Seven Spring Memories

The first of seven memories goes to all those years of Good News Club lessons. Seven years is the time frame that Jacob waited for Rachel. His father in law tricked him and gave him Leah instead. “Leah was eyes were delicate, but Rachel was beautiful of form and appearance. (ESV)”. Jacob could not live without his love, so he worked another seven years for Rachel. Then the battles began. The story is found in the book of Genesis chapter 29. Why on earth would I think of this story from Genesis first with the though of the number seven? Could not I first have though of the seven days of the week, from the Creation account? Could not I though of the seven years of famine? Could I not have thought of any other story of seven? Bother. Must i even now be reminded of my delicate eyes? Let’s move on, shall we…?

The second spring milestone has to do with this blog. Seven years ago I decided to write an online journal. Typing comes fairly easy for me. And much of my written blog is actually begun as spoken. Since this blog began, both of my daughters graduated college and are now married. My pets are still two dogs, a dozen outdoor cats, and an unstable pony. We now have three wonderful grand children by the same set of parents. And my hubby now drives to the city and into traffic for his job. We put up a geodesic dome greenhouse, and I am still currently occupied keeping up with the chores of home and garden.

The third memory is from late spring and the busy-ness of the season. My daughter’s 10-year class reunion occurs this summer. Somehow I missed my first daughters’ tenth year out. Home school means a quiet family reunion of some sort should be planned. The graduation event ten years prior was not quiet. We filled the acreage with vehicles, family, friends, relatives, neighbors, music acquaintances, and the like came to celebrate. Of course for me the event was overshadowed with the loss of my driving license. My eyesight had deteriorated to the point of full peripheral blindness. Declaring legal blindness was not a public announcement likeour daughters choice of universities.

The fourth spring memory is both sad and glad. The first day of Spring always reminds me of our beloved family pet Furbie. It was on that date that we let him go the way of the earth. Though that might be hard thoughts and once upon a time I though I would never stop crying. Today we remember him with much fondness. He had such a large personality for such a little 22 pound body!

The fifth memory is a collection of thoughts. The revolving pet door has continued. We had a bad experience along the way that is that “unmentionable” name. And I made an error in personal judgement giving up my self-trained guide dog. Nevertheless the dogs and cats continue to coexist and Coca has outlived them all. Someone suggested that I get a “guide” horse. But really choosing one of the animals that I am most allergic to seems unrealistic. Just to have his hooves trimmed by the farrier requires every allergy medicine that I can take to avoid a disaster health wise. To me there is nothing fairy like about a farrier!

The sixth memory is one that we are making right now! Today my work in the greenhouse had some companion time. The two of them did share the bed for a bit. Tabitha was determined to bother Eva’s poor pig ear. I imagine that it should be removed or at least looked at once again. But at 13 years, I loathe to spend more money on her. I filled up the growing spaces with more plants. So the healing feline was well behaved. She has not even attempted to escape the dome. I think she rather prefers being “indoors.”

And finally the seventh memory. Brings me back to this writing thing. The site wants me to focus on the quantity of followers. But for me it is more about the journal itself. Looking back keeps the mind alert. Looking forward fills the heart with hope. Looking at each day gives one perspective and purpose. So seven years came and went pretty fast. My fourth year was the best in readership so far. I have not really focused on an exact memoire yet. And this week, it took me four days of 2-4 hours each day just to clean up and feed the gallon plus size geraniums in the greenhouse. They use to make me sneeze something awful. Especially when we used to stay at my mother’s house and she had then on every window sill and basement window-well in the house! Times have changedk, have they not?

In like a lamb

The old weather forecast says “In like a lamb, out like a lion.” Beware the ides of March. For indeed the weather dawns mild and warm for the month of March and the forecast says we will continue to lack rainfall or snow accumulation for this month. My third little grandee is gripping on tighter to her teeters this fourth month of life. Her great-grandfather ended February saying goodbye to another of his teeth. What a contrast in the ages. The weather has nearly the same contrast from day to day lately.

The coral kalanchloe has the most beautiful blooms and has been hanging onto them for nearly a month now. It loves being the centerpiece of my coffee table. I think I found it’s perfect climate! I purchased some little tea cup pots to give away in the next couple of months. The flowers will be full expanse by mid-March. i hope the transplant shock does not do too much damage. But I feel selfish keeping the blooms to myself. The crowded succulents seem to so happy!

Here is the baby progress in Greenfield Greenhouse. The left picture is the coral cannas that I split up in December just before Christmas. It is so scary doing such a thing. Of course some of the near 40 temps were a little hard on the early shoots in January. But the latest from February are growing with gusto. And the last week with nearly 85 temps in the afternoons has encouraged the tropical to put on plenty of new life! The tray of pansy seedlings is showing promise. The seeds were from a boughten package. I was hoping to transplant this week. That’s clearly too early. Perhaps by the end of the month. The petunia seeds that I saved all show hopeful leafage. Some things grow so slow! And then suddenly take off like geese to the skies. Which by the way I have heard two days so far flying overhead. it is one of my favorite spring sounds. Friday of this week I began to transplant the pansy cells. Uff day-I did not realize the tray is 200 cells not 100. Only 150 left to go. Time for some dixie cups.

