I am sharing these pictures as a way to explain why I have been absent from the diaryofanut blog for the past month.
Let me begin with September 17th, the day that our family welcomed Ryan Walter Wallace into the world. His arrival six weeks early via C-section created some tense moments, especially for Jennifer who had been admitted to the hospital several days earlier with pre-eclampsia. We were all astonished at his 5 lb. 10 oz. birth weight which definitely aided his ability to adapt to his new environment. If his first couple of weeks are any indication of his future, “mellow” may just become the new family buzzword! (Methinks he takes after his Dad……LOL). But I think Megan’s comment sums up little Ryan perfectly……”He is just so darn stinking cute!!!”
Actually the entire month of September was one celebration on top of another. Not only did Josh, Mayce and I observe our birthdays, but there were three baby showers for Schultheis babies about to be born, a post-wedding party for Katie and Mark and the induction of Crick’s brother Feller (John) into our alma mater’s inaugural class of the Bishop Watterson Athletic Hall of Fame. As to the birthdays……….I decided to share my third birthday photo which was taken with my brothers, Jimmy and Johnny, because, as Josh and Mayce, who turned three this year, will one day discover………..you are way cuter at three than you are at sixty-five!!!! I do love the fact that my last three grandchildren now share my birthday month with me……….and like our former pastor who used to conclude Mass by saying, “The Mass never ends, it must be lived” (to which a stunned little boy, could be heard one Sunday calling out from the back of the church……”OH NO!!” LOL)……our family will be saying, “The birthdays never end, they must go on, and on, and on, and on…………..!
The day after my birthday, the Schutheis family gathered together to honor the football accomplishments of their Dad, grandfather, brother and uncle during half-time of the Watterson/Cincinnati Winton Woods game. The actual induction ceremony into the first ever BWHS Athletic Hall of Fame was held on Sunday following Mass and a buffet brunch as Kim, Jared, Katie and Kelly accepted the posthumous award for their Dad. It was a bittersweet moment and one that conjured up long ago memories of the 1960’s football legacy of the Schultheis brothers…..John (Feller), Jim (Crick) and Joe. Hey Joe………..I wonder why the nicknames stopped at you????!!!!
The second week of September found me sharing another week in the OBX with some of my favorite Schultheis family to savor a little R&R (this year we were minus the company of Peggy, Mark, Joe, Judy, Jay and Rayne, and of course the most ornery family member of all…………..Crick :-( ). We were fortunate to enjoy great weather, a fantastic view and most of all the makings of many more wonderful memories. The trip, however, proved to be a little more costly for me in that the very first day we all spent lounging poolside, I picked up my beach cover-up (no self-respecting 65-year-old female dares to walk very far without one!!), when I heard something fall to the deck. When I looked down I saw that it was my cell phone that had hit the deck and split apart. All I could do was watch as my cell phone battery slipped between the deck boards to the darkness below! Horror of horrors!!…………..how was I going to manage the rest of the week without a connection to my family back home……………or more to the point………….how were they going to manage without being connected to me????!!! LOL I discovered that beach towns do not accommodate cell phone battery losses, and so I would need to order a battery online and wait 3-5 days for delivery. And so it came to be that my children and I learned that we could in fact, survive, absent any knowledge of our day-to-day existence…………….well………. for at least one week!!! In addition, I was destined to suffer yet another significant electronics loss a little later in the week. I had decided to take a midday walk along the beach accompanied by my mp3 player (good thing I am slow to upgrade my technology……..the loss of an i-pod touch would have been $$$$$!). I love listening to my personal mix of music and so for about an hour, I hummed along with Garth Brooks, Bon Jovi, Sugarland, Billy Joel, and oh yes…..even Barry Manilow :) and then, as I began to feel the heat and humidity of the day, I headed back to the house where I immediately jumped into the pool forgetting all about the mp3 player tucked inside of my suit!!! Ooooooppppppsssssss…………..another electronic device lost to me for the week!! Thank goodness my Kindle and laptop never made it outdoors…………fifteen years ago, these products were never even on my radar and I managed to live quite well without them. Of course, during those days Crick provided all the distractions any one person could handle!!!! :) While I was in Corolla, I also was afforded the opportunity of sharing an afternoon with two of my favorite “non” family people who just so happen to also be my employers!! Ira and Lori were staying that week on a fourteen-mile stretch of beach collectively known as, “The 4×4 Beaches” where there are no paved roads, no shops and no restaurants. A four-wheel-drive vehicle is required, as you must actually drive on the beach to access the vacation homes. If you are familiar with the Outer Banks, you will know that this area is also home to the wild horses of Currituck County. Ira and Lori very generously made the half hour drive to our section of Corolla to pick me up, treat me to lunch and take me on a four-wheel drive tour of the wide open sandy beaches. The wild horses must have decided to go into hiding that afternoon, as the only sign of their presence was “something” visible on the sand which one would definitely want to avoid stepping in (if you catch my drift!). Despite not catching a glimpse of the horses, I had great fun bouncing along that stretch of wide open sandy beach, marvelling at the boundless beauty of ocean, sky and sand!! I am so very grateful to both of them for taking time out of their own vacation to add yet another experience to my ever-expanding world.
