Sunday, May 29, 2005

Next Chapter

I’m sad. But it’s not a “crying” kind of sad. It’s a grieving sort of sad. I went to “worship” alone today. Nelson had fallen asleep on the couch (sitting up so as to avoid hurting either his back or his sunburn) and even though I made noise that could have woke him up, he stayed asleep. So I snuck out the back door and went alone.

When I arrived only the “leader” was present. We started out having a light conversation about our week—sort of an accountability check in. Then he began to describe the prayer time the extended group had on Monday evening last week. During the prayer time, Jim came to believe that it was time to end the Sunday morning gathering. The group had dwindled down to where it was basically Nelson and I and the leader couple, Jim and Cheryl. It hadn’t felt “worshipful” since before Easter. It just seemed “time” to let it go.

Jim and I went on to have a really interesting conversation, but it was all head stuff. I was afraid to get too close to heart stuff because I knew I was on the verge of tears and I just didn’t want to go there. I heard myself saying that I had been anticipating this event, and that given the way God had been so clearly leading in our lives over the past months, I was sort of excited about what direction we would be heading into now.

Sort of. What else could I say? Last year when my PO told me that I wouldn’t be allowed to attend church without a pastoral intervention and then having that pastor decide that he couldn’t “put his congregation at risk by allowing me to be present” left me feeling extremely discouraged and defeated. For all it wasn’t, the T-Net “worship group” at least filled the Sunday morning void. Now what?

When I got home, Nelson and I discussed the meeting. He wasn’t too surprised. His question too was “now what?” He listed out a few options, none of which was very appealing. The first was a nearby local congregation. We’ve watched the services on TV. But I was aware that the congregation wasn’t open to working with “my kind.” A second option was the Nazarene Church in a nearby town whose pastor we met with a couple months ago. The pastor and wife were college friends of ours and the way they described the ministry of the congregation was somewhat appealing, but neither Nelson nor I want to go back into the legalistic constraints of the Nazarene Church. A third option is the Wesleyan Church that our friend Steve (who is also working with Nelson on the house project). Steve knows the generalities of my situation. He’s never asked the particulars (details), it wasn’t an issue for him. We would be welcome there. Only problem is that it’s about forty miles away. With gas prices, it’s just not a financially feasible or appealing option.

Nelson just came to the bedroom to see what I was doing. Normally I would just sit in the living room and write, but I just needed to be alone to process through this. Here’s how the conversation went:
N: Why is God so mean to us?
T: God isn’t mean.
N: Then why is He putting us through this?
T: Maybe he wants us to trust Him to lead us and depend on Him.
N: Then He has 6 ½ days to tell us where to go to church next Sunday. And in all our lives God hasn’t worked that fast.
T: I don’t know why God is being so mean.
N: (as he walked away) Well, have fun processing that.

I don’t think God is being mean. I’m just confused. I ache to be in worship. And by that I mean a time with other believers where there is praise and preaching, that is powerful, encouraging, challenging, uplifting, and empowering. I am hungry for teaching, to sit and learn from another student of the word. I need more than the radio and the TV—but I am thankful for both of those.

I am sad, but I am hopeful—albeit a weak hopeful right now—it is still hope!

Well, I think I’m going to go hunt up some sustenance for my physical being so that I might continue to process in my spirit.


But not confident or competent. I was so terribly intimidated when I got up on the tow motor. I was really hoping that the other guys would go back to work and not watch me, but alas my pitiful skills were observed by all. Sigh. The good news is that I didn’t run into anything or break anything! What I’m going to do is practice, practice, practice! That’s the best way to build confidence…for me anyway.

We were scheduled to work overtime today. I was going to have 4 people plus myself. Then yesterday one person (the new girl) backed out. That left four of us—less than ideal but still doable. I picked the one gal up from the jail (she’s on work release) and one other guy showed up when we arrived. That left one more to show up. But he didn’t. There is no way we could package parts with just three of us. Well, that’s not exactly true, but we wouldn’t have put out any quantity. So we made boxes instead, boxes for parts and cartons with all the appropriate labels to put the boxes in. We got a lot accomplished.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that we aren’t supposed to just make boxes. Mr. R showed up (owner of the company) on an errand not necessarily related to “checking up” on us. He saw we only had three workers. Next thing I knew, Ed was there. That wasn’t a good thing. We talked. I told him that I knew we weren’t supposed to just make boxes. T-Net gets paid for packaged parts—only! I told him that I felt that I shouldn’t punish those who showed up because someone else didn’t. Ed assured me that I did the right thing. Little consolation, really. We briefly discussed the need for more workers and the possibility of using college students. We need to do something since we got about 5000 more parts in on Friday afternoon.

