Monday, December 27, 2010
When asked what she wanted for Christmas, my eleven year old niece replied, "Peace of mind and Grammie back."
My step sister commented after her side of the family gathering, "This was fun, but there is something really wrong with this picture. We should be over at the house Patti picked out watching her have a blast entertaining everyone."
This year was a quiet Christmas. No going over to my Mama's after breakfast. She loved this time of year. It was her favorite. The house was always decorated from top to bottom. A tree in every room she could place one and of course I played her elf and helped decorate everyone of them.
Even though I know she is celebrating at Our Savior's house this year along with Daddy she is missed. Christmas isn't the same. Daddy may have been the foundation of our family but Mama was the glue. This was the year we were suppose to all be at her house celebrating Christmas instead, we were all separated. I'm in full agreement with my niece, "I want Grammie under the tree this year."
Our family Christmas photo about 10 years ago. Grammie and Papa are reading Christmas stories.
When I was the tender age of 4, I attended Head Start (state preschool) where my Mama was a teacher. Around Christmas time they decided that the students should have a Christmas party (yes, that is what we called them in my day).
My Mama decided Santa should make an appearance, and thus, my Daddy was recruited for the job. The day of the party my Daddy donned his costume and pulled on his work boots (we had a dairy farm at the time). As he strode out the door my Mama told him to change his boots. He asked why and she told him that if he were to wear his work boots I would recognize them. His response was, "She's 4. She won't recognize them." So off he went.
As the party got under way it was soon time for Santa's special visit. Sitting next to my bestie at the time, our eyes were widened as Santa entered the room. We couldn't believe that he would come to visit our Head Start. As I took in Santa as a whole (yes, I recognized his work boots) I yelled out, "That's my D...!" and before I finished I covered my mouth. I was so excited to find out my Daddy was the real Santa Claus!
Fast forward a few years...my parents set me down to tell me all about Santa because my older brothers told me he wasn't real. Of course, I insisted otherwise. As my Mama and Daddy proceeded to tell me the truth I was devastated! I knew deep down in my heart that Daddy was Santa and the reindeer were kept out on the back acres of our dairy farm. My Mama told me in my later years that if about killed her and Daddy to tell me the truth because I cried for days about it.
Every year I tell my students (they're 5th graders so they know the truth) this story because it is one my Mama told me every year at Christmas. So, yes, I know who Santa Clause is...He's my Daddy.
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Reality is about to hit me broadside this weekend. My husband and stepson will be out of town (deer season is upon us) and I will be alone as my mother's dream home is having an open house for the estate sale next Thursday.
I realize that I can no longer deny that my mama is gone. How can I when I see the home that she and my dad lovingly started to share their golden years in be sold. How can I when due to our small house the antique baby grand piano, a gift from my dad to my mom, is sold to the highest bidder? My brothers and I will lose the last tangible connection of our parents and we can't stop it.
Denial has kept me blind, deaf, and oblivious to the point that I feel I am going to fall apart if I let go of what I am hiding behind.
Saturday, October 2, 2010
You weren't suppose to go yet. You still had plenty of life to live. You won't see your grandchildren grow into adults or know if more are on the way. It's not fair when we just started mending our mother/daughter relationship that you left unfinished business.
It was bad enough when dad left to go home to Jesus six years ago but now your gone too. Your pain maybe gone but ours is still going strong.
You were given a second husband and had just began dreaming again and it isn't fair that you don't get to see those dreams fulfilled. We all think you knew something was up but didn't tell us. WHY? You were suppose to be around until you were old and gray not leaving us without your smile, laughter, and love.
I still needed you. I was no where near prepared for this hole in my heart and words left unsaid.
Monday, September 20, 2010
However, her love of ribbon has been my nemesis. My mama passed away a little over a week ago and all I want to do now is open up her grave and through the hundreds of rolls of ribbon that she hoarded in the casket with her. Every time it seems we have found the last roll another pops up in the strangest place. This is not the legacy I wanted.
