Sunday, October 24, 2010

Never Having To Say A Word

Hubby and I had breakfast yesterday with my sister, brother-in-law, and uncle. It is quickly obvious that hubby and I are unnecessary to the conversation, we are just there as filler. Although we live closer to my uncle, we rarely see him and his wife (who was absent from yesterday's meeting) unless we have been invited by my sister to tag along.

My uncle (my late father's oldest sibling) is 89 years old. He still drives, has a enormous circle of friends, and holds down a full-time job. My sister is also the oldest in our family, drives the sick and needy to appointments, has an enormous circle of friends, and, though retired, still does consulting work. They are the most educated members of our very large, extended family. Uncle is short twelve hours of having his doctorate. I do not know when his finished his college education but I would assume it was somewhere just past WWII, which he served in, because he says Uncle Sam paid for his education. My sister, who does have a doctorate, mentioned that she could teach him the classes necessary for those twelve hours.

Breakfast, at a local restaurant, lasted about two hours. It was two hours of an "I can top that" kind of conversation between uncle, sister, and brother-in-law. Hubby and I just sat back, ate, and did our "filler" job as best we could since we are not college educated, well-traveled, nor do we have an enormous circle of friends (and certainly none we could name drop). It was two hours of "I had dinner last night with my friend, who is a relative of Woody Hayes"; "at a party for my son-in-law, who is retiring from the military as a Colonel"; "as I said to Rudy Giuliani"; "on my last trip to Hawaii"; "when I was in Russia"; "my grandson's college graduation"; "I was seated next to Menachem Begin"; "I had just built a million dollar building when I sold the business"; "I'm having trouble finding the part I need for my antique car". Getting the picture?

I love my sister, and I love my uncle, but I am not a competitive person. I have accomplishments too - maybe none they would think worthy of entering into their conversations - but certainly monumental to me. I travel, on weekend getaways with hubby, vacations with family and friends, hospital visits to the sick and dying. I've even been to Hawaii, where I visited with a foreign ambassador and his family in their home. I have grandchildren in college. I have a granddaughter in high school taking college classes. I have two grandchildren in junior high taking high school classes. I have grandchildren in the honor society. I have grandchildren in the gifted and talented program. I have a grandson just out of the Army - not an officer, just a wounded and decorated corporal, who woke up one night with an Iraqi soldier standing over him ready to plunge a knife into him, who was shot seven times, who had three separate head wounds from mortar attacks. I also have a grandson who is a lost soul, with brain trauma from too many diabetic seizures, who will never be a rocket scientist, who will probably never hold a decent job, but a soul we are grateful to still have with us. I also have a granddaughter who probably will be a rocket scientist someday. I have a daughter who is a nurse, caring and delightful to be around. I have a son who has built homes for the poor and needy. I have a daughter who takes beautiful pictures, and another one who bakes pretty cakes for weddings and birthday parties. I have a husband who preaches wonderful sermons, performs weddings, and will probably preach the funeral of this very same uncle - someday.

So, while my life may not seem interesting to them, I am accomplished in a way that is more than satisfying to me. I do not have to announce my triumphs to the world - or to my family, I think they already know.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I Do Not Take Criticism Well

I'm back. Not that I have been away much this summer but I am back to blogging again. I admit I was put off because some people criticized me for complaining about my husband and his lack of bedroom needs. To them I will say, put yourself in my sheets and tell me how you would feel if your spouse never wanted you and you went to sleep night after night wondering why. Well I am now over my mad spell and will get back to doing what I started this blog for in the first place.

This blog meets my needs. It is like when your therapist tells you to write a letter to the person who has hurt you. You never mail the letter but the release you feel is overwhelming. I can pour out my heart in this "letter", my husband never sees it, and I can go about my life in a somewhat normal manner. It enables me. It enables me in lots of ways. Number one it keeps me faithful to my wedding vows - how many of you can say that. How many people who have been neglected by their spouses stay faithful. Not many I would guess.

However, for those of you who have complained, I will let you know that my summer has been fairly pleasant. My husband has been better - not so much physically but supportive and caring. That also could explain my lack of having to blog lately. He seems to like to be with me more and even snuggles up close me. This I can live with. It was the won't that bothered me much more than the can't.

