bye old year

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In 2016 I learned my own limits.  The hard way.

My body went kind of went haywire.  It took a lot of tears and a really good doctor and months of a strict hormone and supplement regimen to get back to “normal.”

We are no longer fostering toddlers.  And I have the deepest respect for foster parents.

I am trying to “bloom where I’m planted”, so to speak, in these last few years that my kids are still home/homeschooling before college.  I can feel God transitioning me into something–teaching me much needed lessons.  I have been clinging to this notion that God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.  Because the temptation is to crawl under the sheets and think that I am equipped for nothing, but that is simply not the way it goes when your boss is the creator of the universe.

Praise Him!

Praise Him for lessons! For wisdom! For His infinite mercy and love!

Always.  Praise Him.

No

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I walked out on my back porch tonight.  My hands were full of stuff I needed to take upstairs–my gym bag, some dirty kitchen towels, a jacket.  I went outside to pluck some withered petunias off a plant and toss them in the yard with my free hand.  The blooms are so beautiful until, suddenly, shriveled-umbilical-cord-looking-things.  And then bumblebees seemed to be humming in a wide arc around my head, and the sound of the creek running so peacefully drifted up from the slight ravine behind the house.  The chickens were there, ten feet away, making their lazy last evening sounds before darkness chased them to roost.  The sun was going down behind my neighbors’ trees, and everything, even my own hand held out in the light, took on a warm peachy glow, and it was just one of those moments. Where time nearly stops.  I heard this snippet on the radio lately.  A man said that if you’re happy in life, great, because, Christian, this is the worst it’s ever going to get.  Like this–this Earth in its splendor–is nothing compared to Heaven.  And I just cannot even comprehend.  But it’s true.

I’ve decided I want a Great American Summer, with baseball games and reading and blackberry picking and cobblers and inner-tubing in the mountains and much lazing.  I think I can manage to pull it off; the key–and no easy feat– will be this:

“No.”

Do you know how that goes?

The desperate e-mails and the puppy dog eyes and the conniving and bustling (though I love them) friends and relatives?

“No.”

I’ll only get one Summer 2016, and it needs to be a break, not something I’ll need to recuperate from.

i guess i’m back

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I’ve got to revive this blog.

My other site is, mainly, fueled by my left brain.

Lest my right brain atrophy, I’ll post here as well.

 

 

came for the campers, stayed for the dogs

Lovely, lovely Saturday in North Carolina looking at old campers with my friend.  She just snagged a vintage Shasta and is stockpiling ideas for her restoration.

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P1070459{This one was my favorite.  I’d live in it right now.}

 

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And everybody, everybody, had a dog.

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It almost could have been a dog rally in which all the dog owners brought along their cool campers.

Almost.

So fun!!!

Doing-It-Myself Paint-By-Number

Ok so look what this person did on a wall: paint-by-number mural.

This summer, I hope, we’re going to redo our deck area.  And I so want to do a mural like that.  I love vintage paint-by-number landscapes, and I’d like a giant one on some birch plywood.  Original, unfinished kits are a bit hard to come by, and when one does come upon one, they’re pricey.  I only saw one I kinda liked, but, and this is a dumb hangup, the deer in it are mule deer.  There are no mule deer here, only whitetail.  In theory, I could sort of modify the ears, but in reality I know I’d make the deer look like…not deer.  Like freakish cats.

And then I was all like Hey why cannot I just make my own paint-by-number?

So I drove up the road, took a few pics of this adorabs church….

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P1070085…selected one, and outlined it (sort of, I modified it quite a bit, huh?) in Adobe Illustrator.

paint-by-numberBethlehem-ChurchunnumberedNow I have to number it.

Then have it printed as a transparency.

Then get plywood.

Then locate a projector.

Then trace it onto plywood.

Then paint it.

Ok, so this is going to be a very long process.

But the “then paint it” part will be so fun!!!!  If only I can get to that point.

Bye.

cohesion

cohesionMy kids and I just concluded a science chapter all about water.

Several pages into the text we came upon this author’s definition of cohesion.  I read aloud, “Cohesion: the phenomenon that occurs when individual molecules are so strongly attracted to each other that they tend to stay together, even when exposed to tension.”  I paused.  The kids waited.  I paused some more.

It was just that I was thinking that was the best definition of marriage I’d ever seen.

I got married when I was 19, my husband was 22.  That was 17 years ago.  The tension has been palpable.

We used to own only a futon.

Vehicles only sometimes worked.

My college, his college, my college.

Moving, pregnancy, moving, pregnancy, moving, adoption, failed adoption, moving, psychiatric wing.

There were and are Family issues–issues that everyone has–issues you cannot share because people are alive and at this point it’s just insult to injury.

But:

We didn’t call a divorce attorney.

And we didn’t call a divorce attorney.

And we didn’t call a divorce attorney.

We pretended, still do, that we’re on a nice vacation even when we’re not because we can’t afford it, and all we’re really doing is touching each other.  Just touching, one hand on another hand.

We chat about nothing late at night in bed, the only private moments we have.

He comes up behind me and kisses my neck while I stand at the stove.  I tousle his hair as I pass him with some laundry.

We laugh at the same things.  We tear up at the same things.

I tell him his son still loves him, that it’s ok, he’s just going through a phase.  He tells me our daughter still loves me, that it’s ok, she’s just going through a phase.

I like the low rumble of his truck engine when he backs into the driveway after work–and I know he’s home safely, one more time, thank God, and I’ll get to see him one more time, thank God.  Thank You, God, for this man.

My greatest fear, the fear that is laughed off by my more pious friends: What if in Heaven it’s not like this? What if he’s not mine, and I’m not his, and there is no sound of him coming home in the afternoon?

I don’t know about any of that, how it works there.

Don’t even know how it all works here, really.

But I know marriage is still the best we’ve got.

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A few weeks ago I sat in front of my Christmas tree in the late afternoon hours and talked to my brother on the phone.  He’s in cold Illinois.  I’m in not quite as cold Tennessee. I missed him.  Another holiday apart.  Another day not seeing each others’ kids grow and experience joy.

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Christmas has been packed up. 

Now it’s just cold.

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Blinds are at half-mast, or up.  We choose heat over light.  I don’t like that choice.

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In the gray early hours my husband walked over the crest of this foothill where we live.  So cold, the dogs stayed behind–no walk was worth it.  The road was slick and dangerous and he came back inside and came back to bed and I curled into his back.  I was praying he wouldn’t attempt the drive.

We slept in. 

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In hunkering down, trying to not feel as though I am weighted, being pressed down, but rather just still and waiting and growing and ready for warmer days.

My friend has primroses that will be up in a matter of weeks.  Oh, how I love her primroses! I’ve told her such, but she doesn’t understand completely how much I love moving up her front walk and seeing those gorgeous little blooms and how hopeful they make me.  Every year. 

If I had primroses they’d die, no doubt.