dearanonymousfriend

Ramblings from a would be writer

Reality check….

The first week of July was a hard time for me.  Yes, we had just moved and getting settled was (and is) taking longer than I expected, but, there were other things happening that got to me.

The first Sunday of the month, we went to church, and came home, and as is normal, I went online and checked Facebook to see what was going on.  An acquaintance of mine, that I have actually known since kindergarten had several comments on her page.  None of them were normal.  There were no snide remarks or no humor.  There were condolences.  My husband’s cousin, who is also a mutual friend wrote to ask what was going on.  Together, we wrote back and forth until we discovered what was happening.  This acquaintance had lost her husband very suddenly to a heart attack.  I knew of him, but did not know him personally.  I read his obituary and realized he was two weeks younger than me.  This hit me hard.  Like hit me in the gut and have me double over hard.  It still bothers me and my heart goes out to this woman who is grieving, rightly so.

The following day I wrote a message to another friend on Facebook.  We also have known each other since kindergarten.  We were neighbors and played with one another.  We caught bees in jars and played on her swing set.  We played when she got the mumps, so that I would catch them and get it over.  (I never caught them)  We drifted apart through high school and reconnected about 20 years ago at our husband’s class reunion.  We have chatted online often since then.  Anyhow, this friend had been on my mind and so I wrote to see how she was.  She wrote back.  She is undergoing chemotherapy for a bout with cancer.

For the second day in a row, I felt like I had been punched in the stomach.

Since then I have thought about life.  I have thought about relationships.  Both are fragile and both can be gone in an instant.  I confess it took several weeks for me to get out of the funk that I went to after hearing the news of those two days.  But, what has surfaced from those two stomach wrenching days is a renewed appreciation for today.  Taking each day as the gift it is.  We are not promised tomorrow.

I have yet another friend on Facebook and each morning she posts, “I am glad to be on my feet today.”  That is how I am feeling lately.  I am glad to be on my feet.  I am glad to have this beautiful unsettled home.  I am glad for my hubby.  Glad that he makes me smile and makes me roll my eyes by some of the things he says and does.  I am thankful for another day with my puppy.  We didn’t think we would have him past the day we took him to the hospital, and he is still here, giving me doggy smiles and nose hugs.

Yes, life is good and sometimes we need to be reminded just how good it is.    Speaking of good…  I am planning on having a guest blogger soon….  I am excited about this.   More to come later.  Thanks for stopping by… DAF

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Litte Man Lessons

It’s been a while since I wrote about a lesson I have learned from Little Man.  Little Man is truly a little man now, at three years old, he is no longer baby or toddler, but a boy.  A boy Pinocchio would have been envious of.

The other day I went on Facebook to see a post my daughter had written.  It said, ” Little Man, upon waking from a very early nap, to me: Mama, you’re like a sweet present filled with sugar.”  My heart melted.  So did several other hearts from the response the post created.  Hubby and I chuckled and remarked how precious Little Man is.

A few comments and several hours later, my daughter commented once more on her post.  “In keeping it real, 20 minutes later, he told me I should go stand in the trash.”   After reading that, I howled with laughter!

The following day, as hubby and I were making our daily trip to Home Depot (they loved that we moved into the area), we talked about the comments Little Man made.

We laughed and talked about his cuteness (we are grandparents after all)  but, we also talked about his innocence.  He can say things that are in his mind and they come out without anger and bitterness.  He does not say things with a purpose to hurt or destroy.  He hasn’t learned that part of the world yet.

Hubby and I went on to say that this is something we need to remember.  To be able to speak things with truth but not harm.  Unfortunately, there is too much of the harsh side of the world that clings to us and sometimes our words are not kind.

I Corinthians 14:20 says, “ Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature.”

We talked more about this, but, this was the gist of the conversation.

Later on in a Skype with my daughter and Little Man, my daughter said that Little Man was actually standing by the trash can holding the lid open when he told her to go stand in the trash…  She confessed that he must not have agreed with what she wanted him to do.    Gotta love a three-year old’s logic, don’t you?

