Posts Categorized: Peace

Learning Curve? It’s More Like a Learning Ski Jump!

My most recent phone. It's pretty. And, of course, I needed a case that would let the prettiness show!

My most recent phone. It’s pretty. And, of course, I needed a case that would let the prettiness show!

I dug my heels in for a long time, avoiding a mobile phone. I just didn’t feel that I needed to be only one touch away from having to talk/listen at any time in any place. Until Kevin and April got iPhones and brought them to show us, and I was overwhelmed by what all the “phones” could do. They’re really less phones than little bitty computers that I can carry around. And take photos with. And look up stuff with. And get directions with. And, really, it’s not anything that you or anyone else, worldwide, don’t already know about.

I’m a little bit embarrassed to admit that I can’t actually recall how many phones I’ve had. Only one had to be replaced because I dropped it. Several times. Once on concrete. The others I’ve just gotten because some family member has said something like, “You’re due for an upgrade,” or, “The new phones are out!” That sort of thing.

All that said, I still struggle with knowing exactly how and what to do for one thing or another. For example:

Two or three weeks ago, I went online one Thursday evening to put up the week’s blog post, and I couldn’t get onto the website. That’s the sort of thing that I absolutely do not know how to navigate, so I phoned Jeremy in a panic. He tried from his computer in Brooklyn and had the same result–can’t get in! He said to hang up, and he’d work on it and call me back.

I opened up a word processing document and started writing so that, when he figured out what to do, I’d be able to cut and paste the post into the web site. I was pounding away (actually, it’s not really “pounding” any more, is it; it’s keyboarding, or inputting), writing out words, making paragraphs that I hoped I’d be able to post. And, while I was typing, I thought someone next door must be mowing, or edging. The sound was so loud that it created a vibration strong enough that I could feel it in my fingers, as I typed. I reached out and touched the window sill, but it didn’t seem to be vibrating.

Here's my desk. This is what it looked like, while I was waiting for Jeremy to phone me back. The phone was RIGHT THERE!! Next to me on the desk.

Here’s my desk. This is what it looked like, while I was waiting for Jeremy to phone me back. The phone was RIGHT THERE!! Next to me on the desk.

I typed on along, and then I heard a text ding and saw the text slide across the upper corner of the computer screen. From Jeremy: “When one is expecting a call, one generally stays by the phone. Or brings the phone with them.” I picked up the phone (which was indeed vibrating, which is what I had been feeling in my fingers on the keyboard).

“IT DIDN’T RING,” I said (a little loudly). “It’s right here on the desk next to me and IT DIDN’T RING!!!” (This is an issue I often have with my up-to-date, modern children. Sometimes, often, the phone doesn’t vibrate when it’s in my pocket, so I don’t know when they’ve called. And now, when I was anxiously waiting for a phone call, it did. not. ring!)

“It’s there next to you?” “YES!” “Screen up or screen down?” he asked.

“Screen down,” I said. “Well, Mom,” he said sort of gently, or maybe just amused. “People put their phones screen down when they want to not be disturbed.”

“ARE YOU KIDDING ME!” I said. (I was pretty irritated by everything and yelled rather a lot that evening.) “ALL THE TIMES I’VE SAID TO YOU GUYS THAT MY PHONE’S NOT RINGING AND NOBODY EVER THOUGHT TO TELL ME THAT?!?!?!?!”

I really, seriously rely on the computer/phone intelligentsia in my family to help me navigate through all the iPhone problems. Because, despite what they say and think, it is not intuitive for me. Even after all these years. I can do all sorts of things on the phone. I am stymied by all sorts of other things on my phone.

“And why does it do that,” I went on with Jeremy. “Putting it screen down seems natural to me.”

“That’s because you’re old,” he said. And he’s right. On several levels.

When I think about how I used to hold a phone receiver (you know, the kind that’s attached by a cord to the big ol’ dial-on-the-front phone itself), when I said “good-bye,” I took the receiver from my ear and put it, business-end down on the phone. Which is the natural motion for me to use when I’m done with an iPhone call. I pull the phone away from my ear and put it, business-end down, on the desk/table/bed. And then, unbeknownst to me, it goes into “do not disturb” mode.

My most recent phone. It's pretty. And, of course, I needed a case that would let the prettiness show!

There’s a solution to this. When Kevin and April and Jeremy were here for Independence Day, Kevin took over my phone for a few minutes and diddled around and handed it back. “Call her,” he said to one of the others.

See that small, dark circle in the phone’s top left-hand corner? That’s the viewer of the phone’s camera. The little white circle next to it is the flash, in case a shot needs extra illumination. Whatever Kevin did makes that light flash like a strobe when I get an incoming call. It’s a little hard to miss.

And that is what those intelligentsia are for.

 

Good judgment proves
    that you are wise,
    and if you speak kindly,
    you can teach others.

