Thursday, November 29, 2012

Bon Writing

Another quick post to let you know I'm still alive and writing. Under twelve thousand to go in two days. I kept at it last evening, until my eyelids started hooding my eyes. Katie advised me, "Go to bed. Take a break."
True, I didn't know how to end the scene, I just kept writing. This is a crazy way to write, but it does keep one motivated. One of my writing buddies e-mailed me encouragement. She had seen people come back from further than I was behind.
So this is a day of extreme writing. I have so much more to say in this story, but for the word count, I finish at fifty thousand. Then I continue and revise. That will be fun, too.
I hope when I finish to be a municipal liaison next year. Many goals. I want to encourage writing.
So bon writing.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Joy of Writing

I am pleased with my NaNoWriMo writing this month, even though I have been behind since day three. The writing has taken a turn different than I had planned, but as with all expression, my feelings are being explored. I need this more than I thought.
I may rewrite this novel totally differently next month as I go back to what I intended. Or I may leave it basically as is. I just know now I have to finish by Friday evening at midnight. I want this task under my belt this year.
I would like to start a writing group in this area or be the municipal liaison in a Shenango Valley region. The first goal of finishing must be accomplished. If it is not, the writing has been fun and enlightening. I love writing fiction. Through characters I can explore varying emotions and thoughts, plus write out song lyrics to play in my head all night long. I am always amazed at how it fits together, themes and symbols without me planning it out completely. Back to frenzied writing. Oh, and cleaning and meetings and walking the dog sometime in this snow.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

First Snow

I wasn't sure what to write about and the snow came. I could write about that I thought. The first snow and even as adults, we feel a magic with first snow.
Then as I checked Face Book, the History Channel posted that today in 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald was shot. So from nothing I wanted to share to two topics, here we go.
Danny always stayed home with me during church when I was little because he didn't like church and I didn't like nursery.  We did go to Sunday School. We still lived down Main Street in the house that isn't there any more. The church isn't there any more, either. An alley separated our house from the church. I saw the time on the post as 12:20 PM. I'm wondering now if that were Eastern or Central.
My mom told the story that as they entered the house from church, Danny greeted them, excited by the event he witnessed on TV, "Jack Ruby just shot Lee Harvey Oswald."
I remember dreaming about Jack Kennedy. He was in a tall, institutional green room. Somehow I knew he was dead in my very young mind. Not sure if I really knew what dead was, but I just remember seeing him.
I dreamed of my grandfather after his death, too, of him being in a heavenly choir, with glowing white robes and gold shining background. Funny because I don't really remember him singing and he definitely didn't go to church or sing in a choir at church. He had a wonderful Welsh voice, even took singing lessons with Dana School of Music. But I think my young mind wanted to think of him in Heaven.
Now, back to some fun stuff of childhood. The first snow of the season. To wake and see even a dusting for the first time in late fall filled this child with wonderment and excitement. When I was about four,  a heavy frost thrilled me. Children in the North equate snow with Christmas. That must be why we secretly love to see the first snow, even as adults. I like it now, if I can sit on my couch and not drive in it.
We loved it in seventh grade because we still were allowed to walk on the hill beside the school for changing classes. This saved much time, rather than jostling through the halls if you had gym or study hall in the auditorium, and the next class was in the junior high wing. Getting through those halls in four minutes seemed almost impossible to new seventh graders. The hill provided a wider space and we got fresh air. Late November, the snow, fluffy and light, fell on one of the last days we could be outside. We jumped and skipped, relishing the fun of snow.
First snow, how lovely. It covers the dullness of barren trees as the sun grows weaker. Our sins are covered, too, with the blood of Jesus and as the Bible, says, then we are whiter than snow. Could that also be why we thrill inwardly at first snow? Even if we don't realize the forgiveness of Jesus? As it ushers in the Christmas season, where I believe the world is open to the giving personality of the Holy Spirit, the snow symbolizes forgiveness, too. A new start, open your heart to Jesus this Christmas season. Rejoice in Him, as a child rejoices in the first snow.

