Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Did You Ever Have One of Those Days?

Hello dear ones,

Yup, today is one of those for me.  No big deal really.  Had a super busy Thanksgiving weekend and a terrific Sunday at church.  Yesterday was Taxi day and somewhere along the way I managed to hurt my bum ankle so that it's just a bit sore and it talks to me throughout the day.  So, today I'm wearing my ankle brace to give it support.

Wouldn't get my self moving this morning and it's been that way all day.  My mood is good, just kinda not up and at-em.  My apartment is decorated so all is good.  I'm going to make my grocery list on line in a little bit so I can pick up my groceries on Friday before the weekend storm.  I love ordering the groceries online and then picking them up from Walmart.  Keeps me from overspending.

I did make a pumpkin bread today.  Put some walnuts in it and drizzled a glaze over it.  Sure was good.  I have lots left, enough for breakfast.  It's been a day of rest and I'm thankful.

'til next time folks....be blessed,     Judy              and, try a day off once in a while!

On my mini-van rear window.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Sunday Afternoons

Hello again,

There's something about Sunday afternoons that set it apart from any other day of the week.  As an adult it's been about taking a nap after church and a light lunch.  As a child it was about getting to go home with a friend after church for lunch and play time.  In those days there was evening service and many of us kids sat with our parents after an afternoon of play at a friends house.  If we didn't go to a friends house then we had to take a nap at home.

I'm just about to lay the recliner back as far as it will go, put on my sleeping mask, and doze for a while.  I did want to write before the nap because I don't know how long I will nap.  It's gray out and a bit on the cool side so good napping weather.  Had pizza for lunch so I'm about ready.  Wendy is at my side with the blanket over her.  I think she's already asleep.  It's really windy.  I can hear the howl every now and then.

Good church service today.  Turned out to b a morning of ministry so there was no sermon. Certainly was lots of prayer and individual ministry as Pastor's wife prayed for each and Pastor followed her with a bottle of oil.  It was beautiful to watch as one supported the other during ministry.

Well, nite nite for now.  Blessings....Judy, senior, widowed, and single.
Dried roses saved from my birthday.
A gift from my oldest.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

I Got Er Done

Hi Folks,

It didn't take me very long to get all my Christmas decorations in place.  I got rid of most all my decorations last year so I went to the Dollar Tree and bought a few things.  It doesn't take much to decorate my apartment.  It's very small so there isn't a big or even medium Christmas tree.  Instead it's a very small silver foil tree.  I put some small red bells around it.  Color lights in the window and some silver garland over the windows.  That's it.  Looks and feels like Christmas.

I realized last year that it wouldn't take much to make the living room full of Christmas and it is.

It just doesn't take much to decorate my little cottage. 
I've always wanted to put a wreath on my car, so I did.

Friday, November 25, 2016

The Day After

Hello Folks,

The meals are all over and each meal we had was delicious and eaten with family and friends.  It has been a truly Blessed Thanksgiving.

Rest well all as we look forward to a Joyous Christmas Season.

Good Night all.

Judy, Senior, Single, and Widowed

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving Dinner at My Daughter's

Just finished a wonderful dinner with the grands and my son-in-law and daughter.  The girls helped with the pies.  We had turkey, gravy, garlic mashed potatoes, green beans with almonds, rolls and Waldorf salad with cranberry fiz drink.  Pretty table and great company.  This was the first of three.  I didn't get to have any pie so I'll have it for breakfast when I get there in the morning to watch the parade.

Then it's to more family's home for a special brunch and I'm looking forward to that.  Lot's of family from my son-in-laws side, plus the grands.

Then on Friday more Thanksgiving dinner with my other daughter and her family.  She is fixing our family traditional dinner with her dad's dressing and turkey.  The dressing was his specialty and we've all tried our hand at duplicating it, maybe she's done it this time.  It's always fun.  We have to travel a bit to get to her and that will be fun too with family.

This is going to be a memorable Thanksgiving for sure.  God bless you all.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Blessings.....Mom, Gramms, and Content.  Judy

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Learning, learning, and learning!

Hi Folks,

Just now typing the word "Folks" reminded me of trying to explain what that word means to a Rwandan that I worked with. His most spoken language was French mixed with English, the national language being Kinyarwandan. So, here am a West Texan trying to explain to another nationality what "Folks" means. Try it!

