I almost died this weekend

I almost died this weekend

So I almost died this weekend, and I wish I was being dramatic.

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Hubby and I took Friday off to finish our wills. We had 1 easy correction, and needed to sign. So here we are driving down the highway when a black pickup decides he is tired of being stuck in a line of cars or something, and decides to pass not one vehicle, but two on a solid double yellow line on a curve. One of those vehicles was a semi-truck! I have never been so grateful to have God on my side, and a husband that is pretty skilled at driving.

It’s not uncommon on this stretch of highway to have cars pass in unsafe areas. It’s actually one of the deadliest highways in the country. But generally when someone passes when they shouldn’t, they try to force their way back into their lane. As the on-coming vehicle, you slow and drive down the shoulder mentally cussing (and sometimes it’s out loud) the unthinking driver, and continue on your way.

Friday’s situation was so far from the expected bad situation. The driver of the pickup realizes too late that we are there, slams on his breaks, apparently realizes he is still alongside the semi, and as my hubby is already braking and heading for the shoulder, the pickup decides that’s also his best bet for survival. Our vehicles are now still careening toward each other at a slowed rate of maybe 55 MPH now. Pickup continues to our shoulder forcing Hubby to steer back into the tiny space between the semi and the pickup neither of which has quite made it to the shoulder. The back end of the car breaks loose and we start fishtailing in a space so narrow I already wasn’t sure we would fit.

At this point, the only thought on my mind was “this is how it ends. My oldest is in class, and the rest of his immediate family is either taking a ride in the coroner’s truck, or a helicopter”. Pretty sure the infant in the 5 point harness will be the only one to get a ride out of here alive”. As I write this, that awful feeling still sits with me. We almost left 1-2 babies alone.

God gave Hubby the amazing ability to evaluate, react, and counter react so perfectly. He was able to switch between braking and heading to the shoulder, to braking and going back to center, to speeding up and powering out of a fishtail. Everything worked out so perfectly that of the 5 vehicles that almost collided that day, all of us drove away without a scratch of damage.

This whole scenario played out in the time it takes to go from about 63 to 40, and back to 60.

As we drove off, I made it maybe 1 more mile into safety before the tears hit. The irony hit me about the same time. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to laugh, cry, be angry, or grateful.  All of those feeling were right there at the surface. Once I felt safe and reassured we were all alive, I couldn’t help be laugh a bit at the irony of it all. 2 inches left or right at any point, and someone would be trying to decide if the intent of a will was enough. Here someone would have found a mess of legal paperwork on intended guardians, power of attorney, and healthcare directives all over in the front of the car. Guess if intent is enough, it would have been in a handy location.

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Country Girl Fail

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Some days I think God has a sense of humor where my humility is concerned. About the time I start getting a little too “I’m a rock-star”-ish, he reminds me that, actually, no I’m a mom/woman/wife still trying to find her way in life. Today at work, about the time I thought I was the master juggler of shipping activity, a HUGE spider ran across the floor in front of me while walking back to my desk. Yup, screamed like a little girl and almost dropped everything as I did this skip/shuffle/jump thing. And this reaction ALWAYS has witnesses, plenty eager to re-tell or even reenact the story.

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After work I had to run to the store for dog food, on the way my son fell asleep in the truck, go figure. With all the craziness the last couple days, I figured I’d carry him in the store to let him sleep a bit. I managed to pack my 5 year old in one arm and push a cart with the other. Luck was on my side, because the dog food was at the perfect height to pull a bag down and have it lad perfectly into my cart; kid still asleep in my arms. Another shopper walked by and goes “nice!” And my inner supper mom does an air punch is all “I know right? Check me out!” don’t worry, I didn’t let the crazy out, I just smiled and said thank you.

So here I am on cloud nine, and I get home and start doing chores. Hubbys working out of town, so I’m on funny farm duties again. Bunnies, check, dogs, check. Chickens – I got this, HA! Those little white monster chickens have no fear of humans. WTF, you’re supposed to runaway chickens. But no, I open the door and they swarm me, the dang little white ones actually started pecking me! So here I am screaming and making a fool of myself, completely unaware my son has come around to “rescue” me, all “mommy I can do it”. Ya, I almost threw my hands up and said let them suffer, but I don’t know when they ran out of water and I feel bad.

