Eating For Comfort

Late at night when the children are in bed, asleep. I want to eat.

I may have a bowl of cereal that reminds me of shared cereal bowls with my brother as a child.  I may make a batch of buttered popcorn that reminds me of eating popcorn with my family on Sunday nights watching The Ed Sullivan Show. I may eat a bowl of strawberries with whipped cream that reminds me of living in the Santa Cruz mountains in California.

Emotional eating.

I am not really hungry. Okay, I am not hungry at all. But, I want to eat something. I want to remind myself of someone I love. I want to remind myself of a happy time before my parents lived in separate houses and my mom had  a new last name. I want to remember a place that I lived  with a creek in the backyard and a best friend an eight minute walk away up a steep hill.

Tonight when the lights are turned out and the house is asleep I will  remember that whoever comes to Him will never go hungry, and whoever believes in Him will never go thirsty.  The empty place I try to fill with food can only be filled with Him.

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The ground is hard and full of rocks. Squishing wasps.

This morning  I started to dig a hole for the  cherry tree I bought on May 14, 2012  at Colonial Gardens in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. The ground is hard and full of rocks. I thought I would never be able to plant trees in my yard. The task seemed impossible.  When I had tried to put the shovel in the ground last week only the tip went in.  For the past two days I have been soaking the area with the garden hose to moisten the soil. This morning as the sun rose I dug out the top layer of grass.  I placed the clumps of grass to the side and soaked the soil again.

During the heat of the day, I went with friends to Philadelphia to see the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Betsy Ross’s House  and  Benjamin Franklin’s gravesite.  After pizza in my backyard in  the cool of the evening I went back to the hole. The shovel only went in a few inches when I put my foot to the back of the shovels blade. I used a pitchfork to loosen the stones cemented in the clay. I put the hose back in the hole and dug around with the spokes of the pitchfork until the soil was softened.

The cherry tree will go in the ground tomorrow. There are only a few more inches to dig. The sun was already on its way to China, and I couldn’t see to finish digging.  When I put the shovel and pitchfork in the garage, I remembered the wasp nest under the rain gutter.  I extended my telescoping painting roller handle to twelve feet and knocked down the wasp nest from the rain gutter.  As soon as the wasp nest landed on the ground I  stomped on it and several wasps with my boot.

I put on my vibram five-finger walking shoes and put a leash on Martha, my dog.  The tree will wait until tomorrow, only one more day to live in a black pot.  I didn’t want to quit digging.  I wanted to put the cherry tree in the ground today.  But I did promise Martha a walk tonight.

The wasp nest  needed to be knocked down before the wasps  build too many rooms and had too many tenants. The nest I stepped on was the size of an apricot. It was small enough to fit under my boot.  When I catch bad attitudes in my life, I need to get rid of them before they take root and I become permanently crabby.  Bad attitudes the size of an apricot are easier to get rid of.  Watermelon bad attitudes  are harder to step on.

Mud on my knees, dirt under my fingernails, and a plastic bag for the dog.

Living life a little dirty,  digging holes a little bit at a time,  stomping  wasps before they bite.

Living life imperfectly.  Mud is only wet dirt. Never too busy to walk the dog.

I Need A Kick In The Pants

Stop Talking Start Doing, A Kick In The Pants In Six Parts by Sháá Wasmund and Richard Newton is recommended by Sir Ranulph Fiennes Obe, The World’s Greatest Living Explorer. Obe said, “To achieve anything in life you have to start somewhere, be it writing a book, starting a business or climbing a mountain, this book will set you on your way.”

The book was published in 2012 in Great Britain by TJ International Ltd, Padstow, Cornwell, UK.  I bought the book at Heathrow Airport during an eight-hour layover on April   21, 2o12.  I read the introduction in the store.  How to get from Talking ….. to Doing in six steps.

1.  Tick Tock
2. The Itch
3.  Fear and Regret
4.  Start
5.  The Art of Decision Making
6.  Action

I started reading the book today, twenty-five days  after I brought it home to Pennsylvania from London.  The book has 182 pages. I am on page 135.

I am on my way.

Meeting An Author at The Hard Bean Cafe

“I pounded my heels into the flanks of my horse, and he sprang forward at my earnest command.”  This is the first line in The Windrider Saga,  Speculative  Fiction written by Rebecca P. Minor.  She had been invited to speak by The Pottstown Area Homeschoolers  at the Hard Bean Cafe in Boyertown, Pennsylvania on May 10, 2012.

I brought my younger daughter to meet her. The advertisement for the meeting said she would talk about her book and  how she got it published.

