Friday, January 31, 2014

Unforgettable.

That's what you are ... 

unforgettable: adjective,  earning a permanent place in the memory; impossible to forget; indelibly impressed on the memory ...

I'd say that pretty much sums you up, January Twenty-Fourteen. You with your brutal temps. Your ice & snow freezing mountainous rural roads, making travel treacherous and nerve-racking.

 




 
Our storm door --- frozen over.
Thankfully, there was good in you.
My Sailor and his family were home for 11 days after a two-year absence. This made my heart very, very happy.

 
My grandgirlies were finally together. Giggle galore!



"Please Nana. Can we have a slumber party?"
 


Looks like I said "Yes" ;)

My KyKy loving on her Papaw.
 
Our family welcomed a new little one. My niece, Lauren Brooke was born ...
Girlfriend weighed in at 9 lbs. 14 oz.
 
And the next day, we celebrated my cousin Greg's 50th birthday.
 




Even a non-snow lover, such as myself can appreciate that you had your moments of beauty.

 
 

So January 2014 ... you were not without your charms.

I think Nat King Cole summed it up perfectly ...  "unforgettable in every way and forever more, that's how you'll stay" ...  You've made your mark and you'll not be soon forgotten.

Go on now. It's time for you to leave. It's February's time to shine. With that thought, I'll close with a prayer ...
"Dear Lord, please don't let that stupid groundhog see his shadow"





Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Mom Years

 

My oldest son & his family left today.
I've had a good cry.
My heart is heavy.
Residual damage.

Which goes to prove what I've long suspected to be true.
Proof that it never gets easier.

He'll be 34 in 13 days and yet, as I watch him drive away, my heart doesn't seem to be able to differentiate between the screaming infant placed on my sterile-draped abdomen early that January morn and the handsome, broad-shouldered sailor who has traveled the world.



Is there a difference?
None that I can tell.
 
Don't get me wrong.
My head gets it.
My heart does not.
Which is regrettable on days such as this.

It had been two years since he'd been home.
That's a long, long time.
Especially in mom years.

In case you didn't know,
Mom years are even longer than dog years.
Of course, I just made that up.
But I challenge you to find a military momma who disagrees.

Before he left there was mention of another visit this year.
This Summer perhaps.
As wonderful as that would be, history has taught me to err on the side of caution.

So for now, I'll cherish the memories of the past eleven days.
I am truly grateful for the time spent together.
I have enjoyed every moment.






























Sunday, December 22, 2013

Mud

Today is the first full day of Winter --- all evidence to the contrary. Well, at least there's no evidence of Winter's arrival here in Southern West Virginia. I can't speak for the whole of Appalachia because I haven't watched the weather channel in a few days ;)

Normally a lack of evidence that Winter has arrived would make me happy -- ecstatic even --  but this year, not so much. This troubles me. Greatly. It's not normal. Not even close. Not for me any way.

It's 60 degrees outside. Right now. On December 22nd. It's kinda starting to creep me out AND the fact that it's kinda starting to creep me out IS kinda starting to creep me out. Are you with me? Comprende?  Or, as they say here in Appalachia  "Com-pre-HEND-o?"  Actually  they don't say that at all but the hubs has, when he's being especially silly and, thankfully, not often but I digress.

Any way, back to the lack of Winter weather ...

Do you know what happens when the temperature stays above 32 degrees and precipitation falls from the sky in the form of rain? When you're surrounded by hills and dirt and ... in valleys and dirt and ... grass, (extra soggy from all the rain) on top of dirt and ... gravel on top of (what was) dirt, and ... dirt on top of dirt? ...

It turns to mud!
Yes, folks (ding! ding! ding!) we have a winner!
 
Mud. Mud everywhere. As far as the eye can see.  Yuck. No bueno. I was going to post pictures to prove my point but I decided against it. Why would you want to see that? Well, you wouldn't want to so I stopped myself just short of my obsessive compulsion to show you just how ugly mud can be. Plus, I would've had to go out in the mud to take pics of the mud and ain't nobody got time for that.
 
Listen, I'm not a fan of the cold. Bone-chilling temps, icy roads and precipitation in the form of freezing rain are things we all could do without.  All I'm really asking for is a happy medium. Surely there is one. 
 
Listen, I NEVER thought I'd hear myself say this but all this brown on the ground is bringing me down ... I'm beginning to think a white Christmas wouldn't be such a bad thing. At least the white stuff would cover up the brown stuff, right?
 
After all, it would make the kiddos happy, my neighbor Sara would be thrilled and, oh heck, who am I kidding? I know lots of folks that would be over the moon if we had some snow on Christmas Eve & Christmas Day ... 
 
