...... skating between the two as I navigate life's twisting, winding road...

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Life Full of Sighs

I thought that  by now I would be used to certain things, but I am finding that I am not.  In a matter of one day's time, life has been turned upside down and inside out.  I can't say that I'm happy with the latest developments.  In fact, it makes me want to throw in the towel completely.

It was our first cub scout meeting of the year.  It was a simple parent meeting and fundraiser kick-off meeting.  Hardly anyone showed up.  The meeting was, by all means, basically useless.  I spent two days typing, copying and stapling packets for the parents, but I ended up coming home with almost the same amount I went with.    This wasn't the issue, however...

One of our leaders decided last year to screw over their boys.  This leader never contacted her boys to inform them of camp outs, pack activities, etc.  It was bogus, to say the least.  A mother of one of the boys came last night and informed me of how her son's den was being run last year.  It was horrible.  The leader concentrated more on her own boys fighting than anything.  She didn't inform the boys of anything.  The mother stated that she hadn't heard from the leader in months.

I spoke before I really thought.  Typical of me.  I told the mother that I would take over the den until I could find a leader for them.  It's nothing new for me.  I've somehow managed to run two dens at once two years ago.  It was maddening, but necessary.  It was either that or lose those boys.  This is the same type of situation. 

I care a great deal about the scouts, especially my den.  I have come so close to quitting numerous times, but then I think of my den and I remember why I do it.  I remember why I devote so much time to scouting.  I swear I have the best boys ever.  I've grown so attached to them, and if truth by known, so has my kids.  My kids pick on the boys in my den as if they were related to one another.  It truly is a wonderful thing.

I love the parents in my den, as well.  There are no better parents.   I swear.  One of them is our assistant cubmaster and the other one would bend over backwards for us.   He will do anything that I ask of him, as long as he's around.  He's an amazing person!  

But I'm realizing that my happiness in scouting lies with my den.  I'm happiest at my den meetings.  My hubby is happiest at den meetings.  Committee meetings, emails up the wazoo, etc. can be for the birds.   And it's for the birds now...

Also for the birds right now is church..  I never thought I would get to the point where I'm fed up with it all.  I've almost reached that point.  I love church.  I love the things that I do there.  I love mission work, especially, but with our 150th anniversary celebration coming up in two weeks, things are starting to get crazy hectic and busy.   I'm in charge of it, and I don't have many people waving their hands in the air and yelling, "What can I do to help?"

It's disheartening actually.   I love the church that I attend.  It's a small country church that was built back in 1861, and it is loaded with charm.   It was the one things that made me keep going back.  It's a spruced up version of what it was when it was first built.

I stayed because, with the pastor's help, a huge wide door opened up and showed me all that I was missing in my life.   I was shown how absolutely wonderful it feels to open up the heart and just give to someone else.  It is an amazing feeling to be able to do something for someone else, especially someone that you've never met before.

I had started a mission at church called Bright Beginnings.  Members of the church donated new baby items, which I put in baskets and then delivered to a home for pregnant women.  I stood in the foyer of this home speaking to the director when a woman came downstairs to look at the baskets on the table.  Her reaction to them sent shivers down my spine, and I knew that this was something I wanted to do with my life.

Sounds corny, doesn't it?

I still get those shivers, and that is why I continue on with church.  I'm home at my church.  I feel like I'm home.  I care about it.  I care what happens within those walls.  I care whether or not the church survives for another 150 years, and I wish to God that others would feel that way too.

My hubby, the pastor and I spent 9 hours at church last week.  We painted the fellowship hall, moved furniture and decorated the sanctuary for Sunday's service.  By the time we got home, we were all exhausted.  Our feet hurt and were swollen from standing for so long.  But we did that because we honestly love and care about the church.

It's so damn difficult to find people to volunteer for things.  It applies for both scouting and church.  I've learned that no matter how much you beg parents to help with scouting, they will turn their back and pretend they did not hear you.  I understand that some people's lives are busy, but you know what?  Mine is a thousand times busier than most.   I manage to do it.  I succeed in doing what needs to be done.   If I can be a den leader for two separate dens, handle both popcorn sales and sit in the position where I am in charge of the entire pack, I think a parent can volunteer to be our secretary, for example.  This position takes an hour a month to do.  But I'll be damned if I can find someone to help.

