Friday, June 25, 2010

What Does the "D" Stand For?

The end of the week has arrived and so have the days of all the kids being gone. This morning Annah and Abigail arrived back home safe and sound and Jacob is scheduled to be home late tomorrow afternoon.

It was a nice week considering I am still moving with sloth-like speed from my surgery. Two things that I never thought I would live long enough to experience happened this week.

First... We experienced incredible quiet like we have never before known! It was almost weird! One night while we were eating dinner Tim said, "Did you hear that?" I paused and listened and replied, "No, I don't hear anything." He smiled and said, "That's what I mean!" :)
Second... The laundry... for the first time on my housewife resume I can claim that the laundry was all caught up! :) I enjoyed it while it lasted because this morning two girls came in from camp with everything they owned needing to be washed. Heaven was short lived. :)

While the kids were away Tim kept me company...him and his sense of humor. That is one of my great joys in life.

A few days ago, on the spur of the moment, I decided that I would go to get my haircut. I thought it might help me feel better so I called and found out what time they opened and then got there shortly after they opened their doors. It felt good to get about 5 inches cut off my hair! Later that day I talked to Tim on the phone and was going to tell him about my haircut but I decided to just see if he noticed..... BWHAHHAHAHAHAHA! (you know where this is going, don't you?!) :P

The conversation went like this:

Me: "I spent some money today on something but I don't want to tell you what it is. I want to see if you notice it when you get home."

Tim: (groan) "Ohhhhh, don't do that to me!"

Me: It's okay, I don't think you can miss it!

Tim: (groan) Yes, I will. What room is it in?

Me: (looking around and seeing that I was in the living room) Well, it is in the living room right now but I might move it before you get home.

Tim: (groaning again)

Fast forward to when Tim comes from work. He walks in looking all over wondering what he's suppose to find... :) He comes in the kitchen where I am...

Tim: I'm looking. What is it? You know I'm not good at this. What is it? You said it was in the living room -- is it still there?

Me: No, lucky for you I moved it to the kitchen.

Tim: (still looking everywhere but at me!) How high up is it?

Me: Um, it's about as tall as me!

Tim: (groan) I don't know! What is it? (his eyes still darting everywhere but not seeing me)

Me: (standing there right smack in front of him I said) You aren't even looking at ME!

Tim: It's you? (Pause....) Did you cut your hair? (This is hysterical -- he STILL wasn't sure!)

Me: You can't tell I got my haircut? I got 5 inches cut off and you can't tell?

Poor Tim. He could have kept his humiliation to himself but he didn't. He went to work where he told his pathetic tale to his co-workers. One girl chimed in with, "Well, you didn't notice my haircut either!" :) (Thumbs up. Paula!) Another told him that maybe A.D.D. was his excuse....attention deficit disorder. To that Tim admitted, "No, it's not A.D.D., I'm just "D".
Now the question is what the "D" is for.... deficit, disorder or is it just plain DUH? :)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Camp Exodus Begins....

This week begins the Camp Exodus...

One by one the at home kids are leaving for camp. Annah started the process by leaving Monday morning for 4-H camp. This morning Abigail left for Girl's Camp and a few hours later Jacob left for his High Adventure Scout trip -- camping, hiking, and canoeing for 4 days somewhere in Tennessee.
Tim and I had looked forward to this week for months now...well, before I was scheduled for surgery we looked forward to it. Now I am looking forward to the kid's return so they can make my life a little less painful right now by helping me do what needs to be done. :)
Happy camping, kiddos!

Is it just me or does Jacob look like he is a bee keeper? :)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

25 Years in the Making...

Twenty five years ago today Tim and I were married in the Washington, DC Temple in Kensington, Maryland.

While I am down and out after having surgery a few days ago, I wanted to be sure not to miss our day ~ the celebration of the start of our life and love.

Happy 25th Annivesary, Tim! (and happy Father's Day too!)

In case there is any doubt, I would do it all over again. I am so grateful that we have been able to turn to each other and not on each other through our challenges.

You are the best thing that has ever happened to me. I love you with all of my heart. I. really. do. :)

*A funny story that happened early in our married life was when Tim decided he would "catch up" his long neglected journal. He began to write, hitting the highlights of what had gone on since he had last recorded anything. One thing that he wrote was something like, "Loretta and I got married July 20, 1985." BWHAHAHAHAHAHA! He was only a month off! :)

This year since I am not much up to celebrating our anniversary on JUNE 20th, I suggested we wait and celebrate on July 20th. :) Tim happily agreed telling me, "See, that July 20th date came in handy for something!"

Thursday, June 17, 2010

What Life is Like...

Life is like an old-time rail journey
“Marriage requires a high degree of tolerance, and some of us need to cultivate that attribute. I have enjoyed these words of Jenkins Lloyd Jones, which I clipped from the newspaper some years ago. Said he:

“There seems to be a superstition among many thousands of our young [men and women] who hold hands and smooch in the drive-ins that marriage is a cottage surrounded by perpetual hollyhocks to which a perpetually young and handsome husband comes home to a perpetually young and [beautiful] wife. When the hollyhocks wither and boredom and bills appear the divorce courts are jammed. …

“Anyone who imagines that bliss [in marriage] is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he has been robbed.
“[The fact is] most putts don’t drop. Most beef is tough. Most children grow up to be just people. Most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration. Most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. …

“Life is like an old-time rail journey—delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed.

“The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride”

~Gordon B. Hinckley~

Sunday, June 13, 2010

My Occasional Magic Lens...

I've already established the fact that I take a lot of pictures.
Every once in a while I capture an image that is better than all the rest. When I see these images I feel like I have a magic lens on my camera..every now and then.

