Thursday, August 31, 2006

Worth It

It's worth it. All the hard work, the willingness to face the pain, the turning away and then being given the grace to face it again, more times than I care to remember. Worth it. Notice I didn't say it was always fun. Or that I'd be first line for more torture. But seeing the results in the relationships in my life. Worth every swear word, tear, struggle, strain and prayer.

Yesterday I told Father Charlie about being able to receive from dearest one the love he has been giving me all these years. In choosing (and being graced with the courage) of not putting my walls up, like an invisible power window to my soul, I received what was being given and for the first time I was able to give something back. Something that came from the core of who I am. Father Charlie said to me, "It's very life giving isn't it?" I went to say, "yes" when the gratitude for knowing what it feels like to live without the walls was so overwhelming that my yes got swallowed up in tears.

I don't feel any pressure to hang onto what is because I didn't create it. But I have to say I am appreciating and loving it for the gift that it is. Putting one foot in front of another (thanks Peter) gets a person farther along in the journey. Thanks be to God.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Catholic Carnival # 94

Food for the soul can be found in this week's collection of posts for the Carnival. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did! (links are fixed now - sorry for the delay.)

Understanding the ground on which people of other faith communities base their beliefs is as relevant and necessary today as it was over 150 years ago. The Blog from the Core presents the eighth of nine lectures written by Cardinal Newman in the summer of 1851 called Ignorance Concerning Catholics the Protection of the Protestant View. The Blog from the Core also has the previous posts in this series: Lectures on the Present Position of Catholics in England.

Owen at Smithereens in his post The poetry continues challenges us as the world, even the Christian world, speeds by, to find the poetic space Mary found at the feet of her Lover.

I must confess to being partial to Pope Pius XII as my great grandmother was also a Pacelli, sharing with this Pope the same birthplace in Italy. At A Catholic Life you can read how Pope Pius XIl condemned Nazism. The author asserts that unlike what "Hitler's Pope" by John Cornwell states, Pope Pius XII actually stood against Nazism and saved thousands of Jewish lives.

Our Heavenly Bridegroom is a reflection on the Mass readings for Sunday August 27, which considers briefly the interrelated meanings of marriage and the Eucharist. It can be found at HMS Blog. The gospel readings these past few Sundays are ones which were pivotal in my journey home.

There is much food for thought in CowPi Journal’s post called Do Not Use Me God. Summing it up by saying “Friends do not use each other,” Mark offers this exercept: "And I was talking to her and I said, 'You know, I just want the Lord to use me.' And she said, 'Well, forget it. God doesn't need you for anything. God doesn't want to use you. He wants you to love him.'"

In her post No Fairies Around Here the author of the blog Contrariwise takes a huge step forward in her quest to be a better godmother when she teaches her brother to pray the Rosary.

In her post What is access versus inclusion? Ruth at Wheelie Catholic describes how providing physical access ,such as ramps, for Catholics with disabilities, is much easier than inclusion, which is about making each person feel valued for the gifts and talents he has to offer. Her post encourages Catholics with disabilities to participate and volunteer in their parishes.

In an informative post about donor conceived persons A. Noel at Finding Pasture does a great job of pulling together quotes from several affected bloggers, quotes from the Church on this subject, in addition to her own thoughts.

Pray ForMe is the name of a post by Eddy Lee at To Jesus Through Mary. As Eddy makes the decision not to pursue the seminary he asks for prayers to make sure he is making the right decision. What a fine young man!

Sarah at just another day of Catholic pondering submits her post, Jesus, the Toddler for this week’s Carnival musing “Was Jesus a toddler? Well, of course he was! So just what did that mean for his sainted (literally) mother?” As the mother of a young and rather rambunctious member of the toddler race, Sarah can't help but ask herself these questions...and pursue them.

Some days the temptations and struggles of this journey overwhelm me. In her post, Abba Moses the Ethiopian, gang leader, robber, priest, martyr --- a desert story, Karen Marie at From the Anchor Hold encourages her readers that if Abba Moses could manage to be heroically holy, then anybody can! Thank you for this post Karen Marie!