Back to my title....Learning! I've been researching how to do things on my blog and I'm learning. Found that folks who are trying to leave a comment are having to fill out a form or something like that. I haven't found a place that shows me what it looks like so I didn't know that. I hope it is not offensive. I'm gonna continue looking for the ways and means of how this works. It's fun, this blogging. I like to write, whether it's any good is up to the reader and whether it's worth returning to time after time, again, is up to the reader. I actually recommend it if you are a person that feels you have something you'd like to say and can't find anyone to say it to. Just a thought.

In the next few days I will be visiting with family that I've not seen for a while, so I'm eager to find out what they've been doing in life. What they are interested in. It's gonna be fun and interesting. I truly hope that your time during this Thanksgiving time will be a blessing in every way.

Til I write again... Blessings, Judy; single, senior, and widowed.

My friend is sitting at the desk.

Monday, November 21, 2016

There's Gonna Be a Whole Lot-a Turkey

In the old days there were always a bunch of people for a big meal at our house.  My husband loved to fix the turkey and his specialty was the dressing.  As it should be, times have changed.  The kids are grown and have their own.  The family is pretty spread out now, and of course my husband will be here in memory.

Dinner won't be in just one place.  There will be a small but complete dinner at my youngest daughters home Wednesday evening with her family and me.  Then on Thanksgiving Day we will go to my son-in-laws sisters home and have dinner there.  Her family, my daughter's family (minus my daughter, cuz she has to work), and me.  Friday we will travel a couple of hour to my other daughters house to have dinner with her and family, my other daughter's family (she has to work again), and me.  Whew!  There's gonna be a whole lot of thanking in my family.  It's going to be a good time among family and then season of Christmas begins.

I love these days ahead.  The wonderful opportunity to give thanks among family and with family.  To catch up on each others lives.  I give thanks to God for all the blessings of family and friends.  For the opportunity to share my life with others through this blog.  I know you have things to do to get ready for Thanksgiving Day.  Don't forget to have fun in the process and enjoy it all, every step of the way.

It is good to give thanks unto the Lord and to sing praises to His name.  Blessings, Mother and Gramms.   Judy

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Things I Didn't Understand

In retrospect I think I just  might have learned something about the relationship between me and my husband.  Before I go on, I want to say this:  Women, cherish your man!  Men, cherish your wife!  If you aren't sure what that means, look it up, research.  Look in the Word of God, the dictionary, Google, friends, and gather all the information you can about what it means to cherish.

I'm guessing it took loosing my husband to cancer for me to have sufficient time to think.  Thinking about him and me for 10 years has highlighted some very interesting things.  At the time, in the midst of situations, conversations, feelings, and emotions I believe thoughts are formed, judgments made  as truth.  I think once that happens, as life goes on, you stack things on top of each truth you've crafted.  Kind of sorting and putting thoughts on a pile, building a judgement and evidence to prove that presumed truth.  Stay with me here, I think this is gonna work out for good.  I'll give an example.

I didn't understand how my husband could watch gory, blood and guts movies. Of course those kind of movies usually are rated R for violence and language.  So here's how.  I was looking at it through my life experiences.  Here it is folks....He lived alone in fear of death, painful torture, in fear of what his body would look like if he lived and if he died.  The circumstances were horrific and on going, day in and day out.  A Marine, far away from home in Viet Nam.  I think he became numb to those fears and the sights and sounds.  Watching a movie wasn't even close to the realities he had seen and experienced.  Here's my part....misplaced judgments and thoughts based on comparisons to my own life when there was no comparison.  

After all he experienced in Viet Nam, living back home in the U.S. was nothing by comparison.

I don't mean to sound like it's okay to blame trauma for things done after the event.  What I am saying is that my perceptions of his thinking and actions, were based on MY experiences and thoughts.  In plain English...he was wrong a whole lot of times...a judgement and often the need to fix him followed.

I think the thing I've seen in this is the opportunity to allow my husband to be himself, to be who he was.  In spite of thinking I knew I wasn't his Holy Spirit the evidence proved otherwise.  Part of loving is cherishing the person as they are, not for who you want them to be or hope they will be.

I'm so very glad that the Lord continues to teach me in all areas of my life.  When I first realized that I was blaming my husband for not being up to my standard, (even the idea that my standards were higher than his is an indicator) I was open to appreciate him more.  Funny that could happen after he is gone.  My heart and memories are fuller and I can say I cherish his memory and I continue to learn more and more about him and us even now.

