Is Hindsight Really 20\20?

When we remember things with a skewed sense of reality…

Here is the thought that got me considering hindsight, and I’m not talking about the butt end of a roast or anything else of that sort. This year is in fact 2020, so why not think upon all of it’s various connotations.

Recently my mother started the whole sibling group on a “remember when” game and the focus was the earliest snow in our state. The consideration was in September, but now we are already into October. Snow is expected for our area within the week. The northern part of the state had snow and ice this week.

What each one remembers is truly based on the strength of that persons memory. I do not remeber any snow earlier than October 31st within the first year of our marriage. Then just a few years ago we had snow that landed the bean crop in disarray. That snow was earlier than Halloween, but the exact date just does not stick in my head. Lots of people lost cattle during that snow.

When considering the whole vision thing (20\20) is really about how well one can see on things put in front of the eyes. This has nothing to do with the foresight of whether to plant corn or beans for the best harvest value. If one sees best at close up or and distance we have names for that kind of vision. Well, in life experiences, some people are truly better at foresight, while others are good and hindsight. I will try to explain later.

Even more skewed in my mind is the memories that I have of our families first home in the northern part of the state. I vaguely remember running under the old metal table from the late sixties. I was so short and so young, it was a great spot to hide from my sisters. Funny how I do not remember the moment that stopped my under the table “cross country” home runs!

And answers that we were seeking are no longer questions to be asked. We can see clearly now. Hindsight brings us clear vision and the view is nearly 20\20. Is this the thought that we will have some years down the road? A few years from now we will look back. Right now we simply try to look forward and all that we see is the moment. The difficulties of the day seem insurmountable.

Foresight tells me that this is the plague that is taking away our history. So many elderly people are being lost to this virus. This disease seems to be taking the people that gave us our history. They are the ones of our past. The gray haired populous is considered at risk in this pandemic world that we live in. But hindsight is telling me they are not the only ones at risk of this disease. Some younger people suffer and just this week the world news exploded with the news of a 38 year old dieing in flight because of the virus.

We all have so many opionions about everything, and yet there is still only one breath between all of us and the future. The next breath could be our last. We never know.

But here’s a look at the past few weeks here in my neighborhood.

Our outdoor living space is complete. We made a 2×4 slat bench to add to the collection. The recitation bench along the east wall of the house came from our old grain shed in Iowa. The place that we lived had three delapitating buildings: the grain shed, a small animal barn and a garage. The garage was the first thing to go. After the spring snow melted and we discovered it was full of the trash from the previous occupants, we lit a match to the whole lot. Of course the fact that the propane tank was less than ten feet from the building was quite a frightful thought. The grain shed and the basement held a number of pieces of furniture that still grace my home today.

The swing is an old crib remodel. Haha. The crib was the one that Gavin’s dad and siblings all slept in when pre-toddlers. Today it would not fit the safety regulations as the bars are too distant in measurement. It makes an amazing back porch nap zone.

The focus of all the pets attention is the deck box. It contains their food. We have had to discard of a few wild critters in the past as raccoons can figure out how to lift the lid and help themselves. Thank goodness for the new addition to the family. Eva has kept them away since her arrival.

The slat bench has wood that came from the top of the barn. All the pieces were well over fifty years old and rough cut lumber. We spent quite some time getting each piece to the correct measurement. The staining of the top pieces made the construction of the slat bench really pop. It is a pretty good nap zone also. However, these cooler temps are not the best for such things. The finish is an old oil based recipe from Aussie Timber care. It has kept my benches and other outdoor pieces in tip top shape.

This mosaic crochet afghan is now complete. It does not have a new home yet. Because I was born in the spring, I prefer bright and bold colors more than fall. I have a perpetual spring in my greenhouse and could bore you with my pictures of flowers.

The pattern on the blanket is “What comes around, goes around.” The square spirals were really quite fun to crochet. The border and the separation lines are a simple steppe pattern. I think they kind of look like “z’s” and that makes it a good sleeper’s warmer! While I thoroughly enjoyed the process of crocheting the afghan, the colors just did not thrill me. So if there’s a friend of mine in love with it, they better holler quick. Otherwise my sister will find a home for the burnt orange delight.

