I admitted that I finally realized that I walk to a different drummer. Over the last 25 years, since my father passed, I learned that I have crossed a bridge — I DON’T WANT TO GO BACK. Remembering when I was young, I wanted to be normal. The scars from the fire were very prominent and I had a hard time making friends. I don’t know if I ever was normal, I know I’m not now. AND I’M EXTREMEMLY GRATEFUL.
Over the last 25 years, I have received “help” from “my friends in high places.” I have become better at acknowledging their “help.” The second book I wrote JOURNEY WITH ME contains 29 stories of the lessons I’d learned. I have been writing this blog for over 5 years. Well over 400 thought rambles, each describing a “new” experience.
Why am I going on and on about this? Good question. This time I have an answer. January 6, Epiphany,
“Little Christmas” I planned to meet my youngest daughter at the airport to transfer her dogs who had kept us company for a week. I phoned the airline, actually spoke to a person because the computer could not find the flight. Disconnecting from the call, I checked to make sure the cell phone had kept the phone number. A message crossed the screen: “Jesus calling. I am Your Lord! Trust me. ” There were a few more words to finish the sentence but they disappeared quickly and I COULD NOT FIND THEM AGAIN. “AMAZED. BEWILDERED. DUMBFOUNDED.” There are no words to express my feelings. HOW? WHY? WHAT?
To say that it made an impression on me is an understatement. Since my husband joined my team at the end of October, my life has become even more interesting. Evidently he learned that I REALLY need “their help.” And he is up to the job. As much as I’m trying to be strong, I’m floundering.
Yesterday, I discovered a black and white cutout of a picture of my husband and our dog resting on his chest, on top of a purse. ?? Where did it come from? I was happy to find it.
Today from a stack of CD’s, I randomly picked “Alone In IZ World.” Brought back good memories. My first trip to Hawaii and Kawai was with my husband. We went to Pearl Harbor. His oldest brother was on one of the ships, thankfully surviving the attack. At 4:00 AM a rooster woke me to greet the sun. My husband got sea sick sitting in a restaurant watching the waves. I discovered IZ’s world. His songs have greeted me each time I have returned to Hawaii. The album contains “Over The Rainbow.” It also contains “In this Life I was Loved By you.” Popcorn tears! The album ends with IZ’s reflection on how important oxygen is to life and his embarrassment in connection to the tank.
Loss is a hard feeling to deal with. Especially when the person who has crossed over is very close to your heart. I am EXTREMEMLY LUCKY. When my father passed over more than twenty years ago, he sent me a message that he remembered me. I was alert enough at that time to recognize it. And that has made all the difference. Now I’ll admit that my mother has probably been active in my life for many years. But she was skilled in her activities. My father is skilled too, BUT IT WAS IMPORTANT TO HIM THAT HE LET ME KNOW HE WAS FINE.
I wrote once that I’ve crossed a bridge. Over the years I have received many lessons from my “spirit team.” I have detailed many of those experiences in my book JOURNEY WITH ME. In fact I was reminded of the book recently when I sent an e-mail to my family, giving them homework — to read a chapter a day or a week –to remind them how spirit interacts with our lives. Their grief was very visible.
Thankfully my husband also sent me a message after he passed. Thankfully he is often with me at home and when I am out and about. I recently crossed paths with a gentleman who is 102. He was shopping at the store, not using a cane or a motorized cart. He wants to live to be 105. That same day I met a woman who is taking care of her handicapped husband. They watched a movie together and he laughed. He thanked her. He was glad that he could still laugh. We talked for a short while. During the conversation she told me she saw her deceased father sitting in the back of a car. I saw the spirit of a dog who had recently passed run through our house but I don’t normally see things. I don’t “see” things when I meditate either. My daughter confirmed that I’m not visual.
I like to have presents under the tree for my family for Christmas. They don’t need to be large or expensive, just a little surprise. I wanted a present for our son. Nothing called his name when I was looking for a gift. He had already announced that neither of us needed anything. And he is right! That doesn’t solve my problem! Until my husband went shopping with me and I found the perfect present. It would have been perfect for my husband if he was still alive. Hopefully it will be perfect for my son.
When my husband was alive, shopping was NOT his favorite activity. Especially when I wanted to visit many stores. I don’t know if his feeling for shopping has changed but I love RECOGNIZING HIS HELP.
QUEST FOOTNOTE: I took a photo of the NEW, GREEN MOTORCYCLE ornament I bought for my husband. I tried to share the find with my family. I sent the photo in TWO messages. Neither of the photos were received. I took a photo of the motor cycle hanging under an angel with a trumpet announcing his ride. That photo was received.
