This really IS the view from my front porch. Sweet, huh?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Are We Having Fun Yet?

I really tried to get this posted on the 28th but, oh well...
I have decided that growing old is not fun.  It’s better than the alternative, but still not fun.
 First it was my eyesight.  I hate not being able to see.  Now my vision is changing so fast that within a year I cannot use my new pair of glasses.  We used to laugh about a dear friend having “reading glasses” distributed throughout her house.  (LND – yes I’m talking about you.)  But now I have glasses for reading, glasses for the computer, glasses for playing the piano and glasses for watching sports.  Each pair is a little different and helps make their task easier.
 I used to be able to bend down (a.k.a. squat) in the floor and immediately pop back up.  Now I pop while trying to get up and am doing well if I don’t fall on my face while trying.  Example – Josh’s wedding when I crashed to the floor after having squatted (that word sounds so ???) while taking pictures of Zac.  Luckily it was a Catholic wedding and they just thought this Baptist girl couldn’t hold her liquor.
And then there’s the medication issue.  One pill a day for blood pressure.  One pill a day for hormone replacement.  (Ricky makes sure I remember to take this one.) This week I was diagnosed with an esophageal ulcer – caused from taking … you guessed it – medications.  So the doctor prescribed three medications to correct this problem.  But here’s where it really gets confusing. “Eat smaller meals more often.”  And new med #1- “Take one pill four times a day”  along with new med #2-  “Take one pill four times a day on an empty stomach, one hour before or two hours after other medications.”  And then there’s new med #3- “Take one pill 30 minutes before meals.”  Confused yet?  I am.  I have no idea what to take when.  Did I mention that new Med #3 will cost me $325.00 a month after insurance.  That’s enough to give you an ulcer!!  Those of you over 50 are nodding in agreement.   I’ll stop here for fear of boring the younger readers who do not yet understand what I am referring to.
The last half of your life, and I think I’m there (I do not intend to live to be 94), is referred to as “The Golden Years” because these years are valuable, worth more than gold.   What will I do to increase the value of my Golden Years?
- I hope to grow wiser with age.  Job said, ”Wisdom is with the aged, and understanding in length of days” Job 12:12 
-I hope that I can pass the wisdom I’ve gained through age on to the next generation.  “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and do not forsake your mother’s teaching…”  Proverbs 1:8
-I hope to become more Christ like with age.  “The silver-haired head is a crown of glory, If it is found in the way of righteousness” Proverbs 16:31
I have no doubt that I will continue to have challenges to overcome that will seem like mountains to climb.  But with the Lord’s help these will be conqured.

"HOW we grow old is far more important than how OLD we grow." -Unknown

 April 28, 2011 - Happy Birthday to You.  Ricky - my husband, Ann - my step-mom, Lloyd - my uncle and Erin, my Facebook friend.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Finish Line

I was recently reminded about this.

This story made me cry.  I think it beautifully portrays a father’s love for his child.  That he would go so far to help his child achieve something - to help that child finish the one thing he has worked so hard to attain. This father was so in tune with his child’s goals that those goals became the father’s.  This video also shows God’s love for us and his desire that we draw our strength and support from Him.
My Dad died three years ago today.  I don’t mean to memorialize the day of his death but every year on April 12th I think about what I had in a father and about what I lost.  I remember that last conversation we had together just 9 hours before he lost consciousness.  We made plans for the next day.  I had something I wanted to show my Dad and he was excited to see it.  Neither of us had any idea that moment would never come.
A dear friend of mine buried her father just four days ago.  We’ve talked a lot about death, about what death means for the person dying and what it means for those of us left behind.  We are sad for what we have lost yet we rejoice for what our fathers have gained.  Both men fought the battle of cancer and all that comes with it.  Their diseased bodies and life of pain have been replaced with glorified bodies and they weep no more.  This puts a smile on my face.
Some may think my Daddy spoiled me.  I like to think he helped me attain my goals.  I know that more than once he carried me across the finish line.
Daniel D. Schmatjen
April 15, 1932 - April 12, 2008

Friday, April 8, 2011

1 of 1 Marries 7 of 8

I am an only child.

My husband is the next to the last of 8 siblings.

His oldest sister was born the same year as my mother.  Basically, he is from one generation and I am from the next.  Needless to say, we often have different views about things.  His mother stayed home and worked in the garden, took care of the household duties and had supper on the table most every night when her husband came home.  My mother worked outside the home, attended college three nights a week (when I was a teenager) and on those nights, Dad and I fended for ourselves – usually something from a can, box or a bag.  Dad could cook but he also worked long hours with the end of his work day being at sundown.  Both are examples of parents working hard to provide for their families but there is quite a difference, huh?

Being an only child, there are a lot of things done between, by and to siblings that I do not even begin to understand.  I’ve often asked “Is this normal?” when observing actions between my children.  As an only child there was no pecking order to be established, no one to fight for the remote with, no one to tattle on, no one to accuse of being the creator of a mess forgotten, etc.  While our house was undoubtedly quieter (no sibling rivalry), I wonder what I missed out on.      

Bill Cosby once said, "You aren't really a parent until you've had your second child." While I don’t totally agree with this statement (My parents were wonderful parents!) I understand where he is coming from.  Watching the McCarley siblings interact with each other has given me an education as to how this thing is done. Their ability to finish each other’s sentence and to actively participate in three or more conversations at once is amazing.  They possess that “don’t you mess with MY sister/brother” attitude.  The love is so obvious between them.  They are there for each other through the good, the bad and the ugly. 
I’ve learned over time that most issues between siblings will work themselves out, be it who actually owns which shirt, who’s turn is it to do the dishes or why “she got to do that but I can’t”.  My Step-Mom talks about how her mother used to tell them to “take it to the barn.”  I like that idea.  Ricky’s next building project may very well be a barn.

Love you girls!!