Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Solo Hookup

A few days ago, Lovey and I were in Walmart getting groceries for the weekend. While there, I had to check out the camping aisle. And of course, I found a few things that I just had to have. Last year, my sister and nephew pulled my camper to the lake because I was in a workshop. When I got there my cord would not reach the power outlet, so I did what I had to do - I stole my brother's extension cord, and when he got there a few days later, I reminded him to back-in really close to the power outlet. All winter I knew that I needed to buy my own extension. And this weekend I did. But that's not what I'm excited about.

While cruising the camping aisles, I found the Solo Hitch Alignment System.

Lovey was a tad bit doubtful that I needed this. But I reminded him that sometimes I don't have anyone to guide me while I am hooking up to the camper. I can do it, but it takes several get-out-and-looks. I just thought this would be quicker, maybe.

Part of my plans for the weekend included popping up the camper so that I could do some minor repairs, cleaning, and packing for the summer. While Lovey and Baby Jus did the morning pickup, I decided that I would try my new gadget.

First, I backed up sort of close to the camper.

Then put one of the magnetic thingies on the camper hitch.

And one on the truck hitch.

My hitch is a dropped down hitch so that the camper won't have to be so jacked up in the front when I pull it. The thingy on my truck didn't sit up straight in the spot where I was supposed to put it. But I am straight with the camper. See?

I just moved the truck thingy to the level spot on my hitch.

 Backed right up.

All I had to do was lower the camper on to the ball. Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy.

When the guys got home I had it washed, popped up, and was ready to begin repairs, cleaning, and packing. I needed this Solo Hitch thingy a long time ago. Lovey even commented that he might need to borrow my Solo Hitch sometime.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day...

The sun is bright.

The grill is hot.

And the pool is open.

Here in Arkansas we have been blessed with beautiful weather for the entire weekend. I hope that we have all taken a moment to remember the men and women who have served and are currently serving our country.  Several days ago, I was perusing the 'net and found Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. A short, powerful few words. Words that transcend time. Words that honor US service men and women even today.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Saturday Confession, Again

Saturday is finally here - why do some weeks seem so much longer than others? And again, I'm linking up with Melissa and her Saturday Confession.

 After many years of teaching 7th grade, I have reverted to adolescent memory loss. Or maybe I'm at that age where adolescent memory loss and senior memory loss are equal? I just thought of that. I could be making some great scientific discovery right now. Yet I can't remember my original point...Oh yeah, memory. And 7th grade. A few weeks ago, my glasses broke. I didn't break them - they were just absolutely worn out, and they gave up. I pulled out some cheater-readers (that I bought a few weeks before when I went to a textbook caravan and realized I had forgotten my glasses). I can't stand cheaters. I hate looking over the rims to see anything other than what is immediately in front of me. But I have adjusted. Had adjusted. One night this week, they just dissappeared. One minute I had them; the next they were gone. Never to be found again. I thought I would be back in contacts for a while. Until we jumped in the truck to go check on Lovey's brother's farm after the storm. We were riding along, and I couldn't read anything on my phone. Lovey handed me his glasses. They are usually hidden under the pile of papers on his dashboard. I sometimes forget that he even has them. Apparently he does too because when he needs to read something at night, he steals mine. Anyway. I have been wearing his glasses all week. I thought that since they were just lonely on his dash most of the time he wouldn't miss them. Well guess what? Some time between 3:15 and 5:00 yesterday, Lovey's glasses just dissappeared. One minute I had them, I was wearing them, I was reading with them, and the next, gone!

I need to call my mom. We need a parent/teacher conference to discuss the lost glasses.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My Reaction to the Non-Rapture

For the past several weeks, the flood of media coverage had almost everyone talking about the predicted rapture. All around the world people were preparing for it or laughing about it. Maybe because they didn't want to be left out, just in case, all types of news services had some sort of coverage of the prediction and/or the man making the prediction. I was not suprised by the hype; I was taken back by how many times I read or heard comments like, "I'll still be here," or "I won't be taken." I have to admit that I, just like most, laughed at the jokes about the predicted rapture, but I just can't laugh about someone proudly proclaiming that they won't be included in the rapture when it does happen. I am a Christian. I am not pushy, preachy, perfect. Unfortunately, I don't speak up enough about me beliefs, and I am far, far from perfect. But I know that I am forgiven for all of my imperfections and shortcomings.

