Fear and the Written Word…

Yesterday I commented on a blog that if the writer had found my writing mojo, please send it back to me.  I said it half in jest, half in truth.   Some may say I have had writer’s block, but, I think in truth I have just not written much out of fear.

The beginning of the month saw me take a huge step in submitting a couple of pieces of work for consideration for an online magazine.  Years ago, I would submit pieces without a second’s thought.  It was part of who I was and what I did.   Somewhere along the way, I stopped.  It wasn’t out of discouragement, as I thought with each rejection at least someone had read my words.   That in itself was a plus for me.   I think it was a healthy attitude, and I still do think it’s a great response for rejection of submissions.

There are many reasons I can rattle off for ceasing to submit pieces,  life got in the way, I started something else, I didn’t think it was worth the time, I got lazy, I rethought my priorities.    All of these could neatly fit into the reason I stopped.

But, personally, and if I am honest, fear is the reason I stopped.  Fear of inadequacy of saying what my heart is feeling and fear that it won’t resonate.   I do this with my blog and with my book.

Each Sunday, I silently pray during church services for strength and courage to write.   I pray about it daily, but somehow it’s those quiet prayers during service that speak to me.   Each Sunday I feel the prompting to just do it.   I leave confident and raring to go.  I get home and look at my laptop and freeze.

I was proud of myself for being obedient  and stepping out and submitting my works.   Yesterday I was supposed to hear if they were accepted.   I anxiously checked my email several times, hoping, but not expecting to hear anything.   I did not.  Am I discouraged?  Should I be?   That answer comes quickly, NO.   I know I did what I felt I needed to.

But, in thinking of this, I realized that my lack of writing mojo is fear of my written word.  It defines me, as what is written comes from deep within me.   So, yes, I have a fear of the written word, it is a reflection of me.  I have many wonderful people who read my words and encourage me, more than I could mention here.  I could not write without their encouragement and love.   This is a personal threat to me.  I put the phrase on my blog, “Ramblings from a would be writer”.     I think that needs to change.   I need to reflect what I write with how I see myself.  I need to see that brick wall of fear and either scale it or blow it to pieces, but, most of all I need it to be gone and get on with it.   Right?   So, once more, thanks for going through this with me.  Do you have a brick wall of fear in front of you?  How are you going to make it disappear?   I’d like to hear your thoughts.  And yes, I will change that little sentence to read, “Ramblings from a writer.” I will also remember that words on a laptop can easily disappear thanks to that little backspace key… so much easier than white out from the old days!

Thanks for stopping by today.   Cathi (DAF)

Leaving a Trace…

When we moved into this upstate area five years ago, hubby and I noticed quickly the old farmhouses dotting the landscape.  One caught my eye almost immediately.  It looked like it had been a well loved home and I often mentioned that I wish I could hear the stories the walls could tell.

The house screamed that it had been filled with many family moments.   The porch looked like it was a lovely place to sit, rock and talk away the hours.   The back yard looked like a haven for children to run, play, scream and cause parents concern at their antics.   I often thought of how the inside looked, and could imagine family meals, holiday celebrations, birthday celebrations full of laughter and noise and chaos.   The exterior looked worn, and tired.

Each time driving past the house I would think the same thoughts.  That is, until the one morning I drove past the house and it was gone.    It wasn’t being torn down, it hadn’t caught fire, it was gone.  Not a stick of it remained.   There was no trace of a basement or foundation.  There was the driveway and the mailbox and nothing else.   At first, I thought I was looking in the wrong place, but no, I wasn’t.

It still remains a mystery to me as whatever happened to that house.  I figured it was moved, but it must have been a quick move since the house was a large farmhouse.  The house disappeared a couple years ago and I still think of it.  I am hoping it is in a wonderful new place with a fresh coat of paint and filled again with a loving family.

Today, as I headed into town, I noticed a farm truck  pulled off by where the house once stood.  I glanced over and noticed the area is now almost fully covered by farm.  The driveway looks like a foot path that is hardly used.  If I hadn’t known a house had been there, I would think it was just part of the farm land.

