Fathers Day Poem

Dad on beach

It was always kind of hard
To find a Father’s Day card.
Nothing on the shelves seemed to fit the mold,
When you meet your Dad when you are 40-years-old.
No “Thanks for being there.” or “I learned so much from you.”
Just a simply “I love you” is all I could do.
I’ve been told you weren’t quite father of the year.
It’s not exactly what I wanted to hear.
But the man I found was warm and funny in his own way.
They say that was because of the cancer; you saw your limited days.
I miss you so. Oh, you don’t know how much.
I wish you were here, you could be my much needed crutch.
But it’s Fathers Day and this should be about you.
I’ll always cherish every moment shared, I hope you did too.
Your hugs, big and enveloping as the sky,
I will carry in my heart until the day that I die.
We are your legacy, your children, you see.
The best way we can honor your life is to be all we can be.
I love you Dad.
Happy Father’s Day.

Luke and Mary

So many memories put away.
Need to go through them.
No, not today.
My Mom’s china,
My son’s artwork and toys,
Just start sorting through it,
One of life’s little joys.
Pieces that remind me where I’ve been.
Memories of things 
I thought I’d never go through again.
I take another look
At the piles of stuff.
Turn and walk away,
For now it’s too tough.
Escape with my horses,
Take a walk with my dog.
I know that eventually,
I’ll be in less of a fog.
And then I’ll deal with it.
I promise I will.
I can see the time coming,
Just over the hill.

The sermon at church yesterday was called “Don’t Give Up!” It was the third sermon in a series focused on helping people cope with hard times brought on by the economy or other circumstances in people’s lives. The big question the minister tried to answer is how do you not give up when things seem hopeless or you feel like the circumstances you’ve been handed are just too much to bear? 

His message was just what I needed to hear and I spent Sunday feeling so strong and hopeful. I was afraid it wouldn’t last, and it didn’t. Not because what was said wasn’t valuable and lasting, but because grieving is a process that doesn’t take you in a straight line upward. And there are times when I question how the heart can hurt so much and continue to beat.

But tomorrow, more than likely, I will feel great again. I have a lot of good company in these up and down moments. In Psalm 31:10, David writes, “My life is consumed by anguish and my years by groaning; my strength fails because of my affliction and my bones grow weak.” 

While in well know Psalm 23:6, David writes, “Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

David had a lot of ups and downs, as did many in the Bible, and as many of us do today.

No matter how great you feel, or how organized you are, or optimistic, confident, and together you are, there is going to be “stuff” that happens that hurts you, makes you angry, and sometimes levels you. But there are good and bad ways to look at those events and to handle those times.

Often, I have blamed God. “Why me?!” I ask. Am I such a bad person? I wonder why I’m being punished. And what’s next? Because as soon as I feel happy and relax for a moment, BOOM!, I’m hit with the next earthquake.

But am I really singled out? From what I read in Blogland, no. Circumstances vary, but the suffering itself is not unique.

I’ve been told all my life that God’s love and presence in your life is all that you can really depend on, and my life experience says that this is true. The struggle is whether God is enough. I’ve been left with a hole the size of the Grand Canyon inside me, and I am so tempted to sign up with E-Harmony and have them send some men my way. That will fix me right up! I wish I could insert a beeper sound effect here. AAAAH! Wrong answer!

In the sermon on Sunday, the minister read 1 Corinthians 10:13 – “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful, he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”

The temptation for me, besides to join E-Harmony, is to simply give up — to crawl into bed and never get up again. To stop eating and see if I can completely disappear. And, by the way, I do eat! I find the weight loss actually interesting from a mind versus body standpoint. Can grief literally eat away at you? I hope not, but I imagine this will eventually turn around also. 

Back to 1 Corinthians 10:13, which says that God will not allow us to face more than we can bear. He will provide a way for us to stand up under it, be that by giving us strength, a word of encouragement from scripture or from a friend, or by giving us a new day with renewed hope and better perspective. 

As abandoned as I may feel at times, I have to acknowledge that all those things I listed above have come my way and helped me feel better. Even this blog, starting it when I did, so it was there when the divorce announcement was made. I get so much enjoyment and inspiration from reading about so many amazing lives. So much talent, generosity, and wisdom out there.

