“Twas a Dark and Stormy . . . ” Day!

We are in the middle of a storm front for the whole day. Don’t get me wrong, I love sunshine the best. But why be a Miss Grumpy Pants if it’s overcast? I’m glad for the lower water bills during this time of year, and God’s doing his best to water the grass and gardens that are drying and dying back for the fall season. With the thunder and lightening, Lexie has taken up residency in our oversized master bedroom closet, and Goldie? She’s between my feet and the base of my office chair. As long as Mom’s around, that noise doesn’t bother her. I woke to find her next to me during the night. Lexie was there when I fell asleep, and when Lexie retreated to the closet, Goldie plopped and cuddled.

Goldie, resting on my foot while I work. She doesn’t like thunder.

The Babe trekked up to the Post for some bookwork. I’m listening to Dayna Jones, a country singer/kindergarten teacher from Emery, South Dakota. I learned about her from our mutual friend, Jimmy Weber. I hope to meet her one day Both Dayna and Jimmy have performed with Martina McBride, whom I love! I heard her before she became a star; she toured with pianist Jim Brickmann in the 90s. She sang the song “Valentine.” Isn’t it beautiful? I love music even more on dark, dreary days. Dayna Jones has a couple CD’s out, which I really enjoy, also. This is a favorite. Gosh, Dayna, hope to meet you someday! You need to come to Omaha!

My handy, dandy Daily Meditation Book for ACOA (Adult Children of Alcoholics) has another perfect meditation for today, for the work I’m about to do during November. (NaNoWriMo – a National Novel Writing Month). It’s actually taken from the Bible, Ecclasiates to be exact.

“The race is not to the swift, not the battle to the strong.

Most battles are not won by overwhelming firepower. Any battle with addictions, weight control, low self esteem, self-loathing, take constant work. By working steadily, you will win the race. It’s why the turtle beat the rabbit, remember? Flash-bangs are dramatic, but just leave a smoldering hole in the ground. Some damage, but in the one spot. Battles of the mind are no different. Another phrase that applies here?

“Talk Doesn’t Cook Rice.” Chinese Proverb

As I look back on my life, I put my stock in too many people who talked without cooking anything! Except for the Babe. He is a totally honest man. He knows my insecurities, and where they come from, and he loves me anyhow. He never uses my weaknesses against me. That is love. He not only cooks rice, but he cleans the kitchen up afterwards. Thanks to his mama Liz for raising men who pitch in and do the work around the house. They cared for their younger sisters while she worked. I miss her a lot. She always made you feel welcome, and that you are important. She did that with kids, adults, everyone. I’m lucky to have had two great women for Mothers-in-Law. Josephine, my first MIL, kept in touch with me after the divorce. Bless her. When I met the Babe and later told her I was getting re-married, she was happy. “Is he your soul-mate?” How cool of her. She kept up to date on things happening in the world. A sweet woman who had a hard life.

The thing about these two very strong women is they worked very hard – one as a waitress, one as a food prepper. Both hard work, and standing on their feet all day, Josephine had to work on Christmas Eve back in the day, and often until the stores closed at 5 p.m. She was quite the bargain shopper, often finding a great buy for one of her numerous grandchildren, rushing home and wrapping it before everyone arrived. She loved seeing the kids on Christmas. It’s because of this mother of 7 that I started loving Christmas Eve again.

You see, in 1964, my grandfather died of a massive heart attack on Christmas Eve. We weren’t there, Mom claimed one of my brothers was sick. It took years and years to deal with that. It still is on my mind on that day. Yes, there will be a children’s book/book for families on that difficult topic. Learning how to handle such deep grief is important; it’s a story I need to share. Look for it next calendar year. My friend Jimmy Weber is collaborating with me, he wrote a song about losing his grandpa the same way, on Christmas Eve. Did I mention we were both 12 years old? I healed a lot when I heard his song/story. It was my story. That’s how our friendship started. What a treasure!

All these stories are connected, though distinctly different. The theme is the same, and so many different characters in each scene of my life provides the background for a blessed life. My thanks to you all for being here. The work is a little easier with support and friendship.

For today? More plotting the writing of 50K words during those 30 days of November. The Babe is happy I won’t be bugging him as much. He can watch all the football his mind can handle, flipping channels randomly as he snacks intermittently. Heaven! And I get to write. Gearing it up, and grateful for the opportunity. Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you tomorrow.