As I drove on, thinking how there was almost no trace of the house, the thought occurred to me, what kind of trace will be visible after I am no longer here.  Yes, I know that is sort of morbid, but I found it interesting and also challenging for me.   In order to leave a trace when I am gone means I must make a difference now.  I came to no real conclusions, but, something has been provoked in me to think of the trace I desire to leave.

That’s it for today…  thanks for stopping by, Cathi (DAF)

A Reminder…

After my last post, I truly thought about closing my blog.  I did some soul searching and left several groups that I was a part of, but didn’t participate in.   I looked at my friends list and did a serious look at them.   I basically did a mid year mind search and seriously looked at where I was, how I was feeling and what I was doing.   Sort of a personal spring cleaning. 

During a conversation with another blogger it occurred to me that although writing and blogging is cathartic, it does not always fully express the whole situation.  

As I wrote about growing up, I thought of my sisters, and their point of view.  Although the three of us grew up in the same house, with the same parent and the same circumstances, their view is different from mine. 

The book reports we were forced to do while in school?  Everyone reading the same book, answering the same questions?  I always thought that it would be so boring for that poor English teacher to read the same thing over and over.   Although the basic principle of the book is there, how it is interpreted is different in each individual.   

The same is true with social media.  We all read the written word.  We each draw our own conclusion of what we read.  But, is it accurate of what is written?  Not necessarily. We each read with a different tone in our mind and that depends on our mood at that time.   I could write, That child is a mess.    What do I mean by that?  That the child is in need of a bath?   That the child is in need of medical intervention?  That the child is in need of psychiatric help?  Or, that child is so much fun they make me laugh and smile?   

Yes, taking things in context  is very important and it would depend on what was written before and after the statement, but the point I am trying to make is that an opinion can be made very easily upon interpretation of the reader.  That interpretation may not be how the writer is thinking, but because writers are limited by their ability, the full emotion and history of a thought is not translated to the written word. 

This past week I have read several comments and thoughts and it truly has worn me out.  I am surprised and grieved at the amount of angst in the words.   Some of these words may have been written without the angst, and yet they have been interpreted far from how the writer was feeling. 

Words on a page are one dimensional. They are not three dimensional.  Because of that, we do not see the sides or the back of the words.  We just see them.  The same is true of how we see the writers.  We see them like we see the words, one dimensional.  No life.  We then make a judgement on the person as a whole, and to me, that is wrong.  I know I have been guilty of this.  I fail to see the person as a whole. We do not know what prompted the person to write.  We do not see the struggle they may have just gone through.  We do not know what is going on behind the screen, so to speak.  

I guess what I am saying is that we need to see people as a whole person.  The words they wrote may not have the tone to them that we are placing on them.  I challenged myself this week to read, think, and reread before I play judge and jury.  I write this for me, if it speaks positively to you, then I will feel like I have successfully written what I had intended.  I truly dread if it is misinterpreted as many saw my last post. 

People who write blogs do so because they feel a need to.  Often times it is a release of thoughts.  Sometimes it is for therapy and a single way to liberate the parade of feelings trapped inside.   For others, it is merely a stepping stone to hone skills to write a manuscript.  Personally, I fit all of the above, and the fact that I find I am more articulate while writing than I am in talking.  I once received a card from a friend that said, I am so much more interesting on my blog.   It was one of my favorite all time cards. 

I know this week has been an interesting one for so many reasons.  I realize emotions are hot and close to the surface, let’s take time to take a deep breath,  read and reread before posting a comment just to make a comment.  I know I am approaching my social media timidly and infrequently.  

A scripture that has both encouraged me and challenged me this week is Proverbs 15:1, NLT  A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare”     Unfortunately this is not the first time that I have been challenged by this verse, hopefully it will be one of the last times it will present one.  

Cathi (DAF)

 

 

 

ALL Lives Matter…

It is early in the morning hours on June 3rd.   Yesterday all social media was flooded by black.   I really had no idea of it, I may be sheltered, or I may just hadn’t seen anything about it.   In any case, I did not participate.   Why?   Because, to me every life on this planet matters.  

