Friday, October 10, 2008

Not Exactly a Man-Cave

(Peter, Peter...)

It’s been quiet here tonight.

Not that nothing has been going on. The boys and I are making an effort to reinvent our home.

Taking the advice from some friends, and a few ideas from the boys, we have begun to create a space in our home for peace, new beginnings, and making it a home for males (civilized).

Today I unplugged the phones. People can wait for me to call them back. Every few hours I plug a phone in and see if there is anything of interest recorded there. So far, there hasn’t been.

I’ve never been one to screen calls, but I kind of like it. This will place a buffer between us and the world.

Salespeople won’t be telling me about special deals on refinancing my home or if I would like free tickets to a nightclub. The boys can do without the chatter teens seem partial to, and I like the quiet. Brenda won’t be able to call and get my direct attention. I can choose when to speak to her.

The three of us went to the store tonight and bought... paint. We are going to redo the living room. Yellowish oranges.

It’s a leap for me. I’ve always been an eggshell white kind of guy.

Oh yeah. We bought a waffle iron! Isaac loves the frozen ones, and Brenda never wanted the waffle maker. But... not her choice anymore. So... in the morning... waffles and sausages!!!

Now, that’s a man’s breakfast! (HA!)

Seriously, these are intentional changes. They may not seem like much, but they are the fun parts of running this home. The boys have been learning to do more, and they need the fun distractions.

So we fix dinner, do the dishes, and watch the new Star Wars Clone Wars animated show while we fold laundry. We imagine new ways of doing things, living differently. We spend time with each other. I teach them about maintaining the wood stove, checking the fluid levels in the van, washing clothes, the right way to sweep a floor. I talk with them about what is going on, the real stuff, or as much of it as they can handle. I pray with them. We have someone over for dinner after church each Sunday.

I find these changes are helping me in unexpected ways.

There isn’t any discussion, any joint decisions to make. My sons and I are running the place and doing it as guys do it. We talk a bit, we grunt a little, we decide, another grunt, and we do it.

I find myself feeling relief over a new future. I had somehow accepted I would find joy in misery, offer my happiness as a sacrifice of some sort.

The last few conversations with Brenda included odd statements on her part, hints she wanted to work things out, mixed with touches of sarcasm, guilt, and emotional blackmail.

Deep inside somewhere she really is a good person.

It’s just that, right now, she is really messed up.

I can’t fix her.

And it isn’t my job to try.

One more little twist... My dad has been trying to get me to come visit him in Thailand. I plan on doing that in June. On his dime.

It’s Friday night and here is a run down on the next few days:

Saturday. Waffles for breakfast. Special Olympics bowling at noon. Going to go see a movie. Pick up new tripods for my technology program. Remove pictures from the walls in the living room and prep for painting.

Sunday. Early to church to pray with the pastors & worship team... after picking up my mother in law (she is still my sons’ grandma). Worship, is my favorite 20 minutes of the week. Dinner with guests. Work on the living room.

Monday. Back to work and school. I tell my students what grades their parents are going to see at conferences this week. One class is starting a new claymation project in honor of foreign exchange students from Korea (South of course). Work on the living room.

Tuesday night. It’s a full moon and my buddies and I are getting together for a Moon Howlin’. Iron sharpening iron.

So, there’s the latest from this strange corner of the planet.


Judas Hate said...

Now that paints a happy picture all the way 'round.

I am more than happy for you...and the boys!!

So when in June are we going to Thailand?;-)

Love and hugs all around.


aim4plumb said...

You are doing a great job!!

wilsonian said...

Wow :) This sounds so positive and life-giving. And what a great gift you're giving your kids, teaching them and involving them in these very practical skills.

Peace :)

Marvin the Martian said...

Oh yah, eggshell white. My wife likes pink so we paint the walls pink, but I pretend they're white. I can't see color anyway.

I Tivo'd "Clone Wars" - I have to watch it.

Anonymous said...

