The Absent-Minded “Loser”

As the Schultheis family once again begins the process of healing from our most recent loss,  I will attempt to refocus this blog on the more mundane aspects of the Clark/Schultheis saga which more often than not reads like a script from the sitcom, “The Middle”!!

Nate, Dylan
Nate, Dylan

Back-tracking several weeks, I must share these photos that I discovered had been taken on my camera “in secret” on Thanksgiving Day by niece, Chelsea (who shall one day pay

Jo, Tom
Jo, Tom

dearly for this infraction!!).  It seems that she seized an opportunity to borrow (a.k.a. steal LOL) my camera in order to pull a prank on me, aided by these quite willing accomplices, by providing a little “surprise” when I downloaded my pictures!!!!  The irony of the “loser” hand motion shown in these pictures is that after she had taken the pictures, and before I became aware of her mischief, several of the “co-conspirators” sat down with me to play a card game after Thanksgiving dinner.  Throughout the card game, I unwittingly used this very same gesture to  show my “superiority” to the other players when the cards happened to be falling my way.  It seems that just like Rodney Dangerfield………………”I don’t get no respect!!!”

Chelsea.............whose "dreams" shall henceforth be forever "crushed"
Chelsea………….whose “dreams” shall henceforth be forever “crushed”

Anyway, despite the fact that there are apparently some “losers” :) in this family………….the younger crowd sought to make up for them by embarking on their own card game…………………..5 card stud!!!!!!  They were aided and abetted in this by the Dads………..Chris, Jim and Joe.  We could hear shouts of I’ve got 2 pair………look at my hand – 3 of a kind……….I’ll raise you two………..all coming from the mouths of kids ranging in age from five to thirteen!!!  Whatever happened to Crazy 8’s and Old Maid??

2012-11-22 17.39.49

2012-11-22 17.39.35

The "pot"
The “pot”

The day after Thanksgiving dawned blustery, damp and cold for the 3rd Annual Clark Turkey Bowl leaving it to the hardiest Clarks to vie for the honor of winning the best

There is that dreamcrushed Chelsea again standing over time I see that girl I am going to have to tie her hands behind her back!!!
There is that dreamcrushed Chelsea again standing over me…… time I see that girl I am going to have to tie her hands behind her back!!!

of 4 games.  This year I begged (LOL) to be a “captain” putting me in charge of choosing the players for my team………………thus guaranteeing that I would not end up being one of the very last players to be selected (as I have been for each of the previous years…………..could it be because I am old and slow…………and………… because I notoriously duck whenever the football is thrown anywhere near me???????).  Anyway, the powers to be ended up granting “captain” status to the four Clark sisters……….me, Kathy, Jo and Christine.  I am proud to say that my team came in second, thanks in large part to my infamous propensity for staying out of the way of the ball!!!!   LOL.

Those of you who grew up in Clintonville in the 60’s & 70’s are sure to appreciate this conversation which took place between granddaughter Natalie (age 9) and me on Thanksgiving morning.  About ten years ago, Crick and I began another one of our rituals………………….attending Mass on Thanksgiving morning and then going to breakfast at the only restaurant open in the neighborhood on Thanksgiving Day………………..Tee Jayes Country Place.  In recent years, Jennifer, Jim and their kids joined us, and so it was again that this year, as we were placing our orders for breakfast, I mentioned to Olivia, Sam and Natalie that “back in the day” when Crick tee jayesand I were at Watterson, after many of the football and basketball games, there would be a mass migration of students from the school to this exact location which at the time was known as Jerry’s Drive-In.  I related how we used to “walk” up the alley way from Cooke Rd. to the Morse Rd. location in small and large groups (note: small groups would be the “couples” who happened to be dating at the time) (additional note:  I was always part of the large group……………..Crick was more often than not in one of small groups LOL!!!!!).   Anyway, I was telling them all about how it was back in the day, and also sharing my memories of the old pizza restaurant, “Riccardi’s, which sat on the opposite corner of Jerry’s Drive-In.   Riccardi’s was rather small and the wait for a table could be quite long …….your group just might be asked to leave (a.k.a “thrown out”) for taking up a big table and only ordering colas and no pizza!!!!  I think eventually Olivia and Sam lost interest in the story, but I still had Natalie’s attention and I soon found out why.  When I had finished reminiscing, she chimed in that their third grade class had just recently learned about Jerry’s Drive-In during a history lesson on Clintonville…………………………..oooohhhh nnnnoooo………………… high school memories are now incorporated into my grandchildren’s history class!!!!  How did this happen?????  (the following you-tube video was taken in 1985 at one of the occasional “cruise-ins” just before Jerry’s closed forever, and gives a pretty vivid explanation of how “historical” those days have become!! )

