I write and write and write. I am looking for authors and down-to-earth people who share my interest and can give a novice, like myself, good advice in this exciting but demanding field. Looking forward to hearing from you. God Bless!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Some day

My brain is muffled right now. So many thoughts running through it at lightning speed, so much to do and so little time. Isn’t there a saying about that? . . . I sit here at the keyboard wondering if I’m going to get thoughts down on my computer or not. Maybe I’m writing this just to accomplish something. My life is so busy right now with work (that part isn’t really busy, it just takes up 8 hours of my day that I could spend writing), kids, home, husband, pets, community, etc. The list goes on and on. I ask myself if my priorities are straight. Yes, I take care of my kids and I TRY to keep the house cleaned. I make sure everyone is fed, including the pets. I make sure everyone is tucked in snug at night. I’m usually the last one to go to bed. But by the time the house is quiet and there are no more questions, meals to prepare, messes to clean up, books to read, chores to be done, I’m so pooped that all I want to do is crawl underneath the covers and head off to lala land.

I have the same goal for myself every day and that is to write . . . write something . . . anything; even if it’s a few lines. Anything is better than nothing, right? My mind is cluttered with lots and lots of scenarios and plots to make a good story. The problem is getting my thoughts from my head to a piece of paper. I know they will come but sometimes I struggle so much with it that it makes my head hurt.

I decide to take a break. I walk out our door in our bedroom. It goes onto an unfinished deck. But, at least, the deck is there. It’s another one of our endless unfinished projects that is on a list that seems to go on forever. Will we ever get the things done that need to be done? Will the landscaping get finished? Will I get steps on our upper deck to get down to our lower deck? Will the dog pens get finished? I could keep going but I think you get the idea.

I hear something and turn around to see my youngest son peering out through the door. “Mommy, can you play Sorry with me?”

I think, well, I’m not doing anything else; might as well.

I lean down and look into his beautiful green eyes, “Sure, honey, I can play Sorry with you.”

I follow him down the hall and past the kitchen. My oldest son is sitting at the table writing something; maybe a project for summer camp? I don’t know; but he is diligently staring at the paper. “Mommy, what’s a word that means that you think someone’s really neat and you like them a lot?”

I stop for a moment and think, “How about, ‘special’.”

“That’s the word! Thanks Mom!! Thanks a lot!”

I walk downstairs to where my son has the ‘Sorry’ game all displayed on a table ready for us to begin.

My husband yells down the stairs from the hallway, “Honey, where is that email about the meeting this week?”

I stop halfway down the stairs and yell back up, “I printed it out and laid it on the dresser.”

“Ok, great! I see it! Thanks hon!

I continue down the stairs. My youngest is waiting patiently for me. His eyes are alert as he looks up and smiles at me. “Come on mom. Let’s play.”

I sit down on the floor and make myself comfortable. As we start the game I think to myself, the book can wait; at least for a little while. These are the priorities. As long as the important people and things are taken care of in my life, everything else will fall into place and work out like it should.

I look up at my son and smile. There are plenty of stories to be told right here in this house. I have faith that the words will come. And as Scarlet would say, “After all, tomorrow is another day.”

Monday, July 11, 2011


“Mommy! Princess is hurt! Something’s wrong!”

I had started fixing breakfast. We woke up happy, all of us did. Happy that we didn’t have anything to do on this particular day except try and get some yard work done and other miscellaneous jobs around the house. Very rarely did we have days like this so when they became available we relished in them.

But my oldest son’s frantic statement alarmed me into the reality that our peaceful day at home was only short lived. I raced outside barely waiting for the garage door to come up. I ducked down as I ran underneath it and made a beeline up to the dog pens where our 2 dogs were kept.

We had just brought them home a little over a month before. When Brandy died we promised the boys that we’d get another dog or two. Brandy had been my dog and I had known her longer than my kids or my husband. She lived to be 15. The boys loved her and we were definitely what you would call, ‘a dog family’. So, I knew having more dogs was going to be the norm with us.

Brandy had died the fall before so we had waited until spring had come around to start looking for puppies. We had searched in the paper and found a golden retriever and a German shepherd; just the two kinds of dogs our kids wanted. We had gone out on Memorial Day to different towns in Missouri to buy the pure-bred dogs. The Golden Retriever was 7 months and the little German shepherd was 6 weeks. They instantly became friends, hanging out with each other and playing.