I finally get by the devil birds, grab the water can and run. I have no idea how this dumb thing is supposed to actually work. I got it filled, but by the time I got it flipped back over and ready to go into the chicken coop the dumb thing was empty again! Blah! On the second try I managed to keep a little water in it, but they will definitely be out by tomorrow. I was so confident in my awesome farm mom skills that I didn’t change into chore clothes before I started either; you should have seen my mud covered shoes and slacks.

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Strong Hearted Woman

 I read a great blog post today, below is a snip-it and a link to read the original.

The Beauty of a Strong-Hearted Woman

I’m not sure what started it.

But I suspect it had something to do with this one book I’d read a few years back. I’m not saying the author intended to communicate this message, but it’s certainly what I concluded.

If I wanted to be a a good wife — a biblical wife? Then I needed to tone it down a bit.

Okay, a lot.

I needed to swallow it, hold it back, and keep it down. I was far too intense for my own good. Or at least for my husband’s good.

So I started this new, radical campaign. I didn’t even tell my husband what I was up to, but decided that from then on, I was going to mellow out. Keep it quiet.

Now for those of you who know me, you probably find that rather funny. You can’t even hardly picture it.

But I really did try.

And I kept it going fairly well … until one day when we were discussing a certain subject while standing by the piano — a subject that I felt, ahem, passionate about. And suddenly, I couldn’t take it any longer.

I nearly shouted, “I JUST CAN’T DO THIS.”

“Do what??” his eyebrows raised.

“I can’t simply keep my mouth shut and not express all that I’m thinking or feeling!” I was practically shaking with frustration.

[Read the rest of the article at The Time-Warp Wife.]

 

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You’re doing it wrong

You’re doing it wrong

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So with all the changes and all the stress my parenting skills have been sadly lacking. I’ll admit I’ve let my son basically do whatever, as long as it wasn’t going to get him hurt. And with the extra stress and craziness from work, once I get home my patience is zilch, which is great when you have a 5 year old. Oh, and to top it off, I have quite the reactive personality. So I tend to have a short fuse and go 0 to 60 in a snap, another great quality as a mom.

My poor kid hasn’t had the easiest go either these last couple months. Starting early February his normal daycare person took time off for family reasons, and he had to go to the back-up sitter. Back up #1 couldn’t watch all the time so he started at back up #2. Original daycare person then had another life change, and is now moving to Oklahoma, and by association so is my son’s best friend. Backups 1&2 are 20 miles away so I talked friends and came up with new in town sitter. So in less than 3 months my son has had 4 sitters plus a week with my sister.

Like many kids, especially at this age, my son loves to get reactions. And as much as I hate to do it, I give him a show every time he tries. I don’t even make him work that hard. But, in fairness, how annoying is “can I please have a cup of water, can I please have a cup of water, can I please have a cup of water, can I please have a cup of water”. It’s been 30 seconds, ask once!!! Or the always classic response to get from a misbehaving kid, “no”. WTF! Do not tell me no!

Hindsights 20/20, well, given I’m judging myself maybe more like 20/50, a bit skewed. So after finding out yesterday that the bad behavior at daycare has become too much to handle, my kid has basically been put on probation and has a 1 week trial to see if he can stay. Now in fairness to my son, his daycare lady is actually a friend of a friend who is not a childcare provider, but a stay at home mom with a teething baby. Her patience are dwindling as well. My little town of Warden does not have one single licensed daycare provider; they don’t even have a preschool. Apparently the migrant head start is enough to cover the highest needs of the town. Well I’m not a migrant worker, so I’m out. All my backups are 20 miles away which makes it an additional 40 miles round trip morning and afternoon, plus they’re not in the school district and he starts school this year.

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So hubby and I have sat down to discuss our parenting strategy. I drew on every (what I once viewed as ridiculous) episode of nanny 911, and good parenting article I’ve read. We are going with the “time-out spot” tactic and focusing on consistency like our lives depend on it. The plan is that more serious infractions will get instant time-out, where the more minor – guilty of annoying people on purpose -infractions will get a warning, then a time out. Perhaps part of my problem is that I just referred to my son’s misbehaving as infractions – I better put that on the list to evaluate.

I have no idea where the crying will fall. My son cries, and I think that is my biggest struggle. I don’t get it. I’m not a crier, and as a kid, it really wasn’t allowed. For anything. He cries over everything from I got an invisible scratch, to you wouldn’t order ice cream from the Schwans man for me. I’m thinking tantrum crying will be time out, and “I gave you loves but don’t get why you’re crying for no reason” will be – go hang out in your bedroom.

