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

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Hard to Swallow

I don't handle death well.  I'm even worse when there has been more than one to contend with, even if I barely knew any of them that passed away.  It's been a rough couple of weeks here, and I've reached my limit.  

Our neighbor's father passed away last week.  This was a sad occasion.  We rather like our neighbors quite a bit.  I made some desserts for the repass, and they were made with a lot of sympathy. 

Sunday we attended a funeral for a family friend who, unfortunately, lost his sister.  He is having a rough time of it, which is understandable.  It wasn't easy looking into his eyes because all you could see was pain.  Pain that you wish you could take away, and pain that you could feel.   When I saw him yesterday, he still had that pain.

Yesterday I learned that a friend of mine passed away in her sleep.  This one is, of course, the hardest one to handle.  I am having a difficult time grasping a hold of it.  I just do not understand.  It will be awhile before I can grasp a hold of some kind of understanding.

There is a circle of us.  It's a tight circle.  I met all of them through church.  The circle formed with our first "hello".  We sit together every Sunday.  In fact, we monopolized the back pews.  You see, if you sit in the back, the pastor can't see what you're doing. 

But we formed a tight circle.  We celebrate each other's birthdays to the max.  We make sure that each one of us feels special, needed and loved on their special day.  We lunch together, call each other and lean on each other when times are tough.   It was the same circle that helped my family get through Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath.  

Bonnie was one of us.  She helped form the circle and held it together.  She was a nurse that worked a lot.  She was always wondering when we were all getting together for another lunch, and it hurts to realize that she will no longer be there for those lunches.  It isn't easy.

She completed the circle.  She was the one with the dry sense of humor and the quiet demeanor.  She was the one from the group that behaved herself during service while the rest of us created havoc around her.  She had a loving heart and a gentle manner about her.  She never complained.  She just accepted and laughed things off. 

I'm having a hard time.  I've cried on and off for the past two days.  I think of her and cry.  I suppose crying is a form of selfishness on my part.  I'm crying for her lack of physical presence when I should be happy she was a part of my world for the past three years.  It's difficult.  Very difficult.

The days ahead will be even more difficult.  I am not looking forward to Sunday and seeing her seat empty.  The seat will always be hers.  I suppose there exists the possibility that she will still attend service to soak up the words of our pastor and to see us screw around; however, it will be quite awhile before we will feel comfortable enough to do that again.

I laid on my bed last night crying.  I was trying to talk through my confusion and my grief with my husband.  It dawned on me just how vital the circle of friends were to my life and to my well-being.  I get so damn much from them.  They aren't just friends.  They are members of my family.  They keep me balanced and sane.  They help me renew my faith when, and if, it wavers.  Their faith and trust in God are stepping stones that guide me toward deepening my relationship with God.  They are also the naughtiest people I've met!
But the circle has a piece missing now.  

It's hard.

It's so fucking hard.

May you rest in peace, Bonnie.  I hope that you realize just how many lives you've touched and how loved you are.  May you be running wild and free in Heaven with God and may you have peace.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Home Again

We returned from our vacation yesterday morning.  I can't say that I enjoyed crossing the threshold and coming back to reality.  I rather enjoyed being in another place without reminders.  It was heavenly. 

The children weren't impressed with the idea of having to come home.  They enjoyed hanging out on the dock and fishing whenever they wanted to.  I must admit that I enjoyed that too. 

There was a sadness that filled us as we took one last look at the home we stayed in.  It was, by all regards, a home from heaven.   It was a lakeside home with everything you'd want in a vacation home.  Everyone had their own space, although we spent most of it sticking together as a family unit.  This is the part that I liked best.  

Being away was what my family needed.  We needed to find some peace, and I believe that we were meant to be there.  We hadn't been on a vacation in ten years.  In fact, my husband and I never had an official honeymoon, and we most certainly, had never gone away as a family.  We never had time nor did we have the funds to finance a trip.  So this trip was extra special for us.

But like I had just stated -- I believe we were meant to be there.  It just felt right.  

We encountered people that were a hell of a lot friendlier than people here.  Everything moved at a slower pace, and at this point in both our lives, my husband and I enjoyed that.  We needed to move slower to stop and appreciate what we have.  We are truly two blessed people.  

The reason for being there just wasn't to show us that it isn't the same all over.  The reason was also to help further cement our relationship and form a tighter familial circle.  We needed to take a look at one another -- kids included -- and be thankful for one another.  I am thankful.

