The Calgary Stampede! Mecca for cowboys! Land of fried everything (pickles, oreos, twinkies, donuts, hot dogs (j/k), pork rinds)! Place to win a new house, new dual-cab truck, cash, GIGANTIC electric blue stuffed animals, and mini-motorbikes! Where you can play BINGO, shoot water guns at targets, spin a wheel, watch mini-horses tote big people in little carts, ride saddles on sawhorses, and get sunburned! A place that costs $16 just to get in, $10 for 36 mini-donuts, another $25 to see the rodeo, $10 raffle tickets, $5 Diet Cokes (worth it), and $10 Dolce Gabbana knockoff sunglasses!
In short...a place where overstimulation is the fare of the day and I loved it!
I've had a bad case of "The Whys" lately. I'm not in the depths of depression or anything (that's not me) but, I've done a lot of crying. I've been inundated with thoughts about my life thus far and what I've done with it. I've reflected and reflected and reflected. (Living alone is very lonely sometimes!) I was surprised at the "whys" that kept coming to me. Like:
Why was I the chubby teenaged wallflower at the stake dances?
Why did I have to meet and marry a man who had 32 different jobs in the three years we were married? (no lie!)
Why did I have to reach 300 pounds during that marriage?
Why did I do the unthinkable...divorce? The first in my family.
Why did I have to have re-occurring tumors that forced me to abandon my life-long yearning to have several children?
Why did it happen at the young age of 30?
Why did I have to raise two daughters, aged one and two, by myself for seven years with no support?
And, the worst...why did my boyfriend have to leave me so suddenly?
Then, as I thought about all of these "why me?" questions, I received an answer. A whispering in my mind and in my heart. The answer was another question...
Why NOT me?
Why. NOT. me?
Who was I to question my life's experiences? Every single "negative" experience that I have had to bear has blessed me ten fold and led me to the next phase of my life.
I have two beautiful daughters who I raised during those seven years alone. Our relationship is one-of-a-kind because of that "why me?". Plus, my sons-in-law...and Eloise.
Had I never met and married my boyfriend, I would never have my four step-children. Plus two more in-laws...and those eight grandchildren.
For these blessings alone, I am grateful.
I have no idea what I'm suppose to learn from the loss of my husband. It's still very, very soon for me to make sense of it all. But, I know that I don't say "Why me?" anymore. That gets me nowhere. I just want to be more open to my life's experiences. Open to giving and to receiving love from those around me so willing to "help". Allowing me to feel the feelings that come to me without crawling back into bed and shutting out the world.
7 "And if thou shouldst be cast into the apit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the bdeep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to chedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of dhell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee eexperience, and shall be for thy good.
8 The aSon of Man hath bdescended below them all. Art thou greater than he?"
I absolutely loved this book. Perhaps it is the Canadian-living-in-the-states self talking here, but it made me long for my home in Southern Alberta. Growing up, my father was the maintenance supervisor for the schools in the area. This included the school at two or three of the Hutterite colonies in the area. He would often take me with him on his visits to the colonies. I loved it there and was mesmerized by every nuance of the colony. The baking bread, the chickens roaming free, the homes, the smells, the polka-dots, the braids. I loved going with him. My mother made trips as well. We would often go to purchase eggs, knitted booties and slippers, pick up newly upholstered furniture, and chickens. Every time, we were invited into someone's home to sit down for a visit. Secretly, I wanted to BE a Hutterite just so I could twist my hair back and put on a handkerchief. This book was a trip home for me and I adored it. Mary Ann Kirby is a gifted writer who was able to capture growing up on the colony and later outside of the colony in a way I will not soon forget. I can't wait to make the drive to Canada this summer and visit a colony.
Reading Right Now...
The Alloy of Law: The fourth book in the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson. Something tells me it isn't going to have the same effect on me as the trilogy!
The Kitchen House
Just Finished Reading
Oh my goodness! I owe Jessica Romney a HUGE thank you for recommending this series. I was skeptical at first. But, am so glad I chose to give the Mistborn series a try. Brandon Sanderson is an amazing author. I am now open to a new genre...fantasy. This series though, had even more than fantasy. I felt some strong spiritual undertones throughout this particular (#3) book. I even got a little "misty" at the end. I loved these books. Thanks, Jessica. I owe you and will never question your recommendations again! :)
Also Just Finished Reading...
The author, Sue E. Peterson, is a friend of mine. She sent me this book shortly after the heartbreaking loss of my own husband. It had many wonderful points for me to consider as I read about death and making sense of a new/different life. I appreciated so much of what she said and the metaphors regarding "running" throughout the book. I've never read a book by an author I know (and know very well) personally. Nor, have I read a story based on a person I know and have had conversations with. It was an odd feeling in some respects. Reading different names for each character and each setting sort of messed with my brain a bit. Finally, I put that out of my mind and read with the purpose of gleaning insight about losing a spouse and recovery from grief. I have many turned down pages I'd like to revisit as a result. Thanks for the book, Sue!