Sunday, December 29, 2013

Three Things

When they we little they asked for stories.  Sometimes stories wouldn't come naturally and needed prodding.  "Three Things"  was born.  "Give me three things."  I would say.  And then I would promise to make up a story with their three  requested things.  Talking trees and piranhas were the frequent requests.  The stories were fun and easy to forget, but the time together with minds imagining and words flowing will be remembered forever.  My memory of "Three Things" is rich with blankets and cuddling, mommy kisses, giggles and night time comfort. 

Three Things was our way to say "sleep tight, and let your minds dream dreams of wonder."  Three Things was comfort and security.  Three Things grew.  It grew to car trips and grandchildren and camping trips and new families.  Story making is the power to create magic.  When you can create a story you have set the universe on a new path. 

Three Things began some 35 years ago. It seemed so simple, but Three Things taken  to an adult level is not simple. 

Pick three things that you want your story to be about.  Love? Prosperity? Happiness? How about Grief, disappointment and pain?  or Children, Music and Hope? 

If your life story were narrowed to three things and you had the power to choose....Wow!  What would you choose?  Certainly not talking trees and piranhas. 

I live daily with the stories of others in my antique store where I spend much of my time.  Lives are narrowed down to the stuff that's left, and the stories are lovely to imagine.  It's really a very short time, life.  We do stuff, we gather stuff, we love people and things and the stuff stays.  I consider it a privilege to touch the stuff that was once someone's story. 

But, I've been prompted lately to think about Three Things and have tried to wonder what they would by in my story.  I think they would be:  Grandchildren, Hope and Faith.  Life without any one of them would be cavernous. 

It's a nice reflection.  Narrowing the value of life experiences to three most important. 

Three Things for Rowan has begun.  I'm writing stories for him with three things that are given to me by friends and family.  I'm looking forward to growing with this experience.  Let the journey begin. 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

I've Got To Get A Grip On Christmas

I'm sitting here alone and full of brandy.   The day was good and the people are important.  But, I've got to get a grip on Christmas.  I am a believer.  Yep.  I believe in the whole thing...Virgin birth, Savior came to us under an amazing star...all of it.  I believe.  I also love to believe, and do, in the Santa and magic.   So, here it is, Christmas night.  Everyone's sleeping and I'm trying to get a grip.  It's family, it's food, it's neighbors, it's friends, it's music boxes and baby stories.  Listen, if what I believe is true, the magic is everywhere. 

That little baby who found a manger for a bed didn't come here so we could tell his story.  He came here so we could get a grip.  Life is hard, and it's not.  Life is amazing, and it's not.  Love is everywhere, and it's not.  Day to day we face what we face, and we reach in to what we believe to be true to make it okay.  So, for me, I believe in the miracle.  I believe that God, really, GOD, reached down and gave a part of Himself on Christmas Eve, so that we might look at life differently. 

I spent too much money this Christmas.  I ate too much food.  I drank too much drink.  But, what is that?  It's nothing.  It's living life.  The magic of Christmas is the babies who come home and the books that make us cry.  The magic of Christmas is the knowing.  It's the knowing that under all the worry and fret and anxiety of the future, now is amazing.  Now is a remarkable gift.  . 

Getting a grip on Christmas is getting a grip on self.  As lovely and beautiful as it is, Christmas has only one purpose, and that is to remind us that God is in charge.  It's a beautiful story and I love the songs, but the grip I get is clear.  God is in charge.  Life is short.  Do your best.  God takes care of the rest. 

I've been on my knees a lot this year.  Friends and family have needed my help.  I've screwed up a bunch this year too.  But, here we are, Christmas night.  The fuss is all over and the mess lingers. It's easy to forget why.  Not tonight.  I'm not going to forget.  Jed is asleep and struggling with pain.  We've tried so many things.  Rowan is sleeping just rooms away.  My miracle grandbaby who glows with beauty and wonder.  Future? Get a grip on Christmas!  God is in charge.  He proved it by sending a part of Him to make our stories beautiful.  It's hard to be the watcher of stuff.  I'm the watcher of my husband in great pain and non movement.  The watcher of families starting and struggling.  Backing away and knowing God is in charge is, well, it is just darn hard, but good, and the only thing that I can do with confidence. 

