God’s Goofy Gifts

I felt bad for my mom.  She’d had it rough for the past few years.  At a few weeks shy of 78 years old, she has lost the use of her legs and most of her vision.  She lives on a small pension from her late husband.  She doesn’t get out much.  She doesn’t have much, and she’s losing more.

She’s outlived her parents, which is normal.  But she’s also outlived her two youngest brothers, her husband and son in law, two nephews, and a great niece.  She worried through four of her five daughters’ bouts with cancer.  Now she was facing the funeral of her middle sister.

She rarely got to talk to her family.  They aren’t much for phone conversations, don’t like writing letters, and live pretty spread out.  Lately the only time she saw them was at funerals.  This funeral was hard because we had to go from the suffocating humid heat of South Texas to the blistering dry heat of North Texas.  For some reason, all the hotels we usually stayed at were booked solid and we wound up in a local motel currently undergoing renovations.  The only rooms we could get were not handicap accessible, and by the time we met her youngest sister at the funeral home, we were all hot, tired, and miserable.  Mom kept apologizing for being such a bother, which made me feel worse.  She was seriously depressed.

When we got to the funeral home, the director told us that at my aunt’s request, they had asked a local preacher if he could do the burial service for us since my late aunt did not have a home church at that time.  We were fine with that.  Then the guy arrived, and everything changed.

We all get blessings from God, even if we don’t always recognize them.  We receive grace and mercy, and even occasionally miracles.  But every once in a while, God will give us a goofy gift.  My mom got one that day.

The preacher wasn’t goofy.  He’s intelligent, charming, witty, and a good Christian man.  He does radio shows at the local station there and preaches at a local church.  No, what made it goofy was that he was one of Mom’s favorite radio personalities from her local radio station back home who had moved away a few years ago.  Almost unable to see him, she recognized his voice as soon as he spoke and her face expressed her surprise and wonder.

He had seen Mom’s town of residence on my aunt’s obituary and was curious to see who we are.  We all spent the next two hours talking about what he’d been doing and people we all knew and what they were doing now.  He was relieved to find we were willing and able to talk about our aunt because it’s hard to do a funeral service for someone you don’t know.

My mom wasn’t depressed after that.   She still grieved for her sister, but the depression had lifted.  When God gives you a goofy gift, you smile and chuckle and shake your head at the unexpected.  My mom is still exclaiming over the amazing coincidence (read God’s handiwork). Instead of sitting in the dark and grieving quietly, she remembers meeting someone who had always seemed like a friend to her during the years she listened to him on the radio, and who became a friend in person exactly when she needed one the most.

God’s goofy gifts lift you up.  They cheer you when you’re down, amaze you when you’re jaded, make you laugh, make you sit up and pay attention and realize God still cares.  Have you ever given someone a goofy gift just to make them feel better?  Did it make you feel better to see them perk up?  The more I think about it the more I am amazed.  God placed that preacher where he could most help my mom years before they met.

The preacher even told us he had received a serious disappointment that led him to his present location.  His prayers were answered with a solid “No” because God knew he would be needed, years later, in a different location.  I have no doubt others have needed him in his new location, but God in His omniscience knew my mother would need him and made sure he would be available that day.  It’s so nice to have an all powerful God who takes a moment out of running the universe to make a grieving old lady feel better just when she needed it most.

Setting the Mood

What a morning.  Last night I had insomnia and was wide awake till 1 AM.  May not be impressive for many of you, but I had been very sleepy earlier and was thinking about going to bed at a normal hour and suddenly,  Boom!  I’m awake.  Really awake.  That kind of 5 shots of espresso in 20 minutes awake.  Why?  Beats me, unless it had something to do with the weather changing.

Oh, yes.  Rain again.  I was finally deep in dreamland when the weather alarm I have by my bed went off.  Very loud and piercing, being an alarm, you know.  Why keep it by my bed, if it’s so annoying?  Because if you live in Tornado Alley, you want to know if something is going on out there.  And it keeps going off if you don’t shut it off.  So I keep it by my bed so I can hit the little button that shuts off the godawful alarm and lets the information be heard.

Flood warning again.  When it started listing all the towns and counties, I just winced.  Two inches in nothing flat dumped on flood ravaged areas while they are still trying to clean up and repair.  Thunderstorms training through my area, dumping more and more and more rain.  Wondering what training is?  Picture being under a railroad, with a long train loaded with cars full of water passing overhead, each one dumping its load on top of you as it goes by.

