Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Girl Thing

I have had a couple of facts reinforced recently:
  1. Beloved Boyfriend (BB) is an incredibly good sport.
  2. There are huge differences between men & women. And no, I'm not referring to THAT! Get your minds out of the gutter.
It was a Saturday afternoon, and I remembered that I was invited to a christening the next day. Oops, forgot about that, and I hadn't gotten a gift yet. This means I need to make a trip to that fortress of female delight, that bastion of baby-rufflyness - Babies-R-Us.

You girly types know what I'm talking about. Most people that have sufficient estrogen love this place. Baby clothes, baby furniture, baby accessories, baby toys, baby blankies. OMG! Especially yours truly, since I have a hankering for a grandchild (but no pressure, BS, hear?). So BB nicely says he will go with me. Huh? What's that? Did I hear him right? He'll go with me into the black hole of powdery, Pamper-y, pastel-y plentitude? Now, in my book, that's akin to volunteering to go to a Tupperware party or get a root canal. Did I mention he was a good sport?

The drive over showed his deceptively calm exterior, but as we approached the front door, a heavily pregnant woman and her whiny toddler-appendaged friend were exiting. Out the corner of my eye, I noted the start of an ever-so-slight slight twitch.

Inside the vast cavern, a look of pained resignation settled on his whiskery face as he followed me on my quest. Every now and then, he couldn't resist belting out a falsetto "oooh, it's so cuuuute!", but otherwise he soldiered on, forcing himself to smile, or maybe I should say 'show his teeth', whenever I held up an ever-so-cute frou frou to consider. I could see the thought bubble over his head that read "When will this END?"

Coming out into the sunshine of a world that had men & testosterone in it, I saw my atonement. Next door to the Babies-R-Us was........a Best Buy.......................

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Why Do I Worry About This Stuff?

Thanksgiving is here, and as time goes by, I am having a bit of a problem with it. I know that sounds strange, but it is something I stew over more & more as the years go by. Let me see if I can make this sound coherent.

Thanksgiving - giving thanks. That's pretty obvious. Being thankful means that you are happy for something someone has given you. We are supposed to be thanking God for the things we have: our food, our health, our home, our friends, our family, blah blah blah.

So when we thank God, we are thanking Him for giving us all those things. Now, don't get me wrong. I am very glad I have a job, a family that I love, a home, the best son in the world, enough to eat, and now a wonderful person to share my life with. But, what does that say for the people who have no family, no roof over their heads, not enough to eat, poor health, profound disabilities? What are we really saying when we say "Thank you"? Thanks for giving the goodies to me & not to them? Did He choose not to give those things to those other equally deserving people? How do I give thanks without sounding selfish?

And did God really give me my job, my house, and the food on my table? Or did I provide/work for/earn those things for myself (with help from my family & friends)?

I want to give thanks for those things that have been given to all of us equally - a world that can take my breath away with its beauty; humanity's capacity to love deeply. So, my prayer would have to be something like this:

Lord -

We give you thanks for the bounty and the beauty of the earth. Grant us the wisdom to use it to provide for all.

We give you thanks for the bounty and beauty of love, which binds together family and friends. May it shine through each of us to bind together all of mankind.

As this food nourishes out bodies, so does your spirit nourish our souls.


My good friend at work came up with an idea too - we can be thankful that we are in a position to be able to help others, so we can show it by helping to feed the hungry, heal the sick, provide comfort to the weary & friendship to those who are alone. Anyone interested in joining me?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

What If.......

One of the perks of a job that allows me to travel is that sometimes I'll leave
the highway and take the leisurely way home.
Such was the decision last weekend.
After a meeting in Richmond and lunch with BN (Beloved Niece),
the run home down I64 was making me twitchity.
Up pops a sign for Rt 5 & the James River Plantations (read about them here),
so I careen across the lanes of the interstate to make the exit.
Lovely, peaceful road, winding along the river with trees arching overhead.
Ahhh. Much better.

How many times have we spared only a glance at the historical markers along the road without really noticing them?
Sadly, they often become white noise in the scenery as we speed along.
If it was really important, it would be lit up or something, right?
Just as I was getting to the pretty part of the road, one of those ubiquitous gray signs whizzed past.
I glanced at it with half an eye, then my brain cleared and I realized what I just read.
One of the most significant, in retrospect, "events" in our story.
Something that has shaped 400 years of history and still reverberates today.


...allowed for these to flourish in the South,

made possible by this, ;

(one of the darkest & most shameful scars on our collective history)

and ultimately leading to this. ;

(one of the bloodiest and saddest scars on our collective history)

Makes me ponder "what if?"
What if those early crops had failed?
How would our history have been rewritten?

Monday, June 6, 2011

I know I haven't posted anything in a looooong time, and I offer no explanations or promises of regular posting, but somewhere back in the annals of time, I mentioned finding the hidden gems of your town. Found another one this past weekend.

Every time I go to the Outer Banks, on the last leg home, I always notice a pretty little lake along the ramp from the 168 Bypass onto I64 W. Always wondered about it. And a couple weekends ago, when I went down to the OBX with a good friend, we noticed it again. What was it? Enter my high tech iPhone, my little pocket computer, my information-at-your-fingertips toy. We found out it was Oak Grove Lake Park in Chesapeake, so you know what that means? Time to EXPLORE! What a jewel of a place. A not-so-little lake surrounded by woods and a path that curves its way along the lakeshore. Only one short part is out in the open along the interstate. The rest of it is lovely, peaceful, serene, and relatively empty, at least on that Sunday. Benches and fishin' spots are laced within the trees.

On second thought, forget this whole post. Don't want the word to spread so crowds will start flocking there and cluttering up the paths. Oh wait, I think I'm giving myself a little too much credit. Since my faithful readers, after long neglect, are now down to 2.5, I doubt it will be much of a problem. My influence on tourism is about that of a gnat.

Oh, and Friend S is good at skipping stones. I got an action shot.

As usual, all my pictures are straight from my wee little point & shoot, unedited. Sorry RAD. I haven't learned my lessons yet.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Goodbye Sweet Girl

I know my last post said "Blah".
It's still pretty blah, but never so blah that I won't take the time to honor the memory
of one of our beloved children.

Our sweet girl left us last night.

She had so many close calls in her short life, we hoped that this would be another.
That she would again defy all the predictions about her. That she would again rally.
That she would again come home to the people who loved her.
But, this time, it was not to be.

She did go home, just not back to St. Mary's.
We won't see her incredibly sweet face anymore except in our hearts & memories.

What I wouldn't give to see her as she is now - whole, not struggling for every breath,
laughing as she runs to greet the angels.

Goodbye sweetheart.

(I haven't had to put one of these up in a very long time. That in itself is a blessing.)