Autumn

Autumn

Friday, July 6, 2012

Bits & Pieces

Some years bad-luck just settles in and takes a huge bite out of our butts - bad-luck chews and chews until she's had her feel, and we suffer for her bloated and greedy ways.

Our Boar's Nest suffered from last weeks flood. This weekend we gather to assess the damage and clean and salvage those items not ruined forever. I had left my old Army cot, a beautiful military issued sleeping bag, vintage Coleman lanterns and stove, and antique kerosene lanterns in the building. According to FEMA this was an historic flood. The highest waters ever recorded for the river where we have the Nest built. Our stilts were not sufficient, high enough, for the flood.

In our storage trailer we have stored prep items and thousands of rounds of ammunition. Most of the ammo is packed within ammunition cans, and much of mine, in sealed battle packs. I hope its all dry, and if not, we'll unpack it and allow the ammo to sun dry. Most military ammo has sealed primers. I sure won't throw it away.

The reports I've received from locals is if you were in a boat riding the flood it was possible, while sitting in said boat, to reach and touch the top of the Boar's Nest. Bad stuff.

We'd just installed new insulation. Hopefully we'll be able to salvage some of it. We're not sure if the insulation wicked the water, if so, it too is gone.


Pictured above is one of two very old American made lanterns I left stored in the Boar's Nest. I think I remember it sitting atop one of the storage cabinets. Hope my memory serves me well, I'd hate to lose it.

The building itself I'm sure is fine. We'll clean out the mud, replace and repair. Adversity shall be kicked in the butt.

*****

My Sweet Wife is depressed, badly. I'll not spell out the reasons, hell, you know the story. Anyway, I've noticed of late she has been spending hours with a laptop deep into research. I never asked why simply because it kept her busy and her eyes were free of tears.

A couple of nights ago she came to me and said, "I want to adopt a child. I want a little girl no one can take from us." She continued, "There are hundreds of children out there begging for a home, a family, and they need love."

I didn't bat an eye...maintained my composure. Wiped my nose, scratched my head. Then, "Okay."

She smiled. And, once again, all was right with the world. She fell asleep that evening without a tear.


So, we'll try again. The process begins today. You, I'm sure, might have noticed I haven't written as much of late. Now you understand why my blog has taken a hit on the number of blog pieces posted. For the last few nights we've been deep into web research on adoptions.

We've raised a child, a boy. He didn't turn out so well. We've asked ourselves why, where did we go wrong, and we just cannot find an answer. This time, we'll ask a little girl if she wants a loving mother and father. If she'd like to be our little girl, our daughter. There is a void in our lives and it needs to be filled, we need a child to love.

I've found six or seven little girls, on the Florida agency web-search, I want to bring home, now. To read their on-line descriptions, and see their little faces, is enough to break your heart. Those little girls need my arms around them, and I need their hugs in return. I want another little girl to raise. To protect. One of mine own.

Thus begins a very long process.

Oh, by the way, it's a secret. Don't tell anyone.



Stephen

74 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry about the Boar's Nest. Hope you can salvage most of your possessions.

      I really hope things work out with the adoption, I think that's a wonderful idea.

      Delete
    2. Thanks, Matt, and so do I...

      Delete
  2. Stephen, I admire your willingness to jump back into the deep end so to speak. I wish you and Sweet Wife the very best as you move forward. Hopefully, The Queen and I will be through with M&M's situation soon. I've promised The Queen a trip to Florida at the earliest opportunity after that is all finished. If it can be arranged, I'd like to shake your hand in person and buy you and Sweet Wife a meal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My friend, thanks. It will not be easy but we're at that stage of our lives where it seems hard is commonplace and we'll deal with it as it comes our way.
      When you and the lovely Queen make it to Florida, give us a yell. We'd be honored to have dinner with you. Seafood or BBQ?

      Delete
    2. Stephen, will yell when it's time. I'd lean towards seafood myself, but I never turn down good BBQ either.

      Delete
  3. I think it's great that you are looking into adoption. I understand many of the children have had a terrible time bouncing around from foster home to home, and the like...many are deeply disturbed as a result. Please be safe and I hope it all works out for you. I wish you nothing but the best.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I get the same impression about the children, especially the little girls. Once a child is with us nothing on God's green earth will ever harm them again, this I swear on my life.
      Thank you for your kind and sweet comment. God be with you too.

