Author Archives: Busswoman

About Busswoman

I am a woman who has loved the written word all my life. I was an avid reader throughout my childhood and am still hooked on books in my adulthood. Writing has been a hobby for a very long time. Opening a new blog is a new adventure and one I hope will be a positive experience. My goal is to simply have a place to put my thoughts down in an easy format, and if in the process, my words give another person some enjoyment, then it is all the better. In the meantime, I AM HAVING SO MUCH FUN! (All rights reserved...content found within may not be used without permission)

Fear

The picture of two girls is our daughter Andrea on right and her best friend Katie from when we all lived in Sioux Falls South Dakota.

As I write this, I feel so helpless. Andrea is sick for a second stretch, meaning she was well for two days after her first sick stretch of over 10 days and now is experiencing the symptoms again, but this time they are worse! Temp is higher, she has chills and drenching sweat! There is nothing that anyone can do for her as there is no anti viral therapy! During the short time she felt well, she rejoiced at being able to breath again. When she was sick, her voice was tiny because of shortness of breath, and it was tiny because she was scared!

This feels like the wild west, a time before the advent of modern medicine. In those days, if a person got sick, all you could really do was offer comfort and wait it out, praying that the body would eventually fight its way back to wellness again. What is also terrible in this, though, is that we cannot go to her and help her. We want to take care of her, sit by her side, and offer soothing words of comfort! I am so ready to throw caution to the wind and just drive up there. But, I don’t want to add to her concerns!

Since this whole thing has started, I have had images in my mind of times past when we drove down the highway and looked up to see a billboard with the writing “Don’t make me come down there!” (as a supposed message from God). That message would always make me smile because I remember saying that exact same thing to our children when they were growing up!

When the government enacted the lock down, I thought to myself that this also seemed “parental” in giving all of us a “time out”.

As in all time outs, there is much time for reflection of self, family and life! I have done non-stop praying about so many things. Naturally, our child is our number one concern, and I have spent much time in prayer on her behalf! I have prayed for our whole family on many scores, health, job losses, the economy, our retirement funds, and also for us to find strength to face whatever is ahead! I am also praying for the 4 adult children in our family who are now jobless, as they are waiting for this to pass. Not everyone can work remotely from home.

This is a very difficult time and as a country, we have not seen the worst of it yet! I know this is bigger than any of us! if ever there was a message about who is in control over us and our earth, this is it! Only our Creator can help us now.

I do not know how this will all shake out! What I DO know is that as much as I would like to crawl under the covers and hide from all of this, it is not an option! We have no choice but to remember that the whole of this life is really just a blink of an eye in time as compared to eternity.

I pray now for Gods will to be done even as I am praying in earnest for our daughters health. This is one of the hardest times we have EVER faced, and we have faced some hard times, butp a threat upon ones child is the gravest of all concerns. Yet, even as I write this, I know that there are countless others who can say, “I have dealt with much, much worse.” So, I humble myself in face of that and then add to my prayers by asking God to turn my weaknesses into strength….and for Him to please stay by our sides.

The illusion of control comes when times are easy, when life is comfy, and we are happy. Times like this make us realize our life has just been an illusion of control.

I am seeing my daughter now in my minds eye as a baby, a child, an adolescent and an adult. She has brought us SO much joy! She and I are very close and whatever she is feeling, I am feeling. Oh how I wish I could be with her. I am grateful though, that this time around, her husband is there with her. She is not without human comfort and I am relieved about this. God is with her too, and I know that!

Jjb/3/27/2020

 

Uncertain times

This statement, “Here is a test to find out if your mission here is finished. If you are still alive, it isn’t. (Richard Bach) is about how it is!

Really! If we do everything in our power to protect ourselves and it ends up not being enough to save us, our mission is completed and God wanted us back! It is as simple as that!

We have been home for 12 days and I have done endless reading on the subject of the corona virus situation but also on other plagues that the U.S. has suffered in the last 100 years. Al and I also spent time outdoors and went on a road trip where I took some fantastic pictures along the way. I will share them in another post to help you feel less confined in our individual quarantine status.

I slept extremely well last night…thank God for sleep! After a week of phone calls with our daughter who has been home alone and sick with no where to turn, she finally was checked out in an E.R.. We are waiting on the results.Just the fact that she was seen and attended to eased my stress load. I am smart enough to know that even medical people are limited in what they can do for us with this virus, but the part that had me going over the edge, so to speak, was that no one was responding to her cry for help. Once that was attended to, I could relax a little bit.

