Friday, December 19, 2008

Special Angels

I haven't the slightest clue where the stone in the path came from. It was just there beneath my feet, and the next thing I knew I was on my knees in the dust. I sat there sore and bruised wondering if I should get up and keep going or if maybe I should just sit and wallow in my misery for a little while. I really didn't feel like moving on. It seemed, at that moment, like it would be much easier and less painful to just sit and nurse my wounds.

About the time I had myself convinced that moving would be more than I could possibly deal with, an angel appeared and knelt beside me. She spoke only a few words, helped me to my feet, dusted me off and was gone.

I looked at the road before me, so much beauty and joy lay ahead. So many things to see, people to meet and pleasures to savor. I looked down the rock that had caused me so much trouble, so much pain and realized how small and insignificant it was.

Good friends, angels when you don't even know you need one. Giving just what you need, just when you need it the most.

Friday, December 5, 2008

The road that leads to forever...

"What do you want" he asked? "What would make you happy"? I cringe when passing the wedding section of the party store or the wedding planners shop down town. How could he even think the idea of being married would appeal to me? I stared at my dinner, now cold and very unappealing. I poked at it and twisted the pasta on my fork. "You and our family" was my response. My eyes welled up and I looked at him looking at me. His gaze was intense and penetrated straight into my heart. I explained how I was opposed to the idea of weddings that came from a can and being married because it seemed the thing to do. But, the idea of declaring my love and faith fullness to him for all time and sharing the rest of my life with him as his wife would be a wonderful thing.

He turned my chair to face his and grasped both my hands. His gaze never faltered and his words were strong, "will you marry me"? The shock that went though me numbed me for a second and I felt like I was looking down at myself sitting there, facing my love with his hands wrapped around mine. I thought he might be joking or just asking if that was something I wanted in the future. When I realized he was truly asking me to be his wife my response was a resounding "yes, now and forever yes".

Later he took a ring and placed it gently on my finger. It is beautiful beyond words and despite it being made of candy I can want no other.

My heart is full to the point of over flowing. He is a dream made real, my missing half now found and we have forever before us to enjoy whatever adventures come our way.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

And The Journey Goes On

I was sitting and thinking of how to write about all that I have lost and then found in the past year. As I pondered this I realized that I have in fact lost nothing and found and entirely new world and life.

I have found that my faith is greater than ever because I had to take the time to look for it. My marriage of 15 years is over but born from the pain was the strength to step through the door that was opened in front of me. The door that led to a friend, partner and a love I had only dreamed of. I learned how to look for the blessings in the little things, how to not take even a minute for granted. I learned to love, to trust and to believe. I found friends I never new I had and how to let myself be loved by the ones that have always been there. I learned that just when I think I can't take another step forward a Divine power steps in and carries me... often in the form of a special angel sent at just the right moment.

There is no starting over because I will never go back. It's just the next stone on the path, the next part of the journey. And, with The Tribe in tow and my Prince Charming at my side I eagerly await the adventures that lie just around the bend.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving Special

Since I was little I have loved Thanksgiving over all other holidays. There were many years I wondered why, as I was just kind of treading water, not moving forward and certainly not finding much to be thankful for. Time has shown me that many blessings are the unseen ones.

When I was little Thanksgiving was the one time when all the family was together. It was a time to share stories, laughter and soak up the wondrous warmth that comes from being with those you love the most. As years went by our family grew up and apart and Thanksgiving became a time of memories and warm thoughts of those that were close only in our hearts.

Every year brings change, some good and some not so good. This year has brought more changes than I could have ever imagined. I have new friends, new family and a love that I thought could only happen in fairy tales. This Thanksgiving is the first day of the rest of my life. A life of dreams and magic and hope long lost. A day to remember, reflect, laugh, love and bask in the warmth of family. Those that are still not here in body, you are with me in spirit and the magic of the day will be yours too.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Post Pennsic

Mists swirled in the darkness and drum beats pounded in the distance. The night was alive with flickering torches, and fires. Singing, laughter and random silliness abound. It was a different world. Someplace beyond imagining and yet it was real and I was there. Pennsic in the daylight is a place if wonder at night it turns into a place beyond belief.

