Tag Archives: words
Aside

Skip This Post; I’m Just Exercising

7 Oct

The temperature became warmer as we traveled into the evening.  From the Cumberland Valley into the Shenandoah the temperature increased ten degrees, even though it was four hours later in the day, and into the evening.  The warmth seemed to beckon me and say, “welcome home; have a little extra summer”.  I drove in my VW with the baby, and the HD drove behind me with Young G.  The trip took two days (potty breaks and a nursing baby) until we ended up in Charleston.

Image

Continue reading

Advertisements

Paranoia

10 Sep

I like to view this year as an experiment.  I’m doing trials on separation, travel, motherhood, single-motherhood, long-distance love, living with family, packing a car, and lonesomeness.  Most of these were predictable from the first time I learned we would face this deployment (Valentine’s day, 2010).  I was even able to anticipate some of the side-effects.  For instance, I realized that I would learn to live “normally” without my husband; I would get used to him being gone, essentially.  I knew I would become homesick for my own territory.  I knew Young G would develop cognitively with an awareness that we travel often and live without Daddy.

One of the side effects of this year has begun to intrigue me, because I never expected it: paranoia. Continue reading

Love Letters!

23 May

Who gets love letters anymore?  I suppose those of you married to some ineffectual poet who pens you a couplet in lieu of repairing broken hinges may get a floral litany of prose at least quarterly, but those of us married to left-brainers are usually lucky to get pre-written sentiments dedicated to us.  My husband’s love language is seldom language at all.  For instance, my husband never eats or drinks anything without offering me some or asking if he can get me something.

So I repeat, who gets love letters anymore?
This is the first blessing I can count this year: seeing my husband’s love for me in pen-and-ink.  A tactile, permanent record.  Our love immortalized.

Also, by exercising the “I love you” muscles to find new ways of saying it, I’m watching a progression of love-letter strength.  Writing begets writing.

First I read through each of his letters, of course, one-by-one as I received them.  Actually, the first read was rather quick, almost a scan, like I was confirming it contained nothing unexpected.  They have all been without surprises, though, so after an hour or two I return to the letter and read it with a smile.

Now I read them through again, sometimes at night before going to sleep.  That love which they’re full of is such familiar love.  I can hear his voice, and see his face as I read the words.  I can feel his warmth, as if cuddling me and whispering these thoughts.  Even more, though, I know the heart that all the words are coming from.  Suddenly, the simplest sentence brings me nearer to him.

Now I look closer, past the words.  I study his pen strokes, and handwriting.  He has some of the most indistinguishable “r”s I’ve ever seen!  There are no edits, or words scratched out.  He thought about each sentence before writing it.  I watch his thoughts progress, starting with external love, like the smell of my hair, and ending with soul-deep love, like our purpose together as a family.

I know these letters will become soft and worn from all the re-reading.   Folding and unfolding.  Eventually the feeling of the very paper in my hands will be comforting.  Our time together – the letters and mine – will form a bond between us, so that I develop affection for the physical letters themselves.   My letters will become like old friends, and I will have memories of all the times they have brought me peace and comfort.  They’ll be my pieces of Him, in the same way I lovingly read the Scripture.

There aren’t many blessings of Love in War, but as this distance strips away the foolish selfishness we get caught up in, I see there are a few.  I knew our love was iron-clad from the beginning, but there is great blessing in having a love grow stronger.

Smart, phone

15 May

I can’t decide if I love having an iPhone (at long last) or hate it.  The good is… obvious.  There are fun apps, informative ones, and handy ones, too.  The bad is that sometimes I can’t connect and have this burden of frustration because of it.  Previously I was unburdened whenever I was away from my computer.  On the good side, though, I love that I don’t have to take the time to sit down at my computer to discover little bits of information, like before.  Instead my curiosity about — say — the Braves’ score, is appeased quickly and without me leaving my son’s side.  But the phone is always on me, so perhaps there are times I should be — say — feeding my kid, and instead I’m combing FaceBook statuses while he stuffs rice down his pants.  I’ve been asleep, and woken up to reach for my phone because I hear it’s my turn in Words with Friends.