In a recent trip to Costco I discovered The New Frontier cookbook by Ree Drummond. It is my practice to open a new cookbook at random and see if the recipe fits into my style of cooking. To be honest, I have no idea what recipe I opened to. I put the book back down because it didn’t have nutritional information. Before I left the store, the book was not only back in my hand, but in my cart leaving the store. I had noticed that she had MANY photos showing the steps.
Did I NEED to see the steps in making the recipes? I didn’t think so but I was intrigued. And I am so glad that I did. Two of her daughters are no longer at the evening meal each night. Her household has shifted to mostly male, growing teenage boys. My household has also changed. For many years I cooked the meals that my husband liked — meat and potatoes, no salad and very few vegetables. Now the world is my oyster.
Since my husbands passing, I have made three oriental recipes. More are on the pipeline but the traditional menu for Thanksgiving put a hold on my experimenting. Thankfully my son is more willing to try new foods. He even suggested that I didn’t need to peel the potatoes when frying them. I’ve discovered that red potatoes work better than rustics. Onions don’t need to be diced as small. I can even add peppers.
Have I mentioned that I like to read cookbooks. This one fits right in. Ree introduces each recipe with a short thought ramble. It has already reminded me of many cooking adventures in my life.
I decided that I would only read two recipes a morning in the new book. It was a good choice. I have started my day with laughter many times. I’m almost finished with breakfast. I have to admit that many of the recipes will be a challenge. They are designed for from 6 to 8 servings. I’ll either have to cut the ingredients or freeze the leftovers.
I originally thought that I would write a thought ramble about what I had accomplished this year. That thought changed to missing — but this is not going to be a ramble of the people and companions that I’m missing. Instead it is going to be about the parts of my body that have changed, because of age or negligence. This is in no particular order. One part is no more important than the other.
I’m missing my memory. It is most aggravating when I’m speaking and my voice freezes. I CAN NOT find the word that I want to say. Or I lose my train of thought. Since my father had Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss plays a part in my life. I know it is not a concern when I head off to get something, arrive at the location and have no idea what I came for. I have found that if I stay for a minute or two, remain calm, the purpose usually returns. I miss being able to remember what I planned to buy at the store. Writing a list helps. I miss being able to remember the food I have cooked, how often I’m repeating the same foods. I miss being able to remember good times that I have had. Writing thought rambles help as does writing things down in my calendar.
I miss my height. I haven’t measure it, but I think I’ve lost two to three inches. Cabinets that I could reach are no longer possible. The step I purchased to help my grandchildren reach the sink now has a new purpose — to HELP ME! I’m learning that I need to pull out the step stool more often or use a ladder. I have rearranged some of the cabinets — at home and at the camper — to make it easier. Clothes that fit fine are often too long.
I miss my sight. I used to be able to thread a needle. Now I have a number of glasses. Trying to determine which one to wear for a task is becoming a challenge. I LOVE my trifocals for driving and shopping in the store. I DO NOT like them for reading or cooking or painting. My eyes don’t seem to be able to easily adjust to the task at hand. I have a new pair of reading glasses. I always pick the lens that will allow me to read the smallest print. The glasses don’t work well for working on the computer because of the distance involved.
I miss my energy. In days gone by, evening was when I accomplished a lot. I could easily weed the garden, clean the house and other routine tasks without a problem. Now I know that whatever I want to do must be done in the morning. By early afternoon I’m lucky if I have the energy to make supper. Naps help — so does the slow cooker.
Thankfully I still have most of my hearing. Thankfully my health is good. We won’t talk about the weight issue or the trouble with my knees. I’ll soon be 75. Not too bad for an aging Dame!
My father passed over more than 25 years ago. He is still very active in my life. My mother passed over when I was four, she still helps me. I wasn’t aware of her help until my father let the cat out of the bag. I think the story is in Journey With Me. Until my father was afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease, I thought I led a normal life. Since I have experienced their “help” on many occasions, I’m more aware.
Last Monday the large locust tree was removed from our back yard. The roots were strangling it and part of the tree had died. The loss of the tree meant that our west facing windows would be exposed to the sunshine ALL afternoon. In the summer those rooms would get very hot.
I like to shop at Aldi’s. I pick up the sales sheet for the next week when I’m in the store. I was very happy when I saw the announcement of energy saving curtains. Since we have an older home, our windows are LARGE. No matter the size of the curtains, I’m confident we can make them work. It will help keeping out the winter cold as well as the summer heat.