I looked blearily at the clock and sighed.  Barely 5 AM.  Gah.  No going back to sleep, either.  Decades of waking up well before dawn to be at work on an early shift has left my body incapable of falling back asleep once I’m awake.  Groan and creak my way out of bed.  Stagger to the bathroom and after a quick glance in the mirror, avoid my reflection.  Eccchhh!  Mumble and stumble my way afterward to the kitchen and try to get the coffee water poured into the correct opening on the coffeemaker.  Listen to the rain.

At first, my brain was humming, “Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain…”, making me feel rather mellow, then for some reason, Johnny Cash’s “Sunday Morning Comin’ Down” began rolling through.  Probably lack of sleep and looking at the forecasts about a disturbance in the Gulf maybe about to dump yet more water on us next week.

Maybe I need more coffee.  Maybe I need some bacon and eggs.  Maybe I need to look at more cat and dog funny photos.  (I looked at my bank balance before coffee this morning, too.  Probably a big influence on my mood.)  I suppose I just need more sleep, but I won’t get that unless I can grab a nap this afternoon after church.  Won’t be so bad if it’s still raining then, which they say it might be.  Napping during a rain is terrific.

Until then, I’ll just try to ignore the mood setting sound effects coming from the roof.  I loathe feeling melancholy.  If we were still in drought status, it would probably be the happiest sound in the world.  But after a month or so of flooding, I just sigh and stare out the window, waiting for the sun to come out again.  Hope that coffee kicks in soon.

Excuses, Excuses

Whoa!  I didn’t realize it had been so long since I blogged!  Talk about being too busy for words!  Hah!  I have three calendars I use to TRY to keep track of appointments and errands.  April and May are pretty much blacked out with all the places and times I’ve had to be somewhere besides my keyboard.  I don’t have a smartphone (yet) and only my desktop to do my writing on.  I’m also sure many of you busy parents out there understand when I say I couldn’t have thought of anything to say anyway.  The brain is often engaged in actions, not words, when you are busy traveling, transporting, and DEALING WITH WEATHER!

I live in South Central Texas. I capitalize because, hey, I’m a Texan.  Besides, the area is big enough to be its own state.  (There’s information available about how Texas was already arranged to be five different states if they wanted to be before it agreed to join the United States.) We’ve been dealing with lots and lots and lots and lots – well, let’s just say too much for all at once – of rain and high winds and tornadoes.  Luckily our house sits far away from any body of water big enough to be a threat when it floods, but many of our friends, neighbors, and family do not.  There are a lot of creeks, rivers, ponds, and lakes around here.

Counties have declared states of emergency and cities set up curfews to keep people off the streets after dark since the water doesn’t care about city limits.  Interstate highways have gone underwater.  Bridges are gone, roads are washed out (and due to the rural nature of most of the surrounding countryside, many are dirt and gravel, so it’s a real mess) and one small town that primarily exists on tourism has been pretty much washed away.  People have died, been injured, gone missing, and are burning up cell phones trying to find their friends and family. Many are homeless, or facing a filthy cleanup.

My area went through a 500 year flood twice already in the past 25 years.  That’s what it is called when flood levels reach the highest levels in the past 500 years.  In 1998, we got soaked.  Then in 2002 when we were just drying out, boom!  Here we go again.  Could be this will be the third and they’ll have to draw the floodplain maps again.  It was a surprise to many newer residents, who moved here while the area was in drought status.  Lakes that were nearly dry holes have bounced by 40 feet overnight.  Who needs hurricanes!

Of course, every population has its idiots.  Video was taken of some morons tubing in rushing waters uncaring of the debris in the water.  In a nearby town, some were even swimming!  Then they had the nerve to give first responders lip about being forced out of the water – until the cops showed up and made it clear nobody appreciated being forced to risk their lives to save those who were trying for a Darwin Award.  I’ve been caught in a flash flood twice and I don’t want to go anywhere near fast flowing or high water now.  These jerks don’t appear to know or care what is in the water besides debris.  The bacteria found in floodwater is extremely dangerous.

It’s not over yet.  More rain is coming, with lightning and wind, and people who have been able to get back to the homes they had to evacuate are huddled around their radios, televisions, smartphones, and emergency weather alert radios.  Many are trying to get what they can salvage out before they have to rush away again.  My sister is three hours from home after a holiday weekend with her grandchild and all the routes back to her home are either under water, damaged, or about to be as the storms move in again.