Monday, November 19, 2012


My NaNoWriMo writing is coming along well. I am behind, but feel I'm doing better than last year. It is such a strange way for me to write, though. I think I'm inclined to take the Ernest Hemingway style of writing. I read he re-read every day what he had written. I guess that is living in the story.
I'm reading Farewell to Arms, now. I got the version with all his re-writes and different endings. His style influenced me in high school when I had to read this novel for eleventh grade English with Mr. Yarian. Not only my writing, but I think in my understanding of men and love, at least this man's view of women. The choice of the nurse's name, Catherine, built on my love of the name. I chose to spell it with a 'K' in reference to my dad's Aunt Kate. He spoke fondly of her.
So as I'm rereading this novel, I see where he used a lot of dialogue, which I tend to do in my fiction as well. Conversation keeps the story going reflecting what the characters are thinking, to some extent.
I'm over half way toward the goal. I hope to catch it up some these next few days. Last evening I wrote over three thousand words. I had planned on writing more during the day, but my body told me I needed a Sabbath.
Interesting I was reading the Ten Commandments retold by Moses in Deuteronomy, this morning. This special day of rest will remind you that I reached out my mighty arm and rescued your from slavery in Egypt. 5:15. CEV.  The Sabbath was to be kept to remind the Israelite people of their deliverance from Egypt. They were to reflect on that fact on the day of rest. I think now we should take that day to reflect on our deliverance from sin, that is was through no work of our own. We need to rest in that knowledge.
But now every chance I get, I'm writing my novel, Summer Triangle. The first, frenzy version. The inner editor has to sleep on it, till December.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Last to Go is Gold

Hawk taking flight

There is definitely a beauty in November sunshine, a starkness, the landscape stripped of color, except for a few spots of fading hues. The atmosphere is anemic. The sunlight is weak and short. But as it streams through a window, the warmth comes with it. The car is warm, fooling a person into thinking he doesn't need a coat. Enjoy my pictures of some of the sunny days we've had this month.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Arts from Elementary to High School and Beyond

A week of the arts at Hermitage School District, where everyone is so appreciative of the cooperation the administration gives the arts here. They do realize that children learning music, drama, and art adds untold richness to their education, starting in the early years and continuing to their senior year and beyond.
Some school board members attended the Band Banquet on Sunday evening. The principal sent a letter, read by Mr. Garay, the band director. He commended the band for not only their performance, but also their involvement in civic activities, and asked them to invite their friends to join the band. That day after a late night at a football play off game, they marched most likely two miles in a Veteran's Day parade. They will again play for a play off game this Saturday, then march in the Hermitage Light Up parade in the evening. I'm glad the weather will be excellent for them.
The senior class production, Play On, is complicated about a community theater's disastrous rehearsals and  opening night, with almost repeating lines, and quickness in the dialogue. These young adults execute it perfectly.  Because they are playing actors in parts, they switch from American accents to British, in one character and then another. They have been practicing for a couple months with determination. I know I have lived with the director in the play for the past months-hint she's my youngest daughter, who has been a bit difficult to live with. She has been in character, even down to us only having the one car.
Yesterday, my oldest daughter and I attended a second grade classroom's musical production. My great niece sang and performed instruments with her classroom. My niece stuck at work, couldn't attend. These public displays lay the ground work for what we saw last night and the musical in the spring. They start them early being on stage in front of admittedly at first a very loving audience of moms, dads, little brothers and sisters, grandparents, aunts and cousins. They are learning to read music, memorize words to songs, and dance, move to music. They also are pretty darn cute.
The Artman also invites the kindergarten to these classroom spectacles on stage, so they learn to be a polite, appreciative and engaged audience. The arts achieve a high standard in the school district.
And to not think it stops when they graduate, I sat with the mother of a boy who graduated in the spring. She had just attended her son's musical at Ohio State University. She remarked how much he has improved because of his training at Hermitage schools. Now that musical is done, he's auditioning for Hairspray, where he will actually get paid to perform.

The beginning of reading music

I'm so appreciative of the school district my children attend. Sure, it has some set backs, but none are perfect. I pay more in taxes here in the city, but look at what we get. Excellent school district, emphasis on the arts, athletics and most importantly, academics. One school board member told me, they try to keep the school taxes down, but in this case, I'm happy to pay because of the return of excellence in the students that starts in the early years and goes beyond high school.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Simply Being Together

