We have a frequent guest at our home. We note her visits in spousal shorthand..."The ghostlight was on when I came home today."

Several years ago, John's wife of many years died tragically from an aneurysm. He was away at the time it happened and never had the chance to say goodbye. He wishes that he would have told her more often how much he loved her. (A good reminder for all of us and the people that we love.)

Not long after her passing, the lamp on the table on her side of the bed began coming on spontaneously. He believes that it was her reassuring him that love transcends life and that she was watching over him. When he remarried and moved to his new wife's home their bedside lamps (which were hers, not the ones he had previously) also came on from time to time - and always the one by her side of the bed. Sometimes it even came on when one of them was standing in the room!

Some years later this beloved wife died after a long battle with cancer, and in God's time John met me and we moved into our new home to begin a life together. This time a pair of bed lamps I owned grace the tables beside our bed, yet we continue to find the light on my side of the bed burning brightly on occasion when we return from work. Sometimes this also occurs while we are at home but in another room.

One night I noted to John that it was interesting the bedroom light has continued to come on spontaneously despite the changes in both houses and lamps, and that no other lights ever come on. The next morning when we awoke the lamp by my chair in the living room was on... this lamp was the bedside lamp at his previous home! I had to chuckle, because I guess she was listening. :-) It has not come on since.

It is also interesting to note that all three sets of lamps were/are "touch lights" the kind that don't have a switch. There really is no pattern or time frame for these occurrences, it's very random. Sometimes it happens often, and sometimes not for a couple weeks.

There is a very peaceful feeling in the bedroom when I find the light on, never scary or intimidating. In fact one day when I was home from work miserably sick with the flu and feeling down, I headed back to bed after being up for a little while to find the ghostlight shining. It tells me that she is happy with the love I have for John and that she cares about me too.

I always greet our ghostly angel with "Hi Sweetie", and John says to her "I love you too, Darlin'." She is welcome in our home and I hope her light continues to shine now and then for all the years to come... it testifies to our belief that love is eternal.

Random Thoughts

I am smiling ear to ear tonight, basking in the warmth of comments and emails received in the last couple days from blog friends who probably long since wondered if I died. I've really missed you guys! :-) You all know I'm long-winded and I can't just write a short post. I've never mastered the art of condensing my thoughts - I prefer to let my mind ramble on, and lord it does! :-) I know I won't get thru my blog roll daily or post daily either, it's just not possible, there aren't enough hours in the evening. But I'm going to do my darnedest to keep up with it, because I enjoy the interaction, the opportunities to think about things, and to share our lives!

Speaking of blog time, I am loving the new Reading List feature on my Blogger Dashboard. If you add the blogs you read (and it doesn't have to be only Blogger blogs, can be WordPress or whatever), you will get continuous updates of who has posted something new. This saves a bunch of time compared to clicking thru the whole list just to see who's had time to update their blog. If you haven't tried it yet... do, it's great!! I know there are other sites that also track updates, but having it right here in Blogger makes it so quick and easy for me to check at the same time I'm checking to see who's stopped by my blog.

For those who don't know, I got a brand new laptop about a week ago. The one I had was three years old and the Best Buy Geek Squad was unable to order the parts needed to correct some wiring glitch that was causing pieces of my emails/documents to spontaneously delete while I was writing. (It made me crazy!) Since the laptop had an extended warranty and they couldn't fix it, they gave me a brand new one which just happens to be larger and more powerful than my old one, and of course has Windows Vista instead of XP. It also has a 10-key pad and bigger keys which are nice for my chubby fingers. I'm in laptop heaven. :-)

At work, I share a computer with my coworker and am actually on it very little. I'm busy in the mornings but afternoons are sometimes slow, so my supervisor lets me bring in my laptop and beloved Internet card to play on while waiting for the next phone call, cashier task, or project. This just might enable me to find some time for keeping up with blogs, at least with things being slow at the moment. We have an oil-based economy here and it's taken a toll on most businesses, including ours. These days we are thankful just to have jobs. Many places are laying off workers or shutting down altogether. Pay increases are probably not in the foreseeable future. Anyway, I finally have a little 'puter playtime again - hallelujah! :-)

It was an amazing 86 degrees here today! Not bad for late February! My Dad in Dakota is in the deep freeze, and at 83 struggles with the ice, snow and cold. I don't miss that stuff one bit! We haven't had any of the white stuff this year, not one snow day. That's disappointing but I'll take it as opposed to driving to work on icy roads, low visibility on the Interstate, etc. It's kinda hard to please me with the weather though. I'd like it to be about 75 year around - never hot and never cold. :-) Summers are way hot here and the heat makes me sick, so I'm enjoying our early spring now, before it turns to sizzle.