Proverbs 16:21 (Contemporary English Version)

I guess I need to work a little bit (or a lot) on speaking kindly, even when I’m frustrated. Or feeling stupid. Or overwhelmed. Or mystified. Or … I could go on and on.

 

Years ago,  Kevin and April got new phones that had Siri (the app that you talk to, and who talks back to you, for answers to questions and for information). Kevin was really enjoying asking and getting responses and showing us what all that Siri-girl can do. At one point, he said, “Hey, Siri, text April and tell my wife I love her.” And Siri said, “Texting April to tell my wife I love her.” Okay. There were some fine points to figure out.

The next morning, he and my sister and I were up, and he was still enjoying his new phone friend. I asked what was the difference between the iPhone 4 and 4s, and which one did they have (I do pay a little attention to ads and commercials). All full of his computery self, Kevin picked up his phone and said, “Hey, Siri. Tell my mother what the difference is between the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4s.”

And Siri said, “I do not know who your mother is.”

iPhones are a lot of fun.

 

Dilemma: If I’m going to buy a new plant, should it be one I choose for beauty or for eating?

I’m a little unnerved at discovering a less-than-desirable trait. In myself. I like to think that I always make good choices, appropriate decisions, the best possible option. Would that it were so.

For example:

Last Sunday afternoon, I was driving home and saw, out of the corner of my eye, a nursery that I like to visit. The parking lot had several cars. “Hmmmm,” I thought. “Are they open today? I didn’t know they were open on Sundays. I wonder if they really are open on Sundays these days. Maybe there are just some cars in the parking lot.”

And I thought I should drive on over and just see if they’d begun to have open hours on Sundays.

I wasn’t going to park. And I certainly wasn’t going to go in. I was just going to see if they were open, in case, on some Sunday afternoon in the future, I might want to walk through and look at some plants.

So I turned the corner and drove into the parking lot … just to see if they were open. And, yes, indeed. They are open now, on Sunday afternoons. And I parked the car.

“I’m just going to go in and look around,” I said to myself. “I have plenty of plants and I’m keeping them all alive. So far. I’m not going to buy anything,” I said to myself, as I walked into the nursery.

I walked around. There were some big, beautiful Caladiums. But I have some nice Caladiums that are growing nicely. There weren’t any hostas, and just as well, as I’m working hard to keep the hostas I have alive. There were herbs and some vegetables, but I really have what I need and what I know I can keep green. There were some interesting things that I enjoyed seeing, but I didn’t want. Yes, it was going well. “I’m just going to look. I’m not going to buy anything.”

There were moss roses. Got ’em. Purslane. Don’t want it. There was a plant with the cutest little red flowers on it; they looked a little like roses, but weren’t. The label said, “sun to part shade.” They were really cute. Okay. They were cute. They looked like something I might could keep alive. “But this is IT! I’m just going to buy these and that’s all!”

The new plants

The new plants

There was a pot of something that looked similar, but had little purple flowers, and they looked so cute next to the little red flowers. And the little red flowers looked a little lonesome by themselves. So, I thought, “Yes, I should get these purple ones, too. But, that’s a container in each hand, and that’s enough.”

There was a little plant that’s supposed to produce yellow flowers (but didn’t have any at the time) and likes sun, and I have a sunny place with other yellow flowers, and it was easy to carry in one of the hands that had the other flowers.

And, I had this horrible epiphany (I know, we usually think of epiphanies as good things, but I did look it up, and one of the definitions applies).

This might be what alcoholics say: “I’m not going in that bar. I’m just going to drive by. Well, I’ll park. But I’m not going in. Well, I can go in, but I’m not going to have a drink. Well, one drink. But that’s all.” And so on.

I’ve had that same conversation with myself in front of a yarn store. “I’m not going in. I’m just going to look in the window. I’ll go in, but I’m not going to touch any yarn. Oh, this feels so wonderful, but I’m not going to purchase it.” Followed by: “Let me write you a check for that.”

Which says something a little sobering about me. I have no self control. At least when it comes to plants. And yarn. And occasionally about some other things, like books for Peter. That sort of thing.

 If you had not helped me, Lord,
    I would soon have gone
    to the land of silence.
 When I felt my feet slipping,
    you came with your love
    and kept me steady.

Psalm 94:17-18 (Contemporary English Version)

Keep me steady, Lord. Help me make good decisions. About the large things and the small things. And all the things in between.

When I checked the definitions of “epiphany,” I saw a little link (Ollie, Mollie, Gollie–how many of those little interesting-looking links do you click on?) that said, “Do you know the word for the way the earth smells after the rain? I found that irresistible. I thought you’d be interested, too. Here it is.