I was blessed to be born in a country where all men are created equal.  This country was founded on those principals.   Do we follow them?  No.   SHOULD we follow them?  Yes.  The Declaration of Independence says, ” We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. ”   This is for all people.  This country was born of struggle and the pursuit of freedom.  

Yesterday, after seeing post after post after post of people pontificating, I wrote three words that are the title to this post.   I knew as I wrote them that I could be crossing that imaginary line that has somehow become very blatant in this country.  But, to me, what I said mattered.  How I felt mattered.  I had read things being said about our country during this time.  I read about our leadership being rallied against, both domestically and abroad.  I finally decided enough was enough.  I posted my choice for the upcoming election and told everyone that they were free to unfriend me because of that choice.   I did this for a few reasons, but, mainly because I needed to take a stand and draw a line for me. 

I caught flak for the statement I made on someone’s black post.  I was told my comprehension skills were lacking.  I couldn’t possibly understand.   That I was living in white privilege.  That in this case, I was wrong.   To the people who know me, you know that I love people.  I do not see color when looking at anyone.  Most of the time I cannot even tell you what color of eyes people have.  I notice people’s demeanor, their smile, their attitude.  Those are what I notice in people. That is just me.  

Do I agree with what has gone on in my country the past week?  Absolutely not.  It was a horrendous crime that needs to be punished.  Do I agree with protest?  Yes.  Do I agree with violence and looting and aggressive behavior?  That, to me, is the same as the original crime, it needs to be punished. 

Now, to the young woman who chastised me online for saying three words…  All lives matter, let me please defend myself, after having time to think this through.   Yes, I am white.   Very white since I have Irish and Scottish blood running through my veins, I don’t ever tan, but that is besides the point.   I grew up in a not so wealthy family,  some may say poor,  no, we didn’t have a lot of money.  My sisters and I had just enough clothes to be presentable.  We lived in a house that should have been condemned years before it actually was.  My mother died when I was 11.  My father, wasn’t always conscious of how to raise three girls, but, he did the best he was able.     So,  young woman, no, I did not have white privilege growing up.  

Continuing, young woman, I did not go to college, not for not wanting it, but, it was not encouraged and I was too intimidated to try.  Fortunately, I met the love of my life and we married young and moved away from your mother’s hometown.   We moved because he was in the Navy.  So, I did not have the ease of being able to be with family like you have the ability.  

We moved to the south, young lady,  a big change from northwestern Pennsylvania.  I attempted to find a job since young Navy families do not get paid well.  I had been trained working at the hospital, the one you were probably born in.  A wonderful facility that was well known in the area.  I was good at my job and proud of the work I did.  When I moved south I could not find a job.  I believe it is called discrimination.   A term you thought I wasn’t familiar with.  I saw many, many applications unceremoniously placed into the ’round file cabinet’,   the trash.    When I finally did get a job I was referred to by my boss and the management as ‘that damn yankee mick’.  I did not hear my name spoken the entire time I worked at that job.   Oh, by the way, they also fired me because I called in sick with a doctor’s excuse.   But, no, I don’t understand discrimination. 

Next, young woman, we lived overseas.  It truly was a wonderful time in my life, one that I will cherish.  We were there because my husband, took an oath to defend and serve this country, because all lives matter and freedom of speech and freedom to think for one’s self is paramount in our lives.  We lived in houses without hot running water, we had to literally heat the water each time we used it in our first place.  We had neighbors who spoke english, but because we were Americans and we were in Japan, they refused to speak to us.  But, I understood, as I understand where you are coming from.    We lived with rats that would chew the plaster in our walls at night, we lived with roaches that truly were atomic mutants that would fill our homes.  I used to brush the roaches away from my baby as she slept because there was no killing them, there were so many. 

