I'm a redeemed child of God and the momma to four vivacious daughters. I'm passionate about finding hidden blessings in the trials of life, living it out in an honest and open way, while encouraging those around me to believe in better.


an abandoned checker board

WARNING:  Long, rambling post to follow.

Nothing like an abandoned checker board to grab my attention, put my emotions in check, and quiet my spirit.

My life is nothing short of crazy. Truly. I really should don a red helmet and carry a hose on my back because it seems all I do is move from fire to fire.

Humor me as a share a sampling and then circle back to my thoughts?

Monday night I was on my way to a painting class/party at a friend’s house. I was pretty excited and looking forward to it. I had my Texas caviar and watermelon margaritas all ready to go!

First hitch, Taylor … my sitter for the night, was late. And. I couldn’t reach her anywhere. For over thirty minutes. Morbid thoughts started assailing me when I finally got a text from her.

With 20 minutes to spare, she finally made it home and packed up the girls to take them to dinner. The girls had friends over and Taylor had a friend, which made 7 in total so they needed to take my car. Which was fine because it gave me the opportunity to hop in my never-used sports car, and I couldn’t wait to drive with the top down and wind in my hair!

I pile everything into my car, watch Taylor back out the drive, and turn on my car raring to go. I push the button to take the roof down and nothing happens. Well … actually … I did get a “click.” But I didn’t get any roof-coming-down action. So I tried it again. “Click.” And again. “Click.”

And then. Liquid started pouring through the roof of the car onto the console. Not dripping. But pouring. A green, greasy-like fluid. It started pooling in the interior light fixtures and continued to pour onto the console.

For some reason Taylor pulled back into the drive. Now what was the reason again? Thinking … thinking … oh yeah! Money. Humpf.

But good thing, cuz I needed the keys to her car.

While she was getting me the keys, and I was getting a bucket in place to catch the unwanted, green, greasy-like matter pouring into my car … a boy comes into the driveway on his bike. Selling raffle tickets.

And since I’ve got my wallet out handing cash over to the teen, I figured I’d get a raffle ticket too.

It’s currently 6:55 and the party starts at 7:00.

As I’m filling out my raffle tickets, the boy’s dad pulls in on his bicycle. He sees our Wisconsin plates, tells me he’s from Chicago, and proceeds to tell me his life story.

They leave and I’m finally on my way.

Let’s see. Then there’s yesterday morning. Well … first, let’s quickly back up a month to some extremely extensive and painful dental work that left me with a temporary crown. Given mine and the dentist’s travel schedule, it was about four weeks out ’til I could get the permanent crown put in place. That probably would’ve been just fine. But let’s say hypothetically a milk dud might’ve pulled it out about three weeks too early. And the derned thing kept coming off, leaving me in quite a bit o’ pain!

I was thankful to finally have the permanent one put on. Yesterday morning.

When he took the temporary one off and left my nerves exposed to the air and cool squirting water that seemed so important to get in there, I just about jumped outta my chair! It seemed fruitless to get a novocaine shot for 10 minutes of work {I really do hate those shots}, so instead I sat there in excruciating, yes excruciating pain as he fiddled and futzed and made it just right.

There may have been a tear or two, or five hundred.

Meanwhile, I get a call from home. And a voicemail.

During a break {dentist, not me}, with cotton in my mouth, and tears on my cheeks, I listen to the voicemail. It’s from Wynter and it goes like this:

“Hi mom. It’s Wynter. I threw up and have throw up in my hair and I’m wondering if I should take a shower. That’s all. I love you. Bye.”

And a few more tears may have fallen {me, not Wynter}.

Anyway. Torture dentist done and I’m on my way home.

And the Invisible Fence {dog training} guy calls and says he’s on his way to the house for training {dog, not me}. “Okay, I’m on my way there and will see you soon,” I say.

And then a call from the plumber. He’ll also be at the house shortly. See, the day before a water meter guy rings the bell and explains to me that I’m using some 77 thousand gallons of water in the last few weeks, and my meter is running out of control which indicates there’s a leak in the house somewhere.