Beth was hired as a server at Applebees. She starts training on Tuesday. The pay isn’t any better, but the restaurant is only about 5minutes from home, as opposed to 22miles.

Nelson finally started work on the “house”—the main incentive and reason we moved here nine months ago. The first day out there, setting floor joists was Thursday. It was a pretty day: sunny and seventy. Only trouble was he wasn’t thinking and wore a sleeveless t-shirt. Oh my, the sunburn is bad. We’ve been putting aloe on it. Last night he was awake most the night. His back was bothering him badly and so were his arms. There just was no getting comfortable. Amazingly, I slept through it. He’s napping on the couch right now.

Ok. Enough chattering. I mostly wanted to report that I made it through forklift training. I’ll try to write something more substantial later. TTFN

Friday, May 27, 2005

Murphy Day

Yesterday felt like a Murphy Day. You remember Murphy’s Law don’t you? “Anything thing that can go wrong, will.” It seemed like every stack of boxes I touched fell over. I had one employee get sick and have to leave. Another informed me that she had to leave a half hour early. We working very diligently to get a booger of a part out. At a certain point we needed more of the part boxes brought up to be made. I told the guy where they were. He came back and asked again where to find them. I went with him to the exact spot they were to be in, only to find there weren’t any. After a little hunting, I found that I hadn’t received my whole order and what I needed to complete the packaging of that order was on back order—but will arrive today. Sigh.

We did get a new employee, but I’m not sure how long she’ll last. She did a great job of making boxes. Everyone is very concerned about her working out—because she’s five months pregnant and only 18. We’ll just have to see.

I got my hand smacked. I got a page to call Ed’s office, but I was pretty close, so I went in person. He and B (Shipping Manager who’s worked at the plant for 25 years) were working on something. B told me I was “in for it now.” They’re so ornery. I was supposed to remind Ed to schedule tow motor training. I thought he said for next week. Nope, today. So he gave me a playful smack. They’re such goof balls. So hopefully Murphy takes the day off today—or it could get pretty messy! LOL.

I now have email and internet access on my computer at work. I don’t think I’ll have much time to do anything personal with it. I’m just not in my office that much. It will be nice to be updated on memos and shipments though!!!

When Beth got home yesterday she had a message to call the manager at Applebees. She has an interview there this afternoon. She’s pretty excited. She’s sore, scraped, and blistered from her week at the factory. Not even a week. Just three days. She was very willing to go job hunting today. I think the experience turned out to be very motivating for her. We’ll see.

Oh, and I'm very special. I was the first felon in my county to comply with the new federal law. All convicted felons have to add their DNA profile to the federal registry. We tried to do this at my visit on Tuesday, but the PO realized that there were some things missing (like the thumb print pad and a witness) so I had to come back. It really didn't feel all that special. It was just another shame based reminder. Fortunately, I was able to bounce back up and enjoy more Murphyisms at work. What a day!

Well, I better head my face toward work. If you hear something crash, it’s just probably something I knocked over…trouble is that it’ll be more than boxes today. My team has decided they think they should get the day off—as a safety precaution. They’re really funny!

Oh well here I go----beep, beep beep!

Monday, May 23, 2005

Beyond Overwhelmed


For most of my life I could not admit when I felt overwhelmed. It’s not that I didn’t feel it—I knew what it felt like, I just wasn’t allowed to tell anyone else. The worst person to tell would be my boss or supervisor. It would be admitting limitation, which is tantamount to admitting failure.

Not being able to recognize my limitations was part of what set me up for my poor choices in 2001. I was living like SuperWonderWoman…or trying to. I could tell I was failing and falling, but I kept moving faster and faster, hoping that somehow I would figure out a way to make things okay. Didn’t happen. Instead the world and life came to a grinding halt, a horrible crash.