Life is strange.  Just when you think all you have to complain about is being too busy with errands, you wind up with something that teaches you how easy you have it.  I was thanking God I didn’t have to live in a land tortured by the wars of man, but there are other situations that leave you in battle status.

I am grateful I and my loved ones are safe, and I will do what I can to help those not so fortunate.  Hopefully we will gain some respite soon.  Hey, California could use some of this, couldn’t they?  Be safe, and grateful you can read this.  I’m certainly grateful I can write it.

Cleaning the Windows

I’ve been reading a lot this week about various people and how they cope with their lives.  I live with a younger sister.  We’re both in our fifties now, and our health isn’t too good, so we’re trying to work on it.  She has  a particularly nasty condition that leaves her looking normal on the outside, so people don’t really understand when she says she feels awful.  Having lived with her for over thirty years, I know just how bad it can get.  This week the oak pollen around south Texas has reached near historic levels, according to the weatherman.  Her condition makes her immune system hyper vigilant, so her allergies can wreck her.  Literally.

Her condition manifests with an inflammation of her inner ears.  Her ENT specialist who diagnosed it said everytime it did, more brain cells were cooked in the heat and more of her memory and comprehension would be lost.  She’s more concerned by extreme pain and the dizziness that leaves her staggering around and unable to drive.  She is given a steroid to deal with it, in the hopes that her immune system can be suppressed and the inflammation decreased.  The side effects of that are sleep, swelling, and bad temper.  Since she is trying to lose weight, it is not a good season for her.

I have insulin resistant diabetes and a slowly degenerating back.  This makes it interesting when it becomes dangerous for her to walk and I have to cook and take her meals.  She also is sensitive to light due to migraines during these episodes so she tries to sit in the dark and quiet.  I can’t stand the dark and like music playing most of the time.  It’s a challenge to make her as comfortable as possible while not giving up my life.  Luckily I enjoy challenges.  I consider them brain exercises.  It’s how I got through breast cancer.

Some people, when faced with an obstacle, sit and stare at it and complain to everybody around them about how it is blocking them.  I always wonder what it’s blocking, and become so curious I try to find a way around it to find out.  Zoos frequently try to “enrich” the animals lives by giving them problems they have to work at.  I figure maybe that’s what I’m getting.

This week a Facebook friend of mine remarked on how she was feeling overwhelmed by all the bad things she was seeing and experiencing.  Like many do, she wondered why God was allowing it to happen.  I gave her an excerpt from one of the stories in my next book, just as God gave it to me.

“Why does God allow such evil to exist? How can He allow them to suffer like this?” “Because if you were never allowed to try to stop it, if you were never given the chance to care about others, you would not be His children. You would be potted plants. Maybe, at the most, domesticated pets. Would you prefer that?”

I also cope by reminding myself how much worse it could be.  I am so much better off than many people I know personally.  I thank God every day I don’t have my sister’s problems.  I thank Him for letting me have a pension sufficient to live on, a nice home to live in, insurance to pay for most of my medical bills, and transportation not only for myself but for family that need to go somewhere.  I have lived in much worse circumstances.

I can dream of winning the lottery, writing a best-seller, inheriting a fortune, or even marrying somebody rich.  But they are just dreams.  My day to day life is interesting, rewarding, and creative, which is pretty darned good.  This Easter weekend when the world celebrates the coming of spring, or the renewal of the Hope of the world thanks to an empty cave, or just enjoys a nice festive weekend holiday, try to look at your life in a better light.  Don’t sit around in the gloom, grab some cleaner and polish the windows!  It may at least distract you!

It’s Not Twitter, But…

I never could figure out how people could use just 140 characters to express themselves.  I tend to run on and on and on…well, if you ever read stuff I write you know that.  But one thing I found I really enjoyed was captions.  I love doing photograph albums and writing the captions.  Preparing family photo calendars for Christmas is one long giggle fest for me.  Then a few years ago I got cancer, a type with a very low survival rate.  Being the optimist I am, I decided the day of my diagnosis that the day they declared me cancer free I would get myself a teeshirt that declared “Grim Reaper Reject”.  I did, too.  Then one day I was driving with my sister past our favorite meat palace and got a face full of fragrant hickory smoke.  My sister sighed happily and remarked, “Man, if there’s no barbeque in Heaven, I’m coming back!”

Yesterday I was on the Teespring website reopening the teeshirt sales for those two sayings and my brain started cranking.  We have a Christmas sign on our front door we haven’t changed out yet that has annoyed me from day one.  “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” it says.  It annoyed me because it seemed to say that was the ONLY season He was there for.  Jesus is the reason for EVERY season! Huh, I thought.  That sounds like a teeshirt.  So now it is.