So for now I plan to blog more about good times but I do reserve the right to vent when venting is necessary. I hope that pleases everyone.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

If You Always Do What You Have Always Done

Then you always get what you've always got. That a favorite saying of my husband. Too bad he doesn't apply it to us. US is a funny word for US, I think. US is when there are two people who are supposed to be united as one, I think. So how do I get HIM to realize there is supposed to be an US. WE have a problem, WE wanted to work on it. WE have been looking for solutions. WE have been waiting and searching and hoping for nearly two years now. WE have not found a solution. Why? Because HE is okay with "always doing what WE have always done". I am not. HE is uncomfortable talking about it - to me or anyone else, medical or psychological. I am tired of waiting to become an US. I am tired of sleepless (on my part) nights. I am tired of not being considered as important enough to be considered. I am tired - just plain tired. I want to tell him so. I want to give him an ultimatum. I want to say that We no longer have a problem because WE have done all WE can do. I want to let HIM know that now it is time for HIM to act or I will. I want to say that I am tired of not having my needs met and if HE is not willing to realize that while HE is content, I am not then I will make other arrangements. I want to tell him I am moving into MY own room and it will remain MINE until HE decides HE wants there to be an US. Is this too much to ask?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Okay, so summer has not offically begun yet, but I have just returned from my summer vacation. At least, as far as anyone can know, the biggest trip I will take this year. As I write this, I am also doing laundry. I am washing the sand out of my beach shoes, underwear, socks, and the forty-seven yards of material I call my bathing suit. When this is done, I should have enough earth to repot a redwood tree.

We spent seven glorious days overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. We had a lovely three story house, eight bedrooms, eight and half bathrooms, game room, theater room, kitchen/dining room/living room combination overlooking sand dunes, hot tub, swimming pool, beautiful sunrises, wild horses, pelicans, and dolphins playing in water that stretched farther than the eye can see. And, except for the two days I slept through when I took a super duper pain pill, I was in Heaven. I was with family, I had nothing to do except sit back, read, swim, cook occasionally, and watch three of my beautiful grandchildren as they played and were completely engrossed in this great adventure. I was sure this would be the perfect vacation.

I did not, however, take into consideration there would be a trip back home. I had forgotten that, unlike our trip there, our return trip would be solo, without the benefit of our son-in-law driving in front of us leading the way. Hubby decided the twelve hour drive there was at least partially responsible for my back pain so he decided we should leave a day early and make the return trip in two days and avoid having to sit in the car for so long. Thankfully he had the foresight to get maps to follow on our return so that we did not have to rely on the GPS system the aforementioned son-in-law so graciously loaned us before we left and everyone knows you can't trust a GPS.

The return trip started just about noon. Our first stop was approximately six and half miles from the beach house where hubby spent a good half hour picking up maps of North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. Since we had only traveled through North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and about a hundred miles of our home state of Ohio, I assumed our route would simply reverse in order to get us back home, but the maps were free and you never know when you are going to need a good map. I settled back, popped in a book on tape, and prepared to enjoy a pleasant trip home.

Along about the fifty mile point, a lovely voice from the GPS interrupted my solitude. Freeway entrance to the right in two miles. Prepare for slight right turn onto freeway in one point five miles. Right turn onto freeway in point five miles. Ding, which indicated the turning point, ding, ding, DING, DING, DING, prepare for legal u-turn at next available point. Legal u-turn in point five miles. Prepare for legal u-turn - ding, ding, DING, DING, DING. Recalculating, RECALCULATING, RECALCULATING. Prepare for freeway entrance on right in sixty-seven, point five miles.

Is a picture beginning to form? Are you understanding how the return trip was beginning. Unfortunately the GPS was not programmed to read the route hubby had made on the maps. Lovely voiced GPS was only programmed for the quickest route home. Traveling on two lane roads (one lane each way, not two in the same direction) is a far better way to travel if you want to see small town America and places called Dismal Swamp. Day one passed quickly enough once we hit a northern route and managed to find our way to a Holiday Inn in Charlottesville, Virginia. Holiday Inns, thank goodness, are gracious enough to allow dogs so hubby elected to pay the $130 nightly fee verses the $49 rates on the coupons we had for other pet loving establishments because, after all, what can you get for $49 a night?????

On this first day of travel we had eaten only a big mac, saving our appetites for a seafood dinner in the evening. So, needless to say, we were pretty hungry after our long drive and after checking in we drove off seeking a place for fish of the highest quality. Not wanting to go too far, lest we be unable to find our way home - even with lovely voiced GPS, which I am told you can program to find eating establishments and find your way back, we drove around for about an hour and a half before we settled on a little hole-in-the-wall Chinese eatery in the midst of a strip mall just outside downtown Charlottesville. To their credit the food was good, but at that point I think even shoe leather would have satisfied us.

Day two took us around the corner from the hotel to a Waffle House and a very nice breakfast. We even ran into some people from near our hometown and found one of the men actually worked with hubby. Small world we all said. Back in the car, we plugged in lovely voiced GPS and got out all the maps. Since hubby had decided to take the 100 mile Skyline Drive, lovely voiced GPS gave up about midway of the trek and just sat back and enjoyed the ride along with us. It was a beautiful ride, three hours if you drive straight through, five hours if you stop at every overlook, lodge, and gift shop. Hubby drove about sixty miles and decided he was tired so I took over and given the fact that there is basically only one way on and one way off, I wouldn't need the maps so he fell asleep. I used this time to learn what I could from lovely voiced GPS and figured out just exactly how she worked.

