Saturday, July 25, 2009


What do you do when someone you care about believes you are rejecting them, that you don't care about them, that you are playing games with them? It is very frustrating when I am misunderstood and things I say are taken wrong. It is very hurtful when I try to explain or defend my actions and it's met with "yeh, right" or "uh huh." Resentment builds up in me when I am told how I am feeling and what my motives are when it couldn't be farther from my actual feelings and motives.

It makes my heart ache to have gone the extra mile to show love, care, and concern and have that shoved under the rug and instead all my perceived failings and disappointing behaviors are repeated to me.

I can only finish my tale of woe here by commenting on how someone can take a very important spiritual time in my life that this someone knew was very important to me and try to make it like it was a joke, called it my "little" thing. Said it wasn't legitimate because I called it a fast, when it was actually a self-denial. I know a fast is denial of food for spiritual reasons. This person tells me I am more religious than spiritual. That's just something that hurt very deep.

I'm done getting this off my chest. I am able to write it down without someone interjecting, telling me I'm wrong, or inadequate, or disappointing, or uncaring. That feels better.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


After my little drive around memory lane, I called Bev (Bev Condon Mennerich) and went to her new log home in Chester to stay with her until Sunday morning. We took a drive down to Cape Girardeau, MO to look at some property. We got caught in a down pour on the way back. I'm sure glad she was driving because I couldn't see a darn thing. We sat in her garage when we got back until the rain stopped pouring. We talked and talked about this and that.

After we got into the house, we sat up until 1:00 a.m. just talking about everything under the sun. Bev and I can do that. We never run out of things to talk about. She's such a dear friend.

Sunday morning, I headed out for Murphysboro Illinois to spend the better part of the day with my brother Eddie and his wife Jean. Eddie made a great dinner for me, roast beef, mashed potatoes, peas, corn on the cob, biscuits, gravy, and salad, topping the meal off with banana cream pie. I always love visiting with them. They are both in their 70's and I find out things about my family of origin that I didn't know. They are so pleasant and I love them so much.

About 2:00 p.m. it was so dark out with storm clouds it looked like midnight. I felt it was time to get going back to Missouri. I was very anxious about the drive because of the storms. It stormed pretty heavy from Murphysboro all the way to Cape Girardeau (about 45 miles). Then it was clear and dry the rest of the way on Highway 60 all the way back to Springfield. I got home about 7:30 p.m. Was I ever glad to be back home. There's no place like home!!!!!


Well I just couldn't drive to the 2 places there in Percy, the town I was born and raised in, so I took a drive around to see the house I grew up in. It was so neglected and falling down. It kind of made my heart sink to see a once very alive home look like an abandoned shamble.

I drove a couple of blocks over to the house I lived in for 7 years after I was married in 1970 and where both my sons, Jeremy and Ryan were born. It has had some additions made and has been kept up very well.

Then of course, the house in Steeleville where we lived from 1977 until 1983 when the boys and I moved to Springfield Missouri where we have lived ever since. That was a beautiful home. We had an inground swimming pool put in and the neighborhood was very nice. The pool is now filled in, but the house has been maintained very well.


Since I was already in Percy I paid a visit to the cemetary to visit mom and dad's graves. That's is always a solemn time for me. Dad has been gone since 1978. It seems like another lifetime that he was here. And mom, well she's been gone since 1993, New Year's Eve, and I miss her so much.I didn't get to visit Paul's grave because his is in Sparta, and I didn not make it up that way on this trip.


While Val and I were talking, she told me about the memorial bricks at the Percy City Hall. She told me my dad's name was on one of the bricks. After our lunch visit, I drove over to Percy to the City Hall to find the inlaid bricks and my dad's name. I found his brick among the memorial for the charter members of the Percy American Legion, all World War II veterans. I snapped a photo of it. On the other side of the walkway, there was another memorial. I found a dedication to my brother, Edward Clayton for his service in the Air Force from 1951-1955 during the Korean War. I found a memorial brick for my Mother, Martha O. Clayton, 1912-1993. Lastly, I found a memorial brick for my deceased brother, Paul B. Clayton 1947-2002, who fought in the Viet Nam war and earned the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.


Since I started my vacation on Friday, I made arrangements to take a road trip back to Southern Illinois, where I was born and raised. I went alone, which is something I haven't done in years. It was a very pleasant drive althought all around me to the left and to the right were storms. Right over me was a patch of blue sky. The trip itself is only 292 miles, so it's not a long exhausting trip, just long enough to be long.

My first destination was to meet my childhood neighbor, friend, and schoolmate from grade 1 through grade 12. She is Valla Leifer Klettke from New Jersey. We hadn't seen each other in 40 years. Would we recognize each other? Would we be able to connect from past through the present. Well, I was so pleasantly surprised. We both recognized each other and it was a warm and pleasant greeting. We could have spent days talking about our younger days and catching up on the last 40 years. But the time we spent together was just so very refreshing. We want to do it again at the next available opportunity.