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Part 1 of 1

I hate trilogies.  Pretty strong words.  But true.

I LOVE reading a good book.  There’s nothing like getting so invested in a story that you can’t put it down.  I don’t read as much as I used to, but when I do pick up a good book, reading is all you’ll find me doing in my spare time.  I’m often wishing that the story would continue after book one.  Many times it does.  Book two is almost as exciting as the first, but the thing that book two does that ends up frustrated me is it doesn’t end.  Book one usually has an ending that can be the end.  Even if the story can be carried into another book, book one can often stand alone.  Book two never can.  That makes me have to read book three and by then I am usually tired of the characters and wishing the story would just be over already.

Hunger Games…book one could have been the end of the story.  I’m glad it wasn’t, but Catching Fire had to have a sequel.  I loved the first two books and waded my way through book three.  I ended up loving all the movies.

Divergent…loved book one.  Insurgent was ok, but then I started Allegiant but never finished it.  I skimmed read the last half right before the movie came out just so I would have some idea what to expect.

The first trilogy I remember reading was The Mark of the Lion trilogy by Francine Rivers.  I absolutely loved Book 1, A Voice in the Wind.  The main character, Hadassah, taught me a lot about faith.  Book Two, As Sure as the Dawn, didn’t delve into Hadassah’s story at all, but focused on other characters.  Book 3 tied the two together again, but it was my least favorite of the stories.

Trilogies should not be confused with series.  In a series, it seems as if each book stands alone, even though they might reference parts from other stories.  As a kid I loved The Wizard of Oz books.  There were 14 of them, and each was amazing.  Same goes for The Chronicles of Narnia.  Each book was good, but I didn’t feel the need to rush out and read the next one immediately because each story ended well.

I say all this to say that a month or so ago I began book three of a trilogy whose name I don’t remember.  It was obviously going to be a trilogy from book one because book one didn’t end.  I knew what I was getting myself into when I started book two.  Sigh.

Friends.

When I came out in 2009, all of my friendships changed.  I had a fairly large friend pool which mostly included friends from college, church, and life overseas.  I haven’t seen or spoken to most of those friends since 2009.  I have kept up with them on Facebook, and we’ve commented back and forth a few times, but there isn’t any face to face interaction anymore.  Going from being a Southern Baptist Missionary to a Lesbian changed things.  I wasn’t comfortable hanging out with people who were going to love me through it, pray me through it, or try to talk me out of it.  I knew it wasn’t a phase and nothing they could say would be any different from what I’d already told myself numerous times during my years long struggle.  Accepting that this is who I am was so freeing.  Sometimes I feel bad that I haven’t talked to my friends, but then I remind myself that, for the most part, they haven’t tried to contact me either.  Friendship goes both ways, and I think we were all uncomfortable with trying to wade through the differences.

Since coming out I’ve made some new friends.  Some are from my old job and some I met at a campground several years ago.  But that’s basically it.  My friend pool is definitely small.  And these new friends are great and would do anything for me, but we don’t see each other all that much because of distance and time.

Since that day in 2009, I’ve dated 3 women.  The first talked about having friends, but I only ever met one person and that was when we happened to run into her while we were out.  All of our time was spent with just each other.  I missed having couple friends and people to hang out with.  She didn’t seem to mind it too much though.

The second girlfriend had friends that she brought to the relationship.  We would visit them or hang out with them some, but none of them lived close so when our relationship ended, so did my contact with her friends for the most part.  We did make the camp friends together, but they weren’t big fans of the ex so we didn’t hang with them much after a while.  When we were breaking up, they called to make sure I was safe, and we were friends again.

And that brings me to Candied Jansen.  We aren’t just dating.  We are married!  She is my wife!  We plan to do life together.  She brought several friends to the relationship.  We hang out with them some, but again, distance and time make it hard for me to nurture relationships with them.  I enjoy them and they all seem to like me, but it will take time to grow those relationships.

So now what?  Candied Jansen and I have talked about making friends.  We want to have people we can hang out with.  We joined a Mardi Gras crew last year thinking it would be a good place to meet people and make some friends, but we haven’t been to a single event since that Mardi Gras celebration.  We’ve gotten the calendar and talked about going to different things, but we’ve never actually followed through.  The main problem is that all the events are held in Galveston which is over an hour away.  And it’s hard to talk ourselves into going to their regular meetings on a Tuesday evening when we get home from work.  We do plan to go to the Mardi Gras celebration this year, but we aren’t sure if we want to renew our membership.  Will we commit to participating more?

We have met a couple of people close by, but it’s still early in the relationships.

Trying to figure out how to make new friends as an adult is hard!

I’ve bored myself with this one!

