Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Hard to swallow.

So, Cara has less than 96 hours in country. Really, I've been being pretty brave about it. Praying. Leaving it in God's hands. Etc. etc. I told someone it's like putting on a 'faith face' and praying like crazy that at some point your heart will fall in line.

Been doing okay. Not great. I get those moments where my wheels wobble, but so far I've managed to keep that to myself. Well. Except for when I got sharp with Tim because he wanted to talk about business stuff,  and I. Want. To. Have. This. Precious. Time. With. Cara. I have no choice but to work right now and that is hard, but I can only keep on keeping on, and when I get home, I want to savor every bit of the time we do have. The business stuff can wait for four freaking days. But Tim needs to be told stuff like this. It never occurs to him if I don't tell him. It's just his nature. He is a good man, but the emotional stuff will remain (always) a great mystery to him.

But really, I think that I've done a pretty good job about keeping any fears to myself, other than the night I got sharp tongued with my poor husband.

Today, it hit me. I'm not going to be able to send her letters. I had this idea. Letters were an integral part of it. Sending a letter to Kabul is going to be between $40 and $86.

There's e-mail. And there's e-cards. But no letters.

For some reason that is killing me.

If anybody out there knows how to accomplish this cheaper, I'd surely be interested in talking to you.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

July 4th.

We had a busy July 4th weekend. Parade on Friday (video put together by Les Vanderhoof), and then Dylan and Brittani pulled in that night.

We decided to have a bonfire, and Cara said, "Would Tim be mad if we got a couple six packs of beer?"

I was surprised by the question. "No," I answered. "Why would he be?" Tim is a teetotaler but we have always had wine at the holidays, etc.

Dylan got a look of shock on his face. "Well," he said, "things have certainly changed around here!"

I said, "What? What are you talking about? He doesn't care if you have a beer."

And Dylan said, "That is NOT what you said when I asked."

"What? When did you ask about beer?"

And Dylan said, "I was 16, I think."

It felt good to sit by a fire and laugh with my kids.

It felt so good, well, don't you know, we did the exact same thing the next night at my sister's house, surrounded by nieces and nephews. Plus there were fireworks.

It was a great weekend, and I am sorry it is over.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Bush Babe

Stop on over to my friend BB's place. She could use an encouraging word.

Sunday, June 29, 2014


Today we walked down to put in a shelf for a tenant. We blabbed for a while, and then came back up the street. We admired Angela's garden, and we looked for Mr. M, but he wasn't front porch sitting today. He's usually good for a friendly chat. An elderly, very thin man was sitting on HIS front porch though, and we called out a cheery hello even as I pointed a plant out on the other side of the street. "Tim," I said, "I'd like to have some of this at our house," even as Tim mused, "I think we had that stuff around the lamp post at the brick house, but it did not come back this year." Just chit chatting and walking along.

Suddenly, I heard, "Tim! Hey, Tim!" and we turned around to see the elderly man had come off front porch. Now these are interesting people, and I know that the woman herself has approached us about doing work for us. She likes to interior decorate. I had told her, "Well, really, we don't need a lot of interior decorating in a rental unit. The tenants do that for themselves, but thank you," and she headed back across the street to that neat as a pin front porch.

We stopped as the man approached us. He had noticed that we could use some weeding help. We could, actually. It's been so gosh darn rainy and between working at work, and taking care of William, and working at the brick house, well...sometimes things like weeding get moved down on the priority list. Turns out that he's been asking for work from Tim quite regularly.

Tim said, cautiously, "How much will you be charging us?" and the man mused and said, "$10? I just need something to stay busy." I imagine that Tim wanted to kick my tail when I said, "No. We'll pay you $20." It's hot and humid, and that's a considerable amount of work for $10. A couple hours, easy. Fair's fair.

So the man accompanied us home. Tim did not want him to use power tools, fearful of his frailty, and the possibility of injury, but the man went to work with a spade and a hoe. I took him out a tall glass of ice water, and I could see that he was winded. "Hey," I said, "you know, if it is too hot this afternoon, you don't have to do this right now. You can come back." He decided to do that and told me that he'd be back tomorrow. "Are you home all day?" he asked, and I said, "No, but you can do the work any time you want. I don't have to be here."  I gave him the $20.

Tim didn't say anything, but I could see that he would have done it differently. I watched the man carefully bag up the yard waste, and return the tools to the back porch. He went off down the street.

Tim and I are two very blessed people. Being generous is important to us, so the $20 is not a big deal, not really. This man will either come back or he won't. It is as simple as that. Either way, we will soon discover what his true character is.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Pointless Post

How long ago was it, that I wrote about this day? 5 years? It does not seem possible. In those five years, I have gotten to know the woman in the little red truck somewhat better. I worked with her sister, I go to the same church that they all do now. I enjoyed lunch with their mother. That is life in a small town.

I knew that her husband had been diagnosed with cancer earlier this spring, but they are such a cheerful couple, and it seemed like one of those cancers that was inconvenient perhaps, but highly treatable. I thought that it was nothing.

Tonight in a facebook post, I saw that he was in surgery. "I must have missed something," I commented. "I didn't know. Prayers!" Just a few minutes ago, I saw the words. "Jim is a very sick man and has a tough battle ahead. I love my guy."

I messaged her, and prayed for the two of them and their family. Outside the rain hisses against the street and the house. The thunder rumbles and the lightning flashes and I am reminded again that life comes with no guarantees. Sometimes the lightning strikes.