Home and Family (Part 1)

The feeling of belonging there was overwhelming.  I felt like I was home for the first time.

Hello dear reader.

I had a topic in mind for today, but then I read a post called Home is Where the Heart Lies on a blog called Wayward Scribbles. It brought up a ton of thoughts and memories. So the other topic will have to wait for another day. Naveena Shruthi, AKA Nathi, got my inspirational juices flowing.

I lived in the Northeast part of the country (Connecticut) until I was 13, at which time my mother and stepfather (for reasons I still can’t fathom) moved our family to the deep South (Louisiana). I dealt with severe culture shock. Everything was completely different. For example, I learned about the Civil war in school in Connecticut. I was taught when it happened and the basics of why. It was history, like the Revolutionary war. When I moved to Louisiana I discovered that for a lot of people there the Civil war had never ended. People actually disliked me (to put it mildly) because I was a “yankee” from the North. They flew rebel flags and had bumper stickers reading, “The South’s gonna rise again!” What was considered polite was also different. I grew up calling adults Mr. or Mrs. last name. In the South, the polite way to address an adult was Ms. or Mr. first name. In the Northeast, saying “yes” or “no” (as opposed to “yeah” or “nope”) was polite. In the South, the polite response is “yes or no ma’am” or “yes or no sir.” I actually got paddled because a teacher asked me a question and I answered “Yes.” She responded, “Yes, what?” and I had no idea what she was asking me. I think the worst of all was when kids at school would gather around me and say, “Talk.” I usually responded with, “What do you want me to say?” at which everyone would laugh hysterically ay me.

Thirteen is a difficult age. The last thing you want to do is stand out. I was a laughing stock because of the way I talked and an enemy because of where I had come from. Teenagers tend to group up. There are the jocks, the nerds, the potheads, etc. There isn’t a group for “yankees” and I didn’t fit anywhere. It was lonely, confusing, and traumatic. I desperately needed a place where I felt safe and loved, but didn’t have one. Things at home were rough, to put it mildly. I didn’t feel safe or loved there either. Eventually I made a few friends and things got easier, but I never felt like I fit in Louisiana.

I got out a few times, but always got pulled back. My sister is the only one of my siblings that never left. My three brothers eventually got out and stayed out. 27 years after moving to Louisiana, I came to the Rocky Mountains to visit. It was incredible! The feeling of belonging there was overwhelming. I felt like I was home for the first time. During my 24 hour visit, one afternoon to the next, I rented a house. I went back to Louisiana for a month to prepare for the move and was homesick the entire time. A week before my 40th birthday I moved with my husband (at the time) and my youngest two children to a tiny village in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado called Twin Lakes. I didn’t know a soul. I got a job in the General Store/Post Office in the village and began attending church in the closest town (Leadville) and quickly made several friends. Finally, after all my years of feeling like I didn’t belong anywhere, I was home.

This is turning out to be a longer story than I meant for it to (imagine that!) so I think I’ll continue it tomorrow. Have you ever felt like an outsider? Have you ever found a place that you know was your home? There’s a comment box below where you can tell me your story. I’d love to hear it!

Until next time…

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My husband

I fell in love with St. George’s the first time I went there.

Hello dear reader.

Earlier this week I published a post called Finished. In it, I spoke briefly about my husband and said I would tell you more about him in another post. Well here’s that post 😊.

I want to start this story at the beginning, so it may take more than one post. We’ll see how it goes. Ready for an awesome love story? Here we go.

I met Tim very soon after moving to Colorado when I went to the ‘wrong’ church. I fell in love with St. George’s the first time I went there. All my life I’ve heard churches preach about feeding the poor, and helping people who needed help. St. George’s doesn’t preach it, they do it. I wanted to be a part of that. Anyway, I’m getting off on a tangent here. I’ll do a post about St. George’s another time.

Anyway, Tim and I both smoked cigarettes and after services we’d both be outside smoking. We spent a lot of time talking about a lot of things and developed a good friendship. Tim was 9 months sober at that time after struggling with alcoholism for most of his life. We talked about that a lot and I tried to encourage him in his sobriety.

I have to be honest with you. That’s a promise I made when I started this blog. Truthfully, I was very attracted to Tim the first time I saw him. But because I was married, I never acted on it. Tim also respected the fact I was married and never even flirted with me.

My marriage was on life support and I was trying very hard to save it. I was severely depressed and Tim made me laugh. I never talked to Tim about how bad my marriage was. I’ve always thought talking to someone of the opposite sex about problems in your marriage is a recipe for disaster. It never turns out good.

So Tim and I spent two years talking outside the church and getting to know each other, both of us knowing we weren’t going to be anything besides friends. I helped him with some things he was having trouble doing on the computer. He came to my house and cut up a bunch of wood (I paid him). The main source of heat in that house was the wood stove, so I was cutting up enough for each day myself with a bow saw. I was very thankful for the help.

We both got elected to the vestry at St. George’s the same year. I ended up having to go to Ohio for my first brain surgery. I was gone for three months. When I got back I was very excited to begin my work on the vestry. The day of the first meeting after I got back, the alternator in my car went out. I was so disappointed! Tim called to remind me about the meeting and make sure I was going. I had to tell him I couldn’t go because of my car. I lived about a half hour’s drive from the church and it was dumping snow, so I couldn’t walk there. Tim said he’d come get me because he knew how badly I wanted to go. He took me to the meeting and brought me straight home when it was over. Again, we never even flirted.

Two years after moving to Colorado, I finally pulled the plug on my marriage. Tim and I started dating shortly after. Everyone kept saying, “It’s about time you two got together!” They talked about seeing sparks between us.

Wow! This post got long fast! I’ll pick up where I left off tomorrow.

Until next time…