Seasons

As I sit and look out the window with the blue sky attempting to burst through the dull gray of winter, it reminds me of the cycles people often go through. There are times in life that reflect the warmth of summer — bursting with love, peace, laughter, family and all the joyful things that are like a child playing on a swing set on a warm August day. Then there are the dark seasons of life that resemble gloomy, cold, stormy days in the midst of winter — loss of a loved one, financial stress, even the humdrum of daily life. But then there comes the season I enjoy most — springtime. Spring is full of hope. New buds and blossoms burst forth with signs of new life invoking new possibilities, hopes and dreams; gray transitions into beautiful colors bringing joy to all those around. The air, while still crisp, warms, and the sun begins to peek through the window pane, warming my soul and bringing a smile to my face.

Just as nature experiences all seasons, so do we. Sometimes we can prepare —like putting on a coat during the winter — but life does throw us curve balls. We go through unexpected seasons, but we can remain hopeful when going through winter because we know “spring” is coming. I have found challenging times lead to growth and new opportunities. I must choose to take advantage of those opportunities and in the difficult seasons plant good seeds so that when spring comes around, beauty, hope and joy will burst forth and bless others. So while it is still winter time, know that spring is coming and with that season will come hope.

~Shawna Fenison

Malice

A couple of months ago, Shawna got in a bit of a fender bender. She changed lanes and didn’t see the car next to her. It seemed like fairly minor damage, but the repair bill was around $2,000. So a couple of weeks ago we paid the $500 deductible to get it fixed. The body shop did a wonderful job. It looked great.

Then a couple of days ago… I noticed that someone had KEYED her car… right where the damage had been. We’re talking a significant wavy scratch about two feet long. We got an estimate on fixing the scratch… $780.00!!

This makes me pretty angry. I don’t think a complete stranger would have done this. Hard to say. I guess I just don’t understand the motivation behind it. It’s probably not fair to suspect anyone specific without evidence.

Every time I see that scratch, I get a little angrier. I just cannot fathom that level of malice. The idea of karma comes to mind. While that term is derived from eastern religions… the concept is true. Whoever did this will reap what they have sown.

Wow

A ton has happened in the four months since my last blog post. I got married to a wonderful woman. We’ve merged our households, our finances, and our lives. It’s been a completely enjoyable and exciting process.

I think there’s always something in us that, when going through a period of excitement, waits for things to get back to normal. But normal is no longer the same. It’s a *new* normal. Yippee! Still figuring out what that new normal really is. But so far it’s pretty cool.

One of my best friends from my high school days (who I had not seen in about 25 years) drove about 550 miles with his wife to come to our wedding. That was pretty awesome.

Fairy tales

Shawna and I have been dating for 6 weeks. It’s hard to imagine that it’s only been that long. A lot of ground has been covered. And we are both quite committed to a relationship together. I think the term “soulmate” could begin to describe how we feel about one another.

We have both essentially been alone for the last 10 years. And neither of us has had much experience in relationships. So for us… this is pretty new. We’ve never really been here before. It’s kind of funny that two 50-year olds could meet and find romance that feels very much like a first-of-a-kind experience. But it seriously does to both of us.

God is good. As we talk about how each of us feels about things, and our life experiences, it seems as if He’s been preparing us for each other. I had given up on the idea that there is one perfectly-matched person out there for each of us quite a long time ago. I just stopped believing it. Sort of like you stop believing in fairy tales.

Well in all honesty… my relationship with Shawna has made me a believer once again. At least I believe that God is still in the match-making business. There is no other explanation for what has been happening between us. It’s as if we were designed for each other.

Dating – take 3

I’m currently involved with a new person I met via Plenty of Fish. She would be my third. So while my last entry was titled “take 2″… an entry about this new person would be “take 3”.

It’s a little funny. This new person actually read my take 2 blog entry. She said she was hoping there would be no take 3 entry for her. But here it is… take 3.

The good news is… I’m not writing about the end of things. I’m writing about the beginning.

I would have never believed that two people could have so much in common. It’s almost weird. Because of recent experience, I know what a difficult relationship is like. Seeing the contrast is very valuable. Think “night and day” and you won’t be far off.

Naturally, the future is unknown. But for the first time in a very long time… hope is in abundance.

Dating – take 2

I’ve had a number of contacts in the five weeks that I’ve been a member on the Plenty of Fish dating site. Many never went far for various reasons. I prefer to focus on one person at a time. So I’ve been out of circulation during much of that time. At this point there have only been two women that I’ve focused on.

I recently ended communication with the second. This was the first contact I’ve met face to face.

We knew each other for one month, although we had only four dates. Long story short… I got dumped.

A number of years ago I learned the hard way that when someone expresses doubts about a relationship, it’s best to simply accept it, say goodbye and move on. Although there might be an instinct to try and salvage things, that can have bad results down the road.

One thing I know… I do not want to be in a relationship where the other person isn’t certain they want to be there.

I’ll admit that I’ve made a number of good-sized mistakes in my dating experiences so far. But I am determined… I will get better at this. I’ve been dumped twice now in a little over a month. And I haven’t died. It actually makes one feel rather alive. And it sure beats what I’ve been doing.