Sunday, February 22, 2009


I trust until I am given a reason not to trust. I kind of live by a baseball rule; three strikes and you're out of my life.

This has happened to me and I have left people who meant a great deal to me behind. It hurts to find that my trust has been misplaced but I think the hurt would be much greater if the person breaking the trust were to remain in my life.

I had a friend that I had known for 15 years. We had been through so much together. We even moved out of state together. She broke my trust while we lived together but I forgave her. She broke my trust after she moved home and I remained away. The third and final time came when she accused me of stealing a large sum of money from her aunt. Maybe she thought I had broken her trust I don't know, but I knew that she had that final time broken mine. I think she stole the money and was using me as her patsy. I have not talked to her since.

Trusting in a family member is different than trusting a friend. I can't really walk away from a person in my family. If I could, I would have left my brother in the dust a long time ago. But I love him and he is the only sibling I have. I keep forgiving him and will continue that way forever I guess. Maybe I trust him a little bit less each time but I do trust him. I know that if I needed him he would move heaven and earth to get to me. I just don't trust everything he tells me and I would never trust him to return something borrowed.

I think a person has to trust. I can't imagine going through life without trusting. How unhappy I would be. I think trust and love go together. I couldn't be a friend if I didn't trust that person. And I wouldn't be a very good friend if they couldn't trust me.

Through life there have been disappointments. I may have broken someones trust. I am sure I must have because I am not a perfect specimen. But I try hard to be truthful, kind, respectful, and always loving. And I expect the same in return.

I do know that no matter what kind of person I may be there is always One that I can trust in. I know that the Lord will not turn his back on me. I know that He will always love me, no matter what.

One of my favorite quotes of Scripture is:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your path straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6

Yes, trusting is difficult but I have to do it.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Broken Record

I am not athletic. I am one of those people who have a hard time walking and breathing. When I was young I fell down a lot, many sprained ankles. My mom always said I was this way because I never crawled as a baby, I went from creeping to walking. I only know for sure that I am not athletic.

When my son was growing up, I tried to give him a positive attitude towards sports. If he wanted to be an athlete then I wanted to be his cheering section. Privately, I worried about him taking after me, and of broken teeth. I didn't worry about broken bones because they heal but broken teeth remain that way.

When he entered the 7Th grade he informed his father and I that he wanted to go out for cross country. I was relieved that I didn't have to worry about the teeth, but still worried about his athleticism. He was growing at lightening speed and his body had not kept pace with his feet. He went out for cross country. I went to his meets as often as possible, I was in college trying to earn a degree in accounting.

By the time he was in ninth grade he was doing only OK at a cross country runner. He never finished in the top five. I was proud anyway. I cheered even if he came in last. His form was bad. The top half of his body always ran in front of his legs. A race always exhausted him. He loved to run.

I was still in college but this one meet was only a couple of miles from school, I made sure I was there to see him run. He told me he didn't want me to come because it was such a hard course and he knew he wouldn't do well. I went anyway. I figured he needed a show of extra support.

The racers lined up, the gun went off, and they all took off. The runners soon disappeared around a bend. Now it was a waiting game for those of us left behind. I don't remember the record time for that course, I do remember that it had been set in 1974.

The course record was broken that day. We were all sitting around chatting waiting for the first runner to be spotted. The shout went out, "Runner coming in." We all got to our feet. The coaches couldn't believe that anyone would be finishing so soon. They were so excited. We were screaming, cheering.

The runner got closer and closer. We could finally see who it was. The coaches couldn't believe their eyes. But I knew. My son broke that long held record. When he came in and ran first through the ribbon I thought I would bust open with pride. He was so winded, so sweaty. It was all I could do not to run over to him and wrap my arms around him, but I controlled my emotions and let his coaches tend to him.

The other runners were still a good 10 minutes out when he ran across the finish line. As they came in they all went up to him and wanted to know what had gotten into him, when did he get the fire in his shoes. Everyone was amazed. I stayed in the background letting him take his accolades. He had earned them. The team won the meet that day.

At the cross country awards dinner that year the team and coaches presented my son with a plaque for that race. It was for breaking a long standing record and for best improved race time.

Nope, I am not an athlete, but my son is.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine's Day

Before my husband and I got married we lived with my mom. She didn't approve of men and women living together without being married, so he slept in the bedroom with my son and I slept on the hide a bed.

When I left for work in the morning I never turned on any lights. I got dressed in the bathroom and walked out the front door immediately after exiting the bathroom, no need for lights. How was I to know that this one Valentine's Day he would have gifts there for me? Yes. gifts, plural.

I waited all day at work for a call from him. Just to say I love you and am thinking of you. I got nothing, bupkas. I did get a call from a single friend who asked what I was doing that night, I told her I was having dinner with her.

How was I to know that he had flowers waiting at home for m?. The florist couldn't guarantee delivery so he brought them home. How was I to know? How was I to know that he had made dinner reservations at a fabulous restaurant?

He had never surprised me before. And has never tired since. He was waiting up for me when I got home. Not a happy guy at all. But really how was I to know?

