thanksgiving heart prep

With only days until Thanksgiving, my heart is shifting in miraculous ways. So is our life. Life is shifting in miraculous ways, and I feel it over and over again at the most unexpected moments. The more I consciously still myself and concentrate on that shifting sensation, the more it expands. And it feels wonderful. Unpredictable, a little scary maybe, but wonderful. Long-whispered prayers are being answered for us, out of the blue.

At the same time, loss that we would never have predicted is carving big holes in our bones. Loved ones gone, loved ones missing. All our traditions and routines are cast in a new light, and it’s not always pretty. Of course the holiday season brings all of this center stage.

Life, despite loss, is thriving. This holiday season will be much different from last year. Just as last year was much different from the year before. It’s this brackish water where we’re always drawn to swim, this deep pool, warm and salty like tears. But clear and sparkling in the sun. Both.

Sometimes in bitter moments I wonder if life sends us pain to temper the joy, to keep us humble. But in my heart I believe the opposite: That life sends us joy to help us bounce back from pain. To give us good things to reach for, people to actively love, instead of crumbling in around ourselves.

The Not Always Lazy W, thelazyw, oklahoma

This week we did a pretty silly thing. On a whim of decluttering mania, owed in part to the recent snow storm (cabin fever makes us want to clean) but mostly to a summer’s worth of collecting and indulgent fake decorating, Handsome and I sold a bunch of our furniture and put even more in storage. Dishes, too. The downstairs front room is pretty much empty now, vacant and echo-y like we just moved in. Pacino the parrot loves the new acoustics.

And it turns out we’re hosting Thanksgiving! haha, Haha, see what I mean? Shifting. Life is shifting, but it mostly gives me this effervescent feeling in my belly, and it warms my heart. Let’s call it… Emotional champagne. Okay?

lazyw, The Not Always Lazy W

Maybe because I’m a Pisces? I don’t know. But this back-and-forth swimmy reality, this brackish-water awareness that life is both grief and joy, both profound loss and shocking, blinding relief, it pleases me deeply. The balance keeps me upright and in the moment. Anything is possible. Both thrilling and terrifying, every day holds the potential for very real miracles.

So I have learned to look neither too far ahead nor too far in the past, except to give thanks and ask for grace. This day, this exact moment, is more than enough. We are not alone, and no matter what happens we will be okay.

thelazyw, The Not Always Lazy W, oklahoma, faith, thanksgiving

dormancy and new life holding hands

Back to Thanksgiving prep! This weekend Handsome and I are recharging our batteries a bit. Hoping to spend some time with good friends and maybe our oldest daughter. Probably doing a little domestic rearranging, a little nest feathering. A lot of romancing.

As I type, the skies are bluish gray and pouring rain all over the golden trees and pale, dormant fields. Beats of thunder are rumbling gently. We are sipping perfect coffee and watching old episode of Rifle Man. Sifting though Pinterest boards to really zero in on Thanksgiving projects. Enduring the occasional outburst from our acoustic-loving parrot. Every moment is so full. Pressed to the edges with life.

Okay. Turkey Day.

If you’re like me you like to look around and see what the experts are doing to prepare for the holidays. I have found a handful of really stellar posts that have sent my hostess soul absolutely into the stratosphere! Please check these out, if you haven’t already…

  • King Arthur Flour offered a detailed outline of preparing the feast itself. Really detailed, practical, and customizable!
  • Speaking of detailed, of course, there is the queen of step-by-step, Oklahoma’s very own Pioneer Woman. This post from 2008 is great. And it’s illustrated!
  • Then the Nester wrote about hospitality and how she needed to offer it to herself first, to refill her well. Beautiful! Must read. I teared up a few times and craved a frothy coffee and decided that my newly emptied living room shall be decorated with all kinds of new texture. Go see for yourself.
  • Possibly my most beloved blogger, Edie, wrote an equally beautiful but more colorful post on her Thanksgiving prep. She always shares both the how-to and the why, and that’s why I appreciate her so much. My favorite part? Her admonition to cup our hands on the faces of our loved ones, make eye contact, and tell them thank you.

