Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Humilty and Grace

Throughout my adult life, I have desperately tried to emulate my mother's giving nature. I can not think of a time when she ever put her needs before those of the family or her friends.  She was kind and gentle; always a living example of her values and beliefs.

Like my mother,  I try to welcome everyone into my heart.  I try to meet the needs of others first and I try to be humble.  Or so I thought.  In the past months I've come to realize that I am selfish and  egotistical; careless with my words and negligent with my actions.

Several years ago a cascade of events put me in a position where I drew within myself.  I spent too much time in my head, allowing negative energies to  suck my spirit into a black hole.  If anyone asks, depression sucks! But I came out on the other end stronger in all ways.  My ego rebounded and I took to my new life eager to explore unknown territories.

I strut like a peacock arrogant and proud.  I had a great career and family.  Everything was in place.  Where I believed I was providing for my family, I was really saying "look at me and mine."  I used charm and luck to slide through my hardships, all the while saying "look at my faith, I have endured so much."  Everything I did, everything I accomplished was for ego.  God does not like unfettered ego.  Too much ego causes damage to others; hurt that can not be undone.

As I reflect on this not-so recent past and find myself wondering. If I had shed myself of arrogance and ego would things be different? Would they be better or for worse?  I wonder if I can repair the damage and heal the wounds.  Words and actions can not be taken back.  Perhaps I can help to heal the hurts. But are my motives pure and selfless; or am I spinning my charms to keep my world revolving around me?

What would my mother do?  I don't know.  Mom would never have placed herself in this world.  Yesterday I had an epiphany though I am sure my thought is not original.   "Wait is a verb."  To wait is to serve.  My mother was a waiter.  She served with Grace and Humility.  Perhaps it was her voice telling me "Do not stand by idly while waiting. Serve those around you and you will find that for which you've been truly waiting."

Dear Lord, grant that I may wait with selfless action.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Holiday Cheer

I've been working a lot this season and have had little time, energy or focus to write.  I am not alone or different from anyone else.  We all have too many distractions.  I've been working on a writing for about a month and as dear as it is to my heart, I just can't seem to get to it.  Tonight I am sitting here after a good weekend spent with family and friends.  I wasnt' called to work and usually, while it means a smaller paycheck it also means I am more relaxed and at peace with myself.

And for the most part this is true.  Saturday was a day out with the boys.  We ran some errands, went to lunch and then we went hiking.  The boys behaved fairly well and and was fun.  Sunday was spent at church and lazing around the tele.  We ended the weekend with a party at church.  Dinner, horse drawn surrey and Christmas caroling; dessert, craft time and an argument.  .

All three boys were acting out at the church and we decided it was time to head for home.  Austin flipped and started kicking at me.  I lost my temper right there in front of everyone.  The ride home was no better.  I yelled at my loudest until finally the boys remained silent.  They submitted and went to bed without a word.

I feel guilty.  I want my children to have good memories of growing up.  I want them to look back on their childhood, as I do mine, and know the love not the anger of an overly tired mom.  I remember so much good in my childhood.  I remember the not-so good times too, but they are few and never without love and understanding.  But with my children, I feel like a monster.  There was an episode of "The Simpsons" where Marge blew her top and a Godzilla like face was screaming at the kids.  That's me.  What a horrible comparison.  I don't want to be Marge Simpson on a good day.  But that's the reality... I have three Bart Simpsons.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Damn the Torpedoes

