Are you sure?

Once there was this man named Sammy, he was a shy man, a fearful man, a recalcitrant man. Sammy was so afraid of life that he decided to pretend to be someone else, for you see, that gave him invisibility powers.

So Sammy feigned confidence and panache. All the while tempting fate, with his carelessness and daredevil behavior, to perhaps intervene and end his suffering. Because, as most do not know, invisibility is voracious, and bite by bite it eats the hand that feeds it, until there is nothing left but bone structure to hang the emptiness upon.

During Sammy’s foray into recklessness, the only thing that gave him pause were the three most dreaded words in the universe, “Are you sure?” Their power to unmask even the wildest schemer, to reveal the false bravado of the timid, was to be avoided at all costs. Therefore to lessen the risk of exposure, Sammy withdrew to a private world of his own making.

Dwelling in this insulated cocoon of silence initiated reconstruction of the poor lost man’s confidence, causing invisibility to slowly slip into a pool at his feet, consequently exposing Sammy to himself. Unfortunately they did not recognize each other, and to this day, neither one is sure what to do about it.

 

 

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The Dark Before the Dawn

I did this crazy thing, I hired help at work. At the moment I have three different desks, all with separate responsibilities. Needless to say, I’m a bit over stressed. Still, why oh why did I have to go and do it in January, the busiest month of the year.

For you see I decided to take advantage of the need for a new work station by rearranging the current employees, and myself, into a more convenient layout. Of course I didn’t think it through, I just jumped into it without a plan as usual, and I tell you what, it is pretty impossible to work when you can’t find anything.

Well today as I sat in the midst of my boxes and piles, I noticed that someone had moved and arranged my mothers bric-a-brac from my old office to my new one.

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Instantly all just seemed right with the world. You see, I took over my mothers responsibilities in the company when she retired. She was the accountant and a darn good one too. She left these knickknacks behind when she went home one night and decided it was time to stay there. I had forgotten about them in the dark corner of my old office, but here in the sun they remind me why I am here, where I came from, and the fact that my daughter is now working under me to take over as the accountant as soon as she finishes her second degree.

She is already better at it than I am, for she is a pattern and detail kind of person, whereas I tend toward the big picture and what ifs, and unfortunately accountants do not appreciate creativity with the journals, but I like to think of them as my scrape books with pretty colors from corrections. Truly though I will be more than happy to give it up and spend more time as the queen of cashflow, because it does take leaps of faith and experimental what ifs, to juggle the ins and outs of a corporation that is growing faster than its capital can keep up.

I was intending to write about doors tonight, not work. About the goodness of God, and how He often gives you much more than you ask for, or have even conceived a need of. For you see my new office has a door.

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And my bedroom at our new home has a door.

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So I can almost see the wheels spinning in your mind as you think, what do doors have to do with anything?

Well they give you a place to retreat to when the darkness is pressing in from the anxiety of living without stability and security. Doors are a simple thing which I will never take for granted. Not when I lived for so many years without a space to call my own. So when I realized that this year, I not only have someplace to sleep, dress, and keep my clothes that is all in one place, with a door I can close and be alone, and now I also have an office with a door, which I can close when I feel the need for just five minutes of peace, sigh. I can only praise The Lord, and marvel at His creativity in answering my plea for sanity, with doors.

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Successful Failures

We had ice cream for dinner again last night. It used to be that when this urge would come upon us, I would be a diligent parent, prepare a meal, and we would eat it, so we could then dive into dessert with unrestrained gusto. Well as life became busy and children increased in number, somehow I started forgoing the meal and just serving the ice cream. This felt like such a failure on my part, I mean what kind of parent serves ice cream for dinner, but as time has gone by and we still indulge in this pleasure occasionally, I have come to realize, what I considered a failure, is actually the better thing for us to do, for we were going to eat the ice cream regardless, so why not cut out the superfluous calories of the meal, and besides, ice cream is more scrumptious  when you are hungry, not full. Additionally I have been told by my adult children that the supposed illicitness of this activity added to their enjoyment, along with the envy of their friends as they shared my “failure as a mom” at school.

