-A mostly true journey of a girl, her man and their three kids; all trying to live harmoniously in a house somewhere in Utah. Names and exact locations may be changed in order to protect the grouchy.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Secret Subject Swap- September!



Hey-O September!! It's time for the SSS!


If you're a regular reader, you know that the Secret Subject Swap is a collaboration between various bloggers. We receive secret topics from a blogger in an e-mail and put our own spin on the subjects. The 12 blogs participating this time are listed at the end of this post. Go have a look and leave a comment. It will make my our day! :)

Your “Secret Subject” is:  
You think your home is haunted by kind and gentle spirits, what do you do?
It was submitted by: Karen@ http://dinoheromommy.com/  Please check her out! She is working on an "Organized Blog Hop" right now. Who doesn't need a little organization?

The truth is, my home IS haunted by kind and gentle spirits!

I always say my house was built by angels; angels I was lucky enough to know...

My family was meant to move here, to Utah. I was meant to get a job at the school I did, and meet people who became invaluable parts of my world. I met "J." at that school. She was a master teacher who taught in the classroom next to mine. I was a terrified newbie, but she was willing to take me under her wing.

"Under her wing" is actually an understatement. She and her husband, "G." (also an educator) took my husband, daughter, and me into their arms. "J." mentored me. She traveled with me to association meetings, clubs and dinners. "G." joked with my husband about having wives with too much teacher "stuff". They bonded over computers and food. Our "adopted-parents" babysat and advised us on everything from how to get a mortgage to the importance of going on vacations.

"J." filled a void I didn't know I needed. I've written this paragraph over and over. I can't give justice to the gifts and lessons I received from her. She sat with me when I was frustrated and praised me when I needed it.  I was eating gravy-fries with her in a diner when she told me I had an old-soul and that we were meant to be friends.

Then there were the personal blessings. When I was pregnant with my first son, "J." left tiny baby gifts in my school mailbox every day. She sat with me after the births of both of my sons. I had a hard pregnancy with our youngest; "J." came to stay with me for a week after he was born. She and her husband watched our children while we sat with a dying grandmother. "J." also held me like a baby while I cried over losing another. My children called her "Grandma". I don't think I'll ever understand how someone who was a stranger just years before could hold such unconditional love for my little family.

In 2003, "G." tragically passed away. In 2009, "J."died unexpectedly. Their passings are someone else's story to tell, but both left us shocked and numb. I still have a hard time believing they're not here.

When I was first hired to teach ('96,) I took my daughter to a daycare near the school. I remember driving through the neighborhood and wishing we could afford a home of our own. One of the most beautiful houses was one next door to the daycare. It turns out, the house was built the year my husband was born. More fateful? It was built by "G." for "J." and their two children.

11 years and three families later, the house was for sale. We were finally at a point where we could afford our forever home. My husband and I went to "J." to ask for her blessing to buy the house. Though she didn't have any ties to it, we wanted her to know. She was thrilled. In October of 2007 we were able to move in. "J." visited and walked us through, telling us what she could about the house.
It wasn't until I saw her fingertips softly touch the walls, that I realized how painful it was for her to be in the house without her husband. My heart ached for her and the experience made me appreciate the home even more. 18 months later, she was gone.

As I said before, our house was built by angels. Angels I saw with my own eyes.  I live in a house that is haunted by full of "kind and gentle spirits".  Lock the doorsI wouldn't have it any other way.

Thanks for the topic, Karen!

Here is an excerpt from a blog post I wrote back in March 2012. It was about something I was grateful for:

My house. I sometimes am afraid of the outside world. I don't enjoy shopping on Saturdays or going to movie premiers that are practically sold-out. I am just as happy sitting with my family in this aging old brick haven.  We do not live in a cookie-cutter house. We do not live in a McMansion, or anything resembling "new or shiny."It's an old house with aluminum wiring that badly needs a new roof and windows that don't whistle when the wind blows. I write lots of blog posts on the different ways we try to fix it up, I know. It has great bones and was built by people we loved. People who aren't alive anymore; people I talk to when I'm repairing something. "Oh 'so-and-so, ' Why did you choose to put the wall here and why isn't it square?" or  "Hey, 'so-and-so',  Make sure I don't get electrocuted when I touch this wire..." It goes on and on. The point is, I genuinely love this house; as much as you can love something that doesn't breathe. I know like everything else, that it might not be standing forever. We live in a time of economic uncertainty..We live on a fault line and/or  I run too many appliances all at once... But for now, I put my babies to sleep every night in this home. I read novels in its corners. I watch the sun stream in when it's cold outside from the living room windows. I create down in that silly craft room and sometimes, I cook in its kitchen... I will never take any of it for granted.

