Exactly Different

Hey there!   How is everybody?   Hope all y’all are doing great!  I’m doing much better today.  A couple good nights’ sleep, some down time and a motorcycle ride…  yep, things are better! Sadie has a new favorite spot here in the house.  In the bottom of the built-in china cabinet in the dining room (my den).  I finally gave up and put one of her beds in there and she’s snug as a bug in a rug.  Silly dog.  🙂  Anyway, grab a glass of tea or something, and find a comfy spot to relax a few minutes.  I’ve made some amazing discoveries here… Ohio is exactly the same as KC, but completely different.

I think I told y’all that I’m taking a writing class this summer.  My topic has been house vs. home.  It has really amazed me that I feel so at home here in a state I’d never even seen until last fall, until I realized there are so many similarities!

Let’s talk just about the roads and layout of the city here.  First, Steubenville, OH is a sister city, actually considered part of a metro area with Weirton, WV, just across the Ohio River and just a few miles from Pittsburgh, PA.  Like KC, KS and KC, MO across the Missouri River.  Steubenville and Weirton are included in the greater Pittsburgh metro, just like Kansas City, Kansas, and other suburbs all make up the greater Kansas City Metro area.  In Kansas City, I could see Kansas State Highway 7 from my back porch on a clear winter morning.  In Ohio, I could see Ohio State Highway 7 easily from the Microtel where I stayed for several months.  Both cities have a Central street very near a Ridge street; both have a Steele Rd with the exact same spelling.  One has a Johnson Drive, the other has a Johnson Road.  On a motorcycle ride last night, I discovered Ohio state road 152 – very similar to Missouri state 152 I drove back in KC.

The fun thing about Steubenville: It is Dean Martin’s birthplace.  At one time, they were really going to do honors to him and named the streets Sunset Blvd, Hollywood Blvd, Lover’s Lane, Stardust Circle, and Skyline Dr., among others.  There is a mural depicting him on a red carpet at Sunset and Hollywood on the side of the Kroger store.  Each year, there is a Dean Martin festival held, with impersonators, family, friends, etc.

I feel at home here.  Steubenville has all the familiar chain stores and restaurants:  Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Sherwin Williams, CVS, JC Penney, Lowes,  JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts, Office Max, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Dairy Queen, and Applebees.  When I was a little girl, mom always shopped at the Kroger store in Kansas City, Kansas.  Kroger later left KC, and I hadn’t seen a Kroger store again until I moved to Steubenville.  It was like a porch light welcoming me home.  My first social encounter was in the produce section there, meeting a girl from the college.  It was a little ‘home town’ sort of feeling.

There are some fun parallels, too.  Back in KC, I loved eating at Kelley’s in Basehor.  They have good food, a nice atmosphere, and a bar which isn’t the center feature.  In Steubenville, the place is called “The Ville”.  Yep, one can still get a real, honest to goodness hot beef sandwich.  In KC, I had a wonderful veterinarian.  It was hard to leave that practice for Sadie; but just next to Steubenville, I was led to Dr. Sommerville in the town of Wintersville.   When Dr. David Sommerville retires in the future, I will still be in very good hands as his son, Dr. Matthew Sommerville, is his practice partner.

In KC, I was part of the GoldWing motorcycle group.  Here in Steubenville, I’ll be riding with another local bike group.  Most of them ride Harleys, but they’re not holding my rice burner against me, lol.  I’ve met several of the guys, and they are really good folks.

Of course, the best similarity is that Jesus is right here!  I’ve met a husband and wife pastoral team like some friends from back home; I’m in a Catholic church like the one back home; and Jesus is right here with me no matter where I am or what I’m doing.  How about you?  Are you in a ‘new place’ in some area of your life?  It doesn’t have to be geographic to be a change.  If you need someone to talk to, find a pastor or a priest.  They’ll be happy to talk, and they can also point you to whatever or whomever you need to make the transition a blessing.  Change can be good!

 

Just when you thought it was safe…

Hey, y’all!  I’m ba-ack!   Didja miss me?  I had no idea what I was in for when I jumped onto this rocket ship.  When I look back at the last few days, weeks or months, I just want to hibernate like an ol’ bear and sleep for about six weeks.  Maybe in August, lol.   For inquiring minds who want to know what I’ve been up to, I’ve been up to my eyeballs.   I am seriously writing a book.  I’m calling it “101 Days:  The Homeless Homeowner”.   Find a comfy spot so at least one of us can relax, and grab a cuppa something.  Let me give you the Cliff (or maybe over the cliff?) Notes! Continue reading

Bits and Pieces

Happy Easter to all y’all! Today Christ is risen and we have new hope, new joy, new faith, new life! Hope y’all are having a great time with your family or church family!  I’ve been incredibly busy, but here’s a quick update.

School is going well.  I’m still managing B’s, and that’s wonderful for me.  My instructors are awesome.  Very attentive, very accommodating, and a couple of them may well become friends.  Lots of the kids I know have family in town.  Several of them are staying at “Sadie’s” hotel.  Lots of them were at breakfast this morning.