Not only are their rolls upon rolls of ribbon there are several tubs of greenery, tulle, and candles. My mother could throw the wedding of a lifetime! To walk into my mothers gorgeous 1800's Victorian home (over 3ooo sq ft) you would never know that she had all this crap. In a smaller home it would fill it up to capacity and then some. So even though my mother would never admit it she was a hoarder.
So I have decided that if you ever receive a gift for me don't look for a ribbon and when Christmas comes...I think you get what I am trying to say.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
We had just spent the Saturday before talking about going to a movie but instead we went grocery shopping. We pulled into Dillon's and she told me to go and gas up my car. I told her I didn't need too I had 3/4 of a tank. She said do it anyway. Mama, thank you for the $8 in gas.
As we went and parked to go into the grocery store she pulled out some money and tried to sneak it into the console of my car. I asked her what she was doing. She said she was taking care of me because she doesn't get to do that too often. Mama, thank you for the $5 to spend on myself.
In the grocery store we were buying items for the Labor Day cookout she was having. We came across Dillon's 10 for $10 items. She made me pick out 10 to take home. Mama, thank you for the $10 in groceries. Todd thanks you too.
$8.00 in gas, $5.00 for anything, $10.00 for groceries...Time with my Mama....priceless.
Mama, you were an amazing woman and I miss you!
Sunday, September 5, 2010
It was during my break when a fellow teacher asked me to assist two of her kindergartners to the nurse. Apparently one of them did not know where the nurse was and the other was his escort. Seeing that only one had the problem I double checked that the other knew how to return to his room.
I started up a conversation with the other child as we meandered up to the nurses office. He told me he loved his teacher and was liking school. When we arrived at the nurse's office we let the nurse know of his situation (he had an accident in his pants). Much to this kindergartners surprise, the nurse replied that she had something he could change into. This cute little kindergartner then exclaimed, "You mean you have extras!"
Behind my hand I snickered. It was so adorable. It takes you back to when you start something new and are surprised at how well a situation can be taken care of. Next I proceeded to take him back to the classroom. He was so happy and it was like it had never happened. By the way he also proceeded to show me everything that was red because he learned about it in class earlier that day.
I am happy to be back in the swing of things.
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Then there was the little baby that attended. He was adorable and he came to me with ease. He snuggled next to my cheek and laid his head on my shoulder. His grandma took him away only to return him to me when he held out his tiny arms wanting to be back in mine. We snuggled some more. The aching in my heart continued.
Hopefully, God will bless us with one of our own someday.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
As the school year approaches I am finding it very difficult to find my "inner muse". I love teaching but cannot seem to form an idea or theme for my classroom this year. Or if I decide on a theme I am unispired on how to make it happen.
I walk into my teaching partners room and am absolutely in love with her room and how it will inspire her students. Maybe I should borrow her inner muse? If you find my "inner muse" please send him or her back to me so that I may complete my room so that I in turn can inspire the young minds that will enter my room this year.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Saturday, July 10, 2010
The first card is from my husband, who is a nonstop jester, happened to be serious and sweet. This was unusual for him but a nice surprise for me since he could have taken me turning 40 to the next level.
But the second card is what caught my attention. When I married Hunny Bunny it was a two for one deal (by the way "T" was 13 when HB and I married). I was good with that. "T" lives with us all year long and visits his mom (which I am proud to say we get along great) . "T" has always let me know that I am not his mother. I am okay with that. But I was touched that even though his card poked seriously at my age it is how he signed it that brought me to tears. It made my day and in my heart it was the best birthday gift that a stepchild could give his stepparent.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
As Susan Polis Shutz said "Let us dance in the sun, wearing wildflowers in our hair." The women I pass this award have a great outlook on life and always seem to be dancing in the sun:
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
As I grew older, came my girlhood friends from all over: Michelle W., Renzi, Dina D., Dina B., Debbie, Kelley, and Cheryl. Each one of these wonderful friends came from different walks of life financially, geographically, spiritually, and culturally. Being their friend helped me to become a better person by recognizing differences and overcoming fears of being different.
Next comes my friends from my college years: Shannon, Michelle G., Liz, Nicole, Becky, and Jeff. We traveled and lived together or in Jeff's case we dated and then became great friends. In some cases these wonderful people prepared me for marriage. I learned to live with others and become a compromiser instead of a controller.
