It’s a Mom Thing…

Not everybody would get this, but if you’re a mom, I’m fairly certain you will.  Everybody knows my Meghan Lee was here for eight days.  She’s gone, four days already.  It’s harder than I’d have believed.  I should be used to it; my daughters live on opposite coasts, I’m in the middle and this is a pretty big country.  I’m proud of them, proud that they have the skills and the confidence to head out into the world, to follow their dreams, to create interesting and rewarding lives. But the “missing” doesn’t go away just because I understand how things are.

Being a mom, I have ways  🙂   This one is simple.  Before her visit, I’d prepared her room, had help, even, from my cousin, Susan.  The bedding was washed and hung on the line to dry – the way Meghan likes it.  Now that she’s back in her own home, I’m not doing the typical post-guest clean-up.  Im not pulling her bed apart and washing all the linen.  It’s staying just as it is and when I’m in need of a Meghan fix, I’ll lie down on her bed and bury my face in her pillow.  Heck, I may throw back the comforter and crawl right in.

That’s the part that moms will understand.  Being me, I won’t dwell on the “missing” piece.  I spent part of this morning organizing and editing the 62 best photos of our days together, posted a couple on Facebook, started a new album.  Had a couple e-mail conversations with Meghan, sent her two favorite photos.  In true Meghan fashion, she sent me back a humorous list she’s creating for work.

Life goes on.  There’s school, work, acres of lawn that should be mowed ahead of tomorrow’s predicted rain.  A 10-page paper on a book I’ve yet to finish is due in four days and there’s a test to take before Sunday.  A family birthday celebration is on the calendar yet this week and a fundraiser dinner, which is just going to have to be axed.   The French have a saying, Tu connaît la musique.  Literally translates to: You know the music; used conversationally, it’s you know the deal, the routine, and that’s what keeps us all moving despite how we may feel at any given moment.

I do, indeed, know the music – I’m savoring the memories, making a collage, organizing the photos, cherishing the time and tucking it away into this mother’s heart.  And that, my friends, is a mom thing.    Enjoy the photo and smile with me.

Meghan and Mom, a fave

A mom and a daughter


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Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes Part I

Some of you know I’m a musician.  That affects how I remember things and how I learn.  No to mention that I’m a child of the 60s and 70s so it should be no surprise to find music throughout these pages.  Today we borrow from Bowie – David the musician, as opposed to Jim, of knife fame.
I’ve been thinking about change a lot these days.  Its been a  subject of discussion in my humanities class, which I’m loving, by the way 🙂 I had to respond to a statement by my professor as to how people view and  respond to change.

Coupled with the letters I sent my girls for St. Nick’s and the memories that brought up, change has indeed, been on my mind.  As I wrote for my class: change is life and life is change.  Sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Pain-free, stress-free, just like change itself.

Not so?  I look at how my life has changed and how I’ve dealt with it; how my girls have changed – independent young women now, living far away from me and each other, yet remaining close thanks to technology.  Ch-ch-ch-changes.

And while I speak easily about my girls being so far away, much of the time  I do not like it one bit!!!  St. Nick comes tomorrow and I didn’t unpack the Christmas stockings, two years running now.  Those stockings I made – love and anticipation sewn into every stitch.  I didn’t grow up with St. Nick, but my girls discovered him the year ErinLee came home from preschool in tears because St. Nick didn’t like her.  He only skips the children who’ve been bad, she said.   So St. Nick became part of our lives.

Talked to ErinLee moments ago – we laughed about how  very often I got it wrong.  St. Nick came a day early or a day late; for whatever reason I struggled with that one.  When they were of an age to understand, we shared many laughs over St. Nick.  But it was always special because that’s when the stockings came out.  We’ll talk about those another time.

In the meantime, in this  pre-Christmas season, give some thought to the many changes and the many benefits you’ve reaped because of them.  Change isn’t always comfortable, but it often precedes dramatic growth. Ch-ch-ch-changes.                                                    Later…

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Thinking About Eagles

I saw one again today, not that uncommon out here;  I saw one yesterday, too.  But they sure are fascinating.  I’ve always loved birds, little birds that come to feed in your yard, big birds, birds of prey – hawks, owls, osprey, eagles.  This morning’s message delivered by a guest preacher referenced eagles, too, one of my favorite Scripture references in fact – Isaiah 40:31, but he went on to remind us how eagles learn to fly and that took us to another favorite, not so much a favorite verse as it contains words we don’t use – like pinions – but a favorite image.  An eaglet learning to fly, having been coaxed out of the nest, then the parent flies beneath and protects the trainee, ready to uplift when needed.  Have you ever seen it?  I have, just recently.