Well anyway, last night as I enjoyed my Haagen-Dazs strawberry, it dawned on me that many of my fond childhood memories might be an occurrence of what my mother might have considered her failures too. A few of my favorites were picnics on the floor, watermelon lunches, and broken down cars.

I can look back and see that those picnics were often popcorn and such, things we could eat with our fingers while sitting on a blanket, most likely because she was too busy with a project or costume for one of her children to have found the time to put together a traditional meal, but to me this change of pace felt like a party.

Those sticky watermelon lunches were presented as way to make as big of a mess as we wanted spitting the seeds at each other without fear of chastisement. When in reality, it was summertime and school was out, and she was most likely banishing us from the house so that she could have a few minutes of peace alone before she lost her mind.

However, I think I liked best the times when the car broke down and we were stranded until help came. I am sure for her this must have happened all too frequently, because she carried survival kits for the occasion. She would pull out a blanket, find a spot to wait, and then she would entertain us. We had her undivided attention, because all the many things she had to do were not there with us, and annoyed as she most have been, she was relaxed.

I wonder if she realizes what frivolity she could turn adversity into, how it brought out her creativity, and that by doing so, she taught her children valuable lessons, to find a way to make what your given in life fun, but more importantly, the idea that it is okay to color out side of the lines and be different, for out there in those undefined areas, lies adventure.

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Needed…

Nothing is better than a love letter from your child……sigh, I am so blessed, Thank you Lord.

emily2jane

My Favorite

The girl stepped away from her precious home and turned toward the unknown. She understood this would not be forever, and what she was doing was for a good cause. Someone outside of her immediate family needed attention, and she would willingly give it to them if it would help them feel better. She piled her overflowing belongings into her small silver car and then she slammed the trunk shut. She gazes back at the house that has cared and loved her for many years, filled with her family, and she steps into her automobile and drives off.

A month has passed in this new house, and she craves the love she has left. This girl sits in her bed centered in a large room; she has no one near her and she feels alone. There is sadness. She misses her other home dearly.  But she also recognizes the…

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Without

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To forgive is not the thing that is lacking in my severed relationship with my husband, that I have done. I had occasionally questioned whether this was actually true, or if perhaps I was deluding myself for my own comfort, and thankfully I am able to finally put that question to rest. For I have come to realize that all I feel is sad, whenever the thought of him runs across my mind. I wish him well, just not with me.

However that being said, I cannot be the one to help him in his lost state of mind, for he is truly ill and in need of rescue, but again, it can not be me. I still have a house full of responsibility that have been wounded and scarred by years of his behavior. It has taken years and years to reach the functioning level we have.

But still, I see him, desperately in need of intervention, and I pity. If he was not who he is, I would be offering food, perhaps shelter, a helping hand, a smile and kind word, the time to listen, as I would do for others without.

But I will also not deny the small possiblity that he might do this intentionally, for without his victim status he would have to acknowledge some responsibility, not that he is not ill, he must be to live like he is when there is no need, with two dogs in a van. He has been like this for over a year now, parking just down the street from our house and keeping us all on edge, wondering if and when.

I never thought the day would come when I would be free of the anger over what he did to us, but still, for obvious reasons, it cannot be me. I really do not want to move again so soon, so I do nothing, but feel pity, and yes if I am honest, a twinge of smoldering fear, heavy sigh, so what am I to do just keeps knocking on my head without an answer.

 

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Traditions

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I know, I know, Christmas is over, but I have been looking through the photos and enjoying the memories. This lovely Nativity of my mothers set me to thinking about my Christmas traditions.

My mother would always bring out a Nativity set of some sort on the first Sunday of Advent, along with the Advent wreath with the purple candles to light each week, while saving the pink one for Christmas Day. My family still practices this with an added twist, we light the candle, or candles, and sing a Christmas hymn before our meals for the blessing, however, sometimes if I am hungry, and they start in on the third verse I question myself on this one, I am kidding, I love this new tradition.