The same applies to church.  I've had oodles of people sign up to help with the celebration, but it seems that signing their name to a sign up sheet is as far as they are willing to go.  It's sad.   The real kicker is that since I do a lot at church, people are growing tired of hearing my name.  Tough shit!

My pastor always says that we need to be the "hands and feet of Jesus".  I practice that, but why doesn't anyone else?  Why do they get so damned pissed off when I do it?  Why flood me with criticism?  Why not use that energy to make a difference instead? 

Ugh, I'm realizing that people annoy me to a great degree.  Don't get me wrong.  There are people out there in scouting and at church that I am wildly crazy about and enjoy spending time with.

Nancy and Donnie at church I'm bonkers for.  They make me laugh and they believe in putting themselves out there for others.  We get along so famously -- sometimes too much since we are constantly being told that we shouldn't sit near each other during services.  This makes me laugh..   I adore Kenny and his wife, and some of the older members.

Scouting would not be the same without the parents and kids in my den.  I sometimes think that I continue on just for them.  To be honest, I am afraid that if I were to walk away from scouts that we would probably not interact anymore.   The thought of that saddens me.   The boys are so connected and close.   It's wonderful to watch them interact with one another.  It's also wonderful to interact with the parents, especially Major because I can't remember the last time I met someone that I hit it off with so well.

Life is just so hectic right now.   I cannot wait until September 25th.  The church celebration will be over, and maybe I will get to breathe again.

I really need to breathe.

Friday, September 2, 2011

With Wild Abandonment

Sometimes I just like to write. This is one of those times...


He glanced at her from across the room. Her eyes instantly locked with his and did not want to let go. His stare filled her with an incredible amount of warmth, and left her feeling vulnerable and innocent. She could feel his eyes caressing her and surrounding her. She wrapped her arms around her body, and she just held herself.

Her body began to sway slightly to the music that was playing at the party. It was an old-fashioned love song that she had heard a thousand times, and sang to herself a thousand and one times.

It was her favorite.

He watched her sway to the music. Her body, lithe and fluid, rocked effortlessly and exuded an intensity that he wished to surround himself with. He loved her, and he didn't even know her name.

He walked over to her and extended his hand to her. She stared at his hand, afraid to touch it out of fear that the electricity he would exude would overwhelm her. She watched his fingers shake as they extended themselves to her. It endeared him to her.

She placed her hand hesitantly into his. His fingers curled around her own and led her onto the dance floor. She looked up at him and smiled the sweetest and warmest smile he had ever encountered.

He slipped a hand around her waist, palm sliding against the smooth silk of her dress. He could feel the warmth of her skin beneath her dress, and it excited him. He had never felt like this about anyone during his lifetime.

She grabbed his other hand and held onto it. Together they danced. Their bodies moving in perfect rhythm as if they had danced a thousand times together. It was the perfect union.

Their bodies instinctively moved closer until they were pressed together. He pressed her hand against his chest, and she felt his heart racing. The beating of his heart seem to echo her own, as she could feel it in the base of her throat.

The music played on, and their bodies continued to move. Her heart was lost, as was his. Everything around them ceased to exist. The only thing that existed in his world was her. The only thing that existed in her world was him.

Strains of "I Can't Help Falling In Love With You" broke through their reverie, and their bodies stopped moving. He trailed his fingers down the side of her face and absorbed the love he felt radiating from behind her long eyelashes. His fingertips rested, for just a moment, against the fullness of her lips and she pursed her lips slightly to kiss them.

Neither spoke a word as the music ended. Neither made a gesture to move. All that mattered was the wonderment they found in each others eyes. All that mattered was this moment.


There are times when a person needs to experience what they long for, even while knowing the experience will be brief.   For even if the moment lasts but mere seconds, it will create memories that will last a lifetime.  These memories can be relived and emotions can be revisited.  

Relish in the now.  

Absorb it.  

The moment may never again present itself again.

Grasp it.  


