on the train
lost in my own thoughts
my heart hurting
a sweet sound breaks through
that of a child howling
not crying, squalling, or fussing
like a wolf at the moon
[but not too loudly]
it was a quieter, “ah-ooo”
made me smile
I peeked around my window seat and said aloud to the brown eyed boy behind me, “Is there a wolf back there?”
his eyes got bigger
as did his mother’s smile
I told him I like to howl like a wolf too
added that I have a big dog that looks like a wolf with a long nose and pointy ears and that he has a girlfriend that howled if he didn’t visit her fence fast enough when we went on walks
he has three dogs at home
one of them is named Luna
the same as Blue’s best girl
thankful for this brief moment
on the train taking me home
the day after a memorial service
for my grandfather
he was a moon howler too
great big, giant and loud, “AH-OOO!”
though for thoughtfulness of others
such as inside and on a train car
a quiet, nearly whispered, “ah-ooo”
I love you, Grandpa
your life’s work and legacy will live on
inside everyone who ever met and knew you and through your stories, music and poems
April 12, 2015
It all started by reading a Facebook status that said, “Sometimes even the people you love need to be unfriended.” I simply wrote, “Thankful I’m still here.” A mutual friend commented, “Me, too, Janean. But, I have had to unfriend a couple for language too.” This is where I probably should have just liked her comment and let what instead happened next disappear like a puff of smoke. Instead, I wrote…
“I have my moments of “could have been a language violator.” I understand though. I figure “free to come and free to go” and am praying through the hurt of those who went from my own “friends list.” My true friends know where to find me. We’re programmed into one another’s phones and know the way to each other’s front door. We hug hello and goodbye and in between we talk, laugh and heart share. In person communique is better than online every time. I am thankful for the Godly examples of the many women I’ve met through church. I know what faithful prayer warriors they are and how mightily they prayed my family through a storm, while weathering storms of their own, often with gale force gusts, rated F4 and category 5. Online channels have their merits, for an initial meeting and keeping in touch, but in person is better because you can hug and read faces, which say more than most status updates ever could.”
Perhaps I said too much. Perhaps not enough. This whole topic of unfriending and blocking strikes a nerve that’s raw. There is hurt there. Life is about choices. “Free to go” should always be a viable option. Thankfully, it is. An older gentleman I worked with years ago often quoted this wisdom from his mother, “There are three sides to every story: yours, mine and what really happened.”
God sees the overview and knows what’s in our hearts. He knits us together with the people we need and He directs our paths. Watch out for the potholes, road blocks and pits. Sometimes these things we view as obstacles actually protect us, from the things we cannot see ahead. Other times they help us grow deeper roots of Faith to help us stand against the mighty winds. Trust God and He will see you through. He sent His Son to die on the cross, to forgive the sins of a fallen world. Grace. There is grace and forgiveness to cover our humanness. Praise God. Praise Him for the little things and the BIG ones. Praise Him in song, in words, sometimes spoken aloud, other times typed in an email, tweet, blog post, even on Facebook.
Facebook. Brings me full circle. Ugh. Stupid Facebook. Part of me wants to ditch Facebook World completely. I still may, but not quite yet. I’m thankful for the people I am connected to, whether we interact much, or not. I hop on and hop off, reading, “liking,” and commenting. Sometimes saying too much. I’m me. It’s how I’m made. Typing forums are dangerous for me because words have a way of pouring out. Honest words, from the heart. I’m not perfect, no where near, never have been, never will be, never was. I’m just a human woman, with the tendency to be a chatterbox. I try to follow my mother’s advice, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”
January 25, 2014
“It’s not the scary house anymore.”
I overheard a mother say this to her son on Halloween night from where I stood on the front porch holding a bowl of candy to give away. A moment later, the boy did walk up the driveway from the sidewalk and say, “Trick or Treat?” I gladly gave him treats and hope he’ll be back next year without the sidewalk hesitation. Like his mother said, that old designation is now put to rest once and for all. Getting there. Step by step. NOTE TO SELF: Get rid of all your old Halloween decorations. The ones you didn’t make time to put out this year.
January 12, 2014
-Blue gave up fussing about not being able to see his dog buddy Jake, and decided to just eat breakfast instead.
-8th grade boy was shocked, amazed and thrilled to find a new MythBusters on the DVR this morning. You see, it’s not just a new MythBusters, but A NEW STAR WARS MYTHBUSTERS!!!! Are you kidding me?! Pure awesome right there.
-Best of all, thanks to the folks at Discovery Channel, that TV show was the incentive my 5th grade boy needed to come out from under the layers of cozy covers where he was burrowed when I told him it was wake up time, a little after 7a.
Up, dressed, breakfast, backpacks with lunches packed…we just might make it.
The words above were posted in real time as my Facebook status. It is 8:24am as I post them here at Tumblr. I just walked through my front door, after delivering one boy curbside and waiting with the other until the bus arrived. It did. *whew* My breakfast time is next. Coffee. Taking my mom to the train station mid morning. I have a whisper of an idea for how I’m going to spend my day, but I’m not yet telling. Wednesday today. All day. Going to make it A Good One! First step is taking my winter coat off. I’m holding my phone with a turquoise knitted glove and typing with my thumb. I will. Letting the words flow ‘til then…
My children are tucked in.
Dog is with youngest son.
Laundry is running.
Furnace is blowing.
Shower is dripping.
Of all the sounds in the house,
that one is driving me crazy!
Morning will come early.
Must be Christmas Eve.
Hope I have enough tape.
December 24, 2013
Teenage boy was up and at ‘em early today. We enjoyed sharing morning quiet time. Visiting. Breakfasting without a rush.