I couldn’t…I wouldn’t go there again. There was and is no reason to. I have created a really good system. We have been extremely productive—when we have a full crew working. I’ve only had a full crew one day. I lost a really good worker last week. The 21yr old who gives me fits and ulcers is have her tonsils out tomorrow and is going to milk the recovery for two weeks. And my best worker, my right hand man, didn’t show up for work and Dan is going to fire him from the T-Net work program. I’m really sick about that one.

So this morning, knowing that I was going to be seriously short staffed, I looked out over the sea of orders waiting to be packaged and I felt severely overwhelmed. I could feel the tears knocking at the back of my eyes. I was swallowing down sobs. How was I going to get all these orders out?

Ed walked up. Ed is a great supervisor. I feel abundantly blessed to have Ed as my supervisor. He took one look at me and could tell I was distressed. He suggested we take a walk. I told him that I was feeling discouraged and overwhelmed. I offered to work extra, off the clock, but I still didn’t think we could catch up. I told him that I knew that the issue was that we were short 3-4 people and without them we wouldn’t be able to make the goal of 2000 parts a day, or 10, 000 a week.

We talked for a while. I felt a smidgen better. The crew worked hard today and got out over 1700 parts. Not bad for only 6 of them and one of me—and I’m getting called here and there all the time. I’m praying that Dan has a change of heart about letting the one guy come back. Tomorrow someone new starts. Tomorrow Beth (my 21yr old daughter who got fired from her job on Sunday) will be working with us.

So hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day. Today wasn’t too bad. I faced down an emotional demon. I admitted I’m human. It didn’t necessarily feel good, but it felt great. I mean realizing limitations isn’t a real high spot…old habits die hard. But die it did and it’s good to know I don’t have to go down that road again.

This may not make as much sense to anyone but me…and oddly enough, I’m really okay with that.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Further Reflections on A&W

I was thinking some more about our time at the A&W yesterday. Nelson tells me that this was one of the original A&W’s. It is located on the road between Ashland and Wooster. I may have to do some research on that one. (Research done…husband is sitting on the couch cracking up that I would have actually believed his bunch of hooey…when will I ever learn….)

It’s one of the old fashioned stands. You pull in and when you’re ready to order you turn your lights on. All it was missing was roller skates on the gals waiting on the cars.

The wonderment that kept coming back to me was that we appeared to be the youngest couple there. Someone mentioned to me that was probably too early a time for anyone younger to be there. 2 in the afternoon? I think it does have something to do with time, but not the time of day as much as the time it takes to get your food.

We are such an instant people. I think I remember this statistic correctly: we don’t like to wait longer than thirty-seven seconds to be waited on at places like McDonalds. 37 seconds. We want instant service at WalMart or the grocery, or the bank. We want instant food. Microwaves are barely fast enough. We expect the food we order in restaurants to be instantly whisked out to our tables..

We want quick fixes to relationships. We want instant healing. We want to lose weight quickly (Have you seen the commercial where the guy in the gym weighs himself and then runs around the equipment once and expects to see some loss when he gets on the scales?). We want our news now. So much so we can get updates on our phones and pagers—which are just other evidences our instant fetish: don’t wait to reach me when I’m home to call, reach me where ever I am. And then there’s the ever-present Instant Messaging.

Sometimes I wonder if that ‘s why I don’t feel out of sync. I can keep up the fevered pitch at work, but when I’m at home I just want to SLOW down and savor the moments. It’s funny one of the things that slowed me down was when I was on a diet last year. To make the meals more appealing and appetizing I found different ways to marinate the chicken Marinate, the very process takes time. The longer the meat is marinated the more juicy and delicious the end product.

Love takes time. I am deeply concerned about couples who don’t take the time to give love a chance to help them work through their differences. Many couples, products of the instant and disposable age we live in, move directly from problems to divorce without ever attempting to work through the matters before them.

