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JUST MARRIED!

It's official! At 4:30 this afternoon in a simple, lovely ceremony I became Mrs John Harris. Today is the first day of our new life together!

We are having a wonderful time! There will be pictures to share when we get home :-)

Please note that my email address/messenger address is changing. From now on you can reach me at wj.harris@ymail.com

This is It!

Today's the day we leave on our trip to east Texas! In just a few more hours we'll both be off work and on the road. It's hard to say which of us is more excited, we both are! In just three more days we'll be getting married. WOW! It seems like we've been waiting such a long time to get to this point. It feels like we've already known each other forever, maybe on a spiritual plane we have.

Many years ago my mother once visited a fortune teller. One of the things she asked was if I would ever be happy. The fortune teller told her that I would, but not in a way that she (my mother) would understand. That prediction has remained in the back of my mind for years. Maybe at long last it is making sense. While there have been moments and periods of happiness in my life, they have been short-lived and overshadowed by times of great darkness and struggle. Those brief periods of happiness felt nothing like this. This is the real thing... a sense of contentment with life, and with the love of my life, that transcends the daily ups and downs. The joy of laughter shared, the warmth of closeness desired, someone to talk to and listen to and share with... someone who truly cares. My mother didn't have this kind of marriage, her life wasn't very happy, so maybe she wouldn't truly understand the sense of peace and belonging I have now, but I'm certain that she is also smiling down from heaven as at long last she sees my life going in a positive direction and that I am no longer struggling on my own.

I have no doubts about marrying John, not one, nor about my future with him. Our meeting was part of God's plan, we are right for each other and we belong together. As the saying goes... "No Fear", just total awe, total joy, and an overwhelming sense of gratefulness for how God has blessed me!

Our laptops are packed, and we'll be checking in from the road. Thank you all for your wonderful words of support. I appreciate you more than you know!

Miscellaneous Bits of Life

We are now a two-cat family! We rescued Sophie from the SPCA shelter two weeks ago, and she joins Emily that we adopted when I moved here. Sophie looks much like a smaller version of Emily who is a full blood Maine Coon cat. (Emily is with me in the sidebar photo.) Sophie is of mixed parentage - her fur is shorter, as are her legs and tail, but she has the beautiful Maine Coon markings, coloring, and round green eyes, and most definitely the gentle, affectionate personality they are known for. Emily and Sophie are the same age - almost 5, but Sophie is smaller so looks as if she is a younger sister. Both kittys are the sweetest furkids imaginable and they adore John. After spending a year in an apartment where pets were banned, it is a precious luxury for me to again have furry children... and furry furniture, carpeting and clothing to match! :-)
My job is going great. My supervisor and I are very similar in personality and work ethics, and she has been wonderfully supportive and flexible. The boss and other staff are all friendly and I am fitting in nicely. One evening last week as I was heading thru the parts warehouse on my way to the car at the end of day, one of the younger parts department men called out to me. When I turned, he handed me a a cold beer and an invitation to visit a bit with some of the others who were unwinding after a very busy day. It felt great to be included, and the beer was exactly what the day called for. I called John as I left, and by the time I got home he had ribeye steaks on the grill and corn in the microwave for our supper. It just doesn't get any better than that!
My allergies are under control, for the most part, these days. I am finding that I can indulge in the occasional beer or piece of chocolate, etc. without experiencing the hives and asthmatic reactions I was six months ago. There are still some triggers that I've yet to pin down, but overall I am feeling much better and not so restricted. My blood pressure also stays in the low/normal range without medication. I think that says it all about the level of stress I was experiencing before.
I really love living in Odessa! Being in a larger city that has all the amenities after living in a town that offered so few options in the way of shopping, restaurants, doctors, and entertainment is really fun. Odessa is easy to get around in, and much to John's humor I prefer to take the longer "loop" route around the city coming home from work at night, because the drive is more relaxing than playing bumper cars with the traffic and multiple stoplights on the more direct route. I actually get home just as fast, and I love flying down the Interstate enroute, letting the issues of the day dissolve in the music blasting from the stereo. :-)
All five of our grown children are doing really well in their lives, and are accepting and approving of our marriage plans, including the one who had some initial reservations. That really is a blessing, since we are marrying into each other's families and certainly neither of us wants to be the cause of friction between parent and child. My father is also approving of John, though being typically Dad had to state that he "hopes I know what I'm doing this time." Thanks for the vote of confidence Dad.
A final piece of the puzzle in the breakdown of my last marriage came to light recently. I learned that my ex was doing "ice" during that final year, which explains the extremely erratic behavior and large sums of disappearing money. It also explains the rapid weight loss after I left him. I guess deep down I knew that had to be the case, but even now it hurts my heart to know that he would do something so self-destructive. His fiance (though they don't intend to legally marry) is a good person and loves him very much. I hope that his choices and priorities don't drive her away too.
There is not a day that I don't reflect back on what life with my ex was like, and how very blessed I am to now be in a totally different environment and relationship... one which nurtures and comforts and brings joy instead of sorrow. If there was a purpose to experiencing the suffering and struggles that I thru the years, I can only believe that it was to help me realize and appreciate how very good I have it now. I know that I have mellowed thru the years, the rough edges having been worn down, and John says the same is true of him. Maybe it took all that we have gone thru to make us ready and right for each other, and in that case it was worth it.
Well, I know there are more things I want to share, and I'll probably remember them at about 2:30 AM as I am prone to do. I'll try to return more often with updates and tales of our lives here. Tonight my goal is to get to bed at a reasonable time so that I can enjoy Friday and the weekend ahead. It's county fair time here so a fun outing is definitely in the works. Don't laugh people, this is West Texas and it's a good way of life!