A little side note to Jay and Mark (brother-in-law “tormenters extraordinaire” who did not make the trip)……………….I purchased a pool float and one day while I was lounging under the Carolina blue sky so completely and totally relaxed that I actually closed my eyes as I relished the peacefulness of the moment…………..when out of the blue a “frightening” vision intruded on my peace of mind. I had this eery sense of “someone” leaning over the third deck railing holding a bucket of ice water, and then another disturbing vision of “someone” swimming underwater toward me ready to capsize my float!!! With a huge, huge sigh of relief, I realized that you two “mischief mongers” were back in Columbus, miles and miles and miles and miles away from me, my float and my sanity!!!! What is really crazy is the fact that even in your absence, you managed to torment me!!!
Yet another picture represents the thoughtful generosity of a previous employer/friend of mine. Dr. Liz and her husband Joe, who have recently moved to Indianapolis, but continue to keep their OSU football tickets, sent me an e-mail offering me their tickets to the OSU/Florida A&M game. The game turned into a 76-0 route of A&M, but Jo (sister and fellow OSU sports fan) and I were fortunate in that over half of OSU’s touchdowns were scored at our end of the stadium. The picture of me, Sophia and Sydney happened because as Jo and I took our seats in C deck at the start of the game, I received a text from Christopher who was also attending the game with Jessica and the girls, asking where we were sitting. I sent a text back to him indicating the location of our section, and his next text to me read…….”Turn around and look up”. As I did this, I saw all four of them waving to us, standing directly behind us, ten rows up!! It seems that my family and I can not seem to escape each other even in a stadium overflowing with over 100,000 people!!! LOL
Wellllllllll……………I have yet to mention one disturbing image……..I included it, not to cause great anxiety for my family, who may be dreading the appearance of my much feared soapbox :), but to explain that, as America has been careening ever closer to the point of no return, whatever free time I have had, has been spent scouring political blogs as opposed to focusing on my personal blog. Maybe it is time to resurrect my “musingsofarightwingnut” blog….uummmm…..I just might have to give that some thought! Now you see family???…….that wasn’t so painful was it? I promise you that I have been working very hard to suppress my political rantings!!! Just don’t talk to Carole about my visit to her this past weekend……LOL!!
Before I sign off, I do have a little “Tommy story” to tell going back to the topic of my previous blog which was a nostalgic recollection of Crick’s and my 43rd wedding anniversary. I had decided to go to the cemetery to commemorate the September 5th date and to nag Crick, in absentia, (LOL…….never let a memorial occasion go to waste I always say……….oops, no, that was “crisis” not “memorial occasion” and it wasn’t me who said that, it was Rahm Emanuel………….but I digress!!) about his leaving me behind to take out the trash,to unload the groceries, to capture unwelcome “critters”, to figure out electronics, to replace burned out light bulbs, to change the filter on the furnace, to buy the gas for the lawn mower, to negotiate a deal for a new car………well, you get the idea!! And so, as I departed from the cemetery and feeling just a bit melancholy, I headed to the Immaculate Conception chapel for my weekly Eucharistic Adoration hour. The chapel is housed in the former convent, now home to the IC kindergarten class rooms. As there was a gentleman already sitting in the back where I normally sit, I entered the chapel and took my place in one of the first pews. Still missing Crick and feeling rather lonely, I began to refocus my thoughts toward prayer when I heard the door open and a quiet conversation going on in the back of the chapel. I paid little attention as the door closed and a few seconds later I felt this tap on my shoulder and a small voice say, “Hi Nana”. I will never forget that moment as I turned around to see Tommy smiling as he put his arms around me to give me the hug I so very much needed!! It seems his teacher had seen me come up the walk and had asked Tommy if he would like to see me, so she directed him to the chapel. Now I have been going to Adoration every week since before Olivia started kindergarten at IC and I have come to know the kindergarten teachers and while they would have the grandchildren wave to me from the window whenever they caught sight of me, never have they sent any of them into the chapel before this day. Once again, when I feel at my lowest, God sends me exactly what I need (and perhaps Crick may have had a hand in sending me this loving hug from Tommy as my special anniversary gift!!).
The following is the September 19th meditation from Jesus Calling. As it was my birthday, some of you may find, as I did, how totally appropriate it was for me :)!!
There is a mighty battle going on for control of your mind. Heaven and earth intersect in your mind; the tugs of both spheres influence your thinking. I created you with the capacity to experience foretastes of heaven. When you shut out the world and focus on My Presence, you can enjoy sitting with Me in heavenly realms. This is an incredible privilege reserved for precious ones who belong to Me and seek My Face. Your greatest strength is your desire to spend time communing with Me. As you concentrate on Me, My Spirit fills your mind with Life and Peace.
The world exerts a downward pull on your thoughts. Media bombard you with greed, lust and cynicism. When you face these things, pray for protection and discernment. Stay in continual communication with Me whenever you walk through the wastelands of this world. Refuse to worry, because this form of worldliness will weigh you down and block awareness of My Presence. Stay alert, recognizing the battle being waged against your mind. Look forward to an eternity of strife-free living, reserved for you in heaven. Jesus Calling
Do not love the world or what is in the world. If anyone does love the world, the love of the Father finds no place in him, because everything there is in the world – disordered bodily desires, disordered desires of the eyes, pride in possession is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world, with all its disordered desires, is passing away. But whoever does the will of God remains forever. 1 John 2: 15-17
P.S. I said good-bye to two of my very favorite Yankees this season…….Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte. The World Series takes on less excitement for me this year as the Yankees failed to make the play-offs (the A-Rod curse!!), but I am truly happy for Todd (Tigers), Bobby (Pirates), Tommy (Dodgers) and Bob (Red Sox)…..(that last one really hurt me!!)…………..may the best team win!!!!