Friday, October 16, 2015

Another corner

The last several months have been a whirlwind.  Lots of twists and turns.  Like a roller coaster, twists and turns in life can be fun and exciting and others make you appreciate life.

Back in April a cousin reconnected with me.  I was grateful.  I had previously found his email address and tried to make a connection several years ago and then - nothing.  Email address was gone and I didn't know where to find him. So April comes and I get a facebook request - but he had already friended me a long time ago - I didn't believe it was him.

But it was.  And then we began a journey of reconnecting and loving and remembering.  He is my next oldest cousin - only 6 years my senior and we shared some great memories and he was in my wedding.  I hadn't seen him since 1989 when our grandmother died.  She was the glue of our family and when she died we all unglued from each other.  It was painful and sad to not see my cousins.  So being in contact with him was wonderful, but time was of the essence because he was in hospice care with a lung disease.  And this is the next turn.

My sweet cousin died last weekend and I had to say another good-bye.  At his service, I learned about the joyful life he lived and saw the grief and tears of his friends and caregivers.  He was loved. I saw the gray on his head.  I comforted his sister and received comfort from his brother.  I was with family and my heart was jointly full and constantly emptying - if that makes any sense.  I learned of his love for Jesus and his church.  I learned he learned to love vegetables.

Another cousin, his brother, reminded me so much of my sister that I felt a sense of longing and regret simultaneously.  I heard him sing and thought of my mother.  I saw my cousins' children who looked so much like their beautiful grandmother I had twinges of deep sadness.  Okay.  More than twinges - deep deep painful cuts because she is the relative I miss the most.

I have decided to not let this happen again.  I will not be separated from my family - even if I have to be the one to make sure we stay together.  We need each other.  We need to share laughter, tears, and memories.  We need to make more memories and get together at times other than a funeral.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

The title of this blog

Turning points.
I chose it very intentionally, thinking that someday I may change it into something more relevant to my future life.

Well, I'm at my future life and I plan to keep the blog named as it is.  Why?
I have recently entered a new phase of life - I've turned another corner.  But I think this "corner" has been more of a gentle curve.   It has taken two lifetimes, lived together.  Those lifetime are my children.

Our daughter is now married and will begin a stage of life that will encompass many changes, many more than she can possible fathom.  But, she is now grown and on her own with her husband.  "Off the payroll" as we joke around here.

Our son has begun his college career and will hopefully see God's plan for him by the time graduation happens in a little under four years (we hope).  He also is in the midst of great change and discovery and it is all very exciting.

So, it is me and Greg and the dog - again - 23 years later.  And lest you think it is the same dog, it isn't.  This is dog #3.  Like the first dog, she is blonde and quite neurotic. Not a lot of change there.
Could we pick up where we left off?  Are we missing our children?  Isn't the house quieter?  Yes, yes, and yes.  But we are doing great.  Why?  We know we raised our kids to be God-honoring.  We know they seek Him and are children after His own heart.  We are proud of them, love them, and wish them well.  Our son isn't "off the payroll" but he is a great distance away.

People are frequently trying to attribute feelings of grief to us over them being so far way.   We are not grieving - we are celebrating!  We have done the job God gave us and now we move on.  We turn the corner and look with great anticipation for more exciting corners to turn.

Turning points.  You bet it still applies.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

One more week!

Then I'll be a mother-in-law.  What?  I'm way too young and cool to be a mother-in-law.

So while it isn't legal YET, Phill has moved into our house and our hearts, and has confessed his absolute love of smoothies (and my daughter - and not in that order).

I'm doing a cleanse of sort, using green smoothies as my primary diet.  I am eating real food, especially at dinner and snacks, but veggie and fruit-filled smoothies are my mainstay at the moment.  I almost feel energetic.

This week a lot is happening: going back to work on Wednesday and then the family starts arriving on Thursday and there's this event on Saturday.  Oh yeah.  My daughter's (and Phill's) wedding!

And yes, you can bet there will be pictures to follow!

Saturday, July 25, 2015


It has been 11 days since I last posted! I could blame being really busy, but I won't because, except for a few days, things have been pretty relaxed.

The wedding is planned, the dress is here, programs are in progress and the belongings have been moved into an apartment in Texas.  The old pick up truck has also been moved.  But there's more planning going on besides this.

The boy child will move into his dorm a mere ten days after the wedding (maybe 11 or 12) so we are buying textbooks and deciding what he needs for the dorm.  This process is way EASIER with a boy than with a girl.  Apparently boys don't care if their linens coordinate or not.  I think the shopping trip for him will be less than an hour.

As a teacher we have these designated days prior to the opening of school called "pre-planning."  Not that we are planning to plan... it is planning before school, but in reality that never stops.  We are constantly examining and re-examining what worked and didn't work.