As I write this, I’m sitting in my chair in the living room looking through the dining room and into the kitchen. It’s a little like looking at a snapshot of my life. There are projects in process: Nelson is stripping the paint from the wood work in the living room, the wall paper is half removed in the living room and started in the dining room. There is a piece of paneling in the dining room and a ceiling panel out in there too. Two bins of cross stitch stuff are taking up room between here and there (gifts from my SIL/friend Rhonda—because she no longer wanted them). And the kitchen is a project begging to be done. There amidst the projects is a collection of old antiques and new modern equipment. All symbolic of the tension I live with.

So I will keep going back to the A&W because I like the root beer and because it helps me slow down, breathe, appreciate, reflect, and enjoy life.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Sweet Saturday

I feel very blessed. Very loved. Thank you.

Thursday when Nelson came home from work he was as low as I had ever seen him. He was very edgy. Very negative. His mood immediately put me into “eggshell” mode. When he called me earlier to tell me he was on his way home, I asked what he wanted for dinner. His first response was Bourbon Chicken. I took that to mean dinner at Golden Corral—one of our favorite buffet restaurants where they serve a yummy Bourbon Chicken. When I checked that assumption out, his response was Bourbon Chicken, hold the chicken. My husband was quite wild man in his teens: lots of booze and lots of drugs to escape the inner turmoil and pain. He hasn’t done that in our 26+ years of marriage. I clearly heard him say he was on the bottom.

All evening I was guarded in my responses and interactions. Finally, Nelson asked me what was up and I told him that I could sense his anger was ready to erupt (depression, afterall is anger turned inward—one definition). He apologized and told me that he would do his best to pull out of the funk.

When he woke up Friday morning, he informed me that he was no longer depressed and as best he was able (as best a 350lb man can), he leapt out of bed. He was much more pleasant when he got home and today has been lots of fun. (I don’t know how long it will last, but I’m going to ride the wave while I’ve got it!)

I had the opportunity to work overtime today. We are just buried in parts to package and the operations manager offered half day for the team. They work about 35 hours during the week, so the can do 5 hours on Saturday without going into overtime. The plant just had to pay me overtime. We got a lot accomplished! It was neat that once again they allowed me to open and close the plant by myself. Last time we worked on a Saturday, both the operations manager and the company owner stopped in to check on us. Today no one checked on us. That felt good.

I got home about 12:30. And then Nelson and I hit a few garage sales. We ate lunch at the A&W here in town. While we were eating I was looking around at all the cars around us. The placed was packed and we were there about 2pm. Everyone there was much older than us. It was weird. We felt like kids. Good food. Good soda. And good feeling young!

We relaxed in the afternoon. Spent a little time with the younger daughter before she went to visit her boyfriend. Nelson decided he wanted Chinese buffet for dinner. I didn’t eat much. I mostly enjoyed my pot of tea. When we were done eating it was about 8pm and Nelson suggested that we just take a drive in the country. It was sooooooo nice! We meandered down country roads for about an hour.

It was just a really nice day together. We tried to get together with friends, even contacted my sister. Everyone had plans. So we were “forced” to be together. And it was truly fun!

And now I’m ready for bed.

Friday, May 20, 2005


I’m starving. Really craving. And the sustenance I am in desperate need of is something I crave even more than chocolate. It’s human contact.

I think I’m a smidgen blue. It’s not depression. Just sort of melancholy. Yep that’s it, just a temporary case of the Eeyore’s.

I love my online friends. There are people here who make me smile, they sometimes really do make me laugh right out loud. I eagerly reach for the computer to read about how their day has gone, what’s the latest piece of challenge that they’re facing. I weep with them too. Their sadness breaks my heart. Some challenge me to think deeper and love more honestly. I treasure them.

I work so much and fill my evenings with computer time. I don’t have church friends, since the group we meet with is extremely small (usually only two other couples) and their lives are busy with their families and work.

I enjoy the people I work with, but they aren’t my friends. I talk occasionally with my ex-sis in law/best friend Rhonda, but her life is quite busy and scheduling time together is tough.

I guess tonight I’m just feeling a little lonely. Nelson has been so discouraged lately that it’s been hard to even be around him without feeling like I have to be careful about what I say or do.

I’m sure it will pass. But in the meantime, a real hug would sure feel nice. A face to face conversation or laughter with a friend would just do my heart good. Perhaps I’ll just go take a walk, listen to the birds and smell the flowers. We’ll see.

