Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My Christmas adventure

Well, we drove to Colorado in spite of weather and warnings from friends. We started out a little after noon on Wednesday, December 23rd. It was snowing a little but not much.

The highway was a solid patch of ice and the wind blew in big puffs that shook the car. We sped along at 40 miles an hour and, when I was driving, my stomach was in a knot.

We saw many cars and semis off the road. Twin paths in the snow marked where they had left the pavement. Some were on their sides, some were on their tops, some were right side up but not looking too good. We just kept slowing moving along.

At times I had to wiggle my fingers to get the circulation back in them from gripping the steering wheel so tight. We listened to a book on tape and talked. We stopped often to stretch our weary legs and backs.

When we crossed into Colorado, it really started to snow. Big beautiful, white flakes. Would have been prettier if we were at our destination. We commented on how lovely the scenery was with the snow on it. But by this time it was dark and the snow streaming toward the headlights like a tunnel was almost hypnotising.

A normal 8 hour drive took 11 hours. We arrived at my sister's at 11:30pm CST to 8 to 10 inches of fresh snow. Too tired to sleep but so relieved that we had made it.

It was a wonderful Christmas and worth the trip but I think next year we'll stay home.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas interruptus

Well, we had planned to drive to Colorado to spend Christmas with my sister and her family. I say HAD planned because there is a big winter storm that may change our plans.

I will be greatly disappointed. We were there 2 years ago and had a wonderful time. God granted us a white Christmas after we got to my sister's house so our travel was safe and uneventful. Not so this year.

I believe that God controls everything and if we cannot travel to Colorado then it is part of his plan. There is a reason we should stay home. We won't know what that plan or reason is until it happens. I am at peace with that(sort of.)

I don't understand God sometimes but I do trust in Him (most of the time. I'm getting better at it all the time.) I know he would never do anything that wasn't in my best interest. But snow? I'm not sure how that is in my best interest but I guess I'll wait, trust, and eagerly anticipate. I'll let you know what happens.

All of you have a blessed, joyous and peaceful Christmas.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Great ideas but ...

I don't know if you do this or not but I have great ideas for my blog while driving or doing something where I can't write things down. Then when I get ready to do my post, I can't for the life of me remember what my great idea was. Very frustrating.

Don't know if it's a sign of age or stress. But either way, I have had some wonderful and profound thoughts to share that have floated off into Never Never Land. If they return, I'll let you know.

Today though, I remembered (a miracle!). Have you seen the movie "Flywheel?" It is a movie with a Christian message and is very good. Short synopsis - a man owns a used car business and is not doing well. He recognizes that on his own he has made a mess of things. He turns the lot and the business over to God and things improve tremendously.

I got to thinking about the things in my life that would be better if I just turned them over to God and trusted in His plan. It's a hard thing to do. We (I) want to be in control of my life and there are many things I don't do all that well.

It's easy to say we have turned our lives over to God but I think we need to be more specific and intensional. Pick a part of your life to turn over to God and then pick another and another until you really have turned your whole life over to Him.

So today, I am turning my church over to God and trusting in his mercy and grace. I am excited to see how He will work.

I feel much better now!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Last Saturday was my birthday! Even at my age, I love birthdays. it's an excuse to get together with good friends and an excuse to get gifts!

My mother always made birthdays special and made me feel special as a result. I was told every year about the circumstances of my birth - snow storm, excitement at having a big (over 10 pounds) girl and everything else. It made me know I was wanted and loved. Maybe that's why birthdays are so special to me. It brings back all those memories and feelings.

My husband & I went out with some of our closest friends and had a great time. The photo is all of us at Macaroni Grill. It was wonderful and made me gloriously happy.

I wish each of you a birthday that makes you feel loved and special.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Surprise meeting

Last night I met one of the bloggers I follow. We ran into each other at a local coffee shop. I hope that doesn't violate any unspoken rules of blogdom. It was so exciting to meet this woman whose blog and, therefore, life, I have been following for months. She was prettier than her photo and bubbly and fun. I knew she lived in my town but who would have thought we would meet by accident.

It's kind of complicated but a friend of mine, Diedra, who also blogs, was there and she recognized her. Knowing that I follow "Graceful," she brought her over to introduce me. What a great surprise!

I had been there for a meeting and she was there to present a reading for a writer's group she belongs to. I couldn't stay to listen but I'm going back in January when she reads again.

This blogging thing is fairly new to me but the vistas it has opened and the friends I feel I have made all over the country and the world are amazing. It was more than I could have ever imagined.