It's funny how I miss my mother, but not what she could do for me. I miss her presence. I just miss being with her. I was thinking more of the last years she was on this earth, when she couldn't take me out to lunch, couldn't give me money for one of my daughter's activity. In a way, she couldn't do anything for me, but love me. I didn't even need to tell her my troubles or worries.
With her living in a skilled nursing facility, there really was nothing I needed to do for her, either. I couldn't investigate the care, because she didn't complain. I didn't need to do that as her care was loving and excellent. I didn't have to fill pill boxes for her. I didn't have to worry if she dropped pills on the floor. She was bathed and fed. Someone was always there for her.
I could visit her, loving her. We didn't even need to talk sometimes. Just sit together. In the early years there, I could take her for rides. She loved to ride by the old Thompson farm, through Coolspring Township where she spent her summers growing up. She was content to go anywhere and we just loved being together.
I think in a way this is what God wants from us. He wants to sit with us. He eagerly blesses us at times, but I think He prefers when we come into His presence only to be with Him. We don't want anything from Him and He requires no service from us. We are simply together.
When is the last time you were comfortable simply sitting together with someone you loved? When is the last time you just did this with God?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

More on Rest

Last week after the time change as I was driving Mary Ellen to school, I headed down the hill facing east. The sunrise had occurred, with a bright morning glow. I thought of learning to rest in God.
Eight years earlier after a struggle through ten months of more changes than I thought I could handle, I quit my job. I had more time in the morning. Katie, in high school, took the bus, because she didn't want to be late. She could sleep on the dark fall mornings on the bus before arriving at school. Her bus came at six twenty. Mary Ellen in elementary school, didn't leave until eight thirty.
In February of that year, 2004, my mother had fallen and broken her hip, as well as her right wrist. Rehab and recovery were slow to the point that she never returned to her apartment. The end of March, my stay at home husband received a call from Lockheed Martin to work at the Tobyhanna Depot six hours away in the Poconos. This was a Tuesday and if his urine test proved he didn't do drugs, he was to start on that next Monday. Less than a week to prepare. We couldn't even go with him. He had no place to stay. The old station wagon broke down on the way there in Dubois or Clearfield. His dad helped him out, lending him their truck.
A long summer I continued working some distance from my home in eastern Ohio. I accepted a position within my company that in theory would keep me in one county and hopefully, mostly in one town of Cortland. That was the theory but I was not allowed to get off call. We went round and round, but instead of fighting, I felt God led me to quit my job, showing me exactly what to write for my resignation letter. I had had enough of my mother slowly drowning in depression and not doing her therapy at the hospital, my youngest daughter not doing her homework, until I came home, sometimes at nine o'clock at night. I wasn't cut out to be a single, career mom.
In November of 2004, I found for the first time it was not that easy to get a job that fit my family. I got the girls ready for school, then spent the day at the hospital with my mother, so she would go to therapy. In this month, I found rest. I always anxiously read through my Bible, devotions, journal my insights of the morning's reading. This month, I sat on my couch, watching the later sunrise, just letting the sun penetrate my eyes. I didn't pray words. I didn't think or worry, I rested in the knowledge I was in God's presence. He had me in His hand, guiding me. I didn't have to strive for things to work.
By the end of November, we had found a Skilled Nursing Facility for my mom. The Holy Spirit led me in words to encourage my mother as well as suggesting to one of the nurses at Sharon Regional, that Mom may be depressed. Zoloft ordered helped in that department. I unpacked clothes in Mom's new room, peace fell over me that only came from Jesus.
I was telling Mom one day as I sat by her bed about my rest in watching the sunrise. She smiled a little and glowed in my description. I thought of that face the other day as I drove down Highland Road in the faint November morning sun. Small tears formed in my eyes and I missed my mother. I've been missing her a lot lately; her apartment when sometimes she made me tea and served crackers or a new cookie she picked out. I miss visiting her in Mercer at the nursing home. Her last four years there, she truly was content. Everyone who visited her, remarked on how pleasant a time they had with her.
Watching the sunrise with no agenda is a rest the Lord taught me those eight years ago. How not to miss people who have died, He hasn't taught me. Maybe we are to miss them, cherish the memories and be thankful we had them in our lives.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

