dearanonymousfriend

Ramblings from a would be writer

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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Cardio Fitness…

(This is an attempt to write tongue in cheek, just a warning)

I have started a new fitness regimen.  I have been doing this for roughly three weeks.  It’s a cardio workout.  Strictly leg raises.

I start in the morning.  I lift a leg and it feels like a normal leg.  Easy to move and shift, getting it into place.  I feel good about it and have lots of energy.

Mid day, I have done several leg lifts.  I start to feel it.  The leg now weighs at least 50 lbs.  I move the leg and get it into place.  I wipe my brow and feel like I have accomplished much.

Dinner time the leg now weighs about 100 lbs..   I debate if food is going to help this situation.  I succumb and dinner is served.

The evening goes by much too quickly.  Many more leg raises are done during this time.  Each leg lift is more wearying.   I feel it in my back.  I hear my joints creak.  The leg now weighs about 180 lbs..    I long for bedtime, but know there may be times of leg lifts throughout the night.

Fortunately, hubby has a sense of humor.  Each evening I tell him how much his leg weighs.  We make jokes about his leg and at times we both start laughing so hard I am afraid I will drop it.

A week ago when he was discharged from the hospital, I was grumpy.  I thought the discharge too soon.  The nurse looked at me and said with a smile and a laugh, it will be good exercise for you.  Now, I have great respect for nurses and for the wonderful job they do.  It is a calling to be a nurse, but, I have to confess, in my mind, I was wondering how far she would fly across the room when I punched her.  I must have given her ‘that’ look, for hubby piped in quickly (thank God) and said, she has been doing this for the past couple of weeks, she has already gotten lots of ‘exercise’.    That helped.

But, here I am, another week out and looking forward to at least another three weeks of his leg being straight out in a brace, not able to bend it, me doing my new cardio… leg lifts, uh one, uh two, uh… ugh………

Thanks for stopping in.  I needed a break!  DAF (Cathi)

 

 

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The Adventure Continues…

As I was writing my last post which I started a week ago, my sister called and we had a wonderful conversation.  In the middle of the conversation my cell phone beeped.  I looked at it and saw that it was from hubby.  I ignored it and continued to talk with my sister.  Then the house phone rang, again from hubby.  I impatiently told my sister to hold on while I told hubby I was on the phone.

Picking up the land line I just said, “Yeh…”  Not hello, just an impatient, “Yeh…”  The voice on the other line was not hubby.  It was our Pastor and friend who was moving into a new home.  Hubby was there helping him.  He told me that hubby had hurt his knee and that they had called the EMS.  He said he would let me know where the ambulance was taking him.  I thanked him, continued to talk to my sister until she reminded me that I most likely should figure out what was happening with hubby.

After hanging up from my sister, I called our pastor’s wife and asked what was going on.  What happened and where he was going.  She told me the hospital and immediately I remembered that having only lived here for a little over a year, I did not know where the hospital he was going to was.  The gps was in his truck at their house.

They kept their heads and got me to the hospital, where hubby lay on a bed awaiting a diagnosis.

He ruptured a tendon.  The one that holds the strong group of muscles in your thigh to your kneecap.  When the tendon ripped, it took a piece of the knee cap with it and both are hanging out about three inches above the knee.  They discharged him with instructions to follow-up with a surgeon.  He has been stranded on the couch with brace on leg, not being able to move easily.

Yes, it is painful and hard.  He has surgery tomorrow to repair it.  I am certain it will all go well.  We are adapting and figuring things out here, how to move, how to get him from one room to another.  It’s been an adventure…

I say the adventure continues because twenty-five years ago this man broke his foot off, literally.  It was bits and pieces and took thirteen hours initially to put him back together again… Thirteen hours and eighteen surgeons with gym bags filled with reference materials and books.  Long before you could click a button and get the info you needed right away.    That injury took eighteen months to recover from, but, he did recover.  He can no long run, and his foot is clumsy, but, it is attached to his leg and he can use it, which is more than anyone thought would happen.   That was his left leg.

For twenty-five years, hubby has used his right leg to support himself.  It is his dominant leg, it is the one he leans on when standing.  It is the one that he leads with… it is now the one that is broken…  Hubby truly does not have a leg to stand on now.  I keep saying that.  It was funny a week ago.  Now, I am glared at when I say it.  But, when a statement is true, it’s true.

Yes, this is an adventure.  We will have lots of time together.  We will do things together.  I will attempt to find my Florence Nightingale genes (they must be here somewhere!).  We have already fussed at each other, yelled at each other, and apologized to one another.  I keep trying to figure out what to do and he is trying to figure out how to do things.  After tomorrow there will be another learning curve.

I keep telling the Lord that I am not made for this.  I am not a nurse, I get too frustrated, I fuss too much.  But, I know that this time will be a time to shave off some more rough edges on me.  I will learn a bit more patience.  I will learn how to care more.  I will remember that this man is my heart.  That his pain causes me pain and although I will try to joke my way through, inside I am praying that I can be what he needs for this time.

