Clouds in my blue sky

First ride and a poem

There are clouds in my blue sky. Yeah, I know it’s not really my sky, it belongs to the Creator who made it, but it’s the sky that I see. And there are clouds in my blue sky. Here’s why.

The first ride of the year dawned on a day nearly seventy degrees perfect. We sat in our house all day on COVID -19 lock down trying to warm up. The chill in the air just would not go away. I, in my kerchief, and Opa in his sweater. Well, okay it was not really that bad off. But I was wearing my warming poncho most of the day. And Opa was in his sweater.

The sun was shining and the breeze was out of the south. So the furnace found it’s way into remission and the house just felt cold. The clouds would roll over and then we had to grab another hot cup of coffee to warm up our fingers. Finally at four hours past the noon meal, I called for a truce with the wind and decided to fight the gale for a walk. We made it to the corner and back in record time, with the wind to our backs.

And then, the question was posed, “How about a motorcycle ride?” Of course, after a fast paced walk the best way to cool off is with a motorcycle ride. So cool off, we did. What a beautiful lull before the storm. Never mind that after we arrived home again, we’ll probably have to clean the dog up from her fox hole digging. Who would have thought her idea of stay home means go dig a hole to China!

At this point in the COVID -19 pandemic, our lives have changed in minor ways. We are not shopping at physical stores, and have tried to keep our focus on necessities. We purchase most of our goods at the local stores eight miles from our home. My husband has moved his desk from plant location to the corner of the kitchen. This was the first week he saw a decline in his number of conference calls. His work involved the housing market and until this week most of it was business as usual. Production has just started it’s decline and that will probably show up in his hours and pay at some point. Clouds in the horizon?

My activities outside the home have come to a stop. For the most part, I was pretty stay at home anyways because of my eyesight and no driving. But this week, I did not go see my little granddaughter for the first time on Tuesday. It is hard to think of the possibility of no visits at all. But for the foreseeable future it looks like a halt to visits is best. Since her mother is expecting in late spring, we want to keep her safe from the virus. Thank goodness for video calling and the ability to see her on the screen as she plays and discovers new word meanings.

A friend of mine posted a status on social media that bears repeating, but I will try to summarize in my own way. All my nieces and nephews are now doing school at home or on line. This is not anything like the home schooling that I did with my girls for eighteen years. This is crisis schooling. And finding a new normal for cabin crazy children is difficult. I pray for all of them daily. From my cousins who are juggling children learning at the kitchen table with their own technical careers, to my relatives that no longer have a job because the entertainment has all canceled or gone online, I pray for you all. There are puffy little clouds diluting the suns rays.

All of my relatives that work in front of a screen have moved their offices home. Some find it wonderful and some find it extremely challenging. The environment that one is use to working in has all changed. I pray for you too. The sun is brightening the sky in the parts that there are no clouds, really.

We have not had coffee with the elder folks in our lives for a couple of weeks now. It is hardest not to see them on a regular basis. The phone calls do help. And it seems that for now, most people are spending a lot more time on the phone catching up with everyone. Encouragement does go both ways though. So I think especially of all our clergy friends. Their strength is relative to their faith in God. Thank you so much, to all of you, for your encouraging words through commercials on television, on line streaming of upligting messages and prayer conferences. I pray for you. Pray that you will send rays of hope through sky’s clouded and blue.

And we have relatives and friends in the healthcare field also. You are outstanding individuals and we pray for you most. While the sky is covered with clouds and grey, you are indeed the sunshine in so many days! There are nurses and families that seem torn apart and need our love and support in any way that we can give it.

So, the world has changed and it will never be the same. We are behind the curve here in the midwest. Our natural distance has helped with the social distancing measures that others have mandated for the the hardest hit places. We realize that for us the distancing may be for a longer period of time simply because our population numbers are lower. This can surely make the sky seem like storms are brewing every direction that we gaze.