Friday, August 5, 2011

This is what brings me joy.  Only to a certain degree, of course.  I've been making flowers all day for a huge 25th wedding anniversary cake that is going out on Sunday.    The flowers in these photos are just a small amount of the ones that have been done, and ones that still need to be done.   I sit here now, very sleepy and ready for bed.  The only problem -- it's only 8:30 at night.  Much too early for bed.

I smell like powdered sugar.  I swear this smell is better than any perfume that money can buy.   Since there is a fan blowing against my bare skin, the smell of pure sweetness is wafting up to my nose.  It is heavenly.   Would it be wrong to eat oneself?  I presume so..

My ear buds have become an extension of myself today.  I don't think they've been out all day long.  You would think that by now I would have grown tired of listening to music.  I haven't. 

....muster your strength cuz you're gonna ache.. my love will bring you down... it will meet you to please you... haunt you and tease you... 

"Can You Love Me?" by Brie Stoner is playing in my ears right now.  Brie Stoner is good stuff!  Look up some of her videos on YouTube.  

Now I have completely lost my train of thought.  Typical for me...

I feel so relaxed right now.  I feel good.   Peaceful.. 

I think I may drag my rear outside and light a fire in the fire pit.  I feel like sinking into la la land and watching a fire burn by myself.   There isn't anything cooler and more relaxing than watching a fire burn..

*This is the fire we had going last weekend while camping.. * 

Peace out.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Going The Distance and Finishing with a Bang!

Today was the day that I have lunch with my best friend, Nancy.  We meet up at her son's pizzeria (if you need a good place for pies, this place is it !) and gossiped until the cows came home.  It appeared to be a typical lunch date for us.  We bitched.  We complained.  We vented.  We talked about the load of shit that hit the fan for me yesterday, and we did a lot of laughing.  The usual stuff..

I found out yesterday that a pancake breakfast that I am in charge of is the same date as a pick up that I am supposed to do for scouts.  I'm supposed to pick up a popcorn order in a town that is about an hour or so away from the place I will be holding the breakfast.  I haven't figured out yet how I am going to be in two places at once, but I suppose it will work out in the end.  It has to!

My main problem is that I will not have anyone helping me unload my truck after I pick up the popcorn.  I have to leave Hubby at the pancake breakfast to flip pancakes and whatnot.  My son will be at the breakfast, as well, serving.  I guess I will be schlepping boxes of evil, putrid popcorn myself.  Dammit!  Anyone want to help?!   Please??    :)

But the day was pockmarked with a few good moments.  I cannot lie about that.  If these moments were not good, I would not be sitting here thinking about them. 

I volunteer at the local soup kitchen.  It is one of the best things that I do with my time.  I spend a few hours a day helping prepare the meal and serving it, as well as cleaning up after the lunch is over.   It's a very rewarding thing for me.  I walk away from there with a few gentle reminders about life. 

I remember that the world does not consist of just me and my miniscule issues (see above rant about popcorn).  I remember that there is always someone out there who is worse off than I.  I also remember that life should never be taken for granted.  There are times in life where the bull needs to be grabbed by the balls, and you need to ride the hell out of life.  You never know when your life will fall into a shit-pile and forever be changed.  Enjoy it while you can.

A couple of weeks ago, I was at the soup kitchen and one of the patrons came to the counter and stated that he was looking for a fan.  It was brutally hot that day, and it was in the forecast to be even hotter in the days after.   He shook his head after making this statement, and said, "This isn't the place to find one.  I know I won't find one here." 

The next day, I arrived with a fan for him -- for Richard.  The smile that exploded on his face was one that I will never forget.  It is unbelievable the feeling that one receives when they are able to give someone what they desire most.   But that is another story that I could tell...

I saw him today.  I was driving to the pizzeria and he was walking down the street.  He looked quite handsome today.  He had his hair cut.  He was shaved and dressed pretty well.   He saw me and waved his hand above his head.  I tell you ... it made me feel like a million bucks!    He returned to me what I had given to him. 

What goes around comes around..

It was during the same day at the soup kitchen that one of the patrons (I'd rather call them that than homeless.. it sounds better.. it also suits them better.. ) came up to the serving counter and started to talk to me.   Even though I have been volunteering there for almost three years, I had never spoken to him before.