I get home and am literally bombarded as I walk in the door. Oh! and did I mention, there’s already a guy in the basement wallpapering a bathroom that had previously been torn apart due to mold in the walls?

And that I needed to get Taylor out the door to a doctor’s appointment for a pretty banged up arm {go-carting accident}?

Anyway. The crazy continued and I could go on, but after 800 words, I’m thinking you get the gist.

In the middle of all the above, I found myself standing at the kitchen table where an abandoned checker board sat. It was all set up and ready to play. Sadly, I recalled the prior evening.

In the middle of preparing Texas caviar and margaritas, Hunter asked if I’d play checkers with her. I told her I would and to set it up on the table so I could play between my prep. She took her turn and told me it was mine. I said I’d be there in a minute so she asked if she should play my turn. I told her that was a good idea.

And that’s all I remembered. And now it sat there. Abandoned.

I was up to my eyeballs in the crazy of the morning, but felt a peace overcome me as I knew what I needed to do. I found Hunter and asked if she wanted to finish that checker game.

I may be getting misty as I’m recalling the sheer delight on her face as she excitedly answered, “yes!” and ran off to find the game.

I don’t know. No big epiphany, metaphor, or analogy from me today. Just a message to say that sometimes in the middle of crazy, all it takes is a simple reminder of what’s really important in life. The crazy’ll always be there. My prayer is that my eyes are always open to what matters most.

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Posted in encouragement, family thoughts, life, parenting

15 Responses to “an abandoned checker board”

  1. Dawn says:

    Nice ending : ) All of us with kids have been there before I’m sure.
    Dawn recently posted..Crazy busy weekend!

  2. Abbie says:

    I’m so there. Hugs.
    Abbie recently posted..A Year of Recovery

  3. Melanie says:

    Breath. Play checkers. Smile. God’s grace. Thanks for sharing the “normal” with us all!

  4. Southern Gal says:

    After experiencing those crazy days, quiet always puts it all into perspective. I’m so glad you saw the game and asked her to play. Sweet memory.
    Southern Gal recently posted..Remembering Birthdays

  5. Tiffany says:

    I just burst into tears at that last paragraph. My life is filled with crazy right now too but more of the mentally distracted with details kind. My girls have been getting lost in the shuffle and it weighs on me. Off to grab a picture book (or 50) for some quality snuggle time. Thanks for commiserating all too well.

  6. Leslie says:

    Yeah, I’ve got a pretty good understanding of that kind of cray-cray! ;-) (The “stop the world, I want to get off!” kind!) Love how you turned it back around to a moment of simplicity and nourishment, though. xoxo
    Leslie recently posted..Radio Silence

  7. Did you at least win the raffle?!?!

    Jessica Lynette recently posted..Avocado Bruschetta Recipe

  8. Cathy says:

    I love your simple reminders. :) (And I am SO right there too.)

  9. dawn says:

    add my 500 tears to yours, please. for the crazy, there & here. for the moments lost. and for the ones we choose to reclaim. you are right, the crazy will always be present… but if we can fight thru it, around it & over it…His gifts are still a-waiting. xoxo…

  10. Sally Kuhlman says:

    Bottom line, after all the crazy, you finished that game of checkers and made your daughter know, yet again, that she has the best Mommy in the whole wide world. We all need the reminder that the crazy has to be handled one foot in front of the other. The precious moments are found when taking these steps. You are amazing . . . xo, Sally

  11. Stef Layton says:

    wait I fainted at the no Novocaine part — what happened? ;p You are tougher than nails girl – physically, emotionally, mentally … oh I cover you in prayer!! You are loved friend – from the highest throne back down to little (wimpy) me !!

  12. Rachel says:

    You’re always so real and authentic- so refreshing and inspiring! Love the ending… I am going to write it down :)

  13. Cathy Y. says:

    Oh girl! I am so there with you. This post is exactly what I needed to read right now. Thank you for sharing! You are such an encouragement to me.

  14. heather says:

    Yep, sometimes you just have to let the crazy whirl around you and do the “important” stuff! Everything will still be nuts after the checkers game! :-)
    heather recently posted..Scenes from Our 4th

  15. Susan says:

    You’re truly an amazing mother. Kudos to you!!

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