Have you met any of your blog friends?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

After Thanksgiving

There is a certain let down after Thanksgiving. So much cooking and cleaning and socializing and then it's over. It leaves a bit of a void which I have a tendency to fill with eating turkey leftovers!

I am left feeling a bit melancholy and like a rudderless ship. I wander around the house feeling like there is something I should be doing but not being able to figure out what that is.

The long weekend also gets me very confused as to what day it is. I have had 3 Saturdays so far. It's funny how a change in the rountine can throw us into a tail spin like that.

By Saturday, I am back to normal. Whatever that is! It's a nice feeling to have a day to do whatever. I will run errands, knit on a sweater I am making for my sister, maybe take a nap and generally have a low key day. I will try to cut back on my eating -good luck with that - and I will look for new recipes to do with turkey. In a week my husband will be so sick of turkey, he will refuse to eat any more.

Hope everyone had a wonderful, blessed Thanksgiving and are enjoying the lazy days after.

God Bless.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Play time reflections

My husband and I had a lovely weekend (anticipated in my last post). We wandered around an antique mall to see if there was anything we couldn't live without. It's amazing that the antique malls have so many things we remember from our childhood. They can't be antiques yet, can they? Does that mean that we are antiques or is it just that we owned really old stuff when we were kids?

We went out to eat at a local restaurant that was warm and noisy. We shared a HUGE steak and ate too much.

We went to a friends' retirement party for about 20 minutes (we were being selfish with our time together.)

We went back to the hotel and lay on the bed and watched some TV and relaxed and just enjoyed being together.

We slept well and had a great hot breakfast in the hotel's lobby area.

We went to visit Bob's daughter and 2 of our grandchildren in Iowa and spent the day with them. What fun it is to watch them grow.

We came home tired but happy.

The temptation of a weekend like that is to try to do too many things and come home more exhausted than when you left. We resisted.

Everyone needs to take some time off from daily responsibilities and play.

Try it, you'll like it!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Play time

My husband and I are going to spend the night at a local hotel this weekend. Just an excuse to get away. We have talked recently about the fact that we don't play enough. We are caught up with the responsibilities of jobs and the house and his Mother that we have lost some of the fun of life. I have a yearning for that which, as Deidra talked about in her blog -, many of us leave with our childhood - joyful PLAY.

I asked my husband what he wanted to do while we were "away" and he said "Let's go to a movie." I told him that was not play since in a movie you don't get a chance to interact (well, if you do the people around you say Shhhh!) So we decided to go out to dinner and find a place to play pool. I am not very good and he is very good so it's not much of a match but it is playing.

I am going to try to get us to play each week. Maybe go bowling or just play cards at home or go for a bike ride.

We all need to play. It had a purpose in our childhood and it has a purpose now.

Find some time to play in the next week and see how good it makes you feel.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Mother's Gift

This evening seven years ago, my mother died. In some ways it feels like yesterday and in some ways it feels like a long, long time ago. I miss her terribly. She left a hole in my soul that cannot be filled by anyone else.

She was strict and loving and the perfect mother when we were young. Creating Halloween costumes, and birthday party games, and slumber party treats and expecting polite, compassionate, loving children. I'm sure there were times we disappointed but I hope those times were few. She took care of us when we were sick and rejoiced with us when we were happy.

She was petite and a sharp dresser. She laughed easily and had a quick wit. Everyone loved her.

The best gift she gave me was a set of tapes (yes, cassette tapes) of her and her older sister talking about their lives. The stories are fascinating but it's the sound of her voice I hunger for. When I hear that voice, I feel comforted and happy.

Today is a melancholy day. Bittersweet. But it will pass and life will go on but the legacy my mother left behind will always be in my heart.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Random Thoughts on Rain

It is raining today. Really raining. Not a light drizzle but good old steady rain. And it is cold. The damp kind of cold that goes into your bones. I have my space heater on under my desk.

But the rain is also beautiful. It washes the sidewalk and the street and the grass and make them look fresh. There is nothing like the smell in the air after a rain.

At night the rain reflects the taillights of the cars in parallel, red stripes and the street lights in patches of white. The pavement sparkles with reflected light.

Rain is life giving to plants and animals alike. We humans hate getting out in it to go to work or run errands. I always wondered why. I am that way too. It's not that I will melt (heaven forbid) but that I will end up looking like a drowned rat and my clothes may be "dry clean only."

