my back is rebelling, that things can get done.  I have found that either praying or listening to hubby with his armchair quarterback instructions that things can be done.  Also, there are those times when I scream aloud at myself and even let loose with a few words that don’t necessarily edify anyone or anything, that helps too.

Yes, I have learned much this summer.  Some things I thought I already knew, but sometimes you need a refresher course.  Neighbors help and turn into friends.  I knew this, but, I was reminded in so many ways of this during the past few weeks.

I have had people tell me to not do so much.  To let things slide a bit.  I considered what they meant, but in the end, chose not to listen.  This spring hubby did a lot of preparation for the summer.  He worked hard and had plans.  I could not, and decided would not, let his plans be ruined.

Did I do the gardening exactly like him?  NO.  I know under his care the garden would have produced so much more.  But, we did get some nice cucumbers and tomatoes and squash.  He had fresh beans for lunch and we had some rhubarb pie.  I look at the garden and sigh most days.  This is the one area where I feel like I could not do everything.  I have watered, and fed the garden, but, alas, it was not a huge success.  I know that although I love the produce, I think I am better suited to roses.

Did I  get all his plans done?  No, I didn’t.  But, I tried.  I tried because it was important to me for him to at least know that some things were getting done.

The biggest lesson learned?  I still don’t know.  I am sure that this time next year I can look back and see the end results of this summer, but, it’s still not done.  The light is at the end of the tunnel.  He is up and walking, but, with only being able to bend his leg 30 degrees, we have a way to go.

This, I do know, though, I love my husband.  I may not be Florence Nightingale, but I try.  I  try because he deserves this.  It was not his choice to sit all summer long, but, it happened.  There is a reason for it all.  So, although I have cracked jokes about it, I am so thankful that I could be here for him.

What are some of the lessons you learned over the summer?  I would love to hear them.  DAF (Cathi)

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Voices from the past…

My sister has been posting some old pictures on her Facebook page.  The pictures are of our parents when they were dating or from when we were young.

Each photo stirs up memories.  One of the pictures was taken at my aunt’s home.  In the comments my sisters and I each wrote where we sat around the table and who was sitting where we did after we were grown and our folks gone.

Thinking about this, I realized that deep within me are voices from the past.  Voices, that if I  listen intently, I can still hear today.  I can hear the laughter, I can hear the quiet conversations, I can hear the disagreements with their siblings, my aunts and uncles.

I once heard from a good friend that words are eternal.  That once a word is spoken it echoes and echoes throughout eternity.  That thought makes me realize that, yes, those voices I hear in my heart and mind are the echoes of those times.

I love being able to remember my parents and my aunts and uncles.  There is a comfort in that.  There is a connection.  I look at my children and the pictures they post.  Someday those pictures will spark a connection with myself and my husband.  They will look at photos and hear once more the laughter and the conversations.

I pray that the echoes of my voice will be as comforting and lovely as the echoes that reside in my mind and heart.

Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate your time.  Cathi  (DAF)

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Shadows…

It’s only the beginning of August, I know.  But, somehow, during this past week there has been a change.

As I sit and look out to our screen porch, I notice the shadows.  The room is not filled with sunlight like it was just a week ago.  This morning, it is filled with lazy shadows.  The sun has cast its light on the trees and bushes around the house and it filters long and lazy shadows on the screen.  When I went out earlier, it was warm and humid, but not like it was.  There is that ever faint, ever timid feeling that fall is coming soon.

I know school is about to start and families are stocking up on school supplies and clothes, but summer is hanging on, trying to get the last few weeks of swimming and gardening and weeding and sweating out of us.

I love days like this, where you still want to put on a swimsuit, but are also tempted to find a cozy corner and sip something with winter spices in it.  I love when the Lord  gives you a suggestion of the next season all the while keeping it the current one.  It’s a day of smiles at how seasons pass.

Me?  On this glorious day that hints of fall and feels like summer?  I am sitting with my jeans on sipping a wonderful iced coffee.   Hope you enjoy your weekend.  I think I will.  Thanks for stopping by, DAF (Cathi)

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Reminders and Echoes…

This past week we celebrated Little Man’s fourth birthday here.  The pool was ready, the weather was wonderful and it was a great celebration.