Lately, I found the cold a bit too nippy on my fingers. So I decided to remake a couple of my hat and mitten pairs. I started with my everyday set that keeps me from the frost while doing the morning rounds. Honey and I go out to greet Eva. She sleeps in the heated hut outdoors. We scoop a bowl of kibbles for the cats then head out back to do the business. Next we run to the greenhouse to check the temperature. I give Cocoa a can of oats. Then we run like mad to the house because the north wind is so bitey.

This little whimsical hat was part of my creations from last spring. It is a scrappy hat. In other words, I used some scrap chunks of yarn and made a hat that was one of a kind. So the other day after perfecting my mitten pattern on a different set, I sat down and pulled up some yarn chunks to make my “whimsy set.” Something of the Oma in me enjoys wearing such a silly little dunce hat. The ball always gets a lot of attention either from little kids (while shopping) or even from other peoples pets (they can’t take their eyes off of the ball dangling from my head). Well, with a Grandmother name like Oma, why wouldn’t I enjoy a little whimsy in my life? My favorite books were the Dr Suess and I still can’t resist buying one even if I can’t read them anymore.

People with foresight always seem to get things right. They dream forward. They plan ahead. They look to the future with hope and ideals. People with hindsight are always talking about the past, looking into history with new perspectives. Trying to discover the truth about how things really happened. Maybe even considering the latest conspiracy theory. Ahhh, now I don’t believe that’s all a blanket approach to the whole of living.

My vision into the distance has always been a little poor. Having someone else to explain exactly where the moon is has made it much easier to find. Even if I can’t see the “man on the moon” I can still imagine it. And now my closeup vision has gotten a little more challenged also. Losing the peripheral view of the world, does not mean that I don’t see what’s going on in the world around me. It just means that I run into things far more frequently than I would like. It also means that my husband has to sort my little yarn chunks into the right color coordinations. White and yellow seem to be so close in color these days.

Whether you like to look ahead and dream of the future or whether you are an avid history book reader, one thing is the same. We all breath the same air. We are all fighting for another day another breathe. Today I want to aknowledge that I believe that breathe of air comes from my Soveriegn, Invisible Source. God the Creator who breathed into that first man Adam the breathe of air,

Psalm 144:4 “Man is but a breathe of air, His days are like a passing shadow.”

These days I do not visit my grandchildren as frequently as I would like. The fear of covid probable keeps me away more than I would like to admit. Being high risk in the health area is not something that I want to frequent in this blog. So I will just say that looking to the Author of this vapor does give me meaning and purpose to make each and every visit of high value and very enjoyable. They bring me so much joy, even if it is just during a phone call with childish squeals in the back ground. Looking at each day, week, or month as a passing shadow is one thing, considering my life to be but the passing shadow is another thing entirely. For now seeing these little faces as a small token of my shadow cast into the future is almost too deep a thought for consideration.

Thanking my Creator for every breath of air. Looking to a brighter Future tomorrow.

Learning something new

Log cabin or summer campfire blanket must be one of the ugliest projects I have ever crocheted. Putting all those colors together in such a bold design, makes me wonder why? Why did i choose those colors? Maybe the sharp contrasts are easier to see. When I am working on a pastel or light colored yarn gathering, then I wonder why? Why do my eyes have to think a pink and yellow look the same? It’s all about how they reflect light.

But this is not a writing about the the property of color. Mh grand daughter really loves colors and it surprised me one day to learn that she even knows “gray cat” color. Wow. She really loves to paint and watch the colors change. It is fun fo watch the neighborhood dogs pass by and ask her what color each one is… She always knows.

Mixing up colors until they all turn brown? Well, thank goodness crochet is not paint. Sometimes however, the projects look better on a filter than they do in real time.

Finished and folded

This log cabin design received a mosaic rectangle border that is a new stitch process for me. Mosaic is actually quite easy on the stitch learning. Nothing like trying treble or cluster stitches found in doilies. It’s the reading the patterns part that is getting me stumped. No log in my eye, really. Thank goodness that YouTube has so many ready teachers. The free things to learn can be endless. I am pretty specific about my youtube rabbit holes.

