Thursday, January 20, 2022



from the "Wordy Wall" in my stair well

While it's become easier for me to not dwell on the past, I occasionally pick up notes written in my journals to see what I was doing on this day in a previous year, to determine if I've made any progress. 

The following are snippets and phrases from what I wrote a year ago, on January 17, 2021 in my blog post titled, "Honest Journaling Today." 

"... there have been more than a few times when, here all alone in my house, I have screamed out to God [with] anger, sadness, feeling so forlorn.

... I am grateful for the concrete block construction of this house that muffles [those screams] when I am calling out to God. I am also grateful for these COVID face masks that help to conceal my tears when I'm in public. 

... aside from valid concerns for our nation in its current state of upheaval and uncertainties, I am not afraid. I am just sad and angry.

... my life revolved around marriage and motherhood ... I now wonder just a little bit as to who I am, who am I supposed to be? What am I to be about? What do I want to do? This is an identity crisis.

I know my identity is always based in Jesus Christ. That is true no matter what else is going on it my life... I am a child of God so I know my calling is to live for Him.

... just put one foot in front of the other, take my life one day at a time, trusting the Lord to show me what's next in His will and timing. This is, indeed, a very hard experience but absolute good will come of it. I know that."

bench at a fork in the path at 
Blue Run of Dunnellon Park

Here I am, a year later. There have been some turns in my direction since then as I tried to figure everything out. It's sometimes a "three steps forward, one step back process."

One thing is sure, we don't get to "figure everything out" and then just move forward blindly. This is validated with words to a song the Junior Choir sang when I was in the fourth grade:

Trust and obey

for there's no other way

to be happy in Jesus

but to trust and obey.

And then there are the words to a song we learned in youth choir:

My Lord knows the way through the wilderness

All I have to do is follow

Strength for today is mine alway

and all that I need for tomorrow...

Looking back over the past week, I've been involved in some things that, before Beloved's death, were uncharacteristic for me and yet it's all good.

Zoom Finance Meetings:

Surfer Girl and me

Surfer Girl manages my finances for me since that's her career since she gave up working for the Mouse and Jazzercise. Her dad appointed her to do this for me before his passing and now I am one of her many clients across the nation. Meeting monthly in person was a highlight for me. However, COVID hit her house so our January meeting was conducted via Zoom. This nuance saved both time and gas money. 

More Dabbling in Real Estate:

my property in North Florida

It was a huge step for me to buy land all by myself a few months after Beloved's passing. After much thought and prayer,  I later decided to not build on that lot. This past week not only did I ask my realtor to list it, but I was presented with a good offer! Closing is scheduled for a few weeks from now.

Drafted to Become an Athlete:

me playing Bocce

Bocce is a popular sport in 55+ communities and although it looks too simple to be worth the time, it does require some skill to win.

While I was being drafted into the sport, Heartthrob was coerced into serving as temporary captain of our team while the real captain takes time out for surgery. He filled out the roster with asking me to join up.

Never have I ever been on a sports team. In my school days I much preferred running a sewing machine in Home Ec class than running on a track in a gym uniform. The "new me" is rising to the surface!

But if that wasn't enough.....

Rode 9 Zip Lines in One Day:

Heartthrob and me
with zip lines behind us

This was bound to happen since I began dating Heartthrob in early December. He has been an athlete all of his life with football, baseball, and numerous marathons in New York City and Washington DC. If I want to spend time with this man, then becoming more sports-minded is my new aspiration. 

photo provided by

Just standing on the different stations took bravery beyond myself due to their height above the ground, and they wobbled!!

photo provided by

This picture is not of me, however, I did slide on this cable and STOPPED SMACK ABOVE THE MIDDLE ABOVE THE LAKE! Before launching myself off the platform, I listened carefully to the instructions to pull my feet in close to my behind to increase speed with the hope I'd get all the way across this longest of the 9 zip lines.