While I was doing that, my mind wandered back to a conversation I had about friendliness.  I have a running joke that I use to describe myself.  I call myself a social slut because I’ll talk to almost anybody.  Hey, I wonder…  Yup.  Another teeshirt.

Unfortunately, these are not open for long.  If you’d like one, check them out quick.  I may, if things work out, wind up getting an inventory of several sizes and sell them myself.  But you don’t have to wait if you don’t want to.  These shirts go up to 5X.

The place to look for them is http://teespring.com/stores/words-are-my-life.  I’ll probably be putting more up there as they come to me.  Sometimes they smack me in the face and sometimes they slip in when I’m not looking.  I hope they amuse, inspire, and just sometimes make you think.

The Meaning of Words

I had an interesting experience this week and I guess I can check it off my bucket list.  I never really was aware it was on there, but now I realize I’ve always wanted to do it.  I was a juror on a criminal case.  Perry Mason it was not.  CSI in whatever city it was not.  Law and Order it was not.  It was fascinating and very satisfying.

The sister I live with gets a jury summons at least once a year.  I got one once about 30 years ago, and was not chosen.  It was amusing, though, to be sitting beside the one guy who had perhaps the second best excuse in the world for being exempt from jury duty – he was the star witness in the trial we were to be chosen for.  The judge was outraged, but calmed down after being reminded that jury summons were done by the computer on a random basis.  I had another sister who got a jury summons for a trial where the defendant was a guy she personally knew.  That got her out of the pool.  My mom got to be a juror on a murder trial.  She was good.  She never mentioned the trial until it was over and they declared the defendant guilty.

The folks who checked us in were delighted to see so many show up.  Despite the fact that not responding to a jury summons gets you in trouble with the law, many often just do not.  There were about 24 of us this day.  The deputy checking us in said that once only 11 people showed up and they had to reschedule the trial.  Since they only needed six jurors for this trial  (I have no idea how they decide how many they need – have to find out some time) the 24 of us pleased them.  It was about half and half men and women.  One turned out to be a bail bondsman, but the defendant was not a client, so they left him in.  Another was the daughter of the retired district attorney, but they left her in.

The morning was taken up by voir dire – the questioning of the juror pool to see if they understand the charges, and to find out if they have any prejudices that would affect their determination of the defendants’ guilt or innocence.  The prosecutor was new, an assistant District Attorney who did a superb job of explaining reasonable doubt, since the case would really hinge on whether the jury felt there was any. The defense attorney reminded me of a television show character, with a bushy mustache and a big, booming voice.  He also was very professional and explained things well.  Between the two of them, I think they made sure we understood the terms that would be used in the case.

When the jury selection was made, I was delighted to be chosen.  They then sent us off to lunch, with the trial to begin afterwards.  When I got back, I was able to chat with the bailiff, who was a retired chief of police.  It was very interesting to hear about life in a courthouse.  One thing that was very different from the television shows was how friendly everyone was.  Of course, it is a mostly rural south Texas county legal system, and everybody knows everybody, and luckily it was not a tense, emotional trial we had to look forward to.

The judge and district attorney smiled a lot, but not in the “We know we’re going to win” style, more in the “we’re delighted to see people willing to do their civic duty” style.  The defense attorney did not smile as much, but his client probably would not have appreciated it.  I got the feeling the poor man (Hispanic, poor English, and easily confused by questions put to him) thought a jury of six white women were not going to give him a fair deal.  He looked more and more morose as the trial proceeded.

We six did admit to each other we were surprised no men had been chosen, but after some thought, agreed that most of them had not struck us as, well, reasonable as most of the women.  But we were all determined to be fair and thoughtful in our decision, never forgetting that a man’s future was on the line.  We had listened to police and professional expert testimony on the facts of the case, and examined physical evidence.

The decision we had to make came down to: Was there reasonable doubt or not in the situation?  Was the evidence and testimony overwhelmingly on the prosecution’s side?  Was there any reason to doubt the defendant was guilty of the two charges against him?  It really came down to the meaning of the legal terms in the charges and how the law interpreted them.  That’s where I was glad the prosecutor and defense attorney had explained them so well.