What treasures have you found to read? What’s happening in your heart this Thanksgiving? I hope you can see your blessings clearly, up close, and with the heavy weight of gratitude that also lifts your burdens. I hope you too can enjoy swimming in the bright, salty, brackish waters of life.

leaves

Happy weekend, friends! Much love from the Lazy W.

God has two dwellings.
One in heaven and the other
in a meek and thankful heart.
Izaak Walton
xoxoxoxo

 

5 things times 4 for Mama Kat

This week I am accepting Mama Kat’s fun invitation to write four lists of five things, following her prompts. I like lists. Let’s do this.

5 Things You Don’t Know About Me:

  1. I have broken my two top front teeth a total of at least nine separate times. It all started in about 3rd grade but has happened as recently as two years ago. I should totally tell you those stories sometime. Or not.
  2. I have two beautiful, smart, talented, loving daughters, ages 17 and 19. I write about them pretty scarcely but they are on my mind every minute of every day.
  3. I am the oldest of five kids, and my sweet parents had me when they were barely 16 years old. I have always been proud of their accomplishments, of how they raised a family so early and with such little preparation. As we all three age, I feel closer and closer to them. I have good friends who are nearer to their age than mine, and it helps me see my parents as people, not just parents.
  4. Our house is probably haunted.
  5. I am really, really, really afraid of frogs. It’s embarrassing. And we have a lot of frogs at the Lazy W. It’s awful.
teeny tiny green frog, the stuff of nightmares

teeny tiny green frog, the stuff of nightmares

 5 Things I’m Knowledgeable About:

  1. I can diagram any sentence, any day of the week, without compensation. I actually love doing it. Some people might correct your grammar while you are speaking; I will silently diagram your spoken sentences.
  2. Beethoven and Mozart are not unfamiliar to me on the piano. My favorite is Moonlight Sonata for its mournfulness.
  3. With a little encouragement I can change the oil in both a Camaro and a Jeep.
  4. Photosynthesis makes so much sense to me it’s ridiculous. All the mysteries in a garden are beautiful, meaningful, enticing poetry and I cannot get enough. And I am one week from the end of Master Gardener classes, yay! They have taught us a metric ton of good stuff there.
  5. Parrot behavior. I should probably write a book on it. Since little infant Pacino came to live with us almost 10 years ago (WOW) we have learned a lot through trial and error. The parrotish things we know to be true are close to what other people say, but I honestly think we know a bit extra. His vocabulary is exploding right now, by the way, which is fun. At last count he had mastery of 130+ words and phrases. Look out, world.
This was Pacino earlier tonight while I was just getting started. He helped me a lot b cuddling my arms and eating most of the tortilla chips I had out. Thanks, buddy.

This was Pacino earlier tonight while I was just getting started at the computer. He helped me a lot by cuddling and kissing my arms and then eating most of the tortilla chips I had put out. Thanks, buddy. Thanks for helping me avoid a few empty calories.

5 Things I Know Nothing About:

  1. Calculus. Also, wait… which math discipline comes right before calculus?
  2. Wrestling, both professional and normal wrestling, like at high school. Have no idea about it. Are they both fake, or what? But thanks to the Expendables movie I do know that it can cause something called “cauliflower ear.” I think my little brother really lucked out on that one.
  3. How to pronounce the brand name “Aeropostale.” This word makes me loopy. So when I find myself in that rare but inescapable situation where I need to say it aloud to someone, like maybe at a cool thrift store? I try to say it as fast as possible and under my breath. It never goes undetected, sadly, and that too is embarrassing.
  4. What the heck is the difference between megabyte, SEO, and the Cloud? Where did everyone learn this stuff? It was all just invented, right?
  5. How to make my eyebrows pretty. Just kill me.