He came up and we discussed churches, the town, etc.  We talked about people that we both knew, and we bonded.  He is a seriously nice guy.   I truly enjoyed our conversation. 

I was standing outside of the pizzeria saying goodbye to Nancy when he came strolling down the street.  He saw me and his entire face lit up like a Christmas tree!  I must admit that mine lit up too.  It was great to see him, and he seemed so damn happy. 

What goes around comes around...

I learned a long time ago that what you give of yourself will almost always be returned to you.  It may not be returned by the same person, but it will come.   It always comes when you do not expect it to.    I also learned to not look for it.  Don't seek it out.  Allow it to come to you and let it surprise you.  It means so much more when it happens..

Monday, August 1, 2011


Wicked and evil has been my schedule of late.   Constantly running here and there, doing this and that and listening to this one and to that one.  Needless to say, it had drained me of my patience and robbed me of my sense of well-being.   But who would have guessed that a simple weekend outing would wake up my spirit and serve as a reminder that it's vitally important to stop the merry-go-round and breathe. 

... breathes... 

We packed up some things this weekend and went camping for a night.    We went with another family, and it was the best thing I've done in a long time.   It was just a time to unwind, forget about the world and the responsibilities and just relax. 

The company was wonderful.  The fire was mesmerizing.   The children ran around screaming like fiends, and hearing them get along and enjoy one another was one of the most wonderful sounds.   I honestly do not believe it could have been more enjoyable or relaxing.

I believe that a good experience is one in which you learn from it.  I learned a thing or two, and this new found knowledge will stay with me for as long as I live. 

1.  I learned that New Yorkers do not like going to be before the hour of 3 a.m.  This is about the time that the people camping across from our site finally called it a morning night.  I searched all over for sleep, but it was not found until at least 3:30 am, and when it did come, it came in sporatic spurts.  I will cross that campsite and particular camping area off my list of places to visit again!   The family that accompanied us should be thankful that they left early.  I wish I had.

2.  Lake water will stay with you once it enters your sinus cavity.  I do believe that I finally stopped tasting it in my mouth by the next morning.  

3.  The last place to go for breakfast the next morning is a diner filled with people who have slept the night before and are full of piss and vinegar.  

This next one is the most important thing I learned.  You may be wise to read this one carefully and commit it to your memory.  You, too, can be saved by this tidbit...

4.  I learned that if I were to die alone in my house, my dog would sit by me and mourn my death.  He will be filled with utter sadness and will protect my body.   I also learned (and this is the important part) that if I were to die alone in my house, my cat would not care.  He would not curl himself around my dead body and be sad at my demise.  He will, instead, eat me when he grows hungry. 

I have thought about this fact and have committed it to memory.  I find that I look at my cat differently.  There are times when he looks at me and then licks his lips.  I often ask myself.... is he thinking of eating me?  

This, of course, has prompted me to change my diet drastically.  I have opted to not eat sweets anymore.  I have given up my most favorite thing -- ice cream -- and I have decided that I must lose weight.  A cat will not enjoy dining on skin and bones, right??   Right?!?! 


The father of the other family is wonderful to talk to and spend time with.  He makes me laugh, makes me think.  Conversation comes very easy, and that is always a good thing!  I, and my husband, truly enjoy his friendship.  Yes, the cat thing came from him!  I blame him for nightmares.  His son and my boys get along so well together.  It's as if they've known each other forever.   I hope they will always be friends. 

The peace I acquired during the weekend was divine.  It's still with me today.  I hope I keep it.  If I start to lose it, I may have to go camping again!  

Monday, May 16, 2011

"Be The Change You Want To See In The World"

*I wish that I could take credit for the title of this entry.  Those words, however, came from Gandhi.*

Words that are casually and carelessly thrown around can hurt.  They can tear away at the flesh of another human until the cut becomes a scar.  They never healed.  There is always a reminder sitting upon the skin that we look at every day of our lives.  Scars are with us for the rest of our lives.   