I was also very glad I was on a jury with five other intelligent, thoughtful women who were serious about their duty.  We did not discuss it for long, because we all pretty much agreed on our opinions from the beginning, but we did discuss it thoroughly.  We noted what we thought of the testimonies and the evidence, and then delved into how the meanings of the legal terms fit the case.  None of us were concerned about the defendant’s ethnic, economic,  or social background.  The subjects never came up.  All we discussed was how the legal definitions affected the case.  In the end, we agreed that, despite the evidence and testimony presented, we could see that what the defendant swore must have happened was just as likely as what the prosecution was certain had happened.  We found reasonable doubt that the defendant met the legal definition of the charges against him, and judged him not guilty.

There is an old saying that comes up occasionally when people argue:  “You say tomato, I say tomahto”, meaning “we’re using different words but we’re saying the same thing”.  But we don’t always.  We need to be careful what we say, how we say it, and when we say it.  Sometimes feelings can be hurt, and sometimes a life can be changed.  Sometimes we just need to think before we speak.  We need to think before we write.  We need to think, period.

Sit! Stay!

I just saw a terrific post from www.WritingSisters.com  about how to be a writer.  A dog sat before a computer keyboard, and the caption said “First rule of writing: Sit.  Second rule of writing: Stay.”  I have to tell my self that lately.  I’m beginning to think I’ve developed Adult Attention Deficit Disorder.  I’ve been so easily distracted lately it’s driving me crazy.  I wonder if it has to do with the weather.  Or my allergies.  Or my sudden desire to spring clean.  My sister/roommate/mortgage partner would scoff, but I have been doing more cleaning than normal.  I also have health issues in myself and my family to deal with.  I just haven’t been writing as much as I want to, and I need to sit and get words down.  (I can’t say ‘down on paper’ anymore, you know…)

There have been lots of words going through my brain.  Several stories have been writing themselves up there.  Maybe it’s a necessary step before I can get the fingers moving.  I have been talking to several people about writing, as well.  Hopefully they will spread the word and I will make more sales.  I have also been busy learning everything I need to do about setting up this website as a merchant’s page as well so that anybody can buy my books and other items from me easily.  I told my sister I might have to start taking night classes at the local college for business administration.

I have also been working through taxes.  It should be easy for me after thirty years of working there in the trenches, but everything keeps changing and often the most difficult challenge is trying to figure out if the word they use for something means the same thing as the word you’ve always used for it.  This happened at work all the time.  Most of my efforts in writing training materials was spent making sure the students understood the language used in the procedures.

You also have to be super organized if you are trying to reference anything that happened in previous years, and unfortunately, my years of too much work and not enough filing have caught up with me, so I’m trying to do it all now.  I do at least have some decent software to help with that.

Organization is also extremely important when it comes to writing, even if it’s fiction.  I base my Biblical characters’ stories on specific Bible verses, with background details on other research, and it’s vital to be able to look back to the research quickly.  I am so glad I spent the necessary money to get a computer that can handle what I’m asking of it.

Wow, my fingers are cold.  I’ll have to turn the heater back on.  It’s supposed to get warm today, but the sky is still gray and the wind has picked up.  It is Texas, after all, where the weather laughs at weather predictions.  I’ll go get warmer clothes on and try to warm the house up a bit.  I need to get some dishes and floors cleaned, which will help warm me.  But I swear I will be writing in my head, and will get back to the keyboard “toot sweet” ( apparently a phonetic spelling of some French phrase meaning ASAP) and get some more moneymakers done.

Not So Slowly Slipping Away

I just looked at the clock and got a terrible shock.  It’s almost 11 AM as I write this, and I haven’t even had breakfast yet.  It wouldn’t be so much of a shock if I hadn’t got up as usual this morning with my sister at 3:30 AM.  As I stared at the clock, I tried to think of where my morning had gone and what had kept me so busy I forgot to have breakfast.  I had two cups of coffee before 5 AM, I remember that.  I wasn’t paying too much attention to the news since all they could chatter about was the Oscars, which holds zero interest for me.  I wasn’t reading a book, which can really kill time.  What was I doing?

Ah, now I remember.  I’ve been trying to clear a lot of email, so that takes a while.  Then I got tired of sitting around in my pajamas and went back to my bedroom to get into something warmer and wound up doing some cleaning in there.  Oh, yeah, that definitely ate up a big chunk of time.  It never feels like it, especially when you look around and see how much is still left to do.  I’m a slob, I know.  It drives my sister, who shares the house, nuts, since she is a lot more organized.  Generally, as long as I know the clean clothes are hanging up or are in my dresser drawers, I’m pretty satisfied.  I try to throw the dirty ones in the hamper as I pull them off, but well…

So breakfast – lunch? – brunch, maybe? is now cooking, meat is thawing for later meals (hot soup in freezing weather!), neatening of the house is gradually spreading, and I am working on my blog.  Sorry I haven’t got to it sooner.  Life got in the way, as well as some funerals and deaths of people I knew.

