Skip navigation

Category Archives: writing

Well this will be a popourri of news updates, if I have any readers left, after my prolonged (but necessary) absence. I am feeling quite a bit better, though still weak and battling a few symptoms. Some of the most worrisome ones are the side effects of the 2nd antibiotic. I was down to the last 2 pills. I took one of them, and about 3 hours later, in the bend of the elbow, I started swelling  just above the joint. It became very tender, and the other side was tender also, though not as swollen. I was already experiencing some discomfort just above the  back of the knee joint on the right side. It started a few days into the Avelox, and never really resolved itself.  So, being quite a bit concerned, I opted NOT to take the last pill. I wasn’t too worried, since I had already had 7 days of Clarithromycin, and 9 days of Avelox (a quinolone.) The Avelox also made me dizzy (enough that I couldn’t drive) and it gave me a dull headache. Quinolones are associated with some serious ruptured tendon issues, as well as central nervous system side effects. And, as I mentioned before, they seem to be the only drugs my doctor is familiar with.  (LOL!) The Clarithromycin was given by an ER doctor. At any rate, I haven’t had my follow-up appointment yet–it’s later this month. I suffered one whole day of nausea and extreme dizziness after stopping the drug. It was horrible, but by the next day, I was better. I know that when you have an upper respiratory infection, you can develop secondary infections, and inner ear problems that can cause dizziness as well.

The latest news on Chelsea, is that Rob contacted her birth dad (per her request), who was very quiet on the phone. He wasn’t all that excited to be contacted, but Chelsea called him a couple of days later, and at least made a connection of her own. She found out that she has a 16 year old half brother, who apparently didn’t know about her. I assume that at some point, she will visit where they live in Kansas, though there are no plans at this time. (The whole thing was decidedly anti-climatic after the fiasco with her mom this past Christmas.) She seemed a little disappointed that he wasn’t more excited to hear from her, but I think if you consider the past situation, and that he divorced her mom before Chelsea was placed for adoption, then it is clear that he was never very involved in her life from the start. So we’ll see how this one goes. Only time will tell.

Rob had to go over to my mom’s to have her sign some papers for him to resign as POA. He had been working on resolving some Medicaid issues for her, from her time in the nursing home, and needed  the POA until that was finished. He was able to show my brother that I had already resigned in early November. (I just wanted out quickly.) He said that he got a cool reception from my brother, and that my mother was angry and rather snarly-(my word.) He stated that she did not seem happy at all. I assume that her life is vastly different without me in it. I took her shopping, out to eat, and all her doctor appointments, as well as anywhere else she wanted or needed to go. Now I assume the lady who watches her during the day is responsible for those things, while my brother is at work. I don’t really know, but after hearing how they treated Rob, it answers a lot of questions. I figured that if she ever thought of me, it was probably in anger, and that is most likely the case.  I guess they deserve each other-two angry and tormented people. Still, I pray for them, and pray that I will be able to forgive somehow all the hurt that they have caused. Every day gets a little better, and I get a little stronger emotionally. I’m moving on with my life, little by little, and I’m grateful for simple victories.

Another update-my collectibles indoor flea market booth is doing a LOT better, now that I finally have had some time to devote to it. I made a profit both January and February (after paying my rent), and the owner is quite satisfied with that. I have really worked to keep the booth stocked, and looking nice. (I honestly think I would pay to do it, as I enjoy it all so much. I love shopping for merchandise, and decorating the booth, and displaying things. I call my business “Ribbons and Roses.” ) It’s just a small booth, but you would be surprised how much it can hold! It is something that is fun for me, and a great escape from stress.

I’ve been doing lots of freelance writing for pay, and that has kept me very busy. Hey, I’m getting rich and have no time to spend it. (Just kidding.) I’m not getting rich by any means, but it does provide me with some extra spending money, which I greatly enjoy! And it provides me with more writing experience all the time, which looks good on a resume. I just enjoy writing, and always have. To be paid for it is a terrific bonus!

