Saturday, June 27, 2015

I Miss Them Like Crazy

Last summer, my daughter-in-law applied for a job at a church much closer to where we live. So close, in fact, that it's the same church that my dad attends. After several months of prayer and a lengthy interview process, she got the job!

I was ecstatic. While the new position meant they would live closer to us, it meant they would need to move because the commute would be too much for someone on their income.

As I prayed for the job to be hers if it would be God's will, I told God that if this job was the right fit for her then, He would need to take care of it all for them. Matt would need a job, too They would need an affordable place to live, they would need a place at which to stay if they couldn't find a place to live right away...and so on and so forth. I wanted to lay it all at his feet for what better place could it be?

They moved in with several month's afterwards with the understanding that it would be just for 3 or 4 months. Matt could help around the house with manly chores and pitching in with me when mom needed to just kick back. Let's just say this...some days were diamonds, some days were stone. Tuesday nights we instituted family dinner in which we would all eat together. Everyone was supposed to pitch in with the meal and with the clean up...except for mom and Ashley whom it seemed as if they were always doing more than their fair share. But hey, it worked and when they moved out at the beginning of this month, we were all still talking to one on another.

For a while, it looked like they were going to stay here indefinitely and suddenly just as quickly as they moved in, they were moving out. One weekend they went to look at a place and the next moment, Matt is telling me they will likely be moving in there. The next week, Matthew has three job interviews, the last one he accepts an offer and he's working there in less than a week. I'm praising God, after all, this has everything we asked for from God and more.

The best part of this whole thing was getting to spend time with my two little grandchildren. When I say quality time, I mean quality time. It was so sweet to have them want to come show me how some toy worked or tell me some goofy joke. At times the noise and squabbly got to be too much, but now that they are away, I miss them like crazy.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Beauty of the Patio

At this moment I'm sitting at our patio, the air wafting past me, gently my hair flutters about as if being combed by God's fingers. Wind chimes are calling attention to anyone who cares to listen. sharing the secrets of the birds who have been passing gossip all day long. Added to the lovely melody is the sweet fragrance from what's left of the flowers and plants that the barbarians disguised as gardeners haven't hacked away. Yet.

I am in Heaven.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Going to Do it Anyway

I miss having my camera by my side, being able to quickly or methodically being able to pick it up, capturing a moment in life that calls to the deepest crevices in my heart.

Hoping and praying someday soon I'll be able to shoot with ease again. If not, it's time for me do it anyway even if it's not easy.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Happy Endings

The Prodigal Charm Bracelet

It's been MIA for over a year. I didn't dare say this to anyone else, but as the weeks and months passed by I was beginning to lose hope that I would ever see it again.

Even as doubt began to creep in, I still refused to say the bracelet was lost. This wasn't just any old bracelet, though as one of my oldest pieces of jewelry, it was getting up there in years. This was my charm bracelet. The one dad bought for me one foggy day in San Francisco thus beginning decades of collecting pretty sterling silver momentos of the places we traveled to or lived in. Between the sentimental value, the added cost of each charm, and cost of travel, the bracelet definitely had a "priceless" quality to it.

For these reasons and more it was difficult to admit it was likely lost forever. For all intents and purposes I said the bracelet was missing. I was so sure at the beginning that the bracelet would miraculously appear...Under the bed amidst the dust bunnies on the floor...In one of the many trinket boxes cluttering my room...Tucked under the driver's seat of my little VW bug, along with the quarters, candy and gum wrappers that cluttered the floor...Jammed into the desk drawer that houses all the junk that you don't want to throw away, yet doesn't have a good home in the house...hanging out in the wet bar sink that has only been used as a storage bin for junk mail, bobby pins, cellphone charges and other devices...My list of places to look could go on and on.

Each place I methodically combed thru came up charm bracelet, no sign of any charms. After all the years of collecting the silver replicas of the places we visited, it was hard to let go and resign myself to the fact that it was likely gone. Gone for good. Gone for bad. Gone. Gone. Gone.

My heart knew it. My mind knew it, but I couldn't bring myself to admit it out loud because once I did, all bets were off and my words would make it so. Gone forever. So I did the only thing I could do. I pretended to myself not to care which was a bold faced lie. I also pretended to be would show up at the least unexpected moment.

I also prayed to God that if were not too much trouble, could he lead me to my bracelet? After all, if there was one thing I knew for sure it was that God knew exactly where my charm bracelet was. If it was in some obscure place in my room, or stuffed into some box of junk we didn't know what do with, he would reveal it when the time was right.


I had only misplaced my charm bracelet once before which is surprising because I have a bad habit of subconsciously taking off my jewelry and putting the jewelry down without any thought which has resulted in the loss of many other bracelets, rings, earrings and necklaces. But my charm bracelet? Never! It had too much sentimental value for me to be so careless with it.