So, why do people use words in such a careless manner?  Why do human beings feel the need and the desire to hurt others with words?  The wounds of words hurt worse than the wounds of the fist.  So, why? 

I'm realizing that I've grown tired of silly, immature games that people play.  I've grown tired of watching people belittle and hurt another person's soul with no care of the lasting impression that they have made.   They do this with a smile upon their face.

I am unsure of their ability to see beyond the self-serving act of hurting another person.  Can they honestly see the pain in another's eyes?  Can they hear the wounded tone in their voice?  I hardly doubt it.

The way groups of people form a circle of hate and spew venomous words to maim and hurt another person.  People who are weak and unable to think for themselves jump on these bandwagons and think so little of the human race.  These people disappoint me most of all.  These are people who are weak and cannot think for themselves.  They would much rather be accepted by others than to stop and realize the hurt they are giving to another human being.

Matthew 22:37-39 (NIV)

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

This is one of the most important things that should be practiced.   Do I love every single human being that I come in contact with?  No, I do not.  It is extremely difficult to do.  But I do not and will not stand in front of another human being with a heart and soul and spew words filled with hate.  

I cannot. 

I know how it feels to be standing there with someone tossing words around like autumn leaves blowing in the wind.  It hurts.  Deeply. 

If John or Susan were to stand in front of me and tell me that words do not affect them, I would not believe them.  I honestly believe that no one is impervious to hurting words.  

Words penetrate a person's soul.  Words create wounds.   Wounds produce scars.  Scars are a part of one for all eternity.  

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Change The World

A portion of this morning's activities was sponsored by the letter "M".  The rest of the day was sponsored by the letter "L"

"M" stands for mission.  The morning was a mission morning.  I had arranged for the church's mission committee, along with some Sunday School kids, to do a road clean up.  The neat thing was that we not only made the world a bit cleaner, but we earned money for the missions that we support.  It was also a part of participating in the United Methodist Church's program called "Change The World".  So we, essentially, did two things at once!

I had a blast.  I truly enjoy being in the company of members of our congregation, especially when we are involved in an activity such as this.  Like minded people working together toward a common goal is a wonderful thing! 

There were 15 of us that volunteered and showed up.  I was so thrilled to see this amount of people this morning.  It makes me feel good to see something that I had set up be set into action.  It feels even better to see that people are having a good time, and enjoying themselves and each other.

We had one of our volunteers drive behind our group to make sure that a maniac didn't plow us down.  Bob is a fantastic person.  His heart is so big, and his sense of humor is pretty wild.  He never fails in making me laugh.  He is one of the few people on the face of the earth that calls me "Missy".  I haven't been called that regularly since I was a kid.  He's a sweetheart. 

I also adore his wife.  My church girlfriends and I drag her out for dinner once a month for a "Girl's Night Out".  She is funny as heck!  She reminds me so much of her husband.  They were, truly, made for one another. 

I hopped into his car during a small portion of the clean-up to shoot the breeze.  I'm glad that I did because it gave me a chance to get to know him a bit better.  I hopped out of his car liking him even more.  Good stuff!

 The kids seemed to have a really good time.  I hope they walked away from it understanding what exactly we were doing, and how wonderful the world looks when there aren't beer cans, liquor bottles and garbage littering the road ways.  But boy were they pooped!  I have to say that this can be classified as "good stuff", as well. 

Around the time that I climbed out of Bob's car, another member of our church, Donny, came rolling up in his truck.  He said that he knew where we would be.  He hadn't been in church the past couple of weeks -- not because he didn't want to be there, but that is his personal story and it's not my place to tell it -- so I'm not sure how he knew we'd be there.   

He is another member that I truly like a lot.  We are supposed to go raid our parsonage for historical material that is supposed to be stored in the basement.  Right now, we have another pastor from another church temporarily staying there, so I have to make an appointment to go into the house.  She's been so hard to get a hold of.  

But our pastor has threatened to seat Donny and I far away from each other during services (jokingly) because we aren't exactly quiet. 

"It's Donny's fault -- I swear!"

But I had a wonderful time this morning. 

