Requisit Respite

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year Blessings

So, being New Years Day, I thought I would make a list of things I'm thankful for. I spent all of 2010 making and living resolutions. I think I've filled my quota for quite a few years. But there's still room for improvement, you might say.

And, so there is.

But first, the blessings:

  • My Heavenly Father loves me and knows who I am. He knows my angst and my happiness. He has helped me through this last year. I can and will not ever deny that.   So many times I saw one set of footprints. So many times He was the only One I could rely on.

  • The Atonement of our Savior took up the slack when I couldn’t go on. I knew I would have to rely on Him to fill the measure of what was needed. I hope I will always live my life worthy of His great sacrifice.
  • I am thankful for the Meyersons. When Bonnie found out I wanted to move to Utah but I didn't know how I was going to do it, she didn't hesitate. She said right out, "You'll stay with us." What a blessing that has been! I have my own room and bath and a big closet. The Meyersons have given me so much and ask nothing in return. I needed a place to feel safe and they freely gave it to me.
Jodi and Bonnie

and Mike Meyerson        
  • I'm near my kids--at least two of them, but I have seen Jewely three times since I've been here. Idaho might not seem so far away, but it's a LOOOOONG four-hour drive to Rexburg. It actually takes me five hours because I have to stop every hour or so to stretch my legs. But, I digress...     I have seen Sandy and Zannah, and now Nick, many, many times. Sometimes once a week, sometimes more. The Meyersons are gracious and invite them to dinners and they allow me to cook dinners and invite them over, usually on Sundays.
Soon-to-be son-in-law Nick and Zannah

                  Sandy/Alex holding Jodi's Daisy, and me
  • My youngest child, Elder Tim Knight, is serving a mission.  I have been told that most of the blessings I am receiving are because of his missionary service.  It's so true.
    Elder K. Timothy Knight
    Illinois Chicago Mission
    currently serving in the Michigan City, Indiana area
  • I have had a chance to create some new traditions with my kids, like going to see the Christmas lights at Temple Square, going to see “The Forgotten Carols,” and getting tickets for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert, this year with David Archuleta and Michael York. I look forward to perpetrating them in the years to come. I hope we can get tickets again next year. They are distributed by lottery.
Me, after the MoTab Christmas Concert.  Looking on from the Conference Center.
Zannah and Nick enjoying the lights at Temple Square

Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert 2010 with David Archuleta and Michael York.
I hope we can get tickets again next year!  It was awesome!
  • Though Facebook was the impetus that led to the dissolution of my marriage, I recognize that it is also had for good. Without Facebook I would not be able to keep in touch so intimately with all my friends that remained behind, my family and the friends I have here.  Email is also a miracle. I can, at any time, correspond with anyone anywhere. Add Skype and you have a trifecta of communication that wasn't available a decade ago.
  • I found a good job. It's the same kind of work I did before, but in a different setting. God is good. Though I have a lot to learn, I am willing. It might not be in a place I would have chosen, but I know HE knows what is good for me. I have many benefits from working there, and the people are great. I hope to make some wonderful friends in the people that work there. I will try to decipher the new language and do the best job I can.
  • I am healthy. For the first time in a long time...I feel better than ever.

  • I am happy. Burdens were lifted that were on my shoulders for many years. I now have a chance to pursue my dreams. I can have dreams! I can do anything I want to do. I hope to serve God and listen to the promptings of the Holy Ghost in all things. I acknowledge He is the source of my happiness. I feel loved and protected.

  • Prayer is the communication I have with God. Reading the scriptures and receiving Priesthood blessings give me the answers to my prayers--His communication back at me. He has not forsaken me.

  • I have a choice of three temples to attend within a 15-minute radius. Add 20 minutes and I've got 4. Add a half hour and there are more than a half dozen. I love Utah for that reason (among many).

Draper Temple
Jordan River Temple

 Oquirrh Mountain Temple, all three are about 15 minutes away

  • I have so many friends!!!! I would not be where I am today without their constant care and companionship. This last year would have done me in, but my friends kept me going. They gave me hope. They buoyed me up.  My friends rallied around me and constantly called me to see how I was doing. They still do! They helped me leave and gave me a place to stay. I had many more offers than I took up. I really felt so loved.

My peeps at Clare Bridge of Dublin, minus Lynn Wirth.  They gave me a farewell party on August 10th, my last day.  I miss them...  and I saw Lynn later


My peeps at church gave me a farewell party before I left, too. August 10th, the same day.
 Skipback Cindies Reunion in July.  So many old friends I hadn't seen in quite awhile.

