Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thursday, June 16, 2011

So why haven't I blogged this week?

Because, I was at track camp.

With this guy.

Watching him throw the shot put.

And try the long jump.

And run.

With lots of water.

And most of all, loving every minute of being his Nana.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Reading through my own blog

I was reading through my own blog and noticed some recurrent themes.

Beau makes me laugh—a lot.

I struggle to stay on top sometimes.

I miss Mom, and I'm still trying to figure out what our relationship was.

I have happy memories of a rough childhood.

I love my Hero—a lot.

I like weather photos.

Storms fascinate me.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


On Facebook several people posted something that went like this: "I'm from Texas where summer starts in June....." No. That is not right. In Texas, summer starts in April, if not March. We could never wait until it was hot enough to play in the sprinkler. Mom's rule was that it had to be 80°. That was usually around the first of April.

Here in Iowa, it's June. But we go from using the electric blanket to needing the air conditioner in a week.

This morning, I was outside filling up the little wading pool for Beau and remembering the blistering days of childhood. When you went to get a drink from the hose, you had to let the water run for a few minutes before you took a sip or you would scald your mouth. The only time I ever wore flip flops was if we were going to the big store—B&W. I never even bothered to wear them to Pic N Pack or Dairy Queen. At night, I had to scrape the tar off my feet from walking on the melting black top. During drought years, you could only play in the water after sunset and then on even days. We didn't have air conditioning but a swamp cooler on the roof. Many nights, it was cooler to sleep on a blanket in the back yard. The Sno Cone man came by playing an upbeat rendition of Brahms Lullaby and that was the sweetest sound of the day. When the price of Sno Cones went from a dime to a quarter all the parents were aghast! The swimming pool in town had a slide and inner tubes and that was awesome.

Now the pools are waterparks and Sno Cones are "shaved ice." Water doesn't come from a hose, it comes from a spring in the mountains courtesy of a plastic bottle. Everywhere is air conditioned and kids rarely play outside unless they are at the aforementioned waterpark.

I prefer the childhood of my memories.

Monday, June 6, 2011

A look back

Thirty years.

One thousand five hundred sixty weeks.

Ten thousand nine hundred fifty seven days.

Hundreds of thousands of kisses shared.

Tens of thousands of tears shed.

Tens of thousands of hours of laughter.

Untold glances and smiles exchanged.

We knew we loved each other the day we said I do but we had no idea how boundless that love would grow over time.

I'm looking forward to the next thirty years.

Friday, June 3, 2011


I walked past my dining room table today and had visions of Hoarders. (That show creeps me out. Disgust, fear, sympathy... too many emotions for entertainment.)

I decided I need to go through my stuff. I have too much stuff. I have really good stuff that I can't even find. Oh, it's not piled up all over my house like that show. My house is in order. The stuff is behind the scenes. (OK, except for the stuff on my table....) It's in the garage. It's in the closets. It's hidden. I need to pull out the hidden stuff and go through it. I need to throw away the garbage. Utilize the good stuff and donate the stuff that's still good, but I don't need.

Without too much of a mental jump, there's a spiritual application here. I've often heard people who have been saved for a while wonder aloud why they needed to be in church. Their "spiritual house" is in order but there is stuff that can't be seen. But we, as Christians, often pack away a bunch of stuff where it can't be seen. Sometimes, its really good stuff but we've forgotten about it or can't seem to access it. Sometimes, it's stuff that needs to be thrown out—garbage. A lot of times, its stuff that we need to share with others.

Church is the best place for going through those "boxes of spiritual stuff." Maybe something will be said in a sermon that leads to a box. Maybe the sight of a need in another member of the body will unpack something you need to share.

You need to be in church so you don't become a spiritual hoarder.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

On my toes

Beau is out of school for summer and with much joy, I have the privilege of spending every morning with him. He is so full of life. He is so full of wonder.

We were driving back from the grocery store yesterday and he began asking me questions about spiders. Besides his first love, trains, spiders are his favorite! I said something about their abdomen and thorax and he quickly corrected me. It has been a long time since I taught about arachnids and insects and I forgot the difference. "Nana! Insects have three body parts and spiders only have two. That is the difference besides the number of legs!" He explained.

Oops. My bad? I should have remembered that. After he reminded me, I remebered that the name of the second body part was a cephalothorax. He liked that word. So we talked about exoskeletons and chitin and how some spiders have their eyes on top and others have them in front. We talked about molting and venom.

I love being a grandmother.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

When you least expect it

Four years ago, I was frustrated because I wasn't bouncing back from surgery as quickly as I would like. My doctor sat me down and told me I should've died and any progress I made was miraculous.

I'm a survivor. 

I grew up in a dysfunctional home. (That could be considered an understatement.) Mom was in and out of the mental ward at the hospital so much that all the staff knew me well. I would get off the elevator and a nurse would ask me how my big math test went. I would find Mom's room and she would ask me my name.

I'm a survivor.

Usually, I don't even think about those things. Occasionally, the past smacks me in the face.

We had a man live with us for awhile. Mom had met him at the mental hospital and he didn't have a place to stay so he moved in with us. I'll call him "Crazy Hal." He slept with his eyes open. That alone will creep a 10-year-old out. The Army had given him a mental health discharge after an incident in Vietnam. Although I never felt particularly in danger, I kept my distance. 

This week, I had dealings with a man that sent waves of "Crazy Hal" sweeping through me. All at once, the fears and insecurities of my younger self gripped my heart. I wasn't in danger at all, but the situation was too familiar. I had to remove myself  and calm down. The Lord and I had a talk and I resumed my business.

I've heard it said that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, but I don't agree. Those things that didn't kill me, made me more dependent on my Jesus. 

I'm a survivor—because Jesus is my strength.

"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."
2 Corinthians 12:9-10