I used to say my father was the strongest man I know.  We piled just about every disappointment imaginable on him and he always bounced back.  Long ago, I concluded that the public perception of our family was far from the private reality.  How then can I expect that my family would be any more perfect?  I can’t.
I have said before that it sometimes seems as if every time the pressure lets up something new comes around the blind corner and clips me from behind.  In perspective, things are never as bad as they could be.  There is always someone in worse circumstances and misfortune is relative.  I know all the platitudes.  I tell myself these words daily.  
Today we are restricted by society’s expectations that a family of five with two working parents would operate as smoothly as the Cleavers. We do not have the same luxury as Ward and June.   No one stays home to clean while the kids are away at school or running about town.  There are not enough hours to complete the list of chores, cook dinner, help with homework and solve the day’s dilemmas while holding two jobs.
So when the morning does not run smoothly, work stress piles up and you learn your teenage girl estas embarasada what do you do?  How, as a parent can you possibly respond with compassion and understanding when all of your sage advice is disregarded for the sake of hormones?  Is it just one more thing to add that she is failing most of her classes?  I think I might explode.
Instead, I sing a prayer.  While sitting in my truck, guitar in hand and singing some of the old meditative tunes from my own years of teen angst I find just a moment of peace.  It helps.  I am calmer.  The throb at my temple has receded to a small ache and I am able to continue at work.  That one short moment is interrupted by a phone call bearing tragic news.  Can it get worse?  When does it get better?
In a way it does get better.  Focus is now on logistics and the emotional well being of my spouse. It is a respite in a way.  All that is required of me now is compassion and the willingness to do whatever it takes to tend the wounded souls of my family.  Damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead!  Money is juggled; travel arrangements made, doctor appointments met or changed and work hours rearranged.  Oops! Don’t forget the ray of sunshine… Our 6yr old has won an award at school for honesty. 
My moment of peace just got brighter.
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5 RSV

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Rattlesnakes and Walnuts

My Grandmother had one wish before she died in a nursing home.  I will never forget her words.

             "I hope you have some good memories of me, instead of how I am now."

Nor will I forget the way she beamed at me when I told her of all I remembered about her home in Elsinore and the years following when Granddad retired and they moved to Oceanside. 

When I was a child we visited my grandparents often in Lake Elsinore, a small rural town surrounded by open fields and walnut groves.  The tiny retirement community was barely 50 miles away, but the trip always seemed to take forever.  We would start from Oceanside early in the morning and drive along Route 76 through endless groves of tangerines that grew along the San Luis Rey River.

Once outside our own city limits, we would keep careful watch at the side of Old Highway 395 for the "Monster Rocks", a name derived from my childish misunderstanding of Dad's term "mountain rocks."  Old Highway 395 passed through our local Indian reservations and I could always imagine  a feathered brave crouched behind one of the huge boulders, bow and arrow in hand, ready to pounce on us, the unsuspecting white man.  Dad even made up silly stories about the road signs and how they were names of famous Indians.  Back then no one worried about political correctness and a silly story was just a silly story.

My grandfather, affectionately known as Father Mac was pastor of a tiny Episcopal church located downtown on the lakefront.  He and Grandma lived in the church rectory outside of town on a single residential block surrounded by walnut groves and open fields.  Theirs was the first home visible for miles across the fields and I always watched eagerly for my grandmother as we approached from the edge of town.

Forty years ago we would walk for hours among the trees collecting sacks of fallen nuts.  The growers generously allowed area residents to glean the ground fall, provided we did not disturb the trees or harvest nuts directly from the branches.  Grandma had two walnut trees of her own, but we always looked forward to walking through the groves.

My grandfather, an avid gardener, had a small fenced in plot  behind the property line where he grew vegetables.  In the summer months we were not allowed beyond the little garden.  Dad was certain that if we played in the fields amongst our tumbleweed forts, surely one of us would find a rattlesnake and get bitten.  Although the occasional green garden snake could be found among the carrots and cabbage, in our secret defiance I never once saw a rattlesnake.

On Saturday afternoons Grandma would emerge from the house with cold drinks in colored aluminum tumblers or Popsicles that had funny cartoon character handles.  With treats in hand we watched the sky for parachutes.  Elsinore was home to one of the only jump schools in the region and if we were lucky we would see stunt divers link themselves into intricate groups and patterns.  We were entertained for hours on end, each performance punctuated with anticipation of drops from Sneaky Pete, the mystery pilot.  Sneaky Pete was silent and invisible.  We never knew he was there until suddenly the sky bloomed with as many as 20 parachutes.