This has been a big part of my recovery from grief and ability to move on in my new life as a Senior.  In healing, some bandaids had to be removed so that the air could get to the wounds.  Jesus is my healer and my deliverer, and He cherrishes me.
My Village Enterauge
near Kigali, Rwanda, Africa 

Senior, Single, and Widow.    Blessings..... Judy

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Getting Older and Bolder

I remember when I was younger noticing some seniors that just seemed to think they could do what and say what they wanted.  You know the type, they just speak their mind with no apology or so it seems.  Now that I'm not younger any longer I think I know why they were so bold or at least I think I know.

There are lots of people who have lived lots longer than I have so far, but there seems to be an effect that experience, over the years of living, has on a level of fear and uncertainty.  Hope you are following me here.  Kinda like after you've learned to ride your bike without falling so much, it becomes less scary so you get boulder and start learning how to do tricks on your bike.

So, over time through experience, I think some of us just get boulder as fear proves to be needless or senseless.  In some instances we have proved to ourselves that we can do things we thought we couldn't.  And, there's also the idea that what ever might happen because of our boldness is no big deal.  We don't have as much to loose, or so it seems.

Living long enough to begin to hear of Seniors younger than us expiring, sort of gives a since of...well bravery maybe because we are still living.?? Think it could be an acceptance of the inevitable?  Beats me!  I do think it's interesting to see myself more outspoken, less likely to keep my mouth shut when I think it's time for me to speak up.  Not in a bad way, mind you!
Me carrying grass for the cow in Kigali, Rwanda, Africa

Senior, Single, Widow and Bold.....Blessings......Judy

Friday, November 18, 2016


Friday is a good day, an  especially  good day.  My very good friend and I meet at one of our homes for about 3 hours every week.  We just talk about this and that, what's been happening lately.  What we've been thinking.  What God has spoken to us and just all kinds of things.  Some things are serious and some frivolous.  It's a good friend time.  AND THEN WE PRAY.  It's a rally good time.  I find that during the following week I've been encouraged, strengthened and built up for the next days ahead. 

 I'm so thankful for a friend that I can be open and drop any pretenses I might have.  I want to say to those reading this blog that if you do not have a very close friend ask God for one.  We both had prayed for a friend for quite some time and when the time was right, God brought us together.  

I was heading to the mission field and I knew that I needed a prayer partner that would pray with me and for me during the whole process, so I asked God to point her out to me and He did.  At this age I find it refreshing to have a new friend that's a truly good and trustworthy friend.  After many years of moving around I realized that though I had made many friends and knew  some lovely people that I met along the way, that I just didn't have that one close, good, faithful friend.  The time was right.

We have been meeting to pray together for 2 years I think.  It's been consistent, almost never missing a week.    After I came back from a short term missions trip is when we began and I think that was 2013.  We started out meeting together and going to yard sales.  Sometimes meeting at Barnes and Noble and walking the mall casually.  That lasted until the weather got too cold and wet and then we began to meet and talk and pray.  My friend pointed out to me as we continued on, that wasn't it funny that we started out just getting to know each other and goofing off together before we actually settled in and then began to meet and pray.  No doubt God is our guide.

Be a friend, make a friend.  Single, Senior, Widow.... Blessings  Judy

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Every day is a new day

Isn't it wonderful that no two days are exactly the same?  No two Wednesdays are the same either.  Today was different cuz I had to get up extra early and go to the clinic and get my blood drawn for my annual exam.  They call it an assessment and they ask me all kinds of questions and even little word tests to see how well I remember things  I'm a Senior!

It's a good thing to go to a clinic that specializes in senior care.  So, I'm glad I get to be part of it.  It's part of God's provision for me.

The rest of the day I took it easy.  Wendy and I walked our usual route and then came home and watched the news and I worked on beading projects.  Very relaxing and creative.  I like that.  I'm gonna get to bed early tonight so I can get a good nights sleep.  I think I've talked about how the prospective of the days of the week change after retirement.

Even when you keep busy the days have a different place in the week than they did when you worked or had a house full of family.  For instance, Monday is no longer a dreaded day approached  with  hesitancy and heels dug in against the inevitable.  Tuesday is usually a brighter day but there's still the whole week ahead of you... You get the idea.