This virus has created a very isolating situation for all of us. Generally speaking, when someone becomes seriously ill, the first thing loved ones do is come to your aid and tend to you. You may not be able to do much about the crisis your loved one is in, medically speaking, but never underestimate the power of loving care. Statistics show that when a person is ill, they often will rally somewhat under the care of someone who loves them. They rest better, sleep better, eat better, drink better, …the list goes on. Our souls and spirits react to being loved. It is a powerful force.

In this case, with our daughter, she had no one but her little french bulldog who she loved having by her side. One night she called in distress and said, “I am worried about Nugget…What if I die during the night? What will happen to Nugget?” I assured her she wasn’t going to die, (faith and prayers here) but she was becoming very fearful because she could not find a way to be reassured by anyone in the first person. To ease her loneliness, she was on the phone with many people..her husband, her parents, her siblings, her aunt, and friends. She was doing everything in her power to stay connected because as the days passed and her symptoms would go from bad to better to bad again, her greatest enemy was fear which resulted from her being alone.

On this end, our stress level accelerated daily in concern for her. Here we were in isolation ourselves, and we could not go up to help her. I told my husband that I was ready to throw caution to the wind and just make that 3 1/2 hour drive to tend to her, but that I knew if I caught the virus and died, she would feel responsible and I did not want that for her either.

I am high risk because of my age group and because of my allergies coupled with my family history of asthma. I asked my doctor if I am someone considered to be compromised with underlying conditions. She said “yes”. My history is such that often if I get the flu it always wants to settle in my chest. Obviously, with this virus’s main target being the lungs, I am most likely not to make it if I get it.

Hence for the last almost 2 weeks I have had much time to read and think about this. I know I am o.k. with the idea of God taking me home. I have no fear of death. It is more that I just want a little bit more time with my family. I want to feel their embrace once again. I want to be able to sit close enough to them to study their faces as we talk and laugh once again. But, I know that may not be the case, and therefore as my heart sinks when thinking of these things, I also throw up thanks snd gratitude for what I DO still have which is my husband being right here, right now! This crazy invader has me making amends with my maker for anything I have said or done that He would not approve of. I am bargaining with Him to please spare my children and allow them to come through this unscathed. I am praying for society, our economy, and the homeless who have NO protection.

Our life has been so blessed in so many ways. We have always had a relationship with God, but have to say, even when we thought we were on good terms with Him, I see now how much we came to take for granted. Our health, our home, our family, our freedom to go out wherever and whenever we wanted. We came to be complacent in expecting, yes “expecting”, modern medicine to fix most everything and if it could not be fixed, then buy us time. The truth is, we have always lived under threat if death. We just haven’t been aware of it. We only have this moment in time. Maybe more!

Time is different now. I asked my husband what day it was and he said “What does it matter?” I laughed when he said that because he is so right. We are living a life suspended in time. It is an interesting concept to live this way for there are no demands on our time right now as retired folks who have no place to go.

Well, I will now sign off. I feel so much better now that our daughter has had her test and we await the results. I talked with her husband last night and I felt such an enormous surge of love for him for calling me and saying “I am on my way home and don’t worry, I will take care of her.” He plans to stay in a hotel until her test comes back. I am deeply grateful to him!

What is going to happen? It is anyones guess. All we can do is sit tight snd pray. When times are fun and light and beautiful we tend to take everything for granted…even God. But these days, when it comes to believers, I think HE has our full attention and is making note of the attendance to his class.

March 23, 2020/jjb

What is important

It’s interesting, isn’t it, how everything can change in the time it takes to blink an eye? How, in just one blink, so much of what you thought was important, suddenly is not!

What is important is not a lifetime of accumulation, nor the trophy’s that sit on our mantles, nor the pieces of paper on which our names and our accomplishments are printed and displayed proudly through framed glass for all to see.

Life’s meaning is not found in the size of our home, the brand of our car, nor the destinations of our holidays.

What is valuable is our connection with those we love who love us back.

Our souls come to this world in a tiny, fleshy human form. We enter crying as we are blinded by the light of this new world, and we gasp when we take in our first breath of life.

Our Mother gets a glimpse of our eternal souls as she peers into the depths of our tear filled baby eyes. In our newly born helpless state, she cradles us, and talks to us in soft loving tones and we feel comforted. We cease to cry as we look back into her eyes and see nothing but love because it is then we know we are going to be o.k. We are two souls who became one by the reciprocal love of our first earthly union.

