Sunday, July 12, 2020

Much Needed Rain

Yesterday afternoon was my sweet Aubrey's birthday party. Hannah and Idris came a little late. It had started to rain a little. He was all dressed and ready to join the other kids in the pool, but Hannah wasn't especially wanting to go in herself. He was wearing a life vest as well as swimmies on his arms. She thought he should try it on his own, but he was too afraid. He lay on the deck, eyes closed, a distraught look, and tears rolling down his cheeks. I sensed trouble, so I squatted beside him, stroked his cheek, and heard myself say, "Idris, do you want me to go in with you?" I expected resistance, but his eyes opened and he accepted my offer.

Although I had a swim suit in my car, I wasn't about to run for it and change my clothes. I rarely wear shorts, but the heat and humidity had inspired me to change just before leaving home that day and I was wearing denim shorts and an "acceptable when wet" shirt. I stepped down the ladder into the warm water, followed by a small, dark haired boy who tumbled in after me. His face lit up with a smile and I melted a little inside. He was still quite apprehensive, looking for my hand and turning often to make sure I was still the beside him. We enjoyed the water for about 20 minutes or so before thunder rumbled in the distance and we had to get out. It was about five minutes later that Leta asked someone where her phone was... and I realized mine had been in my pocket during the entire swim! What's done is typically done and there isn't much use in fretting. I pulled my wet phone from my pocket and saw the screen light up. (I had hope.) I asked if someone could put it in a bag of rice for me and determined to enjoy the rest of the party.

The rain really came down yesterday and it was pouring when I left the party. At home I opened the front garage door and sat out there with my computer, reading a Kindle book and watching the rain. I felt a deep sense of peace inside, one I haven't felt in a very long time. I was relaxed for once with nothing pressing, no obligations calling or internal voices shouting. I took some time to soak in the moment and let God still my heart. Today I am feeling a bit of stress, because today I did something new and difficult. Today I feel a little uneasy and uncertain, but today I am okay too because I know God holds me in His hand and He is good.

Friday, July 10, 2020

I Crashed

As you might expect after a week packed with activity, I came home from work today and crashed. I stretched out on the living room carpet in front of my glass bookcase, pillow under my head, and closed my eyes for a quick nap. When I finally hauled myself off the floor and out to the kitchen, it was 5:12 pm. I'd guess I was there for 3 hours, mostly sleeping.

I woke up with an allergy headache, medicated myself (back on the allergy meds regimen) and went out to fill my gas tank. (Is it even okay to have a headache anymore?) I went to Target for a birthday gift. My sweet Aubrey Rose (Number 4) turned nine on Wednesday. She's invited us for a swim tomorrow.

Since tomorrow may prove hot and busy, I opted to do my laundry this evening. My bedroom smells like fresh linen... Ha ha! A little relaxation on The Veranda this evening and now it's time for bed. The world is still getting crazier every day, but I know God is still in control.

Oh! The nurse from Tim's place called to let us know how happy he was all afternoon yesterday. She said he just kept smiling. What an answer to prayer!

Thursday, July 09, 2020

A Long Awaited Day

Yesterday during our visit, Uncle Chuck asked about my brother Tim. So many prayers have been lifted on Tim's behalf through the years, and so many more people were lifting my parents before the Lord than any of us could have ever imagined. I told my uncle we hadn't seen Tim since March. He seemed sad. Before I left he said a prayer for me and my family, and for Tim too. On my way home I began to think about my brother and found a renewed longing in my heart. I told Rachel I thought it was time for us to make the long awaited visit. This afternoon, when I got out of work, my sister was waiting for me.

We weren't entirely sure what to expect aside from mandatory masks, social distancing, and a temperature check upon arrival (on one of the hottest days of the summer). The staff was kind enough to let us stand within reach of the air conditioner before logging our temperatures. We waited on the back porch while they found Tim and wheeled him out. He devoured his "small chocolate Frosty, please" in no time and then was quite certain we needed to go out the door. We feared he wanted to take a ride in the car, but he was satisfied to be wheeled down and around the sidewalk a few times.

