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
Tags: , , , , , , ,
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.

 

 

Family Traditions Series- February February 13, 2014

valentines dayHello all!  I have to admit to being quite disappointed with myself, given that I wanted to become more active with my writing this year, and my last post was New Year’s Day, and tomorrow is Valentine’s Day (a.k.a. Singles Awareness Day) but really, does this surprise anyone at all?  No?  Ok, didn’t think so.  Moving on.

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Ah, February.  The month of Love.  Or if you’re single and hate it, the month for trying really hard not to resent the heck out of everyone who seems to be happily in love.  Or if you’re single and love it, the month for celebrating NOT having to deal with all the angst of the Big Lovers’ Holiday:  What should I get him? …  What if he doesn’t like it? … What if he didn’t get me anything? … Why in the world am I even with this freak-tard anyway?  You know, stuff like that.

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On the other hand, when most of your Valentine’s Day traditions center around family, now that’s a love-holiday you can celebrate.  Take my family, for example.  For the majority of my children’s lives, it has been just me and them.  I have frequently (when funds allowed) acknowledged this holiday by buying them numerous things they really didn’t need, such as balloons, stuffed animals, chocolate, and the occasional Disney DVD.  I could not tell you at this moment if they remember any of it.  But I did it.  Family tradition.  Also, tradition for almost any holiday for which I buy things for my children dictates that I put it off until the last possible minute, which explains the sight of me at the store at 7:00 p.m. on February 13, picking through the last, smooshy, pitiful mylar balloons and the ugly, weird stuffed animals that nobody wanted, trying to pick three that my three little darlings might vaguely enjoy and appreciate.

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A much different family tradition revolves around an event very similar to last month’s family tradition of the church New Year’s party.  (Yes, my church has get-togethers for every occasion.)  In February, they always have a “Valentine’s Fellowship.”  Now this little party has gone through several variations over the years.  When I was younger they had such themes for this evening as 1) a potluck dinner where the men do all the cooking and all the women have to do is show up, (always a plus, except for the risk of men cooking) 2) a mystery dinner where all the components were given silly names and you chose your menu ahead of time without knowing what it actually was and you were served what you chose in the order you chose it (which meant if you weren’t careful, your first course might be a pat of butter and you might not get your spoon or fork until the end of the meal), and finally 3) catered at the church building by various local restaurants.  Also continuously in flux was the identity of the intended attendees. (Ha- say that five times fast!)  Who was the party for, really?  Married and dating couples only?  The whole family?  Anyone and everyone?  WHO!!???

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But eventually they got past all questions and creativity, and decided to make it a fellowship for the entire congregation, where we simply either have something catered and brought to the church building, or we all get together and go out to a restaurant somewhere.  They have probably had this every year since I was a child, and sometimes my family went and sometimes they didn’t, but when we did it was almost always a good time.  If it was being held at the church building, there were sometimes games, like picking up candy hearts by sucking on a straw and depositing them in a little bowl. Also ever-popular was the Newlywed Game.  Sometimes that one could get scary, the fact that these are church people at a church party in a church building notwithstanding!

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I don’t think I have personally participated in this fellowship in a couple of years, but apparently it is still a popular gathering.  Last Saturday evening a total of 35 people from our congregation descended en masse upon a little Mexican restaurant downtown called Casa Romo.  Daughter J. and her boyfriend went, and based upon the stories we were regaled with at church services the next day, a good time was had by all.  I appreciate that my church has things like this.  I do.  I think it’s great.  Maybe one of these days I will get back into the habit of going to these little parties.  But for now, they serve as the source of a long history of fun and funny memories.

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What are your favorite February traditions?

Until next time,

D.

