Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Little Sparkle in My Life

I love finding things I thought I had misplaced. I no longer say, "oh man, I lost that" because I know it will mostly surely be found, and generally when I least expect it. I find that the harder I look the less likely it will turn up. So I don't worry and let it come to me in its own due time. In fact right after high school I finally had a car that was all mine to drive. This was huge for me, so what did I do, I started "personalizing" it with my stuff - wallet, food, papers. At some point about a third of the way through the summer I realized I had misplaced my driver's license. No big deal - it will turn up. Two months later it still hadn't turned up and I am still driving without a license. It was getting to the point that I needed to get going to college, so I figured it was a good time to acknowledge that it was lost and put some serious effort into finding it. In my search I sheepishly asked my father if he had seen it. He replied in the affirmative and went about heading to his dresser to pull it from its hiding place for the last two months. Supposedly this was to teach me a lesson about leaving such items in full view in my car, and supposedly he was shocked that I hadn't gotten around to asking about it earlier. No doubt a lesson worth learning, but I thought his method a little sketchy.

Fast forward a lot of years to the Sunday before Christmas. I decided that if ever there is a time to wear bling to church it is Christmas Sunday. So, in honor of my mother (who is all about sparkles) I donned my sequined top (don't worry, it is lovely and not at all lounge-act appropriate) and my sparkly earrings. It had snowed that morning and as we were driving to church I realized the back of my earring had fallen off and my earring was missing. I looked in the car but didn't find it. No big deal, I thought. It probably fell off on the way to the car. I'll get it when we get home. Sometime while we were away being good God-fearing people the snow plow came and cleared our parking lot. Sort of. They don't clear it so much as push all the snow to one corner of the lot into a big mound. I hoped that the ring was in there somewhere and that when the hill of snow started to melt it would turn up.

Now fast forward a couple of months to a few days ago. I was walking home from something and I noticed a soda can in the berm and started cursing those darned litterers and wondering if the can was fresh or had become unearthed with the warmer weather. As I leaned in to get a closer look I found my earring!!! It totally made my day and gave me renewed faith in my belief that everything turns up - even keys that have been missing for so long that you end up rekeying your house. Yep, behind my desk at work.

Exhibit A - my sparkle

Exhibit B - The Berm (with aforementioned soda can)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

I Love

In honor of the day of love here is a brief list of random things I love.

1. I love my husband. He's the most perfect man for me I possibly could have married. He even loves me when I look like a homeless person.
2. I love watching the snow fall. Even if it doesn't stick it still brings out the small child in me.
3. I love working when I actually feel helpful to my client or co-worker.
4. I am falling in love with the kids I tutor. Even when "tutoring" means learning to make paper stars.
5. I love chicken when it's at its most perfect doneness.
6. I love teaching my Sunday School class. I love my class. They are so wonderful and supportive.
7. I love using my paychecks to pay off student loans. I love watching the balance dwindle, no matter how incrementally.
8. I love lying in bed. I could do it for hours.
9. I love my family! They mean the world to me. From my dear sisters to my entertaining brothers to my adorable nieces and mostly nephews (not because I love them more but just sheer volume). I love my devoted parents and my caring in-laws!!
10. I love my friends. Even though I seem to be somewhat of a social recluse right now, I still love keeping in contact with those I've already gone through all the effort of making.

10.5. I've said it once, I'll say it again. I absolutely love hearing from anyone and everyone. So even if this is your first time on my blog, just stop in and tell me who you are and where you live. I'd love to know you.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Calling All Dreamers

Do you dream? In your sleep I mean. Do you remember your dreams? Do you take stock in your dreams? Do you act on your dreams?

Most of my dreams have to do with going to the bathroom, being with my family, and avoiding those intent on my death. But every now and again I'll have a dream that will stick with me and I generally take them to heart. Early this morning (3 am) I awoke from this dream I had wherein the pregnancy test I took actually came out positive. I was pregnant!! Wahoo!! Matt and I danced around the house shocked and amazed that it was actually positive. I started calling all my friends and family and Matt told everyone at church. I thought telling everyone at church so early was in poor taste but decided not to quibble. I woke up certain that if I took a pregnancy test it would turn out just as positive as my dream. But I decided against it just then because I knew that after taking a positive pregnancy test I would be too excited to go back to sleep and would probably wake Matt in the process. So in the interest of sleep and happiness I decided to go back to bed and take the test at a more reasonable hour.

By seven I was less sure about my dream and I laid in bed for half an hour weighing the pros and cons of the test. I'm not sure I can currently follow the logic of my debate but at 7 am the rationale made perfect sense in my head. I eventually got up the courage to take the test only to have it turn out negatively. At 3am I was so certain that dream was one of those dreams, that I wasn't so much sad as shocked by the outcome.