I hope to start writing in my blog more often again, now that I’m feeling better. For now, that’s my life, and I feel a greater urgency than ever to truly start living it…

Advertisements

“When one door closes another door opens; but we often look so long, and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”

I was reading through random blogs this evening, and I found this quote. It’s by Alexander Graham Bell. For many years, I have heard that quote about one door closing and another one opening. But the best additional quote I’ve ever heard, about this subject, was by Pastor Jentzen Franklin, who said, “But it’s hell in the hallway!”

And hell in the hallway it is! I have been through this door scenario many times in my life, and it is excruciating. Every time I get all “comfy cozy” in a work or family situation, those darn doors start closing. And maybe it’s just me, but the older I get, the less I seem to welcome change. The world is changing so fast, and lately I’ve lost my way. I always like to say that I can’t even get stamps out of the machine anymore. It asks me questions…can you believe it? We are talking to way too many machines these days! A friend of mine told me that her mom pulled up to McDonald’s to place an order. She heard a voice say, “Welcome to McDonald’s. May I take your order?” She politely gave her order, and waited. But the voice once again asked for her order. She explained that she had just given her order, only to look out her window, to see that she had mistakenly been talking to the trashcan, instead of the speaker, which was a little farther ahead. LOL! That sounds like something I’d do these days!

But getting back to the topic of doors closing and opening, it seems that Alexander forgot to tell us that this doesn’t often happen simultaneously. There’s usually a definite pause between the closing and the opening. Sometimes a long pause. And we find ourselves in that dreadful hallway I mentioned earlier–wondering where to go next. It seems like God delights in stirring my nest. And He always waits until I am comfortably settled in, and then He gives me the boot. (I’m sure you’ve heard that’s the way mama eagles do it also. They will literally push the eaglets out of the nest, in order to teach them to fly. And just when the poor little things think they are falling without a parachute, the mother eagle swoops down and catches them. After a few times of this, they start flying on their own.)

Maybe that’s what God has in mind with all this door closing–door opening shenanigans. It seems that some of us aren’t meant to just do one thing our whole lifetime. (Probably not many people are.) But then there’s my husband. He’s always been a lawyer, and always will be. I doubt he’ll ever even retire.

But me–I’m a thousand breezes blowing. I’ve been fortunate enough in my life–not to always have to have a steady job, in order to survive. (Though for my first marriage, I surely did.) Our story was much like Ryan O’Neal and Ali McGraw in Love Story. Peanut butter sandwiches, fish-sticks, hot dogs, noodles, and a movie or McDonald’s on the weekend…but never both. It was a difficult existence, but in the beginning we were so starry-eyed and in love, that we didn’t notice the struggle. But it got really old living like that about the 7th year. That was when we got a divorce. (It’s a long story for another day.)

At any rate, I’ve worked as a clerk typist for the goverment, I’ve been a nursery worker, had a childcare business at home, was a professional singer, a cocktail waitress, worked as office manager in my husband’s law office, and was a Christian radio DJ. (That was my all time favorite.) That led to me writing and recording my own radio show for nine years, called “Love Notes.” That was the most creative and fun job (or ministry) that I’ve ever had. I hope someday that I can do radio again, because I absolutely love it! Another activity I’ve enjoyed was being the Captain of the Sign Team in our church, years ago. We would use sign language to Christian music, as a form of expressive worship. It was beautiful. And it was meant to be the art form of the sign language, not word for word, like for the deaf. (Almost like dancing with your hands.) But we even had a deaf man on the team for awhile. Later, I taught a Ladies Expressive Worship School. That was really fulfilling also. I loved teaching them what I had learned, and several went on to take that form of worship to their churches.

My husband and I owned a Christian coffeehouse, Crossroads, for 4 years. We sang there on the weekends, and held a Bible study on Sunday evenings. While we were there, our former pastor, L.M. Thorne, came to the coffeehouse and ordained us as ministers. We are Charismatic Christians (Spirit-Filled). We believe in all the gifts of the Spirit.

