Friday, February 24, 2017

Still








The snow rests heavily on the branches of the pine trees after our recent snowfalls. Every now and then a branch is released of it's burden and a cloud of white falls to the ground below with a muffled sigh. Only the sight of a neighboring home and the greenish grey of the pine trees provide any contrast to the hues of white. There are moments I can hear the low hum of silence and am left only with the din of my thoughts.

I feel like the trees I watch outside my window. The weight of things of this world lay heavy on my branches.  And I wait.  I wait for the sun to shine to reveal the hues of blues and greens that make the whites brighter.  I wait for the whisper of a wind to sweep the heaviness off my branches so I am light again and can dance to its cadence.

I wait, remaining still. Knowing.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Waves and Valleys



Don't ask if I am ok. Because I will lie and say, "Oh sure. Fine" and I am not.
I am not ok. I am heart-broken. I am sad. Sometimes I am angry and sometimes just reflective. But please don't ask.  Then I have to think of what to say... and you think "no, you don't". But I do. I do have to think of something to say whether it is to ease the discomfort you feel when asking, or the discomfort you feel, because you think you should ask because it's polite. Or I have to think of something to say because if I don't, you may think I'm ok and I am not.

It comes in waves, the grief. Sometimes just small ones that wash onto my feet, and it is easy enough to walk away and wait for it to recede. Other times, the grief washes completely over me. But I feel it coming so I can brace myself.  And then there are the times that the wave hits me full force just as I turn. It knocks me off my feet and tumbles me through it's tumultuous current over and over until I am able to pull myself back to the safety of the shore gasping for air and praying for it to just go away.

Everything reminds me. There is joy in the memories and then sorrow when the void sears through my soul reminding me it is there. It will always be there, the void. I know there will be days that it will remain deep, not to be felt so strongly. But those days are not here yet.  The void. which when spoken, sounds just as dark as it's actuality, a giant, gaping hole with very raw edges. It will remain with me, unwanted, but becoming part of who I am.

Today I am immersed in a day of reflection, on the verge of tears and just raw.  I woke up today with the full intention of going to a movie with my family, But when it came to it, I could not handle the idea of being around people. Or sitting still that long.  If I am still, I am thinking. At home I can get up and do something to run away from the wave of grief coming over me. I am not ok. But I will be.

Our family is not ok. But we will be. There are no words, and that is ok.

Today I reflect and remember. That is ok. And if it's ok with you, I ask that if I don't answer the phone, or call you back, or "don't show up", that you don't take offense. I am trying to find my way through the valley.


Monday, September 12, 2016

Friends, Sheep and Coffee





I lay awake at night with thoughts running through my head. I try to wrangle them as sheep and get them to jump over the fence for counting. But the sheep thoughts end up bomb-bursting every direction! It has been suggested I write down the thoughts as they come to me, but then sleep would surely be the elusive, lost little lamb that bays in the distance.  Last night was full of sheep and very little sleep.

It has been two years since I moved to Alaska. I have traveled back multiple times to California because our daughters were both still there. Each has used the house for a time.  That is coming to an end.  Youngest is married to a Coastie and they are in Buffalo, NY.  Eldest is married to an airman and will be residing in Oklahoma by Thanksgiving. We left California for a job in Alaska knowing that we did not know where our children would end up. We left California because we had to. We just had to. Those that know us I think understand.

And this is where my thoughts were last night.  Being homesick for friends far away.  And though they may not know this, I think of my friends everyday. The friend who has a new grand-baby, the friend on the verge of graduating her youngest from homeschooling, the friend who has moved because of the military, the friend starting her own business, the friend working 40+ hours a week, the friend who is devastated from betrayal, the friend surviving cancer. The list goes on. I miss them. I love them. 

I had a birthday last week.  This was one of my favorite gifts, from a new friend.  A friend loves at all times, not just when you happen to be able to squeeze in a coffee date.  But all the time, even from Alaska!  I hope my friends know I love them!


"A friend loves at all times."
Proverbs 17:17

Saturday, January 9, 2016

To Start is to Begin


So much has been going through my brain, through my heart and through my time. I go to sleep at night and think about events of the day and then I think, "I really need to start blogging again, but where do I start? How long has it been since I last posted anything?" And then I see it has been a very long time! Not that anyone but myself has noticed.

My last post was "I live in Alaska". And, I still do. This is a good thing. I have discovered that I love it here...most of the time. I also discovered that I prefer winters here, though as of today we do not have any snow in our yard. The lake is frozen to about 18 inches deep. And right now with the absence of snow, I am allowed to marvel at the formations in the ice, on the ice, and the cracks that appear daily. It's a little like life.