[pe-trahy-kawr, ‐ker]
You know how it smells outside after a rainstorm? There’s a word for that, of course. Petrichor is the distinct scent of rain in the air. Or, to be more precise, it’s the name of an oil that’s released from the earth into the air before rain begins to fall.

Now, isn’t that interesting. I can’t wait for the next rain, which, given typical Texas summers, could be in October.

All’s Well That Ends, Um, Reasonably Well

Last week was pretty busy with company and holiday stuff, and Peter stayed on for a few days, and I took him back to Fort Worth last Monday. Tuesday I needed to take some food to church for a post-funeral meal, and I did that and went to the funeral, then came home to try to put things in order, sort of. I worked for an hour or so, and thought, maybe, I should have a nap. I napped, and then I never returned to the kitchen for the rest of the day.

walgreenslogoOn Wednesday, all I had to do was go to a retina appointment. We were almost out of milk, and I thought that I’d just go to Walgreen’s, after the appointment, instead of the hubbub of HEB. And, I like to get my Snapple in the large plastic containers, which Walgreen’s does have, and HEB does not. That was my plan, and I got all the way home from the retina place before I remembered about the milk/Snapple run, so I left the house again and went on over to Walgreen’s.

Having my eyes worked on by the retina folks, while not really painful, is a little unnerving, and I always feel a little rattled. But, really, all I had to do was go into Walgreen’s and get the milk and Snapple. I parked under a nice shady tree, and pretty quickly got what I wanted and put it in a cart (because three big plastic bottles of Snapple are too heavy to carry all at once). At the counter, I was writing a check, and and I didn’t have my nice Walgreen’s reward card, so I had to enter my phone number, and then write the check, and then follow the Walgreen’s check-writing procedure, which varies from every other business’ check-writing procedure (click here, click here, sign your name w/our stylus, sign your name with your finger, click here, click here—They are all different!). I got through all that. The friendly checker put each Snapple bottle in an individual bag and the milk in a bag, and then she returned my check to me (as they do at two of the local Wal-Marts, but not the third Wal-Mart). It was a pretty lengthy and complicated procedure, but at last, I was on my way out to the car. I pushed the cart to the back of the car and put everything into the trunk. I picked up my purse from the cart and … it was too light.

IMG_4488I recently got a new purse. It’s ‘way smaller that the previous one, but it holds what I need to carry. The large, central pocket is just the right size for my wallet and for the little bag that I use for medicines and Band-aids and hand lotion and lip gloss and tissues. That little bag doesn’t weigh much at all. The wallet is the thing that weighs as much as everything else in the purse put together. So, it wasn’t like I’d just left behind a pair of reading glasses or the pen I’d used to write my check. I’D LOST TRACK OF MY WALLET!!!

I went through every bag I’d put in the trunk (Snapple intact, milk in its bag, no wallet). I checked my purse a few times. No, the wallet had not magically re-appeared.

I went back into the store.

I had to get back in line at the check-out and wait for a turn to talk to the checker. When I finally got to her (and, fortunately, no one else was in line), I asked, “My wallet? I think I left my wallet when I walked out. Is it here?”

She looked at me a little strangely. “You left your wallet? What did it look like.” “It’s black. Sort of regular size.”
And she said, “The lady behind you . . .” “The one buying cigarettes?” I said, because I’d remembered that the checker had asked her and then held the cigarettes for a minute or so, while I was signing, clicking, etc. “Yes, that lady,” she said. “That lady picked up a wallet from the counter and left with it. The lady behind her said she thought that was her wallet, and she sent her kids out to ask, and when they came back, they said that the lady said no it was her wallet.” “I think that was probably my wallet,” I said. “I’ve looked in all the bags I had, in my car, in my purse. It’s not there.”

She called for a manager, who came right away, and she explained what had happened. They had security cameras, but that wasn’t going to help me right then, and I began to feel anxious about getting home and canceling the credit cards.

“I think there’s really nothing to be done,” I said. “I’m so, so sorry,” the young lady said. And I said, “It is not your fault that I walked away without my wallet. It would have been nice if you’d noticed, but it is not your responsibility to take care of my things. It’s my responsibility to take care of my things. It is not at all your fault.” She took my name and phone numbers, just in case it turned up. I thanked everyone again and said I needed to get home and start making phone calls.

Sometimes modern life is nice and efficient. The Bank of America card and the Discover card have websites that say “Lost or Stolen Card?” And you punch that and they immediately say they will cancel the card and send a new one and to be sure to check recent purchases, which I did, and there wasn’t anything. Of course, I did have to call David and tell him he couldn’t charge anything for 5 to 10 days because I’d lost the card he uses.

