Tag Archives: overcome

Where the Wind Comes Sweeping Down the Plain

I am side tracking from my mini-series of summer time memories – even though I have only posted one post on summer – I will continue later today or tomorrow.

But a new thing has popped up in my life.  Please know that I am in no way mocking or taking phobias lightly .  Not at all.  I am simply making a humorous attempt to laugh at my self, and I do laugh at me only.

We live in Missouri.  We have lived here only a little over five years.  Prior to that, the forty years my husband and I have been married, we have lived in coastal states.

Here is a little how my mind works……..

In coastal states there are obvious land boundaries.  On the west coast we have the Pacific Ocean and the mountains.  I felt secure, so to speak. Actually, I never felt afraid to go far because it wasn’t an issue.  All was secure.  By “it wasn’t an issue” I mean it never entered my head that there was a boundary of any kind.

Same on the east coast.  We had the Atlantic Ocean (sometimes in our backyard, literally) and it was fine.

Well, you take a coastal girl and put her in the middle and a strange thing can happen……. there is nothing but land in all four directions.  We won’t hit a wall of mountains until we get across Kansas.  Kansas is vast (in my head).  It’s so Oz-like.  I haven’t even been to Oklahoma where the wind goes sweeping down the plain!

In this area of Missouri we have a road appropriately named, “State Line Road”.  Why?  On one side is Missouri and on the other is Kansas.  In one given outing it is not uncommon to cross the border of the states a number of times.  No problem.  It makes it fun to shop.

So, back to my new realized phobia.  We went to a wedding and the reception was in a park in Kansas.  No biggie, like I just said, it is easy and normal to go across state lines here.  Well, as we headed further west on the interstate, I got a little nervous.  I kept asking my husband, “How far into Kansas are we going?!?”  He said just a little ways.  I saw familiar town names and relaxed because I knew they were close by the border.  Then I saw things like metal silhouettes of bison and Native Americans and wagon trains, and The Oregon Trail signs……. again, “How far into Kanas are we going?!?”

I realized then that I had an irrational fear of the vast open plains.  Please note – there are no vast open plains on the border of Missouri and Kansas.  Not the Kansas City area anyway!  That is the irrational part. Hahaha.  I was a bit un-nerved over this trip.  It came to me that I really felt very insecure going out into the wilds of the west. Dang! That may put a damper on my desire to see Oklahoma!  Where the wind comes sweeping down the plain. **please note: we have driven across our entire nation at least six times and I was fine – but we had a destination!

I was telling my son about this and he totally understood.  Since we came from coastal areas it seemed normal for us to feel a bit insecure.  I think we all, unknowingly, make boundaries in our minds.  Boundaries of insecurity.  Boundaries of security.  I think it’s pretty normal.  It’s what I do with it that can become the real problem.  Most fears are irrational (I am not a professional – just an older lady who thinks a lot).  Now, if I was running for my life from terrorists with Jack Bauer – well, we all know that would be a rational fear of mega proportions ( older lady with too much time to think).

I know phobias are very real to people.  I had a period in my life where it was real.  Thankfully, I did overcome that fear with a lot of prayer and help from friends and my relationship with God.  After all, we are just little people in a very big world.

Have fun with this post – I did.  You can laugh at me – especially you mid-westerners who do not understand how weird it is to live here when we are not from here – lighten up on us transplants!

Here is a pic of how vast the wilds of Kansas can look:

wilds of Kansas City

wilds of Kansas City

I WILL go to Oklahoma!  And I will take pics and write a post about it.  I may even sing the song!  For your enjoyment I am sharing a youtube video of Hugh Jackman starring in the musical Oklahoma!  Obviously his pre-Wolverine days.  I’m impressed and did giggle.


cate b

Life’s Twists and Turns

It’s funny how our lives can be moving along in a nice steady stream and we think we know how things will go and what we will do.  Then along comes a twist.  One you didn’t see coming.  Sometimes they are hard and hurtful but sometimes they are nice and kind and surprising.

