Saturday, May 16, 2015


I am alone for a few days.
The sad man went on his annual trip to a place
he calls The North Woods...somewhere near Lake Superior.
And it is a Thank YOU Jesus kind of moment for me.
By the time he is ready to leave I'm on the verge of a meltdown.

I am driven to the brink of madness watching him pack.
Mostly, he is fueled by a wild sort of mania.
There is no rhyme or reason to his packing, sorting and gathering.
He waits til the last minute to begin packing which drives me crazy!
Articles of clothing and much needed camp supplies are forgotten
in his haste and confusion to load the car and leave.
He becomes short tempered and sarcastic.
He becomes very self absorbed and "all about me".

It's a lot like watching a train derail.

Like how the engine puts out so much power and it plows headlong
over a large precipice without noticing how deep the gorge really is
or all the damage being done to the train cars rolling along behind it.
Crash and burn.

It's 4:00am. Every light in the house is on.
I hear pounding footsteps as he runs from room to room.
I hear the front door open and close what must be a million times.
I hear the car doors slamming shut every few minutes as he loads his gear.
I hear him chuffing, out of breath from exertion.
It. Is. 4:00am!

I am angry that he is going on this trip.
He has made it a point for the last week to talk incessantly about this trip
AND about how  ill he feels most days and the meds he needs to take.
Blood Pressure this and Diabetes that.
Sleep Apnea here and back pain there.
Here is a man who should not be in the middle of some godforsaken wilderness.

And yet when I question him about the wiseness of his decision he gets angry.
I'm fine he shouts. I'll be fine he insists.

Really?? He's standing in front of me, red in the face from overexertion
and the sweat is running off of his face. His eyes appear a bit wild.

The last thing he does before he leaves is to sarcastically say to me
"Thanks for the send off" before slamming the front door in my face.

I stand there mute and frozen in place, stunned.
I can still feel the coolness of the breeze from the door as it was yanked shut.
I feel like I want to cry but I don't.
This is behavior I have seen before.
Why it still surprises me I don't know.
The words Narcissistic and Passive/Aggressive
and Hypochondria float through my head.
So do the words Jerk and Asshole and Son of a Bitch.

He is sober, still. (Thank YOU Jesus)
But the dry drunk in him has enormous issues.
Which in turn become MY issues.
Perhaps it is time I ventured out on a Tuesday evening to reconnect
with the group of people that saved my life 4 years ago.
Perhaps it is past time.

All I know is that I'm feeling tired, and angry, and shat upon.
And there is no better place to be on a Tuesday evening than with
like minded people who love me and accept me and don't slam doors in my face.

Welcome back they will say.
And I will repeat those same words to myself again and again.
And I will wonder why I ever left this group.

Step one. Again.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

60 seconds


The 2 year old throws her bottle of cranberry juice on to the couch.
It starts leaking red before it slides down the crack between 2 cushions.
As I grab for it she jumps on my belly eliciting a painful oomph from me.
The 5 year old standing on my right is reading to me from a book.
He is also doing what I call the "potty dance".  Go potty I tell him.
Doc McStuffins is doing a song and dance number on the TV.
My IPhone dings in my back pocket telling me that I have a text.
The Chihuahua sitting on the back of the couch over my left shoulder
drops her bone into the fray that is me trying to sit up with a 2 year old
on my lap while still reaching for the leaking bottle of juice.
The dog starts barking; wanting her bone back, and wagging her tail.
Granny are you listening to me? say the 5 year old.
Yes, I lie to him.
Go potty I tell him again.
I don't have to he lies right back to me.
The older Chihuahua gets out of his bed, turns and pees on it right in front of me.
Jesus! I mutter to myself sitting up.


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

a sense of Entitlement

There is another one of my ugly rants at the end of this overly long post.

It seems that all I do on this blog is bitch or rant  or complain about stuff.
In my heart of hearts, I truly don't mean to be a complainer.
Nor do I want to harp or rant as much as I do on here.
So what are my options?

I do use this blog as a place to process things that happen in my life.
Writing it down and getting feedback from my readers truly helps me.
It gives me another perspective, a different way to see things.

25 days ago on April 10th a tornado touched town an hour away from us,
In a tiny farming town named Fairdale, population 2902.
2 women lost their lives... neighbors, living right next door to each other.
Dozens of homes and barns were lost and by lost I mean gone, obliterated.
Tornado sirens were going off in our town too that night.
We were all of us (dogs included) safely ensconced in our basement.
We had some large hail and heavy rain and wind but no tornados.

Watching the news reports over the next couple of days was awful.
Seeing all of the storm damage seemed to ratchet up my gratitude factor.
I'm thankful that we as a family and as a community were spared.
I bawled when they showed a horse that survived although his barn was gone.
They found him standing in the pasture...his coat was matted and looked to be
blown the wrong way..he looked like he had some abrasions & sores on his body.
His mate didn't survive.
That horse looked so forlorn...I wondered what the poor guy was thinking.

