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Friday, April 23, 2010

Till Death Do Us Part

I was talking to my son last weekend about marriage when he mentioned that a friend of his had unrealistic expectations about  marriage. His exact words were "She believes it should be like a fairytale". I explained to him that a lot of girls/women believe marriage should be like a fairytale. We grow up reading stories like Cinderella and Snow White, eventually some graduate to romantic novels and somewhere along the way we forget to teach our little girls that those are just stories. Don't get me wrong, marriage is a wonderful thing, but it's no fairytale regardless of who you are, or who you are married to. Before my husband and I got married our minister told us one day we would wake up, look at each other, and have no clue why we were married. Out of the entire conversation that's the only thing that stuck with me. As we passed one anniversary after another I wondered time and again when that day would come, could I handle it, or would we escape that event all together. It took about 27 years before I experienced any of those feelings or thoughts, but there have been moments in the last couple of years when I have. I thank God every day they were fleeting and they didn't last! My husband, to this day, denies that he has ever experienced it, but I tend to believe he is just in denial. Regardless, love isn't always warm and fuzzy. It's not always exciting. It's not always fun, but all in all it is totally worth it. When he makes me laugh, or comforts me when I'm down, it's like a warm blanket wrapped tightly around my heart. Sometimes life distracts us and stresses us to the point of losing sight of our love, but that doesn't mean it isn't always there.... just waiting for the flame to be kindled again. God knew exactly what he was doing when he put the two of us together. He created something that would endure the test of time. So far it's been 28 years, 4 months, 3 days, 20 hours and 39 minutes since we said I do and we're still going strong. Do we have moments? Yes we do, but the real question is... Do we still have each other in those moments? The answer to that question is yes we do.... Until death do us part.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

****Embossed Invitation****

You saw me there attempting to peer at the future through the windows of my soul. The black soot of yesterday and the fears of tomorrow had fogged the window pane till no light could be seen. The future looked distorted and empty... A sunless void in a sky of compromise. Tattered remnants of failed attempts to manage my own life scattered the floor of my heart. There I stood,disillusioned by failures, disappointment and unrealized dreams. I was empty handed, brokenhearted and so very confused about what I had become in light of who you had created me to be. Would you leave me there searching but not finding, finding but not possessing and succeeding only in the utter failure of who I am in you? If I cried out would you answer? If I reached up would you extend to me the nail scarred hand of forgiveness, mercy and grace? Was it possible to ask you for the gift of restoration... when all I deserved was death? As gentle as a breeze brushing against my cheek, as soothing as a spring rain, and as fragrant as the lilies bloom.... your voice whispered "Yes, always". Those were the words that glued my fragile heart back together. The scars that formed on my heart of clay,were nothing more than 14 karat gold embossing on an elegant invitation, To Come, To Ask, To Receive.... addressed directly to me.....

Monday, April 19, 2010

Crossing The Line

You know it's never as much fun coming back from vacation as it is going on vacation. Regardless of whether you are flying or driving the trip home just seems to take longer and isn't nearly as enjoyable as when you are looking forward to fun and adventure. Coming home from California was no exception. I would have loved to stay another few days with my toes sank deep in the sand on Coronodo Island and watching the birds dive for fish. But all good things must come to an end so the 8 of us headed to the airport after a fabulous breakfast and began the annoying process of checking in and going through security. There was a lady in front of me that took about 10 minutes and 7 trays to put all of her crap in so it could be scanned. She kept looking back at us like we were trying to rush her and I promise we were not. It just seemed that she was a little high strung and I personally wanted to keep my distance in case she came unwound. My husband and I took our shoes off, placed them in the trays and all that blah, blah, blah stuff you have to do to get on a plane these days and began to walk through the medal detectors. Of course my husband, who has 2 artificial hips set off all of the bells and whistles to which we are completely familiar with. As they pulled him aside I went on to retrieve the stuff from our trays but "Miss Tightly Wound and Over Packed" was in the way and holding up the whole line. Not only did I need to get my stuff I was trying to catch my husband's stuff since he was being delayed. So I'm trying to grab everything without running over "Miss Tightly Wound and Over Packed" and instead decided to step around her to the other side of the conveyor belt. Just as I reached for my husband's shoes a security guard (who looked like he was about 20 years old) stepped beside me and began reaching for my arm and my oldest son was right behind him saying "Mom... It's ok, I'll get Dad's stuff". The security guard grabs my arm and says "Ma'am, you can't do that", to which I just turn and smile at him, and kind of laugh completely not getting the concept that he was dead serious. I mean if I recall correctly he actually had his hand on his holster and the other hand on my elbow and I was still a little confused as to what the heck was going on. As I "stepped away from the line" he says to me.... "You just can't do that, you just can't cross the line like that, It's like jumping over the counter at 7 Eleven.... You just don't do that." He was so serious and I was totally amused at what all the fuss was about. Seriously, did I look like a threat with my blankie and hot pink snake skin purse? I can certainly give Mr. TSA credit, he was on high alert that day, but in my opinion he should have been less concerned about this ditzy blond trying to grab her husband's shoes and more concerned about "Miss Tightly Wound and Over Packed"... I mean she actually did look like a threat. The problem was, she may have looked just a tad psycho and may have held up the line, but she didn't actually cross the line and I did (welcome to my world!). Not only was it my good fortune to cause a ruckus at the airport, but it was also my good fortune to be seated right next to "Miss Tightly Wound and Over Packed"... And that was a FABULOUS experience. She fidgeted and dug through her multiple cases and bags till I came very close to offering her a little something to help her relax... But I had already crossed enough lines for one day.... why push my luck.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Just Ask Cinderella