One of my favourite verses of Scripture is Romans 5:20: ”But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” In his post, I deserve THIS?, Penitens from A Penitent Blogger reflects on evil, faith, and unconquerable
grace.

Jay from Deo Omnis Gloriaexplores why people accept or reject Jesus and Christianity in his post What if Jesus Appeared in the Sky Every Night?. The last paragraph is especially worthy of some reflection.

Exploring how contraception affects families and why we should avoid it, Jay from Living Catholicism puts his thoughts on church teaching into a thought provoking post called Contraception and the Catholic Family. Sometimes I squirm when confronted with clear Church teaching but when I read this post I thought to myself, “How could it be any other way?”

God can use anything to get our attention and change our perspective. In a post called Miraculous Medal found at 50 Days After Athanasius contra mundo tells his story of how Mary, especially as represented in the Miraculous Medal, came to be an important part of his devotional practice.

Eric "Funky Dung" Williams presents Plan B: Not Abortifacient But Not a Panacea Either posted at Ales Rarus. He notes that while he does not believe that Plan B is abortifacient, and therefore needn’t be fought by pro-lifers as such, that does not mean that he thinks over-the-counter access to it is a good idea. The related posts as well as the comments on this post are food for thought.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Brother (Sister) Can You Spare a Prayer?

I need some prayer. So does dearest one. We make a sorry, but contented couple tonight. Contented with one another. Contented with life in general. Dearest one is home tonight after finishing up his summer obligations at a hospital 125 kms away. He has taken a transfer to a health care facility (he's a RN) within commuting distance. It will be wonderful to have him home more. But both of us are battling the physical right now and we are weary. Today consisted of sitting and more sitting for me. Just going from my chair to the kitchen made my heart rate go in the 120+ range. It's been like that for many days. I am no more rested than I was this morning. No more spoons than I had when I woke up. I haven't used my peak flow meter to measure my lung output in so long that I can't find it now when I need it. I was so sure I wouldn't need it again. C'est la vie.

Back in May I wrote about dearest one's health issues. The powers that be ended up thinking it was bruised ribs but he is still in considerable discomfort. Our family doctor is not convinced of the initial diagnosis. Tomorrow is his CT scan at last. Of course we hope it is only bruised ribs in the end but he hasn't felt well since April. . We are hoping/not hoping the CT scan gets him an accurate diagnosis.

My spoon supply is so low right now I wouldn't even go to town tomorrow except I believe everyone needs support when they go through medical tests. I think we will be waiting a week at least for the results. I have learned to embrace mystery in much of life's journey but when it comes to dearest one and his health I would be grateful for this mystery to be solved.

Thank you for praying.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Don't Be Afraid

I am weary tonight. On Tuesday I overdid it and ran out of spoons. Our walk in the dark the other night reminded me of that and I haven't been able to build up my spoon supply since then. I thought I was fine in town today but that only lasted until I got home. At this rate I will be too short of breath to be a lector at church tomorrow. (Whine over now.)

I print out bits and pieces of encouragement as I find them on the internet. Some of them I tack up on the wall so that I can reread them often. Below is one I printed out from The Boars Head Tavern a while back. If you check out their masthead you will regularly find something worth mulling over.

"The grace of God means something like this: Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are because the party wouldn't have been complete without you. Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid. I am with you. Nothing can ever separate us. It's for you I created the universe. I love you. There's only one catch. Like any other gift, the gift of grace can be yours only if you'll reach out and take it. Maybe being able to reach out and take it is a gift too." ~ Frederich Buechner

Friday, August 25, 2006

Walking in the Dark

Dearest one and I went for a walk last night when the sky was nearly dark. I am afraid of the dark. Dearest one isn't. I asked him if he was afraid of us meeting up with a bear. He laughed and said, "no." The other day when I was home alone I heard the dogs barking at something and I heard something make noise in return. I was too scared to go look. Dearest one has imitated a bear for me since then so I can tell next time when a bear is coming to check out my house. Boy, just typing all that makes my heart speed up. I think I am paranoid about bears. But this is bear country. Last summer a friend turned out our driveway to find a bear standing on its hind legs trying to scare her vehicle away. On the road where dearest one and I go for our walks.

