Thursday, January 14, 2010
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Sunday, January 10, 2010
We went to the Ohio Deli and Restaurant just a bit south of Columbus and it is basically a building, but looks like a hole in the wall. It was in an industrial area and Victor was a bit scared to get out...he gets that way sometimes.
The "Dagwood" is a 2.5 pound sandwich piled high with Ham, Turkey and Roast Beef. Then it's topped with american and swiss cheese. Add in the garlic mayo sauce (very yummy), lettuce tomato and onion. Don't forget the pickle spear and 1 pound of french fries. Once all of that is piled on one another the sandwich measures 5.5" high, you have 30 minutes to get it ALL finished. The winner receives a T-Shirt and their picture on the "Dagwood Wall of Fame".
Here are the pictures of Victor trying to defeat the "Dagwood"
Half of the sandwich
See my plate, empty. See Victor's...a long way to go.
Go Victor...Go Victor
Don't eat your fries with a fork, just shove them in.
I NEED a drink
Friday, January 8, 2010
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
I'm not real happy with keeping the wording straight, but off the cuff is isn't bad. It now sits on my fireplace mantle in the family room and I will now never forget Lot's wife.
Monday, January 4, 2010
As you may recall, Lot was the nephew of Abraham and their families lived close to each other, but then their flocks became too large and they needed to move apart to give their flocks more room. Abraham gave Lot his choice and he chose a place near Sodom and Gomorrah. As we all know the story of Sodom and Gomorrah Lot was warned about the pending doom to fall of the cities. The angel who warned them told them to go quickly and DON'T LOOK BACK. As they were leaving the city the fire storm started to destroy the cities and Lot's wife looked back and became a "Pillar of Salt".
So, as I studied this further it confused me as to what a "Pillar of Salt" meant. Remember, I am rusty. So, I studied my scriptures more and found it to mean that she was killed instantly and became salt. Pretty literal, huh? I was satisfied, but still baffled why this family used this. I pondered it more and the key was the phrase Don't look back. I really had to open myself up and really think how that applied in my life and the answers I had been seeking, without knowing it, came at me like a tidal wave.
Suddenly, depression, confusion, anger, betrayal all seemed to wash away with the water. I received a personal revelation that I only know the magnitude of. It was a profound experience and I have not taken it lightly. I started applying those three simple words "DON'T LOOK BACK" in my life and I realized just how bad I was really needing this message. The Lord was directly telling me not to look back and that meant at a lot of things. Don't look back at mistakes, harmful words, arguments, and don't look back on the past. What was killing me was the very same thing that killed Lot's wife. I couldn't stop looking back.
I have not turned into a pillar of salt; the message came just at the right time. I think of this message every single day and I cannot express enough how much this has impacted my life. It has been a huge change and believe it or not, it was very simple. My first 17 years were horrible and I never let it go, neither did I let go of the pain and anger. The 20 years I was married was a lifetime to me and those are all the years I raised my family. I will still reflect on the kid's childhoods with fond memories, but trying to keep them still little and killing myself over it is over. I have learned that they are all adults now with children of their own and it's my time to take care of me. I'm not saying I stop caring, loving, worrying or communicating with me. I'm saying I have let go and have accepted my Empty Nester stage in my life.
I did one thing that opened my eyes up during the Christmas buying season. I had decided that Brian and Mallory needed to start their own family tradition at Christmas because they both have new daughters. I wanted them to grow up with the rich traditions that Brian and Mallory did. So, I set out and bought what I thought would be cool traditions. I called Mallory and asked her out of the two which one she would like and her comment really shocked me and actually hurt my feelings. She basically said what if she doesn't want to have a tradition and what if she didn't like what I got and wanted to do a different one? I was speechless! After thinking about it, she was right. Those traditions we had as a family were precious and if the kids want to continue them on their own then that is their choice. But, who am I to pick a tradition and say this is what you are going to do. See, I told you I didn't want to let go. I created this whole mess for myself, by myself.
However, lessons learned are a good thing and I am happy to say that as the New Year started so did my life. A life as an empty nester, a life filled with amazement at the future and a life not looking back. I am at peace and I will always remember Lot's wife.
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Friday, January 1, 2010
Christmas for me this year was hard, in fact, it's been hard for many years but I always push it under, smile and pretend everything is OK. This year for some reason I couldn't do that, or I didn't want to, I'm not sure.
