20 years

It’s amazing how fast time passes. Today, is kind of like a day 20 years ago today. It’s kind of rainy, a little cool, and I am a very very happy girl today. 20 years ago today, I married Rod Koelker. 20 years ago today, I became Gena Koelker. 20 years ago today I started a journey with a man that has been the most amazing journey that I’ve ever had the pleasure to be a part of. Today, is my 20 year anniversary.

20 years sure sounds like a long time when you say it that way. I’m telling you one thing, it was a blink of an eye. I went from a scared young girl who had no idea what tomorrow held to a woman who still doesn’t know what tomorrow will hold but is confident that it will be amazing. Yesterday I was picking out my wedding dress, and the day before that I met my husband for the first time. 20 years goes by so very quickly. I chose to make a life with Rod. It was the best decision I’ve ever made.

20 years ago I thought that I had to do it all myself. I thought that I had to be an independent woman or I was weak, I was so wrong. Sometimes strength comes from allowing others in. One day I realized, with the help of my very direct husband, that to be truly independent it was OK to be dependent sometimes. It was OK to lean on someone. It was OK to let someone else lead the way. I didn’t need to have all the answers all the time. And, I still don’t. He and I work together as a team and figure things out. Life has thrown us some curveballs, and we’ve just adjusted our swing and hit every one. If you had seen us then, we probably would have looked like the long shot, if you look at us now we might look like a pretty decent bet.

It hasn’t been easy. But it hasn’t been all hard either. When you get two people that decide to live together, and make a life together, and make a promise to one another that they will be there for the other person for the rest of that person’s life, you’re going to have conflicts. If people were too alike, then life sure would be boring. Sometimes we fight, and I get so angry with him sometimes, just like I know that there are times that he just wishes that I would just do what he wants me to do and shut up. I know that there are times that he thinks that I am off my rocker or I am the most unreasonable person in the world. But in the end, we figure it out. We make it work because we love each other. We are so much better together than we are apart. We both have chosen to put in the work, and the effort, to make a life together. I don’t want to say that we have a life that other people envy, I just want to say that we hope to set a good example for our children. I hope one day that all of my kids will be able to look up and say “hey, I’ve been married to this person for 20 years and I’m still happy that I made that choice.”

So now, I hope you will forgive me if I get a little sappy. I know he won’t ever read this, but there are a couple of things that I would like to say to my husband:

Rodney, I am so very thankful to have found you. I can’t imagine someone who is better suited to me than you are. When I need pushing, you’re there to shove me in the right direction. You’re also there when I need you to be exactly as I need you to be. You listen to me, and most of the time you actually make me feel like my opinion matters. I know I can be hard to live with, but I’ve been proud to be your wife for 20 years. If something ever happens to me, and you are left in this world without me, I hope that you know the love that I have for you will continue until you’re not here anymore either. Because that’s the thing, the love that I have for you, is eternal. It will never go away. No matter if I am here, or just echoes of me remain, my love is a constant thing. You are constantly in my heart, in my soul, on my mind, and I will love you for all eternity. The day that we walked down the aisle, the day that I held your hand and said I do was one of the best days of my life. It was the first step on this grand adventure that we’ve had. It hasn’t always been good, but it’s never been so horrible that there was no returning to the good path that we’ve had. The bad has never been so overwhelming that our love couldn’t conquer whatever was wrong. We have made so many memories together, in 20 years. we have squeezed a lifetime in two short decades. I can’t wait to see what the next 30 will bring. That’s right, I still want 50 years with you and more. I want a 50 year anniversary from you sir, and I’d like to dance at our party. So, since I don’t plan on going anywhere that means that you’re stuck with me for at least 30 more years. Well, I know it will be much longer than that! I love you Rodney, thank you for making me your wife. Thank you for loving me for over 20 years now. And thank you for planning a future that includes me in it. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.