Just thought I’d let you know how I was feeling tonight. TTFN.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Nelson and Fritters

Why I don’t bash my husband.
Nelson is an amazing man. He’s got so many talents and abilities. He can fix about anything. He can build just about anything. I want him on my team for Trivial Pursuit because he knows a little about everything.

He can look at a pile of wood and see what he needs to make, or be asked to make something and know exactly how much wood or whatever it’s going to take without even drawing a plan. That astounds me.

He also knows me. It’s not that: I’ve got you all figured out kind of knowing. He’ll be the first to tell you he hasn’t been able to figure me out—as if that were possible. Nor I him. Each week there’s at least one conversation that ends with: You’re kidding I never knew that about you…

And about apple fritters…
Once upon a time…This occurred pretty early in our life together. The girls were little. We lived in Medina. I was an assistant pastor and teacher at a Christian school. Being that busy my house didn’t always have that freshly cleaned look—it wasn’t a pig sty, but clutter ruled big time.

So one day I was having the worst day—the kind nightmares are made of. I was supposed to hostess some kind of in-home party thing. Work was awful. I knew I would get home just in time for the party. I knew Nelson didn’t really have work that day. I was thinking to myself: it would be so nice if Nelson just did the dishes. Back in that day it wouldn’t happen. My mind began to run with the fantasy. It would be even nicer if he found a sitter for the girls. It would be so cool if he’d take me to ChiChi’s for dinner.

I shook my head and brought my mind back to reality. The only thing that this day really needed was one of the killer apple fritters from the bakery a couple blocks from the house. To this day I’ve had none better. Bad days are still referred to as “Apple Fritter” days. If he would just bring me an apple fritter I’d somehow deal with the rest.

I walked into my house and just stood there and wept. Not only had he done the dishes, but he actually pushed the vacuum around the living room. The house was quiet, peculiar thing with two active girls under 5. He informed me that they were spending the evening with a sitter and he had planned to take me to ChiChi’s for dinner—if that was okay? Okay?! Through my tears I barely squeaked out that the only thing that would make this better is if he would have gotten me an apple fritter. He walked to the kitchen and came back with a white bakery bag containing the hugest apple fritter I had every seen.

We’ve been able to surprise each other over the years by seeming to read the other’s mind. And other times we’ve just really missed the mark. The Apple Fritter day miracle has stood as a shining example of how really connected we are. Because of how special that was, we realize that we need to nurture that connection—and we do!

And he loves me.
This one gets me each time I think about it. Yes, he’s committed to me and committed to commitment. But that’s not what amazes me. It’s how he looks at me. Sometimes I catch him sort of staring at me with this “look.” In his eyes I’m beautiful. I don’t see it. I tease him that he needs his glasses adjusted. Sometimes he doesn’t get how I can’t see it. I don’t have to. I just need to see that he sees it and then believe that it’s true. No matter how I’ve screwed up, he keeps loving me.

So those are some of the reasons I can’t bash my husband. That’s not to say he doesn’t make me crazy. He does. I mean, he’s a man after all. He doesn’t take care of himself like he should. I ache to see how he hurts. He’s stubborn. He has a temper. He is a pack rat. He doesn’t always put things away. But all those are blips on the radar, barely worth mentioning compared to overwhelming good stuff that is totally lavished upon my life on a regular basis.

His body is breaking down, wearing out. He often tells me that he’ll be lucky to live another five years. Sometimes I see a different kind of ache in his eyes. An ache for heaven—where there’ll be no more pain. Selfishly I would keep him forever, but I confess I’ve told God that if He wants to take him, it’s okay with me because I just hardly can stand to see him hurt any more.

I know this: if Nelson dies, I think I’ll probably not remarry. I mean, how could I? How could I do that to another person? Those would be some seriously HUGE boots to fill. I’m blessed and I know it and I don’t mind saying it!

Feeling Good

Well, I did it. It’s been really warm this week at the factory. I was wearing my hair pulled back off my face. No real style, just function: keep it off my face! I hadn’t had it cut since right before Annie’s wedding last September. It was down to my shoulders. But my hair is so baby fine and thin that if put it in a “ponytail” it was just laughable.

