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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Teresa's 39th birthday tribute

Teresa, we miss you very much. I remember when you were born. Your dad held you in the hospital room and fell in love with you immediately. You were so tiny. less than 7 lbs. You were my tiniest baby. We looked you over and were mesmerized by your tiny toes and fingers, your dark hair..and so much of it! You were so beautiful.
You grew to be an adorable little girl. You were so much different than your sister, Becky. She was a girly girl. You were like a little tomboy. You loved sports and playing outside with the boys, even though they weren't always very welcoming. Who wants a baby sister tagging along, anyway. But that never deterred you. You found a way to fit in as best you could.
You were very accident prone. I remember a large plate glass window breaking and you received a nasty gash on your upper arm. You carried the scar from that the rest of your life.
On the school playground, in 4th grade, the teeter totter came down on your knee and gave you a 4 inch gash across the inner fleshy part of your knee. I don't even remember how many stitches it took to sew you up. I couldn't watch. Another scar for you to wear your entire short life.
As a teenager, you loved playing sports. Volleyball was one of your favorites. Every time I go to the Jr. High School I look for your name on that wall for your perfect serve game. We are so proud of you for that.
Basketball was another favorite for you. It was maybe a little harder for you, but you were aggressive and a good guard. We loved going to your games and watching you. You loved playing with the Francis kids. You messed up a leg playing there. It didn't keep you down long, though.
Softball was your favorite, though. Unfortunately, it was rather dangerous for you. One game, while we were in California, left you with a broken fibula. Surgery involving a plate and screws and then removal of the hardware left you with more scars on your leg.
You were independent, but needed help. You had a child while still in high school. No one could ever love a baby like you loved yours. You gave up on a lot of social activities and events to care for your child. She became your life. Grandpa and I tried to help as much as we could so you could have some social life. We all loved little Regan more than life.
We were proud of your studies to become a nurse. You were working full time, going to school, studying every evening while caring for Regan. I know it was so hard for you. But you wanted to do it. We were so proud when you took your State Board exams in Topeka. That was on February 15, 1999.
On the 20th, you stopped by the house to ask us to check out your furnace, because your pilot light kept blowing out. It was so dark outside that we asked you and Regan to stay with us. We promised to check it out that next day. You were angry when you left. If we had only known that would be the last time we would see you...ever.
The phone call at 4 a.m. woke us up. We immediately got up and headed to Clyde. We could see the orange glow in the sky and dreaded to see what we knew was coming.
The fire department was struggling to get inside the house because the flames were so high and so strong. Their equipment was malfunctioning. But it was too late, anyway. When they came to tell us they had seen your body through the bathroom window, they had tears in their eyes.
We drove home, woke your brothers and told them what had happened. They drove over to see for themselves what they could hardly believe. We prepared for the onslaught of well-meaning family, friends, and neighbors we knew would be coming to our home. We called Becky, who was with Rusty in Colorado. It was one of the saddest days of our lives.
We buried you on my dad's birthday. I took off about 3 weeks from work. We were busy that entire time, writing thank you notes and cataloging all the cards and gifts. Becky told Regan about her Mommy going to Heaven. Regan, in her 3 year old innocence, told Becky that it was ok that Mommy's in Heaven, because that's where the doggies are. She had just wanted All Dogs Go To Heaven.
Your short life was a blessing to us. We are so proud of you, and we cherish your daughter and now your granddaughter. I think you would like Tim, Regan's husband. And I know you are watching over all of them and us. Thank you, Teresa. God bless you and keep you. We love you. Mom.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Loving and Patient? Who, Me?

BRRRR!!!  The thermometer reads 39 degrees right now, but it feels like about 10 degrees.  The air is moist and rain is predicted.  This house is drafty.  The windows don't fit quite right lately.  I wonder if all the earthquakes we've had made the house settle?  Or is it just old houses settling like they normally do?  Either way, it is very inconvenient.

It's just me and the two dogs tonight.  Dennis rode with Becky to a ballgame our granddaughter is playing in.  We had talked about going out for supper, but Karsyn comes first.  I had bedding in the washing machine, and I've been fighting off a cold, so I'm remaking the bed, then I'll climb in and enjoy a good book.  I don't get a chance to do that very often.  Supper consisted of a cheese sandwich, peaches, a cup of yogurt (key lime pie flavor) and lemon pudding.  Quite a variety of flavors, but it was satisfying.

Sometimes I just enjoy being alone for a little while. I can always find something to do. I do enjoy having Dennis around since he retired.  Last night he made supper and this morning he fixed breakfast while I was in the shower.  He takes me out for meals and shopping several times a week.  He spoils me rotten.  