From November 1978

These are the words I wrote in my looping handwriting the fall of my senior year:
This play is leaving me mentally and physically drained. I stay after school until five and this past week, six and seven. I haven't written as I should, but nothing is coming to me and I don't have time to think about a journal or even my feature for the paper. After the play; I keep saying after the play. Maybe next six weeks will be better. Ho! Ho! it's the Christmas season. No rest for the weary. Forgive me for not writing 3 days a week. I'm d
OK and I have to share when the play was over. Some things never change, but other traditions have. I do think if I wrote about being "dead" today in high school, the guidance counselor would swope down on me. And I don't think a teacher could pray before the curtain call. Correct me if I'm wrong. From November 10, 1978:
The play is over. I don't know whether to cry or sigh relief. The whole show was magic tonight. The scenes were real and the audience was polite and loved us. Emotions ran to the peak and no one broke character. The six weeks of screaming, yelling, heartache, worry, and tiredness paid off for our grandiose performance. I wish we could do it one, no two or maybe three more times. All that work for only two performances.
The story in itself is very tense and dramatic as a deaf-blind spoiled child fights against a learning she does not understand. Dawna was Helen Keller. Linda taught her as Annie Sullivan. Debbie's face showed Kate Keller's mother grief in every scene. Tom was the opposing forceful father and Phil as James finally stood up to him. All the kids were the people they portrayed. It was like they were reincarnated.
The circle before the curtain call, set the concentration for creating the art. Mr. Munnell recited a poem about performing short run shows and then prayed beautifully. He supported us and we were inspired and teary.
The senior play is the greatest thing in the world. Many sacrifices are made, such as eating cold suppers or D.Q. specials at seven, falling behind or at least not getting ahead in school work, and not seeing the sun for days. You catch Z's when you can and shouldn't(like Economics and English.) All these add up to the worry, is it all worth it? And in the end when it's all over, the answer slowly rises in your ear, Yes, as the applause and congratulations rings to the stage.

Remember I had to write a journal for Creative Writing class. We could check pages off that we didn't want her to read, but being a writer, I wanted to be read. Like I said, not much has changed.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Thriving on Busyness

You blog readers are my first love. I feel I need to blog first. I got behind in my novel writing this week end. Busy, yes, but distracted is more like it. Mary Ellen had an incredibly busy weekend. At the school from eight in the morning till band inspection at four thirty. Off to Edinboro University for the first play off game. Home at eleven fifteen.
Sunday seemed almost as long. Church at nine am for Christmas play practice, then stayed for second service. Home for a few, then to the school, again for inspection for the Veteran's Day parade.  Home again in time to take a shower for the band banquet that night. She read the poem beautifully with her friend Carly for their freshman year in band.
I love the band. I wasn't in band when I was in high school. But these kids learn endurance as the football team continues on through our District play offs. Saturday again. This week at one o'clock they travel in the five yellow buses(just for the band) to Slippery Rock University, then our city's Light Up Night parade in the evening.
Oh, and this week is senior class play. Mary Ellen is at the school from seven thirty this morning to nine thirty this evening. This month fills with busyness. I think she and I thrive on it. I know I did in high school.
We put The Miracle Worker on the fall of our senior year. We had our class trip to Washington, D.C. the early part of November. I remember being very exhausted, eating a lot of Dairy Queen meals, as that was our only fast food in W. Middlesex, feeling very behind in my studies and wondering how long is senior year?
Time has flown this year for sure. As Mellie read those words about her freshman year and the other years were reviewed, I could hardly believe four years had passed. At the same time, last year seems like another century.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Miss Mollie's Musings: Welcome Home, Scott

Miss Mollie's Musings: Welcome Home, Scott: My post from November 11, 2011 honoring the veterans in my family: Last evening we had the excitement of welcoming home my nephew from his ...