While we were on vacation, we realized that we belonged there.  We truly believe that.  We never felt comfortable living where we do now.  People are different here.  It is an area where the important things are money, wealth, being the "top dog" on society's ladder and it is about material things.  It isn't about simplistic living, believing in God and being true to yourself.  It is about false pretenses, fake personalities and kissing butt to get what you want.   Sure, there are people like that whenever you go, but it's saturated here.  There are so many people here that it's stifling.  It is also disheartening.  

It is also an area where property taxes are high, town laws are utterly ridiculous and rudeness resides.  Real estate values are so overblown here, and we have been at a point in our lives where we've needed to move on.  Our home is small and we need room to grow.  Our children need room to spread their wings and they sure can't do that in this house.  

But with the cost of homes in this area, it just isn't possible to find something bigger and stay here.  We just can't do it.

 So we are going to do it somewhere else.   We have decided to move.  We are going to do it in an area where we can get a home with oodles of space without paying oodles of money.  We can shave down the amount of our property taxes and find some peace.   My hubby could actually retire when he's supposed to.  He could never do that here. 

We need that.  We need peace of mind.  We just need peace.

We have nothing to hold us here anymore.  Our two oldest children do not need us anymore and our relationships with them are not what they used to be.  Our disappearance would not affect them at all, I'm sad to say -- that is a long story that I will not go into here.

So, now we have to do something wonderful for the younger children.  We have to do something for us.  We have spent years of our lives living for the older children.  We didn't do this because of their reaction.  We didn't do that.  We didn't speak about this or that.  Well, I've grown tired of that.  I've grown tired of having my life dictated by the reactions, emotions and feelings of someone else.   

We want to move.  We want to do it now.   We aren't going to let anyone stop us.  Whether they are related to us or not.  

It's about the family in this tiny house right now.  It isn't about anyone else.

It's about finding peace.

It's about walking away from a place and feeling that you'd have a future there.  

We have a future there.  A good one.

Here.. no... 

Now to find a house... 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Reason

Everything has a reason for existing.  Every event in a life is filled with purpose.  Each little happening imparts a bit of something.  It's up to all of us to figure out the purpose, reason and lesson.

I believe in this.  I believe that there is a reason why I went down that grocery store aisle even though I did not need anything down there.

"Can you help me for a minute, please?  I can't reach the soup on the top shelf," asked an older woman.

Okay, so I am not the tallest person in the world and she probably would have had a much smoother time with someone a bit taller than I, but I did (with lots of stretching) manage to wrap my fingers around the exact box of soup she wanted.

See?  A reason for going down that aisle.  I was meant to help her -- at least I'd like to think so.

I believe that each person we meet is meant to be in our lives.   The weird part is that we never know upon that first meeting just how important some people become to us.  I meet people most times and think... it was nice meeting them but.... 

The "but" is usually spot on, however, there are a few that I've met, never knew the importance in my life they'd become and am thankful they're here.

I met hubby through an online dating site.  My luck in finding someone decent to date was non-existent.  The men I seem to find only wanted one thing, and it was the one thing they wanted immediately after dinner.  Oh the stories I could tell !

When we met for the first time, I didn't know we'd end up married.  In fact, I said very little at our first meeting.  He talked entirely too much -- to the point where I could not get a word in even if I wanted to.  He looked like the biker dude from the Village People, and I was going to just cross him off.  But we see what happened there, eh?

The "family" that I have from church is another example.  I walked into church not knowing a soul.  I sat in the far back of the church when I entered and wasn't sure about the whole thing.  A few members introduced myself and I thought.. "this isn't going to work.."

I've learned plenty about myself through them.  They've been a constant source of care, compassion and understanding.  I truly feel as though they are my family.   I can only hope that they have found a constant source in me, as well.

There have been rare times when I've met someone and instantly knew.  I do not know what I knew, but I knew this person would be important.  To this day, I still do not know how I knew that.

He came out of nowhere it seems.  He came walking into a cub scout event looking for information.  I talked with him briefly, and I began to feel the "knowing".  Someone else began to speak to him and everytime I turned around, I locked eyes with him and I knew.  I just knew that we'd be friends, and he would be very important to me.   He is...

All of these people came into my life for a reason.  Each have given me a piece of the puzzle called "Me".  Each one of them has taught me something about myself and have made me want to become a better person.  They have given me the drive and motivation to dig deeper inside of myself to learn more and to discover my needs and my wants.

They are all meant to be here.. with me.  Every single one of them.

They were placed in my heart for a reason or maybe for reasons.  I am not sure what all of those reasons are, but as I discover what those reasons are, I will enjoy them all as much as I can. 