Actually, this all should come as no surprise to me……………I prove my age every day by my forgetfulness!!!  Case in point………………..a couple of weeks ago I was over at Jay and Rayne’s and we were discussing how we all seem to be experiencing more and more frequent occasions of misplacing items or stopping mid-sentence to search for a name or a word, or, in my case……….showing up for work at the wrong office, or on the wrong day!!!!  Well, after I had said good-bye and had driven home, I walked into my house and saw that my phone was blinking, indicating that someone had left a message.  My ears perked up when I heard the voice…………………it was Rayne trying unsuccessfully to control her laughter……………….it seems that I had left my cell phone on their table!!!!!!!! :).  What can I say??  I have no defense!!!!  And to make matters even worse………….. the very next day, I woke up late and so I called Dr. Lori to leave a message that I was running a few minutes late and also phoned the office leaving a message there as well.  As I was driving (a.k.a “speeding”) up I-71 towards Sunbury, my cell phone rings and it is one of the front desk staff………………………………………….. “Mary Margaret??  We listened to your message…………………………………………………………………….. do you think you are working today??!”  Oooohhhh nnnnoooo!!!  Yep!!  I did it again, I was one week early, and as the next freeway exit was still ten miles up the road, I had to continue all the way to Sunbury, thirty miles from my house.  One might think that incidents such as this would be cause for some embarrassment on my part, however, these days, pride has given way to humility!!  LOL   That surrender came some years ago when I called to schedule a check-up with my dentist.  Priding myself (darn that pride!) on having committed the phone number to my memory, I heard the voice on the other end ask if they could help me (oh, if they only knew!) and so I said that I had wanted to schedule my cleaning appointment.  There was a bit of a pause, and then the scheduler began suggesting certain dates and times.  I chose one, and then as she repeated the date and time back to me, she stated that this appointment would be with Dr. Harmon.  Suddenly, a little tiny light went on and I repeated back to her, “Dr. Harmon??” ” Didn’t I just dial 885-@#@?”  She said that yes I had dialed that number, and then I began to explain that I thought that I was calling my dentist’s office…………..from the other end of the phone all I could hear was her laughter.  She proceeded to tell me that in all of the years that she had worked at the front desk, she had never had anyone call their office asking for a “cleaning” appointment……………and further stated that I had just made her day and she could not wait to share this moment with the other staff!!  If you are family and you have heard this story before, you know very well that Dr. Harmon happens to be my doctor………………………………………………and………………………………………. an OB/GYN!!!!!

Unfortunately, one cannot just make this stuff up!!!  LOL

On a much more somber note, in closing this post, I would like to share an excerpt from an article I read as I  know how everyone’s minds and hearts are with the families and children of Newtown, Connecticut:

This is not a time for political noise. It’s a time for compassion and introspection. There’s nothing more to be offered than heartfelt prayer for all of the families and the innocent school staff and children who were murdered, injured, and traumatized by a madman devoid of respect for life.

One of the most moving stories of heroism involved the music teacher who hid her students in a closet and prayed with them in whispers to keep them calm.  Faith has come under fire so frequently in the schools.  Yet, under fire, it is faith that sustains eternally.

We as individuals, and as a nation, will always have moments of darkness, when everything seems hopeless and life events seem overwhelming, but the Scriptures are a reassuring source to remind us of God’s presence.  God is always, always, always with us in our joy and in our sorrow.  His steadfast love and faithfulness are promises to which we can cling.  God alone will never let us down.  He promises His strength, His peace, and His comfort.  All we need to do is to trust, to believe, to hope and to depend on Him.

Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea and everything in them……….the Lord, who remains faithful forever.                                                            Psalm 146: 5-6



P.S.  One day I will figure out how to correctly add pictures to my blog without all of the irregular spacing which seems to occur between some of the sentences, but for now……………. what you see is what you get :)!


I am temporarily (as in the next few hours!) leaving behind the political world of the “right-wing nut” (although I guess I do have Neil Cavuto on my television screen right now :) ) so that I may focus on the day-to-day life of just a “regular nut”!!  As my poor, weary, harassed family and a few “lucky” friends are all too well aware, the looming election has me revved up and stuck in overdrive!!!!  LOL  So, I am forsaking politics for the moment to pull out of my hat some hopefully entertaining topics to take all of our minds away from the seriousness that surrounds us.  I was asked recently how I remember from one blog to the next what went on in my life a week, two weeks or even a month ago, and the fact is,  that I can’t remember.   For instance, I might have forgotten all about Tommy, Stephanie and the “shark tooth incident” if I hadn’t put a “note to self” in a word document that I keep on my computer desktop.

One thing that I can quite vividly remember is that I celebrated my 64th (oh!! that kinda hurt to write that) birthday on the 19th, a date which I now share with Mayce who was born on my birthday two years ago.  Josh turned two on the 12th and so the three of us celebrated several times with cake and ice cream over the course of the week.  By the time we had arrived at my celebration, the candles (minus about 54!!!) were placed on a half eaten birthday cake which was what was all that remained from the day before when Dr. Lori and Dr. Ira had thoughtfully surprised me with the cake at the office.  Jenn, Meg, Steph, Chris, Jim, Joe, Jess and all of the grand-kids made certain that my birthday was a joyous one.  I received a pair of much-needed shoes (athletic, tennis, walking, aerobic…………..not sure what to call them…………………I just know not to call them “running” shoes!!!!!), a “Go Bucks” Pandora charm, and a Jewel Kade necklace (JK is a  Party Plan vintage jewelry company that Jennifer began selling for part-time).  As you can see the two-sided charm has the S monogram on one side and our wedding photograph on the other.  Now I can always have Crick’s  “goofy”, but always engaging smile close at hand :).  My grandchildren also honored my birthday by restraining themselves from commenting on my “short, poofy” hair, my boring “black and white” wardrobe and my “wrinkled” face!!!!! (each of these telling observations have been highlighted in previous blogs).  And………………..speaking of grandchildren …….they continue to prove to be quite an entertaining group.  Since the beginning of the new school year I have added a couple more TGIFriday kids and now have to switch cars with Jessica or Stephanie as my Altima cannot safely accommodate eight of them.  I actually only have six of the grand-kids at I.C., but Tori (my niece and Christine’s daughter) is in Sam’s class and Tommy (the “shark tooth in the head” almost five-year old) didn’t want to miss out on the action.  Given their varying ages (from 13 down to 5) and their very different personalities (Sam, the “teaser/instigator”, Natalie, the “actress”, Olivia, the “unflappable”, Sophia, the “director”, Tori, the “commander”, Luke the “mastermind”, Sydney, the “informer”, and Tommy the “rookie instigator”) it usually isn’t too long before battle lines are drawn!!  LOL  The other day when they were all here, they found any number of plastic baseball bats and a few badminton rackets in the garage and were seen circling the outside of the house with bats and rackets raised…………………… one was crying and I saw no blood……………………..and so I remained inside to enjoy the temporary peace and quiet.  I later learned that they had been playing “Hunger Games” (??????????)………………..and yes, in case you are wondering, I was puzzled as to the purpose of their “game”, but I decided, for once, to remain blissfully ignorant and asked no further questions. LOL!!!