We arrived about mid-day on Saturday only to sit in the blazing sun for an hour waiting our turn to drive forward and wait another 45 minutes in line to check in. Then the real fun began. We set up camp in a flat barren field that a day later would be an entire city of small encampments with tents, pavilions, showers, kitchens, armor stands, and common areas. Every where people worked to create their home for the next two weeks. Before my eyes an new world unfolded like a beautiful butterfly emerging from her gray cocoon. Banners and flags, medieval heraldry and thousands of people dressed in period garb.

For two weeks the folks of our fair shire cooked, cleaned and laughed and worked together. We started out as good friends and ended as a close family. We fed royalty, sang songs, told stories and shared much. We went to classes and fought for our kingdom on the battle field. We spent time with old friends and made many of new ones.

The days were hot and the nights cool, sometimes even cold. I laughed and sang more than I thought possible. When it was time for good byes I wept bitter tears. Words can't describe the roller coasters I rode, the feelings I felt. By the final Sunday the tents were gone and we were packed to head home. The magic had faded but I know it will be back next year. And God willing I will be there to live it all again.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Off to War I Go....

G-ma asked me last night while a group of us swarmed around the house like bees in a clover patch why I hadn't posted in so long. I guess it's because I just didn't have things sitting in my head wanting to be written down. Don't get me wrong, tons of wonderful things have happened since my last entry. Many that I should have written about. They just weren't calling me to write about them.

I don't know if was her asking or my brain spinning with excitement that has pulled my fingers to the keyboard but, here I am.

Last year at this time I was out at the bower with my Gyps digging though her boxes of garb and helping her get ready to leave for the Pennsic War held each year at Coopers Lake campground in Pennsylvania. It's a huge two week medieval gathering, housing nearly 15,000 people. There are classes on nearly everything one can imagine in the medieval world and and entire week of rattan smashing, shield crushing battles. I wanted so badly to go and this year I get to. But with a sad heart it's without my newly married, uber busy, rocking the world, Gyps.

My weapons, armor, garb and feast gear are packed. In just a few hours Mouse and I pull out to go meet up with some of then many new friends I have made this past year. I have the camera and will have many pictures to post when I get back in August. I know I'm going to have the time of my life and my wonderful sister will be with me in spirit. And when I return there will be many stories, pictures and presents to share!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Heavy Fighter Bling (cross post)

Many people have helped me, pushed me and smacked me into making my dream of becoming a heavy fighter in the SCA come true. My friend Walbach went a step further. He made my sword, gave me a shield that no longer worked for him and made me a new grip for it. He made me leg armor and he completely revamped my helm so that it fit properly and so I could actually see out of it. Walbach he is is kind of heart and gentle of spirit... oh and he kicks my butt often. My most precious piece of heavy fighting bling is the helm that he worked so hard to make pretty (the eyebrows rawk).

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Back to the Real World

A good friend told me it will take a least a week to get back into the swing of "mundane" life after being away at a large medieval event. I think he was talking about an event lasting a week or more but I am struggling with the real world after being gone just three days. Once away it was so easy to let go of the daily frustrations and issues. When I was hungry I ate, when I was thirsty I drank and when I was tired I slept. When I wanted company I was camped with a wonderful group of some of my best friends all I had to do was step out of my tent. When I wanted to learn or see something new I went for a stroll about the camp ground and met wonderful new people that were more than willing to share their fire and teach any willing learner about their skills.

