Scenes From a Winter’s Run

Scenes From a Winter's Run

I laced up my sneakers and wondered if I’d fall on my ass. I’m not a stranger to falling on my ass! But, hey…so far I’ve gotten up every damn time so I guess I don’t need Med-Alert…yet. It was still snowing when I opened the door and the girls (my dogs, Maggie and Danica) beat me outside.

I’m training for a St Patrick’s Day five-miler. I’ve gotten rusty. But there is no time like the present to start getting in shape. So off I go on a slow gallop in the snow. (slow is normal for me..whether rusty or not) The first mile is always the hardest. My legs are screaming bloody- murder, my lungs heaving heavily…(not my boobs..they stay still) and my mind is cussing the hell out of myself. The key is to not stop even though every fiber within your body is telling you to do just that. Ignore it! I didn’t say it was easy. If it were easy everyone would be doing it…right? Well…that’s what I keep telling my cursing mind! Eventually almost every body part settles into the motion and gets into the groove. The mind continues to nag but only a little.

Good news! The traction on the snow covered road was pretty decent so I was able to skip the falling on my ass part. Yay me! When it was all said and done I was able to get in about two miles. The girls were waiting for me with wagging tails as I trudged up the driveway. We went inside and all collapsed, they on their beds and me on the couch.

I feel compelled to always have a moral or lesson to these short snippets of writing but for the hell of me I can’t think of any today. Is that called writer’s block or just a numb-dumb mind? Who’s to say…but I don’t like it much! Oh well…the moral of today’s snippet…I guess you could say that sometimes there is no moral…and no lesson. It’s just life so get out there and do it. (smile)

“Close the Damn, Door!”

“Close the Damn Door!”

“Close the Damn Door…were you raised in a barn!  You’re lettif59706a70cd18bf085d840193c4d6ab6ng out all the heat!”

Have you ever heard that one?  I have and many times growing up.  We lived in a one-bedroom house heated by a wood-stove so closed doors were a must in the winter.  However, let me be sure to make one thing clear:  I’ve never heard my Mama say even one cuss word!  I chose to put the “Damn” in for dramatic purposes only. 

Today I’ve been thinking about closed doors.  Closed doors seem bad because they keep us from some opportunity we deem important in our lives.   If only I aced the job interview and had gotten the job!  Ouch…that closed door hurts!  If only the lottery ticket I purchased from the 7-11 was a winner!  I could have done so much with that money and my life would be better!  BAM! The damn door was closed and someone else got the dough!  Ouch! 

Thinking along these lines I recall four times the door slammed painfully shut in my life.

The first door closed to me was early in my life when I was only child of five.  I lived two doors down from Dad on the same red dead- end dirt road. I found myself outside his door calling, “Daddy…daddy….daddy….”  The door never opened and I felt hurt and rejection. 

The door of wealth was closed slam shut!  As we use to say, closed as tight as a tick! (I have no idea what this means…will have to google it when I finish writing)  We were poor and survived on the sole income of our Mother.   Not that we were destitute, my no stretch of the imagination but by the end of the month the money was scarce as was the food, clothes and supplies.    I was ashamed of my clothes, my house, and dreaded going to the neighbors to borrow a cup of this or a cup of that. 

The third door closed to me was the opportunity to be by my Mama’s side when she took her last breath.  The last day of her life, Virginia witnessed a late snow storm in early April.  My hotel room was an hour away via very curvy mountain roads.  I made the decision the leave early in order the maneuver my vehicle upon the slippery roads.  That night at 9:10 I received a call informing me my Mama had taken her last breath.  I was devastated because I so wanted to be with her.  I did not want her to die alone.   I’m tormented with thoughts of her being alone and I wonder if she passed in peace.  Of course the nurses assure you of the fact…but still I wonder. 

After My Mama’s death emptiness became my life.  I felt alone and welcomed the prospect of a new friend in my life.  However, for some reason, that door was shut.  The rejection hurt and I couldn’t understand why? 

My Dad’s closed door prepared me so I would know how it felt on the other side.    My Dad suffered from depression and it was passed on to me.  I do have days when I hear the knock but can’t bring myself to answer the door.  No matter whom it may hurt. 

Growing up poor taught me appreciation, empathy and the desire to make a change in someone’s life.

I still don’t know what I’ve learned from not being at my Mom’s side…but one day I will know.  Perhaps she will tell me. 

Relationships can be toxic and sometimes it’s best to close the door…even if it hurts.