My life has been an adventure.  I keep thinking it will all slow down, but, no, the adventures continue.  Thanks for stopping by today, I appreciate it!  DAF (Cathi)

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Family…

A couple of days ago, I had this thought go through my mind.  It was my nephew’s birthday and I was thinking how much I missed him and wished I could just sit and visit with him for a few hours.

I thought about how I should write about family.  Then I didn’t write anything.

Today my cousin shared a photo on Facebook of my mother’s family.  It was a memory that was shared and I looked over all the original comments and read the new ones.  There was a theme across the comments, that all wished we had known them better.

This is what I thought to write about earlier this week.  How, as families, we don’t take the time to learn, listen and get to know one another.

When I start to think about such things there is a hurt in my heart.  It is like being homesick for something unknown.  A hurting to reach out and hug or touch or laugh with someone who is no longer near or close.

I married young.  I lived overseas.  Phone calls were expensive and you just didn’t call.  Letters helped, but those only went so far.  You can write so many pages and then your hand dies, the writing goes weird and you give up.    I can remember writing letters to my aunts and uncles, not often , but through different seasons.  I corresponded with one of my mother’s brothers for several years until he passed.  I got a glimpse into his personality and a bit of what he thought about.  I always looked forward to those letters.  And, then, they were gone.

Another nephew’s birthday is tomorrow.  He is the oldest of the next generation.  I was living overseas when he was born.  I didn’t get the birth announcement until he was almost a month old.  I bonded with him immediately.  My heart sang whenever I would receive a new photo of him.  I didn’t get to see him until he was almost four.

I didn’t get to see my nieces or nephews often.  Living on the west coast prevented us from just dropping in for a visit.  I look back with regret that I didn’t get to see them.  I didn’t get to see school plays or see how they were growing.  But, likewise, they did not get to know me or their cousins, my daughters.

It is true, that military families make their own ‘families’ and this is a huge comfort and help.  I could not manage without my family that are not related through blood.  They have shared in life events that my blood family could not be present for. But, that is another post.

This post is for my family, my sisters, my brother-in-laws, my nephews and my nieces.  I want them to know that with all my heart, I love you.  You have each etched deep within my heart, your own place.  These are the places I hold dear.  They are filled with conversations we have had.  They are filled with photos of your life that you have posted or shared, or on that rare occasion, I have seen.  We may not know everything about each other, but that does not matter.  For, you are my family.  You are my blood relations.  You will always be in my heart, my thoughts and prayers.  I am proud of you.  Your accomplishments make me beam.  Your sorrows prick my heart and I hurt for you.  Your laughter makes me laugh.

I had a brief conversation with my oldest nephew a couple of years ago.  He was rushing to see his nephew.  He said he hated not being closer to him, that he loved him so much and just wanted to be near him.  He was being honest with me and I was able to look him in the eye and tell him I totally understood, for that is how I felt about him.    At that moment we understood each other in a way we had never before experienced.  I think of that moment often.

These thoughts have been on my mind often the past few weeks.  I needed to let my family know how precious they are to me.  It’s good to let those you love know they are loved.  Too often we are preoccupied with our own lives and we forget that family may need to hear from us.  So, to my nieces and nephew who may read this, Yes, I am that old weird aunt that still hugs on you and cries when she sees you, but, I will ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS love you and be here for you.  Thank you for making my life so much fuller because of you.

Thanks for stopping by, DAF (Cathi)

 

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Mid-night Ramblings…

It is after 2 a.m. as I start to write this post.  I had gone to bed a couple of hours ago and lay there, tossing, stretching, trying to get comfortable.  Nothing was working and hubby was up browsing the local Craig’s List, so, I gave up and got up.

It’s amazing to me how your mind wanders while you are trying to capture sleep.  At least my mind wanders.  I go in to bed telling myself to relax and unwind and keep my mind free from thinking.

I pray for those I have told I would pray for during the day.  Then I pray some more for things that I have just thought of.

Several people have told me over the years to pray at night because it makes them fall asleep.  That never works for me.  I like to pray.  I begin, as I mentioned above, and then, before I know it I have spent several minutes bordering on hours thinking of people and praying for them.  I did that a couple of hours ago.

This always leads my mind to other things.  Before I know it there is a parade forming in my mind.  Out come the banners announcing the next participant in the parade.  The banners will have things like “Grandson” and then I will think of my precious Little Man.  I will think of the recent pictures and videos of him.  I will think of the conversations I have had with him.  I will begin to think about when he will visit next and what we could do.  I think on him until the next banner comes into view.

More than likely after grandson, comes granddaughter and thoughts of Little Miss  come tumbling into my mind.  I will remember her little laughter and the fun we have had.  I will remember her going through the obstacle course we had set up so she wouldn’t climb the stairs.  I will remember hearing her say as she is climbing, “tairs”.  So proud of her accomplishments, clapping and waving to us down below.  As with Little Man’s part of the parade, I also wonder when I get to see and hold and chase after Little Miss.

Now, this is where the parade changes for me.  The next few parts of the parade can either be filled with thoughts of what we could do with this home and gardens, which leads to what I could buy or re-purpose.  And this part of the parade could last hours.