It feels good to do something for the community.  I suppose that my actions aren't unselfish, because if I were to pick them apart and analyze them, I would see (and wholeheartedly admit) that my actions could be seen as selfish.  I DO get something out of it.  I get a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment. 

The letter "L" stands for lazy, which about sums up the rest of my day and that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

I'm not sure where the Mission Committee will go from here.  I haven't figured that out yet.  I do have an idea tho!  I would very much like to raise money to fund the education of Congolese children.  I will presenting this idea to everyone else tomorrow.   I hope that it flies.

I've been doing a lot of reading about the Congo of late.  The violence that exists over there is heartbreaking.  The countless rapes of children, women and the elderly literally makes me weep.  I pull away from my reading with tears streaming down my face.  I tried to explain to my husband what I was reading, but the words were caught in my throat and I couldn't. 

I wish there were a way to stop the violence.   I wish there were a way to change things there.  To make the fighting stop.  To make it known, believed and felt that it is wrong to do these things to these women.  To make them love one another instead of living with such rage.

I pray for a solution.  I pray for an answer.  I pray for a lot.   

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Mighty Maple

There it stands.  Proud and tall.  It speaks of promises of the future.  Promises that fill me with great expectations and with excitement.  It was, by far, the greatest material gift I've received.  It is my newly-acquired maple tree and, boy, am I ever in love with it! 

Yesterday was a simply marvelous day.  It started out 'heavenly' and ended with an indescribable level of peace.   It was an almost perfect day. 

After teaching Sunday school yesterday, we packed up the family for a picnic lunch at the park that I grew up playing in.  Of course things have changed in the past 30 years, but the memories lurked in every place that I looked.  

... standing on the top of the bleachers, my brother and I would look at one another and grin before jumping off the top into the mountain of snow the town plows had piled beneath...

...there used to be an open building/shelter over there... arts and crafts every day during the summer months.. sand art... smelly bathrooms...

... used to curl up and sit inside of the fountain.. gossiping as well as a couple of 8 year olds could..

...running over to "the stand" with a fistful of change to buy penny candy and pixie sticks... ohh the rush of sugar...

...racing down the path at top speed to be the first one to get into the town's swimming pool.. ooohhh I stepped on a copperhead snake...

... lying on top of the hill and imagining what the clouds really looked like... a horse! ... a dog!..  a dragon!... and then barrel rolling down the hill as fast as we could.. the race was on!

The area that I grew up in was the most wonderful, fun-filled place to spend my childhood.   The town swimming pool was almost in my backyard.  All we had to do was take a short walk down a path and it was there. 

The swimming pool wasn't the only thing there.  The tree that my brother used to climb and hide in was there.  He would climb up that tree and sit there giggling as my mother stood beneath him looking for him, calling him to dinner.  The hill full of three-leaf clovers was there.  As hard as we tried, finding four leaf clovers was a near impossible feat to accomplish.  The football and baseball fields were there.  The town playgound was there.

I sat on the top of the hill remembering yesterday.  I remembered so many memories and  basked in the remembrance.  Every once in awhile, I would nudge one of the kids and relive a memory.  I wanted them to understand.  I wanted them to close their eyes and remember with me.  Of course, they couldn't but they tried.

They took turns barrel rolling down the hill as I did many, many years ago.  They raced through the fields and stared longingly at the town pool.  It was heaven to watch them.  I swear I could almost hear the giggles of my brother and I. 


As we were getting ready to go, I made my youngest lie in the middle of the field with me.  There we laid, upon our back, staring up at the fluffy white clouds and the bluest of blue sky. 

...look it's a turtle...

To be honest, I didn't want to leave.  I didn't want to stop looking at those fluffy white clouds.  I didn't want to leave the feeling of being eight years old again.  But I left there with such a sense of peace, and I also left there with my 8 and 12 year old sons loving the area.  They left there knowing why I was so happy there.   I like to believe that they left there feeling at least a bit of what I used to feel and what I feel now being there.. 

I was allowed to choose anything I wanted for Mother's Day -- within reason, of course.  I chose a maple tree for the front yard.  I didn't realize how significant this tree was going to be for me.  

