life

Bring it on home to me.

When my phone starts playing Bring It On Home, I know the Hub is calling.

It’s such a great marriage-as-it-should-be song.

And it’s great blogging advice.

Sometimes I miss the start of my blog – back when I was completely anonymous. When I could take to my keyboard and type furiously until I got it all off my chest.

Now that I am out of the closet and can no longer say what I really think, I bring it on home to the hub.

Or to my daughter. Except she is conflict averse and gets a stomach ache.

The hub is old enough and wise enough to just listen and say something soothing. Or say nothing at all.

Anyway, today Suzy Speaks posted about self-censoring one’s blog and she made an excellent suggestion.

Something I had never considered.

She wrote, “Remember that you don’t have to publish more personal posts on your own blog – talk to a trusted blog friend about posting on their blog anonymously. You get to write what you want, they get the views. Everybody wins.”

So fellow bloggers (who trust me), if you have something to get off your chest, feel free to bring it on home to me.

 

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life

Goodnight Friend.

My daughter discovered Delilah when she was nine, while visiting her grandparents in Florida.

She fell asleep to her smooth, nurturing, hopeful voice every night until sometime in high school.

At the end of the day, Delilah supplied the perfect song for whatever her callers were living through and all was right with the world.

When I was nine, until sometime in high school, I watched Marcus Welby, M.D. every Tuesday night.  His kind and caring manner, paired with the kindness and caring of his nurse and office manager, Consuelo Lopez, sent me to bed knowing that caring, competent people were out there in the world.

And if the ABC Movie of the Week was a scary one, my sisters and I ALWAYS watched Dr. Welby afterward.

To take our minds off the scary before bed.

It worked most weeks – unless Dr. Welby was the scary.  Unless we went to bed convinced we were afflicted with that episode’s malady.

Why am I telling you this?

Last week WordPress notified me that I have been blogging with them (with anyone) for three years.

And I started thinking why?

What, three years in, is the purpose of my blog?

And then Delilah and Dr. Welby came to mind.

And I think I’d like my blog to sorta’ be that.

At the end of a day – if you are anxious, scared, lonely or just tired – you can read about my ordinary day, my ordinary life and go to sleep to a familiar voice.

 

 

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life

Gardener. Priest. Stranger. Friend.

The hub had a garage sale the other day.

A table full of fishing tackle.

Lots and lots of tackle.

A table of woodworking tools.

From when he had a shop.

Two tables were covered in framed Red Wings posters and photos.

Some of them autographed.

From when they won back-to-back Stanley Cups.

A woman – a stranger – walked up the driveway, breezed right past the garage’s offerings and headed for the arbor that leads to the backyard.

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I intercepted just before she entered.

“I want to see your beautiful flowers,” she said.

“There’s not much to see,” I said, puzzled.

She brushed her hand over a plant in one of my trugs.

“What’s this?”

“Cilantro.”

She took a whiff.

She wanted to see my garden.

“It’s pretty wild this year, I haven’t been out here much.”

I pointed to where the garlic and raspberries grow.

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“See those Lamb’s Ears? I didn’t plant them and yet there they are.  Just appeared out of nowhere a couple of years ago and now they’re spreading everywhere.  This is the first time they’ve flowered.”

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“I’ve got lots of large, overgrowing yellow flowers that my mother gave me,” she said.

She described her house a few streets away – with two big white swans in the front yard.

Invited me to come by and dig some up if I want.

Before she moves.

“I bought a small house with a big patch in the middle of the backyard.  It’s all overgrown – used to be a vegetable garden.  I don’t know what to do with it.”

“Turn it back into a vegetable garden!,” I suggested.

Enthusiastically.

“It’s a lot of work,” she sighed.

“Do you have any brawn?,” I asked.

“Brawn?”

I pointed to my husband. “Yeah, you know, someone who can till the soil for you?”

“No,” she said, “I just divorced a sense of direction.”

There are ant hills in all the cracks in her patio at the new house.  Biting her ankles.  A gardening blog suggested pouring boiling water over them.

So she did.

“This is my confession,” she said.

She looked me in the eye and implored, “I’m giving you my confession.”

I gave absolution.

“Killing them with chemicals probably wouldn’t have been any easier on them.  At least the water isn’t toxic to you.”

“Or my neighbors,” she quickly added.

There it was. Absolution. She had already come up with her own.

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“Is that basil?” – she pointed to two healthy plants in the near trug.

“Yes, we’re having pizza tonight. Margarita pizza.”

“What time should I come over?,” she laughed.

I pointed out my black krim tomatoes.  “They make the best pasta sauce – such a great depth of flavor.”

She admired my trugs some more.

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“My husband built them for me,” I said.

“He builds and you make your own pasta sauce. A match made in heaven,” she chirped.

“Turn that patch back into a vegetable garden,” I insisted.

“It’s a lot of work,” she sighed.

“Make friends with some brawn. Do you cook?”

“Yes,” she looked puzzled.