Saturday, November 10, 2012

New England November

Well, not back to high school. For some reason this week has reminded me of 1986, when Mom and Dad visited me for about three weeks in November. David was on his last tour of duty under the sea. I had to work Thanksgiving Day. My parents stayed with me this month before David returned home at Christmastime.
New England has less cloudy, dreary days than western Pennsylvania. The sun rises earlier in the morning, as I had mentioned before because of where it is in the time zone, very eastern part. A friend from community college called at eight in the morning on one of the first days after Mom and Dad arrived. Mom remarked,"They get up early here, huh?" She wasn't much of a morning person. The sunny days we're having remind me of the day trips we took on my days off during those three weeks. I suppose liking businesses on Face book from Connecticut is helping with the nostalgia.
Long drives on the coast, through quaint towns, like Niantic on the Atlantic. Shopping at department stores. Eating lunch somewhere.
I had bought a long royal blue dress coat earlier. Mom suggested I buy black gloves, scarf and hat set to complement it. Dad agreed. We really loved to shop.
I also had streph throat while they stayed at my apartment. I remember laying on our plaid loveseat by the large arched window in the late fall sun. So comforting while you're sick to have parents taking care of you.
Dad fixed the Thanksgiving dinner, while I worked day turn. One of the nurses grumped about working because her family ate dinner at noon, no matter what. I realized how blessed I was to have parents who loved me so much to travel in not the best month to take a vacation to be with their little girl at Thanksgiving while her husband served at sea.- Hmm, maybe this is a good Veteran's Day post.
The snow fell hard one night before a day off. The roads were clear, the sun shone bright. We twisted up old back roads to Old Sturbridge Village about an hour away. The "villagers" prepared for the big holiday, Thanksgiving. I think this helped me realize that Christmas had not always held the American heart . At least in New England, Thanksgiving gathered the people.
We ate lunch in a little restaurant in the Village of bean soup and Indian pudding. I could eat some Indian pudding, now. I prefer it warm with French vanilla ice cream. I have the recipe in The Old Farmer's Almanac Colonial Cookbook I got when I lived there. A little corn meal, molasses, scalded milk, egg, cold milk and spices, bake for two hours. I never made it, but maybe I will this fall.
Christmas decorating started when Mom and Dad remained, but they headed back in early December. I only had finals and David to look forward to. This was David's last cruise. He would be on shore duty until his service was up in May of the coming year. Navy life and life in New England would come to an end.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Real Musings

Somewhat at a quandary as to what to post today. I'm excited about my NaNoWriMo novel. I have put the most of me into the character, but she is not me. Her name is Maria Wilson. The setting is modern day, in eastern Ohio, because I did want to distance myself some from her. Is the park setting Mill Creek Park? Probably not. This is a fictional account-hence fiction. I always think of Dragnet, when I write.
But writing one's experience is easier. I chose this story of modern day family so I could just let the words flow. Part of NaNoWriMo is frenzied writing. Katie took up this challenge for a few years and when she sees me lifting my head to chose a word, she prompts "purple." You see the key is to just write, then edit later. That is just a bit hard for me. I find though if I read a little of what I wrote the day before, I have missed a word or two and that adds to the word count.
I feel I need a break from the election and my memories today. A little break. I find with my novel, I write so much, then as I told Katie, "I have to let it breathe." Before a particularly rough scene, I left it alone for the night, because I didn't want to dream about it. Imagining it and writing it was enough for me.
I'm behind a few words to meet the target of 50,000 on November 30. I want to get ahead as we know how a month can bring challenges we're not expecting. I hope to finish this year and be a municipal liaison next year for Shenango Valley. I love writing and I have found I inspired two ladies to start a blog.
So on to Summer Triangle. Memories start tomorrow again. Can we all use a little high school?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Word to Sad Friends

This is a post for my friends who are sad about the election. I wanted to download a picture of an eagle with its head bent over and the caption "Sad day for America" but I can't figure it out and I don't want to waste time doing that.
I have felt strongly though that just as I encourage Christians to read the Bible daily to hear from God and to know what it says, that Americans need to know the Constitution. How else can we pray for those in authority with a working knowledge of what is expected of them?
So I signed up to take a free college course on the Constitution from Hillsdale College-
1 Timothy 2:1-4 encourages us to pray for our leaders so we may live peaceful and quiet lives. I read this a few months ago and I repented that I too often didn't do this. I get caught up in the arguments. The debate isn't bad. We need to express our ideas. It is being called names by people you don't know that struck deep inside me. Of course, I want to fight back, but I tried to be witty, instead. One called me an *ss wiper and I wrote back, "Yes, I am. I wiped many in my thirty years of nursing." I ended up deleting the joking remarks because I felt the person who's Face book page it was on I didn't know well enough to be stirring up trouble. Besides, I saved his dad's life once and that is how we connected when his dad twenty five years later was dying. I kept updated and prayed for him. I couldn't be hateful toward anyone on his comments.
We may not have peace in this divided country. I need peace in my soul. I need to do what the Bible tells me. We have to look at this historically. Did you know before the first Great Awakening back in the 1700's a majority of Americans were alcoholics, even children as young as eight to ten years old? Life was rough for them. Very few attended church, mostly because they didn't have one to attend. Most couldn't read even if they did have a Bible.
We have to look at this historically. As I referenced Abe Lincoln the other day, the country was so divided it caused Civil War. (I happened to find the small paperback book this morning-Abraham Lincoln, by Anne Colver- $0.50 and after all those years I pretty much remember this simple prose verbatim.)
I am with my friends who are sad. We are grieving for a country we may never see again. But we must remember as Christians, this is not our home. We love the people, we love the land and we pray for it, but our hearts are not to be too deeply entwined with it. I have a peace that this is where we should be going for the Kingdom plan. And if not, this is a pendulum that swings as always. People may think we are wrong, old fashioned, bigoted, intolerant, and many things I won't write, but please just pray for them, give them a cup of cold water, a word of love. Who knows this may be a chance to shine in the darkest hour?
I suppose as an old curse (or blessing-not sure) May you be born in interesting times(or the opposite for the blessing), is true today. We are surely living in interesting times. Look to Heaven. We still had a peaceful election and at least in Mercer County, we had a good turnout of 65%.
Read the Book and study up on the Constitution.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Hope Still

