Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass- it is about learning to dance in the rain.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Teachers have fun too!

If I were a Zebra
I’d wear red high heels
Can you imagine,
How fancy I’d feel?
I’d prance and I’d preen
No problem with balance
Of the herd, I’d be queen
With nary a challenge
Should a lion appear
With his claws and his growl
He’d cower with fear
And throw in the towel
If I were a Zebra
In my fancy stilettos
I’d dance in Alhambra
‘neath green scrub palmettos
by PJDHuerta

Sunday, April 26, 2009

On Mothers' Day

My secret nemesis was the mother-daughter banquet. For years that was the time I felt most lonely, left out and stripped of identity. It wasn't that I had not acquired the status of "Mother." I had two perfectly healthy, lively boys at home and the pastor-husband to go with. But whenever the women's ministry leader decided to do mother-daughter banquets, I felt like hiding under the nearest pew. Never did I feel my motherless state so acutely. My mother had been killed in a house fire that destroyed our home when I was thirteen. Just the idea of a mother-daughter banquet invited that "I don't belong here" thought that just wouldn't leave and bitter tears wouldn't wash away.

Don't mistake me. I always cheerfully appeared, that smile carefully pasted on my face with no sign of distress. Probably anyone who knows me and reads this will gasp in surprise. As Christian leaders we cover our wounds so well. I never voiced objection to the idea and never proposed alternative plans. I don't think I could have maintained my composure and done so. I arrived with a smile, sometimes delivered the devotion, and left heavy-hearted still smiling, only to cry myself silently to sleep at night. Even my husband was unaware of my pain.

But God never fails us. In the years since, God has blessed me with two daughter-in-laws, both lovely in very different ways. The frosting on the cake was the arrival of my two granddaughters. I seldom feel crushed by the need of a mother these days. God has promoted me to the position of Grandmother, and I'm loving it.

However, I'm much more aware of those hidden burdens women carry, particularly those in ministry. Loneliness is more profound in festive company.

Friday, April 24, 2009

from a tired, overworked mind

My ADD is still working overtime. I spent 3 minutes tonight standing outside with my purse on the roof of a car rifling through all my junk looking for keys. The car was running. Duh! I used the keys to start the car; they're in the ignition!

I'm here at our own wonderfully beautiful library using the free WiFi. I came home tonight and the house smelled too strongly of household cleaners. My eyes are still stinging. I grabbed my laptop and hightailed it to a safe haven. I know, you're all thinking, "How does she manage that??? Being allergic to nearly all household cleaners would mean ... no cleaning?"

Yep. Some days I love my life. :)

But using the WiFi at the public library is not without it's disadvantages. Last time I was here I got kicked out. I did. It was that week we didn't have internet...The week I discovered that I really DON'T want to live in the past. I NEED internet, and telephone, and cable TV!

I read the sign on the library door:
Monday through Friday 9 AM - 9 PM
Saturday and Sunday 9 AM - 5:30 PM

So when the lady came by and waved at me about 5:25. I waved back. The guy next to me was packing up his laptop, but I just kept working.

Then the lady came back and waved again, but it was a strange movement, not the five-fingered jiggle she had given before. She wasn't smiling this time either.

I looked up and smiled. And kept working. I thought, "I guess she came to see that I'm not doing anything evil up here."

Then she walks over and says, "Ma'am, the library is closing."

Surprised, I responded, "Oh, I thought it was open until 9."

"No, Ma'am. That's Monday through Thursday. Friday and Saturday we close at 5:30." She says unsmiling and looking at her watch. My computer blinks 5:35. "That's why I was holding up five fingers," she adds. "To let you know there were five minutes left."

I wanted to say "oops. I thought you were giving a Miss America salute." But I refrained as I began to pack up. She did back off and let me pack my computer. I half expected the cops and handcuffs at that point.

On my way out, the librarians were all lined up at the desk. All of them. Unsmiling. Obviously waiting for the last customer -- that's me -- to leave so they can go home on Friday night.

I ducked my head and walked quickly out the door. But not before reading the door again. Darn it. That librarian can read:

Monday through Thursday - 9 AM - 9 PM
Friday and Saturday - 9 AM - 5:30 PM

This time, I'm hiding in the coffee shop near the entrance. I'll be sure I leave at least 5 minutes before closing time. I can just hear the clink of handcuffs!!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

1959 Edsel

At the house, we'd been surrounded by flood waters for twenty-four hours. My Dad had stood grim-faced on the porch as we watched the slowly advancing line of water. It reached the fence on the other side of the driveway and stopped. We weren't prepared to be marooned there, city-folks recently transplanted to the countryside.