We were outside when the nurse realized I was his sister too, not just Rachel. I told her Rachel was his favorite, baby sister, and I was the just the pesky, little sister who showed up when he was 5 1/2. "Right?" I asked him, and he got a sly look in his eye and agreed. Too funny.

In all honesty, the visit went extremely well. He was more alert than I have seen in a very long time and he looks better too. The nurse is new and she is not into giving a ton of medication. It was such a blessing to have our brother back again.
I hope she stays for a very long time.

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

The Day Was Just Packed

Up at 5:15 am and out the door by 6 o'clock. I worked from 6:30 am until 12:45 pm. Not only did I greet the babies, take them for a morning walk, and make serve and clean up the lunch, but our food truck arrived and I got to put all of that away too.

I ran from work to the bank to make a deposit, stopped at the Dunkin drive-thru (again) for another iced coffee (which I paid for myself. Yes, Della, I do need that app.), and then headed for the Finger Lakes and my afternoon hair appointment. "Tom" who I took along in case I got lost, insisted I take an alternate route. "Turn left," "Turn left," he insisted, but I pain no attention, at least not until I didn't know where I was anymore. He really is pretty good with directions, as he should be. That's the reason I keep him. (He's my GPS.)

I had a wonderful afternoon with Amanda, who cut my hair, and then I headed toward Rochester where I had a 5:30 chiropractor appointment. I had more than enough time and was considering how to kill 45 minutes. God had it all worked out ahead of time. My route (even according to Tom), took me right past my Uncle Chuck's house. I couldn't drive right past without stopping. He and Aunt Mary were both surprised and I felt myself get a little teary when he said, "I thought I might never see you again." Never underestimate your value in the eyes of family members, young or old. We were both missing each other but never knew.

Chiropractor, therapist at 6 pm, and then a visit to my sister Rachel on the way home. Took a quick dip in her pool and we then went for a short walk around the block. It was a good day.

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

Random Acts

The day started out pretty much like any other until I went out to get in my car for work. I was greeted by an unexpected sight... a random tired had been placed on the hood of my car sometime during the night. I was suddenly "tired." (Ha ha!) I unlocked the door, put my things inside and went to find my son in law. "Can you help me a minute?" I asked him. I didn't want to drag the tire down the front of my hood and I was afraid it might be too heavy for me to lift. "Whose is it?" he asked. I told him I didn't have a clue. A silly kid trick is what I suspect. There was no damage done and I went on my way.

I drove to Canandaigua to visit my sister Priscilla for the afternoon. We had a yummy lunch together, talked for a long time, and enjoyed each other's company. I was feeling "tired" on the way home, so I stopped at the Dunkin Donuts drive-through halfway there. I ordered an iced coffee. Half decaf. I don't like making small purchases with my debit card, and the only cash I had on hand was rent money. I reasoned with myself and decided to take a ten dollar bill from the envelope and replace it when I arrived at home, but when I got to the pickup window the smiling server told me my bill had been paid by the person in the car ahead of me. Oh, Lord! You're always watching and know just when I need a bit of encouragement along the way...

I've been having a few internal struggles this week, so I called my sister Rachel to see if she might be interested in a walk. Walking usually helps. But I got only the answering machine on the other end of the line. I decided to go for a ride and knock on the door of my friend Karen. We shared a cup of iced tea and a socially distanced visit, me on the bench just outside her door, and she on the inside. She always has a word or two of wisdom and a few scripture verses. Tonight's takeaway, already written on an index card and placed within reach was Psalm 94:19. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. How cool is that? 

On the way home from my random visit to Karen, I saw a shirtless white guy riding a unicycle. I found that fairly random too. Sorry, no photograph. LOL!

Monday, July 06, 2020

First Weekend in July

So many thoughts tumbling around in my mind... I've been learning and sifting through information, some good and helpful, some probably useless and hurtful. I pray God lights the way as He has promised.

