Monday, October 30, 2006


If you've been reading this blog recently you know that a lot has been going on in my family. The good news is that my youngest sister is doing well, beginning a new job, and making nice friends in her community. The children seem to be doing well, and my oldest niece is attending art therapy, which I think will be very useful for her for a number of reasons. On that front, all is going pretty well. Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers for us all during what has been a very rough time for so many.

There have been losses this year -- my mother's brother, my friend's grandfather, and my hubby's former father-in-law. And there have been gains -- my late husband's niece had her first child last week, something for which we are all celebrating. :) Now I need to finish that blanket I've been knitting for her!

Now we face the mortality of a much-beloved family member, an uncle who entered our lives when our Dad died in 1979, when we were all kids. He was kind of a guardian and protector of us all during that time, so each of us feels our own closeness to him, and to our aunt, our father's favorite sister. Though this particular uncle has had health issues throughout the time we've known him, I guess I just never considered his not being with us any more. This man is so steadfast, so quiet, so loving and so strong -- it's very difficult to believe that he won't pull out of this one. But, no one escapes the ultimate culmination of one's life, so we must adjust.

Sad as I feel about my uncle, I know this is just part of life -- a necessary part. I am reminded that even a seed must die in order for a flower to grow. I hope the flower that grows from this beautiful seed is the flower of compassion and purposefulness -- compassion for other people's suffering, and purposefulness in expressing our feelings for one another. It's important to tell people you love them, even when you don't get along. Y'all know how that is, right? You can love someone without necessarily liking them, or at least I think you can do that. :) Anyway, I hope to practice being more expressive as time goes on. And I hope you do too.

York apples, wherefore art thou???

Why can't I find York apples anywhere near me??? Oh, the pain!!! I love apples, regardless, but I most especially love York apples.

I first had them at Halloween of 1992, and I've craved them ever since. Yorks are tart, but have a sweet finish, and are absolutely perfect for Caramel Apples. Hence, the reason I *need* them.

If anyone knows of a place where I could order them and have them shipped here, hollah! I need me some Yorkies!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

And the hits just keep on comin'....

Well, after a very emotional week at hubby's late wife's father's funeral, I was unprepared to learn Saturday night that my favorite uncle was diagnosed Friday, unexpectedly, with inoperable lung cancer. Apparently, my aunt thought he was having a heart attack (I don't know the full details -- this is what my mother told me), and took him to a hospital in Pensacola, FL, where their doctor said that he was virtually certain that this was lung cancer. I'm sure a chest x-ray was involved, but I don't know what else could have been done. I'm also sure they're waiting for the work week to begin to figure out what, if anything, should be done.

This uncle married my aunt in 1979, just before my father died. This aunt is my father's favorite sister. Her first husband died about a year or so before, of lung cancer (he was a smoker), and my Dad really worried about her being alone. She met future uncle in late May, and they were married on his birthday in late June. Apparently, my Dad was the only potential obstacle, with my aunt wanting his blessing on the relationship. Dad invited them over to see what this guy was like, and he passed with flying colors. We all fell in love with him, and we love him more now that we've had these years to get to know him.

This uncle is the sweetest man I've ever met. He's always kind, smiling, soft-spoken, and thoroughly in love with my aunt. It's hard to imagine a time when they weren't together. My Mom told me last night that he said he always thought of us as his own kids, as we were closer to him than his actual daughter was/is. All I know is it's impossible not to adore him.

I hope this is it for the year, bad news-wise. I'm not ready for this, and I don't think I can handle a whole lot more of these soul-thumping events. Be kind to each other, y'all, and be sure to say what you NEED to say to each other, like "I love you", "I'm sorry", "You mean the world to me", "I wish I could see you more often", and "You always have my complete support, no matter what."

Monday, October 23, 2006

On the road again...

Hubby and I flew back to Nashville last night around 7:30pm. We were gone for 10 days, traveling about 1400 miles by rental car around Minnesota and Wisconsin, combining several missions -- spreading ashes, attending a class, and a mini-vacation.

Tomorrow we leave for central Indiana, this time to attend a funeral. His late wife's father, age 90, passed away Friday night, due to complications (pneumonia) after a fall that fractured a vertebra in his back and produced a brain injury due to a whiplash-type effect. (I think that's called a "coup/contra coup" injury, but I doubt I'm spelling that right.)