Dad decided that a trip to the grocery store was necessary. About dark the four of us piled into the old 1959 Edsel and started down the quarter mile long lane to the main road. We started off slowly. About half-way down the lane moments of complete darkness engulfed us as the headlights dipped beneath surface of the water. Dad was muttering.

"If these puddle weren't so deep, we'd make it" he said.

By now my mom was praying aloud. I don't remember what she said, I just knew that we were in trouble because her voice sounded desperate.

Suddenly the lights dipped again. This time, it stayed dark. We sat there for a moment or two while Dad rationalized why we hadn't gotten all the way down the lane. We weren't going quite fast enough to keep the water moving ahead of us. The puddles were too deep. He hadn't realized that the water was above the 5-feet tall fence posts in the lane. And on he went.

Then in a quick exchange, they decided that Dad would go back to the house for the tractor. Mom was worried and offered to go because he was "down in his back" a mysterious condition that occasionally caused him great pain and to walk in a bent position like an old man for a few days before he'd suddenly recuperate and resume his usual strenuous lifestyle. He said the water was flood water and too swift for her. She'd be swept off her feet. She thought we should go together. He shook his head. He couldn't carry me with his back this bad and the water could well be over my head. I was in 3rd grade.

Dad warned us to get on our feet in the seat because he was opening the door. Mom prayed really loudly for just a second.

The next thing I knew, the water hit my feet and I jumped into the space between the rear window and back seat of the sedan. I lay there for a long time while my little sister crouched on the seat with water up to her armpits. In the front seat mom sat in water past her waist. She was quiet now, but I knew she was still praying.

In time we heard the sound of the tractor in the distance and the headlights pierced the gloom that surrounded us. Without further incident, Dad hooked a chain to the car and pulled it backward back to the house.

Forever after we referred to the Edsel as our boat. But every time we did Dad would begin to mutter that it wasn't a very good boat because it didn't float and didn't get us to our destination.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

(not the last book of the Bible, either)

I think I have ADD. I've thought so off and on for years now. Ever since I figured out what ADD was about. Let's see if I can present the evidence:

1. I'm trying to get ready for work. I stop in the kitchen to take my pills. Then I see my keys on the counter.
2. So I go outside and start my car. It's a cold morning. I catch a sight of my reflection in the mirror as I come back in and realize that I don't have my jewelry on.
3. I head to the bedroom to get my jewelry.
4. Back at the kitchen counter, I see my flash drive and realize I'm expecting an email.
5. At my computer, I log in, but leave to go get my glasses since I can't real the email without them.
6. As I pass the counter (again) I realize that I still haven't taken the pills. This time, I actually take them.

7. I go back to the computer, sit down and can't see.
8. Back to the bedroom to look for a pair of reading glasses.

9. Finally, I read the necessary email and with my glasses firmly on my head,
10. I start the search for my keys. I retrace my steps: office, kitchen, bedroom, back to kitchen, ending in my office.
11. Stand still in the middle of the room, look around and THINK.
10. "Oh Yeah. The car is running. They're in the car" I head out the door to work.

Reminds me of the story about the 50-year old woman who had a baby. Her friends came to visit one morning. They asked to see the baby, but the lady said, "Later."

They have tea; they talk.

"Can we see the baby now?"


They talk some more. Relate the latest on dits and then ask, "May we see the baby now?"

"Not yet."

"But why? Why can't you show us the baby."

"I'm waiting for her to wake up and cry. I don't remember where I left her."

Yep. That would be me! So glad I don't have an infant.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Things about which I sometimes Moan and Complain
(This correct grammar thing is getting out of hand!!!)

This next class...fifth in a series of six....three credit hours each....I'm taking between mid-September and June 1. That's eighteen credit hours, folks. Getting close to a full-time load...I guess most places Twenty-four would be full-time. That's besides my full-time job, teaching. And my part-time job, associate pastor. And my husband and family including grandchildren. And once in awhile I like to sleep...or write blogs or FB.