And so…on pondering closed doors…I’ve come to believe that they are closed for a reason.  Whether we believe it from God or Fate it’s good to give thanks for closed doors even when we don’t understand.  So today as walk the path I am conscious of my ignorance and it’s with Grace in mind that I pray:  God….please close the damn door!  

Luna The Wonder Kitty!

Here kitty, kitty, kitty.  Where oh where is my sweet little kitty?  Kitty…kitty…kitty….



Trustingly, my Grand kitty, Luna heeds her Grandma and crawels into my arms. HA…Worked again!  Got her!  I gently cuddle her to my breast and stroke under her chin as reward.  Little does my girl know…but it’s time for her visit to the Vet.  My fellow pet owners can sympathize for they know the horrors of crating a cat and hauling them off in the automobile.  Let’s just say it can become the Wild Kingdom right in your Living Room and Mutual of Omaha can’t and won’t do anything to help you!  (Ok…I’m dating myself…I wonder how many will get it)

Anyway…I opt to omit the crate and slide her into my vest instead.  Luna’s a petite little thing but she rules our roost of two huge dogs and one big orange Tom cat.  No holds barred and no doubt about!   She is Ms. Wonder Kitty of the Hardy/Replogle abode.  Don’t let her cute outer exterior fool you…underneath that fur she’s a LIONESS!  A lioness ready to take over for The Lion King!  Rafiki would have little trouble convincing her to do her “THANG!”  Hakuna Matata  is her motto indeed!

Today, however, the wildcat disappeared and the kitten showed her cute little face.  Poor baby was scared to go see the mean ole Doctor.  Big vicious Doctor that she is! (Actually she’s a wee-little lass…very sweet, gentle and soft spoken and takes such great care of our fur babies.)

Tucked away under my vest, Luna covered her face within my warmth and hunkered down for the worse.  Bless her heart she road cuddled to my chest the whole way (of course we’re only 5 minutes away for our nice sweet Vet people).  Once inside and in the room Luna hid her face and I was amazed at the transformation from she-devil cat to the little pussy she was being!   Change her environment and WHAM what a sweet little puddy tat!

Aren’t we all like that?  Well, maybe not everyone, but introverts…probably so!  In fact truth be known I bet even the biggest extrovert feels a little uncomfortable in a strange and unusual environment.   Claiming myself an introvert I attest to the fact that change and strange and unusual environments rocks my boat to the bottom of the ocean! So much so that once again I become that four year old waif cowering and hiding behind my Mama’s skirt!  And so became Luna.   Feeling anxious and afraid she sought with all of her body to be next to something familiar.  Her Grandma!  I confess…I absolutely loved it!  I loved the trust and confidence she placed within me during her time of fright.   But at the same time my heart hurt because of the fear she was suffering.   I wished with all my heart I could see Luna the she-devil swatting the dogs and chasing Morris, our Tom, away from their kitty castle!

The doctor came and the doctor went and Luna survived her visit…shot and all.  All the way home she snuggled into my vest, quivering silently.  The door to her abode opened and instantly she leaped from my arms and assumed her position as Queen of her castle. I swear it was like watching the transformation from Dianna to Wonder Woman!  Once again she was strutting her stuff and all the bad and fear was gone….forgotten.

Oh how I would love to perform a “Luna.”   To have the ability to just forget all the bad and fearful things!    I envy her!  There are so many choices and decisions I’ve made through the years that haunt me every day.  There is that sound….that rips at my heart…that cry I hear in the quiet or that look of hopeless despair ingrained upon the screen in my mind.  Would to God I could perform a “Luna” and swirl myself around and have all of those haunts erased from my heart and mind.  However, as hard as I try no amount of magical spinning can take it away.  It just doesn’t work.   No…the memories and fear lingers and nags until it occupies my mind wreaking havoc and stress upon my emotions.   I have learned the art of self-talk.  You know, repeating positive mantras to fade the memory and ease the pain and guilt.  Sometimes it helps but more often than not it doesn’t.  The only thing that helps is to actually embrace the pain and let it hurt.  Let the pain do its work but only for so long.  I let it have its way for a while for I feel it’s least I can do.    After its run its course I pick myself up, dust off my pants, push back my hair, square my shoulders and face my day.  What else can we do?  We can’t deny our past…we can’t erase it; therefore I’ve learned to accept it and to let it hurt and then to let it go and to live my life!  You know….Let Go and Let God.  So here’s to my Luna…My Wonder-Kitty!  May I be more like her!

There Are Weirdo’s in the Bible!