You know, my wise, very wise Mother once told me when I was probably “whining and complaining” too much about the frustrations of motherhood that you can try to mold your child’s personality, but you will never change that personality.  Oh my gosh, she was dead-on!!  I have been an over-anxious, OCD  “nut” my entire life…………………..I have told this story on myself more than once………………….when I was about eight or nine years old we were living on Chatham Rd. in Clintonville and I was walking with some of the older neighborhood kids to the rec center which was just down the street.  We were waiting to cross High Street and when the traffic cleared, they all started to cross, but I wouldn’t budge.  They came back to get me, but I said that I wasn’t allowed to cross there because there was a sign that read “Presbyterian Crossing” and I, of course, was a Catholic.  Now I don’t remember exactly what they said, but I am quite certain it was something like, “Ma-ry Mar-ga-ret…… are…………. a “n-u-t”……………………. a “nut“!!!  That sign reads Pedestrian Crossing, not Presbyterian!!!”  I don’t think I was even embarrassed, more like…………relieved………imagine what my life might have been like if I would have had to become a Presbyterian just to get across that road!!!!!!!

Another little observation about the “from birth” differences of my entertaining grand-kids concerns the communication skills of Mayce vs Josh (there are, of course, exceptions to this but you know the saying…………………………basically, men are from Mars and women are from Venus!!!)  Mayce and Josh are the youngest of three in each of their respective families……………Josh started walking at eight and a half months, was running by his first birthday and climbing all over everything in sight shortly thereafter. Mayce on the other hand didn’t start taking steps until she was beyond her first birthday and running came quite a bit after that, as for climbing….well, let’s just say she is still very cautious.  However, when it comes to verbalizing……………Mayce was all over that milestone………………..she was talking in coherent sentences at just about the time Josh had figured out how to climb out of his crib!!  Meanwhile we were all left wondering when Josh would finally begin to let us know what exactly was going on inside that head of his.  Until a couple of months ago, he spoke in some foreign language known only to himself but now, he is slowly revealing those innermost thoughts to all of us (hint………it’s short and swe………………well, it’s short!!!)

After watching that video if you are curious as to whether Josh has any words other than “Dad” in his vocabulary, I can assure you he has acquired quite a few now.  Just last week Jessica picked up Josh after I had been watching him for a short period and she said that when they returned home, Josh blurted out this entire sentence to Christopher…………………………………”I had fun with Nana……………………..I cleaned” (ya’ gotta’ get them when they’re young………………after age seven, they’ve learned that “cleaning” is no longer any fun!!!!! LOL).

One last reference about my age……………………………….. I was given a survey from Bob Evans this week to receive a free coffee, and when I got to the end of the survey, one of the last questions you are asked is what age group you are in………………I was appalled to learn that I am teetering on the very edge of the last and oldest group!!!!!!!!!!!!  Seriously though, when you are fortunate to live over sixty years in this world, you discover that God blesses you the most with lasting personal relationships which impact you all throughout your earthly life.  As I have stated many, many times over the course of the past two years, I have indeed been richly blessed!!!   And as my life continues to unfold in unexpected ways, I have grown more attuned to seeing how God works in the world each and every day to reveal Himself to us through the kindness and goodness of those around us.

I am perpetually with you, taking care of you.  That is the most important fact of your existence.  I am not limited by time or space; My Presence with you is a forever-promise.  You need not fear the future, for I am already there.  When you make that quantum leap into eternity, you will find Me awaiting you in heaven.  Your future is in My hands;  I release it to you day by day, moment by moment.  Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow.

I want you to live this day abundantly, seeing all there is to see, doing all there is to do.  Don’t be distracted by future concerns.  Leave them to Me!  Each day of life is a glorious gift, but so few people know how to live within the confines of today.  Much of their energy for abundant living spills over the time line into tomorrow’s worries or past regrets.  Their remaining energy is sufficient only for limping through the day, not for living it to the full.  I am training you to keep your focus on My Presence in the present.  This is how to receive abundant Life, which flows freely from My throne of grace.               from Jesus Calling

So do not worry about tomorrow: tomorrow will take care of itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.                         Matthew 6:34



P.S.   The narrow Buckeye win not withstanding…………it has been a very good sports week…………………I am 3-1 in my FFFL league and in second place!!!  The Yankees have at least clinched a play-off berth and still lead by one game over the Orioles!!!   If the Reds and the Yankees end up, by some miracle, in the World Series, I am going to have to re-mortgage my home to get tickets…………….Crick against me…………..what could be more of a contest?????!!!!!  LOL

40 Days For Life and For the USA

I am desperately trying to reach as many faithful family and friends as possible who may not be aware of this national plea for prayer and fasting to urgently seek God’s help for the unborn and for our nation as we enter these last 40 days before the general election.  Therefore I am using my personal blog for this one occasion to send a link to the information about the 40 days for life and the 40 days of prayer for our nation.  Please encourage others to join in asking for God’s protective and healing grace in the days ahead.

