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Monday, December 7, 2009

And since I'm here...

Merry Christmas December!


It snowed today and I drove in it on the way to work! That's right, I drove.

Last Wednesday I went to the Dr.'s office. I dreaded what they were going to tell me, but at the same time, feeling like I was alright receiving any news at all. But! I was relieved to find that I didn't need my sling anymore and I was ready to go and get some physical therapy done! What a feeling! I wanted to hug the Doctor and tell him thanks, but knew I would actually just be praising God all day telling Him thanks! I have two arms and it feels better than ever! I wonder how often we take our limbs for granted. OH - to wash my hair MYSELF, to wear coats with both sleeves with my arms, to pick-up Sonja (because she's visiting with Elise these days), to hug people 100%, TO PLAY THE PIANO, TO DO YOGA (well, not all the poses, but we're getting there! Baby steps!), drive... so many things!

What a time to be grateful?! What a time to reflect on what I have?!

Last night I watched the Christmas Devotional and loved the music and spoken word! I love President Monson! I especially like his stories that lift and motivate you to love more and serve more as well! I then read in Matt. chapter 19 last night verses 23-30 to confirm the messages spoken. Where are my priorities? Who am I serving? How am I serving? What am I doing to help strangers, even? How easy it is to love!


My car accident




I was driving home from work Monday the 16th. I had had a horrible headache which became a migraine. I guess it was more intense than I thought b/c I ended-up blacking out and coming to when I felt the rumble strips on the left side of the left lane to the hywy. It was almost as if I didn’t comprehend that it was me who had drifted, and my arms proved that as they tried to bring my car to some sort of a lane in the road. However, since I had blown a tire (I later found-out) it became near-to-impossible, and so swerving became my only option. Finally, screaming “NO! NO! NO!” With the car spinning twice across the middle and far right-hand lane, I collided into the cement barring that saved me from toppling into the 270 traffic below. I couldn’t nor did I dare move my left arm. It hurt way too much! Crying and frantic, I tried to grab some sort of reality as a guy on the scene opened the passenger’s side of the car and told me he was an EMT and started asking questions and taking my pulse. Another girl with a cross necklace draped around her neck asked if she could call anyone for me.

“Mom, I got in an accident.” I told her.

“No! You didn’t! Where are you?!” She answered.

I remember another woman yelling at me telling me not to move my head, and by that time she entered I suppose and they called the paramedics, because they arrived not too long afterwards. Another surprising fact was how very attractive all the guys were that started taking care of me. One took my head and told me, again, not to move my head or neck anywhere. Another one cut the air bag off of the right door he had successfully pried open, and I had a few trying to slide the stretcher under me and somehow move onto it from the passenger’s side. Funny that the thought that came into my mind as they were trying to find a good way of getting me on there, and I just helped myself onto it was, “I hope you can tell that I have really great arm strength.” Shoot! All these guys and I hoped I looked good. You can tell where my priorities were! Always… men on the brain…

They slid me on the bed in the back of the emergency vehicle along with my laptop and bag… and asked to see my license.

“HAWAII?!” One asks me. “What are you doing here?!”

“Shoot! If this stuff happens here, I need to go back!” I returned.

They got the information they needed and we drove off to Doctors West hospital.

“I hope this isn’t your favorite sweater” A paramedic states as he cuts into the shoulder of yes, my favorite sweater. However, I’d rather them cut it then otherwise. By the time we got there, I told them that God was the only one that could have gotten me out of Hawaii. One guy even asked what church I belonged to. What a great way it was to end the conversation as we pulled into the hospital! He knows I’m Mormon. Cool! They wheeled me in and moved me from one place to another softer one I was hoping, but then again, I still had a board under my back. Annoying and painful, my phone rang just the same. James. The nurse only handed me my phone because she thought it to be important. I hurriedly texted him, “I got in an accident, call my mom.”

Then, the tears came. They created their own trail down my cheeks and dropped off onto the bed. The neck brace seemed to be most uncomfortable next to the board who’s hardness seemed to be hitting the worst part of my head. I already was suffering from the migraine, and it was just getting worse. So, I manipulated my way into getting someone to finally come in and take me off that horrible plank. Mom finally got there after a while and crying was automatic. I’m so very grateful for my mommy. I was bleeding on my nose and kept seeing it through my peripheral vision.