Dealing with the Target card was a little more difficult. On their website, it says “Lost or Stolen Card?” but then they ask for information to be sure I’m the card holder. For example: “What is the three-digit security code on the back of the card?” Hmmm. I don’t know the three-digit security code on the back of my card because I don’t have my card!! I guess I should have that written down somewhere, but, alas, I do not. So I had to search and search for an 800 number, which I finally found. I was on the phone with, um, Tyler, I think, when the doorbell rang. I kept talking while I went to answer it, and, TA-DAH!! A lady was standing on my porch, holding my wallet!!

Now, I didn’t get that good a look at the lady behind me at Walgreen’s who was buying cigarettes. The lady on the porch said that she had found the wallet in a cart at Walgreen’s, looked inside and found who I was and where I lived, and so she brought it back to me. I opened the wallet and all the cards were there and everything looked untouched/unmoved. I thanked her very much and she left. I told Tyler the Target guy (still politely on the phone) that my wallet had been returned and that I would not need to cancel my card, and I thanked him very much.

And then I thought to look in the zipper compartment, where the cash belongs. Empty. Maybe the cigarette lady walked out, opened the wallet and removed the cash and then left the wallet in a cart on the sidewalk. Maybe the lady on my porch found it there. Maybe she didn’t think about taking in the store and handing it to a manager. Maybe she was the woman who took the cash in the first place.  I had gotten more cash that I usually carry because we were going to have company, but I don’t know how much I had in the wallet on Wednesday. It probably wasn’t as much as $50.00, and probably not that much. I certainly wish I had it back, but, over all, it seems like a reasonable amount of money to lose if it helps me remember to keep track of my wallet.

I looked at the number on the check I had written to Walgreen’s and compared it with the checks in my wallet. None had been torn out/used.

All in all, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. Everything but the cash seems to be there. I didn’t have to go and get a new Driver’s License. And, a lesson learned the hard way, but I will not likely leave my wallet lying on a counter any time soon.

 

   Jesus told the people another story:

What will a woman do if she has ten silver coins and loses one of them? Won’t she light a lamp, sweep the floor, and look carefully until she finds it? Then she will call in her friends and neighbors and say, “Let’s celebrate! I’ve found the coin I lost.”

Luke 15:8-9 (Contemporary English Version)

Come on over!! We’ll have a party and celebrate.

I did phone the Walgreen’s store and talked to the manager and told him that the wallet had been returned.  I thanked him for being interested and helpful and considerate, and to be sure to let the checker know that I had my wallet back, with everything intact. Well, I didn’t bring up the missing cash.

Whistle While You Work! Tra-la-la-la-la-la-lah!

I can’t actually whistle. But sometimes I sing while I work. And, a lot of the time, I listen to an audio book while I work, which means I sometimes have to go back and relisten to whole chapters, because I’ve been thinking about what I’m working on, instead of listening, and I discover I have no idea what’s going on, in that audio book that’s been pouring into my ears.

Meanwhile, my sleep cycles have been rather awry lately. I think it was Bible School. We have Bible School (which we call Children’s Bible Club) in the evenings. I’m accustomed to being more busy and active in the daytime. I work in the yard. I work in the house. I walk on the treadmill. In the evenings, I’m more likely to be doing stuff on the computer or watching television or reading (and maybe I walk on the treadmill). Quieter stuff. And I stop drinking tea at 6:00 p.m.

Even when Peter’s here (which he happened to be, during Bible School), I’m not at all busy with him later in the day. The instant David walks in the door after work each evening, Peter becomes an appendage, and I might as well not be here at all. So when he’s here, my daytimes may be busy, but my evenings are restful. I’m thinking, then, that the evening-time hubbub of Bible School a couple of weeks ago sort of re-set my regular rhythms, and I’m having trouble sleeping. Or, staying asleep.

Tuesday morning, verrrrrrry early … well, it was really more like Monday night still, I woke up and could not get back to sleep. And, I kept thinking about what all I needed to get done before holiday company arrives on Saturday, and what sort of food preparation and house cleaning and laundry and general readiness and, well, you understand. So, I gave up and got up.

I didn’t necessarily want to spend time on the computer, reading Facebook posts or doing crossword puzzles or jigsaw puzzles, because screen time is supposed to negatively effect sleep. I didn’t want to do anything noisy (like getting a jumpstart on the vacuuming), because David might find that annoying, in the middle of the night. But, there was some cleaning up that I should do in the guest/sewing/overflow stuff room. I went there and shut the door and turned on the light, and thought about what a disorganized space the armoire was.

I keep my sewing stuff in there. Years (and years and years) ago, I got a set of Tupperware containers that I use to keep all the sewing stuff organized. Sort of. I find myself searching among the containers for what I need, and the boxes get disorganized and I can’t always find what I want, and things get stuffed in anywhere, and, so on and so on. Also, there was stuff in a chair and on the sewing machine and on the bed, and I was feeling frazzled about it.

Stuff all over the bed and the ironing board.

Stuff all over the bed and the ironing board.

