I don’t know if anyone that might stop by would remember that I was pretty set on creative homemaking a couple of years ago. I love designing and creating. LOVE IT. However, I am not so big on math. But that’s besides the point. I decided to go to school last year. Yes school. Yes, I’m thirty-seven. No, I don’t care if I’m technically old enough to be some of my classmate’s mother. I LOVE IT.
I was a terrible student in high school. Let me repeat this for emphasis: I was a TERRIBLE student in high school. I couldn’t focus in class and I was too self conscious to ask questions. I ended up skipping class most of my sophomore year before my mother and I decided to homeschool the last two years of high school (which changed my life, but that is a story for another time). I actually was able to learn without the distraction of intoxicated classmates and angry boyfriends (not mine) putting their fists through glass in the middle of science class. Ah the suburbs.
Holy moly, I get sidetracked.
Okay where was I? Oh, yes, I discovered the joy of learning and then I stopped because I didn’t know that I should go to college. My family didn’t encourage it and I was young and silly enough not to think too hard on it. So blah blah blah, and then four years later I was pregnant and life continued. Now I was the one guiding my children through school and I had never actually had a “traditional education”.
You don’t need to go to school (college) to have a fulfilling and meaningful life or to be successful, or whatever. But I I always felt like I missed something and it went in line with my commitment to start taking care of myself which meant understanding the things that I wanted to see in life were just as valid as others that I’ve served in love. I was kind of a self-made martyr without even knowing it.
So anyhow. I love design, art, creating, baking, homeschooling children, and attempting to make things out of drop cloths with my ancient sewing machine but you probably won’t see too much of that on this blog right now. Maybe in the future. I’m working and studying and raising my babies and it keeps my busy.
But I’m going to write. Not sure what about all the time. It will probably be a bit random. But please all of you keep on writing and crafting and making my life more interesting. I love to see your ingenuity, the connections and inspiration are some of the best things in life (no matter what Martha Stewart thinks about craft and design bloggers).
PS, in case you’re wondering I’m studying business and design so maybe I’ll share if I achieve something I love.
The laundromat was a Lord-of-the-flies free-for-all. I walked in with a week’s worth of laundry and two children in tow. I immediately noticed another laundromat patron with two teenage girls had just filled up just about every washer in the place with what looked to be a month’s worth of laundry. The fact that she had gotten there five minutes before me just served to make my foul mood fouler. I’m sad to admit it, but it’s true: I was a grizzly bear that day.
It was Sunday and I wanted a day of peace and restfulness after a stress-filled week of classes, single-parenting, and landlord threats. I also wanted clean laundry. Before Month-of-Laundry lady noticed they were open, I quickly snuck my loads into a couple of washers that a young mother had just unloaded. “HA !!” I thought with that ugly attitude that likes to pop up on bad days. I stuck up my nose and airily walked to the seating area for the wait. That’s when I picked up a random magazine laying next to me (County Living, March 2013) and flipped it open to a picture of an earthy looking woman standing in an heirloom garden surrounded by fields of trees and wildflowers. The trellises holding up the garden plants, heavy laden with ripe fruit, were made from branches and rope. The countryside picture of natural beauty and abundance was inviting and so I read on, “So and So (I forgot her name) was happy enough with her new house on Martha’s Vineyard until she realized its full potential.”
She was happy enough with her new house on Martha’s Vineyard.
I was interrupted by the sound of screaming. My child had just ran into a table face first and was letting everyone in the place know it. Cradling a four-year old with one arm, I unloaded my washer that was finished and claimed five dryers by throwing one shirt in each one and starting it up, this gave me leisure to unload my other washers at my pace. Month-of-Laundry snapped me a look while she hustled to unload her 84 washers.
She was happy enough? What the heck? Yeah, I guess it must be hard owning a vacation house on Martha’s Vineyard. The soft skin around my baby’s eye was red and swollen. Oh that was all I needed: taking a child with a black eye to preschool Monday morning.
We finished the laundry and set off for our next stop. I had been gifted a hundred dollars to spend on something pretty and I was going to see that it happened. I was thinking maybe a new winter coat… or perhaps a big, fluffy, white down comforter to replace my old bedspread. But then I realized we were out of dog food. I focused on the road and tried to work out a scenario in my mind where I could get what I wanted. And then I realized we didn’t have any fresh fruit or lunch supplies for the upcoming week. I passed the “me” store and headed to the grocery store. It just wasn’t fair.
We pulled into the grocery store and easily loaded a hundred dollars worth of dog and people food. I walked down the wine aisle and tried to justify trading in the yogurt and string cheese for a nice bottle of Pinot Noir.
I really tried to justify this.
I couldn’t. It only succeeded in making me feel even more sorry for myself than I did before. Driving home I tried to keep telling myself to be thankful for groceries and clean laundry. Groceries, clean laundry, and a full tank of gas. Groceries, clean laundry, and a tank full of gas. I kept on repeating in my head. Ugh. I went home and worked my way to bed. The next day was on the way whether I was ready for it or not.
