39 Years and Counting

This week my hubby and I noted our 39th anniversary. 

1975 - Engagement year

As it approached, people asked, "Are you going to do anything special?  What are you going to do?"

The hubs and I discussed it as well.  We decided what we wanted to 'do' was nothing.

We 'do' a lot of stuff already.  He works ten-hour days as a manager; I'm a caretaker for my folks. We have a big house we're always trying to repair, or clean.  We have two cars that need maintenance.  We mow and run errands and take my folks to doctor appointments.  Most nights, we doze off watching the news.  Coming up with something else to 'do' just wasn't appealing.

We decided we'd go get a couple of soft serve ice cream cones and call it a day.

Then, Dad got sick, and things changed.  I took him for his first antibiotic infusion, and the hubs went to bed.  It was fine.  The next day my husband helped my dad take a shower, and then our daughter and I took the folks to Mass.  The hubs came home from the drug store with ten bottles of seltzer water for me (my choice of fluid these days - .99 a bottle), and I made him a pan of brownies.  We gave each other a kiss before I headed out the door to Dad's second infusion appointment.  It was a perfect anniversary weekend.  We didn't have to dress up, or overspend, or even stay awake.

We're moved with the Air Force eight times and raised three children (and a dog.)  We've invested in two weddings and buried four siblings.  We've 'done' a lot already.  In his down time, the hubs plays Angry Birds; in my 'free' time, I write.  And we're content with that.

At the 39-year mark, it's wonderful to have a guy who helps my dad bathe and brings me bottled water.  I pack his lunches and line-dry his L.L. Bean shirts to keep them crisp. These are the things we 'do.'

And it's really enough. 

Happy anniversary, babe.


15 Shades of Gray - part 5

I got my hair cut this week for the first time since I've been allowing my wisdom highlights to grow out.

If I turn my head to the left a bit, they're not too noticeable.  If I zoom into the mirror and check the top of my noggin....yep, there they are.

Still not crazy about the gray streaks, but I have to admit...it's not turning out as awful as I first imagined.

I colored my hair for twelve years, and the greatest trepidation about stopping was facing the natural (at this point) unknown color.  How gray was it?  Would it be more silver?  Would there be any brown/black tones left?  What the heck color was my hair anyway?

Now I know.  I'm happily surprised to see I'm not as fully gray as I expected.  Not that it should matter.  I'm doing this so I can face, and accept, whatever color my hair is.  It would have been fun to discover my hair was really fuchsia, but that didn't happen.

I'm also finding the hairs at my hairline are still mainly dark.  The hairs at my nape are mainly dark.  The top of my head, towards the back, is the lightest.  Maybe that's my halo sprouting.

As I get my hair trimmed, more of the dye job will disappear, and the wisdom highlights will become more dominant.  That's when I'll really know how this new do will fit my pale face.  AUGH!

So, I'm coming along on this journey of giving up the bottle.  Encountering other women who have done the same is inspiring.  Like Stacey.

I met her at the hair dresser's; she just received this cute cut.  She started dying her hair in her 20's.  She's delighted to be done with it.  "Go for it!" she said.  Her husband encouraged her, she told me.  I love stories like this!

While I'm waiting for my wisdom highlights to fully appear, I'm working on a few other things.  I cleaned out our son's old room, which had become a dumping ground for stuff I didn't know what to do with.  After a trip to the thrift shop with things I decided I could part with, I set up a crafting area.  Storing my various crafting supplies posed a problem.  I went to the thrift shop in search of a bookcase, and I came home with this.

A changing table!  It stores everything beautifully, and I can wheel it next to the table where I create masterpieces.  I love it.

The best part is that it was only $16.00!  Sometimes I hit a home run here in the Ballpark.

How's your week been?


Aging Gracefully with the 23rd Psalm

Friday, September 19, 2014

Aging Gracefully with the 23rd Psalm
by Dr. Sharon V. King
Inspirations Imprint

Can we talk about getting older? With another Baby Boomer turning 60 every 7.5 seconds, the “age wave” has captured the attention of such diverse fields as financial planning, cosmetics, medicine, and—religion. How does aging affect our spirituality? Does it deepen our relationship with God, or have decades of life’s roller coaster rides left us “spiritually challenged?”  Life after 50 can be particularly challenging for women because of the personal, social, and physical changes that naturally occur as we age. A rich spiritual life can help 50+ women gain perspective about their aging process and seek God’s guidance as they encounter the changes, challenges, and opportunities of later life.

