Job’s Tears from Laura Tuesday, Sep 15 2020 


The rosary bracelet Maria made for me from Job’s Tears

Today was rough. And hot. And sticky. As I combed through my things in the cleanup I found a rosary bracelet that a coworker gave me years ago. She’s a lovely faith filled mother and grandmother who immigrated here years ago, and like many immigrants she works in service to others. She cleans homes for families and babysits children and always has a smile. She’s the most giving person of anyone I know with less means than most. Every Friday she brings me a banana and usually writes a special message to me like, “God Bless You” or “Have a beautiful day!” It’s a great conversation piece so I leave it on my desk and as people pass through they ask about it. I tell them about Maria and her kind and generous spirit, and usually another friend comes in to play ball around lunch time and takes the banana. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. It’s been six months now since she’s been able to work with us due to COVID-19 so that’s 24 bananas that I’ve missed, and I miss her every time.

She gave me this bracelet years ago and told me of the Cajun legend of the Job’s Tears rosaries. I am born and raised in south Louisiana but had never heard the story until my immigrant friend explained it. When the Cajun were sent away from Nova Scotia and settled in south Louisiana, they had very little. They’d been persecuted and were starting a new life in a new place with what they could carry on their backs. Someone discovered this plant native to the area with hard seeds in the shape of a tear drop and a natural hole through the center that were perfect for stringing rosaries. Good cajun mamas could tell if their children were saying their prayers with the beads because they became glossy over time as fingers traced over them repeatedly.

Job was a man greatly tested and tried who had remarkable unwavering faith. I’ve read somewhere that as his tears fell to the ground, there sprung the plant so that his tears would not be wasted. Maria grows this plant in her yard and uses them to make humble bracelets, more of which she probably gives away to people like me than actually sells. She’s always said that she receives a blessing when she gives to others so that’s why I let her do it so often. She is blessed in so many ways and has been tested as well. She’s been one of the hardest hit and tested in this storm.

Hurricane Laura tore through our area just three weeks ago. Maria’s garden where she grows the beads along with so many beautiful native plants is where she toils and labors when she’s not on the job with us. She lost her home. It’s no longer standing. She texted me not long after the storm to check on me and when I asked about her she first said she was safe and then said what she’d lost. She praises God in all ways always.

As I washed the scum of the day off of me tonight in water that isn’t drinkable, I saw my bracelet and thought again of her. I’d been angry earlier. My phone now rings almost hourly with new scams from people pretending to be contractors that must be preying on people in our zip code. I politely ran a guy out of my yard today for lying to me under the guise that he’d been sent to help me. I swear to you, I. Was. Tested. It took me til this evening but the bracelet reminded me. There ARE good people. Maria is the perfect example. So is the guy riding through my neighborhood in a blue pickup wearing a chef’s coat that asked me if my son or I were hungry because he had some leftover meals to handout so that they didn’t go to waste. THOSE are good people. I start back at my job tomorrow, and I’ll do my best to pray for the ones who prey upon the vulnerable. I’ll also do my best to focus on the quiet humble helpers like Maria who’ve lost everything but still give.

Maria’s home
Maria’s garden

My Steel Magnolia Sunday, Sep 6 2020 


After all of the months of planning, purchasing, and prepping, I never thought I’d end up sending my daughter off to college with pens and pads acquired from the great Hurricane Hilton Homewood Hotel Tour of 2020 as opposed to the carefully selected supplies from all of the online suggested lists. Things don’t always work out like you plan though and sometimes you’re better for it. Growing isn’t always comfortable.

How 2020 that she’ll be the only one of us in stable housing for a while and starting her college experience 11 hours from home without ever having returned home from our evacuation due to Hurricane Laura. With all of the strength I could muster, I sent her off with a final bag of necessities – box of Kleenex and dish detergent courtesy of the Homewood Suites. She’ll be fine, and we’ll send things piecemeal as we’re able. We’ll also learn what’s truly needed and what was just fluff after all. I worry that in a new place surrounded by new people and ideas, those new clothes from Target just won’t do the trick. She doesn’t feel like herself, and I don’t want anything about her to change. I told her how proud I was of her and that the most difficult things in my life have made me who I am today so she deserves that experience too. I swelled with pride and pent up emotions that escaped my eyes, rolled down my cheeks, and fell to my chest further just adding to the stains of my fourth outfit in my evacuation rotation. We hugged and I kissed her forehead and sent her off in her new spirit shirt from the sale rack at the student bookstore. As I pulled away and watched her walk up that hill to all of the opportunity that awaits, I felt like a vulnerable teen again leaving a piece of me behind.

I believe in signs that sometimes come as a whisper and sometimes flash like a thunderbolt before you. My son spent the last few months of COVID building and planting a new garden. That’s our thing. We’re gardeners now. We’re learning and killing things along the way, but the beauty is there as well. We slowed down and finally stopped to smell the roses. Laura came along a week ago and decimated Lake Charles and the surrounding areas as the worst storm on record. Trees were toppled and houses were destroyed yet we got word that our little scrawny magnolia that we’d snagged from the sale section had survived and was completely unscathed. We rejoiced, and at least one of the kids and maybe a grandmother as well suggested that we should all get magnolia tattoos in honor of our little standing tree. See, it was FLEXIBLE. It was well cared for and well planted but what mattered most was that it bent when nearly Cat 5 winds uprooted and twisted stately sturdy hardened trees. Every shingle blew off of the roof, the fence is flipped and the sturdy mature Bradford Pears lost their limbs and split at their trunks because they didn’t.

As I was driving away today I got my sign. Just as the magnolia standing in the midst of our devastation back home, Jane Claire would as well in Nashville. The sign was there. As I pulled away and off of the new campus for her to start this next chapter, I looked up through the tears and saw the street sign at the edge of campus. MAGNOLIA BOULEVARD. She’s going to mature and remember to remain flexible through the strongest of storms because that’s how she’ll thrive. My Steel Magnolia.

#HelpLakeCharles Wednesday, Sep 2 2020 


After Hurricane Laura 2020

It’s been a week now since Hurricane Laura came through and devastated our city. The images don’t do it justice. We made national headlines and fodder for celebrity tweets because a statue called The South’s Defenders was twisted and toppled. That statue doesn’t represent the SWLA that I know. THIS ONE DOES, and I’ve blogged about it before. For years I kept a framed photograph near my desk of a statue on our church grounds taken after Hurricane Rita tore through our community in 2005. So much spoke to me about what was represented. Calm in the midst of the storm. Broken but standing. I sat near the base of that statue years ago and planned a life forward for my kids and I, and I’m asking for help for my community to do the same.