It was an incredibly beautiful weekend. We hosted a picnic Saturday afternoon and into the evening. Seven grandchildren in one place! The inflatable "cool" (as Idris calls it) was blown up and filled with water. The Trio (Numbers 2, 3, and 4) had a great time splashing about with Number Nine. A little later Nate and Sabrina showed up with Numbers 7, 10, and 12. What a great time they had! Aubrey fell in love with Logan (I think it's the first time she met him...) and we had a wonderful time together. There may not have been handshakes, but there were some fist bumps and high fives. I call that "Progress" (My middle name. Ha ha! Not really...) and I'll take it! Josiah came after work. Half of my kids and half of my grandchildren. What a beautiful thing! Sergio's family came too as well as my friend Laura.

Yesterday, after listening to most of Church Online, I took off for Nate and Sabrina's and Church in the Yard again. It was a smaller group than last week, but just as much a blessing. Afterward I was invited to stay for lunch along with Sabrina's parents. I'd planned to clean my room in the afternoon, but sleep won out over dusting. LOL! Josiah came for picnic leftovers in the evening

Back to work today. I tossed and turned mentally and physically most of last night, pushed my snooze alarm twice this morning, instead of three times, and thought I was getting up five minutes late. In reality I was five minutes ahead of schedule. Oh, silly me! Even at work my mind raced. I must learn that listening is more important than sharing my own thoughts and perspectives otherwise I am liable to induce unintended pain... The last thing I want is to add more pain to those already struggling. Lord, help me!

It's still early. Maybe I'll go for a walk or take another drive down to the lake like I did on Friday night. It was so pretty!

Thursday, July 02, 2020

Hot and Stuffy

It turned hot and humid today. Even "The Veranda" is hot and stuffy. I am ever so thankful for  my attic air conditioner. It helps me sleep at night.

I went out looking for lawn chairs this afternoon and found nothing. Summer has just begun and there are no folding lawn chairs anywhere. All I found were beach chairs, the really short ones. I figured they are better than nothing and took four. Who knew there would be a lawn chair shortage? We might be reverting back to sitting on old logs and tree stumps.

My last post was emotional. I am rearranging brain files and finding Martha again, and she's going to be alright! God has all of this under control. (He's just like that.) I looked for my little box of letters the other day and for the first time in my life I have absolutely no clue where it is. (I also have no clue where the hose and pipes to my vacuum cleaner have gone...) When the attic cools off again I will be ready to sort through boxes of old things again and continue my journey of unloading. A little at a time. "Progress over perfection."

It was so warm this evening that I chose a cold supper. I mixed up a strawberry banana smoothie and enjoyed it in the steamy garage. It was quite delicious.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Double Post (Because I Didn't Write Anything Last Night)

Sunday, June 28, 2020

I woke up a little late, took my shower, and logged into Church Online, but partway through I made a last minute change of plans. I hopped in my car and drove to my son's house as quick as possible. I didn't want to miss "Worship in Our Yard." I arrived early, in time to soak in a warm hug from my boy, and visit Numbers 7 and 10 before any other guests arrived. I haven't been to physical "church" since March 8, sixteen weeks. It was the perfect morning, the perfect gathering, and I left perfectly blessed.

It was a lazy afternoon (I even took a short nap on the living room carpet). Mid afternoon I met my friend Chris and we drove out to Canandaigua where we met two more friends for dinner in the Beer Garden at the Rheinblick German Restaurant. So fun and so yummy! Another wonderful weekend.

June 29, 2020

I've found that cleansing (and healing) old wounds can be a detailed process, especially if the original wound isn't dealt with properly. It might even need to be reopened and cleaned again. The "wound" I speak of doesn't ache and bleed like it did years ago. The deep and hidden grief is past, and the raw, throbbing ache hasn't plagued me for a very long time. I can't even recall the last time my heart needed stilling due to the pain. I thought it had healed, yet I've found it helpful in recent years to revisit the wound and drain any remaining debris. (Are you confused yet?)

I've written about Joey a couple of times (here), but the years of battling deep loss are difficult to admit. I grieved his loss silently and alone. How could I admit to the heartbreak inside when I had married James? I couldn't. I had little ones to tend and a guy who needed me to love him. I buried the sorrow over and over again until the sands of time dulled the ache.