Lake Elsinore is a thriving city now. The walnut groves and open fields are long gone.  Grandma's house, surrounded by tract homes, can no longer be seen from the edge of town.  The lake has receded so that the little church no longer overlooks the water and outlet malls have replaced the jump landings.  All that remains of the sleepy retirement community are the cherished memories of a grandchild.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Dance

He never misses a beat as he gently guides her through steps she’d never known.  A rich lilting tune hums softly in the background.  She is uncertain and does her best to follow his lead; a soft pressure here and a subtle pull there.  For a moment, the music stops and she gazes upward into his eyes.  Waiting; waiting for his cue to begin anew.  With a slight nod he starts again; a push left, a tug right.  It seems fluid now, now that she has given in to his rhythm.

The dance is over far too soon.  She would dance all night if she could.  But away from his arms she must rest quietly until beckoned once more to stand at his side.  She stands beside him and holds herself with pride.  He pats her head and strokes her back.  The judges have made their decision.   She struts off the floor; head held high and tail wagging.  This time, Blue Ribbon is hers.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Gone Camping

Just about one year ago we ventured out to our first family camp with our church UCCLM.  Pilgrim Pines camp is a standard church camp with cabins, group halls and cafeteria.  This is not what I really would call camping.  In fact, Nathan already knows the difference between church camp and what he has called wilderness camping. None the less, we had a wonderful time last year and are headed out later this afternoon for our second year.

I like camping.  I went camping a few times each year as a girl scout.  My troop leader for the purposes of camping... our real leaders weren't the camping sort... taught me most of what I know about wilderness camping.  As a teenager I went with my church youth group.  I should point out that for me, wilderness camping does include toilets and running water.

I have great memories of our annual Easter Week campout in the desert.  We had most of the days to our selves between the morning, noon, and evening prayer services.  We took turns at meal time and prayer time but otherwise were left to ourselves.  We hiked and climbed and generally explored without the adults.  Our campground, Agua Caliente Regional Park was nestled in the Anza Borrego Desert east of San Diego. 

The desert side of the mountain is a dramatic change from our coastal ranges, Laguna and Palomar Mountains.  It bears a beauty of ragged scrub covered rocks that provide an easy rock climbing experience.  Easter Week usually during the full moon and adds an atmosphere perfect for a silent moon lit hike.

In the years BC Nichole and I went  a few times with dogs.  We spent our lazy days hiking, fishing and just sitting with good books.  Since then we have hesitated because I am terrified the boys would find a way to wonder off in the night and get lost.  Now that they are a bit older, I'm certain they would try to wonder away, but strategically placed adults at the tent flap would work.  Nathan asked this morning if we could go wilderness camping and take the dog.  I'm thinking a late fall or early spring visit to the desert.

For now, I will let go of Momma fear and allow the boys time at Pilgrim Pines to run around without too much supervision.  I hope to hike some with them and explore more than I was able to last year, but I also look forward to the fact that both Isaac and Nathan have been there for summer camp and are more comfortable with the area.

It is ironic to me that as a child I ran wild with my buddies, free of direct supervision in just about any campground we were at, but as a parent I cringe at letting my children do the same.  I like to believe that I had better judgement and restraint than three boys with ADHD.  But years ago I was told that I kept bragging and threatening that I was going to go off at night for my own hike without the adults.  Truth is, I was too afraid at night to go anywhere.  Camp leader Sunshine always told scary campfire stories that were clearly meant to keep me where I belonged.  That was me, full of myself and bravado to spare... until the lights went out.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Stolen Moments

"Calgon take me away!" was the slogan for a television ad that seemed to annoy more mothers than serve them.  It showed a woman locked in her bathroom, soaking in a bubble bath blisfully ignoring her children's calls.  In my world the bathroom is no sanctuary.  Not even recently installed locks can shelter my weary body and over sensitive ears from the constant cries of "Mom!" 

