Showing posts with label New Years. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New Years. Show all posts

Friday, January 4, 2013

Welcoming the New Year


A year ago today, mom lost her driver’s license.  It’s hard to believe how much of her memory has been wiped out in such a short time.  Yesterday she seemed almost comatose to me.  Her birthday is not until June.  Jenna asked if we could go to her house to celebrate.  There were tears in my eye because I honestly don’t know where she’ll be six months from now.

On the Saturday before the New Year, we took my mom to the movies with us. We were late getting to the movie and so had to sit in front.  “Life of Pi” is NOT a comedy – unless maybe one is watching it with another who has dementia.



          I sat between my mom and Jenna.  Jenna rattled on about the movie and animals and explained things in detail (as though I wasn’t sitting there watching it myself) and my mom would make these off-the-wall comments that made me laugh.

          Mom’s memory right now doesn’t allow her to retain what she has watched from scene to scene. I don’t know if she remembered why the pair was in the water.  But she did ask,   “Why doesn’t he just throw the tiger out of the boat?”

          “The tiger is too big.  He can’t just throw it out.”

          “Well, if it was me, I would just shoot him with a gun.”

          I start to laugh.  How does one obtain a gun if marooned in the ocean?  He hadn’t chosen to be stranded out there. And then the very idea of my mom with a gun is laughable.  We had found one in her mother’s apartment several years ago (before I had met Roland) and treated it as though it was a dead mouse.

          I took Jenna to the library on Monday afternoon.  The auditorium had been set up with plastic water bottles, streamers, paper plates, beads, and icicles.  Children were encouraged to make noise maker (shakers) and party hats to welcome in the “new year” – which wouldn’t officially start until twelve hours after the celebration. 



They played a few games – including “hot potato” and “Simon says” before the “New Year’s” countdown. It was cute watching the children countdown to noon with all the enthusiasm of it being midnight.

Jenna enjoyed herself.  What she seemed to enjoy the most was being in the company of a friend from Church.  His mom invited Jenna to do a family home evening with them later on.  And so Jenna went over to her friend’s house for pizza and a lesson on setting goals.  I think there was another celebration to welcome in the New Year.  She was home before 9:00.

Roland and I started in on the pizza while she was gone.  No new year’s snacks this year.  But it was typical of my new year’s holiday – boring. 

Bill had talked to Roland about meeting at my mom’s house.  He called when Jenna was gone.  But Roland wanted just a quiet evening at home. Unlike last year, Jenna made it until after midnight.  She could have probably kept on going if I hadn’t wanted to go to bed myself.  I was tired.

So on New Year’s Day itself we met Kayla and Bill at my mom’s house.  We played a few games.  Not much.  The kids were getting restless.  We all left to return to our homes about the same time.

Corey called shortly thereafter.  First he talked to mom and asked what she’d been doing.  She remembered that all of us were there, but she also informed Corey that we had gone for a hike.  Really?

Corey then called me to get the truth of the story.  It’s been less than 40 degrees outside.  Like I’d really take my mom and the babies out in 40 degree weather.  Like Roland and I are even in shape to go hiking. 

It’s been a tiring year.  I hope our families may be less stressed in 2013.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Thirteen Years Ago Today



          It was 13 years ago today when I first met Roland.  Oh, I had seen him before.  He was in my mom’s ward (church boundary) for a brief period of time.

          He always sat with his arms stretched out on the pew and around each of his boys that were seated next to him on either side.  He also had a big ol’ smile plastered on his face.  There was something about him that appealed to me.  His smile perhaps.  The genuine love that he had for his boys.

          On December 31, 2000, I saw him in the foyer of the church.  He was wearing a tie with a large picture of the Tasmanian devil printed on it.



          “Nice tie,” I said.  I don’t know if I actually used the word “nice” – I’m really not that big of a Looney-Tune fan, but I did want to get his attention.  “A gift from your boys?”



          There was a loud smile on Roland’s face – because something told him that I would be his next wife.  Fortunately he did not share that with me at the time.  I don’t think I would have gone out with him otherwise. 