However, as many of my readers know, I lost 20 pounds after Beloved's death and have not gained any of it back. After getting stalled out there and pulled to safety by one of the young, very agile instructors, I was told it's not unusual for children and light-weight grandmothers to lose momentum mid-ride. Yep. That's what happened to me. 

supper after the adventure park

Of course, that experience proved to me it would be acceptable to enjoy a high-calorie supper. The burger and cheese curds at Culver's met the need perfectly!

our view from a bridge above Withlacoochee River
in Dunnellon earlier this month

Heartthrob tells me the next adventure on our bucket list is an air boat ride. While that may not require athleticism on my part, it will be a new experience for me in alligator-occupied water. It won't be a serene boat trip down a lazy river!

Don't get me wrong. I look forward to it. Enjoyable adventures are making their way into my life as the sadness of last year eases its grip on my heart. What a relief!

One cannot exist in perpetual sadness and grief. It destroys the body, mind, and spirit. But sometimes we have to step out and be brave enough to seek and embrace the adventures. 

Not everyone will agree with our methods to alleviate the grief -- and that's okay. We all deal with grief in ways that go along with our personality, our relationship to the one who has died, and other factors. 

When I look back to see where I was, the changes since then amaze me. Yes, at times it's scary, but the alternative is to sit at home alone  in my recliner daubing at tears with a dish towel, mourning for what will never be again, crying over events completely out of my control.

Mangroves in the swamp water of
the Withlacoochee River

Peace I leave with you;

My peace I give you.

I do not give to you as the world gives.

Do not let your heart be troubled

and do not be afraid.

John 14:27

Until next time, grace and peace.


  1. Well now I know I would zip right across that water with no problem whatsoever! Lol enjoy your adventures!

  2. OH MY GOODNESS!! YOU are AMAZING! Well, we know it is GOD Who is amazing, but look what He's doing in you!! Re-creating you into a mighty warrior not only in Spirit, but in body too!! I am truly amazed at what you are doing these days, but I know it is only because of Jesus' love and grace that you are able to embrace this new adventure in your life and keep moving forward one step at a time...or one zip line at a time...or one air boat at a time! Wow! What next? Can't wait to see! So happy for you. Yes, this is much better than crying in your dishtowel at home, but you had to go through that part of your grieving to be able to embrace this new stage of your life without fear or anxiety or guilt. God knew exactly what would be the best way to bring you through to this next phase of your life's journey. All I can say is, "Wow! and look at Barbara go!" Love this so much. Praise God!!

  3. Squealing-YOU WHAT? ZIPPED LINE? (Being silly, bowing to the queen, grinning) --wow, you are so brave. BIG GRINS

    Barbara, you speak so much truth...our adventure begins soon my friend. Grief is not for sissies; I will say that. Although, I have not reached the anger part yet, and it seems like I am sort of waiting for it...but I just can't get angry. I know Liam is in a much better place and I know he and the good Lord would not want us to scream out or be angry. But the sadness, that is another story...extreme sadness, again, they would not want it...but we do recognize that is the human form. Your right, wearing the mask hides that pain. But unfort. folks tell me the eyes speak. I will tell you, one thing that does keep us going is GOD'S Word. Period. I might not be as eloquent as you when it comes to speaking HIS word, but I will tell you, GOD'S love and dare say grace is everything.

    ANYWAYS...I am so proud of you Barbara. Truly I am.

  4. Well, I found most of your 20 pounds and would have made it all the way across that zip line... but zip lining is not on my bucket list. Good for you, though!! Barb, this journey of ours is one many have to travel but I praise God everyday for seeing me through (and I know you do too), I have a bocce ball set in the shed that has never been out of its package. It does look like fun! Love & hugs to you!!

    1. Bocce Ball, Terri? Will you bring it over when we have our BBQ? GRIN

  5. Oh my goodness, what cool adventures you are doing/taking! I have done the zip line thing ages ago, but I would love to take an air boat ride. Do you play pickleball, Barbara? I remember the songs you mentioned; what memories. Enjoy your weekend!

