Posted in Family


The organist and vocalist were late. I hated my dress. I had little say in the flowers. Yet, there was a smile on my face. I was following in the footsteps of those young women who had gone down the aisle before me. No, not my bridesmaids — the women who followed in the footsteps of their mothers and their mother’s mothers before them.

The person who walked down the aisle that day so many years ago seems like a completely different person from the one who writes here today. I had different beliefs, even though my values have remained the same. We base our beliefs on myths and facts  that updated as new information becomes available.

Values are the things we find important, and although the priorities of our values may shift with time or age, they typically remain unchanged. I value love, but I no longer believe marriage is the only way to secure it. Does that help explain it? Life doesn’t grant do-overs, but it does grant start-overs, and we are all encouraged to grow and evolve.

barbara-billingsleyJune Cleaver and Mary Scott were my role models. June Cleaver was a fictional character on a black and white television show where men came home from work expecting quiet children and dinner on the table. June was known for her impeccable dresses and tidy pearls.

20580367823_243881f7c6_zMary Scott was my grandmother. She was a non-fictional character who watched me while my mother worked. She was known for her jet-black hair, slight frame, and dainty gestures.

Both June and Mary believed it was the woman’s duty and privilege to run the home while their husbands worked. Their homes were always as tidy as their skirts by the time their spouse returned home, and they knew how to get a steaming dinner on the table at the same time each day. Boy, did I have a rude awakening!

It’s hard to talk about how I might have done things differently if I had a the chance. After all, I might have had different children, or no children at all. I’d have waited. I’d have learned more about myself. I’d have considered the impact my choices make on the world, and my life. But life doesn’t give us do-overs. Fortunately, it does give us start-overs.

Is it time to update your beliefs? What myths might you hold as truth? What facts must be updated with new information? What are your values? Do you need to reprioritize them based on a change in your life, age, job, or family?

My children are waiting for marriage and children. I’m proud of the choices they’re making. If they do decide to do either, they’ll have so much more to offer their spouse and/or children. They’ll have a better idea of how to live with other people. They’ll have a better grasp of their own values and beliefs, and not rely on ones borrowed from their parents, grandparents, or fictional t.v. characters.

It’s okay to change your beliefs. It’s okay to realign your values. It doesn’t mean you’re a whole different person. It means you’re evolving.

Peace . . .

Posted in Family

Dear Child of Mine,

sc000b0423One day, many years ago, I gave to you a baby.  A howling, trembling, helpless newborn, moist and warm from my womb.  You didn’t know how to care for it, so I did that for you.  I diapered it when it was wet.  I bathed it when it was dirty.  When it needed vaccinations, I took it to the doctor.  The nurse stuck your perfect baby with a needle and made it cry.  You didn’t know how to comfort it, or why the nurse had stuck it, so I cuddled the baby and I cried too.

Pretty soon your baby learned how to walk and even run.  You didn’t know that much about the world, so I watched the baby for you to make sure it didn’t run into the street or get lost.  Gradually, you learned how to feed and dress it.  Sometimes you would put its shirt on backward, and I would straighten it out for you.  Your baby did so many funny things, I took pictures so that we would both remember. sc0001a55803

When the child grew bigger, you took it to school all by yourself.  I was sad to see you were able to do that without me, but so proud of how responsible you were.  You taught the youngster how to sit politely, raise its hand, and stand in the lunch line.  You dressed your child all by yourself, and even got the shirt on front-wise most of the time.  As you got older, I let you make decisions like how you wanted your child’s hair cut, and what activities you thought the child might enjoy.   One day at a time, you were learning how to care for this little person I had given you. DSCN0336

Then the child grew to be a teenager and you had your hands full.  You wanted to make all the decisions for this kid, but I knew you weren’t ready.  Sometimes the child seemed like a baby again — wearing its clothes funny and running wildly into the street!  Sometimes your child made very good decisions and I thought you might actually be able to control it.  But I kept close just in case.  Sometimes I shook my head.  Sometimes I laughed.  I took more pictures.