I found all sorts of stuff, like these tiny envelopes that have spare buttons from clothes I've bought. Very few of them are labeled, so I don't know what clothes they belong to, or even if they belong to clothes I still have.

I found all sorts of stuff, like these tiny envelopes that have spare buttons from clothes I’ve bought. Very few of them are labeled, so I don’t know what clothes they belong to, or even if they belong to clothes I still have.

So, at 1:15 a.m. on Tuesday, I took all those containers out of the armoire and got to work. I opened them all up and spread everything out on the bed. I re-arranged and made sure that the same things were together. (No zippers with the interfacing. No elastic with the ribbon.) I tried to be bold about getting rid of things I don’t use or want or like any more. I consolidated things. I threw away things. I made a Goodwill bag. And long before I finished, I became really sleepy and thought I should go on to bed while the urge compelled me to, and while I could get at least a little bit of sleep.

I had to put the project on hold for a little while, trying to get some other tasks done (like making homemade ice cream for July 4th!) and getting other spaces in the house also ready for company. But I got back to it Thursday afternoon. Everything got tucked away into a container. I stacked them all in the armoire, and remembered how frustrating it has been to find exactly what I was looking for. So, I did what I’ve planned to do for, oh, fifteen years? I labeled the containers. Yes, I know, it seems like a simple thing (and it was). I just never got around to it.

 

As I went through, somewhat, the drawers, I found this Hawaiian quilt square that I started (and I am not exaggerating) forty-four years ago. The figure is appliqued on and I had begun to quilt it, but the top got skewed from the lining, and I put it away and didn’t get back to it. A few years ago, I pulled the quilting out. Monday night, I separated the batting from the top and bottom. I threw out the old batting and ironed the front and backing. It’s ready for me to think about starting over.

The bird’s eye maple armoire is the only piece of furniture that I remember from my maternal grandparents’ home. I’m very glad to have it, for sentimental reasons, and because it does such a good job of keeping all my sewing stuff organized!

 

Everything on earth has it’s own time and its own season. There is a time . . .

for throwing stones
and gathering stones,
    embracing and parting.

Ecclesiastes 3:1, 2a, 5 (Contemporary English Version)

I’ve been doing some throwing and gathering. In just a couple of days, there’ll be embracing, and then, a while later, some parting. And, every now and then, I’ll go and look in the armoire, to see how nice it looks!

A Time for Everything, A Season for Every Activity

Here it is … Thursday night again. Well, I don’t know, of course, when you’re reading this, but for me, at the computer, it’s Thursday night. Peter’s been here since Monday, and we’ve had Children’s Bible Club each evening at church. I taught in the Pre-K room, along with two other teachers. We had five or six kids each evening, and we all had a very good time.

It’s Vacation Bible School (or VBS), but we call it Children’s Bible Club (or CBC), and it’s a long story why, but it’s the same thing.

We’d discussed earlier in the week how the play dough (green) seemed to be getting smaller and smaller, and how, possibly, we should make some more. So this evening, when the kids had all arrived, and before dinner came (yes, all the kids get dinner each evening), I pulled out the play dough ingredients and the skillet, so we could cook up a fresh batch. We had already decided on the color choice. Pink. When I had asked about color, two girls voted for pink, two boys voted for two different colors. The third boy abstained. So, the pink won.

We put all the ingredients into the skillet, and each kid who wanted to stir, got a turn to stir the play dough batter. (Anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that that seems to make a nicer batch of homemade play dough.) When dinner came, I moved the skillet to a counter. I plugged it in, but it seemed to be wobbling. I looked, and one of the skillet’s feet was sitting on, oh, yes, my phone.

As an aside here, earlier, at the zoo, I sharply said to a mom whom we were walking with (and playing with her kids) that I was amazed by and disappointed in the women’s fashion industry. “Why, in this day and age, do clothing designers continue to put inadequate pockets in women’s clothes!?!” She agreed. My phone had fallen out of my pocket … not while I was sitting down (which does sometimes happen, when there’s an inadequate pocket), but while I was walking! That’s how shallow the pocket was. That is a BAD pocket. I have had that dress for a while, and I’m trying to be more careful and conscious when I buy clothes. But it’s REALLY frustrating. Anyway …

The reason my phone was on the counter was because it wouldn’t stay in my pocket. I had taken it out of my purse to have nearby, instead of being in my purse, hanging on a hook on the back of the door. So, I had put it on the counter. The skillet’s not that heavy and the phone certainly wasn’t damaged by having one of it’s feet on it for a few seconds. I lifted the skillet’s edge, by holding the handle, of course, because it was plugged in and beginning to heat up. I quickly picked up my phone.

And dropped it into the uncooked play dough batter.

And yelped.