Yes, young woman, you may see me as not comprehending, being privileged, living a lofty life,   but, you are not correct.  I see you and your families beautiful photos on your mother’s page.  You are lovely, as is your family.   When I say all lives matter, they do.  No one escapes this world without some pain and suffering.  Prejudice is not only for the color of skin.   Prejudice is for the little girl whose clothes are different from the rest of her classmates.  Prejudice is for the child who is smarter than anyone else, or slower than anyone else.  You are young.  I had strong beliefs when I was your age, but the sand paper of life and experience has worn off the sharp edges and what remains in me is the firm belief that all lives matter.  My husband gave 21 years of his life to serve this country so that you can have those beliefs.  He did it willingly and without expecting anything in return.   He served so that you can tell a total stranger, someone you do not know that she doesn’t comprehend, and she is privileged.    I hope this has given you a glimpse into a life that does and has mattered, maybe not to you, but to those who know me.   Cathi (DAF)

 

What happened to a sense of humor?

Sometimes I have a need to vent.  I know we all do.   Today is one of those days.   I am going to write things just to get it out.  I don’t feel like a heavy discussion, I don’t feel like wading through personal beliefs, I just want to vent and since this is my blog, I think I am going to do it.

Yesterday hubby and I did errands, and it felt so great to do them.  I mentioned it on Facebook, trying to make light of the fact that although we did normal things we still had to be in masks.  I was trying to make light of it, but, the conversation went quickly to the use of masks.  Nothing major, just comments.

Later last night I read about how serious this virus is to seniors.  I also read where people are no longer taking this as seriously as they should. I am tired of being serious.  I truly am.   Personally, I think this virus, has destroyed not only humans who have contracted it, I think this virus has destroyed personal freedoms and people’s sense of humor.  Very little is funny these days.  It is almost like since we cannot gather, we cannot hug, we cannot touch anyone, we cannot laugh.  This is a travesty.

Again, I am venting.   I don’t want to hear statistics.  I am in the old group.  I am in the group that this virus does horrible things to.  I am in that group that does not survive this well.  News flash:  Old people don’t survive much well.   We’re old.   We hit a number and bam!  WE are old.  Funny thing, I don’t feel old.  Yes, my hands don’t work well.  I over do a day of cleaning or working around the house and my back hurts, my knees hurt, I don’t sleep well.  But, I accomplished something.

We are susceptible to many things that we don’t survive. Pneumonia, stroke, flu, cancer, getting hit by a semi because we didn’t hear it and we didn’t watch crossing a street.  It happens.

Yes, at a certain age we become cautious.    We are not as steady as we once were.  We are not as reckless as we once were (some may say that’s wisdom).   But, we have things to laugh about.  Growing up people who wore masks into stores were about to rob them.  Now we wear them to buy eggs.  Does anyone see the humor in this?  We are supposed to be six feet apart.  I am getting my hair cut next week,  I love the girl who cuts my hair.  I love her family, and the last time I saw her her arms were not six feet long.  I cannot wait to see her again.

It is not normal for people to be socially distant.  We were not made that way.  It’s like stranger danger has gone crazy.  Don’t touch, don’t bump into people, don’t smile.  Of course with a mask on no one can tell if you are smiling.  Add sunglasses and a ball cap and no one can tell who or what you are since no one has had a hair cut in months.

Yes, I am venting.  This weekend is Memorial Day weekend.  The beginning of summer unofficially.  In reality, a day to remember those who have given their lives for their country.  Given their lives for our freedom.  Given their lives so we can live and be free and yes, even laugh.

Our state is opening up.  I am thrilled.   I just cannot wait until the day that laughter comes back into play.  The day when people don’t take everything so seriously.   We need to remember that none of us is going to get out of here alive.   Yes, that sounds glib.  Maybe it is.  All I know is I still have errands to do today, so I will go grab my mask and head out.

Thanks for listening.  Cathi (DAF)

 

Mothers….

It’s that time of year, pictures of mothers are appearing everywhere on social media.   Odes to mothers, memes of mothers, personal snippets of memories of mothers, ads for things to buy for mothers.   Mothers are everywhere, like always.