If you are interested in joining us for the next Subject Swap, you can visit its creator, the wonderful Karen @ Baking in a Tornado. You can also read all about the swap by clicking on the SSS icon on the side of my blog.

Don't forget to check out this month's talented participants!


Baking in a Tornado                              
The Momisodes                                 
Just a Little Nutty                             
Follow Me Home                        
Moore Organized Mayhem         
Stacy Sews and Schools             
The Sadder but Wiser Girl                                            
Dinosaur Superhero Mommy                                   
Searching for Sanity                      
Crazy as Normal                                         
Menopausal Mother                     
Moms Don't Say That   

Happy Beautiful Friday, friends.
-Michele                                  

35 comments:

  1. Wow.. Just wow. I'm sitting here reading this at work, trying so hard not to cry. This post is beautiful. I am so.. awestruck. When you first told me about this blog topic, I could not even help you out with creating any potential ideas. But you, you created this amazing piece; something I could never have thought of. Joan would be so proud of who you are today. I'll never forget my amazing first grade teacher taking me to the Dinosaur park and singing sneaky snake while playing the ukelele. I think about her when I think about what kind of teacher I hope to become. She was a grandma to us. She loved us so very much, and I have no doubt that she is watching over us. I love you Shellybean.

    -A

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    1. Grandma J. loved you so much. We were very blessed to have had her in our lives. Thank you for helping me last night with the ideas. I always appreciate your support. BTW, you will be nothing short of an amazing educator. It's in your blood :) Love you so much.
      -Mamacello

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  2. So beautiful! This post has touched my heart so much. You were so blessed to have such wonderful people in your life. BIG BIG HUGS!!!!

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    1. Thank you Stacy. I was so lucky to know her. Thank you for the hugs. I'm just as lucky to have such wonderful blogging friends <3

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  3. So beautiful Michele. What memories we both have of J! She was such a wonderful person. We are truly blessed to have known her. Thank you for bringing her to my mind this morning.

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    1. Ann, you are another blessing I took from that school. I'm glad to be blogging with someone else who knew J. <3 you.

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  4. sobbing so hard right now Michele...oh man...blows my nose. I always forget what prompts I give Karen so it's a treat to see who gets it and what it is...you took this far beyond what I imagined...I truly believe Angels, good spirits, a blessed soul can live in those around us. So glad you got to befriend an angel on earth.

    When lights flicker or I feel suddenly cold I tell my Grandma that I love her and know she is there, but I can't look at her or I might freak out...

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    1. Karen, I was scared to death of that prompt. It's the funniest thing, my daughter and I both say "Yay!" to the spirits all around us as long as they aren't visible!! Lights flickering, wind blowing..all of it. Being surrounded by so many warms my heart.

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  5. Beautiful! Never stop writing. . . .janice

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    1. I love you. Thanks for reading. You're another blessed "J." in my life.

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  6. What a wonderful post. We learned a lot from G. and J. during the short time we were able to spend with them. I think us now living in a house they built means that we still are able to learn from them today. The house certainly has it's own personality and G. and J. will forever be part of that. Even with some of the minor issues we have to deal with I wouldn't trade it for another house. Thanks for sharing this!

    Happy Birthday!

    Love, M

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    1. Aw man, I made it to another year. Whew. Thank you for so many things; especially this house. I know you loved them like me. Now tell them to fix our leaking fridge, will ya? xx

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  7. Thoughtful and beautiful, Shelly, like everything you write. How amazing to be able to keep friends alive through sharing a space that they once shared.