There are many weirdo’s in the Bible.  I’ve been pondering this concept as I sit in my chair listening to the birds outside my window. It’s snowing outside and everything is being laid to rest with a clean white blanket.  I love that clean white blanket because it covers up homeless_man_cuddling_dog_0the ugliness and dirt of the previous melting snow.  Most of us enjoy beauty as opposed to ugliness.  So a fresh coat of snow is just what the doctor ordered for these sleepy eyes.  Did I say I had coffee….hmmmm….guess that goes without saying?   Coffee, a seat by the window, a light dusting of snow, birds chirping in the tangled branches and warm puppy snores at my feet.  Who could ask for a better morning!   And yet I sit here in my comfort and ponder ugliness.  I ponder the dirt under the white, hungry cold birds foraging in the snow, and the half empty cup of lukewarm coffee by my side.    Sometimes we just see ugly.  I think its human nature.  Now what does seeing ugly have to do with weirdoes in the Bible?    It’s simple we naturally consider weirdo’s to be strange, ugly and to coin a phrase “queer”.

Take for example good ole Noah!  I mean how much weirder can you be than to build a massive boat upon an Earth that had never felt one drop of rain and then to end up drunk and naked in his tent.   Is it a wonder that he was mocked and ridiculed even by his own son?  Then there’s Moses who was a weak coward and couldn’t even manage to string two words together without stammering, and yet, albeit timidly, thought he could go before the pharaoh of Egypt and lead his people out of bondage.  Oh my God, let’s not forget about Abraham who at approximately 116 years old believed he could impregnate his wife Sarah of 90 to become a great nation!  I mean, come on people…Can you possibly get any dumber than that?  Oops …spoke too soon there is dumber.  There once was a little boy named David who thought himself able to take down a nine foot giant warrior with a handful of stones and a leather strap!  I guess we should give him some slack since he was young and the young do tend to think in grandiose ways.  Okay….so I won’t pick on David but the others…they’re weirdo’s!  There no “ifs” “ands” or “buts” about it.   A bunch of oddballs to be sure!

But I guess the biggest oddball from the Hebrew Scriptures would have to be Jesus Christ, himself.  He was homeless according to Luke 9:58 He himself even admits, “Foxes have lurking holes and the birds of the air have roosts and nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.”    Not only was he homeless but “many said…He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear him.” “… and they say, Behold, a glutton and a wine drinker, a friend of tax collectors and [[a]especially wicked] sinners!”   Even Isaiah a great prophet from the Old Testament likened Jesus to, “a scrawny seedling,    a scrubby plant in a parched field.” Furthermore he went on to say, “There was nothing attractive about him,    nothing to cause us to take a second look.  He was looked down on and passed over,    a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand.  One look at him and people turned away.    We looked down on him, thought he was scum.”  (Isaiah 53:2)

With all the thoughts in my head I glance out the window and notice the snow has stopped but not until it completed its work to make the world look new and clean.  Also the birds have found their seed and settled within their nest content with full little bellies.   My Keurig beckons with promises of hot magic liquid to replace the lukewarm in my cup.  Responding to its call I struggle out of my chair and catch a glimpse of my reflection in the window and notice the oddball looking back at me and I have to laugh!

They say the Bible is a looking glass or a mirror, if you will, that reveals our truest of natures.  And then it hit me like a ton of bricks!  I had been seeing myself in the Weirdo’s that live within the pages of the Holy Book.  Hmmm….lets  see if I can do this justice…  Okay first of all there was Noah who had been mocked and ridiculed. Yep, been there and done that.  I won’t mention the drunk and naked aspect…some things should be left unsaid.   Then Moses came along with his cowardice and stuttering’s and I see myself as the red-face stuttering girl trying to talk in class.  Old timer, Abraham, came up next and I realize that most of life has been lived and I’m getting older every day.  And then there’s little David with his rocks facing the giant and I look to see what’s in my hand, nothing, and I wonder what good I can do.  And last of all there is Jesus who was nothing pretty to look upon, homeless, crazy and who hung out with outcast and oddballs of his day.  From His example I learn acceptance and my heart is happy.   I pause to thank God for the ugly.  I realize if not for the ugly in our lives we would never really know true beauty.  It’s in our ugliness we learn and we grow and we mature and become better human beings.  Noah did indeed build his boat that rescued not only man but animals of which I am fond.  Moses parted the Red Sea and his people walked on dry ground.  Abraham and Sarah had Isaac and the Jewish nation was born.  David killed Goliath and became a king.  Jesus laid down his life on an old rugged cross and saved a world!  Now I wonder what He’s going to do through me!  How exciting!   I’m glad the Bible is full of weirdo’s for it’s in them that I see myself!