The house still is not ready.  Ugh.  It’s becoming quite a battle to do what I can and trust God for the rest.  If I’d known it would be this long I could easily have rented a place much less expensively for a few months.  They keep telling me “two weeks”  “next week, two tops”.   And I keep believing them.  I was raised in construction, I have some idea how long things take.  But nobody could have foreseen not one but three subcontractors not doing their work either at all, or competently, or in a timely manner.  The best subcontractors in town have subbed my house out to incompetents.  My general contractor is tearing out his hair.  Nobody could have foreseen material companies delivering the wrong materials, and having discontinued the ones we ordered.  Nobody could have foreseen the neighbor’s cats sneaking in and holding us up for nearly a month total.  Nobody could have foreseen initially needing to completely rewire, completely re-plumb from the street!, the gas company losing the hookup order, and a host of other players in the comedy of errors.  I’m really going to write a book and call it The Homeless HomeOwner or something of the sort.

Today is Easter.  In the natural, I could be feeling really sorry for myself right about now.  I’m paying for another week in a hotel, 15 hours from my family and experiencing my first holiday ever (over a half century) without any family nearby.   As I mentioned, several of the kids’ families from school are here, and I can hear them laughing in the dining area down the hall.  I will be having dinner with some friends from church this afternoon at 2; that should ease the loneliness I’m temporarily experiencing.  I knew up front I’d have these times.  While it isn’t fun, it isn’t unexpected, either, and I also know this, too, will pass.   In another hour I’ll be around a dining table with new friends, eating Italian food and having a great time.

On the flip side, even as the tears threaten to spill over again, Sadie is here and is a great comfort.  If I start to cry, she gets up and comes to wash my face.  The good news today is the Good News.  Jesus is here!   He’s with me, He understands loneliness, as does his mother, Mary.  Our mother.  Still getting used to that, but it does bring some comfort.

It’s been an interesting week in Steubenville.  I keep seeing people who are doubles to folks back home.  Last night at Easter Vigil, one of the readers looked just like my mom from about 25 years ago.  I sat behind a gentleman who could have been a brother to Kenny M.  I’ve seen Raylene and Carlene this week, and I’ve seen Lori Gregory.  I’ve seen my niece and Beth and lots of others.  It’s true, people are the same everywhere, lol.

It’s a beautiful sunny day.  I think I’ll take Sadie out for a walk and chase these blues away.  Sunshine is really good for that!   And we don’t have KC’s snow this morning.  It’s supposed to be 70 this afternoon.

What about you?  Do you have the warmth and comforting love of your family?  Take advantage of this time and tell them you love them.  Mend a quarrel, re-establish a relationship.  It’s worth the risk.  Are you one of those away from home, without any real family support at the moment?  Even your closest friends are with their own families right now?  Remember that you have a Friend who never leaves you.  Jesus is right there, He totally understands.  If you will look around just a bit, I’m sure He’s got a plan to give you some joy today.  Take Him up on it!  I get to walk my dog in the warm sunshine, with a pretty view of the river.

Maybe you’re in a bad way today.  Maybe you have nobody at all.  It may be difficult to do this today, but tomorrow for sure, find a pastor or priest.  They can introduce you to Jesus.  He has promised to never leave us or forsake us, no matter how bad we’ve been or are at the moment.  His arms of love are open wide to help us through the rough times, help us clean up our lives, and help us to start a new life of love, peace and joy.   Happy Easter!

Superbowl Ads and Lent

Hey there!   How is everybody?  As I write this, I’m still sitting in a hotel in Ohio, waiting for my house to be finished so I can move in.  Sadie is a very, very spoiled puppy at this point.  The staff and most of the other guests here love her, and everybody is feeding her. It’s gonna be a big adjustment for her to go back to ‘just dog food’.  It’s cold here, so y’all grab a cuppa and find a warm comfy spot while I ramble.  I know the superbowl was awhile ago, but there is a lot of good to be had in reflection on some things.  Continue reading

Road Trip Logistics

Hey everyone!  How is everybody?  Has the schedule taken hold yet?  You know, the kids are back in school and now we have sports practices, homework, and a myriad of other things we need to do.  Are you exhausted already?  Yep.  I remember!   Car tags and school supplies due in the same month…  but somehow God always worked it out so everybody got everything they needed.  Grab a cuppa and find a comfy spot and let’s take 5.  You’ve earned it!  And so have I! Continue reading

Puppy Love

Hey there!  Welcome to the adventure!  Not so adventurous today, though.   Grab a cuppa something suitable, and pick out a nice comfy spot.   Today is just for fun.  We’re still in February, still the ‘month of love’, so I’ll keep talking about love.  Literal puppy dog love.  I’m sitting here on the sofa, with my dog’s head stuck under my arm, in the crook of my elbow as I type this.  She’s a good girl, and I’m gone a lot.  Tonight she wants Continue reading