We took care of the little flies and aphids or something that was attacking the Shasta Daisy starts. This one is the only bloom progress. Some of the seed that I received from my good friend in Minnesota produced a dozen or so starts. I think I will try to leave some in the landscape this fall. But will continue to bring some into the growing dome for overwinter division. Every time I have daisies left outside the winter is too harsh for the rebirth.

So there’s the update on growing! This month will continue to be busy with some spring cleaning in the house. Today I am doing the carpets with my “citrus” vinegar concoction and baking soda. Hubby informed me they are expecting uppers to take a few Saturdays to work in the foreseeable future. The first Saturday on his feet drove him to finally replace his work shoes with new ones. Hmmm…. I anticipate being well this month. My two weeks of “under the weather” in February was difficult to keep up with the plants, pets, and meals. This month should be better organized. I already have my mental list made.

Proof that airflow never hurts a geranium! This pale pink beauty is one of the ten seed geraniums that I picked up at a 99 cent sale. Since last summer the plants are just now bushing out. One of the rooted geranium babies decided to bloom since I cleaned “house” on Monday of all the blooms. This is one of my favorites, too! And there is ggrowth on the fig trees! These three sticks show promise of future fig trees. I though I would try to root some out over winter, but not much luck. Of 24 twig branches only these three remain.

Trial and error marks much of my growing dome experience. Some of the food attempts have been disappointment to say the least. Growing food really does work best outside. Our carrot trials have been very sweet but the miniature status over six months just not worth the amount of fertilizer one must use. Well, I am back in my hallway house and it is time to keep on with the spring cleaning. Some days I would rather just go back to play in the dirt!

Out of sight, out of … hands

Version 2.0 on the “out of sight” installments. Last one was just onee year ago on January of 2021. Perhaps I am getting closer to a title for my book. Haha

Out of min…

Some people think that loosing one’s mind involves not being able to find the car keys. For me it was the carrot smoothie in the fridge…. I spent nearly 10 minutes trying to locate the drink. I had taken it to the library, right? No, then I went to the living room. Oh, yeah in between all that i had used the restroom. Okay, where are you little carrot smoothie? I found it in the fridge.

Or maybe I had not lost my mind altogether. I was simply distracted. Until the book I was listening to brought up another entire area of loss that most people never think of. Gestures and facial expressions. Here’s my story and I am sticking to this one.

Out of memory…

A long time ago when I was just a teenager, I remember an incident that shook me up quite a bit. We were at one of those famouse birthday luncheons at the church where I grew up. This particualr evening, my dad was into his famous story telling moods. And whenver there was an audience to be had, he seemed to think that he was the center of everyone’s attention. So, when I ran about to fill up the coffee cups as my waitress heart deemed necessary, the next few moments were very much a tell tale of the RP digression of his eyesight.

The coffee was delivered, and the speaker was not attentive the the surroundings. I waited, and waited and waited to get his attention and let him know that the drink had been refilled. Suddenly, the story teller gave an unexpected hand gesture that upset the apple cart. But that was not even the pretty part. The surprise of the spilled beverage, the demeaning words and the angry expressions by my father in that particular setting (church) made for a memory tattooed on my hearts emotional being. Yes, the negative response is a memory somewhat repressed, but nevertheless not forgotten.

Out of words…

Years later, a friend of ours said that one’s emotional explosions and expressed words after an upset hot beverage are really what the person is really truly made of. When the coffee spills, how do we respond? Surprise and shock do not necessarily mean bad words. Sometimes, choosing words of blessing and apologetic behavior matter much. I always felt that my spilled milk was always followed by yelling and angry words. No reason to cry over spilt milk? Well, being blind and having the spills happen so frequently either makes one wise up and sue sippy cups, or find some other solution to the frequent spillages.

Out of mouths…

Dealing with an eyesight loss can mean a whole new change of character. My uncle lost an eye as a result of an unfortunate farming accident. I remember visiting with him about the changes in his life. One particular change was finding moved objects in his path with toes and shin bones rather than his eyes. Now he found himself frequently cussing and fuming. It was both exasperating to himself and to those around him. Apologizing for his surpised outbursts was becoming far to regular. Ahh, how eyesight loss changes the way we must move and the way we react to surpises. There is no more laughter at the jack-in-the-box events that happen. One soon learns to live in a constant state of tension while moving for the possibility of those awful little “weasels!”