In the B.C. years bathroom doors were never shut; not even when creating the foulest of odors.  Now as soon as I am seated on the toilet, the bathroom becomes an instant petting station.  Pets that never come when called line up at the door to demand belly rubs and the very awkward lap sit.

Locks are no barrier to the wiley observations of the insistant child.  From infancy my son has defeated all locks and child gates.  I swear he learned to work the drop rail on his crib before I did! In a home with three rambunctious boys there is no "Calgon" moment.

I hide in my room, trying to find my writer's voice.  I have plenty of concepts but the mind won't slow long enough to tell my fingers which keys to type.  Each sentence is a whiny echo of  the sounds from the other room.  "Momma!  Isaac won't let me...."

I sit in the front room to supervise the wrestling and to keep them from killing each other.  My laptop sits with me, a blank screen.  Its not writers' block.  Its Mommy block.  "I'm hungry!  Whats for dinner?  I don't like that!"  The writer's voice begs to emerge but is interrupted by Sponge Bob's annoyingly nasal laugh. Oh well, its time to supervise homework and fix dinner.

I love being a parent.  I asked for it and sought it out.  I am not alone in this endeavor but I definitely envisioned it differently.  I saw myself more as the "Hi Honey, I'm home!" type, coming in after a day at work to a semi-orderly house with dinner on the stove.  Instead, we both work.  I work two jobs.  She works with disabled adults all day and the last thing she wants is to handle the "Mom, Austin bit me!" crisis.  As one friend asked "what doesn't happen at your house?" Every day is a new adventure. 

After the endless trips for water, or bathroom or to say an extra good night the boys are finally settled in bed and the urge to write returns.  The mind is ready and the body unwilling.  The spouse needs attention.  Wait, so do I.  I need attention.  We retire ourselves and hope the day unwinds gently as we discuss important things like what to do about the shotgun found under Isaac's bed.

Finally the moment arrives when the mind and body are both willing.  "Voice?  Hellooo, Voice I'm listening!  Voice?" 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Music in Me

My parents were musicians; their hearts and souls expressed in bold crescendos and decrescendos as if their lives were part of a great symphony.  My mother played flute and shared her talent in community orchestras and choirs, while my father studied voice and opera for a chance of a professional career.  As often happens though, life takes over and dreams are re imagined.

Mom and Dad seized every opportunity to imprint that love on to us.  More often than not, music was the background noise of choice.  Radios were on; records and tapes playing in continuous loops.  The 8-track tape was the coolest invention and more money was spent on quality stereo cabinet furniture than the television set. During the summers Dad disconnected the television and we listened to his vast collection of movie soundtracks while he retold the stories to us.  We were all encouraged to learn band instruments and sing in the church or school choirs.  My oldest brother learned flute, piccolo and french horn;  my sister clarinet.  I took up flute, piccolo, trombone and guitar.

I chose flute because Dad wouldn't let me learn trumpet, and my big brother played flute.  I chose piccolo because the piccolo player was the elite of flutes.  Well that and the fact that I was too lazy to carry the heavier instrument in marching band.  Lets face it, my arms got tired stretched out at shoulder height for such long periods.  I learned trombone to annoy my father and prove that girls could play brass instruments.  Such the double standard!  My brother was not a sissy for wanting to play flute, but the trumpet was a "boys" instrument!  I played guitar to be cool.

I never excelled with the guitar, but I mastered the basic notes and a variety strums.  I was competent enough to play for the church youth group and therefor believed I had achieved coolness; but there were always others better than me.  Despite my selfish beginnings, it was guitar that reached my soul. 