Now if I can live up to my post yesterday. I can't stay up late on Face book, for sure. Let's hope and pray that Obama, too, lives up to what he said yesterday. Hey, he didn't write that!H

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Do My Part

I think on this election night of reading the story of Abraham Lincoln's first election night as president. We did the Lincoln trail when Diane attended college in Sterling, Kansas. Mom and Dad bought me books about Lincoln at the stops and I also read many from the library. Lincoln's sons, in one of the books, sat on the gate posts, asking people if they wanted to see "Old Abe" for a nickle.
I just think how innocent those times were. Politics were dirty back then, maybe more than now. Yet, the President elect's sons could stay out in the evening dusk under torches and make a little money on the side.
A picture posted of the Obama family four years ago shows them sequestered in a room, watching results on TV. That is the only way I remember knowing election results. The first I had any interest in was Nixon/Humphry. Growing up in a strong Democrat region, of course, I was for Humphry. Actually, I wanted Lyndon Johnson because he looked like a grandpa. Lydon, as you remember didn't even try to run.
I could stay up on this night to watch the only thing on television, the election returns. A mock election in each classroom was held in my second grade. Nixon won in my classroom. Disgusted by the backers of the winners cheering and one boy's stomach showing as his shirt crawled up his fat belly as he put his hands together above his head, I thought I don't want to act(or look) like that.
I have been passionate about my politics. Years ago, it seemed we could argue, then still be friends. We loved discussing issues in classes, if we weren't too apathetic. Chevy Chase did a wonderful Gerald Ford, but we loved that grin the first time Jimmy Carter ran. He just seemed cooler than old Gerald Ford.
The 1968 election made the biggest impact on me, though. I wouldn't actually vote until 1979, but I kept up with the news. I loved the process and that we lived in a country where we had a choice.
So, it's too late to remind you to vote, if the twenty to thirty calls a day for the last week didn't remind you. I mean, honestly, didn't you want to just scream, "I'll vote, just don't call me!"?
The Facebook posts, pictures and down right nastiness at times couldn't let you forget either. The stories of how women fought for our right to vote just a few short years ago in 1920 moved me. How could you not vote?
But now that election is over, let's us pray together for whoever will stand with his hand on a Bible on January 20, 2013 and is the leader of this land. The president is a policy maker, a symbol for what the country stands. He can't deliver all that is promised. We need to pray for his wisdom. We need to read the Constitution to know the expectations for the president. And we need to be a country united in harmony. I promise to do my part. And that's not an election day promise.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Sundays Are

Failing at the posting every day for November. I didn't write as much on my novel, either. Sunday is my big nap day. As I slowly woke from the nap, the message on the answering machine from my oldest daughter informed me she was bringing children with her, soon.
That was great because the children also brought their mother, Lori, my husband's niece. Truth be told she drove them here. So just like in the old days on Sunday afternoons, we visited. It seemed so much later than the actual time, because of the time change. The gray turned to black around five thirty last evening.
The forecast shows sun peeking through, but at nine thirty this morning, I see little evidence of that. Only a high of forty three degrees, too. I will walk the poor dog who hasn't had a real walk since before Sandy nudged around. We did take him for a ride on Friday.
Back to the not writing reasons. I didn't want to leave the house to write at Panera or McDonald's, or even retire to my room. I felt a strong tug to be at home with my daughters. Watching shows with them, I didn't concentrate. I guess that is what Sundays are: enjoying family, rest and relaxing.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Gratitude Month