Then came some of the most wonderful women I know. These women were placed in my life by God. I know this because of the circumstances in how I met them. Deanna, Dawn, Sue, and Kim (my sister in law). they have been through the ups and downs of my dating life before I met my wonderful husband. They have emotionally and spiritually encouraged me as well as respected me through the past 14 years of my life. God placed them in my life when I needed them the most. They have taught me sisterhood.
I am a blessed woman to have been touched by the lives of the women who helped shape me in to who I am today.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
When I was a little girl my mama told me that I would throw it in my brothers faces that I had fireworks on my birthday and they didn't. This may have started my fascination with the bright explosions that help celebrate our nations birth.
Another reason for my fascination of fireworks is that I am extremely patriotic. This stems from being born on the Fourth of July and I truly feel the need to spread the word on patriotism. My students are expected to stand a little more straighter during the Pledge of Allegiance and when others do not stand during our national anthem I am offended.
Last night as I listened to sonic booms going off in my neighborhood I jumped into my car to find the amazing light show that was lighting up the night sky. Fireworks "bursting in air" takes me back in time and I visualize what Francis Scott Key saw in 1814 during the attack on Fort McHenry as he sat on his ship and wrote the "Star Spangled Banner." As he saw the flag flying in the sky with a background of cannons and guns going off he wrote that beautiful poem which became our anthem of freedom. Let Freedom Ring!
Thursday, June 24, 2010
I mentioned this to a friend of mine who is 40 (soon to be 41) and she said back to me that I don't look like I am going to be 40. She's bias. However, even though my chronological age is going to be 40 I really feel more like 25. So what does 40 look like?
Monday, June 21, 2010
Every time I go to the store I look at the items they place in the check out line. This is not always a good thing because in my head a conversation goes on much like the one below:
Impulse Buyer Brain: Oh wow! I saw that on TV. It looked cool.
Reasoning & Logical Brain: You don't need that. What would you use it for?
IBB: For my classroom or you never know when that might come in handy.
RLB: You don't need it. There are better things to use your money for.
Come on we all have this conversation. Well today, it was even worse. Instead of the store... I was helping my mother price her yard sale items.
Of course, I would look at each item wondering could I use it in my home or my classroom.
Maybe I might throw a party and need the four large martini glasses to hold chips or dip. Or I might need the three tier plant stand even though I have no plants because my thumb turns everything dead. How about the seasonal flags even though I have no flag pole to put them on but maybe I could nail them to the wall.
Now I'm not saying that I didn't put a few items aside (rain ponchos for car duty day and trivets to place hot food on) but as we continue on this yard sale journey I'm a little afraid for my pocketbook.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
Tonight was wonderful with my nieces and nephew, sister in law, long time friend, favorite aunt, stepson, and amazing husband all hunkered down in the living room eating movie food and watching Alvin and the Chipmunks, the Squeaqual.
Movie night with my family reminds me of the Rascal Flatts song "But I miss Mayberry sitting on the porch drinking ice cold cherry coke, where everything was black and white. Pickin on s six string, People pass by and you call them by their first name, watching the clouds roll by..."
This song takes you back to the simple things in life and that is exactly what we had tonight. This is my Mayberry and what movie nights are all about.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
So let's hear the jokes, the quotes, the sayings, and advice about turning 40 because I am ready for it all.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
"Thanks again for everything this past year. I know how difficult things have been with my son and I know you never gave up and I cannot thank you enough. I really just wanted to tell you I think you are an amazing person and I appreciate more than you know all you did this year for my son and myself. My son was able to have successes and be proud as well as have reinforced by someone who cares that he needs to be responsible for his actions. It has meant so much to me to have you on Team "son" with me. I wish nothing but happiness and success for you and your family in the future. Take care and have a wonderful summer."
As I placed this child's cumulative file in a box (he was moving on to middle school) I said a silent prayer and blessing over him and he is the reason I teach.