Hubby woke up as we were exiting the parkway and immediately pulled out hard to read, impossible to fold maps and proceeded to tell me what route to take. Fortunately at this point HTR,ITF maps coincided with lovely voiced GPS and I found it quite easy to drive and managed to get on the north freeway just fine. It was about thirty miles into this drive that our two directional instruments parted ways but hubby insisted the map way was the best way so to keep peace in the family, I ignored lovely voiced GPS, and for the next kazillion miles I ignored lovely voiced GPS. Turn here, ding, right off freeway here, ding, make a u-turn here, ding. It was at this point that I realized my husband was a right angle man. You go north as far as you can go then you make a right angle turn and go west as far as you can, then a right angle here and a right angle there until you reach your point of destination. There is nothing diagonal about this man. I did sort of wonder why the car direction finder said northeast when I, even blond rooted me, knew we wanted to go northwest.

Several hours into this leg of the journey that was never going to end, hubby declared we should soon be arriving in Pennsylvania where we would hit route 70 west. We would then travel about sixty miles in PA, about four miles in West Virginia, then Ohio at last - long last. "Look, up ahead, there is the state line, we should be home in about three hours". I was grateful. Once we got on route 70 I was sure I could relax knowing I would be home soon. The state line was coming up, I was so happy, home, soon. Closer, closer, Pennsylvania was just about second best to being in Ohio. Welcome, it said, we hope you enjoy your stay, it said, in Maryland. MARYLAND. MARYLAND. How in the world, with lovely voiced GPS and hard to read, impossible to fold maps did we manage to get to Maryland.

I had driven us to Maryland, why? I glanced at lovely voiced GPS and I could swear I saw tears. Hubby was shuffling maps, looking perplexed. He finally decided it was because he had too many maps. Looking at each state map individually had confused him. He should have had a general map that covered all the states we were to travel, then we wouldn't have made this mistake. WE? WE? Was he including me in this error? If lovely voiced GPS could have, I am sure she would have sighed at this point.

It was now nearing five o'clock. We had not eaten since breakfast. I was hungry. Husband said he was hungry and if I saw somewhere I wanted to stop, just let him know. At this point, even though we had managed to stumble onto route 70 west, I was afraid to turn over the reigns and let him drive because I would then become the navigator and all the errors would be on my shoulders. So I kept driving and said maybe we could stop in Pennsylvania (I have a sister in Pennsylvania and knew if we got terribly lost, I could always call her). However, I remarked, we had never eaten in Maryland. So I drove, on and on I drove. Across Maryland and onto the Pennsylvania turnpike. I got the ticket from the toll booth and drove. I drove until we had to stop for gas. Hubby decided we could get something light and stop for a meal once we crossed over into Ohio. So how far could that be. He had said about sixty miles in Pennsylvania and four in West Virginia, so maybe an hour. Hubby got a slice of pizza. Hubby eats pizza with a knife and fork. So how well do you think he can drive with a slice of pizza and a knife and fork. So I got a six inch folded over kind of italian thing that I could hold in one hand and I got back behind the wheel, knowing I could eat and drive at the same time.

I pulled back onto the turnpike, hubby got out his pizza, knife, and fork and began to eat. Foolish me for thinking he could at least open my sandwich for me as I have done for him all these many years. You can cut the sandwich in half if you like, I said. Nothing. I only want half the sandwich, the other half is for you, I said. Nothing. Finally, after about ten minutes, he cut off a bite of pizza and reached over and popped it in my mouth (again, at this point even shoe leather would have worked). When he offered me another bite of pizza (about ten minutes later) I said no. He asked why. I said the pizza was what he wanted, I wanted the sandwich. Now if you are wondering why I didn't just reach over and take the sandwich myself, it was on his side of the car, out of my reach and I had decided he was apparently going to eat first, take over the driving, and let me eat. Wrong. He ate about half his pizza, then pulled out the sandwich and began to cut it into bite size pieces which he then proceeded to feed to me, bite by bite. After about three bites, I told him that was enough. I would wait until we stopped to eat in Ohio, perhaps for that special seafood meal we had missed the night before.

By now we had been driving in Pennsylvania for about forty minutes, we must be getting close by now. How much farther I asked. Well, he said, we only had about sixty miles so we must be getting close. Out came the maps, measuring, calculating, folding, refolding, deep sighing (that was me). Ten minutes later he looked up, sheepishly, and said "I think I miscalculated. We have further to go than I thought."