There were many more traditions, one that I was quite fond of was the oats in our shoes on St. Nicholas Eve for St. Nicholas’s horse, and in the morning there would be candy in place of the oats. This practice did morph, perhaps for sanitary reasons, into a cascade of candy which flew in through the suddenly flung open door, followed by a swarm of children running outside to try and catch sight of the St Nick and his stealthy horse; we all swore that we heard the steeds galloping hooves, and of course my eldest brother would have caught a glimpse of the Bishop’s mitered hat.

Anyway, back to the Nativity, it came out in pieces, well not in pieces actually, just not put up all in one place. On the first day we would place the manager and the animals in the alcove set in the wall, the wise men would go to the far reaches of the house to begin their travels towards Bethlehem. Joseph and Mary would begin from the far side of the room, while the angels, star, and of course baby Jesus were held in reserve somewhere out of sight. Then everyday leading up to Christmas the wise men would travel closer, along with Joseph and Mary, so that by Christmas Eve, Joseph and Mary would be to the manager, while the wise men still had thirteen days of travel ahead of them. Then the best part, waking up on Christmas morning with baby Jesus safe in the manager, surrounded by the angels, underneath the shinning star. Now that my mom is enjoying this solo, she puts up the angels, star, and Joseph and Mary with the manager, but she still waits for Jesus until Christmas, and moves the wise men until Epiphany, unless of course her grandchildren beat her to it.

We did not get a tree or decorate it until Christmas Eve, and I knew that this was a big change for my mother, because in her family the children did not decorate the tree, they woke up on Christmas morning and it was mysteriously there in all its splendor, but instead of carrying on with this tradition, she let her children decorate the tree however we wanted. We would spend the weeks leading up to Christmas making chains and ornaments, there were candy canes and gingerbread, and someone would always be creative for a topper. Oh and I must not forget the oodles and oodles of tinsel. Then in a flurry on Christmas Eve we would smother the tree in love.

The activities did not end on Christmas Day, truly in some ways they were only beginning, for my mother had drawn and cut out all the figures from the twelve days of Christmas along with pear tree leaves galore so that everyday we would gather around the bulletin board wall in the kitchen, which typically was covered with our artwork, and pin the appropriate figures to a large cleared space on the wall, along with as many leaves as it took to satisfy everyone’s desire to pin, and then we would sing together the twelve days of Christmas, with a catch, on the first day we would only sing about the partridge in a pear tree, the second day, the partridge and the turtle doves, and so on and so forth until we came to the twelve day and then together, with glee built from many days of expectation, we would belt out all twelve verses, and of course, this is the day the wise men would arrive at the manager, and the holidays concluded.

I could go on and on about the time she spent helping us make gifts for our grandparents and aunts and uncles, so we would learn the joy of giving, the pots and pans band she would help us put together and let’s us practice all day in preparation to ring in the New Year. I am amazed and humbled as I think back how much thought and effort my mother put into making sure that a poor household celebrated the season with joy and togetherness without having to spend oodles of money on the trappings associated with it. I was so busy, and having so much fun, I don’t think I realized we didn’t have mountains of gifts under the tree, I never expected them, that was not what Christmas was all about for me. In hindsight I can see that we were making do with what we had, however, I would say we were the richest children that there could possibly be, because we were given the gift of time and love and traditions to carry on into our future, and that has lasted far beyond whatever gift I might have received from Santa. Thanks Mom.

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A Silver Lining

I am sick in bed with the flu. However, being trapped too brain dead to read, and also being avoided by the horde, just might be the golden opportunity to watch the growing stack of movies I have piled up next to my bed, and besides The Martian arrived via Amazon today in a very timely fashion. The family all went and viewed it in theater and tell me I won’t be disappointed like I am by so many book to movie translations. Then again I will watch just about any disaster, need to save something, end of the world movie, I am a sucker for anything where people have to be greater than they are, rise above, and save all mankind, or even just the dog.

So, sneeze and sniffle, I am off to go to Mars.

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