What’s This

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Roofing work ended in fire.  A mishap with a blow torch.  A quick thinking volunteer fire fighter, moonlighting on the roofing crew, sprang into action.  The hose we had put into the garage in preparation for the change in the weather three days earlier, was pulled from storage and hooked up to water.  Hubby ran to the basement to turn on the water to the tap.

At one point, they thought they had the fire out.  It flamed back up.  Meanwhile, I was on the phone with 911, giving them the address and getting police and fire to the house, and relaying messages to get out of the building.

I RAN OUT of the house, no coat, into the cold.  A neighbor loaned me a jacket.  Another brought us a pot of coffee.  The Red Cross came to our aid.  Our darling daughter has opened her home to us, our dog, and our two cats.

I guess time got away from me.   All of this happened on Monday.  Tuesday we met with the clean-up people, who took lots of picture.  Wednesday we met with the insurance adjuster.  Thursday we met with the arson inspector and the prime contractor.

The quick summary is that everything needs to be cleaned, most of the house needs to be gutted, and all this will take five or six months.  Because of this lengthy time period, we will allow the insurance company to move us into temporary housing, and allow our granddaughter back into her bedroom, but this will take a little time.

Until we are resettled, my daughter and I  will enjoy our favorite guilty pleasures (only the non flattening ones), including our two favorite soap operas General Hospital and The Walking Dead.

Note:  All Christmas gifts are fine.  I still have a little shopping.  I’m truly blessed by a wonderful family.  Merry Christmas. 

It’s the Little Things

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We are in our new home, and working hard to get ourselves settled.  We have worked so hard that Hubby is on bedrest for at least a week!  I am also easing back.  My sweet daughter commented that here we are less than an hour away, and we are useless as babysitters.   In a couple weeks, for her and her husband’s anniversary, we should be ready for duty.  It makes me smile.  I am happy we are close enough to see and interact with the grandkids, before they are completely grown.

Then there are our children, whose help with moving in kept the move affordable, as well as getting our furniture into the house!   Okay, I’ll admit there have been a couple of bounced checks, but that is why we have overdraft protection.   Scheduling  payments electronically is not a skill I have mastered, and with all the disruption of the move there were a few too many dinners out.  I’m glad it was my bank account that took the hit rather than my waistline.  I have my priorities.

The house isn’t pretty, but it is liveable.  The garage is full of boxes waiting for attention.   Taking care of everyday tasks is a relief.   I love my new stove and refrigerator, and I’m happy just cooking at home.  Doing laundry, even at the laundromat, brings normalcy back to my life.

While waiting on the laundry, I was reading the Special Time Edition of The Science of Happiness:  New Discoveries For a More Joyful Life.  One new thing I learned is how to think positively.   Thinking positively isn’t just appreciating the band as the Titanic sinks.   Thinking positively is thinking about happy memories,reliving them in your mind.  It is like a mini vacation, refreshing.

Soon we will have a house warming, and I’ll share pictures of the new house.  Until then, build many happy moments into your daily life.

Happy memories.

Breaking Expectations

Huntington, WV

Clear

77°F

Hi: 78° Lo: 52°

Feels like 78°F
Precipitation: 20%
Humidity: 32%

     An absolutely beautiful day.  We got outside and cleaned up the yard.  While we were outside, news was still happening around the world.  It isn’t pretty.  Hubby likes to have the news on to follow the blow-by-blow of political developments.  I would not say I am uninterested.  In fact, the opposite is true.  I am very interested in the political new, but if I am not careful it can become obsessive.  I can just hear my Dad saying,  “What are you going to do about it.”
      I have written some political blogs, and I’ve been outspoken enough to lose a couple of friends, or at least potential friends.  If I had a clue what would help bring people together to sing Kumbaya, I would do it.  The main problem is that I can’t really figure out what is really going on.  The art of compromise is dead.  (So, I guess I did figure out what the basic problem is.)
     How much does it really affect me?  I’ve been on the losing side before, and I saw no noticeable difference in my life from the transition from one administration to the next.    The Republicans have the power, and believe they have all the answers to  the problems of the country and the world.   To the Republicans I’d like to say,  “Good Luck with that!”
     I am still going to be pissed at the irreconcilable differences between Hubby and I, or between myself and other members of the family.  No matter what, these are the people who will be there for me if I ever need them.
     My main focus is going to be my life.  What makes me happy.  I have trips I would like to take,  people I want to hang out with, and pets to care for.  I like writing a blog, steadily increasing in readership from around the world.  I’ve gotten Adobe Photoshop Elements 15, and am struggling to figure it out.  I have hobbies that bring me joy.
     I also got a fortune cookie with this fortune:

You are a lover of words, someday you will write a book.

Someday could be now.

Solid

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“What’s the word of the day,”  Hubby asked.

I told him, “Base.”

“You are my base, my foundation, my rock,”  my husband dramatically exclaimed.

“Whoa!  I’m not God.  I’m only a woman,” I said.

With obvious relish Hubby said,  “Yes you are!”

The real base of marriage is commitment.  But wait, what about love?  Love may lead you to make the commitment.  Once the commitment is made, love will be tested.  Ideas come into conflict.  Differences reveal themselves.  Life presents one challenge after another: money problems, sickness, demands on our time and attention.

Even our greatest blessings come with challenges.

Family is a blessing and marriage combines the influence of two separate families. Families with different ways of doing things.  Families with different methods of dealing, or not, with conflict, money, and time.  Families come with baggage that a couple must learn to deal with.

Our children come with worries, and are a source of conflict in a marriage.  There is no manual included with children, except our experience with the family of our birth, which can be very different for each person.   Our child raising ideas change with things we learn as we go along.  In the end, children go out on their own, and if you are lucky, you are left with your spouse.

Careers can be a great source of income, self-worth, and stress for yourself and your marriage.  Careers require education, long hours, maybe travel, separation for lengths of time (short and long), and often relocation.  Just when things are going well, you have worked out the difficulties, and you are at the top, it all ends.  You are retired.

Retirement is a blessing that requires the couple to readjust.  Now that we have all this time together how do we fit together?  Unending leisure loses its attraction.  It is easy to get on each other’s nerves.

Life is full of chaos.  Life is one big jumble of good, bad, and unpredictable.  Making the commitment to marriage makes love endure.

Broken Promises

While looking for something else I ran across some old wedding pictures from a failed marriage.  Surprised any of these pictures were still around, I pulled them from the album.  The family dressed in wedding finery stand with the couple, smiling generously.

Family at the couple’s sides as they repeated their promises, were ready to give the couple all the love and support they could.  Now it is hard to look at those pictures. The bride is dutifully smiling, the same in every picture.  The groom looks genuinely happy. Friends and family are surrounding them both, in the traditional wedding photographs recording the event.

Not all was as it appeared in pictures.  Fresh grief over the death of her mother stole any joy the bride could truly feel.  Days of fluctuating back and forth between going through with the commitment of marriage and calling it off, gave way under the continued growth of  the couples first child.  Perhaps things could have turned out differently, if the bride’s mother had lived to share in the wedding and the birth of their first child.

As things were, the promises of marriage quickly dissolved, and the marriage became one of obligation to the child brought into the world.  As the grandmother to this child, I had hoped that obligation could be enough.  The lack of mutual respect I saw, eventually eroded the marriage to the point of dissolution of the marriage, but not before another child was born in hope and promise.

I was both heartsick and happy when the bride made the choice to separate and divorce.  I have seen my grandchildren longing for whichever parent is absent.  Usually the parents work together for the good of their children, but I have seen the children used as pawns occasionally.

Our relationship with our grandchildren’s mother has deteriorated beyond any civility, which makes things difficult.  Sometimes grandparents are a bridge in these situations, but not in this one.  Fortunately our relationship with our son remains strong.

I won’t go so far as to say a marriage built upon obligation can’t work, but without mutual respect the marriage will fail.  Living without love is very difficult, and I would never wish for my child to live without love.

I am happy to say our son is now married to a wonderful girl, in a marriage full of love and hope for the future, that they will build together.

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