I started guitar around the time of my spiritual awakening.  The songs I played and sang were mostly from the youth group song book, and a few folk songs from an old "Hootenanny" book I acquired.  Much of the music reflected my mixed bag of teen emotions as I transitioned to adulthood.  If I was angry, I pounded the strings until my respect for the instrument took over and I calmed myself.  If I was sad, I sang soulful songs designed to pull the emotions forward until I collapsed in a fit of tears.  When happy, I flitted along with jaunty melodies.  It didn't matter, there was always a song fit for my mood.

In later years I played for the simple joy of others.  Sunday nights, reserved for family gatherings, were concluded with a family sing-a-long.  I played silly songs for my brother's children and the old folk songs for my mom.  She loved to watch the kids as they accompanied me with basic rhythm makers.  On occasion she would play along on the bongos just to see the children's faces light up when Grandma joined the "band."  Her passion for music would live long in their hearts as they each learned instruments and played in the high school bands.  My mom followed their musical training, attending all of their concerts until it was no longer possible.  Video taped performances were never quite the same, but she watched and listened as if she was right there with them.

 Eventually, the Sunday sing-a-longs were set aside for other things.  Teenage grandchildren had places to be, and the guitar seldom seemed to make into the car for the long drive  each week.  Life had once again re aligned priorities.  Illness invaded the body and fear the heart.   As the notes of life's symphony began to fade, so did the melody in my soul.

The music in me has been mostly silent for four years. I listen to talk radio more than not, and am not the least bit interested in the next American Idol.  But the coda is still there, waiting for me to read the score and go back to the beginning.  My own children love to sing and dance.  They all want to learn instruments.   The youngest will sing anything and wants to learn guitar. The middle will be happy with whatever musical noise he can make; And although a trumpet is available, the oldest (a boy) has decided to learn flute.

Monday, September 13, 2010


Maria T. Groschup-Black

In Care of Driver

Hugh is a delightful old man in his early 80s. He is tall and slender; his smile spreads easily from ear to ear. His eyes, neither vacant nor lost, twinkle with laughter and joy at the simple things in life. Each step is a new beginning and every day a victory.

Today, a familiar presence guides him to his bus and a familiar voice comforts his infantile needs with precise directions. “Step up Daddy. Step up.” “Daddy, step UP!” A gentle nudge behind the knee usually helps to remind Hugh how to make his legs go. Today it is not enough. A gruff voice, accompanied by a playful smack on the butt intercedes. “Harrison! Get on up the bus!” Hugh chuckles “yes Ma’am” and climbs the step himself. Not even the advanced stages of his disease can make him forget his “boss” of 50 years.

“Sit down Daddy.” The voice is always patient though firm. “Scoot over Daddy so I can buckle you in.” Each command is repeated and followed with a nudge. At every command Hugh breaks into his wide grin, nods his head and responds “yeah.” Then he immediately forgets to follow through. The family breathes in momentary peace as the driver takes over and they are granted an all too short but much needed break from his daily care.

Hugh is safely delivered to his location, a research and day-care facility where the command sequences begin anew. “Stand up Mr. Harrison, stand up.” Hugh’s innocence and child-like glee makes everyone instantly fall in love with him. His laughter and smile make them all wish they’d know him before; for certainly, an aged soul with so much delight must have been yet more beautiful in his most cognitive times.

Hugh: Bright in mind and spirit – Old German… derived from Hugo
A thinker; Intelligent – Welsh variant of the Latin Hugh

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Oh No, I've Been Deleted!

Oh no!  I've been deleted!  Seriously, I could care less and I'm tempted to click the 'like' button that sarcastically announces my dismay at being deleted.  Many have had their say about social media and its affect on our ability to connect with others around the world.  Ever minute detail of our lives is available at our finger tips.  There are countless "like" buttons that express our political opinions and personal frustrations.  What should be a wonderful connection to old friends and family has become a place to seek attention.

