Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Not my Normal

We got a phone call this past Thursday evening. No work on Friday- the restaurant would be closed for a few days.
 It was easier to get that out up front, because the force of the following words drove every other thought from my mind. Two of my co-workers had been in a tragic car accident.
One does not use the word "tragic" lightly. I must of gasped at the word, because before anything else was spoken, Mr C and the Individuals were looking at me with questions in their eyes. One of the young women, Stacey, had been killed in the accident.
As it turned out, the young women were on their way to a farewell dinner for Stacey- she was moving to another state this week. Instead, she takes up residence in her heavenly home.

  Daniel and Sam and I attended a dinner before the "visitation" Sunday night. We wept with Stacey's many friends and family members. I couldn't go in to the visitation. I sat in the car while the boys went on inside. They didn't stay long. The funeral was yesterday. Stacey was prepared to make her journey from this body. The message centered around her readiness. I wanted to scream and scream, and scream some more. I saw her death as a robbery. Stolen from those of us here- not me so much as her family and friends. (We were acquainted through working together on Friday nights.) I kept my mouth shut, because I would not disrespect her beliefs, their beliefs.

As the funeral drew to a close, her casket was opened. I didn't want to walk by her. I didn't want to see. But I looked. That wasn't Stacey. That wasn't her. It was empty of all that was Stacey. I wanted to grab her Mama and hold her. I went to the car. I couldn't attend the burial. I was barely holding together as it was. It was a ceremony of farewell, for the comfort of those close to her. Not about me, and I was too close to "losing it".

It seems like when I think I have finally gotten a handle on my own grief, some small thing can set me off anew. And this wasn't a small thing.

I sat in the car, and "got a grip". Deep breaths, think of something else. I thought of ceremonies.

People need ceremonies. We have births, followed by a dedication or baptismal ceremony. Most of us honor birthdays with ceremonies. Graduations, award presentations, weddings. Sometimes engagements. New years' celebrations. Many cultures have coming of age ceremonies. A formalization and acknowledgement of some deed, done before man and God. And funerals. The last goodbye, where we formally recognize our earthly separation.

Funerals are the ceremonies that start our journeys of grief. It starts in a deep pit on one side of the tallest mountain you can imagine. You have no choice but to climb from the pit and up the mountain. There is no place else to go. No one can climb out of the pit, or climb this mountain, but you. God's grace helps carry our burdens, but it is still you who must climb.
  At times, you think, "Oh yes, I can see the top of this mountain! I will soon be beyond Mt. Grief!"
It takes as long as it takes to get to the top.
For awhile, you think, "I did it! I am over grief!" Then, the clouds around you part for a way... and you see you aren't conquering one mountain. An entire range of mountains stand before you. There are more peaks ahead... and the valleys below. You hand your burdens back to God, and keep going.

(I know that once I have given a burden to God, I shouldn't take it back. I don't know many who have succeeded in not grabbing that pack back and rummaging through it again, to see if there is anything in it I "need".)

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Command Center!

OK, here it is. Since we moved into this house, I have been intending to have a "command center". A place where we could put keys and cell phones when we walked in the door. A place to put incoming and outgoing mail. A place where we can find a charger for our devices.

The basket holds incoming mail. Outgoing mail has a clothespin on the outside of the basket, to hold it up and in view.
The key holder Becky made at a VBS when she was in grade school is on the side of the shelf,and down between the desk and the shelf is a power strip so that multiple devices may be plugged in.

Do you see the keys in the bowl? The bowl is an antique that had been my step-Grandmother Ruby's. The keys are in it, because Mr C doesn't trust hanging keys on the key holder hooks. He is afraid they could fall down and be lost in the nether. It is far more likely they would land point down in the power strip, causing a nasty shock. Or a short. Or a fire... Oh wait, there I go with my worst case scenarios. Sorry.

I certainly hope to have no more repeats of this morning... First of all Mr C couldn't find his coat. A very specific work coat. For some reason it wasn't hanging up in the coat closet. Nor was it tossed on the back of the couch. Or across a chair. Or on the bed.  Or any other likely place one would expect to find ones coat. Especially since we have a COAT CLOSET and I am adamant about people hanging up their coats!
I asked if perhaps he had left it in Sam's truck? We had driven Sam's vehicle yesterday, based on other vehicles blocking the truck in when it was time for Sam to go to work. (It had also snowed during the night, and I felt safer with Sam in a rear wheel drive car, than in the truck. Especially since Mr C had lots of fun scaring the bejeebers out of me sliding the truck around on the roads when we did go to get groceries!)
Tom said he didn't see his coat in Sam's truck, and with no time left to search, reluctantly put on a different coat. Moments later he was back inside... he HAD found his coat, in the back of the seat of the truck. (His second choice coat was tossed onto the couch as he left.)
 So, Sam is preparing to leave for work, with school tonight. A long day ahead of him... where are his truck keys? Tom couldn't remember where he had left them. The second crisis of the morning was escalating, as we looked the house over and over again. I suggested perhaps they had been left in the truck? Sam was horrified at the thought, and took the car keys out to start warming the car. Dan woke up, and I warned him that the keys being found was about to become HIS problem... so he began to search as well.
Sam decided to grab a juice from behind the seat of his truck, to take with him. (He keeps a supply there for work and school.) And there he found his keys. He was able to take his still cold and frosted over truck to work. HOW Tom mislaid the keys there is a mystery.

But now... the Command Center is put together. Nicely organized. Room to lay out those things that need to be remembered when leaving the house. I just have to train three guys to put their stuff there so it won't be mislaid!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Oh boy, a fresh new year!

I am trying to get new habits going in the new house. The kitchen stays clean. Beds made, bathrooms presentable. Laundry washed, folded and put up on the same day...
It isn't always all done. But I am trying. Even the guys are trying. Most of the time.
We had a great visit with Becky and Tommy and 3/5 of the grands. 6 out of 10 were here for at least a few days together. We didn't get too stressed, even though everyone was cooped up in close quarters, due to record breaking rainfall.
There are some new pictures up at Moocrew3 .
Tom had a nice 60th birthday, very low key. We made a pumpkin cheesecake. He had already found his guitar, so played that awhile, and was thoroughly clambered on by grandkids.

This past week, he had off on vacation. With no place to go, he worked on the garage. He built a storage shelf from scrap lumber. We unpacked lots of boxes, and have been dropping items off at the local thrift store so often, I am pretty sure they should assign us our own place to park.

Today is my first day home alone in weeks. I got my basic chores out of the way, and have spend a good deal of time working on the pantry. We have been living out of the boxes in it, for the most part. I got in there and unpacked boxes and did re-arranging.   
 This is the pantry at the moment....
And the next picture is taking a step back from the pantry... all of the non-pantry items that have been stowed away in it since the move. Mostly DVD's and a few VHS cassettes.

I got a good sale on ham at Aldi last week. Tonight, ham and beans. Since Sam has class tonight, he will get leftovers of his choice for his supper. Believe me, ham is never a leftover of his choosing. (That Sam I am, he doesn't like ham!)

That pile of stuff is just going to keep sitting there, mocking me, until I go deal with it. So I will say, have a blessed day and Thank you for reading!