Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Ok, a break from my crazy life!

Hey y'all, I will be back to posting daily after having been on a week-long "medical and MENTAL leave" from blogging. I was having some health issues along with leading the very busy life of a working-mother-approaching-the-holidays!
Good news, my health is good - all of the tests came back good:) I am scheduled for an outpatient surgery January 8 and hopefully, that will be that!
My car is finally fixed! Hooray! And my new laptop just arrived and I am trying to learn how to work it - it's all so high-tech!
I am getting organized for Christmas and the New Year. I am also hosting an out-of-town guest (my really good friend, Kim) for a few days next week . . . I have cards, baking, cleaning . . . I'm feeling more than a bit overwhelmed with all I have to do within these next few weeks!
And tomorrow is my Birthday!
Whew! badabadbabdabdba . . . that's all folks . . . all least for today!
Oh yeah, a PS: My grandson, Nathan, was "fan of the game" at last night's Red Wing game! He has so much energy, that even in a huge crowd, he was singled out! He got to on the ice and receive a practice jersey!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The clothes on my back

"All you own are the clothes on your back." Father Michael said during the Homily a few weeks back. "Everything in your closet belongs to those less fortunate." He was speaking about the life and words of Saint John Chrysostom who lived a modest life and gave a large portion of all he had to the needy; and Saint Paul's second letter to the Corinthians 9:6-11 which says: 'he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly . . . "
I started thinking about all the stuff I have . . . stuff that I keep 'just in case.' I felt greedy and selfish having so many extra things, especially clothes, coats and blankets packed away when so many people are in need of those things to keep warm during these brutal winter months. (As I wrote in my very first blog here, I have trouble cleaning out my closet.)
Then, a few days ago, I learned of the fire that destroyed a Saint Vincent de Paul warehouse, and at a time of year when so many people depend on it. Channel seven news announced that they were having an emergency donation drive all day Wednesday to be held at Lawrence Tech. Well, that's all it took - a reason beyond any excuse and a deadline. I have always worked better under the pressures of deadlines.
It took me less than two hours to come up with ten bags along with some other miscellaneous items. My son and I loaded two cars (not mine - it's still kaput) and we drove over to Southfield, waited in the long line of cars. So many people brought donations. As we pulled up and parked, young volunteers helped us transfer the bags and boxes into huge Art Van trucks. The snow was gently falling and sparkling under the lights that illuminated the parking lot. I felt the true meaning of Christmas.
I felt lighter . . . my closet, my home, my heart, my spirit.
I did not post this for anyone to comment on how great it was of me to do this. This was nothing, but helpful to me as much as to those who need help. I posted this in the hope that someone reading it may be inspired to do the same. Give what you can. Give what you have that is not of immediate need to you. Give the best, not your leftovers.
Countdown to Christmas . . . 18 days!
God Bless Everyone.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Good Intentions

Today was a test. A true test. My mom always said that the road to hell is paved with good intentions . . . and I had good intentions today.

I was to leave my house by 8:00 am - my son, Adam was to supposed to pick me up - then we were heading for the east side of town to pick up my sister, Judi.

But, before I go any further, none of that happened as planned: My son over-slept and I could not reach him because his phone was not working. I waited, then phoned my sister at 8:20 to tell her that I was not going to wait any longer and I would be driving my car to her her house (even though the fan in my car was not working properly and therefore no heat would be pumping out on this frigid morning). As I drove down 6-96, all of my dashboard indicator lights flashed on and off a few times. I said a little prayer requesting of God that I not break down on the freeway.

I arrived at Judi's house at approximately 8:47 am and we headed for the grocery store.

"OK, we have to do this as quickly as possible," I said. "I told her we'd be there at 9:30."

"Don't worry, I know this store like the back of my hand, just read me the list." Judi replied.

"Bananas, bread, eggs, sausage, orange juice . . .' I rattled off the items on the list.

We hurried through the market filling our cart until the last of the items, paper plates, was crossed off the list.

Thankfully, there were only a few other shoppers and we didn't have to wait in a long line. But we did have to wait behind a women who obviously worked at the store years ago and was inquiring about which of the employees were still around. Patience, I reminded myself. All good things in time.

I couldn't get my trunk to open with the automatic remote as we walked toward my car. Hmm, must need a new battery. But, it would not even open with the key. So I unlocked the doors and we piled the bags into the back seat. I handed Judi the directions, I put the key in the ignition - turned it. Nothing. Turned it again. Nothing.

"Oh my God. You have got to be kidding me!"

"The devil must be trying to stop us from doing this." Judi laughed a little.

"I have to call them and let them know what's happening." I dug my cell phone out of my purse and dialed.

That's where the part with the 'good intentions,' comes in. I had volunteered to make breakfast for the families at the Ronald McDonald House - which was scheduled for 10:00am. At least thirty tired, hungry, worried parents were going to be waiting for us. But, it was now 9:18 and we were stranded in the grocery store parking lot freezing our fingers and noses off.

"Hello, this is Lindy and I am supposed to be there making breakfast right now, but I am stuck in the grocery store parking lot and my car won't start."