As typical human beings we all have cracks, fissures, fractures. We prefer these didn't show so we try to cover with crystalline, shimmery, pure white snow that lacks footprint or flaw. I know I prefer others saw only the pretty side of me, no cracks, no flaws. But as someone who wears her heart on her well insulated sleeve, my cracks show and sometimes splinter into smaller cracks, and unfortunately, not only splinter but burst into an all out fracture! And I pray for snow! I pray for a full covering of pure, white, shimmering, bursting with light snow! And by God's grace, I am covered in snow!
large crack in the ice of our lake

Snow is finicky. It gets pushed around by the wind, melted by the warmth of the sun, compresses under pressure. As it is with us. God allows us to crack, be blown about by the wind, let the footprints show in our covering.  And it is usually when those cracks that remain beneath start to show again, that we are reminded of our need for Grace. God again covers us in Grace to make us anew, like the fresh fallen snow on a sunny day. Our beauty remains in our flaws, the footprints in our snow, the cracks, the fissures. And grace remains in Him. And if we learn to see our own beautiful  cracks beneath the snow, we learn to see the beauty in others. And we learn to give others grace.

If you ever have a chance to walk on a frozen lake, not covered in snow, take it! Do not watch where you are going. Look where you are walking! Look at the details. Look at the light.
It is the cracks and fractures, and fissures and branchings out that make the ice something to marvel at. But it is also the light that is reflected from the frozen that will take your breath away.
Grace. With all our flaws, we can still reflect the love and beauty of our Creator.
Reflections of tonight's sunset

Friday, January 30, 2015

I live in Alaska


This time last year I was sorting and tossing and sorting some more to prepare for our move to Alaska.
Still numb to the fact that Alaska was once again on our radar. It had been on our radar before and
then it wasn't when the Air Force decided we should be in Japan. That was almost 20 years ago.
In those 20 years we dreamed of living among trees, mountains, water, peace. We also dreamed of opening a Bed and Breakfast
where others could find trees, mountains, water and peace.

But as the years went by and we moved back to the states(Texas), then Arkansas and then California and struggled through deployments,
and surgeries resulting from those deployments, we saw the dream slipping away. And as I sorted I tossed all my "Log Home Living"
magazines in the garbage. We were never going to get to live our dream. I thought God had forgotten our dreams. We know He takes care of us, and He has
in so many ways. But we had come to a point in our life that we figured God was going to have us struggle and struggle until we had learned something.
What that something was we had no idea. But we do know we are a work in progress, clay held gently by the potter's hands.

When the Major was medically retired after a plane accident(read back a few postings) we had no idea what we were going to do for the next chapter.
The retirement was a year earlier than we had planned. But when had anything gone according to plan? After a couple months of searching he was
offered a job with the FAA. Portland was the first offer, then one in Texas, Michigan and then Alaska. Was Alaska really back on our radar?
The major left the choice up to me. Did we dare to dream again?

The major moved to Alaska and reported to his new job January 12, 2014. I commenced the househunting online. I searched new homes...did not want another fixer-upper!
But in the search of new homes, a particular not new home popped up. A modest log home on 5 acres with lakefront. I "saved" the property so I could view it later, show the Major...blah blah blah.
Funny thing though, as I continued searches of all different types of homes, old, new, under construction...I could not find that same property except under my "saved" listings.
Each time I looked at the property online I felt more sure that it was our next home.

After 7 months of praying over the log home on 5 acres I flew to Alaska so we could househunt. The log home was the first property we looked at and both the Major and I knew it was the home for us.
Here is the thing...as we stood on the dock overlooking the lake the major said, "We don't have to look any further." I looked at him and said, "Yup". We looked at each other and both said "But God says we must share it."

We looked at other properties, probably 20 or so, just to make sure. 2 days later we were in escrow on the small log home beneath the Birchwood trees.

Today as I write, the sunshine is sparkling off the snow that has settled onto the skeletons of the Birchwood trees. They stand tall showing off
their new adornments of white and casting their long shadows across the snowy field that is our yard. The sun meanders low across the sky kissing the tips of the trees on its journey to settle behind the hills just a few hours later.

I live in Alaska.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014



Said to me..."I only had a few minutes and didn't say hello because I was using my time wisely."

translation: My time is too valuable to spend a moment saying hello

got it!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014



Life as we know it is crazy and unpredictable!  About 5 weeks ago my youngest daughter, Sarah, started passing out.  The first time was in the shower, the second time an hour later.  I found her face down on her floor in her room.  Trip to the ER and home with no answers.  It happened again the next day. Again, to the ER.  Again no answers.  EKG, CT scan, blood work.  All normal. She has no warning! They were coming each day. Most days she had 2.  This past week she went 5 days straight without an "episode" then this afternoon I heard a thump and found her on the kitchen floor.

We have changed what we eat. We have changed her supplements. We are trying to reduce stresses in her life. I don't know, but I think having your Papa move to Alaska(no we did not separate except for geographically), sister in SoCal, taking college courses, having her mom packing the house so she can join the Papa, and...and planning a wedding just might cause a little stress!

