For Nita: On the Occasion of Your Homegoing…..

In the last 48 hours I’ve been reminded how much tears are healthy. They cleanse us. Wash away our grief, until the next memory or song comes on to remind us you are no longer here. 

And how much we miss you. 

During the last two years, I’ve prayed for you and your sweet family often. That somehow God would answer our prayers and would grant you a miracle this side of heaven. I also prayed for you specifically. That God would strengthen you and specifically that God would take away your fears. The fears of death and leaving your family behind. 

And 48 hours ago the weirdest thing happened. I realized I no longer needed to pray for you because at that moment you were standing amongst the brightest light that ever was. 

You were standing in front of your Heavenly Father, the One who made you, cared for you through the years, and held your hand as you took your last breath. 

The One who welcomed you home with the words, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.” 

Good night dear, sweet, wonderful Nita! We’ll see you in The Morning. 

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Achievement Unlocked…….

Tonight I accomplished something that I never knew could happen.

Like ever. 

I got…….um, let me just back up.

Before going to bed, I went into our bedroom and as sometimes happens, I smelled cat urine. So I followed my nose to the space in between our two dresser drawers. There was a random large trash bag sitting on the carpet and I realized that’s where the smell was coming from. 

So as Chad played “Words With Friends” on his phone before bed, I got down on the floor and went to pick up the bag. Thankfully I saw it glisten and I realized it had cat pee on it. Moving slowly to contain it, I folded up the edges of the bag and carefully lifted the bag off the ground. 

Why I decided to lift the bag over my head, I will never know. But I did and quickly regretted my life choice. 

As I felt cat piss drip on to my leg and onto the ENDS OF MY HAIR!!!

BLEEEEEECH!! 

Unfortunately, I had also just washed my hair and wasn’t so keen on doing it again, so in a strange way, I was thankful it was just the ends of my hair that bore the brunt of the accidental baptism by pee. 

So not only did I need to clean up the carpet, I now needed to wash the ends of my hair to get the smell out. 

Unfortunately, I used the shampoo that was nearest the sink and this specific shampoo (which will remain nameless because we are still playing “financial catch-up” from a slow summer to the point where adding a lawsuit into the mix would result in having us move across several state lines in the dead of night, assume new names, and start another life where Chad drove cattle while I whittled artisan corn cob holders for monks) has top notes of essence that are reminiscent of what I just rinsed out of my hair!  

So that was my Monday! I just can’t wait for what the rest of the week will bring! 😛 

#Sarcasm 😉 

Birthday Reflections…..

I began this blog on October 3rd, but life took over and I wasn’t able to finish and upload this till today…….

Yesterday I turned 38.

A feat that humbles me and makes me reflective. I think up until a few years ago my birthdays passed without much contemplation and I took them for granted.

Not this year.

Yesterday I turned 38.

This actually hit me about a week ago. And it almost made me breathless. It’s just a surreal experience, outliving someone older than you.

But that’s just what I’ve done as of this morning.

My mentor and friend Heidi died from cancer in 2012. She died on her 38th birthday.

Yesterday I turned 38.

I’ve always been aware of death since I was a little kid. The moment I found out people die, I remember being completely devastated.

In fact, when I turned 10 years old I distinctly recall thinking, “Well, people usually die when they are two digits old. It’s just a matter of time.” (And I’m just realizing how darkly philosophical of a kid I was. Yikes!)

But I digress.

My friend and mentor Heidi was an amazing soul. A missionary kid, she was born in California but moved to Jerusalem at age 3. Then her family moved to Thailand when she was 15 and she graduated high school there. She married her college sweetheart a few years later, and they went on to teach English in Japan for a few years before settling down in Goshen, Indiana and expanding their family to include 3 boys and a girl.

Their daughter Willa was born with trisomy 18 and died 8 minutes after she was born.

If I could think of two words to describe Heidi, it would be fearless and determined. When she was 4 months pregnant with Willa, the last time I’d see Heidi, we met for coffee one afternoon when I was home for Christmas. It must have been a warmer day because she arrived on her bike, even though piles of snow were still visible at the end of sidewalks and edge of the streets.  When I asked her how she was feeling she told me she was feeling good. Even knowing Willa’s diagnosis and that she’d likely not survive, Heidi was happy. She told me that she was OK because she knew as long as Willa stayed inside her womb, she’d have what she needed to live.

And I can credit Heidi for where I am today. When I was 24 I finally decided I needed to move out on my own. My goal was to move out by the time I turned 25. And Heidi met with me privately many times to work out a plan to make that happen.

And it did!

I celebrated my 25th birthday in my new apartment in Louisville. And Heidi didn’t let the day pass without acknowledging my accomplishment. She made a giant birthday card for me, had people from my home church sign it, and sent it to me in the mail. And it hung in my room until I moved to my new apartment one year later.