Finding the right edging was actually part of my learning some of the mosaic techniques of various teachers. This rectangular or square is a piece of the larger labyrinth of mosaic maizes. Some of them make me dizzy. This edging is also done on the double line mosaic, forward and reverse. The original Apache tear pattern is a right to left orfront facing only crochet. Studies of what to do with all of those loose ends kept me watching vids for a day or two. The best way to cover them is to simply hide under the twin double crochet border. It seems to be my favorite cover up.

My summer campfire blanket is now complete and will probably get a lot of use. The air conditioner always tend to cool the house down a few degrees colder than is comfortable for sitting. While the greenhouse keeps me busy and the garden calls my name (actually it is the weeds that holler), I might still be sitting under the comfy stitches of crochet.

And staying warm…

Doing another project… like this one perhaps… It is called the Hope square. And yes, I found it on the YouTube. One of the crochet sites that I follow about mosaic crochet had the new pattern. And the little hot pad or condensation catcher only took me a day! Yay, crochet!

Log cabin blankets vs summer campfire cozies

Out of Orbit

Our changing world

Office sounds in my house, white noise cafe chatter, constant keyboard clicking, and a new normal… what a changing world we live in now. This past week has been one for the history books. My son-in-law read a social posting from one of his friends that stated, “Does anyone else think that a fourth grader got ahold of our world leaders and is writing the news head lines right now?’ While it does certainly feel very surreal, our connections to the whole world through the social media outlets helps us to understand that we are not alone in this thing.

A friend of mine teaches on-line English lessons and was given the low down on Covid-19 from an eight year old. Along with the pantomimes and the demonstrations. It sounded something akin to the game Telestrations. Of course I remember our older version of Pictionary that use to bring us to the floor in laughter. These connections to international students and relatives around the globe help us to comprehend the needs of our time. They are also the reason the whole mess has happened.

Genesis chapter 11 is the story of the Tower of Babel and the Creator God who confuses the languages. In the story, the people decide to make a name for themselves and build a tower to the Heavens. God sees that His creation has forgotten Him in less than five generations from the events of the world wide flood. So He puts an end to the togetherness by confusing their communication. Imagine the chaos as workers in one part of the project do the exact opposite as another group. Imagine the driving discord as bosses and employees no longer understand the acronyms and decisions of the corporate leaders.

This whole week, I have been listening to the four or five chapter in Genesis and the beginning of Exodus at night. The Scriptures are always applicable to our day. We just have to open our ears and our eyes to the message behind every story. Why have I been so drawn to these two stories about the masses. The first is the story of God’s decision to spread people throughout the earth. The second story is His gathering of His chosen people from Egypt to the promised land. The next story that I am focusing on is the book of Acts. In this book the spread of the gospel is taken from the apostles to the Gentile world of that day. Acts tells the acts of the Holy Spirit, the apostles were only the tools of God’s flaming tongue. Each of these Bible passages have this in common: God is writing and making His story.

Today, we are a world on the fast track of travel to wherever, whenever we want. God has brought out planet of people to a screeching halt with a little tiny bug. This is not the story of “Because a little bug went Kachoo!” Or is it? Because a little virus makes people sneeze an cough-Oh, my!

How quickly a virus spreads has nothing to do with how the gospel is shared…well, maybe. My thoughts also turn in amazement and awe to the gospel of the Billy Graham era. Back when mass amounts of people gathered in woodstock fashion to hear someone from a stage tell them the need for a savior. Today the masses have been sent home to hunker down and what? They all spend time on the internet still trying to connect with others. People need people.

Gratitude ripples through the air as I hear people calling others on the phone. Sending text messages of comforting words. Sharing in the use of technology to gather via streaming church, conference prayer meetings, and on line portals. Thank God I live today instead of during the plagues of 1918 or earlier pandemics.

In my life, I have gone from home school teacher and kids club leader to the moment when my driver’s license could no longer be renewed. My eyesight gradually changes who I am on a slow eroding process. My feelings of loss and impending identity crisis plague me. However, I have never wished that everyone else could feel as I do. The sense of grief and the constant shift in my world often brings me to tears. I would never wish this lonely, exile, isolation upon anyone. Yet here we are. How can I be there for others?

