Monthly Archives: January 2012

An Ed Story

Yesterday was Prince Charming’s Dad’s funeral.  A very wonderful dignified service for a wonderful and dignified man.  Good old-fashioned “Homecoming” Celebration by a good-old fashioned preacher.  None of that new-age “Life Celebration” stuff for Ed . . . no, sir!

During the service, the preacher asked if anyone wanted to make some remarks about Ed . . . and Favorite Aunt got up and told a story about how her Big Brother Eddie ran off a guy that she had a crush on in high school because he thought that she had been out on a date just a little too long.  Considering how difficult it has been for Favorite Aunt to lose her Big Brother Eddie, I was proud of her for standing up and telling her story.

I wish I had that kind of courage because I had a story that I wanted to share.  But I knew I couldn’t stop crying long enough to get the words out.  So I’m telling that story here . . .

Prince Charming started dating when I was 12 and he was 13.  Our first date was a dance at the Local Junior High School.  Since we were so young, we had to depend on the parents for transportation.  Prince Charming’s Dad was more than happy to do that for us.

Now, let me tell you that I was TERRIFIED for Prince Charming’s Dad . . . because he looked like Abe Lincoln.  Tall, lanky, and even had the beard.  He was a kind man with a heart of gold and a mischievous streak a mile wide . . . and the temptation to pick on his oldest son and his new girlfriend on their first date was just too much to bear.

This was back in 1975 (yes, I just gave away my age!) and during the CB craze.  Prince Charming’s Dad had a CB . . . and a PA system attached to it.  I don’t remember WHY he had a PA system, but he did.  Anyway, there I am in the back seat of the Big Ford Station Wagon being driven to my first date EVER with a guy that I had a huge crush on.  We get to the dance and get out of the car start to go into the building.  All of our friends were arriving at the dance at the same time and there was a nice little crowd outside of the building.  Just as Prince Charming’s Dad was pulling away from the curb, he flipped the switch to the PA system and said . . . in his loud booming Abe Lincoln voice . . . “Ya’ll have a nice time now.”

I turned beet red.  Prince Charming turned beet red.  We wanted to crawl under the sidewalk and never be seen from again.

I think we could hear Prince Charming’s Dad laughing as he drove away.

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And Now For Something Completely Unexpected

You go through life thinking you have a grip on things.

You make plans.  You have a “road map” for your future and you know where you want to go and how to get there.

You plan your work and work your plan.

What we always forget is that God sometimes has other plans for us.  And God rarely shares those plans with us.

We thought that Prince Charming’s Dad was going to beat the cancer and be in remission in a few weeks.  The chemo and radiation treatments were working.  Even though the treatments were rough on him physically . . . they were working and we had hope that it would end up being okay.

But  God had other plans for Prince Charming’s Dad and called him Home on Tuesday.

It was quick.  It was completely unexpected.  It was unrelated to the cancer.  It was a massive heart attack that took Prince Charming’s Dad away.

To say we are in shock would be an understatement.

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Saturday Post

Yep, I’m up early again.

Silly cell phone went off with a weather alert.  Wouldn’t have been so bad except Prince Charming’s cell phone went off at the same time.  We both subscribe to the local weather alerts.

Once Millie hears an alarm, she’s up and thinks we need to be up too.  Time to play!  Time for breakfast!  Time to potty!  Not necessarily in that order.

While they’re outside I’m reading my Nook . . . actually my friend’s Nook . . . she has a book that she thought I needed to read but can’t “lend” it to me . . . Poor Prince Charming . . . now I have two Nooks to distract me!

I need to be doing laundry . . . I really ought to be finishing my latest cross stitch piece . . . I’m having fun watching the dogs romp in the ice and snow that fell last night . . . I should be watching the weather on the local news to find out about the winter storm that came through last night . . . I’m sure Prince Charming is gonna ask about it when he wakes up.

Hopefully I get to spend the day right here at home doing all of the above . . . or none of the above . . .

After the rough week I’ve had I’m happy for to have some quiet time.