In the beginning, all we need is love and nourishment and a sense of belonging. Our souls grow and expand as we experience this love. We grow up in a family that is uniquely ours. Through this family we learn about the world in which we live. Before long we are leaving home and forging a new life which we can now modify to suit our emotional and intellectual needs. Our path is our own and our life begins to take on a new shape because we are in control of our destiny. (Rather, we think we are in control). Much of how our life is built is based on endless decisions and responses to those decisions we make along the way. As we watch our life take shape, we begin to believe in the power of our individual control. We begin to believe that if we continue ahead, forging our own chosen path along life’s journey, we will be fine.

But, life isn’t that simple. We are faced with many challenges that are beyond our immediate control. Some of us do not even make it to adulthood due to an accident or an unexpected illness. These are the times that serve as reminders to us that our control is very limited and we cannot fix everything by ourselves.

Right now, our world is facing a terrible Pandemic that few of us have ever experienced before. In the U.S., in recent times, it has probably never even been considered a possibility by an individual ordinary citizen. Few of us will escape this invader. Most of us will survive this invader and some of us will die.

We are asked to stay home and so we do. From our sofas and chairs we watch the news and listen as they tell us that our entire society must come to a halt. Major industries are closing down, churches are closing, people are losing their jobs, businesses are desperately trying to do anything they can to stay solvent and our savings are in peril.. Our enemy is foreign, invisible and highly contagious.

I find myself thinking of people throughout history who faced their own mortality. These people, who in the process of settling this country, faced insurmountable hardships in the form of inadequate housing, sickness, starvation…and death. Death was always present in those early days of very few medicines and even fewer Doctors.

Death takes many forms in many different circumstances.

I read about the Civil war where more soldiers were killed than in any other war in history. I think of the many wars that young men have fought in and died, never getting the chance to know what life could have brought them afterwards.

I think of the many people who sit across from their Doctor and receive bad news about the amount of time they may or may not have left.

I think about the famous ship, the Titanic, where countless people on that ship suddenly became aware of the fact that they were going down under the icy waters of the Atlantic and were forced to wait for death as the “unsinkable ship” slowly sank into the darkness bringing them along with it. One story goes that there were musicians who continued to play music knowing the ship was slowly sinking and that they were facing certain death.

There have been plagues before. The 1600’s brought smallpox, the 1700’s brought yellow fever, the 1800’s brought Cholera and Scarlet Fever, the 1900’s brought Typhoid, Spanish flu, Diphtheria, Polio, Measles and HIV. Our ancestors faced similarly frightening scenarios.

This new virus that is killing people all over the world is taking its toll on human lives. Sickness and death is just one big part of it, but the economic impact following will be another major consequence and we can only pray that it won’t drive us into another depression to equal the Great Depression.

Human lives have always been fragile and people in third world countries have faced the fragility of life from a very young and tender age. A lot of people in developed countries in modern times have not had to face fear head on because in the recent past, lets say the last 75-100 years, many of us have lived lives of comfort due to modern medical advances which have led us to believe that most everything can be “fixed”. Healthcare became so advanced, we didn’t worry about our children dying young like our ancestors children often did…instead, we assumed that we and our children would live to ripe old ages. Often we were correct in this assumption.

These are very uncertain times and deeply disturbing. We are facing an enemy when we have limited resources with which to fight something of this magnitude. What is also very difficult for most of us is that usually when we feel threatened or insecure, we find comfort in the arms of our loved ones. In these times, we are forced to isolate ourselves from everyone we know. Some of us are in our homes alone and we feel fear of the unknown.

This is history in the making…it will be printed in the history books and future generations will read about it and look at pictures of the event unfolding, just as I was reading yesterday about the 1918 flu pandemic. As I looked at black and white photos of sick people in rows upon rows of medical beds, I imagined each one of them as someones father, mother, daughter, son and the list goes on. In old pictures these individual identities are lost in the mass composite, but each person there mattered to someone.

Daily, it is a struggle to find courage. We pray, we read scripture, and we force ourselves to live in the moment, because we understand that our previous concerns about our future are no longer applicable. By comparison, those concerns now pale. New worries and concerns have stepped in to take their place.