Thanks for stopping by today… DAF

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Ugly…

Did you ever have one of those days?  Those ugly, awful days?  I am not talking about things going wrong around you, I am talking being so ugly yourself that you don’t even want to be you?

Yesterday I was meaner than cat dirt…  There is no other way to describe it.  I wanted to argue and fuss and fight with anyone and anything that was in front of me.  It (and by it, I mean me) was not pretty.

Poor hubby, he tried valiantly to get out-of-the-way, but, he was a moving target.  Bang! Boom! Blam!  Poor man.  Good thing he is a good man for today he woke up and there were no light leaks in him.  If he wasn’t so kind he should have locked me in a closet.

In spite of my bad mood, we did yard work.  The projects I helped him on (he did most of the work) look beautiful.  They add some grace and curb appeal to our driveway.

While helping him, I decided our mailbox needed brightening up.  We went to get more mulch and while at the store, I picked up some annuals.  I planted them and was grumpy the entire time I worked.  I fussed and fumed and snapped.  The wasps and yellow jackets had nothing over me, my sting was worse than theirs!

So, the ugly day ended and this morning, having awoken on the right side of the bed, I took my cup of coffee and went out to look at yesterday’s work.  Hubby’s still looked wonderful.  I walked to the mailbox and looked down.  The flowers and plants look like they are enjoying their new place, but, I noticed that I did not get all the weeds up from part of the area.

Yes, yesterday I was ugly, and my eyes were bothering me and felt cloudy.  Today, as I looked at what I had done, I felt like I was learning a needed lesson.  Dwelling on my frustration and anger can cloud the presence of weeds that are in my life.  I can live and thrive, but my beauty and surroundings are more spectacular when I get rid of the weeds.

I guess sometimes we have days like yesterday so we can learn in days like today.   Thanks for stopping by… DAF

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Perspective in a donut and chocolate milk

I have written a couple of blogs about my niece and the hero she is to me and to those who know her.  She wrote a blog piece yesterday that  really spoke to me.  I want to share it with my readers, because, well, I think you will like it also.  Take a visit on her blog, you won’t be disappointed.  She is an incredible woman and as you can tell, I am very proud of her.

Perspective in a donut and chocolate milk.

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The Middle of August, almost…

Each year about this time, I want it to be fall.  I want to pull out my leaf garland and my pumpkins and have it be fall.  I know that it is still summer.  It is still hot and humid out, but, there is always just a hint of fall in the air around this time.

Moving to a new place, I am really aware of that certain something in the air.  Some of our leaves are turning yellow.  This may be normal for the bushes,  I really don’t know.  I have to say, though, those yellow leaves are only adding to my anticipation of fall.

It’s fun to be in a new home this year.  Seeing the differences each day that either I hadn’t noticed, or that something has changed.    The pool is still beckoning me to jump in and swim, but, something in my thought process has changed.  I can’t wait to see the leaves change colors, to see them fall, and even have it cool enough to rake them.

But, for now, I will sit and wait,listening to the cicadas and knowing the season will soon be here and before I know it, I will be putting Christmas decorations away and looking forward to spring flowers.  There is a big kid inside me.  The kid that is always looking forward to the next thing.  That kid needs to have a time out to stop and notice the beauty and the things in front of her now.

Thanks for stopping by.  DAF

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The White Windswept Home…

We live in a rural area in the upstate part of South Carolina.  We love it here.  We drive into town and pass pastoral scenes most people only see in pictures.

Heading into town there is the small neighborhood store that boasts of having the best hot dogs, hamburgers and bar-b-que around…. well, that’s because they are the ONLY hot dogs, burgers and bar-b-que around!  But, the store does a booming business and has a gas station there to boot.

The next thing I notice driving towards town is the home that hung two flags proudly around the fourth of July.  An American flag and right below it, bold and new is a Confederate flag.  For some reason, when I saw this, I started laughing aloud.  With all the controversy about the latter flag, I thought how wonderful it is that I live in a country that people can have a freedom to do this.  I thanked the Lord for such freedoms.

