Apologetic Delay

Certain times a year, the regrets really pile up. Lately, I’m practically buried.

So many things went wrong. Small things became disproportionate disasters. Mostly, due to my stubbornness, but always with help from Jeff.

I’m being stubborn again, all by myself. Memories are flying in from all directions and I want to accurately order them. Actually, I feel I have to accurately order them. I so want to skip over the regrets. I do want to include them, too. Our story’s weave will be weak without them.

Apologizing to people who may not have known they were slighted won’t make me feel better. Probably won’t make them feel any better, either.

I’m also a bit uninspired from having to sort through some rather uninspiring parts of my recent life. It would be nice to be self-inspired, but that’s not working so well.

Pushing a stalled car may get you somewhere, but it’s still going to be stalled when you get there. I’m trying but I could use a little outside inspiration… and a magic wand.

In the meantime, while I’m unrealistically waiting for my thoughts to spring from my being onto paper or into my computer, I’ll tell you about the start of something. But first, let me tell you about the start of the start of our most important journey.

About Nannee, Mary Vincze was a strong woman with a strong faith. She buried her husband young and lost her only child, her daughter Sally. They were close and I do believe that she struggled, although she would never admit it. Nannee was a smart woman, worldly wise, I’d say. She’d seen much in her lifetime; poverty and boons, war and peace, births and deaths.

She never hesitated to put a positive spin on any situation, often quoting condensed bible verses. When Jeff and I would take her to church, she’d always advise me that I could indeed take communion because it was “open to anyone.”  I’d just smile politely and shake my head, “No.”

Quote for the Week:

2017 05 09 if regrets really were a dime a dozen jakorte

Enjoy This Week’s Discovery Links:

 

 

Sometimes the Story

Sometimes the story just won’t tell itself.

 

There are times when I have nothing to say, but this isn’t one of them.

 

I know where the story goes from here, but tonight is not the night.

 

This night is distracted, blocked; a tumultuous time crying out the truth in tears,

howling high over the whorl-winds, this crucial point:

I cannot avoid the storm, because I am the storm.

When it’s over, again, I won’t feel the same, again,

and that’s ok: I’ve been a storm long enough.

 

2017-02-28-sometimes-the-story-just-wont-tell-itself-jakorte

2 Fries Short

My first encounter with a treadmill was 2001. Jeff and I purchased one mainly for him. His diabetes was starting to swing high and he was logically advised to lose weight.

As recommended, we went to a one-on-one meeting with a nutritionist. After discussing Jeff’s eating habits and work schedule, it was suggested that he continue to go through whatever drive-thru he would like. My eyebrows began to draw together.

The remedy was to downsize from large to medium. I squinted a little.

The last instruction was to leave 2-3 fries uneaten. Then, throw them away. I was not amused. The experience created another descriptive Jeffism;  a few fries short of a full bag.

Joining a gym didn’t make any sense with his unpredictable work schedule. So, we bought a piece of equipment just a few months before we moved from the Tecumseh townhouse to Adrian. We each used it a few times, and then it became a cliché coat rack.

Hindsight is interesting. I’m not going with that 20/20 thing, but I will admit now, there was a bit of merit to the advice Jeff was given. I was more than extremely unhappy when Jeff passed, a bit before that, too. When it finally hit me, 5 years after the fact, I needed assistance. I told the therapist I really wanted to take advantage of the gym that came with my Ann Arbor apartment. It seemed monumentally impossible, though.

The solution offered was to start by placing my sneakers at the apartment door. Then maybe in a week or so, I could put the shoes in a bag, add some socks…..  At some point, I would actually put a shoe on and tie it. Then in a few days, maybe I’d be able to put two shoes on.

That’s where I scoffed and interrupted and said that was ridiculous. If I’m going to put one shoe on, I’m also going to put the other one on.  As soon as I heard myself say that my frown turned into a teary smile. I got the point. It was French fries, again.

Start small, or start micro small, but start somewhere.

Quote for the Week:

2017-01-17-two-less-fries-start-small-jakorte

Enjoy This Week’s Discovery Links:

Leave a Little:  Food on the Plate

Healthiest Fast Food:  If You Must

Beginner Walking:  10 minutes

Stopping Short (continued)

Stuffed into a corner behind the bathroom door was a used pair of tighty whities. “Geez,” Jeff rolled his eyes, it’s just underwear.”

“It’s used underwear – dirty underwear!” As he leaned down to pick them up, I squealed, again. “Don’t touch those with your bare hands!” I grabbed the tissue box from the little table by the door and ran back. “Here,” I said. “For Pete’s sake, use these!”

