Things I Can’t Wait to Do

There’s little to do around here these days except for cleaning, fixing meals, surfing the web, doing projects, running to the store when necessary, and talking on the phone or texting. I’ve just about exhausted the projects that I am willing to take on, and having nowhere to donate or store unwanted items makes decluttering a problem.  

I’m really not complaining because I know there are many people out there working to keep us safe, healthy, fed, receiving mail and shipments, and keeping stores, gas stations, the government, etc. in business.  I pray for you guys each and every day.  Still, I bet you are looking forward to better days as well.  

Here are things I look forward to doing:

  •  hugging my children and grandchildren. Not getting to see them in person has been the hardest part of this stay-at-home order.
  • playing with my grandchildren. I can’t wait to play peek-a-boo, finally have an Easter egg hunt, draw on the cement, blow bubbles, do puzzles, read books, play hide-and-seek again.
  •  going to church and greeting fellow believers in person.
  •  sitting down at a restaurant and enjoying a meal.
  •  meeting friends.
  •  getting together with family.
  •  going to garage sales.
  •  going shopping, especially thrift shopping.
  •  camping with friends.
  •  packing away my face mask.
What about you? What are the things you look forward to?
Hang in there. Stay safe and well.


Meaningless Drivel Monday: How My Brother-in-Law and I Got Hitched Without Knowing It

Huh-what?  Yep, I married my brother-in-law without even knowing t, and he didn’t know it, either.  It had to be the easiest and cheapest wedding ever, because there was no wedding at all, no dress, no attendants, no church, no cake, no preacher.  It just happened!

Seven years ago, actually.  We joke about it now, but the reason behind it was no joke at all.  You see, my baby sister had been involved in a tragic crash with an 18-wheeler that killed her husband and two children.  It happened in North Dakota, just before they reached their destination of Whitetail, Montana, where her husband was going to be a ranch hand.  A freak snowstorm changed her life forever and our family dynamic for good.

She was stuck in the hospital in North Dakota and somebody needed to bring her home, so it was decided that Rex and I would go.  My children were older and if something happened to us, each family would still have one parent left.  Morbid thinking, but reality.

The local newspaper reported the story, saying that Rex Peel and his wife April traveled north to get my sister.  So we became spouses; hence, W2 and H2.

With no benefits, mind you.  I doubt if there is a husband alive who would admit that two wives are better than one, and I know for a fact that one husband is all I need.  I wonder if the husband on “Sister Wives” would agree?  Anyway, we brought Brenda safely home.  It has been a long road, but we are all beginning to adjust to the new normal for our family.

If you are a praying person, please pray for my baby sister Brenda.  She will always feel her loss.  One day they will be reunited.  
What a glorious day that will be.


From left:  Paul, Jesse, Millie, and my sister Brenda

Teacher Tuesday: Worth Remembering (FOLK Magazine Journal Challenge)

Today marks the beginning of the Jewish Passover, and FOLK Magazine’s 2013 Journal Challenge urges us to reflect on the importance of remembering.  It has been said that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.  Remembering past mistakes and making corrections is critical for eventual success.
But what about remembering family and/or religious traditions?  Are those important?  The Jewish and Christian faiths place great importance on remembrance of religious traditions.  The Passover itself was instituted by God as an annual remembrance of His deliverance of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage.  So is it important to remember family or religious traditions?
I say, yes, very much so.  Just as the Christian church observes traditions such as the Lord’s Supper, baptism, singing familiar hymns, and having Sunday School classes, families observe certain traditions as well.  What would Christmas and Thanksgiving be without traditions?  How many families do we know who put up a Christmas tree every year or have a turkey dinner every Thanksgiving?
Are these traditions important?  I believe they are very important, especially to children.  They provide security–a constant in an unpredictable world.  They provide connections to previous generations, and opportunities to spend time with people we would ordinarily not take the time to visit.  We often do not even realize that we are creating traditions with our families when we really are.  
I started a simple tradition in my home to help celebrate our birthdays.  One year I bought a cheap foil banner with the words “Happy Birthday” and placed it across the top of our entertainment center over the television.  I had gotten into the habit of placing birthday cards received on the top of the entertainment center and thought a banner would be a good way to show them off.  I have done this every year for each birthday since the children were small.  One year I couldn’t find the banner, and my daughter asked where it was.  I dug a little deeper in the drawer where I keep it, and there it was, so up it went.  Traditions do matter.  Our children count on them.
What traditions do you feel are important?

