The Therapy Journals of the Fat-Headed Klingon Woman

One woman's journey to becoming Her True Self

Family Traditions Series- Reunions!! August 6, 2014

Filed under: Family,In Memoriam — DDKlingonGirl @ 9:19 am
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My Roots- Kyle and Ethel Findley and their children, Harold, Howard, Margie, and Donna

My Roots- Kyle and Ethel Findley and their children, Harold, Howard, Margie, and Donna

Hello all!  So in my last Family Traditions series entry, I promised a post about all the crazy things my family gets up to in the month of May, and I will definitely deliver that.  But not now.  I’m too excited, and of course the title of this post will give you a clue as to why.  Oh, yes, Virginia, it is definitely that time again- our family reunion is this weekend.  This is an event not just limited to my crazy nuclear family  (my parents and siblings and myself).  Oh no.  This event draws in the whooooole crazy family- all the progeny of my great-grandfather Kyle Guy Findley.  Let me tell you about us.

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We have this family reunion, the Findley reunion, every two years.  It alternates years with an even more extended family reunion (the Hoffman reunion) we have that also occurs every two years, so that barring some weird complication or problem, there is some sort of reunion on this side of the family every single year.  The one I am going to be describing to you is the only one I have been able to go to since Daughter S. and Daughter J. were about 4 years old, which, sadly, was the last time I was able to make it to the Hoffman reunion.  Now, the Hoffman reunion has one advantage over the Findley reunion and that is that it’s always in the same place, Ulysses, Kansas, where I was born.  The Findley reunion has changed locations several times over the years.

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As far as I can remember, the tradition of this reunion began the weekend of June 4, 1993.  I know this, because that was the date I chose to get married, so that all the family would definitely be able to be there.  Yeah, I’m sneaky and manipulative like that.  I hijacked the family reunion so everyone would be at my wedding.  Anyway.  The first several years, the reunion took place at the same location, one of the group campgrounds at our local lake.  Rustic cabins, no A/C, lots of trees and a big lake for boating, skiing, tubing, jet skis, and just general tomfoolery in a water setting.  I say this because my mom’s brothers have a notorious history of being wild and crazy when it comes to water sports.  They like to go fast and hit hard.  They’ve slowed down a little in the last 21 years, but I cannot count the number of pics we have of Uncle R., Uncle B., and Uncle D., life-jackets on, hair and mustaches dripping, clinging to a jet ski or a sailboard, big huge identical grins on their sunburnt faces.  That tradition has extended to their sons now, and we have just as many pictures of cousins in the same poses.

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While the boys are out running wild like hooligans on the lake, the moms are usually staying behind, either in the camp kitchen, or at the water’s edge watching all the “little ‘uns” swimming and playing.  There is always a time when the guys put away all their fast toys and just take the girls on a leisurely evening boat ride around the lake, so it’s not like the moms never get to have fun.  Back in the day, my mother, I am proud to say, used to be able to water ski like crazy!  My dad would get her out there and hit the throttle and she could just pop up out of the water like a cork.  Unfortunately, I can’t remember the last time she tried, because we don’t go to the lake much anymore these days when it’s just us, but she always used to say she planned to water ski on her 100th birthday.  Dad used to say she “could water ski in a teacup!”  Rarely, we have bad things happen on the water.  One year, an uncle was pushed unexpectedly off the pontoon boat into the water, and his wedding ring got caught on the gate hinge, almost ripping his finger off.  They rushed him to the hospital and all was fine, but I’m pretty sure he doesn’t like to remember that particular reunion.

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Our family also has some much happier traditions, such as talent night; we’re a talented bunch, if I do say so myself.  Usually people either sing or do skits, which is always a hoot.  This year, I’m particularly excited because… da da!  We’re having karaoke Saturday night.  We’ve hired a local karaoke DJ to come out to the reunion and help us party for a couple of hours.  I am very familiar with this particular lady- we grew up and went to the same church together.  And boy! can she sing.  She is absolutely and utterly amazing.  (File that one under hashtag: sojealous!)  Anyway, she also provided the DJ service when I gave Daughter S. and Daughter J. a big, special party when they turned 18.  It was super awesome, but that’s another story.

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Once we had a family auction to try to raise funds for the next reunion.  People made arts and crafts, special food, anything they had that had a “market” value, so to speak, and we auctioned them.  My personal contribution to that effort was two copies of a collection of my poetry that I put together.  I think they made me stand up and read a couple of the poems, and then they auctioned them off.  I forget now who won them, but that was pretty cool.  It gave me a bit of a big head to know that my family members would pay money just to read my romanticized, dramatic drivel.   What can I say?  We’re a supportive bunch, and I love us.