So, it turns out we had 170 miles in Pennsylvania and about sixty in West Virginia. Hungrily, I drove on. I drove until we crossed over into Ohio - where our car pretty much could be set on auto pilot to get us home and I let hubby take over.

So our two day trip to make things easier for me ended up being eighteen hours of driving and 817 miles opposed to the 655 the trip there had taken. We arrived home around ten pm, about four hours later than our daughter's family did leaving a day later than we did. And, by the way, we never did stop to eat and I am still waiting for that fancy seafood meal.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Is This My Playboy Photo Shoot?

I went looking for myself this other day. I googled midohiopw just to see what I could find. Imagine my surprise when I found that I could be googled. They asked if I really meant mid ohio. I thought, "of course not, I know what I meant!" There were three pages of "hits" and most of them were for this blog. However, there was one that caught my eye. It was a forum and they were talking about my blog. I was surprised, I was flattered. Me, little old me, a source of interest to others. They started out talking about how sad my blog was, how I did not have a marriage, how my husband should not be a pastor, and how they suspected he must be hiding something more. Then something happened, they turned on me. They could not understand how I could air my dirty linen in public, how I could just put out there the intimate details of my distress. Some mentioned that they were from a different generation and they would never discuss things like this in public. I was hurt.

Someone mentioned that the younger generation was posting naked pictures of themselves on cell phones. Someone else remembered that I am a grandmother. Another one laughed and wondered if grandmothers were now posting naked pictures of themselves - and who would ever want one.

So in an effort to thank those on that forum for reading me and explain why I do this, I will attempt to explain why I post the intimate details on this blog, why I need to post on this blog. I have no one - absolutely no one (short of paying a hundred dollars an hour) who I can talk to about this. I have no best friend, no close friends, no family I want to confide in, no one to talk to about any of this. I have mentioned before that I do not want to ruin my husband's ministry, nor his relationship with our children or anyone in our family. I would not confide in anyone even if I could. That is not my intention.

Yes, I have talked to my husband about this - many times. He listens, he does not understand. I do not know how to make him understand. He needs to talk to someone. He needs to have someone other than me tell him how I hurt. He does not see it. He does not see the need. His desires are so low that it is hard for him to see that others have stronger needs. I do not think he is hiding anything - he is not having a physical affair - I am not in denial about this. I understand he confides in his coworker, his emotional affair, and is much more considerate of her than me. I hurt because of this, maybe as much as if he were having a physical affair. I am biding my time, only a few more months and he will be retired and away from her. I feel we can start anew. We have more good times than bad. I will not leave my husband. I am not a martyr.

That said, I write this blog as total release. We have all read about people who have been hurt and then go out to pose for Playboy or some such magazine. Apparently posing nude brings validation and cleasing to some people. Personally I can't see this. How can exposing your naked body to the eyes of everyone (do they not realize their fathers might see this) be an acceptable release for anyone. And, if you were to see me you would immediately say "thank God she writes instead of posing nude". But then how many of you have a good enough body to even think about nude pictures. So writing becomes my posing nude. Aren't you glad.

I have tried to do this with as much anonymity as possible so that no one knows who I am, or who my husband is. I do this for my sanity. It has been a great comfort to me. It has enabled me to release the little things and sort out the big things that are wrong in my life. Some of you have helped me enormously and have also walked in my shoes. I sincerely hope you understand and continue to read, but will understand if I am too personal for some of you. I pray you have a husband who understands and works on making changes where they are needed. I pray you understand when he wants you to change. Mostly I pray than no one has to walk as I do, never feeling good enough, loved enough, or cherished as God intended. I pray you have a "and the two shall become one" kind of marriage.

Friday, April 30, 2010

You Might Be Surprised

With all the complaining and venting I have done on this blog, you might be surprised to know that for the most part I like my life. I am contented. I have more good times and peace than bad times and anxiety. I like the material things that I have but especially that I are not encumbered by material things. I like my house, the cars, I have more than enough clothes and that I buy them for comfort and not for style. I even like the dog though I am less a dog person than she is a person dog. I love my children and the grandchildren. I love nothing more than having my entire family around the dinner table so that I can just hear them. I love the laughter, the joy, and the blessing of just having them near. I love my husband. Surprised? I do, I really, really do. He is a wonderful man. He brings me profound happiness - most of the time.

He thinks we are fine. He thinks that because he does not have physical needs, I don't either. He says he does not realize that he tenses up just slightly when we touch. He will touch me and snuggle with me but does not know that he touches me with qualifications. He will hold me around the middle but not allow his hands to go up or down to more intimate areas and if they do, he moves away quickly. He will not allow me to touch him - grabbing my hands if they appear to be headed toward his protected parts - not realizing I have not headed in that direction for many years. He is very attentive in public, but stops abruptly when we are alone. He does not think that his not confiding in me is a problem. He thinks keeping things from me is okay. He thinks its okay for me to find out things second hand or not at all. He will share his money with me if I ask, I never ask, but I do not have access to it on my own. He pays his bills, I pay mine. I could give you stories but I am sure you get the picture.