Joey was a childhood friend who "loved me" according to his sister, and that is where our relationship began. Our time together couldn't have lasted more than 6 or 8 months while in third grade. He moved here in late fall and moved away before school was over in the spring. He showed up at our door with his cousin and sister one spring day to say goodbye. It was the last time I would see him because he was moving. That could have, and maybe should have, been the end of the story, but even as a child I had an overactive heart. When a letter arrived a few months later, my mother talked to neighbors and hunted down a return address. It was 1973.

James entered my life the summer of 1979. I'd never had a "boyfriend" other than Joey, and Joey still had my heart. Through the years I'd received a handful of letters, a few school pictures, several phone calls, and we had stopped at his house in October of 1978 while we were on vacation to Virginia. This lonely girl couldn't help but be smitten by the handsome football player of her childhood, but there was another boy in town, one whose heart was hurting and I became entangled in another web of hopes and dreams. (Cleaned up story here) Each time my heart returned to the thought patterns of my childhood, I took a few minutes to grieve and then pushed the sadness from my heart and mind. I couldn't live there.

When things unraveled between James and I, I found the need to seek out the little box of letters from the child/teenager of whom I'd once dreamed. It wasn't  re-connection I was looking for, it was closure (again), and I found it, like I had before, reading the letters. I didn't find the boy of my dreams tucked into old envelopes, but a guy with some self-centered tendencies I'd been blind to as a girl.

The internet has the unthinkable way of making what was once totally impossible, possible. It's way too easy to learn a smidgen (or two) about those we once lost track of. My childhood friend appears to have done well in life. He has a beautiful and successful wife, two handsome, now grown children, and an incredibly huge house on the banks of a well known river. I've stared at him in photographs, trying to catch some glimmer of the little boy/teenager I once knew, but the years have taken a toll I know nothing about and he is unrecognizable to me. I wouldn't have given him a second glance had he bumped into me on the street. At least I don't think so. Maybe my subconscious would know something I didn't pick up on with my conscious mind. ?

My friend and his wife live in what looks to me like a mansion. It's for sale. Over $1,600,000.00! A mansion has never been in my plans, especially one with five bedrooms and five bathrooms that all need to be cleaned. (Can anyone really use that many bathrooms?) There may have been days of raising children when I longed for a place to escape, but 7400 square feet seems a little bit overkill. (I have absolutely no clue what my old friend does for a living. Maybe he doesn't work at all... Ha ha!) I'm not glitzy and glamorous. I don't even wear make-up other than mascara. She is the national sales director in a extremely well known company, and has won numerous awards. (What does one person do to win 13 all-expense paid trips and 19 cars?) Oh, my! More than anything I am amused. I genuinely hope and pray they are truly happy.

Maybe all those years ago my mom thought our puppy love friendship was cute, but in reality she had no idea how deeply I would entangle my heart in future hopes and dreams. I'm sure she thought the relationship would slowly fade away and become nothing more than a sweet childhood memory. Maybe it finally has...

Saturday, June 27, 2020

I Like Saturdays

I didn't have any big plans for today. Nowhere urgent to be, no meetings with friends. That's tomorrow. I slept later than I'd planned, a little too late apparently. I missed the morning's rainstorm that drenched the inside of my car. It hasn't rained at all until this week and I left my windows half down all night. I even checked the forecast before I went to bed. I missed the part where it was supposed to rain this morning. Oops.

I worked on cleaning the gara... I mean "Veranda" today. Even took myself into Home Goods while I was out and found some spiffy indoor/outdoor carpets. I sent several photos to Hannah and then, since I couldn't decide, and the garage is big, I bought two!  Back home I did a lot of sweeping and vacuuming, a bit of rearranging, and some stowing of boxes in the attic. It's not completely done, but it's looking pretty nice. We've been eating dinner out there, sitting, watching rain storms, and enjoying the space.