"Do you want to talk to your son? He is here waiting for you." The voice on the other end asked.

Oh yes, I want VERY much to talk to my son. I was thinking.

"Sure." I said, instead.

Adam came to the phone, "I'll be there in fifteen minutes to get you." Click.

Adam knows the city better than most, so I knew it would not take him too long to pick us up and get us back there. In the meantime a man who had parked in the space in front of us, hooked up some jumper cables. His wife smoked a cigarette as he gave me the go ahead when it was time to turn the key. After about ten minutes and a few tries we got her started.

"Probably the alternator or the battery." He told me.

I hate cars. I love the big city and mass transportation. I have always had bad luck with cars. I hate cars and I hated Rich (my recently 'exed' boyfriend) even more because he is a mechanic.

Adam followed us to Judi's house, down the street, where I left my car in her driveway. We transferred all of the bags and headed for I-75.

OK, so what if we got started a little later than planned and breakfast was not ready until closer to 11:oo am. And so what if the first man we saw when we walked in mumbled, "You're late."

Late for what I thought? And, I let it go. The stress level is high here. I know. I stayed at the Ronald McDonald House when my grandson spent the first weeks of his life in Children's Hospital.

It wasn't long before the smell of coffee, French toast, and sausage lightened all of our moods. Something about breakfast . . . it is so comforting.

And seeing the faces of the worried parents smile, however brief, felt good.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

6 weird things about me - I have been tagged by Laura

6 Weird Things About me

I have been tagged by Laura to write 6 weird things about me.

Each player of this game starts with the 6 weird things about you. People who get tagged need to write a post of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list there names. Don't forget to leave a comment that says they are tagged in their comments and tell them to read your blog.

6 weird things about me:

1.) I had trouble doing this because “weird” is normal for me and “normal” is weird for me. (That’s why it took me so long to do!)

2.) I talk to trees and plants and they talk to me.

3.) When I was growing up (a young Catholic girl), I wanted to become and Nun, live and die a Martyr, and then be Canonized a Saint. Or, I would settle on being a famous dancer/actress.

4.) I both love and fear the full moon . . . it illuminates my madness and brings out my paranoia all the while I stare at it in awe.

5.) I do not like labels and I myself cannot be labeled. I am a rebel that way.

6.) I am the most private “open-book” you’ll ever meet.

My tag list is:

Stewart; Jon; Susan; Steven . . . I will have to find 2 others who have not yet been tagged!

I can't wait to read this!

Beyond the Blurred Images and Holiday Guise

Well, my Christmas trees are lit up and decorated. My home sparkles of gold and smells of pine. I am a ‘home for the holidays’ type of gal. I know, old-fashioned and completely un-cool.

Now, I know the “in” thing these days is to point out all the commercialism that encompasses the holidays, kind of like a word search or a Where’s Waldo. It has become almost amusing to sit over a Starbuck's latte complaining about the holiday shit this and that while watching people do the hustle and bustle. Ahgggg . . . there’s the shoulder-to-shoulder shopping in the crowded malls; the bumper car parking lots; Santas who are too skinny; the one hundred or so renditions of “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire” played over and over again; higher rates of suicide and depression; news papers exploding with advertising inserts; pounds of catalogs; no friggin’ roasted chestnuts or open fires anywhere to be had; long lines; long lists; short tempers.

I realize that this time of year brings out extremes in behavior, character flaws and a Pandora’s Box of emotions. Oh, the pressures. Oh, the headaches. Oh, the heartaches.

So what am I so happy about? I definitely feel the financial strain, the pressures to get it all done and still look shiny and new - to get my cards out on time, my cookies baked and my gifts bought, wrapped and hidden away. I have many moments of nostalgia, thinking about Christmas’ past and all of my loved ones who are not here with me to celebrate the present one. At times I do feel melancholy and a bit overwhelmed. Wow, I think I am beginning to convince myself that the holidays suck!

But, on the other hand (the one still resting in a full and quiet pocket) I love this time of year. The crazy holiday pace dizzies me just enough that I step off and rediscover my real point of reference . . . mySelf. And in doing so, I stop the planet. I see beyond the blurred images. I see the beating of compassionate hearts. I see the gift of the Nativity. I see God incarnate.

This time of year evokes the virtues of compassion, helpfulness, thoughtfulness, thankfulness, love and generosity lifting the human spirit to the place it really lives. ‘Tis the season of giving. Volunteer services are filled to capacity; people are donating to organizations such as Toys for Tots, Coats for Kids and homeless shelters. Soup kitchens have more than enough help; hospital and nursing home patients are entertained by carolers. There is a lot of good in the air . . . even if some of that good air does get blown around by high pressure gusts of fervor.

If we could extend those giving hands and compassionate hearts into each New Year, Christmas would not come in with such a bang (and on the tail wind of a witch’s broom November 1) only to leave in the blink of an eye and ten pounds later. Christmas would become state of mind rather then a time of year. That is what the spirit of Christmas is really all about.

For a beautiful and heartfelt posting on Christmas, visit Laura’s blog