Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A beast of burden

So, I had to work all weekend long. That meant I was in formal attire...you know dress slacks, blouse and high heels...all weekend long. Now most aspects of my job are appropriate for this formal attire, but there are also times within my job were formal attire, specifically high heels, does not seem appropriate. I had that moment this past weekend. It was graduation day and it was hot and humid. I had to park the car about a mile (it felt) away from the graduation facility. I had to carry boxes of supplies and bottled water into the facility, mind you I was in formal attire. As I am stumbling across the parking lot, through the hallways and into the green room, it dawns on me that I am a beast of burden, a work horse.

Now I live in Kentucky, the horse capital, so I know horses. Here's what I know, a work horse looks much different than a race horse. Let me show you.

Here is a famous work horse:

Here is a famous race horse:

Do you notice anything? Look at the legs on the work horse and then look at the legs on the race horse. It dawns on me that when I am in high heels, I am like a race horse....thin little pegs not meant to haul things. If you put a heavy load on the race horse you will break it's legs. The legs of the work horse are meant to sustain heavy loads.

I'm just thinking that maybe I need to re-think high heels on days like these.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

An exposed fence and a mother's heart

So, my son has a job....painting about 5 miles of fence on a Kentucky farm. It's taking forever....the wood is totally exposed and is sucking up the paint. He has been painting while listening to his itunes. This past Sunday I decided to help him. So I poured him some paint and then poured mine. I told him that I had brought his earphones for him to listen to his music, but he said, "That's okay mom, I don't need them. Can't we just talk?" So we began to paint....for about 2 hours we painted, side by side....he and I talking the whole time. I was just like the fence...I sucked up every sweet minute we had together!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Smell that smell

So, I have a Bradford Pear tree in my front yard. I planted it when my house was built. I went to the store and picked it out....out of all the trees at the store, I chose it as the one that would adorn my yard. You see, I had noticed how beautiful the Bradford Pear tree blossomed in the spring here in Kentucky...it kind of reminded me of the Cherry Blossom trees in D.C., but for a fraction of the price.

Selection made, Bradford Pear, tree planted.

The next few years the tree grew. A few years later it was much larger and I anticipated that my yard would be beautiful that spring. The buds began to sprout up on the branches and then the day finally arrived. It was in full bloom. How beautiful! That evening I sat on my porch admiring my tree, when suddenly a rank, a very rank smell wafted through the air. I got up and walked around my yard...was there a dead fish somewhere? I couldn't figure out where this smell was coming from....I continued to walk throughout my yard, as I walked closer to my beautiful tree the smell got stronger. I couldn't remember fertilizing the tree, especially with dead fish, but maybe someone else did. So I got down on my hands and knees and sniffed the trunk. I could still smell the stink, but it wasn't coming from the ground. I stood up and the smell got stronger. I put my nose up to the beautiful blossoms and viola.....that was the smell.....the stink....something similar to a dead fish....it was those beautiful blossoms. Are you kidding me?

As I have mentioned before, I am a bit slow and therefore, the best life lessons for me contain a visual. I walked away from my tree, quite far away, and I admired it's beauty. Then I walked closer to it and couldn't help but think how the beauty faded as the stench permeated my nostrils. I wonder, what kind of a Christian am I. Am I a Bradford Pear or a Cherry Blossom tree? Am I beautiful from afar, but the closer you get to me.....the stench overwhelms the beauty? Or am I a Cherry Blossom tree.....beautiful from afar, and as you draw closer....the sweet smell only enhances the beauty. Hmmmm......

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Press one now

So....I just got back from a visit to my parent's house. I love my people. I love that we all enjoy a good laugh together.....even if it is at the expense of one of our own. My siblings and I thoroughly enjoy laughing at my parents as we all grow older.

One evening my sister and I were running some errands with my kids...Judy and I left the truck to do something and when we returned...my three children had a look on their faces that was very familiar....yes, I knew that they had been having fun at Judy and my expense....and so the tradition continues.

In keeping with family tradition....let me share a funny mom and dad story.

They have a new HD TV and just recently got high def cable. While I was home I noticed that the picture wasn't clear. It was not in high definition. So, I fumbled with it for a while....got out the manuals and tried a few things. Then I decided to call one of the help desks. This is where the story begins.