Tomorrow I have afternoon/evening plans with some friends. Maybe I'll take my camera along for the journey.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Not Much Happenin' and Too Much Happening Too

I am not exactly sure what is happening in the world, but it feels a bit like it's been knocked off its axis lately. Like it's wobbling to and fro... All we can do is pray, love our neighbors, and hold on tight. (Oh, boy.)

I came home from work absolutely exhausted Monday afternoon and fell into one of those deep, deep sleeps. Maybe because I didn't sleep so great on Sunday night? Or was it Monday night I didn't sleep?  A little nap goes a long way. A long nap? Those are heavenly.

I attempted to clean out my "dungeon" yesterday afternoon, but then it started to rain, so I left my shop-vac and garbage box in the garden house and headed back to the garage. The dungeon will have to wait and so will the dragon. (I kid.) When I got rained out of cleaning the dungeon, I called Bethany to see if she had any beer... She found one old and lonely bottle in her fridge, left from a January party. I took a ride to retrieve the bottle of beer and snuggle my Henry. Back home I poured the beer into tuna fish cans and set them down into my flower garden. I'm hoping to catch the hungry slugs that have been devouring my marigolds. No luck so far. maybe they don't like beer.

This morning I woke up to a strangely quiet bedroom. My alarm was sounding, but my fan and air conditioner were silent and still. The light did not work. Fearing I would fall back to sleep and be late to work, I got up, used the pitch black bathroom, and headed back upstairs to dress without showering. There was no checking the internet. There was no making coffee. What could I do but leave early, find a coffee along the way, and arrive at work 20 minutes early?

At the suggestion of a friend, I've renamed my garage "The Veranda." Sounds fancy and fun, even if there is nothing fancy about it. Ha ha! My garage door screen have arrived. They have arrived in doubles and not just because there are two garage doors. Oy vey! The pair awaiting me at Home Depot will need to be returned. I already received a pair at the house. And yes, I've been charged for both.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Bits and Pieces

I made it through the weekend without any emotional breakdowns. (I did that on Thursday.) Thankfully, this particular event/anniversary packed weekend doesn't occur every year. Sometimes Father's Day comes a little earlier... The other events remain the same as they are the anniversaries.

I'd talked with my therapist about this particular weekend when I was in the office a week ago and we both agreed that I should seek out some friends to spend time with, so I put an "ad" on Facebook and waited for my friends to respond. LOL!

On Thursday afternoon I met the sister of my friend Shelly. She lives a few miles down the road from my work so finding her was easy. We shared a drink and some lunch and chatted for a couple of hours. It was a good visit. The emotional piece came after my return home when I learned that my Minnesota son and his family had changed their summer plans and there would be no backyard camp out at the end of July. (This situation has since been remedied, much to my relief, but I couldn't stop the tears at the time.)

Friday evening I drove out to Victor, NY to have dinner with my friend Laura. After our cookout we took a ride into Canandaigua for an ice cream cone at the Cheshire Farms Creamery. I had Sea Salt Caramel ice cream. So delicious! We ate our cones in my car and then drove down by the lake. It was a beautiful evening. I didn't get home until around 11 pm. Imagine that!

Saturday afternoon found me driving out to Williamson to find my friend Gail. We've known each other since we were children, but never hung out together. We walked from her cottage at Hollands Cove over to Hugh's Marina and sat on a driftwood log along the lake shore. It was the perfect June day.

On Saturday evening Hannah and Sergio went out to a party and I stayed home with Number Nine. It was an absolutely fabulous evening. We went around the block (his suggestion), watered the flowers (which of course resulted in him getting wet), and he played in a bucket of water out in the driveway. When the water had been dumped twice, we headed inside and he took a shower (with some help, of course).

Today my friend Chris picked me up early and we headed into Rochester to visit the Maplewood Rose Gardens, walk along the river, and visit Brown's Race at the High Falls. Before heading home we stopped at Panera Bread, picked up a lunch, and took it to Webster Park where we ate in her car with a perfect view of Lake Ontario. At home I took a long nap.

It's been a beautiful weekend. I made it though without any major issues. It was perfect.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Shedding Some Light (Or Lightening Some Sheds)

I'm cleaning out sheds. 

