my own worst enemy

Sometimes I wonder about the voices I hear in my head. I know God can speak to me, but I speak to myself too, and sometimes cut Him off. Luckily He often comes back later to see if I have time for him. I try to reserve time and space to get the communication I need. I really do.

Impressions come. Like montages of photographs, I see things I need to do or people I need to talk to. I usually act on these things, but you know how it goes.

And lately I find myself overcrowded. My own doing most of the time. But when I allow cracks of light to come in I feel warm again. I need some answers and some companionship that will help me to push through while staying here in my good present.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Respect the stupor.

This is a mantra my husband learned to live by when he was bishop of our ward and sometimes faced times when it seemed like he was not getting answers.

A stupor as an answer.  Think it's possible?

out cold

We have spent days cleaning closets and sorting through years of things.  It takes it out of you, not just physically, but emotionally.  I was up by 8 today doing laundry and washing dishes.  Standing at the sink I thought about the things that tie us down, not necessarily in a too-much-junk kind of way.  Plenty of these things are important reminders of what we have done and where we have been.  China from my grandmothers, handmade mother's day cards from my sons, love letters.  So much of it matters to me.  But so much doesn't.  Throw it out, I said this week, more times than I can count.

To get a little break from the house I drove my son to his cello lesson today.  After dropping him off at his teacher's home, I drove down to a sandwich shop, grabbed some food, and sat in my car reading "Old Cape Magic" off of my iPad.  I am liking it so far.  The warm Winter sun shining in the window made me feel a bit sleepy on the drive home.  With all of this week piled up in my head, I walked in, said Hey to my husband as I passed the den, then fell right onto the bed for an hour long rest, still clutching my purse and my iPad.

Good week.  Good day.

with you in spirit

Hi Friends.  We listed our home for sale yesterday.  We are hoping to take advantage of the great interest rates and get a newer and bigger home for a decent deal (already found one and feel the crunch to sell here so we can buy there).  I tell you this as an excuse for not reading and commenting on blogs as much as I usually do.  My own writing might slow down also until this place is ready to sell itself.  We put it up for sale hoping we could still buy a week or so before anyone wants to come see it, so the race is on to spruce up, organize, declutter, paint, etc.

Here is a copy of our electronic flyer, for your viewing pleasure.  Thanks for your patience and friendship.

how the new guy saved me. a valentine story.

I was 22-years old and I thought my life was over.  I am seriously not trying to sound too dramatic here, but my world changed overnight and I was thrown, in a huge way. 

I had a boyfriend all through my senior year of high school (I know, totally stupid) that was a good guy from a great family.  We started dating in May of 1981, and by the end of that Summer I was head-over-heels.  He was different from other young men.  He was very strong in his convictions, almost pig-headed in my mind, and didn't swear or drink or do things that I saw a lot of other boys his age doing.  Cute too.  More like handsome, with thick brown hair and brown eyes.  I was a lucky girl.

We graduated from high school in 1982 and I stayed in state to go to a small private college, while he went off to Utah to attend BYU.  Remember, I was not a member of the church at this time, and didn't quite understand the draw of this place.  After about 6 months we had a conversation on the phone that had this as the theme: I can't marry anyone outside the temple.  Finally he was bold enough to challenge me to find out about his church, and why his family was close and focused and happy.  I took him up on the challenge, and by January 1983 I was making the 2-hour drive from the Shenandoah Valley back to my home to have the missionary discussions with his family.  It felt good and right, and even though my motivation, initially, was a future marriage, by the time I was baptized in July of 1983 I knew I had found what was right for me in my life.

We spent another semester apart, and by February 1984 he was off to Japan to serve a mission, and I was making plans to transfer to BYU, where I could be immersed in the gospel and the culture I had now become a part of.  Of course, I also knew that after a time we would be reunited and eventually married.  During those 2 years I wrote to my friend regularly, even a few times a week.  I confided in him about my new faith and my feelings of commitment to him and to the church.  It was a time of pure growth for me and I had purpose and plans.

Forward to May of 1986.  The homecoming.  I spent 6 weeks that summer in San Antonio, where his air force family now lived.  It was dreamy and wonderful, and I felt the prospect of joining them becoming more and more real.  We were engaged, and then I went home to finish the summer with my own family before heading back out to BYU for my senior year.

I stepped off the plane in Salt Lake, and he greeted me with anticipation.  Me and my big permed hair, hoop earrings, and worn out jeans.  Hey, it was the 80's and everyone was doing it!  Before the week was over we had ordered and bought the diamond ring.  The next day, to celebrate, we went to eat at his newly-married brother's place.  Then it crashed.  Within an hour of getting there he was sick to his stomach.  He went outside and I followed.  He looked at me and said it was over.  He didn't feel like he should for someone who was getting married.  He called it off, the day after the diamond.  We both cried.  I screamed at him (a first) which felt so weird because we never had arguments.  He took me home and I did an immediate reassessment of my life. Finish school back home in Virginia?  Move out of the complex where we both lived?  Stay in bed for the rest of my life?  After 5 years, and decisions that had changed my life forever, I was facing a new reality.

Six weeks of yuck.  I stayed in bed a lot.  I was starting my student teaching and it was all I could do to get through it and not melt into a pool.  Really, it was bad.  My almost-in-laws called me every few days to ask how I was.  How do you feel about the church?  Are you staying at BYU?

In mid-October my roommate, maybe out of sympathy, I think out of love for me, set me up on a blind date.  He was funny and 100% attentive to me.  He asked a lot of questions and told me about himself, so that by the end of the night I was happier than I had been in weeks.  The fog was lifting and I felt hopeful.  By Christmas I was getting flowers and phone calls back home, and by March we both used the "L" word.  Married by July '87, he still calls himself my rebound.  He may have been, but he loved me in a saving way, and I have been blessed to have him as my husband for these 24 years.  I am blessed and loved and happy.

musical monday: love remains the same

It's been awhile, so I was itching to do some recording.  I hope you like this one as an alternative Valentine song. Click on the song title.

Love Remains The Same

Kazzy's voice has been silenced by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act(see the details here). Sorry you can't listen to her sing directly. But send her a message and she'll try to work something out.

seeing a soul

Sometimes it just rips right through your bones and skin and reaches out.  It is like an extension of your heart that can grip things and pull them toward you.  And then you can look square into someone's eyes and see beyond the color and the reflection.  You see intention and concern and soul.

This is true connection.  It is love and friendship and empathy.  And the real trick, for me, is tucking those things back in when it is time to do something else.  Ungrip.  Unlook.  Unsee.

roller derby memories

As I have mentioned before, I had a great upbringing.  My New England parents packed us up and moved us to "the country" so we could have trees and fields and space.  It was terrific.  Seriously, like out-of-a-book kind of good.

My technicians in my classroom have now taken to saying, "Tell us another story of your childhood, Miss Karen." So, I tell them about sliding down frozen streams, jumping off bridges to go swimming, making forts in the woods, and so much more.  Then I feel my spirit sigh as I lean back in my chair and give a big stretch.

Then today I walked over to my friend's house to see the decon/recon-struction going on in her 70-year old basement.  Wide open, bare cement, with just the weight-bearing poles visible.  And flash, it is 1971, and I am in my basement, roller skating with my cute 98-lb mom.  We whipped around our indoor track and she held our hands and we laughed and fell and got up and did it again.

I came back across the street to my house and felt all warm and thankful and full of love.