Also on the Aldi’s sale sheet was a pressure cooker. I have one at home and find it helpful. Having one at the camper would come in handy when the temperature climbs. Most of my cookbooks are at home. Thankfully I had just purchased a new one — Lose Weight — when we were home. I didn’t have time to investigate so it accompanied us to the camper. I have found a few recipes that I want to try.
Our oldest grandson, with his wife stopped by at the camper on their way to Colorado. They were able to spend a few relaxing days with us until they continued their trip. My radar must have been working. I spotted them fishing at the lake when I returned from town. His wife had caught 4 fish, he had caught 14. Thankfully they had returned the fish to the water so I didn’t have to clean them. Neither of them had the experience cleaning fish.
There is a new buffet out in the country — Pizza Ranch. I LOVE pizza, my husband DOES NOT! Plans were made with our youngest daughter’s family to try the ranch. I severely limited sodium that day to partake in PIZZA. Stopping in the bathroom, I was able to lend an arm to an elderly woman who was having trouble walking. I took her purse and lent her an arm until we reached her male companion.
I have said “Thank You” many times during the past few days.
Walking Robin in the early morning in the country, I had a unusual experience. The morning was cool, I needed a jacket. I felt like I had stepped back in time to a morning when our children were small. I was trying to cook breakfast on a two burner propane stove outside of our apache pop up camper in the country. I wasn’t skilled. It took me a long time to make breakfast. Just for a short moment I felt I was there.
Later in the day, I had a similar experience. Years later, I was preparing to can green beans or tomatoes. Standing at the stove, pressure cannier ready, jars ready for filling. Caps and tops in hot water. I still have ALL my equipment — pressure canneries, jars, caps. I’m not quite ready to get rid of them.
I have read of people who have had similar experiences. Normally these are not a part of my life. Remembering, I often think of various experiences but I don’t feel as if I am experiencing them again. One was unusual. Two — I can’t comment. I think I was puzzled but not scared.
I NEVER felt my age, to be honest, I didn’t remember how old I was. Sadly time has changed that. I don’t know if it is because of the trouble I’m having with my joints and other body parts. I don’t if it because of my weight. Many articles are currently appearing on the benefits of a vegetarian diet. I’m happy for those who are able to do that. I like most vegetables and enjoy some vegetarian dishes. I have learned that my body NEEDS MEAT! After my children were born, I requested Italian Beef sandwiches.
I recently fell. Thankfully I didn’t break anything. I might have stressed certain body parts. They are making their presence known. We had a small, personal table on our deck. I was placing a dogs collar on it when it collapsed, putting me off balance. After a few forward steps, I collapsed, face down. I didn’t break anything. THANK YOU, LORD.
Since my fall I’m craving beef. Hamburger, steak — doesn’t matter. Evidently there is something in the beef that my body NEEDS. I have had pork, chicken, cheese and beans. Plenty of protein. Doesn’t matter. I’m reminded of the commercial “Where’s the Beef”.
We came home from the camper on Tuesday. We weren’t home very long — maybe a half hour when our phone rang. It was a person that I have known for many years but don’t speak to often. I was happy that I was at home to talk to her.
Wednesday morning, I found a cookbook published in 2004 at our campground. A new one is being compiled this year and I was curious what recipes I had shared before. Looking through the cookbook, I found four recipes that I had submitted. One recipe for chocolate frosting I had forgotten. One recipe I had resubmitted. I also found many recipes submitted by friends who no longer camp there. One written for a rum cake brought laughter.
Back in the city, I had shopping to do. While I was at the store I overheard a woman mention she wanted to wait for the mother of a child that she had taught in school many years ago. She recognized the child. When I asked how she knew the child, she mentioned she had a good memory, the mother had posted pictures on Facebook.
Leaving the store, I passed a younger gentleman who asked me how I was, addressing me by name. He used my name two more times. Evidently he knew me. His face was vaguely familiar but I couldn’t place him. I mentioned that he looked familiar but I didn’t know where I knew him. He told me that he knew me from Unique, a clothing store that has been gone for more than 10 years. I did not work at the store, although I probably shopped there often. My memory is not what it used to be. I was surprised that he remembered me.
Later that evening, I found an exercise DVD that I had searched for at the camper and at home unsuccessfully. I also found two books that I had forgotten. Both books will go out to the camper for reading when the temperature climbs again.
While we were still at the camper, I realized I had NOT planned meals. The summer before, I had used our slow cooker often, keeping the heat outside. Making the supper when I had energy in the morning, having supper ready at night when I was tired.