Friday, June 27, 2008

The Beginning of the End

Today I gave my two weeks notice. I feel like a heavy burden has been lifted off my shoulders. I feel badly about disappointing them and causing them the trouble of having to find and train someone else, but it was time for me to "get out of Dodge". In the end, they will be all right, and so will I.

If you have some extra time, click on the link to "Postcards From Yo Mama" in my second blog list on my sidebar. Some of those posts are hilarious (and altogether believable)!

I'm trying a new comment feature from Blogger Draft. Please let me know if it is a problem for any of you who comment.

I came across this quote in yet another blog I read faithfully but never comment on. I will have to add it to my links.
"My basic philosophy is one of being well-prepared and exercising the greatest caution but believing that if I have an accident on the trail and end up being food for the vultures, it's better than a nursing home. Rest in peace." --Ralph Ramey
The guy is 79 years old and has written two books on hiking. I'm seeing his quote as a great metaphor for approaching change in life. In the next two weeks, I figure I will be "gnawed on" by the "vultures" at my old job but I also know that I am getting myself off that trail before the gnawing becomes fatal! I've made my choice and I am as well-prepared as I can be to deal with the consequences. That is about the best I can do. And if I start feeling too "gnawed on" then, by golly, I can pick up my backpack and move on down the trail!

I may have put this one up here before, but it seems especially appropriate for a new beginning...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Time for a Change

I've spent the better part of the last three years learning to decipher this handwriting, and to understand the terminology behind it, but it is time to move on. It has
been time to move on. I just tend to be cautious and slow to act. But when I've had enough, I've had enough and several months ago it became apparent to me that there were some things about my job that were not going to change and I knew it was time for me to leave. I was not entirely sure where I wanted to go or how it would all work out.

I started looking around and went on several interviews for civil service jobs with the state. One thing we all know is that it takes patience to deal with anything the government has its hands in. I'm not trying to be ugly, it's the truth. We all know it! About a month ago I went on an interview at the local university and was told she wanted me for the position. Great excitement ensued, for about three hours. And then she called saying there was a state-wide hiring freeze. She still wanted me but she could not officially offer the job until the freeze was lifted and she did not know when that would be. So I've had to bide my time and wait for a little while and that is never any fun for me, especially when I have no idea how long I have to wait!

To go ahead and get the story told, let me say that she called this week saying she had the okay to fill the position and she still wanted me if I had not found something else. Now it looks like sometime in the next three weeks or so, I will be taking on an administrative assistant's position in the psychology department of the local university. I am very excited about this news and looking forward to the change in environment.

I'm nervous about giving my notice at my present job but I think I will write about that another day.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Penni's Bookish Meme Challenge

Penni, of "Martha, Martha" fame posted an easy meme challenge on her blog this morning. She did not know I happened to have three old books nearby that were snagged (for artsy-fartsy purposes) from the resale shop my sister manages.

Anyway, I'm supposed to go to page 123 and read the fifth sentence on the page and post it here. Here is my odd little snippet:

"Sundry other speeches were made by men of less ability, but developing kindred sentiments and the same anti-republican principles."

From Danger in the Dark, by Isaac Kelso (pub. 1912)

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

"Just Trust the Lord"

(the essay/memory I mentioned earlier that was going to be a Memorial Day post and morphed into something else entirely--perhaps I've been thinking too much lately.)

I never knew my Uncle Wilson. He died in World War II and was buried in France.

The young man who was a friend of Uncle Wilson’s and was with him when he died is still living and has been a part of our family history for many years now. His name is Raymond.

Raymond came to visit my great grandparents after the death of their son. One of the things my great grandfather asked was whether Uncle Wilson had a nice funeral service. Many years later, Raymond told my mother that was the hardest thing he had ever done, to lie and tell that “old man” his son had had a nice funeral service. Conditions were primitive and times were hard. He said they probably just tossed the body into a gravesite and went on. Went on to deal with the living, I would assume.

What luxury for the innocent and na├»ve, who are not even aware of the luxury, to believe the protective lies of wartime burial stories. I’m not saying the lie was wrong, my great grandparents were tender people who needed the sensitivity. My great grandparents were also people of faith.

I’m told my great grandmother spent much time after the death of her son sitting silently and wringing her hands. She eventually suffered a nervous breakdown. There were subsequent problems and time spent in mental hospitals and even a few rounds of electric shock therapy. I was protected from this knowledge as a child growing up.