I find myself thinking of my Mother again, imagining what she would have thought of all this. In the deepest recess of my psyche, I sometimes wish I was once again the baby she held so long ago, me watching her look deeply into my eyes as I listen to her soft voice reassuring me that I will be fine.

The reassuring voice has come back and this time it is my father reassuring me. My heavenly father who created me is whispering reassurance into my heart that it will all be fine. One way or another, this will all pass, and we will all be fine. Things may not work out exactly as we are hoping but HE reassures me it will still be fine. As I pray and listen with my heart, I know HE is right. I know that throughout history, people have faced fear and have chosen to ramp up their courage, their acceptance, and their faith that all things work out for the better good.

I reflect on my Mother and I thank her now for bringing me up to know that there is a God who is Lord over all. We are all part of a much bigger picture, each of us just one tiny thread among millions of other threads of many different colors, woven together to create a tapestry of Gods design. The most beautiful tapestries tend to have a lot of darkness woven in to bring out the beauty of the colored threads. Dark times are represented by dark threads. Some threads have been knotted to sit securely in place and some have been snipped. I don’t know if my future is going to be knotted in place or if I will be snipped free, but I am choosing to trust that this is all part of Gods design.

As I continue to read about other perilous times, I find my heart touched by their displays of courage. As history shows us their many act of courage, I know that I will face my own fears and choose to pick courage to live along side my fears as well. Its the only wise choice!

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’”

—Eleanor Roosevelt

Jjb/5/21/2010

Arthur

Arthur has come for a visit

and he isn’t very nice!

He attacked my hand with such a force,

I am now applying ice!

My knuckles are swollen and aching.

They cannot make a fist.

Each time I try to form a grip

My fingers choose to resist.

Arthur was born to our family

But nobody likes him much.

Arthur likes to make life miserable.

He has a painful touch.

I wish we could tell him off!!

I wish we could send him away!!

Unfortunately, I know in my heart of hearts,

Arthur is here to stay.

He’s the black sheep of our family.

He is a pain whose ways are crude.

His full name is Arthur”itis”.

And to us he’s a dreadful dude!

Jjb/3/8/2020

Creation!

It is a gorgeous March day in Austin Texas! Yesterday was lovely too, and as a consequence of those blue skies, warm air, and eager gardening heart, I way overdid it in the garden over the course of 6 hours. Goodness! Those bags of mulch and garden soil are getting heavier every year!

I just cannot seem to help myself! I dig and lift and drag and trim until I stumble back into the house, parched and exhausted at the end of my project and despite all that, I still find myself saying “What a glorious day it has been!” To say that I am not your average woman would be an understatement!

As a result of yesterdays enthusiasm in the gardening department, I now have a couple of arthritic knuckles paying me an angry visit! I am also walking around the house like the stiff tin man in the movie The Wizard of Oz!” Ouch! However, I am accepting of the aches and pains because they mean I am still able to do these things and I am alive and well and still walking this earth!

Lately, I have taken to reading many different stories about near death experiences. At first I was intrigued. Then I was obsessed to find as many as I could to read or video testimonies to watch. It has been like a graduate course on the next life in heaven.

People who experience NDE say that heaven is ablaze with a beauty unlike any we have seen or experienced on this earth. They say that experiencing heaven makes earth seem pale and imperfect in comparison. So much of what I have read made me want to suit up and buckle up for the ride of a lifetime to the next life, the “real” life with God, and the sooner the better.

That is, until I went outside yesterday and stood surrounded by Gods creation. If heaven makes this life pale by comparison, I just cannot imagine what that kind of beauty must be like to experience because this earthly beauty is absolutely breathtaking!

I watched birds flitting about making their nests for their impending future families. I looked closely at the tiniest little buds emerging forth from the tips of my Rose of Sharon tree and I felt my heart stir! Berries were ripe on the Yaupon Holly tree as a juicy banquet for the birds who were working up an appetite getting their nests ready.

As I dug into the earth, creating a hole to place a new plant, I saw earthworms wriggling their way through the new territory where they found themselves. I felt the warm sun on my back and as I looked up, I watched a few white clouds lazily making their way across the deep blue sky. All this beauty in motion and I got to be a part of it! I AM a part of it all, and I thanked God that He chose ME to be a part of His wonderful creation! Most of the time I don’t see myself as anything particularly special, but I must have a lot of value for God to have chosen ME!

