Thursday, June 22, 2017

44 Years of Mountains and Valleys

Marriage is a series of mountains and valleys. There are ups and downs, highs and lows, events that we could not have foreseen when we first started. In the beginning, you have an idea of what marriage will be like and then reality hits you in the head and you find that it isn't even close to what you thought it would be.  There are those times when everything is going the way it's supposed to go.  Life is filled with romance, laughter and good times.  Then suddenly you hit a rough patch...inlaws, money, jobs, responsibilities or just those tiny habits that annoy you.  And with every rough patch, you are faced with a you ride it out until the high comes back or do you give up and walk away?  Now days, it seems many find it easier to throw in the towel and hit the road.  Now I am not saying that every rough patch requires staying power.  Sometimes the rough patch is more than that and leaving is the best choice.  No, I am saying that just because life has led you into a valley, it might not be bad enough to throw the marriage away.

In 44 years, my husband and I have encountered our fair share of mountains and valleys.  We have seen friends and family end their marriages for one reason or another.  We have, in the heat of the moment, threatened to leave the other and go it alone.  But in the end, we always start climbing the mountain again...together.

I remember something my mom told me the morning of my wedding day when, in my nervous state, I asked her how she and dad had stayed together so long.  She said, "When those times come and you are not sure you are on the right path with the right one, think about tomorrow or next week or next month or next year.  How do you see it...alone or with him?  That will be your answer."

In 44 years of mountains and valleys, I have never been able to picture my life without him.

Happy 44th Anniversary, Butch....Love, Ellen.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

"5 Things I Am Glad Were Invented"

There have been many things invented in the world over the years that I like very much and there are some that I scratch my head and say, "What was the purpose of inventing that?" However, there are 5 things that are my very favorite inventions and I thought I would share those with you today.

1.  Sticky Notes.   These are a super invention.  When I was teaching, these were an important item on my school supply list.  They identified papers, were mini notes to myself and others, became part of lessons and activities, super organizational tools and so much more.  At home, they were great for attaching notes for husband, sons and myself onto mirrors, tv screens, refrigerator doors, telephones and the occasional backpack and or child.

2.  Caller ID.  This is such a simple but great invention.  No more answering the phone thinking its friend or family but instead finding out it's a telemarketer (and yes, I am on the "do not call" list but still get calls). 

3.  Mute Button on TV Remote.  I love this button.  Press it and the most annoying commercials (which are most of them) become just a picture of moving mouths and politicians become automated robots that are easier to look at without hearing all the empty promises.

4.  Slo Cookers.  This is one of my favorite kitchen appliances.  Put the ingredients in the slo cooker in the morning and by dinner time you have a meal.  This is an especially great alternative to turning on the oven in the summmer and turning the kitchen into a sauna.

5.  Coffeemaker.  I adore coffee.  My day starts with coffee and keeps going thru the day and into the evening with coffee.  I love being able to set the timer and wake to the sensual smell of coffee first thing in the morning.  I love how I can make a new pot of coffee in less than 15 minutes.  Growing up my mom had one of those coffee pots you used on the stove.  Many a time, it was forgotten and then there was boiled over coffee all over the stove.

Your 5 inventions might be entirely different from mine and that's ok.  Sometimes progress brings good things in the midst of all the negatives.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy Fathers' Day

To my dad, Joaquin Gomez, who has been gone 25 years.  You taught me that there is nothing I cannot do if I set my mind to it.  You taught me the importance of family.  You taught me to judge people not by their race, religion, gender or lifestyle but by their words and actions.  Even though you are not here in body, I know you are with me in spirit.

To my husband, Butch Fassbender, who has been my partner for over 40 years.  You are the most wonderful father to our sons.  You have given them your time, love and guidance throughout the years.  You have been there as the backer for their dreams, the shoulder for their questions, the laugh when they are down and the heart when they feel alone.  No matter the circumstance, they know they can count on you always.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

God's Reminder

It was one of those quiet Mondays.  My husband and I had finished dinner and I was watching the tv news with disappointment in the behavior of some of the humans on this planet.  My husband was outside finishing up some yardwork.  There was a knock at the door and who should be there but the little girl who lives across the road.  In her arms was a bouquet of beautiful flowers that I knew had come from her property.  She handed me the bouquet and said, "these are for you because you love flowers."  I smiled so big and hugged her, telling her "she had brightened my whole day with her thoughtful gift."

Sometimes in the midst of disappointment in some, God sends a reminder that there are good examples of His creation.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

June 3rd Thought

On my desk, I have a daily calendar that not only tells me the date but also gives me a thought for the day.  As I flipped the page to June 3rd, I was struck by the daily thought.
                                 "God adores the sound of your to Him often!"

How often do I talk to God.  I just mean talk to Him not in prayer but in conversation as in talking to a friend or family member.  Since I do not always pay attention to that specific activity, I decided to take my daily quiet time to answer the often do I talk to God?  I realized that I talk to God all the time and not always about anything special, just life in general.  For example, today I mentioned to God that whoever invented coffee was a gem and should get points for it.  I talked to Him about the beautiful day He created this morning and all the lovely birds, chipmunks and squirrels who came to enjoy the bird feeder.  Watching the news, I wondered if He was ever sad or angry at how His children were taking care of His planet and each other.  I made my daily requests of His care of my sons in whatever they were doing and asked Him to keep at least one eye glued on my husband who seems to forget how old he is and not capable of doing things as he did when he was in his 30s.  I discussed the patience I sadly lack and I laughed at how it must be His doing that I am looking and sounding like my mother every day.  Yes, I think I can safely say that I talk to God often.  How often do you talk to God in your daily life?  Think about it...the answer might surprise you.