I’m Thankful For. . .#8

Today is Saturday. It is a balmy, cloudy day with a chance of rain. We gave my mother-in-law her Christmas gift today. We put a flagpole in the ground at the corner of her home and hoisted her deceased husband’s U.S. flag provided by the AmVets at his funeral, and a West Virginia state flag below that. My sister-in-law made a video copy on her cell phone. That was the beginning of the day and it brought tears to my eyes: tears of pride in my country and joy as I remembered my first view of those blue-tinged mountains of West Virginia and it felt as if I’d found my true home, the place where I belonged, at least on this earth. My real home is waiting for me Up Yonder.

Today is a special treat for me because I rarely get to spend “outing” time with my beautiful mother-in-law. She bought tickets for herself, my sister-in-law and me to a fashion show and luncheon. So I won’t be spending much time on the internet today. I’m going to (I wish I could put a row of happy faces here) get out and DO something.

So today I won’t be a homebody. I won’t be glued to my desk. I won’t be unavailable to the outside world. I won’t be working. I’ll be having fun, enjoying the company of two of my favorite people.

Thank you, Lord, for my family. Thank you for the opportunity to spend time with two very influential people in my life, who have really taught and showed me the meaning of love, acceptance, and forgiveness. Thank you, Lord, for loving me. Thank you that I can’t earn it or deserve it because that would cheapen the gift.

Good Tidings

This is a writing challenge as posted by worldwidesoulmate. The challenge is to meet my ten-years-younger self for coffee and find the most challenging, rewarding and fun things for me to do, or have done. Here goes.

I’m sitting at Brewster’s Internet Cafe in Sebring. I’ve ordered a mocha cappaccino and a carrot muffin. My ten-years-younger self breezes in through the doorway, quickly scans the tables and finds me. She drops her denim slouch on the floor next to her chair, flips her long brown hair behind her, scoots her chair close to the table, and takes a piece of my muffin. “Not bad,” she says.

I notice that my current self is about twenty pounds heavier than my younger self. I decide to let her eat the muffin. I look at her and wonder: What is the most challenging thing I’ve done in ten years? Well, let’s see. After getting fired from my job and collecting unemployment for nine months, I won the appeal when the state tried to stop my benefits and make me pay them back. That was a challenge for me. I’m mousy on the outside, raving on the inside.

Oh. Wait. I started taking free online writing courses. I’m challenging myself to write more. And I started this blog since then.

Rewarding. What is the most rewarding thing I’ve done? Well, for about the last ten years I’ve been teaching children’s church and Sunday school. That’s rewarding. I was also able to do a little volunteer work, and I got to help a friend who was going through a rough time.

Fun things. I’ve been able to reconnect with some old classmates from elementary and junior high on Facebook. Remembering with laughter the day I wore two different shoes to school. My dad had left for work so there was no car at home. I was riding the bus to school so there was no time to go home and change. I didn’t even realize I was wearing a black French heel and a brown loafer. A boy hollered out behind me, “Hey, Aleta, you trying to start a new style?” I was used to being picked on so I just ignored him. But when I got to the bus stop and one of my friends asked me why I was wearing two different shoes I was mortified. That was just one embarrasing day. There were others which were devastating at the time, but are funny looking back. A sense of humor is absolutely essential in this life.

I looked up from my reminiscences and found myself alone, my muffin barely touched. I finished my coffee and breezed back out the door, my relaxed fit denim jeans, jacket and slouch comfortable to me. I may be twenty pounds heavier but I have a great life, a husband who cherishes me, and a lifestyle that many would envy, even though all we own in the world fits into our Airstream travel trailer, our Dodge Ram dually, and the government declares us homeless.