The rest of the TV news coverage was just as harrowing...zooming in on others
misery and showing us, the TV viewers, what little remained of their lives.

As it always happens, the TV news crews go home after showing us the carnage.
Then people forget and no more pictures of the town are ever seen again.
Everybody moves on, the news crew wait for the next disaster to strike.


This past Saturday, my husband and I went on an escorted Harley ride.
An Escorted Harley Ride is a ride sponsored by a club or an organization
to raise funds for a local disaster or something of the like.
This ride benefited fallen Firemen and Police officers of northern Illinois.
The ride was mapped out and at multiple crossroads across different counties
the local fire or police department would block traffic to let all of
us riders pass uninterrupted. In total there were 250 motorcycles.

One of the towns we got to ride through was Fairdale.
Access to this town has been denied since the tornado.
There are construction and clean up crews still working and assessing damages.
Huge ROAD CLOSED signs were moved and 250 motorcycles slowly
rode right down the middle of Main St.
I got out my camera but hesitated as soon as the town came into my view.
I whispered to my husband that it felt invasive to take pictures.
I took three pictures then stopped, unable to take more.
I put my hand over my heart and left it there as we cruised through.

I saw families still picking threw the rubble of what used to be their homes.
I saw cars that were flattened... roofs caved in, glass smashed and gone.
I saw houses with out roofs. I saw houses with blue tarps as roofs.
I saw driveways with no homes.
I saw cement foundations with nothing on them.
I saw an entire town plucked free of all vegetation.
All and I mean ALL of the trees were damaged or broken or gone.
I saw a pile of yellow flowers placed near the foundation of one of the homes.
Someone had erected a makeshift shrine there with a wooden white cross.

It made me grateful in a way that I hadn't been in awhile.
Don't get me wrong...I am always grateful for morning and eating
and grandkids and life and trees and birds and jobs and our home.
But this grateful feeling was a little bit different.
This was me being grateful that we had been spared.
This was me feeling grateful that we even had the money to buy this Harley
and had a free Saturday to take a 6 hour ride, in the sun, with friends
past towns and grocery stores and gas stations that sold ice cold bottles of water.
That I had my husband in front of me and our kids and grand kids all safe and sound and living in their homes with jobs and groceries and personal belongings that were not strewn about the neighboring countryside.

Speaking of is my rant-
Yesterday after church I stopped at the market.
I needed a watermelon, hot dog buns, coffee creamer and a bag of apples.
I wasn't in a hurry, so waiting in the grocery line was not a big deal.
There was 1 woman in front of me..her order was already rung up, and she was waiting
for the bag boy to finish putting her stuff in those horrible plastic sacks.
The bag boy got called away and the teenage boy who was the cashier, because it should be an easy job for heavens sake and he needs a little cash in his pocket, finished bagging her stuff albeit
he left her bags on the conveyor belt.

She turned her head and gave me a look as if to say "Can you believe this?!"
She then says to the cashier "Where's my bagger? Has he abandoned me?"
She's informed that the bagger has been summoned elsewhere and then her shit hits the fan.
She starts yelling! "Are you kidding me?! If I wanted to bag my own groceries
I would've  gone to the local discount store! Where's the manager? (Still yelling)
I've complained about this before many times. I'm never shopping here again!"

I was stunned. Technically her groceries had been bagged.
They just weren't placed back in to her empty shopping cart.
Wait a minute I think to this woman really bitching about having to load her own
full shopping bags back into her empty cart?
Is she really gonna just f-ing stand there and keep yelling at this poor teenage boy and the manager?
I'll be damned.... she did!
The manager placed the bags in her cart and the woman bitched loudly all the way out the doors about how horrible and lousy was the service in this store and how she'll never be back!

This woman had a manicure. (she had hands)
This woman had had her hair done. (she had hair and a head)
This woman was dressed in clothes. (not standing in a store naked)
Lemme say something nasty here-
This woman had not missed a meal or a snack in a good long while (do you get what I mean by this?)
This woman had driven herself to the store so she was able to afford gas and a car.
She also picked out, placed in her cart and then purchased these groceries from a store.
(which means that somebody, either her or her spouse, earns enough to pay $115.00 in cash)

How do people become so self righteous, so entitled that they demand what they want,
demand what they think they need, demand service that is ridiculous and bitch when they don't get it?

She looked a fool standing there as if she had no hands or arms or enough brains to figure out how to pick up a full grocery bag and place it back in the cart!

The whole thing made me furious.
Her sense of entitlement made me furious too.
Just the day before I had seen a family putting what was left of their belongings
into a single wheel barrow....A. Single. Wheelbarrow.

What is the matter with people?

And why does her behavior bother me so much?

Lord Jesus Christ,
Thank you that you are with us,
Every moment of the day.
With us in joy,
With us in suffering.
With us to bless us,
With us to confront us.
With us for confession,
With us for forgiveness.
Lord Jesus Christ,
Thank you that you are with us,
May we look and see and give thanks.
Christine Sine