*The Santa skeleton is Jacob with Abigail.

*Reaching up to the Compassionate Woman statue is Annah.

*The boy with the monkey on his back is Jordan and Abigail.

*The group photo is of all the kids in their much younger days. :)

*The little girl with the poppy flower is Annah.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

P.O.A. = D.O.A.

So I've been threatening to write this post for months now. I've known the title of it for a long time. I could feel it stirring for even longer.

In case there is even any question, this post would be one NOT to show to my parents, thank you.

Last November I was made P.O.A. Before then I couldn't have even told you what that stood for. Now I know it like the back of my hand and wish I didn't. Power. Of. Attorney. I knew what D.O.A. stood for long before last November. And over the past months I have decided that in my book, P.O.A. and D.O.A. are about one in the same.

P.O.A. doesn't sound like a bad thing. And truthfully, it probably isn't if you don't have a complicated situation like I have with my parents. There are too many details and complications to name -- just trust me on this one. You are just better off not knowing all the details. *I* would have been better off not knowing all the details. But that just hasn't been the case.

Over the past 7 months I have laughed at the absurdity of so many things, and cried at the sheer volume of things that I had on my P.O.A. To-Do list day after day. This has dragged on for 7 months.

Did you hear me?

S-E-V-E-N M-O-N-T-H-S!

I have faxed paper after paper to place after place. I have written letters, explained things and re-explained things, made phone calls, written more letters, mailed letters, checked balances, received phone calls, spoken with people that are as unhelpful and rude as they come. In general, I have spent an inordinate amount of time all on and in behalf of the dreaded P.O.A.

I am tired of it. I feel cranky about it. I cry about it, complain about it, and even think bad things about it and occasionally say bad things about it. And, it changes nothing.

With aging parents come things that all of us would rather not deal with. I would have loved to go on my merry way merely dealing with my own little life. So why do I do it? Simply because it is the right thing to do. No matter the past grievances or the muddy history there is an obligation; an obligation to do something for someone that they cannot do for themselves.

I like to search the scriptures for things that apply to me; things that help me see a higher purpose in my earthly experiences, things that can remind me that perhaps my experiences are not so much about whether I like what is happening to me as it is about how I choose to respond. So I go to the scriptures seeking wisdom, comfort and solace.

"But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased." Hebrews 13:16

"And thou shall do that which is right and good in the sight of the Lord: that it may be well with thee..." Deuteronomy 6:18

"Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it."
Psalm 34:14

So, while I just want to wake up one day to no faxing, no mailing, no P.O.A. related phone calls, no surprise letters in the mail, no emails and no conversations about P.O.A. and no thinking about P.O.A., I also want to do what is right and good. I hope that in some small way that is what I am doing...doing good, seeking and pursuing peace, even if it is within myself.

*The picture in this post makes the family laugh because we are quite sure that our mother meant to write WARRANTIES on the folder, not WARRANTS! At least that is what we are all telling ourselves! And how many people have a file folder labeled "Police Reports"? We think this would have been more appropriately labeled Accident Reports. :)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Ricky's Last Ride Home...

It's been a while since I have posted to my blog. I can't even really say why other than I am feeling a little overwhelmed with what feels like a constant barrage of...what should I call it? Life experiences? Yeah, that's it. Just a lot of life going on!

I am not going to bore everyone by listing everything that has held me hostage for the past year and a half but suffice it to say that it feels, to me at least, that it has been one thing after another with no breathing room.

Sometimes I have to remind myself not to hold my breath. It almost feels natural to hold my breath...waiting for what is next. Sound pessimistic? I suppose it does. The good thing is that my pessimism doesn't last long before it gives way to optimism and laughter. Sometimes I have to laugh or I will cry. But I've cried plenty too.

The latest thing to write on my slate of life experiences was the passing of my 33 year old nephew, Ricky. I guess over the course of his growing up people began to call him Rick but I still call him Ricky and always will. He was the son of my brother, Richard, who himself lost his life on March 31st of this year. Then seven weeks to the day, his son, my nephew, lost his.

My brother Richard died at the age of 53 of a massive heart attack. He had quadruple bypass surgery in November 2009 and began to suffer heart attacks periodically shortly after his surgery. Then in late March the doctors told him to get his things in order because if he had another heart attack he probably wouldn't survive it. And he didn't. Days later he left behind a wife and three grown children, his parents, two sisters and a brother. Now his son, Ricky, has left behind a mother, a sister and brother, grandparents and numerous aunts, uncles and friends. My poor sister-in-law. She has buried her husband and her son within 7 weeks. I can't think of much else harder than that.

Ricky was an over the road truck driver. He'd been driving for about 4 years, loved what he did and had hundreds of friends across the U.S. He was a hard worker and owned his own truck. Just days before his passing he had received his passport so that he could go on his first cruise to the Bahamas with friends. Life was bright for him and he was happy.

Here is a blog post from Land Line Media Blog about Ricky and what was called "Rick's Last Ride Home" as a trucker friend, Ralph Acocella, Jr., brought Rick's cremated remains back from Florida to deliver them to his mother in Wisconsin. It was his last ride in a semi-truck and through the states he'd seen many times over in his own travels.

There aren't words to properly thank Ralph for his final act of love and service to Ricky. What a tribute of friendship he has given to Ricky and his family. Thank you, Ralph. May you be greatly blessed for your efforts of the past week. He couldn't have had a better traveling companion than you, Ralph, on his last ride home.

*The picture at the top of this post is the picture that Ricky took in the window of his semi-truck and had as his Facebook profile.