So far, the time out thing seems to be working; he doesn’t want to stay in time out. Although I have to keep putting him back and saying “the timer will start once you stay in time out, and I will re-set it every time you get out”, I figure that shows he doesn’t like it. Another observation pulled from Nanny 911, those kids never want to stay in time out, then all of a sudden they get it and they start being good. Hey, at least I’m not pulling parenting advice from the roadrunner.

We are also working to be more consistent with routine and working toward more hands on parenting. I’ll admit we’ve been lacking. When my son was a baby he wasn’t in to the bedtime rituals of rocking or cuddling. You had to just set him in his crib and walk away. That has carried over throughout the years, and although we have a list of bedtime steps, we haven’t been too consistent, and normally its “get ready for bed”, and we might read a story or he may have taken too long and just has to go to bed. His big complaint is that we rush him, which I understand, I hate getting rushed.

Personally, I’m praying for patience and guidance.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

2 Timothy 1:7

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

GT50 – an inspiration

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Back in 2008 I was working as a 911 dispatcher in Grant County Washington, I also volunteered for the Ephrata fire department. That January our little emergency services community was rocked. One of our deputies who was also a local fire department volunteer, and friend of many, went out hunting. In our area coyote hunting is fairly common, it’s more of a time passer, so it’s not too uncommon for people to go alone. Earl was out alone that day and while hunting a man shot him. Now I won’t go on about how if you have a scope you should be able to tell the difference between a man and a dog. But hey, that’s a different issue. A man was shot, but on top of that, he was one of our own, not a faceless voice on the phone. A 30-06 to the lower back is bad. I am so proud of my friend and co-dispatcher that took the call that day. I don’t know that I could have held up as well, especially when he asked to leave the recorded message for his fiancé.

Earl survived that day, and the next, and the days after that. He is alive today, and he created a video that is an inspiration I wanted to share.

Here is what he wrote about his video:

I created this video with the input of a few close friends. When I began making this I wanted to show not only my progression, but to remind us all life isn’t fair sometimes and we all make the choice between bitter or better whatever the situation. This week six years ago would be the beginning of my first full week of PT after a bullet broke four vertebrae in my lower back, leaving my right leg partially paralyzed.

The goals: to walk again unassisted and regain strength.

Most of you already know the story. This time I wanted to share some videos I have never shown before. The video and pictures in the hospital setting were taken in Harborview Medical Center. The pictures of where the bullet exited and is healing were after I returned home.

I will say I’m thankful for all the people I have met along the way who I would have never had the opportunity of meeting if I had never been shot.

Probably the most profound statement that affects me today is this. While in Harborview I was in an amount of pain no scale can measure. Having a poor little pity party for myself I was complaining about the situation I was in and how it wasn’t fair. It just so happened the lead resident for surgery was in my room. He said you need to understand your on the 7th floor, and everyone one floor below you are newly paralyzed. He said you may not be able to run again, but you will walk again. You may not be able to do some of the things you did before, but you will be able to do a lot of things you did before and you’ll have the opportunity to learn new things. It won’t be a quick process, but you’ll get there.

“Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.”
-John Wooden

–       Earl Romig 2/25/14

You can watch his video here:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=1443040429265497&set=vb.100006786614494&type=2&theater

A God Refill – My Testimony

 

 

 

 

 

This past week has been a struggle. I’ve been stressed and tense with work and, well, really not a happy person in general. I read a quote that basically said that the mom sets the attitude of the home. This coincides with my husband’s smart-aleck “momma aint happy aint nobody happy”.  This really just made me feel worse honestly. So now I’m feeling guilty because I don’t want to play with my son and get easily frustrated with normal 5 year old behavior. Don’t get me started on trying to teach him to read, like this will stop him from going to college if he doesn’t figure it out this week. I feel guilty about getting upset with hubby for leaving salsa in a dish on the counter, not to mention that he didn’t take it upon himself to clean up the kitchen after I neglected to even partly clean it up the night before. Oh did I mention he was busy changing the oil in 2 vehicles in the dark? Obviously I’m being awful, and yet, still mad!

 

So today I decided I needed a God refill. After leaving work I cranked up my KLOVE station (Christian radio), and blared it all the way to daycare to get my son. Got home, same drill. While making dinner I made a conscious effort to list to myself my reasons why my life is great, and the gifts I’ve been given. I’m writing this now partly because I feel like I’ve been ignoring God for a while. I feel like I’ve been instructed to give my testimony, but I’ve been saying to myself “to who”? Well, I guess this will go out to whoever and the few followers I have on this blog.