A day devoted to mothers is a great idea.  Personally, I don’t do much for it.   But, somehow it always draws me in.  That old song that says, ‘Sometimes I feel like a motherless child,’ comes to mind each May.  I don’t know why, yes, there’s the fact that yes, I was a motherless child, but, to me, it was my life.  No different than anyone else’s life.   I had all the laughter and joy that everyone else has had.  I had tears and frustrations and heart break, just like anyone would.   My life was no different.

So, each year during this week, I return to this feeling.  It’s not pity.  It’s not sadness.  I am not sorrowful.  It is this wondering I have in my mind.  I wonder if I would have gotten along with my mother as I grew up.  I wonder what pictures would have been like and what memories would be associated with the pictures of graduations, weddings, family gatherings.  You know, those thoughts you have when you see a picture of something.  I look at the pictures surrounding me in my living room as I write this.  A senior picture of my niece, being thrilled that she had a senior picture as a brain cancer survivor.   A small picture of my grandchildren talking to each other over a meal at our table.  I can remember looking at them and enjoying seeing them interact with one another.  My daughter’s senior pictures, remembering driving them to their photography session and remembering all the times and trials that got them to that point.  Today I looked for pictures of my mom to copy so I could put one as a facebook photo.  They were all old and I knew they would just show up as fuzzy.  Just another reminder of what might have been or could have been.

I have been blessed, though, in having women in my life as mother figures.  Those mothers of friends who filled in the gaps when I needed it.  Those who would gently point me in a direction from the way I was going.  The ones who would hug me and I knew it was a mother’s hug.

My older sister stepped in and stepped up when she didn’t need to.  I resisted her influence the way water and oil repel one another.  We were like opposite ends of a magnet.  At times attracting, but, in others, repelling each other.  The older I get, the more respect and admiration I have for her.

I think there are many mother figures in our lives.  Women placed during a particular season of our lives, giving us comfort, admonishment, encouragement and sometimes just a cup of tea.  These women are so valuable to me.

Mothers are everywhere this month.  Just like we always are.   Being a mother is one of the greatest joys of my life.  My daughters are different in many ways, and yet, when it is distilled, they are very similar. I see some of the magnet reaction in them as I experienced with my older sister, and although it is something I never desired for them, I know there is a reason and a season for this.

My daughters are mothers.   That is best thing in the whole world.  Seeing them function as moms.  Seeing them tired and stressed and so very happy all at the same time.  Watching them with their children is a gift to me.  Watching their children with them is a pure blessing.  Mothers are everywhere, in stores (when you can get into one), online, in advertisements.   Just like we always are.

One day to celebrate mothers is absurd.  Yes, it’s a day to send cards, send flowers, call, text, make it facebook official, all of that.   But, in reality, mothers are honored everyday.  It may not be with presents or flowers or cards.  It may not be with nice meals or dessert, but a mother is honored each time she hears, “Mom!”   That three letter word calls to a mother’s heart.  It may call worry, stress, dread, laughter, sarcasm, but it comes with an emotion attached to it.   A simple day that reminds us that mothers are everywhere,  just like we always are.

Thanks for stopping by today.   Cathi (DAF)

Self Revelation…

During this time of quarantine when we have all the time we thought we never had, how much are we actually accomplishing?

I know I am one who says, if we weren’t so busy I would….  and then fill in the blanks.  Some of those blanks are, I would really get a good start on my book.   I would be more consistent blogging.  I would paint my bedroom.   I would work on my screen porch.  The list is endless.

So, here we are, towards a month of staying in.  I have done things in fits.   Yes, there was that week where I posted on my blog daily.   That was two weeks ago.   I have done maybe whole day of researching for my book.  I have thought about painting my bedroom.  I have looked at my screen porch.  But, I haven’t accomplished anything, really. 

