Stormy Days

lightningI am an early riser.

This morning, it was 2:30 a.m. (No, that isn’t a typo.)

It’s been this way for some years now, for varying reasons.  Most, I believe, are physical but not all.  Certainly, in the last few weeks, that hasn’t been the case.

It’s the stuff in my head.

For almost two years, the whole “C” thing – and all that entailed – caused many a sleepless nights.  I don’t think that’s unusual.  Recently, it’s something – or, rather, some things – other than that.

Odd dreams where I’ve seen the same “terrorist” looking guy more than once.  Wondering how this whole ‘end of life’ thing with Mom is going to play out. Worrying about my daughters health, our finances, what I’m going to make for dinner.

And then there’s the circus called the U.S. Presidential elections.  Wish I could say, “Not my circus, not my monkeys”, but – unfortunately – this circus very much impacts our lives and I have a natural political bent even in the best of times.  With this Freak Show, I’ve been consumed with what’s going on, what’s being revealed, and what is being kept secret.

It’s one thing to have concerns – even fears –  about external foes: ISIS, Russia, Iran, North Korea, China.  The terms “World War III” and “Nuclear Weapons” are being bandied about a lot these days, and it’s scary stuff – especially when you consider who has their finger on the button (be it a suitcase or an Oval Office).

God help us all.

It’s a whole thing altogether, though, when you realize your own government is bad to the bone, and We The People are really just pawns in their Game of Thrones. We now need protection from the very institution that was created to protect us!  The Washington Elite and the Global Cabal have made it clear that they could care less about us.  We are disposable to them.

And just typing that makes me want to smack someone, or scream, or stick my head in the sand (or in a bottle of booze) and pretend it all away.

I’m REALLY going to need a mental cleanse after November 8th (if not before)

Knowing it’s futile to lay there in bed and try to think my thoughts away,  I got up, and played Gin Rummy for a couple of hours. It distracts me.  It breaks the cycle of worry. It can even be fun.  But it doesn’t necessarily make me feel better.

With an hour to go before people started stirring about, I had enough of that and did what I should have done from the start: I poured myself a fresh cuppa, sat at my little kitchen table, lit a candle, and prayed.

Within a few minutes, it started to rain again.  Gently at first, and then in big fat sheets. Blessed, wonderful, Hot Damn! rain! It sprinkled here on and off all day yesterday, with even some thunder and lightening thrown in, and I swear I could hear Earth groan with pleasure.  Even one day of rain in drought racked SoCal is a huge deal.   The air gets fresh, Nature get a quick wash down, and the temp actually drops below 75.

When I heard the thunder start up again, I threw open my kitchen door, stepped outside and looked North where huge bolts of lightning lit up the dark.  Great rolling claps of thunder sounded overhead, and I could just see the shapes of the clouds in the predawn light.  It looked like a massive rib cage, with a giant Heart in the center.  The thought crossed my mind to try to capture it in a photo, but I didn’t want to leave.  I didn’t want to chance missing IT.

I wanted to praise!

Raising my hands and relishing in the beauty of the Storm, I recalled reading that God’s Voice is as thunder, and His appearance as lightning.  It made what I was witnessing even more beautiful, and it seemed the bolts were in sync with my thoughts.  My mind was being cleansed and refreshed with Living Water.

And that’s when I heard, “Grandma!  Grandma  Can you hear it?!?”   Padding into the kitchen, his eyes bright and wide, his hair tousled with sleep, was my Angel.

Pushing back into the kitchen, I stepped inside and said “Yes, Bub!  I sure do!  Isn’t it awesome? Come here and let’s watch!”

And just then the kitchen – and my heart – glowed with Light. Holding his little body in front of mine, we stood and watched and clapped and laughed with pure joy at every clap of thunder and every bolt of lightning.  Oh, what a miracle!

I’m still smiling about it.

You gave abundant showers, O God,
You refreshed your weary inheritance.
Psalm 68:9

Not Another Manic Monday

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Shhhhh……don’t tell The Boss, but I’m playing hooky today.  And while I have to use some much valued vacation hours to pay for it

I…

JUST….

