Sunday, October 04, 2009
The Fog, and a Song, and more
Except for a wonderful road trip with daughter, Bev recently, not much going on here, until an unexpected phone call a few days ago, and a friendly voice introduced herself, and asked if we might take time to meet while she was in Colorado for a Compassion international conference. It was Andrea, from "Decipher The Fog" in blogging land.

I hurried home from church so I wouldn't miss her, and patiently waited, checking the front yard more often than needed, and reading more of the paper, then there she was, in the driveway, getting something from the back of her rental car. Gifts, not just one, but a few of them.

Her Mom, Darlene, at "Thankful For The Thorns, also surprised me with a beautiful setting that looks mirrored, of the famous "Footprints in the sand" story. I plan to make a special place to set it. There were other surprises, but the "Footprints" is my favorite.

How nice, that Andrea drove quite a ways so we could meet. If you could spend time with her, as I did today, you'd immediately know she's a very caring person. Both of us knew our time together was fleeting, so we hurried to cover many things. What I especially noticed was how more alive she seemed, when talking about what "Compassion International" does for children.

I'm probably not explaining enough about it, but am almost certain Andrea will as soon as she completes the trip, From what I've heard so far, it seems to be a rescue mission that helps a huge number of desperately needy children. I'll leave the details to someone who knows much more about it.

Not all of our visit was serious thinking. A few times we laughed about other things, but when you get someone who wants the fog deciphered, and another who dreams of a heavenly song about the wind, it is probably given that we'd weigh heavily toward the serious, and I can't think of anyone I'd rather be serious with. Thank you so much, Andrea, for making such a beautiful visit.

  posted at 7:22 PM  

Friday, September 18, 2009
An open post to a daughter:
For many days I knew she would be here, daughter, Bev, at "Scratchin' The Surface",or "Life of Grits" (About a girl raised in the South) and then she arrived, and she did not disappoint. One son went with her, to be with her father, and then it was my turn; mine, all mine.

The visit with Dad included her taking on getting through eighteen holes of golfing, after flying from PA, and knowing she had a long drive ahead, to get the two of us to my other daughter, Barb, at "A Chelsea Morning". So I do think God understands that this daughter, whose faith is so beautiful, needed a good sleep and rest, before the next phase of her carefully planned sojourn, to be with family, and more miles to drive, so we did not go to Sunday services.

Then we headed West, very West. Both of us packed and prepared for the trip, but did not hurry. Sitting sedentary a lot can result in blood clots forming, and causing serious threats to your health, so we stopped several times, and took time to walk sometimes a block or more, or find a friendly looking spot to enjoy icecream, or something, and then headed out again. None of this not needed rushing through our so beautiful state. and it did not disappoint either. The Aspens were starting to turn, but no severe weather. We took time to drink in all our state's beauty we could. And my new knee really appreciated the rests.

Once we got to Barb's, life picked up speed. Her grand children are so beautiful, and the grandson, about four, immediately fell in love with Bev. She has a way of including whoever is around in the conversation, and she quickly did that with him; showed him how to hold a sea shell so he can hear an ocean roar, or something like that, and he did, while I loved seeing generations of my kin be closer. Something about it helps me know there will be harmony between them long after I'm not here, but even that could be selfish on my part, for perhaps I'm hoping to leave a little of myself.

We stayed up late several nights catching up on family, and even took time to sleep in. Being rested helps enjoy everything more. If I could I would outlaw the concept of multi-tasking. Have you noticed how our culture carefully creates words to make unpleasant things seem like good ideas. I don't care what you call it; physical assaults like that on the body should not exist, and if I am ever elected to a position where I can, I will try to banish it from the working class.

Part of our all being together included a night out for the females of the family, and we agreed an Olive Garden dinner, and a movie was what we needed. It started pretty well, with some diner coming to our table, and asking why some melons could not marry, and cracked up laughing at himself, as he concluded it's because they cantelope. Even I got the idea. But then I had some trouble that caused me to laugh at myself. As the waiter stood at our table, holding a bottle of wine, and an empty wine glass, and asked if we'd like a complimentary one, the word "complimentary" registered in me, and I, like someone who just landed on our country told him yes, and felt like a really stupid fool, when he poured about a thimble full of wine, and handed it to me. For quite a long time my budgeting does not include eating out. Perhaps I may be able to work again, but I haven't for a long time. My church is great about giving me a "Complimentary" box of food every week, but it does not include Olive Garden dining.