So what do you think about your dreams? Do you take stock in your dreams? Do you act on your dreams? Am I crazy? This is a question to everyone. So if you've never commented, let this be your opportunity. If you comment regularly, thanks and please continue!!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Hold Music

This is a random post to document a random happening. I was listening to a voicemail left by one of the partners I work with at one of my jobs and halfway through the message came hold music. I was put on hold in a voicemail. Now, I know the reason why he did it, but still, it just seems very odd to hear hold music when you should be hearing a request to return a call. Anyway, Definitely a first for me.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Matt's Foray into his Dream Job

Matt's ultimate dream career is to be a successful writer. He's working on at least five books currently with another 5 or so ruminating around in his stellar little head. This week marks his first exposure to the writing world via two contests he's entered. One is being sponsored by Amazon and is looking for a full-fledged novel. The second is being sponsored by a local non-profit writing group and is looking for a 1000-word story. So Matt's thrown his proverbial hat or manuscripts into the ring and now we wait and see what, if any, feedback he gets. The Amazon one, I think, Matt would just be happy to make it past the first cut, seeing how it's his first novel. The second one, I might post sometime since I really like it and it's a lot more blog-post-length friendly than the former.

The Stairway by Matthew Marler

The iron circular stairway spiraled precipitously from the floor to some unseen destination above. For John, it might as well have been a mountain of impossible height. He took the first few steps and was immediately winded and felt pain in his wobbly old knees. He placed one shoe-clad foot on the next step and heaved his wiry 130 pound frame upwards. He decided then he had to take a break and sat down on the steps, breathing heavily.

He needed to get to the top; he needed to be with his life’s great love. He hadn’t made it to the top in a long time, but then, he hadn’t needed to travel so far to be with her. She was in a new place now, a good place he hoped. That awful hole in the ground she had been lowered into only hours before seemed a horrible place to end life. John was sure she could now only be found in their special place at the top of the circular stair.

He rubbed his sweaty, leathery hands on his faded baggy jeans. He noticed his shoes had once again sprung their seams and more duct tape would be required to hold them together. His daughter had been horrified when he had shown up at the funeral wearing such motley attire but for him, it had been a last tribute to a wife who had put up with his eccentricities for nearly fifty-seven years.

Had it been so long? It seemed so short. He struggled to his feet and peered up again, as if looking one more time would give him some clue how far he had to go. He took several more painful stairs, his spine creaking and his lungs protesting. He came to a place where the stairway penetrated the ceiling to reach the floor above and saw his family smiling back. His wife had placed their pictures there as a reminder to all who traveled the stair that here, family was first.

His children had kindly offered to let him live with them –a tribute to his wife’s parental prowess. He had accepted with a smile so they would know he loved them. In fact, he had even packed all his things as a gesture of good faith. But now he had to see his wife.

He tripped on a stair, cruelly banging his knee into one side of the stairway. Life was not easy, it never had been. His wife and he had struggled in every conceivable way. At first it was a struggle with each other, then it was a struggle to find time to be with each other, and now last of all it was a struggle to find life meaningful in her absence. Groaning, and assuredly losing another year of life, he lurched to his feet and soldiered on.

He had been a soldier in the Army and ‘her’ Marine. U-rah! He could nearly hear her commanding him to ‘take the hill’ despite its’ height and difficulty. Left right left, left right left, he marched to the top to plant his flag in the ground –amidst his own life blood if necessary.

And then John was there, in their special place. The sun shined in from the perfect Autumn day through the porthole window in the apse of their sanctum. The light beamed in his face, illuminating the sweat rolling down his face.

Bookcases lined the walls and on them lived the combined knowledge of two people devoted to the betterment of their minds for the benefit of one another. Falling to one knee with a sudden pain in his chest, he grasped out and pulled himself the last little way to their treasure chest. He had to see his wife as only photographs can remind a person of what is lost from memory.

Crawling each agonizing inch, he miraculously found himself at the chest. Now to lift the lid. He had little strength left. His wife’s last words of encouragement rang in his mind and ears, “be strong!” Try as he might though, his body had given its last. With the lid tantalizingly close to open, his fingers slipped and it clanged shut with the heavy sound of failure. He propped himself and put a hand to his heart to try and stop it from beating so impossibly hard. The pain became a roaring in his ears and every muscle in his body clenched violently.

And then there she was, walking up the stairs to this place, their special place, as easily as she had when they first bought the home. John marveled he hadn’t even had to open the chest to find her once more.

“You crazy old codger, you could at least have asked for some help.”
“I had to see you. Just once more before the kids take me away.”
“You’re in luck. I’ve come to get you. We won’t ever be apart again, heaven help you.”
“How is it done?”
“Get up and I’ll show you.”

And then she grabbed John’s smooth, strong hand and lifted him to his full, proud and unbowed height. Once again he felt the vim and vigor he had missed for so long. Once again he could breath, laugh and even felt as if he could run.

John felt her perfect cheek with his finger, tracing it and then her lovely chin.

“I missed you.”
“I wasn’t gone long.”
“Yes you were, far too long.”
“You never had much patience when you had something in that thick head of yours.”

And then they danced in place in each other’s arms content to let whatever meaning time has in the after-life pass them by while they stayed in one perfect moment. They had escaped time’s grasp, escaped it’s ever inexorable movement towards the conclusion of all life.

They had found the most elusive thing every one in their heart of heart’s desires, peace.