Now, for everyone else, I hope that you have someone that fills your heart with every emotion that it can possibly hold. I hope your joy’s outweigh your sadnesses and I hope that you have someone that loves you like there’s no one else in the world. I hope that you have someone that you can look forward with and plan a future with. Hold onto them. Love isn’t given freely, not true love anyway. Not the kind of love that lasts forever, that kind of love takes time and work and it’s a constant work in progress. It evolves and changed but only grows stronger with each passing day. I hope each and every one Of you take the time and put in the work, because in the end the love that you get, the life that you live, the years that pass are all so much better if you take the time to do the work and share your life with someone that truly matters. I hope everyone has an amazing day today, and I’ll talk to you all again soon

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More driving thoughts

This morning, I’m driving to work with Oscar and thinking about my weekend. Monday morning is usually the time that I process everything that happened over the weekend and it was a pretty good one, it was filled with uncertainty of coarse and laughter and work and all the other things that make up a life. But there were a couple of things that stood out.

I have a friend who for whatever reason was treated poorly somewhere this weekend and they will probably not go back to the place the treated them poorly. I can’t say as I blame them. Then I hear stories of people in Meridian Mississippi reaching out to hurricane victims and helping them. giving them whatever they can and helping them find a place to stay. That shows the good in people. And then I hear a story that one of my children’s friends stood by and watched a young man hold a gun to a six-year-old child’s head and rob him of his iPhone and a dollar, and this happened in a town not too far from me.

Today is also September 11. That’s a day that means a great deal to people in my country. It’s a day that we were attacked by people that hate us for whatever reason. I can’t help but wonder on this day, if perhaps that Day finished stripping away the decency and honor and integrity most of us used have as second nature. Many still have those core qualities, but sadly many do not. I know we lost a lot of our innocence that day. I know we came face-to-face with the fact that most people don’t like us. Whether it is Because of our religious beliefs , because they think we are arrogant, or just because we have more than they do. The reason never really matters, only the outcomes do. We’ve gone on so long in our lives just thinking about ourselves, how to get ahead and how we think we need to buy the next big thing, I think that we have forgotten that at the end of the day were all people. We all have hopes and dreams no matter what they are, and instead of helping one another often times we try and squash another person’s hopes or dreams. You see, if others don’t fulfill their hopes and dreams maybe it makes us feel like there’s more room and more possibility for us to fulfill ours. Such a shame.

September 11 was a horrible day, and a lot of people died for absolutely no reason whatsoever. Every day since then it seems like I have watched our Nation slide deeper and deeper into depravity. I’m not exactly sure what country I’m living in anymore some days. So, I guess the only thing I can do, and the only thing each of us can do is get up each day, try and remember to treat everyone the way that we wish we could be treated, and live. Maybe if just a few of us try and do our very best to treat our fellow man in a good way, it will start a chain reaction. Maybe I’m na├»ve, and I most certainly am, but I have hope. If you have hope then there’s nothing that you can’t do. Hope is like fuel for the human spirit. It’ll keep you going on long time after people say that you should’ve laid down and given up. There is goodness in all people, we just have to find it. There is greatness in each and everyone of us, and it is so easily achievable, we just have to want to put in the work and go for it. Is it easy to be nice to someone that’s being ugly to you, of course not! Is it easy to try and reason with someone who’s being unreasonable, of course not. Is it easy to see something from someone else’s point of view when you are absolutely certain that you are right? Of course not. But it’s the right thing to do. Sometimes I have to remind myself that maybe an unreasonable person may just be having a bad day. I know we can all do it, I know that if we try we can make this world A place where we’re really proud to live. We can start small, we could start just by being the best person that we can be. Not the best money maker, not the best at finishing first, but the best person. Be someone that everyone wants to be like. Be a genuinely good person.

But, LOL, sometimes I actually forget that people just really don’t want to be that way anymore. So there we go again, with my worn out and outdated morals and beliefs. LOL oh well, it was worth thinking about! I hope each and everyone of you have an amazing day. I hope that you are the very best that you can be today. I hope that you each find something wonderful to remember on this day to replace any bad memories that you have. I know that I haven’t written a lot lately, Oscar has taken a lot of work. But, he is now nine weeks old, and car rides to work are a little bit easier. So, I’ll leave you with a few photos that you may or may not have seen before. I hope you all have an amazing day!