For the most part, daughter, Bev paid for our trip. Would only let me help a little now and then, to make me feel better, and it helped that we used my car. On our way back we stopped at different places, and drank in more of the countryside's beauty. Every time I finally take time to fall in love with Colorado again, I wonder why I waited so long, for if you've seen her, you have to know how beautiful she is, like my daughter.

During our last day here together, we drove around so she could see old landmarks connected to her younger years here; and we mailed a box of books back to where she lives, that will help her with her serious world study plan. Then we tried to check on different kinds of housing for me, in case I can sell my house, but we needed somewhere to park. She pulled into a place called "The second Chance Shoppe", run by an auxiliary of our town's hospital, and we went inside to check it out, and I was proud of her all over again. When she paid for what she bought, She asked the clerk for permission to park there, so we could check on the housing, and they were glad to let us. This daughter personifies being a real smooth lady.

Talk about class, Bev had them eager to do exactly what she asked, and she's really good at spotting quality clothing. Got herself some nice blouses and a sweater, and I spotted a wedding gown that may be just right for a member of my church, whose engaged, and could use help in keeping the costs down. I can't wait to tell her about it.

Before Bev had to leave here, even though she was pressed for time, she helped me with computer things I've not learned. I have a really good program for learning spanish. Got it at a thrift store for about four dollars, but a tape I really need is missing, so Bev found it on some place through the computer, for a few dollars, and ordered it for me. I especially appreciate this gift.

After Bev was taken to to the airport tonight, to be with her husband again, and someone brought me home from our last evening together, I walked around awhile in the house, not quite knowing what to do with myself. She gave me so many gifts not necessairly the kind you wrap with ribbon, and I so wished I could do more, but while this uncertain time continues, I must be careful with money. Then I realized the best thing I could give her is myself, and I sat down at this computer she had done a lot of working on for me, and I dusted off the pages of that book I started
long before this surgery, and wrote two new crisp ones for it.

  posted at 11:34 PM  

Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Getting on with the Miscellaneous of Life.
Here I am again, hoping to bring you something more interesting than knee replacements. Earlier this year I bought a nice Daytimer, kidding myself that I would use it properly. But stil I try, and so I filled up more than half of it,
with medical appointments and birthday reminders, and a few social things, but clearly, my life needed more excitement than these.

Because of the surgeries, I couldn't sit at the computer much for several weeks, and had already given up on dealing with changes in TV reception. So all I had left, for a while, was books. Lots of them, and soon I was in a make believe paradise. Never, not in my entire life, have I had so much time to enjoy getting lost in them. So far I have about four or more started, and it all depends on the frame of mind I'm in. That determines which one gets me today.

I was more than a little surprised how entrenched the old paycheck mentality kept tugging at me. Did not realize it governed even how long I chose to read.
How easily we let ourselves be controled by the very thought of that scares me.

This nice down time may end soon, but I'll not forget what I learned while living it. Could have done without dealing with the skunks that seemed so determined to live beneath my house; and I certainly didn't need that unexpected leak in my roof, but my son helped much with both of those problems, and today he trimmed hanging tree limbs, some of which were getting tangled with electric lines.

I can't tell you how very blessed I am he's nearby, and helps so much. Years ago, when my sons and daughters were almost devouring our set of World Books, that Bev at "Scratchin' the Surface", or "Life of Grits" wrote about today, in her post called "Look It Up", I didn't realize what else they were learning. Not that they always wanted to, but I knew they must, and it's paying off today. While they absorbed their required school work, somehow in the process, maybe because I cared enough to teach them how to learn, they also learned they were loved, and now it's coming back, many times, to me.