When I was still very young, I found myself married, expecting a baby, and living far from my family. We moved mid-pregnancy and had to change doctors. But everything seemed to be going smoothly. Once labor started, things started to go wrong. Several trips to the hospital and doctor's office, the regular doctor unavailable, arguments about "real" contractions, and after several days I found myself in the hospital in severe pain and hearing the words, "There is no heartbeat." I got so much support from friends, old and new, and family. Cards, calls, and visits. But I was shocked by one comment, "This is not of God." Was it terrible? Yes. Was I devastated? Yes. But how could it not be of God? As young as I was, I knew that even this, this horrible event in my life, was of God. Everything, good and bad, in my life is of God. I did not, still do not, understand God's reason, but I knew then as I know now, God has a plan for each of us. I sometimes wonder if maybe I had moved away from Him and His plan for me, and He pruned the vine so that it would grow in the correct direction. Or was there a lesson for me there? Did I suffer? Do I still suffer? Yes. But in my suffering, my faith has grown. I have felt God's presence in my daily life. I have learned to listen for and watch for God's direction in my decision making. He does send us messages - our job is to listen and follow His word.

Jump ahead several years, a different husband, a new life. Lovey and I had been married for seven years and knew that we would not have children naturally. We had discussed options many times, and adoption repeatedly surfaced as the best choice. Yet we never made the big move. Finally, we got a call about two boys in foster care who would not be going back to their mother. It was this call that started the process of adoption for us. We attended training through DHS, including home studies and home visits. Oh, the paperwork, the questions! But again and again we answered, "God will send us the one(s) we are supposed to have." After only a few months, we moved our two boys, not the two from the phone call, into their new room. Did you get that? A story about two boys needing a home, and only months later we are parents to two boys. See God's hand in that? Two boys - one a dedicated momma's boy, the other couldn't look more like me if he had my DNA.

Has our parenting experience been perfect? No. Are there things I wish I had done differently? Of course. Would I ever change the fact that these two boys (now men) are mine? Absolutely not! Several years ago, we spent spring break in Dallas with my brother. While there we visited Six Flags. It was a chilly, drizzly day, but that did not dampen the fun. But at some point in the day, Baby Jus wanted to do something (I can't even remember what) that I refused to let him do. He was mad. Not just pouty - mad! There are pictures somewhere of the two of us sitting on a bench with him mad all over and me laughing. In each picture he moved a little further away from me. I would scoonch over, and he would slide further away. I was laughing, but it did hurt that he didn't want me close to him. Can parenting teach us anything about God's love? Does He hurt when we move away from Him? Does He scoonch closer, only to feel us pull away because we don't get our way about something? It breaks my heart to think of the times I have felt myself pull away from God, like a child, mad at Him because I didn't get my way. But God's love for me didn't change; He loves me no matter how many times I fail Him.

Jump forward many years, those precious boys are now teenagers. Life was definitely not easy. The Big Boy and I were always clashing. Chaos reigned in our household. I prayed for answers. I prayed for solutions. I prayed for change. I found myself mad at God, madder than I even realized. I pulled away. Sometimes I felt Him scoonch closer, but I shut him out over and over again. There was  morning that I turned desperately to Him, crying out for his help, a miracle that only He could deliver. I got out of bed, made the coffee, started breakfast, and went to wake Big Boy. He wasn't there; instead I found a frightening letter with no clue of where he had gone. Believe me, I forgot all about being mad at God. I instantly turned to Him. Begged for a hedge of protection over my child. Cried out in anguish that He bring my son safely back home. God answered. After just more than an hour God delivered him safely into the hands of my brother. He didn't hold my failure and anger against me. He didn't ignore the pleas of someone who had ignored Him. He heard my prayers and sent my miracle.

Jump forward a few more years, to the present. My relationship with that same child is still strained. Never easy. I can't force him to do things. I can't make decisions for him. I have to allow him to make his own choices, learn from his mistakes and successes. As much as I want to demand he do as I say, as much as I want to stop him from making the wrong choices, I can't. If he lived the life I wanted only because I forced him to do so, would I feel any success as a parent in that? I want him to choose that life. I have to wait for him to come to that decision on his own. And again, there is a lesson about God's plan for us. He gives us the option to choose Him. He wants us to choose Him. And He waits patiently for us to make that decision.