So I went hunting on the internet for a short hairstyle. This is the one I found that I liked Trouble was that when I went to connect my laptop to the printer I couldn’t print. When Nelson reformatted my hard drive recently he didn’t reload the printer. I almost didn’t go. I knew what the picture/cut looked like but sometimes I think that stylists hear a different language. I was afraid of what I might get.

I went to “Famous Hair” to get my hair cut. I have been there twice now and I am very impressed. The stylist took a lot of time to listen to my explanation. She was a little older, so she understood when I said I didn’t want all the flippy stuff that is so popular with the kids these days. I needed a more mature cut. Sheesh, did I feel old!

She did a fabulous job!!!!!! My hair doesn’t look exactly like the picture, but it would be hard to get that kind of fullness on my head without some kind of hair transplant. But it’s similar. I really like it. Nelson gave his approval—even though he would rather it be long. Beth told me it looked really cute too. It’s going to be so easy to take care of and so much cooler at the factory. I’m really pleased.

It’s a quiet Saturday here. Nelson and I hit some garage sales. Found some good deals and only bought what we “needed.” Then we went grocery shopping. Lots of healthy eats. After that we had lunch at the Ponderosa Buffet. It was good and I behaved myself. I took a couple bites of my dessert and then just opted to have a second cup of coffee. That felt good.

Nelson is napping now. We’ll probably pull out the Scrabble board and watch the race. All in all, a very good day!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Spicy Smiles

The last two days I have been more of a supervisor at work. That’s not to say I haven’t built my share of boxes or that I’ve been avoiding the line. It’s just that in the past two days I have done more telephoning and arranging of things. I’ve walked the length of the factory countless times stopping often in the Production Manager’s office and hiking all the way to shipping and receiving. (Have I mentioned that I’ve lost 15lbs!!!)

Today I was waiting on a shipment of boxes. I ordered them on Friday morning. I needed them—no, I REALLY needed them. I was running out of parts to package on one line and had lots of parts but no boxes on the other. So after weeks of trying to get them to speed up their production, I was now telling them to take it easy. I thought I was going to have to either send them home early or give them a very long lunch break. When what to my wondering (and waiting) eyes should appear but a very full semi pulling onto the dock! I was so happy! We were able to keep working and put out over 2400 parts today!

I was sitting here typing my first paragraph when the phone rang. I figured it was probably going to be Annie with a report of the latest achievement for baby Nel. I was wrong. It was Nel…Nelson. He was calling me from the backyard on his cell asking me to come out and help him start the mower. I shook my head and laughed. How did we ever survive before cell phones?

We weren’t able to get our mower running. It’s been temperamental for a couple of seasons. I remembered that the landlord had left a mower in the garage. Nelson gave it a few tugs and he was off to the races. He’s mowing the lawn. Anyone care to identify what’s wrong with this picture? Here’s a clue for those who are new to my life: lawn mowing is one of my favorite things to do. He didn’t even ask. I guess it’s okay though. We could have lost a small child in the backyard and never known it, it was so incredibly long back there. He has much more patience with that and the way the mower cuts out in that long stuff. So I’ll let him have the first cut. I’ll even thank him for being so kind to me. Then we’ll see who mows next!

Nelson called on his way home. He’s been really depressed lately. He suffers from chronic low-grade depression (dysthymia). Over the years he’s been on different meds and also sought counseling. I can generally tell when he’s moving from discouragement to depression, and generally notice it long before he admits it. I’ve seen this bought coming. I hadn’t caught the severity of it, however, until he looked at me and said he was wondering if he should check himself into a hospital. He decided against it since my insurance hadn’t kicked in and it was just too depressing to think about creating such a huge medial bill.

One of the things that Nelson does when he’s depressed is eat. This seems to offer a momentary relief which is soon overtaken by the guilt and remorse that comes from being morbidly obese. His drivetime call was to see what I wanted for dinner. At first he suggested Arby’s. I was okay with that. Then he called back and suggested BW3 (Buffalo Wild Wings). We had never been so I agreed. My mouth is still burning! It was .30 wing night so we got 10 wings. I ate one with Hot Barbque. My nose started running! My main course was a Caribbean Jack Chickenlito. It was also hot, but quite yummy. It’s definitely a place that I would like to try again. Nelson enjoyed his hot food and a bleu cheese burger almost as much as he enjoyed sitting in front of the huge screen TV watching Sports Center on ESPN. He smiled. I enjoyed that!

