I Want To Soar Like A Spider (Repost)

So, I’ve had a bad cold the past few days….which really stinks because my Mom is here and I had all kinds of fun things planned. All she has done is serve me. I am so disappointed as it is almost time for her to go home. Anyway, in order to spend what little time I do have with her, I’m reposting something from a long time ago. If you’ve never read it before, I hope you enjoy it! It was published in an on-line Chicago magazine which is pretty cool. My son took the amazing picture! Gotta fly…or should I say gotta soar like a spider! 😉


Today my son and I went downtown. He edits video promotions for our church and he needed some good footage for an upcoming conference. So, he asked me to come along. Actually, he asked someone else, but they couldn’t go. It’s interesting how moms are always last on the list…

So we found ourselves romping around the city for a few hours. One of the places at which he decided to do some shooting was at the Hancock building. I wasn’t exactly thrilled about going to the ninety-third floor on the fastest elevator in North America. (It takes only 40 seconds!) The things we will do for our children. But, once we arrived the view was spectacular! It was a beautiful, clear day and visibility was particularly great.

While sitting in a chair waiting for my son, I noticed a spider in the corner of the window…on the OUTSIDE of the corner of the window, thankfully. I wondered how he got up there. Did he walk? If so, how long would it take a spider to walk from ground level to the 93rd floor? Fascinated, I asked my son to take some pictures.

I couldn’t stop thinking about these spiders, and after some investigation I found several of them all around the observation deck. When I got home, I did a little research and this is what I found…and I promise, I am not making this up.

Fellow blogger Mom2Mom stayed on the 15th floor of a hotel across the street from the Hancock building recently and received the following note left on the bed:

Dear Guest:

We request that you do not open your windows in your suite during this time to avoid the annual migration of High Rise Flying Spiders.

A Chicago Phenomenon…..

Lake shore high-rises, Willis Tower and Hahn Hancock are noticing the annual influx of flying spiders spinning mini-masterpieces as high as 95 stories.

Baby spiders release silk from their spinnerets to create a balloon-like contraption. The spiders then use the balloon to hitch rides on uplifting air currents from the lake. The spider is the Larinioides sclopetaria, an orb-weaving spider that is found throughout the Northern Hemisphere. In natural environments, these spiders live on rocks overhanging water. In the city, they have found the next best thing; tall buildings and high-rises. What makes high-rises so appealing is the light shining through the windows.

Thank you for helping us provide you with a comfortable stay.

There are no “rocks overhanging water” in Chicago so they found the “next best thing”. I want to be found as adaptable as these little critters. When they find themselves outside their typical environment, they don’t complain, they don’t sit around feeling sorry for themselves, they adapt. Then they use their spinnerets to create little hang gliders that carry them to the most spectacular view in the city, where they construct a beautiful home for themselves.

May we be like these little creatures, using the resources God has given us to create a beautiful environment for ourselves and those we love. And may our creation cause us to go soaring on the wind to greater heights. May we be undaunted by a change of environment and plans. Yes, it’s official, I want to soar like a spider.

Giving thanks with Ann:

68. Pine cones with a touch of bronze glitter.

69. Snow swirling snow globes.

70. Taking walks with my beautiful mother, downtown.

71. Golden light from a globe lamp.

72. Tis the season to be thankful for your KitchenAid.

73. That I’m feeling better. 🙂

And learning with Michelle:

On In Around button

And I have a playdate with Laura:

The Polar Express Trip to Disney World – New Glarus Series

If you need to catch up on All Roads Lead to New Glarus click here.

The conductor called, “All aboard!” and I felt like a character from the Polar Express. Except that it was hot because I was in Florida, and it wasn’t Christmas Eve. But, just like the passengers of the Polar Express, we were on a journey of faith. Would we believe that God was a kind and loving Father? The face attached to the little hand I held was very serious, as if the conductor were some sort of priest, and the train a cathedral. We stepped on board, found a seat and covered ourselves with the blanket a stranger had given us on the first leg of this trip. Five year old J. knelt on his seat in the over-air-conditioned train, so that he could watch the activity as we pulled out of Orlando while I reflected on how we got here, and how God answered the prayers of a little boy.

It was the night of my friend Sue’s memorial service and I was tucking then 4 year old J. into bed. We were about to say our prayers. J. prayed for his friends S. and E., Sue’s children, and for Uncle Steve. And then, without any warning, before I could explain to J. the dangers of doing such a thing, he asked God for a trip to Disney World. Long pause. I believe that we can come to God with our desires, but I had seen so many people disappointed, and I didn’t want my son’s faith setback. As a single mom, I was struggling to provide milk let alone a vacation.

J. sensed my discomfort. “Mommy, my Sunday School teacher said that we could ask God for anything.” I snapped myself out of deep thought.

“You can. God wants you to talk to Him.”

“My teacher said that when I need to trust God, I can give a seed to show I believe Him.”

“That’s right. There are many times in the Bible when someone gave something even though they had very little, and God took care of their need.”

“Well, I don’t need to go to Disney World, but I sure would like to. So, tomorrow, can I give some of my toys away to the neighbors who don’t know God?”

As a parent, so many thoughts swirled in my mind. Do I want him to think that we give to get? What if he gives his toys away and nothing happens? But still, tears began to fill my eyes at the simplicity of my son’s faith.

“Sure, honey. Tomorrow we’ll go through your toys.”

I secretly hoped J. would forget about the previous night’s prayer, but the moment he awoke I heard the clatter of plastic in his room.

“Mom?” he called out.

“Yes, honey?”

“Could you bring me two big garbage bags?”

“Sure.”

I went to the sink to grab the box of garbage bags. J. was making two piles.

“I want to give some of my toys to Carter and some of them to Nathan,” he smiled.

The Christmas before, I had found a K-Mart that was going out of business. J. loved Batman, and I was able to buy a lot of Batman toys for 75% off. They were J.’s favorite! He had Mr. Freeze, and several models of the Bat-mobile, he played with them daily.

I had to hold my tongue as I watched my son, choose his best toys to give to the neighborhood boys. “Maybe Carter and Nathan will know how much God loves them, when I give them my best toys!” J. was excited.

So, on a chilly October Saturday morning, J. and I made some deliveries with sacks of toys, just like Santa. J. was too shy to do the talking when we got to the boys’ homes, but he was on a high the rest of the day. “I hope Carter likes Mr. Freeze as much as I did,” he said over lunch.

Every night, for months following J. ended his prayers by saying, “…and God, thank you for our trip to Disney World. Amen.”

He never complained about missing his toys, or doubted that God would hear his request. One Sunday after church, the most unlikely person came up to me and said, “We’ve heard that J. has been asking God for a trip to Disney World…we’d like to help make that happen.”

And so, like a whirlwind, God came in and took care of our transportation…Amtrak…which was awesome because the only thing J. loved more than Batman was trains. Then God took care of our accommodations. The rest I had to use my faith on, but I knew that if God had gotten us that far, that He would finish the rest.

Disney World was like a beautiful dream. When we walked through the gates, I had to work hard to keep from sobbing at the perfection of everything. Employees played tag with J. We watched fireworks late at night. J. and I walked the parks from the time they opened until the time they closed. It was truly the Magic Kingdom. I found myself saying to J., “I can’t believe we’re really here.”

“Why not, Mommy? I asked God.”

I was humbled. J. never doubted that God wanted a good thing for us. I had doubted every step of the way. I guess that is why Jesus instructed us to come to Him as little children. My child had taught me a lesson.

I looked out of the train window, now fogged by J’s breath. “Thank you God, for being my boy’s Father, and thank you for being so good to us, even though I doubted your Goodness.”

For the next chapter in this series, click here.

Counting graces with Ann:

#11 – Grateful that my garage sale is over!

#12 – I get to serve God by serving people this week! What a privelege!

#13 – The Golden shaft of a sunshower…

#14 – Autumn shadows

#15 – The dog’s tail wagging in welcome.

#16 – Pumpkin flavored anything.

#17 – My son’s first day of school…ever…at 18!!

The Apology – New Glarus Road Series

If you need to catch up on the New Glarus Series, check out the New Glarus page…

The next day, Grandma(Mama), Papa(Daddy), J. and I went to New Glarus. The weather had turned chilly overnight, and we all wore windbreakers. Daddy wore the forest green jacket that Mama still wears in his absence.  J. wore his Osh Kosh B’Gosh conductor overalls and cap with a navy sweatshirt.  Mama and I wore cozy sweaters.

We thought that it was about time J. went to the Swiss Historical Village in New Glarus, where they have live demonstrations of how the settlers lived here in south central Wisconsin.  After all, he was four years old, and had never been to New Glarus before!

The day was crisp and crunchy.  The first of autumn’s leaves carpeted planked sidewalks, and memories of this dear town invaded my mind.  I pushed them away, not sure I could handle the bittersweet pain of them at the moment.

The four of us came near the entrance where a construction worker poured concrete.  Daddy didn’t see the sign.  Wet concrete.

His foot made an outline.  All was silent.  J. looked up past the brim of his hat at the worker.  This very shy, soft spoken child spoke. “Sorry, man,” he apologized for his grandfather.  He hung his head in shame, as if a serious crime had just been committed.  Little did I know that such a sweet and funny family story, would so effectively outline the kindness and character of who J. would become; tender, compassionate, funny, responsible and truly a man of God.  His sister would later tell me that he was one of the people she admired most.  Oops, did I say sister?  That is quite another story altogether.

For the next story click here

Linking with the incredible Jen at Soli Deo Gloria


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Even in Our Darkest Hour, Life. Is. Good. New Glarus Series

If you need to catch up on the New Glarus Series, check out the New Glarus page

Life was not good.  Things didn’t work out for T. and me.  I was never good enough, and his personal choices finally caught up to him.

Where did this leave me?  I was a 29 year old woman, who had never been out on her own, and now I needed to be the sole provider for myself and my 3 year old son, J.  I was, by nature, a helper, a second in command.  My resume consisted of my working at a church, selling retail, working at another church, and selling Mary Kay cosmetics.  I wasn’t exactly a hot commodity on the job market.

My parents helped me to buy a small trailer near the church.  My church family helped me when I was honest enough about my needs.  But…I was cryptic.  For one thing, I wanted to be in control of my own life.  For another, no one likes the person who cloaks their needs in a prayer request.  Our basic food groups were milk, cereal and ramen noodles.

My married friends, with the exception of Steve and Sue, quietly exited my life.  My single friends didn’t have children.  I felt like I fit no where.  There was no one to turn to, except Jesus.

I remember once, when someone dear to me reacted to my pipe dream of making it “big” in Mary Kay.  They wisely answered, “Are you sure?  Because I don’t see you doing that.”  It wasn’t that they thought I couldn’t do it, it was that they knew me better than I knew myself at that moment.  I gave myself out of a business.  After all, who could tell the dear elderly lady that she couldn’t have a lipstick at cost?  I certainly couldn’t.

One day, my pastor called me asking if I would work for the church.  I was relieved.  I was disappointed.  I was grateful.  I adored working at the church.  I had a constant support group loving me toward wholeness.  I was in a positive and warm environment, and I found the work tremendously fulfilling.  But it still wasn’t enough to make ends meet.  Every demon in the county seemed to be whispering, “T. was right.  You can’t do anything right.  You can’t even take care of yourself and J.”

I often found myself flat on my face before God.  In actuality, this was one of the best times in my life.  It was a Wilderness of sorts.  Everyday, I waited on God for manna.  Everday, it came.  Everyday, I asked God why I wasn’t able to make it on my own.  Everyday He answered, “My grace is sufficient.  I don’t want to to make it on your own.  I want you to depend on Me.” Often, I would have to scour the car for loose change to get a gallon of milk or gas, which ever one was most necessary at the time.  But we always had what we needed.  Always.

It was during this time that my parents invited J. and me up to Wisconsin for a much needed trip to New Glarus.  I packed my little man into the backseat of my 1988 Chevy, and slid in through the passenger side since the driver’s side door was broken.  It was a far cry from the Lexus and Porsche that used to be parked in my garage.

“I must be the most proud woman in the world, otherwise why would I need to be humbled so greatly?”  I wondered.

Three hours later, I pulled into my parent’s long black driveway, remembering the horror of Sue’s accident. Shaking the memories away, I pulled J. out of the car, his chubby little arms encircled my neck and his rosy cheek pressed against mine.

Mama knows how to present food like no one else.  She had an alfresco lunch complete with linens and china, waiting for me under the locust tree.  The lacy shadows flickered on the dark green carpet of grass.

“Welcome to your day at the spa!”  She announced.  J. ran to give her a hug, and I collapsed in the chair.  There was cool cucumber salad and homemade macaroni and Wisconsin cheese.  Mozart blasted through the house windows, and J. and Grandma played Zorro with an oversized black scarf and hat.  The comfort of home wrapped around me like a warm blanket just taken out of the dryer.  And even if it was just for the moment.  Life. Was. Good.

For the next installment click here
Linking up with the talented and beautiful Jen.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Aunts

Every year my daughter and I take my mother to a rendezvous with her two sisters.  One of my cousins comes with her daughter and granddaughters as well.  While all of us raised glasses full of various liquids, (anywhere from water to wine), my cousin proposed a toast.  “To the strong women of this family!”  Looking around, I found that she has spoken truly. 

Forever Forgiving

Around the table

I see faces I love.

Beautiful faces.

Smiling faces.

and behind the smiles are women

who have faced

fear

and failure.

For each of us has our own story.

Stories of love and laughter,

of faith and forgiveness.

Stories of boating accidents that left one with a broken neck,

and doctors who cared more about pocketbooks than pain.

Stories of explosions

and fire

and horrific death

all due to the negligence of another.

Stories of husbands lost too soon

with seemingly no explanation.

Stories of women abused

by immature and broken men.

Nightmarish truth

scabs over and over again.

We forgive and pick at the scab,

and we feel the wound once more

and forgive again.

And we heal better this time.

the Scab grows back a little smaller this time.

We draw a little Closer to God this time.

Now, there are smiles on the faces

of these women I love.

Genuine smiles.

I hear stories of faith

and forgiveness.

Not quick hurried forgivenes

that comes in a fleeting moment.

and hurries away faster than it came.

But the daily practice of forgiveness

that takes a lifetime of faith to finish.

This is my heritage.

Women who won’t quit

They keep going…

Walking toward forgiveness.

Walking toward the Forgiver.

 

Joining Ann and Emily today

 

Leah’s Question – New Glarus Road

If you need to catch up on the New Glarus Series, check out the New Glarus page

It wasn’t the last time I’d see Sue.  She had emergency brain surgery in order to relieve the fluid building around her brain.  The surgery went well.  It took several months, but she fully recovered.  In the meantime, the ladies at the church and I helped take care of Baby S.

About a month later, I got flowers thanking me for all of the help I gave during the time of Sue’s recovery, they were signed from Baby S.  All of this baby experience, put T. in the mood to try for one of our own.

A little less than a year later, I was pregnant.  Sue and J. threw a huge baby shower, and my parents planned on staying at Steve and Sue’s house while I delivered, as I chose a home delivery.

Then it happened.

A tiny boy

entered the world

entered my world.

Gave me a new title

a new job

Mom.

I was crazy for him.

He was ours.

I wasn’t feeling quite grown up enough.

not ready.

For such responsibility.

But He was ours none the less.

I prayed Leah’s prayer,

and asked her question.

Maybe now that I had done this incredible thing,

this amazing feat

of bringing a life into the world.

Maybe I would be loved,

and respected.

Surely now, I would be looked upon with favor,

Surely now, I would be good enough.

For the next installment go here.

Till Death Do Us Part? Husbands, Babies and Friends – New Glarus Series

This story started out as complete truth. However, as I’ve continued, I’ve changed small details. For instance, some of these events happened within a 30 miles radius of New Glarus…and I don’t remember exactly how I was proposed to…anywho…just wanted to be honest…If you are interested in the other installments start here.

Three long years passed.  Steve and Sue and a myriad of other friends were married and had already started their families.  Although we were the first to get married, we hadn’t even thought of having a baby yet.  Baby S. was a plump little boy of seven months, with a triple chin and blue eyes; a rounder baby, I’ve never seen.

Early that spring, the five of us decided to pay my parents a visit in Wisconsin.  This brought me great relief.  Life was much more tolerable when T. and I were with other people, as it seemed I could do very little correctly when we were home alone.  He could actually be quite romantic and gentlemanly around others. After settling in our temporary quarters at my parent’s home, and Baby S. was down for a nap, the four of us discussed our day trip to New Glarus the following day.

The next morning, Steve and Sue sat down to breakfast with the “I love New Glarus” tee shirts they had purchased on our last trip a few years previous.  We helped mom clean up, and T. and I were ready to go.  But it seemed like it took forever for Steve and Sue and Baby S. to get going.  Babies made everything more complicated! I had never been on a trip with a baby before, and couldn’t believe all of the paraphernalia we had to bring along!!  There were diapers, strollers, extra clothes, and sunscreen.  After packing the car with what seemed like enough supplies for a week, we strapped the baby into the car seat. We were finally settled.

“You know, I really should nurse him before we leave, that way he’ll sleep on the way,” announced Sue.

T. glowered.  So, we unstrapped the baby, went back inside and waited for Baby S.’s feeding to be done.  Sue came back with a grinning, satisfied baby in her arms….

“Look at him smile!”  I said.  “He looks as though he’s enjoyed a good meal.”

“Uh-oh,”  Sue answered, “He’s not smiling, he’s filling his pants!”

So…we waited until he was done “doing his duty”, and then Sue changed his diaper and once again we strapped the baby into his seat, loaded ourselves into the van, waved goodbye to my parents, and finally got on the road to New Glarus.

It was a little rainy, and we hoped that by the time we arrived, the weather would turn.  To our disappointment, it only rained harder.  As we pulled into town, Baby S. was screaming to be fed and the rain made the view look like an impressionist canvas using only black, white and grey paint.

“I thought you checked the weather Kim!”  T. snapped.  He knew we couldn’t walk around town with a baby in a stroller during a monsoon.

“I did! It said we only had a 30% chance of light showers,” I  quietly defended myself, looking to see if Steve and Sue noticed the catch in my voice.

There was a tense quiet in the car.  “At least we won’t get sunburned!”  Steve tried to find the silver lining in everything.  It was usually annoying, but this time I was relieved and gave him a quick smile of gratitude.

We parked on the Main Street and opted to eat an early dinner at Ticino’s, a pizzeria named after the Italian Cannon in Switzerland.

The atmosphere was quaint, and the thin pizza amazing, even if it was sprinkled with Cheerios from Baby S.  We still had hope that the rain would let up and we could browse at all of our favorite shops. Lingering as long as the shrieking Baby S. would allow (even though the squeals were happy ones, the other customers had begun to stare), the rain was coming down even harder than it was before.

“Let me just run across the street so that I can buy the baby a matching tee shirt, then the trip won’t be a complete loss.” Sue suggested.

The guys stayed at the table with the baby, while Sue and I shattered silver puddles to the other side of the street.

I paused remembering that it was this very store that T. had whisked me away from in order to propose to me at the Christmas store.  It was this very store where he declared that someday, he would buy all of my clothes for me.  He did, and lucky for me he had very good taste, but I longed for the freedom Sue had to purchase tacky tee shirts if I wanted to.  However, the whole stroll down memory lane, caused me to feel warm and fuzzy and I wanted to get back to T. and break the tension that had been there all morning.

When Sue and I returned to the restaurant, we were soaked.  The baby had thrown all of his remaining Cheerios in a circle around his high chair which was now pulled up to a karate video game that T. and Steve were playing.  Baby S. was shrieking with delight at being left to himself.

“Steve!  Why did you let him make such a mess while we were gone?”

“We were busy,” he responded, eyes still glued to the video game.

Sue was on her hands and knees picking up as many Cheerios as she could, while I came behind T. and wrapped by arms around his waist.  He was in deep concentration with the intense game he was playing, he didn’t seem to notice my attempt at peace.

The sky did brighten a little before we got everyone packed in the car again.

“Maybe tomorrow, we’ll bring out the dirt bike, if it isn’t raining cats and dogs again,” T. suggested.

The next morning was quite a bit cooler, but there wasn’t any rain.  After attending my parent’s church, Baby S. was taking a nap, Sue and I were helping my mom make chili and the guys were on the driveway messing with T.’s dirt bike.

“This chili needs more chili powder!”  Sue announced.  She dumped in a couple of tablespoons more.  Mom and I exchanged knowing glances, for we were sure this would be the spiciest chili ever, but not about to cross her opinion, we conceded.

“I’m gonna go out there and see if the boys will let me give a try on the dirt bike.  I used to ride one when I was younger.  Do you mind keeping an eye on the baby for awhile?”  Sue asked me.

“No, go ahead.  Have fun.”

She treked out to the front yard, and T.  handed her the helmet and showed her a few things on the bike.  I thought I’d watch her first run and cheer on Team Girl, since the boys thought they could hog the bike for themselves.

There was ever-confident Sue swinging her leg over the top of the bike, kick starting it on the first try.  I had to smile.  She was still everything I was not.  I wouldn’t be caught dead on a dirt bike.  Off she went, at a reckless speed straight down the driveway.  She raced to the end of the driveway.  Why isn’t she turning?  I thought.  Instead she went straight into the neighbor’s shed.  I saw the helmet fly off, twenty feet from the shed.

Steve started jumping around and waving his arms and screaming for help.  My dad ran outside to see what he could do.  Part of me wanted to go and help and part of me wanted to run and hide.  The way the helmet flew off, I was afraid she had been decapitated.

“Mom, call 9-1-1!” I shouted.  Praying under my breath, I asked God to give me courage to deal with whatever the next few minutes would hold.  Running across the lawn, I came across a slightly calmer Steve bending over his wife’s body as my father stuck his finger in her mouth to clear it from gobs of blood.  Blood was coming out of her ears and Sue was unconscious.  I was just glad her head was attached.  The ambulance came, and T. drove behind it to the emergency room.  Steve told me to stay behind and take care of Baby S.  I wondered if it would be the last time I’d ever see Sue alive again…

For the next installment read this.

Where Do We Go From Here? An Announcement.

Last week, I was excited to see that one of my articles had been chosen for publication on website featuring fun things to do in Chicago.  The site is called What Are We Doing?  It features unusual daytrips and tours.  If you live in the Chicago area, or if you’re planning on visiting you should definitely check out their services.  In the meantime, if you’d like to see my article check it out here.  It’s the first time I’ve been published on this type of website, so I’m very excited!  Thanks for all of your encouragement.

Christmas in July – New Glarus pt. 5

This story started out as complete truth. However, as I’ve continued, I’ve changed small details. For instance, some of these events happened within a 30 miles radius of New Glarus…and I don’t remember exactly how I was proposed to…anywho…just wanted to be honest…If you are interested in the first four installments start here.

A year after we had moved to Wisconsin, I received a phone call from T.  He was crying.

“I’m calling because my pastor said that I should let you go and let God do what He is going to do in your life.”

There was a stunned and awkward silence. I hadn’t heard from him in a year.  I had already “let go”.  However, I was more than a little flattered that he was still pining over me, “Oh.  Okay.  You’re going to a new church?”

As he told me all about his new church and friends, my interest was peaked.  In the past, T. and I were the entire youth group of our church and now he was part of a congregation with loads of young people.  T. sounded like a different person.  He knew so many Scriptures and had so much Christian fellowship.  He seemed to be having the time of his life, and now was inviting me to have the time of my life with him…if God willed it.

After a few more phone calls, T. made arrangements for me to stay with a friend of his so that I could meet this new family of believers. So much for letting me go.

Sue was ten years older than I was and worked in the corporate world.  She had her own apartment.   She was ultra organized, and prided herself on “speaking her mind.”  In other words, she was everything I was not.  She was tall, I was short.  She was independent, I was dependent.  She was full of color with bright red hair, I was pale and pasty.  To say that I admired her would be an understatement.  We became fast friends.

She was dating a man a few years her junior.  His name was Steve.  He was the craziest, funniest, most on-fire-for-God young man I’d ever met.  A real preaching machine.  He couldn’t go an hour without pulling out a small New Testament and reading for a few minutes.  He shared his faith with anyone and everyone.  His zeal was contagious.

Every other weekend, I made a trek from Janesville, Wisconsin to downtown Chicago, where I’d meet T.  He would take me out to dinner with friends, Steve and Sue usually included, and then I’d spend the night with Sue at her apartment.  After about six months of this routine, I couldn’t imagine my life without this changed T. and his wonderful ever-growing group of God fearing friends.

One weekend, I asked my parents if we could host two couples from T.’s church at our house.  The girls would take one side of the house and the boys, the other.  Of course I planned a trip to New Glarus.

Sue and Steve were one of the other couples, and D. and J. were the names of the second.  Sue, J. and I were browsing through “I Love New Glarus” tee-shirts, while the guys were eating ice cream in front of the store.  T. finished before the others, and came sauntering in, kissing the top of my head.

“What are you looking for, Suavecita?”  Suavecita was his nickname for me.

“I thought it would be nice to get a tee shirt as a momento of this weekend,”   I answered.

“You’re too classy to wear one of these.  Someday, I’m going to help you choose all of your clothes.”

I blushed at the permanence of his statement.  “I think I do a pretty good job!”  I grinned and playfully pushed him.

He didn’t seem amused.  Sue was already at the counter purchasing matching tee shirts for she and Steve and J. was still browsing.

“Let’s walk over to the Christmas store together, while they finish up.” T. nodded towards the girls and led me toward the front door.

Christmas Shop in New Glarus

“Okay,” I felt a little rushed and annoyed, but didn’t want to miss an opportunity to be alone with him.

Strolling toward the Christmas store, conscious of his arm around my waist, I was once again thrilled that I belonged to someone!  Threatening clouds darkened the once brassy sky, as we crossed the street to the store.  Sleigh bells jingled as we went in to browse. Cinnamon and cloves hung heavy in the air, and a train set chugged through a tiny winter wonderland, all to the tune of Silver Bells.  It was Christmas in July!  Thunder clapped.

On the wall opposite the Christmas village, were shelves of tiny faux Faberge eggs.

“Let’s look at these,” T. walked over nonchalantly.

I followed.  “Can you imagine how expensive the real ones are?  Especially the ones with the real jewels?”

“None of them would be more expensive than you deserve, babe.” A sneaky snake of pleasure crawled up my spine.

T. picked one up, “I like this one, don’t you?”

T. popped it open.  Inside, was a modest little engagement ring.  T. was on one knee.

“Kim, would you spend this and every Christmas with me as my wife?”

To read the next installment go here.

Spiders, Marilyn Monroe and Superman

Last week, as I mentioned in a previous post, I went downtown Chicago with my son.  He works in the media department for a large international church and he needed urban video footage.   I was not his first choice, but was as excited as a puppy to tag along.

We got on the train by 7:15 a.m. and exited at the beautiful Museum Campus.  The bag he had asked me to carry was very light, but he kept asking if it was too heavy for me.  After getting about an hour of random city shots and walking at a roadrunner pace, I suggested that we go to the John Hancock building so that he could have a panoramic view.  He loved the idea.  I experienced a rare moment…a moment when I was respected by my teenager not because he should or had to, but because I actually came up with an idea that was in his estimation a good idea!

As we approached the building, he held the door open for me.

“I’ll wait here while you go up,” I tried to sound nonchalant.

“No, Mom, I don’t want to leave you here alone.  I might be awhile.  Let me buy you a ticket.  It will be fun,” he encouraged.

Did you know that the elevator in the John Hancock building is North America’s fastest elevator?  I do.  It only takes 40 seconds to get to the 93rd floor.  So chewing imaginary gum to keep my ears from popping, we arrived at the observation deck.  The view was spectacular.  I found a colony of spiders hanging on the the 93rd floor window.  Fascinated, I asked my son to take a picture, because I knew that there was a blog post in that story.  I wrote about it here.

On our way back to the train station, we saw a giant sculpture of Marilyn Monroe.

“Look how huge her feet are, Mom.”  I was glad it was her feet he noticed.

At the train station, my son insisted on buying me lunch in order to thank me for helping him.  After lunch, we saw Superman.  He looked really tired, so he must have taken a break from being more powerful than a locomotive.  Maybe that’s why he was buying a ticket.

Other than the spider picture, these pics were taken with my phone…so sorry for the lack of quality…

These few hours will be etched in my mind as some of the most pleasant in my life.  Why?  Because even though I wasn’t his first choice, my son treated me like I was.  My, what a fine young man God has made of him!

Linking up with the lovely Jen at Soli  Deo Gloria!