The following year I got a card with the words "I hate Valentine's Day" stamped all over it. That is all it said. That was the last valentine's day card I got.

But really how was I to know?

Valentine's Day

Saturday, February 7, 2009

At the Art Institute

First of all I should tell about my cousin. He was the most talented person that I ever have known. He was talented in any medium that he chose. He was musically gifted, he could put to paper only what I dream of, he could paint with any tool at his disposal, he could draw, he could take miraculous photos. OK you get the idea, the man was a talent hardly ever seen. And I loved him. He died this past July and I miss him terribly.
When I was in my early 20s I sort of went to college. I say sort of because all I did was take classes that interested me, without giving any thought to how they could be molded into an actual field of study or degree.
I took an art class. I didn't understand art. I knew what I liked but not why. The teacher assigned a paper. He gave us a list of pictures that were on display at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. We were to pick one, write a paper, and describe what we saw, felt, if we liked it, and possibly what the artist wanted us to feel when we looked at it. I asked my cousin to go along with me to help me. I wanted him to explain to me what was going on in the picture. What I was supposed to be feeling.
We decided to look at a picture of I think either a blue dog, or a blue boy, or a blue horse. I can't remember now what it was or who painted it. But, evidently it was supposed to me a "masterpiece", I just don't know.
My cousin and I wandered around the art institute for a while before lighting on the blue picture. He was trying so very hard to enlighten me. I am sure I frustrated him. He wanted me to see the things differently that day and to learn to appreciate all that we were looking at.
We sat down on a bench in front of the blue picture. He told me to study it for a few minutes before we started a discussion of the picture. I stared at it, I got up and stood close to it, I looked at it from far away,and from very close up. I wanted to be ready for this discussion I was going to have with my hero cousin. I wanted to sound intelligent. I wanted to sound very adult.
The time came. He asked me, "What do you think?" I replied, "I think it's dumb ." He wanted to know why I felt that way. I told him, "Because it's blue." In my mind it was that simple. I mean really whether it was a horse or a dog, or a boy none of those things are ever blue. Where is the reality in that? Why would it be blue?
Oh my dear sweet cousin just about gave up on me. He saw the painting through an artist's eye, which is something I have never been able to achieve. He told me what he thought the artist was trying to say with this blueness. He told me what he felt when he looked at the picture. He had the soul of an artist.
He valiantly tried to get me to see these things. I just couldn't get it. It was blue. That is all I saw ....BLUE.
We eventually had to leave the art institute. We made our way home. He tried to help me understand. I tried to not let him know how embarrassed I was to have been less in his eyes. I am sure he didn't think less of me but my heart ached because I thought I had failed him.
When we got to my house my mother had homemade turkey soup ready for us. What a surprise we both had when we realized that we both like peanut butter sandwiches with out turkey soup. And oh yes we had to dunk the sandwich into the soup. All was well.
I wrote my paper. I don't remember what kind of grade I received. I just remember that day with my cousin.
A few years later I took a short story class. He was having a difficulty in his life. I wrote my story about him. About his difficulties. I hand wrote it into a journal type book and gave it to him for Christmas that year.
He said to me with tears in his eyes, "This is your art."
Golly, how I miss that man.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


Yes, I have regrets. But don't we all?
My other posts have been on the serious side. So, this week I have decided to list my regrets but try and keep them on the lighter side, however, some may seem serious. And these are not in any order that determines the value or amount of the regret .
1. I regret ever having started smoking...for the obvious reasons.
2. I regret never learning how to swim...if I had maybe I wouldn't panic when the shower drain's more slowly than I think it should and there is water running over the top of my feet. And too maybe if I knew how to swim I wouldn't panic if my face gets wet in the shower. Yep, I am afraid of too much water at one time. I can't wash my hair in the shower so great is the fear. And swimming is supposed to be such great exercise.
3. I regret never learning how to tap dance. I don't have a rhythmic bone in my body but I would love to tap dance. You know when at a concert everyone puts their hands together? Well, I am always one beat off. But I still would like to tap dance.
4. I regret not having more children. One isn't enough.
5. I regret getting married. Well I guess that is serious but oh well.
6. I regret never going to college when I was young. I didn't go until I was 40. I had too many responsibilities at home to enjoy the experience, I was a work horse.
7. I regret giving away all of my canning supplies. I miss homemade applesauce.
8. I regret never becoming a hairdresser. I need a haircut desperately and can't afford to get one. But if I were a hairdresser I would know how to give myself one.
9. I regret never learning how to play the piano. I had 3 years worth of weekly lessons, and I practiced daily. I could only play pieces that I could recognize not because I could read the music. My teacher finally convinced me that I was throwing away my money. Now I am sorry that I gave up so easily.
10. I regret never learning how to drive a stick shift.
11. I regret buying a particular dress that hangs in my closet. It comes under the heading, "What were you thinking?" It has been there two years but I just can't seem to get rid of it. Maybe it is a reminder of what NOT to do while shopping.
12. I regret buying the treadmill that serves as a coat rack in my living room. I think a stationary bike would make a much more attractive coat rack.
OK I guess that is all. That's not so bad especially since some of these I can still do, and learn, and try.