I much prefer rain over snow. Snow is pretty but eventually turns to brown ice and is ugly. Plus you have to shovel or snowblow snow.

I am enjoying the rain but I have to admit I would enjoy it more if I were at home curled up with a book and a cup of tea.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Exercize, Smexercize

I have absolutely no motivation when it comes to exercise. I have all the good intentions in the world to go to the gym 3 times a week. So far I have made it twice a week and feel guilty about that.

Today I was going to go at 11:30 and the time came and went and I didn't go. I need to go and should go but I don't.

Maybe tomorrow.

I guess I should be satisfied with 2 times a week since that is 2 times more than I was exercising before I joined the gym. That's a good thing, isn't it?

The other problem is that because I am doing all this enormous amount of exercise, I think I can eat more. There is some twisted logic in that. Anyway, I have put on 2 pounds in the last week. Ugh! I hate it when that happens.

Well, wish me luck in getting to the gym tomorrow. I'll need it.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mental Illness

I have a very sweet, young friend who has a mental condition called Bi-polar disease. It is a troubling thing. She chooses not to take her medication which, I am told, is common among those with the disorder. She doesn't like the way it makes her feel or, actually, the way it makes her not feel.

She struggles against unseen demons, she is one day cheerful and full of life and the next day, dark and angry and upset. I am helpless. I am sad. I wish I knew what to do.

She is creative and beautiful and has had to deal with many things in her young life that most people could not dream of. I don't know if this is what caused her brain to deal with reality differently than mine does. I don't know. I wish I did.

If this were a physical illness, I would be better equipped. I could put on a band aid, or make chicken soup, or offer an aspirin but none of these things will relieve her suffering.

My problems seem to be dwarfed by what she is going through. I pray for her and trust that God will intervene. I don't know what else to do.

Please God, help her and bring her peace.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Exercise - good for the soul

Well, I went to exercise at Curves 2 times last week. I may go tomorrow (Saturday), too. We'll see! I usually go at lunch time and the women who are there are "middle aged" like me. I am guessing we are all trying to gain some of that muscle tone we have lost due to inactivity and aging. Ugh!

I have discovered muscles I forgot I had and a sense of accomplishment that surprised me. I work hard at the machines and am a little sore afterwards. Which I think is good.

I was athletic in High School but that was a looooong time ago. Since then I have exercised sporadically, if at all.

It feels wonderful to awaken that "power(?)." Understand that power is a relative term. What is powerful to a hummingbird is not powerful to a lion. I am more on the hummingbird side! I'm working toward the lion!!

Wish me luck in keeping motivated.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Shut ma' mouth!

I listened to a devotional by Patsy Clairmont a couple of days ago that really struck home.

She quoted Psalms.."may the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable to you oh Lord..."

My mouth gets me in trouble all the time. I don't know why I can't control it sometimes but I can't. Many of my utterances are definitely NOT acceptable to God or to the person to whom I am speaking.

I let my temper or my frustration or whatever, allow me to utter words that are rude, hurtful, sarcastic or thoughtless. I always regret it afterwards but that does not help.

My self-editor malfunctions and I hear myself say things that I can't take back.

I apologize and am truly sorry but it does not erase the initial cut. I don't want to have to apologize so often. It's embarrassing and annoying and after a while people get tired of the apologies.

Please God, help me control my tongue and make my words acceptable to you and to others.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Exercise? Healthy? Hmmmm!

Yesterday I had my first session at Curves, an exercise place I joined a few days ago. I knew I was in bad shape but going through the machines just brought it out. I am not heavy, most people think I am thin, but looks can be deceiving. Just because I am slim does not mean I am in good shape.

I worked my way around the circuit with the encouragement of a girl who looked to me to still be in High School. She smiled and pushed and explained and was generally cheerful. Some of the exercises, expecially the ones that required some amount of upper body strength, I failed at miserably. One required me to put my arm behind a couple of pads at shoulder height and then push the pads together in front of me. For a moment I thought the machine was stuck as I could not move. Then I realized that it was just my weak muscles that were stuck. How embarrassing.

In High School, I had been a "jock." I had played field hockey, basketball and volleyball and lettered in all. But I am 40+ years past High School and my muscles know even if I am in denial. (Denial is such a wonderful, safe place to be!)

So wish me luck with my exercise program. I will keep you posted on my progress.

Friday, September 25, 2009


Autumn, to me, is as beautiful as Spring. It is full of cool days and chilly nights and bright blue skies. Is is full of changing colors - the green grasses to shades of brown and umber, the trees to reds and yellows and golds. The fall flowers are bright against the fading background.