FOLK Magazine 2013 Journal Challenge: The Meaning of Time

Today’s journal prompt from Folk Magazine challenges us to reflect on the meaning of time by thinking about these questions:  What do you spend your time doing?  Is there something you wish you had more time to do?
Those are loaded questions, aren’t they?  Time is something we seem to take for granted until we realize that we don’t have much left.  The Bible says in Hebrews 9:27 that “it is appointed unto man once to die.”  In other words, there is a time and day for each one of us to die.  Whether or not you believe that, you must agree that we will not, cannot live forever.  As time passes, we age.
There was a time (pardon the play on words) when I thought I had an infinite amount of it to spend.  As a child, adulthood seemed too far away to imagine.  There were pie-in-the-sky dreams of having a husband, two kids, and a two-story house with a picket fence, but the reality seemed eons away.  I could hardly wait to be a teenager, but that, too, seemed years and years away.  
Of course, you know the rest of the story.  Thirteen finally arrived, and before long I was bidding goodbye to my high school friends.  College is another example of a period of time that seemed to be frozen.  Would I ever be done with my studies and start “real life?”
How can that be?  How is it that some periods of your life seem to literally drag by while others seem to fly?  For those of you who have raised children, did you notice that the days sometimes seemed neverending, but now that the kids are grown and gone, the years themselves seemed to fly by?  What is that?
For almost 25 years I spent my time caring for my children as they grew from babies to young adults.  For 30 years I spent my days teaching school and my nights cooking and helping with homework.  The weekends were devoted to the kids’ activities, church, and chores.
Then. . .
…and now
And now all that has passed and I find myself in the years of the “empty nest.”  My husband and I juggle his night work schedule with my daytime schedule.  No longer teaching, I fill my days writing, crafting, junking, and catching up on chores and projects I never seemed to have time for when I worked full time.
For all this, I look back on my life as time well spent.  I look forward to more years, hopefully filled with good health, family, and even more fulfillment.
I can’t really say at this point in my life that I wish I had more time to do anything except maybe see my children more often, but I hope to enjoy grandchildren someday!
I have made the commitment to use my time wisely, not to waste it, and certainly not take it for granted.  With middle age has come an appreciation for the brevity of life.  Several years ago we lost my sister’s husband and children in a tragic truck crash.  My mother is recovering from breast cancer.  A friend’s son just died of cancer.  Another friend’s son was killed last year after stopping to help a stranded motorist on the highway. We are not guaranteed more time than we have right now. You never know when your time may run out.
Carpe diem!  Seize the day!

TEACHER TUESDAY: Wedding on the brain. . .

Right now all I can think of is my daughter’s upcoming wedding on Saturday.  I can’t imagine how I would be handling the preparations and pressure if I was still teaching.  I wonder if I would have been able to take this week off.  There are so many last minute details I can’t imagine how I would have been able to plan lessons or manage classes.  My former colleagues and students don’t realize how thankful they should be that I am not there.  I don’t think I would have been very pleasant to be around!

I’ve seen other teacher/mother of the brides continue to work before their daughters’ weddings, though.  Lots of times!  I don’t remember them acting any differently.  I wonder if they just have it together better than I do, whatever “it” is?  

None of that matters.  What matters is that I am blessed to be able to plan Natalie’s wedding without the added stress of working outside the home right now.  We both have colds at the moment and are hoping that we feel much better by Saturday.  We did venture out of our respective nests this afternoon for a short consultation with the bakery, and then we visited our favorite junk store, Uniques and Antiques, for the most fabulous find!

Get ready. . .it’s an extreme closeup!

Scary, huh?  But that brass hand with the pointing finger was an amazing find!  Amazing because I wanted to have pointing fingers on some of the wedding signs and this little item will enable me to do that!  You’ll just have to wait for the photos. . .

In the meantime, be patient with teachers of children, children of any age.  If the children are preschoolers, mommy is stressed because of child care or illness.  If they are school-aged, mom is stressed because of other teachers, homework, bullying, sports events, etc.  If children are grown, mom is stressed because of college expenses, distance from home, relationships, wedding planning, divorce, grandchildren, etc., etc.  Let’s face it:  being a parent is stressful, and when you are a teacher, you are dealing with other parents’ problems as well as your own.  Give ’em a break!