Many people I know have immunity disadvantages. They have just fought cancer or some other illness and will not be able to fight this virus. Staying home away from other people who might share the bug inadvertently is their best option. Wow! Now there are people all over the globe in isolation. Now there are people everywhere trying to come up with things to keep themselves busy. Preoccupation is the best weapon we have against boredom. How long will the work last? Hopefully families can reconnect and learn the art of communication and proper scheduling disciplines. Those that are home schooling now? Well, there are even more resources than ever on line. Parents will be doing a little more homework, I suspect.

Today, if you feel like the planet Pluto once again taken off the planetary list, look for a new hope. Hope in Jesus. He often challenged his disciples to get away from the demanding crowds and pray. Now, once again the prayer warrior in me has taken up the battle cry for God’s story to be told. While the world waits for a hero (a vaccine against the virus) we who know Christ Jesus as our Lord can proclaim His name.

I already have my hero. I know whom I have believed in! Below you will find a beautiful rendition of one of my favorite old hymns. This hymn written by Daniel Webster Whittle from the late 1880’s. His story includes time in the Civil War army. His New Testament scriptures that he carried with him during wartime was given to him by his mother. Check out his story in The Story Behind the Song. Then go find the New Testament that someone gave you, or look up the Bible readers on line. Wow! We have so many tools available. Praise God!

I know whom I have believed!

Oh, yeah!

Leap year reactions

Learning to delight in the little things and find positive rewards in life’s moments

The other day we had a random lunch date with our daughters, and grand-daughter. The little one spent much of the meal hugging on the elders rather than eating. Her sweet touches and loves were enough to burst our hearts. But she was the one that let a moment of pleasure ring out across the restaurant. Her little voice emptied the silence when she declared “Oh, yeah!” -at her delight in the french fries. If only we could all declare such delight in spontaneous form.

My days in solitude are numerous. Having a dog in my presence fills the void sometimes with unexpected canine reactions. Honey is not as reactive as some others I have witnessed. So I spent the last month or so watching all the dog training shows on my Prime account that I can find. The rescue shows can be pretty disheartening, so I learned to avoid those. Besides there are children with higher value that need more attention than all those dogs out there. The multiple dog homes about drive me up a tree. I feel like a raccoon just trying to rest and the coon hound is circling. One dog seems to be an abnormality. Wow! Some times there is just too much “muchness!”

Makes me glad I only have one dog. Besides my eyesight has about all it can handle with just one. Playing canine games with Honey takes about 20 minutes out of my day. We do the walk and outside, and frisbee, and all the Happy squeaky ball fetch. But Find toy is her most rewarding. She is exhausted after about ten retrieves, and then I can sit down without interruption.

Of course naming each toy that we play with for Find is very important. I don’t think she’ll ever be as good at naming all of her toys as Furbie was, but she only has one trainer. Dad does not play this game. He’s more of an armchair dog handler. No apologies. It’s the truth.

We are looking for a harness that would fit her. She has a medium girth, but her shoulder/breast length is so small. I hope that when I do get her into one again this spring, she will make the connection to “work.” Right now when I try to do the guide commands with just a leash, she is just to hyperactive. I have even tried frisbee first and then the guide time training. She just wants to follow when on the leash too much. The handkerchief over my eyes when a nice day arrives should help.

Maybe I just don’t trust her much. She probably senses that.

This week we had an ambulance instance in the family. While all is well for now, it has put the family all on communicative overdrive. Just trying to keep everyone informed and at peace with all the goings on… We are praying more specifically as the call merits.

The warmer spring weather is on it’s way, along with the mud. A little flurries overnight left the pebbles sticking to the bottom of shoes again. More cleaning, and more dipping paws into the clean pail.

Yesterday it was almost warm enough for my grand-daughter to video chat with the horse! See how I rate. She starts asking about Coco before I even get a chance to say hello some days! The horse does love to ham it up on the phone, in videos or pictures. But the poor boy forgot about the electric fence between us and got angry enough at me that he would not turn around again. We had to turn the fence on because there is a young doe sleeping in our grove. I see her about every other day. This morning we actually did some scent chasing and I let Honey follow her trail about a quarter mile to the south. She is pretty brave. But has not knocked the fence down since we turned it back on.