I did not hear it so much from my great grandmother as I did from my great grandfather, but there was always the general admonition to trust the Lord in all things. Once he told me that when I was dating a fine Christian young man, to “just trust the Lord and seek His will”. I was a bit insulted at the time. I thought I was already doing exactly that, and I expected that things would go well with me as a result. Things did not go well with me on that account; the young man broke up with me and the rejection forever altered the way I saw myself, or maybe it just brought out into the open the secret way I had always seen myself. I don’t really know the answer to that question and it does not really matter. The rejection and not getting my way in the matter, those things hurt.

Fast forward several years and witness the circumstances of my life the past few years as I have spent time worrying over a son with addiction problems. Those things hurt too. I am extremely grateful for the progress my son has made, extremely grateful. There were many times I sat in the darkness and practiced the equivalent meditative wringing of my hands. Those words, “just trust the Lord” would often ring through my ears while I knew my son was out there, somewhere in the darkness of addiction, and I did not know whether he would come home alive, or whether I would be called with news that he had harmed someone while driving under the influence. I did learn to trust, most of the time, but it was a long hard process, and it is never completely learned once and for all.

What I truly learned, from experience--and not from my Sunday school teachers, or my great grandfather’s words, which also echo down to me now from my mother’s mouth--What I truly learned is how I want to react to God at the moment when I am not getting my way from Him or life, when things look totally hopeless. I am not always sure exactly what “just trust the Lord” looks like in my life, but I am sure that I want to trust, no matter how dark things might look.

So one thing I know for sure is that I do not want or need to be told to “just trust the Lord” when it looks like the darkness is going to overcome me. That part of the equation I have already decided and committed to.

It is a hard question, but now I wonder, in her time of maddening grief over her lost son, did my great grandfather whisper to her to just trust the Lord in all these things? Is that not the hard side of faith, to be told to just trust the Lord when it looks and feels as if all your hope is gone?

I think that we as people of faith must be very careful with how we use our words, and how we comfort others in their darkness, because sometimes, in the darkest of nights, being reminded to “just trust the Lord” is a searing, red-hot poker applied to an already seething wound. In those times, maybe the Lord does not need for us to state His case to His hurting child. In those times, maybe the kindest thing we can do is to sit silently with the hurting person. Maybe we can attempt to hold the wringing hands so they won’t feel so alone and helpless. But maybe, just maybe, in those times, the words “just trust the Lord” are words that are best left unsaid.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Old Answers

Heads up folks! I've got a few things on my mind and I am about to reveal some of the contents here!

My muse appeared on the scene a week or so ago and helped me write an essay thingie that I thought was going to be about Memorial Day and the losses of war. It turned out to be something a little different. I will post it later this week.

Then she (my muse) shows up early one morning and we put together another one of "them thangs I do". I'm posting it here today, just to see if it speaks to anyone else (and maybe
what it says to anyone else!). I've got a friend who knows about these kind of things and we disagree on the clarity of this one so I would appreciate your feedback.

That's about all I want to say, because I believe these things, like poetry or a photograph, or drawing, need to speak for themselves. The viewer needs to be free to see or hear whatever they need to hear or see. That can't be controlled by the creator of the piece.


I've had a few people mention the blog list I've added that shows the latest posts as they come through. My lovely friend Mindy helped me get mine going. But you know how, sometimes, a great cook will give one of their recipes, and they will leave out a key ingredient and your cake just does not turn out as good as their, and you can't figure out why?? Well, I'm not sayin' that's what she did, but it sure took a while for me to get my list working correctly! (And I am picking on Mindy, she was excellent help, and even stayed up almost past her bedtime to help me!)

Here's the secret ingredient, the thing you simply
must know (the thing Mindy "forgot" to tell me!): You have to sign in at Blogger in Draft* or you will never be able to put the working list on your blog.

Once you sign in, just go to "layouts" and then click on the "page elements". From there you will click "add page elements" and when the list pops up, look for "my blog list" and select that. Then you follow the prompt and start adding your links. Once you are done, hit "save" and they
should magically appear on your blog (unless I left out a key ingredient!).

My email is not listed below my profile. Let me know if you have any problems and I will try to help. If I can't figure out we will ask Mindy. She knows!


*Ooops, my bad! The link to Blogger in Draft does not work. Go to Google and Google something like "blogger draft". You should get to the correct link fairly quickly. I'm in regular "Blogger" now making this post and that may be why I can't get the link to work correctly.