Saturday, July 26, 2014

Finding my footing

Cara is now in Afghanistan. After a rough start, I am pretty much settled in with the new reality. Not exactly comfortable with it. I am not sure how to describe it, but it is what it is. The fact that four days after she got there, the airport she flew into was attacked by militants was a big shock. She blithely reported back that it was 'nothing to worry about', and that five of the militants had been killed. 3 days after that there was a suicide bombing on a military outpost. Once again, upsetting to me, 'nothing to worry about' to her. There have been stories of begging women, and the story of a bedraggled and thin little girl who begged Cara to be allowed to shine her shoes made me cry for days. These things affect Cara, I think, but she also realizes that the best that she can do is to help educate the women who will (hopefully) go into this hard place and begin to change it. 

I have been quietly coming to grips with this, and have had two very amazing God moments that have provided me with great comfort. 

Not so comforting are the people who rally around me and say, "Have faith. He will bring Cara safely home." I just smile and try not to reply because my answer would be, "You know, Christian men and women have died over there. No matter how hard a mother prays, that is not a guarantee that God will bring my girl back to me." It makes it sound as if God exists to do our bidding, or worse yet, if something were to happen, I could take it to heart that it was MY fault for not praying with enough faith. I'm impatient with that thinking. I have not felt that amount of irk since the days of cancer when well meaning people would tell me to have faith and God would heal me. I try very hard to keep still and love the people who care enough to try to comfort me and ease my mind. 

Meet Maki. Now Mack. Picture above is from an NPR report (

Cara adopted him after going to play with some of the animals there. He will be coming home in a week. The story of their meeting is as follows: Adoption is currently pending for Mack (Maki).  We met early this morning, had a chat about potentially becoming a family, and seemed to come to a mutual agreement.  Mack made a bee line for me when I walked in the door, and cried when I walked out of the cattery.  He should be home with his new kitty mom by next Saturday.  After falling in love with the big galug, I was informed that Mack had recently been on an NPR post.  He is the orange cat featured in the slide show.

I am not sure why this news is such a comfort to me, but it is. 

Oh, and PS: I have a new job that offers me a very exciting opportunity to learn a new trade and become nationally certified. On their dime. To have someone see something in you that warrants such an offer is pretty validating and I am more grateful than words can say. 

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.