      Delete
  4. I think that's just wonderful. The powers that be won't make it easy on you, but your persistence will make it worth it all in the end, for you and the child. We went through years of infertility (and treatments) and spent many months researching and agonizing over adoption. We ended up getting pregnant on our final, final, this is it, last chance IVF. But some day, we might go back to adoption from foster care. It's just heartbreaking to know those kids suffer. I'm sure you found it on your research, but Dave Thomas (the fast food Wendy's guy) has an organization for adoption through foster care (and I'm only assuming you are talking about an older kid since adopting a baby is so difficult). Good luck. It will be a difficult and frustrating process, I'm sure. Lots of hugs for you and Sweet Wife.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mermaid, sweet one, I hope you too can adopt. We are so aware it will take time and will not be easy...but heck, all I have is my life and time to give. I give it freely if it will help one child. Thank you.

      Delete
  5. Phyllis (N/W Jersey)July 6, 2012 at 12:02 PM

    Oh, Stephen, what wonderful gift you and Sweet Wife are giving! Both of you have so much love to give to a child.
    As for your son, you didn't go wrong. It was his choices and his mistakes. When he becomes a real man, he will see that.
    Sorry to hear about your hide-a-way. I hope most of it can be saved.
    I know all of us readers are so excited to hear about this new chapter in your lives. God bless you both!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Dear Phyllis. The Boar's Nest will be a mess to clean, but it'll survive. As shall we.

      Delete
  6. adoption is one of the best ideas I have heard.. too many children out there longing for a loving family. I would love a little girl as well.. so good luck, and let me know if you need any help in any way with the process.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, there are so many indeed. Thanks, sweet one. See you Saturday, I hope. You and Sweet Wife have fun - she needs it. Give the boys a hug from me.

      Delete
  7. Our prayers are with you. It won't replace Little Bit, but it will help.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nothing will replace her...it's sad but we must move forward. Thank you very much for your prayers. Prayer is always welcomed. God bless.

      Delete
  8. Replies
    1. Thank you, Brock. You are a good friend.

      Delete
  9. It is simply breath taking how many children are simply cast aside. I sit at Mass on Sundays and ponder what has become of us - honest to God, what have we, as a nation, become.

    Then, a light glimers in the distance and I see folks like you opening their hearts and homes . . . . and I see true hope, not the crap offered so easily by our current administration . . . but true, from the heart, hope.

    You're a good man sir - a good man.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It it is indeed sad. To read these children's stories is enough to break the biggest mans heart. Thank you, my friend. You're a good man too. God bless.

      Delete
  10. "Oh, by the way, it's a secret. Don't tell anyone."

    rolling across the floor laughing my butt off.

    Best of luck my friend, I stand along side you and the MRS.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Rob. Don't laugh to hard...you might pull a muscle...it hurts. God bless.

      Delete
  11. May God grant you all the patience and endurance you need to struggle through the rebuilding, and the friends to help make the burden light.

    I don't expect it will be either fast or easy, but I do hope you two can find the third child to make your family complete. May it be as quick and easy as possible!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It'll take the better part of a year. Oh well. There is light at the end of the tunnel and a sweet child that needs a hug and love. I'm a very patient man. God bless you too, dear sweet lady.

      Delete
  12. Maybe the Boars Nest should be put on pontoons(spelling?)
    or moved to a hill. Do they have hills in Florida?
    Also good luck on your adoption

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very few hills in Florida, I'm afraid, and the Boar's Nest is too big to move. The expense would be awful. Thank you, Corey. I hope it goes well.

      Delete
  13. I'm including you and Sweet Wife in my prayers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Dear Izzy. Debbie was just here and she spoke of you. God bless.

      Delete
  14. Neat Idea about adoption, I don't think I could handle it but more power to ya. My oldest son and his wife are in the process of adopting to young boys (brothers) it isn't easy.
    BTW, by law the state of Florida can't ask you about guns in the house, at least that's what my son said. If you need a character witness I can attest you are a character.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Bubba. I'll handle it. Not looking forward to the classes, but I do what I must. I've thought of the guns...kinda bugs me. Sweet Wife said I should just hide those not in my safe. Too many to hide....oh well.
      See you in the morning.

      Delete
  15. I think the flooding is terrible and pray that your stuff is salvagable. I admire the open hearts and arms of you and your wife. Good luck and God bless!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon, thank you, my secret friend. Come out and play, you are among a host of wonderful people. God bless.

      Delete
  16. Stephen,

    I hope your Boar's Nest didn't suffer to much damage.
    Great idea adopting a child, there are so many wonderful children in need of love and both you and Sweet Wife have so much love to give. God Bless you Stephen, and Sweet Wife too :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sandy. You are such a sweet and kind person. I'll pass along this along to Sweet Wife. God bless.

