Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Happy 80th Birthday to My Sweet Daddy

Dear Sweet Daddy,

I am sending this with much love and hoping that your party will be a wonderful celebration of your birth. I am sorry that I won’t be there to celebrate with you on the day, but am thankful that we will be there just a few days afterwards to celebrate with you. Enjoy your party!

I have spent a great deal of time pondering what to say to you in this letter. A letter to be put in a memory book for everyone to read. Many, many things come to mind, but have already been written up in blog posts or in the book I did for you in 2009. Or they are simply too personal to put in a letter for all to see.

The thing that continues to come to mind is simply I love you. I hope that you know how much I love you. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t simply love My Sweet Daddy. I’m not sure if I love you more than any daughter ever loved her Daddy, although I have said for years that I am the self-proclaimed Queen of Daddy’s Girls. I only know that I have loved you as long as I can remember and as best I know how.

You have been such a place of earthly comfort and strength to me. As a small child, anything I imagined to be dangerous to me was held at bay when you were close by. I had a fast-held justified true belief that if My Sweet Daddy were near, nothing could harm me. As I grew older and became a little more aware of what danger really was, I still had a sense of well-being when you were close by. My belief grew from knowing that nothing would harm me if you were near to knowing that within your power, you would help keep me from harm if I acted prudently. Even older, when I brought my broken heart to you, you offered comfort and safety and I believe your heart broke along with mine. I took comfort from your care and concern and with courage and perhaps a little craziness dared to love again.

I love you for so many, many reasons. But the one I hold highest above all is the one I believe you would care for the most. And that is this: You lived your life in such a way that you pointed me to One dearer than even my own Sweet Daddy. You led me to a Heavenly Father, with whom I was very comfortable, thanks to the strong concept of Father that I learned from you. Thanks to your life, teaching and witness, I participate in Life Eternal that began all those years ago when you led me to know not only God the Father, but to accept God the Son.

I end with this. Simply one phrase, one solitary phrase that doesn’t say nearly what I want it to say, but also says it all. I love you Daddy!

Your Baby Girl,


Thursday, December 2, 2010

My Tacky Treasures

Seriously...who played the trick with my calendar and all the sudden, its December 2? And why didn't somebody warn me that December would come immediately after November this year? Whose job was that? Has it always been this way and I just didn't notice?

I guess it doesn't matter that I was too busy basking in my Thanksgiving glow to notice. Reality set in and hit me between the eyeballs tonight when I went realized that my neighbors, The Griswalds, had turned on their Christmas lights. I don't have to turn the kitchen lights on at night until after the first of the year. Their Christmas display light up my kitchen from 3 houses down.

Actually, I was somewhat aware of the date and had stopped by our storage facility to pick up some of the Christmas tubs on the way home. It will take several trips to get it all, and then there is the stuff in the attic, and the stuff stashed under the guest room bed...I have lots of Christmas decorations. It takes me several days to get it all unpacked and properly placed. And I don't even decorate the outside. I don't have to. Really, The Griswalds do such a great job of lighting the neighborhood. Why bother?

On our way home from grabbing some fast food for dinner, I had a discussion with Rocket Man about Christmas. Frankly, he isn't the biggest fan of the season. He doesn't like all the fuss and comercialism that tries to overtake the season. He also doesn't care for the way people misbehave during the holidays. Neither of us are fans of what we have dubbed the "North Alabama Holiday Greeting" that we seem to get from fellow drivers in traffic this time of the year. Maybe they have this custom where you live. They point their middle finger at you while wishing you a Merry Christmas. At least, I think that is what they are saying as they pass me, pull in front of me, cut me off or take the parking spot I was just about to pull into. I'm never quite sure.

Anyway...I should also tell you that while Rocket Man occasionaly has a Scrooge attitude, he is one of the most generous humans I have ever known, especially at Christmas. So, I humor him when he's growling, "Humbug" and remind him to smile and say, "Peace on Earth!"

I wasn't playing Christmas Music at a bazillion decibles when I started digging into the tubs, because he seemed just a bit more not into the Christmas Spirit than he normally is. And I completely understand. The economy is bad, he continues to try to find work to keep his people employed and he had been up with me the past 2 nights tending to me while I was running a fever and coughing up a lung. He's earned the right to be a bit grumpy as far as I'm concerned.

I refrained from asking him if he wanted to help me unpack all the treasures. I wandered off by myself and opened the first tub.
There they were.

My choir children. The tackiest Christmas decorations you ever did see. They were my Neenie's and they have rhinestone eyes. She bought 3 of them when I was little, one for me and one for each of my big brothers. They were all blonde, so she painted the hair on two of them a brownish color, because we weren't all blonde. In fact, she always said that the painted ones were the boys and the blonde was me. Actually, I'm the non-blonde in the family.

Anyway, one of them lost its head a long time ago and she glued it back on. Only, she didn't glue it exactly right, so the head is a bit crooked. And the glue has turned brown on the poor choristers neck. But, he keeps that lovely rounded "o" mouth and I'm sure his pitch and diction are still perfect, even though he has had his head knocked off and glued back on. Of all the Christmas decorations I have (and like I said, I have a lot) these are sure to bring a tear to my eye every year.

You see. they bring back such precious memories of Christmas Past. Of snow and Baby Jesus in the Manger and flannel pajamas and the anticipation of our family reading the Christmas Story from Luke (in the King letter edition) before we had a prayer and opened our Christmas presents, and my favorite Christmas books, "Davey's First Christmas" and "The Littlest Angel" and divinity and fudge and rice krispie treats and Christmas Carols, and family and friends and all the things that made our Christmas celebrations so wonderful to me when I was a small child. So I place them properly in a place of honor in my living room. Not the family room where we spend our time, but in the old fashioned living room where there are things that could get broken and portraits of Rocket Man's grandparents hanging on the wall, staring down on me whenever I walk through the room.

By the should hear Rocket Man scoff at that term - properly placed- the bad time he gives me about it...properly placed, indeed! Heaven forbid that any of the Christmas decorations be improperly placed!! (laugh, poke Molli, snicker and snort)

See...I told you they were tacky. But I sure do treasure them!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Molli's Mayo Musings

I've done it.

We spent last week at the Jacksonville, Florida Mayo Clinic.

I've been:
and observed
by Mayo Clinic doctors and staff.

In 4 days, they were able to answer questions that we have been asking for almost 5 years. I arrived at the Clinic last Monday, thinking that this was my last hope. I left with a diagnosis and treatment plan.

Absolutely amazing, don't you think?