Now, at least for me, everyday is new and full of opportunity and possibilities. I do have a morning routine and when that's done I get to do all kinds of things, of course I have to make room for appointments...all kinds, and I get to choose what's next.  I love it.  In this season of retirement I get to do things that I didn't have time for.  Most is just playing.  The challenges are to be a self starter and get going.  That sometimes includes a recliner nap!  Oh, and visiting friends.  It is important to not get stuck and set yourself up for boredom.  Find things you like to do, several things so when you get tired of one, you can switch to another.  Specially when the weather is cold and wet.  In a couple of days we are suppose to have our first freeze...a hard freeze.

The geese are gathering on the playa lake so the warm sunny days will not be around much as the season changes.    I'm so thankful for seasons that change and that no two days are exactly the same.

Tomorrow is gonna be a good day.  Blessings....  Senior, Single, and Widowed, Judy

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Me...Gramms 2013
This is me.  Taken before I went to Africa on a short term trip.

I missed posting yesterday.  I was soooo busy yesterday I was just flat out too pooped to pop!  I was Taxi yesterday for the grands and that's always fun and rushed.  I dropped them, the basket ball players off at the wrong place.  OH DEAR.... I said to my daughter this morning on the phone.  She said all was ok though.  Their Dad was already on his way to watch them play and so he found them and took them to the right place.  One of them didn't get to play because he was too late but it all worked out okay.

Threw me in a tizzy to say the least.  Thinking about what the kids must have gone through, but their Mom said they handled it very well and did what they were suppose to do.  Called their Dad and waited.
My taxi routine has been amended as a result and now I will go inside to be sure they are in the right place and are suppose to be there that day.  It's ok though, I just like hanging with them.

New subject:  As I go along in these days thinking I'm 30ish I'm jarred by the fact that I get tired way before I think I should and I just can't manhandle things anymore.  Too heavy or too tight or something.  Oh, and a day or so after I've attached a project I discover I'm moving slower and I have some unfamiliar aches and pains I didn't have yesterday.  Then there's the change in the weather.  Whoa...didn't see that coming.  Just overall stiffness and soreness.

All for this go-round.  Keep coming back... Senior, Single, & Widowed.   Blessings, Judy

Sunday, November 13, 2016

It's Sunday

The days are moving so fast.  Do you realize it's almost Thanksgiving?  So much to do!

The life I'm living for now is interesting, a challenge and, I prefer to think of it as an adventure!  So, as a result of my need for a new battery I shopped at Walmart, bought the battery, a jumper machine and an all purpose tool.  I'm so very grateful that I still had some money in my bank account and was able to pay for the things I needed.  Living on Social Security...that fixed income they talk about... is indeed a whole different perspective on budgeting.  I do have a part-time (actually on call) job at the hospital which, from time to time, brings in a check.  I also have an on-line Avon web site that is available as an opportunity for income.

This morning I logged on to my bank account to see the activity and there had been a deposit of just under $10 from Avon.  I realized that there would be a draft coming in for insurance that was more than my account balance.  With that Avon deposit there is sufficient money to cover that draft.  It is such a blessing to be on the receiving end of God's favor and provision as he takes care of me.  Another benefit of the cross.

One thing I've been able to do is to keep on keeping on looking for ways to bring in income, even if it's a small amount.  Again, God's intervention on my behalf.  Another "tent making income" is my on line Avon store.  www.youravon.com/judychase.  A side note: If you enjoy Avon products my web store is open for business if you have need of a representative.  

As I'm writing I have a drying rack set up with freshly hand washed clothes hanging up to dry.  There is more in the sink in a bucket soaking.  I have one of those clothes lines strung up in the bathroom over that tub which I will pull out for the clothes in the bucket.  All through my life there have been the ups and downs, have and have not.  I learned how to live with and without.  Though a challenge, it has always been a time of imagination  and a measure of fun and encouragement.  

God has provided for me in every way and I'm thankful and grateful to Him for all His Blessings.

My apartment, God's provision.  I am blessed.  Single, Widowed, Senior   Blessings.... Judy

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Follow up the morning after

This morning, after 2 cups of coffee and 1.5 walk with Wendy, I took the car to the Quick Quack.  Detailed the minivan.  It hadn't been vacuumed in quite a while so there was much to do.  I regularly taxi my grandchildren to and from their after school activities every week when their Mother and Dad are working.  It is my pleasure because it gives me opportunity to spend some time with them, and I love it.

Anyway, back to this mornings activities.  After detailing the car, I then drove it through the car wash, completing the job.  Met my son in law and a couple of the grands at Roses' for lunch and then drove to their home to show and tell him about the jump start machine that I had purchased along with an all purpose tool for my car.  After he showed me how to use the machine I'd bought I drove home.  Wendy was glad to see me.