My city is facing even worse devastation this time as the strongest storm to hit our area in more than 150 years has come and gone leaving a thriving coastal community to pick up the pieces one piece at a time. Peace will come again in time, but we’re not there yet. We “dodged a bullet” as the media is saying only because we aren’t also covered in 15ft of water. We’re still salty though. We need help. Some folks stayed behind and are braving unimaginable conditions by modern standards. Nobody is waiting for help because there isn’t time. Neighbors are helping neighbors and strangers are helping strangers, but more help is needed. Elderly folks without access to social media are trying to get back because they aren’t being flooded with images from the storm, wind, and water. Regular middle class working people won’t be getting back to work any time soon because we need water and utilities and basic structures for that. Crippling deductibles were allowed to pass and have families bewildered as to how anyone will be able to rebuild. I have a friend with a $65,000 deductible whose husband has been out of work for months due to COVID, and she’s not unique. Friends with little or nothing aren’t getting money thrown at them from government or disaster relief yet they’re relying on their higher power and higher credit card limits to get through the short term if they can. HELP. Keep us in the news. Keep the pressure on elected officials to help. Let SWLA know that you see them and hear them. Do what you can and spread the word.

After Hurricane Rita in 2005
Lost dogs at the statue

Pretzel Logic – The Art of Giving Monday, Nov 24 2014 


I had something special happen to me today. I guess special little things happen every single day and sometimes it takes a tap on the shoulder to recognize a sign. I’ve been worried about making ends meet for my little family quite a bit lately. I’ve been in a holding pattern of sorts trying to decide whether or not to make a career move in the hopes that any financial gain would be enough to supplement what I now need to support us. It’s HARD! I’m also pretty unconventional and frequently act on impulse so I may have even made it harder on myself by proclaiming that I may have to leave…. To. My. BOSS. I actually asked him to help me. Let me repeat that… I ACTUALLY asked my boss for advice on whether or not to leave.

I knew what I was in for when I took the job. Nobody accepts a position without knowing the financial compensation. I also knew the intrinsic benefits that were being offered to me and the kids. I’m close to them every day. They walk over after school and finish their homework while I finish working. They’ve also both laid down on the couch by the fireplace in the prayer room when they are sick and I can’t leave to take them home. It’s not a bad deal because what kid wouldn’t rather shoot hoops in the gym when they have to tag along with mom because school is cancelled for the day due to an ice storm? That’s all happened. I haven’t taken full advantage of the blessings I’ve received though – at least not to the best of my ability. I should be running on the track and swimming laps. Kicking back in the steam room would relieve some anxiety too. I haven’t given up all of that anxiety yet. In some ways I’m still clinging to old habits and hoping for things to change when they aren’t just going to change without a focused effort.

I took over my boss’s office today. I mean, I didn’t exactly usurp all of his power, but I did physically take it over with about 10 large boxes and my snack bag of pretzels. While I was sorting through things, both literally and mentally, we had a chat. I’m pretty much an open book, so ask me a question like, “Can I ask you something personal?” and I’m likely to give you anything you ask for plus an awkward 5 minutes of things you didn’t as an extended bonus edition. He KNOWS this so I’m fairly sure the question was calculated though he probably cringed shortly after. He asked me about what I give and do I designate a certain amount of my monthly income to be given. My answer was that I give WHAT I can WHEN I can monetarily meaning that when I’m comfortable giving I do, and when I’m not I save for a rainy day. He suggested that I rethink that idea, and give ESPECIALLY when it’s uncomfortable, and that we take a leap of faith in doing so despite being afraid. He’s been reading up on the subject because he has a speech to prepare on stewardship and tithing, and I’ve seen his actions far surpass what he preaches in this area. He gave his opinion, and then he TOOK my last pretzel.

Boss: “Are these mine?”
Me: “No. Did you buy them?? They’re mine.”
Boss: “Well, you only have 1 left anyway.”
Me: “OK. You can have it.”
End of conversation.

I continued about my sorting, folding, labeling & shooting the bull to alleviate the kind of awkward silences that can only happen when you’ve shoved your way into your boss’s protected little corner of the world & made a colossal mess. I even asked him if he wanted me to scoot on over to my own office so I wouldn’t be a distraction while he worked on his speech, but he said nah.

And THAT’S when it happened! My friend who works with the youth group and their concession stand was cleaning out a closet and sashayed in with her own box.… NO, it was a CASE… of pretzels. She wanted me to give what was left to my kids and keep them for snacks at the office. Boss stared at me and looked at me with disbelief.

Boss: “Are you kidding me??! Do you see this??! WHAT were we just talking about?”
Me: “Um, about my mess here??”
Boss: “No! We were talking about giving. You gave me your last pretzel!! Don’t you see??! You gave me your last one and you were repaid tenfold! I can’t believe she just happened to walk in here to give you a case of pretzels!!!”

But she did! She had no idea about our conversation or what we’d been discussing. She just happened to think of me and how my kids are always digging through my wallet for money for the vending machines. In a twisted & roundabout way, she was the catalyst that got me going and thinking of my friend Videssa who’s been going through a hard time lately. She and her family have been struggling with husband’s medical issues and he’s been unable to work while she supports that family on a teacher’s salary. She & I went to high school together and it was a very close-knit class. Every now and then, a request is sent out to alumni via a facebook group to help someone in need. Videssa didn’t ask for it, but her friends did, and I know she’s been grateful. I had not yet donated to my friend in need when my other friend came stumbling into the office today with her case of pretzels. We’re all intertwined.

I don’t have a lot to give so I frequently hesitate. I worry and wonder over the daily stresses that keep my stomach tied in knots when I probably shouldn’t. So far, everything has been ok. I’m not starving, and neither are my kids. My mom won’t let me starve and neither will my grandmother. They are both getting ready for Thanksgiving and sent me home tonight with Ziplocs full of their “practice turkeys” until the real thing comes along this Thursday so I think I’m doing just fine. Sometimes it’s scary to give when you’ve gone through periods in your life where you’ve been conditioned only to save. I think lots of people out there have been in the same boat and are just struggling to stay afloat sometimes. If you haven’t, then some day you may be.

