Posted in Moving Moments, Personal Observations

Abundant Sunshine

Abundant Sunshine

That was the forecast when I woke up this morning. When I stumbled into the bathroom, I looked outside at the very thick fog soup. Dreary weather was not needed today. Or any day for that matter. In the kitchen a few minutes later, I made coffee and fixed Mom’s the way she likes it, 60% coffee 40% cream. “It looks awful outside. All that fog and cold,” she said. I told her the forecast was for abundant sunshine. Looking at me skeptically she commented, “Well, it better get a move on!”

In nine days, it will be Easter. If there ever was a day of abundant sunshine it was that day when Jesus rose from the grave, having defeated sin and death. Before that happened, the world was locked in an endless, dank fog, unable to find their way out of it. Unbeknownst to them, the resurrection was coming that would change the course of history and make a permanent sun-bright pathway to eternal life, should they choose that road.

As I sit at the desk writing this, the fog of the morning has burnt off revealing the most warm and wonderful sunshine, just as was forecast. If you are experiencing gloom today, my friend, let me reassure you that it will not last forever. Your feelings may say otherwise but they are mistaken. Deliverance is coming, as sure as the sun will rise and destroy the darkness. Hold on.

Posted in Personal Observations, Uncategorized

The Gratefulness of a Dog

We have a lovely rescue dog named Sandy who we adopted last Mother’s Day. She is an immigrant from Tijuana, Mexico. We don’t know a lot about her except:

  • She is terrified of loud noises. The second day we had her a broom fell over making a loud pop. Sandy immediately ran outside and hid under a bush. Bushes turned out to be her safe place. It took us a month or so to figure this out. There was much house searching before that.
  • She pretty much hates sweets and carbs. Exceptions will be made for pork rinds. My mom loves to sneak Sandy food. If it is any form of bread, we will find it hidden under a couch or behind the piano. I think Sandy doesn’t want to hurt my mom’s feelings and hides these things rather than directly refuse them. The exception being if Mom gives her sweets, the dog will take it and give it to my dad as if to say, “Hey, I’m trying to watch my figure, but Mom keeps giving me sweets!”

Sandy is the most honest dog we have ever owned. She doesn’t sneak around, if she finds socks on the floor she will give them to Dad. Every other dog we’ve had destroyed socks, ate the sweets and bread, and behaved, well, like a dog. Being half corgi and half golden retriever, she loves nothing more than herding us. Everyone gets a personal Sandy escort from room to room. Once you are at your destination, she will go back to whatever she was doing.

We all think that Sandy’s life was so hard before we got her that she just wants to be loved and is unwilling to do anything to jeopardize the wonderful home she is in now. There are days where her gratefulness puts me to shame. I’m not nearly as aware of the blessings I have around me: family, friends, God. I am working on being more aware of the good things that are in my life and not take them for granted. I owe it all to Sandy.

Posted in Personal Observations

Hello to the New Normal (Temporarily)

I think we can all acknowledge that the last 30 days have been like a very badly written B movie. A virus? So what? There is always something running around making people sick. We were a little slow to grasp the meanness and fast-moving ways of Covid-19.

As of 6pm last night, all Californians have been ordered to shelter in place for 30 days. My friend Patty, who lives in Missouri, texted me at 9pm and asked how I was taking this news. I was in shock. I had just adjusted to the 14-day lock down, but 30 was nuts.

Here is a snapshot of my days since my retirement several years ago due to fibromyalgia. I don’t really go anywhere except medical, nail, and massage appointments. I am in some level of bad pain all.the.time. I make the occasional trip to the store or out to eat. Mostly I am home. Which I have adjusted to.

My current problem: I now feel pressured to be productive as I sit at home. There are all sorts of articles with lists and lists of things one can do to remain active and happy. Declutter your garage! Teach your 7 year old how to balance a checkbook. Get that garden ready for spring. Read. Watch everything on your movie list. All this activity will carry you about two weeks max and then what do you do?

When you are living with a constant sense of the unknown it is natural to unravel a bit. Cabin fever sets in, crankiness and selfishness become housemates. You must fight to be calm and at peace. If you lived through 9/11 you know these feelings well. Everything changed, just like it is with Covid-19. The world will never be the same. It just won’t.

As a Christian, the Bible has taught me that it is a good thing to have my faith stretched and tested. It also promises that if I place my trust in my all loving Father God, I will be fine. There is one thing I learned about being fine. My version and God’s version can be different.