FaceBook is vampiric and uses way too much of our time and energy.  We post a phrase or activity and haunt the site, expecting feedback from our peers.  We all do it.  I'm on right now in another window, faithfully checking in to see if I got the attention I desired.  We post inflammatory information just to follow the drama that ensues.  We publicly humiliate ourselves as well as each other from the safety of our keyboard, and in doing so stay connected with family and friends who wouldn't dare share the same information to our faces.

Maybe it is good.  I have met and gotten to know family that I've only heard of before.  I've found old friends from years ago and been surprised at who has accepted my requests to connect.   I'm not surprised at who has connected with me and later deleted me.   After all, some times its just plain curiosity as to what whoever is up to since the old days.  Once that is satisfied, why keep them on?  My guess is that what you had or didn't have in common remains the same.  So go ahead and delete me.  Chances are, I was about to delete you too.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Hamster Vs. Kitten

The Hamster War still rages and I wonder how I became such a push over.  Austin successfully cared for Jujube over the few days that Kaitlin was away and sadly returned the rodent to her room when she returned from camp.  In fact, it is almost like they have forgotten all about the little thing.  That was of course until Kaitlin "found" a stray kitten last night.  Faith, as Kaitlin has named her, is at least part Siamese and a long hair fluffy kitty.  She is a very sweet cat and loves to cuddle.  For now Faith is locked in Kaitlin's room.  It is quite unfair for the baby to have to stay in there, but we have a dog, pet door, torn back screen,  and missing front screen door.  Out here, she'd be a mini snack for the local coyotes.  Kaitlin is doing everything, from batting her eyes to pouting.  We did concede to keep Faith for just as long as it takes to find a good home.

Does anyone else hear the laughter and snickering?  I repeat, how did I become such a push over?  Food, litter, flea stuff (the cheap kind) and my heart bleeds.  I had wanted to buy the good flea stuff like Advantage or Frontline, but the $80.00 tag for three doses stopped me.  I settled on the same stuff in a different formula (Sentry) for less than $15.00/three.  If it works, then I will be singing the funeral dirge for all the fleas that we know the kitten brought in.

So back to Hamster Vs. Kitten... Kaitlin immediately has volunteered to relinquish Jujube to the boys' room.  Austin, ever the whiny green monster decided that he didn't want the hamster in his room, but could he "just hold the kitten a little?  PLEEEASE?"

We tried to introduce Faith to Jasmine the Wiener Dog.  Jasmine was so excited and just wanted to get close to her, but Faith had other plans.  She scrambled up and over my head, then jumped to the ceiling and back over me, only to run and hide under a table.  Thankfully, that was visual enough for Austin to understand why Kaitlin's room was safer.  After all, Jazz loves to sleep under his bed during the day.  I am afraid to crawl under and search the attraction of that!

The ads are posted and friends are searching, but we really don't have much expectations that she will find a home other than ours.  Can we really afford it? I guess I will just have to drive an extra day each week. 

Don't tell Kaitlin, but I do kinda hope we get to keep her.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Hamster Wars

For months now Austin has been begging us for a pet.  He doesn't consider Jasmine the Wiener Dog a pet.  She doesn't count.  So last week, when a friend who is heading off to complete her Master's Degree asked if anyone would please take her hamster JuJuBe, I talked it over with Nichole and we agreed we could try. But we hadn't yet figured out where we would keep the little guy.

Kaitlin immediately upon learning he was coming home with us volunteered to care for him and keep him in her room.  Fine with me as I was certain those duties would become mine once the boys realized it was more work and less fun.  Fine with me but not with Austin.  Austin immediately posted a fit when we told him that JuJu would be in Kailtin's room.  For those who have not witnessed one of Austin's fits, they can be quite frightening.  He screams, cusses, kicks, hits, bites and throws anything that is near him.  We calmly explained that Kaitlin's room is the safest place where Jasmine would not get him, but Austin had viable answers.  Viable answers meant we couldn't reason him out of it and we simply had to say "no."  He did however like the plan that he was Kaitlin's helper and backup for when she was gone from home.

