• Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 143 other followers

  • “Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers” — Isaac Asimov

  • Recent Posts

  • Pages

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Blog Stats

    • 167,782 hits

A Ghoulish Run

A month or two ago, I saw a promotion for a virtual run that was going to be hosted by Gone for a Run.

I knew I had to sign up…because I am Auburnchick…the one who runs for bling.

I tagged my friend, Rebecca, and suggested that we do it together.

She was all in and signed up too.

We set a date to run virtually together.  October 25.  She’d be on vacation, and I wouldn’t have to go in and teach teenagers that day because of an all-day meeting.

I received a text message around 2pm my time…

She was about to embark on her run.

Doesn’t she look awesome?!

Meanwhile, I was sitting in a meeting, doing the teacher-nerd thing…

I wanted to be outside so badly, but I knew that my turn would come.

I rushed home, changed clothes, and prepared to set out.

Rebecca texted me again.  She’d finished!  She sent me pictures to prove it.

Meanwhile, I queued up a podcast I’ve been listening to of late…

I’d loosely planned my route…halfway around my neighborhood, around my friend, M’s, and back to my neighborhood and around a couple of times.

A word about the run itself.

I’ve been doing walk/run intervals.  My BIG goal has been, for a year now, to run an entire 5k.  Because I do not train consistently, I haven’t achieved that yet.

I’ve been slowly increasing my run intervals and had gotten up to running 1.25 miles with .25-mile rests.  For some reason, when I exited M’s neighborhood, I’d hit two miles and thought, “Self, why don’t you try for three?  You’re over halfway there!”

And so my tired legs kept pumping, and I ran.

And ran.

And ran.

I did not stop until I got home.

Y’all, I ran 3.1 straight miles!!!!!

With the random exception of a couple of runs two years ago, I’ve never run (not walked) this far before!!!

Woo hoo!  Now, if I can do this in a real-life race, I’d be thrilled!

I sent my own selfies to Rebecca, and we celebrated together, several states away.

Forget Ghouls on the Run.  This race should have been titled “Girls on the Run.”

Love ya, Rebecca!  Thanks for doing this race with me!

No Words

For my friend, Rebecca, and her husband, Ricky, who lost their beloved fur baby of fourteen years, Sydney, last night, hugs and prayers to you guys.

Borrowed from Rebecca’s blog…such a beautiful pup!!!

That’s about all I can offer because words just won’t do.

❤,

Nathalie

Dear Allen

Dear Allen,

Today, you departed this world after a short but valiant fight with cancer.

Yours is a life that ended too soon.

Although I’ve known that this day would more than likely arrive, still I grieve.

I think back to the time when your sweet wife, Christina, became my best friend.  We were drawn together through our love for knitting, and we spent hours chatting in the KnittingHelp.com chatroom.

We had much in common…teenage children…husbands that had the habit of driving us nuts…fur babies who got into constant mischief.

It wasn’t until your eldest son, Austin, got badly burned and spent three months in a Shriner’s hospital that my friendship with Christina went to a deeper level.

We began talking on the phone daily.

That’s when you entered the picture.

Sometimes, when I called, you answered the phone, and we would talk about this and that.

I distinctly remember more times than not the conversations involved you sending Christina off to buy yarn…or sometimes you would be the person buying the yarn as a surprise.

Through our phone conversations and Facebook chats, I learned how deeply you cared for your family…how desperately you wanted to be a good husband and father.

You were quick to blame yourself for issues that arose.

Through the pictures that you and Christina posted online, I learned of your love for nature…how you yearned for a simpler way of life…one unencumbered by government control…the peace to live your life as you wanted.

Christina shared with me your dream of building a cabin and living off the land.

In fact, I was mightily impressed when you allowed Christina to begin raising chickens in the backyard and even built her a chicken coop to keep the hounds from stalking the winged creatures.

As I sit here in tears, I count myself fortunate to have gotten to know you over the years.  I’ll never forget overhearing you strumming a guitar and singing an original Bluegrass song you’d written.  I suspect you may have been nipping at some moonshine, but that little secret is safe with me and my two readers.

I will forever remember what would be our last conversation, and you downplayed how sick you really were.  I knew, though, from the sound of your voice, that the world would soon lose you.

Thank you for your friendship…for your honesty…for entrusting your wife’s friendship to me.

Thank you for supporting your wife’s varied interests…her love for homeless fur babies…her passion for gardening…her sudden decisions to reorganize the house.

You were always real.  You never put on airs, and people knew where they stood with you.

Don’t worry about Christina and the boys.  One thing your passing has taught me is that they have lots of family and friends who will love them through the difficult times ahead.