I walked onto our courtyard porch area and saw wrens busily stuffing all kinds of leaves and twigs into our decorative bird cage in preparation of the babies soon to arrive. There in front of the cage entrance is a fake cardinal. The little wrens had to get up close enough to this imposter see for themselves it isn’t real. . So now they navigate past this red wooden bird and make their nest. I imagine them convincing themselves that the imposter will help keep predators away!

As I sat in our courtyard quenching my thirst with icy water, I looked up towards our very big and old oak tree on the front corner of our house. I noticed a heart shaped pair of branches right in the middle. Who says trees don’t have hearts? This tree was estimated to be 400 years old by one arborist and 250 years old by another. We don’t really care, we are just grateful it continues to live and give shade in the very hot Texas summers.

Do I want to go to heaven? YES! Yes, of course I do, however I am more than willing to wait for that experience. I am ready and look forward to it, but just not yet! I find enough beauty on our earth to satisfy and amaze me daily. Besides, if God wants me here, I trust that He has a purpose for me being in my life right here and right now and I trust that my purpose will someday be shown to me!

I don’t think our purpose on earth is necessarily a big event type thing. It may be as seemingly small as making another human being feel as if they matter in this world and to feel as if they are loved. I think daily gratitude for this life and for this world we live in is extremely important. Love definitely rules!

The sun is shining again and creation is beckoning for me to come outside once again. Nature! It is Gods playground created for all of us with the most perfect playmates to spend time with!

Have an awesome day!

Jjb/3/6/2020

My One and Only One!

I whistle as I walk today under a sky that is sunny and blue.

I can feel my heart skip a beat each time I think of you.

I remember when we first met, (my heart skipped a beat then too).

I remember seeing on your face a smile so honest and true.

You were so beautiful in many ways,  your face, your soul, your heart. 

My heart was yours to have and hold right from the very start.

Our love was so passionate it burned like white hot fire.

Here and now, in our elder years, our hearts still hold a deep desire.

Our hair has grown thinner, and wrinkles line our face. 

I love laying by your side at night. It is my favorite place.

Your face is just as beautiful with life sketched upon its planes.

I am grateful to share life’s journey with you, I would do it all over again. 

I see I’m at the end of my walk. I am back home where I first begun.

My heart quickens as I think of you waiting for me, my one and only one. 

 

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jjb/2/25/2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Return to me!

It has been quite some time since I have sat down to write much of anything. I love to write down my thoughts and feelings, but have been so occupied, I haven’t found the time to do so. I decided a while back to step away from most forms of online media, especially social media. We also cut the cord to television and have abandoned most news stations. It was a very good decision. My angst about world affairs and politics quickly diminished when we eliminated the angry, hate filled rhetoric from our life. Facebook had to go too, because to me it had become a giant, out of control, opinion machine which presented itself to me every time I went on line. I finally snapped.

My personality has never been the type to be engaged with people 24-7, yet there I was, deep in the middle of all of it. I now look back and laughingly refer to my fb years as my own personal “Stockhom syndrome”, which is where a person develops a bond with his or her captor.

Be back in a while………

While I may appear to be a very gregarious human being, I am actually happiest in my own nest in my own company with an added person or two with whom to communicate with. Marriage is the perfect union for me. It is warm, loving, comfortable, rewarding, and non competitive. No real pressure here to be anyone other than my real self. We are aging together and as we age, we find comfort in seeing our loved one age as well. If anything, aging endears us to each other, because we are in this together.

I have been busy reevaluating how I spend my time. It is so easy to get caught up in the cyber world and before one realizes it, cyber reality overtakes “living in the moment” reality. The operative word being living. Too often we mistake our internet friends as real friends and we engage with them on line from the comfort of our chair and laptop keyboard. It requires less work on our part to continue a relationship that is only a click away.

Relationship in the first person requires time and effort, but the rewards of eye to eye contact along with body language during a conversation is infinitely more pleasurable. It is enjoyable nurturing a long time friendship where we witness the passage of time as we view the increasing wrinkles on their faces and see their hair slowly going to gray or even white. There is no way to hide behind a photo-shopped picture when you are sitting across the table from each other having a conversation at a meal. There we are in our total unvarnished reality as we sit a couple of feet away from each other in close visual range. Happily, we begin to relax as we see we are not alone in our aging.

There is nothing wrong with staying in touch with friends and relatives on fb if one can control the time spent. I was one of those who became addicted to the whole cyber social scene and looking back I still have some very good feelings about the times spent catching up with long ago acquired friends and childhood cousins. It was great for me while it lasted, however, I reached a point of needing to step back into “the moment” of my every day existence and I am so glad to be back!

