Between the Lines


Have you ever noticed that society seems to be built on and around the concept of lines?

We're supposed to stand in line, drive between lines, get down to the bottom line, sign your name on the line and in more (or less) sobering moments, some may be asked to walk a straight line.

There are lines of and for communication, the lines of a woman's body and the lines on her face, the lines of text in a good book, lines that make up pictures and art.  Bungee lines, power lines, zip lines, clothes lines, field lines, side lines, goal lines and battle lines.

There's the invisible line or the line in the sand that no one's supposed to cross (but often gets crossed regardless).

Poverty lines, staff lines, flood lines or drum lines. Lines on a Richter scale, chorus lines, air lines and pick-up lines.  Cruise lines, subway lines, toll lines or credit lines.

The shortest distance between two points is a....STRAIGHT LINE.

Then you get down to dividing lines.

Blood lines that separate.

Political lines that divide:  city lines, county lines, state lines, or country lines.

The sometimes indistinguishably fine line between right and wrong, good and bad.

Doesn't it seem like it's all about the lines?

Even down to the last line on a tombstone.

Day in and day out we're surrounded by, enamored with, and imprisoned by lines.

It's no wonder that in a country that believes in "United We Stand" we're still so divided we fall.  Every part of our lives are so occupied in one form or another by lines that we imagine them to be where they're not.

Lines of division between race, gender, health or wealth.

Lines of division between political party or social standing.

Even religions are divided.  Not just the Muslims and the Jews and the Buddhists.  But the Baptists, the Methodists, the Catholic....the CHRISTIANS.

We can stand together as one...or we can divide ourselves out until the point that we're so separated by lines that we eventually stand, literally, as one.

Alone.
Ashley Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.

Off with his head!


The male species is something entirely else...

I got some new makeup as a treat for myself for my birthday and was in the bathroom playing around with it when Ty came in and pretended to beat me up.

Of course I cry out and yell from help from my Prince Charming, who comes running in, Nerf Sword in hand and wrests the villain onto the ground at sword point at my feet and demands an apology.

To add to it, I put my foot out and insist he kiss my foot too, to which Ty my tormentor resistantly does.  Jason again insists on an apology and my tormentor shouts out "NEVER".

Of course I was left with no other option but to demand "OFF WITH HIS HEAD".

Two minutes later the boys are Nerf Sword Fighting in the living room shouting "Off with his pecker!"


How could I NOT love them?
Ashley Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.

Out on a Limb


This perhaps isn't the best venue for writing about what's heavy on my heart tonight, but this is my blog and this is my place to be me and to say what I feel and think and know.

So it's the best place I have.

It's the place I can go to and be real or be silly or be whatever I want to be and if it draws criticism or comments or laughs...whatever.

Tonight I just honestly don't care about censoring myself anymore.  I don't care about "should I or shouldn't I".

My heart is too heavy for such nonsense.

Tonight was a God night.  One of those nights where it's too big to handle on your own because you didn't get there on your own in the first place.

God used my job to insert me into the life of a man who needs someone.  Anyone.

It was a normal Friday afternoon and we got a normal phone call at work from, surely, another normal client.

Let me go back a bit.  My boss gives out calendars to our clients each year.  They're quite popular, actually, because they're Norman Rockwell calendars and they've got enough space to write in appointments and everything.

This client that called was wanting a calendar but is disabled and unable to get out himself to get one.

And unlike myself, who always leaves work at 5 and goes straight home to my family and spends all of my time there....

Unlike myself, who tends to think more of and for herself than for others, especially strangers....

Unlike myself, who is not overly comfortable outside her little bubble of normal, everyday routine...

Unlike who I typically am, I assured him that he would see me either tonight or tomorrow at his doorstep with his calendars.

And he was so precious and sweet, even telling me he loved me twice before getting off the phone.

And tonight, when I showed up at his doorstep with a few items for him, including his calendars, he was so thankful.  And so nice and sweet....and so sad.  So lonely.  So I suggested I bring Ty by sometime to see his dog (who was peeking around the corner at me) and even suggested he come to the house for dinner with us, too.  He tried to shrug me off and I told him I'd check in on him next week and see if he'd change his mind.

After a few minutes of visiting, I was about to leave and told my new friend that I hoped he had a wonderful weekend and his face fell and he struggled to compose himself.

And I did what I always hate that others do when I'm upset.

"Are you okay?"

And his walls came down and his eyes filled with tears and he struggled to tell me that just last night he sat with his shotgun in his hand and planned to take his life.

And my walls came down and my eyes filled with tears and I prayed for the right words because I knew then that I was put in that place for a reason.

I knew then that God placed me at that time and that place.

Maybe this would be how I would redeem myself for ignoring that divine tug at my heart seven years ago when someone I loved  was in that same heartbreaking position.

But for as easy as words come here, they don't always come out so well phrased or well thought in real life.  And in that situation I didn't want to say the wrong thing.

So I listened.

After a while he asked me to go get my husband and son from the car, where they'd been waiting on me, and let them come in for a bit.

So we did.

We sat and we listened and visited and played with his only companion, an affectionate Min Pin named "B G" (short for Baby Girl).

He laughed so hard when we said the word "booger" that his hat fell off.

He admired Ty with the dog and looked at him as if he were imagining his own grandson there, playing beside him.

He talked about how down to earth we are and that he liked getting to visit with us.

And then he sank back into what I can only assume is his normalcy and started mentioning his loneliness and his lack of contact with his family.

I sent Jason and Ty back out to the car so that I could talk with him and hopefully encourage him not to give up, not to transfer the pain he's now feeling--which is temporary--to every person who loves him.  Because that pain will last much longer than he could ever imagine it would.

He knew all too well what I was talking about, being a survivor of a loved one's suicide too, and admitted that was the only thing stopping him, he didn't want his broken heart to break those of his kids and grandkids....none of which he gets to see with any frequency or predictability.

And the time came and went when I needed to leave.  We had our night ahead of us and things we needed to do.  Jason and Ty were waiting patiently on me in the car.  But I couldn't bring myself to leave.  Finally, he insisted I go to my family though, but not before he showed me his gun was empty and promised me it would stay that way.

I also made him promise me that he'd figure out which evening he wanted to come visit us and spend an evening enjoying some company.

And then, after he insisted again, I got in my car and left.

But my heart's been there ever since.

Because I feel like I'm out on a limb.

Sure I could make a change in his life, and God-willing, I'd love to.  But there's that devil's voice nagging me, saying "What about me?", "this could be a lot of work", "You don't know what you're getting into", "you could end up hurt", "it brings back too many memories".

But then, there's that small little voice that's saying "Try.  Go out on that limb.  Isn't that where the fruit is?"

So I will try.

I will go out on that limb.

But pray for me as I do.

And most of all, pray for my new friend.
Ashley Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.

Tyisms | Age


Ty (in regards to an upcoming birthday):  How old are you going to be?
Me:  29
Ty:  So you're 28?
Me:  Yep.
Ty:  And then you'll be 90?
Me: Noooooo.....I won't be 90.
Ashley Wife & Mom

Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.