The fit raged on and into the "Mommy-Mobile" as we headed home from the family dinner.  Each time we would get him calmed, someone would mention it  and the fit would rage another 10 minutes.  Finally, just minutes from home Austin calmed and we figured it was settled.  That is of course until we let the boys hold JuJu for a moment.  Each boy had a chance to hold him.  He bit Isaac.  Kaitlin took him from Isaac and he pooped in her hand.  Her reaction is an odd mix of "eww gross" and "that's so cool, I've never been pooped on by an animal."  Yeah, that Kaitlin is a strange one.  She fits in well here at the House of Insanity.

OH JOY! IT'S BEDTIME!  But not without another minor fit from Austin.  "It's gonna be a long, long, time before I can have him in my room!"  It is Austin's wish for Kaitlin to "go back" to her real mom, so he can have JuJuBe to himself.  Once that was all smoothed over, Austin's attitude changed.  He had just realized that the hamster bites.  "But he'll bit me!"  Now instead of cajoling I had to switch hats and start consoling.  I was finally able to convince him the hamster likes him.  After all it was Isaac who got bit, not Austin.

  What's left is for us to expand his habitat and learn how to care and train him.  Hmmm whose job is that going to be?  Fortunately we have some advice and instruction from his owner.  Perhaps if this works and Austin finds a safe constructive channel for his attention we just might become little critter keepers.  For now, as the melatonin takes its course and the boys sack out for the night the war is over.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Back to School

Summer is over for my kids and so it ends for us as well.  Early alarms turn on showers and boys turn on the charm. "I don't want that for breakfast!"  "Why can't you make pancakes?" "Where's my juice?"  Once fed, the defience begins. "I am not wearing long pants!" "Why can't I wear flip-flops?"  "I will NOT change my underwear!"  Once at the school, Nichole and every other bedraggled parent drops the kids in the hopes that they will learn; Learn anything except how to use the "F" word and the "B" word or how to strut like a gangsta. We are allowed to hope.

For now at least, this is the routine.  I am off to work one of two jobs while Nichole spends her "free time" finishing the honey dos.  It would be easy to be jealous of her, what with her three weeks of vacation.  But I'm not.  I could never manage Mommy duties the way she does.  I am content to work. After all, I am not the one confined in the van with three fighting brothers.

You might expect that such a grand start would make for rough days in class, but its not true.  It seems they are capable of storing all that defiance away for a few hours, only to be brought forth again at home.  In less than 5 minutes they can turn a not-so tidy home into a disaster zone complete with overturned furniture, food crumbs and snack bags littering the floor.  No amount of threats or discipline will get them to clean up.  They take for granted it will disappear overnight and fresh snacks will be waiting tomorrow. 

What does await tomorrow?  Probably more of the same, at least until the new routine is established.  For my part?  I will wake in the morning, shower, spend a little quality time with my littlest, who loves to see me out the door before he bounces on top of Nichole to wake her and start "I don't wannas" all over again.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Why Meandering?

Hi, my name is Maria and I started my blog just today.  I chose "Meandering Mind" because I suffer from self proclaimed short-term memory loss.  I am easily distracted and forget my place on a regular basis.  My intent from this blog is to stretch my imagination as well as find a safe place to put my thoughts "out there."  I am a writer.  So far I have sold a few small articles to niche magazines.  I have never seen my writing in the publications, but hey, I got paid!  One organization bought the same article twice for two different magazines.  That was pretty cool.

I do not prentend to be an expert on much, but I can back most of my opinions on experience and research.  My experience includes nearly 20 years in Law Enforcement, a few years as a small business owner and about one year in sales and marketing for Sunbelt Publications. 

I look forward to sharing my meanders with you my friends, family and anyone else that finds this interesting.

thanks for caring