 

Family Traditions Series- January! January 1, 2014

Filed under: Family,Lovin' Life — DDKlingonGirl @ 11:29 am
Tags: , , , ,
New Year Sunrise

New Year Sunrise (Photo credit: joka2000)

Hello all, and Happy New Year!  I wanted to start the new year by becoming more active in a lot of different areas, and writing is one of them!  So on this first day of a new year, I want to start off a new series I will be doing each month, and talk about traditions.  In contrast to the hope and freshness of a new year stretching out in front of all of us, I want to take a moment to look at some of my family’s traditions and share them with you.  My plan is to look at each month, and any holiday or birthday or other milestone that falls within that month, I will describe in detail with regard to traditions my family has shared over the years.  So let’s just talk about January, shall we?

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With very few exceptions, my new years have started exactly the same way for as long as I can remember:  at church.  My church has always had a party, also known as a fellowship, or game night, on December 31st.  We meet at the church building.  No particular time- whenever everyone wants to show up, but most people get there by about 8:00 p.m.  There is food.  Lots and LOTS of food.  Rotel cheese dip, Little Smokies, pigs in a blanket, chips, dips, salsa, fruit, cookies, sandwiches, pinwheels, and pizza.  For starters!

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There are also games.  For as long as I can remember, there have been groups of people playing dominoes, cards, and various board games as they passed through phases of popularity.   There have been homemade games, puzzles, and kid games.  The competition is always fierce.  Everyone is out to win, but it is always noisy, friendly, and happy.  The teenagers and kids have alternated between forming their own games and joining in with the older folks and learning the old games.  My own tradition for the past few years is to bring a puzzle. I usually don’t finish it, but last night I did, because it was only a 300 piece puzzle.

Here's this year's finished work. :)

Here’s this year’s finished work. 🙂

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Back in the old days when I was a kid, they would bring a rolling cart with a TV and VCR into the auditorium (some of you know it as the sanctuary), and the younger kids would watch movies.  Nowadays, they have the film screen they can pull down, and they have the projector mounted to the ceiling, hooked to a computer system in the back with all the sound, and they just pop in a DVD.  Wow, times change, don’t they?

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All of this would continue until shortly before midnight.  Games, grazing, movies would all stop and we would all go into the auditorium and sit together at the front.  One of our regular song leaders would get up and lead us in singing a few church songs (hymns).  We would continue to sing until midnight had passed.  We’d all say Happy New Year, families and friends would give hugs and kisses, and then someone would say a prayer for the new year, and we’d go clean up the fellowship hall and get home before the crazies hit the road!

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My family has always gone to this party as long as I can remember.  Over the years, it has been canceled a few times due to icy weather, and once or twice I made the choice to miss all or part of it and spend time with other friends elsewhere.  As an adult, there have been times when my parents have gone out of town after Christmas, and I have gone to the New Year’s Game Night with my kids without my parents there.  My sisters have long since moved and formed their own traditions, but this is still a regularly expected part of my life.

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On New Year’s Day, our traditions have been a little less regular, but it seems like we used to get up the next day after the church new year’s party, and Mom would make ham and au gratin potatoes.  I don’t remember the black eyed peas being such a big deal when I was very young, but the older I got, I realized everybody made a big deal of eating black eyed peas on New Year’s Day for good luck.  Now, I’m not sure I believe in luck, but we always followed the tradition.

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One year, Mom found a recipe for a “Good Luck” Bean Soup that included the black eyed peas.  She made the soup mix and we ate it on New Year’s Day.  I don’t remember exactly what all happened that year, but it seemed like it was the WORST year our family had had in a long time.  So the next year, we had a ceremonial ‘throwing of the beans’ event in which we all took a handful of the dry bean soup mix she had made up and FLUNG it into the woods as far as we could! We still laugh about that.

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Those are just a few of my family’s January traditions.  We are a strong, tight family.  Sometimes we might have our problems, but we have a lot of love.  I wish each and every one of you strong family ties and unfaltering love from those you call your family.

Love to all!

Until next time,

D.

 

The Return of the Klingon Woman June 28, 2012

Two Klingon males and a female as they appear ...

