dearanonymousfriend

Ramblings from a would be writer

Shelter in the Storm…

Many of us watched this week as Hurricane Matthew made his journey up the East Coast of this country.    My thoughts are with those who lost loved ones and property.  This has been a difficult week for many.

But, I confess, I was blessed by Matthew.  Matthew brought Little Man and his parents to me.  They came here when they evacuated Charleston.

Little Man was a bit concerned, which is expected.  A four-year old seeing his folks work around the house, pack up things not typically brought for a visit to Grammy and Grampy, and hearing news reports and conversations that he does not usually hear.

Being smart, his folks tried to lighten the mood by suggesting a new name for Hurricane Matthew.  A name less frightening for a four-year old.  It’s a classic name.

So, Hurricane Cupcake Pants, thank you for allowing a Category 5 whirlwind of giggles, laughter, tickles,  playing several rounds of ball, and going on adventures to a local park.  I loved my week, I haven’t smiled and laughed this much for a long while.  Little Man is growing and each visit brings great conversations with him.

Yes, I had a great week.  I know there are many people who haven’t.  I pray things will calm down for them.  Thanks for stopping by.  DAF(Cathi)

3 Comments »

Reminders and Echoes…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for stopping by, DAF (Cathi)

6 Comments »

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)

8 Comments »

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)

8 Comments »

Honestly….

Spoiler alert: This is a long post filled with thoughts I have decided to share with the world.

The title to this post was going to be different from what it is.  I was going to title it Little Miss Life Lesson.  In truth, this post will be because of Little Miss.  She is open and honest with her feelings, dissolving into tears instantly and just as suddenly starting a laugh that causes every creature in creation to stop and join in with laughter.    She is honest.  She is 16 months old and as we all know, at 16 months, we can be honest and open with everything because we have not learned over the years to hold back, step aside, keep our thoughts to ourselves and generally put up walls around ourselves.   So, thank you Little Miss for teaching me to be myself.

I am starting my fourth year of blogging.  As I have frequently mentioned, I named my blog what I did so that I could remain hidden and yet write openly and honestly.  At first I told no one that I had a blog.  I wasn’t certain it would continue to exist.  It has.  I have met so many wonderful people through blogging and when I don’t read posts and don’t write, I miss them.  I pray for them and hope they are doing well.

The past year has been a whirlwind of activity and adventure for me.  I have not stopped often to actually write and think and take stock of who I am and what I am doing.  This is generally true, except during church.  That is when I cannot get up to wipe a sink or take the dog out or find something to occupy my time.  I sit and listen and soak in what I am hearing.  I love church for this reason.  It is a time when quietness floods my soul and spirit and I am able to hear that still small voice inside me.

What I have felt this year is that I have a purpose.  There is a plan for my life.  I am here to accomplish something.  What?  That is still forming in my heart.  It may already be there, ready for me to work with it and finally step into it, but, I am timid.

There, I said it, I am timid.  According to Dictionary.com, timid means this:lacking in self-assurance, courage, or bravery; easily alarmed; timorous; shy. 2.characterized by or indicating fear:

I am afraid to open that door in my heart to discover what is behind it.  I know that I know that I know  the Lord would never do anything in my life that He has not already prepared me for or given me the courage to accomplish, but, yet, I hesitate.  I stand staring at that door in my mind.  I touch the doorknob and pull away, not daring to turn the knob for fear that door will fling open and there I will be…. accountable for what I see.
All of these thoughts have come to the surface for a variety of reasons this past week.  This time last week I was chasing after Little Miss, having our usual good time together.  My daughter’s dogs were close behind, jumping and barking and all of us were creating bedlam that only comes when there is a toddler in the home.  I would swoop her up in my arms and whisper to her, “You get to be with your cousin this week.  Grammy will be able to have both of you together.  We will have such fun!”   Yes, Little Man was scheduled to come up and I was going to lock myself in our toy room with my grand kids and not allow anyone admittance to ‘our’ playroom.
On Monday morning  my heart fell for a couple of reasons as I read a message from my youngest daughter.  Little Man had a fever.  I really dislike my babies to be sick, but, it also meant that Little Man would not be coming to play with me.
 So, our schedule changed and my week continued.   Tuesday was the 15th of March.  I woke up thinking of my Mom.  Tuesday would have been her birthday.  She has been gone for almost 50 years now, but, there are times that it hits you hard even after all those years.  This year, for some reason, it hit me hard.
Then, Thursday came.  St. Patrick’s Day.  I have a love/hate relationship with this day.  I love it because, I am Irish.  I am very proud of my heritage.  I am proud that I can point out which relatives emigrated without going back several generations.  I always feel like there is a dormant jig playing in my heart and when I stop and think about it, I smile.  Growing up my sisters and I would sing and dance each year for our parents.  We would giggle and laugh and perform and argue and push each other, but, it was fun.  It was tradition!  When I married and lived on the west coast I would get up at 4:30 a.m. so that I could call my Dad on the east coast to be the first person to wish him a Happy St Patrick’s Day.    This is the part of my memories that I dislike about the day.  So, on Thursday, guess what?  Yes, I really missed my Dad, who has been gone several years.
By Friday, a sort of melancholy had started to rise up in me.  Add to this, a bout of insomnia and you can imagine the parade of thoughts scurrying around my mind.  The only thing missing was a river dyed green!
I knew I was going to write a post this weekend.  As I thought about it a little while ago,  I realized that one of the reasons I had started this blog was to write honestly and openly.  I have not done this. After telling people about my blog, I hesitated to write certain things for fear I would insult them  or offend people.  What I have done is write myself into a box.  This has become a place for me to write surface things.  Nice things.  inoffensive things, not that I like offending anyone, or try to offend anyone anyhow, but, I think you understand what I mean.
So, today, I have decided to tell you about myself.  I will not change the name of my blog, well, because I like the name. But, let me introduce myself to you….
My name is Mary Catherine.  See?  I am Irish…  Friends call me Cathi.    Cat  hi!    It was spelled Cathy until my freshman year of high school and I thought it would be cool to spell my name with an ‘I’ since there was no ‘Y’ in Catherine.  Yes, as a 61-year-old lady, I feel slightly ridiculous spelling my name with an I.  I always feel like I should do a cheer with a name spelled like that.  Can you guess who my favorite SNL character is?
So, now after four years of blogging, you know my name.  I hope with this small step my writing will be different.  I have hesitated in telling my name.  I had a conversation with another blogger who follows me, she said, after we had privately messaged one another that she liked not knowing anything about me as she could imagine I could be someone famous.   The only thing I am famous for is my laugh.  Everyone knows when I am in a room with my laugh.
Well, now that I have done this small step, ask me a question if you feel like it and I will try to answer it.  I am now going to take another bold step for me and post on Facebook that I have a blog.  For, although I have told family members and close friends I have not told many others that I write.   Today, I walk a bit closer to that door in my heart.  I may not grab onto that doorknob yet, but I am closer to doing that.
Thanks for stopping by.  I appreciate it.  DAF

 

13 Comments »

Bucket List…

Our oldest daughter is staying with us while she is in transition to their new place.  We have had her and Little Miss with us for almost two weeks now.  It has been a wonderful visit.

The other day she mentioned my bucket list.  We had been talking about how I turned down seeing Barry Manilow in concert when hubby and I were in Vegas a few years ago.  I actually caught pneumonia on the first day of our visit there and spent almost the entire stay in the hotel room coughing and feeling like I was dying and getting upset because I did not die.  I felt that horrible.  Anyhow, trying to cheer me up, hubby offered to take me to see Barry Manilow.  I felt so horrible I turned him down and continued to hack my lungs out.   I then told my daughter that the following week in Vegas Paul McCartney and Elton John performed and I would have dragged myself to see them no matter what.  We continued to talk about how seeing at least one of the Beatles perform before I die is on my bucket list.

Since then I started to think about my bucket list.  I remember it used to be a long list.  Filled with many things.  Seeing the Kremlin was on the list, as was running a marathon (that will NEVER happen), going to Austria, seeing Ireland and Scotland.  Also on the list was writing that novel (hopefully that will happen), and speaking to conferences of women.

My bucket list now is something I do not think of.  I pondered on this fact on the way home from the grocery store today.  I wondered if I was just lazy and had no drive to do things.  I realized I was content.  Content with my world the way it is.  Yes, it would be wonderful to travel, seeing the sights I have only looked at in pictures.  It would be exhilerating to write that novel and have sell out conferences.  It would be such a blessing to know I had touched lives and possibly helped people make changes in their lives.

The one occurring sight in my mind while thinking of all of this is the feeling I have when I remember holding Little Man’s hand and Little Miss’ hand.  Having them lift thier arms for me to pick them up.  Reading to them books that rhyme and playing cars with them.  Seeing the beauty of my daughters reflected in their children’s faces.  That is contentment and joy.

I am certain the castles of Austria are breath taking.  I know the green of Ireland is something that my heart would rejoice in seeing.  I know having my feet land in Scotland where my grandfather walked would give me a peace I have never known.

But, if I never get there, my life will be fulfilled in knowing that I have laughed with my Little Man and Little Miss and that laughter will echo through eternity in my heart.

Thanks for stopping by, DAF……………

6 Comments »

Life Goes On…

This week saw news of celebrity deaths almost daily.  From my childhood the actor who played Grizzly Adams passed away.  Thought of Saturday evenings in my pajamas, freshly bathed and ready for church flashed through my mind.

David Bowie, my teen years, admiring his artistry, but, not really a fan.  But, his passing was sad.  Knowing that his music will never be fresh from his creativity.  I was saddened to hear that cancer took his life.

Alan Rickman, I will miss.  His characters were all people I either loved to hate, or I just loved.   I enjoyed the movies he made, and the characters he brought to life, he was a gifted actor and I am sad that I will no longer see new work from him.