Jeff pulled a handful of tissues, retrieved the dirty laundry from the floor. Just as he was about to re-home them in the trash, he dropped them. I learned a new phrase when Jeff declared, “Eew! Racing stripes!” “Racing stripes?” I had to ask, which made Jeff laugh. “You’ve never heard that? Do you wanna see?” he asked.

“What!? No, I don’t want to see,” I said even more grossed out. “And,” I pointed at his chest, “if you had closed the door you would have been the one to discover them and I’d still know nothing about stripes!”

“You want to change rooms again, don’t you?” he sighed.

“No,” I said.  “I’m already changed and tired, but you should call the front desk and tell them about this.”

After the phone call, Jeff revealed that our rate had been lowered 20% due to our troubles. “You know,” he pondered jokingly, “I bet if we took those with us, we could get discount rates at every hotel.” “We are not taking them with us!” I answered as I lay down on top of the bedspread. “No way. No how.”

“You gonna sleep on top of the bed stuff?” Jeff stared down at me.  “I don’t know what’s on those sheets,” I reasoned. “You’re wearing full flannel pajamas,” he reasoned right back. “It’s not like you’re going to sleep naked!” he exclaimed. As I mentioned – flannel – not so romantic.

When morning came, we were up early and ready to get on our way. At the check-out counter, Jeff mentioned the underwear again and then added that discovery was after we’d already changed rooms once. We’d been too tired to move again. “Heck of a way to start your honeymoon,” he chuckled. Jeff was reluctant to mention the discount. So I did, telling the night manager had indicated he would take 20%.

The morning manager was appalled. “20%!” Shaking his head, he said, “20% isn’t enough. I’m taking off 50%.” Jeff said that wasn’t necessary. We didn’t want him to get in trouble for not doing what the night manager had said, but the morning man insisted. We thanked him profusely.

After stashing our luggage in the trunk, I headed for the passenger side.

Jeff was about to open the driver’s side door when he stopped short. With widened eyes, he pointed at me over the top of our little Neon.

“You know…” he started in his most mischievous voice. “50% off!? I knew we shoulda taken ‘em with us.”

“You didn’t,” I gasped, horrified at the thought.

“No,” he grinned. “I didn’t, but…. I have underwear and I could always…”

I stopped him short with raised “whoa” hand, a demanding verbal “stop” and a stern look.

“Get in the car.” I said, “just… get in the car…”

Quote for the Week:

2016-10-25-the-decency-equation-jakorte

Enjoy This Week’s Discovery Links:

Pinconning: A Little Bit About

Pinconning: Say Cheese!

Be a Good Customer: 16 Ways to Not Be a Jerk

Stopping Short

Somewhere a little past Bay City, a serious fog rolled in. Jeff was napping. I was driving. As it became thicker, I woke him up.

“Hey,” I said. “I have no idea where we are and it’s getting hard to see the road.”

“Well, geez.” Jeff said. “Why didn’t you wake me up and tell me?”

“I just did!” I replied. “Besides, you were sleeping.”

“Of course, I was sleeping,” Jeff reasoned. “Otherwise you couldn’t have woken me up.”

“Jeff…..”

“Ok,” Mr. Calm continued. “I’ll just keep an eye on the yellow line over here on my side. Take the next exit and we’ll switch. I’ll drive.”

The next one came up quickly. The sign read ‘Pinconning.” We took the ramp, pulled into a closed restaurant lot, switched seats and sat there. It’d gotten much worse by then.

“Hmm.” Now, in the driver’s seat, Jeff sat stroking his beard. “The exit sign said lodging that way.” He pointed down the almost unseen road.

“We can’t really see,” I said.

“We can’t sit here all night,” he answered.

We didn’t have to go very far. About two miles on, a lit-up lighthouse replica blinked “Open.”  Happily, there was a room for us. We happily took it. We wouldn’t be happy for long, though.

The non-smoking room smelled thickly of smoke and stale beer. The bed was bare of linens and there were no towels. Jeff was adverse to making waves of any kind, but in this case, it was necessary. He trudged back to the front desk, leaving me to guard the room in case there weren’t any others available.

Jeff returned with another set of key cards. We moved down the hall to a new overnight space. This one was clean, and we set about settling in.

I don’t know what it is about men and not closing doors when they pee, but status-quo, that’s what happened. By the time he was finished, I had already changed into my flannel pajamas. Not very romantic, I know, but it was October in Michigan and we were headed north.