Two Klingon males and a female as they appear in the original television series episode “Day of the Dove”. The bronzed skin, facial hair, lack of ridged foreheads, and simple costumes are typical of The Original Series Klingons. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hello all!

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Wow, no more Allure trip journal.  I’m not sure I can write anything else after all that.  Actually though, we did take another trip last weekend.  This one was much shorter, cheaper, and personal.  We had a family reunion in Cuchara, Colorado.   Road trips, oy!  There’s a reason they call it a trip!  Families are so crazy, but so much fun and so much love.   When we first arrived there, for the first whole day or so in fact, I felt like Forrest Gump– I was so excited I just wanted to run everywhere.  Quite a departure for me, I can assure you.  My cousin who is a nurse said it was a little bit of manic behavior brought on by excitement.  Whatever it was, it didn’t last.  I was fine with walking after a couple of days.  We always have a lot of laughs, my cousin and I.  You never know when we’re going to dress up an old mop and try to torture neighborhood boys and get beat for it.  😀

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One of the moments that cracked me up the most on the whole trip was on the way home.  It felt like it was taking absolutely forever, and the kids were getting a little antsy.  All of a sudden, from the back seat, the following scenario occurred:

The Boy:  “Pillow fiiiiight!!!”

Me and my mom:  “Boy, you’re the only one in the whole vehicle who has a pillow!!

The Boy:  (two beats of silence)  “Fist fiiiiiight!!”

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He’s a hoot, isn’t he?  We nicely informed him there would be no fist fights, but I was about to fall out of my chair laughing.   On the other hand, one thing that did NOT make me feel like laughing was The Return of the Klingon Woman.  Now, to know what I’m talking about, you’d have to go all the way back to the first month of this blog, all the way back to the origin of the whole thing.  I was 130 lbs heavier then, and I had woken up many mornings to see that my forehead was squished when I slept on my sides, resulting in these diagonal lines from my hairline down across my forehead.  The first thing I thought of was some kind of crinkly-headed alien like the Klingons, so that’s where the whole thing started.

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This phenomenon hasn’t been quite so prevalent since I’ve lost so much weight, but this past weekend I woke up one morning to discover it had returned.  Maybe all the hiking and mountain air wore me out and I just slept harder on that side or something, but it was kind of a disturbing thing.  It made me remember how I felt back then, how hard it was living life at that weight.   People who have never been overweight just have no idea.

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Luckily, my forehead smoothed itself out pretty quickly as the day went on, and I haven’t noticed a recurrence, but it definitely gave me pause.  It reminded me how far I’ve come and how much I do NOT want to go back to where I was.  Unless of course you’re talking about going back to Colorado.  Man, it was so nice there!  The highs were in the 80s or so, lows in the 50s maybe.  It was Extremely Pleasant!  We started home Monday morning, and the closer we got to Oklahoma, it just got hotter and hotter, more and more humid.  We were all kind of like, “Did we take a wrong turn on the way to Oklahoma and end up on the surface of the sun!?!”

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Realizing of course, Colorado is in a state of emergency right now with all the wildfires, all of us here at TJKW (read, me) are definitely sending good thoughts and prayers to the entire state.   Our family reunion was in such a beautiful area!  There were a wide variety of cabins for rent, a cute little village with stores and such, and two tiny little lakes just hopping with trout.  Several of our family members enjoyed the opportunity to drop a hook and drown a worm, The Boy included.  He caught his first fish this weekend, in fact.  (I think it was his first fish.  It was definitely his first trout.)   I was so proud, and he was so excited.  (All together now:  awwwwwww!)  He had a hard time with his first trip, because the flies were bugging him, so to speak, but on his next two trips they weren’t as bad, and he had a lot better luck.