There’s a nesting pair on the west end of the nearby lake and eagles do “flight training” all around here.  It is so majestic to watch.  An eagle up close is a fierce-looking creature.  To think of the bird – that beak, those talons, yet a nurturing instinct – teaching its young to fly is very cool.  I’m sure there are multiple lessons here, but for me, for tonight, I’m heading to the comfy zone.  With the message of Isaiah – go ahead, read it – on my mind, I’m closing down for this day. Night, night.

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Short’n’Sweet

Another week has flown by.  The weekend with old friends is already a week in the past and  the first week of a new adventure is now history!  As my Meghan would say, “Holy cats!!”

The four days up north were wonderful.  Good friends, lots of laughs, fun in the sun and GREAT food.  We do know how to eat very well – as in good for you and just plain good.

I came home and started school.  You bet, after over 30 years I’ve returned to school – college  – online no less.  Last time I went off to college with an electric typewriter and that was high tech.  This time I’m not even physically going anywhere thanks to the Internet.  It’s been a fantastic, fun, challenging and funny week.  I’ve written two essays, taken four quizzes and one exam. Had to e-mail professors with numerous questions, mostly tech-related and then negotiated my way through a Help Desk and “met” all kinds of new classmates from all walks of life.  All without ever seeing a human being and often in the comfort of my jammies 🙂

Moving into Week Two and my first major paper.  I have much of it in my head, but getting it into a Word document, properly formatted, now that will take time out of each of the next several days.   So true to the title, this is short and sweet because at 1:30  a.m. I do need to get some sleep.  Bonne nuit….

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I Won’t Do It …..

No, I won’t, I will not title this nor will I think in terms of how many hours are left before I get on a plane and head for home.  I just am not ready to think about my time here with Meghan coming to an an end. 

 

So I will focus on the positive – the time we’ve had and the wonderful day we spent yesterday, full of Meghan’s favorite things about “her” city – we played outside and ate well and she just generally showed me around Columbia and all the highlilghts.

 

It’s been a wonderful trip, many memories created, lots of things to write and talk about, a zillion photos that will be so fun to go through, probably the second thing I do once I get home, the first being reacquainting my dogs with the house – they’ve been outside dogs for nine days!!!  Hopefully they will remember their manners with just a bit of prodding, not unlike when they came in the house after I came home from my first surgery.

 

Anyway – I am so thankful for the time I’ve had here – wonderful conversations that just happen when you’re spending good time together and laughs and jokes and memories.  So I’m taking the good, the very good, from this trip and still have time with Meghan before going to the airport so I am thankful, grateful, smiling, and will remain that way to the end.  Blessings!!!

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Jump Out of the Boat!!

As mentioned earlier, we attended a great church, Seacoast Church, just blocks from Meghan’s apartment, on Christmas Eve, and then a satellite campus in Mount Pleasant on the weekend.   The young preacher had a great message and I have two points scribbled in large letters on a piece of paper that were made during the message.  He preached on John 21:7 and my two notes are JUMP OUT OF THE BOAT and FEED MY SHEEP.  There’s so much meat here that will serve me well in the coming year as a life philosophy and also as a theme for this blog and Her Father’s Homestead in general.

This was such a pointed message, like all those years of sitting in front of my dad as he was preaching.  How many times did I feel like he was speaking directly to me?  Way too many times to count and the same thing happened on Sunday morning.  I was being told to jump out of the boat, move toward the Lord, like Peter did – just dive on in and then Peter was told that if he loved the Lord as he said he did he should “Feed My sheep.”  If that isn’t a goal or a direction for the Homestead, I don’t know what would qualify!!

And while I’m thinking of it, I learned a whole new meaning for Sparkles (refer to earlier posts)  Instead of Sparkles occurring in the frigid cold of northern Wisconsin snow, we discovered Sparkles in the sea foam , the bubbles left behind by the incoming and retreating waves on the beach.  This, too, will work for future messages.  What a trip this has been been – full of food for thought, soul-searching and messages!