  6. 😁 Wonderful! I am highly amused by your losing momentum mid-way. But what fun!

  7. You are brave. I love Culver's although I am a vegetarian...I emailed the "Man" for awhile...eventually the ones in Greenwood/Indy got the veggie burger...not homemade but dressed up pretty great. Haven't gone to Culver's here in Florida yet...Covid has kept me from eating out but don't miss it...i make homemade ones...enjoy your fun are, as I said before, quite an amazing woman. Your family must enjoy you so much. Wait until you take the two grandsons here go to places like that here in Florida and in Tennessee and WV...they love it...

  8. The adventures look fun and enjoyable!! Congrats on meeting Heartthrob!!! So happy for your both!

  9. Wow! What adventures. I am glad you are having such fun.

  10. That huge and genuine smile on your face, standing with your heartthrob, warms my heart. It's so nice to see you stepping or JUMPING right out of your comfort zone. Thank you for making my day!!!

  11. Over from Simply Linda's blog today.
    So sorry you've had a loss. Grief takes as long as it takes. I've been losing family & friends since I was 10 years old. It never gets easy. Heartfelt prayers in Christ for your heart to heal and for you to feel whole again. One just keeps going forward, like you so rightly stated.
    My husband's father lived in Dunnellon until his passing in Nov. 2018. Hubby said his Dad once took him to a restaurant called Coach's Pub & Eatery in Inverness. According to him, they had the best wings ever. Might wanna give them a visit sometime:
    May joy and blessings be yours now and always. xx
    Pamela (aka Sparky) at RedBirdAcres.Wordpress.Com

  12. Zip lining? I am so impressed! I would make it right across that lake. :)
    I'm glad you are having fun doing these things.

  13. Very exciting adventures, you're having Barbara. And how terrific that you are enjoying activities that Heartthrob is introducing you to. Have fun, you two (since Heartthrob is probably reading). ;^)

  14. You are definitely stepping out of your comfort zone, Barbara, and you are blossoming, so that is a wonderful thing! I really admire your courage to engage the zip lines; I'm horribly afraid of heights, so I would have had to nix that adventure.
    Speaking of weight loss, I dropped at least seven pounds while in the hospital and need some help. Those Culver's cheese poppers are right up my alley these days; I'll get Danny to pick some up for me in the near future.
    Yes, we can't dwell in the past; God moves us forward, either willingly or kicking and screaming. I'm so glad you are moving in joy!

  15. Good for you Barbara. Choose life!
    I had fun reading about your adventures. Now, the zip line is not on my bucket list and I am not sure I would ever get enough courage for that. I hate that feeling of bottomless stomach but maybe with your weight loss you didn't experience that. Oh go girl. Smiles

  16. I could never do a zip line lol. Not my thing since I'm afraid of heights (and one of my disabilities would make it impossible). But you - wow! Look at you taking it on! I want to send you my most sincere (belated) sympathies on your dear husband's death in 2020. (I just now found you via Linda's blog.) How wonderful that there is a new person in your life with whom you share new adventures and who cares for you. You have my prayers, Barbara. May you be blessed each and every day! (My son died in 2013 at the age of 34 in an industrial accident... not the same grief, not the same circumstances, but I know grief also.)

  17. You simply amaze me! have inspired me to do do something totally out of my comfort zone this year Not sure what it will be yet...but YES! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  18. I still say you are amazing
    Looking forward to your next blog is like reading a book
    Glad you have Daughter to help
    My husband did our finances and then our son took over for me
    Corporate attorney
    He taught me and I did my own until last year and this year a new state also
    He will help and then I can start again
    Glad your property is selling
    It was meant for you to stay where you are for now I believe...think....suppose...
    Hope you do wel with the alligators lol

  19. I'm glad you're choosing life! You're an inspiration.