I have learned to go without. I accept what he gives me. I try not to complain too much - mainly because I have realized after all these years that we have had this same conversation a thousand times, that we will have this same conversation again, and again. If he has not changed by this time, I do not know how to change him. I can only change myself.

At the moment things are pretty normal. He is okay. I am not. We fought this week, he said he was sorry - that he did not realized he hurt me - that he did not intend to hurt me - that he would not hurt me for the world. Yet he does. He will again. Nothing will change.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Comments, I Finally Have Comments

For those of you who have read my blog, and to the one who has been so gracious in her comments to me, I am grateful. Yes I did create this blog as a venting tool because I do not complain to anyone else. I learned a long time ago that I either did not have nor really wanted to confide in anyone regarding my hurt and feelings of invisibility. My mother would have sided with my husband - my most vivid memories of childhood are of her telling me in various ways that I was not worthy. My mother-in-law often told me and others of her issues with my father-in-law and I knew this was an effort on her part to down grade him in everyone's eyes and I did not want that in my family. I have never wanted anyone to see my husband through my eyes. I wanted him lifted up so that others, especially our children, would see the wonderful things in him and the heights he is capable of reaching. I never wanted his congregation or our church friends to see him for anything other than the godly man he really is.

Given this, however, he is not perfect and I guess I see the things no one else does. It is just this area of "us" that he seems to have so much trouble with - yet he does not see it as trouble. We have talked about this many, many times. Sometimes I think it is just me, and yes I realize I have inferiority issues. I think perhaps I just look for things to get angry about or read things into what he does that are not really there. I have lost a lot of trust in my life but I really do try not to complain, at least until I have the facts straight. Yet there continues to be those times when he reinforces this issue and I feel invisible again.

To answer your other question, yes there are good times - wonderful times in fact and life is good. Like when he will kill a bug for me because he knows I don't like to or when he says that the church only keeps him on so they can keep me. And this past weekend when he surprised me with antique leaded glass doors for my pantry. So you see we do have a good life, I have no desire to end what we have.

I have a couple of friends who are absolutely terrible to their husbands. They complain to everyone about everything and I think that is awful. I don't know why their husbands stay with them let alone treat them with the kindness they do. I was always so afraid in our early years to complain for fear he would leave me, but I suppose I really should have stood my ground way back then and things might be better today.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

What Did The Doctor Say

I went to the doctor last Friday. Just a standand checkup, nothing special. Hubby called me around eleven to see if I was coming into town early enough to have lunch with him. I was not, my appointment was not until 3:30. We did, however, arrange to meet afterwards to buy a new mattress set for one of the guest rooms. I called him from inside the doctor's office to tell him I was just about done, just waiting for the nurse to bring my paperwork and I would be able to leave. He said he was going to leave work early and he would wait for me at the mattress store. As it turns out I arrived first and waited about twenty minutes for him. After we loaded our purchases, we stopped for a very nice dinner. Then we went home, unloaded the truck, cleaned up the room, set up the bed, and went on to bed ourselves.

Sunday night I asked him if he had moved my prescriptions from the doctor, he had and retrieved them for me. Monday I called him and asked if he would pick up a prescription I had filled at the pharmacy, he did and brought it home to me.

My point in blogging all of this is that he has yet to ask me how the appointment went. He has yet to ask me,"What did the doctor say?" The doctor did not tell me anything I didn't already know, nor did anything earth shattering happen. My sugar was up a little bit, we talked about getting cheaper meds, and then we talked about the healthcare plan and how it will affect all of us adversely and that he may be forced to give up his practice. He has been our doctor for a long time and I do not want to loose him. I would like to tell my husband this. I will, but not until he asked if I am alright. Is that too much to ask.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Picnic, Labor & Delivery, and the Movie Camera

I should have realized I was not going to be my husband's first priority many years ago when he failed to tell me that he had invited his entire family to our house for a picnic. It was Labor Day and since we both worked, I had to use every possible spare minute to do the housework and take care of my family. It was 9:50a.m. and I was in the basement starting the laundry - excited that I would be able to get it all done the same day. I was just throwing in the first load when hubby came downstairs and asked what I was doing. Duh came to mind initially but I refrained from saying it. When I stated the obvious he then told me that I didn't have time to do that as the family was coming for a picnic - first I had heard about it. I asked when, he said ten. My contribution that day was mustard and ketchup, with a tad bit of anger thrown in.