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    1. Karen, we have been so blessed. I count you among one of my living angel friends <3

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  8. You gave me goosebumps!
    How extraordinary to come full circle and embrace the home/ piece of her history just before you lost her. What a special connection and marvelous place to be!
    You have an amazing way of connection and evoking emotion from your reader... I LOVE it!
    I am so glad you got this prompt and were surrounded by the love of such rich relationships. This was perfect!

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    1. Thank you Meg. We were so fortunate to have known them. It's a wonderful thing to look back and know you were meant to meet some people. I hope someone thinks of me that way some day :)

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  9. I have goosebumps too, from reading this. What an incredible story. I LOVE that you own the house now---it is so perfect. "J" really was meant to be a part of your life. But then again, I never did believe in coincidences....everything happens for a reason, Michele. GREAT job on your prompt.

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    1. We love this crazy house and all of the people who have lived in it Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes I don't figure that out until hind sight. Love you, lady.

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  10. What a great link to have with people you love so much. So sad they were taken too soon. Sounds like you are great guardians of that home. X

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    1. I love that word: Guardians. I feel safe here knowing they're watching over.

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  11. Oh Twinnie.....you have brought tears to my eyes. It's amazing how people can become family. I have people like that in my own life. What a beautiful story. My own home (thought I don't own it) has ghosts. My father-in-law, who I never got to meet, hangs around. He's a bit of a prankster. My grandparents come around a lot too. It's so comforting. I'm so happy you found the home that was meant for you. That's something you'll cherish forever.

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    1. Twinners: My family has completely grown and changed based on the people I've met. When I pout about moving to Utah, I think about all of the wonderful souls I've encountered. Now, I can't imagine not having them in my world. Grandparent spirits rock.

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  12. Aw, Shel, you left me in tears... again. I can't express how happy it makes me that you have been, and continue to be, surrounded by so much love and goodness. No one deserves it more than you. I am happy that you and Mark found your forever home... though, I guess that means I'll never get you to move somewhere warm... :) Happy Birthday, My Darling Girl!! Love and Miss you much... -Stacy

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    1. Stacy,
      I count you as a precious family member. Thank you for never giving up on me. Forever homes probably become just that when you fill them with family. My "next" one will be along a beach!! :) I'm sure any ghosts would approve. xx

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  13. I LOVE THIS. I too have felt that many things in my life are connected and were meant to be. What wonderful people you've had in your life! And the house-so perfect. :-) Thank you for sharing this.

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    1. Thanks, S. Connections and coincidences give me hope. Kind of like proof that we are here for a reason. I love this cranky old house. :)

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  14. Double M...

    I'll say it again: Wow, what a beautiful story. I love "J" and I don't even know her. How blessed your family is to have known such kind people.

    Now, about those "gravy-fries." I'm down!!!

    Have a great weekend & good luck tomorrow, Slu

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    1. Slu,
      Thanks so much for always taking the time to comment. We have definitely been blessed by the people in our lives. You would absolutely have loved "J".
      Gravy fries make my world go round. :)
      We Won! We were out of town at a, ahem, casino. We were able to catch Michigan beat Notre Dame AND watch the Lions pull one out over the Vikings. Awesome weekend.
      How about you? My husband woke me up to tell me about your amazing win. I went to bed thinking you'd be sad :( Were you able to stay up for the whole game? Whew!
      Cheers to next weekend,
      MM

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    2. All I will say is: Absolutely!!! And then, went to bed with a Smile...

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  15. I am so happy that you were blessed with her and her husband in your life. I know how much you cared for them both. I believe God will put certain wonderful people in your path, as a reminder that there is good and that you can trust and be open. Light in the darkness.

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    1. They were so much light for us. I think about them daily. I'm not sure I would have been half the teacher, mom or wife without having learned so much from them. <3 you.

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  16. We are so much alike.... Happy Belated Birthday, I was away. Jimmy got married Sept 1st.



    Love ya Brenda

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    1. Thanks for the birthday wish, my friend. I had a great one this year. Jimmy got married???? Isn't he still in 4th grade? Send me pictures, please!! Love you too :)

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