Strangers in the House

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As I walked to the kitchen, the song ‘Strangers in the Night’ came to mind. With me, I change words around in songs to set to my situation, and this was no different.

Many years ago, before we moved into our home, I designed it to be remodeled in the full basement in order for it to be an apartment if needed for our kids or if my 546DCE67-2347-4D37-93E2-9B36344F6A4Fmy in-laws had to move in on the main floor. Even though I love my in-laws, I still have my space to escape, as needed, if need be so I thought. Just thinking ahead when planning the layout. As the boys grew up, it worked wonderfully, as the boys and their friends had a kitchen, bathroom, beds or floor space to throw sleeping bags, as they played their video games. That’s all they need basically. At times, we had all their friends here and many stayed over off and on or a few for days, knowing they were always welcome. I would rather pay more in groceries to keep them all in a safe home than out roaming the streets or in homes that I knew little to nothing about. It was work but I miss those days being a short-order cook, with those fun, loud, stinky boys.7638EE81-D50B-47BB-8B6C-EFA52FD695E9

As the friends dwindled due to a driver’s license or moved on, so did my kiddos. College came and went, never for them to have our home address again. In a blink of an eye, the house was now quiet and cleaner, but I am alone. The sleep I longed for in their youth, I think I am all caught up and now wake at the break of dawn.

Little did I know or realize, this remodeling was really not for the kids or in-laws but for us as a couple, husband and wife. My sister and I call our house Apartment A and B. I’m in A and he is in B. It works but definitely not a normal, happy marriage.

What is normal?  What is a happy marriage suppose to be like? Over the years, I see other couples and they seem happy. Maybe they wore masks as we did for years attending church. Nobody ever knew or questioned the drift or the space on the pew between us. Often, I would look out over the crowd at a restaurant and notice couples, some are talking and some just sit in quiet and eat. We were part of that group in case they looked at us. I had made a comment in one of my counseling sessions about other couples being happy. Honestly, I saw that in most, just not mine. It was when my counselor snapped saying, “How do you know they are happy?” It was her tone that kind of made me back up and think I hit a nerve. So apparently things were not sweet and cuddly in her own home. Okay, never mind, let’s move on.

9F3E8DA1-DF77-4EA6-AB6F-C14B11E0E440Our interests, life itself, is non-existent between us. No love, no hate, just exist as I refer to it, as business partners, brother/sister relationship. Again, it works. There is no fighting. We do have that going for us. In earlier years, I wanted to fight by means of verbalizing, no hitting, but he would run away. Nothing solved, except me standing in my corner of the boxing ring, alone. After awhile, you give up, what’s the use.

Still, as I am humming my made-up song, hearing him downstairs, in his apartment, doing his own laundry of just how we are strangers in the house.

What life holds in store for either of us, only the Lord knows. I have no doubt that He gave me the remodeling plans in my mind and on paper many years ago of what we experience today. That’s God!

It is all in the way you look at things. While this is not the best, it is not the worst either. Not what I expected in a relationship or of a marriage but I am sure not for him either, perhaps.

80FFD5B4-11F9-4333-9D19-F053E5DDD2C2There is a lot of muddy water under the bridge but the bridge still stands as the storms of life tossed me for a loop many times and the thought of jumping over was considered at times. I don’t want to remain stuck in life expecting what will never be so I have and will walk forward and take care of me, which I have been doing. I cannot change the past or him and he has no desire to change.  I am only responsible for myself, my health and my happiness. I can truly say in that revelation, I am happier today.

Just as the Lord gave me remodeling plans years ago, I have to trust Him for remodeling plans for the future. For now, Strangers in the House is my theme song, which makes me smile, at times. Sometimes, cry.C0B26AA3-8A90-4209-98FF-2D17103F61A1

This is my story, we all have one and we all go through tough periods in life. No matter what decision is made, stay or go, run away or just give up in hopelessness, I do believe the Lord will get us to where we are each to be in life. We may hinder the process or change the route of God’s Will in our life, but it is no surprise to Him. Still, He knows where we are. That’s God!

Just this past week, dealing with some issues, I never thought this or said before, but he deserves happiness, too. We both do. Perhaps this is a step I needed to get to and feel hope of our future.

We have to trust the Lord, through the tears or in the smiles, sometimes with a mask. That’s faith!

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Woman at the Tree

Have you ever stopped and noticed an image in wood grain of a door, in various paintings or other inanimate objects? I’m sure you have at some point in your life, you have done just that with clouds. It’s fun and is actually relaxing.

I have lived in the present house for twenty years now. It’s an older house and actually it belong to my parents so I grew up in this house, too. The yard is about an acre, not too big and not too small although as we get older, it seems to get bigger and be more than we prefer to deal with.

The back yard was full of trees and bushes when my parents moved in, back in 1964 and was thinned out. When we bought it in 1999, we took out trees also. There is this one big maple tree in the middle of our back yard. This tree after all of these years still provides shade and perfect where it is, but I have recently noticed a figure of a body in the trunk of it, a full body. As I stand at my kitchen window doing dishes or just looking out and watching the birds, I look at this tree and realized it is a body of a woman. I felt she deserved a name, which is Tree-na, of course.

Apparently, I need to get out more. Throughout this pandemic, this has been fun to view and get lost in the imagination of the tree. Why have I not seen this before?

Do you see her? Her head is tilted down, my opinion. Once the weather is cooler, my intention is to give the body an outline with paint and color to enjoy even more and it will be a definite conversation piece. Perhaps a fright to some, which makes it even more fun. 

If all of these years living here and being in this house, looking out into the back yard, from childhood basically, this woman in the tree never stood out to me. Now though it is one of those things, I cannot unsee. I wonder, how much more do I not see around me or in front of me, wherever I go. Lord, open my (our) eyes.

This year has been a year that none of us will forget as we shake our heads in disbelief of the chaos, confusion and fear. I wonder the same, how much more I do not see around me or in front of me, wherever I go. Lord, I (we) need your discernment and protection.

“Open my eyes, that I may behold wonderful things from your law.” Psalm 119:18

“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15-16

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12

https://www.buzzfeed.com/christopherhudspeth/pareidolia-quiz

Pareidolia was at one time considered a symptom of human psychosis, but it is now seen as a normal human tendency. Pareidolia is not confined to humans. Scientists have for years taught computers to use visual clues to “see” faces and other images.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/illusions-delusions-and-reality/201902/mind-controlled-motion-perception