Saturday, October 23, 2010

Is There Any Sweeter Sound?

"Just a minute - - - I'm telling grandma what kind of birthday cake I want", said my granddaughter Elaine tonight while we were talking on the phone.  Is there any sweeter name than to be called "grandma"??? 

I'm forcing myself to blog tonight - this is where I am to share my blessings - - - but some days - it's hard to do - - - for instance - how can a person be so excited on a Friday to take off with your favorite person - your granddaughter (oops sorry Casey - I know that is your spot too) pack your bags, jump on the plane and in 3 hours be with family in Texas!  It's fun - it's exciting - and I have all this energy to make the trip.  Then two short days later - - - I pack up with - still my favorite little person - and head back to the airport - but it's the "drive of doom" in my heart - - - time went too fast!!!  We are saying good bye again!  Not only do I have to say goodbye to my son and his family - - - I watch them say goodbye to their littlest girl too - - - and then when landing in Kansas - I say goodbye to my granddaughter and the trip is done.  I have sooooo much to be thankful for with this awesome family of mine - - - but I will still fight back tears as I drive back to my quiet, little house, where it's just me, grandpa, and the two dogs.

Now this may sound a little bleak - so - let me snap out of my doldrums and praise the Lord who gives me the capability to spend time with family like we do.  I have a job that allows me time off - I have the health to travel - I have been given the opportunity to work for the funds to travel occasionally - My husband will go with me - or will let me go alone if he is working - and I have been kept safe (and see my first post if you have any doubts!)  

It's not that I ever planned on my two children staying close to home after college - we are very proud of them both for being college graduates - Go Tigers!  Go Hornets! - - - and we have enjoyed so many warm family times sight-seeing, moving them, holidays, concerts, movies, the beach, the ocean, and just hanging out.  BUT I still miss them all.

I have a favorite line from the movie "The Bridges of Madison County" - - - Meryl Streep is the mother of two teenagers and she begins to feel as if they don't need her anymore - she explains it to Clint Eastwood in this way . . . "When a woman decides to marry and have children, in one way her life begins, but in another way her life stops . . . and she just stays steady so her children can grow around her and build for her a life of details . . . and then when they grow up, they leave, taking your life of details with them, and you don't know what you want because it has been so long since anybody even asked you . . . "    I think that is absolutely beautiful and so true for us moms.  I passed this along to both my sisters, and they are now finding it out for themselves.  My "details" have grown up and are now parents themselves and I have "new details" with in-laws, and grandchildren, etc. 

This is life - and I am very thankful to be living it each day - even if some days I get the blues and want to wrap them all up and bring them home to stay again - The next day I'm living and loving my life, my friends, my hobbies, my work, and I realize once again that my "details" never go way - they just relocate - and every once in a while - they call up or come home - or I pick up the phone and hear "Hi Grandma!" and I'm back to counting every blessing!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Walk 4 Life - My Life!

Today was our local pregnancy crisis center's fundraiser called Walk/Run 4 Life.  This was my first year to help.  I registered online and asked for supporters to fund me in this very important event.  This organization really interests me - mostly because I have a great friend who is the director of this center.  What a ministry it is to young men and women from our area.  The event was a great success!  But one of the things that hit me while I was helping with registration was that all of these people that were there to walk a 5K or run a 5K ugghh or bicycle a 16K had incorporated exercise into their lifestyles.  From ages 6 and up I saw kids running - walking - and biking!  Which just called me to task on my lifelong battle with weight - - - a subject I have studied, researched, read about, bought books about, attended class for, and talked and talked and talked about . . . and what's that old addage, from Dr. Phil . . . "Why do you keep doing what you have always done and expect a different result?"    I still have the weight!  Although two summers ago I did get on an exercise kick - lost 18 pounds - bicycled up to 20 miles even in one day!  It was great and I felt great!  But it was a phase - not a lifestyle change!  Today I was once again challenged by these "athletes" at the Walk/Run 4 Life - - - exercise and eating right - getting enough rest - - - has to become a disciplined way of life - second nature - by taking one tiny step after another - doing the "next right thing" until these improvements become the "norm".   So for all of you who have listened to me for 25 years - - - say a prayer for me - - - for strength - - - as I try once again to live healthier - and if you have a great success story - please feel free to share!   Heart Choices Walk/Run 4 Life was my blessing for today!