As this faithful computer at the Richland County Public Library is telling me I have eleven minutes before lock-out, I’m going to say adieu.  I’ll be back tomorrow as I’ll reserve time here before I leave.  The people here have been fabulous, friendly, helpful, to this obvious Northerner – obvious as soon as I open my mouth 🙂  So a quick visual preview will have to suffice for spell-check and again, forgive any errors till I get home and on to my own computer again.  Blessings!!!

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Countdown 57 hours – First Day of Winter

Okay not even the low number of hours till I’m hugging my Meghan can begin this post.  The feature here is, get this, minus 6° (6 below zero) air temp with a WIND CHILL of  minus 28 degrees.    That’s a wind chill factor of 28 DEGREES BELOW ZERO right now, as I’m writing.  Didn’t I use the words brutal cold yesterday?  We are there and it is indeed brutal. It even looks harsh out there and winter officially began just hours ago.

Am I heading out to church?  No, and I’m reasonably certain the Lord understands.  I will visit one of my favorite preachers online, Pastor Greg Laurie at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside California, and listen live because they stream the video during each of their services.  I can  watch/listen three times today.  In between their services I can pop over (virtually)  to Appleton Alliance Church, a wonderful place, but  difficult to travel there from here especially with blowing, drifting snow.  Pastor Dennis there was a powerful pray-er for me prior to my second brain surgery and is a gifted preacher.  I download and listen to his sermons regularly.

My own father, the most gifted preacher I’ve ever heard, and I’ve heard many,  doesn’t yet have his sermons on their Web site.    I chuckled when I first moved out here and ran into some of his former parishioners.  The wife was telling me how they were out for a Sunday drive, flipping through radio stations and they heard “The Voice”  and knew immediately who it was. At 83, he’s still got it.  Having grown up with the best, I do admit to having fairly high standards for preachers.  While I certainly know that it’s supposed to be the message, not the messenger;  the messenger makes a difference.  And my father is a very powerful messenger.  Maybe he’ll get his sermons on the Web and you, too, can hear him preach.  Are you reading this, Dad?  🙂

So that’s my Sunday – I have my last transcription job of 2008 due tomorrow morning in addition to hauling out the snow-blower AGAIN and bundling up against the wind AGAIN, then more cleaning, laundry, packing, the usual pre-holiday (as in vacation) routine previously referred to .  Don’t think I’ll get to “wiping up the floor” at all  and to use one of my father’s famous lines once again – There you have it.

In 50 hours I’ll be at the airport in Green Bay, waiting to take off for Columbia, South Carolina, where my Meghan will be waiting to pick me up.  I will surely be dancing through the cleaning and packing today, amen 🙂

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Countdown 80 Hours – a New Day

One of my favorite Scriptures was given to me years ago by an adult student.  She often referred to Lamentations 3:22-23 where we’re told that the Lord’s mercies are new every morning!  There’s a thought with which to begin every day!  A whole new day and one less  until I’m hugging my daughter and being warmer.

So let’s begin true to form – a weather update.  More snow overnight, but the sparkly kind.  As sunrise isn’t for an hour-and-a-half yet, you have to look out toward the big yard light to see the sparkles, but they are there.  The dogs went out willingly and no “parts”  were brought home on the first round.  Yesterday morning in the driving wind I was trying to figure out what the “part” was  – rabbit, cat, part of a deer?  Trying to figure it out without getting too close and trying to get it into a trash bag without touching it, again, in blowing snow and driving wind, all before dawn.

The battle of the “parts” is a story in itself, to be summarized here.  I’ve done battle for months over a ribcage with an intact spine attached.  Suffice it to say that once bow season (archery hunt for deer) starts in the fall “parts” can become an issue that continues throughout the winter and once things are frozen, there’s no burying.  The humor in it, the bright side?  Last Christmas when ErinLee let one of the dogs in, he dropped the foreleg of a deer on her bare foot.  The squeals, “EUUEEEUUUEEEUUU – MOM!” brought me to investigate and there it lay on the floor of the back porch.  I’m smiling now remembering her reaction though I guarantee she’ll be rolling her eyes when she reads this.  Anyway, that’s “parts” in a nutshell and the mercies new every morning?  It’s above zero, there are sparkles and no parts came in with the first run of the day:)  Life is good and I’m one day closer to Christmas with my Meghan in a warmer climate.

