I vividly remember sitting in fifth grade taking a test on the multiplication tables! Rather than looking around the room or out the window for answers, I simply rubbed my tummy and felt ready to leap to run. Over and over I rubbed my tummy.
Carl Sandburg must have felt my pain when he said, Arithmetic is where you have to multiply--and you carry the multiplication table in your head and hope you don't lose it."
One day at age sixteen when I practiced my golf swing in the heat of day my tummy ached. My swing had abandoned me and the tournament began the next day. My gut ached to the point that I stopped and rubbed my tummy. I couldn't breath because if I sucked air into my diaphragm then I looked fat! Out of the clear blue my mind began to sing a nonsense Girl Scout song that let me breath, and helped with the belly ache. This one simple skill especially saved me many a times with tension over golf, schooling, and then 'Life.'
"Om pa, om pa, tiddly pom. Om pa, om pa, tiddly pom
Two blue pigeons....one was black and white pom
Sandy he belonged to the mill, the mill belonged to Sandy still.
Sandy he belonged to the mill, the mill belonged to Sandy."
Decades later my tummy still hurts from time to time, depending on the stress of my life. I didn't know in fifth grade that I felt stress, nor did I at age sixteen. By age twenty-five the doctors began to prescribe medicine for those times. Valium does not give answers nor guidance.
Over the years, I leaned on Braum's malts, with a double dip of malt, Saltine crackers, water, singing out loud, walking, and hitting golf balls for a cure. No medicines can really cure what ails us when the head, the heart, and the gut work so hard to give us answers. Answers that we, along with faith, must work out.
There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still." Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Time and experience helped me figure out that my gut quit hurting when God showed me or coached me on how to solve my problem.
Al Anon planted it firmly in my soul to "Let Go and Let God."
Most recently, my gut throbbed with emotions, confusion, and too much happening at once. I have been car shopping, and must laugh at myself for finding the occasion of driving new cars to be quite overwhelming with technology. Honestly, it is like the car says 'let me do the job since you are not capable of driving and focusing!!!!' No technology will take over my life, I thought. For instance, the car can now tell you when you are weaving down the road, or you get too close to another car. Who drives without hands and head totally focused on the road? Apparently, there are many people who barely pay attention to the road, especially when the driver can text verbally, a message to someone. That thought explodes in my brain like fireworks.
My Prayer: Thank you Lord for not giving us this type of technology in the 1980's when I drove three teenagers around, and help me Lord to adapt and laugh about this someday.
Last Friday, I made an appointment with the dealership to see a new used car that matched my Want list perfectly. I played golf that morning, enjoyed late lunch and headed to the dealership. The car I thought might be perfect, but I could not stay because the roofer was coming. I raced home to meet the roofer and discover that we do indeed meet and most likely qualify for a new roof thanks to Oklahoma weather. Then I began to ponder the cost of the car, the timing, and since Jack was out of town, how much money do I have to work with?
That kind of thinking could only be solved by a strawberry malt with double malt from Braum's late at night.
At nine in the morning I met at the dealership to compare this car to two others that might work. Luckily, I solved my problems. The other cars did not match my needs, but doggon'it there was an important football game on TV at 11:00am. The salesman urged me to sign on the paper, but suddenly the rush of Friday and Saturday by 11am to make a decision left me blank. I knew we could afford it, but I wasn't sure how to move money around and seal the deal. I told him I would call immediately after the game. So I went home to watch the game while eating crackers and drinking water (maybe a beer would have been a better idea). My stomach churned like a hurricane in the gulf.
"In order to reflect, think, and plan, you must quiet yourself. You can't see your reflection in churning waters. Water must be still to see your reflection." Karen Hentze Susman, 1962 singles women champion at Wimbledon
They sold the car when I wasn't prompt and efficient. Perhaps, I stomped and screamed out loud, as I noticed that the birds all flew from the feeders. I could not quit screaming and my stomach roared like an angry lioness. Jack walked in from his trip just as I experienced this 'tizzy fit' of mine.
Unable to clear my mind I drove to the golf course to practice. Along the way I prayed for help, for guidance, and for forgiveness for being so self centered. I thought of all of the people out of jobs, out of income and here I was in a selfish tizzy.
Miracles do happen. I pulled out my 9 iron to hit some golf shots and suddenly my anger flowed down through the shaft of the club. I took proper dirt, called a divot, when I hit the shot. For the next three practice shots I took a divot. Then I began laughing out loud, nearly doubled over on the tee box laughing at myself. That is the best I have hit a golf shot in nearly a decade. (Yes, taking a divot at contact with the golf ball shows power in the swing.) Now in hysterics in my soul, I let go of the anger, and said, "Thank you Lord for giving me this day and all of its glory."
I most certainly learned a lesson. Know exactly how much money I have to spend before I go searching for a car to purchase, and be prepared to buy one that day.
On Sunday, today, the same weekend that started on Friday with the car dealership and the roofer, my story continues as I write this blog.
In order to find quotes that tell a short story in a few words, I search the Internet. I discovered the reflection quote, and began writing it in my favorite quote and words to live by book. The penmanship looked orderly. I wrote the author's name Karen Hentze Sus......... When my computer turned Blue, like it had been strangled, and screamed at the top of it's volume "YOUR COMPUTER IS IN DANGER." There are no words to express my fear, frustrations, and exasperation at that moment. One miracle yesterday was more than I could ask for. I called the number and when the man began he immediately struck fear in my poor weakened gut.
With Jack's helped he googled what was happening and I knew that a foreign property was in my computer about to do damage, but it was when the foreign voice said, "It is senior citizens like you who don't understand what a Firewall is. Let me educate you." There were spewing fireworks everywhere in my quiet studio.
I hung up, shut down the computer, we shut off the internet connection and then I conferred with my higher power.
"Now what? I asked the Lord.
Then a calm like an ocean of blue came across me. Jack and I walked away from the computer, a few deep breaths and memories of oceans and calm water created a quiet mind. When I returned my computer worked just fine. The safety protocol saved me and my 'senior' mind.
I will call Norman Nerds and ask for assurance, but I think we escaped a very nasty showdown between woman and her computer scammer.
Feels like a Michelob Ultra wins tonight for malt in my tummy. Cheers to a great ending. Miracles do happen.
Thank you again dear Lord for this life, for this day, and for this moment to remember and laugh about.
*Thank you Kay Watts for sharing this lovely photos of Scotland coastal walkways.