Friday, July 5, 2013


The church that I attend is a small country church.  It was built in 1861, and the history of the church is rich. I was fortunate enough to learn the history of the church while researching it for the church's 150th celebration.  The church was built during a time when it wasn't proper to have men and women enter the church through the same door.  It wasn't even proper for them to sit together.  

The church above is not my church.  It is very similar in design, however my church has two entrances in the front.  One of them was for women and the other was for the men.   Currently we only use one door through which everyone walks in.  

The floor inside of the santuary sags a bit, and the pews creak under the weight of its occupants.  The ceiling is finished in tin and it is beautiful to look at.  I sometimes look up and just admire it.  There is a distinct aroma that swirls around the church.  It is one that speaks the age of the church, and to me, it is the smell of home.  

My second home.

I started thinking about my second home yesterday.  We had gone to a friends house for the holiday and he had asked me whether or not we built our new church yet.  We have not, and it's sad to admit that we probably never will.
There was a time -- not that long ago -- when the church was stagnant.  It was stale.  No one was doing anything.   I got tired of arranging everything and doing everything. It was so stale that I took an almost month and a half hiatus.  

The hiatus did not do anything to nurture my spirituality.  All it did was give me reason to lie in bed Sunday mornings.  I had nothing to feed my mind.  A mind grows hungry, you know.  Very hungry.

I was asked to come back.  I was asked to not abandon the church because it needed me.  I was asked to breathe life back into the church again.  I vowed to do just that.  

In order, however, to breathe life into the church, we needed a solid member base.  We needed more than me willing to step up and help out.  We desperately needed younger people who could devote the energy to push this church in the right direction.  I cannot do it alone.  Not anymore.

Slowly, we are seeing new people wander into our doors and a few of them are willing to put themselves out there.   They are willing to step up and help.  I love these people!  

To backtrack.... 

The church has been trying to get a new building built for 20 years now.  I do not know if it will happen.  We have the lot of land to build on, but the whole darn problem is the building committee.  The worst thing to ever happen to a church is the formation of a committee.  It is a pain in the ass!

Nothing can be done without everyone agreeing.  Nothing can be done without everyone being informed.  But that isn't our problem.  Not at all.

Our problem is that we need stronger voices.  We need a voice to join my own to say, "If we want this church built, we have to just do it!!!!"  

There are so many trips around the circle you can take before your head wants to explode.  The discussions are always the same.  The reactions are always the same.  There is one dipshit woman that always has to over-analyze shit.  I swear I could smack her.  

Not very Christian of me, is it?  
We also have a man on the committee that turns everything into a damn argument.  No one will stand up to him.  No one will tell him the facts and tell him he's wrong.  Instead people will cower in the corner and nod their head to him.  Fuck that shit !  

We need the younger people to make our church stand out.  We need them to help get our church out there and recognized.  Publicity is what we need, but we cannot get that without doing something in, and for, our community.   We've gotten quite a few new people coming in because of the missions work being written about in the newspapers, but there is so much more that we can (and will, if I can help it) do.   

A church that gives is a church that survives.

We also need a strong voice.  We need someone with the ability to speak matter-of-factly about the facts and figures regarding building the new church.  We need someone with a level and cool head.  We need someone that does not take any crap from anyone.  We need someone strong.

You know something?  I know someone like that.  It was the friend who asked me about church yesterday.  He'd be perfect. I wonder if I could convince him to come to church.  

I wonder... 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Odd Duck

Yep, I am one odd duck.  No I don't quack nor do I have flippers on my feet.  I'm just... weird.

I was taking the family to meet hubby for dinner and the car behind me was going sloooooow.   As I drove behind him/her getting aggravated, I saw an arm slide out of the driver's window.  The hand flipped and bouncing on the road behind it was the plastic lid and straw to a fountain drink.  It peeved me.  I have zero tolerance for that kind of stuff.

Oh it never used to be that way.  I didn't give one iota whether someone littered, peed alongside the road or smoked around me.  Oh boy have I changed!  I would like to say that I've matured and leave it at that, however I think the proper description would be "anal".  I have become anal.

I am beginning to believe in the old adage that you grow up to be your parent.  I have become my mother.   My mother used to be pretty darn anal.  She never walked around outside in bare feet.  She hated when things were out of place, and she hated it even more to have a messy house.   

Okay, so I am not THAT anal, but I'm getting there.  

"Everything has its place and everything should be in its place."

