dearanonymousfriend

Ramblings from a would be writer

Where my mind has taken me….

But, first…. a preface!  Last night one of my dear cousins wrote me and asked how I was doing.  She does this often, and I do miss her and wish we could somehow travel back in time and get to spend more time together. But, I digress…. in the middle of the message, she encouraged me to not give up my blog.    I haven’t written in weeks.  I do have a reason.  I have had this cold/bronchitis/sinus  stuff that lingers and lingers and lingers.  I have taken cold medicine and my mind has been more than hazy.    So, this morning, in my haziness, I forgot to take my cold medicine and amazingly enough… my mind is clear!  And a post came to mind.  So, even though I sound like I am hacking up a lung, I do have something I want to write….

When we were in the process of buying our home, we had a house inspection done.  The inspector gave us a book (literally), and reassured us that this book was much smaller than almost every other home he inspected.  This helped us greatly in deciding to proceed with the purchase of the home.

One of the things in this book, was the notification that all of the appliances were original to the house.  The inspector told us that the next five years would find us repairing and/or replacing these appliances.

That was okay with us, we like new things and we decided to buy them as they went out.  We bought a refrigerator which I love, and we have been watching to see which would be next.  Our microwave will occasionally turn on by itself for a minute.  We laugh at this, and say it must be a Revolutionary ghost soldier.  He hasn’t been around in months as the microwave has only turned on when we press the buttons.

Last week, though, I finished loading the dishwasher, put the little soap thingy in it and went to close the door.  The door would not latch.  I pulled out the shelves and rearranged everything.  Tried again.  No latching.  I looked at the latch and tried to figure it out.  No success!   I sigh, walk into the living room and tell hubby.  He gets up.  He closes the door.  It doesn’t latch.  He slams the door.  Still doesn’t latch.  He pulls out the shelves, rearranges things.  Still nothing.  I hear him looking at latch.  Still nothing.  He comes in and says,  “I don’t know what to tell you.”   He sighs and I say, “It’s okay, I can wash them.”

I love my dishwasher.  I have only had a dishwasher since we moved to South Carolina.  We have been married almost 42 years.  We have lived in South Carolina for 7 years.  That’s a lot of time of washing dishes.

I fill up my dish pan.  I start to empty the dishwasher and I look up.  Although I have lived here for a year and half, it occurs to me that I do not have a window to look out of while doing dishes.   In San Diego I could look out the window while doing dishes and have an incredible view.  I could see the Pacific Ocean, the Coronado Bay Bridge, and Point Loma.  I could watch the sunset.  I could see a view that some people will never see.  It was an incredible view to have.  I never took it for granted.  I was always in awe of the view.    I did not expect to be transported back to that old kitchen of mine while doing dishes here.

As I continued to wash the dishes I thought of other kitchens I had.  I thought of our first kitchen.  How, I stared at a wall while doing dishes.  It didn’t matter though, because I was doing our dishes after fixing him a meal.  I remembered how excited I was to have a kitchen that belonged to us.  I smiled to myself.  I wasn’t expecting to take a journey in my mind.  I was not expecting to have such wonderful memories while washing the dishes.

It took almost a half hour to get the dishwasher empty, to wash the dishes and dry them and put them away.  But, it was a wonderful respite for me.    As I folded the dish towels and closed the cupboards, I leaned down, lifted the door to the dishwasher and click!  It latched!

I just started laughing.  Grateful that we didn’t have to replace our dishwasher so close to Thanksgiving, but, also, grateful for the memories that flooded my mind so unexpectedly.

It’s the little things that happen in life that amaze me the most.    Thanks for stopping by today.  Cathi (DAF)

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45 years ago…

Forty-five years ago today was the last day I was by myself.  The 17th of September, 1971, I went about my day.  Our teachers were on strike and I was at home most likely doing nothing, but reveling in the extended summer vacation the lower class-men at the high school had.  The seniors continued on in school with teachers who were not union members so they could keep college and military commitments when they graduated.

I was a junior in high school that year, so I was blissfully at home wondering when we would be able to go back to school.  We knew the longer we were out in September the longer we would be in in June.  It was a weird year of school for certain.

Forty-five years ago today I made plans with a friend to go to a dance the 18th.  We would meet and one of us would drive to the fire hall where we would dance and flirt and not really meet anyone, since we were the quiet girls and mostly went unnoticed by most everyone in school.

What I did not know that day was that the following day would change my life.  Literally.    The following day, the 18th of September, 1971, a couple of my guy friends would help the music teacher move some things into his summer cottage.  It took them most of the day and at the end of the day they were paid.

Later that afternoon on the 18th the phone would ring.  I would be getting ready for the dance.  The phone call would be for me.   Heading to answer the phone, my older sister would holler at me, “If it’s a guy and he asks you out… GO!”  It was a guy, he did ask me out, and I accepted.  I was scared of my older sister, and when she said jump, I would jump, hoping it was high enough. (Sorry, Dottie)

That night, forty-five years ago tomorrow, I went bowling with my hubby.  We bowled three games, I won one, he won two.  I confess by the third game I was a bit over bowling, but, what can you do when you are on a date?