Little Miss arrived before Little Man and the time with these two wonderful, lively human beings went much too fast.

Little Miss left just a few hours ago. The house is now quiet.  I have picked up the living room of the remaining things lying around.  Up the stairs went the books and balls and crayons and coloring books.  A few stuffed animals went up the stairs also.

I put the things carried up into the guest area upstairs.  I dared not go into the toy room, at least not yet.  I was in there earlier this morning with Little Miss and the echoes resounding in there were deafening.  The puzzle Little Man put together was still together on the floor.  The paper he was painting on still laying there where he put it.  The trucks are all crashed in disarray and there are puzzle pieces scattered throughout the room.  Little Miss was in there copying how she had seen her cousin playing earlier this week.  She was his shadow, mimicking everything he did.

They became cousins this week, I think.  They no longer just stared at one another.  She followed him closer than his shadow did.  She was under his feet studying his each move.  If he played with the ball, so did she.  Of course this led to the normal stance of most young cousins, throwing things, pushing each other and grabbing things out of each other’s hands.  It was delightful to see!  I could picture them in years to come, chasing one another, challenging each other and having talks that only cousins can have.  It made my heart swell and now, it brings tears to my eyes to think about it.

Yes, it is quieter without the grandchildren here.  We are lonely for them.  We dislike when they leave, our lives are just a bit duller and there is not enough laughter resounding between the two of us.

This visit, though, I realized it was not just the little kids that made leaving so hard.  I have missed ‘my’ kids.  My girls.  Tell-tale signs that they were home make me stop and wipe a tear from my eye.  Seeing towels put into the washer so I didn’t have to put them there.  Reading a note in my guest room guest book.  Seeing a guest room put back together and knowing she did it.  Seeing a favorite coffee cup out and being hesitant to put it away into the dishwasher, knowing that she was the last one to hold it.  Yes, all of these things make me wish for one more hug, one more laugh.

Times go by too fast.  Times that we mostly take for granted.  This week cemented in me that this house is a house we have dreamed of for years.  It is a place where my kids and their kids can let their hair down.  A place where they can relax and not worry about fingerprints on windows or sticky floors or bringing crayons into a livingroom.  It is a place where you can bounce a ball or yourself down the stairs while laughing and screaming ‘boom’ or ‘bump’.  A place to blow bubbles inside. This is the house I always wanted.  A place with a screen door that slams.  A place where there is adventure and fun.  A place to jump off the side of a pool or from the ladder.  This is home, this is where family come to be family, loud, noisy, laughing, talking, remembering and even being annoyed or frustrated.  I am so thankful for my girls and their families.  We may not be wealthy or have a pristine home, but, we are rich in being able to be a family.  I have waited too many years for this and at long last it feels like my dreams have come true.  A family that can come home, and relax. taking naps or finding a room to just sit and get caught up with one another.

I have had a great week.  I sit here a little more tired, and a lot more lonely, but my heart is full when I listen to the echoes that are still bouncing around the room.  My heart is full when I see remnants of toys and towels and floats for the pool.    So, thank you to my girls and their families making this Grammy a happy one, albeit a very teary-eyed one today.

Thanks for stopping by, DAF (Cathi)

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Anticipation…

I am excited!  In two days, Little Miss will be here.  I cannot wait to see their car pull into the driveway, knowing who is sitting in the backseat waiting to be freed from her car seat.   I will be anxious to scoop her up and know that after a long drive her mama will be ready to get out of the car herself.  As it most likely goes, Little Miss will be ready to be changed or sticky or drenched from pouring water on herself.  That is always the case with children, you prepare for them to be perfect to see their grandparents and then on the way reality strikes and the end product is never what you think and dream it will be.  (Speaking from experience here with two little girls that I always wanted to look ‘just so’ when seeing their grandparents for the first time of a visit.  I always looked like I just put my finger in a socket and they looked like  street hooligans who hadn’t been fed or bathed in six years of their four years of life.)