Friday, September 24, 2010

One for the Road

Now I know for sure that I correctly named my blog - - - "A quiet place to share my blessings . . . "  After last week's travels - I must quietly share.  I packed up my suitcases - with everything I would need for five days away from home.  Bubble bath, lotions, a couple of books, and my swimming suit were tucked away for my "me" time when I wasn't attending my meetings!    I headed out on Wed. afternoon for a quick 4 hour trip to Kansas City, Missouri to stay at a fantastic motel right across from Royals Stadium!  I felt fortunate right away because storms were brewing south of me - but the radio announcer and my radar-watching husband assured me it would stay south of I-70.  And it did - with the exception of just a little drizzle that I hit about Topeka.  I was on unfamiliar roads - it was getting darker than normal due to the ominous looking clouds overhead - and the rain was just enough that it flew off all of the cars in the 3 lanes of traffic and made it very hard to see the road. 

As I always do before I travel, I voice a small prayer for safety - for myself and for others on the road with me . . . How thankful I am that I do that.  All of a sudden the traffic that was cruising along at 70+ slowed quickly and I noticed my wheels locked up briefly - but about then the black car in front of me whipped in two complete circles in front of me - clear across 3 lanes of traffic (which by God's great protection were completely empty of people at the time) and he hit the guard rail twice - flipped around and shot back on to the interstate!  By then I could no longer see the vehicle and I hope the folks were okay - I know I was shook up just watching. 

I finally arrive at my destination, pull up to the door, check in and head back out to park my vehicle.  Looking around I knew I would have to park way out in the back parking lot - the place was packed with people checking in to the conference.  As I rounded the corner, I found a perfect spot just about 50 feet away from the front door and so I took it!  Uh oh though, I thought, as I saw a big guy across from me waving me off - I rolled my window down slightly and said, "Can I not park here?"  (I knew it was too good to be true and this nice security guard was going to point it out!)   Whoa was I surprised at what happened next . . . The nice big security officer ha ha came over to my car with his hands up saying "Now ma'am I mean you no harm, I am not armed, I will not hurt you, but my wife and I are from Sedalia, Missouri, and we just had a baby over at Truman and I can't get any money out of the ATM, and I have no gas, and I just need some money to get some gas and get my baby home."  Well - in shock, scared a little, but feeling so thankful for escaping the car accident earlier - I just wanted to "pay it forward" and help this man out!  I reached in and got $30.00 and began to hand it out the window - I withdrew my hand because it just seemed to scary to actually reach out to this complete stranger - and I told him so!  He assured me "Ma'am I mean you no harm, I am so embarrassed for having to ask", and so I gingerly handed the money out the window.   He saw the money and was instantly so excited and thanked me over and over - told me I was an "angel and he would see me in heaven - there would be a special place for me in heaven", he said.  Hmmm . . . well what do you think - was I scammed??  I didn't really think so - I watched him leave the parking lot and I hurried to my room - locked all 3 locks - and piled in bed.  When I left 2 days later I decided to tell the front desk - and you guessed it - - - this wasn't a surprise to them - - - "The last people gave him $20" was what I heard - Two men had been hanging around the parking lot pulling this scam.  So - I guess I am feeling a little "taken" - - - a little "angry" possibly - - - but mostly very very thankful for being safe.  The situation could have gone terribly bad if I had refused the money? maybe not? and sadly, this is the way the world can be at times. 

I finished my meetings on Friday and traveled to a Women's Retreat in Wichita - joined by my daughter and many of my friends - - - and I went praising the Lord all the way for mercy, wisdom, and protection!