...random thoughts, opinions and secrets on children... aging... cooking... crafts... nature...divorce...second chances...
and whatever else I deem curious...
~Copyright 2017. Hootie~

Saturday, August 27, 2016

It started with a wish...

Jack of Hearts

I think it's time to tell our story. 

You are instrumental in cementing in me 
the romantic fool that I am. 

That said, I'll be a romantic fool any day.  
What you gave me was a gift.  

You have no idea how often I wonder what you are up to.  I say prayers that you and your family are happy, and safe.   

Thank you again, and I hope you don't mind that I have decided it's time to share.



It started with a Wish.  A simple wish. I wished for a secret admirer.  
It was in the school newspaper...The Wolf Call.    

I was on the yearbook staff and I knew the newspaper needed people to help add to the articles.  I would get extra credit for helping out.  Plus, I sort of did want a secret admirer.  Who doesn't when they are 14 years old?  

Boone Grove School, was established in 1913, and was very small.  It held grades K-12. For real, kindergartners were in one wing and high school students were in the other.  When I had free class periods I would go and help the band teacher, Mr. Hahn, as a band-aide.  He'd give certificates with an actual bandaid on it to all his helpers.  Of course, I still have several of mine! I'd also help out the elementary teachers...proof that the seeds of my second dream were planted in my youth.  The best teachers, English (Mrs. Bivens and Mrs. Webb) and Math (Mr. Bajzatt), had classrooms in the original part of the school.  The teachers lounge was a smoke filled labyrinth directly beneath them in the basement, complete with a ditto machine (a real thing...go look here).  As Band, Home Ec., Science and Shop classes were some of the "newer" subjects, they were in the newest part of the school, near the gymnasium. The Boone Grove Wolves excelled in basketball and track.  No football for the farm kids back in that day.  Boone Grove was literally out in the middle of corn fields, which also meant it was hard for seniors who didn't have access to a car, to make it through the full day of school. My graduating class would be the first to graduate over 100 students, and we barely did that...we had 120.  

In the fall of 1978, I was a freshman; total dork.  Still very much trying to figure out who I was, my place in school, and where I might be headed in life. One senior guy fancied me that year.  He was the life of the school, and of the community.  I'm sure all parents adorned him, and mine were no exception.  They even allowed me to date him, but I had to double date.  Let me say...it, was, torture, (NOT!).  The couple with whom we double dated was the most beautiful couple in the whole school.  True. And they were not only beautiful, they were incredibly kind and humble.  I think every girl in school, and possibly every girl in the county, was in lust with that beautiful guy.  As a freshman girl, I was tolerated by the seniors because of whom I dated, but truthfully they didn't want a young thing hanging out with them.  And because I was dating a senior, I didn't really fit in with the freshmen class either.   

So when the newspaper asked if anyone had a wish...I knew I didn't have anything to lose.  I just never expected my wish to be granted.  

On Friday, December 18, 1978, I received my first letter from my secret admirer.  Every letter of my name and address had been individually stamped on the plain white, letter-sized envelope.  When I opened the envelope, a letter and a playing card were tucked inside.  

Hand-written in all capitals was this message:  



It was signed with a design he created.  

I held the Jack of Hearts playing card in my hand as I read it over and over.  

Was this for real?  

My friends, it was.  The original playing card is pictured above.  This fall I hope I can find the right words to share the rest of this story.  Several of you may know this mystery person who touched my heart.  I hope you will respect his privacy and that of his family.  If you ask me, it is likely that I won't answer your questions.  When the story warrants it, I'll share.  

~Lisa Kroll, story teller, memory cherish-er, searcher - hoping to awaken my loving spirit once again so I can remember how to be loved 

More history about the students of Boone Grove back in 1978:  The senior guys of that year formed a non-school club which they called the BGRC.  That stood for the Boone Grove Rifle Club.  All the boys in this club came from farming families.  To my knowledge, there were no rifles involved, but it is possible they were familiar with rifles.  This group did get together and did cause trouble, but they were a group of fun-loving trouble makers.  As an example:  One time they commandeered all the flags and rakes from the golf course that I lived on...and then they showed up at my house!  My parents laughed, and my mom even drove the "escape" vehicle for them.  My parents were volunteer emergency responders in the community, so we had a police scanner in the house.  We knew the police were looking for the BGRC.  Mom made the boys deposit all the flags and rakes on one of the golf course greens, before letting all 13 of them pile into the back of our pick up truck.  She drove them out of our gated neighborhood to safety.   