Now I am planning meals for nine, working out schedules and plotting out how to get everything done in a day that needs doing. I have a stove and a dishwasher and I am expected to use it... cold bagels were fine with me, no clean up. The phone is ringing and the entire tribe needs mom time. I wouldn't trade my life for anything. I am blessed beyond words and I'm so grateful for my family and all that is required to keep it going. It's who I am and what I do. But.... the escape was bliss. Adult time with no "maaammmmm, I want, I need, get me" or even "wipe my butt". When it was time to head home I was ready to go and home was where I wanted to be.

So, when do we leave for the next event???

Monday, May 19, 2008

Practice for War

Once a year for a two week period 10,000 people converge on a Pennsylvania camp ground for the Pennsic War. SCA members and folks who just want to participate in recreating the beauty, romance and chivalry of the middle ages come together to learn, teach, dance, tell stories and to fight.

This past weekend was the practice for this event. Fighters from all over gathered together to test their skill and practice fighting as units. Before being allowed to fight in anything other than practice novice fighters have to be tested and approved by two official marshals. They must prove they know and understand the various rules and that they are not going to hurt themselves nor be a danger to others on the field of battle. This weekend at this event my turn to authorize and prove myself worthy to join the ranks of the "big boys".

Authorizing really isn't a big thing. As long as you can hit hard enough to be taken seriously and not so hard as to hurt someone you will pass. But for me it was huge. I have worked for eight months to learn as much as I possibly can. An entire team of people have mentored me, guided me and pushed me to get me ready for my authorization. This was my chance to prove that I had been listening.

I went through all the questions, faced off against my opponent and fought him with all I had. I passed and I did good. I'm a real heavy fighter now. I get to play with the big boys and that is just what I did the rest of the day.

I'm home and the tents are dry, the mud washed out of my gowns. Now I'm just counting the days until the next battle.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

See Ya Soon Grandma

At 96 years old my Grandma was a spunky, tough little nut. She wore her silver hair in plaits on each side of her head and loved to play with porcelain dolls. She had a smile that lit up a room and was sweet as an angel, so long as she got the candy that the nurses at her home would sneak in for her.

She was a woman filled with the spirit and said she was planning to live to see Jesus come again. At the time I know she meant in the flesh but on Tuesday we found that she had to settle for the Spirit. She finally got tired, her mortal body could take no more and she gave in to the the peaceful rest that comes from living a good life, loving well and being loved and knowing her next vision was to be of her savior.

Rest well Grandma. I know that this isn't good-by, just see you soon. Grandma's 96th birthday, May 2007.


Edna J. Evers, 96, passed away Tuesday, March 4, 2008 at Chico Care Center. Edna was born on May 19, 1911 in Hamilton City to Albert and Tisha Gilmore. She graduated from Chico High School in 1929 and married Henry K. "Hank" Evers in Reno, NV on September 9, 1929. They resided in Stockton until 1942 when they returned to the Evers family ranch in Butte Creek Canyon. She stayed at the ranch until 1981 when her husband died and she then moved to Casa de Flores mobile home park in Chico. Edna is also preceded in death by her first son, Henry "Hank" Evers and her sister, Margaret Grater of Red Bluff.

Edna is survived by her daughter, Kathleen (Denis) Beach of Green Spring, WV; son, Patrick (Janice) Evers of Pleasanton; daughter-in-law, Marilyn Evers of Chico; grandchildren, Denise Wenner of Harpers Ferry, WV, Troy Beach of Magalia, Karen Flatten of Greenville, SC, Julie Hagey of Penn Valley, Susan Evers McCauley and David Evers both of Chico and 19 great- grandchildren.

Edna's greatest love in life were her family, animals and her flowers. She always managed to find time to care for her very large garden of flowers, irises and roses being her favorite. She also loved needle work and did very fine embroidery, quilting and crocheting. In later years when she was not able to work with fine thread, she used yarn to crochet tops on towels to hang in the kitchen. At age 94, she was still producing eight towels daily. Her family and friends have distributed these towels country wide. Edna will always be loved and missed by those she left behind.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Return to the Arches

My first hiking adventure in Shenandoah National Park left me full of wonder and longing to return. This time Gyps and I had the chance to share the beauty and peace we found while following the arches to glorious falls at the bottom of the canyon with those we love the most. She and her new hubby, Wolf went on ahead while Todd, The Tribe and I followed behind at a much slower pace.

