Friday, May 28, 2010


This is the first of six days off. I couldn't me more thrilled. I take that back--I would be more thrilled if I had ten days off in a row. But I will take what I can get, and six is just fine with me.

Right now I'm sitting in my dark living room, curtains drawn (as they always are--we have a wall full of windows in our living room and when the curtains open, our across-the-way neighbors can see straight into our lives). There are piles of boxes all around me and I've tripped over every last one of them. My nerves are starting to wear thin as our big move to San Luis Obispo grows ever closer and our living room becomes progressively more cramped as the boxes grow in number. Our "stuff" has multiplied in the 3 short years we've lived here and I don't see why we can't just throw stuff away.

Terry (my husband) and I are very different when it comes to our living style. He likes to keep everything. He has a memory box for sentimental items (perhaps he doesn't want me telling people about his memory box). I, on the other hand, have been known to throw away family heirlooms. You think I'm kidding? Just talk to anyone who has lived with me or knows me well enough to know that I dream of Martha Stewart-esque closets with hardly anything in them but towels and the lavender used to keep them smelling spring fresh. Hey--towels we need. I take a shower every day. My grandpa's grandfather clock which nobody wanted--well, I figured since no one wanted it, we could just throw it away. When said clock was found in the giant dumpster later that day, my family was infuriated. "Why in the world would you throw this away??? This was grandpa's clock," which was said to me by several different family members. "What were you thinking?? This has been hanging on grandma and grandpa's wall since they moved into this house 30 years ago!!!" 30 years isn't that long. I'm 30 years old. It's not like great-grandma Olvia Lundstrom had brought it over from Sweden in the late 1800's. It was a clock--IN BAD REPAIR, I might add. And no one wanted it. I did what should have been done and chucked it in the dumpster. To make a long story short, the clock that no one wanted--the clock that I had laid to rest in the great dumpster, was quickly rescued from the pit and hung prominently on my aunt and uncle's wall.

Yes. I throw things away. I don't think it's as big a problem as everyone thinks. My mom used to go through my garbage bags as a kid to make sure I wasn't throwing away anything precious. Now Terry goes through my garbage bags. It's not like I'm throwing away gold, people--I'm throwing away chintzy toys (made from plastic, and in China to boot!). We don't have to keep every charger from every phone we've owned for the last 5 years. Terry has 2 keyboards from 2 different desktop computers that are long gone. Why have we kept the keyboards when we will never again own a desktop computer? We have plastic parts in my cupboards that go to who knows what that have been in a similar cupboard since Terry moved to Los Angeles in 2002. So my question is WHY do we have to move those things when they'll just take up space in our drawers and closets in San Luis Obispo??I will never understand this about my husband. As for me, I save letters. That's really the only thing toward which I hold any sentimentality. And I re-read them. I suppose others would think my affinity for the handwritten letter is a little odd and useless.

So as the pile of boxes grows, and as boxes are transferred from the guest room closet to the living room floor, my insides churn just a bit in knowing that If given the opportunity, I could cut down the number of boxes we need to move by HALF. And by the time Terry realized that I'd thrown away his 3-D dinosaur puzzle from Christmas 5 years ago, I could in all honesty say, "What 3-D dinosaur puzzle???" because I would be 80 years old and I would hold no memory of such a thing.

And with that, it's time to load said boxes into my car. There will be mumbling and muttering under my breath as I do so.

Monday, May 17, 2010


My dear readers:
It's been an embarrassingly long time since I've written anything and I've let you down. I don't even think I have readers anymore. I have no good reasons for being away from this woefully neglected blog apart from the usual day-to-day busyness. That busyness always leads to small bouts of depression that leaves me feeling as though I'm not living my deepest purpose. Depression runs in my family and I've struggled with it to some extent ever since puberty. Mine has never become so intense where I require medication, for which I am truly thankful to the Lord. Generally mine is a sign that I haven't been pursuing the things that matter to me, i.e. drawing, painting, reading, writing, composing letters to dear friends, and spending time in God's expansive creation. The ache runs deep within my soul during these times and I can feel it as we speak. Pushing away my desperate need to create something has left me dry and empty. Yearning to express myself, I've turned back to this blog with the hope that I'm left newly inspired to make time for my passions.

Along with a nook to create and express myself, this blog has become a journal to aid in catharsis. I have long known that I tend to write when I'm experiencing an extreme emotion--depression, anxiety, elation, love, and deep sadness. Today it is the shoulder of a friend as I weep for one battling for her life.

Cheryl is one of my mom's dearest, oldest friends. I have known her since the day I was born, quite literally. She and my mom had their children at the same time, providing built in playmates for us. Visiting Cheryl and her family was always a total blast. She let us play outside for HOURS while she would fix us sandwiches made of Wonderbread and grape jelly. I remember thinking she was such a beautiful woman with a genuine smile that helped my shy little girl of a self feel comfortable and somehow less of a child.

I got to know Cheryl as an adult after my mom founded an online e-mail group called The Sisterhood of Weather, or The 'Hood for short. The group is made up of about 20 ladies, most of whom have known each other since they were children. We share prayer requests, recipes, advice, and provide a sounding board and emotional support for each member. When Cheryl was diagnosed with breast cancer in the late 1990's, she has been in our constant prayer.

Slowly, Cheryl's condition has worsened and she no longer has the strength to sit at the computer to write to the 'Hood, so we hear from Cheryl's mom Billie who has come out from Arkansas to take care of her. We learned tonight that she's not eating or drinking and had to be hydrated by the emergency room doctor. The doctors have brought up the subject of hospice care, so we know that the end is near. I am so very thankful that Cheryl knows the Lord--she is His child and will get to spend an eternity in Heaven with Him. Even while there is a great sense of relief that she will be in the awesome presence of the Lord at last, there will be enormous grief here on Earth while we mourn the loss of our sweet sister in Christ.

If I still have any readers out there, please pray for Cheryl and her family. She has three sons, two of whom have young families. Please pray for her husband Mike. They have been married for almost 40 years. My heart is breaking for their loss. Please pray that the Lord provides them with every comfort necessary and that He surrounds them with His peace and joy in the blessed assurance that they will see her again someday.

Losing a loved one is a heart-wrenching difficulty. It's the hardest thing we as humans ever experience. I will never understand death, but am so thankful that through death, His children will be with our Savior God for the rest of eternity if only we trust in Him for our salvation. I am so thankful that the Lord has redeemed me and has given me something greater for which to live. I am immensely grateful that Cheryl shares in that salvation. Our Lord is so merciful and loving.

Lord, help us to rest in your mercy and love. You have pulled us from the muck and mire and given us a firm place to stand. Hallelujah.