Thursday, April 29, 2010

But what would our parents do without us?

I remember a creative writing assignment I did once in sixth grade. The teacher was fun, but a little gruff at times. This particular day he had started the class by telling us that a spaceship full of seemingly harmless aliens had landed in our neighborhood and extended an invitation to any and all, to go with them to their planet.

"You will spend the rest of the class period writing your response." He said. Then he proceeded to pull out a golf ball and club and practiced his putting while we wrote!

With about ten minutes left in the period, he collected our papers and began to read a few aloud. I had written that I would love to go and see a new world if I could then return to my family. When he got to my paper, he read silently for a moment, then put it aside saying, "I won't bother reading this one. This person said 'IF'. You have to commit to going or not without conditions."

Well, EXCUUUSE ME! I don't remember that being mentioned as part of the assignment. And that one condition alone would change my decision in a New York minute! I mean, is there anything more important than family?

Imagine my surprise when I realized that ??? years later, I am still having trouble with that particular aspect of my 'Life Assignment'. The army is gearing us up for another move. No biggie. After all these years I could move in my sleep. But here's the problem. When the choice is ours, where do we choose to go?

For Joey and I, one of the first considerations is still family.

A few years ago, we had the opportunity to go to Europe. We could have been driving through the hills of Tuscany, boating in Venice, touring castles and cathedrals in Germany, standing in the Colosseum in Rome!

We went to Kentucky instead. Why? Because it was only seven and a half hours 'home' from there. Don't get me wrong, we love to travel! But when I say family is important to us, I ain't just whistling Dixie! Joey is in constant contact with his mom. I talk to mom and Paddy by cell every day. We e-mail, text, send pictures, whatever it takes to stay caught up on each others lives. I start sinking fast if I go more than three months without a visit. And I wouldn't have it any other way!

So what do we do about that other part of us that wants to see all of God's big beautiful world while we still have the chance? Our parents, I know, would be the first to encourage us to follow our hearts. We could still see them maybe once or twice a year. (Unless flying is involved. There aren't enough tranquilizers in the world to get my mother-in-law on a plane!)

We have six years left in this man's army, and we are really thinking and praying about where to spend it. Italy? Germany? Hawaii? Alaska?

Joey is pushing 40. I'm 35 - with 5 years experience:) My girls are old enough now to write to the Grandma's and Poppy. And since they are already petitioning for their own cell phones, I know we would never really be out of touch with family! I guess if we were ever going to take the leap, the time is now.

"And God saw all that He had made. And behold, it was very good." Genesis 1:31

Wow. What an understatement.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Lifestyles of the Rich and Shameless!

The girls were talking to me about dogs the other day. We had watched a movie about a very pampered chihuahua and her extremely wealthy owner. This dog spent the day at the spa getting wrapped, groomed, and pedicured. After that was a new wardrobe, then straight to Harry Winston's for a diamond studded collar! It was just a movie, but it made me wonder. What would I do with millions of dollars at my disposal and no moral compass in sight?

Well, for starters, I'd have some big bruiser named Guido guard the door while I took a long hot soak in the tub. He'd be under strict orders to bust a few kneecaps if anyone came to the door with any news less important than the house being on fire.

Then I'd hire some poor sap to fold socks. (What am I saying? I'm rich! Wear the things once, then toss them out and never worry about strays again!)
I'd earn brownie points with the hubby by flying New York pizza or real Phillie cheese steaks in for dinner.(Two of his fav's!)

I'd hire Bill Cosby to come over and play with the kids a few hours a week. And of course, a private concert by the Jo-Bro.s and Hannah Montana.

I'd install my own personal theater system. Watch movies in my jammies. And never again regret spending $8.00 a ticket before being forced to sit through thirty minutes of commercials just to get to the film.

I'd buy a ridiculously large house, then hire a mob of maids to clean it. Never again would I pick a house plan based on how many rooms there were to clean!

I'd have someone on hand to de-stem my raisins! I hate it when they still have that little stem attached.

I'd have an "Oh, Snap!" guy - besides Joey I mean! (giggle, giggle) You know, you've just found the perfect position in bed and you're about to drift off to la-la land when "Oh, Snap! I forgot to turn off the kitchen light! Go handle that for me won't you Jeeves?"