The earth is going to sleep after a glorious Summer. The sleep will refresh it so it can burst forth again in Spring.

I feel energized and full of anticipation as I breath in the air and practically skip down the street. The leaves swirl at my feet and the squirrels bury nuts they will probably never find again.

It is hard to believe that all of this was a random act of an explosion millions of years ago. It is all so ordered and perfect. God smiles on us and His creation is amazing.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Growing old??

"Let me grow lovely, growing old -
so many fine things do;
Lace and ivory and gold
and silks need not be new.
There is a healing in old trees,
old streets a glamour hold.
Why may not I, as well as theses,
grow lovely, growing old?"
From "Wings of Silver", author unknown.

I found this in a little daily thought book given to me by my step-daughter over 10 years ago. It means more to me now that I am 10 years older! Go figure!

I try to grow "lovely, growing old." I do not believe that complaining about your aches and pains or the things you can no longer do, makes you lovely. I think bringing joy or comfort to others, being a good friend, being a good wife, and letting the love of Christ shine through my face and actions, helps me to "grow lovely, growing old." At least I hope so.

I don't mind getting older. I do not wish I were 20 again. Not one little bit. I love where I am and who I am with and I wouldn't go back even if I could do it all over "knowing then, what I know now." If I did that, I might end up somewhere else, with someone else and I don't want to do that.

Growing older is an adventure and I love it. It's "not for sissies" as my late Mother used to say but it has a joy about it that you can't know until you are there. So my plan is to "grow lovely, growing old."

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Hill, What Hill?

Today I visited the Eye Doctor. I know there is a more proper name for his profession but this describes it better. Anyway, after not being able to read the bottom line on the chart and having a discussion about my beginnings of cataracts, I left feeling that age was catching up with me. It probably has already caught me but I have been in denial!

When I have these moments when I feel my age, I often think about my Mother and realize that she had these same thoughts, feelings, realizations and moments of reflection about what was happening to her body as she aged. She never shared them with me but, then again, I didn't ask either. It's an odd feeling to take a bunch of prescriptions, be getting cataracts, have less energy and muscle tone than you had just five years ago and yet not feel any different than you did when you were 18. Who says God doesn't have a sense of humor!

So right now, my body and my mind (such as it is) are having an argument as to whether I am near the Hill, over the Hill or on the downward slide. I think my mind is winning because it won't even let me see the Hill, let alone climb it. I think I'll stick with that until my next doctor's appointment. Wish me luck!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Charm bracelets

I don't know how many women in blogland remember charm bracelets. I am wearing one today that I think was my Mother's. I have several charm bracelets - mostly gold ones - one is mine and 2 were my Mother's. They jingle when I move my arm and the charms bump together. It is like the music of fairies!

Charm bracelets were special. They held your memories in little gold figures attached to a gold link bracelet. You started with the bracelet and then you added charms for special events such as trips or birthdays or boyfriends. Some girls bracelets were very full. Mine never were that full. I was particular when I added a charm. It had to be just right.

As I think about it, I am that way with my friends. I am very particular in choosing my friends so I don't have as many as some people do but I know them well and I cherish each one. They are each unique and bring something different to my life. And just like my charm bracelet, they create music for my soul.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Working for God

I have a little book of daily devotions - more phrases to ponder than devotions really. Anyway, the one yesterday was Colossians 3:23-24 "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive and inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."

I can forget that so easily and I need to remember it everyday. I don't work for me, I don't work for my boss, I work to bring glory to God. It puts so many things in perspective and makes life so much less stressful. My decisions are better, my day is more filled with joy and my vision of the future is clearer and brighter.

The next time someone asks me who I work for, I hope I answer "The Lord."

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Enemy

Isn't it interesting that after my Blog about Joy that I would hit an incredible low last night? Like most people, I would like to assume that everyone likes me but,sadly, that isn't true. I am dealing with that now in a very pubic forum, the church. Even in churches, emotions run high. As Christians, we are not exempt from anger, pettiness, pride, gossip, hurt feelings, and all other human feelings. We pretend we are above those things but we are not.

I know it's trite but if we thought, what would Jesus do and then actually did it, many relationship problems in the church might be avoided. We think WWJD but then we exercise our God given free will and that can lead to mistakes.

My heart was sick at the thought that I had engendered such anger in another person. I am still feeling a bit like I had been punched in the stomach.

I have been told that God doesn't give you more than you can handle. But sometimes, I think he over estimates my strength.