After using a bed pan to relieve my faculties (because they wouldn’t allow me to use the restroom without having the x-rays), my nurse spilling it and feeling it up my back, I decided it was officially a bad night. Her and another nurse cleaned me off, changed me and I then got wheeled-into a room to scan my head and the x-ray room as well. What a time! After all was said and done, and getting settled into my new sling hung around my neck and arm, they sat me in a wheelchair and wheeled me out to meet mom who had pulled up in front of the emergency exit.

I couldn’t believe it was eleven o’clock. I was so tired and so very hungry! When I got home Elise and her friend Leslie were sitting and eating popcorn and talking. I ate a little and took some muscle relaxers and shoved-off to bed. No Yoga. No piano. I began thumbing through my head as I saw less and less freedom.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Cultivate the living

I open my eyes bitter that the morning sounds of my alarm found me before I could solidify my dream. Waking up is what I need to do though, and there I was, only habit, and grabbing my phone, wallet and car keys. Shuffling down the dark hallway, my eyes having a hard time adjusting, "AJ!" The exclamation wasn't as loud as my head throbbed I'm sure.


"Yeah?" The reply came; as if she didn't know why I'd be yelling for her...

"It's time to go!" Matter-of-fact I called back.

Shwump! I slid the toaster lever down with her bagel in it.

Voosh! I opened the fridge... GAH! Bright light... Cheese stick, mandarin orange... a small grumble of "she didn't make her sandwich"...yogart...Bryers makes yogurt? Had no idea... 5:45..."hmmm, this is when we're supposed to be leaving..." I butter and honey her bagel, and wrap it up in a paper towel.

Beeps sound as I take the alarm off, unlock the door, and roll my eyes as Kalee stretches herself as slowly as possible; then proceeds to rub against my leg purring to try and get me to follow her towards her food bowl. Annoyed, I tell her forget it and I'll feed her later. Alright, so, I lied, but I didn't think twice about it while grabbing an "Ensure" drink and drug my body toward the car. I opened the door and very heavily thumping myself into the driver's seat.

"This is going to put me coming back late again..." I thought grudgingly to myself.

Finally, Aubrie came out carrying her portfolio and school belongings. Hurriedly slumping all of her belongings in the back seat and by her feet and sat next to me looking as cute as ever with her straightened hair. "I bet that reminds her of Japan." I admire her hair and thought to myself.

She asked what I had done last night and I proceeded to tell her how nervous I seemed to be in teaching this institute class. At the same time though, I am so relieved to be back into my old skin again. I'm teaching and studying about the gospel again! I have something to look forward to and that was refreshing! Before I fell asleep last night I felt inspired by new ideas and what to teach on and about in my class, and stayed up a little longer just to write them down. Talking to her, I realize how free I'm feeling. I'm single again. I have all the confidence in the world to do whatever it is I want to do. I'm not tied to any possibility or avenue. My adventure is sprawled-out in front of me!

My thoughts are there to roam again.

I have nothing BUT time.

I recalled my dream. I was in the back of a Jeep Cherokee and the thought came, "I have the option of being happy. I can be happy. I have every right to be happy."

I felt it again talking to Aubrie.

We eventually got to the church and saying good-bye told herthat I love her. I never want to miss saying that. Her life is so precious to me. Simultaneously, I was so grateful for the time spent with her. What a great opportunity! I got to talk and listen to AJ everyday before she went to school. What am I doing wasting time not talking to her about loving and cultivating life as I know it to be?! What am I learning? What am I teaching?

She grabbed her book bag and was closing the door. "Aubrie, remember when you told me about how you liked madrigals a couple of years ago and that the girls weren't as bad as you thought they were at the time? Think about that for your Senior year. You'll want to look back at it and want to say you had a great time your last year."

