Tuesday, March 14, 2006

A Time for Healing

Exactly three weeks ago a friend and neighbor came up missing. Last Thursday he was found along the bank of French Creek. It has been a very hard and confusing three weeks for everyone involved. I have found myself feeling deep sadness one moment, and anger another. I want to deny the whole thing happened and change the outcome for his wife and four small children. But I can't.

But peace can be found in the Lord and in all the blessings that He is sending her way. The community has helped so much. Friends that she did not even know she has have shown their concern in unbelievable ways. One man wants to finish all the renovations on her home and help her complete all the things that she and her husband had dreamed of doing.

Yesterday was the viewing, and today was the funeral. I could not go because there was nobody to watch Chloe so I sit here feeling very tired and depressed. I am thinking about my dear friend and feeling hopeful for spring. Today, the hardest part will be over for her, or is it really just beginning? I am not sure, only time will tell, but with this tragedy, there will be new beginnings. New friendships and a new way of life. I plan to be right there for her good days and bad.

Yesterday, I watched her children while she and her family went to the viewing. I had eight children all together--her four, my two, and the two that I watch every day after school. It really wasn't so bad. In fact I rather enjoyed it--until the end of the day that is. It was like something out of the movies!

Chloe is potty training and so is her daughter. Ironically, they both had to go poop at the same time. I put Chloe on the downstairs toilet, and her daughter upstairs. I guess I never thought about the fact that if you leave a two-year-old alone on the toilet to go poop, bad things can happen. Well, just as Chloe was finishing up I hear Nick out in the livingroom say, "Wow! You are dirty!" We just had pizza and Nick is colorblind. He did not realize what he was looking at. I had already cleaned the pizza sauce off of her after dinner and somehow his comment registered in my mind. I put two and two together and my worst fear was realized. She was covered in poop from head to toe. The streaks on her shirt told me she tried to use it as a towel to clean off her hands...and the bathroom...well, the bathroom. EWW!!!

So I tried flushing the toilet without a plunger handy--again, what was I thinking--and the water began to rise. I yelled for Danielle to get Nick and the plunger as I am scooping the toilet water out of the bowl to avoid a flood, but to no avail. Water everywhere! Nick went downstairs to help Chloe finish and she had poop all over that toilet. He came out of that bathroom to find water pouring out of the ceiling right on to our bed. (Of course, my little gal got poop all over the extra sheets, which I didn't realize until later). Didn't he then turn around to find a pile of puke on the floor from one of the other children. My! My! My! When it rains it really pours--toilet water sometimes!

Amazingly, through the midst of all the sadness, glimmers of hope and cheer can be found. Evidence that life does go on and a time for healing has come.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Finding My Writing Voice

Getting back into the business of writing is much more challenging than you would think. It sounds easy. Simply sit down at your computer, and type out your opinions or ideas and you've written something. Or do your research, find the facts, and write about whatever topic strikes your fancy and you have an article. Yes, that's great and all, but there's so much more to it than that and anyone who has ever sat down to write something--anything at all realizes that it is a craft. It is rewarding and exciting when the words and punctuation come together to form a beautifully written piece--even the topic athlete's foot can be interesting if written properly. But it isn't easy. Not a single part of it, from the simple act of sitting down to the new grammar and punctuation rules, to dealing with an overabundance of information and extreme competition in the world of writing. The idea of sitting down to write can be immobilizing.

I am immobilized. I think I need to read more "how to write" books, more great pieces of literature--I need to research more. I need to research my topic--whatever that is. I need to research how grammar has changed. The use of commas, spacing, other punctuation. All that seemed so simple in high school. College grammar was an easy "A". The rules were hard and fast. But now my understanding has changed. Grammar has changed. Times are changing. Still I am not writing. Who, what, where, why, when, and how. That hasn't changed has it?

My understanding on so many things seems so shallow. That's another block I have. I fear writing because I don't think I have anything worthwhile to say. I am not a deep thinker. Politics? What's that? Am I pitiful or what? But I am an emotional being. I have at least that going for me.

The other day I was reading about successful freelancers in my Writer's Market and Peter Bwerman, a commercial writer said, "...don't waste time looking for secrets. Instead, write." Good advise. Maybe I'll stop looking for the answers and do just that. I can look for the secrets in my "spare time."

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Home Sweet Home

What a nice day! I lit some candles so when the sunshine wasn't shining, I had my own! Plus, the candles smell wonderful. I dusted, and scrubbed the stove top, and began phase one of what I will call "Cupboard Overhaul." Today I worked on the tupperware section...how does that get disorganized so quickly? We have only lived here since August!

All the other cupboards are just as bad--except, of course, the dishes cupboard that fell off the wall. That was rather funny--once we knew that Danielle was ok, that is. We have been working on home renovations since we moved in and recently Nick and a friend did some work that took away some of the cupboard stability. One evening, Danielle climbed up on the counter and used the cupboard to pull herself up so she could get a glass. She pulled the entire cupboard down off the wall--talk about brute strength! As a result, most of those dishes were broken. Well, that's ok, we didn't really like what we had. It was a great excuse to buy new. Anyway, all this to tell you about cleaning cupboards.

I worked my afternoon away and I enjoyed it. I figured that way I could work on something I enjoy this evening and not feel guilty about it.

When Nick came home we all hung out as a family. Danielle and Nick played pin ball, and I worked on my cross stitch project--ok so I tried my hand at a game, too. I want to finish my cross stitch so that I can begin crotcheting a blanket for Nick. I am excited about making him something for him to treasure. Of course, sometimes I wonder if these crafty projects are nothing more than an excuse not to write. Well, maybe, but somehow I am going to figure out how to do everything. Anyone have any ideas?

Right now Nick is making dinner. We didn't have a lot of food in the cupboards and he is always so good at making something out of nothing. Me? I'm good at making bread and other baked goodies.

Hmm...Something smells yummy. How blessed my life is. I am so happy to have a wonderful husband to make me dinner, and candles, and food to make my home smell like home. Home sweet home, that's where I am right now and I thank God for all of that.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

It's a Blogging Thing

Well, I've decided not to give up on this whole blogging thing. It really is fun, I enjoy it, and I am getting practice in as a writer. Plus, I can take a look back at my past when I am feeling nostalgic, or even if I just want to remember when certain event occurred.

Life is busy and that's my biggest excuse. It always is, you know. But from now on I will scold myself when I begin saying that. If I want to do something bad enought I should make the time. Hmm...if only I could do that literally. I'd be rich.

I took over the Worship and Production newsletter at my church this month. I have been editing and writing for it for several months now, but I am now in charge of the entire thing. I finished my first edition today. The deadline is always the first Thursday of every month. I had so much fun putting it together. It's very much like writing. You switch things here and tweak them there and before you know it you have a piece of art. It really is quite exciting and I am so thankful that I have an opportunity to serve God with my gifts in a way that is so fun and rewarding.

Today is the first day of March. I'm not sure if it came in like a lion or a lamb. It was sort of an in betweener--although we did have quite an ice storm. Several schools either closed or were on a delay. Not Cambridge though.

Well, I must go for the evening. I will try to make more time for this. I come and I go. Hey! It's a bloggin' thing, right?