When your child was old enough, you taught it how to drive a car.  Behind the wheel, all I could see was that newborn I had given you so long ago.  And sometimes you put your baby into cars driven by other people’s babies.  I didn’t understand how babies could drive, and it made me wait wide awake until you were home!  I gave you a lot of guidelines for letting your youngster drive, but it was you who made sure your child was safe.

At times it seemed like you would never need me to help you with your baby ever again, and it hurt. But then the kid would do something really dumb and you would reach out to me for help. It felt good to be needed, but  the problems were getting more complex.  I hoped the things I had taught you were enough to help you guide this child through life.

Now look at you.  Our baby is full-grown and you can take care of it all by yourself.  I must admit you have done a wonderful job.  I have only a few last requests.

  • Please try to keep it safe and healthy.
  • Avoid letting anyone hurt it, but never . . . NEVER let anyone hurt it twice.
  • Speak kindly to it, because it has a good, tender heart.
  • Make sure it is kind to the planet, animals, and all the humans who live here.
  • Your baby may have grown into an adult on the outside, but it should never stop growing on the inside. It contains more potential than it will ever know.

Above all, please remember this is the most precious gift I have ever given anyone.  All the riches in the world could not replace it.  I grew this baby inside me so that one day you could take it out into world and make it your own.  Please treat it with all the love and respect that I gave it when it was newly born.  It may seem big, but it is still fragile and tiny in a very large world.


Peace . . .


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Posted in Lore

Life Changes

It’s been a long weekend.  I went off the grid, just North-West of the Middle of Nowhere.  I’ve caused some grief with just about everyone I love.  Thanksgiving was on its way, and I just couldn’t pick a date.  You see, I like my kids to go to my ex’s side on the holidays since he has a lot of family over there.  There is just me, Bubba, and the dogs over here.  We’re important, but they can stop by and see us anytime.  Grandparents, as I painfully know, are not on this earth forever, and must be cherished.

I needed to pick a non-Thanksgiving date for a turkey dinner.  The trouble is, the kids are grown with lives of their own.  Everyone has Thanksgiving day off of work, but to find another date was impossible.  No matter how I worked it, I would have been leaving one child out.  I couldn’t seem to make that call.  Which one would have to show up for the microwaved plate of leftovers?  Or maybe I was just making excuses.  I just couldn’t deal with the planning, shopping, cooking and cleaning of traditional meal.  I was in a funk.

Stovetop stuffing, deli turkey, steamed carrots, mashed potatoes, and homemade rolls sufficed for Bubba and I.  We ate like boars on the t.v. trays watching something from Netflix.  It sounds worse than it was. 🙂

Friday was spent packing and cleaning for the weekend North-West of the Middle of Nowhere.  Whether it was the weather — a cold winter storm blew in — or the work of getting ready, my arthritis kicked in.  It was a long achy trip up there.  The ache lasted through a good part of Saturday.  For this, and a few other reasons I don’t care to mention, I wasn’t very good company.  I was still in my funk, and Bubba paid for it.

North-West of the Middle of Nowhere:

This morning, Monday, I am back in the center of Somewhere.  I have taken the day off from work.  The coffee shop looked toastier than it is.  My vanilla soy latte has cooled, no longer warming me from the inside.  It took three tries to get their wireless password right.  Checking out my notifications led me to a new blogger I had not seen before.  I liked her blog name insearchofitall.  It reminded me of my tagline Seeking all things . . . .  I started reading her current post, In Search of Giving Thanks.

The line that caught my eye reads, ” . . . life changes and we have to be adaptable. Isn’t that what the pilgrims did?”  

Yes.  Life changes.  The changes rarely come easily, even if we have waited and hoped and planned for them.  Some changes never come no matter how hard we try.  Some changes are thrust upon us whether we like it or not.  We must cope the only way we know how.  For me, it is a trip to the coffee shop, time alone, list-making, and some well-pulled bootstraps.

We are each pilgrims in our own life.  Life changes and we must adapt.  Life changes and we need to go forward.  There is no other direction than forward.  I am stronger than I look, both physically and emotionally.  I have lived through things I thought would break me in two.  I have showed my best side when I didn’t think I had one.  I have kicked ass when I didn’t think I could take one more step.  For myself and all of which I am capable, I am thankful.

Happy belated Thanksgiving everyone.