Wednesday, June 25, 2008


This will be quick. A friend had a heart attack and needs surgery. We will be on the road soon to be with them. The cats hate me but will love the sitter. The dog goes with us.

The basement flooded this morning. Wouldn't you know it.

WE GOT THE DECK DONE. It is marvelous and I never want to see a can of "Weathered Natural" stain again. Staining all four sides and the cut ends of each and every board almost killed me.

Off and running. Take care. Love Bea

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

But Who Will Do It?

A Good Woman's Lament

I want to go camping and not do the newsletter.

I want to have lunch and laugh and not have a meeting afterward.

"I don't want to worry about declining attendance."

I want to worship at Dunkin Donuts and sing hymns out of the Style section of the newspaper.

I want to drink lattes in the afternoon and not fold the bulletin.

I don't want to be president, vice president, recording secretary, treasurer or "hostess" of anything.

I want to have hilarious holiday dinner parties in the backrooms of restaurants and not in my house.

I want to luxuriate in hanging out my laundry on the line and cooking from scratch.

I do not want to take turns teaching Sunday School.

I do not want to help at all the funerals.

"Let's pay for a janitor and not do it ourselves."

I want to buy baked goods from the Bazaar table, not make them.

I do not want to organize a yard sale in aid of anything.

I want to go to the swimming pool and swim and not do water aerobics.

I want to have friends over and talk, not entertain.

I want to go to Bible study and not adopt a single mother to take turns helping.

I want to read in the shade with an iced tea. I do not want to make banners and cookies for Vacation Bible School.

I want to skip my turn taking Communion to the old folks' home.

I do not want to put together a calendar of every one's birthdays and anniversaries so we can send cards.

I want to talk on the phone for three hours with a friend.

"No I will not go the the Convention again this year. Four grown women in one room was not a 'barrel of laughs '."

I want a six foot fence in the backyard.

I want to eat McDonald's hamburgers at the cemetery overlook of a summer's eve and admire the green quiet.

I want to sing loudly in private and quietly in public. I do not want to be in the Christmas, Community or Church choir.

"I do not want to deliver food to the shut-ins. Meals-On-Wheels "is too" eatable."

"You can have my slot for serving every Thursday at the Soup Kitchen."

I want to eat off of paper plates, and have to dust to admire the beauty of my good china.

I want to skip all fellowship dinners, coffees and picnics.

I want to write and receive long letters.

"Let's pay for yard care this year and not do it ourselves."

I don't want to be an election judge...again.

I am not taking one more salad or dessert to anything.

"Here's some money. You go buy the wedding, baby, graduation, birthday, anniversary and holiday gifts."

I want to browse in an old book store until I can't breathe.

'No I don't want to babysit or carpool."

I want to place plastic flowers on all the graves, and not go back and pick them up the next day.

"No. We keep hamsters in the spare room. Stay in a hotel."

I want to turn on the answering machine...and then not return any calls.

I want to eat chocolate covered peanuts for Sunday dinner.

I want to iron and watch old English sitcoms.

"If we are out of communion wafers, use crackers."

"No I am not going to be a community booster. I want to shop in Paris."

"If the club has secret pass words and odd clothing accessories, count me out."

"I hate bridge,"

"If the organization can't pay the bills let's sell the building and meet in the community hall. Or not at all."

I want to get a monthly massage and pedicure.

"You collected it, you deposit it."

"No I am not going to buy the twenty-seven extra boxes of Thin Mints."

I want to teach the cats to walk on a leash.

I'm giving up Lent for...ever.

"At fifty-one I am too old to join a sorority,"

I want to make people laugh and I want to laugh with them.

I want to eat crunchy bread and peanut butter for Easter dinner.

I want to throw my old magazines and news papers in the trash and not chauffeur them around for a week in the trunk of my car on the way to the recycling center.

"You can have my every Wednesday shift at the Charity Shoppe too."

I want to read old travelogues and eat popcorn.

I want to have spur of the moment ice cream cones, and sex.

"No I do not want to "club together" to clean and paint all the outside toilets."

"Then hire someone to preserve local history."

"I want the volunteers to be unorganized and unsupervised."

"I do not care if there is a blizzard and the roads are closed. I will not put up a busload of elderly women from Ohio."

I am skipping all events having to do with all local schools.

"I am not foster parent material,"

"I don't have small children. I do not want to join MOPS (mothers of pre-schoolers.)"

"I am not going to deliver all those baskets again this year."

I hate reading the lessons every Sunday.

I want to sit on a beach and watch the sun set.


Take care Good women, Love Bea

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Father's Day

It is snowing.

What the heck does a father actually do? I am at a loss in trying to write this post. I know enough about mothers to choke a horse, but I don't know anything about fathers. I expected to open up this can of worms and find, well, worms. Instead I find nothing. I am searching my mind and emotions about fatherhood and am coming up with a blank.

Until I was sixteen I thought my mother's ex-husband was my father. On my sixteenth birthday one of my aunts told me The Truth. It seems my mother had "taken up" with a man several years after she was divorced, and I was the result. My aunt even told me the man's name. I thought she was lying or had got her facts mixed. Nope. Turns out she was right.