My hope is that should the car stall out on me again, I will be able to jump it myself and be on my way.  I have discovered that this is a point of pride.  Not ever wanting to ask for help, doing every-thing myself.  I have also discovered that that isn't practical.

Single! Senior!  Aging means less physical strength.  Some things I used to do have become impossible to do just for lack of strength.  I'm very active, and I push myself a lot, and I sometimes hurt myself trying to do things I used to do.   Funny, I don't mind being 72 but I do mind loosing physical strength.  I seem to continue come up against things that I have to do....by my self!!!  I either have to get some help or do it myself.  Mostly I give up and figure out how to get around the problem.

Learning how to be Single, Senior, and Widowed.     Blessings..... Judy

Friday, November 11, 2016

An example from yesterday

Yesterday was my day to volunteer at the Gift Shop in the Women's and Children's Hospital.  I started at 12 and was suppose to faze into paid time at 4pm.  The fella I was to substitute for was able to come in and so that cancelled that shift.  At 4pm I left the shop and headed to the parking lot to go home.

The minivan wouldn't start.  The hospital security will help in such predicaments, so I called them and it just so happened that they were on an emergency call and the dispatcher didn't know when they would be able to help me but they would come as soon as they could.  So, I called my good friend and she and her hubby.

Like a super hero they rolled up with their jump cables.  Well, the car wouldn't start.  Many retrys and much looking and discussion and it still wouldn't start.  An older couple came to see if they could help and the ritual started over.  Then a younger couple came over and the young man worked on the cables as though he knew exactly what he was doing.  Again, the ritual began, but this time there some differences but still, the car wouldn't start.

I was on the phone with my daughter bringing her up to speed when the young man indicated to me to turn the key on again.  I did and....IT STARTED!!!  Many Praises and Hallelujah's rang out as all of us cheered at the sound of the car running.

With all the hand shakes and thank you's it was found that the young man was an ex-Marine.  He and his wife run a ministry for people with drug and alcohol issues.  The two couples who joined us were all Christians.

Living a singles life......   Blessings,  Judy

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

This is the night

This is the night that will change our lives.  November 8, 2016.

I'm going to write while I watch the election results come in.  Going to my daughters for a watch party and breakfast for dinner!  I love it.  The kids are home schooled so this is a project for them to keep up with the color of the states as things go along, so it will be good for them to learn how the system works.

At the kids now, the smell of breakfast fills the background of the sound of the news media as they continuously talk.  Supposing this and supposing that and hearing too close to call many times.  Dinner is over and most are settling down except for the dish washer loader.  Now down to the business of....watching TV!

Since writing about singles yesterday, I've had occasion to talk to a couple of women about suddenly being single and the response was interesting and familiar.  Pretty much total shock with a huge loud thump as the responsibilities landed on her shoulders.  Seems that even if the woman has participated in decision making, paying bills, etc., the result is the same.  So, in my opinion, it's not just about decisions and paying bills, there's a greater load the husband bares, that is mostly unseen, but definitely there.  Being suddenly single is a culture shock and traumatic.  I don't know why after just a few months or so friends and sometimes family seem to expect you to begin to move forward eagerly living life again, fully functional, thinking clearly, and decisive.  Of course, how the singleness came about is a big factor.  I'd like to see agreement/disagreement in the comment section.  Sharing how we have dealt with such a life change can be....well, a good thing.

This is a short one and I hope there will be some response.  Well, we will have a new direction at the end of the counts.  Blessings for us all.    Judy

Monday, November 7, 2016

Single Widowed Senior

I just realized that I'm wearing 3 different hats here.  Boy, writing this blog is good therapy.  Let me start with the last one.  Senior!  This one is ongoing I think, so at this point I'm probably never gonna know everything about being a senior.  But, I do want to just give a little bit here about being a senior.  You look in the mirror but your reflection isn't what you see.  It's a strange wrinkled old person, maybe your mother?  You reach up to retrieve  a large bowl from the cabinet above the stove and the arm isn't yours you see.  It's full of deep loose wrinkles stretching up while some sota just hang.  You get ready to get up from your favorite chair to get a snack and it takes 3 tries to actually get up on your feet.  I could go on but you get the picture.  BTW, that's a lot to accept and it's on going!