Morals

I am guilty of a couple of things, I don’t think they’re actually really bad things, but I am guilty of them nonetheless. (there’s probably a lot more of my guilty list that I am aware, for the purposes of this article will say a couple things). I have a very very hard and fast idea of what is right and what is wrong. Now, I am the first one to admit that there is gray area, but there’s just certain things you don’t do. You don’t steal, and you don’t steal from your employer, you don’t murder someone obviously, you don’t intentionally hurt someone, you don’t cheat on someone, you try to treat everyone the way that you want to be treated as much as you can, and you don’t lie, The hard thing, can be to reconcile your self with working with people that don’t follow the same moral code that you do.

Morals are a funny thing, and it’s crazy but they vary from person to person. Some people interpret things in a way that allows them to sleep at night while they steal from countless people. Some people would never steal anything. Some people, have the ability to justify their wrong actions with the fact that maybe someone did something bad to them. Whether the slight to them is real or imagined, they use that to justify doing something wrong. according to my moral code if something is wrong it’s wrong. If it’s wrong today, it’s going to be wrong tomorrow. If it’s wrong before someone cheated you, It’s still wrong after someone cheated you.

For example, I have a friend that works for a car place in another state. This friend is a mechanic, and they had a wreck come in. The car is totaled, but the service manager told my friend to start taking certain things off of this car. Now, maybe I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure that at this point this car does not belong to the mechanic shop. It belongs to the insurance company. I’m sure, and I’m not sure how this works, but I’m sure an insurance adjuster has been out and given a value based on what he or she saw there. So, if they begin to take things off of this car, In my mind that constitutes theft. But more importantly, it’s just wrong. You just don’t do that. I don’t care if it’s to your neighbor, or to a company. In the end, those actions will affect someone. I have another friend who works for a company that is a small business and the employees there, Really don’t care what happens in the business anymore. Now, some of it may be the owners fault, but at the end of the day the employees are hurting their own paycheck, as well as my friends family. Because at the end of the day the business, especially since it’s a small business is owned by a family. A family is who is affected. It doesn’t matter, if people think the family is rich, whether they are or not it’s kind of a moot point. The point is a family still affected. It comes down to another person. And in this case the actions of others are hurting multiple people including, themselves.

Maybe my morals are old-fashioned. Maybe people like me really don’t have a place in this new world that we live in. You know the one, the world where as long as you get yours it’s OK to hurt someone else. The one where if I worked really hard for what I have then I should just give it to you even if you don’t work. The world where if you actually go out and do work it’s frowned upon. The world where I have to accept you for who you are, but you don’t have to take into account any of my feelings, thoughts, or traditions if they don’t fit into your world view. The world where we’re teaching our children to hate one another while we’re saying that we’re trying to teach them to except diversity. The world where we judge others without really knowing who they are. The world where it has become OK to physically hurt others in the name of some cause that you’re trying to forward Maybe, there is no place for old-fashioned morals today. I hope that I’m wrong. I fear that I’m not. Working in sales shows me the very best of people and the very worst. I still believe that every person has good inside of them. I still believe, even if a person is acting horribly, maybe there’s a reason. In fact, the other day I ran into a man that I had just done my best to not have many interactions with because every time I talked to him, he was condescending and treated me as an inferior. I had Oscar outside going potty at the dealership, and the man walked up. Oscar untoward whatever ice block there was between us and the man actually talked to me as a person. So, I will maintain that there is good in everyone. It’s just up to us to see it. If we don’t take the time to give someone another chance to show us who they really are, and we really might miss out on someone great. If we are too busy trying to get ahead we may forget about the people that we may be stepping on, then at the end of the day we may be the first one to cross the finish line but if there’s no one there to really care about anything that we won or achieved then what good is it?

And any rate, I didn’t mean to turn this into a long bench on our house. I was just pondering this as I was driving and listening Oscar complain about having to go to work. I hope everyone has a great day and I’ll leave you with a couple photos that you may or may not have seen before. talk to you soon!

