Proper Support

Can we have a candid talk about brassieres? I’m blushing already, so this might be a challenge. Yesterday, the underwire of my bra broke while I was wearing it! The sudden stabbing pain under my heart was alarming. I thought Victoria Secret was imageguaranteed for life based on the ridiculous prices. We could have purchased a pony for the same expense of all the bras the women in our household have acquired over the years. Now I am in search of a reasonable, comfortable, sensible new model. I am so thankful that I live in an age that does not require corsets, bustiers and girdles. I can barely tolerate Spanx and wish that pantyhose would return to fashion. Undergarments should be for comfort and not for the contortion of our bodies. This was not a problem until I started teaching Middle School. I learned that I needed something with more coverage and protection and invested in the styles that are heavy duty and feel like wearing an armored breast plate. I hated them and wanted to rip them off the first minute I got home. The bondage of our breasts has become a complicated industry with hundreds of styles and size choices, but where is the simple, breathable cotton version with the racer back straps that stay on my shoulders? Supporting our “girls”, as we now like to say, certainly has a double meaning. Women need the support of one another in the work place, in the community, and in our homes. It is often difficult to find the right fit and the right balance among the many things we want to do and all that is expected of us. Encouraging each other in our efforts and sharing the work load is the only way we can get it all done. It is also a fun way to accomplish the important challenges that we now face. I have a spouse that is super supportive, but without my daughters and girlfriends, I would certainly lack the female perspective I cherish. Hubby has no idea how constricting the elastic and hooks can be. So, back to shopping the department stores and enduring the dressing room fitting sessions. The right fit is essential and I have been measured several times. I can’t believe I am now the size I used to wish for every time I blew out the birthday candles in my teens. I am through with the underwire forever. I am just asking for a little support.

Plug It In

Yesterday, I noticed that my phone was nearly out of power after I had it plugged in all night to recharge. As I picked up the cord I realized the other end was not connected into the plug. Instead the cord to my iPad was plugged in, but not connected to my iPad. Both communication devises were now low on energy. It is of course very important to make sure there is a complete circuit for electricity to do the job intended. Thanks to Apple, our family keeps a constant connection. The latest gizmo is the Bitmoji AP that allows us to create our personal Avatar. Meet my cartoon family above. The sons-in-law are soon to appear. We are revving up for holiday fun so I decided to get my annual physical (after missing three years) to make sure all my parts are in good order. Liver enzymes, thyroid and triglycerides are all at perfect levels. My cholesterol and blood pressure needs some fine tuning and my B12 was way to low. That is the end of my organ recital. Eating clean and eliminating most meat means I need a daily multi vitamin in my health regime. Hooray for gummies because I cannot swallow those horse pills. Now, who will take me for a walk each day and make sure I am drinking water (woof woof)? I love having friends and family that motivate and inspire me to do my best. Connection with people is as essential for staying energized as plugging in the cord of our electronics. My children keep waiting for me to “cut the cords” and that is just not going to happen. From Facebook to Instagram, from Twitter to Snapchat, from emoticons and bitmoji texts, I keep chasing them down-just a bit slower each year. We WILL disconnect on Christmas Eve to give full attention to the sacred celebration of the Savior’s wondrous birth. May y’all be blessed by family gatherings that connect you in love and devotion to one another and the Kings of Kings. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I love connecting with you.

Joy Lives Here

Yesterday, it was thirty-six degrees outside so I decided to get tough and take a long walk to see if I could build some endurance. One hour is my limit, and then I start limping and complaining about my screaming sciatic nerve. I thought if I walked forty-five minutes away from home it would force me to push for the hour and a half. Immediately, I saw a sign in my neighbor’s front yard that said “JOY”, so I took a picture to join in the joy hunters on Facebook. As I walked, I realized that there was joy for me in many of the buildings on 13th St of Ashtabula. First was the Kent State branch where I learned higher level thinking skills. Then, The Ashtabula Arts Center where I was given a starring role in the Straw Hat Theater ( I auditioned when I was seven months pregnant). I took a picture of each place that represents joy in my life. Suddenly, my steps felt jauntier and I wondered if I could walk all the way to Bethany Lutheran Church where I was married to my hubby thirty-six years ago. Along the way, I took a picture of Thomas Jefferson Elementary School where I was a docent for the Orchestra Program which concluded with a trip to Severance Hall in Cleveland. At exactly forty-five minutes I had walked two miles to the Church and took a few pictures. Now to get back home- no I did not hitch-hike but I kept it as a possibility. I passed the Elks Lodge where our daughters were flower girls in the wedding of their first baby sitter. It surprised me that so much joy was all in walking distance. The shooting pains started in my right hip, and this reminded me that there is often anguish inside of our joy. The Bio test I bombed at Kent, Bethany Church is where we said good-bye to both my mother and Pastor Bill, her second husband, and the doctor’s office where a few boo boos were bandaged; these are the things I wish I could forget. Real joy wraps around our sorrow and minimizes the pain. This is the incredible love of God that never lets us go. I had fifteen minutes more to get to my destination. Weary but confident I would make it, I took one more picture of the sign in my neighbor’s yard. Warmed by the memories and exercise, lifted by the inner joy that is there even in times of crisis and sadness, I saw the the white fence of the front yard and felt elated to be back to a place I call home. Shore Drive is where I met the love of my life and the joy will ever and always be present.

Wonder and Excitement

Yesterday, my husband and I went to see the Disney movie “Moana”. Our daughters told us it was really good, but I could not get excited about going without taking children with us. Our neighbors have two daughters that we have had the pleasure to spend time with in the last few years, so I sheepishly asked their mom if we could take them out for pizza and a movie. She gave us a resounding, “Yes”. Well, my heart leaped when I read the text message, so the resounding was in the happy place of my brain. Our three daughters have certainly changed the way we look at the world, and last night we were reminded of the wonder and beauty of life seen through the eyes of children. The Christmas lights and decorations were viewed with excited comments, “Oh look at that tree, I think it is ten times as big as ours!” “Maybe even a hundred times bigger!” At the restaurant, the pizza got many compliments, and the size of the chocolate milk that must have taken two cows to make was a huge treat. The conversation was delightful and we were even awarded a musical mini sample of their up coming Christmas pageant. So, off to the movies for a 3D show after walking around the mall and saying hello to Santa who blew kisses. “Moana” is the story of an island princess who sails beyond the reef and the comfort of home to save her people from declining resources. She discovers she is a voyager. The movie and our adorable neighbor girls inspire me to seek brave new ways to connect with those who have stories to share. Both the young and the old have much to offer by way of lessons in compassion and patience, and also wonder and excitement. Sometimes leaving our comfort zone means engaging people who are different from ourselves. In this holiday season, I pray that we take time to find the heart of what matters as Moana bravely does. God is there at the heart to renew and guide us. We celebrate that he came to us as a child full of wonder and excitement. Be a voyager and find new life.image