There are houses, some grand, some very humble.  There are farms with large fields of hay in bales.  There are cows, black ones, brown ones and spotted ones.  Calves play in and around the cows.  There are a few horse farms on the way into town also.  The horses have stood in shaded areas munching on the grasses in the fields.  Another farm pasture is tended to by goats.  Not just a couple of goats, but dozens of them.  They jump and play and busily munch the grass.

The closer you get to town the more familiar things you see, grocery stores, coffee shops, business offices, shopping centers and of course the Wal-Mart and Starbucks.  No town in complete without at least a dozen of these two places.

What gets to hubby and I most of the time is the white windswept house that sits in the middle of a field.  It looks old to me, new to hubby.  He thinks it was started to be built and just left.  I think it may have been an older home, left idle when a family moved on.

We ponder the story of the house each time we drive to and from town.  It sits there, in the middle of large open space.  It keeps its history and story to itself and we think of new story-lines for it.  Someday, maybe, I will find out from a local how old the house is.  I am certain sometime I will find out the story behind it.  That will answer questions for certain, but, for now, we like the mystery that surrounds it for us.

Thanks for stopping by, DAF….

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On Celebrating Little Man…

Two weeks ago Little Man turned three years old.  I cannot believe how fast the past three years have gone.

Hubby and I traveled to D.C. to join in the festivities.  We were excited to see him and visit with him.

He wanted a number party.  He loves numbers.  The online invitation had a guest list with it and beside each guest’s name was a number that was assigned to them.  Very smart, I thought.  My number was 6, hubby was 7.  His big stuffed Curious George was 11…. and of course, Little Man was the all important number 3.

Hubby and I usually do not don matching wardrobes, but, this day we did.  I got us new red tee shirts (his favorite color) and denim shorts.  The numbers were a bright navy blue, stick on felt, so that we did not have to continue to wear shirts emblazoned with the numbers 6 and 7.

It was a wonderful party!  This year he was into ripping into presents and wanted to open presents before any of the other activities, like visiting with one another, eating the lunch and just being with family.  My daughter had a lovely lunch filled with his favorite foods, he zeroed in on the bowl of grapes and blueberries and having them within arms reach was a great joy for him.  His cheeks looked like a squirrel preparing for winter.  His chubby hands brought grapes for everyone, he was in his element.

The time finally came for presents and he ripped through them all, playing with some and tossing some since he really had no idea what good they were.  We had a present we brought tossed, but, he really had no idea the importance of the helmet he needs for his trike (his Nana and Bibi bought him), and the roller skates which he didn’t have a clue about what they were.  We weren’t offended, and just laughed as he looked at them and put them off to the side, like, “What the heck is this?  This isn’t fun!”  However, he did love the big puzzle his Mama and Papa got him and set to working on that right away.

His cake was fun, a big 3 shaped cake that he helped to decorate.  It had a sparkler shaped like a three on it, and it sparkled while we all sang to him.  I shared my icing and while getting a share of my icing he informed me that he just wanted the frosting, not that black stuff (chocolate cake).

In all it was a wonderful celebration.  We laughed and smiled and remembered how precious this Little Man is to all who were there.  He is a little boy now, not a baby or a toddler, but a bona-fide little boy.  Filled with laughter and joy and energy.

And, yes, he did discover the mystery gift of skates later in the day when Grampy and I  helped him with them and held onto him while he skated down the hallway of the apartment.  He squealed and giggled and I think he decided that skates were a good idea in the long run.

Happy Birthday again Little Man, thank you for making my life filled with a bit more laughter and joy.  You are a special gift to us from Jesus.

Thanks for stopping by, DAF

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R.I.P. Mousse…

A  little over 13 years ago, dear friends of ours had a sweet chocolate lab enter their lives.  They called her Mousse.  Mousse passed away two weeks ago tomorrow.