After several hours of being examined by doctors, 14 vials of blood for bloodwork, an EEG (4th in 5 years), observation for sleep apnea (which I don't have), MRI imagining (I have emprical evidence that I have a brain, despite what my older brothers may think), the most extensive eye exam I've ever had...all with the same results as I've had since early 2006...Dr. Shuster is convinced that I have a non-specific auto immune condition.

It doesn't have a fancy-schmancy name. Not even sure it is what you'd call a disease. But to quote my son, my body is at war against itself...invading Normandy completely unaware that the war was won 60 years ago. My immune system has gone haywire and since it can't find a disease to kill off, its eating away at perfectly healthy nerves in my brain.

Not good! I'm not certain there is any brain matter to spare, you know?

But, thank goodness, we even think we have a handle on what caused World War III to begin inside my body. It is linked to a situation that is almost unbelievable and if you told me the same story, I'd be skeptical. But honest, it really did. I'm not going to tell you the entire story here, but I will say that the title is "Rabies is always fatal" and it happened to us when we woke up in our bedroom one night over 5 years ago to find a bat flying around in our bedroom.

Because we were alseep with the bat in our room, we found out we were at risk to have been bitten, even though we felt certain we were not. After consulting several sources, including the CDC and our doctor, we went to the ER and were given rabies shots. We had a total of 3 shots before we knew for certain that the bat didn't have rabies.

6 months later, I began to have the symptoms that have plagued me ever since. The rabies vaccines are of the live variety and the doctor believes that my auto-immune system went nuts because of that. Once it was in motion, it just couldn't quit.

I've been tested for ALS, Stroke, Alzheimers, Parkinsons, Epilepsy, Lyme's Disease, Multiple Scloresis, and several other not so well-known illnesses. Never could get a diagnosis. I've been told I'm interesting, off and not quite right. I've even been told that I probably have a 'deep seated wound in my pshyche from childhood that needed to be addressed.'

I am so thrilled to have a non-specific auto immune disorder and means to treat it. Really. I'm not going to give anyone a bad time about hooking me up to an IV and administering 1000 mg of steroids a day for 5 days. Because I believe that this is going to ultimately make me better and our lives will not be ruled by my stroke-type symptoms any longer.

So...thank you for your prayers and concern for us over the past week. It meant the world to me and to the Rocket Man.

There are several funny stories to tell about the week, and I promise I will tell them over time. But tonight, I just wanted to say that my grandsons are downstairs watching TV, Rocket Man is asleep in the bed beside me and all is well in MolliWorld.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, my friends.


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mother!

Yesterday was my Dear Mother's birthday. As we were on the road all week, I was unable to write a post for her. I would like to repost what I wrote about her on our family blog last spring. My sister, Linda, and her family are there with her this weekend as is my brother, Terry, and parts of his family. I'm sure that there is lots of giggling, teasing, loud talking, arguing and eating going on today. That is the kind of day my Mother loves, and I am so thankful that she has half of her children with her today. Happy Birthday, Mother. Ed and I love you very much!

My Mother

Someone asked me to describe my Mother once. I believe that was the hardest question I have ever been asked. If you know her, you know why.

Charlotte Theresa Younger Buster is, among other things:

Larger than life
A force of nature
Unbridled energy
A little woman with a heart as big as Texas
Purpose personified
Grace under fire
Beautiful from the tip of her toes to the top of her head, inside and out
Not exactly what you'd call quiet

My Mother is a living definition of what it means to be in love. She is in love with her Lord. She is in love with her Bobbie. She is in love with her family. She is in love with her home and her life.

She is the epitome of homemaker, a godly wife, an excellent cook and nobody...NOBODY can clean or do laundry like she can.

Everyone should have a friend like Mother. She is the consumute friend and neighbor. Always there with a giggle, a cup of coffee, a freshly baked cake, prayers, time and concern. When my Mother is your friend, you have a friend indeed.

If she hadn't raised me to be a strong woman, I fear I'd have spent my life totally intimidated by her. I have never possessed her energy. I'm much more introverted than she is. I'm a true homebody and Mother is always ready to go! Somehow, though, this tomboy of a woman gave birth to one very prissy daughter. I remember sitting in the floor with her while she carefully cut out paper dolls for me. I know that was an act of pure love, because I know she cared not one whit for such things. But she knew how I loved them and she did it for me.

She taught me so many things, and one was that it was okay to be me-even though I am so different from her.

That lesson, the space to grow up and be all I can be...not an extension of her or even who she wanted me to one of the most precious gifts of earthly grace I have ever known.

Because of her wisdom in raising me as she did, we grew up to be friends. She is Mother first. Always Mother. But,Friend as well. I am so blessed. When I had a daughter of my own, it was my honor to give her Mother's name. Not to call her Charlotte, because Annie suited her so well...but her name is Charlotte Anne. They are alike in many, many ways. The blessings have rebounded.

Describe my Mother?

My husband does that very well. I've often heard him say, 'Charlotte is the most extraordinary and remarkable woman I have ever known.' When a Son-in-Law feels that way about his know she's special.

Oh...and did you see the picture? That is Mother in her Uggs. Its not enough that she's extraordinay and remarkable...she's doggone adorable, too.

Love you, Mother!


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

If you would, please

I have a request.

You see, I am going to do something next week that I sort of dread. But I'm dreading it with the hopes that I will come away with answers, a diagnosis and a treatment plan.

After 5 years of:

*seeing doctors {8 by my count} who have poked and prodded me and asked me a myriad of questions, and been stumped by the answers

*being tested for all sorts of awful things, none of which I seem to have {thanking God for that one}

*taking all sorts of different medications {some appear to be snake oil, if you ask me}

*being frustrated out of my mind
*living with seizure type activities {that they say are not seizures} occasional loss of cognitive abilities, and periods of being unable to communicate verbally

* being diagnosed {or not diagnosed} as 'interesting', 'off' and 'that ain't right'

*wearing my big girl panties far more than I'd like

*causing many people who love and care for me to worry, and doing some worrying myself

*shedding countless tears and facing down terrible fears

and last but not least

*being loved and tenderly cared for by the Amazing Rocket Man...

I have an appointment at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville Florida next week. I am to arrive at 7 am on Monday and will be evaluated by Dr. Elizabeth Shuster in the Neurology Clinic.

So, here's my request. Would you say a prayer for me, for Rocket Man, for Dr. Shuster and the nurses and technicians that we will be dealing with next week? For safe travel to and from Jacksonville and for some answers.

We would appreciate it a great deal.

I will try to make posts on our adventures as we go.


Friday, September 24, 2010

I Love You More and More

Neenie and me enjoying a good time

Wasn't she beautiful?

Our four generations portrait, taken in 1981. Mother is standing up, Neenie and I are holding my daughter, Annie.