I read something today about the man who made the rapture prediction. He now says that there was a miscalculation - the spiritual rapture has happened, we have been judged, and the physical rapture will occur in October. I read another remark that God will forgive this man for his sins. I have heard so many say things about this man not knowing God's word and not being a Christian. We don't know. It is not our call. That is for God to decide. Has any good come of the hype? People were talking about the Rapture. People were talking about God and His word. People turned to Scripture for answers. And hopefully, people like me, people who don't always discuss God's role in their lives, have or will speak out. Hopefully, people everywhere are praying for those who commented,  "I'll still be here" or "I won't be taken." If you are one of those people, I am praying for you. Praying that God will reveal Himself to you at a time that you are ready to accept Him. If you have questions about God's plan for salvation, contact me. I will glady tell you more about God's work in my life.

How is God working in your life? Share, someone is listening.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Lucy Finds a Friend

Lucy Mercer, Great American Cat Wrangler, has had a very difficult last few weeks. She had to make emergency trips to the vet twice. Once to get her puppies. And once to get calcium injections because she had so many puppies to feed. But she is feeling much, much better. So much so that she is back to wrangling those pesky cats who live in HER yard.

This morning she was out in the yard. On the prowl, looking for a cat that needed wrangling. Just daring somebody to run. But no kitties were in the mood to run. In fact, many of them wouldn't even come out into the open. It had just stopped raining, and the yard was still a bit wet. She did spy a big orange tomcat, one that she loves to chase because he always runs and runs before going up a tree or into a good hiding spot. She tried and tried, but that tomcat just wouldn't budge.

She didn't give up. And in her search, she discovered something new, something she had never seen before.

She went very close to inspect this new creature.

She hoped that with a little prodding, maybe this new friend would join her for a game of chase.

As it turned out, the new friend wasn't at all interested in a game of chase.

Lucy explained that she wanted ever so much to chase something, anything, this morning.


Lucy even offered to give him a headstart. But no, he wouldn't play.

In fact, he even looked a little grouchy when she asked.

After several minutes of asking, Lucy gave up and went back to looking for kitties to wrangle.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Another Saturday Confession

It's Saturday again - and confession time.

1.  I hate showers. Not rain showers - the other kind. I've never liked them. I don't know what it is exactly, but I just hate them. I love to visit with friends and family. Just not at showers. This is bad for me because my niece is expecting a baby and my nephew is getting married both in July. And this afternoon I went to a baby shower, and tomorrow afternoon there is a wedding shower. And I think almost every weekend until the wedding is full with more showers. Yuck!

2.  I always forget that occassionally I enjoy hearing Lovey's response when I talk to him. He is very quiet most of the time, so it doesn't seem like NO talking would be much of a change. Wednesday is looking very far away.

3.  School will be out for summer in two weeks. I am already planning, researching, and reading for next year. I say I won't do it. I tell myself that I will take a break. But I do it everytime.

4.  I did try to start packing up my room between grading novel notebooks. I am determined to have it all done early. I will not procrastinate. I will not wait until the last minute. I will not have to come back after everyone else goes home. But finishing grading and making study guides and tests are at the top of the to-do list for Monday and Tuesday. See that, that's procrasination winning.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Best Laid Plans...

This week Lovey and I made another trip to Springdale for his surgery. It's about a 5 hour trip from our house, so we went up on Wednesday and traveled back after his surgery on Thursday. I knew before we left that we would go a bit out of the way to check on my daddy after his surgery on Monday. Before leaving the house I had a great idea - take my camera and snap interesting pictures so that I could blog about our trip. And I did see some interesting things. But I didn't take even one picture.

 I think stress has turned my brain to Jello.

 I think too many things to focus on causes me to lose focus.

 I think driving and taking pictures at the same time is a bad idea.

If I had taken pictures, I would have taken a picture of Lovey as he drove on Wednesday. With the many hours that he must work, we don't have the chance to take road trips that often. And while this wasn't a joy ride for sure, we did enjoy our time in the car, just the two of us. So, right here just imagine a picture of Lovey with his cute little whiskered face wearing his black sunglasses with one hand on the wheel.

If I had taken pictures, I would have taken one of my daddy's backyard when we first drove up. He has two dogs that he treats like his kids better than his kids. But in his back yard there are cats everywhere. Not quite as many as mine but more than I ever dreamed. So, right here just imagine a picture of daddy's backyard, really shady and full of orange cats.

If I had taken pictures, I would have definitely taken some as we drove through tornado-stricken Vilonia. There was destruction everywhere we looked. Each neighborhood was dotted with roofs covered in blue tarps. Trees were broken and scattered. Sometimes in those still standing I could see tin and insulation wrapped around the top limbs. We even saw one house that looked as though someone had used it as a spinner in a game of spin the bottle. It was twisted sideways on the foundation. But in the middle of all of the wreckage, we saw crews at work cleaning and rebuilding. So, right here just imagine many pictures of a small town that is ripped to shreds but not at all devastated.

If I had taken pictures, I would have probably taken a picture while we ate dinner in Fayetteville. We went to Logan's Roadhouse. The waitress very sweetly suggested a drink, that I then ordered. She shortly came back to tell me that the bartender didn't have the ingredients for that particular drink. I smiled and changed my order. She then asked for our dinner order. I ordered a steak, salad, and baked sweet potato. Lovey wanted ribs, spiced apples, and fries. She shortly returned to tell me that the kitchen was out of baked sweet potatoes. I smiled and changed my order. Lovey and I talked, did a little people watching, and waited for our dinner. She shortly returned to tell us that she had somehow forgotten to give the kitchen our order but assured us that now they were cooking it, and it would be out quickly. I smiled, took a big, big slurp of that drink that wasn't the one I really wanted,  and changed my mind about ever returning to that restaurant. So, right here just imagine a picture of the look of surprise on the waitress' face when she counted her tip and realized that I didn't slight her a bit for her blunders.

If I had taken pictures, I would have taken one of the moving van that I followed for several miles during Thursday's return trip. It was a large yellow Pensky van pulling a small UHaul trailer. Maybe it was because I had been entertaining myself for many hours that morning, but I found this made me laugh. Being an English teacher, I tried to categorize the sight. Was it oxymoron, juxtaposition, irony; or just a consumer looking for the best deal. So, right here just imagine a picture of that big yellow moving van pulling competitor's trailer.

If I had taken pictures, I would have taken one of Lovey stealing my sour Jellybelly jellybeans. I stopped for gas and decided to grab a snack. After a few minutes back on the road, I may or may not have crossed the white line and rrrrrrrruummmmed along the ridges for a second. But for some reason Lovey quickly woke up and right away started num-numming on my jellybeans. So, right here imagine a picture of his hairy manhands stealing a few colorful treats.

If I had taken pictures, I would have taken one of my momma when we stopped to pick up her surprise for Lovey. Because he can't talk for a week, she got him a new ink pen and some cute little notepads. She looked so happy to be making his difficult just a little easier. Lovey took the pen and notepads and then quickly raised his hand and wiggled it. She very quickly understood his meaning and was almost running to get him a bell. So, right here imagine a picture my momma's and Lovey's look of disappointment when I told them both that she would NOT be giving him a bell.

Hope you enjoyed my imaginary pictures of the road trip.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Tuesday Morning

My weekday mornings are pretty much the same. Get up, let the dogs out, make coffee, blah, blah, blah. The one difference each week is Duty Tuesday. Every Tuesday morning and afternoon, I have parking lot duty. It's no big deal really. Just makes me pay a little more attention to the weather on Tuesday. I decided this morning that today's blog would be about my morning. The idea came after I had let the dogs out and back in, chosen what to wear, and gotten dressed, so this is where we pick up....

Each day I sort of think about what I'll have for lunch.  I do have a fridge and microwave in my room, so sometimes I keep things at school. Sometimes I take leftovers. Today I made a sandwhich - ham and swiss on pumpernickel.

Most mornings I eat breakfast in the car on the way to work. I rarely drink my coffee at home. I pour it just before I go out the door.

And yes, I always take two cups with me. One to drink on the way and one for sipping on throughout the morning.

Drink one now, save one for later! The front cup is for drinking on the way.

The parking lot is usually pretty empty when I get there. This morning it was like a ghost town.

I love the walk down the hallway to my room.  The art teacher hangs paintings from her classes in this area. These are instruments recently painted by seventh graders. She changes the paintings every few weeks. I love to see what the students have done.

After I get to my room, I take a few minutes to prepare for the day. This morning I wanted to get a few things copied before going out to duty.

The copy machine had other plans. What an evil little picture this is!

After clearing several paper jams, I gave up and went out to duty. Like most duty mornings, it was relatively quiet. I watch parents dropping off kids, friends waiting on friends before getting out of cars, and sometimes  students  rush in hoping not to be late. 

The bell sounds, and everyone heads to class. My first period is 8th graders. I have 26 kids, only two are boys. This morning they were reading The Giver by Lois Lowery. 

They like the book, so it was a pretty quiet morning.