If you feel so inclined, please consider a donation for the Owens family here: http://lsmsafriends.wordpress.com/

Food for thought:
Pretzels have been around for almost 1,400 years. History has their origin about A.D. 610 when a baker in a monastery in southern France or northern Italy twisted leftover strips of bread dough into the shape of a person’s arms crossed in prayer, traditional posture for prayer in those days. Pretzels were also a convenient way to give food to the poor and became typical alms for the hungry. Those who gave pretzels away were considered particularly blessed. 🙂 Give, and you shall receive tenfold!

Seeing the forest for the trees… I need to be less DRAMATIC! Tuesday, Nov 26 2013 


This will just be one of those posts where I ponder aloud about something awkward that happened to me today. It’s like I go through life with a big ball and chain, and the ball is Awkward. It’s not just that it’s cumbersome & awkward to carry around (although it is); I mean the ball is awkward personified and rather than let it sit there unnoticed, I
usually find a way to push Awkward into areas that even IT doesn’t want to go.

I knew a year ago that I had a dermatology appointment today. I knew a month ago when I sat nervously in the office wanting the doctor to biopsy something new on my face that I’d be back in a mere month’s time. I knew yesterday when the receptionist called (twice) to remind me of my appointment at 3:15 today, and I even knew last night before I left work when I told my assistant to remind me of my appointment this afternoon. I just didn’t remember THIS MORNING which is when I shower, dress & primp for the day. I didn’t remember this afternoon either until Assistant said,

“Miss (um…) Erica?!? Aren’t you supposed to be somewhere?”
“Ohmygod… Yes!! Yes I am!!!”

And I checked my calendar and saw that I’d make it there in time and not even be late and full of
excuses!

I checked in and waited with all of the other responsible people who ALSO made it to their appointments on time and wondered what all the idiots out there who were currently missing their appointments were doing obliviously with their time. I was proud to not be included in their ranks for once.

The nurse called me back and I silently thought of nice words to tell Doc to thank him for my recent negative biopsy. (It’s always nice to thank others even of they didn’t actually force a desired outcome, right?) Then sweet little
nurse confirmed that I was there for my annual head-to-toe checkup that people with pale freckle scary skin get every year so that Doc can find things before they become a problem. “Here’s your gown and a cover, and we’ll be back in a few minutes.” <Smile> I smiled back but I slowly realized that I’D FOUND A PROBLEM and the following words escaped my mouth…

“Ohmygod!!! I can’t do this! I don’t know how else to say this but… (Very sheepishly) I. Forgot. To. Shave. My. Legs.” And the nurse looked relieved. And I grew more panicky.
“Honey, it’s ok. Everybody says that!”
“Oh, no, Honey!! I really mean it!! I mean it’s cold, ya know? And it’s just me.
And nobody else sees it but me & I just haven’t had time, ya know? I mean, it’s been like a really REALLY long time, and it’s not even prickly now… It’s… It’s… It’s SOFT!!!!!”
She politely laughed and said, “It’s fine! He’s not going to care!”
“But, but, I went to HIGH SCHOOL WITH HIM! I mean, I KNOW him! And I’ll see him
again before next year’s appointment. I mean… It’s. that. BAD!!”

Aaaaand she left. And I stared at the gown. And I got so self-absorbed and self
conscious that I forgot all the professionalism that this guy had acquired
through years of training and hard work, and I set my mission as one to strictly
save face. I didn’t care if I had a lopsided grotesque mole somewhere that I
couldn’t see because I could no longer see the forest for the trees that WAS the
hair on my legs. Plan concocted and set, I waited patiently for the doc (whose kid is in my kid’s
class… and Cub Scout group… and basketball league) to enter the room. Door
opened… Brief pause… And then a belly laugh from the sweet nurse when she
saw me sitting there (like the hairy cat who’d just eaten the canary) wearing
the paper robe… + socks + pants.

Doc looked at us wondering what he’d missed. I asked about the wife & asked
about the kids and then kinda winked at Nurse who obviously felt she’d just
breached some professional ethics code by laughing at a vulnerable patient. I then explained that despite what my chart indicated, I was only going to need him to check HALF of my body today because unfortunately the other half came close to resembling the nastiest hairiest man he’d ever encountered. Doc assured me I was being dramatic and so I probably should’ve left it alone, but instead I gave him the stink eye. Probably feeling irritated that I would even consider him breaching ethics & making fun of me to everyone in our common social circles, he proceeded to explain that he isn’t even allowed to tell anyone anything about a patient for privacy reasons.

“Oh, PLEASE,” I thought AND said. “I get it. I KNOW you won’t say anything but you’re
going to THINK it!”
“I’m not even allowed to THINK it,” he tried to reassure me.

Unconvinced and unpersuaded to remove the pants that would expose my Quasimoto lower half, I explained to him that his natural reaction would be to recoil and think of nothing else the next time he saw me. I’m completely self-absorbed when I get self-conscious, and there isn’t a person on the planet that can talk me down sometimes.

BING! An idea came to mind and it shot out of my mouth before I could stop it…

“Do you see many hippies, Doc? Because this is acceptable if someone were a hippie. It’s only embarrassing to me because I am NOT a hippie, but I can pretend to be one in order to get through this exam. TELL me that there’s a hippie commune within 30 miles and you are their primary physician, Doc.”
“Um, NO.”

WHY DIDN’T HE LIE?!? I think he regretted it the minute the words came out of his mouth, but obviously the guy can’t lie. He probably did well during his psychiatric rotation though because he seems comfortable in enclosed spaces with complete wack jobs. He offered alternatives: I could simply skip the bottom half if I was uncomfortable and he noted that he hadn’t previously found anything with which to be concerned on my legs (or feet.. or toes the last time I made him check them too) I shot him down with the notion that I’d simply worry for AN ENTIRE YEAR now that cancer was growing somewhere on the back of my leg where I couldn’t see it. “Well, it’s simple then,” he stated. I’ll check the top, then you can go home, shave your legs, come back, and THEN I’ll check your legs.” JEEZ! Don’t be RIDICULOUS! That’s crazy. I can’t do that! (Because I’ll probably forget the next appointment + pay for TWO office visits which I simply cannot do. I’m pretty sure I already owe you money anyway, Doc. Let’s not compound the problem here!)