Heidi helped me grow up and spread my wings.

Yesterday I turned 38.

And this year I plan to live with more intent. To try things that are new and scary. To get to know people who are different from me. To spread my wings further. 

Just as Heidi taught me. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4S5e7c2_YO8

(Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers “Learning to Fly” appears courtesy of YouTube and Bonnaroo) 

LAFF on Sunday: Accidents In the Home…..

They say that (Ok, I’m not actually sure the percentage) of accidents happen in the home. According to a quick google search, (because it’s me and I want to get this up before midnight 😉 and besides it’s the internet so you can believe anything you read, right?), the number one listing of accidents in the home is from falling objects.

So you probably see where this is going, but there’s a twist. While I am certainly no stranger to accidents at home (throw back to the time this happened…) this latest incident was a first. 

This morning I had a dream that I was picking something up off the ground. I can’t remember what the object was, so I can only assume that it doesn’t matter. I immediately felt a sharp pain in my left eyeball. 

Then I woke up. 

To discover my cell phone in my hand. Apparently I had grabbed my cell phone (*ostensibly to record my dream for future blog content.) and accidentally dropped it on my face. 

Apparently this is my new talent. Let me know if you think I should try out for America’s Got Talent. 

Cheers! 

*this is the first time I’ve used this fancy word in my blog and I was able to correctly use it in a sentence before double checking the definition. Go me! 😀 

LAFF On Sunday: Vacation Part 2: Country Roads, Take Me Home. (Seriously, We Gotta Pee)……

Welcome back to my page! If you enjoyed part 1 of this story, you are in for a treat as today I’m sharing part 2 of our vacation adventure.

Our story begins on the day after we arrived at our campsite in KY. In the morning we drove to Hopkinsville, KY for the total solar eclipse. The eclipse itself was indescribable and I’m SO glad we were there. Honestly the experience was right up there with witnessing a live birth. But in person. (I’ve never seen a live birth in person but I imagine it has similar awestruck feelings.)

Now Hopkinsville (or Hville as I’ll be referring to it in shorthand) is a relatively small town in the Midwest. With a population of only around 30K, hosting eclipsers was going to be a daunting task. I’m not sure of the exact number of people who came to Hville to see the eclipse, but I would venture to guess at least half of the total original population based on the traffic we had getting out of the city. Of course this estimate is conservative depending on who you talk to.

Speaking of the traffic, It was the worst I’ve ever been in. Which sounds dramatic, but let me explain further.

This traffic was most of the state’s visitors leaving at once FROM THE SAME DIRECTION. Also, Hville is situated along mostly country roads so the option of pulling over for a pit stop at a gas station was NOT an option.

But we didn’t think it’d be a big deal. We figured we’d be out of Hville soon and we’d be able to do a pit stop at a gas station or convenience store.

NOPE. We were wrong. Normally it takes a little over an hour to get from Hville to Evansville, IN on the border.

It took us 7.5.

7.5 HOURS in SLOOOOOWWWW *ss moving traffic. On mostly country roads, and the roads that weren’t isolated in the country had NOWHERE to pull off and use the restroom.

Chad suddenly had to go.

In all honesty I had started to get an inkling that I had to go about an hour or so before he did, but I figured that we’d DEFINITELY find a place in the next few miles.

Which turned into more miles.
Which turned into more miles.

And the ENTIRE time we were in slow *ss moving traffic that NEVER sped up beyond 5. MILES. PER. HOUR.

And about two hours in, it finally happened. Chad couldn’t hold it any longer. So we began trying to figure out what to do. Now I already had to go but let’s just say that ship had uh, sailed, and had circled the harbor at least once. So really the priority was Chad.

At more than one point we contemplated pulling into a random person’s driveway and asking if we could use their bathroom. Honestly, I can’t believe Hville didn’t see this coming and put random Port-a-Pottys along roads, spaced out over several miles. (Note to Terre Haute in 2024: This needs to happen).

But we (and by “we” I mean Chad and since he was driving he really had the final say so as to whether something was “not appropriate”) decided that it wasn’t a good idea to stop into someone’s driveway and ask if we could use the bathroom. Even to test how true their own state licence plates used to be (“Kentucky: We ARE That Friendly”).

But it got to the point where I’m pretty sure Chad contemplated just that if only for a moment. Instead he said, “OK, this is what we are going to do.” and picked up a large plastic cup (like those cups you can get at 7-11 for those Slurpees you buy that are as tall as 5 chickens standing on top of each other) from the driver’s side door from a previous roadside stop.

