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Five years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!

Monday, June 15, 2015

I go blogging ... after midnight ... in the moonlight ... just the way we used to do.

Part of this is going to be a re-posting of my Facebook post from Sunday morning. And then I will pontificate.

Thinking about our pool experience [Saturday] night. There was a couple on the other side of the lap lanes. He was walking the laps, like me. She was mostly swimming. And he was talking, somewhat loudly, almost the entire time we were there. Nearly two hours.

He had opinions about everything. I can't remember one of them that I agreed with. I was having mild flashbacks to my Near Dating Experience* of approximately ten years ago. (It is just not natural for a man to talk that much, unless he's the POTUS and it's time for the Presidential Comedy Hour, otherwise known as the State of the Union Address.)

I found myself alternating between irritation, low-grade anger, pity, and frustration. More than once I found myself praying to have charitable thoughts toward this man. Occasionally, I succeeded. [Edited to add, only occasionally. Mostly I just wanted him to hush.]

It is so easy for us to assume that our take on the truth is the only possible way to view it when, in the absence of revelation on a particular topic, the truth can be richly textured and complex. I do believe in absolutes. I do believe in the revelation which confirms them. And I do believe that most of us are stumbling along as best we can, looking through those famous glasses, darkly. Joining the church, nearly 40 years ago, has helped me wipe the worst of the grime off my lenses. But I am still learning. [Edited to add, sometimes with painful slowness. The lesson is repeated until the lesson is learned. And then it's on to other lessons.]

And I need to be both patient and *kind* to the people I perceive as blind, or ignorant. Blindness can be healed. Ignorance can be lovingly enlightened. I may not have yelled at the man, or told him to hush. But my thoughts toward him were not perfectly kind and gentle. And I need to work on that. [Edited to add, boy howdy do I need to work on that. At the end of my laps I got out of the pool to go sit in the hot tub for five minutes, realizing three steps in that to continue would undo the work of two hours, wherein the inflammation in my legs from these blankety-blank bug bites, which had been mercifully calmed, would return and bring reinforcements. I hot-footed it out of that tub, apologizing to myself sorry sorry sorry sorry. And padded slowly and carefully over to the bench. As I did so, Mr. Chatty re-entered the pool area from the men's dressing room and remarked to me, "Please be careful, it's really slippery when you're barefoot." Which was a lovely, Christlike thing for him to say, and bless him (retrospectively) for it. I murmured a thank you while thinking, "I do not want to hear one more word from you. Not one." Charity fail on my part.]

*the Near Date Experience was with a guy from one of my old wards. Could. Not. Get. A. Word. In. Edgewise. Made me so mad that I gave myself bronchitis. He called me to talk (and talk, and talk), and we were interrupted by a coughing fit on my part. When I got my voice back, I told him that I needed to get off the phone and go to bed and rest. And that the next time we spoke, I would very much like to do half of the talking. Woke up the next morning to a voicemail from him saying, "I thought about it, and you sound a lot like my ex-wife. I don't think this is going to work out."

A saint is a sinner who keeps trying.

Blog post title this evening/morning is because after I took Fourthborn home, I was in severe need of a nap and did not want to miss the Eagle court of honor for the son of my friends. (This is the son who, with his dad, sang with me at Christmas. I kinda like this kid. And this is their last Sunday in our ward. Dad is finally done with his schooling and will be a radiation oncologist in another state. Good people, all of them.) I carefully set my alarm for two hours and closed my eyes. Only to waken five hours later to a dark house and a missed opportunity. I've been up for almost three hours, after a five hour nap, and I think I'm about ready to try horizontal-and-unconscious again.

Things I want to accomplish this week: I want to re-frame a cross stitch piece that I did 20+ years ago. It's stuck to one of those flat mounting boards, and I want to gently pry it off and attach it to a padded one, after carefully washing it and pressing it flat. I did the best I could with what I had when I finished it, but my resources are considerably enlarged since then. It's all scarlets and golds and illuminated manuscript inspired, my favorite verses from Isaiah that Brother Handel put to music: "His name shall be called: Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace". I cannot read those words without hearing the music. And the framed piece is just the right size and shape to go on what I semi-reverently call my Jesus Wall, which has the print of the smiling Christ, the Liz Lemon Swindle print of Mary holding the infant Christ, and that "Lamb" print I bought a few months ago of the baby Jesus wrapped in embroidered swaddling clothes and lying in a stone manger. So it will be in good company. My framed copy of the testimonies of the Twelve Apostles hangs on that same wall. And there's another Liz Lemon Swindle print that is on my list.

I want to get started on painting the small window above the kitchen sink. I had planned for Fourthborn and me to move the exercise bike from the back porch to the front sidewalk, so the guys who come by looking for scrap metal would find something lucrative, and I would have an easier time getting the hose from the back of the house where the faucet is, to the front of the house where the plants are. I've also been researching rolling hose carts. I would like to have an attractive, tidy way to corral the hose and reel it out for use, while protecting it from the lawnmower when the Yard Dudes are here. And I need a hose that's about 10 feet longer than the one I have. There are relatively inexpensive carts that will hold a 150 foot hose. Ideally I would pick one up after work tomorrow and be all set when the Yard Dudes come on Tuesday. Realistically it will have to wait until next Saturday at the earliest, because the back of the Tardis is full of the taken-apart standing desk that I swapped with Fourthborn's roommate, which I don't want to wrangle until next weekend. Not sure that I would be able to get a hose cart into the back seat of Lorelai. I think she might find it a little beneath her dignity.

This is getting silly, even for me. I'm going to pour myself a cup of dark chocolate almond milk and take the medicines that I should have taken when I awoke three hours ago, and read a very little, and hit the sack. Again. My hands want to sew. My eyes say, Oh knock it off. We're done. Seriously.

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