Thirteen years ago, my son Evan had gone through several hip surgeries in one year. He ended up with a life-threatening staph infection and had to be life flighted from our little, rural town to a big city over 3 car hours away. The doctor warned us he might not live long enough to get help. All we could do was get in the car, with friends following us, pray and drive like heck.

Halfway there, my husband told me that he felt that Ev would make it, that he would be fine. My reply? “God’s fine and our fine are sometimes two different things.” This was a true statement. My son, who has Down Syndrome, might die and go to heaven, finally to be without the painful limitations he lives with on earth. Or, as it happened, make a full recovery that was SO fast the medical people were shocked.

No matter what happens in the following days, let’s not frantically zoom through the days. There are lessons to be learned, and love to be shown to each other. Even in the face of disaster, miracles can be found.

Posted in Personal Observations

7 Things I Don’t Miss and 6 I Do

We just got back from our week-long vacation. Did we go to an exotic location? Why yes we did! The wilds of Northeast Missouri. It was wonderful to catch up with our many friends and be part of an amazing wedding. Here are some of my parting thoughts as we flew back to the Central Valley.

 

I don’t miss:

1. Driving painfully slow behind some kind of large farm equipment.

2. Watching local news story about reporter driving large farm equipment for the first time. (It was on last night’s news)

3. Winter although this winter has pretty much been a piece of cake.

4. Ice skating on sidewalks.

5. Only having 3 grocery stores to choose from. There were 5 when we moved here 20 years ago.

6. Lack of dining options, especially when it comes to ethnic foods.

7. Dodging deer on the road.

Things I Do Miss

1. The lack of traffic at rush hour or any hour really. Except during fair week.

2. Experiencing the true four seasons in a year. As much as I hated the cold and the humidity, the change of seasons was always been amazing.

3. Catching up with friends at Wal-Mart. There’s been lots of great impromptu conversations in those aisles.

4. The bunny family that lived under our deck for a dozen years or so. It was always so much fun to see the new batch of babies as they learned how to fend in their bunny world.

5. Having the UPS guy ask if I wanted the package he has for me dropped off at home or work.

6. Discounted medical care from my many doctor friends who made being uninsured much more manageable.

 

 

Posted in Personal Observations, Politics, The Move

Running Around In Circles In My Mind

REO Speedwagon certainly understood how I feel right now. So many things to do, to think about, to ponder, to decide. Right now there are to-do lists in several different categories which makes it a bit hard when trying to pick which one to tackle first. Today we are going to excavate Evan’s room which should be interesting. He is so much like his dad when it comes to keeping or tossing things. Me, I’m a pitch it kind of girl. I am sure there is some kind of happy medium but not in this family. Maybe we should have someone come over just to say “Are you sure you want to keep/toss that?”

We have 5 weeks to get the house ready to put on the market. Harold observed yesterday that in January it seemed like we had plenty of time yet now at the END OF MARCH (how did that happen?) it’s turning into a sprint! There are three bedrooms and 2 bathrooms to paint. Fortunately we will have help from our small group and my 11th/12th graders who offered, before I ever asked, to paint.

I feel like when we put that For Sale sign out front it will be a point of no return, a “this is it moment” in time. In a few weeks we will fly to Fresno to look for jobs, a place to live, and to get Evan signed up for insurance and a job. I have never been someone who can wait patiently, it’s just not in my DNA. When we return home it is quite certain that I will want to move immediately.

Several years ago a preacher named Kevin Leal spoke to our church about how transition feels like water being poured from one glass to another and you’re in the middle, free-falling. He was so right! I feel pushed in all directions, surrounded by things that must be done. I am grateful to God that I don’t feel horribly stressed just every day stressed.

Friday night I went to a Republican fundraiser, something I’ve never done before. My political history is Democrat>Republican> Independent. (I’d be nothing if they’d let me.) My best friend Patty invited me, so I went to hang out with her and a couple of other friends. So I got to find out who is running for what and why. I also got to see a real auction which was a blast and made me want to have one just because of the excitement.There are not many social invitations that I’m turning down. Soon it will be time for good-bye’s.

I will admit to being in a lot of Fibro pain so prayers are appreciated for that. In fact, I am home from church today which I do not like. So I dream and hope for a time when my pain will lessen or vanish for good.

Here’s the song that gave me today’s title. It’s also a song that Harold & I consider one of our songs.