A look back

Jules —  June 15, 2005

James has had a blog but has decided to shut it down. He hasn’t kept up with it and has other things he enjoys doing more. Hopefully he’ll be posting something here from time to time. I wrote a couple of posts on his blog and have decided to save them over here at my blog so they wouldn’t be deleted.

This one I wrote in February when I was having the ‘winter is almost over, I am about to lose it, blues’. The only redeeming thing about February for me is Valentines day! You can tell by my opening paragraph that I was in need of some sunshine!

Posted on Monday 14 February 2005

Happy Valentines Day, Hon! I love you ! You are the love of my life and my dearest friend! You’ve been wanting me to post, so…this one’s for you.

I am the wife of Jimmy and mama to our four young kiddos. I’m a homemaker by profession, well it’s not really a profession, it’s more of a lifestyle. Dr. Phil says they did a study to figure out how much time and energy a homemaker spends and they discovered it’s equivalent to having two full time jobs. I believe him!! We don’t get sick days or paid vacation, heck, we rarely get to time out at all. There is no monetary amount placed on what I do. I don’t get pats on the back about what a good job I’m doing. I love it and believe with all my heart that it’s my calling, don’t misunderstand me. My point is, it’s so easy to loose yourself… that sense of knowing who you are and after all the work, the house is still messy and dirty in places, the kids are far from perfect and my marriage still needs more time invested. So, I often struggle with the whole, Who am I?” thing.

Friday morning all the kids were home and I was trying to think of something we could do to get out for a bit to break up the day. I decided to go country driving! We did that a lot while I was growing up. So I loaded up the kids and we went for a drive. I think one of the best ways to remember who you are is to take a look at where you’re from.

We drove down the muddy gravel road where I grew up. As we passed the spot where my first home was, I saw where I had my first swingset. It was a gift for my fourth birthday! I remembered sitting, waiting for my dad to hang the swing, so I could jump on. In the same yard was a place where we had a cistern. I dropped the truck keys down there! My parents seemed annoyed, trying to untwist a metal coat hanger to retrieve the keys, while I crouched down looking through the hole at the water. We had pet ducks and rabbits. I loved chasing them around that yard! I named my duck, Donald!

As we went a little further, I thought of riding with my dad in his pickup truck. It was dusty and the windows were down. Our two hound dogs were in the back, their big ears flapping in the wind. I was trying to figure out what the word doubt meant. Why would I remember that!

We passed what was once my grandparents manor-like home. The pool I learned to swim in is gone. The new homeowners filled it in. It looks the same. I don’t have a lot of warm memories there.

Next, my dad’s home where I lived from first grade until I was married. The oak trees that were little twigs when we planted them are great big beautiful trees now. I used to drag buckets of water all over the yard every night to water them. My dad and his girlfriend are at work, so we drive on. Lots of memories flood my head.

I drove some of my old school bus route for my kids to see. We ended up in Odessa. The kids got a kick seeing my old school! My first grader loved it when I showed her my first grade room. I loved my spiral notebook. It had Holly Hobby on it and said Please be patient, God isn’t finished with me yet”. I thought of my friend Elizabeth, we were in that class together. I cried for her, I cried for me. Life has taken us through so much since we became friends in first grade.

Before we left town I had to drive by my Grandma’s trailer park. When we got there I was horrified. It used to be full of cute old lady trailors with little manicured lawns. Now it is horribly run down and trashy. It sickened me to see it that way. My grandma’s lot was unrecognizable.

She was my great grandma and she practically raised me, I spent so much time at her house. I would go to spend the night and I’d end up staying a week. I’d walk to school from her house. I loved playing dress up with her old lady scarves with their old lady smell. I have one I keep in a ziplock bag to try to preserve that smell. Once in a while I get it out and touch it and smell it and cry. When I was a teenager, I still slept in bed with grandma. She always had to put on one of her nice polyester suits and powder and lipstick if she left the house. I had instant oatmeal, Maple and Brown sugar flavor, every morning. She kept Chef-BoyArdee ravioli and orange sherbert and Totinos pizza stocked up for me. I went to the First Baptist Church with her on Sundays. I learned that Jesus loved me and ladies sit with their ankles crossed. I loved digging through her purse for Certs or Velamints during the service. She died when I was 21, the same day I found out my parents were divorcing.

It’s time to go home. I am emotionally exhausted now!

Later that night James and I downloaded old country music, the kind I grew up listening to. We sipped wine and sang for four hours.I knew every word to every song! Don Williams, Johnny Cash and Alabama were my favorites. It was the perfect ending to my day! It seems I spent my 20’s breaking away from my past and making my own life but now in my 30’s my memories have become nostalgic.

When I look back, the Lord reminds me that His hand has always been upon me through the good, the bad and the downright ugly times in my life… He’s been there. At every age, in every memory, He’s there. Thankfulness wells up from within me and I remember the essence of who I am, above all else. I am the beloved daughter of the King! Nothing I do or don’t do will ever change that.

Jules

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4 responses to A look back

  1. Hey, found something we have in common. Gil & I like the same country music. Those are some of our favorites too. Amen to your last comments, we are both daughters to the King. I can also see where God has been with me through all my life. Thank you Lord.

  2. Sometimes I think we have to remember the past. Although sometimes it hurts, we learn and grow. We learn as we grow why people did things. I could’nt understand things till I was older, it takes time to grow up mentally. Life is what we make it, sometimes it’s to late, but with family love and understanding, and our Jesus, we always make it. Death can hurt so much, but with time and faith in God, we know we will see them again. Please don’t be sad, just love those around you and believe in God. With a nutty family like us, how in the world can you be sad. Never mind, maybe it is us.Ha Ha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Aunt Tootsie

  3. Julie, it’s funny, Tom and I drove by your old lot where the happenin’ trailer used to be. You can’t even tell there was ever anything there. The grass is high and trees are growing. It looks like part of the woods – it’s weird!

    We always reminisce when we drive by there. There’s where our first friendship memories were made! They are really precious ones!!

  4. I took the kids for a drive last week and showed it to the kids. It’s strange to see it look so “foresty”. Lots of good memories!

    Thank you Aunties.