 rp_january-plate-collage-with-sticker.jpg

5 Things I Believe:

  1. That your imagination is terrifyingly powerful. The places you allow your mind to wander and rest can (and most likely will) become the scenery of your reality. So be bold, be careful, and be positive with your thoughts.
  2. Names and titles matter. Use them with intention and loyalty.
  3. Running a few miles and drinking good, rich coffee every day truly makes me a friendlier, more energetic, more generous person. It’s just silly to mess with that routine.
  4. Love is more powerful than any emotion. It is more powerful than hate, bitterness, anger, sadness, anything. But Love has to be invited in, welcomed, and nurtured. It is more than a feeling; it is a mode of action and a thought process. A true force of nature. Made full, Love really can conquer all. I believe that in my bones.
  5. The moon has legit influence over us. I have been watching the moon phases for a few years now and believe whole heartedly that people, animals, and the garden and weather are all affected by the waxing and waning of this beautiful heavenly body.

haunted farm lazy w oklahoma ghost story

 

Thanks Mama Kat, that was fun! My list of “Things You Don’t Know About Me” could have been much longer, as could have the list of “Things I Know Nothing About.” But such is life. Thanks for stopping in, everyone! Now please tell me something about yourself using these prompts!

“Know Thyself.”
~Socrates
XOXOXOXO

Kat Bouska

http://www.mamakatslosinit.com/

worries melting like snowflakes

This morning Handsome and I crept outside for a later-than-usual Hot Tub Summit. The air was cold and gray, the sky already quilted white and releasing a slow, reluctant curtain of snowflakes. We soaked up both the cold and the heat and unbraided ourselves from sleep. With nowhere to go today and a blessedly short list of duties, we had a really easy time staying relaxed. Oklahoma weather teams have been preparing us all week for a snowfall today, maybe an inch. And while we never fully trust the forecast, we did get a little excited. If not for the cold (Handsome belongs only on the beach), then certainly for the unwritten excuse to hibernate. We are happily immersed in season two of Dexter right now. Plus, so much romance… We have lots of ways to pass the time.

While we were sitting in the steaming froth I watched several fat, lazy snowflakes flirt in circles in the cold air around us. They melted easily, even before touching our skin. The steam probably dissolved them. I closed my eyes and took a silent inventory of all the little dagger-shaped worries that have bothered me this week. So many small, panicky moments, so many sudden fears piercing my happiness. Mostly what-if thoughts about my children.

Phantom worries that never came to fruition.

I am so lucky to be nourished by crystal-clear scripture, good literature, the best of friends, and more than my fair share of Love. Basically, grace. Loads and loads of grace. Had those dagger-shaped thoughts landed on a cold heart they might have stuck. They might have pierced me through and drained me of all my life. But instead, they fell over and over again on a warm, healthy place. They melted before they really touched me.

I have nothing against the snow. It’s beautiful and muffled and rare. It is infinitely more pleasurable that ice, after all, so when we get a blanket of the magical stuff I don’t mind celebrating it. I especially don’t mind hibernating with my handsome husband.

In the hours since this morning’s hot tub magic, we have received much more than the single inch the weather folks predicted. The farm is heavily snowed under, thick piles of it everywhere. But the message is still clear to me: Tiny worries melt quickly in the heat of faith and Love. They can pile up too, if we let them.

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Please forgive my mixed metaphors, friends.

More importantly, feed your faith. Nourish you heart and keep it warm. Stay healthy and receptive to the best of things. It helps you resist worry. It helps you stay whole.

Signing off to count my blessings and go watch a baby llama play in the snow.

Thank you for stopping in, friends.
Much love and many melted snowflakes to you.
XOXOXOXO

cranberry-almond biscotti

Friends, I am once again in love with a new cookie. A biscotti, to be exact. Cranberry-almond biscotti. I recently found this recipe in an old, worn out issue of Food & Wine magazine and couldn’t wait to try it. Because, while every other woman in the civilized world is fawning over pumpkin this and pumpkin that, I’m just not that grooved by it. I have maybe two pumpkin recipes in the whole universe that I like enough to bake myself, and that’s it. But cranberry-almond? Whisper it to me. Press it into my arms. Leave it in small, neatly wrapped packages where I will least expect it. I looooooove anything cranberry-almond, and I don’t care who knows it. Anyway.

lazyw, recipes, oklahoma, food and wine magazine, biscotti, cranberry almond, cookies

cranberry-almond biscotti

The word biscotti actually means twice-cooked in Italian. It’s interchangeable for cantuccini, or coffee-bread. Perfect! Because really good, dense, stale biscotti tastes amazing soaked in hot coffee. So good. People also dunk it in sweet wine for an elegant, late night dessert. Apparently biscotti is meant to have nuts in it, particularly almonds. So for me this makes life worth living.

