Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Just Do The Next Thing

Sometimes I get overwhelmed by the big picture. I get bogged down in all the things that need done. I use my busyness as an excuse not to do the things I might actually want to do. Sometimes, it is an excuse to not do the things I don't want to do.

There is an anual, one way camping trip that I have never been on. It started about three years ago. Sebastian and the kids have been walking down the Washington Coast. The first year was from Shi Shi beach to lake Ozette. The next year they didn't get to go. The year after that was lake Ozette to LaPush. This year was LaPush to Oil City. I have not gone because I had a baby that I needed to take care of. I needed to move the car.

This year I had no baby. Friends were going to meet us and they would leave their car at one end for pick up. I had no excuse so I went along for the hike.
You know the saying, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger?" It's true. We did a lot of strolling along the beach. It was, well, a walk on the beach. But then there was also this:

One going up, and a few miles later, one going down.

I used to be all adventure all the time. Then I had kids. Now the thoughts that go through my mind are thoughts such as, "If I die, who will take care of my kids?" "If I don't manage to die, who will take care of me?"
Sometimes, though, you just have no choice. You have to move, or you have to stop living. There are no other options.
Sometimes the obstacle is not as simple as a ladder up or down a wall face. But the rules are the same. Move or die there.
All the way down the ladder I just kept telling myself, "Just look at what you are doing, and then only do the next thing."
It's good advice. I should listen to myself more often.
I'm glad I went. If I hadn't I would have missed all of this:

Thursday, September 16, 2010


School has started.
My kids are there.
The house is quiet.
Sounds like a dream, right?
Feels like a nightmare.
I have been struggling lately.
I think I need to winter in Arizona.
It started about a month ago.
The days were still warm.
The nights were coming sooner.
Each day there was more left undone.
Then, about two weeks ago, I stopped going to bed at a normal time.
I starting finding non-productive things to putter with.
I started waking up on the couch and dragging myself to bed- kicking myself for all the things I didn't get done.
Two weeks ago, the rain started moving in.
Inside of me, too.
I started walking around in zombie mode.
I still have stretches when things are happy and productive, but I feel like the veil of mist that clings to the air is clinging to my heart, too.
I am struggling.
Those are the thoughts I wrestle with.
I know they are lies.
And don't worry, I have an appointment with my doctor.
It's a yearly discussion of pharmacology and other methods to combat the grey in my head.
It goes away when the skies turn blue again.
Just thought I would let you know.
I am struggling.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Some Things Can Only Be Learned The Hard Way

Things like life lessons about mortality.

We live a couple of blocks inside the city limits. That means that just a couple of blocks away, our road turns into a two lane highway with a speed limit of 50 mph. Sometimes, cars are still going 50 mph when they pass my house.

Spike, naughty Spike, liked to run away. He never listened when he was called back, so I don't know what was different about that sunny Sunday afternoon in late August- but he decided to turn around and come back when he was called. Unfortunately, he decided to come back just as a 3/4 ton truck was barreling past our house. The driver of the truck hit Spike. He never even stopped or slowed down. Fortunately for Spike he was dead on impact and did not suffer. Unfortunately, all of my kids were either on the corner or in the yard and saw their dog die.

Sebastian gathered Spike out of the road and had the children say goodbye to him. We put him in a box and took him out to the woods to bury him. Afterward, we took the kids out to ice cream and we told funny Spike stories.

Here are the ones the kids told us:

When Dad said roll over, Spike spun around.
I like how little Spike was when we gave him a bath.

When we gave Spike a bath he rubbed himself all over the carpet and couches!
(This was hilarious to see. Spike would either put one side of his head down and run in circles, rubbing his head on the floor, or he would lay on his side and "run" so that he scooted across the floor or couch oh his side. He continued to do this until he felt he was sufficiently dry.)

One time Spike was running to Dad and Dad told him to sit, so he did. He slid the rest of the way to Dad.

It was funny when we went camping with Spike and we put him in the lake. He was swimming so hard to get back to land.
(Spike tolerated baths fairly well, but he HATED cold water!)

Jesse was in Washington DC with my mom, so we decided to wait until he got home to tell him that Spike died. In a wry, dry, sarcastic tone, he told me, "There's nothing worse than coming home from vacation to be told that your dog died."

We learned some hard lessons from Spike:

We learned from Spike that sometimes, we can love something and have to say goodbye.
We learned (especially the two youngest) a healthy respect for the road.
We learned that we can be sad. We can miss Spike. And we have to get up and keep living our lives.
We learned that memories are fun things when we are missing Spike.
I learned to Thank God for constantly protecting my children from unforeseen dangers.
We learned, by giving Spike's things away to the animal shelter, that even though Spike died, we could help out some other animals. We turned our sadness into actions.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I'm Not That Old!

I am certainly not old enough to be the parent of a teenager.
But apparently, he didn't get that memo and turned 13 in August, anyway.

Which is pretty much impossible since I am only old enough to be his big sister. *ahem*

Happy birthday, Son.
I pray you grow into the man of integrity and compassion, just as God intends for you.