Sunday, July 26, 2020

A Little Blogger Break

I'm going away for a few days and leaving my laptop home. It's going to be a week of (hopefully) rest and grandkids. There will be a bit of driving involved, so prayers for our safety would be appreciated. Not exactly sure how long we'll be gone, but I have to work a week from tomorrow so I might show up here again by Saturday or Sunday. I'm taking my camera along and hoping for a wonderful picture of my other seven, even though there will be eight.

Children do need to be bribed to get good pictures of all. I forgot that on the 4th of July. The older ones were tired of the game before the littles decided to be cooperative. Perhaps when it comes to printing them I'll do a series instead of just two...

I still love the pictures. Each and every one. These kids are growing up too fast!  Top row- Numbers 3 and 2. Seated- 9, 7, 12, 3, and 10.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Five and Three

I came to the realization this afternoon that there may have been another reason for yesterday's tears...

Anniversaries can be hard and I already know that, but these two anniversaries are more obscure, so much so that apparently I can all but forget them too. I can forget them consciously, but the subconscious is still painfully aware. The tight muscles? The headache and sleepless nights? Deep inside I didn't really forget because my body remembers. Five years today. Three years yesterday. No details on the first one aside from the fact that it was the reason for the second.

Three years ago today I became the resident of this little attic bedroom. I put the boxes I had packed into my car and moved home to Mom and Dad's house, except Mom and Dad aren't here anymore and my son in law and daughter live downstairs. It was a heart-wrenching move. I left so much behind, and yet God has given me so much. There is still pain in my heart, but there is peace also. I did what needed to be done and God has given me peace, even when there are still tears.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Pressure Release

I have been fighting my yearly allergy induced sinus headaches lately. They get better when I take the decongestant, and then when I am feeling better I forget to take them. Today I went for the big stuff and picked up a package of "maximum strength." It's not a good time to find oneself with a headache no matter what the cause. *sigh*

I made a visit to the therapist today and found myself teary and rambling. All kinds of stuff just spilled out. I guess there's been a lot of stuff piling up. There it was all over the floor, but he didn't seem to mind, and honestly, I always feel better after a few tears, especially when they were unexpected.

I am slowly making my way through those two books I started reading. I put the "Live Saving Divorce" book down for a bit. I got to a point where I felt the need to digest before picking it up again. The evolution book has had my attention instead. I might be halfway through and might be farther along if not for the sinus games.

Tomorrow Rachel and I plan to visit Tim again. They say we can take him out for a ride.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Reading a Book, or Two

In my younger days I loved to read. I devoured chapter books, and then I had children, which leaves little uninterrupted time to concentrate on reading. In my adult years I read more non fiction, but when my eyesight began to deteriorate I found it too much work, not to mention a headache. Literally. However, in recent years I have acquired a small library of deep, informational reading. It's been a time of growth and exploration.

Two different friends introduced me to the books I am currently reading and digesting, both of them books I likely wouldn't have given a second glace ten years ago. Today I find them both fascinating and encouraging. I only wish I was better at retaining and relating the contents.

Both books are written by Christians and full of scripture, and yet they give a perspective unheard of in my youth. I never expected to find myself divorced. It was never an option in my opinion, and yet here I am and I pushed it through. I have a new understanding of a subject I honestly knew little about. I was probably a bit judgemental. Oh, how things change! And oh, how Jesus comes to rescue the broken.

I've not gone off the deep end, I promise. The second book is also full of wonder and encouragement. God is beyond understanding and His ways past finding out. This book isn't written to dampen faith in God, but to grow us in wonder. I am amazed to see the scriptures come alive in an entirely new way. I only hope my eyes and concentration hold out until I finish reading.

Round and About

There was a bridal shower yesterday. I made a slight navigational error and ended up taking "the long way," and although I wasn't really lost, I did call upon Tom to help me. "When possible, turn around," he told me. I was a little confused at his suggestion, but I complied. About a half a mile back the other direction he said, "When possible, turn around." Ah, Tom! Now you've got me going in circles! Of course, I turned around again.

In the Finger Lakes area of NY state, not only are there Finger Lakes to navigate around (there are no bridges over them), but there is another, smaller obstacle once known as "The Seneca Army Depot." (It is now mostly deserted, but is home to a rather unusual herd of white deer.) I had taken an early turn onto Rt 96 and totally missed my chance to take Rt 96A and was now on the wrong side of "the cage." Tom took me to Aunt Laurie's house the back way so I didn't have to drive all the way into the town of Ovid, NY. Laurie's house is on a hill overlooking Seneca Lake.

On the way home, this time on 96A and the opposite side of the Seneca Army Depot, I found one of my favorite barns. Each time I pass I'm afraid she will be gone, but so far she stands, albeit a little less steady. Her back is bent and bowed, her boards and shingles tattered, and yet I find her beautiful. She's looked across the road at the Army Depot in Romulous, NY it's entire life and even outlived it in purpose. She is brave and fearless.

My drive took me through Amish country. I saw farms and wagons, some men building a house on Geneva Rd, and a wonderful field of shocks. So much more interesting than the rolls of hay and straw left by farm machinery.

I was back home by five o'clock for a small birthday gathering in Hannah's honor. She turned 25 yesterday. How is my baby 25? I didn't really take pictures other than this one of Baby Henry cooling off in a tub of water. He's growing so fast and is so cute.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Rain, Rain, Rain

What can I say about this week? It's almost over now. It's not been near as activity filled as last week.

I made a visit Sunday afternoon to someone who obviously despises me. Her disdain is quite obvious. Needless to say, I won't be making a return visit. *sigh* So much for trying to make amends. The whole encounter threw me off for a bit, but I think I've recovered. It is what it is and I've done my piece. That's all I can do.

It's been a beautiful week weather wise. The rain arrived this afternoon and is forecast to come and go all through the night and into morning. It's a good soaking rain and the thunder and rain on the roof will help me sleep tonight. (I am sleep deprived. Drank a coffee too late in the afternoon Tuesday and slept very little that night. I'm still catching up.)

Reading a couple of books and tucking away thoughts and information. I find I'm really good at starting books, getting 3/4 of the way through, and not finishing. Maybe I need to find some good novels. I tend to finish those.

Tomorrow is Friday already. Saturday looks like a busy day. I'm looking forward to it.

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.