Well, he’s done mowing the lawn and I want to give him some special attention tonight, so, I’ll be signing off for a while. I hope there are spicy smiles in your evening as well!

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Mother's Day

Saturday night I called my mom and read her what I had written. I was crying before I was done and so was she. I wanted to read it to her so she could hear the inflections where I wanted them. It was very special.

Nelson and I are very concerned for Annie and Trav. They just haven’t learned how to communicate with one another. They store up all their emotions, especially their anger, and then explode on one another. We wanted to just scoop Ann and Pnel up and bring them home. Nelson was fearful of what Trav might be saying when he wasn’t around, based on what he heard when he was there! After we left they had a huge fight and Ann ended up going to a friend’s house with Pnel. She’s home now.

We know that they care for one another. They just need help. Nelson and I talked about it last night and again over lunch today. We decided to offer to pay their way to a Marriage Encounter/Enrichment weekend and would even go along if that would help them feel more comfortable. Annie’s going to talk to Trav about it. Nelson and I went to one of these weekends after we’d been married a few years. Early on Mr. Wonderful used to put me down terrible, especially in front of other people. In that weekend he learned what he was doing to me and there was a huge change in him. He slips occasionally, but it’s rare and quite the exception.

Nelson got me a sweet little gift for Mother’s Day. He bought me the Bullet (as seen on TV) off of Ebay. He’s already made me guacamole (one of my most favorite foods in the world) and a strawberry milkshake for dinner! Mmmmmm. It was a gift for me, but I imagine he’ll use it bunches more than me.

Well, that was my day. I hope yours was as sweet!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Mothers' Day Thoughts

(Here's what I'm going to send my mom for Mothers' Day)

Mothers’ Day Thoughts

Hey there! (This is how I always answer when she answers the's how she knows it's me.)
I went to the store the other day and one of the items on my list was a Mother’s Day card for you. I read a few and was not very much impressed with any of them. So I decided to write something personal for you instead. It’s cheaper and will hopefully mean a lot more (if I can get the thoughts rambling around my brain down on paper).

This is typically a day of gift giving. I remember many of the gifts that my girls gave me over the years. None of them cost very much, but they all meant so much because they took the time, made the effort. I was thinking about Annie’s journey into motherhood and wondered if I should give her a gift, too. Maybe I’ll write her a letter, too. Anyway, I hope you will accept the gift of my thoughts and words.

So while I was thinking of gifts, I started thinking of the very special and unique gifts that you have given me and I decided that I wanted to thank you for the precious gifts I have received from you!

You gave me a love of music.
**I remember one time going with you to rehearse a song you were singing at a church, in Milan I think. I was so impressed. You planted a seed of hunger for singing.
You gave me a love of theater.
*This gift came in two forms. You not only introduced me to stage productions, you planted the seed that craves the lights, the lines, and play!
You gave me a love of words.
*Hours of watching you and Dad play Scrabble and pages and pages of crosswords later we find ourselves planted in front of a Scrabble board mining words and having a wonderful time!
You gave me a love of fine food.
*I remember you eating crab legs. Nah, you didn’t eat them, you savored them. Good food was a special treat and you celebrate it. Now, so do I.
You taught me perseverance.
*I absolutely get my tenacity, my dogged determination, from you.
You taught me the importance completing a task.
*I wish I had a dollar for every time you said that if I was going to do something, I should do it right!
You showed me how to love and support your husband.
*We were never unloved, but we knew who really held your heart. His work took him away, but you plugged on.
You listened and let me dream.
*I’m surprised my rear end isn’t permanently flat from all the hours I spent sitting on the footstool in front of you or on the counter while you worked in the kitchen.

But most of all you showed me how to go on when everything in life seemed to be coming to an end. And you loved me and encouraged me to keep going when I thought my world was over.

These are gifts for which no card, or flowers, or trinket can compare. I celebrate them this Mothers’ Day…and I celebrate you.

I love you bunches and a lot!