More To Come...

Once again I've run out of time for blogging. The evenings disappear too fast! I'll be back tomorrow night to update you on all the miscellaneous details of my new life in Texas. At the moment, there's a pair of beautiful blue Scottish/Irish eyes smiling at me, and it's time to go. :-)

Wedding Bells!

YES! It's really happening! On Tuesday, September 23rd at 1 PM in the afternoon I will officially become Mrs. John Harris in a simple, intimate ceremony for just the two of us at Delta Street Inn, a B&B in Jefferson, Texas. It's the perfect romantic setting for our wedding/honeymoon! You can check it out from the link, and also read all the great reviews.

We're both taking a week off from work with the blessings of our employers, and will leave on Saturday afternoon Sept. 20th. Jefferson, a charming historic town that John has visited in the past, is about 500 miles from here. Enroute we will stop to visit his daughter and two grandchildren who recently relocated in East Texas, and his older sister. On the way home we we'll spend a day with his 89 year old great aunt who is still independent, mentally sharp, and his number one fan. I can't wait to hear stories from his growing-up years! We'll also take a trip to nearby Caddo Lake, where we had originally planned to go fishing (and alligator watching) last spring, and spend a day and night in Shreveport, LA. It all sounds awesome!

Just 19 more days AND COUNTING DOWN! We are both excited beyond words to be officially getting married, and more than anything are looking forward to having a whole week of time together to relax and play without being surrounded by projects needing to be done!

I've known John for eight months now, and we've been engaged for most of that time. Amazingly, NOT ONCE have I questioned his love, the depth of his commitment, or my desire to join my life with his. He is everything I never had before, and everything I've always dreamed of. We've already weathered some scary times, such as John's heart attack, and it's brought us even closer together. We've also survived the adjustment period of merging lives and being together 24/7 at 50+ years of age with all the experience and baggage that comes with it. Strong-minded and strong-willed as we both are, we are also amazingly compatible. One of the many things I love about John is that he wants to spend his time with me. We always enjoy each other's company, have fun when we are together, and miss each other when we are apart. I cherish and respect everything about him, and I know that God has blessed me with one of His very best! I think John's ended up with a pretty good woman too, and so does he! :-)

Photos will be taken at our wedding and of course I'll be posting them so that you'll be able to share a bit of the joy this day is certain to hold. I believe in "Happily Ever After!" :-)

Free at Last!

On Friday noon, August 22nd, I placed a phone call to the US Bankruptcy Court after trying for over two weeks to get a status report on our case from my attorney's office. It had been a month since our last meeting with the bankruptcy trustee, and I was anxious to hear when the judge would rule on our case. I cannot begin to describe the feelings of relief and elation that washed over me when the bankruptcy clerk informed me that our case had been reviewed by the judge the previous day and was discharged under Chapter 7 as we had hoped and prayed for. After nineteen tortuous months of waiting, jumping thru hoops, and waiting some more... OVER, DONE, FREE AT LAST! My next phone call was to my ex, then I called John, and my father, all of whom rejoiced with me. Then I returned to work to share the good news with them as well.

That night the celebration continued as John and I travelled to Hobbs to attend the annual banquet from my former place of employment at the invitation of my ex-boss and the Board of Directors. Everyone was delighted to see me, and eager to meet John. I was so proud of him, amd loved this opportunity to show him off! It was a really fun time! My boss had kind words for me both during the program and talking with us, and a long-time Board Member and dear friend specifically told John how glad she was that he had come into my life. Several people noted how happy I looked, and at long last we were able to announce our pending marriage!

Finally I am free of the financial ties that bound me to my ex, and I can "cut the cord" and move on into this new chapter of my life... a life with John... a happy life... a life of peace and contentment! To those who listened patiently as I struggled, who encouraged me, and who prayed for me, I am forever grateful.

At times I really began to wonder if the nightmare would ever end, or if it would destroy my sanity in the process. I had nearly given up hope that it could be resolved as a Chapter 7, rather than the dreaded Chapter 13 with five years of payments and trustee supervision. But with God all things are indeed possible, and once again my prayers have been answered with amazing love!

I'm Back!

Well, kinda sorta anyway. It's been a couple months since I last posted here and I know that some of you are wondering what's happened to me. Life has been BUSY! While I do manage to fit in a little blog reading most days, I haven't had a whole lot of time to write out my thoughts.

What I have come to realize is that prior to meeting John, this blog and my blogging friends were a powerful source of support to me... the only place I felt safe to be myself. I seriously doubt that I would have survived last year without your caring and encouragement. John has now taken over the role of confidant and number one supporter in my life. There is nothing I can't share with him, and that's a wonderful new experience! We spend what limited free time we have together by choice. Thus, I won't promise to be regular in my posting here, but I will continue to update from time to time as the spirit moves me.

Three months have passed since I moved to Texas and I have plenty of happy news to share, but John is waking up now and we have several tasks to accomplish today. I'll try to write more within the next day or so. I think of each of you often and hope that good things are happening in your lives as well!