Now, before you go and get all weirded out by what I just said 'cause you know me and you're convinced that Kimberly has really lost her mind 'cause this is completely out of character (and you would be right) just know that I'm not advocating snow drifts up to my behind for weeks on end ... far from it!
 
You can't blame a gal 'cause she'd like to wash the back door rugs and have them look clean for more than a second or because she longs to walk to her car without throwing her back out 'cause she nearly falls on her behind, slipping on wet, brown ground. I declare it's trickier to navigate on foot than the white stuff!
 
On the other hand, maybe there is something wrong with me. I started to notice it with the first snow fall in early November. During my 17-mile trek to work, I actually looked at the snow covered mountain and thought it was pretty & voiced it. While walking into WalMart one warm evening after work, I had a thought "It's so warm, it just doesn't feel like Christmas" ... what's up with that? I'm just not feeling like myself these days.
 
For the record, whenever I don't feel like myself, I usually always blame my hormones (or lack thereof) but this time, I'm blaming it on the mud ....
 
I'm ready for some (barely) below freezing temps to solidify the ground and if that brings on a (reasonable amount of) snow then so be it.
 
Please excuse me while I look for the thermometer. I think I may be running a temp.
 
 
 
 
 


Monday, October 7, 2013

Unto Thee, O Lord ...

At 4:00 a.m. I woke up
or maybe I was woken up
I'm still unsure
 
At any rate,
music immediately filled my groggy head
 
"Unto thee O Lord ....."
(youth camp?)
 
"do I lift up my soul ...."
(yeah, definitely a youth camp song)
 
"Unto thee O Lord, do I lift up my soul ..."
(Really Lord? A song from youth camp? I'm 52.)
~ Which reminded me of Proverbs 22:6 ~
 
"O my God, I trust in thee .... "
(where is that scripture any way?)
 
"Let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me"
(sing it again!)
 
 
After I sang it a few times in my head,
(the hubs was sound asleep)
I got up, made coffee and went in search of the scripture.
 
I knew it was in Psalms
 (a sacred song or poem used in worship; especially : 
 one of the biblical hymns collected in the Book of Psalms)
 
So I went there ...
to Psalms, a beautiful book, authored by several but
most were written by David,
a man after God's own heart
(I Sam. 13:14, Acts 13L22)
 
I figure if a song written by a man after God's own heart
wakes you woke at 4 a.m.
(90 minutes before the alarm is to go off)
 a gal ought to pay attention.
 
 

Psalms 25: 1-2
 
There it was
(btw, I looked on my own for a short time then "Goggled" it.
Give me a break --- it's early! ;)
 
Of course, I read the whole chapter.
It's so beautiful, uplifting, encouraging.
Everything a psalm ought to be ...
it's all in there.
 
So I'm going for it. The theme (& song) for today is Psalms 25:1-22.
After reading it all, I feel certain that was the plan -- His plan ---
 
Let me encourage you to read it too.
 
I feel certain this early morning wake up call wasn't meant for me alone.
 
Have a great day! :)
 
 


Saturday, August 17, 2013

laundry

laundry. saturday. synonyms?
not technically
mr. webster's answer would be "no" unequivocally
but what did he know about working women and laundry?
i dare say not much

it's saturday and you know the old adage
"the more things change, the more they stay the same"
the change being that my boys are grown and
the same being saturday means laundry.

i'm convinced that regardless of what stage of life you're in if you're a woman and you have a job that takes you outside of the home during the week then (more often than not) saturday is laundry day.

this morning, while emptying the hamper and separating clothes (two small loads. three if you count towels) my mind wandered back to a time when saturday would have found me covered up in piles of a week's worth of dirty clothes -- piles of jeans, khakis, socks, underwear, jerseys, t-shirts, nike shirts (galore) and last but not least, football uniforms (not one, but two) from friday night's game -- my hallway often looked like a mine-field. 

have you ever just had a moment with your laundry?
have your eyes filled with tears and your heart ache as your mind is flooded with memories?
anyone else miss smelly football clothes in the fall of the year? anyone?

let me preface what i'm about to say with this. i would have never, ever imagined that i would miss massive amounts of laundry and, lest you think me diagnosable, it's not the laundry i miss at all.

it's the process that finds me melancholy standing in front of the washing machine early on a saturday morning. the process of raising children. my children. those precious babies God so graciously trusted me to keep and care for and yes, do their laundry.

So ....


by the way, a little later in the day, i shared my laundry moment with my daughter-in-law, the wife of my youngest son. she graciously offered to let me do his laundry. she's a giver.