My life can't be much different than anyone else's.  I worry about my loved ones.  I pray for their future.  I struggle to find truth, and I screw up often in the search.  That's why we all need Christmas.  It brings hope in the struggle and beauty in the prayer.  It's just plain important.  Not Santa, or lights, or presents, but the inner stuff.  The stuff that grows in the night and makes tears.  The stuff that wells up and explodes in joy.  It's the hugs in the laundry room and the chat across miles.  It's knowing that hard as we try to take over. we are not.  Christmas is the reminder that It's bigger than us.  I think I have a grip on Christmas. 


Thursday, November 28, 2013


Who does it?  Who get's it done.  Who moves mountains and makes breath feel less raspy.  Who?  Who does it.  How Who does it, is for only Who to know.  Who gives us pills and brings us washing.  Who sends us to a long driveway met by a huge glistening ebony man on a Harly.  Who sends us there to find a breath of hope right there in the presence of acknowledged fear. 

Who gets us up and gives us strength to say, "this I will deal with tomorrow."  Who does?  Who?  Why would Who help?,  My hands are spotty and wrinkled and look like Old.  Who would do that?  I'm not nearly done, but who decides? 

Who teaches us to love?  My babies need my help.  They are walking and crawling and swinging in swings.  They are going to college and recovering from pain.  We've been given too many blessings.  How can we carry they all?  Pick one.  No, two.  Not enough.  Okay, give them all to us.  We will lift them up as we can.  Who does it?  Who gets it done? 

Jed has been my other brain, my shadow, my other self; lifted my spirit, made, me laugh, given me thought. Now he's pain.  Pain.  Pain makes brains fuzzy and shadows sparkle.  Pain controls everything.  Who does it? It's not okay.  Pain is not okay.  Pain is not to be pilled away.  Pain will not be our God.  Tomorrow we will deal with pain so that we, together, can lift up our babies and take the part of life that makes grass grow and soup taste delicious and stray cats eat left over turkey.  We will live life fully.  It is we who gets it done.  The mountains will move because we decide to have them move. 

Thanksgiving Day

She pulled up the skirt of her day dress and stepped right in the wagon.  It gave us all confidence that we too would live long and healthy lives.  She was 85 and she wasn't about to be left behind when the wagon full of hay and silliness took off over the Nebraska hills.  Great grandkids remember.  Maybe not her face, but her willingness to live. 

No other time of year brings so many memories.  Corn shucking and story telling.  Pig borrowing and pheasants.  The farm seeps through the now and the making of soup. 

For years it was the time to gather.  Mom was the magnet and we all swooped in.  Dad prepared the farm for the city grandkids, and if he didn't have what he needed, he borrowed them from Archie.  After all, the grandkids needed to hold baby pigs. 

The meal was never the kicker.  The gathering was.  The stories were.  Imagine, all the grandkids sitting around a galvanized tub with corn cobs in their hands.  Fill the tub with corn, kids.  Fill the tub with corn.  And, while they're filling, the stories roll.  They all remember.  Thanksgiving has touched them and they will never be the same. 

It's the great grandma who wouldn't quit, the grandma who forgot the potatoes, the grandpa who oiled the tractor, the parents who drove forever, and the kids who looked wide eyed at  everything and dreamed of their own someday.  Thanksgiving has a magic of it's very own. 

Today, our Thanksgiving was connected to then.  Very different and exactly the same.  Magic.  Mom was here, great grandma helped to make the soup, dad shared a brandy with me, and all the kids gathered with their kids to share the joy of a life together.  They were far, far away in miles and in reality, but they were here, shucking corn and telling stories. 

Jed slept most of the day.  I wonder how thankful he is for his pain?  Memories blend with reality to make this day a day of it's very own.  How thankful for the heritage, how awed by the future.  We're come to a point with Jed where we're not sure whether he is, "going down hill," or whether this is just another "phase."  Pain is his life.  Pills are his life. 

For me, I am thankful for the grandma who wouldn't say no to a wagon ride, for the mom who laughed at forgetting the potatoes, for the father who borrowed pigs and drank brandy, for the brothers who dreamed dreams and protected me, and for my own, who have ran races and put on roofs.  All these give me strength to face the pain and the pills of tomorrow.  Thanksgiving indeed. 