I was expecting to hear exactly how to  publish a book. I was looking for a secret formula.  A  twelve step program for success.  Perhaps she would say you needed to do twenty-four jumping jacks, stand on your head, and then count to ten twice, and your book would be published. I was looking for secret tricks.

Instead, she told me what was obvious. She told me something I already knew, but was avoiding. She said, “Half of this whole writing thing is following through. Finishing what you start.”

The Windrider Saga was written as a serial fiction for Digital Dragon Magazine –an on-line magazine. They offered to publish the complete work as a book at the end of the  thirteen month series.

Minor attended the  Greater Philadelphia Writers Conference last year and had her manuscripts read by several editors. She was offered a contract at the end of the conference for the book she had written. The next conference is August 1-4, 2012.

I was ahead of myself.  I wanted to publish something I haven’t finished writing. Today I will sit on my chair and write.  I will also do twenty four jumping jacks, stand on my head, and count to ten twice.

I Must Let My Lawn Die

On April 16, 2000, I wrote in my journal. “If you want to be a writer you have to let your lawn die.”  

I mowed my lawn today. I mowed it three days ago, and I will have to mow it again later this week. I would like to add to the quote about letting your lawn die if you want to be a writer.  If you want to be a writer don’t fertilize your lawn. 

My Grandmother’s Name Is Grace

On January 8, 1933, Grace Oliver wrote a letter to her friend Edna, addressed Dear Old Pal. In the letter she wrote,

“Berdeane is coming along fine. She was born on (June 3rd). She can almost sit up alone now. I suppose she too will be running around before I know it.  That’s what Mother says. She says she doesn’t know where the time has gone.”

Grace Oliver is my Grandmother.  Berdeane is my mother.  I enjoy reading in my Grandmother’s handwriting that my mother can almost sit up alone now.  Grace Oliver died when my mother was three.

I  imagine my Grandmother Grace standing in the doorway on the back porch of a farm-house. She sees us drive into the farmyard in our brown station wagon, dust flying as we pull in to the yard. My brother, me, and my mom and dad. A dog is barking at the back tires. Grace wipes her hands on her apron. She runs out to meet  us.   I hear the screen door  slam. When I open the car door Grandmother Grace hugs me and kisses the top of my head. I can hear her voice.

I think about Grace on Mother’s day. I think about my mother as a child sitting in church on Mother’s Day with her brothers, Leroy and Charles holding  white carnations while the other children are  holding red carnations.

The paper that Grace wrote the letters to Edna on feels smooth. I can touch the same paper that Grace touched. In the basement  in the filing cabinet I have a folder full of letters that my mother has written to me. On the bookcase beside me  I have a letter that my mother wrote to me. It has cartoon clippings in it. I haven’t opened it yet. I like having a letter from my mother waiting for me.

At the end of the church service today the Pastor asked if anyone wanted to come forward for prayer. She asked if anyone  wanted to be prayed for.  I felt fine. I felt fine. I wasn’t going to go forward for prayer.  I was about to walk out when I saw an older woman with her daughter. I sat down and cried. And cried. And cried. My mother lives 2058.63 miles away from me in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. I live in Gilbertsville, Pennsylvania. It would take me 33 hours and 18 minutes to drive there.  I missed my mom. I missed my Grandmother Grace.  I went forward and asked for prayer.

Grace is my Grandmothers name. Grace means unmerited favour.  God gives us unconditional love, despite all we do to him or each other.  I am thankful when God made me in my mother’s womb, he chose Berdeane Oliver Fernuik to be my mother. I am grateful for her unconditional love. I am thankful that my mother has always loved me.  She loved me when  I didn’t listen, when  I was mad at her, and when I was naughty.

I look like my mother. My mother looks like her mother. I look like Grace.

My Own Socks

When I mow the lawn or work in the yard, I wear workboots. All of the  socks I own are no-show ankle socks. I don’t own  any  socks that I could wear with my boots.   My husband does. The white athletic socks in his sock drawer feel nice on my feet, and I borrow them.  Well, I really just take them without asking. I could quote him Matthew 5:42, Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. Except I have never asked him if I could borrow his socks.  I assumed he didn’t mind.

My husband just asked me what I was writing about. I told him it was about stealing his socks. He said,” Oh, that is where they go.”

Last week when I was in the sock aisle at the discount store, I thought to myself, “ I could buy my own socks. I don’t have to borrow my husbands socks anymore. I can buy my own socks.”   I bought six pairs of black socks to wear with my workboots. They are warm and comfortable and they are mine.  Taking care of myself in the sock aisle.