If it is not home oriented, the following parts of the parade are people, family, friends, trying to remember names of people we once knew in our travels.  That one is good because I lay there thinking of situations we were in and hoping that a name will somehow come into view.

I dislike those type of parade participants.  The parts that either have a name of a person, or an actor, or a phrase from a movie  or song you can’t quite put your finger on.  This is frustrating to say the least.

Well, now I have taken several minutes of your time while you see how my mind actually works at night.  I do this nightly.  I envy those who tell me that they fall asleep as soon as their head hits the pillow.   That must be incredible!   Most nights, if I can actually fall asleep before 3 a.m., I count it as a full night’s sleep.

So, now, it is a quarter after the hour.  I hear hubby starting to get sleepy and know that he will be asleep before his head hits the pillow.  Thank you for reading my ramblings.  I am going to head back to bed and hopefully after writing this all out, the only part of the parade left will be those with the brooms that come after the horses.

Good night and thanks for stopping by,   DAF (Cathi)

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Memorial Day…

This weekend is the Memorial Day weekend.  A time where there are picnics and sometimes parades.    My Facebook feed has been filled the past few days with memes of Memorial Day.

It is true that this weekend marks the beginning of summer, of course it does, it is the end of May and June is next, the schools are out and the weather is increasingly warmer and the calendar is in order, May, June, July, August, the summer months.

People do use this weekend to mark the time to start the onslaught of potato salad, baked beans, deviled eggs and grilling out.  I think they would do this even if it was not a three-day weekend here.

Yes, there are mega-sales in all the stores.  Retailers, given a reason to grab money will use any three-day weekend to draw crowds and move merchandise.  It’s a given.

The notices on my Facebook feed remind everyone that Memorial Day is different from Veteran’s Day, and Armed Forces Day.  A part of me is glad to see that people are aware of the difference, but, there is a part of me that looks at those memes and says, “Well, duh!”.

Maybe this is because as a child we were taught that there was a reason for Memorial Day.  Maybe because we were the generation born after WWII, with our parents still having the memories of that great war fresh in their minds that we knew this day was a somber reminder of those who gave their lives in order for our lives to be secure.

Growing up in the midst of the Viet Nam war made an impression on me.  Each Memorial Day my dad would take us for a walk to a cemetery for the Memorial Day ceremony.  A time where there were old men speaking in hushed tones, a gun salute, bugles playing.    This all crept into my heart and resided there.  There was a reverence for those who had fallen.  This also made me wonder why I felt like the war in Viet Nam was not getting the same rep.  I confess there were often times after seeing the newspaper and television reports that I could agree with the protestors.  The draft was a huge topic growing up.  I had mixed feelings on that until, as a senior and dating my hubby that I realized he could be drafted.

Hubby and I talked about the draft all the time.  His friend had a number that was below number 25, he was certain to be called up.  Hubby’s number was in the 300’s.  About that time, the draft was ended.   His friend stayed home.  Hubby enlisted.

To many people, it appeared that hubby served in peace time.  A time where there was no danger, no difficulties.  But, for the first 15 years of his enlistment, his commanders would recommend that they not wear their uniforms off base, as military was not accepted.  There were still too many harsh feelings concerning the Viet Nam vets.  I was always proud of the uniform he wore.  I was proud of the job he did.

My personal belief is that each generation has a duty to recognize and respect those who have served.  I also think that the term ‘peace-time’ is a fallacy. There is no such thing as peace when each country has a military to defend its borders. The men and women who choose to serve this great country of ours deserve respect.  They are going places and doing things most of us would not do.  The military does not question, they go.

I have a picture of my dad and his brothers all in their uniforms during WWII.  They stand together proudly, it is a wonderful picture.  They were a sampling of the brave men who defended us during that war.  They are all gone now, as many of their generation are.

Now we will begin to see those who served and fought in Viet Nam  start to dwindle in numbers.  Hopefully they will finally get the acknowledgement that they answered a call, they served when it was not popular, and some of them returned to a nation that was not grateful.  I pray that those who were lost in this war get the respect and honor they deserve.

Yes, Memorial Day is a day that raises many questions for many people.  Today, this weekend, there will be families who will receive a phone call or a knock on the door with terrible news that a loved one has been lost in action.  It is for these families, like generations of families before them , that we stop on Monday and remember.  We need to solemnly stop and remember why we can laugh and swim and picnic and eat a full meal in peace.  We can swim and go to the beach and not worry.    We can live in this country because of the men and women who gave their lives for ours.

I know this has been a soap-box post from me, and now, I will step down from it grateful  for what I have because of those who gave the ultimate gift.  DAF

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A brief reflection

This is from my niece who writes @

PDA: The Positive Disabled AdultPDA: The Positive Disabled Adult

I think this post should be read by everyone.  Thank you, DAF

 

Typically I try to write a blog that has a moral, a lesson, or something to think about but today I’m totally abandoning that idea. Most of you have probably seen or heard about the movie Me …

Source: A brief reflection

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