Sooo… Sloooooooowly…. Ever so caaaaaarefully…… I pulled up the cuff of my pant leg and well, lookie there! For the 1st time in ages I chose to wear those cute little unprofessional knee socks with the bulldogs on them since they were hidden by my BOOTS that I hadn’t planned to remove. It took five whole seconds for Doc to comb through the brush in search of something unsightly (other than my hair) that needed to be removed. “All done,” Nurse Honey said. And I was relieved. I don’t have cancer anywhere obvious, but most importantly I didn’t have to take off my pants in front of someone who I’d see again probably within a week because by this time I’d just realized that I was wearing the kind of 10 yr old underwear that my momma taught me NEVER to wear in case I were to get in a wreck and end up in the hospital.

Such are the woes of living in a small city, but there are plus sides too. When I checked out at the front counter, I ran into a nice lady that used to work for us in the family business. We were catching up and giggling when the sweet nurse who had to endure my awkward exam came to apologize to me, Bless Her Heart!!! She apologized for laughing, and then I apologized for making her feel like she had to apologize and assured her that laughing is what makes me more comfortable so I guess that’s why I do it. I push my big awkward ball away and stumble over it until I find people who will giggle with me and then I drag it with me again to our next stop. I’m thankful for people like my doc who are nice and professional and would never even consider telling anyone about my hairy legs. I have my big awkward ball with me at all times though so I’ll just end up telling everyone myself. Like on the internet.

Sit Here. Think of you. Smile. Repeat. Sunday, Nov 24 2013 


card

A few days ago I received an anonymous gift. This is the story of how it unfolded and what has resulted. I quit blogging a while back when I just seemed to run out of hours in the day. I set a deadline this time though of 5:00pm on Sunday to throw out a thanks in whatever way I could to someone who did something for me that meant more than they’ll probably ever know. So I sat down a couple of hours ago and this is where it went.

Thursday afternoon I came home for lunch as I usually do. I’m fortunate; I live only 5 minutes from where I work and that allows me to step away from the office, clear my head, and eat whatever I have at home to save a bit of money rather than eat through my meager funds. Upon arriving I noticed that my mailbox was full. I’ve started checking the mail more regularly now that I’ve signed up with various manufacturers & coupon groups in hopes of “high value” coupons and coveted freebies. I also nearly missed another birthday party for the kids last weekend because I’d been avoiding checking the mail and was pretending to be blissfully unaware like the bills weren’t really there. That mistake left me in a frantic 30 minute rush on a Friday night to grab a gift and send my son to a birthday party so that he wouldn’t be the only kid left out of bouncing in the jump houses on a sugar high. I’ve been waiting for free samples to arrive and those are WAY more fun than the usual bills. My little mailbox was overflowing with various offers that I would have to sort through like a miner for gold, but there was not a single free coffee sample. The bills were thrown unopened into my nice little bill box, and I put the top back on it so that I wouldn’t have to look at them and spoil my appetite. Some would be opened next month and some would probably sit there until I got a friendly reminder from “Peter” who I’ve been robbing to pay “Paul.”

Buried in the middle of the bills, coupons and credit card offers was a white handwritten envelope. Oooh! I got all excited! Someone likes me and is inviting me somewhere. Someone is probably getting married, and I’m super happy for whoever it is but mainly because I’m going to eat SHRIMP I bet! And I’m going to have cocktails! And I’m going to visit with ADULTS that I haven’t seen in a long time and I am going to be FUN again! I am GOIN’ SOMEWHERE like Cinderella to the ball! I flipped over the envelope as I was opening it and discovered something odd. The return address ALSO had my name on it but with my office address below. Hmm. How did I do that? How did I manage to invite myself somewhere? OK, someone’s a ding-dong but that’s funny because that’s just like something I would do too! Someone must’ve just been in a hurry.

Inside was a brown card and on the front it said, “Sit Here. Think of you. Smile. Repeat.” “Oh. OK. It’s a thank you card,” I thought. “I must’ve given someone something, and they’re appreciative. That’s nice. It’s always nice to thank someone for being nice. I must be nice.” Inside the card was a plain white envelope and the handwritten words, “Thanks for the Facebook laughs. Have a safe Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas! –an admirer. ok – a fan. it’s not like that! :)” Then I opened it… the plain white sealed envelope… and my hands started shaking… and I counted 5 crisp new $100 bills. I looked at the dog, and she looked back at me because I must’ve made a noise or something. And then I looked at the envelope again that I had thought was addressed to me because I must’ve been wrong. Nope. Nuh-uh. It had my name on it – front & back – with both my home and office addresses.

WHAT DID I DO!!?? And WHO could have done this?!? Was it a joke? Almost anything can be funny if you look at it the right way, but this wasn’t funny. This was serious. This was a LOT of money, and it must belong to someone. There are hungry people out there and I’ve still got red beans and sausage in the freezer from leftovers that my mom gives me when she cleans hers out. Oh yeah – I’m hungry now. Oh, yeah!! MOM! I can tell my mom! Who else am I going to tell because this is really awkward. Someone else needs to know what just happened here in case I get hit by a bus or something. It’s also not real yet unless I say it out loud and to someone else. So I called her. And she said WOW. And then she said it must be someone who thinks I’m funny. “Maybe it’s someone who knows you need the money,” she said. Then she asked who I thought it could be… and I realized that I didn’t want to know. Not yet. If I KNEW who it was then I might feel guilty because I must’ve said something to someone that made them feel sorry for me, and that’s just wrong and now I’m TOTALLY EMBARRASSED. Maybe I’d posted on facebook about not having a heater or air conditioning and someone figured out that I just couldn’t afford to fix it. Oh. My. God. What have I DONE?!? It was that damn screen shot I took of my bank account a while back I bet showing my $0 balance because it was ironically funny that my last few bucks had been spent on anxiety medicine. I had pondered aloud on facebook about positives and negatives and how everything evens out resulting in an exact balance of $0.00 in my checking account. But I deleted that post within an hour?!!? I deleted it because I thought that even though I had resolved to finding the humor in my situation, it may sound like I want people to feel sorry for me. Oh. My God. This is low. I’ve gone and poor talked my way somehow into acquiring funds that should probably have gone to the homeless and hungry. I must’ve somehow asked for it, and now here I am tasked with deciding what to do with it. Maybe I can figure out who did this, and I can just give it back. Surely I can narrow down the facebook friends into a reasonable pool of suspects who have both the means and the heart to do such a thing. And then it hit me… like a brick to the head. WHO AM I to do that??!? Who am I to assume anything about why someone would do such a thing?? Who am I to steal the wind from their sails and attempt to “out” someone who obviously went to great lengths to remain anonymous. My self-imposed guilt is all mine – not theirs. Who. Am. I?!? I’m a lot of things I guess, but right now I’m a tired struggling single mom who’s been trying to figure out how to make Christmas work for us this year while someone else just did that for me!!!!