Today in my devotion time I read where God can give you a tap on the shoulder or hit you with a two by four to get my attention.   I have always said He has a two by four with my name on it that is right beside His throne of Grace.  Also during my devotion time I was lamenting not accomplishing anything.  This time it was a tap on the shoulder and I realized something about myself.  I am a fits and starts person.  I just looked it up, as I am apt to do when writing, so that I am correct in my phraseology.   According to Dictionary.com this adjective is defined as:  (of similar things or occurrences) appearing or happening at irregular intervals in time; occasional: sporadic renewals of enthusiasm.  appearing in scattered or isolated instances, as a disease.  isolated, as a single instance of something; being or occurring apart from others.  occurring singly or widely apart in locality.    Synonyms for fits and starts are choppy, jerky, sporadic, spastic, just to name a few.

So, today’s lesson for me is that no amount of time and lack of schedule truly changes who I am.  I will put off what I don’t feel like doing.  My thoughts of how noble I would be if I had all the time in the world have been burst.  I will now go and eat my humble pie and think of how I can change some of these behaviors. 

Thank you for listening to my confession.  I hope you will absolve me while I am trying to figure out how to change 65 years of behavior!   Stay safe, stay healthy and wash those hands!   Cathi (DAF)

science IS interesting…

While I was in elementary school I was never a fan of science class.  Especially studying weather in science.   Clouds,  what’s up with studying them?   I never could understand that.  White clouds are in the sky.   If they turn dark, then expect rain or snow.  If the clouds come down to the earth and you can’t see three feet in front of you, it’s foggy.  If there are no clouds, it’s a clear sunny day.   That’s how I have always viewed that.  I still cannot tell a nimbus cloud from a stratus cloud.  It just doesn’t resonate with me.

Early in the day yesterday I checked my normal weather sites as I always do.  I do like knowing what the temperature is.   I saw that there was a band of storms heading our way.  The bands had tornadoes in them.   I grew up in an area that had frequent tornadoes during the summer months.  I can remember hearing the siren go off and then there would be an incredible thunder storm and I would hear about the tornadoes.  I really gave them no thought.

About mid-day yesterday I watched a local forecast and this meteorologist was probably one of the best I have ever seen.  He was thorough and explained things in my language… simple.   This band of storms was going to hit during the night.

As I have mentioned, we usually do not give tornado warnings a second thought, but, for some reason, last night, we paid attention.   We got prepared, we got organized, and we set up an area in the basement, just in case.   The  weather man suggested someone staying up to watch the storm’s progress.   Hubby stayed up until 3 a.m.,  and headed to bed.  No sooner  did he go to bed then the weather was on non stop.   It was then that I decided had this technology been available when I was in elementary school, I would have loved science!

It was such a fascinating night to see the storm being tracked, and the time that it would hit areas.  It was amazing to me that they could tell when a tornado struck, and the speed of the wind with the tornado.

Our local area did not have a tornado touch down, but the wind gusts and the rain did damage to trees and power lines.   Several people did not fare as well and sustained severe damage, and my heart and prayers are with them.

I learned a lot last night, and found a new appreciation for science, but, I really still do not have a clue what clouds are what.

Thanks for stopping by today, stay safe, stay healthy and wash your hands.   Cathi (DAF)

Gratitude…

Each Christmas our family has a tradition of giving a gift to Christ in celebration of His birthday.  We do this before exchanging gifts to one another.   Through they years we have watched as our daughters have given things like a ball, and childish things from their little hearts to hearing them say as adults what they want to focus on throughout the coming year.    This year was no exception and although I cannot remember what we each said, I know that I said I was going to give the Lord my gratitude. 

Do I daily get up and tell Him what I am grateful for?  No, not really, but I do try to focus often on what I am grateful for. 

This past week was a harsh reminder for me that there are many things to be grateful for.   Mid-week I received a text message from the daughter of a forever friend.  The text was urgent and you could feel the anxiety in the brief words that were sent.  Her dad, a dear friend of ours was transported to the emergency room for a possible stroke.  Not his first. 

With the world as it is, I knew there was a strong possibility that his wife, a woman I have known since kindergarten, would not be able to be with him.  Yes, I did start to pray as my heart sank. 