This is a phrase that I repeat often to the kids.  I, like my mother, hate clutter in my house.  I , too, prefer to have everything in its place, particularly if I have found the perfect spot for it.  

Anal, right?


I am obsessive about having a clean bedroom.  I honest-to-God cannot sleep in a messy bedroom.  It's a mind fuck for me when I see clutter in my bedroom.  I just cannot sleep.  I know -- it's bizarre.  

In fact, I have trouble sitting in the living room to watch television if the room is messy.  I just cannot help it.  It gets worse as I get older.  It drives me insane and it drives my family nuts, too.  

It doesn't bother me if someone else's house is cluttered or messy.  It's only my own.  There is that weirdo thing again.  I am weird.  

I use hand sanitizer a lot.  Okay, not a ton, but enough for the kids to roll their eyes at me.   The grocery store I shop at has a dispenser with wipes in it so that you can sanitize the handle of your cart.  I used them.. religiously.  I have no idea where this came from -- this obsession.  It just was born out of nowhere.   I would say that this was ridiculous, but I have a tendency of getting a hell of a lot less sick than I used to. 

Excuse me while I sanitize now.. 

If I am organizing something, I have to have all of my notes, forms and paperwork in triplicate.  One copy for me to lug around so it gets worn and dog-eared.  One copy I can hand out, if someone needs it.  One copy for my files.  

Anal.  Yup that's me.

While I seem to have inherited my mother's anal traits, I haven't adopted them all, thankfully.

I love walking barefoot through the grass and feeling the blades tickle my toes.  I love feeling the morning dew wet my feet so I can run over to the driveway and make wet footprints.  I enjoy getting all grimy and dirty while working in the yard.  I never feel like I've accomplished anything unless my shirt, shorts and skin are covered in dirt.  I even still enjoy making good ole fashioned mudpies, although I am smart enough to not taste them like I did when I was young.  Ick!  

I'm a weirdo.  I'm obsessive to an extent.  

I need to end this.  There is a laundry basket in the living room that is driving me insane.  



Monday, July 1, 2013

Right to Choose -- The Ohio Way

After reading THIS news item, I became angry.  I became pretty upset with the Governor of Ohio.  I do believe that my anger is justified.
With the passing of Ohio's new budget, it is disheartening to see the rights of women being stripped away.  It does not matter whether I live in Ohio or not.  What matters is that women will now be denied basic and important care.   This will also mean that women will be stripped of their privacy rights and civil rights. 
Abortion has been an issue that has been debated for decades.   The debate has three sides.  The first side are people who are pro-choice, the second side are those with no real concrete opinion and the third are pro-lifers.   I believe with the posting of the photo above that you can hazard a guess as to which side I lie on.
I believe that each women has the right to choose what is best for them.  Our bodies are our own, and quite frankly, I have issues with a male politician making that decision for me.  He is unable to become pregnant.  He is unable to conceive and carry a child.  He is unable to make the hardest decision that a woman could ever make in her entire life.  He is unable to live with the lifelong anguish of that decision, and he will never live with the "what-ifs". 
Too many people believe that women have an easy time making that decision.  It isn't easy for most.  Granted, there are some that make the decision without forethought, however most struggle with it.  Deciding to have an abortion is the hardest decision most will ever make in their entire lives. 
Too many people also believe that it's a cut and dry issue.  It truly is not.  There are so many different factors involved -- factors that some would never be able to understand and grasp a hold of.  Governor Kasich will never be able to understand, so why in the hell does he believe that it is right and just for him to play the role of God. 
Only God may tell us what is right and what is wrong.  Only God can judge our decisions and the way we choose to live our lives.  Only God can punish us and only God can forgive. 
Governor Kasich is telling women, who have to make that painful decision, that they should be denied prompt medical attention should something go wrong.  What he is saying is that he does not care if a woman bleeds to death.  What he is saying that he has no compassion in his heart for anyone. 
He is also telling women that there is no hope for rape victims who become pregnant due to rape.  A rape crisis center will no longer inform its "clients" that abortion is an option.  Are rape victims low on the totem pole too, Gov. Kasich? 
Gov. Kasich, until you are able to feel the anguish in your heart over making the decision to have an abortion, please stop making decisions for women.  Until you have felt the feelings of diminished self-worth and live with the memories of being savagely violated, please refrain from pushing your antiquated beliefs on a class of people who rely on our government to make decisions that are best for us. 
I lived through both.  Have you? 
It isn't about you, Governor Kasich. 
It's about the women. 
You seemed to have forgotten that.