Sunday, July 21, 2013

Trains

I heard it long before I saw it as I was leaving work on Friday evening so I quickly pulled out my phone and snapped this as it went by ...



I had been thinking of Joshua for most of the afternoon. He's on my mind more often than not but more so that day because the previous Friday I had been anticipating our visit. You know a "this time last week" kinda thing. The visit was short and wonderful but now it was behind me and I was missing him ... again.

As I walked to my car my heart was overwhelmed.
Thoughts of that day ran through my mind. (You can read about it here)
My breath caught in my throat and tears filled my eyes.
"Calm down Kimberly. He's fine" I whispered to myself.

The truth is he is fine.
He's more than fine.
My boy is far away and getting ready to move father but he's alive.
Not just alive.
He's alive and well. Thriving.

I never hear a train whistle that I don't think of him.
Never.
I never cross railroad tracks that he doesn't come to my mind.
Never. Ever.

These moments of panic, those "what ifs" -- when what could have been invades my thoughts --  have come more and more often in the last year or so.  Is it my age? Hormones? Satan? A combination of all three?

Perhaps.

Whatever the reason, I have made a decision.
I will be thankful for those times.
I may never understand why things happen but I will be thankful for them.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not there yet. I'm a work in progress -- on oh so many levels -- and, honestly, I wonder if I'll ever not be in need of an "under construction" sign to wear around my spiritual neck.


 
 
You see I personally know three families who have lost a loved one to a train so I know people don't come out unscathed when it comes to locomotives. They generally don't come out at all.
 
So, what if the sound or sight of a train made my heart cry out in praise to God?

What if I fought the thoughts of "what if" (i.e. he had died or suffered irreparable damage) and instead made it a point to thankfully acknowledge  what did happen -- God spared my son -- and give Him praise for it.

Recently, I've been trying making it a point to find the awesomeness in every day life. The simple gifts that surround me. I've intended to write them down -- make a list. I believe that if we're not careful, we'll get so caught up in the wear and tear of the mundane that we'll get to a point where we have to be reminded to even be thankful for the big stuff -- the miraculous -- never mind the small stuff and that's a shame.

I thank God for that train last Friday evening. I needed to see it exactly when I did. The timing was perfect. I heard it coming. I looked for it and it prompted me to thought. Coincidence? I think not.

Today I'll begin my list with:

1. Trains. While it may sound strange to others, they will forever be a reminder to me of God's  protection and faithfulness.
 
Color me thankful.
 


 
 
So very, very thankful.
 

~ To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever. (Psalms 30:12) ~
 














 

 









Saturday, June 22, 2013

Wisdom by Boochie

Anna Elisabeth.
Lovin' on her daddy during church.
My Boochie.

This picture makes me wanna break out in song ...
 "Isn't she lovely? Isn't she wonderful?
Isn't she precious?"

 
Her Papaw Bozo declares she's the most like me of all four grandgirlies and he may be right. It's here that I feel the need to insert that she has him totally wrapped around her little finger. It happened early on and I have evidence. Ladies & gentleman, I present to you Exhibit A ...

Papaw Bozo admiring the newborn Anna ...
Let the manipulation begin!
 
She's conservative and practical. A deep thinker. She's not given to much foolishness.



Well, unless she's very tired then watch out. Giggles reign supreme!


I said all that to say this:

Every once in a while, I talk to the girls about being careful ... mindful ... of strangers or even people that they know or are acquainted with who may, for lack of a better word, make them feel uncomfortable or uneasy.
(Lest you think me too brazen in my role as Nana, this is something reiterated by their parents).

Yesterday I had such a conversation to which Anna says
"Why are we talking about this?"
(I heard "again" at the end of the question, although it wasn't said. She's intolerant of redundancy ;)

"Well I just wanted to remind you because ..."
 
"Not everyone loves God."  (Well, yes Wise One. Exactly). 
 
"And some times there are mean people around, who pretend to be nice. Do you remember what you're supposed to do?"  
 
Emily chimed in and (impressively) both girls remembered all the things they were supposed to in order to thwart the evil plan of our imaginary abductor.  "Scream -- loud. Never stop screaming. Scratch. Anywhere. Everywhere.  Kick -- hard (in their "daddy parts" if possible). Poke them in the eyes. Bite. Bite hard .... "
 
Em: "I don't want to bite."
Me: "Yes, you have to bite. Bite hard." 
Em: "No, I don't want to bite."  
 
To which Anna advised (perceptively reading the look on her elder sister's face) ...
"Emmy, you bite them and then wash your mouth out later!"







Practical. 

Effective. 

Brilliance.


 
So remember ...
"Not everyone loves God."
(bite first, wash later ;)
 
Wisdom by Boochie.