I've been having a pity party for myself for some time now and I've been feeling left out, alone and betrayed. I have not come to full terms of being an empty nester and each year during the holidays I pray it gets better, but it only seems to get worse. I suppose this year has been worse because of my two new granddaughters and the fact that I can't be with them and share in this season of joy with them.
Growing up Christmas was one of my few happy times. My adopted Dad always made Christmas special for me and we had great family traditions that I loved and treasured, even still. As my kids were growing up I also had strong traditions with them and I loved making Christmas special for them each and every year. Such fun traditions as reading The Polar Express on Christmas Eve and each child getting a new pair of pajamas. Building and having the Christmas village bring joy and excitement in their eyes was always a cherished memory. I always coded their gifts so they wouldn't know who got what and I have precious memories of years of whining about codes on the presents. Something now I know they look back and have very fond memories of that.
We always spent Christmas Eve with their Dad's family and Christmas Day with my family. That was the way it was up until their Dad and I divorced. I miss those times so very much and sometimes I wish I could step back in time and change so many things, but I can't. Christmas hasn't ever been the same for me since. I've gone a few years without even having a Christmas tree and one year I was all alone and shopped at Wal-Mart and ate at McDonald's on Christmas Day.
When I met my sweet Victor things changed for me a little because he never had Christmas traditions and he had just the opposite memories of Christmas. The first year we were together I decked out the house from top to bottom and made Christmas extra special for him. I did the same for him the second and third year, but the past 3 Christmas's I have done nothing. We haven't even had a tree.
One year we went to Florida for Christmas, so I didn't see a need to decorate, which normally takes me 5-7 days to do what I do best, decorate. The second year without a Christmas we spent in Michigan with his family, so I didn't see a need to put up a tree then either. This year my heartaches and bleeds for the days gone by. The years I had with the kids, the love and tenderness I spent in making this a special time for them.
I asked Victor if we can go away for Christmas. I didn't want to be home; I couldn't bare the painful memories and just really wished the whole season wouldn't exist. When I thought of my kids surrounded by their Dad and his family I felt sick, I felt that part of me that is missing and that part I loved so dearly. I thought to myself that I should be there, that life shouldn't have dealt me that horrible card, but it did, so now what do I do.
I suppose, I could've sat there and bawled and feel sorry for myself or I could turn it around. Was I ready? NO! Did I have to? YES! I thought to myself that I would do it for Victor and make his Christmas special, but it didn't feel the same. It's wasn't motive enough for me to do it. Then I thought that I needed to do it for myself. WOW, what a concept. When in my life have I ever done anything for myself?
I always made Christmas special for others and in turn I loved it because I made other's heart warm and made special memories for them. After my divorce I sold my Christmas Village that I had been collecting for 25 years. I wanted nothing to do with it anymore and so I thought by getting rid of it I would also release the pain and agony of being alone at Christmas. It didn't work. When I met Victor one of the things he has done for me is try and rebuild my Christmas Village and since we have been married I have only put it up just one time. It doesn't feel the same, it's not "our" tradition, it's my first family tradition and it seemed I didn't want to share it with Victor.
But, I've sat alone one evening for 6 hours watching sappy Christmas movies and I was thinking….. Why do I have to do it for others? Why can't I do it for myself? I was a kid before I was a mother and the Christmas Village I grew up with that my Adopted Dad did for me was my favorite Christmas Memory. So, why should it be different now? It shouldn't!
So, I tried to put the Christmas' past in the past and create Christmas for me and also for Victor, but for me mainly. I needed to stop feeling sorry for myself and reflect on what I am grateful for and what truly matters at Christmas and that is the birth of our Savior. His gift of sacrificing love for ALL of his children. How could I be so selfish? How could I be so ungrateful? How come I forgot the true meaning of Christmas? I didn't have the answers, but I did know that this bah humbug was been transformed and even though Christmas' past still haunted my memories, I knew that new memories would be just as treasured and eventually the old memories wouldn't hurt so badly. So, in the Christmas spirit I set out and decorated the house (not top to bottom) and made it warm and cozy for ME and for my loving Husband.
I have learned many other valuable lessons which will come in part two. Stay Tuned!
Pictures: Starting from the top. 1. Me and the tree, Christmas 1968. 2. I was about 13 in this picture. 3. One of the villages I put up for the kids. 4. Another one of the villages I put up. 5. This was the village I put up for Victor. This was the first year in our home together in Ohio.