P.S. Also going back to Keto, maybe a relaxed version. Now that I’ve lost 45 pounds, I’m encouraged to keep going. After all, there are book signings in my future! Gotta be healthy and fit to do that. And looking forward to it. Visions of the Future, very motivating. Have a beautiful day, even if it’s rainy!

Tuesday Things

What a crazy time this is. I honestly cannot wait until this election is over. It will be time to separate myself from the noise again. They will harp on forever if one side loses. Yes, I’m thinking it could go on again the same way for another four years. Lord, help us!

I mentioned yesterday our son Blake is in town. He is protecting the rally tonight from danger. The crowd needs to protect themselves from COVID-19. It’s a hard call, because it’s a thrill to see the Babe’s eldest working an event like that, but it’s outside, and it will be far too cold for us to wait the time there is to wait. Gates open at 4:30, Event is from 7:30, Air Force One departs around 9 p.m.

We’re having lunch and visit with him later today, and visit some more. There is never enough time, it’s been probably a year and a half since we were together. I’ve also mentioned before how focused Blake is on the job, on the procedures and policies, fearless at changing what they must change. It’s been so outstanding to have a seat watching his amazing career. Only a few years until he can retire.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I’m happy to say this afternoon I will read more about Ellen Foster. It’s tragic at eleven years old, she’s seen more than her share of the seediness and evil of life. The sadness of living in a home like she did is overwhelming. She, however, takes it all in stride. She questions some ways of her family. How brave of her to do that. She sees so much more than a little girl should have to see. And she already knows how to make the world a better place.

One thing amazing about this book is the description of the abundance of luxury at the home of her new Mom, as she calls her. They may be regular items in homes, but to compare the palace to the outhouse of a house she lived in before, they are luxuries. She adjusts and does what she’s told. I almost wish she were an actual person whom you could interview as an aging person and ask her opinion of the world right now. I am assured you would receive quite an answer.

The books I have been reading reflect some of society at the time my mother was growing up. My mother was an only child for six years of her life until a sister was born. Grandma and Grandpa were childless for the first six years of marriage, and it sounds as if they had a hard time adjusting to being parents. To put it in today’s terms, they drank a lot. They met during the Roaring Twenties and had their courtship and married life in one of the poorer sections of Omaha. The neighborhood saw a lot of domestic abuse (today’s term for it), and an aunt told me if they lived in these times, the authorities would remove the kids from their home.

I did not see any of this behavior in my Grandparents. Never. They were kind people to their grandkids. Grandpa died when he was only sixty years old. I was twelve, and he died on Christmas Eve. A heart attack. Life was never the same with him gone. We had no more Grandfathers in my immediate family. Grandma had lots of regrets, and I think it was because she was pretty rough on Grandpa. Verbally. Physically, she was maybe five feet nothing; Grandpa was at least six feet tall, and they were quite a funny couple.

So, I understand they raise how different generations of the same family. Grandma sewing all four of the sisters’ clothing. She didn’t use patterns many times. She’d lay the fabric on the bed, then just start cutting. She’d go to her sewing machine and sew. Things always fit perfectly. Mom told me years later I approached dressmaking just like her mother did. “You just start whacking,” she said. I don’t know how you get it to turn out right.

Other things I’ve learned occurred often during the time my mother grew up (and her mother): During the times before and during the Great Depression, men often left their families to go to other states to find work. They left, leaving the family behind, promising to send for them when the man got to work and became settled. Some families never heard from the men again. It happened often.

Some men married and had another family. My Great Grandfather on my dad’s side did that. He left one state (we think he may have been fleeing a felony) and landed in Nebraska. He married and had ten children. My grandfather was the oldest. Great grandpa died and the older children had to go to the orphanage. That was a very common thing. My ex-husband’s grandfather lost his wife and twin girls to diphtheria, and some of his four kids went to an orphanage until he settled in Nebraska and got on his feet.

People of that era suffered. We have no room to complain about anything. If they could see us, I wonder what they, like Ellen Foster, would have to say? There’s a story idea! Wow. See how that happens? Excuse me while I make a few notes. I have a book of “someday topics.” They occur just like you experienced now.

Time to go meet a big, strong, smart man for lunch. Have a beautiful afternoon, despite the cold we have in Nebraska. Be Kind. Be Safe out There. Be Considerate. Be a Bright Spot in Someone’s Day. I double dog dare you! See you tomorrow. Wheels up!