I’ve toyed around with double-baking regular cookie recipes before, like chocolate chip, and it turns out okay. But really without the almonds it’s just not the same. It lacks the important crunch. Also, the dough recipe here has far less sugar and butter than standard cookie recipes. It seems like a great base to play with later. Exciting!

Okay. The ingredients here are simple. I only needed to buy one new item, almond extract, and it promises to be useful all winter long. Totally worth a few bucks.

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar (see what  mean?)
3 Tablespoons butter, melted & cooled
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup almonds, coarsely chopped (1 baggie…I used the slivered ones)

cranberry almond biscotti

 

Method:

1. Melt the butter to browned stage and remove to a cup so it can cool. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare one baking sheet with parchment paper. 

2. In one largeish bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. In another bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar at medium speed for a few minutes until the mixture is pale and creamy. Add to this the butter and almond extract. Inhale the perfumy goodness. Pour the smooth egg mixture over the dry ingredients and stir with wooden spoon till well combined. Now stir in the almonds and dried cranberries. (By the way, aren’t these delish? Way better than raisins. Yum.)

3. Flour your hands a bit then mash up the dough really well, massage it into a consistent ball and divide into two logs. Shape them to about ten inches long, flatten them, and arrange parallel to each other on the parchment-paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, to golden color. Allow to cool slightly. 

4. When slightly cool, use a sharp serrated knife to slice logs on the diagonal into half-inch slices. Turn these slices on their sides, cut sides down, and bake once more for about 10 minutes. Now let them cool completely.

5. With great anticipation, plan which hot beverage you will use to soften these treasures before placing them on your grateful tongue. I strongly recommend French roast coffee with heavy cream, no sugar. 

cranberry almond biscotti

 cranberry almond biscotti

cranberry almond biscotti

cranberry almond biscotti

Okay, have I tempted you to try this? If you’re not a fan of dried cranberries, then just sub in chunks of dark chocolate. Or maybe trade slivered almonds for pistachios? How else could be dress up this twice-baked adventure? I am pretty excited to play around with it.

Now please excuse me while I dunk one more slice of this manna straight from heaven into my last mug of perfect coffee for the day. We are huddled up at the farm, waiting for the season’s first snowfall.

How are you spending your Sunday? What new cookies have you tried lately? Do you agree with my distaste for most things pumpkin, or am I the weird one here?

Feed your body, feed your soul.
XOXOXOXO

garden boot camp

Hello again! I am so glad you stopped in today. I have lots of farm stories, recipes, and even crafts to post, but while I have a minute I am quickly sharing a great gift idea for the gardeners in your life. Particularly the Oklahoma gardeners. It’s more than just new rubberized gloves or even rare seeds; it’s the gift of knowledge that will inspire and inform the plant-loving devotees in your life.

Oklahoma Country Master Gardeners hosts garden boot camp in January.

Oklahoma Country Master Gardeners hosts garden boot camp in January.

Every winter the Oklahoma County Extension hosts a Gardening Bootcamp for locals to attend and bone up on their growing skills. For just $40 you (or your Mom or your best friend or your Grandpa or your neighbor) can enjoy a hefty dose of the expertise, guidance, and inspiration of Master Gardeners without making the full semester and volunteer hours commitment. The boot camp is for three consecutive Saturdays, all in the dead of winter while your planning, plotting, chlorophyll-craving brain is in restless overdrive. Perfect!

I will have finished the Master Gardeners classes by then, and will possibly be in the full swing of answering phones at the Extension office. But I am still considering attending this boot camp as well as Schroeder Wilson’s Geek School (more on that later). How much knowledge is too much, anyway? The folks who host these events are just wonderful. Smart, funny, generous, and passionate about their craft. I know that your $40 will be well spent, as will your precious Saturday time.

morning glories w cicero quote

So sign yourself up! Or purchase a reservation for a gardening loved one. Print off the flyer up top, and give it as a Christmas gift with those rubberized gloves or rare seeds. How perfect. What gardener, young or old, new or seasoned, wouldn’t appreciate that?