On Sunday, Al and I decided to go to the park after church and we enjoyed watching other people picnic, play ball, fly kites, walk and run the paved paths. It was a picture perfect day. The sun was shining and the light blue skies were graced with white wispy clouds. Birds were riding the air currents, swooping and diving alongside of other birds with joyful reckless abandon. Dogs were running to retrieve balls from their owners. Children were laughing and calling out to each other as they enjoyed the day with their friends. It reminded me of my childhood long before the invention of the internet and cell phones, at a time where we had to use our own imaginations to create our own fun. Today, I was impressed to see parents actively involved with their children. All seemed so happy to be there.

Yesterday we went to golf a few holes in the late afternoon. I drove the cart while Al golfed, because I am a very poor golfer. He wanted me to ride along anyway. The golf course was a feast for the eyes because as the day progressed, the shadows got longer and longer as the sun made its way across the sky. The pictures the shadows created were worthy of being in a painting., Taking time to be in the midst of Gods creation frees the soul like nothing else does. To be one with nature is an exhilarating experience. Al and I enjoyed our time, one on one, seeing all the beauty around us together. It is still a such a rush to look at ones partner knowing that our love is as strong as ever embraced by joy and peace just by being in each others company.

NOTE TO SELF!!!!

Listen to Gods beckoning! Can you hear Him when He says “Return to me”?

He wants us to return to real life more often, escape to the great outdoors, which so many of us recognize as Gods creation. Returning to living and loving in real time frees our souls to swoop and glide as giddily as the birds do when they fly and ride the currents of the air. God is everywhere, all knowing, all seeing, and all around us in real life. Life is meant to be a verb where we should be actively participating in all of it. We really do “need” to spend more time in Gods majestic creation, plugging into His infinite power and feeling our souls being recharged. This can positively take our breath away as our eyes and inner being take it all in!

Carpe Diem! Seize the Day! We only have THIS moment in time that is guaranteed! All else is unknown!

 

Jjb/2/18/2020

 

 

Magoo

When I was a young girl, I wasn’t aware that I had very poor vision because it was my “norm”.  A person can’t miss what they have never had.  When I was in first grade, the school nurse paid a visit to my parents to tell them she suspected I needed glasses and so off to the eye doctor we went. Indeed!  The school nurse was correct.  I was tested and found to be very, very nearsighted. Shortly thereafter, I received my first pair of eye glasses. 

On the way home, with my new glasses sitting squarely on my face, I felt like I had landed in a Magic Kingdom.  Everything I now saw had dimensions I had never seen before.  The trees had many individual leaves which previously appeared to my near sighted eyes like large green cylindrical spheres sitting on top of big brown vertical sticks.  As we came to a 4 way stop, we stopped at a stop sign I had never noticed before and I was excitedly pointing at it and spelling out the word STOP to my father.  Previous to that day, everything in my life was seen as a large blur, and now, miraculously, everything was crisply in focus and I was having the time of my life.  When a person thinks of miracles, this new pair of eyeglasses was my very first “miracle” made possible for me by a Doctor who had been blessed by God with the intelligence to become an Optometrist.  I was so grateful, I felt absolutely giddy over my new ability to see things that people with 20/20 vision took for granted.  Thank you God!  Thank you Doctor!  Thank you Mom and Dad!  I was SO happy and very, very grateful.

My second miracle came around the age of 16 years when I was fitted with my first pair of contact lenses. For years I had worn my old coke bottle thick lenses, and while I was still grateful that they made it possible for me to see the world in focus, I now wanted a way to see the world without the heavy frames and lenses sitting on my face.  I read about the newly invented contact  lenses and began to save my money.  This was going to be MY gift to myself paid for with my part time job. My parents could not afford to pay for this new frivolous way of seeing the world so I thought “The Lord helps those who help themselves.” 

I remember the day the Doctor showed me how to insert the contact lens into my eyes and saying “You will never be able to see well without optical devices, but these little lenses will allow you to see the world as if you were born with 20-20 vision.” No more glasses!  I put them in and as I walked out of the office, once again, my heart skipped a beat.  Hello World!  Look at me now!  I felt instantly freer and even a little bit prettier without my enormous glasses.  I also saw the world better because I was no longer restricted by eye glass frames that inhibited my peripheral vision. I loved my new world of seeing!