“Make friends with some brawn – maybe a few – and then make a deal.  They prepare your soil and you cook them great meals from the bounty.”

The sun rose on her face.

She high-fived me.

“I have to go pack.”

She said as she breezed back down my driveway.

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And I felt strangely sad.

 

 

 

 

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life

A Successful Failure

I was a brand new blogger when I signed up for my first NaBloPoMo in 2014. I thought the challenge to extract something interesting out of every single November day might be fun.

It was fun. And it felt good to succeed.

Well done good and faithful blogger.

My daughter cringed. She said real bloggers don’t participate in things like daily prompts and NaBloPoMos. By real bloggers I assume she meant bloggers like Ann Voskamp and Glennon Doyle Melton.

I’m not a real blogger. I’m a real person who likes to blog.

So I signed on again in November 2015. My self-imposed assignment was to look at life through 1 inch frames.

Every day.

For 30 days.

Some of it was drivel, I confess, but again I met the challenge.

Success.

This year I thought NaBloPoMo would be a breeze since I wasn’t hosting my large family for Thanksgiving dinner as I had the previous two years.

So, again, I signed up.

I was clipping right along.

And then on Saturday, November 19 at 10 pm I had nothing to say.

I had been running on 5 hours of sleep/night for several weeks and I was profoundly tired. Profoundly tired.

Come on rally, I thought, you still have 2 hours.

But I couldn’t, I wouldn’t.

I thought about looking for something interesting to re-blog. But my fried brain started to whine and my fatigued eyes kept slamming shut.

I thought about re-posting one of my old posts. But whenever I scan old posts I can never find a good one.

I wanted to earn that swig of Gatorade. I wanted to give myself a last-day-of-the-month high-five. I wanted to, once again, be a NaBloPoMo success story. 3 for 3.

I ALWAYS rally. ALWAYS.

But that fateful and exhausted night I made the decision to be the boss of my blog and just let it slide.

And slide it did.

It slid for two more days down that slippery slope.

And once you’ve murdered one three day block, it’s easy to kill again.

I failed to post six times in all during NabloPoMo 2016.

And it feels like success.

Success because my affection for you, my dear blogging friends, won out over my desire for perfect attendance.

I spared you an excess of drivel and that feels right.

I can high-five that.

Makes me feel like a real blogger.

So long November.

#fadedglory

 

 

 

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Jesus, Light, the friends

Heartbroken, Hopeful & Grateful

They say a blogger shouldn’t go more than a week without posting.

This blogger went more than two weeks.

Forgive me.

Malaise.

Even though my shingles rash was small and only mildly itchy, even though it never blistered and it held no pain, it left me tired. Too tired to force the thoughts that were bouncing around my brain to coalesce – thoughts on politics, thoughts on the third chapter of John and a snake lifted high. Too tired to even read your posts.

Cancer.

Just as my energy and my brain returned, my little beagle coughed up blood. Blood and a hunk of tissue.

I threw the blanket onto which she coughed into the washer, put the hunk of tissue in a small container and put the beagle in the car.

The emergency animal hospital did a chest x-ray and saw a mass in her chest – in the caudal area behind her sweet little heart. I authorized an abdominal ultrasound. The tissue was sent off to a lab.

Two days later we were back at the hospital, this time in the oncology department for a CT scan. To determine whether the mass could be surgically removed.

It can’t.

The location of the mass, which is growing out of her lung into the space behind her heart, makes surgery too risky.

In the one week since she coughed, she’s been diagnosed, she’s had an acupuncture treatment and she has been started on Chinese Herbal Medicine, supplements to strengthen her immune system and an antibiotic for a lung infection.

Thoughts of politics and snakes on poles have been replaced with thoughts of cancer and grief. All my mental energy has been focused on decisions re: treatment options, measuring out doses and making sure she gets a walk every day to stimulate her immune system. But not too long a walk….

Today in church God spoke to me as we sang:

All the weak find their strength
At the sound of Your great Name
Hungry souls receive grace
At the sound of Your great Name
The fatherless they find their rest
At the sound of Your great Name
Sick are healed and the dead are raised
At the sound of Your great Name

I’ve been praying every day for my little friend, but I haven’t been praying over her. I haven’t been speaking His great Name to her. Now I will.

Not a single sparrow falls to the ground outside my Father’s care.

Jesus said so.

The great Name said so.

Likewise not a single beagle gets lung cancer outside His care.

He cared for her for however long she was alone on the streets, lost or abandoned.

He cared for her when some cruel monster riddled her cheerful little body with BBs.

He rescued her and He placed her in our home – with her 2 rotten teeth, swollen spleen, hepatitis and inflammatory bowel disease – to get her the surgery and medicine she needed. To envelop her in a family’s love. To strengthen her with home-cooked meals.

He cared for her then and He still cares for her now.

I am heartbroken, hopeful and grateful.

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Determined and watchful.

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Curious and intelligent.

 

#trust

#flickerofhope

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