Out of hands…

My gesture loss happened during my children’s high school years. I was done teaching club at church due to my hands constantly hitting an unsuspecting child. Pointing across the room only to poke a child in the eye was so distressing. The gesture loss was hard for me. I use to talk with my hands all the time. Who does not want to point a certain thing out while talking? This abilbity to throw my arms about during speech actually began to decrease the amount of speaking that I would do. It is really hard to stop acting out like a stage professional during a good story. But waving my hands about was not an option with the peripheral vision loss. How do I visit with others in group settings without being able to point or gesture in some common way?

The next obvious loss for me was the facial expressions and hand gestures of others in group settings. It is also hard to tell, who might want to jump into the topic next with a speech that they deem very important to give. While I may be able to view the person across the way, the others around the table disappear from my view. This might allow for greater focus, but moving my eyes around to catch the others reactions to a speaker is exhausting. This large group silence at times is really unbearable for me. Expecially when I still remember so much.

Except where my smoothie is…

It was during this loss of “circle movement” by the others in a group setting that I noticed some other things happening. More often then not, I was getting “shushed” by those around me. I had missed some conversation cue of eye, or gesture that indicated who was next in speaking. My thoughts that were so ready to blurt were getting stoppped up by those around me. This too was hard. I began to feel like certain people were treating me as if I were a misbehaving child. Becoming blind day by day, year by year does not mean that I am reverting in my behavior. Simply put, I was now out of the circle…

So now, I find myself listening more and more during group settings. When I am so desperate for interaction with people, I find that interaction being stolen by my loss of vision. The surpise of a cake plate upset on my lap or on the floor feels like a common occurrence while at family gatherings. Coupled by the deafness in my left ear, the abiltiy to even hear the oncoming delicasy, is hampered by the lack of sight. Plate on the floor. “Oh, no!” Learning to live life in a perpetual motion of “i’m sorry!” Is not very fun. Embarrassment and humility do not always gather closely. Sometimes the embarrassment is overwhelmingly sad. The feelings of loss and the inability to even help with the cleanup are so frustrating. Playing statue is not that easy!

I really don’t like surpises any more. Boo! Is not fun like the peekaboo of babies and little children. The last few times that we had Christmas present openings, I lived in a state of perpetual “what if the coffee spills?” And not knowing what was in the presents or trying to figure the item out in the semi-dark was exasperating. Having the person next to me tell me what each item was supposed to be and trying to find the right facial expression after my completely confused confoundedness was not enjoyable. I began to really dislike opening my gifts. Watching the others was somewhat more enjoyable. But oh, how I needed a little parrot on my shoulder telling me all the happenings about me. It makes one feel very alone in a crowd.

And that’s the last experience that I want to share on my way towards becoming invisible me. The last time that I went to a church event without a close family member was very painful for me. Extended family that has not grown up with a “blind father” does not really understand the needs that arise as the Retinitis Pigmentosa progresses. While I could walk a straight line down the sidewalk, I could no longer navigate a crowd of people carrying plates at a potluck. Attending the church without my husband had turned out to be a “fatal” choice for me and I had become invisible. No one in my current church was familiar with the challenges of RP and I was left sitting in a corner throughout much of the meal event. I finally left the crowd and sat in the sanctuary alone. Truly alone. My ability to “flow” through the plate bearers left me feeling very disabled. I cried without end over the potential of “spilled milk.” I called my husband, and he was able to come and pick me up. The rest of the day was spent in tears. The people that I had gone with did not understand my needs, were busy and had not ever checked on me. I felt unable to express myself and ask for help in a situation that left me feeling so invisible.

Recently I read “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien and found it very full of forward motion. The adventures of the hobbit keep one listening just to see what happens next. In the book the discovery of a magic ring gives the little fellow the ability to become invisible and disappear from danger and tribulations. Honestly, being invisible and feeling invisble are two totally different phenomenon. Choosing to shrink from view within a public event and loosing the ability to see who all is there in the public setting are two opposing feelings. Being blind in a community setting makes everyone present invisible to the blind person. Not a very fun feeling when you walk into a group of people and all of the talking stops. This has happened to me so many times that I cannot count. I can begin to imagine however what it is like to walk into a room that feels full of people but seems empty until someone addresses my presence. My father’s ability to get the group to burst out in laughter helps to break the ice about his blindness and lets him know just how many people are really in the room. I don’t see myself ever being “on display” as that-blind-lady. I don’t see myself breading the ice with bad jokes just to count the voices of laughter within the space. i don’t see myself as others see me. I cannot.

My position in a group setting is usually at the piano with the whole commune behind me. Sometimes I wish I could turn the piano around so that the people were in front of me instead of behind me. Maybe that’s the next change in my life. For now I’ll let them see my hands while I play piano since I cannot. (P.S. My therapist said that I am not supposed to use “can’t” in my speaking or writing anymore. I asked her if she still could drive a car… I said, “I cannot.”)

Still trying to find myself

This is an RP update. I did not know that when I first started writing this one. Sometimes the journal of going blind one day at a time gets an entry. I could call it the Chronicles of Yvonne Annette. Not sure anyone would even read such a book.