          He didn’t actually answer my question about the tie.  Mr. Smooth wanted to know where I sat and kept his arm around me the entire time. (I suppose that should have been a clue)



          He asked me to “First Night” an event that takes place downtown – to welcome in the New Year.  He said it would just be him and me and that he’d leave the boys at home.

          I told him NOT to leave the boys at home.  My family has played games on New Years for as long as I remember.  I told him to leave the boys at my mom’s house and play games with my family.  None of us knew that the boys would be a part of the family before the end of 2001 – except for maybe Roland.

          So the boys sat with their “cousins” apparently in order of birth – they certainly hadn’t planned it that way, but mom looked over and said they were seated Biff (13) Tony (12) Ellen (11) Randy (10) and Kimball (9)

          Our engagement happened fast – too fast in my opinion.  I had come home sick and instructed Corey that I was not to be disturbed, but he made an exception for Roland whom I really didn’t know but was comfortable with – although I didn’t know why.  I had dismissed guys less forward than Roland for being TOO forward.  And yet here was Roland who surprisingly didn’t ask me to marry him at First Night.

          He wanted my opinion about two things.  He held out some job applications and told me the pros and cons for each one and asked what job I thought he should take.  Really?  What advice could I possibly give him? 

          The reason he valued my opinion is because there was a second matter.  Would I marry him?  That is why he wanted my input about the job.  “No, no, no, no,” is what I thought in my head.  “I don’t even know this guy”

          I had had a dream the night before.  “The Lord is testing me,” I thought.  He had tested so many others in the Bible – Abraham, Sarah, Ester, Ruth, the widow that Elijah meets up with in 1 Kings 17:10. 

          I did NOT KNOW Roland.  How could I possibly marry someone I did not know – not really?  It was an act of faith.  I had convinced myself that just because I had said “Yes” to his proposal did not mean I couldn’t change my mind later on.



          I didn’t change my mind.  We were married two days before the planes crashed into the world trade center.  I thought the world had come to an end.  I suppose for many it did.  Economically we have not climbed out of it.  We have struggled most of our married lives.  There have been a large number of us who have struggled.  The mountain has become rougher.  We really need to assist one another to the top.

          It’s been a hard climb.  But I have learned to love Roland tremendously.  He always tells me how blessed he is to have me in his life.  But you know what?  I am the one who has been blessed.

          I’m grateful to Roland.  Perhaps one day I will be grateful for the struggles.  I’d be lying if I were to post that right now.  I know struggles are for my own good, they help me to grow . . . blah, blah, blah.  Honestly, at this point in time, I think struggles suck big time – even more than a powerful vacuum cleaner.


Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year’s Eve


        
          Every year Jenna’s goal is to stay up until Midnight.  To stay up until Midnight would make her so much more mature than she already is.  Only grown-ups stay up past midnight.  Oh, the joys of getting older.

          Each year Jenna has conked out around 10:00 or so – not to mention Roland and I – who have somehow turned into old fogies who fall asleep before nine.  This year I actually made it to Midnight.  Jenna was asleep at 11:30.  Face down on the couch.  It was actually quite amusing.

          Roland came in to send her off to bed.  I asked my grumpy little girl, “Would you like to me to wake you in half an hour to wish you happy New Year?”  She mumbled and plopped in bed.  I smiled and turned to my Blog.

          Not much of a goal setter – nor do I admit to making New Year’s Resolutions.  In the past it’s always been NOT to complain.  But somehow I end up complaining about something.  And yet I know negative people are not pleasant to be around.  And so I am trying to change that.

          My goal this time around is to show gratitude.  Instead of complaining about our cracker box sized house to show that I’m grateful to have a roof overhead.  Instead of complaining about the lack of water pressure, be grateful that I have clean water to drink. Instead of complaining about the dent in the car,  I AM very grateful that it passed inspection and that we have transportation.
         
          Perhaps writing it down and posting my words to a Blog, I will be more inclined to keep that goal.  Perhaps I’ll need reminders.  After all, who wants to read negative posts?