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”
Mother Teresa

“The example of the early Church should inspire 21st century Christians to pray during tough times in the trust and knowledge that Jesus is “the hope which does not disappoint”.  May we learn to see that God is present in our lives, even at moments of difficulty, and that everything, even things incomprehensible, is part of a plan of love in which the final victory over evil, sin and death is truly is that of goodness, grace, life and grace.”                                                            – – Pope Benedict XVI



Oh Where, Oh Where Did “Mare” Go?

Having been absent from my blog for almost three weeks, I was thinking (danger, danger!!) about how to begin this entry.  Then from out of nowhere, this childhood tune entered into my head and I began to play around with the lyrics just a tiny bit and it came out like this  :

Oh where, oh where has Crick’s crazy “nut” gone?

Oh where, oh where has she been?

When the power went out and the family moved in

Oh where, oh where did she go?

If, as they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words”, then these few pics tell the whole story of the past several weeks.

A day after the last post, we had a thirty minute violent storm pass through central Ohio bringing with it 70-80 mph winds which toppled hordes of trees and brought down power lines all over the area.  Within minutes, nearly every single family member with the exception of my brother Tommy & my sister Kathy had lost all power.   Up until the “great” snow/ice storm and power outage of Christmas, 2004 in which power was out for days, and in some cases, weeks; we had never worried too much about losing electricity as the power was usually restored in a matter of hours.  Then, in September, 2008 we had the effects of Hurricane Ike bring hurricane force winds into Columbus and all electricity was again lost for up to seven days.  When we lost power at that time, Crick had gone on craigslist and purchased a generator, because I moaned and complained that I just had to have my hair dryer!!!! (Heaven knows I could have cared less about not being able to “boil” that pot of water LOL).  Now here is the great question I have been pondering, was Crick pleading with God on my behalf so that I was spared the loss of electricity and the use of my precious hair dryer, or, was there some serious bargaining going on between him and God, so as to make sure that each one of our adult children, as well as Christine and Mike, lost their power, thus making my house the “go to” place for refrigeration, laundry, showers,  electronic charging station, television & video viewing, eating a hot meal and hanging out (Stephanie, Joe and the 3 grandkids……..were there really only 3…..were here for five days………..was it really only five……..Joe, I am just kidding!! ????).   Is Crick really getting the “last laugh”????!!!!  It remains a great question :).