I am remembering and missing my grandmother today. She would have been 103 if she were alive. She was an incredible woman and I am very thankful for the relationship that we shared. I've put together a few pictures of her to mark the day. She went to her heavenly home 7 years ago, and I've missed her every day. But I carry a part of her in my heart, and I know that I will see her again. Happy Birthday, Neenie. I love you more and more.


Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Slideshow design made with Smilebox

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

If not me...then who?

I work as the Clergy Administrator {fancy word for Preacher's Secretary} in a large church. We regularly have folks come in needing assistance. Everything from something to eat or assistance purchasing medications to help with rent, utilities or car repairs. We have people who want money for gas to get 'home' and some who just come in asking for prayer.

Yesterday, we had a woman come in who was in desperate need of help. She was in extreme pain with a broken thumb but I believe that her torment was more than that. I believe that she is a drug addict, and she was in need of a fix.

She had wristbands on each arm from the hospitals in town. If she was to be believed, she had been in and left the ER from each. She was somewhat delirious and crying as she rocked back and forth violently.

I've dealt with a lot of people in the years I have worked at the church, but I don't know that any have touched my heart the way she did. I tried to calm her down, got her to drink some water and explained that I couldn't treat medical problems. I went and got a Pastor and we decided to call a cab for her if she would agree to go back to the hospital ER. She agreed, so I called the cab.

As we waited for the cab, I held her hand, rubbed her back and got her to sing with me. Every now and then she would get completely still and fall asleep for just a few seconds. Then she would jerk awake and start rocking again, moaning in pain. When I asked her if she knew "Jesus Loves Me" she said yes and we sang that together. She got calm as we did that, and she knew every word. Tears, not the same as before but a different sort of tears, flowed from her eyes as that old familiar song, I presume from her childhood, seemed to bring her a moment of calm and perhaps comfort.

The Pastor prayed with her and we said The Lord's Prayer together. Each time, she would fall asleep for just a few seconds and jerk back awake. After what seemed a very long time, although it really wasn't, the cab came and we put her in it. The Pastor paid for her ride {and gave the driver a healthy tip, which she probably earned}. She asked me to call someone to tell him where she was going. I believe he was her dealer. Or pimp. Or both.

She caused quite a stir in our somewhat pristine environment. I feel like I have absorbed her odor, which quite frankly wasn't all that pleasant. Her torment and tears stay with me throughout the day and into today. Her moaning fills my ears. The feel of her unwashed hair under my hand remains. The attitude of the man who seemed so uncaring when I called to let him know she had gone back to the hospital continues to irritate me.

I wonder how long it has been since someone treated her kindly? When was the last time someone stroked her hair or gently rubbed her back? Who sang "Jesus Loves Me" to her, enough that she knew the words and melody, even in her delirum? What awful road had she been on that brought her to our door? What happened to her once she left our presence?

And, I wondered why she came to our church? She passed the church next door to get there, and stopped before she got to the one across the street. Someone suggested that it isn't really my/our job to deal with people like that. I'm certainly not trained to deal with drug addicts who need a fix. It wasn't what I had planned to do yesterday. In fact, I had planned to be back at home, taking a few hours off before she got there. She certainly wasn't in my well-planned day, which was shot long before she arrived...which was why I was still in the building.

As I pondered my day, and shared with the very wise Rocket Man all the events of the day, he said something that I can't get out of my head. He said, "If not you, Molli...then who?"

Indeed. If not me...then who?

I pray regularly that God will place people in my path who have need of something, some part of Him that I can share with them. Sometimes, that includes opening my wallet and sharing my money. Occasionally, I have given away leftovers from last nights' dinner that I had intended to eat for lunch. My gloves. A smile. A prayer. Maybe even hope on occasion that there might be better days ahead. And, yes...even singing that precious song, "Jesus Loves Me" to try to calm a tormented soul.

If not me...then who?

Will you join me in looking for people who need something you can share? If you ask, God will place people in your path who have need of something, some part of Him that you can share with them.

If not me...if not you...then who?


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Long and Winding Road

This is my final post in a 15 part series to tell the stories of my youth with Janna over at Mommy's Piggy Tales.

I graduated from high school in June of 1975. I graduated from college in May of 2003. Not everyone takes 28 years to complete a college education, but I did. I found myself in the spring of 2002 re-evaluating my goals, and knew that if I were ever going to finish those 7 classes that I needed to graduate I'd better do it soon.Was I content to be only 7 classes short of a college degree? For the rest of my life?

As I was contemplating all of this, a curious set of circumstances fell into place--almost like the planets aligned in the correct order. The 401(k) that I had gotten in a divorce settlement was doing very well. Funds were available for me to quit my job and finish school. My oldest step-daughter was about to be a senior in high school, and then we would have her in it was sort of a now or never situation. I had a job that was beginning to drive me batty. I was certain that the church job I had was taking years off the end of my life. I loved my boss, but my goodness! I couldn't keep up with him. So one day in late April of 2002, I checked the class schedule for the following year. Guess what? The 7 classes that I wanted (not that would meet the requirements, but classes I wanted) to take were not only being offered, but were also being taught by the professors I would have chosen to study under. 1 class in the summer mini-semester, 3 in the fall and 3 in the spring.

I re-enrolled, signed up for the classes, turned in my notice and by golly...I went back to school. This was it. It was now or never time. It was time toMan Up or Go Home (a motivational phrase used by one of Rocket Man's former favorite basketball coaches).

One more time, I bought my books, filled up my backpack, went back to a familiar room in Roberts Hall and was once again immersed in the education process. That summer mini-semester nearly killed me. Renaissance and Reformation in a month. We went to school 4 days a week and were in class for 3 1/2 hours. It was killer. Every night, I would read (scan and hope I caught what he wanted) as many as 600 pages for the next days' class. It was a class for seniors and graduate students. I thought I would die. I knew it was going to kill me. I loved it. I felt like I'd come back home.

The academic year flew by and I did my share of student whining, crying, procrastinating, paper writing, had test anxiety and did more than a few all-nighters. My papers were all written and turned in. All I had left to do was take those final exams and walk the stage to get my diploma. Only glitch in the whole thing was that my precious Neenie, my dear grandmother, was dying with congestive heart failure. She died the night after I attended my last class.

Rocket Man and I drove home to Missouri early the next morning, to celebrate her life and mourn her death with my family. I called back to the school and made arrangements to take my finals late. My professors were very kind and sympathetic. There would be time to take my finals when I returned home, and one of them was so kind as to send me the final via email. I took it and emailed it back to him. I will never forget how wonderful that felt. To be trusted and shown such compassion. I rode home after the funeral with my head in a book, but I don't think I really got anything out of that studying.