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Terrible Horrible Very Bad Day

There’s a short story or a poem about a little boy that is having what he calls a “terrible, horrible, very bad day”.

I feel like I’m living that right now.

Work drama.  Work issues.  Anxiety.  Angst.  I don’t like my job very much right now.

But there are people at work who are bright spots.  They make me smile.  They give me confidence.  They give me hope that things are gonna get better.

I lost one of those people Monday night.  No warning.  One minute he was here.  The next minute he was gone.  I last saw him on Friday.  My last words to him expressed my frustration with the daily drama of the job.  I don’t remember his last words to me, but I remember they made me smile.

They make me smile even now through the tears.

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Vacation

The other day Prince Charming and I were talking about vacation plans for 2012.

He asked a very simple question, “Where do you want to go?  What do you want to do?”

(inset crickets chirping here)

He sat there with a smile on his face waiting for an answer.  And I had no answer to give him.  See, I’ve never been asked that question before.  I’ve never had anybody care about what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go.

For the last 15 – 20 years, my vacations have consisted of XH’s bowling tournaments, visiting the step-daughter and her kids, or taking time off for MIL’s health concerns (hospitalizations, surgeries, tests, procedures).

There was the trip to Niagara Falls for our 10th wedding anniversary and the trip to Gatlinburg during one of the years that step-daughter was mad at XH.  Two trips in a 26 year marriage that were my idea.  Yes, I know how lopsided it seems.  Which was part of the problem in my marriage.  But I digress!

So there I am looking at Prince Charming’s beautiful smile and wondering how to answer him.

So I tell him some big dreams I have for vacations in the future.  I tell him some small simple ideas I have for trips close to home since there are serious budget concerns.  I tell him that I have no idea how to answer his question because I’ve seriously never given it any thought.  I tell him that it doesn’t matter where we go or what we do as long as we are doing it together.  He tells me that someday we will be able to do all the things on my list.  He laughs and tells me that he knows that all of this is a new concept for me.

Seriously, though, when your wildest dream has become your new reality, every day is a vacation day.

 

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2011 Top 10

Everybody is doing a year in review kind of thing . . . and for the first time in a long time I have stuff to be excited about!

It wasn’t an easy year . . . but it wasn’t a bad year . . . it certainly was an interesting year . . .

The Highlights of the year . . .

10 – Being a single girl for 6 months.  Not saying that the divorce was fun or that I enjoyed the drama that ensued after the break-up of my marriage . . . but I learned a lot about myself and what I could do.  Until the divorce, I had never lived on my own.  I was somebody’s daughter and then I became somebody’s wife.  After the divorce, I got to be ME again.  I had forgotten what a cool person ME was.

9 – Finishing rehab and getting my arm back.  Yea, nothing like trying to be an independent single girl with one good arm and having to ask for help for all kinds of things.  When the ortho doc took the cast off my arm and I saw how little function I had with it, I was devastated.  I didn’t understand how it could be so bad after just three weeks in a cast.  I worked hard at rehab – and there were days when it hurt like the dickens – and I had serious doubts about whether the doc and the therapist were right about how fast it would improve.  But little by little, it did improve.  And today the left arm is better that it was before I broke it.  Yea, I’m still doing the exercises . . .

8 – Having someone who is an equal partner in a relationship.  I had a parent/child type of relationship with XH.  He was older and he thought he knew better and his way was always right.  My thoughts, feelings, needs weren’t given as much consideration as his thoughts, feelings, needs.  The marriage was very lopsided.  Prince Charming is the polar opposite of that.  He wants to know my thoughts, feelings, opinions.  We discuss EVERYTHING . . . sometimes to death . . . and it’s a wonderful feeling to know that he listens to me . . . and he talks WITH me about things . . . not TO me.  For the first time in my adult life I feel treasured.