So I’m into my new day – coffee with a former student home from college for Christmas,  blowing snow from the drive and the mailbox, cleaning, cleaning, cleaning – closets, drawers, etc., prep for tonight’s Celebrate Recovery, oh yeah, more cleaning, actually going to CR tonight with a snow advisory in effect and there you go, another day. Enjoy it, put on some music,  smile and dance around your kitchen!!  Adieu

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Countdown 4 days or about 96 hours!

So I started this on Friday and as so often occurs, time got away from me and this is now out-of-date.  Let’s see what can be salvaged.  I was excited about it being 4 days or 96 hours, and that is now reduced to three-and-a-half days and 84 hours – the inevitable passage of time.  Sometimes it seems to work against us, but now time is on my side, to quote an old Stones song.    In less than 90 hours I’ll be warmer and hugging my Meghan for the first time in too long. I’m focusing on how very happy that makes me, staying away from the thought that we’ll be missing one very special person, my other daughter, ErinLee, living in Seattle. Yep, opposite coasts.  Now there’s food for thought AND another post.  I know it can’t be helped that she won’t be with us and I’m grateful for the time I’m getting with one of them.  So I put a special letter in the mail to ErinLee yesterday, hoping it arrives before Christmas Day. Thankfully the mail carrier attempted to get through the pile left by the snowplow even though he had recently left me written instructions on proper access to mailboxes and  mine wasn’t quite up to par. Kind of right up there with garbage bags to the road by 6:00 a.m.

Does it sound to you like we may have gotten more snow? Sure did, several more inches along with big wind. We’re on a roll toward breaking last year’s record-breaking snowfall. As Meghan was telling me about temperatures in the 70s in South Carolina yesterday I was remembering looking out my kitchen window very early Friday morning.   The snow was coming down pretty hard and the wind – you can actually SEE the wind. Meghan and I talked about that – see the wind? Oh yes, out here in the country with large open areas, the wind moves across the front yard and the fields, picking up the snow as it rolls and blows along. You can see what looks like a wall of snow not unlike ocean waves rolling onto the beach, beautiful.

We’re above zero now – what a difference that makes – and may even stay there throughout the day though for tomorrow night they’re predicting wind chill of 25 below.  That is brutal cold and even for me, hard to find the beauty or the bright side there.  The only thing I can think of is that when it’s hitting minus 25° here I’ll be just 48 hours away from what will seem like a whole nother world.   So we’ll leave yesterday behind and go on to new thoughts in a new day –  à toute à l’heure…

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Countdown 8 Days

One week and one day – I can hardly wait.  What does that mean anyway?  Of course I can wait.  How would I NOT wait?   I will do what countless women have done through the ages – clean something! In fact, I have closets, cupboards, drawers, all of which will be at least touched up before I leave on holiday.

What is it – something passed down from my own mother?  Absolutely! As a child, prior to every vacation the house was made spotless, including “wiping up the floor” on hands and knees as we made our way out the door. I haven’t done that lately, but in August of  ’07 prior to going in for a second brain surgery, I pretty much hit every closet, drawer, cupboard, you name it.  I even called in reserves to help.  My friend, Karen, gets it and answered my call for help.  Her job was to take the steamer to all the clothes in the laundry room, to make sure everything was steamed and properly put away before I went to the hospital.  Can I get an Amen here?  Surely someone can relate :).

This is a fairly literal interpretation of the Biblical putting one’s house in order,  II Samuel 17:23, which, by the way, preceded a suicide.  Short of working myself to death cleaning all these closets, drawers and cupboards pre-holiday, along with daily living, teaching, conducting business as usual plus several meetings, and participating in some Christmas socializing, I’m not intending to do myself in.  My girls would be grinning – they’ve lived through their mom’s pre-holiday/vacation ritual many times.

But action cures lots of emotional ailments and it certainly beats the heck out of sitting here nibbling on my nails.  Oh, note to self, add MANICURE to the to-do list, may as well make it mani-pedi as I’m not packing the five pairs of boots I wear out here from September through March.  These feet will be slipping into sandals or flips in just over a week now, late December, no less.

So how do I wait?  I’ll clean and organize, make a few lists, pack,  sing and dance my way through the chores, praising the Lord that in just eight days I’ll be hugging my younger daughter and maybe even tucking her in and saying prayers once or twice as we did so every often in times past.  Does it get any better?

P.S.  Check out the links for  “mani-pedi” and  “five pairs”  above – an online grammar guide and an URBAN dictionary, you gotta love it :)!              à plus tard …………..,  LeeAnn

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