I headed back to work with the intention of hiding out in whatever way one can in a glass enclosed office. Whoever sent this knows where I work and maybe they’ve seen me over the last few days scanning my face and behavior for any indication that I’d received their gift. I’m anything but predictable in my dramatic reactions so I just needed to lay low so that I don’t do something embarrassing. Here’s an idea: I should TOTALLY tell my boss and assistant, two “guy” guys that aren’t on facebook because I KNOW they weren’t the ones who did it. One of them will probably come up with something very practical to say that will diffuse all of my nervous energy and keep me from doing something SUPER DRAMATIC. Yep! That’s a STELLAR idea because I’ll walk away feeling WAAAAAY less awkward…

And then I did it. I pulled my male assistant and my male boss into the boss’s chambers to discuss my mail very dramatically as if the CIA were watching. I kind of live like reality tv cameras are following me, and they know this so they humored me and were patient. I checked the lobby for eavesdroppers and then sat down and very dramatically (without trying of course) WHIPPED the card out of my pocket. My minute-long preface had them staring at me wondering what had sufficiently freaked me out, and I’m sure they braced themselves for another bizarre story of one of my characters that I encounter around town that will probably make their way into the lobby at some point for a free cup of coffee or to tell me stories at my desk while I try to work. Nope. Nuh-uh. This was different. This time it was a MYSTERY and someone had managed to throw me off my game in a way that I wasn’t sure I’d be able to recover while still at work. So I plopped the card onto the desk and told them to read it. And they said, “Wow” and “That’s nice” and it was very anti-climatic. I had COMPLETELY forgotten that my intent in telling the guys was to settle myself down a bit so I started over again, and I explained that sometimes I write things and post pictures on facebook like the awkward moments after the dog has just spewed the contents of the lava lamp all over the floor, or I awake to find the kids setting up a lemonade stand in the yard, or the 1/2 price JUG of wine I discovered and purchased while sorting through Halloween sale candy to purchase with coupons and save for Christmas. And then I describe how I used to blog about everything before I got so busy that I didn’t know which way was up, and one of the guys says,

“What IS a blog?” to which the other replies, “People just write what they think about things and put it out on the internet so everyone can read it.”
“Why?”
“I don’t know.”
“Maybe I should get a facebook page.”
“Yeah, I’m going to figure out how to update mine.”

OK, well they don’t totally get it yet so I asked what they thought I should do to somehow let the giver know that I’d received the card. And one said, “Just say on facebook, ‘Thanks to whoever sent the card'” Oh, OK. Because that’s TOTALLY my style of handling things, right? And THAT’S when it happened… the flood gates opened, and I CRIED. I cried in front of my boss and assistant. I could see by their body language now that this was going to develop into an emotional display that assaulted their manly senses as if I’d just sprayed them with perfume and just suggested we all sit down and do our nails together. One: I got emotional with the guys and Two: I’d just done it at WORK with my superior and subordinate TOGETHER! People are right when they say I’m like a real life Ben Stiller movie.

I left that night, and when the kids asked me as usal to pick up dinner I surprised them by agreeing. Usually they ask for an icee or something, and I say no. Then they ask to pick up dinner, and I say no because we have food at home to eat. We have the same conversation nearly every night on the way home in the car, and it usually ends with them being irritated at me and me being irritated with myself. Tonight though I asked if they would like Wendy’s and they kind of looked at me and said, “Um. YEAH!!” And I even stopped at the store to buy some drinks. When my daughter asked if I could please buy REAL Sprite instead of some generic lemon lime soda, I surprised her again and said OK this time because I had $500 still burning a hole in my pocket. (I bought FOUR bottles because they were on sale for $1 each if you purchased 4 + I got $1 back onto my rewards card. WOOHOO! This is how the fancy people live!)

That night I sat down to write. What could I post on facebook to let someone know that I’d received the gift but not say something stupid? I needed to be funny though, right? The only hint I’d gotten was that it was a facebook friend and “Thanks for the facebook LAUGHS.” I wanted whoever sent it to know that it hadn’t gotten lost in the mail because that would really suck for them, and things get lost in the mail all the time! I know this is true because surely DOZENS of invitations have gotten lost for me this year alone. It’s not like I have gotten invited to the ball… my invitations just never made it to me, right? I didn’t want to say anything stupid though that made me sound self-righteous. All I felt comfortable saying was that I’d received a card and was thankful for my facebook friends. When I was able to, I’d write about it and in the mean time I’d be looking for a way to pay it forward.

So this is it. That sweet card WAS both a thank you card and invitation rolled into one. And maybe if I just speak like I always do, then I can bumble through without intentionally putting my foot in my mouth. No worries about making my blog look professional or reorganizing all of my thoughts into something that wows anyone. And so this is me three days later saying thank you to someone whose generosity hit me at just the right time but that I can’t thank personally. Maybe they know a lot about me, but maybe they don’t. What no one could have known though was that the previous evening the kids had gotten mad at me because I told them I couldn’t give them the requested $7 each for shipping for their Operation Christmas Child boxes that they’d lovingly filled for children somewhere across the world. I just didn’t have it. I had less than $40 left in the account to last us a week and that’s better than some weeks. They wouldn’t have the chance though to receive a nice thank you note from a child in an impoverished country telling them how awesome their little crayons, soap and toothbrush were, and worse they were going to be SO EMBARRASSED to be the only ones who sent their boxes without paying for shipping. I managed to convince them that although it would be neat to track their boxes and pay for the shipping, perhaps this would be better anyway! We could use our IMAGINATIONS and think of all sorts of scenarios that someone wouldn’t be able to convey if they didn’t speak the same language. Giving isn’t about being recognized I told them not knowing that 12hrs later I’d be on the flip side of that assumption. I also know that I didn’t tell anyone what I had been thinking the prior week when I’d gone to a funeral for someone I knew who had just died fairly suddenly and left behind a new baby, stepkids and the husband she’d always dreamed about. I went to the funeral to honor her but also because I was looking for something to make me feel better because it’s scary to realize that EVERYTHING could change in the blink of an eye for my kids. She had told her husband when they met that she was “kind of a big deal” and those words were said again when her friends eulogized her. Promises were made to make sure that her precious baby girl would know how great she really was, and I saw pics on facebook of an 8 month old princess wearing an itty bitty t-shirt that said, “My mom is kind of a big deal.” I think we all want our kids to think we are a big deal and not just once we’re gone. I don’t want my kids to remember all the times that I’ve lost my cool but if they do JESUS let them also remember me bouncing back the best I knew how. I want them to laugh at me all over again and pick themselves up when they need to if I’m not around.