Over the weekend I emptied one half full woodshed into another half full woodshed compartment. (There are four separate areas to the long woodshed behind the garage.)

 I now have one empty woodshed and one full woodshed compartment.

I also consolidated all the garden tools and snow shovels into a Compartment #2.
See the firewood peeking through the slat divider?

Today I took my brand new shop-vac out to the Garden House in the back corner and cleaned out decades of old dirt and spider webs. It's looking pretty spiffy!

This is Compartment #3. We had Big Ideas about building something fun out of our old tires... Who knows? Maybe it will still happen. Only time will tell.

(I have no picture of Compartment #4, which appeared when Dad closed up the gap between the garage and the long shed in order to make a place to keep bicycles, but there aren't any bikes in there. It's more of a "catch-all" at the moment.)

And then there is this beauty. This is a cinder block "dungeon" off the back of Dad's Garden House. He'd hoped to keep vegetables there in the winter, but neglected to fill the cinder block walls with concrete, and it failed to be weather proof. It's another "catch-all" which I will empty a little at a time depending on how brave I feel. I took a few pieces out of there today. Mostly I'm afraid of critters. Ha ha! It's not she-shed material, that's for sure. I don't have any plans for this space other than storage and I'm not sure what.

Our garage is looking a little less congested too. It's far from the summer living area I'm dreaming of but I have two weeks before July is upon us. Stay tuned to see if we make it happen.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

This Girl Here

You wouldn't know much of anything about her by looking at the picture. Even her age would be tough to guess. The only hint she is married is the ring on her finger. You might even believe she is a newlywed, but I can tell you a few things about the girl in the picture...

She's 32 years old, has been married for almost 15 years, and has seven children from 14 years old down to 9 months. She had her makeup done in Texas, but she's actually from upstate NY. In fact the only make up she typically wears is a touch of mascara. She is terribly uncomfortable with this surprise photo shoot. She is emotionally and mentally spent. She's very likely suffering the effects of a near nervous breakdown and it will take years for her to recover. In many ways she will never be the same, but she will survive.

Today she looks at this photograph, sees beauty and innocence, and remembers a time when everything around her felt hopeless. The depression felt impossible to shake. For two years her feet had hit the floor running in the morning. She could hardly remember the last time she'd sat down to relax during the day, and she crawled into bed totally exhausted every night. Home schooling had become impossible so she'd taken the advice of a friend and registered her children for school even though it was already April. It didn't go over well with her husband and she fell apart that evening, dropping to the floor by the couch and sobbing. He bought her a plane ticket to Texas. A getaway to visit his sister. She recalls sitting on the plane before takeoff, her 9 month old daughter on her lap, and thinking, "Someday this will be a distant memory..." and now it is.

Twenty-four years have passed since that first trip to Texas, there was another the following year, and her understanding of the breakdown is clearer today. There were things she didn't know back then, at least not consciously, that likely contributed to her plight. They say the body knows what the mind can't accept, and there were plenty of reason for her to struggle. Even one of those reasons could have made daily life a challenge, but bunched together they were just too much. The prayers of friends and family carried her through and she emerged stronger on the other side, and when life dished up problems bigger than she could handle alone, God was there helping her through. He's still helping her through today.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

And So ...

I found a brand new refrigerator/freezer in my kitchen at work this morning. Pretty fabulous even if I do have to bend down to see inside. No more stashing milk in tiny, infant room units, and there should be plenty of room to stash ice cream for this summer's fund raiser (that I hate with a passion).

I've been taking a new route to work the past few days. A surprise detour sign appeared Tuesday morning almost making me late. Good thing I drive fast. Ha ha! There isn't an especially quick detour since getting to work involves crossing the canal, but as long as I know to drive a different route, I can get there in the same amount of time as usual. (The photo was taken on my way home on Monday while we waited for a train.)

