Woe! It’s Wednesday

Summer is still here for another six weeks.

So why does it feel like it’s almost over? Each day seems to go by more quickly than the one before.

I know part of the reason is that many schools have already started classes or are about to.

summer-photographer-pier-adventureDidn’t summer break used to be nearly three months long? It’s down to less than two months for most kids now.

I know the argument for having year-round school: students retain more when they don’t take a break. And we’re no longer an agrarian society with family farms that need all hands on the plow for the summer growing and harvest season.

But something about having that summer break just seems to fit with our natural God-given biological rhythms. We stay up later. We get up earlier (well, some people do).

Each year we plan to take a grandchild on some sort of trip or adventure. We — okay I, really want to take them to Southern California to visit some of the places we used to take their parents. The Space Museum. Griffith Park Observatory. Gene Autry Museum. A Dodger game. The beach.

The most we managed this year was a long weekend and a visit to the Fossil Discovery Center.  We did get to go swimming a few times and watched some movies.

But I’m writing on next year’s calendar right now to plan some summer trips.

Woe! It’s Wednesday

I’ve been quiet here a long time, but I’m planning to be more intentional with my blog and posts.

I know, I know, the road to hell and all that …

Sarmizegetusa Regia 2011 - Dacian Paved Road
Sarmizegetusa Regia 2011 – Dacian Paved Road

By Codrinb (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 ro (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ro/deed.en)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

It’s been a busy few months around here.

I hesitate to say this, but I feel like I can catch my breath now. Every time I’ve felt that way for the last two or three years, something has happened to leave me gasping and feeling kicked in the teeth by life. So we’ll just pretend I didn’t say that, and move on. Okay?

So far this summer we’ve been to San Diego for the Romance Writers of America® national conference where we had a great time. Stud Muffin visited the world-famous zoo, the Maritime Museum, and the Midway. I spent four days walking around the Marriott Marquis and feeling right at home surrounded by writers.

We took the grand-daughters to tour an alpaca farm and to see pygmy goats. It was a fun outing although there were no alpacas to be found. The goats were adorable!

This week we plan to take the grand-girls to the local dinosaur fossil museum.

We’ve only got so much time to cram in the fun!



Woe! It’s Wednesday

A lovely person died recently. Her name was Mavis and I knew her a long time ago.

We were in a Bible study/diet accountability group together. She was older than me. Older than my mother, in fact. But we met together weekly for probably ten years. Even after our group stopped meeting, we continued to exchange letters and Christmas cards.

We had lots of things in common. We loved books and reading. We loved Hawaii. We loved our families. She grew up in Kingsburg, not far from I live now, and we both knew the Central Valley well.

When my family moved out of the area, we continued to keep in touch. When Mavis’s health grew more frail and she went into assisted living, her daughter kept up the annual tradition of letting Mavis’s Christmas card list know how she was doing.

2015’s card said Mavis was quite weak, but she had hit the century mark back in October.

Monday, I got the note that she had died on February 13.

I let my girls know and they both remembered Mavis well. The picture on the note was just how we remember her. Short gray hair, sweet smile.

The only time I ever saw Mavis angry was when she was telling our group about a conversation with her doctor. She’d lost a bit of weight and expected the doctor to tell her she’d done well and to keep it up. Instead he said, “Well, Mavis, you’ll never be svelte.”

She was spitting nails as she repeated that. “I don’t care about svelte! I care about healthy. What a jerk!”

Svelte or not, Mavis was indeed healthy, living to 100 years old. I bet that doctor has been dead a long time.

Seems that Mavis got the last word after all. As it should be.


Woe! It’s Wednesday: Waiting and waiting and wait…

This year’s holiday season is full of firsts.

We have a grandson due any minute as I write this (Sunday). He’ll likely make his appearance today, so by the time you read this, he’ll already be three days old. But yesterday was going to be his birthday, and we thought Friday might be it, and we thought … well, you get the idea.

So we have our first grandson, our first December grandchild, our first Christmas while Dave’s been working again, so we have a Christmas break like teachers and students. He’s also been remodeling our bathroom. But each day, each week, other urgent things take his attention. He’s looking forward to this break to finish that project.

Being on baby alert means making all plans with a big question mark. It means my gifts should be wrapped by now (they aren’t) and all my baking should be done (it isn’t).

But who cares?? There’s a new baby coming to town!

Woe! It’s Wednesday

This post is about why I’ve been not blogging for the last month.

I think both of my blog readers are also Facebook friends, so this won’t be news to anyone, I don’t think.

But we’ve had an awful November. In fact, with one or two exceptions, the whole last two years have been awful. We’ve gone through an arrest, the judicial process, and health issues.

Just when you think things may be looking up, you’re hit again.

I read a quote from St. Theresa of Avila recently: “Dear Lord, if this is how You treat Your friends, it is no wonder You have so few!”

Preach it, Sister Theresa. I’m right there with you.

For the most part I haven’t really questioned God or railed at him. Until this last blow.

LauraOur beautiful, funny, fun, witty, amazing niece Laura Padgett Brickey lost her fight with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma on November 10th.

She was sick for just over a year, diagnosed just under a year before she died.

I’m usually more like Job who came to realize that if we accept God’s blessings, we must also accept it when things not-so-good happen.

But this time He went too far. I’m still angry. I know I’ll eventually get over it (and myself) but for now I’m letting myself be angry, sad, in denial, or whatever I need to feel to get through this time.

Laura was two months younger than my oldest and they were the best of friends all their lives. We saw Laura in the hospital the day she was born and she was the most beautiful baby I’d ever seen (next to my own, of course), and I fell completely in love with her and that never changed.

“She lights up the room whenever she walks in,” is a cliche’ but it’s true about Laura. She always had a joke or an observation to share. She was tall, blonde, and hysterically funny, an unbeatable combination.

Laura was married to DJ for ten years and they have a three-year-old. She left devastated friends and family and broken hearts when she left us. I’ve shared a lot of memories on Facebook so I’ll only add one more here. Her dad reminded me of this one at her memorial service. When she was a year old, her family moved from Madera to Clovis, at the time a suburb of Fresno. It’s now more like an extension of the bigger city with brown street signs instead of green. A freeway was built to connect the two cities and to help commuters from Clovis to downtown Fresno. It was an expansion of a rural route. Laura decided her little hometown could never have a freeway and refused to even acknowledge it, much less drive on it. To my knowledge, she never did drive on it and never willingly rode in a car on it. The freeway opened when she was a young adult and when she was a passenger going on the overpass over the freeway, she would avert her gaze so she didn’t have to see it.

Laura was a peacemaker. She couldn’t stand to see people she loved at odds with each other. She didn’t always make things better, but she tried and her heart was in the right place. I think now that God gave her that gift so He could take her and she’d know she’d done everything humanly possible to bring reconciliation to all her relationships.

I miss her as much today as I did the day she died. I pray often for her husband, daughter, parents and siblings. And when I join her, I’m going to have a serious talk with God about why He thought this was a “good” idea. I’ve come to the realization that Romans 8:28 isn’t really about what I think is “good.” What is good for me is what makes me more into the image of Christ. So yes, all things work together for “good,” in that even the bad stuff makes me more patient, kind, humble, generous, faithful, i.e. more like Christ. But so far, this loss has just made me angry, hurt, and hurting.

I do trust that someday I might know why. I definitely trust that I will see Laura again and get to spend eternity with her and Jesus. In fact, she better be there to welcome me or I’ll be highly upset.

In the meantime, Laura’s family and mine appreciate so the prayers and encouragement we’ve received.