Seven years into blogging and I am still trying to find myself. Just the other day I decided to look up some of the history. It is really pretty embarrassing to discover that my writing has taken so many twist and turns. Perhaps that is normal.

For one thing, I find it hard to be completely frank and honest. Someone might actually read my blog that knows me and ask me a question that I do not want to answer. Here are a few potential nightmare questions… “How can you say that you are blind and still crochet?” “Why don’t you just get a job and have something to do that way?” “Where is your focus and purpose for this blog?” “When are you ever going to write something that earns money?” “What do you really want to do with your life?” “Who reads this stuff anyways?”

Here’s the thing, for the most part of my fifty years I did not know those answers and I am not even going to attempt to try! Writing for me is a release. Just an exercise, kind of like taking a walk that has no purpose. Every once in a while we take a walk that actually leaves us filling fulfilled and happy. Every day I send my dog out to do her business or on the days I actually go with, there seems no other purpose than just doing the routine.

Routinely writing for me is relaxing and a way to release often unintelligible thoughts. Once in a great while, the thoughts find a path and I find a gorgeous waterfall. Other times all I notice is the barren ground and large cracks in the winter earth that are screaming out for some snowfall moisture.

Today is one of those awful after-insomnia days. The ruminating thoughts that keep me awake at night are nothing worth repeating. Yet on they go. Sometimes, my mind is so hyper-alert it feels as though I did not get a wink of sleep. The sheep counting “God Bless You”-s did not work. The Bible mindful listening did not work. The warm milk and hot tea did not work. The pre-slumber routines did nothing to aid in the sleep process.

Last evening I went to church to do a recording with a friend. The song was quite repetitive and the count patterns got stuck on repeat for my mind. Also, when I used the facilities to release my full bladder, I walked right into the wall afterwards. How could my tunnel vision keep pulling so many tricks on me? I am constantly finding myself “lost” these days. Often right in the bedroom while turning in circles to put away my clothing. I ran right into the table the other day in the kitchen while doing the dishes. Had I forgotten the table was there? I was not paying attention to my other senses and did not even realize that the rug under my feet was actually NOT there. Ugh. This blind think sometimes catches me by surprise.

In just one half hour the brand new song was embedded in my memory and I had to play it by little signs like # * > 1 2 X and letters for chord names. My focus on how many times of certain chord patterns kept me from reading the words all together. Besides, unless they are size 50 type, I would not be able to read them anyway. Same girl?

On another note…. The ability to learn a new piece of music is getting to be shorter and shorter time expense. The song was mentioned to me one day. I listened to it a few times the next day. We ran through the piece with some “guitar chord lead” sheets that same evening. And by the third go round I actually did not loose my place in the sheets and words. This is the same girl that failed her first few recitals in early years of piano lessons. This is the same girl that could not memorize pages of classical piano for the jury sessions in college. This is the same girl that could not play a single note by ear training in the early years as church pianist. This is the same mother that made her little string playing children switch positions to play a song in the key that it was written so that mommy could accompany them at the nursing home church services. This is the same woman that bombed reading the music for her daughter’s senior recital and ruined the whole event (in my mind.). This is the same woman that one church rejected as pianist because she could not play the praise and worship “style” that they wanted. (Which by the way is the same “style” that she now plays completely by ear with just a guitar chord lead sheet!)

Not hardly. I feel like a completely different person than I was at twelve years old. I feel like a different person than I was even at 40! How do I make peace with this new me?

Reason to Live (the final installment)

Finishing the CD review or renew or remembering

The last four years has been one of much change in our lives. The last three more so. Empty nesters is not a term that I like to use in my description of ourselves in the most recent past. After the girls off and left me, okay, really, they just got married and added numbers tot he family, right? Well, still redefining motherhood is nothing like descovering sainthood, that’s for sure.

So once the nest is empty, we soon find ways to fill the void. And for us it was a little 22 foot growing dome. Learning how to make things grow is a little different than watching kids grow and and become adults. But really much is the same. There are plant babies. Then little plants that leave the “next” and find new homes. And some get so stay and become tomorrows foddor.

Five years ago? It really does not seem real. Five years ago, I saw a video of this little geodesic dome greenhouse and wanted one so much that I cried. Now, plant babies leave very frequently and the empty nest never stays empty very long.

Having a “reason to live” means purpose and planning for one’s tomorrows. whether as in the song, the morrow is eternal or as in the greenhouse these seems to be forever a spring, purpose keeps life moving forward. I am so grateful for something TO DO!

Relatives of relatives and friends of friends are our connections throughout the circle of life. People help the world go-around. Looking at these connections through the “triangle” is easy for me. I know you. You know another person, and soon that other person then knows me. And just like that we are connected in a triangle of friendship.