It was one of the first "real" pieces of jewelry I owned. Dad bought it for me one foggy day 40-years ago in San Francisco. What made him decide to do it, I'm not sure. All I know is we walked into a little store located on the crowded streets as we walked from Fisherman's Wharf to Pier 39 and we came out with a glistening silver bracelet, with a glistening clover shaped charm firmly attached. With all our travels, it was a perfect gift. Soon the links were filled with charms in the shape of the state in which we visited or some other sightseeing wonder. I mourned the loss of the Colosseum which we bought during my first visit to Italy and the Leaning Tower of Pisa which represented my second and likely (though I hope not) last trip to Italy.

It felt like a dream when I received a call from my baby girl last December asking me to "guess what". What? What? What?  Guessing games are difficult as well as annoying when one is woken up from a deep sleep with no clue of where to begin. After a few failed attempts, she took pity upon me and agreed to give me a hint or two.

Her first hint gave me enough of a clue that I was afraid to guess what I wanted to guess. "You've been looking for it for a long time now." I was afraid I would cry if I was wrong. Where was my confident hope that I always laid claim to.

"You found my charm bracelet?!?" I braced myself, closing my eyes as she answered with a yes that was too good to be true. Surely she was pulling my leg. I waited for the punchline. Only there wasn't. After all that time, it turned out my bracelet was hidden tight in a crevasse of my car. Stuck in a little compartment between the back passenger seats and the trunk. A compartment we never ever used. A compartment I don't believe I never ever even opened.

For some obscure reason, Brie decided to open the compartment and feel around the perimeter when her hand came upon a cloth Brighton bag. It had to feel like a miracle when she opened the drawstrings and there was my charm bracelet glistening hello. It felt like one to me when she brought it to my room later that night.

My tears flowed. I love happy endings

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Why I have Hope

Where have I been? I wish I had a good, true story to tell, such as I caught a fast plane to France and have been writing with Hemingway, painting with Van Gogh while indulging in thick, creamy cups of hot chocolate chased by warm pieces of fresh baguettes topped with rich, fresh butter. All the while not worried at the least about the number of calories being consumed because I'm in the city of light and love, which means all the walking and metro rides are doing their part in consuming my calories.

How I wish I were the person living life as described above. If I knew then what I know now, would my life be any different? I want to think yes! It's far better than writing about the last few setbacks that I encountered which created not just a serious case of writer's and creativity block at a time when I felt I was running on eight cylinders, but also laid me up in bed for longer than I care to admit.

But, the setbacks are not what I want to spend my time writing about. They already consumed up too much of my life. What's worse is it's time I can't get back as much as I want to. I also don't want to spend time writing about the things I've been doing for the last two weeks even though it makes me believe the winter in my brain is finally thawing out. Time will be show the truth.

What I do want to do is thank God. For the fact that during all of this, He held on to my righthand and never let go. He was there before me, next to me and behind me, every step of the way never forsaking me, never forgetting me, no matter how much I whined. No matter how much I felt like throwing in the towel.

God is so good. All the time, God is good.

That's why I have hope.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Christmas Magic

Since I'm not sure how much time I'm going to be holed up in my room this Christmas, I decided to invest in some Christmas magic. I don't know that mom understands. On one hand, she complains and makes faces whenever we discuss Christmas decorating. Yet, on the other hand, she encourages the children at times to add more to the mess.

The True Magic of Christmas...The Birth of a Child who was and is our King

For example, on Monday night when Max, Mason and Aurora were decorating the tree, someone asked if we should get more bulbs for the tree. Trying to be considerate of mom, I suggested that perhaps we had enough. Mom disagreed and thought we should continue to add more. I was surprised and mentioned that I thought it may be good to minimize the number of bulbs as would make clean up easier when Christmas was over.

A similar incident happened when we were pulling out the mugs. I wasn't about to argue about that one at all!

The First Christmas Mug of the Season!
When mom brought me my coffee yesterday, I swear it tasted even better because it was served in a beautiful Christmas mug.

It was just what I needed to get into the Christmas Spirit. Now if I can just bake some goodies. That would take the cake!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

A Dream Come True

It was a dream come true. Breakfast at the Storyteller Cafe with the family and a crew of fuzzy wuzzy Disney Characters. It wasn't Mickey, Goofy or even Donald who can be found at Goofy's Kitchen at the Disneyland Hotel, but in many ways it's better.

Blurry but better than nothing

The Storyteller Cafe has Baloo, Chip and Dale and a few other second class citizens that most of us aren't familiar with. Does it matter? Not to M1, M2 and A1. In many ways, the experience at the Cafe is better than the kitchen. The characters spend more time with the guests and the children didn't seem the least bit disappointed that Mickey and Pluto were no where to be found.

M and Brother Bear...At least we think it's Brother Bear

On top of that, there is the game of "Follow the Leader" in which the characters dance around the dining room with the children in tow, after which they do the Hokey Pokey and a few other old time favorite songs. The whole thing is simply magical. It's what Disney does best...making the experience top notch and worth every penny that is spent there.

Shar and me enjoying the sunshine at the Lego store

The added bonus? The food was plentiful and delicious and the service outstanding.

Breakfast of Champions

The best thing about the morning? Spending it with my family. What a fun time we had.

Disney glasses are the cutest!