While keeping one hand on the wheel, we were still moving, he takes his other hand and leans his seat back so he had more room (and other cars couldn’t see), unzipped his pants (we were stopped for a moment but were moving again-but no more than 5mph), angled the cup and let loose.

We both prayed to Jesus that he wouldn’t overflow the cup and every second the flow didn’t stop we panicked that we were about to be out in the middle of nowhere covered in pee. Imagine the conversation……..

(Officer: Do you know why I pulled you over?
Us: We were undressing in stopped traffic with the windows open.
Officer: That’s right and I’ll be charging you with indecent exposure, can you step out of the car please?
**Chad steps out of the car to help me out**
Officer: Sir, what is that on your pants?
Us: Well you see officer, we really had to pee, but as you know there is nowhere to pull off to do it, so we had this cup and I really had to go and………
Officer: **looks extremely flustered** Ga….My bad. You folks have a nice day!)

Thankfully the stream stopped literally millimeters from the top. Then Chad handed me the cup as I’m rolling with laughter in the passenger seat. “Here,” he said. Now, I’ve never been handed a cup of pee as tall as a 5 chicken Slurpee, so I didn’t know what to do. I just took it and stared at it for a moment before gingerly reaching for the window-putter-downer in an attempt to dispose of it out the window (Shout out to the car behind us, I’m sorry!?). “NO! Don’t do that.” Chad panickly announced. “Just open the door and pour it out.”

Which I guess is definitely more discreet. So I carefully cracked the door open (yes, we were still moving but no more than 5 mph), and slowly poured the mammoth cup of pee out on this now defiled road. This task is immensely more difficult when one is laughing hysterically at what we had become in this moment.

8 hours later we stumbled into our house, thankful we had survived such a crazy adventure. 

So the takeaway from this story is three-fold:

1. Keeping a cup in the car as tall as 5 chickens standing on top of each other is a pretty great idea in case of emergency.

2. You’ve never truly appreciated a car with good leg room until you are in a similar situation.

3. In hindsight, that lady who wore astronaut diapers to drive across the country doesn’t seem so crazy after-all. 

LAFF: Vacation Part 1: Literally the Dumbest Reason I’ve Cried As an Adult……

I’ve had this following story in my head for 3 weeks and I can only hope I can tell it sufficiently so it is as entertaining as it was for us when we lived it. Honestly I should have taken electronic notes, but we were both in such a state that coherent diction would have been next to impossible. Also this will be a two parter.

This story begins the day after Chad and I were at Holiday World on that devil machine where I swear I saw Saturn’s rings. We slept on the grounds of Holiday World (in the lodge) and woke early the next morning and left our friends to drive to Hopkinsville, KY to witness the first total solar eclipse since 1979. Why Hopkinsville? Because I married an astronomy nerd and Hopkinsville was in what they called, “the path of totality” and was one of only a handful of states in the US where you’d be able to see the full, total eclipse. 

We stopped overnight at a campsite about 20 minutes from Hopkinsville. Now, one thing to know about me is I’m not the camping type. And that’s not because I’m particularly extra or spoiled in life (ok, I kinda am. Lets be honest. 😉 ). I don’t enjoy camping so much because in its most primitive form, one has to squat by a tree to pee. 

I can’t squat due to my disability so it’s much easier for me to use an actual toilet.

So when I heard that we were going to be camping at a primitive site, I was more than a little panicked. I should probably point out that we had driven several hours, I was tired and more than a little bit hormonal. 

A wonderful combination. 

So when we finally pulled into our campsite after midnight in the pitch dark, I was glad that soon we’d be able to slide our seats back and go to sleep. But I had to pee. We had heard their were bathroom facilities on the campgrounds and assumed there was a bath house.

There wasn’t.

We were told instead that there were Port-a-Pottys.
But we had to walk to them.
1/4 mile down the road.
In the dark.
On uneven ground. 
With only the flashlight on Chad’s smart phone to light our path. 

Now I already am a pretty emotional person, so as you can imagine I was just not having it at that point.
Irrational I know.
So I burst into tears. And immediately announced to Chad, “These tears are not about you, but about the situation!” (I may have lied, but only 0.5%. 😉 ) 

Literal tears falling out of my almost 38 year-old eyeballs. All because I was going to have to pee in a Port-a-Potty. I admit it wasn’t my finest hour. Thankfully the Port-a-Potty had a spigot fountain with a soap dispenser to wash your hands right outside the door. 

As I climbed in and situated myself, I began to calm down a bit and looked around at my surroundings. And discovered this particular Port-a-Potty was painted a lovely shade of Tiffany blue. “Huh,” I thought. “This color would look amazing in our living room.” 

And that long story is how we decided on our living room wall color. 😀 

Cheers!