Yesterday, I was watching a video on Facebook.  I wanted to share it with Dennis.  He was watching a rerun of one of his favorite tv shows. I turned the volume up a little and turned the screen around so he could see it.  He reminded me that I need to use my earphones with the computer.  He wasn't interested in watching the video.  I confess I was a little peevish about it.  I didn't say anything, but I did glare at him, then put my earphones back on.   A while later, he asked me what he did to make me mad.  I told him that maybe I should get him some earphones  for the tv, so I wouldn't have to hear it.  He replied "but you are using the computer."  He missed the whole point.  Oh well!

We get along very well.  Sometimes I get irritated when I have to pick up after him, or if he criticizes my cooking, which doesn't happen very often at all. Sometimes I get frustrated because I have different ideas about how to spend our money, what little we have.  But I try to stifle the urge to be nagging and critical of him.  Why?

Because I don't know how long I'll have him around, and I don't want to spend the time we have left fighting.  His cancer is in remission so far.  But the cells are still there. His cardiac doctors say his heart is in good shape since  he had his bypasses.   The diabetes is a constant struggle for him, and he gets so frustrated because even when he eats very little at all, his sugars stay out of the normal range.  He is terrified that the surgeons will have to start amputating limbs.  He has enough on his plate.

So, I will continue to love him, and try to keep him happy as I can. No one is more generous than Dennis Barnes.  He is a soft touch for sick and abused children, and animals.  We give to several charities on a monthly basis.  We support veterans' organizations, children's hospitals, and other charities, as well as the Church.  We'll never have much money, but we can sleep at night.

Love is not unkind. It is never selfish. It serves to protect, not imprison. Let me be perfect in my love. Amen.

Monday, January 2, 2017

New Year, New Beginnings

Yesterday, January 1, 2017, we began a new year.  With the new year, we get a chance to make new beginnings, continue that which works, and eliminate that which doesn't.  So I'm thinking about which way I need to go from this point onward.

No, I'm not planning on getting a divorce, or quitting my job.  I love my husband, and I love my job.  In fact, today is our forty-sixth wedding anniversary.  Our relationship is stronger than it ever was.  Rather, I'm trying to decide what priorities to set in my life from this point forward.

One of my resolutions is to get my house back into shape.  Since we closed our store "Eagles Nest Boutique", I brought a lot of the unsold merchandise home with me, and it is stashed all around the house.  I want to make a concentrated effort to find homes for most of it.  A yard sale may be in the future.

I have not been working on my art or my writing much at all in the past year.  I hope to renew my interests in both.  I have family who are asking why I never paint anymore.  They looked forward to seeing new paintings and drawings.  My house is so small that there doesn't seem to be much room to set up my paints and canvasses.  Perhaps once I get rid of the store stuff, I will have a little more room for my art.

My writing has also been neglected.  I have a novel that is almost finished in rough draft.  It is time to finish that rough draft and start editing it.  Then I can see about publishing options.  Space is not the problem here.  It's motivation and concentration.   I am resolving to start writing almost daily this year.  It might be on this blog, it might be newspaper articles for the library, or it might be short stories, or my novel.  I want to write some books for toddlers too.  

I want to work on improving my health this year too.  I need to walk more.  Back pain has been a huge issue for me in the past few years.  If I keep getting the back injections that are so helpful, I may be able to get back to walking short distances again.  I would love that--to be able to go for walks with Dennis, to ride bicycles with my granddaughters, to be able to shop with my daughter.  I'm praying for a little relief for my back so I can renew my exercise routines.

I want to do a great job at the library. I've not heard any complaints, but there are aspects of the job where I know I haven't been able to achieve much progress.  I want to change that.  I have so many displays I want to make, programs I want to initiate, housekeeping chores that need done, and so much more.

I want to be able to divide my time between family, job, and work, while maintaining some equilibrium.  I want to keep my faith in God as a priority, and find ways to serve Him more selflessly. 

The above resolutions are achievable, if I keep my priorities straight.  If I stop wasting time on Facebook games, or at least keep them to a minimum.  I'm going to print out my resolutions on a poster, and place it on my computer desk.  I'll enlist Dennis to remind me of my family priorities.  The library board has already listed priorities for me, and our board meetings help to enforce them.

Lastly, I'd love to wish all my readers, family and friends a very happy New Year, and I wish the coming year to be safe, healthy and full of wonderful experiences and faith.

Happy New Year!