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In other years, the family reunion has taken place down near my grandpa’s house in the Hill Country area around San Antonio, Texas.  There are a number of nice lakes there, and my grandpa lives right on the Guadalupe river, so there are always a few that go floating every time we are there.  Our last reunion was a bit of a departure.  We met at Cuchara, Colorado.  It was beautiful there and so cool at night, but always, always too short.  One weekend is never long enough to enjoy with this family.

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So THIS year, we’re at a church camp about 45 minutes from where we live, called Pettijohn Springs Christian Camp.  It will be a lot more comfortable than the lake camps, because (Hallelujah!) the cabins have air conditioning.  My cousin and I are the food committee (although my mother ALWAYS ends up doing more than her share of the research and planning) and therein lies another reason I am so excited:  she’ll be here tomorrow!  Yay!  I know we’re not supposed to have favorites, but she is one of my two favorite cousins, because the three of us are the closest in age.  From my birthday in early September to her birthday in mid-September, we are all three the same age.  Tomorrow when she gets here, we have to spend all day grocery shopping.  I’d like to say that sounds like a chore, but running all over town with this particular cousin, making big fools of ourselves in all the local grocery stores, laughing like hyenas when we remember all our favorite escapades, just sounds like a really good day.

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So yeah, if you live around here, and tomorrow you see me and someone who kind of looks like me, staggering breathless with laughter through WalMart or Homeland or Aldi, with a cart piled high with groceries, now you know, it’s the Findley Family Reunion Food Committee, just doing their duty to our family to keep them from starving.  And having a darn good time while we’re at it! Ha!

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The last, and most special tradition that you will always hear mentioned whenever we talk about our family and the essence of who we are, either together or apart, is our family church service.  On the last day of the reunions, Sunday, we always have a family worship time together.  I have said many times that I am so proud of the fact that I come from a family with a strong tradition of faith.  In past years, one of my mom’s cousins would get up and share a few scriptures and a few words with the family, then my wonderful, beautiful grandfather, the family patriarch, would get up and speak, talking about our family history and maybe sharing a story or two about his parents, and praising our family for its strength and love, but always giving the glory for that to God.  We would sing a few hymns, and be dismissed with a prayer.  This year, my father will be leading the singing, and we have practiced some of the songs we will be sharing.  In past years, my dear grandpa and his siblings would share their beautiful family harmony and sing an old hymn called “Out of the Ivory Palaces” but now he is the last of his family.  He told my mother he didn’t feel as comfortable now even to get up and speak at the worship service because he has become so forgetful it is hard for him to keep his thoughts organized.

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Families stay the same, and families change.  Our reunions are so special because they allow us to spend just a few treasured moments together, to catch up on each others lives and see where we all are today, but more than that, they remind us where we came from, where our roots began.  We are reminded of the strength and determination of the pioneer fathers who came through the Civil Wars and the Dust Bowls, and the Depressions, whose simple lives and strong faith became our story.  We are reminded of them, and of the debt we owe them to live our lives in such a way that we carry on their legacy, that our children and grandchildren can look back on us and be proud that they are the continuation of a story worth telling.

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Until next time,

D.

 

 

Some Thoughts Arising From Recent Events December 17, 2012

Filed under: General Observations — DDKlingonGirl @ 3:45 pm
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Hello all.  I wanted to share and express my thoughts and feelings about the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting, but the odds are pretty good that what I’d say has already been said, and said better.  No amount of poetic words, political posturing, so-called expert opinions, debating, arguing, name-calling, or any other pointless reaction will change what has been done.  It seems to me that incidents like this bring up three main talking points:  guns and gun laws, mental health and the social and health care systems pertaining to it, and religion or lack thereof in today’s world.

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I’m not a gun enthusiast, nor a politician.  I know next to nothing about guns, rights to own guns, or laws governing them.  For my two cents, I think that Americans cannot, nor should not, be expected to give up their right to bear arms.  That much is certain.  But there are certain guns that just do not need to be available to anyone except trained military or police personnel.  They need to be outlawed.  Period.  I’m not saying that if they had already been outlawed, that any of the recent tragedies could have been prevented, but I still think they should not be in the hands of just anyone.

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On the other hand, I don’t believe that it would be a good idea for everybody on the street to be carrying a weapon.  For example, I have heard people put forth the theory that if someone in the Aurora movie theater would have been carrying a gun, they could have stopped the shooter much sooner in his rampage and saved lives.  But if half the people present had been armed, what would have happened when that guy burst through the door?  I think it is most likely that in all the fear and confusion, an all-out gun war would have erupted and probably more people would have died.   What’s the solution?  Maybe owning a weapon is a right, but carrying it on your person when not engaged in hunting or overthrowing a despotic government should not be?  As I said, I don’t have a clue.  I’m just thinking out loud here.