Forty five years ago the 18th I had my last first kiss.  I was 16 years old.  I have been with my husband longer than I wasn’t.  We have grown up together, we have fought, we have made up, we have traveled the world, we have raised our family.  I really cannot believe it has been 45 years.

There are times when I look at him and still see that boy who asked me out.  That boy who spent his hard-earned money to take me bowling and put gas in his mother’s car.  We have always marked this day as a special day for us.  Tomorrow will actually be the first time in several years that we will be together on this day.  One of us has been traveling during this time recently.

So, happy anniversary of our first date, honey.  I would say, “here’s to the next 45”, but, I really don’t think we will be around when we are 107!

Thanks for stopping by, Cathi (DAF)

 

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September Thoughts…

There are certain times of the year that provoke a sense of reflection in me.  I write about these times often, for I believe that writing them down etches them in my mind more clearly.

The days leading up to the 11th of September is one of these seasons.  Tomorrow is Grandparents day, a holiday started in 1978.  I had no idea it was even a ‘thing’ until 1983 when I saw the first cards celebrating it.   I don’t even know who buys those cards, but each year I see them.

Tomorrow is the 15th anniversary of  9/11.  It is amazing to me that it has been 15 years.  It seems like yesterday that the horror of that day happened.  The images and repugnance reverberates to this day.  I will always remember and I will never forget.

But in the middle of these events is a sweet dance of my youngest daughter’s life.

In thinking on all of the above, it is amazing what stands out in vivid memory.  I can remember seeing those Grandparent Day cards being almost nine months pregnant, thinking I should buy one for my in-laws.  I thought I would send it from my oldest daughter, having her sign it and how they would love that.  I also thought that maybe my second  child would be born on that day.  I never got the card, and my baby did come on Grandparent’s Day.

I remember when she was born, looking at my sweet baby, a time that is burned into a mother’s mind.  Each child, so unique, so beautiful.  Seeing that baby for the first time and knowing that this look is the look you will cherish until your dying day.  I was handed my sweet child and looked down on her.  No sweet expression, just this scowl on her little face.  Staring up at me as if to say, “Lady, I am not happy.”  Literally, a scowl, one that still appears on her face this day, some  thirtysomething years later…  I looked down at her, laughed and said as only a mother can, “Well sweetie, you are the one who decided to come, I really had nothing to do with it.”    Yes, those sweet , sweet life moments I will never forget.

That morning fifteen years ago that sweet baby was up before me.  Hubby had already left for work, and her older sister was living on her own and on her way to work.  I came downstairs and wished her a happy birthday.  We were going for her driver’s test and I asked if she was ready.  She told me to turn on the t.v.  and horror hit me.  Last night as I thought on this, I thought of this child of mine.  She was basically alone when she first heard all of this on the radio.  I never thought of how any of this affected her.  What was going on in her mind, how did it color her birthday then and how does it affect her to this day?

Yes, it is funny how certain things stick out in your mind on different days.  Those are my thoughts this weekend.  The thought that comes most readily to mind is this.  I have been blessed with this child, now a grown woman.  Her life has filled mine with laughter.  Her life has brought me joy.  I asked the Lord early on what life lessons my children have taught me.  I wanted to know when they were young, so I could truly grasp the gifts they are.

My oldest has taught me unconditional love.  A lesson we all need to have.  To love , no matter what happens, how easy or difficult is may be.  That lesson has not only been for my oldest, but she taught me that for all areas of my life.

The birthday girl?  She taught me laughter.  I really do not think I laughed purely or openly until the day she was born.  She gave me the gift of mirth.  She has blessed me with being able to see the joy in all things.

So, happy birthday dear one.  Thank you for being you.  You truly are my special gift from Jesus.

                                                              ~Mom ~ Cathi (DAF)

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Thinking on Disappointment…

I have been battling disappointment.  Someone has let me down and it has blindsided me so completely I have not been able to wrap my mind around it.

The truth is, that it isn’t the first time I have experienced disappointment from this person.  But, I usually can just look at the situation and get over it.  For some reason, this time is different.

I try my best to not be a disappointment.  My daughters have always told me that the worst thing I could ever say to them is that I was disappointed.  Although I have said it to them at times, they could never disappoint me.  The joy and life they bring to my heart is a constant source of peace to me.

That is one reason why I have struggled with this.  This evening after dinner hubby and I were talking about things on our hearts and mind.  I started to verbalize, for the first time in weeks what I was struggling with.  He listened intently and gave me wise counsel, which I have mulled over in my mind.

So, since this is the place where I am honest with myself, I decided to write about it.    I am not looking for a resolution, but, I needed to write this out.  Mostly for me to see and know that this nagging feeling that has been pricking my heart has a name and a reason.    It is disappointment.

A quote I found sums it up for me: “Nothing hurts more than being disappointed by the person you thought would never hurt you.”    I found this on Iliketoquote.com.

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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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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