Widowed.  There was no insurance so it's "poor widow".  A whole new role in life.  No more shopping at will.  If there's a little money to shop for clothing etc., it's learning all about the thrift shops and second hand shops, Goodwill and Salvation Army.  You learn when senior day is and what day of the week to go to get the most current deal.  You also learn to buy store brands or the cheapest on the shelf, and the menu changes too.  Not eating out becomes the norm and steak is almost never.  Getting use to people asking how ARE you?  What are you doing these days? and then within seconds they are looking around bored at what you're saying.  Unbelievable as it seems, most reactions to grieving widows is..."you should be over that by now", or at least the words are spoken with that attitude.  You run into all kinds of attitudes that are unexpected.

Single.  "Are you dating anyone?"  That about says it all.  "You have to put yourself out there!"  My question is why?

Guess that's enough of that.  You know when you just say one of those words to describe yourself you have automatically put yourself in a category that defines who you are.  At least that's what they think.  But, it's just not true.  I am the same person I was before each one of those words became attached to me.  Certainly I've had to learn how to live differently, but learning is good and can be life changing if you let it.  A challenge, an adventure and doable.  Just ignore all the crying, anger, frustration, self pity, depression!  Really!!

More tomorrow.....  Blessings    Judy

Sunday, November 6, 2016

I was never single

Hi again.  It's true.  I went from living at home to living in USMC barracks to marriage.

I didn't really think about that until I found myself...single.  I woke up one morning in a new apartment and I was alone.  Alone in ways I had never thought of before.  Now, understand that I had been alone many times before.  In the service Skip was gone a lot, then in the ministry he was off to conferences and different things like that and I didn't go so I was alone.  But, I wasn't single.

Now I was responsible for everything!  I'm not talking about just taking out the trash and putting gas in the car, Oh, way more than that.  People I knew looked at me with sort of a sad expression and a smile.  I'm not feeling sorry for myself here, just explaining how different life suddenly was.  Now, I had to work!  I couldn't just hang out.  I had an income from Skip's Social Security but it wasn't enough to cover everything.  I had already tried to hold Skip's real estate business together, but that didn't work out.  Not for lack of trying but rather for lack capability.  I could do lots of parts of the job by myself but I didn't have the ability to do some very important parts.  Add that to the state of grief I was in and I had nothing.  So, I resigned and backed out of the real estate business and signed up at an employment agency to look for a temporary job.

Talk about stress.  It came from everywhere.  My mind was mush.  Now, I'm usually pretty orgainized and when the pressure is on I make a list of to-do's for each day of the week so I wouldn't forget anything.  It just didn't seem to work because I kept leaving things off the list.  Sometimes because I didn't know about it.  It's a whole different mindset to be totally responsible.  There's no one to consort with, or take over part of the load.  No one to reach in his pocket and pull out money to help pay for things.  Now it was all up to me.  Everything.  Getting a job, holding a job, paying for living expenses, the car, food, personal needs, everything.  And if there was gonna be any extras or fun, I had to have the money for those too.  All that and I had to learn how to function in society in a whole new way.  I'll tell ya, I sure felt the eyes of friends and family watching.  Single has a whole different job description whether young or a Senior.

An experience I didn't expect and wasn't ready for.  Single and Senior

Thanks for reading.  I'll be back tomorrow.  Blessings,  Judy

Saturday, November 5, 2016

It was 1962

New Years Eve

I was at the WM's Club (that's Woman Marine's Club) at USMCAS Cherry Point, N.C..  I had a blind date for New Years Eve.  He was a nice fella but not my type at age 18. Private Mary Judith Daniel, W712805 Military ID.  They weren't using social security numbers then.  I can hardly believe that I still remember it but they did drill it into us.  We recited it over and over again while in boot camp at Paris Island, SC.  Yep, I joined while still in High School and was considered in the reserves until June when I entered boot camp.  Well, anyway, like I was saying, I was at the club that night and among friends there because I hung out there most every day.  It was within walking distance from the barracks so my bunkie and I often walked over after chow.