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All in all, it was a great weekend, a lot of good fun with great family, and an opportunity to appreciate other places besides home.  Wildfires or not, I may have to move there someday.  It’s not as far as Alaska, but the weather is much more comfortable than here.  Hope everybody has a great 4th of July coming up!  We usually have a big family thing.  My parents live out in the country, so everyone brings their fireworks and we usually either grill or have sandwiches, watermelon and homemade ice cream.  The day being on Wednesday night puts a bit of a crimp in it, but we’ll just roll with it.  That’s what we do.

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Until next time,

D.

 

My Kids’ Graduation and A Dream Vacation: The Ultimate One-Two Punch! May 18, 2012

Pre-School Graduation!!!

These aren’t my daughters, but this is how big they should still be! Congratulations to my beautiful girls!!

Hello all!  Again, with the two months between posts!  I’m a sad excuse for a blogger, what can I say?  Things have gotten pretty surreal, pretty fast.  My twin daughters, my baby girls, those two beings I just gave birth to, what, 5 minutes ago?  They graduate from high school tonight.  Yeah.  Graduate.  High school.  Gowns, tassels, all of that.   I’m feeling ok right now, but hopefully I won’t be too over-emotional tonight.  I’ll get back to you after 7 p.m. Central time.

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Oh, the other surreal thing is that in 9 days I will be on the biggest cruise ship in the world, Royal Carribean‘s Allure of the Seas.  Nine days, man!  That just blows the mind.  I booked this trip over a year ago, and it’s finally here.  I’ve done so much plotting and planning and daydreaming!  I’ve researched and made lists, and yes, spent a bundle on extras like ‘Formal Night’ clothes (and the undergarments needed for said clothes.)  I’ve stocked up on camera batteries and sunblock, I’ve budgeted for photos and tours and fruity drinks. 😀  Now it’s just a matter of getting there.  Thank GOD for my mother, who in all her magnanimousness is taking us to the airport, because her *cough*almost 40-yr old*cough* daughter is too big a chicken to attempt driving in Dallas-Ft.Worth!   (To be fair, my car really isn’t in any good shape for a road-trip to Dallas, so that’s part of the reason.  And yes, car repair and improvement is next on my spending list.  Right after celebrating graduation with the kids.)

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So anyway.  Busy life, happy life.  Everything changes.  The week after we get home from the trip, my baby sister is getting married.  A couple weeks after that, we have a family reunion to attend.  And somewhere in there I have to find time to gather a ton of paperwork for applications that should have been filled out long before now:  financial aid for Daughter S., Vocational Rehabilitation for Daughter J., and online public school for The Boy.  (More on that one later.)

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Look for my next post to be a full review of the cruise, complete with pictures.  It will probably show up in about 3 months!  (Not really.  I’ll get it out sooner, I promise!)  Wish me non-teary eyes tonight and then in a week it’s Sailaway time!  🙂  Wooo hoooooo!

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Until next time,

D.

 

And Speaking Of… September 17, 2011

Hello all! You know, job-hunting is probably NOBODY’S favorite thing.  Am I right?  And I, being a normal-ish human like every other on the planet, am no different.  I truly hate switching jobs.  I hate being the nervous and inexperienced newbie, I hate applications and interviews, and I hate trying to fit in with new co-workers.  But finances being what they are, I took yet another step today in the process of getting a second/different job.  I told my current boss I was looking!  I know, ‘Yikes!’ right?  I didn’t tell him I was definitely going to find something else.  Oh, no.  I told him I was going to look for something to do in addition to working there, and I ever-so-gently indicated that if an opportunity to make more money elsewhere on a full-time basis presented itself, I would probably take it.  I just didn’t want him to be blindsided when I give my two weeks’ notice if I find something else anytime soon.

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And speaking of finding something else, or someone else, as the case may be, I had the opportunity to meet someone on Labor Day who I think might possibly end up in my life for a long time….  (Get ready for the ‘Awwwwww!’)  My baby sister has a new boyfriend.  She came home that weekend for Labor Day and my birthday, and she was accompanied by her new bf, Mario.  Ok, his name’s not really Mario, but that will be his Bloggy Code Name.  It originates from the fact that a friend of his phot0-shopped a pic of him on Facebook and made him into Mario from Super Mario Brothers, which I thought was hilarious, but if I were him, I would put a dead fish under my friend’s pillow for that one.  Anyway, we all got together at my other sister’s house on Labor Day.  We ate lunch, hung out by the pool, and visited.   As “Meeting the Family” events go, it was quite successful.  We all liked Mario, and Baby Sis reports he was not completely repulsed by us, so all is well, and they are free to continue to pursue their friendship with our approval.  Ha!  Like Sis would give two hoots if we didn’t.  She’s definitely her own person, which is one of the totally awesome things about her.  As for my previous statement that this person may potentially be in my life for a long time, it’s because they seem to be EXACTLY alike, and he is the Male Version of her!  It’s pretty cool, actually.  I’m happy for her, and if he ends up being The One, then that’s pretty darn cool.

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And speaking of people who are/were their own person, last Saturday was the anniversary of a memorable date among my family, and not for a good reason.  It was, in fact, one of the worst days of our lives up to that point.  On September 10, 1987 my grandmother, Alba Dean Findley, (aka Deanie) was killed in a car accident in Gallup, New Mexico.  She was an RN in the Traveling Nurses’ Corps.  She was simply an amazing person.  I have no doubt that if she had lived, she would probably have gone sky-diving on her 75th birthday or something.  I can’t really imagine her that age, because she was only 54 when she died.  Grammy was a huge influence on all of us who were old enough to remember her.  She lived her own life in a way that made her happy.  She embraced experience.  She savored beauty and sought culture.  She loved caring for people.  She tried to encourage her grandchildren to appreciate the things she enjoyed by sharing them with us.  She took us to classical music concerts and ballets, and took herself to the ancient ruins of Mexico.  She was beautiful inside and out, and I miss her.  In many ways, I would like to try to be more like she was, more brave and adventurous, more of a person who finds ways to create the life I want, in both big and small things.  I look forward to figuring out how to do that, you know?  Life is so short, it’s SO short, and we never know when it will come to an end.  I just don’t want to come to the end of my life and be filled with regret over the things I didn’t get to do, the chances I didn’t take, the love I didn’t express. 

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And speaking of coming to the end of life, 9/11 was last weekend as well.  I can’t really say anything about that historic day that hasn’t been said, except to share a couple of my poems as more vivid expressions of all the things I felt about those events, and also about the similar event of April 19, 1995- the Murrah Building bombing in Oklahoma City.   I thought at first that I was more affected by the Oklahoma City bombing than I was the 9/11 attacks, but I couldn’t find a truthful way to complete that sentence.  Each attack was un-imaginably tragic in its own right, and both affected me (and the country) differently.  But each one has its own place in my poetry, and here are two of the poems I wrote following both attacks:

Visiting the Bomb Site

Standing, staring,

peeking through a window of time,

the building rises before your eyes

as once it must have been.

Nothing remains but a pile of red dirt.

It’s natural here,

but seems to stand for something more,

for those who lost their lives,

as if the color came

from all the blood that was shed.

Standing, staring,

hands on the fence,

 touching the crumbling flowers,

reading the faded notes and prayers,

even viewing the destruction,

you see what Hatred did,

and what Love had to say about it.

DD…………………… 8-11-95  4:59 pm

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“Only To God”

What becomes of a people
whom tragedy befalls?
Where do they direct their monumental rage?
For fiery words and pounding fists
can never restore what was lost.
And where do they turn
for relief from sorrow, for balm of pain,
for even a moment’s peace?
When flowery words and philosophies
can never recall what has gone.

What becomes of a country
whose shores are invaded
by numerous enemies, hideous and hidden?
Where do they direct their revenge?
For flying missiles and political posturing
can never restore lost innocence.
And where do they turn
in their search for justice, to punish the evildoers,
when all the blood they can shed
will never be enough?