From all the animals around to the house cleaning, my life stays boringly consistent. I finished another crochet project, but I really do not like it. It might be a stay home thing or another redo.

My thoughts and prayers have gravitated more towards children in need lately as I watch all of the dog-hype shows. It saddens me that people spend so much money on canine toddlers and less on children. The humane society advertisements to sponsor pet saving is just so over-rated. We have kids within my fifty mile radius living in such poverty. The passage that seems to fit the best comes from Matthew chapter fifteen and verse 26:

“And Jesus answered, ‘It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.'”

This leap year we are jumping forward over a new challenge. For twenty some years we have sponsored a child through the ministry of Compassion International. We chose them because over 95% of the money goes to the child’s needs. And the majority of the program is teaching the child about Jesus. Our sponsored child from Dominican Republic has moved out of the system. Sponsoring her cost less than our pet food each month. I think we will sponsor two children next.

In your stocking feet

Wool, cotton, nylon or spandex?

Now is not the time to dilly, dally around. The weather outside is frightful indeed. Get some warm boots on or grab your furs, those warm socks will be full of snow and ice in no time, child. You get your shoes on by the time I count to ten and close that door. You’ll catch the death of ye, chillin’, what are you doing out in your stocking feet?1

Rant and rave all you want mother-mine, but sometimes a child has to get cold before they appreciate warm.

Where is your favorite place to be this time of year in your stocking feet? And how well do you like the static shock of wool socks? Do those spandex compression socks even work to keep your toes warm? Who wears nylon stockings to the knees anymore, anyhow?

While some prefer inside fur boots strapped into snow shoes or skies, I prefer the carpet. However, with the new trend towards hardwood flooring, I am more often then not sitting in a chair that leaves my stocking feet wanting for slippers. These floors aren’t that warm you know.

I haven’t tried walking a mile in another person’s stockings before, but even if the shoe does not fit, trying to understand where another person’s trials is still relevant. There are so many kinds of stockings these days. One’s for heart problems, diabetes, pregnancy, drug addictions, cancers, and the many different occupations that there are in this world. My mind is so analytical, I am always trying to see the other person’s point of view. But guessing where someone’s heart lies is the business of God.

In my stocking feet is how I spend the majority of my days. In the comfort of my own home next to my doggie. There are times I strap on my boots for a jaunt outside, but the inclement weather drives me indoors. So life here in the frozen land doesn’t seem like much of a wonderland to me. Except for me wondering every morning just how cold it is outside and how many layers I need to put on to survive without frostbite.

This week I’ll be sending greetings to our many friends and relatives through the mail. We started receiving the Holiday Cheer just after Thanksgiving. It is so enjoyable to gather these people near to us once more. One night at a recent supper outing, I wore a plush jacket that felt like a teddy bear. So I offered all the ladies I greeted a “teddy bear hug.” It was effective. I reached my quota of seven hugs per day that evening. I made the decision that I should become a new kind of super hero: Super Soft!

The cabin socks have found their way into our bedding. Even though we have flannel sheets at a wool blanket, and an afghan across the foot of the bed, that initial shock when climbing into bed is not so bad with socks on. So we sleep in our stocking feet also! My mother thinks we should give up the sufferance with an electric blanket. But I can sense the electricity coursing through my body and I just can’t handle that feeling. Being falsely warmed has always bothered me. I can’t handle sauna heat, or hot tub temperatures either. An electric blanket in the arm chair is so addicting that I would never get up and do anything. Give me a hot cup of Joe, or tea, or milk. That works better.

In your stocking feet you might find that you would rather be able to put your shoes on. In your stocking feet you might find a whole new appreciation for summer sandals. In your stocking feet you might be getting waited on while you would rather be serving others. In your stocking feet you might be relaxing with a good book by the fireside. Wherever your stocking feet find you, may you know the warmth of another’s thoughts towards you this Christmas season.

Take up some tea, Thank God for the post man bringing you those greetings one by one.

What next?

The crochet hook moves on…

Perhaps switching to a different thread number for crochet was not such a good idea. Especially since now the newest doily that I finished did not fit on the blocking wheel that I have. The thought never occurred to me that the doily once complete would be too large for the board. Now what?