Anyway, the fella I was with didn't dance and I did so I was out on the floor with or without a partner.  Sometime near midnight I spotted two guys dancing without partners so I entered in with permission, and danced too.  There the three of us were doing the twist I think, or some such.  The clock struck midnight and Skip grabbed me and kissed me full on.  It wasn't quite that dream kiss one would hope for.  Actually it was anything but.  The romantic thing was that when the kiss was done I told him to not let go of me because I didn't want to kiss my date who was approaching.  So, he didn't let go and my date didn't try to intervene, he went back to his seat.  I thought I'd escaped but I hadn't because when I did go back to my seat, he was waiting.  Fast forward to the following day.  I was ready and waiting for Skip to arrive to pick me up for the date he had asked me for the night before.  Once he got to the barracks to pick me up the date lasted until February 16th, 1963.  We married at the Methodist Episcopal Church in New Bern, N.C. at 2 pm.  He, Skip, had turned 20 in December and I was still 18.  Just kids.

We pretty much grew up together.  By the 42nd year of marriage we had lived a whole lot of life, unlike most other folks.  He retired a Gunnery Sargent after 21.5 years.  That included many war games away from home, two overseas tours approximately 14 months each time.  Viet Nam for the second overseas tour but the first was originally Okinawa in 1963 then to and from Viet Nam twice for the better part of the 14-16 months.  We moved every 2 years until his twilight tour, which was his last overseas tour and that was to Hawaii with family.  Yay!!!  Of course we had children those first two homecomings, both girls.  We did have one more baby in October of 1969 I think.  Our only son James Allen Chase, Jr. was stillborn at full term.  Hard times were not unfamiliar to us. But I do have to say that our lives were not without adventure and just plain fun to say the least.  Skip was fun challenging us girls to trudge through the snow to the 7-11 just to get a coke, or black berry picking along with the mosquitoes and stickers.  I can't really think of anything we wanted to do that we didn't eventually try.  Sometimes succeeding, sometimes not, but not for lack of trying.  It was a whirl wind romance from the get go with all the troubles nearly, that most marriages go through and we kept on keeping on through it all, together.  I wouldn't trade it for anything or anyone else.  We were a good looking couple, a good looking family.  We still are.

Thanks for dropping in.... 'til we meet again, Blessings.    Judy

Friday, November 4, 2016

October to January

Welcome back.

Less than three full months from beginning to end.  It is clear that our emotions were tossed to and fro by the ongoing changes in Skip's emotions, state of mind, and physical condition.  Having no real advance notice of the next change.  While dealing with the current issues the next phase was already moving in and so it went.  Never a warning or indication that things had changed when we were looking the other way.  Somewhere in there was a struggle to remain sane.  To hold out for hope.

I prayed for healing.  Complete deliverance from both the tumor and the cancer in his kidney.  Always tacking on the end of the prayer, "but your will be done".  To this day I don't know how to do that, how can you pray a prayer with faith and certainty that is double minded.  I was covering my bases, trying to agree with God's plan, what ever it was.  Did I believe he could heal Skip completely, yes, did I think he was going to, no.  Simple as that.

Even today I don't what I would have done if my girls hadn't stepped in and taken up a banner.  Each doing what they do best in each situation and circumstance.  I was kept busy like a robot, moving from one thing to the next, unaware of changing gears, unaware of making decisions.  In some situations I hid and in others I looked as though I was on top of things but in reality, inside, I was operating as though I was in another world.

I do remember not knowing what to do.  I was looking for direction, listening for answers.  And, this was about every little thing that happened throughout each day.  We had a memorial service and the girls orchestrated the whole thing.  They each came to me asked me questions about what I wanted and if what they had decided was okay with me.  It was the right thing to do.  Before we stepped out the doorway to walk into the sanctuary and take our seats I took off my wedding rings and gave each of the girls one ring.  I wanted to be without the wedding rings from then on.  You know, I can't really explain anything I did or any decision I made during those days.  Even trying to remember now is like watching a movie.  Watching someone else.

I want to add here, before I finish this entry, a comment that continues to be part of my story.  I don't know how anyone makes it through such a life altering event with out knowing Jesus as savior, God as creator and Father, and the Holy Spirit as comforter and so much more.  Without them holding me together and ministering to me all along the way I cannot imagine how I would have survived it.  Thank you Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

And, thank you for reading.  Blessings....Judy

Thursday, November 3, 2016


Cont'd...I do have a reason for writing about those last months and days and it is to hopefully say something that might ring a bell for someone else.  Perhaps someone who has gone through something tragic and had feelings and things happen that didn't seem okay, seemed well, crazy in a way.  So as my story continues I hope this will be helpful.  A couple of years after Skip's death I even thought of writing a book about it all.  Because I discovered widows who just didn't talk about it.  Wearing a mask of smiles and acting as though everything was okay.