After speaking with my Pastor and being reassured that I would survive and being prayed for, I did felt better. It didn't solve the problem but I could view it more objectively.

I know that God will give me strength and the right words to do what I have to do and he IS in charge after all. And most amazing is that I will feel JOY through the whole thing.

Monday, August 24, 2009


I have 2 friends named Joy. It's a great name. I think of them every time we sing "Joy to the World" or "I've Got that Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy down in my heart." I wonder what it is like being named for an emotion or a feeling. You get to hear your name spoken in a number of contexts. But I digress...

Joy is an unexplainable feeling. It is not happiness because it does not depend on a circumstance or event to be felt. I feel joy in the most unusual times. Sometimes just driving down the road, I will be filled with inexplicable joy. I can feel joy at the same time I feel sadness. I know that doesn't make much sense but it's true.

Joy swells my heart like an inflating balloon. It is a wonderful feeling. If you ever watch a small child giggle, and dance, and sparkle with the joy of just being alive, that is how I feel. I wish everyone could experience that joy sometime in his or her life.

I believe Joy comes from God. Knowing Jesus puts joy in your heart. I know it has worked that way for me. We are told to "rejoice in all circumstances" and it works. It makes sadness not so sad. It makes despair not so desperate. It makes problems easier to solve. It makes life so good.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


You may wonder at the name of the website - woman at the well. Those of you who are familiar with the Bible will know the incident where Jesus meets a Samaritan woman at a well and asks for a drink of water. She has been married many times and is shunned by the community. But Jesus not only talks to her, he also knows all about her and loves her anyway.

Well, I identify with her in several ways.

When I first started attending the Church I currently attend, I was careful to keep my little secret just that. I felt that if people knew, I would be judged harshly. So I told no one. After a couple of years, a lady who was the head of our dramas, asked me to play a part for Easter. She asked me to play the woman at the well. I was amazed. God has a way of putting you on the spot sometimes. It was a soliloquy and I memorized the part with great difficulty. I think I gave a pretty good performance. The point is that it spoke to my heart and my secret.

Counting my current husband, I have been married 4 times. The first was less than 2 years, the next was about 4 years and the third was 8 years. I am now married for 14 1/2 years and this is the final one. Divorce is not an option.

I have learned a lot over the years. One is that everyone sins and falls short of the glory of God. That my mistakes do not effect how God loves me or who I am as a person.

I also learned that marriage is not a give and take relationship, it is a give and give relationship. The more I give to satisfy the needs of my husband, the happier I am. And the more he gives back. Marriage or any relationship is not successful if you are selfish. I witness that many people treat strangers better than they treat their spouses. Most people would not yell at or degrade a friend or stranger but they do it to their spouse. Odd!

I am not proud of my many marriages but it is not something I hide like a dirty secret anymore. It has made me who I am today. I have learned from each one and have taken those lessons into my current marriage to make it better and stronger.

That drama skit year ago made me realize that even though Jesus may not be happy with the things that I do, he does forgive me. And that's all that matters.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Friendship is an ever changing landscape. Friends come and go. I don't like that. I want friends who stay forever until we are both old and grey. I had friends in High School that I don't even know where they are anymore. I do keep in spotty touch with 1 or 2. I had friends in College and only keep in random touch with one who was my roommate for 2 years.

Finding a friend is exciting. You spend time together, you talk about everything, you laugh, you cry, you share. Having a friend fade from your life is sad and painful and inexplicable. I always wonder if it was something I said or did but I know it is not. It's the ebb and flow of life.

Friends are necessary. Even if you are happily married, which I am. A woman still needs friends.

I know that God puts people in our lives at certain times to help us along our journey or in order to help others along on their journey. When a friend stops calling or wanting to get together, I assume my journey with her is done. I don't often know, at the time, what God had in mind for that friendship but if given enough time and space, I assume I will figure it out.

I have two friends that I have known for 13 years and 18 years respectively. I could not imagine my life without Sharon and Amy. Sharon is my age and can relate to tales of hot flashes and wrinkles. We laugh a lot. Amy is over 20 years younger than I am and keeps me informed on the world of Moms and children and life of the 30 somethings. She makes me forget my age. I thank God for both of them.

I have many friends that are casual friends whose lives I do not share in but I enjoy them, too. It's like concentric circles. There is an inner circle of close friends, then layers of friends with whom you are less close until the layers become only aquaintances.

Friendship is an ever changing landscape and it can be beautiful.