As a mom, and sometimes as a grand Ma, I worry about family situations, but today when I drove up out front, and son and grandson were carfully pulling big tree limbs with a rope behand his van, to take them someplace, having designated grandson to walk near the limbs, to keep them going safely, the whole contrived scene of it struck me as so humerous, haven't had such a happy laugh in I don't know when. When I asked son how he thought of doing that with the tree limbs, he said something about having seen it somewhere, maybe people clearing land, but I don't think that idea came from World book. Still, I could be wrong. I know, I know; Look it up.

  posted at 11:38 PM  

Tuesday, August 25, 2009
All This, and King Charles, and a King of my own.
Last January I had the first surgery to repair my knee. When I knew more surgery was needed, I planned so carefully, everything I could, to get through it. I rearranged things I would use in the kitchen, and even my bed, to make aftercare easier.

It all hinged on one piece of equipment, a spreadout spidery looking thing called a walker, with handles and wheels, and a little basket to transport small things in. Part of it even became a built in make-do seat, which would help when I could go places again. But I was concerned about more important things, like getting myself to the bathroom, or to the kitchen, for food, or maybe some coffee.

If I could manage those things, visiting nurses and physical therapists were all I would need, to get well at home. Otherwise I would have to be in a nursing home, which I wouldn't even let myself think of. I have worked in many of them. Most of the caretakers there do backbreaking work, and care greatly about those in their care. But there's never enough of them to do all the patients need.

I checked with my healthcare coverage, and the hospitals' case manager person, to be certain this walker thing came home from the hospital with me, and was assured, indeed, it would be done. Everybody I asked about it passed me on to someone else. I do know how busy healthcare workers are, and really try to not make their work harder. But I did need this walker thing, if I was in my home, and it wasn't getting done.

So I'm back in my room after the surgery, wondering how to take care of this, and I reach over, and place my little "Bible Promise Book" on the bedside table, along with some other items, and try to not fret, but I am concerned. About that time someone knocks at my door, to come in, and before I can wade through the painkillers in me, to better understand, a voice so alive and friendly surprises me with "Do you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for your sins?" It sounded more like it needed an exclamation point, instead of a question mark. I know, I know, in today's world, we're to walk gently about expressing such things, but this was the best thing I'd heard all day.

The voice belonged to an obviously God-loving nurse's aide, who wasn't timid about his faith. I asked him his name, and he smiled and said, "Charles, you can just call me King Charles". "Good", I thought, "a sense of humor, too" He asked if I had prayer requests, and I told him about the problem with getting the walker. He looked straight at me, and lowered his voice, and stated as if he really meant it, "You will have it before tomorrow is over." Then he turned and left my room.

The next day I still wondered about it, and each time somebody came to my room, thought maybe, but as it got later, I didn't have much hope, and tried to not think about it. After more hours clicked by, another knock on my door sounded, as King Charles announced himself again, while gaily rolling a new shiny walker, painted my favorite blue, and parked it by my bed, then just as quickly left the room. It was the last time I saw him, and I'll never know how he pulled off this act of faith.

Now I could relax, and let the pain meds soothe me. All I was worried about now was making certain this time there'd be no infections. I am sure I drove the nurses almost crazy about washing hands and not spreading germs, something any medical person shouldn't need reminding about. I just knew I was not taking an infection home this time around. And because of King Charles, I no longer worried about nursing homes.

I don't need to use the walker, but keep it, cause you never know what might happen. These past two months and a little more, King Charles' Jesus has supplied so many things. A neighbor brought fancy coffee several times. My dear friend from church brought home made meals, and lots of other things, and a great assortment of pens and other writing things, for a birthday surprise. Family did lots of thoughtful, helpful things.

When I was ready to work out supporting muscles at a nearby rec. center, at orientation I was the only person there, so the rec center person was like being my personal trainer, except I couldn't afford him, which really makes me appreciate this program called "Silver Sneakers". It's not like I'm lifting weights, but using the treadmill, and the stationary exercise bike seems to be helping this remade leg. I even earned myself a pretty shirt that has silver sneakers on it.

I have planned a whirlwind trip soon with one daughter to visit the other, enjoy Colorado Autumn, eating ice cream, and singing our hearts out as down the road we go. It's time to celebrate getting through the surgerys. Come October I'm scheduled for a repeat of CPR training. Should be interesting, since I'll be taking it with a group of Boy Scouts earing their merit badges. I already cleared it's o.k. to bring something to kneel on.