Eventually, Stephanie, Joe and kids moved out (LOL) as the AEP crews, having worked long hours in incredible heat, restored power and returned everyone back to the 21st century.  We were then able to celebrate the birthdays of Olivia, Katie and the USA before heading to Kure Beach, North Carolina on July 7th with a contingent of 27 family members  (unfortunately, Steph, Joe and the kids had to pass this trip up as Stephanie is in her next to last quarter of nursing school………..I do believe Joe was silently breathing a sigh of relief………having spent five days living under the same roof as his “nutty” mother-in-law, another seven days may have sent him over the edge!!  LOL).  We were fortunate to find an affordable 12 bedroom duplex which accommodated our large group very nicely.  There was access to both sides off of the upper deck and so all of the younger kids found great pleasure in playing hide and seek between the two sides when they had had enough of the sun and surf.  The pier was just up the road from the house where the kids could get an ice cream cone and play arcade games in the evening.  Everyone was free to come and go as they pleased and sort of “do their own thing”.   No matter the time of day, there always seemed to be someone who was ready to ride the waves, search for seashells, play some beach volleyball or a game of wiffle ball, sit down for a game of euchre, “pass the trash” or catch-phrase.   On Tuesday, Todd, Tom, Mike, Leah and Erin got up early to embark on a four-hour fishing trip during which time they caught over 50 Spanish mackerel, some of which then became our dinner for that evening.  As they were all discussing the events of the morning, I couldn’t help but remember how Crick loved to fish, although “catching” fish was something that often eluded him.  I used to say that it was a holiday for all sea life whenever Crick headed out somewhere with his tackle box and fishing pole :).  He did manage to bring back a little “surprise” for me when we were at North Topsail Beach a couple of years ago.  He had apparently been waiting very patiently for me this particular day to come up the stairs, and then when he heard me open the door. he presented me with his “catch” of the day (someone (Jessica) just happened to have her camera ready)…………….it was only a little old sand shark, but it was still alive and wiggling, and as you can tell from the picture, I wanted nothing to do with it!   You see, sand sharks are but one reason why I don’t venture very far out into the ocean water…….squishy, gritty sand under my feet, sand in my suit and in my hair, and salt water on my lips are several others.  My bird phobia also served to provide a bit of family entertainment as I tried to relax in my comfy beach chair while gazing out at the beautiful blue and aqua water, for I was continually startled and tormented by low flying sea gulls.  This may seem quite inconsequential to more seasoned beach goers, but I nearly fell out of my chair ducking and weaving  to avoid being in their flight path.  Not only did these sea gulls seem to single me out on the beach, they also targeted me while we were dining out on a pier one night in Wrightsville Beach.   The particular sea-gull in the picture seemed to delight in circling our table as we were eating, occasionally landing precariously close to us on one of the umbrella tops or wooden posts, and at other times vigorously flapping his wings as he hovered over a nearby railing.  He did this so many times that I would have sworn Crick had come back reincarnated as the pesky, annoying sea-gull :).   I admit that I really am a big beach sissy, but perhaps a few more trips to the ocean and I may actually conquer my fears and wade all the way into the ocean up to my waist and bring along a picnic lunch for the birds!   I do, after all, consider myself to be still a work in progress!!  Wait…………………..did I just say p-r-o-g-r-e-s-s…….. that  sets off a little bell in my brain, as in p-r-o-g-r-e-s-s-i-v-e, which leads to the dreaded “p” word!  I will apologize right now for continuing on this hazardous path, but while I had “Oscar” (laptop) with me and internet access, there was always too much going on to devote any time to keeping up with the “outside” world.  Now that I am home and have re-engaged with the blogoshpere……I find my “obsession” has reignited.  I just want to let you all know, that as I was quite innocently walking down to the pier one evening with the grandkids, I was taking note of all of the various beach homes and as I came to this particular house what do you suppose stared right back at me?????  Not just one, not just two, not just three, but 5 Barack Obama posters and signs strategically placed in the windows on all three levels of the house…………….they could hear my “ranting” all the way back to our duplex LOL!!

I do have a little confession to make…………I donated to Obama’s campaign……………G-A-S-P!!  Better make that a double G-A-S-P!!  I think the devil made me do it.  You see, I received an e-mail from the Obama campaign stating that if I donated to the campaign, I would be entered into a raffle and if selected, I would be invited to have dinner with the President as well as select his dinner partner.   I just could not pass up this opportunity and so I clicked on the donate icon and entered in my $1.00 donation………………….it was rejected!!!!  Apparently, the minimum donation is $3.00, and so I mulled that over for a moment, held my breath, waited for lightening to strike, and then clicked “donate”.  The “deed” was done, but then the fun part came as I was directed to a page with an insert designated for typing in the name of the person being chosen for the President’s dinner partner.  Very carefully I began to type in…………………………..G-L-E-N-N  B-E-C-K!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Oh yes, that $3.00 was a very small price to pay for the momentary pleasure that one act provided to me!!  And now, that I have managed to sneak that name into my blog, this seems to be a great opportunity to give a “shout out” to Chris, Jessica, Sophia & Sydney who decided to take part in Beck’s National Lemonade Stand & Bake Sale Day in June which raised almost $400.00 and was split between two charities (Mercury One, provided 600 pounds of food to feed the needy and the Peletonia/One Goal, a bike tour which raises funds to fight cancer).  It was so encouraging to witness so many people willing to give generously on behalf of those in need – one gentleman handed Christopher a  crisp $100 bill!!