Not only is it NaNoWriMo, it is also, NaBloPoMo: National Blog Posting Month. A charge to post every day on one's blog. Um, yeah, write away! Yes!
So my posts may be a little skimpy at times, if I'm writing my novel. Or like yesterday, I wrote more on my blog than on the novel. Just call me a writing fool. You've heard of fool for love, I'm a fool for writing. I'm ecstatic to have more time to write. I think this almost a dream come true.
So here's to November! Wonderful writing month. For that, I'm thankful.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Spiritual Journey

I have felt I need to write one post on my spiritual journey as a capsule of understanding. I even had a dream a few weeks back that one of my old neighborhood girls told me to tell it. The dream was one of those that you wake in the morning, wondering, Wow, what was that about and you ponder it for a long time.
I was born into a Christian home, but that does not make one a Christian. We are all born sinners, with a sin nature. My family spoke the Christian language and we were regularly at church. My dad, especially had a close relationship with Jesus. But everyone knew the answers to tell a questioning, growing child.
I believe I was six years old when I realized I couldn't be good on my own strength as I let a lie grow that I wanted to believe so much to be true. I got in trouble which embarrassed my mother. I lay on a maroon couch and cried, praying for forgiveness from God.
As I mentioned the other day, my faith journey had ups and downs, periods of such sweet closeness and then of asserting my independence. I never gave up on church or God. I loved going to church, always. Sometimes, it was like I was dating God. Meet Him once a week, sing love songs to Him, then return to my life.
I went through this until I was pregnant with Katie. The first Sunday in December, the Gideons spoke on Bible Sunday about the power of the Bible. That message sank into my heart. God does not have grandchildren. We are all called to be His children. I couldn't get by with my father's wonderful relationship with Jesus. I had to be in the Word daily, like I had been at other times in my life. The other truth that hit me that day was John 14:6 I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to My Father, except through Me. Jesus declared. I could no longer believe that all beliefs get a person to Heaven. No one is good enough or from a good enough family to be welcomed into Heaven, only those covered by Jesus.
So I returned to my morning Bible reading and setting my prayers in a journal. I had years of practice, but I felt as motherhood approached, I needed to be firm in my faith.
After Katie's birth, life as a new mother, with visitors and help, my Bible started to gather dust. I did pray for Katie every night, though, as I put her to bed. And loved church.
In late September of that year, we found out my dad had leukemia. The day dawned so bright as I drove Mom, Dad and Katie to Canton, Ohio. We spent all day, with Dad going through tests at the retinal specialists. At the end of this day, as Dad sat in the exam chair, the doctors reviewed the results. There was a tumor behind Dad's eye, but not a primary tumor. They could tell it was a secondary tumor. Dad's complaint of diarrhea the last month flashed through my mind, as he looked eerily sallow and small in that chair and then the worst thought, he's not going to make it through the year.
The car trudged through a terrible rain storm. I felt like Heaven cried with me. I was numb. Dad was sick, with a fever and weakness. Mom, I'm not sure where her strength came. Was it ignorance of how sick Dad was? That was one of the coldest last weekend of September with rain every day.
Monday, we couldn't take any more and Dad went to the hospital. We had made an appointment to see an internist, but he saw him in a hospital room. I knew these doctors well, as I worked in ICU. A close relationship develops in specialty units with doctors and nurses.
Dr. Sartori called me. Dad's white blood cell count was over 300 thousand. He had leukemia. The family decided Cleveland Clinic for treatment. Doctor agreed with me, as that is where he sent his dad, too, for the same thing.
The next four to five months filled up with many trips to Cleveland and Dad coming home for the holidays. The chemo affected his liver, leaving him a jaundice color. I have a picture of him holding Katie in all her new baby pinkness against that mustard colored hanging skin of his. But we were full of hope. He was home. Death disappeared from my thoughts.
During this time, I felt a little guilty for neglecting my time with God, thinking this is why Dad got so sick with leukemia. I know this wasn't true. That is not how God works. He loves us all as seen in Psalm  116:15  The LORD's loved ones are precious to Him; it grieves Him when they die.
I'm not being a theologian here. I'm telling you how this has comforted me, and Dad's illness woke me up to keep in constant communion with Jesus as I have now these past twenty two years. I may not always act as I should or say the words I should, but I have learned grace and a love that will not let me go. I stand on the promises of my God set forth in His Word. It is His letter to His loved ones.
So with this background, continue to read my story of my family and my life.
I do ask God that I can have a testimony that impacts many people like my dad's did. Dad seemed like Jesus to me as I grew up and in my drive to be like my dad, I more want to be like Jesus.