This afternoon I was up to my old tricks. Hannah and I decided to make a quick run to Target in her car. Before leaving I stopped to roll up my car windows and grab a few things out of the console. As I got into her car I realized I'd forgotten my face mask. That's when I discovered I'd locked my keys in my car. Again. Ha ha! This time I remembered I have a Triple A membership that James paid for back in October.  He might be happy to know it didn't go to waste. That's twice I've locked myself out of my car in my own driveway.

It's been an emotional week. So much upheaval in the world, so many opposing stories and viewpoints, and so many anniversaries on top of it. I took a look at my blogs from last June and decided even though I feel some strong emotions, I am not at all where I was this time last year. I am more okay with who I am than ever before. This is good.

I had a very long conversation with my friend Sandy this afternoon, much of it about race. I am seeking to understand a different perspective and I love that she is willing to talk with me even though her viewpoint is not that of a typical black American woman. She did not grow up in a country filled with racism as her home country is in the Caribbean. Still she helps me look from a different angle. God continues to stretch and grow me in ways I never imagined.This too is good.

Monday, June 08, 2020

Bits and Pieces

* Last week I witnessed a rescue. Just across the railroad tracks on the other side of the Erie Canal, a white truck was stopped in the middle of the road with several cars waiting behind. Traffic in my lane had also come to a stop. A black man with a shovel, and his white female companion, were scooping a turtle toward the swampy area along the road. I can only assume it was a snapping turtle or they'd have likely picked him up with the hands. Once the creeping reptile was safely on the other side, they hopped back into their truck and we all went our separate ways. I'm guessing several of us were smiling. I know I was.

* Today I got a surprise at work. I opened the refrigerator to take out the milk and was greeted by a blast of warm air and the scent of old hot dogs. You know as well as I do that the interior of a refrigerator is supposed to be cold... Ours was not. I put my hand on one of our milk jugs. It was not cold. In fact, it was quite warm. (blech!) One of our staff ran down the road to Walmart for two more gallons of milk and I took a new package of hot dogs out of the freezer. Pretty much everything in the refrigerator was lost. I saved some fresh carrots and a jar of grape jam. Everything else went into the dumpster. The garbage men don't come until Friday and to tell the truth, I'm a little concerned about those three unopened gallons of milk in there. I might just park as far away from that dumpster as possible for a while.

* I was surprised at work one day last week too, but it was a good surprise. Someone sent me a card with a little gift inside. I haven't a clue where it came from, except that I don't think it was one of my coworkers. It was sent in care of the daycare center. How fun is that? On the way home I bought myself an iced coffee to celebrate. So yummy!

* Tonight I am finding myself tired and achy. Wearing flip flops can make me achy, and spring allergies always make me sleepy. I'm going to bed early again tonight.

(No photos of bulging milk jugs or snapping turtles. Not even a shot of my coffee. Instead a couple of photos from my drive home from the party the other day.)

Saturday, June 06, 2020

Twelve is One

Happy Birthday, Logan!
(It isn't here quite yet. He'll be one on Monday, but we had the party today.)

It was a lovely evening for a party. Doesn't it look like fun?

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Pain and Agony

Our nation is in agony, writhing in pain, struggling to breathe...Where will all of this take us? What have we become? What does the future hold? God help us.

Checking the news has not been my habit in the past years. Rather than actually read, scrutinize, and digest what is happening in the world, I have been caught up in my own struggle. I've read article titles and personal interest stories instead. With Covid-19 filling most recent news pages, I've stepped away even more. Until this past week.

I could attempt fooling myself into believing everything is normal in the world, but that would only find me running smack into a brick wall in a very short amount of time. I can no longer ignore what is happening. I don't understand it, and I cannot rationalize it. I cannot shake it from my mind. It must drive me to my knees instead. I don't know what to do, but I am willing to do whatever it takes.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Black Lives Matter

It's been a horrific weekend. Even with seventeen hours between here and Minneapolis, last night we found our county under a curfew that remains in effect until tomorrow morning. Peaceful protests have turned violent in cities across the entire country. We are in deep mourning...

My son took his little family away from the city of St Paul, Minnesota on Saturday to the suburbs where Michele's parents reside. It has been a regular routine in the past, but the reasons were different yesterday. This weekend my heart is in Minnesota.