This triangle of connecting one to another is key through our lives. It helps us to get where we are going, or perhaps we help another person get to the path in life that they lead. I am always fascinated by the connections that we have with a random person. My daughter once sat by someone on an airplane that was a shirt-tail relation. But they were only four people removed from knowing each other!

We used my daughter’s family connection to get the logo set up for Greenfield Greenhouse. It was so good to put a bit of “finality” or maybe a seed of beginning to this five year incubation phase. It’s time to let the nest be a home to more plant babies. I hope the business side of this building does not get so overwhelming. But I am so excited to do some plant seed harvesting. More geranium baby production and to see how the overwintering building will do this next year.

And I am also glad to do the final installment of this CD remembering. 1998 seems like such a very long time ago when the music was all created. I hope that the family that inspired this song has done well since then. I think of them often.

Once upon a summer

Writing on a blank slate is not something that today’s children even understand. Recently I watched a cheaply done movie about a young aritist and a young musician. They had many discussions about working with a purpose in mind. Purpose to them meant selling a message, or telling a message. Most of the movie was meant for a pre-teen audience with it’s focus on moral right and relationship building. The movies had a decent enough platform and did get the point across to question what we do on a daily basis as part of a larger purpose. A couple of time’s I though about the generation predecessor of the great war causes (like WWI and WWII).

Once upon a summer, I buried a pail of cherry pits in a hole, covered it with the dirt and this little tree emerged. I cannot recall whether this summer of ago was the pits but I do remember putting the pits in the hole. In fact, there were three others that produced a little tree. The cherry pits came from Great-Grandpa’s tree just outside our bedroom window.

How is it the summers become blurry in our memory? Summers with children and family are busy times. Summers are for vacations and going places. When the kids have gone and the spouse has a job we find our own ways to make summer busy. Even people who work, and garden, find summer crowded with activity

As a child the emptiness of summer was no problem. The fact that the daus go by ever too quickly and soon the vacation days are over made me long for afternoons. After school book diving became my pleasure. Today, I still find it easy to bury myself in the sands of a really good book. Days speed righ by when a good book is taking us out to another world.

Cherry picking and pitting time is a very busy time and a bit messy. This summer I’m hoping the cherries are right before we want to go on vacation. It seems that the two-day window for picking time lands on the wrong weekend every year. Last summer we got back to them too late. The red juiciness were drying on the tree already

With the windbreak all prepared for growing, we can focus on other things now. Like the garden’s weeds that went out of control. And there is a blank slate spot in the “east of the barn” area that needs to be planted yet. I have some flower packets, and more carrots to plant.

Imagination is the ability to create something out of nothing. I had fun playing pretend “drinking” with my grand daughter one afternoon. She ran to fetch me a drink of water from her play kitchen, only to have me declare that it was “juice” or “vinegar” or some other incredulous liquid besides water. The play went on for nearly a half an hour until she insisted that “apple juice” was better than water. I was finally satisfied with my drink and said “Oh, thank you!”d

The enjoyment of imagination can turn the wrong direction quickly. Like this morning when I was up on in the dark barn to take this picture, and something was hissing at me. Pretty sure it was a possum. I don’t any cats that hiss at me. Well, I managed to take my picture, and then skedaddled back down the stairs.

So, how does your imagination work for you? Do you take a skein of yarn and make something band new? Do you enjoy gardening and watching thins grow? How about those dark places where things make noises at you? Why don’t you take a blank slate and create something enjoyable today!

An Eremite’s Journal

“Wilderness Journey”

This past year was a challenge of epic social proportions. The mandates to stay home, the office dispersions, the canceled events. All of the changes in behavior that some people found unbearable. For me staying at home was a choice I made nearly 28 years ago. However, not getting out and about on the weekends or spending time with extended family was a new part of life during this quarantine season.

An eremite is someone who chooses the hermit life in response to seeking a more peaceful and focused spiritual life. Many of these people choose the social distancing as a way to find complete harmony within their soul, spirit, body, and mind. I do not believe in this hands off approach to the Christian’s life. There are too many scripture passages about loving others and Christ’s work through us for the perpetuation of the gospel. Being a recluse during a worldwide pandemic was dictated by health reasons. I am not claiming to be an eremite in the full sense of the word.

Being an eremite is sometimes in response to the character flaws that drive one to sin when living with others. The belief that Christ empower’s us to become better people should drive us towards others not away from them. How can we really show God that we love Him unless we love one another?

However, this barren landscape, involves very few people for me this past year. While I tried to reach out to some in hopes of rekindling friendship, being snubbed a few times in a row, convinced me move on to the next person on the list.

Writing for me is in direct defiance of solitude. The act of putting words into sentences and thought process into journal entries concludes that there will one day be a reader. Being alone while writing is reaching out to another and defies the very act of separation from others. Writing is a forward motion. The pen is hope for the future.

Wasted wanderings would be putting these paper scraps with their ink blots in the trash. While the paper itself is tossed away, the thoughts continue to collect. Like the person in my corner of the world that did not want to “waste his cancer,” I do not want to waste these jottings.