Okay. On to adding a hundred cotton layers to myself before another round of outdoor chores. Oklahoma winter has certainly arrived. Happy Thursday friends!

“If you have a garden and a library,
you have everything you need.”
~Cicero
XOXOXOXO

 

 

 

 

 

 

happy veterans’ day to my brother

Hello, friends! Thanks for stopping in. I’m taking a minute to wish someone very special a happy Veterans’ Day. He is by coincidence visiting his California home for a few days right now, in the middle of a long deployment. I hope he can feel this little written hug across the miles.

 

My first little brother is Joey. Joseph, really, to the known adult world. I was about six when he was born and for much of our lives people have mistaken us for twins. He has always been a wonderful little brother. I love him so much.

That's me holding Joey and our sweet sister Angela. Before we ever knew there would be a Genny or a Phil. xoxo

That’s me holding Joey and our sweet sister Angela holding his hand. This was before we ever knew there would be a Genny or a Phil. xoxo Three cheers for calico!

 

Joey grew up smart and strong and married the most amazing woman, Halee. I happened to be hanging out with him the day after their first date, and I will never forget how he could not stop talking about her.They fell madly in love and she fit right into the family, effortlessly. In the years since Halee has become much more than a sister-in-law to me; she is one of my closest friends. She and I have had countless conversations about being married to strong, career-minded men. It’s a gift for which I am grateful, and I know her husband appreciates her support. I think the two of them are a great portrait of teamwork in marriage. They display the beauty of complementing strengths and of having a united front, skills they have needed through one deployment or job change or relocation after another.

This photo was taken in 2009 at a Navy ball. I love seeing Joey in uniform and Halee in formals! Such a gorgeous, loving couple.

This photo was taken in 2009 at a Navy ball. I love seeing Joey in uniform and Halee in formals! Such a gorgeous, loving couple.

Together they gave us all an amazing little nephew to love. Greg is a cutie who as a toddler ate his first bite of watermelon here at the farm. Then a couple of years later we were walking in the back field and he suddenly jumped into our pond, with zero warning! No problem, it was like three inches deep there. He was fine and we all laughed and laughed.

Oh, Greg. I am crazy about anyone who takes their watermelon this seriously.

Oh, Greg. I am crazy about anyone who takes their watermelon this seriously. And, friends, look at his face and try to not see his daddy. I know!

 

Since college Joey and Halee have been building an incredible life together, mostly revolving around the United States Navy. They have made one difficult decision after another, weighing options and opportunities, trying to see into the future and know ahead of time what is best for each other and their little family. For all of us, really, because no matter the distance, whether stationed in Japan or Africa or Florida or San Diego, no matter the weight of responsibility, they have always stayed closely knitted to family here in Oklahoma. They have been determined to not only meet their obligations but exceed them. And now Joe (that is really hard for me to do, not call him Joey) is now an accomplished Navy officer. A Lieutenant Commander to be exact, working as an engineer and a Diving Officer, currently stationed in Japan.

hoey bw dive

I won’t pretend to know everything this life path has cost you, Joey, but I hope it has brought you at least as much reward.  And I hope you feel loved and appreciated for everything you do, day to day, year after year. You are pretty quiet and humble about your military career, as it should be I suppose. But do you still know how proud we all are of you? How thankful we are for the example you are setting for the next generation, and for the work you do for this one? When you and I do get the chance to sit and talk, I treasure every minute. I see you as the blonde headed little boy in grade school, constantly playing Legos, and I see my infant brother who once stayed overnight in the hospital with an IV in his scalp. I see the teenaged boy amazed to see his tiny niece for the first time and the college student who still found time to come home for birthday and Halloween parties.

Happy Veterans’ Day to you, Joe, to your colleagues, and to Halee and Greg who are the closest members of your team. You are loved. You are admired. You are appreciated for your sacrifice and devotion. Stay safe and happy!