Driving thoughts

I was having a conversation with my friend yesterday about church. He has found a new church and absolutely loves it, and I’m very happy for him. I, on the other hand choose not to go to church, although I have a very strong belief system and very strong relationship with God. But, during the course of our conversation I got to thinking about the things that people go through in their lives that shape who they become. I think, if you do it right you learn and grow your entire life. Some people stagnate at one point or another for whatever reason, but most people keep growing. Now, they grow in a bad way or Good way and is kind of up to them, But the things that have happened to you in your life shape who you become.

Unfortunately, in this day and age people don’t take those lessons and use them, or rather they seem to use them as excuses. They don’t grow from them, and they don’t learn the lesson that they were meant to learn. For me, when something happens I learn from it or, I try to. If I don’t learn something from whatever has happened, the same thing, something worse or something very similar will happen again. I think it’s kind of designed this way. you keep repeating the same mistake until you learn not to do whatever caused you to make the mistake in the first place. I mean If you constantly Speed you will keep getting tickets until you either learn to go the speed limit or you buy a really really expensive radar detector! It amazes me that people use The things that happened in to them in their lives as excuses not to do the right thing or try to excel or for the reason that perhaps they except hand out so readily. I’m just not 100% sure when people gave up on life.

At the end of the day, that’s really what it is. People give up on trying. I have had some crappy stuff happened in my life. I’ve been knocked down so many times that I am very very familiar with what the underside of life looks like. Yet here I stand. I keep getting up. My life is not spectacular, it’s not really that special, and is nothing to write home about, but it’s my life and I choose to keep getting up. I choose to show my children that if you keep trying you can accomplish what you set out to do. I choose to try and help other people when I can, to be or, try to be a good person, and treat others the way I hope, , And often wish that they would treat me, because it’s what we were meant to do. It’s the right thing to do. I make no excuses, if I mess up well then, I messed up. If I hurt you unintentionally, I will say I’m sorry in a minute. And if you wrong me, it may take a little while but I will forgive you. I do a lot of thinking when I’m driving, and I just don’t understand. It was such a small thing to forgive, or smile at someone, or except them for who they are. It doesn’t hurt me at all to say I’m sorry. If I can do it, anyone should be able to.

As for my friend, I’m glad he continues to grow into a good man. I’m sure that he will change over time and continue along the path of growth. It makes me happy to see that there are at least some people out there that still know how to be the kind of people that we as a country used to be. The kind. Of people that other countries used to emulate, the kind of people that we were proud to say we were. I hope each and everyone of you have an amazing day, I would like to leave you with a picture that you may or may not of seen before. Talk to you soon

Sadness

Apologize for not writing yesterday, Sunday was just a horrible day.m that carried over into Monday. Early Sunday morning my little Felix dog got hit by a car. It was kind of my fault, I didn’t have them on a leash, and I do live by a busier road. And that is something that I have to come to terms with.. Everything that happened from that point on just went from bad to worse. But anyway, my husband took it pretty hard, because he really liked Felix. So, his way of dealing with things was to go out and get another puppy from the same dad that Felix came from. He brought him to me yesterday, he has named him Oscar

I think, whenever a pet leaves us our hearts break. And everyone deals with sadness in different ways. My husband, gets mad and then tries to fix things. I deal with it slowly, overtime. The sadness stays with me. Until eventually it doesn’t hurt quite so much anymore. time makes things better. you’re heart never heals, but the pain does lesson. So now, I’m driving to work, talking to you, and I have Oscar with me. Oscar just turned six weeks old, so he can’t be left at home for Atlas babysit. Atlas, in case you don’t know, is my 12-year-old more fat than fluffy yellow lab whom I love dearly. However, he would not be a good babysitter to a teeny tiny Yorkie. We will have to let Oscar get a little older before that happens. Eventually they will spend the days doing whatever they do while I work, probably have parties, but not yet.

What my husband has done, has given me something else to think about besides Felix. I’m sure he kind of did it on purpose. And in his way, he was being sweet, and he was also numbing his own pain at the same time. He also didn’t want to think about losing Atlas. You see, Atlas has seizures. Little dogs for whatever reason seem to help Atlas to not have seizures. When there is no little dog in the house, he will have a seizure at least once a week, when there is a little dog in the house he will have a seizure or maybe once every three or four months. And that old guy doesn’t need to be having any seizures.