Though we never got to meet in person, you will forever be as much of a friend as those I see day-to-day.

It is with much love that I bid you adieu.

Love in Christ,

Nathalie

A Friend in Need

I’ve been blogging a while now…since November 2007…over 1,900 posts.

I started blogging about a year after I learned to knit.

This timing is important, you see, because not too long after I learned to knit, I met my friend, Christina.

She’s known as Rabbitrescuer in the knitting world.

She, too, has a blog, but she doesn’t write prolifically like I do.

She has a real life, you see.

We met in an interesting way.  Please forgive me if I’ve shared this before (just try to remember everything you’ve written in 1,900 posts).

After I taught myself to knit, I joined KnittingHelp.com.  It’s a wonderful social site for knitters.  The members are fantastic, sweet, and very helpful.

The site used to keep a chat room open, and, at the time, I had a part-time job, was back in college, and raising my children.

I loved to chat with my knitting friends.

We’d talk about what we were knitting, our issues with our children, and the yarn we were spending too much money on.

Christina was forever buying yarn, and I’ll admit that I was green with envy.

She worked long hours…the night shift…at an emergency animal clinic…and I often told her I’d pray for her.

It’s funny how those little words would make a difference in our lives.

About a year after we’d been chatting, keeping things uber safe, you know…no last names, children’s names, etc., I got a message from her asking me to pray for her oldest son.  He was burned very badly…about 70% of his body…and was taken to a Shriner’s Hospital for treatment.

She asked me to pray for him.

That’s when I called her and heard her voice for the first time.

It was awkward, but I wanted her to know I was there for her…for real.

Thus began our IRL (in real life) friendship.

I called her almost week day to help distract her from the stresses she was facing daily…her son’s fight to live…his many, many surgeries.  Her husband visited the hospital on the weekends, so I didn’t call then so I wouldn’t intrude.

Her son stayed in the hospital three or four months.

It was a long time for us to chat, and our friendship deepened.

We have continued our phone conversations ever since, sometimes staying on the phone for an hour or more at a time.

We routinely text each other and are friends on other social networks.

She’s my bestie, even though I’ve never met her face-to-face.

She’s listened to me cry over my family woes, my job hunting disappointments, and my stressful teaching moments.

She’s celebrated my joys as well.

I’ve done the same for her.

We kick each other in the rear when the other one needs it (pull up your big girl pants and deal), which we both know is offered in love.

Through highs and lows, we have been there for each other.

People always draw back in surprise when I try to describe this friendship, taken aback by the way it came about, but God’s hand has been in it.  This is quite evident.

Even more so of late.

I received a text from Christina last week, only a few short hours after we’d had one of our marathon chat sessions on one of my snow days.

Her text told me that her husband has cancer, and that it’s spread all over his body.

What they thought was a cyst has turned out to be melanoma…a disease he’s received treatment for in the past and been in remission from for a number of years.

He was given a prognosis of one or two years with treatment.

He begins radiation on Monday.

Oh my, but I couldn’t let this go with a text, so I called her.

Needless to say, her heart is completely broken right now.

My heart hurts for her, Allen, her husband, and her boys.

I sat at my computer and cried after we hung up the phone.

I feel helpless, powerless to really do anything of use for her.

I was gently reminded that I can do something…the thing that drew us together in the first place.

I can pray.

Will you join me in praying for Allen as he goes through a long treatment?

Will you pray for Christina and the boys as they, too, come to terms with this prognosis.

We serve a mighty God, and who knows the miracles He has yet to perform!

It is my prayer that Christina’s family will feel themselves drawn in closer to God as He surrounds them with His steady arms that will carry them through the uncertain future that lies ahead.

I love you, my sweet friend.  You are like a sister to me.  I’m here for you!

I pray that you trust in the Lord no matter what’s ahead!

Saying a Prayer for Rebecca

I’ve been blogging since 2007.

One of the first bloggy friends I made was Rebecca.

She and I share so many of the same interests, and after a few years of reading and commenting on each others’ blogs, we became friends on Facebook.

We’re friends on Goodreads too.

And Instagram.

And Twitter.

We have even exchanged phone numbers, and we text each other during our favorite television shows.

No, I’ve never met her “in real life,” but I know our friendship is as solid as any of those that allow people to meet at Starbucks regularly.

I rejoice in her triumphs, and I celebrate her victories.

I share in her troubles, and cry when she’s sad.

Tonight, I’m shedding tears for my sweet friend and her husband.

They just lost their beloved dog, Buffy.

She had been posting updates about her sweet girl who, unfortunately, had been recently diagnosed with liver cancer.