9/13/01 —————— 10:02 a.m.

*

Until next time,

D.

 

Weddings, Williams, and Water Heaters June 25, 2011

Robin-Williams

Image via Wikipedia

Hello all!  Today has actually gone pretty smoothly, for the most part.  The Second Person I Used To Be Married To came and picked up myself and Daughter J. this morning so that I could go to work and she could go to Campfire Day Camp.  I went to work, I packed, I shipped, I mailed, I faxed, I wired.  We closed early so that we could go to the wedding I mentioned previously. 

*

All during the ceremony, I felt really guilty about my perpetual negativity from last night.  I was really happy for my friend.  She is happy, she looked beautiful, and I am extremely hopeful that their marriage will be a good one.  I was sure it would be one of those weddings where the couple are both super-emotional and crying from beginning to end, ’cause that’s just how they are.  It started out that way, what with Groom Greg tearing up when the bridesmaids’ music started and plucking Kleenex from his pocket before they ever opened the door for the bride.  She managed to keep it together though- walking down the aisle on her dad’s arm, it looked like it was all she could do to keep from busting into a sprint.  She looked joyful, and I think that more than anything else helped him, as he later put it, “find the faucet and turn off the waterworks.”  

*

I sat with all the rest of the people I work with and for… my boss and his wife and sons on one side, my formerly-known-as Crazy Co-Worker and her son on the other.  It was actually quite weird, because the last time all of us were in a church together was when they closed the store early so they could come to MY wedding!  I wondered if they were were thinking of that at all, and if they were drawing comparisons as to the differences in the two couples and the odds of survival for this newest marriage.  I hoped not.  But I was.  That was the basis for my crappy attitude last night, I think; I just felt the weight of perceived Failed-ness and felt somewhat crushed under it.  But later it was funny- after the wedding was over, my boss’s wife gushed, “I just love weddings!  Don’t you just love the romance and happiness!? I want to get married again, don’t you?!”  I just blathered unthinkingly something about “Oh yes, it was lovely!  She just looked beautiful!”  But on the way out to my aunt’s house to pick up the van, The Second Person I Used to Be Married To was listening to me relate the story, and I suddenly realized that my answer to that question should have been along the lines of Robin Williams‘ comedy routine about Scotsmen and Golf, where he’s explaining the origin of the game and a drunken Scot is explaining his idea about the 18 holes, and the other guy goes,  “Oh, and you do this one time?” and Robin goes  “F*** NO!” 

*

What I love about me and him is that we can still laugh at that.  Which we did.  Then we went and got the van and returned to my house to see if we could re-light the water heater pilot after I turned it off as per the instructions on the bug foggers.  Unfortunately, we couldn’t seem to get it re-lit, which made me cranky in the extreme.  Further, I found we still had fleas, so after I had wasted a half-dozen matches trying to light the stupid pilot, I gave up and decided to set off the two remaining foggers and go spend another night at Mom and Dad‘s house, even though they are currently somewhere in TEXAS! 

*

And that is where I remain, currently being tortured by my children’s television programming choices.  (NickToons, anyone??)  I guess we’ll stay here again tonight, but I’ll probably zip back over to the house later to collect some church clothes for all of us, because if I don’t, I won’t want to go in the morning and we’ll end up missing church.  I’d hate to do that.  I’m sure God expects me to go to church if I expect Him to help me find a way to get my car fixed and still get our passports and go on our cruise next year!   (Yeah, yeah, I know God’s not a ‘You scratch my back, I scratch yours’ kinda guy.) 

*

So anyway.  I’m off to go eat a store-bought frozen pizza that’s probably not conducive to my dieting efforts, what with the coma-inducing amounts of sugary wedding cake and punch I ate today, but I’m gonna eat it anyway.  Surely 4 days a week of Turbo is worth SOMETHING!!!

*

Until next time,

D.

 

 
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