The next morning came as it always does. The train was leaving the station and it was time to get on, even if I just wanted to sleep all day. I got the kids to school and started on my way to classes. And my thoughts started regurgitating all of the events of the day before. What the heck? Why did I get so defensive, angry, and pathetic? That isn’t the kind of person that I want to be. Maybe it was just a bad day.
I was the one that should have the washing machines first. I shouldn’t have to explain bumps to teachers. I should be able to buy the things I want AND have groceries AND wine. If I had a house on Martha’s Vineyard I would definitely be more than “happy enough”. I was better than her because I would be grateful and content if I had what she did. I was better than the Month-of-Clothes lady; I deserved to go first; she shouldn’t hog all the machines without any consideration for me.
Me, me, me, I, I, I, mine, mine, mine. And yet…
Wasn’t Jesus the one washing his disciples feet? So I guess that makes me better than him too.
I was going to write about that “happy enough” lady and how ridiculous she was. I was going to write how superior the natural apples from the orchard are to Costco apples that are perfect, bright, and packed in stackable plastic containers. But really, they are both just apples.
Do you want to know what she said?
“Mom, why is there a leaf on it?”
I’d like to write about some of the things that I have gone through in the past two years since I quit blogging. So many of you had sent encouraging messages to me while my family was going through a very difficult time. I would like to catch you all up to date at once, but it’s just too much information. So let me tell you one of my stories.
When I quit blogging I went back to work. I hadn’t had a job in five years because I had been raising the kids at home, needless to say it was an adjustment for me. My sweet husband and I were separated, well that is to say, I moved out. Things weren’t right and they couldn’t get better while I was there with him. Please don’t misunderstand: I wasn’t done with our marriage, I was just “removed”. This is probably the hardest thing I had ever done, dear reader. I left someone who I wanted to be with because I needed him to change in order to live with him. But the really scary part was knowing that he might not change and there was nothing I could do but to be supportive. That’s the “trick” of all of this was that I had to be prepared for the worst and yet hope for the best.
One day while I was working in a yarn shop (for one of my three jobs!) and a lovely couple came in. They shared with me that it was their 65th wedding anniversary. They were so giddy they seemed like a couple of school kids. The husband leaned in to me and said in an impish manner: “You know the reason why our marriage has lasted so long?…… It’s because she does everything I tell her to do!” His wife smiled and rolled her eyes.
He wanted to know about my marriage (I was wearing my ring). I told them I was working on 13 years but we’d hit a rough patch and we were separated. He became very somber and planted himself in front of me and said,”Don’t give up.”
I didn’t my friends.
When I was seventeen my parents sent me to a student leadership camp in Colorado. During the two-week camp one of the activities was visiting the Focus on the Family facility in Colorado Springs. During our tour we bumped into Dr. Dobson who invited the whole group up into his office. There were about twenty of us crammed in there (including Donald Miller who was a counselor at the camp at the time.. but that’s another story). On Dr. Dobson’s wall was a giant portrait of Winston Churchill and as we all stood there in awe, he told us the story of a man who was clearly one of his heroes. In his gentle voice, he spoke of Churchill’s “Never Give Up” speech, imploring us to do the same.
During my separation my friends and family all gave me love and sympathy. Because of their love and loyalty to me their advice wasn’t always wise. In my two-year separation, maybe three people encouraged me to not give up hope. Everyone else told me to move on. Those lovely few were like water in a desert and I’ll always remember the impact they had on my spirit.
Thanks for letting me share today. If you are in a hard spot I want you to know that you aren’t alone. You can’t control how things turn out, but you can control yourself and your relationship with your Maker. Take care of yourself and don’t give up on doing what is right.
Here are some other things that were helpful to me during that hard time:
1. Love Must Be Tough - by Dr. James Dobson. Not a relationship Bible, but there is a tremendous amount of healthy advice. I definitely recommend it.
2. Al Anon - I decided to attend a few meetings during the toughest part of my separation. When I went there I was determined to find out what was wrong with my DH, but I walked out realizing that there were a few things wrong with me that I needed to work on instead. 888.425.2666 to find your nearest meeting place.
3. My hero, Elisabeth Elliot and her “Old Time Religion”. She has a daily devotional site which is a regular “go to” spot for me on a hard day.
4. Have You Felt Like Giving Up Lately? – By David Wilkerson. Yes, I did David, thanks for your words of sympathy, healing, and faith.
Uh.. PS Just so you know, carrying a knife in your mouth is NOT recommended.
Um hey, not too much of a post.. I'm just working on reconnecting to all of the blogging connectors... as I had become.... yes, disconnected. Hope your all having an awesome Monday.. and please bear with me while I get my, uh, yes... my bearings.
(This is the worst post ever!)
Hey here’s something… What are your favorite blog connections?? Here is my latest:
Hi everyone, if you’re venturing to see if this is the same Little Apartment blog that fell off the face of the internet, well then you’re in the right place. I’ll probably tell you about the in between time as I write more. I’ve learned a lot in the past 2+ years since I stopped writing and deleted my blog.
I KNOW! I deleted everything (dramatic pause for effect)!
It’s still in my head though. It was one of those moments of madness like when you go through and burn all of your exs’ old photos and love letters and later get back together. I’ve missed writing, reading, and sharing but I needed a break. And I’m okay with that.