With so much love,
Your fake twin sister
xoxoxoxo

 

Thanks again for stopping in and reading, friends! If you or someone you love is a military vet, consider yourselves hugged and thanked by the Lazy W. xoxo

magical, grateful november day

What a gorgeous, sparkling-sunshine afternoon. I feel the magic of November all around me. And several hours stretch between right now and the next hectic time, so I want to frame this moment. Before I ask for anything else, before I think of what’s coming around the bend, I want to give thanks and breathe deeply the Love that has already been offered.

nov 9 porchnov 9 fall bordernov 9 aging crepe myrtlesnov 9 travel pecan treenov 9 dormant sunflowersnov 9 brilliant maple

A quiet walk around the farm is stunning right now. The colors, textures, and easy sounds of autumn intoxicate me. And our life is so combed through with mercy, I feel the need to pause and take stock more often. The weight of uncounted blessings is wonderful and keeps me conscious. Keeps me wide-eyed and in the moment.

We all have big problems and we all have heartache that has been sapping our strength for so long we almost can’t remember what life was like without it. But maybe just for today, lay it down. Maybe just for today, allow the particular beauty and magic of November to refresh you.

Just look around and see how beautiful life is, just exactly as it is, right this minute. Be content with your abundant blessings. Let yourself feel overwhelmed by beauty. Be stirred by the mystery of things you could never accomplish on your own.

And tomorrow, or whenever you have to deal with reality again, your soul will be refreshed.

“Gratitude is the memory of the heart.”
~Jean Baptiste Massieu
XOXOXOXO

12 lines for mama kat

Oh, Mama Kat. Brevity is not my strong suit, so thank you for the challenge to write an entire post in twelve lines. May I include photos, too? And does this into paragraph count? Hoping not.

1. The Lazy W Honeymakers have a couple of challenges but are overall thriving.
2. I recently found both queens and am winterizing the hives.

bees

3. The campus gardens keep me going during long lectures in Master gardener class.
4. My own gardens are also doing great but will be so pretty next year!

garden

5. My baby isn’t a baby anymore.
6. But she still has the same sparkly eyes and my heart still leaps when I see her happy.

joc

7. I’m rethinking pesticides.
8. Please tell me your thoughts, and I’ll write a post on it soon.

poisons

9. Time to gather supplies for indoor winter bulb forcing!
10. For me it includes pretty vessels, bulbs, and Moo Poo tea for excellent hydration.

bulbs

11. I love these sidewalk koi.
12. And I love New Orleans, which I where I saw them.

koi edited

Whew! That was not easy. Please feel free to email for more details. Nobody tell Mama Kat.

The End.
XOXOXO

marathon monday: november is a new season

It pains me to admit this, but I have been making every excuse under the sun for not running regularly. I’ll squeeze in three or four miles here and there, maybe six miles once in a blue moon, and I always feel better afterward. It’s so refreshing, mentally and physically! But this early autumn has been busy around the farm and just in life, and my heart is in more important places than the running trail. The paradox, of course, is how much running actually helps every other part of life. So neglecting my miles can have a gradually negative effect on other things.

Anyway.

Back to the grind, happily.

To start this month off right, Handsome and I threw a really fun bonfire party here on Saturday night. Right before our first friends were set to arrive I flung myself out to the back field for one single, solitary 8-minute mile. It was short and sudden, just long enough to shake up my energy for some fun. I’m not proud of one mile, but at least I didn’t let the first day of November slip by with a goose egg.

running, pile on the miles, lazy w, marathon training, run eat repeat

 

Today was much better. I lifted a few baby weights then got outside in the blustery Oklahoma weather for six miles. I am feeling way more motivated, very happy to reconnect with how spending energy creates more energy. Happy to enjoy the cool temperatures. Happy to make the sweaty most out of shorter daylight hours. AND thrilled to participate in a fun new running challenge!

The Monican over at RUN EAT REPEAT (my most favorite running blog ever) is hosting a thing called “Pile on the Miles” for all of November. She’s encouraging people to pile on the miles before piling on the calories at Thanksgiving, and she’s giving away tons of prizes along the way.

And I groove it. I love well contained, focused, manageable projects like this, and gearing up my cardio before winter sets in? It’s just plain smart.

Run Eat Repeat, running, Pile on the Miles

The Monican! She is totally bringing braids back.