All the families and friends of these people are in mourning.  We, as a public can read and feel some emotion and then go on with our lives.

Wednesday of this week there was another death I read about.  It is not one that was broadcast nationally.  I first found out on Facebook.  This death hit me hard and made me realize how very precious each life is.  The person who died was a two-year old boy.  I met his parents at a function this past fall.  They were in town from Michigan for a ministry they have started that raises funds for families hit by devastating illnesses.

We were relatively new to the community when we attended this evening.  We saw and met this couple and knew that they had children running around, but we actually did not know whose children were whose.  It was just a fun night.

Last month some friends from our church did a surprise trip to Michigan to see this couple.  They went up to celebrate the final adoption of a little boy this couple had fostered.  I looked at the pictures of this child.  There were smiles all around.  You just felt good looking at these pictures.  You knew it was a blessing in so many ways.

Wednesday afternoon this little boy was put down for a nap.  A nap he did not wake up from.  Today, I watched the funeral on a live stream.  Eloquent words were spoken, and emotions were obvious.   The parents were surrounded by people loving them, praying with them and supporting them.

I know they need all the support they can get now.  Their world is rocked to the core.  But, one thing was spoken during the service today that resonated deep within me.  One of the pastors stated that, and I know I will say it wrong, but basically he said, that this boy lived his whole life.  Even though his whole life was only two years.

He had lived his life.  His life touched people.  His life touched me and I just saw him one evening running around with several other children.  This got me thinking today, how much is my life touching others?

I started this post out talking about celebrities.  Their lives touched others though music, entertainment, movies.  They touched others in their personal lives.  Things we will never know about.  Their families too, are rocked to the core of their beings.   This little boy touched many people, all whom spoke and speak of his smile and his joy of life.

Life is precious.  Each day I am alive I realize a bit more how precious life is.  Since Wednesday all I have wanted to do is hug my grandchildren just to make certain they are okay.  I want to take time to chat with friends.  I want to make certain that, when it is time for me to meet the Lord that I will have touched and ministered to others who will be here.

Thanks for stopping by today and reading.  I do so appreciate it.  DAF

Leave a comment »

When Memories Echo…

Little Man left yesterday after a ten-day visit.  It was his first visit to our new home.  He was the first to play in the playroom we made for our grandchildren.

I wanted a room for the kids to be kids in.  The room that is made to run in, drive trucks in, play with trains and hot wheels.  The room that will eventually have dolls to play with and dress up.  The room that I hope keeps changing and growing along with the children.

They left around noon yesterday.  With hugs and kisses and many tears (on my part), they left to start their new life in Charleston.  They will be much closer, and I still cannot wrap my head around that fact.

Last night, after doing laundry and vacuuming, I walked into the playroom.  The puzzles were still put together on the floor.  The trucks were in varying stages of being wrecked.  Coloring books and crayons were in the same place on the floor.

My eyes teared up.  Although my heart was full of wonderful memories, the room echoed with footsteps running back and forth.  I could hear the giggles and the little voice telling Grammy what was going on next.

I turned around, closed the door and decided it was too soon to pick up the memories of a week well spent on my part.

Thanks for stopping by…   my next post will be by a guest blogger…  I know you will enjoy it!   DAF

4 Comments »

A Time to Look Back…

Today felt like fall.  There was a crispness in the air that made it seem like fall arrived.  It was wonderful.  The sun shone through the trees and it looked different than it did even yesterday.  Fall is making it’s appearance and I am excited.

This afternoon and into this evening, as I sat watching the sun makes it’s journey through the trees, I sat and watched old videos of Little Man.  He starts back to preschool tomorrow, an old pro now, going into the “big” kids class for the three-year olds.

I watched videos of him playing with his play-dough.  Looking at the shapes and telling me the numbers and letters he picked up.  There were videos of him eating, covered with berry juice, and one of him signing and asking for more “bluey’s”… his name for blueberries for a short while.

Earlier, I talked with hubby who is visiting Little Miss this week.  He held her while she was crying, trying not to go down for a nap.  Putting me on speaker, we both talked with her to extend her ‘awake’ time.

All of this made me realize how quickly time passes.  The seasons of the year fly by.  Soon, the leaves will be off the trees.  The sky will be gray.  Snow may fall.

Just as quickly, Little Man and Little Miss will grow even more.  Already Little Man talks to me about the presidents, their first ladies, and tells me about the countries that are on his map of the world.  His world expands daily.

Little Miss grins a toothy smile now.  She pulls herself up and will be walking within weeks.  Soon she will be like Little Man and telling me things she is learning.

A part of me wants time to slow down.  I want to cherish each moment.  But, I can’t slow things down, and honestly, I don’t want it to slow down.  Each season is an adventure, whether it is the changing weather outdoors, or the seasons of a toddler’s life.

I am grateful today.  Today I have spent the day in memories and thoughts of what is to come.  This I have thought all day, I am blessed.  God has been and continues to be good to me.

Thanks for stopping by, DAF

3 Comments »

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

Leave a comment »