      Delete
  17. I'll keep it under my hat : ) Good luck on all fronts.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I think that would be awesome...suffer not the little children.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, K. The thought of a child in my home just makes me smile.

      Delete
  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Warlock, my good friend, you comment made a lot of sense to me and I am thinking hard about what you said. Perhaps, I am....thanks for bringing it to my attention.

      Delete
  20. Good luck to you and your wife on the adoption front.

    On the flooding front, I can honestly speak from experience. Lost our home and everything in it back in 96. Only had the clothes on our backs. The weirdest things survived. If it can be washed, it is salvageable. You will have to dry all the walls out, meaning tear out all the insulation and the drywall. If you don't you will have that nasty black mold. Also get a big bottle of bleach to douse the remaining timbers with. You might even have to replace the electrical boxes and for sure the outlets. The doors and windows might be warped as well. Boy did I cheer you up or what? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm just home, out of the shower, fed. It was a long day. You're correct. The weirdest things survived. Said to report my father lost his home. Everything. It's been a long day. Thanks, Denise.

      Delete
    2. Sorry to hear about your dad. He didn't lose the most important things in his life though and that would be his family and friends. Let him know that there are people out here praying for him and everyone who lost their homes.

      Delete
    3. Denise, thank you. We're doing all we can for the old fella. It truly hurts at his age to lose all you have in life. Take care.

      Delete
  21. During the time that you are expecting surprise visits you might consider relocating the less necessary weapons to a safe in the shop, the boars nest or even the trunk of the car. Or get another gun safe.
    Adopting will be a long process that won't end when your girl is finally with you, that will just be the start of another long process, but I think whomever she is that she will be very fortunate to have you and sweet wife in her life to love her and be her rocks.
    I don't know what, if anything, Florida requires by way of family counselling after the child is placed in your home but I have a friend who has adopted a few children, some special needs, and she highly recommends family counselling as a way to help become a family. It's even better if you can start the sessions before the child is placed with you, especially if they're older.
    My sister was telling me about the trials several couples she knows were going through trying to adopt foreign infants and I asked her why didn't they adopt American children? (infants are difficult to adopt) Why did they have to have babies? What about 3-4-5-6 year old children in foster care? And she popped out with "who wants to take on someone else's problems and responsibilities?" I think that's asinine, but it's a common enough opinion. Thank you for opening your home and hearts to a child who has been let down and rejected by society and the problems that they may bring with them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great ideas. Thanks my sweet friend. I'm already thinking of places to hide my all my evil weapons from the government types. Strange people, aren't they....

      Delete
  22. I have followed your blog for some time and never commented. I am the very, very blessed and grateful Mom of two (practically) perfect kids. One has had serious medical issues, but they are both perfect in our eyes. Wishing you only love and luck along that journey.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so very much, Anon...your sweet and kind words mean much to both of us. Please, don't be a stranger....

      Delete
  23. Stephen -I hope all turns out well with the Boars nest and your supplies there.

    I normally would not comment on the adoption idea as that is entirely too personal a thing for an internet friend to really be of any help with. Perhaps someone above may have already mentioned this but perhaps, just maybe, this is a bit of an over reaction? Like a break up of a relationship. Perhaps the old advice of not jumping too fast to replace a lost partner may apply in it's abstract way?

    Just a devils advocate thought on my part. Best of wishes whatever the course maybe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My friend, truthfully, it is an overreaction...and I'm going along with it out of the love of my wife. She is hurt...deeply hurt by our son's actions...I hope it all comes out well...play devils advocate anytime you wish. You're a fine friend. Thank you.

      Delete
  24. Stephen and Sweet Wife - I know you have probably thought of this, but remember your post about how upset Little Bit was when you went to the restaurant and that other little girl climbed into your lap? If, Lord willing, Little Bit's situation changes in the next year or so and she can come to visit, will she understand your desire to give your love and care to another child because she had been taken away from you? (Don't get me wrong, I would never want to discourage you from doing such a completely commendable thing as to help a child who would benefit so greatly from your stable and wonderful home; not to mention filling that horrible empty place in your heart that aches and cannot be comforted.) I just want to caution you to take the long view and try to see things from as many different angles as possible. With that said, I'm just a nobody who only knows the little about your situation that you have chosen to share. I hope I haven't offended you.

    About your stuff - I'm so sorry to hear it. We do our best to try to prepare and plan, but ultimately we are not in control when nature does some of these things. I sincerely hope that you can salvage as much as possible and rebuild. You will both be in my prayers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. About Little Bit. She never leaves my thoughts and I have thought about her reaction. It would hurt her feelings. But, as of now we have no idea if we'll see in anytime in the near future. It's possible, with God's will, but when is the big question. For now, I must consider my wife's mental well being. She's in a bad, bad, way. Thanks, my dear. Oh, the Boar's Nest was a mess, but nothing we can't redo, rebuild, and replenish.