Just before Thanksgiving I came home from work and started dinner. Hubby had gotten home earlier and told me he had already fixed himself something to eat. To which I calmly said that when I get home I fix dinner, when he gets home he eats. Staying calm is something I have learned over the years even though I am furious or hurt over something he has done and I have learned to pick my battles. He went in to watch TV and I heated up some leftovers. About an hour later he came into the kitchen to see if there were any leftovers leftover and said oh by the way, Linda is at the hospital in labor. Linda is our daughter and this is her first child. He said our son-in-law had called a couple of hours before and they didn't think it was true labor and they probably would not keep her. Therefore, it did not become necessary that he tell me our daughter might be having a baby.

Just before our third child was born, a long time ago, I went shopping to buy my husband a movie camera for Christmas. This was no easy task considering that this was just a few days before I was to deliver, I had two other small children in tow, and I was exhausted from decorating for the holiday as well as getting a room ready for the newborn. I spent more money on this gift than anything I had ever purchased before. I asked him to open his gift first so he could start taking movies right away and he seemed delighted with the gift. That is, until he just had to add that it was a nice camera, not what he would have bought, but nice just the same.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


I have decided that it is about time I began to share my invisibility issues with you. Now if you are assuming that as a pastor's wife these issues stem from living in his shadow, you would be wrong. It is him - I am invisible to him. I am an after thought at best to the things that go on in his life. There has always been an element of his life that I am left out of. I have not always been told, well, anything, everything, or the truth for that matter. Today I will start with just a very minor incident.

Up is the second movie I gave my husband for Christmas, along with Julie and Julia from my last blog. Why, you say? Why give a catoon movie to an adult. Because Up is my husband. I had seen enough of the movie promos to know the main character was so much like my husband that it was scary. He even looks just like my late father-in-law, who incidentally is appearing more and more frequently shaving in our bathroom mirror everyday. Even our grandchildren who had seen the movie recognized the similarities to their grandfather.

I have heard that grown men have cried watching this movie. The beginning, where the plot is set, is so sweet and endearing that I can certainly see how any self-respecting husband could shed a tear or two. I too became misty eyed as the young boy grows into manhood, finds and marries his one true love, only to loose her before they can complete their life-long dream of travel and adventure. Okay, I cried buckets, but then I am supposed to, I am a woman after all.

Hubby on the other hand remained his usual stern unmoving self. Not a sniffle, not even a sigh. Nothing. No reaching for my hand nor an "I don't know what I would do if I lost you". Nothing. Well not exactly nothing. He did say - "I guess Sally was right". (Sally is a co-worker) He went on to tell me she had watched the movie with her mother and her mother had commented that the old man reminded her of someone but she couldn't quite say who. To which Sally replied that it was (my husband) and her mother said "you're right it is". Cute story right - unless you are me and are wondering how Sally's mother knew my husband well enough to know this.

My only encounter with Sally or her mother was at Sally's wedding and I only remember a handshake in the receiving line. So I asked, and he replied that he had run into them at a resturant when he had gone out to lunch one day. I wonder how you can learn this much about someone in this short time. Lest you think I am reading more into this than it is, there was a hesitation before he explained the lunch story and this is not the first time I have heard that same hesitation. I know, this is a silly story, but I assure you it does get worse. This I could live with - if the same kind of thing had not happened so very many times before.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Julia And Julie

I have watched the movie Julia and Julie about four times now. I think it will be one of those movies I can watch over and over - like You've Got Mail. Maybe that is why I started this blog, not so much that I have anything relevant to say but that I have to say it. I have to vent, release, write, and let it all out before I explode. So maybe someday, perhaps long after I am gone, someone will stumble on this blog and say "Wow, did this woman have something to say" and turn it into a book. Alas, someone else will become rich and famous because I have chosen to be so anonymous that so far no one has even found this, let alone contacted me with encouragement or acknowledgment.

I find that I have a lot in common with the Julie character. I love to cook and I love to write but I have not done much with it in the course of my lifetime. My older sister is a Ph.D. My younger sisters, again a topic for another day, got all my mother's attention. So I, the typical middle child, learned very early that I was invisible and how to hide in everyone else's shadow.

So, while I have no desire to cook my way through Julia's cookbook, I will content myself to a few words here and there, words of cheer or anger depending on the day, but therapy for me just the same.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My Ties To The Groundhog - February 2, 2010

Today is Groundhog's Day. It is nearly five and I do not know if the little guy saw his shadow or not, whether we will have six more weeks of winter or not. I do know it is cold today and I would not blame anyone or anything who did not want to crawl out of a nice warm hole to give the weather report.