Maybe I need a bigger blocking board.

Maybe I should quit doing doilies for a time.

Perhaps, it’s better off not mentioned that I made so many mistakes in the pattern. I am not exactly pleased with my failure on this project. Not sure why counting has becoem such a difficult thing. Distraction seems to lurk around every bend.

So this past week I comforted myself under the lightweight log cabin afghan. It’s super easy design and double crochet stitch let me watch another movie or two. I also began a very riveting English murder mystery in my Talking Book Listening. I am fascinated that all the best murder mysteries happen in London or such. It must be the language difficulty, I mean the difficulty of listening to that broken tongue that keeps us so befuddled. The Lap-Ghan turned out very warm and cozy. And now it’s time to get some other loose yarn projects cleaned up around here. The next log cabin lap-ghan will be of a much better color scheme.

These two little hats, well, actually they are too large for my head, did not take more than a few hours. Making a warm stoking hat at the onset of winter wonderland weather is always fun. They turned out quite charming. The lefties of yarn can really make an adorable project if I can plan it properly. The prime colors hat has a new rib stitch that I learned one day while crocheting away on the lap-ghan.

The move that I watched this week of some report was found on Amazon primes kid friendly and family genre. “33 Postcards” turned out to be quite the tear jerker. Needless to say I watched it the one day the moisture was up to 89% and the drizzle made my nose drop incessantly inspite of the sad/happy film. The idea that just having sponsored a child in an orphanage could change the heart of a prison inmate was quite distracting to my stitch counting.

Perhaps there are more yarn projects buried away in the cabinets and baskets than I imagined. The ideas keep coming. The season marches on towards the holiday run. With family gatherings, food preparations, and decorating, who knows what crochet hooks will be kept occupied at this house. The days the phone rings and I am called away from the monotony of endless hook movements is perfectly alright by me. Somedays I make the calls myself and put them on speaker phone so that my fingers can stay busy. Other days I force myself out of the easy chair and clean up the house after the dog just to get some exercise.

Can’t wait for the warmer sunny day to use one of those hats and take a walk!

Finding the giggle bug

And the lost kitten and the spectacles

This week we have been busy finding things. Not that all were lost, some were, some were not and some just played hide-and-seek for awhile until someone clever found them out. Here is the whole story.

We recently picked five kittens from a neighbor that lived five miles to the west of us. It was just enough distance with a creek bed between that the blood line is quite different than ours. Pleasantly colorful, the kittens are a wonderful contrast to the boring black that had plagued us for the past five to eight years. Having a different color scheme we though might help me enjoy their presence a bit more.

So a few days later when one, and then two of the kittens disappeared, I was pretty sad. How could a raccoon or fox be that quick to discover my new found little treasures? This country life was getting me down. The following morning, my husband did a little investigating and found one of the the errant kittens in the deck box where all the food was kept. (The first lost one is no where to be found.). Was I ever happy to see my four little kittens all paired up at their food dishes. Yay! We will put them in a crate at night until they refuse to fit in there.

One Kitten found.

Once a week I get up before the sun does and join my husband on his route to the big city. He drops me off to play with my granddaughter all day, and them continues on his drudgery to work all day. This week she had a routine doctor well check-up and had to have a shot for her vaccination schedule. Needless to say her giggle-bug got lost in the event and she shed a few tears. And frustrating as it is sometimes, she also had a slight reaction to the shot that required a Benadryl and Tylenol dosage. So while her mama was trying to contact the doctor and fix some lunch, we went out to the swing for a moment of distraction.

While at the swing, my silly noodles got ahold of me. The leaves are beginning to drop ever so little bit and I found some rather large leaves at out feet on the lawn. So I began talking about UP and DOWN and telling the leaves to “get back up on the tree where they belong.” My little grand-daughter thought that was the funniest thing ever. She laughed so hard that she coughed up some of the phlegm that she has had from a little runny nose cold with her teething. It was the kind of laugh that can never be repeated, nor captured accurately. A day later, she was still picking up leaves and throwing them up to watch them fall down.

One giggle-bug found.