COULDN’T…

GO…

IN

No, I don’t have a hangover.

See, after a half dozen weeks of high stress/low sleep, my body and emotions said,“oh hell no!” when it was time to get ready for work this morning.  Thankfully, the situation that’s been taking up space in my head since July came to a positive conclusion yesterday, and – break out the champagne! – life can resume normally. (Whatever that is!)

On the plus side, after years in Menopause Boot Camp, I’ve learned how to hold down a full time job while dealing with insomnia, worrisome “others”, and all of my other responsibilities and still manage to appear relatively together.

But only on the outside.

On the inside, I’ve been a fucking mess.  You would think that after all these years, and all that Enlightenment, I’d be good at dropping the Good Little Soldier routine and just let my shit show.  But no…I can’t.  I won’t.

Right or wrong, true or false, I believe that if I have a melt down, “they” will freak out.  If I fall apart, “they” will, too. Who will keep it All together if I don’t?   It’s my job – my mission, even – to make those in my care (three generations worth) to feel at peace, and that It’s All Good.

So I do what I have to do.   I put on a stiff upper lip, pull up my Big Girl Panties, and get on with the business of taking care of business.

Only when the Crises has passed do I allow myself to fall apart, and almost always in the comfort of my own home when no one else is looking.  Hence, the need to take a day off – because even though The Man knows, he doesn’t know.  Only Those that see my midnight tears, and hear my 3 a.m. prayers, really understand.

Oh, it’s not like a few close friends weren’t in on what was going on.  They “got it”, and prayed and supported me.  Thank God and the angels for them.  But there is a limit to how much another person can realistically be there in our dark moments. There are just some Valleys of Shadows that we have to walk through by ourselves.

And while I can pray and let go and believe and all that happy crap, Being Strong can be a very scary, exhausting, lonely road.

Some of you will know what I’m talking about.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Time to shower,  have a good cry and take a nap.  Truly,  I have so much to be thankful for!  Why, in just a hand full of hours I’ve got a Girls Night Out to get ready for. I’ll be attending a special cocktail and discussion reception prior to the closing night of  “Twelfth Night” at one of our local theaters.  It’s set in the 1920s flapper era.  How fun does that sound?

By then, I’m sure I’ll look fabulous!  Why, my outfit is all picked out, some makeup will hide the dark baggy circles, and I’ll be all smiles.  No one will be the wiser that I’ve just finished a trek through hell because

It’s Show Time!

*note: The photo above was taken a couple of weeks ago on a very special day.  My future daughter-in-law invited me to go with her entourage to look for a wedding dress!  Yes, my son is getting married next March and I couldn’t be more thrilled.  That’s my hand with the turquoise ring and age spots, and FDILs is next to it on the right.  :) And while I didn’t take the photo, I brought the champagne and glasses to toast the occasion, with four generations present.  Yes, so very much to be thankful for….and here come those tears!

Friday Fiction – Up In Smoke

A writing prompt came across my Reader this morning called, “Friday Fiction” – the brain child adopted child of Rochelle Wisoff-Fields over at Addicted To Purple.   The photo prompt immediately caught my attention – I’m a lover of all things vintage – and prompts are a great way to get the juices flowing, creative or otherwise.

The idea is to use the photo as inspiration for an original story, 100 words or less.  So here it is, my first contribution to Friday Fiction: “Up In Smoke”.  It came in at exactly 100 words, but only after culling some I really wanted to keep.  LOL

antique-deskPhoto Credit:  Photo by Jan Wayne Fields, Rochelle’s husband

Gazing at her grandfather’s desk, Neeley remembered the man who once occupied it’s chair for hours pouring over the numbers he meticulously kept on his tobacco crops.

Once so familiar and beloved, with his ink stained fingertips, twinkling green eyes and the smell of smoke that clung to him, Richard Jamestone was now a complete stranger.

When she stumbled upon three journals hidden in the attic, Neeley thought she had discovered a treasure.  Her heart lept at the thought of learning more about this man who was so kind and gentle with her.

What she discovered instead was murder.