The F-words

My flannel fits. And the precious jewels of faith, family, friends, fifty, and even failures, hang proudly around my neck~they form the letter K. It’s me, Karla. I don’t mean to flaunt, but it’s all the flair I’ve got.

Flannel with Faith

It’s like looking in a mirror. We would stare at each other for hours before drifting off to sleep. How strange we began as one. We formed. We split. You had my nose. I had your ears. My smile was more crooked. Your eyes looked bigger. Our hands were the same.

Can you imagine my parents’ reaction learning there would be TWO of us? (they only found out after two heartbeats were heard about two weeks before our birth). My poor older sister was doomed. She was so beautiful and alone. Ironically her four years of solitude ended just four days after Independence Day 1970. I’ve been apologizing ever since.

Great-Grandma Verda Davis

Greens, blues, and yellow were good for me. Pinks, reds, and purples suited her. Or that was the way they could tell us apart. It’s no wonder I love nature colors. Giggling was a gift and we still open it A LOT. Simultaneously we do many things. The question “Do twins really FEEL what the other is feeling?” is answered emphatically “yes” by us. Once she was in an accident. I knew. If I hurt, she hurt~and vice versa.

Fifty years have almost passed since the day we first separated. There are several stories I could share. Like the one where we switched our shirts when we arrived to school (they had our names). By the end of the day we confessed. The teacher couldn’t get angry as she was stumped she hadn’t noticed. It was all out of fun. Except for the time when I had her pretend to be me on the phone since our voices sounded identical. Truly I could write a book about being a twin.

Fifty years doesn’t seem like a lot when I feel I’ve lived such a full life. To some of you I’m as young as morn; to others, I’m no spring chicken. Today as I soak in the paper of my past, it’s the family, friends, and fragments of failures that create the pictures I hold in my hands. Not the ones on the tiny screen. The pleasant aroma of memories lingers. The taste of yesteryears is so sweet. To preserve them (for hopefully the next fifty years) I safely bag them. And to my delight I even purchased a new picture frame. Can you imagine which pictures will be placed in these multiple cavities?

My grandparents lived through the Depression. My parents remember John F. Kennedy being shot. This morning I thumbed through a school yearbook. It was 2001. And I was just a 31 year old “young” elementary Principal trying to wade through the difficulties of 9/11 with the rest of the world. My oldest was in 3rd grade and the youngest in 1st. My children have children; what will they remember of 2020?

We’re halfway through the year. In five days I’m halfway to 100. I’m not confident we’re at any halfway point of human healing. It’s a new life. I’m embracing this stage. As I put on a mask for safety, I happily strip off the mask that hid my flaws. Do you see my eyes smile? Or do you see the tears that sometimes wet the cheeks when the mask feels suffocating? Will we remain out of touch? Or will we, in rebellion, spread the infectiousness of the ghostly viruses that swirl among us?

Lessons learned, wisdom made, and questions still to be answered power my passion to forge ahead. To fight with faith~To take a snap and actually print it out~To let go of what I can’t control~Smile when I don’t feel like it~ Cry because I can and should~Laugh for no reason as often as possible~Walk away from unnecessary stress~Embrace nature everyday~Show love to family, friends, and strangers even when I don’t feel like it~To be better than I was yesterday~To learn from every mistake~To inhale slowly and breathe deeply~To appreciate failures to reveal success~To judge nothing by appearance~To shake it off and accept it.

When I look into the eyes of my twin I ponder how we began as one. I stare in my mirror and looking back is a reservoir of reflections that embodies my experiences and satisfies my soul.

Faith, family, friends, …and fifty. It just fits.

Have faith💚

The best decision I ever made in life was to follow Christ. He doesn’t expect perfection. And he doesn’t tolerate hate. He’s not into “denominations” and could care less about the color of your skin. HE is your only chance at 2nd chances and many more thereafter. He doesn’t care what you say but what you do. He loves you no matter what. When you’re at your wit’s end HE IS THERE. You are loved.❣

“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.”-Hebrews 10:24

Down-to-Earth

Happy Earth Day! I feel the need to get down-to-earth. Since Mother Nature threw a front on me (which knocked out a hike) I’m going to get “down and dirty” about what has really been stinking up my environment. It’s me~I’m the pollutant.

The beginning of 2020 came in with a bang. It seemed so different than years past. Officially, I’ll be a member of the “cool older kids club” when I turn 50 (right?). Surely since I’ve spent so many years being “young and dumb” that being “old and wise” might be within reach?

Although there have been many life decisions~where to go, what to do, and what’s home base for me, I have still struggled with who am I?

As I type this the rain is pitter-pattering on the roof of the R.V. And as I look outside, the lushness of the trees and dripping of the rain reminds me of the emotional downpours I’ve recently experienced.

For the last several days I’ve partied-unfortunately the occasion was pity (a big thank you to my pup, Finley, for always being a loyal guest and not eating all the party food). A few close friends, loved ones, and family were dragged innocently. All I wanted to do was cry. I mourned the fact that my adult children and grandchild (and one on the way) are so far away. I cried after a lady slammed on her brakes in front of me and told me I need to get my f’in cheap-#$% Subaru (ouch) off the road. I cried when my pup hurt her leg, I cried that my stimulus check hasn’t arrived and the IRS says I OWE them for the insurance that wouldn’t pay for anything! And then I’d cry more because I was being pathetic! Has anyone else had a pandemic pity party for one? Or was Mother Nature just showing her power with my emotions in honor of Earth Day?

Is this what they call a mid-life crisis? And for heaven’s sake, how many tree branches have to slap me into reality? Here’s what I’ve learned during this nesting period(pegged by a fellow blogger):

  • I don’t want to go back to the way it was before. It’s going to be better. This hit me like a ray of sun. 🌞
  • Quiet time alone is essential. Placing necessary boundaries is not mean. Everyone can benefit from boundaries. This hit me like a hurricane.
  • Do I really need all I have? And is what I’m doing with my extra time beneficial? Answering these helped me realize that what was “normal” for me was not producing growth. It was time to prune. This hit me like a tornado. 🌪
  • Human connection is important. We need each other. Although I prefer very small groups and being alone, it’s good to connect with others. This hit me like a tidal wave 🌊
Table Rock Lake, Branson, MO

How can I be the calm and peace I feel WITHIN every morning with meditation, devotion, yoga, and setting my mind on “things above” on a consistent basis? Through reliable experts on the mind and health, and the most reliable book I know, the Bible, I know this: we are all humans with emotions. We are all loved. We are all forgiven. We are all journeying together. We can all learn. It’s ok to sometimes not be ok.

Do you really wish to go back to the way it was? Perhaps to a job you hate? Working with someone you need to learn to tolerate? To go back to the mechanical way of just getting through a day? Stop thinking you have to be perfect. Start being kind to yourself and allow yourself the opportunity to cleanse your soul clean. Let it out. Take a deep breath. Inhale the love and grace. Exhale slowly. Love yourself. Whether you know it or not, you are loved.

Have faith. 💚