Her fiancĂ© Caillen has been wonderful! He escorts her to her classes and stays with her during using this time to do homework.  Luckily they have 2 classes together! And he helps her find humor in the situation. His nickname for her when wearing the heart monitor has been "Robo-Flop"...hehe!

My girl is frustrated with all of it.  She has little privacy or alone time. She cannot drive...which is a huge stress reliever for her. Nothing like a drive in your own car with your favorite tunes blaring from the speakers to release tension! I am thankful to those who understand and are trying to make life easier for her. I find myself praying for those who make it about themselves....
There are more tests to come...

Kate and Sarah

Yes! We be Irish! 
On the fun side of life...

The Major was able to come home for 10 days! It was over Kate's spring break, so she was able to fly up from SoCal.  Awesome family time! I crave more! The 10 days flew by so quickly! Kate left on the 14th, and the Major left on the 19th, then the 20th Sarah and I drove to see Kate for her birthday weekend!

Kate turned 22 years old!  Her Golden Birthday as she was born on the 22nd. We had a great time and got to meet lots of her friends including 4 young men in the apartment across and down from her.  It was very obvious they are protective of her, like big brothers!  She has a great group of friends! The really neat thing about the trip?  I was able to see her in HER element! And WOW! What a young woman she has become!

Kate at "Lindy Groove"
 
 Life changes so fast!  This time last year we were only anticipating the Major's retirement. Now he is retired and we are planning Sarah and Caillen's wedding, a move to Alaska and Kate graduating from college. The best thing...God has us through everything!





















Wednesday, March 5, 2014



At 4 a.m. this morning I was awake...awake...awake! So I did what many moms do when finding themselves awake in the wee hours of the morning...I got onto Facebook.  This is what I found posted on a friends wall and wow...did it inspire me!  It gave me a goal...I like goals...something to work towards!


I can do this! I need to do this! We are moving to Alaska! I must do this!

So, the first thing to go...




my Log Home Living magazines!

I already feel lighter!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014



I haven't posted anything in more than 2 weeks.  It has crossed my mind but I have been lacking words.
My words seem so trivial when I see so many others going through BIG things! Sick children, the death of a dear friend, sick children with husband deployed, husband deployed!  These are all BIG things!

So why am I full of words today? Because, the days you have few words add up and then you become a boiling over pot of alphabet soup!

In the last 2 weeks....

The Major(retired) is residing in Alaska. He has gone househunting, seen lots of moose(why is this not meese?), met Sarah Palin, is coaching 6-9 year olds on the Elmendorf AFB swim team, and worked at the Iditarod just this past weekend! "It was ruff" he said.

James with Sarah Palin!

Kate attended the Sigma Tau Delta International Honors Convention in Savannah, Georgia by invitation!
She submitted a chapter from the novel she has been working on and was invited to attend the convention, asked to read her chapter to an audience, speak on a panel, and introduce speakers. And guess what!
Her novel submission received 2nd place!  Proud Mom here! Check out the website HERE ...you only have to scroll a wee bit to see my girl's name! Can you see me beaming with pride?

Kate by the Savannah River with fellow students

She had a blast! Oh...and she met a Ghostbuster! Ernie Hudson aka Winston Zeddmore; Ghostbuster!

Who ya gonna call?


And back on the home front....

I resigned my position at the Chamber of Commerce and my last day was Friday.  I enjoyed the job and met many awesome people who are working so hard for our little community in the foothills. The job helped me to define another part of me, not just as a homeschool mom(there is no "just" in there by the way) but also defined me as someone who can be outside my comfort zone and turn it into my comfort zone.
But I also discovered what I love most.  I love being a Domestic Goddess! Yes, that is what stay-at-home moms are! And so I returned to my domain.  And here I will be to help  plan a wedding, put the house on the market, coordinate a move, and the next chapter of my life with the Major!

Sarah is doing an amazing job balancing classes, working, planning her wedding and her life with her best friend! I love watching her blossom into a soon to be Domestic Goddess and whatever else she wants to be!
She has a quiet resolve and grace! And on top of this, she is having a medical issue of which we do not have any answers. Last Tuesday, she passed out TWICE! Off to the emergency room. " Hmmmm"...and "huh"..and "go home, rest and hydrate".  And so she did.  Wednesday, she hit the floor again! Called the doctor..."go to the emergency room". It isn't quite the place you want people to recognize you, ya know, where "everybody knows your name".  More tests.  Each day for the past week, she has passed out twice, no warning.  So now she has an appointment for an echo cardiogram and a 24 hour remote heart monitor. And then to see a neurologist.  We speculate and pray.  And though it is scary, we all have peace because we know God has this! He has us! He has a plan! 

Our family Bible verse...
Prosper....Hope...Future

Saturday, Sarah and I go to the airport to meet Kate and then James.  YAY!
FAMILY HUDDLE!

Until next time...











Wednesday, February 19, 2014