Sunday, October 27, 2013

I'm Different Now

It's come full circle.  My daughter has a son.  I'm different now.  Now I believe that things not possible are possible, that dreams unvoiced can become tangible, and be rocked to sleep with a song.  My heart physically opens and draws in the breath of this new creature that I dreamed, and has become real.  Rowan.  Born in a forest nest with coyotes on watch, with mother and father bathed in the birth water.  Rowan Oak Creekmore.   I'm different now. 

Rowan is two months old today.  I don't hold and sing to him enough.  He's much too far away.  So I go to my knees and get filled...filled with everything of life...hope, love, joy, fear.  He is new and we have a great job.  It is a task full of awe.

Jed is not getting better.  His pain is over whelming.  We can't seem to get him in a comfort state without getting him in a non-Jed state.  Sleep gives him relief.  I both welcome his sleep and am saddened by it.  He now prefers to sleep over most all things.  So, I am mixed. 

Mixed isn't bad really, but it must be recognized.  Within my heart is the best and the worst of things.  Dickens got the words right.  So full of wonderment and so full of despair.  I'm different now.  Trying to balance it all.  Rowan and Jed.  Joy and pain.  Wonderment and sadness.  Amazement and confusion. 

I've gone to my knees in prayer more these past few months than anytime in my life.  God has given me peace.  Only peace.  No answers.  No direction.  Just peace.  Peace and trust in myself.  Trust that decisions are His and all will be as He has designed.  I've not been one to give up my power, but lately, well, I've just had to reluctantly  hand it over to God. 

Full circle.  I'm different now.  My daughter is beauty in motion as she moves graciously within motherhood. Jed, too, is beautiful as he somehow manages to make our lives less uncomfortable than his. And, as I participate in it all... I'm so completely aware that I have been blessed beyond my most amazing dreams. 

Sunday, June 30, 2013

I Can Still Be Touched By The Spirit Of God

After more than four years of dealing with the stuff of quadriplegia, I've become a bit thick skinned.  I've turned away from the "God is Good" philosophy of life and hung on to just getting by.  There have been times in the dark and sad times of nights alone, that I have decided that my faith has been shallow and not worth clinging to.  Faith.  Faith in what?  Faith that Jed would get better?  Well, he isn't.  Faith that the bills would all get paid?  Well, they aren't.  Faith that there is a God with a plan?  Come on, get real!

Don't give me, "God doesn't give you more than you can handle,"  because that will get me really pissed off at God.  What kind of God throws bricks on a faithful person's head until they are just at the breaking point?One more brick would kill them.  Who and why would any God do that.  I feel one brick short of the breaking load most of the time.  Why would the God I grew up with put them there?

So I walk into church today.  A little bitter and a little, "okay, it's nice to see our dear friends."  I sit through church not really caring about being there, not involved in the sermon...way too not from the heart.  I even check my phone for text messages 3 times.

But then there was the hymn.  Today it was, "Because He Lives."  I've sung and heard this song a million times.  It's just a song.  Not today.  Today it was a direct beam into my hardened heart.  Like most hymns, it's a bit sappy.  Not today.  I couldn't even sing it.  My throat was constricted, the tears in my eyes blurred the words.  "Because He lives, I can face tomorrow...."

It talked about how lovely it is to hold little babies, and I flashed to our beautiful great grand children.  Then I flashed to our Granddaughter fighting cancer and to my daughter expecting in September with no home to take him to.  I looked at Jed.  He was singing too, and I knew that he too, knew that facing tomorrow is a gift from the God we are casual about, get mad at and sometimes hate.

We came home different.  Glad we went to church.  We can't explain it, and for the most part don't try, but every now and then, maybe right before that final brick is put in place, we get touched.  And because we're touched, we can face tomorrow.  

Thursday, June 27, 2013

People Are Amazing

Most of you have seen Pinterest.  It's amazing!  What's amazing, is the creativity.   Well, that's not quite right. People have always been creative.  What's amazing about Pinterest, is that people not only create amazing things, but share openly with cyberspace.  Recipes, designs, photos, ideas,'s out there.  Plastered on the cyberscreen for anyone to say, "wow, I love that."  

So, now, because of Pinterest and the falling economy, and who knows what else, this is the generation of "repurposing."  Yep.  I declare it.  This is the decade of repurposing.  We've gone through several years of economic desperation and what has come out of it is beauty.

Yes, beauty.  People don't have money, but they have ideas and stuff, so they've taken both and mixed them up to make WOW.  Shirts made out of doilies, jewelry made of typewriters, lamp shade of wedding gowns.  New life to stuff.  Great plan.  It would be good to do the same with our lives.

