Well……………………………….what do you think????? No, no, not about the picture of me and Glenn……………… I just included that to make some of you smile & to give others a rationale for the title of my new blog…. LOL!!!!! Anyway, I definitely am embarking on a “new journey” so to speak & feel almost as though I have moved to a new home, but it does not feel quite like “home” yet. I do so hate change, but hey!!!! I have been experiencing more change in my life over the past 8 years than in all of my previous 55 years and so, trust me, my comfort zone has been forcefully expanded:). The picture I used as the “header” for the blog (believe me, I am learning a lot of new terminology……..very slowly, I must admit!) is a picture Jessica captured of the “Papa” balloons the grandchildren released at the cemetery. I chose it by chance b/c , for one, I happen to like it a lot, it was available in my computer & I found that it could very easily be cropped to fit the space. After I previewed how it appeared on the blog, I decided that it was meant to be…………………………..I look at it & I am instantly reminded of Crick & the grandchildren who meant everything to him. It brings a smile to my face as I see the heavenward drift of the balloons, his new home, my new “blog” home………our journey together still somehow remains inextricably linked:).
Now as for the picture …….it was taken at the Grand Old Pub, a very fun restaurant/bar in Westchester, Ohio. As you might imagine from the name, the bar’s decor was very patriotic & just a little bit political :). Framed on its walls are a large reproduction of the Constitution as well as pictures of every former President & much historical information about America. Caricatures of Fox News anchors line an entire wall (GB being my personal favorite) & opposite that wall are numerous pictures depicting the sobering events & heroic rescues of 9/11 along with a large piece of granite on which are etched the names of every single person who perished on that fateful day. I took the “liberty” of snatching a couple of pieces of memorabilia when we left, for on the bar there were 2 glass jars………………one contained Dum Dum Suckers & the other contained Smarties Candy…………………the Smarties jar was decorated with an (ahem!) elephant. Hey!! I’m just reporting the facts!! FYI, in the spirit of bi-partisanship, I took a couple of Dum Dums & a couple of Smarties… LOL!!! Before we headed out to the Grand Old Pub last weekend Carole, Christine, Jo, Kathy, Cecilia & I tried our luck at virtual golf. It was pretty hilarious……….given the fact that a couple of us are only sporadic golfers & Cecilia & Kathy have barely ever held a club in their hands. Suffice it to say that it took us 2 hours to play 2 holes!! I should explain, in our defense, that one hole was a par 5 & the other a par 4, there were six of us playing, & we took as many mulligans as we were allowed! On the plus side, there was no one playing behind us (duh) & we didn’t have to pay for any golf carts (we sisters happen to be very dangerous when operating golf carts…………….one Mother’s Day a few of us sisters took Mom to play nine holes at Bridgeview. After we hit off the first tee, Carole & I took off in our cart in search of our balls when suddenly…… hearing a couple of thuds as we breezed down the hill with the wind blowing our hair in wild abandon (lol)…….we glanced around & saw that both golf bags had flown off the back of the cart……..Carole had mistakenly assumed that I knew that the purpose of the straps the golf bags were leaning up against was to secure the bags!!!!!!). It did cross my mind while I was I struggling with my pitching wedge up around the simulated green, that I will be sorely missing my golf coach……………..Crick, having grown up next door to a driving range knew quite a bit about the mechanics of a golf swing. And while, yes,………. we could each, at times, become quite hypercritical when it came to directing the other (which reminds me that the two of us could not even agree on the “right” way to turn when pulling out of our driveway…………Crick always thought the shortest way to get to the intersection of N. Broadway & High St. was to back out of the driveway & head east on Weber Rd., turn left on Calumet & then take a left on N. Broadway arriving at the intersection ………………..I, on the other hand, would pull out of our driveway, head west on Weber, turn right at N. High St. & arrive at the intersection………………at times when we would need to drive separately to Jennifer’s or Christopher’s………….he would go his way & I would go mine & we would make it a contest to see who arrived at the intersection first…………..if Crick happened, by chance, to beat me, it was only because he got the green traffic light & I got a red…….LOL!). Now, what was the point I was trying to make?? Oh yes, the issue of my golf mentor…………….Crick really was super at dissecting my swing & thus greatly improving my score (well, maybe not “greatly improving” more like “shaving an hour off our playing time”!!!). I was the most receptive to receiving his instruction :) when we were at the driving range & not in the middle of a golf course where his instructions sometimes infringed on my tender sensibilities…….LOL. I guess now I will just have to remember to keep my head down & “turn, turn, turn, turn” (Carole & Jo will remember these instructions from twenty years ago when Mom joined us for a good many laughs & some free lessons from the golf “pro” at the Whetstone Rec Center………if he could see me now, he would hang his head in despair………..nah on second thought, he would probably “order” me to hang mine…….LOL!)
So many times now the kids & I are finding numerous instances in the course of our days, where we will think to ourselves, “‘I’ll just ask Crick/Dad what to do about……..(the car, the furnace, the income tax, the ball point pen mark on the sofa, the computer, the broken “anything”, etc.) or we will want to share a funny grandchild moment, a “nutty” MM/Mom incident, a work related story, a Buckeye moment or, well………………you get the idea. Grieving is definitely a process & one that most of us don’t move through very quickly. I have learned that, for me, the best way to fight through all of the sadness is to turn to prayer & scripture where I never cease to find consolation, peace & always, always, always hope for tomorrow & the tomorrow after that. I believe that as I have come to pray more, I have definitely come to receive more. For instance, at my “every other Friday” job, I discovered that the husband of one of the front desk staff is a graduate of DeSales & played football against the Schultheis brothers (Joe, Feller, do you remember John Hassey?). At any rate, we soon realized that we have quite a bit in common, especially as I learned that she was mourning the recent loss of her mother. Linda shared that she had downloaded a daily devotional to her phone (ah, the wonders of the technological age!) that she can easily refer to remind her of God’s constant presence in her life. Several days later, I found a package along with a very consoling note from Linda waiting for me in my mailbox – inside of the package was a book of the very same devotional app she had shared with me. Imagine, someone who I had just met, taking the time & effort to be so generous & kind. See what I mean? God is good!!
Quite amazingly………………. this was the devotional reading for today:
“You need Me every moment. Your awareness of your constant need for Me is your greatest strength. Your neediness, properly handled, is a link to My Presence. However, there are pitfalls that you must be on guard against: self-pity, self-preoccupation, giving up. Your inadequacy presents you with a continual choice………….deep dependence on Me, or despair. The emptiness you feel within will be filled either with problems or with My Presence. Make Me central in your consciousness by praying continually: simple, short prayers flowing out of the present moment. Use My Name liberally, to remind you of My Presence. Keep on asking and you will receive, so that your gladness may be full and complete.“ (excerpted from Jesus Calling)
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Thessalonians 5: 16-18
There is more on my mind (I know, I know……….perish the thought!!), so I will be back (consider that a threat and a promise:)!
P.S. I have not deactivated Caringbridge just yet……………guess I am still waiting to see how the blog works out. I am hoping to continue to find enough inspiration (I feel sure “the Nut” will never run out of material) to post something every week or two.