Now it's your turn Aubrie to teach me something tomorrow.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Levin, Amanda, Ansley

" "My funeral," the Blue Man said, "Look at the mourners. Some did not even know me well, yet they came. Why? Did you ever wonder? Why people gather when others die? Why people feel they should?
"It is because the human spirit knows, deep down, that all lives intersect. That death doesn't just take someone, it misses someone else, and in the small distance between being taken and being missed, lives are changed.
"You say you should have died instead of me. But during my time on earth, people died instead of me, too. It happens every day. When lightning strikes a minute after you are gone, or an airplane crashes that you might have been on. When your colleague falls ill and you do not. We think such things are random. But there is a balance to it all. One withers, another grows. Birth and death are part of a whole.
"It is why we are drawn to babies..." He turned to the mourners. "And to funerals."
..."I still don't understand, " Eddie whispered. "What good came from your death?"
"You lived," the Blue Man answered.
"But we barely knew each other. I might as well have been a stranger."
..."Strangers, " the Blue Man said, "are just family you have yet to come to know." "
- The Five People You Meet in Heaven
Rain pours through the sounds of typing fingers, beeping copiers and rustling of the papers. It can't penetrate through the numbness or the helplessness I seem to feel right now. I find it the most ironic that I was recently reading this passage, and today heard that a married couple friend of mine got into a car accident where his wife, and the baby she was pregnant with, died. I first read the email in complete denial, not believing what had happened a couple days previous. Memories of past friends who also have lost their lives in car accidents, suicides, strokes, heart attacks, brain aneurysms and other casualties flashed into my mind; Obituaries and articles of recent and years-passed of those who have slipped only into their spirits...
Levin, cradle your living Ansley. You both will need to draw the strength from the living as well as the great Unseen.
Words seem so trite, and I'm sorry they're the only tools I have. I'm sorry the experiences I have lived will never will fill your heart with the comfort or peace you truly deserve. It's more than I know, and more than I can fathom to do. The pain and realities you perceive and endure are far beyond myself and I leave them into the hands of the One who can lift, carry, touch and heal. I feel I cannot do more, neither can I do any better than pray fiercely for your heart to be pieced together with the love and unconditional faith that presents itself better now visually than ever imagined.
God, please hold Amanda tightly, and Levin even closer.

Friday, September 11, 2009

New? I wish... sometimes

I was writing an email to a friend this morning that threw me for a loop. I was telling her how much my life was still the same: unknown. "Why doesn't this change?"

Now, let's look at that a minute. My life is still the same but it's also unknown - Doesn't that mean that it's going to change all the time? Well that's what I want! I want it to change. It seems to be either a cycle of misery or I'm stubborn enough not to notice what is changing or how?
Maybe that's my problem. I'm looking for change all in the wrong places? ("...No fine girls just ugly faces..."? - You know the song.) Things change, but how they change or what changes actually remains the same. It seems as if I'm stepping right up to the edge of the cliff trying to look over; wondering how I want to get across rather than how will it happen for me to have the means to get past the craters and valleys below. But what's on the other side?! Is there another side? Frustration mixed with impatience becomes my grudged cement shoes.

I'm certainly not in the place I thought I was going to be even a month ago. I'm listening to an 80's radio station at my dad's office at The Ohio State University. I'm typing at a computer while slowly I feel energy and brain cells getting sucked-out through my eyeballs into the computer screen and creative juices becoming frozen within the air-conditioned room. (Why does it have to be so incredibly frigid?!) I have a window and that is appreciated, but then again, I feel like the trees mock me with the fact that they get to feel the wind in their branches and sunshine in their leaves and I covet the very idea of blue skies smiling at them and not me. Irving Berlin your song displeases me.

I have been out of HI almost a whole year as I discovered last night, and still there isn't a day that goes by that I don't reminisce about... well, mostly the weather since Ohio has had it's fair share of the pretty 78 + degrees. Has time really lapsed that quickly? Yet, it has also seemed like years of unnecessary confinement. Not to say Ohio is bad, but let's be honest, it's no Hawaii...esp. around January.
I guess I am doing more of my fair share of pining over new horizons when some change has happened to me, but the whining comes since change hasn't come because of me. Maybe that's the humility in it all... just because I am one to want change and welcome any amount, I get the answer to wait and be patient. The answer comes in not only peace but a clever little thing set-up by the bank to show me what that I do have...lots and lots of change...
That's not what I meant.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Traveling doo-dee-doo




So, I guess it worked. My trip, the time spent, life... how ever you want to look at it.

Nebraska was great and I certainly made a bunch of new friends... which happens to be my favorite thing. Friends=good times. I think my favorite was the Independence Day celebration. Fireworks were everywhere and it was very fun! The best part was it was right in the front yard! They go all out in NE! Go big or go home I think is their motto...

I had some fun hanging out with Matthew's family for dinners and adventures like the zoo out there. The desert dome was really cool. I find it amazing that people create what they do. I'm crateful for creative brains!