Monday, May 16, 2011

It's been a Monday - all day long

This past weekend I caught up on some much needed rest. The last few weeks have just kicked my butt. I can't name any one, or even two or three particular things that wore me out - but I was worn out. Well, maybe I can. I haven't been getting enough sleep. Lucy Mercer was very uncomfortable in the last week or so of her pregnancy, and then we had a box full of whining, whimpering puppies for several weeks.We still have four puppies, but they are sleeping in another room.

 And somewhere in there we had Benchmark testing at school. Preparing for the tests all year is demanding, administering the tests all week is draining, waiting for results is nerve racking.

 The end of April brought Easter dinner at my house and planning a senior picnic.

May arrived just as Baby Jus had his last day of school, and Lovey had to go to the doctor (who is five hours away). Then came Mother's day. I don't enjoy this day. I would like to ignore it. It is a very stressful day. Then graduation and a cookout for the graduate.

I slept more hours Saturday than I had the entire week combined. It was great. And to be quite honest - I could have done the same thing again on Sunday.

And today, I am so thankful for a restful weekend. It's just Monday, and my week is looking pretty stressful. This morning, my brother and I drove to Little Rock to be with my daddy. He had surgery to remove a tumor from his bladder. This is the fourth finding of bladder cancer in 3 1/2 years. Surgery went well, and he should get to go home tomorrow. While we were waiting for Daddy to go in to surgery, my mom texted me. My stepdad was being admitted to the hospital at home. He has been experiencing bouts of dizziness and nauesia for the last week or so. He has gone to the doctor a few times and has been treated for Vertigo. He had a check up scheduled today and was very dizzy when he got there. The doctor sent him to the hospital for tests. They are checking for blockage. Brother and I stopped by there before we came home. The doctor arrived while we were there. Thankfully, the MRI should no signs of a stroke. A few more tests are scheduled for tomorrow. What a day.

Thursday, Lovey will have surgery on his vocal cords. This will require another very long drive.

Thank goodness I got a good rest on Saturday - I may be doing the same thing next Saturday.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Saturday Confessions

1. I haven't posted since May 2nd. I haven't been on the computer for much of anything since then. Life sometimes gets too busy and that is what has been going on here. But so much of it has a been a good busy, and I not complaining.

2. Because of the busy-ness of the last few weeks, this weekend is my resting-up weekend. And I have been soooo lazy - hence the Saturday Confession on Sunday morning.  Yesterday I slept until 8:30 (really late for me), moved to the living room with coffee, took puppies outside for a morning romp, then back to living room for more coffee. I decided that this was the day that I had to have a haircut. I made a few calls and waited for the reply. Lovey called around 10:30 and asked me to ride to town with him, so I did change from pajama pants to yoga pants. I was back at home by noon and took about a three hour nap. I went to get that haircut around 7:00, then it was back to the couch for more TV and another nap. I woke up and went to bed around 3:00 a.m. I haven't slept that much in ages!

3. My baby graduated Friday. He keeps reminding me that he's not leaving. But it is still so painful. The first night that both boys were allowed to go out own their own, I remember sitting in the living room with Lovey and telling him, "I don't like this. I'm not ready." That feeling is back. There have been many late nights of homework and projects where I have moaned, "I'll be so glad when this is all over and done." I now take it all back.

4. Summer is near, and lake-living is calling me. I love camping. This year I'm going with a new group for an all girls camping trip at Heber Springs. It will be fun. There are about 15 of us going, and I only know about two or three. They have done this for a few years and always have a great time. I will also make the annual Lake DeGray trip for the 4th. Lots of friends and family and always a great time. I'm hoping that our chickens will be caught in time for Lovey and Baby Jus to make a trip before the summer is up.

5. After #4, I guess I should confess that I abandon my husband for camping trips. His chickens require attention 24/7. He does sometimes manage to come to the lake for a day and even occassionally manages to spend a night. But he never gets to enjoy more than 24 or so hours. Do I feel guilty? Yes. Guilty enough to stay home? No

6. I hope Melissa notices that I figured out the button this week.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Where were you?

Like most Americans, hearing the news of Osama Bin Laden's death has taken me back to that day. The day that seems so long ago. The day that changed so much. Families, travel, skylines, history. With all of the loss and devastation, can there be any good that came from that day?

It was a regular morning: rush, rush, hurry, hurry, get out the door. Did I kiss the boys that morning, or was I fussing and rushing them to the bus stop? I do remember that I needed gas in my truck but decided that to save time I would fill up after school. So I was probably fussing and rushing instead of hugging and kissing. I do remember the school day starting just like any other. And I will never forget the words over the intercom, "Teachers, please turn on your TV's so that you can see what is going on in the world around us." Why would she say that? "See what's going on in the world around us." The attendance secretary who made the announcement is a friend of mine. The tone of her voice, the words she chose, I knew before I pushed the power button that something of great importance would come into focus once I got the metal clothes hanger antennae in just the right position. Nothing could have prepared me for the picture I would find.