When it was my turn, I washed my face, and brushed my teeth.

I don’t know what it is about women, but we do like to close the door when we’re engaged in disengaging. I started to close the door, but stopped short and yelled, “Oh, My God!”

Quote for the Week:

2016-10-25-theres-something-to-be-said-for-fog-jakorte

Enjoy This Week’s Discovery Links:

Fog: How to Fog

Fibro-Fog: Dealing With It

Fog: PhotographyS

The Pout

“Yes.” Jeff responded with as much exasperation as he could muster, which wasn’t much.  “I can be in charge of something,” he pouted a little.

Besides the fact that he was right, the pout always undid me. Actually, the pout itself wasn’t the thing that swayed me. It was the pout combined with the boyishly hopeful look in his eyes.

When given the chance (aka as me letting something go), Jeff made great inroads.

He conquered the wedding menu, listed the songs he really wanted the DJ to play and made sure he had some of the ones the DJ wasn’t likely to have handy. He took care of picking up the flowers and mums and getting them to the bar before the ceremony.

Jeff was also in charge of getting our self-penned vows and the ceremony in order for the minister. We received a great draft and ok’d it and we were feelin’ pretty good about everything.

Having never done this before, and not since, either, I’m not sure every state works or doesn’t work the way Michigan does.

In Lenawee County, you cannot get a marriage license more than 33 days before your wedding. There’s also a 3-day waiting period. There’s no need for blood tests or pre-marriage counseling. However, law requires various educational materials make it into your hand: pre-natal care, prevention of VD and HIV.

Based on that, and the fact that I had an outpatient medical procedure appointment coming up, we decided that we would both take the full-day off work, go to my appointment, and then to get our license.

There’s something to be said for efficiency, right?

Quote for the Week:

2016 06 21 Efficiency may be the name of the game jakorte

 

Extras: 2016 06 21 Wedding Ceremonies jakorte

2016 06 21 weddingbudget jakorte2016 06 21 weddingsonglist jakorte

2016 06 21 wedding menu jakorte

Thanks, Maybe

1999 was the year we decided that we should live closer together, together.

We spent some Saturdays driving around in the red truck looking at apartments, agreeing that Jackson would be a good compromise for both of our jobs.

Earlier in the year, I had left one job, and started another, and although it was a nice job, it wasn’t challenging or floating my boat. Early December, I was given a passed-along tip about an administrative/ marketing job in Ann Arbor, and was lucky enough to be able to get an interview for early January.

The interview went well. I accepted the position, gave notice, told Jeff, and started packing. We still needed a place to live, but mid-January in a college town didn’t leave much open. The few we found in Ann Arbor were too expensive. The few we found in the close outskirts were not in the best neighborhoods.

So, I was stuck. Having jumped head-first into a plan that wasn’t plausible, I was starting a new job and had nowhere to live. I also had given notice at my East Lansing apartment, so, I was about to be a temporarily displaced person.

Of course, Jeff assured me that wasn’t going to happen. “Everything will work out,” he said for the first of many times, “You’ll see.”

I was invited to and considered staying at Jeff’s mom’s, but for a reason I don’t recall, that ended up not being feasible right away.

When Nannee heard about our troubles, she didn’t exactly call us dimwits, but pointed out she had a extra bedroom and space for us until we could find somewhere. Our “thanks, maybe’” turned into a “thanks, yes” pretty quickly.

In the midst of a Michigan winter, nothing magically popped up for us. We did put in an application at an apartment in Tecumseh that 1. wasn’t ready to rent, yet, and 2. already had an application in on it. Jeff had asked if we could fill out the application in case another unit came up, we’d already be on file.

So, I repacked all of the stuff I’d been packing and unpacking since I moved up from Tennessee. Jeff and his awesome friends trudged back and forth through the freezing cold and snow, loading my belongings into truck and cars that caravanned all the way to Nannee’s. Much of which, came to rest in the unused garage.

Jeff and I set up with the bare necessities in Nannee’s small front bedroom with small closets and a huge waterbed that had been there for a while. And it felt really good.

Quote for the Week:

2016 03 01 everything will work out didnt always believe jakorte

Enjoy this Week’s Discovery Links:

Together, logical: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/17/moving-in-together_n_5986098.html

Together, emotional: http://www.eharmony.com/dating-advice/relationships/is-it-time-to-move-in-together-10-ways-to-know/#.VtZW5vkrKM8

Together, happy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhhcHMkmyF8