Tump The Bockity

Some years ago a new teacher came into the room where I learned from kids.  Her arms clutched a box filled with what would change this classroom into her space, her place to learn from the kids.   I answered her silent query by saying, “Tump it anywhere.  This is your room now.”

“Tump it? Did you say tump it?  Oh my gosh.”  With that, Nancy gave me a bear hug saying that anyone who knew tump had to be a kindred spirit.  This classroom opened primed and ready for her by that single word…a bastardized union of dump and turn over…tump.

Pat C. is the brains behind the Journaling Group held at Keeler Women Center.  I sit second chair to listen, learn and add my perspectives.   My life has been  a bit preoccupied with making peace, with deep breathing, with the  acceptance that has no alternative.   Class day had some morning complications.  Our plan to evaluate prior to class  was not going to happen.

I emailed that my life had taken a bockity turn and I needed to handle that bockity stuff.

“Define, please.”

Right.  Think back to post depression childhood, happily pulling a second-hand wagon with a bent axle or a flat wheel, a cherished wagon that was a bit off the game.  The ride was bockity, off kilter, off-center, off straight and narrow, but still a great ride.

Last Sam day, my cherished Friday companion was a huge part of the continuing miracle of my new normal.  DeDe gave us the gift of friendship via the gift of a membership at Union Station.  She gave us the gift of freedom from making choices about what we could afford each Friday–the gift of completely cherishing the day from 10:00 AM until the cookies from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Company signal curfew.  Sam reminds me that we have to tell DeDe that he repreciates her.

Of course, I know that tump, bockity and repreciate are not Webster words, but rather people words–words that evolved because language evolves, because sometimes we have to find a more perfect way to make the room our own.

Dave Ramsey continues to say what I believe when asked “How are you?’

“Better than I deserve.”  The tee-shirt is right.  Life Is Good.






Outside the glass, moonlight covers the  neglected yard with a beautiful look of snow sprinkle.   Doe and yearling stir near the giant Halloween tree, a huge Walnut that has gifted the squirrels with years of stash.

Snug in an afghan, alone, I watch for the sun to change that snow look to the sparkle of early morning.  Toys and books cover most horizontal surfaces, markers of the joy of grandchildren.  Albums opened beside me evidence years of family time, reminders of our passages as we came to this now.

This now is a quirk, a trick of time, a fixed thing but lost in a vastness that won’t give up its secrets.  Now is a month used up in a flash but seeming to go on and on— right into the now of forever.

At 3:32 this November 21, I awoke staggered with all that is mine, my very own and very personal joy, sadness, grief, comfort and my tomorrows built on this now.

My family, my adult children, their spouses and my grandchildren closed ranks protecting me with a fortress of their love, concern and their physical labor handling the details of this passage.

Friends reached across years and miles defining friendship with words and gestures of gentle comfort, the safety of our history together.

Enough.  I have enough of what handles the comfort of the body;  work, warmth, food,  safety, books, places to walk, a to-do list that marks both accomplished tasks and the beat of time.

Abundance.   I have quoted Dave Ramsey’s, “Better than I deserve” when asked that rhetorical standard, “How are you?”  And I am. So blessed, so much better than I deserve in the abundance of family and friends.

Thanksgiving marks this amazing gift that is my life.



Two Plus Two = More

Pinpointing this might be the dog vs. the dog’s tail kind of ramble, floundering as I organize what passes as my rational thought process.  A couple of blogs ago, I admitted to working on a piece about Time and the difficulty of pulling it together.  (Is my life truly measured in blog-time?)

Time is like the mercury I remember from Sister Rose Carmel’s chemistry class at Ward High School–hard to pin down and full of odd movement.  Time might give dozens of right-minded opportunities only to be ignored until Time withdraws every opportunity.  Time can fleet, offering no opportunity to think.   It happens.  It is gone.   Time is something that no timepiece can monitor.