I took a deep breath, pulled on my big-girl panties and took those tests. I passed with flying colors. They were the types of tests that cramming for would have never helped, anyway. You either got the concepts and could write about them or you didn't. I got them.

There was last minute paperwork to take care of between finals and graduation. I had this silly fear that some lady in an administrative office would call and say that I was lacking a class in Breathing-for Credit or something. It was a28 year recurring nightmare that after all that work, I had missed something.

But I got that paper that paper signed off by every necessary person and I got out the gown that I had purchased and tried to steam the wrinkles off of it. My parents drove to town, as did my son and daughter in law. I was actually going to graduate from college. I could hardly believe it!

May 11, 2003 dawned bright and clear. It was Mother's Day, and so wonderful to spend it with not only my Dear Mother, but also my precious children AND grandchildren. One of my stepdaughters was even with us for part of the day. We went to church and then out to lunch and my anticipation was building like crazy.

I had hummed Pomp and Circumstance for so long that it felt like my theme song. And,finally. At long last, here I was. I donned my cap and gown (and my honor cords...I was so proud) and found my assigned spot in the line. I didn't see a soul I knew, but it didn't matter. The line began to move and we snaked through the civic center. I reached up to check my funny hat, made sure my white tassel on the correct side and we emerged into the arena. I heard a familiar tune. Could it be? Was the orchestra really and truly playing....YES!


That turned into one of the longest afternoons of my life. Some man gave a speech that nobody listened to. Yada, yada, yada. Get to the good stuff, please. We graduated by colleges, and the College ofLiberal Arts was 3rd. I read every name in my program as they called them out. I counted how many names until my college would stand en masse. Finally, our escort signaled for us to stand and I wanted to jump up and shout!!! The girl in front of me kept stopping to wave to friends and I finally put my hands on her back and gently pushed her. Excuse me? Let's go, girlie! I wanted to get to that stage. I wanted to be there when they called my name.

All of the sudden, I was up on the stairs. Check the hat. Listening. Listening. Closer to the Dean, who was beaming at me, as she knew me and my story. It had been 27 years, 11 months and 9 days since I'd walked across a stage and received any sort of academic diploma. Hurry up! Say my name. Say it right. Then, there is was. "Mollianne Buster Massey, Cum Laude." Walk across the stage. Check hat, again...dropped my grandmother's handkerchief on the stage but kept on walking. Look at the President, shake his hand and RECEIVE THE DIPLOMA! The wonderful young man behind me picked up my hankie and handed it to me. It was a good thing, because before I got down the stairs on the other side of the stage, I was in tears.

I stopped to have my picture taken by the professional photographer and looked up. My Mother and my Rocket Man were leaning over the rail, taking pictures and waving. I waved back and exclaimed, "It has my name on it! It has my name on it!"

Mollianne Buster Massey

Bachelor of Arts, Cum Laude.

A degree had been conferred upon me! Me!! With honors! Glory, glory hallelujah!

That road from Widefield High School to the 2003 Graduation Exercises of the University of Alabama in Huntsville was a long and winding road.

It took me 28 years, but by my case, slow and steady really did win the race.

I can't tell you I felt when I saw the look of pride on my Sweet Daddy's face as I showed him my diploma. It meant the world to be able to do something so positive and celebratory with my Dear Mother such a short time after she lost her own precious Mother, and on Mother's Day to boot! I cherish the gentle pride I saw in Rocket Man's eyes when he kissed me and said, "I told you that you are the smartest person I ever knew." Not many people graduate from college with their children and grandchildren in the audience. but I did! On Mother's Day, no less. I treasure that day in my heart.

This story isn't complete until I say that I owe a huge debt of gratitude to so many. To Ken McFetridge, Andy Cling, Brian Martine, Craig Hanks, Dick Gerberding, my PEO chapter, my church family, my children, my parents, my classmates and a plethora of others who encouraged and helped me along the way. Most especially to my darling Rocket Man, Ed Massey, who gently encouraged me, and helped me pass Pre-Calculus. My heart is full of gratitude every time I look at the diploma hanging on the wall of my office and know that it took a village to get me through school. Thank you, one and all.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Next Tuesday in Memphis

As a child growing up, the answer I usually got to a 'when' question was, 'next Tuesday.' For instance, I might have asked, 'When are we going to get ice cream?' and my Mother would answer-without skipping a beat-'next Tuesday.' She never even looked up.

The answer to a 'where' question was almost always, 'Memphis'. For example; 'Where is My Sweet Daddy going?' Without hesitation, without making eye contact and probably often with an exasperated sigh, the answer would be, 'Memphis'.

Occasionally, I might ask a compound question like; 'Where are we going to go shopping and when will we go?' I bet you can figure out the answer to that one. 'Next Tuesday in Memphis.'

Those answers, along with 'because I said so' and 'because you need to be sweet' were the litany of my early childhood.

Okay-kidding aside, my Mother really did answer lots of questions thoughtfully and tried to help me better understand the world around me. But we all have these quips that flow from our lips without so much as a thought. That might be the reason my all time favorite commercial is the one where the husband is intently reading the sports section of the newspaper. His wife comes in and asks him if these pants make her bottom look big. Without looking up, he says with gusto, 'You Betcha!' I'm not sure what that commercial was selling, but I loved it! How often we answer without listening.

When I grew older, I asked my Mother why she always told me that things were going to happen 'next Tuesday' and that they were going to happen in 'Memphis'? She had to laugh. Seems that was the answer her Daddy Jim gave to similar questions. It might have made a bit more sense to her, as Daddy Jim and Big Mama lived close to Memphis. As a child in Iowa, the Memphis thing was really lost on me.

I'm sure I probably answered 'next Tuesday' to those 'why' questions when my children asked them and I know I enjoyed telling my children 'Memphis' when they asked 'where' questions over and over again. It just seemed to be the right thing to do.

My Rocket Man was born and raised in Macon, Georgia until his family moved to Memphis when he was 12 years old and lived there until he graduated from college. Imagine my delight when I ask him where he acquired something and his answer was, 'Memphis'! One more thing that made me know that Rocket Man was the man for me.

Speaking of the Rocket Man, we are waiting on an answer to a 'when' question. We have been for quite some time. We have been patiently waiting...okay HE has been patiently waiting...since mid April for an announcement to be made. The announcement date has changed from mid-April to early June to mid-June to first of July to mid-July and finally, I'm told that the announcement is to be made on ...can you guess? Tuesday!