The card and money helped me to believe a little more in the things I tell my kids but don’t always buy into whole-heartedly. We don’t always need to be thanked for the gifts that we give, and we don’t always know when we’ve impacted someone even if it’s something as simple as laughing at ourselves and the hilarity of every day life through pics and quips on facebook. As far as being a big deal, every now and then my kids ask me about the book I planned to write. I started blogging a couple of years ago and even set up my own little site through wordpress. I had big plans and was writing daily until I just could find the time amidst being a full time single working mom. I post frequently instead on facebook because it’s easy and quick and usually there’s someone else out there that sees the hilarity of our little three ringed circus here. I remember telling the kids that if I ever made any money off of my writing that I’d buy them a new laptop that didn’t have hot pink argyle duct tape holding it together. Well… I think I just sort of DID make money through my writing. Maybe that will make me a “big deal” to the kids in their minds if and when I decide to tell them about the mysterious card. I haven’t bought the laptop yet, but someday I will. This year they’ll get bikes for Christmas, and I’ll save a little bit as well. Someone just gifted me with an extra week’s pay, and I’m going to work hard at paying it forward. We’ll keep our end quiet though and private and maybe even hide out to see someone’s reaction to whatever random act of kindness we’re able to do. It’s fun to get a reaction, and I hope my “fan” gets to read this and know mine.

Sums up our last 2 years… A ROLLER COASTER. Thursday, May 30 2013 


20130530-011523.jpg

“Life’s not about waiting for the storm to pass… It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

Let the games begin… Wednesday, Jul 4 2012 


By 9am on this Independence Day, I think I’ve squeezed in more activity than any mom should have to prior to a required morning cup of coffee. I saw this coming though so I should’ve been prepared. At bedtime, Sis informed me that not only had she fixed Bro’s little 3DS that I managed to reformat/erase by adding the previously downloaded games, but she had also prepared an entirely new set of games for the carnival fun that is my real life.

I was yanked from slumber after having stayed up WAY too late watching a movie. (See, that’s really the only time I get to watch a movie rated anything other than PG so I thought I’d be OK since today was a holiday and all with nothing planned but evening fireworks celebrations.) BOOM!! BAM!!! The morning light sparkled through my window bright and early though when the little firecracker announced that it was time to begin, and she wasn’t letting us sleep any longer.

1st game: It was her version of a ring toss – the kind you’d find at any county fair or carnival. She lined up the last of our disposable cups into a triangle formation. Each one was labeled with a point value in bright colored sharpie. Object: toss a crayon into a cup to win a prize. Bro & I managed to each score a point to win prizes: old shriveled water balloons that had sat in Bro’s special water balloon pump kit forming mildew. “Yay. Stinky balloons that Mom won’t let me blow up with my mouth,” he exclaimed. I guess he was looking for something better for his efforts.

Next up: A modified version of Pin the Tail on the Donkey AKA Pin the Purse on the fashionable self portrait of Sis. She lined up our sleep masks to use as blindfolds – the Angry Birds, rhinestone “Diva” & leopard print. (YES, we really use them and would probably sufficiently scare a cat burglar if one were to intrude while we were sleeping so they serve dual purposes.) After the rules were explained, she spun me. SHE SPUN ME! BLINDFOLDED! BEFORE I’d even had coffee. I almost threw up. I won though. And as is my luck, the little party planner failed to plan a prize for THAT portion of the fun even though I nailed that purse right onto the shoulder of the scrawny little poster portrait.

3rd activity in her bag of tricks after an elapsed and LONG 20 minutes or so: An Angry Birds take down of juice barrel pyramids staged over my sink with a festive 4th of July poster taped to the backsplash. NOBODY won this one, and I think she knew that would be the outcome as she giggled with glee when Bro’s stuffed Angry Birds plummeted into the dirty sink water eliciting a cry of shock each time from him. She gave us consolation coupons good for 1st player status on Nintendo for him & a “free” load of laundry for me. (The filthy Angry Birds covered in vegetable soup are sitting on my washing machine waiting.)

Finally, the main event: She presented us each with wii remotes & I saw the Katy Perry look-alike staring back at me from the monitor on my beautiful dining room table long ago converted to a game station. She just grinned. And said GO. And we Just Danced. And she laughed. In our pj’s, with hair uncombed & teeth unbrushed, we competed like court jesters on command while the crazed Mad Hatter exclaimed to herself between giggles from my head dining room chair, “This is even funnier than I thought!”

So there you have it. For anyone who has asked why I haven’t blogged in the last 10 months, I’ll just say that my life’s a 3 ring circus with my family, work & personal life. I’m just the ringmaster trying to juggle the various acts simultaneously and keep everyone happy. I don’t even have use of my own computer because Sis has reserved it for the day to record her Hollywood audition for the Disney Channel. Bro has already declared that he isn’t going to LaLa land if she wins due to possible earthquakes in the region, and I have have been forced to write this entire blog from my tiny little iphone thereby excusing me of any grammatical errors or incoherent thought sequences. We’re still going strong so thanks for checking in. 🙂

Oh… And pics???? You KNOW I have them so I’ll upload when I remember how to do that in the blog app for iPhone again because I don’t envision computer access being granted any time soon.