My goal for November is 8o miles. So, 73 to go. Finally a realistic short term goal!

Care to join us? Click over to The Monican’s site and you’ll be able to enter to win all kinds of runner-focused prizes all month long.

rp_xo-running.jpg

 

Are you grabbing any miles lately? Will you join the pile on fun?

“Running is nothing more than a series of arguments
between the part of your brain that wants to stop
and the part that wants to keep going.”

~unknown
XOXOXO

 

haunted farm (part 3)

haunted farm part one

haunted farm part two

 

So each of us had slept through the night believing the other had crept into bed (or couch) with us. Each of us had different tactile experiences then feelings of peace and reconciliation (maybe even victory). Finally, we both woke up the next morning to realize we had actually slept alone and were technically still in the middle of a marital standoff. Those next several hours of radio silence between us probably ramped up our anxiety but also helped us crystallize our questions. We eventually compared notes and formed a picture, a timeline, of all the strange things that had transpired. It was by far the most spiritually unsettling thing that had ever happened to us as a couple, and it caused us to hug pretty tight that evening.

********************

This series of strange events is hard to understand, even for people like us who aren’t bothered by the occasional bump in the night or playful relocation of small objects in the house. Handsome and I tend to relish in ghost stories and have no trouble believing in all kinds of stuff. But this was different. Parts of it felt aggressive, negative, and deceptive. We both felt watched and manipulated, and it just wasn’t funny. Depending on your spiritual leanings, these encounters might make more sense in the context of what happened that spring.

In early March of that year, we were pulling up to the farm late at night and discovered a pickup truck flipped over, badly crashed, its driver having been thrown through the glass and lying still on the road in front of our farm. He did not live. It was a deeply troubling, violent sight, something I will never forget. My husband dealt with the emergency responders all night. I called my Mom and cried and cried, sobbed really. It was truly the saddest thing I’d ever seen and the sadness clung to us for a while afterward. I couldn’t get over the image of this man dying so badly, alone until the very last minute when Handsome held his head and spoke to him.

I wrote about it in detail that year, you can click on part three right here, but for the purposes of today’s story, I just want to tell you that I attended the man’s funeral. I met some of his sweet family who obviously loved him so much, and I saw a beautiful photo slideshow of his life, enjoyed a deep drink of the love he had been pouring out for decades. I saw what he looked like in life: Tall, broad shouldered, a shock of white hair. Friends, and I do not say this lightly, the vision I saw in the dining room window was very similar, frighteningly similar, to the image of the man I saw at that funeral.

***************

It took us a long time to connect these dots. Actually, it took us a long time to even talk to our friends about that night we fought and had separate bizarre encounters. But when we finally did, when we had some distance and perspective and rolled around ideas of what might be happening, it struck like lightning. I instantly understood at least part of the presence in our home.

I wasn’t the least bit afraid of the man then. And I’m not now. I don’t think he had anything to do with us fighting or with the mood of separation in our home that week. I think now that he actually played some part in making both Handsome and me feel reconnected to each other.

Something else was causing us to bicker and act childishly, or to be more precise, we both chose to succumb to that weight. There was definitely a dark, heavy cloud over us for a time. But something else, possibly a spirit? or possibly just Love manifesting in ways we’d never seen before? …was helping us each feel our spouse’s closeness despite our bad behavior.

Do you think I’m crazy yet? Or… even crazier than you already thought I was? That’s okay. I know everyone has a unique temperature on these matters, and even inside my own head I don’t have everything quite worked out. But I know how I feel, and I feel at peace with all of it.

sunset blue

 

Soon after we reconciled (in the daylight, eyes wide open!), Handsome and I took steps to sort of cleanse the entire property and dismiss negative spirits and energy. We believe in the power of Love and words and prayer, and we are very focused on having a positive environment here. Since that super bizarre night, we are happy to say that nothing remotely like that has happened again.

Unless you count Sasquatch sightings in the Pine Forest.

Until next time, thanks for reading!!

Have you ever experienced a true ghost story? Do you believe spirits can manipulate you emotionally? Are you shaking your head at me now, wondering why you ever started reading my blog in the first place?

XOXOXOXO