For a long time I thought my dad was this “special project” of God’s.  I’ve never known someone so blessed, yet so “un-churchy”. Not a word, I know, but here are some stories I grew up with:

 

  1. My grandparents were living in South Dakota and the “work dried up”. So they requested newspapers from all across the country (I’m not sure how they did this in the late 60s, not sure it matters). Anyway, they see an ad for a farm hand job in the small town of Ephrata, WA. Grandpa got the job, so the family packed up everything they could fit in the station wagon and made the move. They were poor, like dirt poor. My dad was born with asthma, it’s very common in our family, those who have it, have it bad for life. There is medically no cure, and asthma leaves internal damage in the way you can see scar tissue in the lungs in xrays. So, Dad ends up having an asthma attack and they are clear out of town on this farm (20 minutes from town), no one around, they couldn’t afford his medicine so he ran out. They can’t afford doctor bills, and were afraid to move him anyway. Grandma and Grandpa laid their hands on him and prayed. They prayed and prayed and prayed. Suddenly his breathing calmed and soon he was fine. After that day he never had another asthma attack (he was around 14). At 21 he joined the Army, asthma is a disqualifier. He tells them, well I had it as a kid but really don’t anymore. They humor him and take xrays and several other tests (it was the 80s – less strict I guess). No scar tissue, they can’t trigger it with gas drills, or anything else.  To this day he still has not had a problem, even considering he has smoked basically since 18.              
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    This my Dad (in the middle, with his brother and Dad)
  2. As a solider dad and his men are out on a drill. Something goes wrong and they roll a truck with a bunch of guys in the back. People go flying everywhere. What few were uninjured rush to help. Very few 1st aid supplies and they dumped the ice a few miles back. Dad is helping a “young kid” and yells for ice. Voices yell back, it’s gone! In a bit of stress and panic he yells but I need ice! A hand taps his shoulder; he reaches back and accepts the ice. Never looks to see who it was that helped out. Later, talking to his guys he tries to thank whoever for the ice. They all say, “wasn’t me”. One guy that had been sitting there when the ice arrived said he didn’t recognize the soldier, and really didn’t see a face.  Bum bum bum….
  3. Now to current day-ish. The summer after I graduated high school I get word that my dad has cancer. Fast moving, a malignant tumor in his jaw. Between finding it, a follow up and surgery, just a little over 2 weeks had passed and they scheduled chemo for “right away”.  He went in for his follow-up to start the chemo process and was told they were doing more tests. We want to wait. Hugh? So he gets a call a couple days later with news. The tumor is benign and they can’t explain what happened. They sliced and diced and it was sent off to multiple labs, yet they don’t have an explanation. Something about being featured in an article.

 

At this point, I’m in awe. I mean, how many miracles does one man get? Then I think, its Grandma, she has a direct line to God.

Now on to me: Down the road Hubby and I have our struggles. I even left. Took my baby and moved to the other side of the state. He follows and stays with a friend, which really annoyed me more. I mean really “my fiend not yours” ha-ha. She was a good friend, doing God’s work I guess, because one day hubby stops by for a kid exchange. I have my speech ready. We’re over, this won’t work, blah blah blah. So I go to tell him, and here I am speaking words that I had no intention of telling him. Really not even worded in a way I would have spoken. Basically I tell him we’ll work it out. I think on it and tack on – but we’re going to church. He tells me I had a shocked look on my face the whole time, like I couldn’t believe what I was saying.  We’ve been back together for going on 4 years now, and though we have our moments, it’s the most functional our relationship has ever been. I can only say its having God in my life.

 

This also got me thinking about these miracles of my family and I realized that I was given these miracles. I was blessed with amazing grandparents who stepped up and helped raise me when I had no one else. They took in my sister and she wasn’t technically their blood. I had aunts and uncles and another set of grandparents that took me in and gave my sister and me a home more than once. They taught us love, respect, manners, pride, and trust. God healed my father at a time when I had already lost so much and didn’t know if I could take anymore. I can go on, but this has been wordy enough.

 

I’m blessed and I see his light daily.

 

So, God refill – Check! Sometimes I just need a splash of reality. 

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This is my sister & me. As kids we were always told we were all each would ever have. Sad, but sometimes true. 

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Me and Grandma!

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The 2 men in my life: Hubby and our son. 

I am blessed, i just need a reminder sometimes. I don’t think i’m the only one. What do you do to get back on track?