My class of boys admired the BGRC, and after the original group graduated from school in 1979, they were bequeathed the name, and a new group was formed - the BGRC 2.  I think the original group was more mischievous than their prodigy.  And again...NO GUNS were ever part of the group activities, to my knowledge.  

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Shh....it's a secret

Last year I joined a secret club and I didn't even know it.

This club is filled with mostly women, but is not exclusive. Men are in this club, but the women are really the leaders.  Sorry, not sorry guys.  It might be the mom-gene in us.  Even those that do not have children have that gene and it cannot help oozing out in this group setting.

This club has the most supportive people in it I have ever met.  They hug.  They smile.  They listen.  They offer advice, if needed.  They laugh and see the humor in just about everything.  They allow you to cry, and never ever make you feel poorly about doing so. They also will help celebrate your milestones, birthdays, holidays, successes or missed attempts.  They are ALWAYS up to being taste testers...if you try a new recipe.  And I have witnessed them sacrifice themselves if someone happens to have too much...say cake...at home and needs it to disappear but just can't toss a perfectly good food item in the trash.  If you need to put on your You Are In Deep Trouble voice, they silently give those on the receiving end of your voice The Eye.  You know, the eye that without words says...'you did it now, pushed the envelope, didn't you?'

They will clear their evening schedules if you need someone to get a pedicure with, share a glass of wine or go play trivia.  They will be instantaneous exercise buddies, who will spend 30 minutes walking and talking, after having worked a full day.

They share...ideas, information and funny things that they see or hear. They share their families too...this club doesn't start and stop when you walk through the door.  In fact, it stretches through out the community, and farther.  I am hesitant to say through out the state and the country only because I haven't felt that yet.  But I suspect it does.

They are always willing to learn and try something new: cutting edge souls.  If you can't quite figure something out, they help and you won't feel silly needing and receiving their help.  They will even check on you later to see how things went.

They text.  A lot.  Which is pretty great.  You don't ever have to feel alone in this secret club.  This past Friday night,  I received a text thread that sparked over 40 messages in less than 20 minutes.  I lay exhausted on my couch, barely able to lift my phone after completing my first full week of the school year.  I'm not complaining.  That thread would have had my thoughts in it too, had I not fell asleep where I sat...it was just 8 pm.

I am blessed to be in this club.  I truly enjoy all the members.  They are deeply dedicated to what they do.  They inspire me daily, to add as best I can to the club.  

Society knows our school teachers (administrators and other staff included) are hard working individuals, but society really doesn't know the depth of how much passion runs through their veins.

~Lisa Kroll, 
     Just like Lilly...I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up!

Henkes, K. (1996) .  Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse .  New York :  Greenwillow Books

Saturday, August 13, 2016


The movie Inside Out reminds us that we need all our emotions to live life to its fullest.  
"Without Sadness, we cannot feel Joy."  

The past few years have allowed me to get back in touch with all of my emotions, and yet I have stubbornly still pushed one away.   

My creative side - expressed as Bing Bong?  Nope, he is always nearby.  I am a creative soul. I create in my flower garden, in my kitchen and in my classroom  Really, in everything I do my creative juices can't help but ooze out.   

Fear - the nagging part of me that gets scared sometimes about what unknown is coming next?  Nope.  I do have fears, but I have learned that when I am fearful, that is a part of my subconscious telling me something is not right. I do not mind fear.  I am learning to trust my instincts.  I am a smart person who can rationalize, and work through her fears.  

Disgust - the part of my being that realized that this DID happen to her even when she thought it couldn't? Nope. I see I am not special when it comes to being given a pass in the Universe. I'm good with disgust. The experience of being disgusted, means I can now look at things from a different perspective, and be thankful for what is no longer in my life.  