      The simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.          Mahatma Gandhi

Looking back, as I am want to do these days, over the past few weeks especially, thinking of all of the recent family moments………….the birthdays, graduations, showers, weddings, the lemonade stand, t-ball, baseball & softball games, the beach vacation and even the power outage…… gives me pause to reflect yet once again, how very blessed I have been and how very grateful I am for all of the wonderful people in my life, be they family or friends.  When I close my eyes at night, I can truly say that I am at peace knowing that I have my Faith, I have my Family, I have my Friends and I have Hope :).

Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace.  God is awake.                          Victor Hugo



P.S.  I owe a great, big thank you to Jay for insisting that I bring my car into his shop to have the oil changed (one of those jobs Crick always took care of and one that I definitely will not be taking on), and while checking over the tires, he found a large bulge in one of the rear tires.  He set me up with a brand new tire which made the journey a safe one :)………..if you are looking for a trustworthy mechanic, I highly recommend Jay’s NASCAR Garage!!

P.P.S.  Another first for me was that I drove the entire way home from North Carolina, something I would never have needed to do with Crick around……it was always much more fun for me to be the “backseat driver”………… and I could sure “drive” him crazy without ever touching the wheel!!! LOL

Heaven Is For Real

Click to enlarge


I am inserting this little notation as a way to explain my absence for a week.   I started this post seven days ago, but as life often gets in the way of life (well, that’s how I define all of the interruptions!) such as, just as I am sure you all may also experience, the June array of bridal showers, weddings, graduations, birthdays, pool time, baseball outings, lawn care (that pesky euonymus!), jobs (even the 5-10 hour/week ones…LOL), lemonade stands (to be explained in the next post), religious liberty rallies (ditto for the next post), visits from old friends, research for “p” blogs………………………well………………… get the picture.


Where do I begin???????????  Well, I know where I won’t begin………………………….I won’t begin with any words about our President & I further promise you that I will not utter one, single, solitary political utterance for the entire length of this blog post!!!!!  There……………………….are you all breathing a sigh of relief?? You may now “safely” proceed:

Before the Memorial Tournament interrupted my thought process last week and started me out on a whole different topic than I had intended (which I cannot reference as it would lead to the mentioning of the “p” word…….LOL),  I had planned to write about another rather remarkable incident that happened to me.  It was the last Wednesday of the school year in which all eight grades at I.C. had their last opportunity to gather at Mass as an entire student body.  Usually there is a small group of daily church goers who remain after the Mass to pray the rosary, but on this particular day, after all of the students had finally departed, I found myself to be the only one remaining with the exception of one or two parishioners who were helping out in the sacristy.  And so, I decided to go over to one of the shrines devoted to  Our Lady which is set off to the side in the rear of the church.   I took out the rosary which had belonged to my Mom and began to meditate on the Glorious Mysteries.  Now for those of you who are not familiar with the Catholic tradition of the rosary,  it consists of the recitation of specific prayers corresponding with particular beads (from the Anglo-Saxon word “bede”, meaning prayer).  Around the rosary chain there are five sets of each of these beads and each set of ten beads is called a decade, and the thoughts during the prayer are directed to focus on a different mystery representing significant events in the life of Christ and Mary, His Mother.  (Clarks do not tell “short” stories!!!!)………… back to the Glorious Mysteries upon which  I was attempting to meditate!!!  I usually find the events of these Glorious Mysteries to be the more difficult for me to focus on as two of the Mysteries reflect on the Resurrection and Ascension of Christ into heaven (thus, it requires meditating on that very elusive and unnerving term………………….eternity!).   For some reason, as I was trying to put myself back to the moment in time when the two “Mary’s” went to inspect the tomb and encountered the angel who rolled back the stone and gave them the news that Jesus had been raised just as He had promised, I began to think about all of the “angels” that I have encountered in my life, especially over these last two years.  And then I questioned……………..just what would I have believed, had I lived over two thousand years ago, had I happened upon an Angel of God and an empty grave?? And then my terribly distracted mind started veering off track, wondering if “heavenly” angels really do have wings and what feathery material would they be made of…………..are the birds with their “feathery wings” and flying capability (minus their “annoying” chirping sounds LOL) thus divinely designed??  Does this then make the angels really stand out in heaven among all of those earthly beings (you know, like Crick) who dwell among them but have never had wings???