Hubby has been asked to be a pallbearer, and to play the piano at the service -- not the stuff from the hymnals, but something original. He will gladly perform both functions. In his former father-in-law's obituary, my hubby is listed as one of those surviving him, which, of course, is a designation reserved for family. Needless to say, he was touched and honored by this inclusion.

Background: when we first became engaged, and then married, his late wife's sister and niece most definitely did not approve -- they thought it was "too soon". They said some pretty ugly things about me, and about us, and I never thought they'd come around. I'm very happy to report, though, that I was wrong. :) I offered by phone the other day to keep the niece's 4 year old daughter for her while the funeral activities were going on, because I figured someone had to do it and it might be a way to "make points". Today the niece called me herself to ask if I didn't want to join the family for all the stuff?? She thought I should be with them, and if I wanted to keep her daughter busy for a while at the visitation, that was cool, but she didn't want me to miss out. Talk about a lovely surprise!!! I'm so happy to have, I guess, earned my place with them. They realize now that hubby is not abandoning them, not by a long shot. He will continue to be the same loving son-in-law he's always been -- phoning weekly, visiting as often as possible, etc. This is a lovely, precious turn of events.

We plan to return home on Thursday, and I hope we'll have at least a few days' peace. I also hope neither of us have need to turn around and do another road trip right away, as much as we both love those. You know you're getting older when you value your sleep more than you value the next adventure. ;)

Peace to all y'all. Be good to each other, and please remember -- life is short. There are no do-overs at the end. Say what you need to say now, and be kind. You'll never regret that.


Tuesday, October 17, 2006


At about 4pm on Friday, October 13, 2006, I completed a promise I made years ago. My late husband, Lance, asked me to promise that I would eventually spread his ashes at the Headwaters of the Mississippi. He asked me to do this upon numerous occasions, and, of course, I agreed. I never imagined that it would take seven and a half years after his death, or that I would perform this task with the help of a new husband.

It was incredibly windy in Minnesota the day we made this journey. It had snowed the days prior to our arrival, and a little of the icy stuff was still on the ground this day. Did I mention that it was windy??? It was WINDY! The wind cut through clothing as though it were not even there. I don't recall ever being so cold.

There was a young family with two little boys at the site shown above when we first reached the headwaters, so we waited until they were out of sight before getting down to business. I had wrestled these last weeks with what to say or do that would feel meaningful when I sent him on his final earthly journey. I met with my minister several times, discussed it with my therapist and close friends, and thought I knew what I was going to do. In the end, I just knelt down at the water's edge, and gently opened the bag. I took a deep breath, cleared my head of distracting thoughts, and began to slowly allow the powdery ash to enter the clear waters. All I said in the end is "Godspeed". It seemed to fit. According to information at the visitor's center, it takes a drop of water approximately 90 days to travel from this location to the Gulf of Mexico, so I figure that by around mid-January, Lance Winger Peterson, 1954-1999, will be on his way into the warmer waters of the Gulf and then on out into the wider world.

The site is beautiful, peaceful, and feels as though it is a very spiritual place, which is only appropriate. I don't think Lance had ever visited here personally, and I don't recall why he wanted to be laid to rest here. However, having now experienced this place for myself, I know I will be back -- not to visit 'him', but to commune with the universe, as hippie-like as that sounds.

Prior to arriving at Lake Itasca State Park, I saw a multitude of deer along the way, and, much to my surprise, ELK! After spreading the ashes, though, I caught sight of a Bald Eagle, resting atop a tree, and, just as we drove by, lifting off in flight. Color me superstitious, but I found that significant. In Native American lore, the Eagle symbolizes strength, power and is considered to be the closest being to the Creator. According to the information I found here:

The Eagle feather, which represents duality, tells the story of life. It tells of the many dualities that exist in life, such as light and dark, male and female, substance and shadow, summer and winter, peace and war, life and death. It reminds us of the teachings that Opposites are extensions of themselves like two opposing hands of the same body.

That makes sense to me, and is very fitting.

Having executed my final act of love for my late husband, I feel a sense of peace and personal satisfaction. There were times when I wondered if I would ever be able to travel to a place so far from where I live and do the thing that he would never know whether I ever did or not. I'm glad I had the strength not to just let this slide.

In closing, I do want to say how important it was to have my precious husband, RunawayImagination, with me throughout this event. He has never been anything other than supportive of me and has been able to somehow maintain his own objectivity throughout. He has never indicated, even when asked point blank, that he had any feelings of jealousy or irritation when Lance was spoken of. Though he knows how very much I loved my Lance, he also knows how much more I love him, because of my previous wonderful relationship. I am very grateful to him for all that he is, and, when the time comes for him to perform this task for his late wife, he will know that it can be survived and that I will support him in the same ways he's supported me. He's a good man, y'all. They don't come any better. That means I've been amazingly lucky twice in one lifetime.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Sinful blogging!

Today I was made aware that, according to the Restored Church of God, blogging is sinful!!! Oy vey!!! I can't believe there is actually a sin I didn't already know about!!! Oh, the pain!!!!!!!!! If you think you can handle it, check out the article here.

I'm surprised at how surprised I was to read this. I should know better. After all, aren't I the one who says "People are stupid. And I hate them."? Yes, I think that's me, and yet, I find this position too difficult to let sink all the way into my brain.

I plan to respond to the article here, at least, if not in a letter to the author. I doubt they realize they irony in their method of communication, and how everyone who searches for the word "blogging" will be referred to their page as well as to actual blogging sites. lol

Peace, y'all. Seriously.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The music meme, from the lovely GirlMD

Seven songs I'm into right now:

1. "When You Say Nothing At All" -- Allison Krause -- because I saw her perform on PBS tonight.

2. "Coyote" -- Joni Mitchell

3. "Life short. Call now." -- Bruce Cockburn

4. Beatles medley -- Richard Smith & Julie Adams (classical musicians here in Nashville who happen to also attend my church)

5. "Statesboro Blues" -- The Allman Brothers

6. "Light on in the Kitchen" -- Melissa Sigler (my dear, sweet friend and amazing blueswoman)

7. Happy birthday!!! Cuz mine is tomorrow! Wo0t!!!

Better Gay than a Pedophile, huh?

I admit to being anti-Republican party as a rule. I also admit to being unabashedly supportive of fully equal rights for homosexuals, and destigmatization of this group of human beings. That all being said, I suppose it only follows that I am 100% outraged by and offended at the absolutely transparent, childish and dangerous behavior of said Republican party around the Mark Foley catastrophe.

Let me get this straight -- Mark Foley was abused by a clergyman when he was a teenager, which is somehow related to his attempt at coercion of teenagers for self-serving sexual purposes. And then the admission that he's gay somehow explains why he was hitting on male teenage pages. This 43 year old Republican, who's been a member for the house for nearly 12 years, now comes forth with the information that he had been molested by a clergyman. On the ABC News blog of Brian Ross, we find the following:

Mark Foley was sexually molested by a clergyman when Foley was between the ages of 13 and 15 and "wants you to know he is a gay man," his lawyer, David Roth, said late Tuesday. Mr. Roth said the disclosure was part of his client's "recovery."

Asked why the former congressman did not reveal this information sooner, Roth said, "Shame, shame."

"As is so often the case with victims of abuse, Mark advises that he kept his shame to himself for almost 40 years," Roth said.

I do understand the idea of shame, but I also understand the idea of pedophilia, which is attraction to and/or sexual gratification related to being with a child, a minor. It *really pisses me off* that this man who is supposed to be an example to all of us, but especially to the minors who work in the House and Senate, would like to somehow avoid negative public sentiment regarding his perversions by "revealing" an alledged incident of child abuse in the form of pedophilia at the hands of a clergyman, and admitting his sexual preference. It seems to me as though he and his attorneys are trying to divert attention from his reprehensible and ILLEGAL actions.

Homosexuality is demonized by many in our society already. Trying to somehow associate Mark Foley's homosexuality with his seductions of teenagers is a sick, perverted attempt to deny his own personal responsibility in this matter. Homosexuals who are adults are attracted to other adults. Heterosexuals who are adults are attracted to other adults. Extrapolate those out for kids. Now, when thinking of Mark Foley and his recent behavior that goes back to 1998, reportedly, please keep in mind that normal adults, homo- or heterosexual, want to be with other adults.

That's all I'm sayin'....