The TV has been off all morning. So I turn on the TV one last time before making the call, just to verify that the problem still exists (because I have found that just making a call to the help desk usually fixes the problem). My parents are sitting in the living room. Yes, the problem is still there. I sit down in front of the TV, with the TV remote. I dial the number, I hit 1 to speak in english, I hit 1 to say I am calling about a TV, I hit 2 to say it is a high definition TV....okay, finally Tina answers. Let me share what was happening while I was hitting all the appropriate options to get to Tina, my dad has grabbed the universal cable remote control. He begins to do what all men with a remote does....flip the stations. Now mind you, I had it on a known HD station....I can't stop him because I have to stay alert to make sure I am picking the right options to ensure proper customer service in my native tongue. In the meantime, my mom sees a show flip by that interests her, so she yells at my dad to turn it back. Again, I can't stop them because I am "pressing 1 now." So, my parents are now both watching a show on who knows what station....and then turn the TV up so they can hear it. Let me translate....we have now gone up to a level 10 on volume. Again, I am sitting right in front of the TV and I have finally arrived at a place where a representative is going to help me. I hear a female voice....but I can't make out anything she says because the TV is blaring. I quickly ask my parents to turn the TV down and I ask the customer service rep to repeat herself....she is annoyed and repeats that her name is Tina. Nice....now I have Tina, with attitude, trying to help me. My parents turn the TV down to level 9....I am still right in front of the TV and Tina is mad at me....she asks me for something...but I can't hear so I ask her to repeat her question....at the same time I am making a motion to "be quiet" to my parents.....but they are squawking at each other about something on TV. Tina says, with attitude, "I NEED YOUR SERIAL NUMBER." I begin to pull the TV out, but first I have to clear all of the knick-knacks that are right in front of it. Mom and dad sit and watch me. I pull the TV out and the cable box begins to fall off of the cabinet....I am trying to hold the phone, pull the TV out gently, hold the cable box from falling and hold a flash light to read the serial number. I have forgotten my reading glasses at home....which means that everything on the back of the TV looks like a "O". At this point...I make up a number and Tina asks me for a model number.....I realize I can't make this up without Tina realizing it, so I ask her for some choices. She is not amused....my mom is now yelling at my dad to give me his reading glasses....the TV is still blaring.....and I am at the end of my patience. I realize that this call is now useless and we need to draw it to an end...so I ask Tina if the "480I" that is in the upper right corner of the TV the resolution...she tells me it is the signal strength, and without a strong signal the high definition stations won't be clear. I thank her and hang up. Tina and I have solved their problem. The signal from their cable company is strong enough....I tell mom and dad to call the cable company....they ask me to do it....I laugh.....

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Time to say goodbye

So, this past weekend I had to take my Becky to college. She is starting her freshman year at Taylor.

I am so very proud of her....of the young woman that she has become.

When my Becky entered my life, I was just turning 30. We were living outside Morgantown, WV on a farm. Life was complicated at that point....but my Becky came along and she brought joy and contentment to me.

Becky seemed to smile from the moment she was born. She loved life....she loved to watch life....she loved to watch her sister play and run past her. She would smile whenever she saw me enter a room. She loved to be held, but didn't demand it. She was content. She has remained that way all through life....not demanding.

As I drove her up to college I had a profound sense of sadness....of regrets. I realized that I had taken advantage of her sweet, non-demanding nature. I was a new mom....and I didn't realize that just because my Becky didn't demand my hugs and kisses didn't mean that she didn't want them.

As the time drew near to say goodbye and leave her....I fought the deep urge to hold her and kiss her and hug her.....and make up for lost time. I wanted to make up for the lost hugs and kisses....I wanted to turn back the clock and claim a 'do-over.'

As I hugged her for that last time....my eyes filled with tears....and my soul overflowed with sadness.

I wanted to hold her and never let her go....but I missed that time in her life....and now I am in a new season, where I have to step back and let her go....I just wished I would have held her more before this time.

My Becky, I love you!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Growing love

So, this weekend both of my girls had to be at college. My Katie back to Geneva for her junior year. My Becky to Taylor for her freshman year.

I am going to give a blog to each of them. But first I want to comment on my family and all of the emotions of it.

I realized something about my family this week. It wasn't a profound thought....I'm sure someone else has already vocalized this....but it was a new thought for me. I am in the season of diminishment, not growth. This is the opposite of my twenties and thirties, when my family was growing and getting louder.

I remember when I had my Katie. When I brought her home, it changed, and was louder. It changed for the good....it grew and the dynamics of our family changed and the way we related changed too....as did my love....they both grew, our family and my love, and encompassed her fully.

Then I had my Becky. When I brought her home, it changed, and was louder. It changed for the good...it grew and the dynamics of our family and the way we related changed too.....as did my love....they both grew, our family and my love, and encompassed her fully.

Then I had my David. When I brought him home, it changed, and was louder. It changed for the good...it grew and the dynamics of our family changed too.....as did my love.....they both grew, our family and my love, and encompassed him fully.

Two years ago I took my Katie to college. She left my home, and it changed, and got quieter. At first I didn't think it was good....my home was diminished....the dynamics of our family and the way we related changed...but what didn't diminish was my love for her....it continued to grow.....and encompass her all the way in Pennsylvania. It grew too as she matured and began a new season of her life....my love grew around her.

I also began to see that Becky was able to grow.....the space that Katie had occupied was empty....and Becky was able to grow and expand into that space....she blossomed, and my love grew around her and encompassed her.

The way we related to one another within my home changed....it was different, but it didn't diminish our love for Katie...it was just different.

This year I took my Katie and my Becky to college...and my home changed again, and got quieter. At first I didn't think it was good....my home diminished...the dynamics of our family and the way that we related changed too...but what didn't diminish was my love for her....it continued to grow....and encompass her all the way in Indiana. It grew too as she matured and began a new season of her life....my love grew around her.

I am now anxious to see how my David grows into the space that Becky had occupied. I am anxious to see how he blossoms and I know that my love will grow around him....

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Not a momma's boy

So, today I took my David out school shopping. He's 14 now....a freshman in high school. We went to several stores looking for good deals on name brand clothing. He likes to look good and smell even better. No longer were we looking for t-shirts with funny sayings. Yes, he is growing up.

On our way into the mall, he was in front of me. He opened the door and began to walk in. I was a little offended that he hadn't held the door opened for me....then I noticed he glanced behind him as he was walking through the door.....he quickly stopped and came back and held the door. I smiled as I walked through. I turned to thank him, but he was still holding the door.....turns out there was a dark haired, size 4, curvy young teenage girl behind me.

Nope, he's not a momma's boy anymore.....as a matter of fact....he seems more like a papa's boy.