A few weeks after I learned The Truth my adopted mother took me to visit this man. We arrived at his run down ranch unannounced. (Bad plan) We stood beside the car as she introduced herself and me. He backed up and started saying that she couldn't prove anything and that his father had paid Mom off a long time ago. Adopted mother told him we didn't want anything but that he might like to know about his daughter. He didn't. We drove off and I never saw him again. The same aunt who told me The Truth later sent me his obituary. Turns out he was wealthy and died without heirs. She encouraged me to try to go after his money even if I didn't have any proof of paternity. I was in my early twenties and could have cared less. But I did have the proof. I still have it.

A few days after my mother died I was in the house alone and was going through some of her stuff. I was twelve. I found the package that contained the letter from his father's lawyer saying that if Mom would deny paternity he (father) would pay for my birth and some sort of operation I needed. Mom's reply was also in there. It could beak a heart of stone. She says how cute I am and that she doesn't want money or marriage, just his name on the birth certificate..............My original birth certificate says "Unknown" after father's name.

The men in the foster home and relatives' homes were abusive or non-entities. My adoptive mother was widowed when she adopted me. I got not a clue about fathers.

I keep trying to find a father in God but this has proved to be heavy sledding. It is hard to translate "Our Father in Heaven" into something more...mortal, I guess. But I persevere.

So back to the beginning. What do fathers do? This inquiring mind really would like to know.

Take care of yourselves. Happy Father's Day. Love Bea

Thursday, June 5, 2008


I just read Vickie's post about her meltdown. As the queen of meltdowns I soooo identified. I used to be able to roll with the punches and not react. Not anymore. Maybe it is not having the calming cloak of estrogen, or maybe it is finally getting fed up with being walked on, but whatever it is, I lose my cool at the drop of a hat.

I won't go into all of it because it is too painful, but I lost my composure big time during our trip Home. I yelled and threatened and finally stomped off. I did get the injustice righted but at a great cost to my peace. Took me days to recover from this fit...and then the cat pulled the Coo-coo clock off the wall.

I was in the shower when I heard this big thump. Mollie came running in to the bathroom to alert me that all was not well. I quickly finished up and dashed out to the kitchen in a towel. There I found the cat trapped under the remnants of our 60 year old family heirloom Coo-coo clock. She was okay, just scared. It is me that went nuts.

I could feel it building, but I was soaking wet and without my glasses. I held my anger in and untangled the cat. I went back to the bathroom to dry off and put on some clothes. I felt as though I might explode. When I was dry, clothed and could see, I went back to survey the wreckage. Then I exploded. I screamed. I was overwhelmed with rage. I ran after the cat who luckily enough was near the bed and dived deep under it. That action saved her life. I was so angry I would have killed her. I was raised on violence and this training swims to the surface when I get enraged. The poor dog. She squeezed herself into a corner with her ears and tail tight against her body. And those eyes. Makes me cry in shame thinking about them. I was screaming and swearing and crying over the clock when Mark came home for lunch. Thank God.

I loved that clock. I have very little left of my family of origin. This clock belonged to one of my Aunts and I remember being fascinated by it as a child. In the now, I loved the little bird and its cheerful reminders of time passing. And then there was Mark's reaction to it. He cursed the bird and insisted the "wretched thing" was stealing moments of his life. Made me laugh each time he confronted the tiny wooded creature. And it is no more.

Poor Mark, after telling him what happened I immediately picked a fight with him. I said he hadn't secured the clock to the wall and that is why the cat could pull it off. I needed Cher to slap me hard and yell "Snap out of it." Instead Mark prayed for me. Did the trick. I calmed down and just cried. We picked up the pieces of my little friend and put them in a box. Mark rescued the cat and I tried to reassure Mollie. Dogs are God's creatures. She forgave me and licked my tears. All was not well, but was quiet.

A few weary hours later I tried to figure out why I so over reacted. Yes I was angry and grieved over the loss of the clock, but to contemplate killing the cat? That was not normal. I reviewed my recent fit at Home. What were the commonalities? In the end it came down to loss. I just can't handle loss. Of any kind. Each loss seems monumental and irreparable. When it comes to disappointments I HAVE THE MIND OF A CHILD. When a one-two year old's mother leaves the room he cries as though his heart will break. He truly believes he will never see her again. Out of his sight equals out of his life. This is how I react to loss.

Again the shitty childhood shoves its way into my pleasant present. A good many of my childhood losses were final and irreparable. To cope with the pain I learned early to have no expectations and to feel nothing. I spent most of my life numb. In the past few years my feelings have come back to life. I am currently attempting to deal with past and present pain with almost no coping skills. I never learned how to feel pain and not be overwhelmed by it. So, now each time I suffer a loss I emotionally go back to where I was when I stopped feeling. Eating no longer works to stop the pain. Tooey, what a mess.

What is the upshot of all this intense introspection?
1. I need to learn to judge the severity of each loss and react accordingly.
a. Ask Mary how she would react to a loss.
b. Ask Mark what emotion is appropriate for each loss. (I react to everything with anger.)
c. Sit with the emotion and get used to it and through it. I am no longer a child and emotions cannot kill me.
d. Tolerate loss without having to immediately "fix the problem."
2. Be kind to myself during time of loss.
a. Stop berating self for "over reacting."
b. Give self something (not food) to comfort self.
c. Talk about loss.
3. Move On (slowly)
a. Apologize if necessary
b. Learn from "meltdown."
c. Wish for long lost estrogen.

Gad that was hard. I think I will take the dog and go and have a rest. Take care of yourselves. Love Bea