Since the wedding is right in the middle of pre-planning this year, I have to take a couple of days off from work since we will have company and things to handle. So, I've been doing a lot of my planning work at home.  I feel pretty good about two out of my three subjects, but I need to do a good bit more work for the third.  I want to be able to hit the ground running on the first day of school and set a good and positive precedent for my students.  It would be nice to get to school and only need to make copies and make sure my room was set up and the technology all was functional.  (The technology usually is functional, FYI.)

The next 4 weeks will be very busy and exciting and then after that... well, the nest will be empty and it will be back to me and the husband and the dog.  We are a little excited about that and also wondering how quiet things are really going to be here.  Very, I think.

Our kids are mostly grown and we have done our jobs as parents.  My prayer is God will continue to help them as they grow in the gifts He has given them and also help us as we adjust to the changes.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Sometimes change is goo..... cough cough... good

At our house, there is a lot of change going on.  DD is getting married in a mere 25 days.  We are moving all her belongings early next week (and those of her fiance) three four states and a time change away in anticipation of that big day.  Then the fiance moves into our house until the wedding day.

Ten days after that DS goes to college, and in the middle of ALL that, my work year starts with the beginning of the school year.  Change.  Sometimes I have to cough out the word gooo.... goooooo.... GOOD but change can be good.

I remember this time eight years ago.  We had made the decision to buy a new, more teenager friendly house.  We also took an amazing adventure to Alaska.  Immediately after coming home, I was notified of an opening at the school and found myself with a full time job for the first time in many years.  Lots of change.  Oh... did I mentioned we moved the last day BEFORE school started?  Lots of change, and it has been GREAT.

So DH and I will be empty-nesters.  All the chicks will be gone and it will be us and the dog, and in March we will also have no more teenagers. We are looking forward to travelling and not being bound by kids' schedules.  I know it will be different and others have had problems when the kids were out of the house, but we genuinely have always enjoyed each other's company and I don't see that changing ever. :)

So if I disappear for a while, never fear, I'm still around.  You can't get rid of me THAT easy.

Thursday, July 2, 2015


In contrast to Mayberry, another popular show I liked to watch was "The Munsters."  Isn't it funny that Marilyn was thought to be the different one?  I identified a lot with her but Eddie was smart and logical.

Spot was Eddie's pet dragon he kept under the stairs and fed.  Don't many family have their pet monsters we try to keep hidden away?  Not all but some families have them and sometimes it is just an individual who has the monster.

I recently got rid of my monster.  For it to survive, I was feeding it.  My monster's name was Guilt.  I fed it with lies, anger and darkness.  I starved it with forgiveness.  I recently remembered that forgiveness is a choice, like love.  It doesn't need a process like grief; I just needed to decide to do it.  When I did, my monster started dying.  But it wasn't an easy process, you see, it remembered the lies that kept it fed - when I stopped believing the lies, it stopped being fed.  I don't think it ran away to come back again;  I believe it is dead.  A very wise woman once told me, "I don't do guilt."  I love that.  ME EITHER.

With the help of the Holy Spirit it will remain dead.  What's now in it's place?  Hope.  But not under the stairs - hope doesn't need to be kept in darkness.  It thrives on the light and on truth.

Romans 5:1-5 (NKJV) says, "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us."

Be blessed today.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Thoughts from Mayberry

Someone recently mentioned to me about having a "Mayberry family."  There is some truth there. My future son in law tells us we are like a sitcom family and he always wanted one of his own.  So there you have it, but we do not live in an idealized world.

As we were having dinner tonight with both of our children, the future son in law, and the son's girlfriend, I thought a bit on the idea of a Mayberry family.  Thinking is hard to do with this group because everyone is talking at once and there are a lot of stories and laughing.

Here's some of what I pondered:
Eating dinner with your family is some of the best teaching there is.  At our dinner table, no topic is forbidden. We discuss religion, politics, education, the day's events, tomorrow's events, and veggie tales.  No really.... We do.    All those and so much more.  It is our time to relax and reflect on our days and doesn't happen nearly frequently enough.  Many of the world's problems are solved at that table.

Time at the fishing hole helps you think and ponder.  We all enjoy fishing (and catching and eating) but it is the solitude we crave.

Sometimes a piece of pie and a cup of coffee in the middle of the day with a trusted friend is necessary.

We all need an aunt Bea in our lives to make us  feel safe and comforted.  Comfort food doesn't hurt either.

Ending the day singing together and listening to crickets and watching lightening bugs can be all the entertainment you need.

We all need a cousin Goober.  Mine was named Earnest Earl and he also fixed cars.  He kept my 73 Maverick going for a long time.

 So I guess I do have somewhat of a Mayberry family.  I like the routine, the traditions, and the comfort.