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Now, about the mental health issues and the health care and social systems.  That one is way too hard to even get into, and way too close to home for me.   There are so many people out there with mental health problems, and it is an overwhelming problem when there are too few social workers, too few therapists, too few hospital/facility beds.  Too few clear answers, definitive diagnoses, and  educational options.  This article gave me pause and made me feel a certain solidarity with the mother.  My child is nowhere near as difficult as the child in this story, but he can be very similar sometimes.  What is there to do?  How do we fix this problem?  I definitely don’t know the answers, but that brings me to the last of the three major issues that these events always stir up.

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When these horrific events happen, people always start arguing about God.  Those who believe, crying out for people to lean on Him, trust in Him, turn to Him for comfort.  Those who don’t believe, calling names, blasting believers’ ignorance, simplicity, foolishness, asking how believers can stand to trust in a God who could allow this type of thing to happen.  Believers then try to patiently explain that God gave humankind free will, and in that exercise of free will, humankind often chooses evil.  Then believers also express the opinion that part of the reason we have so many of these problems today is a general reduction in the number of people who truly believe in God and follow Jesus Christ.  Which, of course, makes non-believers pretty defensive, saying that just because they don’t go to church, that doesn’t make them more likely to pick up a weapon and commit a mass murder.  Then you get into all sorts of debates and arguments over “religion” versus relationship with God, and pew-sitters versus true followers, and the crusades and all the other heinous acts in history that have been committed “in the name of God.”

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That’s all true.  People have done and continue to do things in the name of God that He would certainly never ask, accept, or approve.  I just don’t know what there is to do about it all.  Sometimes it feels like there is such anger, bitterness, hard feeling, and hatred toward believers these days.  Almost any group you could think of has its rights and is to be tolerated.  Except Christians.  (Real ones, not crazy, hate-filled ones.)  Sometimes it’s hard to tell which ones are which, and therein lies the problem.

I don’t really know where I’m going with all this.  I just fear that we’re moving toward a point in this world where Christianity is well on its way to being a persecuted minority.   It’s a scary thought, and one that I’m sure a lot of people share, but I know those whom it most directly affects have the faith and trust to endure whatever comes, and to place their strength in a Wisdom that is higher than their own.  In the meantime, we need to just remember to tell our loved ones how much they mean to us, and remember that we are not guaranteed one day or hour upon this earth.  If we live as though each day were our last, with respect to our basic integrity, our treatment of others, and our reverence for the Divine, we will probably not come to the end of our lives with anything to regret.

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Until next time,

D.

 

Short and Sweet Yet Again November 7, 2012

Filed under: Mood Swings — DDKlingonGirl @ 5:37 pm
Tags: , , ,
The Drowned, 1867

The Drowned, 1867 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hello all.  It’s post-election day.  Like many other people in this country, it seems, I am absolutely drowning in depression today.  But not for the same reasons.  This is my forum, so I can say what I want here.  Unlike Facebook, if you read here, you’re doing it by choice, not because it just popped up in front of your face on your newsfeed.

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Someone among my friends once noted of me that I like to let people know when I’m down.  Yeah.  That’s called reaching out.  Between the concern for this country, the continuing battle with compulsive eating, the neverending struggle not to backslide on my weight loss efforts, the despair of wishing I could just not care about those last two and knowing I can’t, the struggles with faith, and parenting, and relationships, and the utter self-loathing it all engenders, I am in an ugly place today.  A very lonely, ugly place.

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So that’s it.  A few days ago I was soaring, and today I’m drowning.  It won’t last- it never does.  I just hate it when I’m down here.  With that said, I’m soldiering on, and my next entry will probably be another happybouncy ramble of goofiness…

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Until next time,

D.

 

Simply Recommitting October 10, 2011

Hello all.  You know, sometimes, when I’m going through my day thinking, “I REALLY need to write a blog entry, I really need to update, etc.” I’ll sit down and try to write an entry and nothing really comes.  Often, I will just keep writing, rambling, ranting, and I’ll post the result, whether it’s good or bad, like that’s a cure for writer’s block, but it doesn’t mean that what I wrote has any quality to it.  That post may not necessarily be my true voice.  There’s something wrong with that.  There’s something wrong with a lot of things, and I am in the mood to change that.