Sheesh...shall I start again??? This class which began Monday is taking the cake. I would describe the prof, but words fail me. However, on the second class, the group responded with humor and laughter. Kind of took the sting out of everything. So now when she says terribly ignorant things that could be taken offensively, we make jokes and laugh. It isn't out of malice; it really is ignorance. Why is it that some people are absolutely and completely unaware of self? Just can't do introspection. Some seem to have no self-knowledge at all.

Oh well. At least this one is over quickly. The four-hour sessions three times a week for three weeks. And it's over.

And I know why I haven't been blogging as much lately. (With wisdom and self-examination, I figured this out!!) The last class was the multi-cultural one. The prof for that one had us writting introspective papers. And after all the energy expended doing those papers, I had no introspective energy or inspiration left for blogging.

Maybe I'll post those papers. Maybe. Later.


Friday, April 17, 2009

or in correct British grammar: Things for which I am Thankful

It had been my intention to juxtaposition this blog, in time and space, right after the "entitlement" one. My purpose was to show that, although I do whine and complain, I really do understand that my path is the one God gave me, and I'm not only content, but grateful. So much for that intention. My life is so busy that I haven't been blogging. So... on to the "Thankful" list although I do recognize that it is just a trifle late!!!

Beautiful 70 degree weather
A car that doesn't need the snow scrapers that I still can't find
Internet service that works correctly
My primary set of keys which I found in a book bag at school (go figure)
with my house key still on it!
The new keys to the house which we made from my daughter-in-law's copy of our key

Family and Friends
Good health -- good enough to wear stilettos again!
Granddaughters who use me as a guinea pig for practicing make up application!
Plenty of food to eat
A comfy bed to sleep in (in which to sleep?)
A job
A husband who lets the GD's put make on him too!
Stilettos and other clothing to wear
Healthy children and grandchildren
A roof over my head
A wonderful church family
Did I mention shoes?
A sound mind, most of the time
And finally, shoes!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Monday, April 06, 2009


Things to which I feel entitled:
  • Springlike weather in April instead of the two inches of snow covering the ground this morning.
  • Snow scrapers (2), 1 long-handled, 1 short-handled which have disappeared since my car was detailed a couple of weeks ago and which I needed today to deal with the snow
  • Internet service, which I was lacking most of last week
  • Possession of my primary set of keys -- the one that has the remote for the car and the key for the house -- the one which I haven't seen in a week.
  • Entry into my house without having to call someone to break in for me, like tonight
It's been like that lately!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

What's been happenin'
The gnomes on the Grass Knoll

Ten days ago, the girls had a manicure and fresh paint for nails, including cute little flowers! I finished Spring Break and went back to school. My picture of the "last" snow pile of the season surrounded by green grass is in my camera on my desk at school. So you are spared that visual detail.

The week at school was....taxing, to say the least. Kids' lives are falling apart, deaths in the family, foreclosed homes, third quarter grades. I tried to help them pick up the pieces. It's exhausting.

Meanwhile, our "bundle" (internet, telephone, television) cable stretched nearly to the ground by the ice/snow storm last Sunday. Some "good samaritan" called the police who called Com Ed, who called our cable company, who cut the line and dragged the cable to the back of the lot. Meantime we were calling our cable company, first to lift the sagging line. Then to repair our "mysteriously" cut line. (We only found out today that it was the cable company who cut it.) The cable company said they were far to busy to come immediately. And of course, they couldn't connect the dots and figure out that the cable which comes from a pole on the other side of the empty lot belonged to our house. Nope guess they figured it belonged to the gnomes living in the grassy knoll!! And since it didn't belong to real people, but gnomes, they didn't think it worth repairing that first time. Sigh. Ah the sensitivity of large companies to respond to real human need. MY NEED -- for a COMPUTER!!!!

Let's see what grief this has caused.

1. Did my multi-cultural report this morning minus the required research.
2. Haven't even begun the research paper due next Wednesday.
3. Couldn't read my email
4. Couldn't blog....or Facebook!! gasp!
5. Didn't get the reflection done in time for class today.
6. Have an additional reflections due on Wednesday.
6. So, that's triple homework for next week
7. We got the syllabus for the next class which begins April 13. Looks like It will require even more work than this one. Whew!!

Work. Work. Work.

Do I sound overwhelmed? I am.

However, "I will look to the hills from whence cometh my help. My help comes from the Lord." Psalms 121:1-2

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