TBT……..”Find Something For Mary To Do”

Given my penchant for living in the past so as to avoid present day chores (LOL)….I began searching through some of my previous posts & came upon this Thanksgiving post from 2012. Therefore, I thought that I would republish the post and offer it as an early TBT (throwback Thursday)!!! It might also serve to explain to any new readers the “dreamcrusher” title which was bestowed upon me years ago and which I try my very best to uphold! :) The post also brought back the painful memory of the 2012 election…how I wish we all knew then what we know now!  (Don’t worry I will refrain from further political comment….I am quite exhausted from explaining my views on FB the past two weeks!).  You might also take note that in the original post I made reference to “making a long story short”…..which coincidentally dovetails with my most recent “Cliff Notes” post of  3,000 “quick” words.  It seems that for me, getting to the heart of the matter, has to go by way of the head, shoulders, knees and toes!!!


I believe I may be in some serious need of a thorough “mind sweep”  (you know, similar to a “mine” sweep which is a vessel used by the Navy to “detect, destroy, remove or neutralize explosive marine mines”.   Following the election, there is admittedly much to be “neutralized, and or, destroyed” in this (some would say) rather “explosive” mind of mine!!!!!  LOL   I am truly grateful, however, that there were so many family members who were texting or calling to check-up on me the day after the election.  And, after a twenty-four hour self-imposed exile from all political news and commentary, I finally replied to them that I had been perched on the edge of the West North Broadway bridge overlooking the dark, dreary, cold Olentangy River when a voice called out to me from the heavens yelling, “No Mare!!!!! Don’t jump!!!!!!…………………just think……………………you now have four more years to torment your family and friends with your political rantings!!!!”  Oh that Crick…………..he is definitely watching over me…………..that thought “made my day” (thank you Crick and Clint)!!!!!!

And so, with renewed determination and the firm belief that…….”in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called  according to His purpose”  (Romans 8:28)…….. I am confident that, as Aretha Franklin so famously sang………………….. “I Will Survive”!!

turkey bowl
A few of my “dreamcrushed” nieces & nephews at last year’s Turkey Bowl

There is still, however, a burning question (curiously unrelated to politics) remaining in my “explosive” mind and that is, “Where do I go from here??” (note to my children…..do not worry………it is really more of a rhetorical question).  Several days ago, as I was having breakfast at Bob Evans with Christine (thank goodness she and Bobby show up every so often………….keeps the B.E. staff from having to feel too sorry for the old “computer lady”  LOL).  Anyway, the conversation eventually moved from politics to a discussion about life in general and I began sharing with her that I felt as though I am currently at an impasse of sorts regarding my current role on planet earth.  Where am I on my life’s journey?  What is (or, as Josh says “what eeees that”?) the plan?  Perhaps it is a part of my self-declared OCD type personality that I have always, always, always needed, not only order, but structure and routine in my life; and now when I put those “two feet on the floor”, I don’t know exactly where they are supposed to go each day (I guess that is quite obvious from the fact that I tend to show up at my 1/2 day a week job on the wrong day!!!!!! LOL ).  So maybe all of my 20+ year old nieces and nephews could get together with their old “dreamcrusher” Aunt and we could help map out each other’s destinies…………oooooooohhhhhhhhnnnnnnnooooooo………..what am I saying???????  Surely they would plot to recommend me for the cook’s job at Alcatraz preparing that “pot of boiling water” for the inmates !!!!  You know, I do believe I have just stumbled upon the answer to my dilemna……………..I will issue this challenge to all of my “favorite” nieces and nephews……………….Find Something For “Mary” (another name these same nieces/nephews love to call me by) To Do ………………….the one who chooses the best viable path for me will be rewarded with the “most stupid dream” of their choice being hailed as the greatest thing since sliced bread!!!!!!

Leah, Erin & Katie found this magnet for me while on vacation last year!!
Leah, Erin & Katie found this magnet for me while on vacation last year!!

Here is the back story to the family”dreamcrusher” saga.  During the course of raising our four awesome children, I  felt the “need” to temper their enthusiasm for certain aspirations with my own “glass half-empty realism” especially as, once they had graduated from high school, their ambitions (a.k.a.”dreams” ) were mistakenly presented to me for my “approval”.  These ranged from taking on huge debt in order to go away to college,  getting an apartment, buying a car………..to…………going on any manner of  “winter/spring/summer” vacations to California/Ireland/Caribbean/Florida/Las Vegas (financed by????) because “I may never have another opportunity to do this/go there ……… to………….moving to North Carolina to try out for a professional softball team (financed by??????)……..to…….  starting up one’s own daycare facility (financed by??????)……..to……… buying an Edible Arrangement franchise (financed by??????) while holding down a full-time job……..to……. buying a Stork Decor & More franchise while caring for 3 small, young children……….to……….attending nursing school and holding down a part-time job while simultaneously caring for 3 small children……….to………holding down a full-time job while caring for 3 children and attending a Master’s degree program……….to………holding down a full-time job and pursuing the development and implementation of a newly conceived software program to improve efficiency at one’s job!!!!  Are these my kids???!!!!  Apparently the “thinking out of the box” DNA came directly from their Dad (definitely not their Mom).  Although they each experienced a few of “it’s a hard knock life” lessons, they steadfastly continued to pursue their dreams and that persistence has served them all extraordinarily well.  Now, please refer back to paragraph three of this post……….and consider the fact that simply stated my dreams were to………. marry my true love, live in the neighborhood where I grew up, raise thoughtful, caring, compassionate children, live to enjoy grandchildren and continue to grow old somewhat gracefully!!!  Mission accomplished!!!  (Well……..I am obviously still hard at work on that last one LOL!!!)  Granted, there was a lot of stuff going on in between my somewhat simple dreams and the life that often had a way of pulling me in different directions, but still, once I needed to work outside the home, I obstinately remained in the same job for eighteen years!! (my motto, then, as now is …………..”don’t jump out of the frying pan and into the fire”!!)