Jobs And Cancer Monday, Oct 17 2011 


It’s been two and a half weeks since my last post. I have been BUSY! For the first time in more than ten years, I found myself wading through the job pool and actually interviewing for full-time positions. I am a single mom now with the added responsibility of paying my own bills and covering my own health insurance. The last couple of weeks have brought to mind scenes from Working Girl and 9-5. I’ve referred to myself more than a few times here as the real-life Snow White with my bunnies and birds and little animal friends, so how could I NOT be reminded of that scene where Violet, dressed as Snow White, poisons the boss’s coffee and catapults him out the window while she and her co-workers giggle at theoretical ways to get rid of the “sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot.”

http://youtu.be/L19GOqAeT6Q

I interviewed for two very different positions. The first was the MONEY job which would have come complete with a shiny new laptop, cell phone and expense account. It was in outside sales in the hospitality industry and while I’m sure this would have afforded me the opportunity to get a sharp new wardrobe, the stress levels probably balanced out the pay scale. This was one of those positions that in order to even score an interview, I had to complete a 30-minute online “personality survey” that asked my opinion about various workplace issues:

  • Drugs in the workplace –  “I think people who use drugs should all be locked away in jail.” True or False
  • Sexual harrassment – “It’s OK to tell someone they’re hot and give back rubs at work.” True or False
  • Anger management – “I find it hard while at work to keep from punching someone’s lights out.” True or False
  • Company theft – “It’s OK to take things from the office because it makes up for my teeny tiny paycheck” True or False

The day of the second phone interview with the VP of Sales/Marketing, my children were home from school due to a teacher in-service, and I prepared them with strict instructions to stay in a bedroom with the door closed and not bother me unless there was a bloody emergency. I’m not British either so the emergency would require ACTUAL blood for me to be interrupted. The call came an hour ahead of schedule since the interviewer and I were in different time zones, so I quickly ushered the kids into a bedroom and LOCKED myself into my own room with my laptop and cell phone. I did my very best to sound professional while still wearing my pajamas, and when the first knock at my door came, I shut myself into my closet and sat atop a pile of dirty clothes while describing how I often work best under pressure. The conversation flowed well and while opportunity was knocking professionally speaking, the literal knocking at my bedroom grew exceedingly louder… and then stopped. Ms. VP was busy explaining to me a typical day and the ins and outs of the industry in which she felt I could be very successful when she finally stopped and addressed the commotion that had resumed outside of BOTH closed doors. I finally came clean about sitting atop the dirty garments in my not-so-sound-proof closet and emerged to find THIS!

The ever-so-clever kindergartener had shown his resourcefulness by retrieving a screw driver (the mechanical kind – not a drink for me which I undoubtedly needed at this point) and simply removed my doorknob – the first obstacle between him and a solution to his pressing problem. The emergency at hand? He needed to get to the store and buy a birthday present for his friend. At that moment, while I processed the facts that I had mixed up days thereby missing the party AND was living through what I thought must be the interview from HELL, Ms. VP busted out laughing and confirmed that I INDEED worked well under pressure. She admitted that she had been home-based for years and that while her kids were now grown, she had NEVER had an experience where a child had removed a doorknob to break into a room. I guess it endeared me to her, and she then explained the process of hiring and that she was lining up the third, fourth and fifth interviews in rapid succession for the next week.

While the morning’s events re-played through my mind, I re-grouped, re-focused and changed gears for my second interview of the day. The second position couldn’t have been more different from the first. While it involved a lot of responsibility with what was expected to be very little pay, the advantages were abundant. As this was my second interview for the position, I was hoping for an offer. I dropped the kids off at my grandmother’s house just blocks from the job location and set off with the self-talk that if this didn’t work out, then surely something else would come along that would be just as perfect of a match. A minute into the interview, “Mr. Heart” (as opposed to the evil Mr. Hart played by Dabney Coleman in 9-5) was offering me the position and explaining why he thought I was right for the job. He couldn’t offer the kind of money that most other companies could so he had been hoping for someone with the right qualifications that could see also the intrinsic benefits available to anyone with a personal interest in the position. As it turns out, I had both the qualifications and a personal interest in the position. Allow me to back-track for a  minute and explain…

Five months ago, my life changed. While driving down the road and listening to an Adele CD (yeah, I know, I’m THAT person that still buys ACTUAL CD’s!) a song hit me. Maybe the music and the lyrics that accompanied it actually exploded over me. There hasn’t been a way that I can accurately describe what happened to me that day other than to say I woke up. Instantaneously something hit me and I knew, FELT and could actually SEE that my marriage was over. I couldn’t see through the tears enough to drive though so I pulled into the first parking lot available. That parking lot “happened” somehow to be the parking lot of the church where I grew up attending mass every Sunday, where I went to school for eight years, where I still attend fairly regularly and now send my kids to school. The image that popped into my head was one of a picture a friend had given me several years ago.

This picture was taken the day after Hurricane Rita passed through the area and left destruction and devastation in her wake. It is a statue that stands on the church grounds and has symbolized for me such a feeling a peace and calm when chaos is present. Years later, as my world seemed to be in such total chaos and the remnants of my marriage lay around me like the broken limbs of the beautiful trees that had once stood and seemed so strong, I had found myself sitting in my car all alone at the scene of my favorite photograph. It meant something to me that I know another person will never fully be able to comprehend. That’s OK though. What hit me in the parking lot was that while I have been about to embark on a new solo journey, I was not entirely alone. There’s just no way that I ended up in THAT parking lot at THAT time on THAT day by coincidence. It was the middle of the day on a Thursday afternoon and the parking lot was packed while I sat along the perimeter with my engine running (both literally and figuratively) and crying. I saw people I knew that day walking out to their cars and hid under the dash-board so I wouldn’t look like a crazy cuckoo bird should someone spy me crying and feel the need to check on me. All I could think – though I never actually checked it out – was that someone must have died. Perhaps there was a funeral going on inside while someone else had just come to life in the parking lot. I thought about the picture and what had become of my marriage but KNEW that peace would come eventually and somehow I would be able to take care of myself and kids.

Flash forward five months to present day. That second job that offered little money yet countless intangible benefits opened HERE on THIS campus. I’ve only worked part-time for the last ten years and only while the kids are in school. They’ve never had to go to after-school care because I’ve always been the one to drop them off, pick them up, offer the snacks and complete the homework yet there just wasn’t an option for me to receive the healthcare benefits I was going to need without going full-time. I was offered the position and allowed time to consider the offer and respond within a few days. I didn’t need a few days. I accepted the offer and kinda shook my head at how surprising life can be. In just five months, my life both fell apart and came together in that parking lot. In just one week I’ll be earning what I need to pay my bills and have the necessary health insurance while my children learn and grow on these same grounds where my sisters and I attended both church and school. Life is cyclical and can be awe-inspiring when you look across at how far you’ve come. My days will get busier in the weeks to come but also more rewarding. I may not be the most pious of all the congregation and haven’t spent every morning or even every Sunday kneeling in the pews like perhaps others think I should. My church is all around me though and once again God has provided me with what I need. It’ll be even funnier now though to leave my office at the church and relax with a nice hot bubble bath and wear my red shower cap with the devil horns while locked in a bathroom with the tool-box to keep the kids from removing the door knob. I know better now, and when you know better you DO better.