When we were newlyweds we put our names in for homestead land. Yes, when we were newlyweds there was still homestead land to be had in our neck of the woods. The only thing I said to dearest one was that if I saw a bear on that land the deal was off. We drove onto the land just as a bear ran across the road in front of us. Ha. Actually we took our name off the homestead draw after we figured out how much money we were going to have to spend before we saw a dime back in profit. Lucky bear.

I ran out of steam the other night before we were home. By then it was dark. Dearest one asked me if I wanted him to go get the car. Before this I have always stubbornly said no. I will hang onto him so I don't fall down sooner than say yes to a car ride home. That night I had to choose between my fear of the dark/bears/things that go 'bump' in the night and getting home. I just couldn't summon the energy to walk another step so he went and got the car.

I am pleased to report no bear came and ate me while I waited I made it home safely.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

One Flesh

We sat across from one another in the food court yesterday, munching on our pizza and visiting. I looked at dearest one and said, “I’m not taking this for granted.” Our eyes locked as I said it and mine grew a bit teary. We both knew I wasn’t talking about the pizza. I was talking about us.

In just less than two weeks we will celebrate the 25th anniversary of our engagement. We had met for the first time 8 days earlier; dearest one driving over 2000 miles to come meet me in person. We had been pen pals for a time at ages 14 and 16 and then broke off communication for nearly 4 years. Within the first week of leaving home I wrote to him only to read in his return letter that he was engaged to be married. I didn’t hear from dearest one again until after he broke that engagement. Within days of our own engagement he drove back home and I stayed put. I would be finished college in a few months and we would see each other then. In the end, 5 months to the day of our engagement, we stood before the Justice of the Peace and made our vows. We were young, na├»ve and foolish. In love with the idea of someone loving us. I was an atheist and he lived on the dark side. Statistics would have put our marriage in the category of “not a candidate for longevity.”

We were married 5 days when I had my first and only blackout from drinking. We hadn't spent enough time together before marriage for dearest one to have any inkling that I might have a drinking problem. Eleven days together and one staggering drunken binge could be normal for any college student, right?

But this really isn't a post about my drinking. It's more a post about one of the reasons I drank and how that area of my life is being healed. It feels like a miracle and a gift.

I've sat here a while trying to figure out how to put it into words.

But words fail me. Maybe I'm not meant to write about it at all.

I have written here and here andhere about my sexual past and current struggles. I don't know how God works but I feel freed. Not that the struggles have disappeared. God knows that. But somehow dearest one and I have finally become one flesh.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

24/7 Gratitude

24/7 gratitude. What a concept. That's the name of my AA home group. When I first went back to meetings in June I worried I'd have to paste on a fake smile, and be happy all the time, in order to qualify for membership. A scary thought when I was having a hard time being grateful 24 minutes in 7 days.

A week ago I wrote this post. With my self loathing at an all time high, matched only by my foul and pissy mouth, is it any wonder that post got zero comments? I mean, what's a person say to someone who has all but warned you she's going to tell you to piss off if you dare try and shed some light on her darkness?

When I was first back attending meetings I was wary of anything that smacked of joy. Cynic that I can be, I didn't trust that what the person was saying could really be true. People talked about being grateful for the program and I thought to myself, "man, what a crock." I thought they had their loyalties misplaced. Be grateful for God, not a mere program. Ah, what arrogance. There I was, barely able to lift my head and look anyone in the eye to say, "Hi, my name is Hope and I am an alcoholic." I was so despondent that people thought I was attending my first meeting ever. There were audible gasps when I revealed I hadn't had a drink in 18 years and hadn't been to a meeting in over 8. My outer shell did not reflect someone with that many years of sobriety behind them. And there I sat, thinking I had the answers? Ha.