This is the best therapy in the world!!!!!


Amrita said...

Have a good weekend Will

ukok said...

Oh yeaaaaaah am i happy for you finding contentment in these small things like buying wafflemakers just cos you want one, i totally get that. Wheni left my husband i stopped doing the housework for months, only did the essentials. his big thing was keeping the sofa cushions plumped up....when i got my own accomodation for me and the kids, we threw the cushions on the floor and punched them. It might sound stupid, but itwas just one of the many oppressive holds he had on me. I don;t worry if there is dust on my furniture these days. I am to busy living.

Anonymous said...

this is good...

Owen said...

Sounds happy.

Anonymous said...

sh - how's your pastor? he's a good man! aggf

Judas Hate said...

aggf - He is indeed;-)

Anonymous said...

You're doing a fine fine job, Will! Wow. I'm so totally impressed!

Hey, wanted to let you know how to keep the title on your blog without having a "." (I know - it shows up over your image if you didn't do that...but I have a solution for you). All you do in your template is where it says "header h1" you need to type in "display:none;" and that will keep it from displaying your title over your image, while keeping it showing up on our tabs. Hope you understand.
You can "view source" on my template and see how I have it and that'll show you exactly where to put it.

God bless!

Fred said...

I wish I could unplug the phones. But, with three daughters, it's next to impossible.

I had conference night two weeks ago. It was the busies one for me ever. The kids are getting lazier by the year, and the parents are more frustrated by it.

Have a great week.

Curious Servant said...

The ceiling and two sections of walls are painted.

Hmmmm... it's definitely orange.

It may take a little getting used to.

I feel a little like I'm living in a pumpkin!

Anonymous said...

I like it, I like it!
Pumpkin? I like it!
I love to read the encouraging and "taking new steps" comments.
I am amazed at how you are all doing. This is good, Will.

Anonymous said...

I like it, I like it!
Pumpkin? I like it!
I love to read the encouraging and "taking new steps" comments.
I am amazed at how you are all doing. This is good, Will.

Anonymous said...

pictures puleezeeeeeeeeeeeee

Curious Servant said...

It is a HUGE mess right now. Pictures once the dust settles.

I haven't any place to put the furniture, so I am pulling stuff out from the walls, painting, and moving stuff around.

Tomorrow I move the fish tank. That is a three hour job!

It's darker than the eggshell, but it feels cheerful and cozy.

...Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater, had a...

Dang... Ouch! That poem isnt so nice after all!

Curious Servant said...

After a few hours working on the livings room, shuffling furniture from place to place to open up walls for painting, I put the boys to bed.

Isaac had the flu.

Jeremiah needed fatherly guidance over inappropriate text messages he's been sending. His body is nineteen years old, but his mind is nine.

I stayed up late, writing a post for this little electronic journal, trying to express two insights I received Sunday.

Like most insights they cannot be truly explained... only told. So... I have set that bit of writing aside and will see if I can condense and polish it into something that can be swallowed in whole, for in its current state it is too long, too convoluted, too complex, to toss on to the blog pile.

I didn't get very far last night. I put a second coat of the wrong color paint on one wall and needed to get more paint and redo it.

Tonight I will move the fish tank, a three hour job, and move on around the room.

I placed a photo of the progress at the top of this post to show the chaos which our efforts are trying to reverse. That's life, eh? A constant battle with entropy.

I'll try to distill that piece I've written to something short of a treatise on intrapersonal discovery of the nature of a multidimensional universe within the context of my bizarre, transforming personal life.

Have a good day my friends.

Anonymous said...

'll try to distill that piece I've written to something short of a treatise on intrapersonal discovery of the nature of a multidimensional universe within the context of my bizarre, transforming personal life.

good grief Will I'm one of your more "normal" friends.... LOVE the paint. Sorry Isaac is sick and Jeremiah is "growing" in different ways.
You are doing the right things and you are a very good dad!!!

Jada's Gigi said...