Another teacher came to my rescue, and began to stir the play dough, so it would cook nice and evenly. I snatched up some paper towels, and began to frantically wipe off my phone. There are all those openings in the case, for me to be able to turn the phone on and off and the volume up and down and take photos. It took many seconds for me to pull the case off, but finally I could begin wiping the thing down. Both things down. I guess it only took a few seconds, because I was done and the case back on by time the play dough batter had become play dough.

 

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,

Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4 (New International Version)

It’s been a week of extended laughing and dancing.

And, in an interesting postscript, this evening as I was carefully inspecting the phone to be sure I’d removed all the pink, I discovered a little tiny switch on the side of my phone. “What’s that?” I wondered. It looked like it had some pink play dough batter in it, so I looked really carefully and moved it, and discovered that the pink was a reddish line when the switch was pushed down. When I did push the switch up and down, little pictures appeared on the phone’s screen, saying “Ringer” and “Silent.” Which explains why for ages I have not been able to hear the phone ring. I’ve complained to family members that I miss calls because the phone’s ringer isn’t working right! Sooooo, give me a call. I might be able to hear the ringer now.

growing

 

Sometimes, I sort of miss the baby. I miss being able to pick him up and nuzzle his cheeks and carry him around. I miss holding him while he slept. I miss being able to catch up to him, when he was toddling away and all I had to do was walk fast. Those days are long gone.

Instead, I get to listen to him read books. He can walk on the treadmill. I insist that I stand behind him, with my feet on the edges, while he walks, but he can hold on by himself. I get to paint with him, because he still would rather paint with company, instead of painting alone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Train children in the right way,
    and when old, they will not stray.

Proverbs 22:6 (New Revised Standard Version)

I once heard Charles Swindoll talk about this verse. He said that adults often approach these words as meaning that they are the ones who decide a child’s “way.” Instead, he said, our job is to be with our children, study our children, appreciate our children’s abilities, and help them become the people that God means them to be. If a parent has always dreamed of having physician in the family, then it might be hard to accept a teacher or writer or businessperson. Between home and school and church, children need to have all sorts of experiences to help them discover what interests them, what challenges them, what intrigues them. It’s a joint effort.

IMG_3864Meanwhile, if the thunderstorms forecast for Friday morning don’t materialize, Peter and I are going to put on our overalls and do a little yard work (in case Peter decides on horticulture).

 

What Definition of “Great” Are You Using?

Earlier this week, I watched three episodes of American Experience on PBS, about America’s involvement in World War I. I never knew much about the war; I guess we never got that far in World History (in something the same way that we never got much beyond the Civil War in American History, or much beyond the Alamo in Texas History). Starting in 2014, as the centennial mark of the beginning of the war meant that there was more attention to it, I tried to become more informed, which just lead to lots of weeping. But, I started with:

Also, I knew that my paternal grandfather served in France in WWI. My maternal grandfather, by time America got involved and established a draft, had four daughters, including a young infant, so most likely draft-exempt.

 

Leroy Goodwin began his service on October 2, 1917, and was part of the American Expeditionary Forces, from June 1918 ’til January 1919, with an Honorable Discharge on February 15, 1919. Armistice Day for WWI was November 11, 1918. I know absolutely nothing else about his military service.

Except that he had some time to shop, probably in those weeks between Armistice Day and when he came back home.

My grandmother in the center. From the left: her brother, Frank, her Army son (Ozero, my Dad), Grandma, her Navy sons (C.L. and Joe)--they all came home alive

My grandmother in the center. From the left: her brother, Frank, her Army son (Ozero, my Dad), Grandma, her Navy sons (C.L. and Joe)–they all came home alive

 

My dad’s older brother C. L. enlisted in the Navy right after the Pearl Harbor attack. Their younger brother, Joe, wanted to, but had to wait until he was a little bit older. My Dad was in college at Ohio State, and wanted to finish school. But, he got drafted into the Army. He ended up stationed in Texas, where he met my mother. He was part of the occupation army in Japan, after the war ended. He did finish school, but instead of Ohio State, it was at Baylor in Waco, where he and my mother lived happily ever after.

David’s dad was a medic in WWII, in Belgium and Luxembourg. His brother was an army man, too.

 

 

 

 

 

I looked at maps, to try to see how WWI affected Europe.

Also, I found this: 40 maps that explain WWI. When I have some time, I think it will help explain things, too. But, I will not have time now. Peter’s coming!