So, I will be focused on taking care of Oscar instead of focusing so much on what I did wrong with Felix. Having a puppy that small is almost like having a baby, you really don’t have time to think about anything else. My boss, thankfully, gave me the OK to bring him to work until he’s old enough to stay at home with Atlas. So, hopefully potty training will be easier with Oscar than it was with Felix. I miss Felix desperately. In fact, the first night that he was gone I could still feel him snuggled up to me as I slept. I didn’t feel that last night, but I had Oscar to take care of. My heart is broken and it hurts the way it always does. When we lose a pet. But, eventually it won’t hurt so much. Felix brought unmeasurable joy into my life. He was a character, he was definitely his own man. Well, as much as any dog can be. But, it’s not fair to Oscar for me to dwell on Felix. And anyone that knows me knows that I’m all about being fair. So, unfortunately I have to say goodbye to Felix. I can’t dwell on the past, and tomorrow’s a new day. I will miss him so much, but as with any pet we truly love I know that he will be waiting for me on the other side of the rainbow bridge. I don’t want the day to be too soon however it can’t come soon enough. I will definitely never forget him, and I’m glad to of had him for the short time that I did.

I hope each and everyone of you have an amazing day today. I’ll leave you with a couple pictures, I’ll introduce you to Oscar in the first picture, and say goodbye to Felix in the last ones. Talk to you soon

Relaxing

Sometimes, life gets to be hectic. Sometimes, you make mistakes and you have to learn lessons. Sometimes your feelings get hurt, but you still have to go on. Sometimes your nose rubbed in the fact that people are just jerks. So, you have to remember the good things in life. You have to remember The good things that you do that outweigh the bad. You have to remember the good moments in your life that far outnumber the bad. You have to remember those great days, especially when you’re having one word seems to rain all the time. You have to remember that you’re a good person no matter how many people hurt your feelings, or tell you that you’re the last person that they should deal with. You have to remember all the people that love you instead of the ones that are trying to make you feel small because they feel small themselves.

So this morning, I would like to show you a few pictures that relaxed me and help me to remember the things are actually pretty darn great. Got to go to work this morning, so I’m keeping this short. Talk to you all again soon and have an amazing day!

Ashamed

** don’t read this if you don’t want to read a quasi-political rant based on The crazy things that are going on in our country today **

I usually don’t get into political things. From my point of you live your life the way you want to. As long as it’s not bothering me, I really don’t care. I have my own life to worry about, my own bills, my own frustrations, my own struggles. I don’t really have time to worry about your life. I am strong enough in my beliefs and my convictions to be able to live my life independently of your life. I really don’t need to take a poll to see what I need to do next or find out what is socially excepted. I kind of think that’s the way it should be. Oh, I’ll be there to help someone if they need it, I’m just not going to insert myself and every aspect of someone else’s life. I mean who really has the time for that? Well, apparently lots of people have the time to insert themselves and other peoples lives and tell them how to live.

Right now, in society today, we are being inundated with hate. I don’t know why, these are issues that we’ve dealt with our entire lives. And in all honestly no one really has it that much worse than someone else. I mean, really the only reason that my sister who is a lesbian has anything to worry about is because of hate. I mean, people really don’t care who she’s married to, they really don’t, unless it gives them a reason to hate. And the only reason they hate her is because they don’t understand…they’re afraid. Well whoop Dee Doo. So what if a person is different , Who cares. We are a country of people that are different from one another! Well, let me quantify that by saying in my opinion, most people don’t have it any worse than another person. My grandma, came from a small town in West Virginia. She met my grandpa while she was working as a Rosie the Rivetor. My grandpa, was in the war. They came from a generation that just got things done. The next generation, just got things done. They all knew how to work, they took pride in hard work, and they honestly cared about one another. They seem to realize that if their neighbor did well, they would do well. There weren’t as many people that were living off public assistance, and the ones that did were ashamed. Public assistance was not something that you strove to get onto. I have always had to work as well. Nothing was ever handed to me, and I didn’t want it to be. When you work hard for something you respect it more. Now, let’s fast-forward to today. We have so many people on welfare, so many people that aren’t working, we don’t take care of one another, we don’t take care of our veterans, and we don’t have any respect for ourselves, our neighbors, or anything that we have. I maintain that that is because we don’t work for it. We have a government that tells us it’s OK to sit on our Duff’s. We have a society that tells us that it’s OK and all we need to do is take a pill. We don’t work through hurt anymore we diagnose it and Medicate it. We don’t know how to solve problems, because we can’t think outside the box. If the answer is not right there in front of us or on a computer screen we can’t figure it out. The greatest nation in the world, has been reduced to this.