Orange! well it will feel cozy..:) Stay busy bro. and of course, how can you help it??

glaucia said...

I like the orange. Hope Isaac is better soon. Hope you find wisdom for Jeremiah.

Lucy Stern said...

Will, it is good to see how you are teaching the boys how to clean around the house. I like folding my clothes while watching the TV. I think you and the boys will enjoy the waffle iron, nothing like homemade waffles.

I like the orange, I think it will cheer things up. Have a great week.

Anonymous said...

Hey Will! Our living room is RED! And we're having our den painted an orange-y brown (rust) How do you like them apples? LOL I love it, actually - not sure when it comes time to sell anyone ELSE would, but that's their problem...

You tried the html, but you put it in the wrong place. I think you could either just replace display:none; with your blog title or go to the right place and do it.

It's way at the TOP of the html coding page - looks like this:

#header h1 {
margin:5px 5px 0;
padding:15px 20px .25em;
font: normal bold 200% 'Trebuchet MS',Trebuchet,Verdana,Sans-serif;

Just change THAT by adding the display:none; coding that I'll do here...

#header h1 {
margin:5px 5px 0;
padding:15px 20px .25em;
font: normal bold 200% 'Trebuchet MS',Trebuchet,Verdana,Sans-serif;

Don't lose that little bracket at the end. It's important.

PREVIEW before you click save and you won't have any problems!

God bless.


Curious Servant said...

Thanks Sis.

I'll see if I can get a moment to do it.

I'm really struggling to write this particular post I have going.

The concepts which underpin it are complex, but the truth, the emotional impact, the spiritual blessing, is very simple.

I'm not sure how to balance the background information with what is important, the truth of a universe which has tremendous scales, and our small slice of it, and how it turns out that this small part where we are is so inordinately important to the Lord.

I have rewitten the small end of the spectrum over and over and it seems to require terms that I know are unfamiliar to others. I have tried to write a short disclaimer... Doesn't seem to be working.

And I haven't even begun to tackle the rewrite of the monstrosity of the paragraph which describes the other end of the scale.

And... I wanted to include a second personal epiphany... a change in my heart and mind regarding my life and marriage. A healthy change. But the already too wordy post does not need another distraction included in it.

I guess I have found myself written myself into a corner which seeks to clearly share, to express something I know to be important... if not to anyone else, at least to distill for my own clarity.

I know the readers here are a tolerant lot... but...

Owen said...

Will, I understand that kind of post -- well, what do I know really. What I mean is I understand the struggle to express oneself clearly if only for ones self. I am in the midst of the such writing, reasoning my way through something that is not really very complex but large in impact - at least for me. I do this writing away from the main blogosphere now. I am not as brave or transparent as some might suppose. Some might call that wisdom. I don't know. So, I make and post my art...

Anonymous said...

Ahhh Will, you're more tolerant of us.
We learn from you. You're a Godly man with a great deal of wisdom.
Just spill your heart.

Becky said...

Write for you Will only you....

Curious Servant said...

I'm divorced.

Owen said...

Peace be unto you and your boys. Peace be unto her.

Curious Servant said...

I'll get better... and I think it will be quicker than I would have thought.

It seems lately I have been taking longer strides through this mess.

I've been writing, but it is too scattered to post.

I feel sad... I feel relieved... I feel hopeful... and there are feelings I can't quite identify.

But, it probably won' be too long when I stop thinking "I'm divorced" and start thinking "I'm single."

Being married has been such a central part of my identity that it feels weird to have this cut away.

It's like an amputation. It had to go. It was gangrene and it was killing me and it needed to be cut away.

But as screwed up as it was, it was what I knew, and even in awful places, what is familiar is comfortable.

Anonymous said...

so true Will so true.

Aphra said...

your blog disappeared from my bloglines and i was worried for a while, because it was always at the top (because of the ".") after reading this I looked and it is now listed under 'display none'. In case there are others who have lost you in their bloglines!