Last weekend I hunted furiously for my Mojo. I looked all over the house while I cleaned, I scoured every pond and sand pit at the golf course, only, only, only to come up Mojoless. It's a sad state of being when your Mojo suddenly goes missing. My husband even called the Neurologist this week to inquire about my Mojo status. Unfortunately or maybe fortunately depending how you look at it, losing your Mojo after recovery from a head injury is what they call.... "Hitting the wall". I'll have to say that term fits how I feel exactly. I feel like I took several steps forward in March only to fall several steps behind at the beginning of April. What the heck? I'll have to admit that I've been in a bit of despair this week because I'm absolutely sick of hearing.... "It will take a few months"! Meanwhile, life and spring is passing me by as I muddle through the fog of each day. I grapple with guilt every day for feeling like a burden to my family, causing them stress and just for not just being my old self. I feel like I'm grabbing for answers and solutions only to come up empty handed. Not to be a whine bag but to top it off my husband and I faced a very personal, spiritual dilemma this week that left both of us feeling hmmmm, like a disposable outcast. I know those feeling will pass, but still not exactly what we needed right now. So now the weekend looms before me and I am determined once again not to drown in this quicksand of trial I find myself in. I am going to pull myself out, try to focus on the positive and find that dadgum Mojo. If that doesn't work.... I'll go shopping for a new pair of heels.... cause new shoes can make all the difference. If you don't believe me just ask Cinderella. That girl has the scoop!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Motto Of The Week

The motto for this week must have been "If it can go wrong.... it will". Monday I nearly caught the office on fire when I attempted to fix Easy Mac for lunch. Unfortunately with my mind going in 10 different directions at once I somehow.... forgot to add the water before turning it on for 3 minutes. If you've never burnt macaroni to blackened ashes, melting the container they came in.... then you have missed a true experience. Of course since I was trying to "multi-task" I had gone back to me office to catch up while my lunch cooked. It wasn't until I heard the screaming and nashing of teeth that I stepped out to find black smoke pouring from the break room and people coughing and gagging as they ran from the area.  It took me a few seconds to figure out how on earth everything went so terribly wrong in such a simple task. The bright spot is we don't have a sprinkler system at work, so everyone made it out without being drenched. The rest of the afternoon we worked with all the doors opened just so we could breathe. Apparently a vote was taken and it was decided I couldn't use the microwave without adult supervision. I'd like to say that Monday evening was better, but actually it was just about as disastereous, but I'll spare you the gruesome details of that experience... let's just say it wasn't pretty. All day Tuesday I tried coping with a raging headache and when I woke up with it still raging Wednesday morning I called into work sick. After a long hot soaking bubble bath and some medicine I decided to go in for 1/2 a day. Actually I didn't feel too bad but while I was sitting at break I happened to look down at my skirt and.... something just didn't look right. Again, it took me a few seconds to realize that yes indeed.... I had my skirt on inside out and yes indeed... I had paraded all around the office. I now have people that check me out in the morning before work begins to make sure everything is... in... place.  More often than not, I am blonder than I pay to be and that's the honest to God truth. The rest of the week was... well, let's just say I made it through in one piece. To say I'm looking forward to the weekend is an understatement!!! I'm going to re-group, find my mojo, and hopefully have my game face on and be ready for action come Monday morning. Of course if that doesn't work I'll just play the head injury card... I may be keeping that one in action for a while.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