And that’s the wonder of the hard times, how you end up noticing and appreciating the people in your life so much more. You find out what’s really important and what isn’t. You find out what is truly lasting and what is just an unimportant distraction.
I took yesterday off from work. I’ve got some vertigo thing going and this has made me feel like one of the characters on “The Perfect Storm”. I just want to batten down the hatches. 

The dizziness and nausea are usually worse in the morning, so after being up for a few hours and acquiring my sea legs, I loaded up Luke and spent two hours riding in the Rum River park. 

Luke and I have gotten darn good at this whole routine. We are both getting more and more relaxed about trailering and about being out on our own in the woods. I was even able to carry on a phone conversation with my son while trotting up a couple hills and dealing with a jogger and her dog putting Luke on high alert. At least Luke is not a bolter. When he’s surprised by something, he kind of flinches or jumps, but he doesn’t go anywhere.

Luke on trail

I found two good areas to canter in the park, nice and straight, flat, and soft footing. The first stretch Luke did more of a flat out run, which was kind of fun. In my younger days, I used to do these runs jockey style and go over a couple logs to boot. I still like speed but Luke really needs work on a nice controlled, balanced canter and that’s what we managed in the second stretch we ran in.

It was such a gorgeous day! One of those days where you look around and marvel at how beautiful everything is and how lucky you are to be out enjoying it. It’s times like those that I feel God’s presence in my life most strongly. Unfortunately, when I arrive back home and face the laundry, messy kitchen, paperwork, and all the stuff that should get done staring me in the face, I lose that sense of peace and good-will toward men. Sigh…

Deep breathes Mary, that’s it. Reeeellllaaaaxxx…

I just thought I’d update you on my bread making progress. I’m on my second batch of dough and this time I added rosemary and thyme to the dough. It added some nice flavor and I think my loaves are looking a little better. The inside of the bread might be a bit too dense. It still tastes good but I’d like to see if I can find a way to make it more airy. Plus there are variations you can do with the shape of the loaf, which I think I’ll try before making the leap to trying to mix in other kinds of flour, like whole wheat, which can make a huge difference in how the loaf turns out. 

Fresh bread

I’ve always liked science, and making bread, or any kind of cooking sometimes feels like a chemistry experiment, at least when I do it. Especially since I rarely have all the ingredients for the recipe on hand and tend to supplement or skip ingredients. I’ve started to wise up and jot down in recipes when I make changes so if by rare chance it does turn out well, I can try and repeat what I did.

Yesterday, Lynn and I went to the Yellow Tree Short Play Festival as part of her birthday celebration. Yellow Tree Theatre is a little-known, small, local theatre that is close to home and opened about a year ago. It’s a great discovery since most the theatre is far from home and can be pretty expensive. 

Yellow Tree Theatre

Okay, so the strip mall ambiance might not be the best, but the inside was cute and the plays we saw were excellent. 

Yellow Tree Theatre

What Lynn and I went to was kind of an open house thing, with 7 short plays. Their titles are on the yellow flyer in left side of photo. Oh yeah, the photo. I tried to remove the background. I think it’s a nice, arty effect…

Yellow Tree Theatre flyers

Most of the short plays were based around the sad state of the economy – foreclosures, homelessness, unemployment, etc. Sounds bleak, but in much the same way I like to do, they depicted something sad and disturbing in a humorous, entertaining way. Like the first play about a young couple losing their home and spending their last night in their house playing around in the living room, pretending to be Lord Fartsalot and Lady Sextitillating (or something like that).

We were given a microscopic piece of desert after the plays that was dreamy, a lot like tiramisu only with a lot of rum in it. Yummm! We could have also had a complimentary splash of wine, but I’d already had a glass of Pinot Grigio during the play, and what I needed was a cup of espresso to wake up (only 4 hours of sleep Thursday night).
Today it’s chilly and rainy out. I’m hoping it rains all day as we only had about a half inch of rain during the whole month of May and sorely need some moisture. 

I took a couple videos of Java the other day and I hope to figure out how to edit and post them in the next couple days. Do I have you sitting on the edge of your seat in anticipation?!
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