Little Miss is coming for a party.  Not a huge party, just a family celebration.  The celebration was moved here since Grampy is confined to small areas still.  He can go to local places to eat as long as he can put his leg up, but, he still cannot travel well.  So, we are having a family pool party at our home.  I am so excited!

The honoree for the party?  Why, that is Little Man!  He is going to be four years old.  Yes, that is right, he is no longer a toddler, but a little boy.  He will be arriving on Monday and I cannot wait to scoop him up and continue our ongoing conversation.   This conversation started four years ago and each time we see each other that conversation continues.

So, yes, the anticipation of having both Little Miss and Little Man here is killing me.  I keep wishing the time would pass more quickly.  I impatiently look at the hour and look outside wishing it was one day closer.  I know it will be a short visit for both of them, but, even spending a few hours with them is like Christmas morning for  me. The greatest gifts that have ever been given to me, wrapped up in little arms and hands and giggles.  Hearing stories and seeing their faces makes my heart full of health and well-being.

After these past few weeks hubby and I need a dose of healing and laughter.  We need a time to see these precious gifts and most of all we need a day to celebrate our Little Man, who has blessed our life with his.  His curiosity is boundless and his ability to carry on a conversation and ask wonderful questions gives us joy.  So, an early Happy Birthday Little Man.  I can’t believe you are four already.

Thanks for stopping by today, DAF (Cathi)

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Baseball movies and me…

I just finished crying my way through “Field of Dreams”  once again.  I love baseball movies, although, I do not own many of them.  They are my favorite things to watch.  They make me smile and cry and cheer.

Once more I cried for the last ten minutes of the film.  I knew I would.  I can tune in at the last twenty minutes of this movie and know that I will cry for at least 10 minutes of the film.  It’s just like that.  When he asks his Dad for a catch, there is always a catch in my throat.

I think it hits me hard because there is a part of me that wishes I could turn around, see one of my parents, and have a conversation once more with them.  To talk with them as an older adult, or in the case with my mom, talk with her as an adult.    That leads my mind to think of several other things, of things that have changed, of families that have grown, grandchildren, which would be their great-grandchildren.  Of course, that cannot happen.

It cannot happen and that is what makes watching this particular movie so touching.  It brings out the what-ifs  that graze quietly in the back of your mind.   This movie also makes me think about dreams.  The dreams we all have, of greatness, of fame, fortune, success.  It suggests that sometimes the great fame and fortune is to have a quiet life doing things to serve others, as in the case of Burt Lancaster’s character.

All in all, it is one of my favorites.  I haven’t watched it in entirety in a while.  Tonight hubby and I picked it to watch and as usual, it didn’t disappoint us.  If you haven’t seen it in a while, find a copy and watch it.  Dream a bit.  Think on it.  And, if you are like me, keep the kleenex handy.  Thanks for stopping by tonight.  Cathi (DAF)

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I have arrived….

A year ago when we decided to move from Charleston to the upstate of South Carolina, hubby made a decision to buy a truck.  It made sense to me, since we would be living in a rural area, we would need a pickup to haul materials for the yard and house in.  A friend was selling one of his trucks and we bought it.

I really like the truck.  It is fun to ride in.  It is the kind that has the front seat (obviously) and has a full back seat.  I guess it is an extended cab, long bed truck.   I have teased hubby since he bought it that he has now returned to his country roots.  He just smiles at me.

Since his injury the truck has sat.  Parked at the other end of our driveway, just hanging out under a group of trees.  I really have not paid much attention to it, as I have had plenty of things to keep me occupied.

When he was first injured, he asked a couple of men if they would stop by and drive the truck since Cathi doesn’t know how to drive it.   A true statement for the most part.  The truck is big and I have never driven it.

In the past month, though, that statement has been altered from Cathi doesn’t know how to drive it to  Cathi can’t drive it, to Cathi refuses to drive it.    All of these statements are true to a point.

Today, was the day that I put on my big girl panties, and pulled them up high and tight.  I grabbed the truck keys and headed out of the house.  I walked over to the truck.  I unlocked it, I moved the seat up to where I could reach the pedals and the steering wheel , adjusted the mirrors and said aloud, “Okay Lord, it’s You and me and this truck.  Don’t let me wreck it.”