I sat on the front porch and watched as my husband and my 8 year old son dug the hole, carefully planted and watered it.  After my husband mulched around it, Tyler asked if he would put rocks around the edges of the mulch.  I sat there a bit overwhelmed while watching all of this going on.  They were planting this for me.  They, without realizing it, created a memory for me that will be just as sweet as those of my childhood.

As I watch this tree grow over the years, I will fondly look back and, hopefully, experience the incredible level of peace that I felt yesterday.  I will remember yesterday for as long as I live.

The gift of peace is a wonderful gift to receive.  They wrapped it up in a pretty package yesterday with a bright shiny bow.  

Just for me..

Friday, May 6, 2011

Silence of the Night

The buds are nestled tightly in my ears.  The sounds of life do not exist for me right now.  All I can hear is strains of Barry Manilow filling my ears.  I can feel my body slowly rocking forward and backwards as Could It Be Magic fills my head. 

The only light is the flickering light of lightly scented candles.  The soft smell of lavender is very calming to my soul.   I can feel myself being lulled to a space where nothing but Barry and lavender exist.  It isn't such a bad place, you know. 

I've been feeling quite calm and at peace for most of the afternoon.  I found myself scurrying around my yard with blades of bright green grass tickling my ankles.  A camera was swinging from my wrist and a puppy was tugging my free hand.  He would turn every now and again and stare at me, as if to say, "Hurry up, Mom".   It was one of those rare moments in time where everything was and seemed right.  I still feel that way now.

Nothing can penetrate this bubble that I have surrounding me now.  There are no children fighting or arguing.  In fact, they aren't even home.  The animals are all fast asleep dreaming of fuzzy little mice and thick juicy bones.  Their world is, right now, just as perfect as my own. 

..let me know the wonder of all of you.. 

Barry is still singing in my ears.

When I was a little girl, I thought the moon and sun rose upon Barry Manilow.  Oh how I was in love!   I would skip around singing his songs, but needless to say, I didn't quite understand what he was truly singing about.  All that I know is that I wished my name was Mandy, and I would often dream that he would be singing to me.  Imagine that! 

It's funny the songs that I used to so enjoy when I was a kid and I never knew their meaning.  Afternoon Delight was a song that I didn't have a clue about.  I would sing it at the top of my lungs and I thought that it was the world's greatest song.  Little did I know that it was about having an afternoon quickie! 

Seasons in the Sun was another favorite.  Heck, I didn't know that the son was about someone dying.  But here I was all of six years old or so thinking this was one of the greatest songs that was ever recorded.

Ahhhh the innocence of youth..

The innocence that we will never reacquire.  It's a shame, isn't it?  I long for that innocence and naivety again.  Even if I could experience just for a single, solitary day. 

I wonder if life would be simpler or if it would be just as confusing as it is today. 

I won't ponder that tonight.  The peace that I feel prevents that from happening.  I'm going to keep on feeling this..

.. at least until the children come home and create havoc...

The Journey Alone

..I know that I am going to die in my chair alone.. 

These were the words uttered to me the other day.  These weren't words given by the first hand.  These were uttered with a heavy sadness by the second hand.  It, quite literally, broke my heart.   I stood there, with my face buried in my hands, quietly sobbing.  It was painful to hear. 

I did not know this person, yet I felt pain over her prediction.   I could not imagine knowing that I would end this part of existence and embark on the next leg of my journey without being surrounded by familiar voices and familiar faces.  As I re-read that last statement, I realize just how selfish that sounds.  But isn't selfishness forgiven at a time of one's demise?

She was a member of our congregation.  She lived for over 90 years.  God bless her.  I did not know her.  I have never seen her nor have I greeted her with a "hello".  She was gone from the congregation before I arrived.  I wish I would have met her.   In some ways, I will before she begins the next leg of her journey.  Before she meets Him.

I will be attending her graveside memorial tomorrow morning before jetting off with my Scouts to plant trees.  I had asked permission from my pastor to go.  I want to be there although I have never seen the life behind her eyes or placed my hand upon her shoulder.  Some things just need to happen ..  at least for me.

