The World According to Tiff Sniff

Meandering ponderings and wonderings on the state of things.

Chunks are nutritious!

Okay, so only maybe one person in the whole world will understand that, but to me, it sums up the little chunks I'm going to post today.

1. New job is awesome. In fact, I'm on a lunch break now, so I've got to make this fast.

2. Lack of posts is due in part to new job and the residual craziness. Also, Michelle and I are moving soon, and probably won't continue to have internet access at the apartment, so I may not be able to post as frequently as I would like. Sorry to my 3 faithful readers.

3. My two favorite quotes from a funeral last week: "They're in here trying to talk, and it's so dark! I just don't understand how they can talk with no lights on." Said by my aunt as she ran around plugging in lamps in the living room. "I can't eat until you eat!" Said by my aunt's stepmother, who was overseeing the food. I feel more southern for having been there.

4. My church moves into our new building next week. I was out of town this weekend, and so missed the last big potluck at our current building. I have very mixed emotions. I am so excited about the new place, with its nice facilities and all the space, but I will really miss the old place. I went to the pre-school and kindergarten there, so it's always been a part of my life. I had my first kiss on the playground when I was 5. I found a church family there when I moved back to Nashville from California. While that family will move with me, and continue to be everything I love about them, I will remember the physical place that all happened.

5. If you're a praying type, please keep my brother in mind. He's in China for a year, teaching English at a grade school affiliated with a university. (He was actually told he'd be teaching at the university, but they moved him.) He is really very homesick right now, and just went through a really tough emotional weekend. (Curses to his "girlfriend".) He can't come home until the end of June, so he's still got a long way to go. And he's not having fun right now. Poor guy.

Okay, I'd better get back to work. End of the month is rough here, but it's fun. I'll write again as soon as I can.

Two-fer Celebrity Dream!

In this one, I was still living in California, going to school at Pepperdine. Only instead of law, I was taking medical classes from Greg House. He got onto me when I was late, which I didn't think was fair, since he's not a very considerate person himself.

Then, after class, I went to the grocery. Only instead of hitting Malibu Ralph's, I was in a giant warehouse/Walmart sort of place. Anyway, I got done shopping and realized I had forgotten something (which I've forgotten again). I went back to the aisle where the item was, and Joe Nichols was standing there in cruddy clothes. He was very, very tall. He smiled at me, and I grabbed what I needed and left. He was creeping me out.

Sorry this one's kinda boring, but it's been a while, and I don't remember the last time I squeezed two famous people into one dream!

Previous Dreams

Reese and the rest

Did you watch the Golden Globes last night? I did, obviously. What a great night for Music City! I'm so proud of Reese Witherspoon, Joaquin Phoenix, and all the people involved in "Walk the Line".

And, of course, especially Reese, since she saw me play basketball in high school. Harpeth Hall was in our district back then. I always liked playing them, because, honestly, the Honeybears were not a powerhouse team. (No offense intended - they may be the force to fear these days. Back then, not so much.) I liked that because it meant I got lots of playing time. This particular game was a home game for us. The stands were not too packed, since it was a girls-only game. So it was easy to spot Reese, sitting high in the visitor's section. This was just around the time that "Fear" came out, so she was already famous enough for people to know who she was. We were sure all in awe. Except that I remember she was wearing flared or bellbottom jeans, and all of us good peg-rolling Mustangs were appalled that she could make such a faux pas.

Ah, the innocence.

So congratulations, Reese! (I'm sure she's a regular reader, after all.) Come by for a free donut anytime!

Great News!!

I got a job!

After two years of taking project work, court-appointed work, and of just being frustrated about not finding a job, I found one! It was totally out of left field. My friend was offered an interview Thursday. She couldn't take it because she just had accepted another position, but she recommended me. I emailed them my resume yesterday morning, they called me yesterday afternoon, and I interviewed and was offered the position this morning!

It's not a lawyer position, but it's in the right field, and I will be able to use my legal training and experience a lot. I don't want to put too much up about it (some employers are picky about blogs), but I just wanted you all to know, since you've watched me struggle the last year or so.

Friday the 13th is my new favorite day!


My paternal grandmother has Parkinson's disease, and it finally got bad enough that we had to move her into a nursing home a few months ago. Her brother is the great uncle (named Ones - pronounced "onus", not "wons") who passed away just before Christmas, and she can't quite remember what happened - only that something did happen. Their other sister, Lois, also lives here in Nashville, and visits my grandmother several times a week. My dad went to visit his mother the other day, and this is a conversation they had:

Grandmama: " Lois has been real sick. She was here earlier this morning and didn't feel too good."

Dad: "No, Lois is fine. She hasn't been sick."

"Well, I think she has. She's feelin' poorly, and is in the hospital."

"No, she's fine. She came to visit you this morning, remember?"

[Pause in the conversation to call Lois to verify that she is not, in fact, sick.]

Dad: "See? Lois is fine. Ones is the one who's been sick, remember?"

Grandmama: "Oh, yeah, he's not doing too good."

"And he was in the hospital for a couple weeks, remember?"

"Yeah, I do."

"And, then, he passed away."