 

After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying,

“Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power to our God, (New Revised Standard Version)

και μετα ταυτα ηκουσα φωνην οχλου πολλου μεγαλην εν τω ουρανω λεγοντος αλληλουια η σωτηρια και η δοξα και η τιμη και η δυναμις κυριω τω θεω ημων (1550 Stephanus New Testament [Greek])

יט לאחר מכן שמעתי קול אדיר שנשמע כקול המוני אנשים בשמים: “הללויה! הודו לה’! הישועה, הכבוד (Hebrew)

Afta da big angel guy wen talk, jalike one dream, I wen hear one big noise dat wen sound like get plenny peopo inside da sky. Dey singing,

“God, he da greates! Hallelujah! He take us outa da bad kine stuff we stay in! He da awesome One! An he da One dat get plenny power! (Hawai’i Pidgin)

  После этого я услышал голос, звучащий, как голос огромного множества людей. Они восклицали в небесах:

– Аллилуйя!
    Спасение, слава и сила у нашего Бога (Russian)

Revelation 19:1

No matter how you say it, it’s Hallelujah! Our God reigns.

We Took a Little Trip, Part 2

As we were traveling back home from Tulsa, Sunday before last, we stopped at a Cracker Barrel, somewhere in Texas, after we left Oklahoma. When we got out of the car, it was breezy and a little chilly. And I recalled the conversation I had with myself, several times that Sunday morning, in the hotel, as I was packing. “Oh, there’s my jacket. I must remember that my jacket is on the chair. And I’ll need to get it when we leave.” When we left the room, to go down for breakfast in the hotel, um, snack room, I reminded myself about my jacket. “There’s my jacket on the chair. I must remember to get it when we leave.”

After breakfast, when we got back to the room, there was my jacket on the chair. “Oh, yes,” I said to  myself. “I must remember to get my jacket.”

I carefully packed up all my things, and we went down the elevator and checked out and took our things to the car (where the weather was still) and drove away, off to the Chickasaw Nation Visitor Center, where the weather was also still. At the Cracker Barrel, however, it was not still, and as we walked toward the Cracker Barrel door, I was chilly, and I thought, “Oh, yes, I need my jacket, which is … on the chair in our hotel room.”

At the door of the Cracker Barrel, I told David I didn’t have my jacket. And, he knew where it was. On the chair. In our hotel room. In Tulsa. He went back to the car and got the hotel receipt and, from the door of the Cracker Barrel, I phoned the hotel and gave them my name and our room number and a description of the jacket. “It’s sort of a sweater-jacket,” I said. “A knitted thing. It’s sort of a pinkish/lavender jacket, with a hood. And it’s on the chair, in room 212.” She explained that the housecleaning crew had just begun to work, and that they waited until they were completely done cleaning, before they brought things down (apparently, I’m not the only guest who leaves things behind). We went over our home address and phone number (just in case), and, of course, the credit card number, which they would need to pay for the postage for sending the jacket to me. And I thanked her, and we went and had our lunch.

When we got back to Waco, I unpacked and put things away. But it wasn’t until I was getting ready for bed that I began to look around, check my suitcase, look in my smaller bag, and finally accepted the fact that my nightgown had not made the trip back to Waco. I’ve had this “white nightgown” problem before, last May. I had left it at David’s mom’s house, when I went to Baltimore for a family wedding. It had gotten mixed in with some white towels, and I didn’t see it. Same thing in the hotel. White nightgown, hanging on bathroom hook, along with a white towel.

Monday morning, I called the hotel. AGAIN. I gave the lady my name and room number and, oh, yes, they had the white nightgown. “Oh, thank you,” I said. And, they had a white shirt. “WHAT!” I should not be allowed to travel. It was an extra knit shirt I had taken along, in case I got cold and needed to wear it underneath something else (like a jacket, for example). And, same, problem. It was folded up, in the suitcase, and I think that, when I was repacking everything, I may have taken it out of the suitcase, rearranged things, and didn’t notice it on the white sheets of the bed, and just packed everything else up. So, yes, they would pack up ALL my left-behind clothing, and send it along to me.

My missing things: jacket, white nightgown, white knit shirt, all safe and sound back in Texas

My missing things: jacket, white nightgown, white knit shirt, all safe and sound back in Texas

I had hoped the package would arrive by Thursday, so I could take a photo, to put in last week’s post. But, it didn’t come until Saturday. I thought that, after all their traveling, maybe I should just go ahead and toss them in the laundry, to clean them up. And I did that. I’d done laundry all day Friday, so these things just went into the washer all together. The white nightgown. The white knit shirt. And the lavender/pinkish sort of colored jacket. Regular cycle. Warm wash, and cold rinse.

 

 

 

 

 

Right out of the washer

Right out of the washer

Looking closely at the jacket, you probably notice that it’s covered with little white detritus. Apparently, I’d left a tissue in a pocket. Or maybe a tissue in each pocket. Or multiple tissues. There were a lot of little pieces. And I thought I’d just go ahead and put it in the dryer and let the dryer get all that stuff off the jacket. And, then I noticed the white nightgown and the white shirt. Maybe it wouldn’t have been so obvious, if they hadn’t been sitting on top of the white dryer. But, they were sitting on the white dryer. And they were pink. Not really, REALLY pink. But, most certainly–pink.

