Tuesday, June 15, 2010

It's one with a BIG O

OK, so fess up time. This year on my birthday, my age will have a zero on the end. So, it's like one of those monumental times. Not as bad as my sixteenth birthday, when I decided I didn't want to be 16 (my dad heard me crying in my bedroom, came up, asked me what was wrong, and probably had to stifle a laugh as he ran back down to tell my mother. I am not making this up!).

So, the other day, I'm on Facebook, and I decided that I really don't want anyone to know how old I am. So, I go to my profile and change the date on my birthday to 2010. I get an error message, "You must be at least 13 years of age to participate in Facebook."

OK, bad idea.

Then I had another idea. Why not change the date each year so that I stay 39. So, I put my birth year in as 1969. That was easy, until I told DH about it and he informs me that I actually would be turning 41, not 39, if I leave it at 1969.

So I said, "OK, I'll go back and change it to 1971. Then next year, it will be 1972."

1972 is when Chad, my oldest child was born.

Bad idea.

Guess I'll just have to "woMAN-UP" and confess. I was born in 1950. You do the math!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

29 and the beat goes on...

No, this isn't a tribute to Sonny and Cher. Rather, it's a quiet evening and I've just spent a wonderful afternoon and evening with my special man, Richard.

Twenty-nine years ago today, we were married in Indianapolis, IN. It was a quiet family gathering in the chapel of the church where we had met. A soloist sang a Barbara Streisand tune (Evergreen) and a hymn (Be Still My Soul). I paraded in on Richard's arm, accompanied by my dear sisters, who stood up with us. We had readings from Kahil Gibran (The Prophet) and from Ecclesiastes (to everything there is a season). We used vows that we had written ourselves to pledge our love and promise to each other.

We were married by my father (a Methodist minister) and Craig Overmyer, a minister to the singles program where we met.
We spent the rest of the day celebrating with family at Richard's house where I had recently moved with my 3 little children. We had Richard's three children that first night, as well as my three. Only a week later, my mother exclaimed on the phone, "Oh my goodness. We probably should have made sure you two were alone that night!" From there, well, it's been a challenge. Most second marriages are.

No actually, it's been a lot of hard work to make this marriage work.
Richard and I are both the kind of people who want to stay married forever. We'd both been through divorces about two years before our wedding, mine for my ex's infidelity; his was an agreement between his ex and him that neither were happy (although her infidelity was a feature of that divorce, too.)

Our courtship had been lovely and so exciting. In fact I knew the day I met him that he was someone very special. Within weeks, I felt strongly that God was telling me to take this relationship very seriously. We became friends, then good friends, then....slowly we fell in love. Our decision to marry just seemed to come about naturally (although there was the requisite "will you marry me?" one evening in his family room.
) We've shared a lot of hardship - putting six children (literally three sets of twins) together has never, EVER been easy. To this day, he is estranged from his middle daughter and rarely speaks to his youngest daughter. My children see him as a father figure, mostly because he was around all the time and their own father had little time for them.

And, he is a good man. Not perfect, but so giving when he wants to be. Down to earth, SALT of the earth kind of guy. He used to call himself "a country boy" when I met him. But have you ever met a country boy with three degrees? A farmer, turned seed plant manager, turned salesman, turned Extension Program Coordinator, turned quality control technician, now a roof bolter in a limestone mine.

We've been through job loss, bankruptcy, illness, child custody, separation due to job changes. And each of these seems to have just made us stronger.
The day I entered the hospital two years ago, emotionally and physically breaking down. I called him, crying, saying I had admitted myself to the hospital and I was petrified. His words to me, "It will be okay, sweetheart! We're going to get through this." He visited me everyday in the hospital and by the time I left, I ached for him and our life together.

So, here's to you, Richard, and our 29 years together. With any luck, we'll both live long enough to get to 30..........and 40..............and maybe even 50. But please know, that you are the love of my life!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Songs of Roses

Les Chansons Des Roses

It is we, perhaps, who proposed

that you replenish your bloom
Enchanted by this charade,

your abundance dared.