Tara and I went to visit her yesterday afternoon, and she was sitting in the lounge with some of the other residents. The TV was on, and tuned to Dr. Phil. After we got settled in beside her, she pointed to the set and said, "You see that man? I think his name is Philip. He said my name earlier and told me I had on a red hat." Apparently he did this from the television. He spoke to her a couple of other times while we were there - said her name to get her attention, anyway. My grandmother, Dr. Phil's new best friend.

Learning Curve

I've never been good at following things through. I start something, but never quite seem to feel the need to finish. I have at least 10 half-read books lying around my apartment. Work projects would never get done if I didn't have court dates. Even then, things that don't have to get done, don't get done. I get excited and distracted by new and different things. Then, when I get bored, I look around for something else. It never seems to end.

This is the big reason the whole idea of marriage scares me. My dad's parents were married 61 years before my grandfather passed away. My mom's parents have also hit the big 6-0. My own parents are approaching 40 years of togetherness. Actually, those numbers don't scare me; they are comforting and reassuring.

What scares me is the 15-year mark. 15 or 20 years in, how will I not be bored? How will I not get restless and want something new?

(Okay, bear with me - I promise this will all tie together.)

Yesterday at church, one of the girls in the youth group was baptized. I thought about my own baptism, and my faith experience since then. I was baptized at a fairly young age - on my 11th birthday. At the time, it was something I knew I needed to do, and that I thought I understood. I was going to be a Christian, and was going to get to go to heaven.

As I got older and my faith got more complicated, I toyed with the idea of being baptized again. After all, I clearly didn't know what I was getting into when I made the original decision. Wouldn't it be good for me to declare my allegiance again? To re-dedicate myself to Christ? I toyed with the idea all through grad school, and in the end kind of never did anything with it.

My faith, belief, relationship with Christ (inadequate phrases, all) is so much more beyond what I ever imagined 16 years ago, or even 5 years ago. I am so amazed by God, and last year in particular, because it was a hard year for me, brought me even closer to Him. My eyes and heart were opened to His love and power and holiness as never before. I can't wait to see what He will bring me next. I am in love with Him in a way I never thought possible, and could have never imagined.

In America, we do marriage a great disservice. We build up romance and weddings to almost unattainable heights. We teach our children that to fall in love is to become complete and completely happy. At the same time, we are casual and cavalier about divorce. Our divorce rate is unbelievable. In essence, we have glorified the falling-in-love part as the most important. The marriage part, pah, it's disposable if it doesn't suit you.

Maybe I'm too harsh. Here's where I'm going with this:

Sunday, watching the teenage girl start down the path I've been on for a while now, I was excited for her, that she would get to experience what I have. That she will know the joy that comes from loving and serving God and others. That she will be fulfilled in a way she can't explain.

And it hit me what an overwhelmingly perfect analogy a marriage is to faith - and a wedding is to a baptism. (Have to mention here having read and studied F. Lagard Smith's Baptism: A Believer's Wedding Ceremony in college. I was too new in my faith then to "get it". I imagine I will "get it" even more as I get older. But I digress.)

When a couple marries, they know they are in love. They know it is the right thing for them to do. They know and understand each other, and know and understand what marriage means.

Then, after a couple of years, they look up and realize they didn't know or understand any of these things. (Statistically most divorces happen after 2 years of marriage.)

When I was baptized, I thought I knew and understood why I did it and what it meant. Eventually, I, too, realized I had had no idea what it was really all about.

But a good faith journey mirrors what happens in a good marriage - you stay, even though you've realized this isn't what you signed up for. You stick through the crummy parts, when you're sure he doesn't really love you. And in the end, as you work through it, you realize that it's even better and more wonderful than you were giving it credit for.

I cannot wait to fall in love with my husband the way I have been falling in love with God. I cannot wait to get to 20 years of marriage, and to realize that I am in love with my mate in a way I never thought possible, and never could have imagined. Will I get bored and restless? Who knows. Probably. But I know now what awaits me, and I know now that I can do this.

Holiday Update

Okay, to my few loyal readers, I apologize for not posting at all during the holidays. I had lots of good stuff to write, even started a couple of drafts, but I couldn't seem to get much written, and that was said better by other bloggers.

This was by far the busiest holiday season I've ever experienced. Here's a quick recap of the last couple of weeks for me:
1. Thanksgiving.
2. My great-uncle had a brain aneurysm and spent two weeks in St. Thomas Hospital.
3. My great-uncle died and we had a funeral in Giles County.
4. Christmas.
5. Christmas with the other side of the family.
6. New Year's, which entailed my being on the planning committee of an annual fundraiser gala taking place at the YMCA lodge on Percy Priest Lake. I am especially proud of this year's party. We had just over 200 attendees, and raised $4,000 to be split between two charities. The first, Sweet Sleep, buys beds and bed linens for orphanages in Moldova in eastern Europe. The second, Living Water, pays to dig wells in arid parts of India and Kenya, to provide clean water sources.

I also finally saw Narnia, which was an experience I need to write about at some point. I think I'll go see it again first, though. It was almost too much to process in one viewing.

I hope you all had a fantastic holiday season, and that your new year is off to a great start.

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