But after 4 years, we had to sell the coffeehouse. We couldn’t make enough money to keep it open. Once when I was crying about all the money we’d lost, a friend said, “Don’t cry. Just be glad you had that much to lose.” Say what????? (Well, I never thought of it that way.)

For about 3 years, I was a poster, and later a Moderator on a Grief Discussion Board. I pursued that like it was my life’s commitment. I hope I helped grieving people. I know they helped me.  But there was a parting of the ways that left me feeling shell-shocked and hurt. Still, it was a very good place to get healed, and to help others heal.

So after that, I guess you could say I’ve been in the hallway. My teenage daughter put us through a wild and woolly time her last years at home. Both of my dads died– my biological dad, Lonnie, and my step-dad, Sam, (my dad since I was 7.) As most of you know, that left me as the primary caregiver for my mom, who is elderly and not well. So you don’t have to wonder what I’ve been doing for the last almost 3 years. But I am glad to do it, and I have decided that as long as she is here, I will devote myself to her, and see that she has the best possible care. It has been a time of bonding that never would have happened any other way, I guess. It has also been the most difficult time of my life, with the exception of the 15 years spent raising my strong-willed daughter. (We adopted her at 3.) That’s also another story. She is on her own right now, and seems to be doing better. She has many good qualities, and a Christian upbringing. (In time, I am sure she will find her way, as we all eventually do.) She’s a very talented girl, and she sings beautifully. (She’s my babygirl always!)

So about the hallway that I find myself in. It’s hell in the hallway, as Jenzten said, but it’s even worse if you fight the process. What I’m learning, is to be content in whatever situation I find myself. It’s a lot easier to ride the waves, than to wrestle them.

I told my counselor that I had always wanted to be somebody, and that I felt like a failure since I didn’t have a career (or even a job for awhile.) She laughed and said I was somebody, and that anyone can work at Walmart (not putting Walmart down at all.) She just pointed out that I have had the opportunity in my life to do some unique, creative things. Like right now, I am doing some freelance writing, and I absolutely adore writing. It’s funny, when I was in college and took those job interests tests, mine always came back that I was interested in being in the clergy, a photographer, a writer, or something in the arts. I just have never found my place in the 9 to 5 world for long. (But I know I have been blessed, because so many people face that world daily, in order to eat and pay rent.) I have been there, and I understand.

So…here I am in the hallway. A 3 year hallway–where one door has closed, and another one has–stayed shut. LOL! But hey, the hallway’s not so bad, once you get used to it…

Please view other articles that I have written here:

http://www.associatedcontent.com/user/109497

Since I was a little girl, I knew I wanted to write. I would often write poems and give them to my mom. One was titled, “Be Happy”-a little sing-song ditty that was very joyful. I also found a note that I wrote to her when I was very young. It said, “I hope you have a very happy life.” And once I wrote a short story called, “Gerald, The Long-Necked Giraffe”. (Is there any other kind?):) Humble beginnings…

When I was in college, I wrote a story about my dad. My mom and (biological) dad divorced when I was two years old, and I never felt like I knew him the way I wanted to. We lived a little too far apart to make the trip an easy one (particularly for a child.) Though when I was still young,(perhaps 10 or 11), I would ride a Greyhound bus alone for several hours, and actually have to call a cab to take me across town to change buses in Augusta, and then continue on to South Carolina. (We lived in Atlanta.) I can’t imagine a preteen girl doing that now, but those were different times, and I was very mature for my age. I thought it was quite an adventure.

The short story that I wrote in college, was about a girl who (through a letter) confronted her father about his absence in her life, but after she mailed it, it came back, because she had inadvertently written the post office box numbers wrong. But instead of writing a new envelope, she tore it up, and never told him what she really felt. It had taken all her courage to mail it the first time, and she couldn’t go through that again.

That’s how it was with me. I was hurt, a little angry, and needed a dad so much, but I never was able to connect with him on the level that I wanted to. I think that writing that short story in college allowed me to get a glimpse of how cathartic writing could be. I could take all the feelings that were churning inside of me, and release them on paper, and for a little while ease the pain.