There are clouds in my blue sky

Some are sweet and low

Some are dark and high

Though I hear them rumble

While I watch them grow

There are clouds in my blue sky

I am glad for the moment

I watch them roll by…

-written by Yvonne Annette March 31, 2020

Counting blessings

God bless my counting…

One thousand eight hundred minutes . Forty five minutes per row. Now don’t tell me that I don’t have anything to show for my time put in.

Gathering the shawls that have my favorite pattern made me conscious of the hours and minutes that I have sat “fidgeting” my days away. Looking at those stitches in terms of minutes, hours, and days, I wondered, “How could I count the blessings that have been prayed?” I have never considered my time in crochet and prayer. Why would I count what words I have uttered.

The truth of the matter is that God’s thoughts towards me are far more in number than the one’s that I have towards Him. Psalm 139:17 states, “How precious are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!” This verse reminds me that no matter how much I could spend time in prayer for others, or send blessings for them Heavenward, God thinks even more of them than I could ever.

This does not de-value the time that I have spent counting God’s blessings towards me and to others. Rather it increases their worth. My prayer / crochet time is more than being creative and considering God’s wonders to all those in my circle of knowledge. It is a driving force that calls me to meditate. Blessing God both with my time and my talent.

And then blessing others. There are numerous shawls in my home and soon they will all take wings and fly away to bless others. Though I am not sure who the recepient is yet, I trust God to help me think of the right person. “My thoughts are not your thoughts,” says the Lord (Isaiah 55:8). Indeed, and the way that He thinks, acts, and moves is higher and loftier than anything we can ever imagine.

Keep on praying, I Thessalonians 5:17 encourages us. And don’t forget to be thankful in everything for this the attitude God will’s for each o fus.


I have fallen into the mud puddle

Today is one of those days. The one’s where nothing seems quite right. When I am having a bad hair day even after my favorite happenings of a haircut. When someone is celebrating a big birthday and I haven’t even bought a birthday card. Good thing i was feeling it yesterday, at least the blessings were there then. But today, I could just crawl into a hole, bury myself with grass clippings, and come out next spring.

Oh, Christmas Tree, Why hast thou planted thyself in the crevice of the front door step?

When I discovered that the “weed” I had fallen to pull at six inches had become a Caesar tree–my first thought was to save it. Oh, bother but that will be a new chore. It is now a foot tall. and that means the roots are two feet.

So what’s going on anyways?

These days have been busy and I haven’t been able to get anything done that I had planned. Well, okay, maybe I planned too much and then did not get to do any writing for a whole month.

Basically, life, like an unexpected cedar tree tree up out of the cracks of the front walk!

First, my daughter’s expected internship was postponed until January. Then my sister’s wedding came and went with much enjoyment. I have so many blessed memories form the weekend. Then, my husband’s vacation days came and while we had planned a trip to Virginia, now we were able to go on our motorcycle ride we had wanted to do the year before. My broken rib canceled that trip last September. So this year the five days of riding came and went with wind gusts and all.


Another prayer shawl entered my hands as crocheting “without” thinking is best when there are lots of prayer requests. This one had focus on my nephew.

An unexpected seizure and trip to the ER indicated a brain tumor in my nephew’s left frontal lobe. And today he is undergoing surgery to remove most of the turmour. And while I was discovering the rooted cedar tree during my morning prayer walks around the yard, my mother called with another serious accident report.

My Uncle was involved in an explosion that shattered bones in his face and will cause him to loose his right eye. I’m not sure how soon I’ll be able to go visit him and my aunt. They are in a local hospital not far from me. The prayers will continue to be lifted throughout the day.

So, while the days haven’t been exactly what I had planned, they have flown by. Keeping busy is usually one of my challenges in the alone times. Lately, there has been no lack for my hands. With the weeding, vacation, fall harvest, greenhouse fall planting, cooler weather acreage upkeep’s, and the prayer shawls and petitions heavenward… I think my hands are quite full enough.

Finding time to get the writing plans back has been a challenge. I’ll just have to learn to get up earlier.

Or, Christmas will sneak up on me like that little cedar tree. Oh, no!