We also floated down a river in Valentine, NE...


And from there, after quickly changing, I loaded into the van of Heather and Gary Armstrong and their kids and started driving down to Utah...

It was so fabulous to see Amber, Jeff, Elaina and Carter and Elise and Sonja; !!!!!!


And as a little side trip, dad decided to take us all down to Zion's National Park!

video
What a great time-I tell ya!
Then, plans had been made to travel up to ID as well, so Amber, Jeff and the kids with Matt and me following, drove up to see the Idaho folks! I realized that it's been about 4 years that I hadn't seen grandma and grandpa Smith. It was about time!



Narlie and her fam!
Babes on a boat!

I found a piece of HI at BYU-ID!!! Crazy!!! But oh-so cool!

The new trick Auntie Gina taught Sonja!
Oh-what fun it was to go to ID and eat Brian's pizza, hang out with Grandma and Grandpa Smith, cousins and Aunts and Uncles!
From there, I drove back a little later with dad and mom since Amber and her family as well as Matt drove back already a couple days previous.

Back in Utah... really? A cancelled ticket, huh? That's not so great, but why not go back to Ohio on the 4th of Aug instead! Thanks to a good friend who flies the friendly skies (or assists on one) I got back to Ohio safely. I was able to spend more time with Amber, see other friends as well as Matt, and hang out with Grandpa Child for lunch. Always creating happiness rather than bitterness. Plans happen or adventures are created. That's how I see it. Either way, I'm learning.


Grandpa's Rambler!
Plus, we got to eat Matt's homemade pizza! SO GOOD!!!!!!!


Copper! I miss him Amber...

AND we got to have a creme soda party!



Wednesday, June 10, 2009

June means spring and that means...


It's time again! Here I am!  (My two new dear friends: Paige and Rachel!) 
I'm hanging out in OH and looking for a job... hmmm, as I write this, I notice not much has changed I suppose since last I wrote. However, I did get a Pilates class at the YMCA and teach every Friday @ 4:30; having a blast doing it! Now, if we could just get a Yoga class... working on it! Does anyone have $3,000 they want to loan me? 
I'm adding a new piano student this week, so I will be a teacher of 3 piano and 2 voice students. I've found that's the first thing to go with families in the economic struggle. "Let's weed out all the extra expenses; piano will be first!" I'm grateful for the students I do have. They are a blessing.
Another item of business to discuss: my summer plans! Since job-finding is scarce, dad made a deal with me that if I re-did Austin's bathroom (stripping wallpaper, painting, and etc...) then I could go with the family out west to Utah and Idaho this summer! Well, a couple of books on CD later, and (Que trumpet) the bathroom was completed!

Good times! There's a bit of a twist to this whole situation, however. Turns-out, I've been dating this guy named Matthew and the two of us are going to be driving out to Nebraska to meet his family the end of this month! SOOOO, from June 27th (or so) until the 13th of July, that's where I'll be. 


THEN, I'll be taking a flight from there to UT and hanging out there a bit, mom and dad join me, and then we take a little drive up to ID as well. I come back to Ohio the 29th of July. I figure, why not take all of July to be with family I haven't seen in years being away in HI for so long? Shoot, nothing's keeping me doormat here! Weeeeeee! I can't wait to spend so much time with relatives I haven't seen, new cousin-in-laws (if that's a term), new cousins and SISTER'S babies... (I'm coming Sonja!!!!), and see grandparents that have been lost visually for years! (Let's be honest, I'm pretty stoked about meeting Matt's family as well!) 
I'm still writing like crazy, reading (and listening to) as many books as I possibly can, and trying to stay tuned-in to the Being who knows all. Oh, the places I'll go? Sometimes it's mostly in my mind these days. 

Friday, March 20, 2009

March... aren't you supposed to be spring?



Here I am in March, in Ohio, in my house, in too many layers for spring.


What else do I have to report or update? Sorry to say, not much has been showing itself for jobs or monumental changes otherwise...


Maybe for "new developments" purposes, I'll post something that happened today that surprised me. Who knows what to expect in Yoga, though, right?




Recently, I have gone around to different health clubs in the area and tried offering my services in the way of Yoga; telling the managers and Group X leaders that they should need me in their facilities. One particular one (off of Henderson Rd) came to mind so I decided to stop-in (since I had already once before stopped-in) again with high-hopes to talk with anyone who could guide me in the right direction. Two women came to my aide and were super nice! One even mentioned a class that was actually going on at that time and I should be a part. She ushered me in and I got right to business with warrior, locus and other such poses of stretchy goodness!