One very important project was ongoing in our house.  We had started renovation on our kitchen.  Everything was removed, gutted.  Everything from the floor up was to be removed and replaced.  Before all the doctor visits, we had picked out all the cabinetry and appliances and flooring, paint colors, etc. etc. etc..  It seemed like there was a constant flow of work men coming and going every day and yet the work was going so slow.  I had to take up the supervision of the job.

In the next couple of weeks things got really complicated and fuzzy and unreal.  We now had a hospice nurse who came quite often and a counselor.  Skip requested to be moved out to the sun room he had built.  With the help the girls and our son in law we began to make arrangements to make Skip as comfortable as we could.  In the mean time his doctor prescribed pain medications, chemo, and radiation.

Hospice provided a bed and other equipment needed to meet his needs.  A walker was provided and with in just a few days a wheelchair was brought in.  Our home became a hub of people coming and going to provide meds, mini exams, and baths.  Visitors coming by.  Once the sun room was complete with a day bed for me we began sleeping in the sun room.  Rather like camping out because of all the windows. Between the girls and I, we made a schedule to ensure that someone was with him all the time.

Skip and I spent many hours sitting out on the front porch.  One of the first times we did that he had been praying and considering his options.  The doctors gave no real hope of life.  He could take chemo and radiation but no guarantee of life.  Even talking in terms weeks and maybe a month or two with treatment. With out treatment the same result.  He was still having awful headaches and pain.  He was taking so many meds to treat all the side affects and we began to notice some behaviors that were not at all part of him.

Anyway, Skip and I were sitting on the front porch enjoying the pleasant weather when he told me what he had decided to do about treatment.  What did I think of him not doing the chemo and or radiation, how would I feel about that. It was one of those times that you just say the brave thing without even really thinking about it.  I said, I want you to do what you want to do.  I will support you in what ever you decide to do.  I was instantly numb somewhere inside and from there on I don't really think I allowed myself to play out the repercussions from his decision, what it would mean. I didn't want to know what was ahead.

We sat quietly for a good while.  The sun was warm and the time was still.  After some time had passed, I called the girls and asked them to come by, Dad had something he wanted to talk to them about.

There are so many blank spaces for me during those days.  I do remember feeling numb, alert to the moment but numb, surreal.  Like being present but not being there.  The discussions were so serious, so totally different than our normal get to gathers.  No one was themselves.

And the workmen in the kitchen continued adding to the unsettled atmosphere.  I was trying to be Skip at the real estate office, keeping appointments, making phone calls, showing houses.  Talking to sellers.  Even trying to present a newly listed house at the weekly meeting and when they asked how much the seller wanted for the house, I was speechless.  It was one bit of information I didn't have.  Thinking and focusing was not readily available to me.

If you have read any of my posts please be sure to like my page and leave a comment.

Blessings 'til next time, Judy

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

In December 2005

Hello, Good to see you back.  If you've read my blog before, thank you for touching base with me again.  Please leave a comment or question.  I'd truly like to read your input.

As I said before, in October Skip, my husband, was diagnosed with cancer in both kidneys.  It was a toss up on which kidney to remove they were both equally taken over.  So, as soon as the operation could be scheduled he went in and of course me and the girls followed.  BTW, both girls are RN's, each in different areas of medicine.  Skip came out of surgery and according to the doctor, everything went as planned.

It was while we were in his room after he came from recovery that the girls began to notice some things that didn't seem as they should be on his left side.  Being left handed was an issue as he couldn't hold his cup and couldn't use his left leg and foot to walk.  A neurologist was asked to come and evaluate him and his prelim was that there was a neurological issue causing the symptoms.  Quick arrangements were made for Skip to see a neurologist for testing.

From this time the hours and days seemed to run together and move so fast but not move at all.  We went to the doctor/surgeons office together to see the outcome of testing in the x-rays as well as hear the results of other tests that had been done.  Not good.  A tumor behind his right ear.  glioblastoma multiforme,  A highly malignant, rapidly growing type of brain tumor.

In the hall waiting for the surgeon to come out and talk to us about the biopsy.  And, waiting.  Not good, again.  The surgeon had to close up as quick as he had started because of the bleeding.  The tumor was growing and spreading fast and no options for removal.  We knew he was homeward bound without saying it. 

This is difficult to write about even though it's been ten years.  It was a hard, hard time.  More tomorrow.

There's a reason I'm going there and I'll explain tomorrow.  Blessings as you go.....Judy