My job search over the past couple of weeks happened to coincide with the death of Steve Jobs and the dying struggle an old friend of mine is having from cancer as well. It’s heart wrenching to hear updates from the family of a 39-year-old man and his last days as he struggles with fear and pain but mostly the unknown. He will leave behind a daughter nearly the same age as mine, so I am especially grateful that this new chapter for me keeps her close. I’m appreciative of all the time I have with my children and sometimes when you have less time, you make that time more valuable. Acceptance and peace eventually comes for most but as humans, I think the unknown future may be often the toughest thing to accept. I know this though: my last few weeks have focused on jobs and cancer. It’s only fitting to close with the words of a man named Steve Jobs who left this world after having fought cancer himself.

Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me. – Wikiquote, as quoted in The Wall Street Journal (Summer 1993).

We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and every one should be really excellent. Because this is our life. Life is brief, and then you die, you know? And we’ve all chosen to do this with our lives. So it better be damn good. It better be worth it. – Fortune

Almost everything–all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure–these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. – Steve Jobs’ Stanford Commencement Address

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs’ Stanford Commencement Address

Oh, The Places I’ll Go! Friday, Sep 30 2011 


This week has been one for change. Change isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but for someone like me, it can be a little anxiety ridden. One of my favorite books of all time is, Oh! The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Suess. It’s one of his books that wasn’t published until after his death and that I didn’t read until I was an adult, but perhaps I wouldn’t have related to the text anyway had I read it along with Hop On Pop and One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. I love the video with John Lithgow reading the story, and I have it saved on my phone in the Youtube favorites so that whenever I’m feeling like I’m at some sort of crossroads in my life, the guy from 3rd Rock From The Sun can counsel me.

http://youtu.be/IQRWeZy-S8Q

While sitting on the balcony Monday night reviewing the day and thinking about what was to come the following day, I thought about Dr. Suess’s advice and reminded myself that we all go through phases in our lives and that some of those phases are unpleasant. After 12 years of marriage, I would finally be going to court the next morning to stipulate for the record that my marriage had dissolved and that we would be doing our best to divide “things” appropriately and amicably without having to request the court do that for us.

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own.
And you know what you know.
And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go.

For the first time in a long time, I am as independent as I can be. I realize that none of us exist in a vacuum, so everything I do affects others including all of my decisions, actions, and inactions. I’ve always known that being independent can be fun and exhilarating but also anxiety inducing when you actually HAVE to be independent. I can make ANYTHING anxiety ridden and I don’t even have to try. I’m getting much better, but I can What-If things to death if I allow myself the time to do so. The biggest curse to anyone with anxiety issues is creativity and I have an overabundance of both. I can imagine a thousand possible scenarios while waiting for a train to go or a bus to come or a plane to go or the mail to come. I could tell you what’ll happen if the rain doesn’t go or the phone doesn’t ring or the snow doesn’t snow, or even how my life could be ruined if my hair doesn’t grow. And THEN I remember,

If things start to happen,
don’t worry, don’t stew
Just go right along
Y
ou’ll start happening too.

And so I do. And you can too. And it’s all a matter of taking your cue. When I start to hit the point of no return, I simply turn down the meter lest suffer a burn. (OK, sorry! I got carried away.) I’m getting SO much better at recognizing when I’m starting to be irrational and it helps to remove myself from situations where people around me feed the fire and throw out their own whatifs. I think, “Take look at THOSE silly loons! I’ll just throw on my headphones and listen to tunes!” And so Monday night while listening to tunes and pondering Suess, I saw a shooting star and was instantly reminded of that song Airplanes by B.O.B featuring Eminem and Hayley Williams.

Can we pretend that airplanes
In the night sky
Are like shooting stars
I could really use a wish right now (wish right now, wish right now)

MAN, could I use a wish right now! How easy would things be if we were all simply granted our wishes and had things handed to us on a silver platter? I’m a grown adult and STILL have friends that don’t work for much and are handed whatever they want. I hate to say it, but while they are given material things, they are sometimes seriously lacking in character which is NOT to say that all of us aren’t at some time or another. I just think we appreciate things more when then aren’t always handed to us and that’s what I’ve tried to teach my kids. I live near an airport so planes are constantly landing and taking off near me, and I’d be living the dream if I could wish upon every one like a shooting star. I don’t know though… Don’t we as a culture find ANY excuse to make a wish?? I do it all the time; when an eyelash falls, when the clock hits 1:11 or 5:55 or 3:33…, when I blow the fluffy dandelions or birthday candles. It seems like the specific occasions to make wishes are supposed to be few and far between, but aren’t there so many TYPES of wish granting occasions now that we may possibly be taking them for granted? I haven’t really made a true wish in a long time and certainly wouldn’t just sit around WAITING for it to come true like in the pointless waiting room that Suess describes. I do look for signs though and perhaps that shooting star was a sign.

Guess what I caught myself doing… GOOGLING! Yep! I saw the star, caught my breath and then googled the meaning and symbolism of shooting stars. It only dawned on me a few minutes later that what I was doing was looking for someone else to tell me what the significance of THAT star (meteoroid, whatever) at THAT time in THAT place meant for ME. Forget it! I’m in a new place where I decide what has meaning to me and the significance (if any) to my current path in life. I know that I’ve seen them in the past after someone I know has died so maybe I’ll look at that as some sort of honor or recognition for the marriage that has passed on. I know for sure though, that just as shooting stars last but just a fleeting second, so too will this transitional phase of my life. Maybe the sign in the sky was just God’s way of saying, “Hey! I’m here!” Wishes are great, but hard work pays off in the end and noticing my blessings along the way can only make the road more interesting. When I headed off to bed at EXACTLY midnight and began to curse myself for staying up so late AGAIN when I had such an important day ahead, Bob Marley chimed in with HIS heavenly voice through my Pandora station and said,

Don’t worry about a thing,
‘Cause every little thing gonna be all
right.
Singin’: Don’t worry about a thing,
‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right!

Rise up this mornin’,
Smiled with the risin’sun,
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singin’ sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true,
Sayin’, This is my message to you-ou-ou

How about that? There you go! Both God AND Bob spoke to me in one night while pondering the rhymes of Dr. Suess and Eminem. I couldn’t have dreamed of a better panel of experts if I’d tried so I headed off to bed with a smile on my face and a comfortable feeling that every little thing was gonna be alright. I know it will.

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