I am not sure I like this day, it is after all the birthday of an old high school girl friend of my husband - who incidentially looks very much like an old groundhog, but I digress. It is also the anniversary, ten years ago today, that I broke my leg. I was doing a good deed - carrying out the trash at church so no one else would have to do it. I had almost managed to drag the very heavy trash can to the road when I slipped on the ice and went tumbling into the ditch. I remember thinking as I was attempting to crawl out that if anyone asked me if I saw my shadow I was just going to scream. After much tugging and pulling and help from hubby and a passerby I managed, in a very unladylike manner, to flop into the back seat of our car and off the hospital we went. They took x-rays, gave me a prescription for pain, wrapped my leg in one of those long, splinted elastic thingys and sent me and my two broken bones on our merry little way. I was sure this was no big deal because they didn't even put it in a cast. It would be a year exactly - to the day - after wheelchairs, crutches, canes, a whole lot of pain, and the constant reminder from my twelve year old looking doctor that I was not as young as I used to be, before I would be released from medical care.

I have not volunteered to take out the trash since.

Friday, January 29, 2010

An Old Truck

My husband's SUV started to break down about four months ago. He drove it for awhile but finally decided it was time to get a new vehicle - so he took mine. The SUV has been sitting in the back pretty much for four months, it still runs and he takes it out every now and then just to keep the battery charged. He wanted to make sure it would still run when he got around to buying a used truck, which is what he has wanted for sometime, and he was going to trade this in on it.

Last weekend we went truck shopping. He stopped at one dealership and looked at a pretty gray truck, it was okay but he didn't even bother to go inside and check on the details. We went to another dealership, then another, then another, and passed up a few more because they didn't look trustworthy. He finally stopped at one and found a burgundy colored Dodge, slightly bigger than he wanted. He did the usual walking around and kicking the tires bit, peered in the windows, checked out this and that and even managed to talk to the dealer who said he had a few more coming in on Wednesday. So he got back in the car and we came home.

Wednesday came and he took a half day off work and we went back to the dealer where he didn't even bother to look at the trucks that had just been brought in. He took a test drive in the burgundy one and said this is what I want and made arrangements to come back on Thursday to pick it up. Thursday came and we made the trip to take care of the finances and pick up the truck. The actual time spent buying this particular truck was less than half an hour. So basically I have been without transportation during the day for four months and it took half an hour to buy a truck. Why now, why actually do what he has talked about doing for so long - because some things are coming up where I need a car and he was going to be inconvenienced by not having a car during the day - even though I could have taken him to work, come home, done what I needed to do - gone back and picked him up (a 70 mile round trip) and bring him back home - which is what I have had to do for four months if I needed to keep the car. And also because my car is now in serious need of repair and he couldn't get that work done until HE had a dependable vehicle.

So Monday I will go to my appointment and then make arrangements to have the car repaired in time to go to another appointment on Friday. And the SUV, it is still in the back yard because this dealership does not take trade-in. Now he has decided he's going to get it fixed also, because it would be nice to have a four-wheel drive for when the roads are bad. And the newly purchased truck - the check engine light came on during the ride home!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

My Proudest Moment

Okay, so it is not really my proudest moment but it was a turning point in my war to get him to see me. We were driving to work. We drove to work together everyday. We had driven to work together everyday for years. He drove because he had to go further than me - 35 miles further. So it made sense for him to drive, drop me off, and then go on to work. We always left early enough for him to get to work on time.

That morning, as on about ninety-five percent of all our mornings, he forgot to drop me off and I would have to tell him to stop. Generally we only got a few hundred feet down the street where he would pull over and I would walk back to my office - through rain, snow, sleet, ice, hail - you get the picture. It was the principle of the thing - I was in the car - sat beside him everyday - yet he could never remember I was even there. So on this particular morning I decided if he did not stop, I was not going to say a word. So I sat quietly thumbing through a magazine, watching through the corner of my eye as we drove past my office. We drove past the computer repair store. We drove past Wendy's and the Dairy Queen. We drove past Krogers and the hospital. We drove past the gas station, McDonalds, the Storage buildings, and the drive-in movie screen. We were almost to the fork in the road where he would turn to drive out of town to his job. That's when he looked over and realized I was still there.

Believe it or not, he had the nerve to yell at me. To say "Why didn't you tell me to stop?" My reply, "Why should I have to tell you I was sitting here in this car with you? Why should I have to tell you to stop and drop me off at my job? Why do I have to tell you everyday that I am in this car with you so you can remember to take me to work? I had made up my mind that even if you drove all the way to your job and had to turn around and take me back, I was not going to tell you." He turned around and took me back. We didn't speak. In fact, we have not spoken about it since. I think he was late for work.

He never forgot again - it was, if not exactly my proudest moment, a triumph for visibility.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Where Do Pastor's Wives Complain

If you are a pastor's wife like me, where do you go to complain about the man you are married to? This is a problem that has plagued me nearly all of my married life and even before he became a minister. My family loves him, sometimes I feel they think he could have done better - much better. His family loves him, he was a tiny, premature baby and everyone has been protecting him ever since. His children idolize him, he is their hero. His congregation almost thinks he walks on water. I have no truly close friend. So where to I go, hurt and angry, frustrated beyond measure and no one to confide in.