Aging Gracefully with the 23rd Psalm applies some of the best-loved verses in scripture to a reflective study of ways women can grow in grace as they grow in years. The book format provides reflections on themes of aging found in each verse of Psalm 23, such as facing forks in the road; making fresh starts; resolving past conflicts; coping with social, personal, and physical changes; navigating through emotional transitions; processing loss and grief; and end-of-life planning. Illustrations of each theme follow, using biblical examples, vignettes from the author’s personal aging journey, a Takeaway Message from each psalm verse, suggestions for group discussion topics, and a journaling exercise to help the reader write a “Prayer Memo” to the Good Shepherd of the 23rd Psalm.

Release Date: January 27, 2015

Book Links:
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23236855-aging-gracefully-with-the-23rd-psalm

Author Bio:
Sharon is a class of ’69 Baby Boomer, a native of Pennsylvania, and now resident of Georgia.  The daughter of church musicians, she first worked as a music teacher and then turned her interests to writing about and working with older adults.A recently retired gerontology professor, Sharon now writes inspirational books and articles for 50+ women.

Website: www.yearsfullofgrace.wordpress.com
Twitter: @svk50plus


A Heavy Heart

I've been blogging in my head a lot lately, just haven't settled in at the computer to write down my thoughts.

Life has been sobering recently.  (Which implies I'm normally drunk, or high, so that is really a goofy statement.)  It's been stacked with serious issues that take some deep thought.

1.  Like ISIS, or ISIL, or whatever.  It's clear we are going to be dealing with these terrorists for quite a while. It's frightening.  

2.  Yesterday was the 13th anniversary of the 9/11/2001 terrorist attack.  This always makes me sad.

3.  UTIs.  I never knew a urinary tract infection (or 8) could cause such problems.

4.  Publication issues.  I'm a first-time author, and my brain is in constant turmoil about which direction to take my book, The 12 Days of Christmas Adventure.  I think about it so much, my brain feels like this.

Doesn't this give you a headache just looking at it?

5.  In addition, we received a letter today that our bank account was one of the many compromised in the recent Home Depot hack.  Ironic, as my husband is an operations manager for Home Depot.

Life is scary and sad and anxiety-ridden at times.  Sometimes, it makes me long for heaven.  Like, right now.

When I think of the horrors going on in the middle east, the beheadings, the kidnappings, the brutal taking of human life, it's more than I can stomach.  Please, come, Lord.  We clearly don't know how to get along.  Our hearts are so depraved and corrupt, we don't deserve the life you have given us.

When I take Dad to one more doctor, and we hear that he is becoming immune to antibiotics because he has had so many in the past year, my heart aches.  I pray, Lord, we need your peace and your guidance, because we are coming to the end of what medicine can do to kill a nasty bug called pseudomonas.

When I don't know which avenue (of several) to take with my book, I just do nothing, which is stupid, because then no progress is made.  Some days I just can't get past this.  So, I bake some cookies.  And eat too many.

When we get a second letter (my credit card was hacked a few months ago) that our finances have been compromised because some people are greedy, destructive thieves, I want to go back to the barter system.  You launder my clothes, and I'll make you cookies.  We can swap chores and resources, and forget the paper money and silver coins.  I might have had more peace of mind living on the Prairie next to the Ingalls.  

We just seem to be making such a mess of things.  Why can't we be kind, and respectful, and share?

I realize I'm not the first human to raise these questions.  And I know the answer, I just wish it was different.  I wish it was repairable.  But, as long as we have free will, there will be messes and hatred and disease.  It's the price we pay for freedom. 

So, it's not a dilemma I can solve.  But, how God must grieve for how we live.  The people we destroy, the opportunities we waste, the gifts we squander, it's all so ruinous.

For the past couple of weeks, I've been taking a little wooden cross with me to bed at nights.  It's shaped to fit in the grip of a hand. 

I talk to God as I grow sleepy and ask Him to help me see things from His view.  He sees all the details of everything, and only He can assure me that, no matter what, He's got His hand on me.

Money will come and go, America will always have enemies, my parents will (probably sooner than later) pass from this life, and my book may never leave my computer.  I need to remember this life is temporary.  I need to hold all things lightly, because all things come to pass.  They don't come to stay.   

In the end, injustices will be righted, and goodness will be rewarded.  And whatever I can do to walk justly and humbly with my God is all I can do.  It's all I can do.