All my life, my Mother was simply training me
to look to Memphis for answers
and to wait for Tuesday.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Leave it to Hallmark

Leave it to Hallmark to have me sobbing in the birthday card section of the store. Sobbing because I am a paper crafter and I make cards for all occasions…and I’m standing in Hallmark ON my husband’s birthday purchasing a card for him. Because I haven’t been able to create a special card just for him on his birthday. So I snuck across the street to Hallmark feeling like a jerk, a failure and a very bad person.

I'm standing in front of the "Birthday for Husband" section and I’m reading these beautiful sentiments and I began to think about how much I love him…how dear and precious he is to me…and now I’m sobbing because my heart is just so full of love and tenderness. He would look at me like I'm crazy if he had seen me. He’s not much of a ‘feeeeeeeelings’ kind of guy.

I’m also sobbing because I just don’t feel well and I’m tired all the time and something is severely out of whack. The fix is going to be a treatment that I don’t care for and don’t actually want to take. (I mean, really...who in their right mind wants to be infused with 1000 mg if steroids for 5 days straight?) But I know I'm going to have to. I’m finding myself having difficulties communicating verbally on a daily basis. Thats a problem for me (maybe NOT for Rocket Man, who fortunately has Auditory Processing Disorder and can blame that when he just isn't listening). I'm a talker. Really. I chat. A LOT! Lately, I am experiencing some difficulty in saying what I'm thinking. The words are in my thoughts, I just can't get them out. And, if I"m completely truthful, I’m frightened that someday I will be locked and lost inside my head and unable to get out.

So, here is the card I chose…for the man who will take care of me even if I become unable to say thank you. Who will, if he needs to, climb a mountain of Yellow Box Sandals to find just the right pink flip flops that he thinks I’d like (and he can’t even see pink) and who will go out of his comfort zone into the realms of a perfume counter (and possibly an encounter with his ex-wife) to find a scent he knows I will like. Who will ask for help from those who know me best and who will hold me through endless nights and comfort me. If it comes to that.

to the man I married

because you let me know you completely, because you are still a mystery to me

because you do not wish to change me, because you have changed me forever

because you see the good and true in me, because you forgive all else in me

because you are not who i expected to love, because you are just who i need to love

because you gave me beautiful yesterdays, because you promise me beautiful tomorrows….

Yeah. I was sobbing in the Hallmark Store. Almost bought a brand new Vera Bradley purse…just to make me feel a little better. Then I remembered. Its not my birthday.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Its not the capsule I'm worried about...It's the rocket!

First of all, you have to understand that I live and have lived in Rocket City, USA for over 20 years now. Huntsville, Alabama was the answer to the Trivial Pursuit question, “What city has more PhDs per capita than any other city in the USA?” Lots of engineers in town. Lots and lots of Rocket Scienctists.

To complicate matters, I’m married to an engineer who just happens to be a Rocket Scientist. He prefers the term ‘Rocket Engineer’. Okay. Whatever. I call him Rocket Man. It isn’t unheard of for me to be sitting in a restaurant booth with him, lost in my own thoughts (or playing on my iPhone) while he has assumed the position with his BlackBerry to his ear and is saying something like, “Well, find Ernie and ask him if the paint loses its integrity at x to the minus 10 or 13! Get back to me as quickly as possible, please.”

There was a time in my innocent life that I would have laughed and that sentence and thought, “Oh, Molli! You heard that on a movie.” I mean, who talks like that? Really? Well, my Rocket Man does…for one. And the people he works with. And about 100,000 other Engineers here in Rocket City. When we say, “Houston, we have a problem”…Houston listens!

I had the funniest dream last night. I’ve been awake for two and a half hours and I’m still giggling. It might not be funny to anyone else in the whole world, but it is cracking me up.

I dreamt that Rocket Man and I were in a high tech NASA building, waiting for a launch countdown. Okay. Been there, done that. While it is exciting, it isn’t hilarious. Only thing was, after that launch, he and I were going to be strapped into an Orion capsule and be launched into orbit. And then the first rocket, the experimental flight, took off and exploded into a billion pieces. Right before my eyes.

In my dream, I looked at Ed Massey and said, “I’m not going! You are NOT strapping my ______ in that Orion capsule and lighting off that rocket! I. AM. NOT. GOING!

Now, you’d have to know that Rocket Man of mine, and his facial expressions and his way with words to truly appreciate this. He isn’t always the most patient man in the world, but when I get crazy, he gets very calm and extremely patient. So, in my dream, he gets that “Now, Mollianne” look and explains to me that he built the capsule. Its going to be fine. Just trust him. Yada, yada, yada.

Oh, did I mention that I HATE to fly. I hate the loss of control, the feeling of leaving the ground, of moving so quickly AND they make me turn of my iPod during take-of and landing AND I can’t have my knife in my possession while we fly? Okay, so you can imagine how I’d feel about a bazillion tons of highly explosive rocket fuel under my seat. I’m not comfortable about this at all.

I look at him with all frankness, trying to maintain some semblance of logic and reason and say to him, “It’s not the capsule I’m concerned about…it’s the rocket!”

Two of his cohorts were also in my dream. One, a NASA program manager and the other a sub-contractor who IS a rocket propulsion expert. They have assumed the Rocket Man-esque rational, logical stance. They assure me that they have built a fine capsule and I should just trust them. I’m sure if I hadn’t woken up, one of them would have explained to me that they had built a fine launch-abort system, just in case we needed it. But I shouldn’t worry. I wouldn’t need it.

Ha! You can’t fool ME! I know that none of those guys work for the company who actually has the contract to build the capsule.

So, in my dream, I did the last reasonable thing I could think of. I called my Daddy. He answered the phone and told me that he couldn’t talk. He and Mother were in Indianapolis (what?) and in traffic (they hate driving in city traffic) and had just missed their exit. Then he hung up. Hung! Up!

Looks like I’m stuck. Just as I woke up, I was looking at Rocket Man, giving him the look he gives me on occasion and saying, “Really. It’s not the capsule I’m worried about. IT’S THE ROCKET!”

I think I need a vacation!

This is the Ares IX during launch. Rocket Man and his co-horts built the Roll Control System on this baby and it worked. I guess they think they can strap me to anything they build and launch me now!

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Sun is setting on our Brightest and Best

I read the announcement in a news alert and my heart sank. Late last week, NASA announced that up to 2,000 contractor jobs were going to be cut due to the cancellation of the Constellation program. Not all of the jobs will be here in Huntsville, but many will be.

I don’t even think this made the national news, and it wasn’t big headlines in our local news for long. More sensational things happened, such a prisoner who is being held on murder charges tried to commit suicide and lots of politically charged stories.