      Delete
  25. Stephen,
    Once again, you have caused us to cry. Tears of happiness for you, sweet wife and a child. Our grandson's adoption will be final very soon. The stillbirths of their two sons and multiple miscarriages opened my daughter and her husband's hearts to foster care which led to the adoption of precious "little man". We can not imagine life without him. Nor can they. Isn't love amazing? And it doesn't matter the reason we open our hearts to another. It only matters that we do.
    MammawB

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed, isn't love amazing...thank you, Dear Lady. God bless.

      Delete
  26. I'm going on four years and counting of bad luck. I understand the pain of losing a grandchild because your rights aren't protected. I understand the pain of losing a loved one permanently to cancer. But if you're in a position to take vacations, have multiple properties and be able to adopt and care for a little girl who needs a loving family right now, I'm just sayin' a gratitude check is in order here.

    I really hope I wasn't harsh, but if you could walk in my shoes for a day you'd understand.

    Peace.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I lost my mother and all her family to cancer. She was 43. I lost my first child to a car accident when he was 7 months old, which resulted in the loss of my first wife.
      I've been wounded in battle. Suffered its after-affects for over 40 years. Please, Erin, don't criticize another man and tell him he needs a gratitude check until you've walked in his shoes.
      I thank you, deeply, for your comment. Peace to you too.

      Delete
    2. Yeah, I was out of line - I'm sorry. I'm away. I hope you and yours find peace and happiness...

      Delete
    3. Erin, I was and am not angry or think your comment out of line. I just wanted to explain myself...please, don't go away. God bless you.

      Delete
    4. Thanks, Stephen. If y'all find yourselves coming to Key West, let me know. I'll buy you a drink at Two Friends. Least I can do...

      Delete
  27. All the best to you. I can't imagine what you are going through.

    ReplyDelete
  28. God bless you and your wife as you begin the adoption journey... as an adoptee I am very grateful that my parents decided to take a chance on a little girl! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. pamibe, thank you so much...I trust we'll have a fun journey as we try and find a little girl and ask if she'd like to be loved by a new family. And, I hope she grows to be as grateful as you. Thank you, and please come back...God bless.

      Delete
  29. The sign at the bottom of the post is wrong.

    It won't change the world, but it will change your world.

    Mum's the word. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very true, Larry...thank you, my friend.

      Delete
  30. Ssssshhh, enjoy your life's new direction.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, very much, my new friend.

      Delete
  31. My lord I am too busy, I can't believe I missed this post. I cried the whole way through. What an amazing gift it will be for the child and for both you and your wife. It's has been such an awe inspiring life changing gift for our family.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, it's hard to catch every post on all the wonderful blogs we each share...only so many minutes in a day. Thank you, my dear friend.

      Delete
  32. The first thing that popped into my brain was how your son would use this against you. I can see the 'ball-less wonder' telling the girl 'See there, they've replaced you'. Which we all know will never-ever-ever happen. Tread lightly, hope all goes for the best. I understand the need to share your love, and, to fill this hole in your heart and to help a child in need. Praying for you both.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It has occurred to us and has in fact been pointed out by a few other of our concerned friends...and, it's why he shall never know until it's too late. Thank you very much for your kind prayers. God bless.

      Delete
  33. Hi Stephen,
    I feel your pain. I raised a daughter much like you son. She'll be thirty this year, and we haven't spoken in probably 12 years. Her father let her come live with him at 14, and spent the rest of her life turning her against me, the only parent that actually PARENTED her, and, in fact, except for a handful of times, actually spent time with her before 14. It is a bitter pill to swallow.

    We, my husband and I, have also considered fostering, or adoption. Until now, his work schedule has been our stumbling block. He worked nights, and a second job during the day, an hour and a half away. He spent the entire week in Austin, and me out here at the farm. Didn't want to bring a child who needed more into a home with a Dad who wasn't around.

    He was laid off this week. God works in mysterious ways. Who knows?

    I will keep you and your wife in my prayers.

    Best Regards,
    Maggie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maggie, thank you for the heartfelt but sad remembrance. Isn't it a shame how families hurt the very ones they're supposed to love. God bless you.

      Delete
  34. I am trying to catch up on your posts. All i can say is. . . Huge hugs and I wish you the very best of luck!

    ReplyDelete