As I've gone to meetings week after week, I've listened, learned and been humbled. Listened to stories of true gratitude and learned that not drinking and sobriety are two very different things. Humbled to hear people with only days of sobriety be far more honest than I. And I was faced with the realization that if I wanted what they had, I had to do what they were doing. Shit. Sometimes personal responsibility sucks. If I was going to continue to go to meetings, then I was going to have to make some choices. Do the hard work, or quit my bitching.

All I had to do was tell the truth. My truth. How hard could that be? Really hard, it turns out. I'm used to living life from my head. Telling the truth involves saying how things are with you, head and heart. It means being vulnerable. It means sharing both the good times and bad. It means saying how it is, even if it reveals that today I am not working the program one little bit. Looking into their faces of compassion and understanding, I still had a hard time not judging myself for my reality. But it's hard to lie to people who have the best bullshit detectors around. I felt that at any given moment someone in the meeting was going to jump up and yell, "Fraud." Their honesty was simply showing me my lack of it. I knew I was either going to lie myself right into a drunk or risk enough to start telling the truth. Why do we, in the church, prize fraudulent answers over real ones, Sunday after Sunday? At meetings I found myself wanting to give into grandiosity. Make things seem better than they were. Make myself seem better than I was. Or at least better than anyone else in the room. I wanted to come out on top.

Only thing is, it's not a competition. And if I was going to make it one, I could possibly add days of not drinking to my tally sheet, but none to my sobriety.

Since I went to confession last Sunday I have hunkered down to do the hard work. Father Charlie challenged me to do some soul searching. To look beneath my behaviour to what prompted me to choose those things in the first place. I was sick and tired enough of the cycle of self loathing to at least be willing. I wanted what those at my meetings had, more than I wanted a repeat of a cycle of my own making.

And so I started doing what I heard around the tables and read in the Big Book. Pray before you get out of bed in the morning. Pray before you go to sleep at night. And make them the no bullshit kind of prayers. Tell God when I want a drink, an escape, a self numbing oblivion. Ask for help. Search for the what I really was wanting and say it outloud. Be grateful for a day of sobriety. Admit that without God's grace and mercy I was sunk. Ask for help. Pray for the knowledge of God's will for me and the power to carry it out. Some nights, like last night, sleep was a long time in coming and I desperately wanted to numb myself into la-la land. Times like that the honesty is crucial and the praying even more. It's much easier to take matters into my own hands than to reach out for God's.

I got a glimpse this week, for the first time in 18 years, of what it means to journey one day at a time. What it looks like to pray for grace for this day only. How it feels to turn to God with all my frailties, trusting that God's grace and mercy will sustain me where my self will won't. Other people may be able to skip these kinds of prayers on a regular basis and be none the worse for wear. I'm learning the hard way that I can't.

This morning, at my meeting, I was able to talk honestly about the overwhelming gratitude I felt today. Gratitude that when I needed help, there was a meeting to attend and fellow travelers to journey with. Gratitude that God's grace and mercy were there for the asking, at any moment, on any day. I spoke of how I used to think me and God were enough but that I had learned I could no longer journey without their companionship. A week feels like such a short amount of time to have learned anything. But the gratitude feels real. And for that I am grateful.

Today I wrote in my journal: "Something has shifted within me. I'm not trying - straining - to keep from succumbing to my addictions anymore. This time it's not like my worth is in whether I do this perfectly or not. It feels like I've humbled myself and am simply crying out to God for help because I know I can't do it on my strength alone. Will power won't keep me free. It feels like a good shift, whatever it is."