We also had a fire nearby that distracted us over the weekend – I had to call 9-1-1 twice because it kept springing back to life thanks to the unrelenting wind.  The second time was this morning at 4:30 after my sister took off for work and then called to say the flames were high as the car as she drove by.  I don’t think the firefighters wanted to particularly thank me for the call, since the windchill is around 20 degrees right now.  Sorry, guys, but since I’m only one house away across a narrow highway, I’m intent on keeping that thing under control.

Remember that song “Slowly, slowly, slippin’ away”?  When I was working (especially taking phone calls from angry taxpayers) time slowly slipped away with excruciating jerks and pauses.  Long, long pauses while somebody furiously shouts in my ear, swift jerks as breaks dash by.  Now I’m retired, and time seems to fly.  My friends who beat me to retirement mostly told me I would never seem to have the time to do what I wanted.  A very few told me I’d be bored out of my mind.  Can’t say that’s happened yet.  I’m having to make out increasingly lengthening ‘to-do’ lists.

There is the permanent list: Dishes, laundry, cleaning, cooking, shopping, etc.  Then there is the strike one, add three list: Taxes, filing, organizing, meetings, trips, marketing, lots of things done for other people.  Finding time to do my writing is becoming more and more difficult.  I’m having to schedule it, which I never expected.  I just want to get it all done.  I attended a funeral of a guy younger than me this past week, and discovered a friend died 5 days after her 102nd birthday, and two others who were very elderly but not so much.  You never know what will happen next in life, so do things while you can.

My bucket list that I wrote when I was in my early twenties is actually mostly done.  Oddly enough, only the top three remain, and at least one of them will never happen – have children.  Get married?  Maybe if he’s persuasive enough.  Since I’m not even dating, it’s still not likely. I enjoy being single and having a messy bedroom.  Write a best seller?  That’s more doable, and I’m doing my darnedest.  Wish me luck, buy my books, write reviews, and tell your friends!

Who knows, maybe I’ll be at the Oscars someday, watching the movie version win Best Picture.

No Starving Artists Here

I live for comfort.  I admit it.  I’m not ashamed of it.  I grew up in sometimes grim circumstances and have memories of days when a bowl of beans was something to be extremely grateful for because I had already known times when I didn’t have that much.  I spent a week once without food and it wasn’t by choice.  I’ve lived in drafty shacks with a wood stove and no running water.  Every time I heard or read someone saying they wanted to “go back to the land” or “off the grid” or “live like the pioneers” I knew they had never been there.  I have, and it’s not comfortable, easy, or satisfying.

I’ve had relatives tell me I’m “livin’ above my raisin'”, a quaint southern saying about acting like you’re better than they are.  My sisters and I agree, durn right we’re living above our raising.  I’ve worked since I was five or so and I’m tired.  Most of my jobs in my life involved long, long hours and often very hard work.  I’m retired now with a pension I can live on and time to do what I want, which is be creative.

As the economy gets worse, the expenses go up, but I have the choice of how to deal with them, and so far I’m doing fine.  I have two books published and I’m working on my third.  I have two teeshirts designed and for sale now.  I’m not freaking out about how fast or slow they are selling.  I have enough to live on and be comfortable, and the rest is just gravy.

It took me a long time to get here.  I worked and worked and worked, trying to reach that point that is so difficult for the poor, that feeling that I finally had enough money.  I never did.  What I reached was the point of exhaustion.  When the breast cancer forced me to take almost five months off, I did almost nothing but sleep.  I went back to work and did sixty hours the first week back, still not heeding my body.  If the chemo had not messed with my brain making it difficult to do my job, I would probably be working still and would probably be working till they dragged me out, still trying to reach that point of feeling I had enough money.

Now I have been retired for two years and would rather cut back on expenses than get another job.  I am finally doing what I want to do and am loving it.  My creativity is brimming over and it is very comfortable, especially when I can sit at my computer in my pajamas with a big cup of coffee as I write this.  My sister that I share a mortgage with is at work this morning, trying to earn more overtime.  She hopes to be back in time to watch the Superbowl.

Me, I’m going to meander around the house, fix some breakfast, sip some more coffee, and slowly get ready for church.  Life is good.