But for those of us who are closely tied to the Space Program, that announcement was like a mournful bell tolling. The current administration has arbitrarily cut off funding for the Constellation program, which was to replace the aging Space Shuttle. When the last shuttle mission flies within the year…it will be the end of the American Manned Space Flight program. Our astronauts will be hitching rides from the Russians to get the the International Space Station (oh, and the price will be very high for their taxi services!) This is unbelievable to me. As long as I can remember, Americans have been the front runner in Manned Space Flight.

My heroes have included John Glenn and Neil Armstrong and Jan Davis.These were men and women who did daring things, risking their lives…but risking while trusting the technology developed, engineered and built by NASA and NASA contractors. We have corporately mourned disasters that took the lives of our brightest and best. We have reaped the benefit of better living and technology because of NASA research and technology developed for the Space Program.

Who will my grandchildren look up to and call ‘hero’ the way I looked up to the Astronauts? Will it be some entertainer? A politician? A sports figure? Who will accomplish something as amazing as Ares IX, which went from concept to flight in only 3 years time?

Every morning as I come to work, I top a hill and can see the city of Huntsville spread out before me. The most stunning landmark in the distance is a Saturn V rocket that stands proudly at the western edge of the city. I have seen it like a sentinel standing guard over our fair city for the 23 years I have lived here. Last week, I stood at the top of that hill and watched the sun setting behind the rocket.

It was a poignant moment for me. I thought of my friends who will be affected by the layoffs that are surely coming. I thought about my husband, the amazing Rocket Man, who works in the industry and is scrambling and sacrificing to keep good people employed. I thought about the church where I work and know that we will feel the crunch as giving will go down when people lose their jobs. I thought of other jobs that will be lost as our economy feels the squeeze as the aerospace industry in Huntsville shrinks.

Seeing the sun set behind the rocket seemed quite symbolic to me. I hope that memory never replaces the memory I have of being at the launch of Ares IX and the pride I felt at the great achievement I saw. I pray it is not our last such achievement.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wednesday Whinings-June 16, 2010

Its been several weeks since I thought I had anything worth a Wednesday Whine. But today, I feel some whining in the is going on all around me. I thought I might join in, just for the fun of it.

I need to take this one opportunity to whine about the heat. I made a commitment last year to cease whining about the heat during the summer and found that I actually tolerated it much better. Not very much, but a little. Attitude is everything!

Let me just say this: I do not like the heat and humidity of summer in Alabama. Or Ohio. Or Iowa. Or Missouri. Or Virginia.
Never have. Probably never will.

You'd think that I would have acclimated to it, but I never have. Doesn't make it any easier that the Rocket Man (of the Macon, Georgia Masseys) thinks that the weather approaches comfort when it is 94 degrees outside with 99% humidity. We are thermatically ( is that even a word?) incompatible. Nonetheless, I did much better with a better attitude last year, so I intend to try it again this year. ONCE IT IS TRULY SUMMER.! I'm whining about the heat today with a clear conscience because it is still spring :)

And, another thing. resolve to whine or not; don't even tell me how it isn't as hot as last summer when I have sweat rolling down my back today! I don't give a hoot or holler how hot is was last summer when I'm hot RIGHT NOW! Just a word of warning. I might have resolved to cease whining, but I go crazy-nuts when I hear that. I might hurt you!

So, here's my whine. It has been soooooooooo hooooooooooooooooottttttt outside! And stiiiiiccccckkkkyyy! I haaaaaaaaate it. I can't waaaaaaaiiiiiiiittttt for fall and cooler temperaturrrres.

How about you? What are you whining about out there? I know you are, because I'm hearing it everywhere I go. Wah, wah, wah!


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wednesday's Whinings May 26, 2010

I was on vacation last week, and there is NO whining allowed on vacation.

This Wednesday, the only thing I really can think of to whine about is that while I was waiting at the bus stop this morning for a tardy bus…I had sweat rolling down my back. Not my favorite thing. And I was really going to whine about it.

Until I got to work and found out that one of our church members who has been fighting with cancer lost that battle this morning. How can I whine about the heat when a precious family has been so devastated by loss? Two little girls who are 5 and 7 have lost their Mother. Their father has lost his wife. Their grandparents have lost a beloved daughter. She was a wife, a mother, a daughter, a teacher and a friend. Many, many people will find a void in their lives with the loss of Mindy McCann.

No, I don’t think I’ll whine today. I believe that I will be thankful for every drop of sweat that rolls down my back. And I will pray for God’s comfort and peace to surround the family of one remarkable woman who entered into His very presence today.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Awful Ugly Truth about Rocket Man

My darling husband, a.k.a. Rocket Man, does not read blogs. He especially doesn’t read mine, unless I copy it in a word document and email it to him with some pithy comment in the subject line that might make his blood run cold. Maybe something like ‘Here is what I posted about you on the World Wide Web today’.

Having read those posts, he has begged me to write something that he feels is closer to the truth. He thinks I’m too kind. I think he is silly. Personally, I don’t know what he’s talking about, but I decided to think on it and see if I could come up with a few things about him that he might find closer to the way he sees himself than the way I see him.

So, here it is. The Awful Ugly Truth about The Rocket Man.

Well….he is an engineer. A cute one, but he is an engineer to the core. He is very comfortable in a world of spread sheets, numbers, formulas and data. The man thrives on data. He needs input. He’s not so big on feelings. Or, as he says, ‘feeeeeeeeelings.’ The endearing thing about him is that he can laugh at himself and his ‘engineerial’ inclinations. For example, when we were still in that pre-courting stage of bumping into each other at events and spending all our time with each other at the event…but not really dating, we were at a Halloween party. It was a costume party. He had on a white shirt with a pocket protector, a tie that was too short, his pants pinned up to be high-waters, a slide rule tie tack and duct tape on his glasses. Oh, he had on white socks with his loafers. I saw him and burst into giggles. He came as a geeky engineer! Anyone who can laugh at themselves is a winner to me.

More Awful Ugly Truth about him is that he is male. He is 100% prime beef-cake, scratchin', spittin' man. If he has a feminine side, it is me and the only time he is in touch with it is when he is touching me. Being all male, there are certain things that he does that are just plain awful and ugly. Nasty things. He leaves the seat (and occasionally the lid) to the toilet up. He drinks milk and coke straight from the bottle. He thinks that my hope chest, which we use as a coffee table, is an acceptable place to put stinky, greasy car parts while he works on them. He does not, however, leave his clothes on the floor. EVER. He takes them off and puts them in the hamper or stuffs them back in the drawer if he intends to wear them again.