I found out about the “death grip“, as they call it.  Ever heard of it?  (Who dubs such names?) Basically the antenna on my phone is within the casing itself, and if I cup it in my left hand (as we righties are wont to do) it covers the antenna and I drop a call.  This is in the category of “new problem” and therefore “shit I don’t need”.  Do you know what I deal with every day?  My brain is killing me.  My heart is cooking my brain.  I am weary.  Let me talk without getting dropped.  For the love of all that is holy, do *not* let my calls get dropped because of the position of my hand!

I feel the tension of adoring this sleek, black, compact, magical device and despising the new trouble is has brought upon me.

Oldest story ever told, though, right? Be careful what you wish for, I guess.  Lovers, children, fame, fortune.  All bearing their abundant gifts and a new set of worries.  People live alone in austere trailers on the edge of society eating food from cans just to avoid new sets of worries.  I don’t relate to them.

Would you like to know how I view the onset of a “new set of worries”? Of course you would.  So, maybe I’ll write about it tomorrow.

For now, though, the phone serves the duty of being my constant companion.  Like all other spouses of deployed soldiers, I never turn it off, and never leave it far from me.  If I miss my husband’s call, then I’ve missed my opportunity, because there is no way for me to ever call him!  Additionally, I eagerly anticipate hi his blog entries, Facebook activity, and emails.  On some small scale I am relating to the parable of the man in hell begging for a drop of water to be placed on his tongue.

So, today (day #35) I will treasure the novelty and utility of this excellent device, and by the time a year has passed, I’ll be quite ready to dispose of it entirely and return to only a Moleskine notebook!

Food, Words, and Love

25 Mar

Sometimes I think that simply by moving my blog to another site it will magically inspire me to write more.

I haven’t written regularly in a blog or journal since being married — three and a half years — and it is making me ache.  I am missing my own life, or forgetting it.

After my husband finished dental school and my personal income was reduced to a pittance, I fell away from budget-making.  I felt like I was only capable of keeping tabs on a pauper’s penny and not the Young Professional’s income.  My husband’s earnings were more than I had ever lived on in my life, and so my spending habits were not threatening our way of life by any means.   I had no trouble keeping our spending within limits.

Over time, though, our food budget began to skyrocket.  I was thrilled to stop squinting at the price-per-unit on every item, making sure I chose the absolute best can of tuna for my dollar.  I was thrilled to be able to make a menu, then a shopping list, and then choose fabulous ingredients from Whole Foods and other markets. All the while never studying prices.  This was such a luxury after years of living off the food-bank donations and sneaking into the cafeteria at college.  Though we weren’t eating saffron and caviar, there were many fine cheeses in my fridge.

Now we are a family of three.  Our infant son doesn’t take up much space or money, just a lot of time.  Cooking and shopping aren’t my number one priority every day, he is.  His food is all natural and straight from my body, which in turn makes my personal nutrition all the more important since it supports two lives.

Other bills have increased, too.  We pour money into savings right now, praying for a home to own and early retirement.  We live in Hawaii right now, too, where the cost of living is what you might expect for a mere 35-square-mile piece of land in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, 2,000 miles from the nearest land-mass. Everything is over-priced here, exorbitantly, and we pay dearly for many things I purchased without thought in Charleston markets.

My goal is to reduce our grocery bill by half.  I am imposing this limit to challenge myself.  I also hope to find better products: organic, locally grown, un-processed, free-range, and natural ingredients for preparing meals from scratch.

I am not capable of making a complete overhaul of my habits to effectively accomplish this by next week, so I’m just going to make changes one at a time. As they come to me.  I expect to use my freezer a lot.

All I really want to do, though, is create: food, words, and love.