 

Every laundry room should have Color Catchers. And every launderer should figure out when to use them.

Every laundry room should have Color Catchers. And every launderer should figure out when to use them.

I tried washing the gown and shirt again, by themselves, with a Color Catcher, hoping that, maybe, if they went right back into the water, the pink would just wander right out of the gown and shirt and be corralled by the Color Catcher. Nope. They are still pink.

I was talking with a friend about this and we agreed that having a box of Color Catchers is a good idea. Knowing when to use a Color Catcher doesn’t always kick in.

I checked the tag on the jacket. It says “Wash with like colors,” which means: launder this thing with other purpley, pinkish, and red things, or even blue things. Not white.

 

 

 

 

True, the grass withers and the wildflowers fade,
    but our God’s Word stands firm and forever.”

Isaiah 40:8 (The Message)

THE FIRST DAISY!!

THE FIRST DAISY!!

Small mistakes are nothing. They are gnats. So many more things are more important. And, seriously, I have a nightgown. I have several nightgowns. I have shirts that I wear under other shirts, to stay warm. And if I’m still cold, I have jackets and coats. And socks and shoes. And enough to eat and a safe place to live.

And CHECK THIS OUT——–>>>>>>>>>>>>

 

 

 

 

How’ve YOU Been Feeling?

Two weeks ago, last Wednesday, Kevin phoned and said could I please come and be with Peter. He’d been sick with something that had swept through Fort Worth, knocking over kids like bowling pins. He was better, but still running a little fever, which meant he could not go back to preschool on Thursday, and Kevin, who’d been at home for a couple of days, and April, a teacher at Peter’s preschool, really needed to get back to work. “And,” he said, “if you get here by 5:00, April and I can go to church and teach Mini Maestros (their little preschool music group).”

“Sure,” I said. And I went on up. Peter wasn’t all that sick, except for a rather epic sneeze situation, with adult-type output. There were tissue boxes in every room of the house, at kid level, and trash cans. We played and read books and had a very nice time. There was one instance when he wasn’t near a tissue box when the parent-of-all-sneezes occurred. He looked down at the catastrophic pool on his tummy, and said, “I need to change my shirt.” Which he did.

On Thursday, I got a concert:

When I woke up, I did find this pile of used tissues between us. While he was sleeping, I emptied the trash, and practically filled it up again.

When I woke up, I did find this pile of used tissues between us. While he was sleeping, I emptied the trash, and practically filled it up again.

After lunch, I was falling asleep while reading to him and finally said, “Peter, Mimi has got to have a little nap. You can play in your room and I’ll lie down on your bed and nap for a few minutes.” He ended up getting in bed, too, with a box of tissues. I had put his trash can next to the bed. Just as I was falling asleep, he whispered, “Mimi. My trash is overflowing.” “Well,” I whispered back, “I’ll empty it after I nap.” “Where can I put my tissues,” he asked. “Just put them here on the bed, and I’ll throw them away after I empty your trash can.”

 

Saturday, I got some writing work done. Sunday, as I was getting ready to go to church, I felt a little bit of a scratchy throat. Hmmmm. If thing was as contagious as they said, then I did NOT need to spend the morning with preschoolers at church. So hurried up to church to leave things, contacted other teachers, and stayed home. And did some writing work. On Monday, also. I walked on the treadmill, but at half my usual speed, went to bed early, and on Tuesday, could not get out of bed. I would think, “I must get up and do some work.” And I would roll over to get out of bed, and fall asleep before I’d gotten all the way over. Except for trips to the bathroom (to check my glucose level and take my temperature), I stayed in bed all day. ALL. DAY.

I was quite a bit better Wednesday, and was able to sit up for extended periods, finish up a bunch of writing and send it off to my editor. But I stayed really weak, and, on Sunday, I was too woozy to feel secure about being in a room with preschoolers, and missed another Sunday. Monday I was quite a bit better. Tuesday, I was in bed most of the day with some intestinal thing. Seriously. No Valentine’s Day dinner out. Wednesday, I actually left the house, for the first time in over a week. I went to Target.

I called Jeremy a few days ago, for a reason I don’t recall now, but I said, “There was something rolling through Fort Worth.” Jeremy said, “It’s rolling all over the country.” He and Sarah both had it. TWICE! And, as far as he was concerned, the absolute worst part was that it snowed in New York and he was unable to go out and play in it. I had lunch yesterday with a friend from Corpus Christi. Where it also rampaged through.

The annoying cough is back, after a brief hiatus. As is the intestinal thing. My wastebaskets are overflowing, and I am ready to feel better. Lots Better! Maybe I’ll phone the doctor.

I hope you are having sunny weather and sunny health.

 

Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.

3 John 2 (English Standard Version)

Amen