I want to talk about the surprisingly nice kind.  We had just moved to a lovely little Borough on the Jersey Shore.  We were just a fifteen minute walk to the beach, faster by bike.  The public elementary school that our two youngest attended was just around the corner.  The town was so small that there were no school busses simply because everyone lived in walking distance.  It was such a small school that the teaching staff consisted of a kindergarten teacher, a combined first and second grade teacher, a combined third and fourth grade teacher, and a combined fifth and sixth grade teacher.  The class sizes were ideal.

Naturally, in a town of this size and a school of this size, everyone knew who the new mom was.  They were all friendly and kind.  It was easy to get involved, and I did.

One day, one of the moms approached me outside the school as we waited for the day to end.  It was just before the Thanksgiving holiday.  She told me I should work at her friend’s Bed & Breakfast for the holiday tours.  I just listened and kind of nodded in an uninterestingly way.  She pressed on. She told me they need help serving tea and cookies for the tour in their home.  I basically stated that it was nice, but I don’t think I can do that.  Again, she pressed on.  “You don’t understand”, she said.  “All you have to do is pour tea and serve cookies and smile and they pay eight dollars an hour.”  Something lit up inside me.  I know that sounds like little money, but for what she said I would do and that year, eight dollars an hour was great.  I committed to calling her friend.

I had an appointment to talk about the job.  You must understand, that the next town over and the town we were in, kind of mingled together and held the highest concentration of Victorian era homes in the US.  Most of these homes became Bed & Breakfasts or Guest Homes for vacationers to the Jersey Shore.

I met with the wife (husband and wife owners and Innkeepers).  We hit it off and I was hired to stand by a cart of tea and cups, and as the tourists came in to see the Inn and hear the history (story told by Innkeeper husband) of their home, all I had to do was smile and ask if they would like a cup of tea, and hand it to them and direct them to the cookies.

Well, the tours go from the day after our Thanksgiving, in November, to the New Year.  Weekends mostly and evenings.  I loved it.  A couple of days before the end of the tours, the Innkeeper (wife) was looking at me and talking to some family members.  I got nervous.  I thought this was it, no more tours for me.  On the contrary, she came up to me after everyone left and offered me a job as Assistant Innkeeper.  Their present one was leaving and thought I would be perfect.  I told her I do not know a thing about B & B’s or hospitality business.  She wasn’t worried.

So began an adventure that I would never have chosen.  Ever.  I think God knows better than I do.  It was so good for me.  I learned to clean, cook, make reservations, oversee other staff and then the hardest of all – I learned to “schmooze” with the guests.

You see, I can talk to people and even have you believe I am an extrovert.  Not true.  It is probably one of the hardest things for me to do.  I remember the first day the Innkeepers told me they would be out of town for the day and I would have to stay and check the guests in.  SAY WHAT???  I confess, that when the first guests arrived and the doorbell rang, and I came up from the basement laundry, around the corner, and stopped.  They weren’t looking in the door, so I quickly backed up and leaned against the wall in a sweat.  Heart racing and almost in tears,  I quickly said a prayer and pulled myself together, got into character and greeted them as if I was doing it from birth.  A major victory in my life that day!  Really, you can laugh, I do.  For us introverts it can be challenging and traumatic.  OK, that’s a bit dramatic.  Dramatic!  That’s it, I should have gone into acting.  Because a lot of this involvement with people is “getting into character“.  I’m not pretending, I am very sincere in my conversation and relationship with these people. I really do love talking to people.  But it’s also hard.  It was a very freeing time for me and has helped me a lot with things I ended up doing in the future.  I felt I overcame a huge obstacle that day.

One other quick story.  I suck at waitressing.  Tried that once and totally failed.  So, a Bed & Breakfast serves breakfast.  However, everyone gets the same food unless they are on a special diet.  Easy.  Well, one day, a woman asked for a glass of water.  We did not put water out as a habit.  I said, “Of course”.  Then I ran to the kitchen in a near panic and told the Man, “A woman asked for a glass of water!?!?!?”  He looked at me and replied, “Well, give her one.”  Duh. (I added the the duh – he thought I was funny)

So, this story is for all you great readers who questions things that may pop up in your life, opportunities that you would never have pursued or said yes to.  Before saying no, think it over first.  See if it will benefit you (I’m sure it will in some way) or make a way for another greater opportunity.

The Fairthorne Inn

The Fairthorne Inn 


The Fairthorne Cottage

The Fairthorne Cottage


cate b