Over the weekend my husband also finally got after the tall lawn with the lawn mower. It had been al least two weeks or more. And with the weather that we have had, mowing grass seems to be the biggest past time this area has found to do consistently. After the mowing and a late afternoon motorcycle ride to the local state park, he discovered his glasses to be missing.

We overturned all the pillows, the blankets, the sofa cushions and were still not successful in finding the lost. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday passed with no sign of the runaways. What could have become of the spectacles. I felt bad for not helping him look for them, and bearded myself for not being more thoughtful. Sometimes not looking is the best way to find such things.

So this morning after the dog danced and pranced to take a walk with me, I obliged her. The weather has taken a drier turn, and the early morning moisture was more bearable for my lungs. Off we trotted to take a mile to “smell the roses” that she finds so appealing. When we arrived back home, the driveway greeted me with a glimmer of reflecting sun. The sun’s reflection is not supposed to be there, I thought. I should be brave and see what shiny thing that is. In a few more steps, my courage was rewarded with a pair of scuffed up eye glasses. Bother, I’m not sure they will be so pleasant to wear, I thought, these things have been run over a couple times. But they straightened up some when I picked them up.

One pair of eyeglasses found.

Yay! What a successful or eventful week we have had just doing ordinary things. Perhaps the week is going to shape up into being a pretty good memory. The giggle bug was probably the best find though.

I thought of the widow her found her little coin and asked all of her neighbors to celebrate with her. The parable comes form a period of time that we do not really grasp well in out understand of the culture. The last coin from her ornate veil and dowry from her wedding week, does not seem like a treasure that needed sharing with all of her friends. But if we consider that it was the last piece of pleasant memory from years earlier, and a something that would keep her from being a beggar, maybe the knowledge will help us comprehend her joy at the found object. None of the things that we found this week had that much significance to our lives. But I thought that perhaps my neighbors would still enjoy rejoicing with me over our found things.

Thanks for letting me share with you. I hope you will find something new along with your find of something lost in the next week or so. And remember to grasp the joy that comes with that find for a long enough time to add it to your gratitude list!

Sometimes writing

Looks like this

There are days the catchy title of a blog comes easily to my thoughts. Other days I think my mind acts like the pieces of this little writing table before we put it back together. Sanding down the surfaces of thoughts is not easy. Blurt might be a good game when speaking what’s on the tip of the tongue, but filtering our words before we say them should be a common practice. So this blog has been filtered through sand, and rocks. Hopefully what lies beneath the surface will be as beautiful as this little writing table when it is done.

Father’s day is one of those days that holds many mixed emotions for me. I love that my husband and his family want to treat their dad special on the day. And I see my kids wanting to do the same for him. But I argue with myself all day about the best time to call my dad. While he is still living, I hear a few voices say. So I call.

As a little girl, the one thing that stands out is the story of our trips through town and the little voice my dad heard in his ear. It is a story that he often embellishes. Standing on the seat of the pickup with my feet planted in the cushion, and one arm around his neck, I would whisper these words, “Daddy, I think the Dairy Queen is open.” I have no memory of those days before my younger brother came along. (And before you get all fussed up about no carseats, remember there was no such thing back then.)

While visiting with the family over lunch on Sunday, it pleased me to hear that my nephew’s little girl loves her ice cream. And that her daddy takes her on ice cream dates every Sunday afternoon while brother takes a nap and mommy reads her book. What a special memory. Even if she is unable to recall these dates, others will tell her about them. And somehow these shared moments will solidify a good daddy-daughter bond that is better than gorilla glue.

The writing table found in our basement or in the old corn crib at our house in Iowa. I used it for 20 years. Gradually the weight of the sewing machine and the vibration wore the joints loose. So my dear husband took it all too pieces, and put it back together again. He used gorilla glue on the joints that needed it and we put a new slide on the slide out writing board. It accepted the first coat of poly-stain on father’s day.

Accepting the many colors of our dad’s personalities can be a challenge. Sometimes I struggle with how to handle some of the things that he cares to talk about. Maybe it’s because I’m a girl. Maybe, it’s because there is a void when it comes to talk about our family life growing up. Realizing that for years, that his only identity was work helps some.