I wanted to run. I wanted my family. I wanted to feel safe. I wanted to cry. I wanted to turn the TV off and pretend it never happened. I had a room full of 9th grade students. I had to stay put. I had to comfort them. Make them feel safe. Let them know it was okay to cry. We watched, we talked, we prayed, and as the day went on we cried. I have to admit that in the beginning some of my students didn't understand what had happened. They couldn't comprehend how much their lives were changing, had changed in a matter of minutes. It took a while for students to make the connections - my cousin lives in New York City, my uncle works at the Pentagon, my brother is flying today - slowly these thoughts floated to the surface.  I can't always get Lovey on the phone and don't remember talking to him until sometime that afternoon. But I do remember calling my momma. Who of our friends and family might be on a plane today? I wanted to account for everyone. I called my sister. I wanted to see them all. Put my arms around them. Hold their faces in my hands.

As the day progressed, parents began to show up. Some to take their students home; some who, like me, only wanted to see them all. Put their arms around them. Hold faces in their hands. Staying at that school so far from my own kids was so difficult, yet I couldn't leave. Even in the teacher's lounge someone had tuned a TV to the news coverage. During lunch I left my room but couldn't tear myself away from the coverage. Finally 3:30 came, time to go home. But first I had to get gas. I worked my way towards home. Station after station was out of gas. The stations in town who had gas also had extremely long lines, and by now, I was desperate to get home to my family. I didn't have time to wait in line. I thought that the small country stores would be immune to the long lines. I was wrong. I drove and drove until I finally had to wait in line. This scared me almost as much as the horrible things I had witnessed on TV during day. I stopped at a small local store. I had known most of the people in line for years and years. I witnessed people yelling and screaming at friends; I saw people filling container after container with gas while the rest of us waited and wondered if the tanks would empty before we would have our turn. I started to wonder if I would run out gas while waiting in line. I had no choice but to wait; I had pushed my limit already, driving as far as I dared on my empty tank. I still had 15 or so miles before I was home. I prayed, "Please Lord, let the gas hold out until it's my turn." I must admit if the gas had run out before I got my turn - I'm not sure what I would have done. I had held it together for about as long as I could; it wouldn't take much to push me over the edge. But I did get enough gas to finally make it home.

After so many hours of watching the news from school, I hugged and kissed my babies and as soon as they were in bed, I went right back to watching the news. It was impossible to not watch. Everyone wondered what would happen next. It was as though the country was holding our collective breaths waiting for the next explosion. Am I the only one who remembers the day as if it were running in slow motion? During the night, I found myself going into the boy's room to watch them sleep. Just to be sure. Of what? That they were sleeping? That they were breathing? That they were. Because so many had started that morning being - but were no longer. I prayed for them, for their families, and counted my many blessings.

That night seems so long ago, yet last night as Baby Jus and I worked on his final high school assignment, I got a tweet about Bin Laden's death. Then another that announced full coverage on the news. I didn't even turn on the TV. I didn't want to think about that day. I didn't want to give the man any more power over me. We Americans have pieced together a new life, a new way of living. So many more have lost family members. I did watch a short bit of news this afternoon. I saw that in some places people celebrated in the streets. I understand their exuberance. I respect their need to claim the victory. I cannot celebrate anything concerning this man and the devastation he has caused. I saw this status on facebook earlier today:
 .."Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?" Ezekiel 33:11
 I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked. Tonight I celebrate the life of all those around the world who have died because of this evil man, I celebrate the many wives, husbands, mothers, fathers, children, and friends who have been force to build a new normal because this man's evil plans have left a hole in their lives and their hearts.

Has any good come of that day? The day serves as a reminder. I know how precious each day is. I realize how quickly circumstances can change. I appreciate the sacrifices that have been made for me.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Lessons Learned

While viewing pictures from my family's Easter gathering, I realized that there are many lessons to be learned each time we are together. Things we want our children to learn, but also things we learn from watching them.

Love deeply.

Dance, who cares who's watching.

Don't be afraid to be creative.

Have FUN no matter your age.

Work for what you want.

Be happy with what you have.

Give anonymously.

Accept help from others.

Count your blessings.