Monday, February 28, 2011

We Were Supposed To -
We were supposed to go and get our taxes done on Friday. That was the plan. We had scheduled the time. Made the appointment. Winter had something else in mind. Winter is not leaving without a fight. Winter came overnight and most of the morning long, covering everything in white. So much so, at times you could barely see across the street. The wind gusted and blew and we knew, we did. We were not going anywhere.
At least, not until LH fired up the snowthrower and the wind abated and the snowplow would come through. LH made it out the grocery store late Friday afternoon.
I did my laundry, my mending, my pulling items for the children's sermon, and locating items for Ash Wednesday, playing Solitare on the computer, when I should have been working.
One more snow day before winter ends. Of course, March has been known to bring a storm or two.
And today, after two days of warmer weather and rain, the snow is nearly all melted. Come and gone so quickly and disturbing our careful plans.
This coming Friday, we are supposed to go and get our taxes done...We will try again!

Thursday, February 24, 2011


"Worry is like a rocking chair;
it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere."
Erma Bombeck

I've stopped worrying about tomorrow because it made me too ill and paralyzes me. I am learning to trust God more without knowing what tomorrow will bring or where I'll be or what LH will be doing. It's so beyond our control at this point, I can do no other than to simply trust God as hard as it is, especially, when I think there must be something I can do. Sometimes, you have to simply trust God and keep praying.
I cannot concieve of not having health insurance - but it may happen. I cannot conceive of not having an income - but it may happen.
Trusting God is so very difficult at times. But it helps to know that I am inscribed on God's palms and not forgotten. I cling to that. That God has not forgotten us.
And so, I will not worry about tomorrow, I have enough to deal with today.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Hard to think of my staid, middle aged, workhorse minivan as jaunty. But today, after our major snowfall, it sported a jaunty mohawk look. Covered in a good 5 inches of snow, I worked for 15 minutes sweeping the snow off the windows, the fenders, the hood of the van, and even managed to reach the edges of the luggage rack going the length of the van. I am too short to reach or go beyond that. I then had to scrape off the windshield.
I parked her in the church parking lot under a blue sky with sunshine. And she looked rather jaunty and sporty with the snow piled inches tall on her roof and cleared off everywhere else.
Alas, it only lasted this morning, as the sun now is beginning to radiate some heat and has partially melted the mohawk.
But there for a time, my minivan looked jaunty!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Birthday Eve -
Tomorrow will be another birthday. I am thankful to enjoy another birthday, just not so sure about going deeper into my 50's. It is as it is, and I am ever amazed at how the years have zipped by. Each year even faster.
I don't think I get as much done or accomplished as I used to.
My life is structured by the seasons of the church year and plays out Sunday to Sunday. Although, this past year, there is an undertone of Thursdays to Thursdays, since I get to go home.
This year, my birthday falls on my day off! WhooYoo! And it doesn't fall in Lent! WhooYoo! It would be a great year to party! Think I'll settle for a dinner out with LH and a frozen adult beveridge for dessert and if LH is thinking, some chocolate cupcake with a candle on it.
For the most part, I am simply grateful to be able to wake up in my own bed next to LH and to be in the company of greyhounds. Now, that's the best B-Day present ever!
In the meanwhile, I'll just have to get used to being this age and pray that there are many more birthdays to celebrate ahead of me. And that this year will bring some new adventure and fresh good changes. That is my prayer, that is my wish. To do more than merely exist, to live as I was created to live, fully, deeply and at one with my God.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Although, I always root for the greyhound, last night, I was rooting for the golden retriever (after the Deerhound, of course). Goldens and Labs are the most popular dogs, yet Goldens have never won. If there would be a Hall of Fame for dogs, Goldens should be in. They are great dogs as a whole. Good all around family dog, therapy and service dog, and usually with great personalities.
I also liked the Weimeraner. Thought it was a great looking dog.
For fun I like the Puli and Kommondor.
It was no surprise to me to see a Pekingese, the cocker spaniel or the Porteguese Water Dog (I am amazed it didn't win due to the President owning one). They are close if not some of the usual picks. The PBGV and Dandididmont are always culled from their groups.
I'm waiting for the Rhodesian Ridgeback, The Golden Retriever, and The Greyhound to win.
It is a really politcal, who knows who sort of sport.
But they are all really great and wonderful dogs and it's fun to watch them. Sometimes I wonder how the judge can make a decision when they have a whole collection of such fantastic dogs before them. I know each breed has meet their conformation, but really, didn't all those dogs look great?
In the end, we all have our favorite breeds and hopefully, make our home with one.
I figure my boys won't ever win any dog show as they are ex-racers, but they place best in show in my heart. Jett is so good looking and proportioned he could almost make a dog show. Jazz, alas, is pure racer, compact, sturdy, boney, bow-legged but with a face that melts your heart.
And that's all it's about in the end. Love your hounds and let them love you. They are a delight and a comfort, a gift of grace and joy.
No, my boys aren't show dogs, but they are living their second chance at life, with creature comforts of doggie beds, couch, knitted afghan, food and dinner scraps in their dishes, milkbones aplenty, a yard to run and romp around in, someone to care for, rub them and love them. What more is there?
They don't need bows on their heads (not enough fur), they won't ever been seen in any kind of outfit or get-up, their nails are not painted. They are as they are, just like God made them and more than satisfied and content.
Jett and Jazz, you're my best in show.
And congrats to the Scottish Deerhound, who actually won. One down and three on my list to go!!!!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

I bought a new blouse this past week, a kind of early birthday present.
Maybe, I just wanted something springy to look forward to amid all the ice and snow packed down and somewhat grimey, grey, yucky and black.
It had buttons down the placket and on the cuffs.
I also bought a 3/4 length sleeve shirt with shell-like buttons along its V-neck.
I washed them according to the label instructions:
the v-neck shirt I washed inside out, cold water, gentle cycle. When the washer was done, I pulled out the shirt. Two buttons were completely off and at least two others were dangling by a thread. Actually, since there were sewn on continuous thread and not sown on separately, when one goes, the next is affected and in time, all will be affected.
the blouse I washed cold water, regular cycle. When the washer was done and I hung the blouse to dry, lo and behold, the bottom button was missing. I looked and reached in the washer and there was the small button, busted. The middle of the button looked like a doughnut or bagel one hole in the middle instead of 4 tiny holes.
Please note, neither shirt had ever been worn. They had been washed only one time for the first time.
I spent part of my weekend, resewing buttons.
I have spent a lot of time resewing buttons in recent years.
Have you noticed that clothing manufacturers run thread into the buttons to attach them to the garment but there are no real knots. Which means, of course, that the buttons will come off in now time at all. Thankfully, they often include an extra button.
However, in the case of my blouse (light blue with blue and sage green splattered dots), I had to use the extra button to replace the one that broke in the wash. It would've been nice to wear the shirt at least once.
If another button breaks, I will have to go to the fabric store and replace all buttons, because I am sure I won't find an exact match.
Have you all noticed the loose button situation with your clothing?
Annoying isn't it?
Thank goodness, I do know how to sew on a button. Now if the clothing manufacturers could figure it out, that would be even better.
The Sound of the Thaw
It was a sound that really was music to my ears-
It startled me when I heard it
for my ears have not beheld that sound in many, many weeks,
even months.
There is a Zen-like quality to the sound that reaches down
into one's very soul
and awakens it.
It's trickling, tinkling sound spoke to me, gladdened my heart and spirit
filled me with hope and long did I listen that Sunday morning at
church and then at home in the afternoon and evening when the
sky was blue and pink.
Ahh, the sound of melting snow running in streams through the gutters
and into the downspout, harkening, laughing, the thaw has come,
the thaw has come...
Can spring be far behind?
What a luscious sound I heard on Sunday
of ice and snow melting into a melody all its own.
The thaw has come serenading us with music!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sometimes -
sometimes I feel so out of touch
out of place
ready to retire
like I missed the train
yet somehow loved in and through and by it all
by a love so deep and true that even when I feel
it not, or doubt it, it is there...ever there
and I make it through another day and another week
held in a love as vast as the universe yet often
invisible, nearly undetectable...but ever there.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Snow has begun to fall again, here. Light, tiny flakes that aren't yet sticking to the walkways or streets. It will, before the evening falls. Another arctic blast will descend and it will be bitterly cold. The sky is a light grey and we've had two days of sunshine, maybe three in the whole month of January.
One of our elderly homebound says the walls are beginning to close in on her! Cabin fever!
A reminder to me how important it is to stop in and check on folks within the congregation. To make the time for a visit. It doesn't always need to be a visit with deep theological discussion, just to be there, to make time for that person, to pray for them and with them, to inquire about how they're feeling, to break up the monotony of their day or week. To genuinely want to spend some time with them and to share news they hadn't heard through e-mail or because they weren't in church Sunday.
I feel several visits coming on this week. It is good for me and for them and keeps us all connected in a very personal way, which the computer can't do.
So the grace of these cold, snowy, icy days are the warmth of connections between one another and the maintaining of relationships within the fold. It makes the last weeks of winter more bearable.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

It's a cold one today but the sky is blue and the sun is shining.
After the ice coated and encrusted everything, it began to rain overnight. On Wednesday morning, as I was ready to leave for the church, the secretary called and said the church had no power. Wouldn't be able to do a thing!
I looked at the rickety wooden steps and handrail which were just wet and no longer encased in ice and sighed.
I plugged in the old laptop and worked on my sermon and prayers. By late morning,the temp had dropped dramatically and the wind was blowing unmercifully.
By 5 pm the cable had been restored and I could catch the news. I had been playing the radio so I wasn't totally in the dark.
I was thankful for the old laptop and that my part of the town hadn't lost power.
Today it is just really, really cold.
Playing catch-up to get every ready for Sunday and I get to leave at noon to go home today!!! I would've preferred being snowed/iced in at home with my boys, but the quiet keep me from distractions and helped me to get my sermon done.
All of a sudden, salt has taken on more meaning - salt that thaws the frozen from their fear, anxiety or despair, that melts the iced hardness of bitterness and hatred, etc.
I pray that power will continue to be restored to all still without heat and light. Although, my space heaters aren't much, there still give heat and keep it in the 60's.
May we, Midwesterners be salt and light especially now, and every day.
As we reflect on the gift of salt and light, our need of salt and light, may we more fully become the salt and light to which Christ calls us and to a world sore in need of both.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

This morning was all about asking; will I be able?
Will I be able to go down the rickety wooden steps from the apartment
without slipping? The landlord salted the steps, but the wooden handrail
was coated in ice, not much of a help.
Will I make it to my ice encased van, without slipping or falling?
Will I be able to open the van door and start the van?
Will I be able to even scrape some of the 1/8-1/4 inch thick ice off
the van? (Yes, as the van heated up I was able to scrape several
windows but not before breaking the scraper off my snow brush and using
this little black plastic scraper to do it all. I stopped on the way to the church and got a new scraper at the corner gas station!
Will I be able to get enough traction to even back out of my parking spot?
Will I make it the church okay?
Will I be able to pull into the skating rink, aka - the parking lot - at the church?
Will I be able to make it from the van to the church entrance without
Obviously, I made it, one half hour, sore shoulder later. No one is here.
The meals-on-wheels group cancelled - no meals made or delivered today and probably not tomorrow. The secretary couldn't make it in either.
Now the questions reform as I hope to make it back to the apartment for
lunch and back to the office before the next round, even nastier than this one, comes.
Ice really cripples us. The schoolchildren and teachers rejoice - no school! The elderly and frail snuggle in at home, content to stay in where it is warm and cozy and familiar. The rest of us, are out making our way slowly and gingerly through the world, at least today. Tomorrow will be another story.