I went in to wake up ATB at 7:09am and said, “Last day of school before Christmas Vacation.” I sort of sing-songed it. I picked up his glasses to clean ‘em, from where they were sitting on the nightstand beside his bed. Sweet boy rolled over, while rubbing his eyes awake, and calmly said, “Mom, there are already coke bottles going off inside me.” Even after drinking my morning coffee I still had to ask, “Coke bottles?” My ten year old boy replied, “Mentos. Diet coke. Get it?!” Oh, yes. I so do. Christmastime is for children and grown ups who don’t really wanna be “adults” at all. Christmas is magic, excitement and lots of happy energy about to combust. It’s a feeling that, if you’re lucky, always stays with you. Joy that bubbles up from deep inside.
My first conversation of the morning was with a teacher on the sidewalk. It was sometime before 6am, maybe before 5am. I’m not sure of the time exactly. “Early” covers it completely. I was walking with my Blue dog. We were sort of lollygagging along. She had Blue’s best buddy, Jake, who was dancing at the end of his leash. We visited like the neighbors and friends we are, as the dogs romped and played. I said, “I’m praying for ALL the teachers today.” We shared a smile under the streetlights glow.
Now I know the fifth grade boy description of what it feels like: Every child has coke bottles inside them, you know, like mentos and diet coke. (I’m being sort of a grown up and resisting adding the “Duh.”)
I treated my younger boy a little bit today, by offering to drive him, instead of waiting in the drizzling rain to ride the bus per usual. He needed a little less rush too. By 8:40am both my sons were delivered safely to school.
Their days will go by fast. Mine will too. For this quiet moment though, while I catch my breath and plan, Blue is curled up next to me, each of us on our favorite halves of the family room love seat. I need to make a mega list and wrap up the remaining Christmas To Do. Best of all, I’ll be smiling about coke bottles while I do. Oh, how I love them, and rejoice in the gift of my two sons. Christmas time is about the birth of God’s Son. Long ago. In a land afar. Angels first foretold, then announced his birth. Shepherds followed a star. Wise men began the journey to meet him. Baby Jesus. Born of a virgin. Joseph the carpenter was there, beside the manger. His mother, Mary, pondered all these things in her heart. I’ve always loved that quiet little verse, nestled in Luke 2. I’m a heart ponderer too. Everything changes in a moment. My phone rang, Blue jumped down and front window wild woofed, only to return again to curl beside me, as I work to wrap this up. My heart squeezes, my eyes leak. Tears of joy and the ring of laughter intertwines with the ache of grief. Life goes on. Christmas is coming, whether I’m “ready” or not. I’ll be ready, well, ready enough. Joy. Peace. Hope. Love. Blessings. Thankfulness. The Gift of God’s Son. Christmastime. Like coke bottles going off inside. That covers all the important stuff.
December 20, 2013
Luke 2:19 “But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.”
Your grandsons and their/our neighborhood friends did you proud.
Love Your Oldest Daughter,
(Who has made lots of tracks in freshly fallen snow, Blue and me. I wrote a mini blog about it last night and titled it, “paws and boots.”
December 14, 2013
This is a Facebook note I wrote in reply to my mother who was lamenting all the newly fallen snow on her block without any children playing in it. She is a retired elementary school teacher, first third grade, but she spent most of her time teaching kindergarten. The magic and beauty of a new snowfall isn’t lost on her. She still greets snow with verve, sparkly eyed enthusiasm and the most dazzling of smiles.
My youngest son slept in this morning. Sweet ten year old boy needed those extra zzzzz’s. The sound of his door creaking open from the top floor drifted down to where I stood in the kitchen. I smiled in anticipation even before I heard his joyful exclamation, “IT’S SNOWING!!!!!” He spied those tiny white flakes through the big picture window. I met him in the front door hallway. He hugged me. We stand nearly eye to eye. A few hours later, on the phone with my father, he told me my mother met the snowy morning in much the same way. Joy is all around us, especially in the simple things, those quiet moments, like a prolonged good morning hug that says, “I love you” without the actual words. Snowflakes are no longer dancing on the wind. My youngest boy has been window gazing periodically, still hopeful for a blizzard and no school snow days. Patience. Winter is just begun.
December 8, 2013
My ten year old son says, “Hey Mom, wanna know why I’m glad you lost so many pounds?”
I ask, “Why?”
He responds, “Because there is less of you.”
I reply with a chuckle, “Thanks. It feels better to me too.”
November 7, 2013
my body…broke inside
so no one can see
but i know now i will be fine
i’m on my knees…finally me
i look to the Heavens
my arms spread open wide
sometimes Faith takes time
for those who are broke…inside
He see’s what others cannot
He accepts my faults from above
He takes my hand and leads me home
He sacrificed His Son to show His love
He is my refuge and my fortress
He is where my strength comes from
He protects me in the shadow of His wings
He cares for me, loves me
He forgives me again and again
He provides for the sparrows
and also for me and my boys
I am thankful
So very thankful
What a journey it has been
Climbing mountains so steep
Wandering in the vast wilderness
Desert dry as we sought an oasis
Mountains moved by Faith
Paths appearing where there seemed no way
Hope springing eternal
A fount of many blessings
Through it all we pray
Renewal in the final weeks
Walking through the valley
of the shadow of death
God’s promises are real
He goes before you
He prepares the way
Do not be ashamed
He will never leave you
Pray “Your will, not mine”
and know that He is God
The God of Moses
The God of Daniel
The God of David
Father of Jesus
He is our Father
He is there
He will heal your heart
Trust Him today
October 27, 2013
two months and a day since my husband died
Taking Stock…The Things That Matter Most: my body…broke insideso no one can seebut i know now i will be finei’m…