It was a beautiful weekend too. We had some rain, some very warm sunshine, and a cold breeze that left today being one of those warm/cold days where I put my sweater on only to take it off again after a few minutes. I wanted to be out, so I weeded my flower garden, and then I wanted to be in, so I made pie. Lemon meringue. One for a friend and one for us.

Tomorrow I return to early morning duties in the baby room at work. 💕

Friday, May 29, 2020


I don't know where to begin... There is a knot in my stomach and an ache deep within my heart. I feel helpless to make a difference, yet compelled to find a way. Lord, help me! My sweet daughter in law posted this on Facebook today along with the quote from Martin Luther King Jr.

"My city is on fire. Our beautiful Twin Cities are burning to the ground. Just 2 miles away from the home I chose to raise my family in. The home where I usually feel safe.

I don't feel safe today. I feel anxious and scared. But, the feelings that I have in this moment pale in comparison to the fear, anxiety and anger that generations of Black Americans have felt for FOUR centuries in this country.

These riots are a symptom of a much larger sickness in this country and if we want them to stop, then things NEED to change. I don't condone riots in any form, even those that stem from sporting events (especially those!), but there is a bigger problem.

We must not simply be "not racist" we need to be Anti-Racist. This has gone on for far too long."

I don't know how to do or say the right thing as it seems someone is always misunderstanding my heart. Oft times that someone is me. I want to see clearly, and although there are still obstacles in the path, I am working to remove as many as possible. 

I had decided not to watch the video. What could possibly be gained by watching a man die needlessly at the hands of another? And then I read an article.  It said of the video, "The whole scene is deeply disturbing. And I believe every white American should watch it." I did., and I am undone.

What is to become of us? Will God bring beauty from these ashes?

I have seen photos of hope and heard stories of healing. One officer has been arrested. Prayers are being answered.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Memorial Day Weekend 2020

Holiday weekends have become a bit complex over the past few years. I don't want to ignore the opportunity to gather family, and yet a gathering can feel daunting. There haven't been any major (or minor, that I can recall... ) confrontations lately and this weekend worked out beautifully.

Last night, Sunday, we had a small gathering and a small dinner followed by a bonfire in the backyard. There were some kid games too, along with a bit of chalk art on my dad's backyard chimney. Hed have a fit, but I know the rain will wash it away and the little ones are making memories. (Did I mention I started it?)

Today several of us met at a State Park along the shore of Lake Ontario. I was very careful of the sun while enjoying the kids on the beach, and then we had lunch... (Oops) Anyway, it was a gorgeous day.

Tonight, when the sun was hidden behind the house, I planted the rest of the marigolds and alyssum I bought at the garden store yesterday. 

Saturday, May 23, 2020

And Now It's Summer (Almost)

Where did the week go? So many thoughts and feelings have coursed through my mind and body this week. My Zoom meeting turned unexpectedly teary this morning, Tears are cleansing; a good and precious gift. I'd told him I was doing good, and I am, but the growing still requires pain. Sometimes it still takes me by surprise.

One of the hidden blessing of returning to work is the 25 minute drive there and home again. My car radio is tuned to K-Love and I find my soul thirsty for worship, my heart lifted by the humor, and my spirit encouraged by scripture. It's a beautiful way to begin my day. Coffee and K-Love. Who would have thought?

My people went out just before my meeting was over this morning so I took a short drive on my own. I was lost in a swirl of thoughts. My first destination didn't work out, so I called my nearby sister. Her new puppy seemed to recognize me. She's a cute little thing. I talked with Rachel and Dave for a little while, drank a glass of water, and left there headed for the grocery store. I bought some fruit and some salad ingredients and headed home to find the family had returned.

The afternoon was spent at home. I sat in the shade of the garage and watched Idris play in the driveway, and called my Canandaigua sister. Sergio cleaned up the flower gardens and I finished planting the marigolds I picked up on my way home from work Thursday. I'll need a few more annuals to fill up the front flower bed, but it's looking nice.

There's an extra day to the weekend and I'm feeling grateful.