It was an amazing experience to watch them find all the treasures along the trail. Tree stump dragons appeared before them only to be squealed at and climbed upon. Their voices permeated the tranquility of the winter forest scape before us as each found new and exciting things at each bend in the trail. And, as on my previous hike with Gyps, always before us and leading us on were the arches.

The falls at the bottom were even more beautiful draped in their winter glory. We longed to stay and visit with Gypsy and Wolf bur our visit had to be short. We still had a passel of little legs to get a mile and a half up the side of the mountain before it got too cold.

The last mile if hike out was steep with the worst being the half mile at the very end. BJ, being the smallest had to privilege of being carried on me or Todd's back most of the way out. Nathan plodded along like the energizer bunny and Farm Boy took position as rear guard with ever a stick or branch (sword of course) in hand. There were only a few grumbles as legs and lungs were pushed past the levels of comfort. All pain was forgotten as we sought the warm comfort of the van, where we snacked on jerky, trail mix, cheese nips and our water bottles.

The crowning glory of the day was sunset over the valley. I have been witness to many a sunset and I feel certain this one was in the running for most amazing. We got back to the villa tired and sore but with memories that would be with us forever.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Making Memories

I can't really say if Massanutten will ever be the same after being over run by the Tribe. I can say that we will never be the same after a week in the mountains, (with a fireplace, hot tub and sauna of course).

Just having time away from the everyday responsibilities of home, school and life in the winter as a family was amazing. For a week we got to be just a regular family. There were no appointments, visits, social workers, case workers, reports to file or logs to fill out. We swam, hiked, snow tubed and played. We made memories that will last a life time.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Tribal Adventures Forthcoming

Not only was WWW (wild womens weekend) this past September tons of fun, spiritually invigorating and flat out amazing it also resulted in us buying a time share. Traveling with seven kids is not easy or cheap. Add to that I really can't go too far for too long with out my Gyps and a time share just seemed to be the perfect solution. So, the tribe, which now includes Auntie Gyps and Unkin Wolf are headed off an exciting adventure in the mountains of central Virginia.

We have board games, swimming suites for the indoor heated pool, movies, hiking shoes and snow suites. Finish the laundry and packing and we are outta here...

Friday, February 8, 2008

Happily Ever After

"Happily ever after starts now". ~Gyps on her wedding day

Princess Buttercup, eat your heart out. My Gyps has found her Prince Charming, otherwise know as Wolf. Yes, this was a kissing movie and they haven't stopped yet!

Only A Foster Parent

I was talking to my little sister who is currently being confronted with one of the many difficult and painful parts of being a foster parent. She was in a very low mood and as she shared her story my heart broke for her. As she got the conclusion she made the statement that was like a blow to the head. "What else can I do, I'm only a foster parent? I can't even fight for him".

This is a woman that has dedicated her life to caring for broken innocent little ones that desperately need unconditional love. She gives every part of herself to her children, those she birthed and those that were handed to her by a social worker. She goes to court, meetings and works out visits. She goes to doctors appointments, kisses hurts and loves away tears. She is the a living representation of unconditional love but she is "only a foster parent". She has no rights, no say, no voice.

I am angry, I feel her pain and the pain of my other dearest friends that live this day after day. So many that work so hard to do what is right knowing the pain and frustration that are part of it.

The seeds of unconditional love that have been planted in these children are the fruits of the labor. We may not see them grow to be adults, we many not have any say in how they are raised or the choices they make. All we can do is pray that they will remember they are special and that there are people out there that love them and gave all they had, even if it was only for a little while. Then, maybe being "only a foster parent" will mean something.