Now, I find myself back at the Ophthalmologist’s office, being made ready for cataract surgery. I have been 5 and ½ months out of my gas permeable lenses, but, thankfully, I have been allowed to wear soft contact lenses while my eyes adjust back to their pre-rigid contact lens shape.  One month before surgery I will see a retina specialist who will take a look at my astigmatism and retina to determine if he needs to do any laser correction before my actual cataract surgery to lower possibility of a retinal separation.  For 2 weeks before surgery I have to wear what I exaggeratingly call my “40 pound glasses” because of their weight and size. 

I am old enough to remember Mr. Magoo,  the cute elderly myopic cartoon character from long ago, and I have dubbed myself “Mrs. Magoo” because I, too, would most likely walk into walls, just as he always did in the cartoon, were it not for the help I have received from Doctors to be able to see the world.

I am nervous, but I am also very excited for this next step.  I am grateful to have been born in this country in this time and place where medical miracles occur all the time with God using the brains and hands of trained Physicians.  I am blessed.

I will be writing an update on how this next chapter goes on my journey to improved vision. 

Please pray for me!

Jjb/1/30/2020

Life, the next chapter!

It was as I suspected……I left because I knew.

At first I thought I mattered, which happens to NOT be true.

I spent my time writing words, from my heart, my soul and mind.

I felt like I was contributing to the goodness of mankind.

I offered my pearls of wisdom, shared what was on my heart.

I posted pictures of the life we live, the big and little parts.

But then one day I realized, I was spending too much time,

Writing words in stories and words in poems that rhymed.

I was hanging out with people who were social media friends.

It was fun to be in a dialog that never seemed to end.

One day, I rose from my chair. I put on my socks and shoes.

I went outside to take a walk. The sky was sunny and blue.

Oh how the air refreshed my lungs and the scenery was lovely to see.

I came upon a neighbor (who miraculously remembered me!)

We had a lovely little chat about changes that had occurred,

(while I was busy in cyber space where reality is often blurred).

I thought I’d be missed when I left, but it seems this isn’t so.

I heard from a few of my facebook friends who asked “where did you go?”

A very small group reached out to say “YOU have been duly missed!”

But truth be told, it was just a FEW who reached out from my fb list.

Social networks are addictive, we are hooked in no time flat.

We sit at our screens for time on end posting this and that.

So now I go for long, long walks, and read from my stacks of books.

I have reengaged in the real world and its been worth a second look.

It is fun to invest my newfound time in our home and grounds outside.

This is a our much loved private space where we feel a sense of pride.

I am happy now with much more time, and lots of ways to spend it.

I am spending more time in my garden and I am delighted I get to tend it!

 

Jjb/1/28/2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Letting go

Long ago when we were young and newly married and having children, we were in the building stage of our life. We got married so one plus one equals two. We had children, add three more. We bought a house, another addition.

We both worked before we had children until I chose to quit my job and become a stay at home mother because it was necessary to have someone raise the children and manage their transportation to school and friends homes and Dr. appointments.

The early years were fun, fairly busy and exhausting. There was always something that needed attention, and I was the one that had to attend to it. As the children grew up they became more independent as they navigated around in their own orbits in their own world. When they left home they left an empty spot in my life which was very difficult to fill.

In this day and age, more often than not, both partners within a couple work out of necessity. This is true even if they have children which creates its own set of challenges, but at least when their children do grow up and leave home, there is something left for the Mother to focus on by way of her career. This was not the case for me. My children remained my focus and so my challenge was to find balance in those relationships.

As the years went by, and after they began the building of their own lives they became progressively more busy, while we found a lot of time to fill. We went out and got a hobby in the guise of a part time job we each enjoyed. It helped fill the hours. We did a lot of traveling which also helped fill the time. We volunteered at church which allowed us to get to know more people.

Growing old is a major change in ones life. In our younger years, the change transforms us from feeling overwhelmed by the responsibilities that come with years of preparation for retirement, hoping we will have enough to get us by when the time comes, to a time when we are trying to figure out how to fill all the excess time.

On top of this, we begin our reductions. In the beginning of our life we are busy building and adding, but now it takes on the form of dismantling as we unconsciously get ready for the next stage of life. All the things we purchased in the building stages of life we begin to eliminate. Out they go as we remember how much we paid for them and we wince as we realize they are no longer needed. We should have known since we saw the process all before with our own parents. But, we never really relate to the generation before us because we are too engrossed in our own busy, youthful lives.