7 – Having someone who wants to be involved in my family life.  XH was an only child.  Most of his family was scattered all over the country and he didn’t have much contact with them.  I’m one of 6 children . . . my siblings live within a three block radius of where we grew up.  I live 20 minutes away.  Between family birthday parties and holidays, there is at least one family gathering practically every month.  XH never understood my connection to my family and didn’t want to participate in the family events.  And made it difficult for me to participate in them.  I missed a lot of family things simply because I didn’t want to hear him complain about going or complain about me spending so much time with my family.  When Prince Charming came to live with me, one of the first things he did was change that.  Once he charmed the family, he encouraged me to do not only the big family gatherings but the little every day things – baseball games, choir concerts, parades, band concerts.  Not only was it wonderful to have his support and encouragement . . . it is wonderful to have someone who willingly and happily participated in those things with me.

6 – Watching Prince Charming run the 10k race in Virginia.  Last January, Prince Charming decided he wanted to start running again and he wanted to lost a little weight.  He set a goal to run in a 10k race in Virginia.  He was so excited to get back to a sport that he loved . . . even though he knew he was a bit out of shape and out of practice.  He knew it was going to be a challenge but yet there he was every day . . . every week . . . doing the training necessary to accomplish that goal.  I made the trip to see him run the race.  I was there to cheer him on at the starting line and I was there to see him cross the finish line.  It was an amazing thing to see him come running up the road . . . and even more amazing when he saw me on the sidelines and came over to give me a big kiss and tell me “I love you” before crossing the finish line.  I don’t know what made him happier . . . finishing the race or having me there to watch him.  I was just happy to be part of that special day for him.

5 – Roadtrip to Virginia by myself to see Prince Charming.  Part of my single girl experience was my first every roadtrip.  I drove 500 miles . . . by myself . . . to go visit Prince Charming.  I had never done anything like that before and I was excited . . . and scared . . . but the only way to learn is to do.  So I took the doggies to the kennel and I loaded up the car and off I went.  It was scary.  It was exciting.  It was fun.  I had made part of the trip many times going to visit Princess (my stepdaughter) so it wasn’t like I had no idea where I was going . . . but an 7 hour drive to visit her is much different than a 10 hour drive to see Prince Charming.  But it was so worth it.  After having Prince Charming come to visit me twice, it was fun to visit him and to see what his life in Virginia was like.  Once I got home, I had time to think about it and was very impressed at what I was able to accomplish all by myself.

4 – Drive in to see Grease and Victory Theatre to see Blazing Saddles.  Grease is Prince Charming’s  favorite movie of all time.  When the local drive-in played Grease as a fund raiser for the local Humane Society there was no doubt that we HAD to go.  There’s nothing like seeing your favorite movie on the big screen at the drive-in.  The minute I mentioned seeing Blazing Saddles at the historic theatre in the Big City, he said yes with no hesitation.

3 – Hamvention.  Prince Charming is a ham radio operator.  Hamvention is the big convention in the Big City.  Probably THE biggest convention for ham radio operators.  I’ve heard about it for years and have always wanted to go.  When Prince Charming found out I had never been he was dumbfounded and promised me that he’d show me everything.  I have no idea about anything ham radio but he took the time to patiently explain everything to me . . . and so did his friends.  It was everything I imagined and more.  And I can’t wait to go back.  But the best part of the whole weekend was seeing Prince Charming’s face light up when he was leaving for the first day of Hamvention.  It was a cross between the first day of school and Christmas morning.

2 – Frampton Comes Alive concert in Cincinnati.  The Frampton Comes Alive album played a BIG part of the young romance between me and Prince Charming oh-so-many-years-ago.  After The Break-Up, it was too painful for me to listen to any of the music off that album.  When I heard that Frampton was doing a 35th Anniversary tour for Frampton Comes Alive, I HAD to get tickets.  We were way too young to have gone to the original concert . . . and there was no way we were gonna miss it this time around.  It was everything I imagined it would be . . . and worth every penny we paid for the tickets.  Dancing to “Baby I Love Your Way” was a dream come true.

1 – Prince Charming.  You knew this was going to be number one . . . all of my other highlights were only possible because of him.  What can I say?  Having him in my life again and having him here with me and the doggies still takes my breath away on a daily basis.

If 2011 was this good . . . I wonder how awesome 2012 will be?

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