You were rich enough to fulfill

Yourself a hundred times over in a single flower
Such is the state of one who loves...
But you never did think otherwise

Against whom, rose, have you assumed these thorns
Is it your too fragile joy that force you to become this armed thing?

But from whom does it protect you,
this exaggerated defense?

How many enemies have I lifted from you
Who did not hear it at all.
On the contrary, from summer to autumn
You wound the affection that is given to you.
Overflowing with your dream, flower filled with flowers,

Wet as one who weeps, you bow to the morning.

Your sweet powers which still are sleeping in misty desire,

Unfold these tender forms joining cheeks and breasts.

I have such awareness of your being, perfect rose,
That my will unites y
ou with my heart in celebration.
I b
reathe you in, rose, as if you were all of life,
And I feel the perfec
t friend of a perfect friend.

on surrounding abandon, tenderness touching tenderness..
Your oneness endlessly caresses itself, so they say;
Self-caressing through its own clear ref
Thus you invent the theme of Narcissus fulfilled.
~ Rainier Maria Rilk

(Barbara Streisand tea roses from my garden)

Friday, June 11, 2010

A new addition to the family

Having grandchildren is one of the true joys in my life. Clearly, if it were not for them, this new chapter in my life would be so much less satisfying.

My children have done such a fine job of finding wonderful partners to share their lives. In turn, they have produced the most beautiful grandchildren (and I'm not just prejudiced. I've heard this from several people!).

So, it is with great pride that I announce our latest addition, Weston Cain Ray. Wes was born to my youngest son, Daniel and his wife, Marcy, on Wednesday, June 9 at 2:22 pm. Wes and Momma Marcy arrived home yesterday. Wes' big brother is Jake (pictured with him in the hospital).

I usually try to knit a blanket of some sort for my new grandchildren, although I'm the first to confess that I have not been able to do this for all 19 of them. Work and health have frequently intruded on this goal. I'm happy to say, though, that little Wes did receive his blanket ahead of time (can you believe it? AHEAD of time) this time.

The blanket was knit with Lion Brand Nature's Choice Organic Cotton, pattern is Lion Brand's Vintage Charmer Throw.

The pattern was an easy knit - a stockinette stitch center with a border in seed stitch. I used cotton because Wes lives in North Carolina and is a summer baby. Even with air conditioning on, NC is a very warm and humid place to live in the summer months. So, my hope was that this yarn would be warm without being too warm. And soft! It is SO soft and it washed beautifully, before I sent it off to his Momma and Daddy to await Wes' arrival.

Welcome to the family, Weston Cain. Congratulations, Jacob Theron. Way to go, Dan and Marcy. We love you all!

Friday, June 4, 2010

It's June and it's Friday!

It's Friday, but I don't really feel like TGIF. Richard will be working tomorrow (and possibly Sunday) so it seems the days just run from one into the other. Lots of things to look forward to, though:
1. The birthday of my little grandson, Weston Cain Ray, hopefully any day now in North Carolina. We will be traveling there in a few weeks to welcome him and spend some time with his big brother, Jacob.
2. Troy's wedding in Valparaiso. I have to say, this is one guy who is so shy, I never thought he's get married. But it looks like he's picked a "peach" of a girl. I haven't met her yet, but really looking forward to their big day.
3. Also looking forward to that trip because I plan to bring home three of my favorite little girls, in the whole word (the fourth, already lives here in Iowa). Susanna, Cessa, and Sadie will (hopefully) be meeting us in Valpo and returning home with us for about 1 week. Then we'll make the trip home together on the Amtrak. I'm really looking forward to this. And seeing the rest of the Michigan crew. I hear the youngest, Scarlett, is walking. Hardly seems possible.!
4. My 60th birthday (NOT!)
5. Summer-long project: Ravelry. I am determined to go through the fiber room and get as much as possible entered into R., so that I have a better idea of what I have. This is going to be a MAJOR project. But, in the process, it should help me clean-up and organize the room as well as make decisions about yarns that I no longer want/need. These can be donated to Happy Hands or passed on in some other way.
6. Summer-long project: Organize Christmas knitting and get started.

I think that's enough. Now I'm going to get started (one can only steam clean the kitchen floor so many times).