She was a member of our congregation.  She, in her own way, helped our church sustain and survive.  She is a part of the reason why I attend that little ole country church, for if it weren't for her, the church may not still be standing.  It may not have the little bit of life that it does have.  Her contribution to its future may have been tiny or it may have been large.  Regardless of the amount, she was there.   She was a member of the "church family".

"Church family" is a very important phrase that I wish could be further implemented within our church walls.  I wish we could band together and be a force to be reckoned with.  I wish we were all closer than what we are.   Oh don't mistake me!  Some of us are a tight bunch, but I wish we could all forget about status, money and personality clashes and just come together.  We are all there for the same reason.  Aren't we? 

But I digress...

Because of her contribution and attendance, she automatically gains my respect.  She deserves to be shown respect, particularly as she waves goodbye to the world as we know it and is embraced by God.  She deserves that, doesn't she? 

I was told that there would probably be only six people in attendance.  Six people??  Someone who has lived for such a long time should be sent off to this miraculous place by more people.   Surely there are people that have loved her.  Surely there are people whose lives have been touched by her and wish to send her off with their thanks and gratitude.

So, I will stand there.   I will pray for her.  I will send her off with a sadness in my heart and, most likely, tears in my eyes.  No one deserves to go alone.. 

I wouldn't want to pass from this Earth without being surrounded by the ones that I have loved during my lifetime.  I don't want to go alone.  I don't want to know that I am going to go alone.  It would shatter my spirit into a million and one pieces. 

My attendance at her memorial isn't merely to show her the respect that she deserves.  My attendance has to do with me, as well.  My action is not purely unselfish.  I admit it.  It is also because it's not the way that I would want to pass from this world and, hopefully, pass onto the next. 

..I know that I am going to die in my chair alone.. 

I don't want to know this, and my heart breaks at anyone knowing this. 

May Florence rest in peace....

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Standing at the Crossroads

When I was a young girl, I knew what I had wanted to do with the rest of my life.  I had my entire life recorded on a vinyl 33 1/3 rpm record.  All I needed to do was place it on the turntable, lay the needle on the edge so that it would fit neatly into the tiny grooves.  My life was going to play smoothly.  

It didn't turn out that way.  I had lessons that I needed to learn, disappointment to feel and love to experience.  I realize that now.  It only took me 43 years to figure that out.   But now I am at a crossroad.  I am unsure of which way to turn and down which road to travel.

The past three years have been life changing.  These past three years have seen me facing that childhood plan for my future.  I'm staring at it head on.  I can see the dreams again.  Faded and a crumpled around the corners, but it's there.  Staring at me.

I can't fulfill that exact dream.  It isn't possible anymore.  I am not sure if it ever was possible. 

I wanted to become a nun. 

Religion has become such a large part of my world.  It's constant.  It doesn't merely come to life on Sunday morning as I walk into church.  It is here all the time.  In my thoughts.  In my heart. 

It has taken me 30 years to get to this point, but here I am.  Standing here surrounded by God and doing things which make me feel closer to Him.   I'm doing what I had dreamt of doing, but not in the same capacity as my dreams.  I do not wear a habit nor do I wear a ring which announces my marriage to God. 

This bothers me to an extent.  I want to do more.  I want to devote myself to learning, experiencing and fulfilling my childhood dream as best as I can.  I can do that, can't I?  I'm not sure, because here I stand at that pesky crossroad.  Which direction do I take now?

I want to absorb the Word.  I want to learn it.  I want to know it backwards and forwards.  I want to wear it like a blanket and allow it to warm my very soul.   The problem is I want to learn it now.  I want to take years of learning and know it now.   It doesn't work that way.  

Patience, my child..

So I'm taking it a bit at a time.  Reading, studying, understanding.

But yet, I feel there is more.  There is something that else I can do.  There is something out there waiting for me.  In due time, I suppose, He will gently nudge me down the path that I need to take. 

I firmly believe that there is a path out there marked with a battered road sign that displays my name.  It's out there and it's waiting for me.  He placed it there for me.  I know He did.  

I just wish that I could take a peek ahead and see what lies on that road. 

Patience..  there is that pesky word again...


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

In and Out

As I weave between the line, it becomes blurred by the scuffling motion of my bare feet.