In search of that which lies in plain sight, I find myself studying the great desert wanderings of the faith. There was Moses on the mountain receiving the ten commandments. My favorite because there was an active writer of the event. Of course, Jesus in the wilderness ministered to by angels is another favorite. And don’t forget the Israelites in the Sinai for forty years. The Sinai church or Saint Catherine’s Monastery is the oldest community of “eremite” lifestyle. Separating from the world yet still being in the world, this kind of life often attracts travelers and guests. The ministry to the world thus is done on the terms of the monastic community rather than the expectations of the world. The solitary confinement within the walls of these abbeys is meant to be a “40” hour, day, or week spiritual journey.

Returning to the Cd to listen to the song, brought back many emotions this past week or two. We all really truly experience our own life alone. The life that we live is ours alone to make conclusions and decisions upon. Our burdens are ours alone to carry heavily or to lay down at Jesus feet. We either choose to carry life’s weight alone or to share it. thus in the sharing to lighten our burden and find relief from the load that we bear. This is the basic theory behind grief counseling and support groups.

Finding encouragement alone is nearly impossible. Finding a support group for your particular burden is easier than you think. It’s the actual going. The reality of attendance that makes support groups difficult. One actually must GO somewhere to be ministered to by the group. To receive the support one needs involves being needy. This is the hurdle many do not cross.

This blanket poncho is not as wide as the others that I have made. I actually had to add some border design to make it cozy properly. The yarn was also a nightmare spool bobbin that did not come off the cardboard bobbin without tangling into a hundred knots. This was definitely a colossal alone time accomplishment. And it is one of my favorite warm buddies when there is nobody to give me a hug.

Affirming feelings is not something I remember through my childhood. And I don’t think I was very good at it as a parent either. Watching my grandchildren have their feelings named and affirmed at such young ages makes me think of the cliche psychological counseling statement, “How does that make you feel?” I found that most of the time I have to tell myself, “Feelings lie.” A fact sheet is helpful in those instances.

Out of the darkness and into the night is more of my life wilderness experience that I might care to share. Especially when I talk about my eyesight problems. But that makes me a needy person and others don’t want to be around “needy” people.

When the night light goes out in the bedroom it actually gives me a momentary panic. Then I remember that there are rugs, and walls to search for. My feet and my hands do the “seeing” and I can find my way around okay. The light switch is on the other side of the room for me, and I do not want to wake my sleeping spouse. Though my thrashing limbs usually makes the door hit the furniture and the noise wakes him up anyways.

Yesterday felt a bit like the alarm from a tsunami or hurricane happenings. My emotional state felt like perhaps there was a “coming deluge.” This flood of thought process and the avalanche of words left me shaking. Literally, I was having the day after soy sauce asthma response. The headache, the lack of oxygen, and the allergic reaction made me just want to stay in bed. Thank goodness thereis a dog to keep me going. The pets still needed attention, so I forged ahead. One step in front of the other.

Today, I am doing better mentally. Taking the time to sort out all of the jottings. Some of the ink blotches are indecipherable. Some I just scrapped because they don’t fit with this entry.

I am pretty much done with the eremite living. No, I don’t really live alone. I have had both vaccines and am ready to go back to church social life. Being a self-possessed Christian recluse in persuit of religious piety is not for me. Spending time with my little grand babies will continue to be a “well” opportunity. That’s hard but less disparaging than rare. I will continue to journal during my alone quiet times. At one point I wrote a whole study on forty day silences. Forty days, or forty wees, I don’t think that this quarantine year has transformed me into something that was not. This is not the time for an eremite’s journal.

“Walking through the wilderness When all around is emptiness, I forget the One who fills my cup. Seeing all this barrenness Where once was abundant fruitfulness I turn away and do not look back up. AND God says, ‘You must go through the dark to see the light. You must remember day follows the night. You must run the race to win the prize. For when you’ve passed the test of this life, you will receive the gift, The Crown of Life.’

“Searching for the peacefulness Found in His great faithfulness I forget the One right by my side. Striving to cope with thankfulness When the only hope is His promise I turn back to Him Who Will Provide. AND God says, “You must go through the dark to see thelight. You must remember day follows the night. You must run the race to win the prize. For when you have passed the test of this life, You will receive the gift, The Crown of Life.'”

from the ninth song on the Album “Are You Ready” Wilderness Journey by Yvonne Annette age 29.

Wee Hoursof Motherhood

Was I a brave mom?

This song on the CD is music only. I’m not really sure if I can get the song recorded and put on this blog site. The disc fromt he makers is not online anywhere, so the legistics of getting it up on this site is not easy. I own the copyright, so we’ll see if I get creative.

The song was written in the wee hours of the night on my Clavinova with head phones in my ears. It was also one of the few pieces with actual music on paper. We lived in an upstairs apartment complex and when we moved out the neighbors said they would miss us. We never saw the neighbors. I guess we were both pretty quiet.