During this time, I also used to enjoy writing songs (minus the music.)

For 9 years I wrote and recorded my own radio show, “Love Notes”. It was a 15 minute show at lunchtime with inspirational/motivational Christian teaching, and songs that went along with my message. That fulfilled me more than any other job I’ve ever had. I loved it. It took a lot of work and personal discipline to keep turning out those programs. That little 15 minute show took over 3 hours to research and write, pick out the music, cue everything, and record. I had to stay home when my friends were going out for lunch and other activities. But for the most part, I didn’t mind. I felt it was a calling. By the way, my biological dad was a DJ for several years, and he used to send me reel-to-reel recordings of his shows, and lots of demo records (every teenager’s dream.) So I guess radio felt as natural as breathing because it was in my blood.

When I adopted my little girl at age three, she had a lot of adjustment problems, and I had to give up radio and devote myself to her. I always wanted to go back into it, and I was offered a couple of chances by the station manager, but it never was a good time for me. I still dream of doing radio again someday.

When my husband and I opened our coffeehouse, Crossroads, we also had a Bible study there on Sunday evenings. We would have a meal together (that I cooked), my husband and I would lead praise and worship, (I also love to sing), and then I would teach. I would write all the sermons, and I loved doing the research and finding out what the words meant in the original Hebrew or Greek. Then we sold the coffeehouse, and I had no real outlet for my writing for quite awhile.

My step-dad died a couple of years ago, and as most of my blog readers know, I’ve been taking care of my elderly, very sick mom, and I haven’t had much time for anything.

I was a poster, and then the moderator, on a Grief Board for the last 2 years, and during that time, I started writing on and off. I wrote a lot of poetry about my step-dad’s death, and how much I missed him. I wrote my feelings out on the board, and answered other people’s posts about their grief. And I really feel that writing out my feelings was such a huge part of processing my grief. It was my grief therapy. I received a lot of healing that way.

About September of last year, I started doing some freelance writing for pay online–articles and abstracts. I have received a better education than I got in college, and when I write abstracts I often have to write about subjects I’m not very knowledgeable about, and I have learned so much. The conversations that I now have with my husband, (an attorney), over dinner are amazing. LOL! Politics, economics, entertainment, religion, philosophy, psychology, world events, etc. I love reading as much as writing!

I guess you could say that writing is my best friend. It gives me a voice, and lets me express my deepest feelings. I hope that I will continue to write for the rest of my life, because it is such a great joy to me…

Please view other articles that I have written here:

http://www.associatedcontent.com/user/109497/lonnette_harrell.html

Well, somehow or other I’ve lost control of the house again. Could it have anything to do with the fact that the bottom floor was flooded a couple of months ago, by careless men working on tearing down our deck, who most often make me think they’re tearing down my house!  (Wow, was that ever a run-on sentence!) Truth is, I had gotten my act together prior to that, and had everything pretty much in order. But then came the flood, and 10 days spent in a motel during the drying out process, etc. Things were turned upside down, and I never really got my motivation back after that. And then of course, there is the fact that my teenage daughter moved back in for a short while. (I don’t think I ever again saw the floor to her room.)

At any rate, being the perfectionist I am (or used to be), it bothers me when things aren’t somewhat orderly. (So I guess you could say I’m quite bothered these days.) 🙂

Sometimes being a woman and having to clean house drives me wild. (If I were a man, perhaps I’d have a wife to do it. No, most likely I’d hire it done.) But the thing is, while I do like a clean house, I hate the drudgery of cleaning it. I resent it greatly. Flylady of Flylady.net calls it the “Home Blessing”. I try to think of it that way, but after a couple of hours, I don’t think of it as a blessing. Actually, the only time I really consider it a blessing…is when it’s done.

Part of this is due to the fact, that I am a creative spirit, who would much rather be writing or reading, or anything but cleaning house. So I run back and forth, from the cleaning to the keyboard, trying to find a brief respite from the mundane tasks.