My heart broke when I heard this news.  It broke for sadness that Mousse was no longer with us, but, more importantly, it broke for my friends hearts.  I wish I lived closer to where they are so that I could go and hug on them and cry with them.

What really makes this hard is that we got our Shugo shortly after they got Mousse.  With Mousse’s passing, it is just one more reminder that our time with our little furry pup is coming to an end.

Dogs do not live forever on this earth.  They do live forever in our hearts.  They climb into our hearts with that first lick, that first bark, that first ‘accident’ on the floor.

Three weeks ago we had to take our Shugo to the vet.  It was a difficult thing, since we did not have a vet in our new place. We looked online, read reviews and made a quick decision.  Fortunately, it was a good decision.  Our little pup was very ill, and although he is up and acting almost like his normal self, we know (from what the vet has told us) he is not well.

So, knowing how precious the time we have with our pets is, I wanted to take this time and remember one of Shugo’s closest friends, Mousse.  She was a fun lab.  She greeted everyone at the door with a bark that sounded vicious, but a tail that wagged with such vigor and excitement.  She loved to be petted and if you stopped too soon, she would take her nose and place it under your hand to urge you to continue petting her.  She loved playing with Shugo, well, eventually she enjoyed it…   She taught our Shugo how to drink water from a bowl, and he still emulates a lab when he drinks, with gusto and lapping it all over the place.  Most of all, Mousse was a sweetheart.  She could lay on your feet and rest, content to be by you.

Yes, Mousse was a special puppy.  She stole the heart of so many and she will be remembered always.

Thanks for stopping by,  DAF…

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The ABC’s of Moving…

Thought I would try a different approach to writing about the past few weeks…

A ~ auto accident while showing our oldest daughter around our new area… nothing serious, a fender bender for them, a dented passenger door for us.

B ~ broken ribs (five of them) for a good friend of ours who was trying to help us get ready to move in…  he fell off a ladder and is now recovering…

C~ Carpeting that still isn’t ordered as we had planned…. this reminds me of the saying, “We make plans and God laughs”

D ~ Discovering new areas where we live, new shops, new restaurants, new roads to travel

E ~ Energy that is eluding hubby and I.  It’s a hot summer, but, the humidity isn’t near what it was in Charleston.

F ~ Finding things packed in odd boxes, and forgetting that I really thought I was organized a few months ago.

G ~ Grocery shopping in new places and finding that familiar things aren’t always where we expect them.

H ~ Heavy boxes are always the ones that are in the way of the boxes you need to get to.  The heavy boxes move from one place to another and you find that you have to shove them out-of-the-way no matter how many times you move them.

I ~ Insurance agents that you are getting to know quickly after the broken ribs and the fender bender… They are very nice and accommodating…

J ~ Junk drawers… I never thought I had so much useless stuff that I really will need at some point in my life….

K ~ Killing bugs that think they belong in this house… they don’t.

L ~ Little Miss visiting us and making us laugh often.  She is a sweetie.

M ~ Memories that have already started to accumulate in our new home.  I have a happy heart thinking of the people who have already seen this place and I dream of the time when others can be here with us.

N ~ Naps desired… but not many taken.

O ~ Opening box upon box upon box and still not finding the legs to my table that goes on my side of the bed.

P ~ Pool cleaning… poor hubby…. we have had a pool of many colors.  He is becoming well-known at the local pool supply store…  But, it’s getting closer to being the right color….

Q ~ A new quilt bought for our guest room, it is lovely and looks perfect in the guest room.

R ~ Reminders of friends and family fill our new place with reminders of sweet presents we have received through the years.

S ~ A dead scorpion in the guest bathroom… couldn’t figure out why my puppy was growling and lunging until we saw the dead insect on the floor.  Found out they are common in the area, but their sting is no worse than a wasp sting…. I really hope it was the only one I see and that I never experience their sting.

T ~ Tinkering… seeing hubby move from one project to another, happy as can be.  This blesses me.

U ~ Unearthing  gems of landscaping under fall leaves that were never picked up.

V ~ Visiting  local places and seeing whether they will become popular haunts to revisit.