And then I turned to the Big Book and read these words; which summed up exactly how I felt last week at this time: "There is a solution. Almost none of us liked the self- searching, the leveling of our pride, the confession of shortcomings which the process requires for its successful consummation. But we saw that it really worked in others, and we had come to believe in the hopelessness and futility of life as we had been living it." ~ Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 25

Tonight, before I go to sleep I will talk to God about my day. About how grateful I am for a day of sobriety and abstinence. Grateful for the grace to make good choices, life giving choices. Grateful to be learning what it means not to be ashamed of my reality.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

I CAN

The team of doctors I see for my chronic illness has been badgering encouraging me for the past 3 years to improve my exercise tolerance. In the beginning, one minute and 15 seconds on a treadmill got me a doctor's note to stop working immediately. That's how long it took me to hit my target heart rate. That brief amount of exertion would sideswipe me for days. Use up all my spoons. And so I got scared. Scared of trying. Many times my very stubborn self decided I would simply defy my limitations and wham - my bout of trying to prove something exertion would leave me out of commission for a day or two. Waking some mornings to ask dearest one to wash my hair, in order to save spoons, still leaves me a bit teary. Dearest one earns his living by being a caregiver. Anything that smacks of him being a caregiver for me makes me a bit sad. But saving my pride is a big price to pay for giving up 2 out of 3 available spoons for the day so I ask and he graciously washes my hair.

Give me a string of good days physically and I am sure I will never have a bad one again. It doesn't seem to matter how many times I go through this cycle, a bad day still makes me feel fragile. Three days in a row of 90 seconds on the stationary bike has often been followed by three days of racing heart beats and limbs that felt like they were encased in concrete. Eventually I said to hell with it. It just wasn't worth it.

But last winter I saw a doctor who simply told me that walking wouldn't hurt me. He said if it felt too overwhelming, try walking at the end of the day so I wouldn't have to choose between walking and having a life. That was the first time since I started this journey, that I saw a glimmer of hope. Hope that I could do something about my physical stamina. And so I tried. Walked to the end of the driveway and back at night. Eventually was able to walk on the gravel road. Some days I couldn't lift my feet by the time I got back in the yard but I did it anyway. Dearest one and I joked that I was walking like a little old lady. I tried to be brave but I wasn't feeling very brave. There are times when my limitations make me want to sob from that deep place within.

By the time I saw the cardiologist a few weeks ago I had built up to walking a mile at a time at least 3 days a week, some weeks 5. I walked 6 minutes on the treadmill during my last heart stress test before my heart rate was so high I had to quit. I'm making progress and I am thrilled about it. I challenge myself a bit more all the time. I've gone from parking beside the handicapped parking space to about halfway across the parking lot. Yes, there are still days when I get part of the way through a shopping trip and my heart is going so flipping fast and I'm having a hard time lifting my feet. When this happens I sit out the rest of the day in the van. The geneticist told me in June that this illness is one of peaks and valleys and to pace myself in order to live with it. I dare to say I am on a peak. I never thought this day would come.

A year ago dearest one and I were talking about pulmonary fibrosis and life expectancy. I don't think in those terms anymore. I don't think I have the fibrosis. Whatever is going on in my lungs is something less threatening. Somewhere along the way I decided I would focus more on living than on dying. At the women's retreat I spoke at in May, I was sure I had experienced some kind of healing. Just before I gave my talk a group of women prayed for me, and I experienced this ability to draw breath into my lungs like I can't remember doing in years. I told God at that point, temporary or permanent,I'd take whatever healing I could get. And whether the peak lasts a month or a year, I'll enjoy it for all it's worth.

Catching up on my bloglines today I came across a video that inspires me. I hope it inspires you, too. Some days I just need perspective to choose optimism over the pessimism that comes more naturally for me. This video does that. This father/son team are awe inspiring. It took forever on dial up to download it,(make sure you have the sound on) but it was worth the wait. Here is a link to read that gives some background before you watch the video. I think I have a new mantra.
I CAN
.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Touching Our Wounds

From Befriending The Stranger by Jean Vanier:

"This (Samaritan)woman also lives within each one of us;
she is the wounded, broken part of our being
that we hide from others,
and even from our own selves.
She symbolizes the place of guilt in us
from which are born many of our attitudes and actions -
consciously or unconsciously.
This sense of guilt can even urge us to be heroic and generous
in order to redeem ourselves.
It can also push us into anger
and dependence on drugs and alcohol.
If we do not let God penetrate
into the shadow areas of our being,
they risk governing our lives.