Gillis girls.  They are my family.  Megan calls me 'Aunt Susan,' which I love.  Beverly is my honorary big sister.  It was nice to have Erin there, too.
Patty, me, Lynn, Brenda-- *sigh*

 Donna IS my sister.  We decided that a long time ago.
 Joanie Fuller Harlan let me stay with her on my last day in Penna.  She's my very best friend from grade school!
I had lunch with LuAnn Stern before I left.  It was good to set eyes on her after 25 years of just corresponding.  We sang in a guitar trio in high school with Nancy Pollock Cole.  I guess she realized if she was ever going to see me it was now or never!  So good to see her!  We are eternal friends.
I stopped in Kentucky and stayed with the Ahrens family..another blessing along the way.

I stopped in Colorado Springs to see my friend, Shirlee Brule' and her family.  Good times!
  •  My family!!!!!! My sister, Kathy, sent me an uplifting text every morning (still does!), which I read ravenously. My other brothers and sister also told me they were there for me, whatever I might need. I was so touched by their love. I’ve never seen my mom act so she-bear! Though I had to temper her anger and persuade her to NOT come to Pennsylvania to be with me, I was so grateful for the offer. Before I left, Andrew gave me a big hug and dropped a tear or two and said he wasn’t happy about losing another sister to a faraway place. Warren called and left a message on my voicemail and told me he loved me (which I have saved and won’t delete). John called to make sure I was OK and offer financial help, as did Chrissy. She sent me many texts to tell me how much she loves me (which I keep and will not delete). Beth called and offered the expertise of her bosses at the law firm. She wanted to make sure I was on the right path and that I was looking out for my own interests and wasn’t caving.
My sister, Kathy, sends me uplifting texts every morning.  I look forward to them.  One time it served as my alarm clock and I wasn't late for work!!!! Yikes!  Keep it up, Kath!

Chrissy, my baby sister, and me at my family farewell party


Family get-together the day before I left

                             My little brother, John, and me                       
       Jeff, holding Trudie, Mom and Andrew

 Don, my mother's wonderful husband

Andrew at a summer cook-out at Warren's

Chris and Warren after a water balloon fight

 Jeff waiting his turn at horseshoes

Lori and Beth, my precious sisters-in-law
I honestly didn’t realize so many people cared for me! I am blessed to have so many friends, and a big family who love me.
  • A chance to start over.

I know I haven't even scratched the surface of my blessings.  I know there will be many more to come.

Please, Lord, lead me down the right path during this next phase, as I know Thou will. Thou was with me, leading and guiding me, and sometimes giving me a good kick in the head to get going. Thou told me to have courage. Thou persuaded me that I was making the right decisions. Thou let me know, under no uncertain terms, I was doing the right thing—getting a divorce and moving to Utah. For that, I am grateful. I look to Thee in all things. I love Thee, Lord. Please bless all those who had a hand in my life this past year. Please bless them abundantly!!!!

In My Life: random thoughts of a new Utahn

I feel very blessed to be here in Utah, but I must admit, around this time, I think of family that is still back in Pennsylvania.
I had a good conversation with brothers, sister, nieces, nephews and in-laws at the annual Tobelmann gathering at Christmastime last Monday.  My mother said it.  "Skype is a  miracle!"  And so it is.  It was just like being there, except we didn't have any of the comfort food served that night.  Alex came over and Zannah brought Nick to meet the family.  They gave him a pretty rough going, but he withstood it.  I think he passed the scrutiny.  I told him...marry the girl, marry the family.
Zee & Nick had to leave, but Sandy stayed.  We had to 'hang-up' so Kathy could Skype from Florida, but when Kathy hung up, Sandy and I got on again.  They were cleaning up.  I got to have some good conversations with John and Lori --and Billy (haha).  I love Skype!
Warren said he made Chicken Fricasse.  It's something I rarely made, but it does remind me of growing up.  And Lori's Christmas cookies....
Chicken Fricasse, Red Beans and Rice, Gumbo, Tapioca, Rice Pudding...New Orleans food that was served regularly.  There are some foods I didn't make for my family, but I have a remembrance of them.
I know I am forgetting some.
We knew we were going to have red beans and rice if we had a ham dinner, which wasn't often.  Now I look forward to Christmas and Easter food so I can make red beans and rice.  I also had a magnificent garden and grew okra (which grew like weeds!) so I could make the coveted Gumbo with shrimp, crab or chicken.  Gumbo is a leftovers meal.  Granny said you look and see what you have leftover in the refrigerator, then you make the roux and dump in whatever you had.  But you had to have okra.
I have found that okra can be skipped, but I guess it's not authentic then.

I got to Skype with my mom on Christmas Day, too.  She just got it.  It was great to see her.  SEE her!  She asked, "What was that show you watched as a kid when they could talk to and see the person?"
"The Jetsons."
"I feel like it's the Jetsons!" she exclaimed.
"Except I'm waiting for that contraption that comes down and fits over your head and does your hair and makeup so you're presentable on the screen," I lamented.