Fortunately…………… I came to the tenth bead (I probably should have started that decade over as I don’t think “angels”, their “wings” and the bird analogy was the type of “meditation” intended for spiritual growth!), and it was time to move on to the mystery of the Ascension of Our Lord into Heaven (reference previous comment from above regarding Clarks and “short” stories :-) ).  And, as I have just so clearly illustrated my inability to remain focused, I do keep with me a prayer-book which includes a chapter on specific thought-provoking scriptural passages pertaining to each mystery on a bead by bead basis.  I have found this to be immensely helpful (well…………….most of the time!).  As I was reflecting on the words………….”He goes to prepare a place for us, and has returned to the Father, in Heaven.  And He has promised: “Where I am, you can be too.”  I began to think of Crick and of all my other family members, who are gone from here and reflecting on how I have felt Crick’s presence on different occasions which have brought me peace and comfort; wondering about how he certainly must be enjoying heaven along with the freedom from all that plagues us here on earth.  As these thoughts went through my beleaguered mind, I began to consider what I might hopefully look forward to in the promise of Christ to share in that eternal joy of heaven.  My devotional passages spoke of the many Apostles, even the ones we don’t hear so much about, faithfully and trustingly committing their lives here on earth to spreading the messages of God’s promises to us, often sacrificing their lives in order that others might also come to know and believe.  I wondered if I was measuring up, hoping that Heaven would eventually also be revealed to me…………………..and then………………………in the stillness and emptiness of the church, a woman with whom I am only acquainted from our mutual attendance at daily Mass, taps me on the shoulder (how did she know that I was even there, kneeling at a shrine in a far off corner in the back of the church ????) and asks me if I have ever read the book………………………… Heaven Is For Real………………………………I can only imagine the startled expression on my face!!  She quite simply said, “If you haven’t read it, I think that you will really like it.”  That was all she said……………….I thanked her, she walked away as quietly as she had appeared.  Please follow the link below (for some unknown reason, and trust me (Stephanie, your phrases are haunting me LOL), I have spent hours and hours trying to resolve the fact that my wordpress blog no longer automatically links videos directly to the blog!!!)

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, what do you think of that????????!!!!!!!  Well, as I am a believer (and becoming more so!!), in my heart of hearts, I believe that God and Crick were once again “discussing” me and felt that I needed a boost and yet another reason to continue to believe and trust in God’s very real Presence in my daily life and in the hope of an eternal life.  And that what awaits us is something,  “That eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, what things God hath prepared for them that love him”.   1 Corinthians 2:9.  God, who alone knows us with a knowledge we can not even begin to wrap our minds around, simply asks us to continually seek Him through the silence and stillness of prayer, and He will reveal Himself and His promises in ways that bring us hope, comfort and peace!!  I truly believe that there are some events in our lives that are just not mere “coincidences”.

Perhaps there is yet another reason why this particular post has been delayed until today and why I unwittingly chose the “Living Life” picture for this particular blog which each of the kids and I have hanging in our homes as a reminder of how Crick envisioned life should be lived.  Perhaps, it is because today is Father’s Day, a bittersweet day of remembrance for Crick and for all of our loving, caring, hard-working Dads and Grandfathers, now deceased, who spent a lifetime nurturing, providing for and giving guidance to their children and grandchildren.  Today’s Mass at Immaculate Conception was offered in Crick’s memory (and all nine of the grandchildren attended and the younger ones fidgeted, squirmed, chewed gum, ate goldfish, climbed and were passed back and forth………… was almost as if Crick were there egging them on…….LOL).   And…………………………… conclusion (having exceeded my self imposed 1200 words……….imagine that!!)…………………………………………I would like to wish Christopher, Joe, Jim, the Clark and Schultheis brothers and brother-in-laws all whom I observe on a regular basis faithfully executing the responsibilities of fatherhood……………………….a very Happy Father’s Day!!

This video link is a wonderful way of celebrating all fathers everywhere and from all time, just as we also celebrate Our Father in Heaven.



P.S. If someone taps you on the shoulder and tells you Heaven is for real……………..believe it!!! LOL