I remember talking about the Samaritan to a group
in which there was a woman with a serious alcohol problem.
She used to go through times of abstinence
but then would fall back into drinking.
She would stop again and again and then start drinking.
After my talk she came up to me and said:
"Now I understand. There are two women living inside me.
The one who drinks
and the one who, when she is not drinking,
refuses to look at the wounded part of me,
as if it was too dirty for God to love.
I deny that that part exists
and I only speak to God about the bright side of me.
I understand now that I have to let God meet
the wounded, broken woman inside of me
and let him enter into al lthe dirt inside me."
Without realizing it and in her own rough language
she was uttering the words of John in the prologue to his gospel:
'the light came into the darkness.'"

Taken from Befriending The Stranger By Jean Vanier

A Beautiful Thing

This morning I lay in bed and thought about how trusting someone is really about trusting God. I don't mean trusting just anyone - like people who have shown us they shouldn't be trusted. I mean the people we have the capacity for the deepest intimacy with. And how intimacy cannot be realized until we trust. I am being given the grace to trust and finding out that intimacy is a beautiful, beautiful thing.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Catholic Carnival

This week's Catholic Carnival. Enjoy!

Embracing All The Pain

Something Extraordinary

E. James Wilder

Recovery is facing and embracing all the pain in our lives, so that we will gain maximum growth: learning lessons, gaining power and looking for ways to help others do the same. Those are the goals of recovery, a destiny that is beyond what any person could achieve alone. It takes other people's loving involvement in order to develop our maturity, and it takes God's redemption to bring something good out of our pain. God is working in everything for our good - so that we will have something extraordinary to give to others.

Source: The Life Model

~Via Inward/Outward

Sunday, August 13, 2006

To Whom Can We Go?

"...Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life." ~John 6:68

When I get as discouraged as I was yesterday there really is no where else to go. On my way to church this afternoon I felt as if I was cloaked in self loathing - a heavy, dark mantle weighing me down. It's such a tiny church where we gather, everyone knowing where the key is; the quiet and solitude within is good for my soul.

As I knelt and looked at the crucifix I thought about Christ broken for me. Then this picture came into my head of my body, a broken bag of bones. It was as if I was being held in a gunny sack, bones crushed and broken only to find I was the one swinging the baseball bat at myself....beating myself up for being human. God give me the grace to lay the bat down and come broken before you. Heal me, Daddy.

In need of the grace that comes through the Sacrament of Reconciliation I asked for time alone with the priest. And then I spilled my guts... the self loathing, the struggles, the weariness of the battle. And in return I was reminded of just how much God loves me as I am, sin and all.

When I get as despondent about living in my skin as I was yesterday, I inevitably end up calling out to Christ for help. Father Charlie reminded me today that that really was what confession was about. Calling out to Christ for help. I cannot afford to be despondent too long. I know I will only sink deeper into escape and get buried in shame if I don't call out. I used to think I was beyond turning to booze if the shame got too great. I now know I have another drunk in me; I don't know if I have another sobering up. Since returning to AA I have come to some very painful discoveries about myself. The thought of having to ask daily for the grace to withstand all my addictions overwhelms me. I can hardly handle facing the pain that will be if I turn my back on my coping mechanisms. It's one thing to not have a drink for 18 years, it's another to actually live in sobriety.

At this moment I am grateful. Grateful for the grace to call out. Grateful for the grace received to carry on. Grateful that I didn't pick up a drink, rent a blue movie or numb myself into oblivion today. Grateful for the courage to write it all down for the world to see, to remind myself that I don't journey these valleys alone. Grateful for people like you who may not leave a comment, but hold me up in prayer when my strength has so obviously run out. Grateful that hope, despite it all, continues to be my favourite word in the English language.

"The angel of the Lord came a second time, touched him and said, 'Get up and eat, otherwise the journey will be too much for you.' ~ 1 Kings 19:7

Today I am grateful to have sustenance for the journey.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Running The Race

"Is it possible to live life without some form of anesthesia?"


