Thursday, September 14, 2017

Why is the Italian Dressing in the Bathroom?

These have been some long and tedious days.  I've been bored-so, so bored.  Then, just today, I saw the note on her refrigerator.  I asked her about it, and she gave me, as usual, an extremely vague and unhelpful answer.  It was clear that I'd have to do some investigating on my own.  We then went to lunch, only to return and find a huge puddle on the floor.  We thought at first the dog had peed, but the sheer volume of the liquid made that doubtful; plus, it wasn't yellow and it didn't smell.  But where it came from is anybody's guess.  Did a pipe break somewhere near the house's foundation?  I noticed that the questions are never ending.  What is that smell?  Did someone really break in and wash the dishes?  Why is there a bottle of Italian dressing in the bathroom?  I think life will never be boring again.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Downward Dog

I didn't have my camera with me when Renee did a downward dog right on the edge of the sidewalk and refused to continue walking, much to the amusement of several motorists in the busy intersection.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Mystery Monday

If you've been reading my blog, you'll know I've been expanding my literary horizons by reading horror and mystery stories.  I've also written about some interesting characters in my life who've vanished.  Last night, the two came together.  I had read a mystery story about a dream.  That night, I had a dream that involved one of those characters who completely vanished from my life.  In the dream, my family and I were vacationing at some familiar (in the dream) destination to us, and this friend who I haven't seen or heard from for years (I'll call her Allie) was helping us navigate the place.  I woke up, unsurprisingly, thinking about Allie and how I miss her.  We were close, and I loved being her friend.  We had great times together, but when she came out to me as a lesbian, she (wrongly) assumed I wouldn't want to talk to her again.  She quit talking to me, quit the job where we met and worked together, and moved far away.  I haven't seen her since.  I'm sad about that.  She asked me not to talk to her, so I've respected that, but that means that I'll never get the chance to tell her how much she meant to me, and how much I enjoyed our friendship, and that I would have still been her friend had she not quit talking to me.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Caravan and College Memories

Reading this book about two guys from England driving across America in an old Dodge Caravan brings me back to my days of driving an old Caravan in college.  It was one of few, maybe the only, 2-seater, "sports" Caravans around.  When my grandma gave me her old Caravan as a graduation present, I soon saw the superfluousness of the 2 rear benches. I was just one person, so I didn't need all those seats.  And without them, my car became my own personal dressing room wherever I went.  I even considered putting a fainting couch back there.  All that space was also great for transporting all my hobby equipment, and anything else I wanted to transport.  As I drove to college, and had hours to kill between some of my classes, my spacious car became my own personal study room, and not having to drive home saved gas.  I also saved gas on Sundays when I drove to church in the morning, ate a peanut butter sandwich in my car for lunch, took a nap in my car, studied some, and then walked into the building for evening church.

After I got married, Mr. M and I took a road trip to Palm Springs in my car.  The back had enough space for a full sized air mattress, so we saved money  there, too.  (We could barely keep warm, but we saved money.  And it was an adventure that we still talk about.  I loved that car, but not everyone did.  Some concerned citizens were worried about my safety and welfare, and gave me another car, so I gave my Caravan to a friend.
I am enjoying taking this vicarious road trip in a Caravan.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Lessons in Discipleship

This photo is from the early 90s, near the time when I was befriended by Elle.  I was thinking more about our friendship.  What I find odd as I look back is that our friendship existed in a vacuum of sorts.  She never mentioned her family or her past, or, really, anything about her life and her feelings, and she never asked me about mine.  This has something to teach me about friendship, and also discipleship relationships.  It teaches me that in any healthy relationship, we talk to each other, and know each other's friends and family . . . or at least know about them.  What else can I learn from this relationship?  What do you learn?  What are your thoughts on discipleship, and how do they relate to this experience?  I'd love to hear your thoughts on this important subject.

Strangely Nice (and Maybe Just Strange) People.

The Bible tells us that the righteous are cautious in friendship.  (Pro. 12:26.)  The Bible also tells us to show hospitality to strangers.  (Heb.  13:2.) This is a conundrum, as it is a scary prospect to invite strangers into your life.  I was thinking about this this morning, and I thought of Elle, a woman who befriended me suddenly and fiercely when I was just a teen.  There was no getting-to-know-you time.  One day after church, she just came into the church library where I volunteered and handed me three beautiful, homemade hair clips.  That is how I wore my hair then.  She knew that.  I guess she had noticed me, made the hair clips for me, and waited for an opportunity to give them to me.  After that, we started talking-a lot, and I went to her house often.  She was quite a bit older than I.  (I have no idea how much older.  She seriously could have been anywhere from 30 to 60.)  We ran around town a lot, serving others in various ways.  One day, on a whim, she offered to buy me a $50 pair of shoes (an incredible sum of money for a teenager-and still a lot of money to me now) because the shoes were made in Israel.  She was my closest confidant for months . . . and then she suddenly vanished.  I called people she knew at the church, and they said she had mentioned maybe gong to Mexico to work at an orphanage.  That was over 25 years ago.  I still think of Elle every now and again, and I wonder if she was trying to view me as the daughter she never (as far as I know) had, or if she was young at heart and wanting to be my bestie, or if she was informally discipling me, and because of her sudden appearance in my life, and just as sudden disappearance, I have even wondered if she was an angel.  (The fact that her age was entirely undiscernable also adds to my angel theory.)  Or maybe she was just a strange and super-impulsive character.)  It is a very odd thing to think back on that brief time in my life.
We Christians are to open our arms to strangers, but we need to do so cautiously.  God does great and miraculous things through strangers, and all of our closest friends were strangers once, but how nice it is when the strangers we embrace turn into life long friends who become practically family.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Jobs 'n Stuff

While Mr. M and I were vacationing in a small beach town recently, I bought a book.  It is a book of photographs of dogs.  Apparently the author, or photographer, quit a series of corporate jobs and now makes his living taking photos of dogs on the street.  Since buying the book (and before that, too), I have been racking my brain to find a way to make money doing something I like to do anyway.  I've often thought of massage therapy, since I've always loved giving people massages, but then I wouldn't want to have to give a massage to strangers, and I wouldn't want to take money from friends; so, you see I'm in a bit of a bind.  I've applied for some miscellaneous jobs, but for now, I will keep volunteering around town, and keep thinking of ways to make money.  (Uber and Lyft already stole my idea of charging people to drive them places.  But then again, there was the problem that I don't want to be driving around with a stranger in my car, and I also don't want to charge my friends for a ride.  Plus, I don't like to drive.)

Friday, August 11, 2017

Four Feelings, Four Books.

Let me start by saying that while I love books and have often found them very helpful in my life, I do believe we must be careful not to substitute them for prayer and Bible reading.  It is tempting to run to a bookstore to get a good book to help us through a tough time or a particular issue when what we really need to do is first run to God in prayer.  That said, I do love books, and I've found many to be very helpful to me.  This is my current reading, and I will tell you why:

1.  Loneliness.  I got a book on loneliness because I felt lonely.  (Shocking, I know.)  Yes, I am married to a wonderful and loving guy, but I still felt lonely.  I started reading that, and I thought to myself, "Self, this is silly.  You have the indwelling Spirit of God, you have a wonderful husband, a superb family, and great friends.  Why in the world should you feel lonely?"  I thought about my words, and I agreed that yes, I am married, and I should be rejoicing in that, and working to maintain the love and friendship with my husband.  So I got a book on . . .

2.  Marriage.  Mr. M and I are reading this together, and discussing it.  We want to keep our love fresh, and not drift into taking each other for granted.  We want to stay sweethearts.  It's all about prevention.  The book caused me to look back into why I felt that we should read it.  It started with loneliness; but what caused me to feel lonely in the first place?  It was . . .

3.  Fear.  I fell into the ridiculous thought that I knew my future, and that it was bleak.  Of course, I don't know my future (as you don't know yours).  I was living as though a bleak future was a given.  I was living with the thoughts of an unknown future rather than dealing with my present reality.  So I got another book on . . .

4.  Marriage.  This one is about reality versus expectations.  I need to live in my reality and all that that entails.  I need to deal with the trials in my life and accept them for the reality (unpleasant as it is) that they are, and I also need to rejoice in the blessings in my life and see them for the blessings they are.  This is actually where all this began.  I felt hopeless for a while, and the reason was that I was focusing only on the trials in my life while turning a blind eye to the blessings.