In going through my favorite book store, I found David Johnson and Tom Allen's "Joy Comes in the Morning" ... and other blessings in disguise". One's a senior pastor of The Church of the Open Door in Crystal, Minnesota since 1980. The other has pastoral evangelistic roles in The Christian and Missionary Alliance. This book was published in 1998, so positions may have changed. But it's so from the Bible, with thoughts like: "The Lord (in Matthew 5) is exposing the false security of the self sufficient" This is exactly what's tranposed in me, when I thought I could fix everything I've dealt with for half of this year. How like our Jesus, who should always be honored Kingly, that He sent an outrageous King Charles to get the point across to me.

  posted at 10:50 PM  

Monday, June 15, 2009
To Let You Know.....
Hello to all of you. Count down almost here, with more surgery scheduled for
June 16.

Will need a few weeks to be up and running again (pun is intended), then hoping to keep in touch much better with you.

Through all of this God has been so good to me. Judith at Flight Song.

  posted at 1:54 PM  

Sunday, June 07, 2009
Marking Time More Than A Countdown...
I've never been a detail person. When I was raising my children, I got good at figuring things out as I went. But these past months I've often noticed time passing, and as the date for more serious surgery closes in, I'm especially counting it. Am down to only nine more days.

Almost five months ago I thought in terms of how long certain things needed to get better. Things like a long wait for surgery, and then more time, to heal. Before I knew it, I had used up winter, and then the lily bloomed again.

All that time I still believed my knee would soon work again. But as the days kept rushing, I tried hard to not feel depressed, and turned my thoughts toward improving myself. I live in a quiet and peacefull place, and I certainly had time for it. All I needed to do was to look closer at myself.

If you've never done this, I so recommend it. These are some of the things I discovered. In relationships, whether with family or friends, or people I work with, I nearly always give too much; not just time and interest, but gifts, sometimes money. What I've learned about this is that I don't have to stop being kind and caring, but I do need to do less of it.

Another area that surprised me, is that I was way overboard about worrying. I mean, starting in with it before I even get out of bed, and most of it not needed. This took a lot of real effort to stop, and the tendency remains. I am sure this one will require lots of effort.

Discovering this felt like being blindsided. I did not realize how much I do this. When I'm trying to describe something, or convince someone of something, I give much too much information. It is like, if I can just make it clear enough, they'll understand. This probably especially drives organized people crazy, and to think I've been doing it for years!

This last area, I am so grateful to realize. If I hadn't discovered it about myself, I would not believe it. But I've been doing this. Most of my life I've let other people make important decisions for me. Individuals who knew me before, will be very surprised the next time they deal with me.

In the past, I let realtors convince me what price to offer. There are times I allowed people less qualified than me to tell me where to live. When I'd be shopping with certain ones, I'd come home with stuff I didn't really need. (But I should give myself some credit here. I at least learned to not shop with them). Not in recent years, but long ago, I let neighbors influence me about religion. When I ventured into the dating scene, I must have been easy game. Not much point in trying to change that, but the other big league areas of living will see a lady who now values her own thinking.

This miserable time is about much more than mending my broken knee, and I gladly offer all of it, even the ongoing pain. for what I've learned while trying to get through it.

My daughter, Bev, at "Scratch'en The Surface", or "Life Of Grits", wrote a tremendous post today titled "The Lord Has Promised Good To Me", and ended it with that mighty hymn, "Amazing Grace". As I read it I could see her standing in her church, thinking all the beautiful things racing through her loving brain, and it so encouraged me, remembering how amazing God's Grace is, for He's just done a wonderful thing. I plan to leave this matter of healing my leg to our Lord, and the doctors, and as soon as I'm able, to start using these things I've discovered about me.

  posted at 9:54 PM  

Saturday, May 30, 2009
What I've Learned These Past Months, Without Trying.
A little more than four months ago, I had surgery for a knee problem, and looked forward to a quick recovery. Now plans are made for more surgery on the same knee. I am sure other things are going on in people's lives and in this world, but it does not feel that way for me.

As many of you know, I come from an earlier time, certainly qualifying me for this kind of surgery. The time I came from, that we called the Great Depression, taught me many things.

You wouldn't believe how far I can stretch a dollar, or remake clothes so they fit the younger children. I am almost an expert at making old curtains fit new windows. When groceries were scarce, I created new recipes. I am good at a lot of things. But lately I haven't been dealing so well with all this surgery, So I am doing the next best thing, and it's right in character. I will get everything I can from this awful situation.

This is what I've learned from my misery. At least part of the knee problem began because I planted a rose bush. Lesson number one, although I won't be numbering, is, next time someone wants to plant a rose bush for me, I will let them. There's a new appreciation in me for being gracious. Lots of people have shown thoughful courtesies, so I don't dwell on those who didn't. Perhaps they're dealing with problems worse than mine.

There are many things, not in any certain order. This round of surgery I'll make sure I get a nice walker, one with wheels, and a place to sit on if I need to. I already use a different bed. Switched to one I don't have to walk around several times to make.

My kitchen again looks like I've just moved in. Dishes and bowls and flatware are handily situated to eliminate trips. A table near a favorite recliner in the living room is full of books and papers, and things nice to keep handy, to cut down on extra walking.

Because I was smart enough to get a house that's all one level, there are hardly any stairs to deal with. An extra garbage can sits real handy outside, so I don't need to figure out how to get across the backyard patio to where it usually goes.

Early on in dealing with this unwanted loss of mobility, I learned to keep needed things in my huge bag, and to take the lightest books and things to church, and other places, to cut down on heaviness. It's a real hoot to see me bring groceries in, but sometimes neighbors, if they see me, come over and help.

At church, people are especially helpful, opening doors I'd have trouble with, carrying things for me. You wouldn't believe how many details we take so for granted, as long as our arms and legs work like they need to. Once when I'd just gotten there, our pastor saw I had an armful, and got someone to come to my car and help me. The next time I arrived, the same young man hurried over, with his arm extended, a little like how the bridal party walks down aisles. After kind of feeling stuck in stores that got crowded, I learned to go shopping at less busy times.

So far it looks like I have a pretty good grip on things. But I haven't told you what is probably the most important thing. You don't know the times I've lost my wonderful attitude, and cried. Stooped to feeling a little sorry. It's so hard to get through this time. Yesterday I was getting gas for the car. Paid the clerk, and headed back out to fill the tank, and it wouldn't let me. Had cut off because it took longer for me to walk from the store, and my purchase was cancelled.

Other times, people would ask how I'm doing, and offer to come over if I needed something done. Said they would, but didn't. Perhaps it's a little like "Have a nice day", or "How are you?' figures of speech. They are not invested in your day. They don't really want to know.

When this situation began I decided I would use this time wisely. Write more of a story I'm wanting to tell. Practice remembering just met people's names. Be more sensitive to family situations. With all my good intentions, I would just about remake me. But I haven't.

I have done some serious reading these past months, and really worked at not getting into watching dumb T.V. I am shocked at the increase of rawness I see in programs and commercials. I make myself go to social events and things, although it would be easier to just stay at home.

More than a fourth of a year has arrived and gone. Already it is near the end of spring, and another summer. But all is not for nothing, because I've at least done one important thing, made a personal enventory, and know what needs repairing, as much as my knee.

  posted at 10:15 PM  

Friday, May 22, 2009
Life Is What Happens While You're........ Or: I Should Have Just Ordered The Fries.
Because I'd just learned that more surgery's required to fix this ailing leg, I decided to take care of things I've put off, like having snow tires removed, and getting new tags for the car.

On the way to the tire place I realized I was hungry, and remembered a Burger King is close by, and since I'd probably have a wait, could enjoy a burger, and some fries. Then as usual, I did my little"squeeze the cash" mental dance. Perhaps I'd only get fries, lots of fries, for I really like them, and those of you who are Irish will probably understand. There is something about eating potatoes, cooked almost any kind of way that soothes our Irish souls.

But inside the BK it is a noonday madhouse, and I'm so busy dodging people who are in a hurry, and didn't expect to manuever around an unexpected crutch, that I decide what the heck, and blow my entire mental budget by ordering one Whopper Jr, and a regular order of fries, and then for some reason I still don't understand, and wish I hadn't, some onion rings.

I hadn't had onion rings in years, but today was kind of special. I was still getting accustomed to the idea of having more surgery, and anyway the entire order was less than four bucks. The clerk looked a little confused, or mayby she was bewildered, when Iasked her how many rings I would get. She gave me a look like my question would never be answered, so I let it be, and when my order finally came, quickly looked inside the bag and made sure there were three items, and made my way to where I thought there might be some napkins, but couldn't find any, so I left.

At the tire store I got started with the wait, after a nice worker took time to park my car, so I would have to walk less. I found a good spot that wasn't crowded, and pulled out a small book I would enjoy as soon as I ate.

Reaching down into the sack I thought it a little strange that such a little burger was so big. I could see the onion rings, and there seemed to be many, and then I discovered another little burger. But fries? Absolutely none. If it hadn't been so far to walk back over, I would have tried getting the order corrected, but I wasn't about to tackle that, and anyway, the clerk couldn't understand my American English. I tried eating part of the really big whatever it was, and could see it was twice as thick as ordinary burgers, and sure enough, it was chicken, almost oozing in its still cold cheese, even though the 'someone else's order' I got was marked "No Cheese," and the small burger was just as mistreated, trying to get its own breath while drowning in its mound of the goopy yellow stuff.

If I could relive this situation, I would have put everything back in the burger bag, and dump it in the nearest garbage. But as I struggled to make my body comfortable in chairs that leaned too forward, I stuffed an onion ring in my mouth, and immediately realized something had broken. I checked the onion rings again, and they almost felt as hard as the tooth I'd just ruined. That made two teeth that need replacing, but dental work cannot be done until this leg situation is resolved. If tears would have helped, I would have turned them on. But I just sat there, and concentrated on how to place my legs, so I could bear waiting for the tires to be changed.

Eventually it got done, and after having the tire men rearrange the snow tires so I could see through the rear window, I headed to the Dept. of Vehicles, to get the new tags. As I drove, the little red warning light showed again. I was pretty sure it was the rear door, since my driver's side was alright, and the other three doors probably didn't get opened. So I pulled over again, and waited for someone to come by.

With my teeth missing, and my hair needing a good cut, I didn't exactly look like the best desperate housewife. The man looked a little perplexed, but did walk closer. I showed him my crutch, and asked him to close the rear door better, and he did, and I thanked him profusely, then headed to my next stop.

I got as close as I could to the handicapped parking, but two other vehicles were already there, so I took the furtherest spot, and slowly inhaled a few times, before walking again. One of the others getting out of their cars must have said something the first did not lunderstand, or particularly like. Maybe it was just her abupt tone, but the man proceded to tell her what he thought, and she didn't waiver, just kept saying "Come over here so you can see my arm is really gone". She said she lost it in an old war, and that people accuse her all the time of not really needing handicapped parking, because they can't see that an arm is missing. The man explains he's a Vietnam veteran, and by now the two of them are exchanging wartime tales. and I'm not about to miss how they end, because it must be more interesting than knee surgery, or car doors left open, or breaking teeth on onion rings.

She walks faster, and goes through the doors, and the man turns to me and says "What's wrong with your leg?" I tell him it's a partial knee replacement, and he lights up immediately. Leans on his walker as he tells me I need one of those. But I leave that alone. "I'm having a replacement done next week," he says, as he pats one of his knees. "This all began when I got shot long ago, in Vietnam". He wants to know if I think I had a good doctor, but I assume we're just making talk now, so I let that go.

Inside I look over where this man is sitting, and in my mind, I see a young soldier being dragged out of battle, and I wonder how the elderly, outspoken woman lost her arm. But I will never know. I skip from there to now, and decide perhaps my coming surgery isn't as critical as I sometimes want to think. In life, sometimes we brush against another person, and will never know more about them than that. So it's important that we leave them at least a happy moment of ourselves.

Before next week, when I do a consult with the doctor who will do the new surgery, I intend to use these days as wisely as I can, trying on everything hanging in my closet, and donating what doesn't fit. I plan doing the same with rows and rows of books. To read all of them, I would have to live many years. If I can discipline myself, I may deal with some paperwork.

From now on I will not pick up more church activities, or other time stealers. (That thought reminds me of a conversation I had not so long ago with a daughter.) I will only clean and dust when I must, and the next time I am hungry I will get a double order of the fries. While I am getting through this life, it is time to brush into myself.

  posted at 11:23 AM  

Monday, May 18, 2009
The Return Of The Iris, and other Miscellany
As I looked out at the yard this morning, more and more iris had opened, and then, because I've so much time to spend, I walked closer to the tallest group of them, and measured where their height fell on me. I'm 5' 6", and the tallest iris is at least some inches higher than above my belly button. One knows, that like our own, their beauty cannot last. It's up to us, how much of it we choose to lose ourselves in. But I feel a strong need to look at more than the flowers.

I am getting better at ignoring clumps of weeds I cannot thin. Silly things, that think they can compete with iris majesty. I make my way back in the house, and look for something to busy me, or at least share my mind with.

Right near my Bible, and stacks of other books, sets my next reading assignment, "Computers Simplified", from MaranGraphics, "The 3-D Visual Approach to Learning About Computers". Never mind I'm years behind doing this. At least I'm finally starting. As I began reading it, and checking its many pictures, I realized I know more about computering, than I thought I did. I still don't know how to program a new service for the computer, or to install a different modum. So this is serious study time for me. But I will take credit that I knew a new program would require something. Progress! even if it's little.

Another book I am so enjoying is titled "UNDER GOD", Triumph and Tragedy: Stories of "AMERICA'S SPIRITUAL BATTLE", by dc Talks, Toby Mac and Michael Tait, with help from the Wallbuilders". I like that it's made up of stories only a few pages long, so it's easy to read an entire section, without feeling that I'm taking too long. I can hardly believe I just said that. Here I am, with all this time to fill. Strange, that we cling to habits from so long ago.

Years, when I was a very busy mom, but without much education, while learning new words, I hit on the idea of clipping a list of them to my kitchen curtain with a clothes pen, just above the sink. While peeling potatoes, or washing the dishes, I taught myself word meanings, and how to spell. A few days ago, while at the kitchen sink here, I remembered doing that, and though it may sound a little like too much of myself, I smiled, remembering it.

This "Under God" book contains enough information to satisfy requirements for a full term college course. It's about America's beginning. Early on, it tells us of a battle on the Monongahela, near Fort Duquesne, (now Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), part of the French and Indian War, and it's about George Washington in particular. It points out he, only a twenty-three year old officer, became the Continental Army's Commander in Chief, and later, of course, our country's first president. (See page 12 paragraph 4).

It also points out that Washington was never injured in battle. On page 12 and 13, an Indian Chief, came a long ways, to where Washington was, and told him "The Great Spirit protects this man", "and guides his destinies....." "He will become the chief of nations, and a people yet unborn will hail him as the founder of a mighty empire."

To our country, formed "Under God", brave men "Mutually pledged to each other their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor", making it "more than a declaration, more than a document". ...... It was a covenant, the most solemn, the most sacred of human agreements. Paragraph 4, page 18 declares that "God himself was a witness of their actions that day."

Paragraph 5, page 18, showed "their independence from earthly power and authority," and "our Founding fathers declared their dependence upon Almighty God", "With firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence". This is what our country was built on. If we're not safeguarding its principles enough, we can easily lose not only our pledge to our country, and its flag, but other rights those early documents were drafted for, to ensure safeguards for them. Brave men (and some women) risked everything so we can have them. Our military still stands guard for them, and for us.

As I write those lines about our country forming, I remember the long dark portraits of Washington and Lincoln in my grade school, they seemed to stare down on my little girl frame. I am so thankful "Columbines" did not exist then. I understand our not allowing any religion's wouldbe Deity to rule our country, but we also have turned so far the other direction, where our society almost proclaims no allegiance anymore to much of anything. Our founding fathers were willing to die for this democracy, and that's why we have it today, and have an obligation to protect it for our coming generations.

I've been known to read more than one book at a time. This time it's three, and the third is the one I open more quickly. This New York Times best seller, first published in 1996, and republished twice after the first edition, should be required reading for anyone who works with mistreated, abused women. "ARE YOU SOMEBODY" The Accidental Memoir Of A Dublin Woman", grabs your heart, and even your temper, as you live the not just horrible, but degrading life this fine brilliant woman is entrapped in, both by her religion, and her culture, and the time she had the misfortune to be born in. But she is remarable, as honest with herself, as she is others, and in between the misery is a sense of humor that's superb

I've studied about womens' life conditions, styles even, and from my own experience, know that something that should be so personal, child bearing, is often influenced by currently accepted social norms. While this author, Nuala O'Faolain's birthing was largly determined by the Catholic Church's laws in Dublin, mine was dictated by an all male govering board of the Baptist hospital, who chose to refuse to allow my tubes to be tied, even though I already had six perfectly healthy children.

On the back cover of O'Faolain's pages you just keep turning, are the best comments about "Are You Somebody?" While her love of books and reading did much to save her, "O'Faolain has distilled her experiences into a wisdom that can only come from an obstinate refusal to shrink from life.

The story of how she defines herself outside the traditional roles assigned to women proves an exhilarting example of courage, honesty, and bold living. I truly wish I could have read this book in my first year of college, and certainly before I married.

  posted at 11:35 AM  

Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Attitude Improvement Sorely Needed
If I had to choose only one word to describe how this day was going, it would surely be CLUELESS, At least that's how it started. For a while, I thought I'd handled it better, a silly idea, bolstered by this year's first Iris blooming. Clearly visible from my favorite chair, as I started on my first cup of coffee.

Many other Irises are on the brink of showing, cradled by way too many flowerbed weeds, but I willed myself to ignore their ugliness, and sat awhile, drinking in the Iris along with morning coffee.

Throughout this lengthy time of still not being healed, most days I handle it very well. But today I was leaning much too close to negativity, and when the mail came, I got worse. Health insurance sent a legal looking notice that some of my coverage is denied. A few phone calls showed the problem can be fixed, but the dry and abrupt tone of one of them added nothing to the day. So instead of appreciating that the problem is OK, I kept holding on to the negativity I started the day with.

A while later someone knocked at my door. Perhaps, I thought, a neigbor's teenage son, looking for summer work. But as he started spilling out his approach, I knew he wasn't looking for flowerbed weeding, or other yard work, and certainly not sweat breaking painting house trim.

As soon as he tried convincing me he needed a huge number of credits to reach his goal, I should have stopped him there, saving each of of us some time, but the story he tried so hard to convince me with, was so far in left field, I decided to hear more of it, for future reference.

He said he's a home schooled student, and anyway, all of this is his mother's idea; that he needed to discuss career choices, and make eye contact with adults, as he talked. He asked what kind of work I do, and when I told him nursing, he jumped into a noble story about wanting to give medical care to the disadvanteged. But to do this, he must get a huge number of credits, from adults, like me.

He tried again to hand me information through the door about the credits, and this was after I refused to open it the first time. I just stood there, suprized that I hadn't caught on to his spiel sooner. Even on a good day, I wouldn't have bought whatever he's selling, but today wasn't a good one for any kind of door to door approach, and besides that, my leg was hurting. So I told him very carefully I would only say this once, that he needed to listen, and pick up his skate board, and head it for the road, and even then, he wanted to try his sales pitch again, but stuck his speech notes in his pocket, and did leave.

I couldn't believe how easily I let his big array of lies affect my day. Almost instantly, I had let him erase the beauty of the Iris from my head, and upset myself because today's youth aren't taught much responsibilty, or how to earn their pay, and their telling ballfaced lies is no longer considered breaking a serious moral law. I mean, what is this pitiful world coming to, anyway! I had worked myself into a mental frenzy, and I'll bet the young man did not waste one split second of a nan-o-moment thinking about me, except perhaps, to again inforce todays' youths, just how nutty little old ladies can be, as he sped down the road on his skate board.

About that same time, the phone rang, and someone who slurs her words and speaks rapidly, launched into a survey, and since I just cancelled some services, and changed some, to cut down on expenses, thought it odd that I'd be survey'd today.

Besides that, I was a little rung out from dealing with the door-to-door teenager, and wasn't up to another round of battling our wills. But this time, I simply let it go, and thanked her for calling, even though I didn't need to, and now I think I'll restart what's left of this day, and look at the Iris again.

  posted at 4:22 PM  

About Me
Name: Judith

Location: Colorado

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