Today’s pictures, may or may not offend someone but since this is my blog, I really don’t care. But today’s pictures show work, and honor, dedication, and sacrifice. One picture is of one of the drills in a mine in the upper Peninsula of Michigan. The men that worked in those mines, knew what hard work and sacrifice were. The second and third pictures are in a Civil War cemetery. These, are Confederate graves, but what does it matter what kind of graves they are? The men still sacrificed everything for their families and their homes. The fourth picture is just a picture that I like, so you’ll just have to deal with that one LOL.

If I acted, the way that those people on television act, those protesters my grandma would be so ashamed of me. And the one thing that scares me more than anything is to have that woman be ashamed of me. Now, she’s been gone a long time, yet I still try and live my life in a way that she would be proud of. I don’t know where these other people were raised, but they obviously don’t care if someone’s ashamed of them or not. For some reason they are so angry, that they feel like it’s OK to just take it out on everyone. It’s not OK. And until we take some accountability and responsibility for our own personal mistakes and flaws and issues, then it doesn’t matter how many laws get past or bills get introduced into Congress it’s not going to matter. No matter how many statues you take down or monuments you blast, if you’re not happy with who you are, you’ll never be happy with anything. Go to work, get a little dirty, stop giving your kids everything they desire, it’ll do them a little bit a good to go without some stuff or maybe work for it. Obviously a lot of people have too much time on their hands to begin worrying about why this person has more than they do, maybe because they work for it! Or, somebody in their family worked for it.

I have never seen such a time in my life. I’m never seen a time when there is so much hate. I’ve never seen a time when you had to be afraid what you said to someone because they might take offense. I mean really? When did our skin become so thin? All of these slights, and injustices, whether they’re real or perceived, some of them really don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. Sure, they matter to the person, but not everyone thinks the same way, and as adults, we should be able to take criticism. You just have to let it go. Move On. Now, do I think that there are issues that we need to work on as a society? Of course I do! Equality, real equality is something we will always struggle with. Simply because somebody always wants to be better than someone else. Someone always wants to have control, and so it’s hard to be equal when someone is trying to be better., But that makes us better as a society. Competition does make us better. Winning some and losing some build character. And yes, I do mean losing not getting a trophy for participating. So, to end this political diatribe, all I’ll say is this, if you get out and you actually work for what you want then you will respect what you have. If you respect what you have you will respect what other people have. If you respect what other people have, they will respect what you have. If they respect what you have, then they will respect you as a person because you’re working hard and getting things and doing what you’re supposed to do. If they respect you as a person, that means that they will respect your feelings. And as for stuff that happened hundreds and hundreds of years ago, monuments and statues are not who we are. They are signpost to where we’ve been. They are important pieces of our history. Maybe not for the reasons that they were erected, but because they were erected. They were something to be proud of, or something to learn from. That’s why you have a monument. That’s why almost every city in the nation has a street name Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard. It shows respect to someone who did something great. Whether you agree with that or not, that’s your right, that’s the country that we live in. But no one ever erects a monument to hurt someone else. No one erects some monument to be mean, and no one asks that someone take a monument down simply because it offends them. Maybe, it wouldn’t be so offensive if we tried to look at it from both sides. And I’m not saying that the monuments are not hurtful, I’m not that person I have no idea, but instead of tearing it down, maybe we put something up beside it. Or maybe, we all just go back to doing what we’re supposed to do. Worrying about our own lives. Playing with our children. Working, and not trying to figure out ways not to work. Maybe we just start using the golden rule more. Honestly I think that would solve it all. And that would be something I would not be ashamed to do.

I apologize for the lengthy rant, but I do hope everyone has a great day and I’ll talk to you again soon