He does have one other seemingly male trait that could be considered an Awful Ugly Truth. He has an ongoing and serious love affair with the remote control to the television. My competition is not another woman. It is that blasted remote control (and the television). I believe that there is no activity known to man that he enjoys more (well…okay! Maybe one or two activities) than he enjoys clicking the channel up and channel down buttons on the remote control. The joy! The satisfaction! The utter bliss! So many sports channels…the Speed Channel…the Military Channel…the Outdoor channel. Top Gear, The War, The NEWS…we watch it all. The last thing at night is usually Sports Center, which we will then watch again first thing the next morning. Because you just never know what might have happened in the world of sports overnight. Inquiring minds WANT to know. My Daddy observed that The Rocket Man would probably watch a well-organized, televised spitting contest. Rocket Man swears that it would have to be competitive before he’d watch it. Leave it to Daddy to cut to the heart of the matter.

Is that enough? Shall I continue? The Rocket Man can be just a wee bit bossy. I’m not saying I’ve observed this myself. One of his friends from work told me that. He came right out and just said, “Ed can be bossy.” Well, Ed is the boss, so I think we can excuse him for that one.

Another Awful Ugly Truth about The Rocket Man is not really his fault. But since he wanted me to lay it all out for my vast audience (all 3 of you who might read this), here goes. He is color blind. Doesn’t see reds or greens. We had been keeping company for quite some time when he gazed into my eyes and whispered ever so sweetly, “You have the most beautiful brown eyes.” Say what? My eyes are on the green side of hazel. I like them that way. Consequently, one of my jobs in the household is to cover anything that has to do with color. Recently, we were looking for some fabric to have his office chair re-upholstered. The frame of the chair was being painted black and he wanted the seat and back to be red (he’s a Georgia Bulldog Football fan). So there I was, looking at red fabric. I found some and he asked me if it were really red. I cocked my head at him, and said, “Really?” He offered to go back to the car to get a jersey that was, he believed, red and black to match the color. Really??? I asked if there was a problem? Didn’t he trust me? I just threw it out there…”Hey, Rocket Genius—er, Man! Guess what? I’m NOT colorblind.” He promptly bought the red fabric.

The very last Awful Ugly Truth is this. He has Central Auditory Processing Disorder (APD). Oddly enough, so does my oldest grandson. The two are not blood related, but are ever so much alike in some wonderful ways. Anyway, when I took the lad to be tested and was given this diagnosis, I called to let The Rocket Man know the results. I was telling him some of the information that the nice testing lady had given to me. He stopped me and said, “Molli, I know all of that. I have Auditory Processing Disorder.” WHAT? This was in about our 8th year of marriage. All the sudden, so many scenes came rushing before my eyes. I felt a bit faint. The ensuing conversation went somewhat like this:

Me: (with skepticism) You mean all the times I’ve asked you to do things and you haven’t done them…you weren’t just blowing me off? There was some sort of disorder that made you ignore me?

Rocket Man: (aghast) Molli! I would NEVER blow you off. Really? There are times I haven’t done things you asked? I’m so sorry!

Me: How is it that this has never come up in conversation? I’d think that somewhere along the line, you might have mentioned it. Said something like: “Hey, Molli…did I tell you that I have APD and that while it might appear that I’m blowing you off, it is more likely that there is a breakdown in my neurons and the information, even though I repeat it, doesn’t quite make it to the part of my brain that translates and helps me do what I’ve just heard?”

Rocket Man: Oh. Golly, Molli. I thought you knew.

Oh, the things you find out about someone after you’ve been married to them for almost a decade!

So, there you have it. The Awful Ugly Truth about Rocket Man. The most amazing, loving, funny, happy, caring, warm, loyal, faithful, honest, hardworking, creative talking, engineer of a guy I know, who just happens to be the object of my affections. I think he’s the most wonderful creature God ever created. He thought you ought to know the Awful Ugly Truth, and now you do!

Thursday's Thankful Thoughts-May 13, 2010

Lots to be Thankful for in MolliWorld today!

We are leaving as soon as we can tomorrow for a week of vacation. We aren't headed off to an exotic or exciting vacation destination. We are, however, going to the place I most long to go in the whole world. We are going home!

That involves 2 stops. Don't tell, because it is a secret, but we plan to spend tomorrow night in the town where I grew up, Kennett, Missouri. I am already tasting Alford's Barbeque and I hope to be first in line at Causbie's bakery on Saturday morning. I want to drive up one street and down the other. I want to walk on the town square, park at my High School, drive by my old house and immerse myself in memories.

From there, we will go to Eldon, other hometown. I never lived there, but my grandparents did and my parents do now. So, I'm going home to my Mother and Daddy's house. Another walk down memory lane as I drive by the house where my grandparent's live, take a drive in the country to see the old places, worship in the church where my grandfather was pastor when I was a child. Sleeping and waking up in my Mother's house with all the wonderful things that I associate with that. Its just a dream come true for me. I can't wait.

Lots and lots to be thankful for! Vacation time. Going home. Spending time in the Jeep alone with Rocket Man. Time with family and old friends. Then, the wonderful feeling of coming back home to our home!

Today, my heart overflows with thanks for the ability of one Rocket Man to take me home and be immersed in my family. Its my birthday gift...and the best one I could have gotten.

Thankful, thankful, thankful! And looking forward to some Alford's. Yum!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wednesday Whinings-May 12, 2010

First of all, how about that Wednesday Whinings logo! My amazing (and very precious to me) niece, Teri Lynne Underwood came through with that one. Three cheers for Teri Lynne! I love it. {She also designed my blog. You can catch up with her (and she's not a whiner) at Pleasing to You...there is a button on my sidebar.} Thanks, Teri! Love you much!

Oaky....on to the business at hand. Whining.

I feel just like that child today. I have had it and I want to scream. I am really and truly, cross my heart and hope to die, for sure and for certain tired of the allergy season. No fooling! I have sneezed until my stomach hurts and my eyes have been all of the following; itchy, red, swollen, full of gunk and dry. I ingest medications daily to keep it from getting any worse than that. My experience is that I will stop sneezing about the 4th of July.

I also have more things to do than time this week. I’m not a big one to carry on about how busy I am but this week, I’m trying to get things done so I can leave and be gone from work for a week without having to pay the piper when I get back. Does that make any sense? That is just things at work. I have things to do at home (like pack and get ready to leave town on Friday) and I’m flat running out of daylight. So, what do I do to add to the stress? I offer to cook a meal for a family and take it to them tomorrow night.

All of that said, the thing I would whine about today…if I were a whiner…is that I have pooooooorly managed my time and I’m having to pay for it. And, of course, the poooooollen. Its pecaaaaaaan and fescuuuuuue. They make me sneeeeeeeeeeze.

Can’t do anything about the poooooollen except sneeeeeeze and wait it out. Can’t even feel toooooo bad about my own darn poor time management (or procrastination, as some might call it). Its my own doggoooooooone fault.

