Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Letter to Lisa

Most households have a 'guy' figure.  Mine has been dead for decades.  I raised my kids by myself with the notion that homes are meant for living in.  They are a tool, just like a hammer; not a showplace.  In October, when I tore my third meniscus, (second in 4 months), my garage was no longer an option for making my messes.  Enter my dining room.  People would be appalled to see my dining room.  Appalled.  At the least, they would get hives just looking at it.  I have saws, and drills, 100's of paint cans and buffers, and any manner of tools on carts and tables, the floor, all surfaces.  I vacuum up the sawdust daily, and mop about twice a week.  I am in love with my house!  It was built in 1824, and in 11 years will celebrate its 200th birthday.  We are only the 6th family to live in this house, and that, has been for 42 years. It is the best servant I could have ever asked for.  And, no one cares, because there is no "guy" figure to tidy for, to please.  I live in a 'FUN HOUSE'.  The grand-kids run from stem to stern, up and down both staircases, or sliding down them in sleeping bags.  [We have the hospital visits to prove it]  When they think no one is looking, they rappel the balcony on karate belts.  I have an entire closet filled with costumes, that are worn more often that a favorite item in your closet.  My whole house is a craft area, but I try to confine the messes to the dining room.  There is hardly a spot anymore that can't be removed by some wonder product with a little elbow grease, and no spot is worth having someone feel bad for having made it.  If one lives in a house with a "guy" figure, who would frown on such doings, then off to the Home Depot for some Visqueen for tables and floors.  Visqueen is my go-to product, just like duct tape.  It is a heavy mill plastic that is lighter than carpets for rolling up bodies, and duct tape sticks to it better.  Roll it on the floor and the table before the paint and the blood splashes, and virtually no clean-up.  I have never used it for a body, but it never hurts to be prepared. [Sorry-dark humor]

Also, at the Home Depot, in the paint department, are little pots of OOPS paint for .50, quarts for $2.00, and gallons for $7.00. You will be in craft heaven for years.  Get cheap brushes at Harbor Freight or ReStore.  If you need any kind of rugged craft wood for painting, see my deck, the side of my garage, my dining room.  Before I throw anything in the wood stove, I examine it for future painting possibilities.

There you have it.  When I lost my job, a year ago Christmas, I probably felt the most devalued in my life. I was no longer the fresh candidate at the front of the line.  I just found out that I had breast cancer.  I had been expecting to work forever, and fall dead in the parking lot of my employer at 90 something. Didn't happen that way. Now, for the 80th or so, time, I had to reinvent my life. By golly, this time it was going to be within My parameters. Although I actively job-searched (see 4" thick 3 ring binder in my bookcase) while collecting unemployment; the surgery and radiation wiped me out.  Then one day at ReStore (I had to stop-it's on my way home from the hospital) I was lifting a fireplace mantle into my van and my meniscus snapped.  I don't know how I got home-drove with my wrong foot-cruise control.  I unloaded my van by heaving things out of it, and then tried to rest.  I hoped I could wake up from a very bad dream and be healed.  Alisa took me to the ER. My unemployment ended a month later.  I did not apply for the extensions because there is a statement on the online form that reads something like, "are you physically and mentally able to work?"  I couldn't check yes to that anymore.

Everyone has to figure out, and re-figure what defines their life, and with me, it sure wasn't going to be that I wasn't worthy to be a law secretary.  I had skills. I HAVE skills.  I can create mostly anything that enters my mind, or can find someone to help me do it. And, my mind never stops.  I/you/everyone has to be their own cheerleader.

When we tell our kids that they can be anything they want, why do we exclude ourselves?  This IS what I want to BE. I'm living my best life, with the resources that I have.  If God needs to slow me down, He gives me a new infirmity the reorients me, and brings Him closer.

I think at the beginning of this missive, I was trying to make a point, but I've forgotten it, so "take what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away."

As ever,
La Verne


In real news, the Cardinals (of Rome) have elected Pope Francis the First. Viva la Papa!

New pope: Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina. IMAGE

He is humble, holy, and as a Jesuit has taken a vow of poverty. Now we're (Catholic Church) finally going to kick some ass on social justice issues.  [That seemed disrespectful, somehow] Well done, good and faithful servants.

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