My Favorite Places

There are two places I have found on this earth, where I feel like I can just reach out and touch the face of God. Something about being in the mountains just seem holy to me. I could sit and meditate on his goodness for hours, and his presence seems to overwhelm me when I'm there. The ocean is so alive with his spirit and every wave that crashes to the shore seems to sing of his majesty. Each place causes me to catch my breath and be caught up in his rapture. Day three provided me the opportunity to bask in the ocean breeze and dig my toes in the sand as we aimlessly wondered the beach at Coronodo Island. I'm in my own little world when I'm near the ocean..... I mean, more so than usual. While everyone leisurely walked to the beach I found myself picking up the pace and leaving the group behind. When I got to the water the waves washed over my feet leaving a tingling sensation. The water was clear, crisp and very much alive. I walked the beach in search of sand dollars and held each one I found in my hand. As I walked, the design the waves left on the sand changed from ripples to diamond shapes that were black, trimed with gold.... It was magical. Occasionally the tempature of the water would warm for just a second then return cool again. I enjoyed watching little kids dig holes, young couples staring into each others eyes and listening to the roar of the waves. The ocean does something to me that nothing else has ever done.... it makes me giggle. Something about the feel of the water wrapping around my ankles just makes me giggle and that's a feeling I absoluetly love!!! As I was walking back I stopped to look at something in the sand and one of the tiny sand dollars I held in my hand crumbled in a thousand pieces. It made me realize that not everything was meant to be held tight, but rather enjoyed in the element of freedom in which it exsist.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Feeling Special

I'll admit it.... I've always wanted to feel special. That's why when I was a kid I used to dress up like a princess EVERY-SINGLE-YEAR.... Or at least wear something that involved a crown. You just don't get more special than having a crown. I've always wondered what it would feel like to win backstage pass to a concert, be recognized for some act of bravery or win a medal for something. Go ahead and admit you probably feel the same way too.... deep down in your heart. On day two of our amazing vacation I got just a tiny taste of "special". The friends who went with us knew one of the handlers for the Bonobos and gorillas. Thanks to some phone calls and emails, we were able to go behind the scenes for a closer look. As the handler opened the gate I couldn't help but feel special as I noticed people glancing our way wondering why we got to go behind the gate that says "keep out". I'll admit it, It was a pretty good feeling (I know, I'm just shallow). I could sit and watch monkeys or gorillas all day long.  They are just so.... so..... human, except without human hang-ups (but they have plenty of their own I'm sure).  The first group we saw was the Bonobos.  When we entered we were standing over the habitat and there wasn't a Bonobo in sight.... Until the handler started calling out their names. In a flash they came scurring over the cliff and up the trees and ropes. It reminded me of the scripture that says "And the sheep follow him for they know his voice" (John 10:4). They came with the expectation that they were in for a treat. She threw the treats down for them and most of them scrambled after them with excitment, but some were more curious about the new visitors. One little lady in particular was full of personality. She climbed up on the highest pole and held her hand out as if to say
"I'll take some of that". If anyone could muster up a
pathetic sad face, she certainly could (a girl after my own heart). She was also a big flirt who had a
"thing" for men with facial hair. She knew if showing off her toes didn't get the job done then blowing them a great big kiss just might. She wasn't shy with her affections and she was adorable!!
The gorillas weren't as impressed with us, but they were just as interesting and hilarious in their own unique way. The great big Silverback called the shots especially when it came to sharing the treats. The baby of the family got away with stuff only a baby could. Since Daddy didn't want to share the treats the little one got bored and decided to take a gander to see if he could find anything of interest in Daddy's.... hmmm.... let's say Hiney. With the curosity of a child the little one parted the fir to examine Dad's rectum like a child looking through a kalidascope. Now if watching that doesn't make you laugh sister, nothing will.

It reminded me of when our kids were small and one of them had a habit of grabbing me around the knee then sliding their hand up... which isn't a big deal when you are a Mom.  One day we were standing in line in a very packed room, the child (who shall remain nameless) thought they were holding me around the knee as they began to absentmindedly slide their hand up my shorts. The problem was.... it wasn't me and the poor guy at the receiving end of the error just about jumped out of his skin with shock when that little hand ventured up. So yeah, I could sit and be amazed by the human nature of gorillas all day long.

Even though we didn't have backstage passes to the Panda's, it was still a precious sight. They are so beautiful they look almost fake. You just want to scoop them up and cuddle them.... They just look so sweet. The baby panda sat on a rock without a care in the world as the crowd stood in awe of how special he was.

It was a great day at the zoo! Being a big animal lover, I couldn't have asked for a better day. I was surrounded by my family and friends, and I felt special. It's the simple things in life that turns ordinary into extraordinary. It's as simple as having someone escort you through the gate that says "Keep Out"..... Those signs aren't for everybody, certain people are allowed in. Lucky for me, I got to be one of them.