Since we moved into our new place, we’d been talking about getting a large shelf for the garage. We’ve got lots of camping stuff and random other garage type things that needed a permanent place other than in a pile on the garage floor.  Last Saturday, I went to Home Depot and picked up the shelf that Candied Jansen and I had picked out.  I lamented the fact that I had to make a trip to Lesbian Mecca alone, but Candied Jansen wasn’t feeling well, and if I wanted to start the work in the garage, I had to go get the shelf.  I had someone at Home Depot load it into the car, but when I got home, it was too heavy for me to unload alone.  Candied Jansen was napping so I decided to open the box while it was still mostly in my car and carry it in pieces to the garage.  Genius!  The directions were very simple, but I couldn’t manage the construction of the shelf alone.  It was just too big.  When Candied Jansen awoke, she helped me put the shelf together and then had to rest.  I spent the rest of the day emptying boxes and arranging the shelf and another sports shelf we have in the garage.  It felt so good to get it done!  Alas, though…we still can’t park in the garage!  We have several boxes of books that need a place, and I haven’t decided if that place is here with us, donated to a school, or sold to a used book store.  Also, we recently acquired some “new” living room furniture that we are storing in the garage for my son. He’s getting it the first weekend in February so that is my deadline on the boxes of books.    Once the books and furniture are gone, there are only bikes to deal with.  The cars can fit with the bikes, but it will make for a tight fit.  The bikes will eventually get hung and then the garage will be completely car ready!  I can’t wait!!

(How’s that for a completely boring, nonpolitical post??)

And because reading back over the post bores even me, here is a picture of the bike Candied Jansen got me for Christmas!!bike

That is one awesome machine!  This picture is from the Walmart.com website because the pics we took were a little blurry.  But not because we’d been drinking too many margaritas to hold the camera steady!!

Geez…this is a lame post!

Noise

I need to write a blog post, but I have no idea what to write!

I refuse to write about politics, because everyone is writing about it and I am sick to death of it all!  UGH!

I don’t want to talk about the Women’s March.  Again…too much.

I think Joe hit the nail on the head in his comment on my last post.  We used to write about random stuff, but now it seems like everything should have purpose.  Meaning.  And I don’t want to write about all of the stuff going on in the world.  Because everyone else is already screaming about all of that, it just seems like noise at this point.  I am not a fan of noise.  I don’t mind listening to friends or having discussions with people in person, I just don’t like for the feeds of every social media site to be so clogged with noise.  I care about what is going on in the world and in our country, but I am a lifestyle evangelizer.  That was the term we used when we lived overseas.  Let people see how we live and let them be drawn to that.  I will live with purpose and support the causes that are important to me, but I won’t be writing about them.  This is not that place for me.

 

 

 

Writing

I miss the old blogging days when we would all read and comment on each others’ blogs.  Before the days of social media bombardment, writing seemed easy and took place in way more than 140 characters.

I started blogging because I had a friend who had a blog. I’d read her blog for a few months and noticed that she had links in her sidebar to other people with blogs. After blog hopping and reading about people I didn’t actually know, I decided that I needed a blog! I lived overseas and liked that I could write about what was going on in my little world and that my family living in the states could read all about it. That first year I only wrote 48 posts, but my love for blogging grew and over the next two years I cranked out 640 posts on one blog and 86 on another. I had definitely found my thing!

The age of social media was definitely dawning my first year of blogging.  Facebook became a thing that everyone over the age of 13 could use in September of 2006.  I didn’t join until October of 2007.  Twitter was started in March of 2006, and I finally got involved in January of 2008. Facebook and Twitter were both ok, but blogging was definitely something special.  On Twitter and Facebook, people showed their best selves, but in blogs, authenticity rang true for the most part.  There were a few people out there who would copy other blogger’s posts and post them as their own, and blogs written by people claiming to be someone they weren’t.  I remember the outrage we all felt at being lied to and manipulated by other bloggers.  But I also remember reading about real people and how they handled their real lives.  I remember reading about people’s children and families.  Most of what I read back then were what were later called Mommy Blogs.  I remember the first time I ventured out from the typical Mommy/Daddy Blog.  I was reading a blog post by someone I read regularly and they were excited because they had been listed on Alltop.  I had no idea what that meant, but I clicked on the link and discovered that some genius had created a list of blogs in categories!  I had no idea that there were that many different types of blogs out there!  I remember seeing a heading for gay and lesbian bloggers and sucking in a deep breath because OMG gay people wrote blogs!!  Between the lgbt blogs listed on Alltop and blog hopping through the links on their sidebars, I got a glimpse into a life that I wanted but wasn’t sure how to get.  It was like the world opened up when I read those blogs.  It was my beginning.