The song that should have been on the list is one that i wrote during pregnancy. It was written in the “hope” stage and the weapy emotional thoughtfulness that comes with not knowing what lies in the future.

Today

Today, as I thought about you

I began to cry

I am not sure why

But I began to cry

Maybe it’s because you are mine

Maybe it’s because you are special

Maybe it’s because God knows your time

Maybe it’s because I love you

Or maybe it’s because

You are you…

But today

As I though about you

I began to cry…

-written in February of 1993, by Yvonne Annette

The melody and the words were written in such a raw emotional state, that I have not shared it much. But there it is.

My first daughter came at the midnight hour. We did not find out whether she was a girl until she was born. Because of my health condition called ITP, the doctor’s decided to do a caesarean birth shortly after my water broke. It was somewhat of a rush job. Though we had to wait for the anesthesiologist to come from thirty minutes west. And then the pain meds did not work for me. I felt the sharp cuts so horribly. They were somewhat dull, but still ever nerve was on fire. I am so thankful that my husband was there to hold my hand. As soon as the doctor said, “It’s a girl!” And I said, “I have my little Yolanda Marie.” They put me to sleep for the rest of the stitching up. So I did not really get to meet her until two hours later. I can still recall the feeling of the surgeon’s knife.

But she is truly a blessing. And recovery went smoothly. She was such a good baby. I had trouble functioning at night, so daddy would bring her in to me for nursing. I was so glad when she slept through the night at 12 weeks old.

My second daughter also came in the sixth year of my ITP disorder. By the time I was less than a month from due date, the doctor’s decided to test her platelets. We went to the cities to a very impersonal OB-Gyn. He did the procedure in quite a blur and found her to be perfectly fine on the blood work. Never the less our fears were still heightened and we did not know if my count would remain up for the delivery. After three days of attempting to get labor to begin, the doctors decided once again to do a c-section. This time it was because our little baby’s heart rate had begun to show stress.

My second daughter was born in better pain management for the surgery. The doctor stated, “You can begin with a Y.” Instead of saying ‘it’s a girl.’ She would not have a Y at the beginning of her name. And it took us a few hours to decide what her first name would be. We had the names reversed until my husband looked at the newspaper to see how many Meghan’s there were. So Lennea Megan she is! And she also was such a good baby. A little bit of jaundice from being two weeks early, I remember having to waker her up every two hours to feed her.

So my daughter’s came into the world on their own special days. They are in their own special ways the joy in my life. Even after they have grown and gotten married, I still tear up at the amazing young women they have become. God has surely overflowed my cup with these two lovely ladies!

I love being their mom.

I loved motherhood.

And I am so glad their dad and I were given two beautiful daughters.

Disclaimer alert. The girls did not like this picture. Maybe it was the clothes they had on or the cool fall weather. It is still one of my favorites though. Maybe it’s because no matter what the season or the time in life, daughters are sisters that share secrets that even mom does not know. But for me, it’s the fact that no matter the secrets or the challenges that life throws at them, they are still my little girls and the joy of them just being themesleves sparks raw emotion will always bring a tear of happiness to my eyes.

The verse that I put in the folder for the sixth song is from I Timothy chapter 2. Verse fifteen states that the mother is saved during childbearing years by her continued faith, love, holiness and self-control. I believe this is a “working out of salvation” not a saving grace. It is more of the “fruits” of the Savior’s work in a person’s life. The idea that childbearing is part of the covenantal salvation puts an emphasis on the the womb of woman that would be very devastating when a woman cannot bear children. Later on when miscarriage marked me with emotional scars, this verse became a haunting voice. I had to learn to trust in Christ all over again and find faithful women who had not had children to lift up my spirits.

My mother says that the mothering nature was in me even as a little girl. Maybe that’s why I cannot live without a pet. I have to have someone to care for. Life is so empty if a “body” does not rely on me for daily sustenance. Still yet, mothering is special.

Much past the “momma” years, being a mother is something I do not take lightly. And I am so blessed to have both my mom and my mother-in-law as dear examples to me all of these years. There is really too much to say on this topic so I must close with these thoughts.

This being the week of Easter in the Christian calendar, I find it so very endearing that among Jesus’ last words upon the cross are these parting words to his mother. John 19:26-27, “He said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold your son!’ Then He said to the disciple John, ‘Behold your mother.” And at Jesus’ word, from that hour on, the disciple took Jesus’s mother to his own home and took care of her.

10,950 days

And What of the Nights, my Love?

Every day, Every hour, How do we count the ways?

Only one love for me, but all 12 months, all 52 weeks and all 365 days for the past 31 years, I have been his, and he has been mine.

