1. I sewed a new dress for the Valentines dinner the church youth group put on. It was a vintagey cotton print that I bought in Thailand and I thought it looked Valentinesy as well.
After I posted a picture on Facebook, someone asked for particulars on the dress.
So today I posed in it, after Jenny yanked and adjusted. She also said, "Now pose like a fashion blogger."
"Hmmm. What would Shelley do?"
So I did this, and you can now set your mind at ease if you feared that I was going into fashion blogging any time soon.
But it was fun. And the dress was fun to make and wear.
It's a very basic princess-seamed, no-waist dress. So it looks better with a belt.
Jenny said, "It's cute. I would actually wear something like that."
I was amazed, as we had a little. . . um. . .
She is playing volleyball on the school team and is thoroughly dedicated to improving herself, from "running lines" as her coach orders to doing the exercises Steven tells her to do to pinning volleyball pointers on Pinterest.
And she needed new volleyball shoes. We went through this with Steven too, back in the day, when he "needed" a different pair of athletic shoes for basketball, running, football, practice, the high jump, and a youth group softball game.
But she finally convinced me so, ok, fine, if she'd pay for part of them. And we found a cute pair on PayLess.com.
Not long after, my old garage-sale tennis shoes were not only flopping at the sole but painfully pinching my second toe.
So I also went to PayLess and looked for a pair of shoes that came in 8-wide and weren't zebra striped or hot pink.
I ordered them.
I showed Jenny what I ordered.
They were exactly like hers.
The horror, People. The travesty. The violation of all proper boundaries.
And the complete mystification on my part.
I still don't know if it was because they were no longer unique, or because it was her mom who would have a pair like hers.
The next day, we loved each other again and worked out a solution that involved me exchanging the shoes but her doing the work involved.
And then today she says she'd wear a dress like mine.
There is much I don't understand, but I feel flattered. A bit fragile as well, but still flattered.
2. Steven was just accepted into the firefighter program at Chemeketa Community College in Salem. I think it's a two-year course. Which means that every one of our kids is in some form of school.
Matt is working toward a Master's in aerospace engineering at the University of Maryland (while still working for the Navy.)
Amy is studying Thai.
Emily is at the U of O [regon not hio or klahoma] studying communications.
Ben is at OSU [Oregon again] studying engineering.
Steven will soon be at Chemeketa.
And Jenny is in high school.
Paul is teaching.
Which leaves me, feeling just a bit left out.
3. A mean cat showed up this evening and attacked Raven, the black kitty that Steven rescued from the warehouse and who still has "nervous abused child" written all over her face despite the love and food it's gotten since, and the snuggling in the sunshine with the other cats.
The three other cats, who have been doted on since babyhood, and who have security, laziness, entitlement, and languid self-confidence written all over their faces--they were left alone.
Which made us wonder. You know how human predators pick on the abused and insecure, even long after the abuse is past? It's infuriating. Do cats--or maybe all mammals--have that same terrible instinct for picking out an easy victim, and making those who have already suffered too much suffer still more?
Emily brought Raven inside, because we all need to protect the ones who aren't strong enough to protect themselves.
4. This morning at 7:00 I talked to Amy on Skype, that magic program that lets you sit in your office in your jammies and see your daughter in Thailand with your own eyes. Yes, she looks happy, and not too thin, and her bruises from her bike mishap are healing.
And then your mom-soul feels full and satisfied and you thank God fervently.
I've been listening to John Schmidt and his German songs, including the Auswanderlieder, or immigration songs, that people used to sing to the departing family when they left for America, in my best German transliterating--
Nah Freunde, brillet net so sehr
Mir sehne nanner nieme mehr.
"Now friends, don't cry so much. We won't see each other again."
Which is kind of contradictory if you ask me.
Terrible words, really. Imagine how poor and miserable you'd have to be to uproot and take off in a gamble for a better life, knowing you'd never see your friends and family again.
Meanwhile, I really like Skype.
5. I've never understood people who are horrified and distraught when someone leaves their church and goes to a different one.
I mean, yes, you miss people who leave. And sometimes their life trajectory makes you nervous.
But. Churches have personalities and just as not everyone would want to be married to a bookish introvert or a back-slapping basketball player, not everyone fits in well at one particular congregation.
The important thing is that they find a solid, Jesus-loving church that works for them, and get involved.
That's what I think.
I have heard all about Leaving For All the Wrong Reasons and Going Down the Liberal Road and My Daughter Who Left Because She Didn't Want Anyone Telling Her What to Do.
Certainly there are times to be upset.
But think about it.
I remember attending a church where it was pretty much a sin to leave. It was almost like escaping a cult, where if you didn't want to be brought before the elders and reduced to shame and tears, you had to sneak off in the night, just about.
Why would anyone stay there for any reason besides fear, which is a terrible basis for church membership?
I think if people know they are free to leave, they will feel more free to stay.
Quote of the Day on 3/14/15
Emily: So I've just had this conundrum all day. Is Pi Day really at 9:26, since it's Daylight Savings Time? I mean, should it be 8:26 or something since we're on fake time?
Ben: It's not a celestial event! It's entirely man-made!