Time’s first two passages:

A friend, a very dear friend, is in mourning.  This is not the four stage grieving of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’ arrangement.  No bargaining, no acceptance will come.  Physical death is  not the event.  Profound sadness, consuming sadness, deep and painful sadness over what Time has snatched away and, quite possibly, destroyed.   Even accepting the reality of grieving is painful as it taints all the good Time that remains.  Why must she grieve for that which should never have been?

Last week, my husband visited his PCP.  “If he gets worse, take him to the hospital” was the final advice.  We struggled through the afternoon and evening.  When his weakness, spiked fever,  vomiting and breathing problems made it evident that I could not get him to the car, we called 9-1-1.   Within a very short time, the Platte County Fire Department responded and, to my mind, saved Bob’s life.   They were amazing.

Time’s second two passages

In August, we celebrated birthdays of my daughter, my son, my one year old grandson and my six-year-old grandson, plus my very special friend, Karol.  Time was celebrating, giving opportunities to be profoundly grateful for the people in my life.

My oldest grandson starts his college career this week.  I love him beyond my ability to express.  He is the first-born of my first-born, milestone births that directed my channels of Time. During an occassion scheduled for parents to visit the campus, my grandson expressed his thanks and appreciation to his dad–appreciation for both the gift of life and the ongoing gift of caring for that life.  My grandson expressed his thanks and appreciation to his step-mother for ‘being there for all the hard parts”, nurturing the insecure 3rd grader through Time and stages, bringing him to this confident and talented college freshman.

Two plus two.  Two moments of Time heavy with grief and profound sadness that have altered lives.   Two moments of Time rich with gratitude and profound appreciation for and to the people in my life.  As Dave Ramsey would say, “Better than I deserve.”

Election Day

Election Day is difficult.  I don’t like it.  On primary election days, I vote strategically trying to plan ahead for what pushes the best outcome in the general election.

Approaching the polling place, smiling people hand me stuff.  It all says the same nothing.  Candidates promise to solve problems that cannot possibly be solved by any single human. Photographs of wholesome families  pretend to convince the voter that this family person will govern like she/he parents.  Of course, we have no idea if parenting skills come with the posed family photos.

To borrow a Dave Ramsey response, “I am better than I deserve.”  And I am.  I am better for living where I can vote, where choices might make a difference.   It just gets so convoluted.

Blaming is rampant and has no semblance to a solution.  Liberal or conservative flaps in the wind of public opinion.  Today’s slogan is tomorrow’s mud.

What happens?  What chips away at the idealism that brings some candidates to the political mess?  The search of money to maintain an office?  Reality that forces acceptance that idealism and political office are not bedfellows?

Election Day.  I never miss it.  Sadly,  it has been years since I left the booth believing that my vote meant what I wanted it to mean.

My Life and Times

“Better than I deserve.”  That is a Dave Ramsey saying.

Me, too, Mr. Ramsey.  My life is so much better than I deserve.

This holiday seasons has taught me a new life lesson.  Well, maybe not a new life lesson but one of the lessons of my life.  I am so blessed.

This is not corny sentimental stuff.  This is real.  I have an amazing family…one daughter and four sons who continually fill my soul with their characters, talents and perspectives on life.   Could be that they seem more dissimilar in unimportant ways–religion, politics, food preferences–but they are magically aligned in the quality of who they are.

Three of them married oh-so-well, daughters-in-law to shame any stereotypes touting conflict.  These are wonderful women and I constantly learn from them.

Grandchildren?  This is a true statement.  I love them with all my heart and the leave-taking cracks my reserve.  From the 18 year oldest to the 5 month old youngest, they are blessings that continually astound me.

On Sunday, our holiday season will end with the last of the family heading out-of-state.  We have had a full house since December 19.  Christmas and the New Year happened.  I am blessed beyond measure by the last few weeks.  These humans, five children, 3 spouses of adult children and five grandchildren are so much ‘better than I deserve’.     How I wish I had the words….