With that, I put the truck in reverse and pulled out of the driveway.  At the end of our driveway I turned right.  I went down the road to the cul-de-sac and turned around and came back home.   A small step.  But, a major feat for me.    I came inside, jubilant!  I drove the truck.  An hour later I climbed back into the truck and drove 20 minutes to our church where I met a group of ladies and went out to lunch.  No, I did not drive, I parked the truck (almost in the lines) and rode with someone else.

But, I have arrived to the country, finally.  I can drive a pick up truck.  Not bad for being 61 and mastering new skills…    Thanks for stopping by, DAF (Cathi)

 

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My life could now be a sit-com…

I sit here writing, waiting for the timer to go off so that I can disconnect the little cleaner bug for the pool.  My pants are wet and I refuse to change them just yet as I know I will get drenched doing a simple task that takes hubby five minutes and takes me a half hour.

This is my life.  I was a Navy wife.  Toughest job in the Navy they used to say.  They were right too.  I thought nothing of checking automobile fluids, air pressure in tires, and filling tires with air.  It was nothing to trim the yard and even start a lawn mower.

I could fix, paint, spackle,  and do assorted chores around the house.  I was confident doing it.  I was tired, but, confident.

Then Hubby retired from the Navy.  He got his degree, he went to work, he took care of things around the house.  I didn’t have to do much.  Just clean the house, do laundry and make certain there were meals when we were hungry, and even then, there was take out and eating out.  Life was calm.

Calm until a month ago.  Now I am digging out that old, rusty and dusty Navy wife persona.  She is really dusty and rusty.  She hasn’t wanted to be brought out of retirement.  She was happy sitting in the dark recesses of my memories where she looked heroic.  After yanking her out of the corner, I find she is a bit testy!  She grumbles and isn’t near as strong as she once was.  Her upper body strength is shot and her hands aren’t as nimble as they once were.  Plus, her language can be a bit coarse.  I really didn’t remember that part!   On the whole, I think she may have sat too long.

I reflect on all of this on the heels of learning that instead of two more weeks of hubby being immobile we still have another month.  After that month, any thought of physical therapy is another six weeks out.  This really doesn’t bother me, except, I knew that the old Navy wife was going to rebel.  She was hoping she would be recalled for only a few days, seems now, that she is going to be back in service for a while.

Right before I started writing this post, I remembered that I had not disconnected the hose to water the garden.  I  turned off the spigot, remembering ‘righty-tighty, lefty -loosy’.  I then went to where two hoses were connected together.  I waited a few minutes to get the residual water through, then turned the one hose to the little off position, bent close to the ground (as Hubby has suggested) and proceeded to disconnect the hoses.  It was like standing over Old Faithful.  Water gushed up enveloping me in a shower.  Glasses dripping, water in my ears, up my nose, and all over.  I changed my shirt to start to write and sure enough that one got drenched when I finished pulling out the cleaner tool from the pool.  I had followed Hubby’s directions, I had left one end of the connecting hose in the pool and was disconnecting the cleaner when the loose end squirted up and out of the pool, not the way it was supposed to happen.  I fixed it and we didn’t lose too much pool water through the hose, but, still, I was soaked, again.

I laugh at myself often these days.  That is, when Navy wife isn’t in my mind telling me that the situation is hopeless….  I forgot she can be a bit of a downer at times.  Still in all, my life has become a sit-com.  People would sit and eat bowls of popcorn watching me, having a good laugh.  I know six months from now, I could join in with them, that is after I once again retire Navy wife and get on with relaxing.

So, now, once more in dry clothes, I will close this out and go fold some laundry.  This isn’t exactly how we planned our summer, but, we figure there is a plan and a purpose in this.  God has a reason for everything, and although I can get frustrated and frazzled, the underlying truth is this, we have each other, we are healthy (well, except for his knee and tendons), we have a beautiful home, a loving church family and neighbors and we still serve a God who has everything (even me dripping wet) under control.

Thanks for stopping by tonight, I appreciate you.  DAF (Cathi)

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