Monday, May 23, 2016

Mountains and Hills

               I get wrapped up in my life. In my own little world. So much so that my own little problems become ginormous. You know, ‘mountains out of mole hills’. Typically my life is simple, which I love but in this simplicity comes boredom and out of boredom comes made up drama. Take my work for instance; I help stock merchandise at a home improvement store. I work with multiple personalities – and sometimes that’s just one person (lol). There are different work ethics. There are different opinions on how to do the work, some are not the correct way and some are one person’s view of correctness. And remember, this is stocking merchandise – not trying to bring about world peace or even finding a suitable candidate for president. It’s putting items on a shelf (well, a little more than that but all in all, simple), and yet it can consume me. I can lose my temper about this work. I can feel overwhelmed by this work. I can mutter about it to myself on the drive home. I can complain about it to my loved ones at night. Mountains out of mole hills. I lose perspective because I’m wrapped up in me.
               I have the opportunity through my church to take meals to folks who may need them. It doesn’t happen all that often and when it does, it’s usually for a happy occasion like a new baby. My husband and I carry hot dishes up to the door and are greeted by strangers with smiles. It’s all, “Come in! See the baby. See the flowers. Meet the new grandparents. That’s our dog.” Happy. Happy. Happy. And it’s a blessing.
               More recently we’ve delivered meals for different circumstances.
               One family lost their husband/daddy tragically. We took hot dishes to the door and knocked. And waited. The door was slightly opened by a tearful person who quietly thanked us for the food and our condolences. As the light from the opened door filtered in I caught a glimpse of the darkened, closed up room - a figure hunched over on the couch. Deep, draining sadness. I choked back tears when we were back in our truck. The ride home was quiet for my husband and me; both of us wrapped up in thoughts of how much we had, and how big their loss was.
               The most recent meal delivered took me to a home of hope. Not a new baby. A new kidney. A new reality. A toe being dipped into a new life. “I’ve felt bad for so long, I forgot what feeling good was like.”
               That drive back to my home was spent thanking God for allowing me to take meals to others. I thanked Him for reminding me that my mole hills are just mole hills – so small and insignificant. There is so much more going on out there. Many things I’ll never be made aware of, but there are stories of real loss and real gain. When I’m given a glimpse into the lives of others, my life is broadened and enriched, even when it’s seeing the darkness of tragedy.
I know who to pray for, how to pray and most importantly, the One to pray to. I’m reminded that light filters into the darkness and the darkness cannot extinguish it.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Following Through Even Though I May Not Feel Like It

It’s Monday morning, early. My day off. I don’t like to waste any of it. So, I am up and ‘doing’ at 6. Honestly, ‘doing’ doesn’t mean going full-force. It means enjoying the quiet of the house and starting my day with God and His Word. I enjoy my coffee with cinnamon-vanilla creamer and pray over my enormous to-do list.
               Rain is falling. That eliminates almost half of the list, and while for now it is a reprieve, what it truly means is more effort later.
               Inside it is. I make myself write. Why do I have to force myself? I enjoy writing! Why is it when I enjoy something, I intentionally crowd it out of my life? No, there’s no time for that today. Too many chores. Too many dust bunnies. And a week goes by with no words written. Putting pen to paper is daunting and thrilling. I like the flow of words. I agonize over the ebb of thoughts. I smile when I hit Publish.
               Looking around the room from my spot at the dining table, I see wilted roses from Mother’s Day - a gift I gave myself. I inhale the perfume of potted hyacinths - an anniversary gift from my husband. I see the clock. It’s now 9. Angst swells inside. My teeth and hair are yet unbrushed and many chores are still to be done. I try to relax; to focus on what has been already accomplished. But my pen writes faster.

               My dog stares at me from his spot on the rug beside me. It’s time to go out again. His tail thumps the floor when our eyes meet. He is understanding and patient, my dog.

               I will take a break once I’ve written everything I can. Do a few things and then come back to it. I still need to type this in the computer. Edit, re-read and edit again. Hopefully I’ll find a photo to break up all the words. It will be at least another hour of my day devoted to putting this on my blog. All this so three people can read it? No. So I can be obedient to God.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Photo Finish Friday!

A nice way to end the week.

And since I can't seem to blog more than once a week, 
I feel that I owe you more than one photo. 
I had some fun with the different settings on my camera.

I know these are Grosbeaks, and I think they're female Rose-breasted.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Photo Finish Friday!

A nice way to end the week.

Wait, there's more.

All silvery white.

Now we're in Spring. Finally.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

For the Love of Coffee Breaks - Driving Along

“For the Love of Coffee Breaks” is a regular Wednesday feature on this blog. Dedicated to yesterdays – mine and maybe yours – when time moved a little slower, entertainment was found in our imagination, and socializing was done face to face. So please grab your favorite beverage - mine is coffee - slow down and enjoy this moment.

My youngest is taking drivers’ training. I feel more comfortable with him behind the wheel than I did with my two older daughters. I don’t know if it’s because he’s a boy and his dad had him drive the truck around the yard often to help with different chores; or, maybe it’s because he’s our third child through this and we’re used to it. I’m not sure, but there is a difference.
I was thinking back to my drivers’ training. I remember being nervous. I didn’t have a lot of practice behind the wheel. I drove tractor a little bit. I drove the riding lawn mower a lot. But Dad only took me out once before drivers’ training in an actual motor vehicle. It was an old International Scout. Robin’s egg blue. I remember everything about it seemed hard – meaning both ‘difficult’ and ‘not soft’. The seating was hard; the floor was hard, the steering wheel, hard. You get the drift. The exterior was creaky old metal but sturdy. It was, of course, a stick shift, and that too was hard.
For a girl’s first time behind the wheel, trying to figure out the correct angle to put the gear shift, and work the clutch, and gas, and steer was just too much. Why do fathers do that? Isn’t there enough stress just being in the vehicle with your dad, having to carefully steer and master the brake and gas pedals?  Then for fun, we’ll throw in an extra pedal PLUS a gear shift that proves to be a more time consuming distraction than trying to find your favorite station on the radio. What are parents thinking? Apparently, because my Dad had been driving for almost 25 years at the time, he figured his first born would pick it up easy enough.
I didn’t.
I remember going once around the field and then home. We went in the house and he threw the keys on the counter and proclaimed he was never taking me out again. “She scared me half to death!”
And two days later I was in drivers’ training.
Enter my Grandma, Dad’s mom. She had the patience of a saint (which apparently Dad didn’t inherit).
I spent the afternoons after drivers’ training at her house. And she made me drive. I say “made” because it took an order from her to get me in the car. It was an automatic, thank goodness, but it was her car. A nice, huge boat, I mean, car. I’d beg her not to make me drive, but she’d just say, “Krista Lee, you just gotta do it. You’ll never learn if you don’t try.” So I’d drive her around the country block. She’d have me practice parking in the church parking lot. I was so scared, sometimes I’d cry. But she was strong. And quiet. She’d sit in the passenger seat and quietly tell me what to do. There was no yelling, no quick inhale of breath. Just calm. Serene.
We’d finally pull back into her driveway and I’d park the car. With shaky hands I’d give her the keys. Grandma would say, “There! That wasn’t so bad was it? We’ll do it again tomorrow.”

              I miss you Grandma.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Photo-Finish Friday!

A nice way to end the week.

Pileated woodpecker, but I just call him Woody.
ahahahaha, ahahahaha, haaaaaaaa

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

For the Love of Coffee Breaks - And Time is Flying By

“For the Love of Coffee Breaks” is a regular Wednesday feature on this blog. Dedicated to yesterdays – mine and maybe yours – when time moved a little slower, entertainment was found in our imagination, and socializing was done face to face. So please grab your favorite beverage - mine is coffee - slow down and enjoy this moment.

My oldest baby girl will turn 21 on Friday.


I’d like to say, “When did that happen?”, but I watched it happen. And while the memories fly past me in a blur, I can pull one out before it’s gone and exam it. Hold it in my mind and turn it over and over.

And over.

Like the first official day home from the hospital. I woke up that morning in a panic because the sun was shining and I realized that I had slept the night through. I thought all kinds of horrible mommy thoughts in the two seconds before I could see her in her cradle. There she was, beautiful, awake, content. Just waiting for mommy to notice her.

Here’s another memory of her in her highchair. She never could make it through her supper without falling asleep in her food.

There she is squirrel hunting. 
And fishing. 
And camping.

Oh! She’s earning her black belt! It was thrilling and nerve-wracking watching her spar the other black belts for an hour.

Yikes! Drivers’ Training. We’ll put that memory back.

She’s so beautiful. 
It took forever to curl her hair.

So proud of her accomplishments. 
I cried more than I thought I would.

Now she’s out on her own. 
Working and paying bills.

How can that be? 
When I look at her, I still see her like this.

Happy Birthday Baby Girl