How ‘bout you? Anyone want to join me in a big, group whiiiiiiine?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Thursday's Thankful Thoughts-May 6, 2010

On this National Day of Prayer, I am thankful for the many sacrifices made by our forefathers to secure a land of freedom, opportunity and plenty for us. We just finished watching the HBO mini-series “John Adams” and I was taken by the personal sacrifices he and his family made to help establish our nation.

I am thankful that my beautiful and academically gifted daughter, Annie, had time between her finals and brought me lunch and spent a few hours with me at work. Those times are precious to me and I am very thankful to spend time with her.

I am thankful that our city was spared the awful destruction of the storms last weekend, and send heartfelt prayers to the communities all around us who suffered great losses.

My last thankful thought today is this: I am thankful for the amazing person who thought to invent air conditioning. It is nearly 90 degrees already and I am so grateful that I spend my days out of the elements.

What things make you thankful today?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wednesday Whinings,-May 5, 2010

I was stumped yesterday when I considered what my whining was going to be today. I think I thought about something to whine about over the weekend…but I can’t remember. So…I’m going to whine because I can’t always rememberrrrrrr what I want to rememberrrr.

Then, I used my brand new Wii Fit last night for the first time. I can certainly whine about that contraption. First of all….it told me my center of balance was off. No Joke! I have a clinical diagnosis of being ‘offfffffff’ from a well respected Orthopedist in town. He looked at me and said, “Molli! You are just plain off” Thanks a lot, Doc! I have scoliooooooooosis. I have one leg shorrrrrrrrter than the other. Sometimes, I trip and fah-all!

So I don’t need a flipping machine telling me I’m off. Then, it tells me I’m obese and the little Mii character swells up and hangs her head. That made me feeeel so bah-ad. To make it worse, Rocket Man was on the bed behind me laughing at meeeeeee. Or, I should say at Miiiiiiiii.

Then, I did some of the exercises.

I stiinnnk at it.

Now, my back hurrrrrrrrts.

I woke up at 3 am and couldn’t go back to sleeeeeeep.

How ‘bout you? Anything to whine about?

You’ll notice that I STILL don’t have a logo for Wednesday’s Whinings. No more prizes until I have a logo. You know who you are....

Friday, April 30, 2010

Ed & Molli got married and went to The Waffle House

There were lots of things going on in my life 12 years ago. Rocket Man and I were planning to be quietly married on my birthday, which is May 20. We had secured a minister, bought the license, bought rings, had many long conversations with our children about blending our family, and I had given notice at my apartment that I would not continue my lease. I had even bought a cake topper.

We were doing this quietly, planning to be married with only our children present. It was a second marriage for both of us. Rocket Man had custody of his girls, but his ex-wife had sued for custody and we were smack-dab in the middle of the fight of the century. We wanted to keep his girls from being pulled any more than they already were and a quiet wedding just short of eloping seemed the prudent thing to do.

My son had come home from college for the weekend on May 1. We enjoyed a very pleasant evening with our kids on that Friday night. After I went home with my children, the thought came to me that we could go ahead and get married on Saturday. The children were all with us. We had the license.

Why wait?

I got up early and caught up with the Rocket Man, and asked him, ‘Why don’t we go ahead and get married tonight?’ He asked me why we had decided to get married on the 20th and we remembered that it was because he would only have one date to remember instead of two. He said he thought that was a wonderful idea, as long as I wouldn’t be offended that he might occasionally forget the date of our anniversary. I figured that I could remind him in both subtle and not-so-sublte ways, so we called our friend who was going to perform the ceremony and decided to go for it.

We gathered our children and asked them if anyone had plans for the evening. Nobody did. I said, “Want to go to a wedding?” In chorus, they asked, “Whose wedding?” We told them ours and everyone agreed that this was a fine idea. Rocket Man really wanted to take everyone out to get new jeans to wear, but I nixed that. I didn’t mind having a non-traditional wedding, but I didn’t want to get married in jeans. The girls and I went to have our hair done and then my children and I went home to get dressed and ready.

As the sun went down, we executed our plan. Our minister friend met us at our church. Rocket Man had a key to the church, so we let ourselves in and sort of sneaked into the sanctuary. Everyone had a part; lighting the candles, reading scripture, presenting the rings…it was lovely. There in that sanctuary in the very building where we met and fell in love, we united as man and wife.

We said our vows, signed the paperwork and were off to the reception. This is where the story gets funny. Rocket Man had given our 4 children, ages 19, 17, 13 and 9 the task of deciding where we would go to eat after the ceremony. He told them we could go anywhere they chose. He had in mind some very nice restaurant.

Know what they chose? The Waffle House. I'm not joking. They were insistent. The debate was between Waffle House and Dairy Queen. I am so glad they chose The Waffle House, if those were the choices. Ed tried to talk them out of it, but they were united. So, off to the Waffle House they went. Ours may be the only wedding reception in the history of the world that cost less than $50. In fact, I think it was less than $35.

The children went in one car and Rocket Man and I followed. On the way, he earnestly explained to me that he would gladly have gone to the Fogcutter, Green Bottle Grill, or any of the other nice places in town. I told him it didn’t matter. I would enjoy telling this story over and over and over. And, I have. We laughed and giggled our way through dinner.

Every year, on May 2, He gallantly offers to take me anywhere I want to go for dinner. He exact words are, “Where does Molli want to go to eat?” My answer has been, every year but one (we were in Oakland, California that year and we went to an A’s game for our anniversary) has been, “Molli would very much like to eat at The Waffle House.” We laugh and go have a waffle and I thank God for the day he brought such a dear man into my life.

That Rocket Man, Ed Massey, is my husband, my lover, my friend, my favorite human on the planet. He is a wise and loving step-father to my children, a good and kind son-in-law to my parents, a generous and funny Uncle Ed to my nieces and nephews and their children, and an amazing and very loving Granddaddy to my Grandsons. He completes me. We make a formidable team when we work together on anything. He makes me laugh, encorages me, comforts me, protects me, and makes my dreams come true. He is the answer to my prayers, my companion and one of the most amazing blessings I have ever had on earth.

So, on this momentous occasion when we have beaten the odds (second marriages usually dissolve within 7 years, especially if you are trying to blend a family) and are celebrating our 12th anniversary…our Delightful Dozen…I give thanks to God for allowing me to know such a heaven on earth.

I give you my hands
And take your hands in mine
As a symbol and pledge
Of our uniting in one flesh

I give you my love
The outpouring of my heart
As a symbol and pledge
Of our uniting in one spirit

I give you this ring
From out of my worldly goods
As a symbol and pledge
Of our uniting in one family
~our vows upon the exchanging of rings~