This house has so many things wrong with it, that it would be easier to move, than fix them. It will probably take the rest of our lives to scratch the surface of what needs to be done. At the moment, our house is missing 2 decks. These were demolished for reconstruction, but the whole project was abandoned, when the guys hit the water pipe that flooded our downstairs. So we are in deck limbo. If I were to open my sliding glass door in the second story living room, I would be like Humpty Dumpty, and would take a great fall. So I live behind closed curtains, trying to remember when we actually had porches, and were able to enjoy the peaceful scenes of our lakeside home. We would spend all evening in the summer on our back porch, resting in the porch swing, and listening to the frogs and crickets. (Wait a minute…did I actually ever live like that?) It is only a faint memory, since the death of my dad, when the care of my mom began to consume my days and nights, and all my thoughts.) So we are poor porchless people at this time. (Don’t you love the alliteration?)

So when I can’t take anymore housework, I run to my computer (though presently, I could easily trip on something getting there), and write articles and abstracts, answer emails, moderate the Grief Discussion Board, and sometimes shop on Ebay. It is an escape from all that isn’t happening in my real life. 🙂

Flylady says that you should declutter for 15 minutes, and then take a 15 minute break. (I really like that part of her philosophy!)

(For my article on “Reducing Stress By Living Simply” visit here: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/389469/reducing_stress_by_living_simply.html

If I am not being creative, I feel like I am smothering. I have to have an outlet for the thoughts and words that fill my mind. I am determined to find a way to balance all of it, so that I have a clean, orderly house, and a happy creative mind. Tune in later…this could take awhile.

Being lonely is not the same as being alone. Being alone is something I have always enjoyed. A time to reflect, to get in touch with my feelings, to do things that I like to do, and a chance to be me. I am energized by my time alone. I think deeply about things, and I detest the superficial. I’ve never really fit in with most women, because I don’t like to talk small talk. I like to talk about the things in life that really count. Of course, that would be different things to different people, I guess.

And yet, I have often been lonely in the company of others. It is not the presence of bodies that chases loneliness, but the presence of understanding. Just finding even one person who “gets” what you’re feeling is a true blessing. Some never find that in a lifetime of relationships.

In many ways, I feel that perhaps I am too sensitive for this world. I feel things much too deeply, and I ache inside, when I can’t understand how people can be so cruel to each other. 

I feel like there are many thoughts, talents, longings, and desires untapped within me. But time is moving on, and I have yet to fulfil many of them. One that I am beginning to enjoy is my writing. From the time I was a little girl, I have loved to put words on paper. I enjoy writing poems and articles, and also Bible teachings. I am most satisfied when I am writing, and then teaching or discussing the things I have researched. There is so much to learn, and sometimes I lose sleep rather than stop my research. I want to know so many things.

Since my dad died a little over 2 years ago, I have been taking care of my elderly, ailing mom. She has become my life’s focus. At times I am honored to be there for her, and at other times I am overwhelmed by the responsibility of it all. She still lives independently, but is an insulin dependent diabetic, who goes low unexpectedly, and has many other health problems. At first, I thought it was my responsibility to keep her alive, and I could not rest at night for worrying so much. But I finally realized that only God can keep her alive. And I can be God’s helper, but I can’t be God. It’s a truth that I learned in my counseling sessions, and one that has set me free, to an extent.

I am at an age where I am trying desperately to find myself. In fact, it’s my 55th birthday today (actually yesterday now, November 19th), and I pray the beginning of a happier phase of life.

I will share a little more of my life as time goes on. It has been very difficult in many ways. But I believe that it is up to me to make my life better. None of us know how long we have on this earth, and we are not promised tomorrow. It is a revelation that is often learned through the unexpected loss of someone dear.

So I will start today with a new outlook. I will learn from the past, and hopefully, not repeat its mistakes. I will be thankful for who I am, where I live, and who I love. And I will try to find my place in this world.