The Return of JTS

Yes, I'm back... JTS is alive and kicking! I've returned under the pen name that I adopted about four years ago. It's risky because I want this blog to remain public if possible, but Josie is who I am. The other pseudonym just wasn't me and it felt strange using it.

Those who remember me from my previous blog will probably also remember that I chose the last name of two shoes because it marked the time when I finally set out to recover my own life and began standing on my own two feet again. Somehow Josie two feet just didn't seem to have the same aesthetic effect. :-)

I've been on a blogging hiatus for exactly a year, not intentionally, but because I've been pretty much overwhelmed just by the ups and downs of daily living and often come home from work too tired to think at night. But I miss writing, and I miss sharing with my blog friends. So today begins yet another foray into the world of spreading words and thoughts across the page for all to see. Hopefully they won't fall into the wrong hands. But oh well, you only live once and I can't life my life in the shadow of "what if".

Feel free to refer to me here as JTS or Josie or whatever suits you best... as long as it's something nice. :-) Please drop by again and often, and share your comments on my posts. I write because I must... I have a deep need to document my thoughts and feelings. Writing is both my passion and my best form of self-therapy. I share because I love to experience the interaction. The friends I've met thru blogging have enhanced my life in ways they can't even imagine.

I plan to post regularly, but I won't promise daily. I've long since learned that any such commitments usually begin to feel repressive after awhile. The gypsy spirit within me loves best to be free, and to go with the flow of life as it is laid out for us.

I move into the year two thousand eleven with high anticipation for a good year and with plans to do all I can to bring a few smiles to others who journey with me on this path we call life. May God bless us one and all!

One Year Later

One year ago today, I wrote the previous blog post while preparing to travel home amidst the confusion and sadness of my father's sudden death. While we knew his time on earth was short, we hadn't expected him to leave so quickly. When we visited on that blustery cold Christmas a few days earlier, he happily recounted how he had called twenty five friends and relatives to wish them a Merry Christmas. I believe that either consciously or subconsciously, he was telling them goodbye. We flew home to Dakota for his funeral in sub-zero temperatures that took our breath away. My mother's funeral years earlier had also been on a freezing cold day in January. Pictures and memories in my mind that I never will forget.

I was barely recovering from that shock when my daughter's life was turned upside down by the unanticipated departure of her husband from their marriage of ten years. I flew immediately to where she lived to spend a week helping her pick up the pieces of her broken heart and pack up her home and life to relocate to an apartment in the city. Their subsequent divorce and this past year of adjusting to being alone has been tremendously hard for her. The only good that has come out of it is that she has found the strength within herself to carry on and we are much closer than we ever were before, talking and texting almost daily. She continues the struggle to come to terms with the loss of all she loved, and I continue to pray for new love and contentment in her life.

In February my supervisor at work retired, and I was blessed with a new one who is ever so much easier to work with. My position has since been upgraded and our workload has tripled or quadrupled since then. The days are long and stressful and there is not a day I don't go home mentally exhausted. I have never worked so hard, performing accounting procedures that are totally foreign to my nature, but I have learned a great deal and there is the satisfaction of acquiring new skills... proving once again that old dogs can learn new tricks. :-) The place I work is a laid-back family atmosphere and I love almost all the people I work with. It is a good place to be most of the time, and I am content there, despite my usual fair share of grumbling.

In April we relocated our manufactured home to 3 1/2 acres of open land near a very small town twenty miles from where we work. It is rustic, peaceful, and beautiful out here. The addition of a hot tub on our deck has provided countless hours of evening relaxation with lighting provided only by the moon and stars above. It proves to be an extremely effective way to release the tension of the day.

My husband being a lover of cats as much as I am, has permitted the growth of our feline family to include five "furkids" now. Four of those are rescue animals that faced dire lives on the street, and the fifth one has been my companion for fourteen years. I've had an ongoing relationship with him for longer than any other guy in my life, though my marriage to my beloved husband promises to outlast it! :-)

Both of my children flew home for Thanksgiving weekend, a rare reunion that was much enjoyed by us all... and I learned to be a better poker player. :-) My cellphone picked that weekend to self-destruct, taking with it all but a couple photos of our time together, but the memories are engraved on my heart.

We had a nice, simple Christmas at my husband's daughter's house, and will share a quiet New Year's Eve celebration here at home tonight. The older I get, the more I enjoy quiet moments, and there is no one on earth I would rather share them with than my Beloved.

Two thousand ten has been a difficult year for me, and for so many people that I know and love. But amidst the struggle so many good things happened, and there is an endless list of blessings to be counted, not the least of which is the man who I share my life with. He is amazing, and even more so in the fact that he puts up with me! :-)

One year later, it is time to end mourning and release the spirit of my Father to the place of eternal light, it is time for my daughter to let go of what once was and carve out a new life, and it is time to take stock on all we have that is good and what tasks are most important to accomplish in the year ahead.

I close the door on 2010 with a shake of my head and some surprise that we have survived it, and because I am the poster child for believing in tomorrow, I smile in anticipation of what 2011 will hold and how we will learn and grow!

To those of you who have remained my blogging friends for many years now, thru times of endless posting and thru periods of long silence, I say a heartfelt thank you, you are more than friends to me... you are family who know me far better than any others in my life. It is good to be back home here, with my thoughts and words, where I belong.