Maybe that is why I started this blog. To vent, to rage, to hurl pent up frustrations at anyone who might stumble across my babblings. To hope someone out there understands what I deal with, my trials, my pain.

We do get along, We love each other. We hardly ever fight. And honestly, there is very little wrong with our marriage. I am sure I frustrate him as much as he frustrates me. However, the difference is if he lets me know what I am doing wrong I make an effort to change. He on the other hand has been told, pleaded with, even begged countless times and we are still dealing with these issues all these many years later. Sometimes when I let him know how he has hurt me he says he didn't realize he was doing it - as if we had never had this same discussion before. Sometimes he says he doesn't mean to hurt me. Sometimes he says he is sorry - most times I feel as if he is just telling me what I want to hear so we can be done with it. Which leads me to the main source of my frustration - that he does not hear me, that he does not consider me, that I am always an after thought.

So for today I think that will have to be enough venting. We are not currently fighting and bringing this up will only upset me. The weekend is coming and I would like to have some attention focused on me and be able to appreciate it.

Monday, January 11, 2010

It's Monday Again!

I don't think I like Mondays. I never seem to get anything done. I do the laundry and write senseless words on my blog. I think about the other things I have to do, but never do them on a Monday. Today I am not even doing laundry because my husband ignored my request to stop at the store yesterday after church to pick up laundry soap. I can't jump in the car and go to the store because one car is not running, the other car is going into the shop for the "hitting a deer" repair, and I don't feel much like bundling up and walking since it is around zero outside and I don't want to fall on the snow and ice and break another bone. So I will sit here and dole out useless bits of information about myself that no one is interested in and probably will never see.

We took the Christmas decorations down this week. It takes nearly as long to take them down as to put them up. I love Christmas so I decorate - lots and lots. I put up two nine-foot trees with enough ornaments to do seven trees. I have a Christmas Village with houses and people, churches and banks, grocery stores and movie theaters, farms and depots, skating ponds and hotels, schools and bakeries, caroloers and Indians, lions, tigers, and bears - or my. We have a stocking for every member of our family and if you were to visit, we'd hang up one for you. We have Santa hats for everyone who attends our family Christmas get together and extras for anyone else who shows up. We have enough food for a third world country and tell enough family memories to embarass everyone. There is love and laughter and everyone has a good time. However, sometimes among the good times there is emptiness when someone can't be home for Christmas. Maybe next year there won't be emptiness.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

January 6

Today is my youngest sister's birthday. She is 56. I will not call to wish her a happy day. She will not call me. I cannot remember when we have spent a birthday together nor for that matter, can I really remember when I have seen her last. I have not seen her more than once or twice in the last five years, since our mother passed away. She is not a family person - not our family anyway. Her daughter barely speaks to her, her son speaks not at all - perferring to call her his sister's mother. She is handicapped and spends most of her time in a wheelchair - however this is the least of her problems. She is a sad, lonely, bitter person who prefers not to be around those who knew her before she became who she is today. She has built a family of other sad dysfuntionals who live on the edge of society, alone in their struggles, together in their distrust.

Her life changed - when I am not exactly sure. It could have been the loss of high school love. It could have been the elopement with a young sailor who turned out not to be the person she thought he was. It could have been the cancer and loss of her leg at the age of 23. It could have any number of opressive events but change it did indeed. She has a loving family, three sisters, two children, three grandchildren, many neices and nephews - all who love her and once did all they could for her. She had parents who did more than most parents, even to the point of building an apartment onto their home so they could help when she lost her leg. I took her children for the months she was in the hospital. Money has flowed out to her in the ensuing years - money that was not used to help but to enable. We have done all we can. Now we can only pray change will come again - for the better this time.

How Did I Get Here

How did I get to this point in my life? How did I get so old so quickly? Questions I am sure others have asked - for the same reasons, for entirely different reasons. However I, like some other pastor's wives didn't marry a pastor and didn't marry with the intention of of ever being a pastor's wife. I was eighteen, what did I know. He was 20, what did he know. Yet here we are, many years later trying to live out our days ministering to a group of church people who have the mistaken idea that we know what we are doing.

Don't get me wrong, I love my life - for the most part anyway. I love my husband and I love being a pastor's wife. Yet there are days when I feel like that long-ago little bride whose life stretched before her in a fog of dreams and ideas of happily everafter with absolutely no clue as to how to get there.

Today it is my hope to use this blog to sort out my life, vent my frustration, gain some insight, list my hopes, acknowledge my fears, share my thoughts, and find out if there is anyone out there even remotely interested in my thoughts and writings. I hope you find me worthy of interest.