I'd shell out a grand for my dog to have a day with the doggie psychologist. Maybe we could find out why he insists on having his morning "sit-down" at 4 AM!
I'd buy a yacht! I don't know the first thing about boating, couldn't drive one if my life depended on it! But that's what the crew is for right? (Just don't hire anyone named Ahab!)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Magic, Smagic!

I am Magic. You heard me. I have an awesome, and most times annoying power!

Remember when you were young(er) and you dreamed of having special powers? I wanted to fly! I could go anywhere in the world and still be back home by bedtime. I could visit grandma and grandpa without enduring fourteen hours in a Pinto! That's right, a Pinto! The smallest, most uncomfortable car ever made - at least when you were a kid fighting over precious real estate in the back seat! "Mom! His leg is on my side of the hump!" Ahhhhhh. Good times, good times.

Then there was the dream of being able to breath under water. How cool it would be to swim with the dolphins and meet mermaids in their coral castles.

My favorite was the ability to move things with my mind! I could snap my fingers like Mary Poppins and have my house clean. (I still wish for that one.)

Come on, what did you wish for? Or was I the only one who enjoyed the occasional break from reality?

Well, I should have been a lot more specific in my wishing. My power? I have the ability to summon people. All kinds of people. But here's the catch. I can only perform this amazing feat at the least opportune time. Hence the annoyance.

I'll give you a few examples:

~My children are busy riding bikes or playing games. I get in the shower. *Summons sent* BAM-BAM! Instantly they appear, banging on the door with urgent questions like "What time is it?"

~I've been waiting on the repair guy for days. I sleep in one morning and have just rolled out of bed with Don King hair and dragon breath. *Summons sent* Guess who's at the front door?

~The house is a mess. I have just thought to myself that it's a good thing we're not expecting anyone. *Summons sent* The sweet neighbors knock on the door with a plate of cookies just wanting to say "Hi".

~We're on vacation. We've arrived at the resort after two days travel. At 8:45PM we change into PJ's and happily fall into bed. *Summons sent* It's the maintenance guy bringing over a new remote for the T.V. (Now? Seriously?)

It happens all the time! The waitress comes to the table to check on us, just as I've shoved in a fork-full. I've worked all morning, but just as I dismiss the girls and sit down for a break, hubby comes in from work - "Whatcha been doin' ?" There's nobody in line on register 10. I back out of my line and head over. By the time I get there, well you get the idea.

Since I can't seem to change my power, I'm learning to manipulate it a little. Look for the silver lining! Like the last time we ordered take-out.
"Mom, when is the food going to be here? I'm starving!"
"I don't know. I'm going to the bathroom. " . .
"Mom! Food's here!"

Ok! Score one for me!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Happy Easter!

A little over a week ago, hubby called to say he had a few days off.

"Wanna go home?"

"Sure! When would we leave?"

"Tomorrow morning."

"Crazy Hubby say what?!"

So after a laundry washing, house cleaning, suitcase packing all nighter, we headed out at about 5:30 AM. Arkansas here we come!

Now, normally packing for a trip like this wouldn't be a big deal. But we had already booked a family vacation in Colonial Williamsburg for the following week and if I wanted to see mom and Paddy before Christmas, this was it! No problem. Pack for a week in Arkansas, come home to Florida for 24 hrs. to re-pack for Virginia and hit the road again. How hard could it be? Oi! The spirit is willing, but the body needs coffee!

And then, of course, there's Easter.

Sitting for hours in 'Yukon Cornelious' on interstate 95 is not my favorite way to spend Easter. The ideal Easter to me is a sunrise service and breakfast with the church family followed by morning worship. I'm a traditionalist that way! Lunch with the parents would follow. Then, I just like to be quiet and think. I know everyone talks about resolutions and life changes on New Years Day, but I prefer to do my meditating on Easter. It seems to be the best time for me as a christian to take stock of my life. Where I am, where I'm going, decisions I've made, or haven't made and the consequences that followed. Am I truly living my life every day for the One who gave His life for me? Is His sacrifice as real to me today as the first time I felt the quickening in my heart? Do I live for the temporal or the eternal? I don't always like the answers I give myself, but I always learn from the questions. And I enjoy the quiet time with the Lord.

I hope to have plenty of 'God' time this week. Williamsburg is a beautiful place in the spring. Gardens abound and everything is in bloom. It's impossible not to see His touch everywhere you look. What an awesome God!

Happy Easter everyone!

He is Risen!!!