Sunday, May 31, 2009

Jumping the gun

I think my new husband is trying to collect on my insurance policy already. Immediately, after I returned from doing my hour walk/run, he wants to walk the dogs. That is an additional 1 1/2 miles. After that we went for a 12 mile bike ride and then he wanted to hit the pool. I have done my own mini-triathlon today. I'm whooped.

I guess he doesn't realize I haven't changed my beneficiary yet.

Run4Chance and heeding great advice

I have started my training for the Rock and Roll half Marathon in Virgina Labor Day weekend. I'm not a runner. But, I am determined to complete this and achieve my donation goals. I will be begging for money as soon as I get my donation website completed which I plan to do today. I have joined the Run4Chance Team. This team was established in honor of Chance Phelps, a Marine, who was killed in action. The donations go to the Fisher House, which gives the families a place to stay while their loved one is recovering from injuries, as well as the Injured Marines fund. I will need everyone's help to reach the minimum goal of raising $1,000.00. This is such a small amount compared to what these heroes have to endure. I am a not a person to ask for help but this time I will and I will be shouting it from the rooftop if I have to. I believe in this cause. I know everyone who reads my blog, both of you, know who Chance Phelps is and have probably seen the HBO movie, Taking Chance. I was first introduced to Chance through The Blog of War. I was moved by the story and very impressed with the grace and dignity in which HBO translated the story to a movie. The hardest part for me to watch was when Lt. Strobl met the young man escorting his brother home. I held my breath, pushed back the tears and prayed that none of my boys would ever be in that position. Anyways, that is the charity for which I am running.

UPDATE: Here is my donation website:

Please spread the word. I need all the publicity I can get. I know times are tough right now. But, war does not stop because of economic conditions. Our service people and their families need our help now. It's the least we can do for all they do for us.

Yesterday was an extremely hot and muggy morning. I struggled. The famous words of a wonderful, determined lady came to my mind and and I kept pushing myself chanting her words. "Embrace the suck, Embrace the suck." Thank you Boudicca. You are helping me get through this.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Changing my last name

I’ve always hated those questions that ask you to predict the future. “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” I know that life throws so many variables at you that even a mathematician can’t solve it. I can honestly say that five years ago when I was filling out an e-Harmony personality profile, I didn’t see myself getting married tomorrow. In fact, I wasn’t doing the profile to find a mate or even a date. I was doing it to find out what the hell was wrong with me. Why was I single again at age 39?

I had been in and out of relationships. The longest had been a teenage infatuation that survived five years of on again/off again dating followed by eight years of marriage and three wonderful children. There were a lot of mistakes made on both our parts. No one person was to blame for the break-up. We just weren’t compatible. Shortly, thereafter, I took the leap again. I was struggling financially, going to college, and rearing three busy elementary age boys. This man promised me the world and told me he owned it. I took the bait, hook, line and sinker only to find out it was all a lie. Five years later, I found myself divorced again but this time I was over 300 miles from my family. I was alone with my three boys and on my own. I had a decent job and wasn’t struggling financially now but I was desperately lonely. Desperation makes you do things you know you shouldn’t do. The next fellow was easy on the eyes but hard on my heart. I knew from the moment I met him that it wouldn’t work. But, he was smooth and charming and I was clinging onto hope like a shipwreck survivor clutches a life ring. Three years later, he left me wishing I was dead and hurting emotionally like I had never hurt before in my entire life. The pain was unreal. My faith was destroyed.

So, I while I was trying to pull myself back together and mend the wounds that only time can heal, I saw the e-harmony ad for a free personality profile. I thought, “why not.” Maybe they will have insight into my flaws and I can fix what is wrong. I answered painfully honest and then soaked in the results. One observation hit the nail on the head.

“Because of your lenient and complacent nature, others with fewer scruples may take advantage of you. You could, perhaps, benefit from greater assertiveness.”

I knew deep in my soul that this was the root of the problems I had in relationships. The men I have always chosen talked a big talk about loving independent, strong women but in reality they felt threatened and retaliated by being controlling and demeaning.

I was determined to strengthen my resolve. I knew that if I was to ever have a happy, healthy relationship, I first needed to trust and believe in myself. I’m a survivor. Now, I was determined to thrive as well. I had accomplished quite a bit on my own. I needed to acknowledge my successes and not dwell on the failures. I was 39 years old. I had three great boys in High School. They were busy with friends and activities. They weren’t scholars but they weren’t criminals either. They were individuals and used their minds to make decisions. When raising them, my goal was to teach them how to think and how to make choices based on consequences and how to determine what the consequences would be. It was time to take my own advice.

At that point, my youngest son was starting high school. I made a choice that I would spend the next four years raising my sons and developing who I was. There wasn’t time for a man in my life and for the first time I decided I didn’t need or want one either. This was me time. I took to heart the advice I received in the e-harmony profile. It was something I already knew I just needed to see it in black and white.