At last the best part of the class... corpse pose!




I lay down, comfortably allowing my spine and body to melt onto my mat.




The instructor began, "...now go to your favorite place."




Automatically, I of course, went to my home: Hawaii.




She continued, "Maybe it was a place you once lived or visited; be content going there."




I smiled as I thought of my place of beauty and sweet memories.


She kept talking; luring me more and more into my wonderful scene of serenity.




"What are the smells? What are you touching? Seeing? Hearing?"




This was about the time I could feel the lump in my throat crawling up and oozing out of my skin as goose bumps. Tears soon followed and my face warmed itself. The memories were more real to me now.




I was jogging on the beach with Jenni-talking and listening. I was at Berni and Ryan's house making crazy videos- laughing. I was in my room at night dancing with Christy- creating sounds of absolute "crazy." I was walking around Laie with Sara-hugging her and hoping for our lives to bring more happiness. I was froliking around work making up songs with Lauren. I was sitting on the couch in Kuulei's house- observing and taking in the family I had adopted. Making food and getting a bit nuts with April and Shannon. Gloriously, I was smiling in every act; exposing my heart and shining and loving every sunshine beam peering down at me.




My tears drained right into my ears while I lay there on the wood floor...


I saw Waimea beach with Megan and BYU-HI campus with Joseph, Loralyn and Collette. I saw Waikiki with No and Lindsay and Ben and Heather. My late-night conversations were so vivid with Kehea or PC... wishing on far-off stars for other places to explore and fantasize towards. I was coloring and playing hide-and-go-seek with Mary and Brock and turned my head to see Emily and her kids playing with them at Hukilau. I was teasing the Loo family and eating the wonderful Samoan cocoa with the Fonoimoanas. I was hugging Katie and Beakers, Shanae and Mary and their kids, Aunties at the temple and the Belnaps as well as the Ottleys... so many other wonderful and happy faces...




My eyelids exposed my pupils and I saw a fan above me.


I wasn't there... in my past.


I was in a very brown room. Dimly lit and humid.




"Let's come back into the room" I heard the teacher say. The 8 minutes was over.




"No." I found my heart aching so badly to stay in my warm and very dream-like place of refuge.


"No." I saw gray skies outside and rain falling with chilly winds breezing by the windows.


"No." I need my sunshine.








Thursday, January 15, 2009

January the month of snow... lots of it!



Today marks another week and another day that I'm freezing in Ohio. That's right, for all of you not yet informed, I am here in Ohio living and trying to breathe. Every time I try, however, I feel air burning my lungs and shutting off all communication to rationally think about anything but, "COLD.... Fingers....frozen...nose....COLD...."



Why am I here again?


The shortened story: I came home for Christmas and felt like I needed to stay. So, all my things are getting transported out here, miraculously, from a friend who "happens" to be driving from there to here cross-country. Good thing I only had a couple of items to bring since that's all I can really bring from Hawaii.


I'm babysitting Briana's kids here and there, and still searching for a job. HA! Good time to try and find one! EVERYONE is hiring I hear! (At least my book-writing keeps me busy and pre-occupied and not feeling like a waste-of-space in my new persuits.)


My plan is to get certified (finally) to be a Yoga instructor; that will be February 21st and 22nd of February. (Hopefully. They've had to change the date and time already...) I'm to work at the YMCA when that gets solidified. I'm singing still and it just so happened that I sang for the Artistic Director of Opera Columbus, so if I'm here in the summer (who knows by the way my life seems to be sporadically going) he wants to use me in the chorus of an opera. Wouldn't that be FUN?! It was a great experience to sing for him and fantastic to sing period. I've missed performing! I'm also teaching a couple voice students as well.


I've enjoyed being with the family and helping with Dad and his deals as well as Aubrie's voice lessons. It's been fun going to church with Austin on campus. I'm now "Austin's sister" and know about 4 people there on campus. It's nice to see Kimmy here and there... she's ALWAYS working. You'd think she'd be related to dad or something... maybe I'm just jealous.

Really, all it comes down to is God knows what I'm doing and I'm doing what He says. It hasn't worked otherwise. Everything happens for a reason; His reasons.