So how can we take the old stuff of our lives and turn it in to beauty?  Today I was looking for some important papers, and while looking, came upon pictures.  Pictures of a life well lived.  Grandchildren and snow and hats and silliness.  Tears just flowed out.  Not as a pinning kind of thing, but a validation.  Validation that life in our little dew drop has been quite wonderful.

Well, I have nothing to say.  I, like most of you, are amazed at the creative stuff' on cyberspace.  It's amazing!  It's like I can tap into all the creative minds in the world.  It's daunting.

But, as awed as I am, I remain in my real world.  Jed is still 100% dependent, and I dream of a life that once was.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Life Goes On

Life goes on.  And on and on and on.  I wrote a song about that some 30 years ago.  It had to do with life changes and friends and relationships and stuff that's hard.  Funny thing.  Stuff hasn't changed much.  Things are still hard, people are still important and friends carry you when carrying isn't an option.

Tonight I can't stand my husband.  He is mean  and cocky.  He is cruel.  I want to hate him and can tell myself that I do, but love and hate are so very closely related that my head spins.  He wants sex.  Well, duh, me too.  Fuck, I hate my life.  And I'm supposed to be happy, because this very night, this night, when I want to hate my husband, this night when I can say, "you are a mean son of a bitch and I'm done with you," is the night when two, yes two, twins, great grand sons are born.  Life goes on and on and on.

So, sex, twins, cruelty and cockiness mix together to make my night blurry.  It's blurry pie.  A mixture of stuff I understand, stuff I hate, stuff I love, stuff I deny, stuff I can't understand or make different.  A blurry pie.  Who wants to eat a blurry pie.  It just stirs around and sticks there and make you a bit ill.

Some of my best writing comes when I'm full of the blurry.  It's the writing that I don't want to share because It's just too private.  That's when it gets good, the scalded heart.  So tonight, I protect myself a bit and don't tell all.  Tonight I have no happy, God is good stuff.  Tonight it's just, "life goes on, and on, and on."  So happy for the new babies and still angry with my husband who I love enough to hate.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Hard Times

Today, at the shop, a customer told me they were a better person for knowing me.  I smiled akwardly  and didn't think about it much. But now I'm thinking about it.  How can that be?  Guess I'm a real good faker.  That may not be such a good quality, because if that person really knew me, the drinker, the cusser, the lazy one, well, she just might not think she's so much better for knowing me.  Are we all like that?  We put out something, but that something isn't the who we really are.  And, who are we really?  Are we the something we put out, or the something we are when the doors are locked and the curtains are pulled? 

My days are spent greeting people, hearing their story and making an effort to meet their shopping needs.  My nights are spent wallowing in self pity accompanied by brandy and potatoe chips.  I sit with Jed and watch old movies for the nth time and play various computer games.  Nights are a rerun of the other.  Nothing creative, nothing unique, nothing much fun, just getting dark, getting tired and doing what needs to be done to say the day is over.  Food, pills, bodily functions and TV.

Steven Foster, song writer in early America, wrote a song, "Hard Times."  It's good.  "Hard times, come again no more."  It weeps.  It weeps of life well lived with pain.  "It's the sound, the sigh of the weary." 

I'm weary.  I'm weary of our regularness.  Our inability to be spontanious.  Our lack of breathing space.  I'm weary.  "We seek mirth and beauty..." 

But, but, but, but.....Perhaps it's my mother, and her amazing faith that dripped down on me, or my father's powerful grit that just wouldn't give up no matter what;  it's something that's got power, because my weariness, even though consuming, is overpowered by spark.  Spark of hope, spark of remembering, spark of love, spark of faith, spark of spunk.  And, Steven Foster's song says, "Hard times, hard times, come again no more."  I'm not sure if he's saying, "no matter what comes my way, these hard times won't get me," or if he's saying, "I've had enough, and I just won't tolerate any more hard times."  But, whatever he's saying, it speaks to me.  We've had our hard times.  We're having them still, but we see music.  Yes, we see it.  It makes us believe in a better future.  It makes us remember when we danced, it makes us sing and feel youth and wisdom at the exact same time.  We're listening to it now.  Tears are running down my cheeks because I realize my weariness is a part of every day life, but the blessings that have flowed through me are unique and only mine.

Perspective.  "Hard times, come again no more."