W ~ Wishing that this place was more organized and settled.

X ~  eXcited to be in our own home.  Feeling giddy each time I pull into the driveway.

Y ~ Yearning to be settled.  To be able to walk in each room and find it ready.  I know it will come, I am just anxious for it to be finished.

Z ~ Zeal to be here.  To be home.

The past few weeks have been crazy busy.  But, I have loved each moment spent here.  Hot, sweaty, frustrated, perplexed, giddy with excitement and feeling overwhelmed with the amount of chores ahead of us.  This home is truly a gift for us and we want to prove worthy stewards of this place.  A lot has happened, but, that is truly what makes a house a home.

Thanks for stopping by, DAF

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the Mish Mash of a Mother’s Thought Process…

I have read a couple of Mother’s Day posts.  I love reading them.  They also bring to my mind my mixed feelings on this day.  I had wanted to write a post and wax poetic about how my memory of my Mom is so dear to me.  I was then going to go on and be so thankful for my older sister who had the dubious joy (?) of guiding me through my teen years…

But, who am I kidding?  Today at breakfast hubby prayed that we would have productive days today.  Instead of saying amen, I looked at him and immediately spoke (never a good thing).  “Do you think I am not being productive enough getting ready to move?”  This was not a nice question, and I did not ask it in a nice way.  My poor hubby, trying to eat his eggs and sausage in peace and get on with his day of working on his car.

After 40 years of marriage and 5 years before knowing me, he said the right thing, “I was referring to me mostly”.  Wise man.

That was the start of my thinking on Mother’s Day.  That and the Catholic guilt I still carry in me after 60 years of life.  As I dove into cleaning the oven and the racks in the oven, I ruminated about Mother’s Day.  I have shared how I felt as a child on Mother’s Day, but, today I was thinking about the day in general.

I know it is a good thing to celebrate Moms.  You should honor Moms.  They give birth.  They worry.  They yell.  They pray.  They do a lot.

But, with a day of celebration comes expectation.  My first official mother’s day was in 1979.  We were transferring from Japan to Maine.  We were staying at my friend’s home.  She got me flowers.  She made me breakfast.  She spoiled me.  I think I recall hubby getting me a vacuum cleaner.  I think I gave hubby a dirty look.

Many of my mother’s days ended like that.  Me giving hubby a dirty look.   I don’t know why I did that, I’m not HIS mother.

Eventually, I decided that on Mother’s Day, we should do something as a family.  No gifts, no fuss, just family time.  We would go for a ride and then go for ice cream sundaes.  Not bad thinking, really.  Except when you have to drag your pre-teen daughters into a car for a ride.  It’s not always a joy ride at first with two girls in the back seat of a car.  Eventually they mellow out and offer a funny running commentary, but the first half hour is always painful.  Many a time I reminded them not so gently, “Shut up, we’re having fun.”  I may or may not have said shut up.  I know I can look at them and sigh and the meaning comes through loud and clear.

The sundaes should be a wonderful part of the day.  But, there was a long while that I really didn’t care for ice cream.  Yes, I know that is un-American of me, but ice cream was not a favorite of mine.  I knew my family loved ice cream though and if they were happy, I was happy.

As my girls got older, all I really cared for on Mother’s Day was to hear from them.  I didn’t need gifts or flowers or even cards.  But, I loved the phone calls or even the text messages.    I came to the point of wishing I could be stuck in a car with them as they were snarky with each other.

Now, my girls are Moms.  They are going through their determination of what makes a happy mother’s day.  I hope they don’t have a day where they give dirty looks.  I hope they have the right balance of joy of being a mom and the work that is involved in motherhood.   They each bless me in watching them as mothers.  I delight when I see my grandchildren doing things that make them roll their eyes.

No, I think each day gives me a celebration as a mom.  Now, if I could only find some joy in cleaning a rental house that was filthy when I moved in.  But, the guilt in me can’t leave it as is…..  even though it is already cleaner than the day we moved here.

Thanks for listening… DAF

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