I now see that this is part of Gods perfect plan for those of us who continue to age and move towards old age. It is all part of His perfect design in preparing us to let go of this life. Bit by bit the things that made us feel important and needed are lost to us…our jobs, our children, our health. Granted, there is building and some additions continuing as our children take on partners and have children, but we are no longer central to any of it. We move on from being the sun around which the planets (our children) orbited, and now we exchange places with them. Now it is we who are the planets that orbit around them.

There are a lot of blessings that come with aging, but mostly, I have found it to be a grad course on letting go of all the things that we thought would make us happy in this earthly life. We have to release all of which we gathered and it is rather jolting in the beginning. It is especially shocking when you realize your children are not interested in things you have held dear. We want to hang on to the familiar. In the end, we, just like all those who have gone on before us, are forced to loosen our grip and let all things fall away.

Sometimes I wish there were a waiting room between this world and the next where when we die, we could see our parents and be able to say to them, “Oh my goodness, Mom and Dad, I had no idea what you were dealing with at the time, but NOW I understand! Forgive us please for not knowing how difficult it all was.”

Thankfully, we know that this life is not all there is. There is another, even more beautiful life waiting for us and while we accept that this is so, we still cling to all that is familiar. We do not relinquish the remnants of our life easily, so we find that we have to trust in what God has promised is in store for us. We have to hand over the reins to God and when we do, we feel the freedom that comes with letting go of that responsibility.

There is often a fear of letting go because so much of our identity has been caught up with our being in the drivers seat. Our life has been a repository of all the decisions and choices we have made and we have had to live by them. Letting go is one of the most difficult things we will ever have to do, but once done, a peace takes over in knowing that the responsibilities of this life no longer are on us. We start over in the next life with the innocence of a child living in Gods kingdom with all the wonder and excitement a child feels. Letting go does have its rewards.

Jjb/12/8/2019

Time goes by…

When I was born I became a daughter,

I became a sister too.

I grew up and became a good man’s wife,

As we promised each other “I do”.

Time went by and I became a Mother.

My new baby I held in my arms.

A head full of hair, so artfully combed.

I was in love with his sweet baby charms.

More time passed and I held a baby again,

He was a boy, our second son.

With a serious face he held my gaze,

Our journey had just begun.

Then came time for petticoats pink,

Our sweet baby girl, such a joy to see.

Ribbons and bows tied up in her hair,

So precious to her Father and me.

The years swiftly passed until one day,

Fatherhood visited our son.

Another baby to hold, a sweet little girl,

A grandchild, our very first one.

Now she is grown, going off in the world.

This woman who was once a child.

How did it all happen so quick?

When I asked her, she only smiled.

From Daughter to Mother to Grandmother,

How quickly my life has passed by!!!

When did it all happen that I became old?

Didn’t I just marry that sweet young guy?

My Mother felt the very same way.

As she grew old, her life felt too brief.

She looked at her past and when she looked ahead,

She realized “tick-tock” was a thief.

Dear Mother, you brought me into this world,

For YOU, I’ve always been glad.

You raised me up to be honest and good.

You taught the best lessons I’ve had.

My Mother has now gone to a better world.

Her faith’s reward is her heavenly place.

I miss her so much, I wish she was here.

So I could see her beautiful face.

From baby to Grandma, the years flew by,

The rest of life will seem like a day.

I will slow down to savor my journey.

Because life’s clock just keeps ticking away.

Jjb/11/9/2019

Aging

Embrace your age, for it’s just a page

in a chapter in your life’s book.

Laugh real hearty at your birthday party.

Be glad for how good you still look.

Shed no tears over adding more years,

no matter how many go by.

If someone’s so bold as to tell you you’re old

Just be grateful that You haven’t died!!!

 

Jjb/11/8/2019

Oh! Oh!

My apologies to readers of my Word Press site, known as “Thoughts Expressed from My Retirement Nest”. This morning I got into a bit of a snag when reformatting my story. Me and tech settings are hardly compatible to say the least! I think I somehow got this post sent prematurely and incorrectly and repeatedly!

I find myself in a learning curve and I politely ask for your patience! I love learning new things but sometimes there is a bump in the road just ahead of the learning curve. That said, I love this format for my writings! I hope you do too!

Jjb/11/06/2019