I guess this is turning into……..the short story……long :)!!!  All the same, I will try to get to the point (I see some eyes rolling!!).  The Clark-side nieces and nephews, while gathered together at various family functions over the years, have similarly spoken of some of their ambitions and “dreams” and I have dutifully provided them with a heavy dose of my ever-present “realism” (is that Crick’s voice I hear whispering “negativism/pessimism/cynicism”???).  Hence, they have also have come to adopt my children’s title for me…… “Dreamcrusher”………….a title, I might add, that I am honored to embrace and uphold!!!!!  I am quite certain that when we all gather at Whetstone Park for the annual Turkey Bowl on Friday, they will be most eager to share many more of their dreams for me to crush!!!  LOL

Speaking of the “Turkey Bowl” ……….it is so hard to believe that Thanksgiving is already upon us.  This is one of those alternate years when our gathering will be about half of what it usually is due to various family members spending time with the in-law side of their families.  Jennifer has bravely offered her home for all of our immediate family as well as Kathy, Bob, Chelsea, Ben, Jo, Tom, Nate and Dylan…..twenty-six in all.  Once again, I have escaped cooking the turkey as I have for forty of the forty-two years of my married life.  This year, I have been called upon to put on my infamous “pot of boiling water” in order to cook the potatoes for the traditional mashed potato casserole.  To further illustrate my renowned cooking/baking talent, I present this recent Facebook post that a very dear friend shared with me after a search through her recipe file revealed this particular “recipe” which I had apparently presented to her on the occasion of her bridal shower twenty years ago:

MM’s Recipe for Baked Tupperware With Melted Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • slave all afternoon in hot kitchen baking several dozen chocolate chip cookies
  • place cookies in $10 tupperware container
  • place tupperware on rack in oven
  • forget all about it for several hours
  • then pre-heat oven to 350 to bake large pan of lasagna
  • invite 2 sisters to dinner
  • leave house to pick up kids at basketball practice
  • stop at store, shop for 1/2 hr
  • return home
  • get prepared lasagna out of refrigerator
  • open oven door and observe tupperware and cookies which should by now be nicely baked to perfection
  • to test for doneness – be sure all tupperware plastic has melted down so that it is dripping from top rack to bottom of oven
  • be sure cookies are all lying in a melted chocolate mess at the bottom of oven.
  • spend the next day and a half cleaning the oven and apologizing to the 2 sisters who thought they were going to be treated to a lasagna dinner!!!!!!!!!!!!

You see, having very limited space in my small kitchen, I would often store (or hide) cookies/cakes/pies in my oven and the forget to remove them when I needed to bake again……………….is it any wonder that I have never earned the title of “Domestic Goddess” ?????? LOL!!!!

As I am always drawn, it seems, to writing about the coincidences between my random thoughts such as, “Where am I on life’s journey?” and God’s  insertion of Himself into that thought process, I must share this reading from my daily devotional chosen from the very same day on which I began to write this post:

As you look at the day before you, you see a twisted, complicated path with branches going off in all directions.  You wonder how you can possibly find your way through that maze.  Then you remember the One who is with you always, holding you by your right hand. You recall My promise to guide you with My counsel, and begin to relax.  As you look again at the path ahead, you notice that a peaceful fog has settled over it, obscuring your view.  You can see only a few steps in front of you, so you turn your attention more fully to Me and begin to enjoy My Presence.

The fog is a protection for you, calling you back into the present moment.  Although I inhabit all of space and time you can communicate with Me only here and now.  Someday the fog will no longer be necessary, for you will have learned to keep your focus on Me and on the path just ahead of you.                               from Jesus Calling

Even so, I stayed in your Presence, you grasped me by the right hand, you will guide me with advice and will draw me in the wake of your glory.                Psalm 73: 23-24    

Upon further reflection of the above meditation, I believe that I should apply the wisdom of our Arthur Murray dance instructor from years ago who had this perfect take on Crick and me…….. having spent some time observing our respective dance styles, he said quietly to me, “You are always trying to lead!” and to Crick he said, “You never move from your spot!”   I vow to strive for more patience and to let God lead me on whatever path my next journey takes!!!!! :)

A few final TBT thoughts:

Note to nieces and nephews……it is now three years later and I am still waking up, “putting two feet on the floor” and while I still do not know where those two feet are supposed to take me,  Mary always, always, always seems to find something to do!!

And, as I approach Thanksgiving with a heart overflowing with God’s many blessings, I think of Crick and how he used to gently admonish me with his glass half-full philosophy and how often I would silently rail against it.  Sometimes, in my stubborn mind, life just didn’t seem fair or just.  Over many years, I have learned how ironic life is…..”it takes sadness to know what happiness is, noise to appreciate silence and absence to value presence”.   Each challenge, obstacle and sorrow in my life has strengthened and empowered me to live more as Crick did…….wanting less, worrying less…..leaving me free to love more and to be at peace.  (my apologies to Crick for being such a slow learner!!  LOL)

Happy Thanksgiving and may your day be full of “all things bright and beautiful“!!!!!


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