While listening to his talk about he grandkids last evening, it was difficult to pay attention to his words. The radio/television was on rather loudly in the background. So I went along with the conversations with a few “uh-huh’s” while I tried to figure out who was talking. I nearly laughed out loud when I realized it was the gospel television network on cable. I forgot how much he likes the Gathers Gospel music.

He must have asked me a question, because I gave up trying to listen to the “Jesus Preacher” and came back to listening to my dad. Then it occurred to me that I knew exactly why and when he had stopped going to church. And in reality, I had wanted to quit too. That might be a whole different blog, but it boils down to hypocrisy and male leadership that was very ungodly. Not surprised he quit. Just sad that his identity and reason for going to church was not in Jesus back then.

Putting faith in people will always disappoint us. But that does not mean that we should not believe in people. I am glad that through the difficult years, I did not give up on the dad that use to take me to dairy queen. It took a lot of work, but eventually we got back to that. Every conversation that we share, I can glean some tidbit of wisdom. Whether it is for me for for someone else, I try to pick it up and mull over it for a time.

This week it was this… “Every day a man goes fishing, he adds one day to his life.” This statistic is real. I looked it up. What they found, is that people who learn to relax and be patient while fishing, find carry through into their lives. That patience and ability to let go of worries is key to better behavior. No, my husband does not want to take up fishing even though so many in the family love it. We do enjoy our motorcycle rides to no where. Just putt-sing along and watching the scenery roll by. It’s relaxing. Fishing of a different sort.

We put the table together and then I was able to get one coat of poly/stain on before the day was done. The next coat will be applied after a light sanding of steel wool. Relationships aften get rough steel wool in the communication gaps. Rinsing the surface with a quick wash of vinegar water can help. I tell myself that just before I call my dad these days. Rinse our the unfiltered thinking with a bit of dish soap. Let my past grievances go. If there is anything not worth our time, It’s dredging up the pond’s settled muck and throwing out bad bait. Don’t go fishing for old tires, I tell myself. Get out the gorilla glue and go back to restoring furniture, if the bugs at thewater are too annoying.

Psalm 23: 3-

“He restores my soul;

He leads me in the paths of righteousness.

For His name’s sake.”

Empty vessels

Before part II

Getting ready to get ready is not my forte. Cleaning out a work space to make it my own sometimes requires help. Or maybe, when it comes to cleaning anything that might break, I need lots of help. So we emptied the room and then it has been my Monday morning chore to put back only those things which are necessary.

While cleaning out the library of it’s stores of stuff, we found a whole stash of vases. Each one of these vessels actually held some treasure. Some were candles, some little what-nots, some flower petals, some dried rose buds, and ribbons. What treasures! Except for the inconvenience of actually remembering where all of those things came from. After time goes by, we amazed ourselves at the lack of actual treasure the items had become.

Empty vessels are meant to be filled, right?

Empty. That’s how my days have felt for so long now, that having a purpose of sorts makes me wonder many things. For instance, why do we keep these things past their time of remembrance? Why do we keep flowers past life? The empty pursuit of holding on to the things of the memory appals me when I have to throw away the dusty sneezy dead stuff inside. I have decided not to keep dead flowers around anymore. Or even plastic ones that collect dust. Too much to clean.

Vessels and books filled the shelves. It was amazing how many boxes, containers, plastic totes, and jars that I found. Most of them we threw away. I even found some small jars. My mother-in-me told me not to throw them away. Myself-in-me finally won. Keeping things “just because” had overwhelmed the library shelves. I could not even clean the room because of them. Let alone find the book that I had been looking for these last few months. (Found it.)

Imagining that book covers were once empty vessels until someone organized all those words was fun. I tried to imagine which vessel in the room would best exemplify the book “Little Women.” There was a little music box filled with hair clips, favorite rocks, and other goodies. All the years my children were home seemed summed up in that little box and the book. Though we are in a different era, my girls are so much of who I am. The book titles all tell a story of who we are and who we have become.

There is a saying that comes to mind frequently: Who we are depends partly on the people we spend time with, the books we read, and the beliefs that we hold. I am who I am because of my children and all these books in this library.

I do not know what the book After will look like. I do not know if it will one day be on someone’s bookshelf, telling the story of who they are. It is yet an empty vessel waiting for the words to be organized.