So, I focused on me and ignored the matches e-harmony sent me. I’d browse through them for grins and giggles but never signed up or answered any. Then on June 21, 2004, one caught my attention. I was intrigued. The part that made me smile was his response to “what book did you read last”. His answer was “Harry Potter, so I could talk about it with my son.” I thought about the Harry Potter book I was currently reading with my boys and smiled. He didn’t live with his son. In fact, he wasn’t even in the United States. He lived over 600 miles and an ocean away from me. He was in the Bahamas and had been working in the islands for the past 11 years. We began communicating. I learned a lot from his questions and answers and must have statements. Shortly, thereafter we started e-mailing each other. One day we happened to be on-line at the same time and switched to chatting. This became my salvation. All day I looked forward to our evening chats. One night he asked if we could meet in person. He was coming into the U.S. to see his son and family and thought perhaps we could meet half-way between his home in South Florida and mine in North Florida. Orlando seemed like the perfect place for a first meet.

However, Mother Nature had other plans for Florida that hurricane season. In fact, four hurricanes that year caused us to cancel our plans. He was in the US more that year but hell and high water appeared and we couldn’t get together. He thought it might be a sign that we weren’t supposed to meet. I took the position that if someone was going to those great lengths to keep us apart then it might be to see if we have the resolve to fight for something. So, after months of tropical storms and hurricanes and dashed plans, I decided to take a chance and go to the Bahamas to meet him. I was turning 40 at the end of October and needed a break. After checking my sanity over with my mother, who encouraged me to go, I booked a room at a local hotel and took the leap. My mother’s advice was “you have to take risks in order to grow and move on to better things.” It was just for the weekend. The plan was to fly down on Friday afternoon and leave on Sunday. So, with butterflies in my stomach and a “what the hell are you doing” in my head, I stepped on the flight that would forever change my life. But, it wasn’t smooth sailing. I made it as far as Miami when they canceled my flight. Do I give up and go home or do I suck up my determination and keep on? I went for it. I arrived on a small island in the Bahamas on a Saturday afternoon. The sun was beating down and I was exhausted. A man I had never met waited on the other side of the fence for me. I couldn’t believe I had actually done this. I just flew 600 miles to an island for a first date. It was a fairy tale. It was like meeting up with an old friend you just haven’t seen in a great while. Twenty-four hours later, I was back on a plane heading home. As the plane ascended, I glanced down at the island. There coming from the clouds and highlighting the spot on the island where I had just been was the prettiest rainbow I had ever seen. Was it a sign?

Almost five years have gone by since that time. There were nightly phone calls, weekend trips and months and months of not seeing each other. We weathered storms and the debris that life throws at us. He broke his shoulder and needed surgery, my car was stolen and then my next car was wreck by one of my kids sneaking out on a midnight run. There were graduations and birthdays and holidays. There were the usual stresses of life and then the unusual stresses of a long distance relationship. We bonded with a friendship and trust I had never experienced before. He made those four years fly by.

Shortly, after I left the island for the first time and took in the beauty of that rainbow falling from the sky, I found this poem by B. G. Wetherby. It sums up our journey.

The storm is ending, the sun’s peeking out,

Your life will change without a doubt.

Beautiful rainbows will be everywhere,

Plenty of smiles, you’ll find them there.

You’ve passed through so much rain.

And you have endured so much pain.

You will heal, and you shall mend

As you draw nearer to the rainbow’s end.

At the rainbows end you will find

Love, acceptance, and peace of mind.

Life can be so simple there.

Worry free and without a care.

Something’s waiting on the other side.

Stay on the rainbow and enjoy the ride.

It won’t be gold on the other end,

You just might find a rainbow friend.

Your dreams will be culminating soon.

You will sing a new and happy tune.

So if you feel your life descend

You’re getting closer to the rainbow’s end.

Then suddenly, or so it seems, this past fall I found myself alone. My boys were no longer boys. They were young men who had lives of their own. Two of them became US Marines and the other went into the Air Force. There were scattered out around the world. I was alone for the first time in over 22 years. I had a job I loved, a house, a dog and a man I had promised to marry a year earlier. Only he was still over 600 miles and an ocean away. The question was how to reconcile this problem. What now? Fate stepped in and what might seem like a bad thing turned out to be a blessing. He was layed off from his job. After over 25 years with the same company, he found himself having to find new direction. So, our logistics problems were decided for us. He headed north back to the States.

We were both naturally scared. Although, we had been dating for over four years, two weeks was the longest stretch of time we had spent together. Would we still have the same bond day after day of being with each other? There are little things you find out about a person when you live with them that otherwise you would never know. Would we be able to work through those differences?

I have found it easier than I ever imagined. It just works between us without having to fight to make it work. Every day I am more aware of how amazing a person he is. Yes, there are adjustments and I know that there will always be challenges and storms to endure. But, this time I have an ally. I have someone who works with me and not against me. So, tomorrow I am changing my last name. We will elope in a simple ceremony. It will be just he and I. We have the blessings of our sons, our mothers, and our friends. We have each other. We will now build our lives together. It has been a long time in the making. And I have no doubt that our relationship will withstand the tests of time and the trials of life. We have been through so much together while being apart. Now, we will be together through all the tough times and through all the easy times. Two worlds have finally come together.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Training vs Mother Nature

I've started training for the Rock and Roll Half-Marathon to be held in Virginia Beach on Sept. 6. I actually started week before that but that only lasted a couple of days before Mother Nature stepped in. Not only did she bring torrential rainfall to this area, she decided it was a great time for me to prove I was a woman. I have yet to find a training program that says, "if it's that monthly time throw all this out the window, curl up on the couch with a bowl of chocolate and say the hell with it all." I don't know who writes those fantasy women protection product ads that say you can run and bike and be superwoman during that monthly crap but I suspect it's a man. If it's a woman than she should be sued for false advertising and shot just for plain lying because she should know better. I feel like crap for about four days. I have no energy. I hurt and I some evil woman shrinks my clothes and takes over my body. It's not helping matters right now that I also have a cyst on one of my ovaries and an enlarged uterus.

So, yesterday the weather cleared as well as other things and I was up early to train. Except that I didn't have an ounce of energy so early turned into more like 7:30 am. Big mistake. Big mistake. It gets way too humid to early even here in Northern Florida. I pushed myself through the 3 miles. I'm just starting and I am more of a walker than anything. I was zapped. It was a really rough 3 miles. The weather was humid already and my energy level was in the negatives. I never could find my "zone". Usually, I can get wrapped up in my thoughts and just go. I forget about my feet and just go. Not yesterday. I watched the road and agonized over each step willing myself to keep going.

Then I got fascinated with counting the frogs that didn't make it. This rain storm and flooding really brought them to the streets. It was like a bad frogger game. Smashed frogs everywhere. I figured as bad as I felt at least I wasn't road kill. Although, a couple of times it seems like a good idea. The evening was a little better and I got four miles in on the bicycle. It was scheduled to be a cross training day but since the days prior were a wash out I made my self walk/run.

Today was much better. I ran more and felt less tired. I never found my zone today either. But, I felt good afterwards. I got out a little earlier today so it wasn't as humid yet. There is a man that walks the same loop I am doing. He was there yesterday too. We go in opposite directions. My goal is to make it around the loop faster than he does. It's a little competitive but it is pushing me so that is good.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The calendar is ticking

59 Days

The Marriage license is only good for 59 more days. Now we have to figure when and where to get married.

Times are tight right now and it is difficult to get everyone together because they are spread so far apart. My children are coast to coast. Chowhound is on the Atlantic in Virginia. Daredevil is on the Pacific in California. And, Improviser is stuck in Oklahoma. My Sweetie's son and family is in South Florida and my family is in NW Florida. I think it will be just us going to the courthouse.

I'm going to dress shopping this weekend.

Since I am off on Mondays, it will most probably be a Monday. The only problem with that is I have Mondays booked with Doctor appointments. It was bad enough getting my marriage license after the dentist appointment. Half my face was still numb. I felt like a freak.

Next week I have a follow-up OB/GYN and ultrasound appointment. NO I AM NOT PREGNANT! I'm having other issues. But, I really will feel violated and don't want to say my "I do's" after that appointment. That just seems so wrong.

So, we have waiting for the right time and place. But, it needs to be within 59 days. No pressure.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Is it a sign?

My sweetie and I are planning to go get our Marriage license tomorrow. In the state of Florida you have to have present your social security card as well as show proof of termination of previous marriages. A couple of months ago I sent off for a certified copy of his divorce certificate. I already had mine. Once I received his, I put it with all my important papers so when the time came I would know exactly where it was. Great theory except in my world. I spent all of yesterday frantically tearing through my file cabinet going through every stupid piece of paper in there. I seriously need to rethink what I keep and why. I went through it at least a half a dozen times. I know I put it in there. Nothing.

My Sweetie says, "It's a sign".

"It's a sign I'm a bubble headed half blonde".

This morning I checked again. Nothing. I start drumming my fingers on my temples, "THINK, THINK, THINK." What file was next to my "important paper files"? I don't know now since I have moved them all around. Finally after another full search through both drawers in the filing cabinet, I walk into the living room to surrender. I notice my "school file" sitting on the end table. I pulled it out of the file cabinet yesterday to stick my new tuition papers in it so I know exactly where they are.

"I, wonder."

Yeah, I found it. It was stuck in the very back of it. It wouldn't be so bad but I remember thinking when I stuck the document in the folder, "I sure hope I got in the right one."

I wiped the sweat off my forehead and breathed a sigh of relief. Boy, was that premature. Now, I can't find my social security card. Until recently, I carried it in my purse. But, I remember thinking, "You know, I should put this somewhere safe." Crap here we go again.

So, now I'm tip-toeing around the house hunting for my social security card.

"Honey, what are you doing"?

"You don't want to know."

Damn, maybe it is a sign.

Happy Mother's Day to the breasted

A friend of mine lives in Guatemala and writes quotes on her Facebook page in Hispaniola. The Spanish-English online translators suck. Sometimes I can figure out what she is intending to say other times not. Today she posted a quote for Mother's Day. It's the best one they've had yet.

In all families there for moms, happy day, God bless her, not only today but every day! Remember that breasts are working 24x24, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, or EVER!

Some man some where is snickering and probably toasting over this translation. Only a man would have phrased it that way.