I can’t begin to know where I would be today without both the blog posts I’ve read and the ones I’ve written.  Reading and writing became therapy for me when I was having a crisis of faith and coming out.  Being able to express myself was so very necessary back then, and I wasn’t able to do it aloud.  Knowing that I wasn’t alone in the way I felt helped me cope with the loss of who I had been.  Encouragement from those who commented on my posts helped me put one foot in front of the other and heal.  I had no idea when I started blogging that the written word would save me.

I don’t feel that same urgency to blog these days.  Maybe because of how far I’ve come.  Maybe because of the influx of so many different apps and social media sites.  The fact that we can stay connected 24/7 on phones and watches kind of takes away the appeal of the blog I guess.  But for me, blogging will always be my first love.

 

New Year’s Resolution #1

Back in 2007 I wrote these words on my once-upon-a-time blog.

Words excite me. What words mean and how we use them to get our point across is thrilling to me. The way the right combination of words makes me feel is something I have trouble putting into my own words. I am often at a loss for words. I know this may seem surprising to those of you who’ve heard my unending vomit of the mouth at times…but it’s true. When I’m in that state I feel completely unable to use my brain to form sentences that make sense….like someone has opened my head and is stirring my thoughts with a long-handled spoon…making them go round and round, mixing them up, until you can’t distinguish one from another. That feeling is overwhelming…a word I use a lot. I could say overpowering or mind-boggling, but I like overwhelming. It engulfs me…ooooh…I like that word, too!

I’ve felt that same way a lot lately.  I used to blog daily…sometimes more than once.  At times the blogging slowed down to a couple of times a week, but for the past few years, I’ve barely blogged at all.  I used to need to blog.  It was something I had to do to survive.  I don’t feel that way anymore.  I can survive without it.  But I do love when I can come here and the words flow.  So many times I think about the emotions wrapped up in a story I want to tell, but by the time I can finally sit down at the computer, my words no longer sound pretty. What once seemed poetic now seems Tarzan-ish.  I stare at the computer and then I get so sleepy I can barely keep my eyes open.  The words stop being important and the story doesn’t get told.

Candied Jansen fell in love with my words through the letters we exchanged way back in 2011. When we started dating in 2014, she loved that I wrote on a blog. I hate that I have gotten away from regular writing because I know she misses it. I hope to remedy that this year.  My goal is at least 1 post a week. 

I started this post on Friday which was still in the first week of January. I finally finished it last night…a day late to post it the first week, but I didn’t hit publish because my eyes were crossing and I wanted to proofread it when I wasn’t so tired!! 

So sad!! Half of this short post was copied and pasted from a post written several years ago and I still didn’t make my goal! 

many things

There are so many things I need to write about here.  So many things I have feelings about.  I just am having a hard time putting those feelings and thoughts into words that make sense.

We bought a house and moved in.  We both love our house.  Candied Jansen said the house already felt like home to her with no adjustment period at all.  I agree.  It feels like we belong here.  We still have boxes in the garage and a few left in the house, but it is coming along.  My goal of being able to park in the garage by the new year doesn’t look like it will be met.  We have some holiday obligations over the next ten days that are gonna keep us from working on it much.  That’s ok.  I look forward to the friend and family time!  Finishing the garage will just have to be a New Year’s Resolution!

My grandmother died last week.  She was my last living grandparent, and it was an emotional day.  My girls and I drove to Arkansas to attend the funeral and see family that I hadn’t seen in over 10 years!  Some of them I’d never met!  It was nice to gather together to celebrate my grandmother’s life.  She had 5 kids, 16 grandkids, 27 great grandkids (with more on the way) and 2 great greats.  Add to that the spouses and there were close to 70 family members down the line from her.  The hardest part was seeing my mom cry.  When she cried, I cried and when I cried, my daughter cried.  We were a blubbering mess.

The day after the funeral, we took a trip to the little town my parents grew up in.  On the way, we drove by the farm that my mom’s parents owned until I was in high school.  The house seemed so small compared to what I remembered.  The old barn was still standing which surprised me because I thought it was so old way back then!  We visited my other grandmother’s grave.  She died in 2008, and I miss her so much.   The cemetery is just down the road from her house, so growing up I visited it every time I was in town.  I liked looking at all the old headstones and markers.  I had several relatives buried there, but I hadn’t ever had the chance to meet any of them.  dsc04235My grandfather died in 1964 and the headstone had his name and birth and death years on it.  It also had my grandmother’s name and her birth year carved in it.  I remember distinctly rubbing my hands over the smooth place where her death year would one day be carved.  I took this picture the day before her funeral.  I wanted to get one last look at the undisturbed spot and headstone I loved as a child.  img_3016This trip was the first time I’d been back since her funeral.  I took one look at her headstone and burst into tears. I hadn’t thought about the reality of her headstone being different from what I knew.  I hate that it took me 8 years to get back here.

So many more things to say, but I’m so tired.  They will wait…