Tuesday, September 23, 2014

I'm Norwegian and I know it!

Ok, random post here...

You know those heart flutter, goosebump moments in life?
I just had one when I was reminded of the travels of my great-grandparents from a small town called Skudeneshavn, Norway to Staten Island, NY. They were in search of a better land and home. They came for the American Dream. And thus, the Slattebrek embarked on life's great adventure (maybe this is why I get this bug to adventure so often?).
Once here, their name, Slattebrek, was Americanized to what's now known as Slater. And that's where the goosebumps set in. There's something about knowing your history, your name, where you came from, where your family once was to where they are now.
I bet my great-grandpa Ole would be amazed to learn that his family has finally settled halfway around the world from his original home. And I bet he'd be so proud of the lives we've made for ourselves, just by his decision to leave the home and the land he knew and loved.
Astonishing really how one choice can completely catapult us in a new direction - for GENERATIONS! I know I wouldn't be where I am today if he hadn't have made that bold move. I'd probably still be bundled up in the frigid North, touring fjords and the like.
And now? I have the travel bug... I want to go see where my ancestors came from. My aunt tells me it was a small town in mid-Norway called Skudeneshavn. Say that 3 times fast!
Norway - here I come!
Eventually... :-)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Turn the other cheek

It's with me biting my tongue that I share today's thoughts...

Friday night, my husband, some friends, and I were at a local outdoor shopping mall talking, sharing wine, and eventually moving to a local attraction. With that said, we had a wonderful time together and were super excited to be at this particular establishment.

Now, mind you, this place is like a grown up Chucky Cheese, and the boys of our group got into their competitive modes and were stoked on all the fun this place had to offer. My husband was no exception to this rule, and he was soon passionately playing one of the games when his tickets got stuck in the machine, and being the inventive man he is, he started toying around with the machine to de-clog said tickets.

This is where the whole debacle of later embarrassment started... this lady comes up to my husband and tell him to leave the machine alone and that he doesn't know what he's doing. To which, my husband responds, "it's none of your business". The lady clearly did not like this answer, so I told my husband to gather his stuff and let it slide.

Here's where it gets juicy, and Tenacious' frustration, or better yet, anger, comes into play. As we finished for the night, we walked out of said establishment and were waiting for our friends to finish their game. There was a bubble maker outside, which to my own childhood joy, I started popping the bubbles as they floated by. It's at this point that I hear the lady from inside the place (with her two children under the age of 10, mind you) start yelling at my husband and calling him a "dumb a**hole".

Ok people, prepare yourselves!

NO ONE calls my friends, family, or any person I'm with an a-hole and gets away with it. Something in me snapped and I responded with "well that's unnecessary and unkind". This did not make the lady happy, so she comes right up to me and starts yelling at me and calling me a little b****. I'm FLOORED at this point. Internally I'm thinking, "is this woman for real right now?! She's got 2 kids right there and she's cussing me out for defending my husband?"

My very wise husband then steps between this woman and me and asks her to kindly leave us alone and go on with her night. She would have none of this and then, THEN, she literally SHOVES my husband with all her might... TWICE!

OOOOO.... then the anger showed up. And this is something I am not proud of, and completely was un-called for. (I admit this to you, dear readers, for the sake of making it known and asking for forgiveness, in a way - I really feel bad for what I said to this woman and wish I had the opportunity to apologize).

Anyway, I told her to take her hands off my husband whom I honor and respect and that she has NO place whatsoever to lay her hands on anyone. And then I asked her to leave us alone.

She then by-passes my husband and walks straight up to me and says she'll punch me in the face (like RIGHT up in my face) and I say (not my wisest moment) "go ahead... because if you do I'll charge you for assault. You've already assaulted my husband, so feel free.".


However, this tactic seemed to work as she turned and walked away. And that's the end of my confrontation story.

I really should not have even said a word to this woman and let what she said about my husband roll off my back. This would have completely defused the situation and we would not be here having this conversation. But we're all sinners, we all fall short, and we all have our moments.

And I take this as a lesson about myself. I'm fiercely protective of those I love. Don't mess with me and my people, lest you want to get a whole ear full from me. I do not accept people calling those I cherish names, defiling them in some way, or just being plain rude. We're grown ups here, at least I think we are. But I clearly need to learn the lesson that our sweet Lord teaches us of  "turn the other cheek".

Should have, could have, would have... my second lesson is that I hold onto this stuff and take it very personally for DAYS, WEEKS, and sometimes - YEARS. I often replay these things in my mind... and it only holds me back from being a better woman today.

I've asked forgiveness and now it's time to let go and move on... that's the only way to gain healing, even in something as trivial as this.

Praise God that He is so merciful and would have us learn as we're here... because those life lessons are what make us better, if we let them.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Winter...

Let me preface this post with the fact that I love Southern California for the life it's given me, the friends it's brought, and the husband I met along the journey. I would not be the woman I am today if I did not make the decision nearly 5 years ago to pack up and go on life's great adventure with nothing but a car full of stuff, a childhood teddy bear named Ellie, and the Lord by my side.

However, there's a part deep within my soul that yearns for the Pacific Northwest. For home. In every land there are pros and cons. Here in California it's always sunny and beautiful - I can hike, bike, and run year round outside - and I LOVE that. However, I also live in what feels like this never ending, claustrophobic, concrete jungle. It's like the Tim McGraw song, "Where the green grass grows":

There's concrete growin' in the city park
I don't know who my neighbors are
There's bars on the corners and bars on my heart

Oh my gosh! This is totally me - in California. There never seems to be a true "change" in season, unless we're having some randomly ridiculous rain storm that lasts for months (which actually happened the 1st year I was here, and never once since).

And that's where I find myself today...

I miss the changing seasons, the colors of the fall leaves and the frosted branches of winter. I miss the slower pace, the cuddling up and staying in to watch Christmas movies. I miss the stillness of a winter's night and the silence of snowfall.

And quite honestly, I miss wearing leggings, knee highs, boots, and a big ol' cozy sweater, made complete by a beanie.

Those types of things don't happen here. There's no slowing down. There's no real change in seasons (ok, so it gets to be 50 degrees at night, it's still 70 degrees during the day people and that is NOT boots and sweaters weather!).

It's like a part of me is missing when seasons don't happen, and it's Biblical too! Good ol' Ecclesiastes tells us there's a time and place for everything, a season for everything under the sun. I'm taking that literally here!

I want slow. I want silence. I want o build a fire and cuddle up with a good book. I want to bake cookies and deliver them. I want to have snow, because the city sleeps when it snows and everyone shuts down their electronics and comes out to play.

There's something magical, healing really, about a change in season. There's a time for busyness and harvesting and spring, but there's also a time that EVERY body needs of rest, relaxation, and silence that only the winter can provide.

So here's to having a winter, somehow, in Southern California!