All twelve month squares are done for my temperature blanket. I started putting them together, and then we went to the eye doctor. I left my readers to get new lens, and unfortunately the lab broke my frames. I am kind of grumpy about the whole thing. I had that gut feeling that I should just buy new frames since mine were three years old. But my mother has had the same frames for the past 10 years. Surely, mine were not very old. Ugly thoughts. But I will keep my writing sane.

How do I count the days, my Dear? And what of the nights, my Love? We will never tell, my Sweetheart. We will never tell.

Am I to consult the stars? Or the sand? Could I count the raindrops? How can I tell others how much I love thee? Shall the hours apart take you from my heart?

Oh, my love, my one and only ever love

The fifth song on the CD is dedicated to my Only Love. Written during the poetic year of engagement, it is the melodic theme of our romance. How do I talk about the one who holds such sway on my being?

Ten thousand nine hundred and fifty days of wedded bliss will soon be ours. I though 25 was a special year. Maybe for the significance of our children going off into the sanctimony themselves, but thirty? How do you some up thirty years with no less words than the days we have spent together? It seems so impossible.

Think of holding hands for nearly 31 years. The first date ended in the hours of darkness. The advantage of blindness meant holding hands on the very first date. It’s like we never let go.

Once upon a time, my first daughter was in conversation with one of her elder professors at college. He attested to the fact that her parents were so cute always holding hands. She stated in matter of factness, “Well, it’s because my mom is blind.” The gentleman protested her bluntness. She continued in factual manner. “No it’s true. She can’t see in the peripheral, so he holds her hand., That saves her from getting lost.” Honestly, my husband would rather she replied, “Oh, but he rather likes holding her hand.”

Nah, kids will be kids. They never look at the romance involved with their parents. Until their time comes, romance is disgusting. Holding hands does keep me from tripping, or otherwise loosing my way!

This is why we don’t marry our brothers. One time I went to a hospital visit with my brother to see my uncle. At one point in the maze of hospital halls there was a split. I went one way and my brother went the other. He was not into holding my hand I guess. He did come back to get me though. At a later date, I was with my youngest brother to the zoo with his family. He had no problem holding my hand. I was very grateful for the face saving gesture. And there have been a couple of times at night that my son-in-law has had to grab my hand to keep me from finding a pole in the dark of the night. Thanks! But all the same, I rather like having my husband help me.

How can you remove the cream from the coffee? Especially after the beverage has already been processed? Once the black turns cafe latte, it is not going back. Creamed soda could never return to its seltzer water and syrup. Once the two have blended they are unchangeable, completely integrated and the fizz though it return to air, cannot take with it the taste. Thoughts of the worst soda ever that I tasted remains in my memory. One of the children’s medicine bottle, the bitterness of illness and happiness of recovery exist altogether as one.

Here are the first three months of the year in a quilt strip. January, February and March are put together with a mosaic triangle pattern. I decided to use a more contrasting color scheme because the ones close in ….. are hard to see. Making it easy on the eyes makes the project fun rather than a chore.

March is nearly half past. Like an hour at thirty minutes, it seems the time goes by too quickly. The herbs are up. And some are ready to go into the next size pot. Some were a fail and needed to be resown. Today is St. Patrick’s Day. It seems a good time of year to sow something green! So I will probably spread some more grass seed out in the dry patches from last fall.

Recently, my second daughter purposely misquoted a familiar statement.

“Spice is the variety of life!”

I decided that it is probably a better motto than the real quote. Sometimes it feels like life is so full, you can hardly stand up. Other times, life feels incomplete and missing much. While considering this song on the CD I decided that one other little story ought to be told.

When we were still in our honeymoon phase, our kitchen spice cabinet had five spices. Salt, pepper, garlic, onion, and cinnamon. I really had not had my own kitchen up until that point, so spice variety was not something that I knew. My mother-in-law laughed at me to see such a simple palette of spices. Now, years later, I have more spices that she does. And much of what I cook with regularly, I grow. I cannot imagine cooking without parsley, oregano, cilantro, or marjoram. And the benefits of cumin, turmeric, and ginger are not lost on my cooking. And who would have though that nutmeg goes in meats?

Anyways, spice is the variety of life! And Spice must surely add variety into our lives. Even though we do not cook meals as often as we use to, spices are still a big part of our kitchen experience. It is pretty difficult to remove too much pepper out of the meatballs also. That day was a migraine day for me and who would expect a six year old to read the recipe properly. My husband was the lifesaver once again and took us to the drive inn for hotdogs that night. The many experiences that we learned from in life keep us together.

I am so glad that the rough patches were just a little sandpaper to smooth the surfaces. The many woodworking projects that we have done through the years have taught me that also. Not only have we done life together, we enjoy it. You can’t compress 30 years into one blog any more that one tree with all of its memories can be just a wooden table. That project is still waiting to be completed.

So now you know. We enjoy being married. We recommend it. And 10,950 days went by so fast that it seems like only just yesterday we were posing out behind the church for our pictures! We smiled so much that day that our cheeks muscles hurt. Haha!