I was sitting here pondering over the gazillion thoughts darting back and forth inside my head, searching for a way to begin this blog, and then I remembered the mug I had removed from the dishwasher earlier today. A daily reminder that “the jig is up” as, apparently, over many years, I have been revealing way too much of my strong-willed, somewhat stubborn, some might even say, “controlling” personality (LOL…….you are laughing about that controlling part, aren’t you?? ) to way too many family members (it may have begun unraveling around the time of the highly touted King’s Island Main Street “incident” …….a not so quiet, very public stand-off that Caringbridge followers may remember occurred between Crick and me on a corner of a street in the amusement park on a blistering hot summer’s day over where to eat lunch……….outside of Restaurant #1 at a picnic table sitting on hard wooden seats with the sun beating down on us in the company of several different kinds of pesky insects…………..ooooorrrrrr…………….inside of Restaurant #2 sitting on soft padded chairs to be “waited on” in air-conditioned luxury and comfort!!!!!). Now perhaps you are wondering who in the world would feel a relationship with me to be so secure that he/she felt this sort of mug gift would not prove to be offensive?? Well, besides Crick (who secretly may have been wishing he had thought of it first…..LOL!). Think sibling, think youngest female, think “Clark Culinary Queen ” (I taught her everything she knows about boiling water!!!!!!!), think person who is married to “Crick Jr.” (a brother-in-law who bears that title proudly)……………………………………………………………………..
As the previous blog was taken up with the details of my “heaven” encounter (and, by the way, I have now read the book and, having many years ago read of others’ NDE’s (near death experiences), I can attest to the comfort and hope provided by these revelations), I will detail just a few of the highlights of the activities of the past month.:
- In late May, I paid a visit to Glacier Ridge Elementary to return a book that was presented to me at the funeral home which the Glacier Ridge library had decided to dedicate in Crick’s memory. It was a touching story of a Grandpa who was just the sort of character and mentor that Crick had been to all of the school kids. Ann, one of the school’s secretaries gave me a copy of the 2011/2012 yearbook which had a touching memorial dedication on the first page. I took with me two small gifts for Lauren and Maureen, teachers at GRE whom Crick had teased mercilessly about their politics (imagine that!!). Back in October they had brought a huge bag of handmade Get Well wishes from students from each grade to the hospital along with a gift from Maureen of a red “Beanie Baby” elephant and some of Crick’s favorite “mints”. She told Crick there was a companion blue donkey, but that she had kept that one for herself! LOL Anyway, I returned the elephant to Maureen so that she could remember which way to vote in November (jjjjjjjjjuuuuuuuussssstttt kidding!) and I gave a Barack Obama bell with a tiny GOP flag to Lauren!! (If only the election were not such a deadly serious topic)…………………….don’t worry, I am not going there :)
- I have been most fortunate to have been visited by a couple of very dear high school friends in the past couple of weeks……………………I was treated to breakfast at Bob Evans with Tim Lavelle who was on his way, via motorcycle, from Florida, crossing the USA all by his lonesome…………quite an adventure and one Crick would have been quite envious of. (oops, there’s that darn preposition again!). Tim was encouraged by his son to write a blog of his journey (http://timlavelle.blog.com) and, as Tim is a funny guy, his blog is quite entertaining and filled with some amazing pictures of the beauty that is the USA. While at breakfast, Tim had mentioned to me that he was thinking about heading to the Grand Canyon. I immediately thought of Crick who, because of his “dreamcrusher” wife, missed out on, according to Crick, “the opportunity of a lifetime”! Fifteen years ago, Crick and I had an occasion to visit Arizona for four days, compliments of the dental practice I was working for at the time. We had a rental car, and there was a discussion among the small group of us, about taking a day and driving from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon. Now, not only am I afraid of heights, but it was also the thought of driving hours to get some place just to see a “bunch of rocks” (I know, I know, I know…… I have seen magnificent pictures of the grandeur that is this national treasure, but at the time………………..the lure of the resort’s swimming pool just seem way more relaxing!!!). Anyway, forever after that trip, whenever there was any mention of the Grand Canyon, I would get an earful of how I had deprived DH (dear husband) (who had only this one chance to travel West to God’s country…… his definition of Arizona and Colorado) of seeing “up close and in person” THE GRAND CANYON!!! Therefore, I suggested to Tim that if he did choose the Grand Canyon route, maybe he could give a shout out in Crick’s memory……………………..well, Tim did one better than that………………….he made it his “mission” to go to the Grand Canyon taking a memento of Crick’s that I had given to Tim and placed it on the rocks in the south rim of the canyon overlooking some magnificent scenery :) Hats off to Tim!!!!!!!!!!!!
The other visit was from Beth who stayed overnight coming and going from Pittsburgh to Indianapolis to visit family. We were able to catch up on our families and had long, long discussions about religion and politics……………………..the perfect combo LOL!!!!! I nominate her to defend me in a court of law should I ever happen to be impugned for my writings as a “right wing nut”!!!!
- The Clark family gathered in Granville for Shannon and Dave’s wedding on the 16th of June. Nephews Jake, Sean and Matt came home for their sister’s big day. Matt drove up from New Orleans, Jake flew in from California, but Sean topped them both…………..he surprised Shannon at the rehearsal dinner flying all the way from South Korea where he is teaching English!! Now that is true brotherly love, don’t you think??? And what a great time we all had dancing to Shout, Sweet Caroline, YMCA, etc., and the little kids all loved the rendition of the Chicken Song. Thank goodness, my left foot was completely healed so I could stay out on the dance floor till the very end (and no, it wasn’t pretty, but it was great fun!!). The one song that has become a Clark tradition since Jennifer and Jim’s wedding 15 years ago is The Piano Man………………..from youngest to oldest this gets them all out on the floor forming a gigantic circle singing and swaying to the music of Billy Joel.
My word counter is telling me that it is time to wrap this up, besides I have a lot of “homework” to do now that the Supreme Court has made my life more difficult……………..sorry, I can only hold it in for soooooooo long :). That being said, this is a good time to reflect on a reading from a few days ago.
“Stay calmly conscious of Me today, no matter what. Remember that I go before you as well as with you into the day. Nothing takes Me by surprise. I will not allow circumstances to overwhelm you, so long as you look to Me. I will help you cope with whatever the moment presents. Collaborating with Me brings blessings that far outweigh all your troubles. Awareness of My Presence contains Joy that can endure all eventualities.” from Jesus Calling
“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside still waters;
He restores my soul. He leads me in right paths For His Name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil;
For you are with me;
Your rod and Your staff – they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies, You anoint my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life. And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord My whole life long.”
[Psalm 23:1-6; ]
P.S. Did you notice the new blog style????