As I raced up to the pens at full speed I expected to see Princess, our shepherd, laying there with blood on her and maybe whimpering. ‘Just hurt’, right? What I saw was way beyond what I expected. I ran into her pen and scooped her up in my arms. I immediately knew that she had already left us. My heart felt like it was breaking in two.

Princess and Goldie, our Golden Retriever, were so close that Princess would constantly climb through the cattle panels that separated them to be closer to Goldie. The first night we separated them, I about changed her name to Houdini. We came out the next morning and Princess was in Goldie’s pen. We looked around and couldn’t find out how she had gotten in. We soon realized that she was climbing up and through the openings in the cattle panel. She was still small enough where she could fit through comfortably. This particular night she hadn’t been so lucky.

As I sat down holding Princess in my arms, I felt so helpless and guilty. I felt mad and so sad for my two boys who had been the ones to find her stuck in the fence. Oh, what must have gone through their minds? I wish I could take that back and hit the "rewind" button. Why didn’t I go out first that morning?? I’d done it dozens of times. I enjoyed taking care of our many animals and even though it was a good responsibility for our boys, I also enjoyed doing it, too. Why hadn’t it been ME that found Princess; sparing the boys of this terrible turmoil.

Why hadn’t we made the pens more secure? We should have done something the first time we realized she was crawling through. I blamed myself. Greg blamed himself. I just sat cradling her in my arms and rocking; crying, crying, sobbing. I couldn’t make the tears stop. I gave the pup to my oldest son. It was his dog and he wanted to hold her. I had to leave and walk away. I felt so bad and so mad at myself that I wasn’t there to help her.

What must have gone through Princess’s head when she realized she was stuck? There was evidence that our other dog, Goldie, had tried to help her. How they must have struggled together trying to get Princess free. How they must have communicated with each other in their own language, Goldie trying to reassure Princess that she would try and do whatever she could to get her out and Princess pleading with Goldie to help her. How there last moments together must have been as Princess slowly slipped away; Goldie realizing that she had done all she could do for her.

Do dogs cry? Are they sad? Do they understand? I think they do; somehow, someway, in their own way. I know God was with them trying to ease the pain and discomfort. And I think Goldie knows something happened. As we buried Princess, Goldie would come up and sniff her. Goldie seemed more quiet than usual, and maybe a little lost.

My heart is still breaking. I know my son is sad but he will be fine. And I will be fine. But I know that I will never go another time without fixing a problem if there is any doubt in my mind that something could go wrong; whether it's with my kids or a pet. Sometimes we don’t get a second chance. Sometimes we have to try and live with the guilt and the pain. That’s the hardest part; trying to forgive yourself for letting someone else down. I’m working on that and I know it will take a while.

But I think Princess would have forgiven us. She was a very special pup. And, like all dogs, she was man’s best friend. She didn’t care what happened; she was always there to greet you with a lick and a wag of her tail. And I know we will see her again at the Rainbow Bridge.  Until then I think her and Brandy are probably becoming very good friends.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Be there

Well, this morning didn't get off to a very good start, to say the least.  And it got me thinking, again, how I need to do a better job at prioritizing.  I, and I'm sure a lot of you can relate as well, tend to focus on the now and what needs to be done NOW.  Is the laundry done?  The dishes need putting away.  I need to finish up that landscaping out front.  Are the kids swimming suits packed and ready for tomorrow?  All these questions are insignificant in a child's eyes.  All they are concerned with is spending quality time with mommy and daddy.  Of course, as the child gets older they won't feel the need to spend as much time with family as they do when they're young.  Which leads me back to what is important.  I realize that if I don't show them that they are important and that mommy trully WANTS and ENJOYS spending time with them NOW then when they get older, they won't WANT to spend as much time with mom & dad because that's what they've learned.  God help me if I teach them that.  I can always put away the dishes later and the landscaping will be there tomorrow for me to finish. 

I remember my mom telling me that she would stay up until wee hours of the morning doing housework because that's the only time she could do it; after my sister and I went to bed.  That told me that she was spending quality time with us instead of worrying about other chores that would wait on her until after her children were put happily to bed for the night.

So, what I'm trying to say is spend time with your children.  Some day they'll be gone and you'll wish they were back again, small enough to snuggle up under your chin for some mommy or daddy time.