They constantly do things together but I feel that my husband would rather spend time with his son than with me (his 14 yr old son lives with us). When my husband goes to the convenience store he brings his son back a drink but not me. When my stepson wants me to buy him something he finally does his chores. I ask for my stepson to pay some of his golf tournament fees out of his allowance and my husband says that is what parents are for. Isn't it time to learn how to make good use of your money?
Most days I feel like all I am is a paycheck, an option. Not needed except for my financial contributions. Maybe I am having a hard time transitioning from single girl life where my money was my own to married life where my money belongs to everyone. Maybe I miss going out and getting pampered and feeling like a girl (my roots are a mile long and I sorely need a pedicure). I lose all this to baseball fees, golf fees, golf clubs, uniforms, something for the boat, etc...
Monday, May 10, 2010
As a stepmother is it my responsibility to take pictures of all sporting events?
As a stepmother is it my place to make sure my stepson is keeping up in school?
I have only been married to my husband less than a year and I love him and my stepson dearly and I do everything for them both. I gave up massages, shopping for myself, and getting my nails done so my stepson could play baseball, archery, and golf. I realize that parents sacrifice and I have no problem with that except his mother gives up hardly anything. It is frustrating sometimes. I know she loves her son with all her heart but the financial responsibility should be spread out.
I am the stepmother, I know my place because my stepson has put me there when he asked why my own mother sent me a Mother's Day card and I have no children. But what are my responsibilities?
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
My husband is okay either way but as we approach forty (me this year) I think he would prefer the freedom we have (since my stepson is 14 and lives with us) coming in 4 or so years. My mother says maybe we should just be the fun aunt and uncle but that it would still be okay to give her a grandchild. My doctor says I am healthy with the exception of being diagnosed with Type II diabetes last summer but am keeping under control with diet and exercise.
I am struggling with the realization that a child may never happen and I am turning 40 this summer. There are days the longing is so great that I cry. I just wish God would tell me if its going to ever happen so I can move pass these feelings.
Friday, January 22, 2010
"It may seem small in comparison but our little clinic has evacuated over 200 people. I can’t tell you the number of lives that have probably been saved because of the efforts of our folks here. Our Coast Guard helicopters pack in as many people as they can, sometimes seven or eight or more people. What they can’t fit in a seat or on a stretcher, they put in their laps.
These people are so resilient. For years they have been subjected to whatever comes their way, either man made or nature related and they survive. I watched little children with sever wounds be worked on with no pain medicine or anesthesia and not even whimper. One lady with a severe head trauma, along with multiple other wounds, have her scalp opened up and cleaned of gang green, she never flinched, and then when it was all done she got up and walked out of the clinic! They are grateful for Tylenol…something we take everyday. It is absolutely amazing.
They are so open to prayer and a kind smile or a look of compassion. While most of our people wore a mask I couldn’t bring myself to wear one most of the time because I wanted them to see my face and know that I hurt with them and cared about them. One boy about 8 or 9 came in with a bad head wound; when they were done working on him they asked who brought him in. He said no one…his parents were killed when his house collapsed. He sat on the steps for two days, I don’t know what happened to him after that. I can only pray a relative found him and took him in. An 85 year old woman was carried in over the shoulders of a 15 year old kid. When we asked what happened he said the nursing home she was in collapsed…she was the only survivor. He just found her and brought her in. I didn’t think she was going to make it. As I prayer over her I asked God that if he were to take her to do it quickly, but if not to begin restoring her health. Three days later we were able to medivac her. Part of me couldn’t believe she lived the other part just stood in amazement at God’s faithfulness.
One more I will tell you about. A beautiful young woman in her early 20’s was brought in with multiple injuries. She had with her a handsome well built man who looked to be slightly older then her. After she was treated I watched for three days how this man sat with her, laid her head in his lap, helped her move around, find her food. His gentle care for her was incredible to watch. I eventually made it over to them and offered to pray for her…they were excited about this idea. I assumed this was his wife so I asked him if I could pray for his wife and he said “no, no, this is my daughter.” I was moved to tears at that point as I made the connection. The love of a father has no limits, not age, not injury, not circumstances…"
Take a moment and think about it how much more does our Heavenly Father do this for us. Let's not take it for granted?
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Friday, January 1, 2010
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.