Sadness - who shows herself as loneliness, tears, and or heavy heart?  I know this emotion intimately.  Reminding myself of the lesson in Inside Out, I feel I will have deeper Joy, due to all I have experienced. My life will be richer because of my sorrows.  Still, I visit sadness more than I like, and she can wear me out!  I really am ready for her to take a long, extended vacation.    

Joy - Personally, I think I rock Joy. She's the emotion I do best, and most often.  I would say she has always been my main emotion.  I know I've said it before, but when my dad died I realized that life was short, and 21 years later when my mom died, I realized it was one thing to say life is short and another to start living like it is.  I enjoy finding the positive in all that surrounds me.  

Anger - He is the emotion I have struggled to embrace.  I just don't do anger.  I don't feel like I was ever really allowed to do anger either.  If I got upset, it was pointed that I was wrong to feel the way I did.  Maybe when my dad died, it colored my thought process.  So, I have been trying to work through admitting my anger and moving forward in my life.  I am quick to acknowledge when I am disappointed, but I won't say when I am angry. 

If I am honest, I AM angry.  I was supposed to have a partner with whom I could grow old, and spend the golden years...wasn't that what we were working towards?  I am pissed that I do not have someone I can travel with to the wonders I hoped we'd see.  I no longer have a companion with whom to attend birthday celebrations, weddings, graduations, galas, etc.  I no longer have someone who can help manage the house and it's list of chores.  I no longer have someone I can tell my secrets: the good, the bad and the ugly.  I lost the person who loved my quirkiness. I no longer have someone to share my evenings with, to go out and see that new movie with, no one to take me out to dinner, and no one to share my bed and cuddle with on cold, stormy nights.  In short, I am angry that I lost my best friend.  Can I find someone new?  Possibly.  Probably.  But I feel cheated.  He knew my faults and I knew his.  And I thought we loved one another despite it all.  Thick and thin.  I thought we were in it for the long haul. 'Til death do us part.  Through my anger though, I realize he is no longer the best friend I want.  

However, lately I've been pissed that my partner, who was supposed to be with me when our children gave us grandchildren to love, is no longer there.  That might be my biggest hurt I am working through right now.  I went to breakfast with a friend whose oldest child recently had her first baby; the first grandchild.  I'm not sure I kept my envy at bay.  I am so happy for my friend, that she is now able to provide child care for her grand baby.  But I hurt.  And it's a deep hurt. No matter what, I will not, ever, be able to offer that to my children.  Never.  I suppose it's good thing that my children are not at a point where they are ready to have children of their own.  When they do, I'll host sleep overs, and 'summer' camp with grandma. But I cannot dream to help my children as my friend is able to help her child.  As I said, it's a deep hurt.   

So, I am angry.  My anger gets masked by sadness, and then my fears rise up, and then I have a lack of confidence.  It is a vicious cycle.  I've read that a grieving person needs to go through all five stages of grief, in their own order, in their own time frame, and sometimes over, and over, and over again until they can finally let go.  In my divorce support group, I was told you need to give yourself one year of grieving for every five you were married.  

When I think like that, my fears rise.  I'm not getting any younger you know.  I am learning that one cannot rush what the universe has in store for her.  So right now, I need to just be kind and understanding to myself.  I need to give myself time.  I need to focus on what I have.  

I am putting my angers here so I can let them go.  I am disappointed, but I really want to believe that the Universe has something even better in store for me.  

I am healing.  I no longer feel as fearful, as I did two years ago.  I am not as disgusted, as I once was.  My sad times do not last as long as they did, and my joy does seem to be growing.  So anger, it's time for you to be felt, it's time for you to be acknowledged, and it's time for you to be turned loose.  

~Lisa Kroll, roller coaster rider, Universe believer, and creative soul who still wears a smile, despite what life throws her way...while continuing to eat, pray and love.  

Can you identify your emotions?  

tonight's blogging music:  Of Monsters and Men, their My Head is an Animal (2012) and Beneath the Skin - Deluxe Release (2015) CD's