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I went to a revival-type church service tonight that was sponsored by my sister’s church.  I had never heard of the speaker, a man named Ken Freeman.  My sister attends a Baptist church, but I got the feeling this man was inter-denominational in his preaching career, meaning he didn’t just go to one type of church.  His message was about the difference between ‘good’ and ‘great,’ and how we have to let go of certain things in order to fully accept God’s grace and blessings.  I realized there were a lot of things I have been holding on to, and I need to let go and re-commit.  I need to re-commit, not just in my spiritual life, but in everything- my job, my parenting, my health and fitness, and even my writing here. 

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So that’s what I’m doing.  Starting tonight, I am re-committing my life.  I am going to re-dedicate myself to my weight loss, my writing, my parenting, and most of all to a life that is dominated by Love.  Love for God, and love for my fellow human.  I need to work on showing Jesus to others through my life.  I’ve been in an ongoing cold war with a co-worker for weeks now, and I’ve made weak, pitiful attempts to pretend I was reaching out to her, to delude myself into thinking I was the bigger person by praying for her, but in reality I wasn’t willing to let go and truly acknowledge that I haven’t always been the Christian I am supposed to be.  I gave it lip-service, but I wasn’t willing to completely let down the barriers.  I’m still not.  I know I can’t trust her to be real and honest.  She is an excellent actor and faker- I’ve seen it.  My point is that I can’t worry about that.  I have to just say ‘You know what?  I’m recommitting to living for Jesus, and because I am, I choose to love you.  You can think what you want about me, you can like me or hate me, but I choose to love you in Jesus’ name, whether I can trust you or not.’  And really mean it, because I didn’t before.  I wanted to mean it, but the selfish, immature part of me said ‘Why do you have to mean it?  It doesn’t make any difference.  She’s not accepting your overtures, your gestures, your attempts.  What difference does it make if you really mean it?’  But I know now that I have to forgive all that, I have to forgive what she’s done to me, the hurt she has caused me, and I have to love her in Christ, and I cannot allow myself to add anything else to that sentence.  My judgement of her is irrelevant. 

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In addition to this, I have to be brave enough to re-commit to my health and fitness efforts.  I have done well.  I can say that.  I have lost almost one hundred and twenty pounds in almost 2 years.  But I have not been fully committed.  I have chosen to take easier roads- skip workouts, eat junk food.  I signed up for another 5k mud run as a volunteer, knowing I would be allowed to participate in the race for free as a volunteer, but thinking I wasn’t obligated to do the race if I chose not to.  That wasn’t committment, that was fear.  I completed the first one, the Dirty 30, back in July.  I did it on adrenaline, not knowing what to expect, not knowing what kinds of obstacles I’d face, but determined to tackle them no matter what.  In this next race, I know what kinds of things I might see, and I feared them.  I was afraid I didn’t have it in me to put that much effort out again, but now- I know I need to re-commit.  I need to grasp the fact that I have the strength to finish that race, complete the obstacles (or go around them if I have to) and finish.  I can’t be afraid that I might twist an ankle or a knee- I just have to take the steps. 

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I realize this entry has had a serious tone.  I usually like to try to be funny here, and I hope I succeed at that sometimes.  But tonight was a night for seriousness.  I had a talk with my kids on the way home from the revival tonight, because I have been really concerned for them in their spiritual lives, because they have not yet obeyed the gospel and been baptized.  Despite what some people may say or believe, I truly believe what I have been taught, that baptism is the point at which we are saved, and I want my children to be baptized and commit to living their lives for God.  I believe it is on their heart to do it, but they just haven’t taken the step.  I am praying that they make that decision soon, but at least I took the opportunity to share with them what I want for them- the peace that comes with knowing they are saved. 

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I’m not saying I have it all figured out, or that there aren’t sometimes brief moments when I question everything I’ve ever heard and wonder if maybe, possibly, it could all be crap.  But when it comes down to it, I’d rather just believe what I believe than buy into “something from nothing, for no reason, with no purpose, and nothing after, and nothing matters.”  It’s just not enough.

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And in the middle of all this recommitting, loving, being brave, and trying to bring my kids to heaven with me, I am going to embrace all I can possibly accomplish in this life that is fun and joyful and meaningful.  To that end, I can announce that my daughters’ senior trip in May is a done deal!  I booked the airfare today, so Lord willing, we’re definitely going!  We’re going to be Royal Carribean cruising fools!  Wooo hooooo!  Allure of the Seas, here we come!

Until next time,

D.

 

 
The Therapy Journals of the Fat-Headed Klingon Woman

One woman's journey to becoming Her True Self

Shawn L. Bird

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