An emergency is always a heart sinking moment, but, with all that is going on in this world right now, an emergency ratchets up the heart beats.   This was no exception.  

My friend was able to be with her husband in the emergency room, as he was unable to speak and communicate.   She was his voice for that time, although he was admitted and she had to muster her strength and courage to see him wheeled to his room as she was heading home.  

He is now home.  Not a stroke exactly, but a sort of seizure and pneumonia.  He was tested for this virus and it was negative.  He is now speaking and recuperating at home, beside his wife. 

All of this hit hard.  Yes, I realize that in your mid sixties you begin to face your mortality.  People you know and have had relationships with begin to pass away.  All of this is a harsh reality to me.  I confess with the initial text message I thought the worst.   I was angered that I didn’t go to an abundance of hope and faith initially.  I floundered in my emotions, my prayers were scattered.   But…

But, we serve a God who speaks peace.  He speaks hope.   He speaks life.  He speaks. 

For His voice I am grateful.   I am grateful for His truth. 

Tomorrow is Easter, and we will celebrate Him risen, a victor over death and the grave.  I love Easter.   I love the celebration.  I love that He is the reason for this holiday.  

This afternoon as I finished making my homemade Easter eggs, I looked out the window and saw the trees in my yard all bright green with new leaves and limbs.   Hope for another season.  Growth and life.  All reasons to be grateful.  And I am. 

Thanks for stopping by.   Stay healthy, stay safe, wash your hands!   Cathi (DAF)

 

 

Stages of Quarantine…

We have all seen the memes out there, Day 1 of quarantine, and so on and so forth.   I laugh at them, mainly because they seem to distill into a small picture exactly what I am feeling.  

Like most people, when I am told not to do something, it is that exact thing that I desperately want to do then.   When the water company comes to tell you they will be shutting the main to do work, you immediately want to drink water, take a shower, scrub walls, do laundry, everything that needs water.

The same is true for any utility company that has to briefly disconnect so they can work on something.   This quarantine is no different.   We have been told to stay put so that things can be worked on. 

Yes, at first I was leery.   I thought it was a bunch of hubbub.   I thought I would be stronger, you know the usual rhetoric you tell yourself. 

I marveled that people were hoarding toilet paper, or for that matter, any and all paper products.  I was amazed when grocery shelves were bare.  It was surreal. 

This all took place weeks ago, before stay at home orders were issued.   Before social distancing was a common phrase.  Before.  

Although it seems like months since we last saw our ‘normal’, it’s only been a few weeks.  I have only been outside to work in our yard, (no, I still have not found my clippers) take a walk to our cul-de-sac, and to retrieve mail and take out the garbage.   I have not ventured into society or shopping areas.   I don’t care to. 

I am learning to be content.   Philippians 4:11-13 talks about contentment.  11 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. 12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”   One of the definitions of content is a state of peaceful happiness.

As I said, I am learning to be content.   It’s hard, but it’s a lesson I am willing to learn. 

Today, I realized that I am actually in a schedule, through the day and also through the week.  I have structured my day for certain things and am doing things in order.   It’s working for me to pass the time and to accomplish things.  I am trying to get steps in throughout the day and to keep moving. 

I also realized that there were years where I longed to have this much time with my hubby.  Actually a few lyrics of songs came to mind while thinking this.  Lyrics that I would sing as a young girl and dream of my hubby.  Songs of being together forever, so in love and enjoying just being together.   This made me smile, half from being so naive and half from remembering the thought that if the virus didn’t take him out, I may.   But, I digress.  

The thing is, this is a learning time for us all.  We are learning what we can live without.  What is truly important to us.  How to get along with others, yes, I know we were supposed to learn that in kindergarten, but it’s one of those lessons that need to be relearned often.   We are discovering how to make the mundane special. 

Contentment.   Gratitude.  Joy.  Patience.  Laughter. Rest.  Simple words, all,  life lessons to be tackled in this season.  

Thanks for stopping by today.   Stay healthy, stay safe, wash those hands!   Cathi (DAF)