Remember how I wasn't permitted to have cats at my apartment when I left my ex and the farm? Well we do now! Both are rescue cats. One was adopted the day I left Hobbs and came to my new life with me, and we adopted the second from the Humane Society shelter a few months ago. Both are females and about 5 years old. Emily (she came with that name) is a Maine Coon, and Sophie is a Maine Coon mix. Maine Coons became my favorite kind of cats after having Smokey because they are so gentle and affectionate, and of course very pretty. I'll try to get some photos of them posted soon. They both adore John, and bless his heart he is a cat lover. (Would I marry someone who wasn't?) He previously had a mama cat that lived to be 20 years old! I'd like to say that Emily and Sophie are BFFs but the truth is that they merely tolerate each other. They wrestle and play, but are also jealous of lap time and would much prefer the other to run away from home. :-) Emily is more restless and a bit demanding, she also thinks she's telepathic and will stare holes in me trying to communicate things like "my dish is empty"or "remove the laptop from your lap". Sophie is a mellow love bug and drapes herself over John's leg on the recliner and will happily stay there all evening. They have their own room (which also doubles as a store room for our clutter) where they spend the night so that we can sleep undisturbed with our bedroom door open. Emily heads for bed without coaxing but Sophie does her best to evade capture if she senses what's coming. :-) Can you tell I'm happy to have furkids back in my life? Yup, sure am!

So much more I want to update, but getting late here so will stop for tonight and save your eyes. Thanks for stopping by. Look for posts with a little more substance in the days and weeks to come, I'm just getting caught up!

Then and Now

It's been so long since I've blogged here. I really want to get back into the routine, I miss it. I have continued to stop by a handful of blogs daily to keep up with my favorite bloggers lives, but have fallen into the ranks of "lurkers", not for the lack of desire to comment but primarily for lack of time to do it justice. I think back on a time not much more than a year ago when I spent countless evening and weekend hours parked at my computer, jabbering away in blogland. I smile in remembering how the friends I made here saw me thru those hard times and how much fun we had with some of those "deep topics" on One Question Wednesdays. :-) If someone would have told me then how much my life was going to change in the very near future, I would have laughed at how preposterous the idea was. There is not a single day that I am not amazed at what has transpired, and not a single day that I don't thank God for all the blessings John has brought to my life. For all the times I questioned if God was listening to my prayers, I know now that He was saving the very best gift of all for me... the gift of real love!

I remember blogging, not too long after I left my ex and moved into my own apartment, about the way my life was before and how it had changed in the process of breaking free and being on my own again. Little did I know that those changes were just a prelude for the bigger changes that were to come once I had rediscovered myself and was able to begin the process of healing. It proved to be a long process, and one that is still ongoing. It took almost a full year for me to come to terms with the death of my marriage. I cried more that year than I had in all the previous years of my life put together. At times I wondered if I would ever run out of tears. I am glad to say that pain is gone now, but even two years later, the caring I had for the man who was once my husband still remains. Despite all the bad things that transpired between us, I wish him well and pray that he will one day find direction and purpose in his life. I know that deep down, in his own convoluted way, he loved me too. His girlfriend, who has become a good friend of mine, confided that when he received my note telling him of my impending marriage (a sort of closure note thanking him for what good things we had shared), he went to bed and stayed there for three days. I know he realized that he threw away what was once the very best thing in his life. I am grateful that God had bigger plans for me, a safer, happier, much more fulfilling relationship. I am grateful (and sometimes amazed) that I survived that hell and lived to treasure the joy I have today.

John and I met online just shortly after New Year's Day 2008. We still laugh about how unlikely it was that we would find each other there, and we both know that it was no accident. God does indeed work in mysterious and wonderful ways! By the time my birthday rolled around in February, we had already pledged our love to each other and decided that I would relocate to join him in Odessa, Texas. He bought a mobile home which we worked tirelessly to renovate in preparation for the move. I resigned from my job of 19 years at the end of May, and June marked my joining John here and the beginning of the rest of my life. If anyone I know moved that quickly in a new relationship I would have lectured them extensively on the sheer madness of such impulsiveness. But really it wasn't... we had talked for many, many hours by then, late into each night, and probably knew each other better and more deeply than most couples do after a year or two of casual dating. I had a short mental "check-list" of what I wanted in a future partner - basically the opposite of what I had in my three previous husbands. I realized that I always chose the same type - bad boys who had no idea on how or what it takes to make a marriage work -misfits who were emotionally crippled like myself. This time I wanted someone whole and healthy, someone who could truly love me and care for me the way I could in return. By the time I moved to Texas there was not a doubt in my mind that John was this person, and there has never been one moment since that I have questioned my decision or experienced a single regret.

Married four months now, life has settled into a busy but comfortable routine. We both work Saturdays, and we wish we had more free time together, but we make the most of what we have. Saturday after work is always date night, and we eagerly look forward to the weekends. Odessa is a large enough city to have an assortment of fun things to do, and I've become a fan of ice hockey and rodeo!
John, being a true Texan, has a collection of guns, and we celebrated New Year's by taking them out to his friend's beautiful ranch about 30 miles away, so that I could experience firing each and every one. Who would have thought that a former hippie child would engage in such activities... and totally enjoy it?! While I would never have it in my heart to hunt live prey, target shooting is a skill thing and not as hard as I expected. Naming water bottles and cans after some of my less favorite people made blowing them to bits quite fun - great therapy!!! For my birthday John got me my own Remington rifle, and I can't wait for our next opportunity to head to the ranch for more play. Shooting his AR-15 was quite an experience too... that's some serious firepower!
My kids think John is great, and are really enjoying seeing their Mom expand her world and experiences after years living a very isolated life that rarely included fun outings. On the agenda for us this summer is a week-long vacation in the mountains of Colorado. I can't wait!
On Valentine's Day I received the first heart-shaped box of chocolates in my life... and the love just keeps growing!