Oh, how my heart hurt for her as she tried to find joy for each day she was given.

It wasn’t too long ago when I walked that same path with my Aubie, so I know exactly what she is going through right now.

Tonight, I was heartbroken to learn that Buffy had lost the fight, and I am crying very real tears for my hurting friends.

They are kindred spirits, giving their love to a home full of fur babies, so I understand how deep their pain runs right now.

Rebecca,

I am so sorry for your loss.  I wish I could be there with you to hug you.

Please know that I am praying for you…that you would feel God’s love around you even now as you mourn for Buffy.

Please give Ricky a hug for me, and hug your other babies too.

I love you, dear Friend, and am so grateful for our friendship.

It matters not how we met but only that we are joined together in the family of God.

Love,

Nathalie

Best Buds

Yesterday, the Mr. left me without a vehicle when he took a day trip up to Alabama to go dove hunting with Rooster.

I posted the following status update on Facebook:

Stuck in the house without a car = two hours of grading and laundry completed! Time to eat lunch before settling in for some serious lesson planning.

My friend, Jane, immediately responded by offering to pick me up and go to lunch at Olive Garden.  She even said she had coupons!

Unfortunately, I’d already eaten, chowing down on the veggie sandwich the Mr. had brought home from the grocery store the day before (which I had not eaten because we decided to watch the Auburn game at Beef O’Brady’s instead).

I sadly posted this news but told her I’d treat her to Starbucks if she still wanted to come get me.

In case you’re new to my blog, please allow me to explain that Jane and I met a couple of years ago…when we were both new teachers and had gotten hired on to teach at a private Muslim school.

Our shared faith in the Lord brought us together.  We never noticed our twenty-year age difference.

We had so much fun that year and could be found in each others’ classrooms constantly.

We spent prayer time (when the students left for afternoon prayers and we got an extra planning period) chatting or, in my case, dancing in the hallway.

We laughed when I got busted once by an Islamic Studies teacher.  She was cool, though, and she even joined in, sashaying her way down the hallway…showing me how she used to dance in her youth…a much cleaner version than the “Oh Mickey, You’re So Fine” version that I had just been dancing to.

<insert sheepish grin>

Jane helped me get through the grueling EPI program and was constantly available to give me feedback about assignments…work she’d completed the previous year.

We shared in the stresses that naturally went with being first year teachers.

She was there for me when I faced an especially difficult time during the school year.

When I found my job in the public school system, we were both sad that we wouldn’t be teaching together any more, but we promised to constantly stay in touch.

And we do…

Every week.

We have hour-long phone conversations and try to get together whenever we can for lunch…

Power lunches…

As in three-hour lunches…

That run into dinner time.

😀

She lives on the beach…a solid twenty minute or more drive from my house, so her offer to come and get me yesterday was very generous.

We ordered hot chocolate and sat on the patio.  The weather was divine!

Oh, how we laughed.

We shared our teaching angsts…teachers are never without them, you see.

We shared ideas.  She’s an incredibly inspiring teacher!!!

We shared updates about our children and, in her case, her grandchildren.

I know her so well that I feel we are, in some ways, a part of the same family.

I hugged her neck after she pulled into my driveway.

She was on her way to pick up her fifteen-year-old grandson, who had cajoled her into picking up dinner for him.

I love this sweet lady and am so blessed to count her as a friend!

A Chance Encounter

Sometimes all it takes is a chance encounter to lift you out of the doldrums of self-pity.

Yeah, I’ll admit that I went down that path with yesterday’s post.

That’s what happens when you combine PMS with a college child who should be staying home for the summer but instead is going back to school to attend summer session.  Added to that mix is a holiday that I loathe…Mother’s Day…and all of the expectations that accompany it (sorry if that sounds harsh, but as I’ve mentioned a time or two, I have issues…a few of them).

So, yesterday morning found me in a less-than-happy mood.

Talking to a friend at work didn’t help that much…especially when her own mother texted her during our conversation.

It was one more reminder of what I don’t have with my own mother and my own child.

Sigh.

I taught first period and then left to run a couple of errands.  While I was out and about, I ran into my friend, Angie.  Yes, she’s THE Angie who surprised me with a funny card and a generous gift.

She has quite the gift for gab, and we stood outside, both on our way to our cars, and chatted…for a while.

Her youngest daughter will be heading to college in a few months, and she has an older one who’s been in school for a few years now.

She and I laughed as we commiserated with each other regarding our childrearing woes.

By the time we parted ways, I felt as if my burdens had lifted.

Some people might consider this a chance encounter.

I know it had been the Lord, arranging our day to intersect with each other.

%d bloggers like this: