Monday, October 05, 2020

A Knock at the Door

We were up in the mountains for a couple of days, staying in a cabin with some family members, including our 12-year old granddaughter.  I was sound asleep in the downstairs bedroom when a loud knock sounded at the door. I sat straight up in bed and nudged the gardener awake. As I remember we were both so tired we went back to sleep as we heard nothing else. (And of course, he thought I was just imagining it.)

The second night I was getting ready for bed when a loud knock sounded again. Knowing our son was still up out in the living room I rushed to fling open the door and ask him what he wanted. He looked up, confused, and said, "What?" No one knocked at your door.

Still wondering the thought came to me that maybe our granddaughter walked in her sleep. I went up to her room and she was still awake so I climbed into her bed and we talked for awhile. I asked her if she had ever sleep walked. "No, but my other grandma also asked me that. In fact you are the third person to ask me." So I began to tell her the story of Heidi, which she has not read (but should) and the mystery of the open door in the city house where Heidi was living with Clara.

That's all it took to take me back to my childhood and one of my two favorite all-time stories: Heidi.

Back at home I looked in our bookshelves for the beloved copy I had read, but found one much, much better, which I had forgotten we had. My great-aunt's 1900 edition. Beautifully bound, with wonderful etchings, I think they would be called.

Of course I read it, enjoying the wonderful story again, this time with the amazing illustrations, and thinking that my great-aunt had read the same copy--and maybe even my mother and her sisters.

Of course the book came up in discussions with my sister and friends. I remembered reading Heidi Grows Up and Heidi's Children. One friend checked her bookshelves and sure enough she had the two other books, purchased years ago in a London charity shop and loaned them to me. She and her mom began reading Heidi together. 
Then my sister found my mom's childhood copy and began to read the story.

And then my DIL went searching for her childhood copy to read. And my great-aunt's copy went into the hands of my granddaughter, who does not sleep walk, but who I hope will read it.

I've done a little survey of the young girls I know, and quite a few do not know 
about this classic story, which is sad for their sake, in my opinion.

I am now finishing Heidi's Children.
A fun saga midst our Covid-19 days ...

                                            ...  all because of a knock on the door.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

It's not all about me

I had the audacity to make my parents a cute little card on my birthday some years back, using this photo, to thank them for having me. I wasn’t exclaiming that I was so wonderful, but seriously thanking them for raising me. The older I get the more I think of my parents on my birthday, especially my mom (for obvious reasons). My birthday is not all about me.

My mother was probably the greatest influencer in my life. She quietly invested in her children’s lives by loving us, reading to us, clothing and feeding us (delicious) meals, organizing us, teaching us what we needed to know, enabling us to stretch our wings, and most of all teaching us about Jesus’ love for us. 

I know they waited awhile for me, as my sister was almost four years older than I, and then waited another 3-4 weeks for me to actually arrive (I had been due the 4th of July and came the 30th). I’ve always heard a bumpy truck ride helped to move me along. My grandparents came for the month of July to help my dad build our house. They finally left to go back home the day before I was born!

Mom didn’t have an easy life as a busy pastor’s wife, but I never heard her complain. Never. I also don’t think I was the easiest of their four kids to rear. The middle of three girls (with a baby brother), I was the one to march outside the lines. So that’s why I’m thinking especially of my mom on this another birthday. I miss her, but I see her everywhere—in myself and in our home, in the way I do things, and in her progeny. “Her children rise up and call her blessed.”

Monday, June 29, 2020

A Tale of Two Chairs

When we give something away, God sometimes gives us back something even better. A couple of years ago I gave away our much loved old wood highchair without thinking too seriously about it. There was an urgent need for a family with a baby and another foster baby arriving. Both our pack n play and highchair went quickly over to their house. 

I kind of thought I might get it returned, but when the foster child left, I heard nothing about it. By this time I knew we had a surprise grand baby coming. I kept looking for another old wood highchair but none were affordable. 

So we got an inexpensive highchair from IKEA that all our young family friends apparently L O V E. In fact I read that someone actually took one through a car wash--they are so durable and easy to clean. After our grandson's first birthday cupcake eating, his parents just hosed theirs down. 

It has served us well this year, but I call it a "spaceship" and it seems like it would be hot to sit in during our summer months. Plus, it's not quite like our decor.

And then one day a friend texted me a picture of an old dusty highchair. "Do you know anyone who needs this?" 

Within an hour it was in our garage. It cleaned up so well and even matches our kitchen chairs and takes up way less room. The white spaceship went somewhere else where it was needed.

It is a lesson to me about patience and how God delights in blessing us. 

I can't look at it without smiling and remembering.

Saturday, May 09, 2020

Let's try 6 on Saturday

1.Younger friends have been so thoughtful in adding our short list to theirs when they shop at Costco or Aldi's, while I do curbside for the bulk of our groceries. So when we ventured out to a big hardware store yesterday, it had been 60 days since we'd been inside a store. The only strange thing was most everyone wearing masks, and sales folks being extra helpful. But when trying to talk through the plastic separation, AND a mask, it was difficult to hear. 
And I might have lowered my mask, which I question the value of anyway, to make my request clear.
2. I was wanting paint and had been waiting so patiently for two months. 
I found just the blue I wanted for a fun project and began to paint our porch chairs soon after I got home. 
The weather has been so wonderful and the low humidity just may be helping to give me all the energy I seem to have.
Actually it rained an unusually soft rain while I painted, and it was "a moment"--
painting is like big coloring for me, and the sound of rain on the roof just added to the pleasure.

3. I was reading in Luke the story of the man who was getting visitors so knocked on the door of a friend late at night asking for bread. He got it, my version said, due to his impudence, which a footnote defined as "persistance."
I know the word impudent to mean "not showing respect; impertinent." Maybe in some fashion it means both, but the reason my antenna rises when I read the word "impudent" is the 500 lines I had to write when I was a kid. 
"It is impudent and rude to say "so what?'" 
And I have not used that expression since.

4. Our table has never been so silent. Though I'm obviously cooking a lot, as most of us are, 
I wonder will I get my knack back for cooking for a full table of guests? And when?
5. Fifty years and one week ago, my boyfriend (a.k.a. The Gardener) and I climbed a favorite mountain of ours across the Hudson River from our college, and he asked me to marry him. It happened to be on the same date, two years prior, of our first date. I put this very special anniversary on fb, and sigh, everyone thought it was our 50th wedding anniversary, 
even though I said that "he asked a question and I gave the best answer I've ever given." 
I think when you get to the alter (we were married in a church like most back then) you've already been asked the question! There was no photographer there, people didn't do that kind of thing back then, but I guess we each took a photo of the other and I had fun putting them together to look like one image. But my guess is we were sitting a bit closer on such an occasion! 

6. Last but not least on this long post, my beloved and only still-living uncle celebrates his 95th birthday today. 
We had a lovely visit with them on face time--once we heard they knew how to do that. 
He collected old cars throughout his life, and we loved the treat of going for a ride in them.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

bad times

I overheard the Gardener, a historian by trade, talking to a friend on the phone. "Bad times come," he commented, "we know that from history." These are very hard times, possibly the hardest many of us remember. But our parents (should we be numbered among those whose parents are no longer living) would remember harder times--the Great Depression and WW II to name at least two.

The Gardener had to have a routine blood test today so drove to the doctor's office and two lab techs came out--one to take his temperature and one to draw his blood. Before he arrived home he got a call from his doctor to discuss the results. This new way seems simpler and took a shorter amount of time than the usual. Maybe it should be how they always do it from now on. And our doctor took the time to check to make sure we were staying home and not even going into stores.

I admit the quarantine is starting to "get" to me on this day #35 and today I felt it. I've mostly enjoyed this forced "stop" of much of life, but today I wondered when it would be over, especially for those of us who are at a higher risk. And I miss being with the grands. There's just nothing like quality time spent together--much better than a distance visit or a zoom call.

But I know most people have it much harder than we do. So I snap out of any
wallowing and move right on to the gratitude list. There is so much on that list.

1. I have grandchildren to miss.
2. Spring has not been canceled and it has been glorious, pollen and all!
Wonderful days outdoors, taking it all in.
3. Even if I don't have all I would like to have in the pantry, we are blessed with food to make,
and that's a lot better than many.
4. We are retired so don't have jobs to lose.
5. We have plenty to do at home to keep us busy and entertained.
6. Technology helps us stay connected with friends.
7. Our church provides us wonderful worship each week.

I found this picture of our kids and their cousins from years ago.
It seems timely for these days, but I have no idea what was going on.
I hope you are all managing, and staying healthy.

Friday, April 03, 2020

my face itches

It seems that as soon as I get into a public place, which is usually only the grocery store, my face starts to itch. Have you found that? I think we probably touch our faces a lot, and that, among a list of other things, is off limits these days.

There's a new kind of thinking we have to do now, at least we are, ... the steps to safely go to the grocery store or the curbside pick-up (which we try to do), bringing the bags into the house, getting the mail, receiving packages.

This is Day #23 of us staying at home. It hasn't been too bad, but I often think what it would be like if our electricity or internet were down. We have so much to be thankful for, and so much to entertain ourselves at home. I haven't done half of what I'd like to do. We happen to be in a glorious spring, so walks outside and yard work are wonderful diversions.

We eat a lot of ground turkey, but I haven't been able to find it in a store for the last two weeks (nor have friends who offer to shop for me.) That's a mild concern for me, but there's so much more to be concerned about. I don't need to list it here, but it has been hard to see friends lose jobs or have work hours reduced dramatically. The list of friends to pray for that are dealing with cancer or other traumas continues to grow.

So the most important thing we can do during this time is to pray for our lists, and for those in authority, for those suffering, for those who can't see their loved ones dying with covid. And as Edie Wadsworth, a blogger, said, "Let's let the suffering do it's work. May we submit to its teaching. What can we learn about ourselves right now?"

And I look around and see so much to be grateful for. Good things come out of hard times. Blessings come with having to stay home. And I try to focus on them.

More time to enjoy spring and going for walks.
Good chance to see some movies or TV series I've missed.
Good books to read.
Technology to chat with our grands, text or call to check on friends, our weekly Bible study on zoom, worship services online, and even zoom a birthday celebration.
More time to do creative things, even if its expressed with place settings.
Getting crochet projects finished.

A fun visit with friends in a park parking lot as we "social distanced."
Seeing families out walking, riding bikes, being creative.
All the funny memes, and jokes--it's good to laugh.
Enjoying all the creative ways Americans are coming together to help each other.

Grateful for a neighbor, a former fireman, who climbed up our roof to refasten loose siding (he did not tell his wife.)
The opportunity to slow down, think and reflect more, and be grateful.

And speaking of roofs, we loved bringing a care package to the grands and 
having a window visit, even though it interrupted their school work! 

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