I was beginning to think Christmas cards were redundant because of Facebook and email and all the many facets of communication available these days.  Who needs to have a Christmas letter that tells me things I already know?
But, I must say, receiving Christmas cards from all my friends and family REEEEEEALLY made me feel loved and thought about.  The fact that they went out of their way to get my address and sign a card and write the address and place a stamp on an envelope and take it to the post office....really warms my heart.  I hope I will be able to send Christmas cards next year.  I will make it one of my goals.  Of course I have to 'make' them, so that sets me back a few months, but I will relish it.  I miss doing my artwork--I miss crafting.  It's been over a year since I painted.  I want to paint again. 

I bought my mother-of-the-bride dress yesterday.  Bonnie went with me to the Southtowne Mall, just about a mile away from here.  I got the first dress I tried on!!! Bonnie couldn't believe it.  She said she would have to go shopping with me more often.  She said it took her forever to get a dress for her son's wedding last year.  I researched it online, then took the picture to Dillards, the saleslady led me to the dress, told me I should wear a Petite size (bless you, lady!) and set me up with about a half-dozen dresses in the dressing room.
I liked it the minute I put it on.  But, to appease Bonnie, who couldn't believe I could just get the first dress I tried on, I tried on another one.  It was similar to the first, but much more dressy.  I really liked it, but it was definitely something I could only wear to a wedding.  I really did like it.  It was feminine and dressy with a taffeta flower on the assymetrical neckline.  I thought I looked good in it.
But I got the first. 
I am too practical for my own good.
It is also feminine and dressy, but can be worn to church, too, if I want to.  I also got a bolero sweater to go with it (it will probably be cold in March), and the sweater would not go with the second dress.  It's black but I can also wear a colored tank top underneath with one of Zannah's colors (purple and green).
It has a collar and rhinestone buttons on the front and on the cuffs of the 3/4 sleeves.  It has a rouched waist/bodice and a full skirt made of taffeta with an underslip with tulle to make it fluff out.  I love it!.
They were both Loretta Young-type dresses.  I made it a point to 'twirl' in the mirror. 

Last night Bonnie and I brought in the New Year with a glass of Sparkling Pomegranite-Apple bubbly stuff.  We waited up to midnight, but we were both tired.  Mike was out delivering pizza.  He didn't get in until almost 2:00 in the morning!  I hope he made some good tips!
I received some Happy New Year texts at around 10:00--I didn't think at the time that I am two hours behind the east coast.  I wondered at first, for a second, why I was getting them so early.  haha

And, so, today I am catching up on my blog.  I am thinking good thoughts about my loved ones all over the country.  I have many.

I am blessed.

A MESSAGE FOR MY KIDS...Just So You Know...

How Long Do You Worry About Your Kids?

Is there an imaginary cutoff period when
Offspring become accountable
For their own actions?
Is there some wonderful moment when
Parents can become detached spectators
In the lives of their children and shrug,
'It's Their life,' and feel nothing?

When I was in my twenties, I stood in a hospital corridor
Waiting for doctors to put a few Stitches in my son's head and I asked,
'When do you stop worrying?'
The nurse said,'When they get out of
The accident stage.'
My Parents just smiled faintly
And said nothing.

When I was in my thirties,
I sat on a little chair in a classroom
And heard how one of my children
Talked incessantly, disrupted the class,
And was headed for a career
Making license plates.
As if to read my mind, a teacher said,
'Don't worry, they all go through this stage, and then you can sit back,
Relax and enjoy them.'
My Parents just smiled faintly
And said nothing.

When I was in my forties,
I spent a lifetime waiting
For the phone to ring,
The cars to come home,
The front door to open.
A friend said,
'They're trying to find themselves.
'Don't worry!
In a few years, they'll be adults.
'They'll be off on their own
They'll be out of your hair'
My Parents just smiled faintly
And said nothing.

By the time I was 50,
I was sick & tired of being vulnerable.
I was still worrying over my children,
But there was a new wrinkle..
Even though they were on their own
I continued to anguish over their
Failures, be tormented by their
Frustrations and
Absorbed in their disappointments...
There was nothing I could do about it.
My Parents just smiled faintly
And said nothing.

My friends said that
When my kids got married
I could stop worrying
And lead my own life.
I wanted to believe that,
But I was haunted by my parent's warm smiles and their occasional,
'You look pale. Are you all right?'
'Call me the minute you get home'.
'Are you depressed about something?'

My friends said that
When I became a grandparent
That I would get to enjoy
The happy little voices yelling
Grandma! PopPop!
But now I find that I worry
Just as much about the little kids
As the big ones.
How can anyone cope
With all this worry?

Can it be that parents are sentenced
To a lifetime of worry?
Is concern for one another
Handed down like a torch
To blaze the trail of human frailties
And the fears of the unknown?
Is concern a curse or is it
A virtue that elevates us
To the highest form of earthly creation?

Recently, one of my own children
Became quite irritable, saying to me,
'Where were you?
I've been calling for 3 days,
And no one answered, and
I was worried.'
I smiled a warm smile.
The torch has been passed.

~Author Unknown

I'm still waiting for the torch to pass, but just so you know....this IS what it's like...