I read the sentence above on Christy's blog within an hour of waking up from a self numbed sleep. Her question has been my own so often. Will I ever stop soothing myself with self destructive activities? Will I ever stop turning to food for comfort? Will I ever stop numbing myself into oblivion? Will I ever choose true intimacy over the company of me, myself and I? I have been able to resist the urge to make a zillion lists in a quest to fix my life. I know making a list won't heal the gaping wounds. It's what to do with the increasing self loathing as the wounds seemingly fester that hounds me.

I type all this while hearing in my head statements that Christians(myself included) say outloud in an effort to make the journey bearable. Statements which are often good and true yet still make me want to run screaming from the room. I hear them and think piss off - you're only trying to distance yourself from my humanity.

Fuck progress, I want perfection.

And I wonder if a day will ever come when I will be at peace with my imperfections instead of trying to outrun them.

Friday, August 11, 2006

The Vanishing Light

The phone range at 6:09 this morning. Have I ever mentioned I am not a morning person? With three adult children living their own lives it doesn't really matter whether I am a morning person or not. Come to think about it, it never matters once you have children. But I do tend to think bad things must be on the horizon when the phone rings that early. The call turned out to be harmless (and kidless) except that I was doing my "OMG, something's happened to one of the kids" maniac dash "I pray the serenity prayer automatically" saunter on the way to the phone when I crashed into the wall instead of zigzagging around it. Geez, my shoulder is some kind of sore. My body connected with the wall right where my sunburn from last week is peeling. Ouch. (I know Penni, I know....there is no such thing as a safe tan.)

The vanishing around-the-clock daylight is an adjustment. Driving home last night we needed the headlights on for the first time since somewhere on the other side of June 21st. Similarly, this morning at 6:09 our home had that pre-dawn glow.

I thought the need for night lights had departed with the kidlets but apparently not. I have the marks to prove it.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

My Little Notebook

I think I make a lousy tourist. Bookstores. That is really the only thing that interests me when I go far away from home. Well, the people I am visiting as well, but if they take me to a bookstore(as one friend did last week) that gets them bonus points! That makes me think of a time 20 years ago when I took my mother in law to a fabric shop because they had this sale and she makes all her own clothes. What did she really want to do? Go to a bookstore. She's my kind of gal. We left on trips at the same time last week and both of us had visions of bookstores in far off places.

I go into bookstores with my little notebook and write down the title of every book that interests me. Books I might like to own but don't want to fork out the money for until I know they are keepers. After visiting 3 bookstores in 2 different cities I came home with 30+ books on my list to order from the library. Maybe 3 will make it onto the must have list. Memoirs, writing reference books and the religion section are where I go looking. Next month I am going to start writing my own book. I have three works of fiction (one adult, one young adult and one picture book) riding around in my head but I am really tempted to write a memoir. Writing a memoir at this point in my life though seems a tad big headed. Well, writing a blog post does some days too. :)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Anniversaries

This first week in August is the 30 year anniversary of the beginning of dearest one and my relationship. I was 14 and he 16 when I submitted my name for the "penpals wanted" section of our prairie farm newspaper. Ten girls answered my little bio and one lone male. Pretty cool, eh? It's a bit of a long story how we went from there to marriage 5 years later and how we will soon be celebrating 25 years of marriage. God and grace, love and indifference, joy and sorrow. The stuff the human journey is full of is our story as well.

This past weekend spent celebrating my parents 50th wedding anniversary was good. At one point dearest one was on his way out the door for a quick trip into the city when I realized he hadn't given me a kiss goodbye. I dashed out the door and caught up to him as the van was about to back up. "Where's my kiss?" I called. Youngest son and one niece got to see that "old people" can still kiss up a storm. Ha.

I still remember the day I received his first letter. The mail carrier came three days a week back then. On this particular day the mail was late due to our regular mailman being on holidays and his replacement having a hard time following the route. It was one of those beautiful calm summer evenings, the sun just starting to kiss the horizon. I remember walking to the house reading dearest ones' letter. Funny how clear some memories are.