Monday, October 14, 2013

It's Been Four Years

It doesn't seem possible that I've been a widow for four years. I wondered what life would be like after a few years had passed and now I've found out.

The seasons still come and go. My daughters are continuing on without the good counsel and present influence of their father. My grandchildren are growing up. I'm not feeling as stressed as I felt the first three years of my new life. I'm OK.

Life is once again normal--just a different normal than it used to be. I deal with the problems that come my way without the help of my husband--just like millions of other women have to do. Yes, it is more difficult and confusing, but I manage with the help of God. I look to Him for help more often than I did in my old life.

I've learned to make-do and not fret about it. I've managed to do a few minor plumbing tasks. With the help of YouTube, I was able to replace the pump in the master bath toilet. It works. The only thing I can't figure out is why it makes a terrible whistling, tooting sound. It didn't do that for the first few months, but now it does it at every flush. And it's loud! You can hear it all through the house and probably outside--if the window is open! Oh well, it works, so I'll just live with it.

Life goes on. I try to look for a purpose in each new day.

"Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men." Colossians 3:23


Monday, March 4, 2013

I procrastinate

I had such good intentions, but I'm afraid I've neglected this blog. I want to do better.

I've never really been good at follow-through. It's a character flaw that I haven't overcome. I remember, even as a child, this was a problem for me. Well, maybe it wasn't a problem that got me into trouble. It was more of a problem of self-discipline that caused me to be disappointed in myself.

I was a Bluebird from age 6-8, I believe, and then a Camp Fire Girl. I remember that we had learned the Bluebird Wish:
To have fun.
To learn to make beautiful things.
To remember to finish what I begin.
To learn to keep my temper most of the time.
To go to interesting places.
To learn about trees, and flowers, and birds.
To make friends.


"...remember to finish what I begin." It was as much of a problem then, as now :-)
Darn!


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Building Supply Stores

Yesterday, I was off to a local building supply store. Keep in mind that prior to this month, I'd never been to one of those places by myself. I decided it was time to break out of my past mold and step forward. I had recently gone to the same store, but asked a friend to go with me. I'd borrowed a couple of samples, so now I needed to return them. I thought of calling my friend again, but then decided that I didn't need the support. So, I did it by myself. It wasn't bad at all. The salesmen were helpful and even took me seriously. They offered ideas I might like to consider, without being condescending. They offered to special order some flooring that I was interested in. I left there knowing I would soon return.

Last week, on the other hand, I went to Home Depot to pick up an small online order. I was amazed at all the sales people hanging around with nothing to do. As I came in the door, a friendly gal directed me to the Service Desk, where no one was ready to help me. After standing there in plain site of no less than 3 nearby Home Depot employees, I was a bit disappointed that none of them came to help me. I finally had to ask one of them for help. The only person, who appeared to be busy, was the gal on the phone in the back office. I guess it was her job to help me. It sure would have been nice, if one of the others had at least acknowledged my presence without me having to ask. The whole experience reminded me why I've never liked such stores. I'm so glad yesterday's experience was more pleasant!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Flashback

I had one of those moments today, which I call a flashback. You know...one of those moments, when, just for a minute, you are transported back in time. Back...before he died.

I had opened a piece of mail, which turned out to be an invitation of sorts. Then...just for a second...I felt a thrill of excitement. I turned to run and tell him about the invitation. Almost simultaneously, I realized he was not here, and there was no one, with which to share my short-lived joy.

It would have been an easy time for a good cry, but I decided--not today.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Plans for the New Year

I've begun thinking about 2013 and my plans for the new years. I don't make resolutions, but I am a planner and list-maker.

I've been pondering about working harder this coming year, also. I've struggled over the past three years, since Don died. It's been hard to go forward with what needs to be done around my house and property. He was the maintenance/remodel person on our team of two. If something needed fixed, he was the fixer. I was the sustainer. While he was working on a project, I would bring him lemonade or hot coffee--depending on the season. I would fix a nice lunch with a favorite sandwich or soup. I would keep him going and he would get the job done. We had fun and the job got done!

I've been making more of an effort the last six months to work harder and try to fit myself into the mold of maintainer of my home. I've been stretching my mind to test the possibilities of what I might be able to accomplish on my own. I try to ask myself, "With God's help, what is within the range of my abilities?" The internet is such a huge resource, that I've found I can do much more that I would have been able to do a few years ago.

God always provides the help and support that I need. I'm leaning more and more upon Him. It's not easy, though, and I sometimes fall back into my "do nothing" mode.



Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Overwhelmed--Still

I can't seem to get past it! So many days, I feel completely overwhelmed. I do so well--for a day or two--maybe even three! Then, it hits me again. I'm engulfed in a mudslide. At first, I just slip a little. Then, I really start to slide, and I feel as if I'm losing control. I can't gain any footing. I look around desperately. I say to myself, "It isn't really bad at all! It just seems that way for the moment. Get a grip!"

Whew! OK, I take a deep breath and let it out. Not exactly slowly. My breath sort of chugs out, and I shudder. I try to gain control. I can do this life. I know I can. I must. Concentrate on something you do have control over. Oh, yeah, I will go put a load of clothes from the washer into the dryer. I can do that...Things return to normal.

The holidays are hard for me, still, but not in the way I might expect. Yes, I do miss Don as much as ever, but that is a constant. The most difficult part is doing all that must be done by myself and without him. I am fortunate to have people who help me. For example, my son-in-law got down my artificial tree at Thanksgiving. It is impossible for me to get it down from the loft over the garage, so his thoughtfulness was much appreciated.

Putting the tree together had always been a joint effort for Don and me. I would fluff and he would attach. He put on the lights. I put on the ornaments. Alone, it took me a few days. I did enjoy it, but it was very time-consuming. Today, I am thinking ahead to the task of taking it all down. That will take another few days. It can be almost overwhelming, but not quite.

I think the problem for me is--all the "not quite" tasks put together. That's where it gets almost too much! Then, I must rely on the One, who is always with me, as I say to myself, "I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me."(Philippians 4:13)








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Friday, August 31, 2012

Decision on Paving

Today, I met with Mark, a congenial representative from the paving company. He gave me an estimate on the paving that I hope to get done before winter. I have been lamenting through the 3 winters, since I've been a widow, the decision not to have done the paving before my husband died.

My driveways are a continual point of stress for me. The gravel causes problems for people, who pull onto my down-sloping drive--not when they pull in, but when they attempt to back out. Then, there are the weeds that come up through the gravel--a constant battle in the 3 seasons of growth. In the winter, when we have ice or snow, there are times the drives are totally impassable without 4-wheel drive, due to the hilly terrain. The biggest "stressor" comes from a drainage problem next to the front of the house, adjacent to the driveway. I was fearful that if I didn't go with a pricier, more commercial company that this problem wouldn't be solved. Although, a couple of friends recommended smaller, less expensive outfits, I was afraid to give them a try. I'm praying that I chose the right company to do business with.

It will take a chunk of money.