Friday, July 20, 2012

Curt had always been a cynic, irritable, disgusted. The space around him radiated negativity. Now Stephanie’s husband had one more real reason to be so since his back surgery had left him numb from the waist down. Yes, he could still walk, hobble; but he also required a catheter in order to function. Intercourse was out of the question. The verbal lashings she received made sure that any other kind of intimacy was too. Time for another quest, a search for peace on this cool, cloudy summer evening. Stephanie headed out with the dog to walk and pray, run away, try to clear her head for the third time today. “God, if You’re there, I need a sign that tells me Dennis is OK. I am so terrified that he is suffering in hell. He was being rebellious when the accident happened. I never told him, I never knew that I should have been looking for You and teaching him about You. I have so much confusion now myself. All of my watching religious TV and searching the internet has only made me more fearful. God, help me! I am so afraid!” As she rounded the corner she came upon the neighbors walking too. “Hi! How are you? How’s your husband doing?”, Matt asked. How do I word this? she thought. She grinned a strained smile, shrugged. “He’s…” a pause. “Not doing too well?” asked Dina. “I think he’s depressed”. Matt agreed that he sure had reason to be, and so did she! “Are you taking care of yourself?”, he asked. Matt himself had recently undergone a knee replacement and had also had back surgery a few years ago, so he really understood. He had been so nice and friendly and even got Curt to snicker and smile a few months ago when he was walking by and stopped to talk. “You should check with his doctor and get something to help. There’s no reason to suffer with the new medications they have. You should check it out for yourself, too!” Matt suggested. “Well, I tried something when our son was killed, but it didn’t really help.” “Oh, no…your son was killed?" asked Dina. “I’m so sorry. What happened.” Stephanie went on to explain that it was a shooting accident. “I think I remember hearing the news when that happened! Well, no wonder he’s depressed. We’ll pray for him. What’s his name?” Instantly, she knew that God had heard her own prayer. Matt and Dina took turns telling her all of the battles they’d been through for so many years, the latest being Dina’s lay-off and also Matt’s cancer before the back and knee surgeries. “Wow. Really?!” “Are you a Christian?” she asked Dina. “Yes, I am”. Stephanie tried to hold back her excitement. “Well, I had a really close friend, our neighbor who was a Christian, and she used to beg me with tears to become one. She moved away, but even came back to help me through the grief when we lost our son.” “Would you like to come back to our house and talk some more? I need to get home and check my chicken in the oven. “Dina asked. Stephanie hesitated. “Well, I’m just starting my walk, and it really makes me feel better.” “Ok, how about I call you when we’re finished eating?” “OK, sure.” Stephanie said. Later, as they walked, they discussed all of the confusion on TV and the internet. “When Danny died, I started watching EWTN, the Catholic channel and praying the rosary. It was really comforting to me. Now I’m learning all kinds of things on the internet about the Vatican, nephilim, aliens…it’s so shocking and makes me so sad and afraid! I feel really uncomfortable even talking to you about it. Have you ever seen anything like that?” “Yes, I have. You know there’s a lot of mis-information as well as dis-information. We need to be very careful of what we believe…discerning of what we see. It’s the Holy Spirit Who guides and teaches us when we know Jesus.” “Yes, we need to be filled with the Holy Spirit, right?!” Stephanie was not just interested, and she said so. She was famished and nearly dehydrated for spiritual insight. She talked about her other Christian friends and their warnings about astrology and yoga, which she had also practiced. “I really need some answers! I’ve barely been sleeping and researching all this for two weeks straight! My husband thinks I’m losing it!”

Sunday, July 15, 2012

On my mental decorating calendar, it's half-way through summer, and I've been behind ! Michael's cousin Kris is coming for a visit, so I got busy. Here's our entryway. The charcoal drawing with the bamboo frame hung in my parents' house until they moved here. Michael had insisted that we buy it for them on our honeymoon in Hawaii.
Here's a close-up of my parents' beautiful shell ashtray - Mom never smoked, but we lost her going on 3 years ago.
On to the living area mantel. I was planning to paint a seascape to be the focal point, but instead decided to grab our print of dolphins from the bathroom. I wanted an asymmetrial, refreshing look, not too matchy matchy, including some black and white photography. I started out with a large conch shell to the right of the print, moved the candle from left to right, and finally came up with this...
The pilot in the photograph is Michael's Dad, whom I never met. He passed away before Michael and I met. Besides being perfect for the black and white element, I thought Kris would like to see his uncle's picture. It also fits in with the ocean theme, since he served in the Pacific during WWII. Of course, it fits with "The Travelers" print as well. The built-in bookshelves on either side of the fireplace were feeling much too cluttered. I stored away alot of books and even left only one large item on two of them.
TA DA! Perfect for our visitor and our staycation, too!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Monday, July 2, 2012