Shifting gears…

As the weather begins to shift from summer to fall, I also begin to shift. Yes, there are physical things that need to be done to prepare the property for winter. But my mental state begins to change also.

I begin looking forward to being indoors more. Since I (and the cats) typically wake at first light, I may get more sleep with sunrise coming later. My kitchen floor will get a good cleaning. I’m not a mop person. I prefer to get on my hands and knees with lots of rags. The mending bin will (hopefully) get emptied. I say hopefully, because there are a couple of projects I am not looking forward to. My honey has a good coat that needs a new zipper. I’m not sure I want to do that one. It’s pretty heavy, I’m not sure my machine can handle it. That one may get farmed out. Then there’s giving the great room a good dusting. Drywall repair throws super fine, white dust everywhere.

Besides the many indoor chores that were put on hold during garden season, there are projects that call out to me. My twice yearly scrapbook weekends have been on hold due to the hosting facility’s new group restrictions. Each time I attend, I am usually able to knock out a couple albums. This year, I have a first year book for our youngest grandchild, and I wanted to get another yearly book and our house building journey book completed. There are a few ladies in my life who have suggested I use my shop and create my own scrapbook weekend. I have been resistant. For me, the time was about being away from all of my responsibilities. About having someone else cook and do dishes. About visiting with twice a year friends. About being able to go to bed when I want, and wake when I want. Did I mention being away from responsibilities?

I have a wool sweater quilt cut, pinned and ready to sew. There’s a canvas wall project I started over a year ago that really needs to be dusted off and put together. My desk could use a going through, and I have some organizing to do.

As I looked through my recipe book this morning for something warm to fix on this damp morning, I began to look forward to pumpkin spiced pancakes again, and baked, fruity oatmeal cake. Blackberry cobbler, served warm instead of cold.

Writing this blog is good for me. It reminds me that, I spite of the world changing in ways I never imagined or enjoy, I have an awful lot to look forward to that (should) remain the same. I am so thankful for the constants in my life. Waking up, time with my family, a good meal, and the faithfulness of God to his children. He has been merciful to me all my life, and I humbly look forward to his continuing mercy each day. I hope you also have constants to look forward to today and tomorrow.

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Wednesday…

Wednesday was not what I had planned. That can be good, bad or both depending on how I chose to look at it.

Each day for me starts out pretty much the same. Wake up, get dressed, do my morning chores. Morning chores consist of filling everyone’s water containers for the day. Without them pre-measured, none of us drinks enough water. two protein smoothies are made, one for me, one for my dad. Two bowls of quick oats are prepped, one for me, one for my honey. Pecans, craisens and freeze dried blueberries for me, fresh banana slices and maple syrup for my honey. I take a few minutes to fling a rope toy for the cats also. After I finally sit down to eat and read thyroid comics, I head out to the shop to put the seedlings out into the sun for the day to begin to harden them before planting. This week I have had the added task of distributing two homeopathic remedies to my father throughout the days to help him recover from a foot injury, and making the daily pilgrimage to the mailbox to get our newspaper.

Around 8:00am I checked my phone for new messages. I missed the 3:00am text asking for prayer for our six month old granddaughter who was just taken to the emergency room due to problems breathing and a seal bark cough. Croup runs in the family. I was hospitalized as a toddler with it, my son had it and now his daughter has it. It is scary, but usually short lived, maybe a week. The second text said that my son would be staying home with her and teaching virtually, since mom had just started a new job and was home sick with a fever the day before.

The first call came in around 11:30 from mom, asking if I head heard from her honey (our son). They were going to need help with the older kids that day. They would need someone to pick them up from school. They were also trying to figure out how to get dad and grandson to baseball practice without sick baby. I offered to stay and watch her until mom got home. And just because this is what family does, I also offered to drive our teen granddaughter to youth group after mom got home so she could unwind from work.

As I got off the phone with her, a text from my son binged asking me to call. I did and explained the plan. He was grateful. I asked all the cursory questions, including “is there anything you need?”. A few minutes after saying goodbye, he called back and asked if I could pickup some purified, filtered water for formula as he was running out of moms milk that she had pumped. Of course I could. I ran and picked that and a few dinner ingredients up then delivered it to him. I headed home for lunch, then did two small tasks that were on my long to do list. I then headed to the school to get kids.

Here’s where it got crazy. I took the kids to Subway to get sandwiches at 4:00. The boys would leave before dinner and not get home until eight-ish. The mom in me said they should have something to eat. Mom might be tired and prefer not to cook. The older granddaughter would be fed at youth group. As we pulled out of the parking lot, our daughter and grandsons (5 & 2) from overseas called. I had the kids answer and talk to their aunt and cousins while I drove. We arrived at their house at 4:25. The grandson and dad both went to get ready for baseball and eat the rut sandwiches. I picked up the baby who was a little hoarse, but seems happy. Within moment she projecto-vomited all over me, herself, the couch, and a pile of baby blankets. My older granddaughter put things into the washing machine while I removed my sweatshirt and changed the baby’s clothes. The boys left, the granddaughter diligently went into her room to work on homework, and I ended up walking around outside with baby to keep her happy until mom arrived at 5:30. I left at 5:45 and drove the girl to youth group, thoroughly enjoying the one on one time with her for twenty minutes. Then it was home to fix dinner for the three of us and to get the house ready for my first day of babysitting the baby. Every Thursday will be my day to have her. We are trying to help them cut down on the cost of daycare.

After getting my morning chores done that night, and getting my evening chores (scoop both litter boxes) done, I brushed my teeth, got into some flannel pajamas and settled onto the loveseat with my honey. Waldorf, our big, grey Tomcat settled into my lap, while Statler the black tom settled into the chair to my right. We watched two episodes of Fixer Upper sans commercials before I started to drift off.

My plans for the day were in shambles, my to do list largely untouched. But, I consider it a good thing. I need to learn to go with the flow of life, and not get frustrated when my schedule is disrupted. I want to be flexible as i age and not get my patterns etched into stone. I don’t want to drive myself, or my family, crazy.

I hope today, in the midst of whatever chaos may come your way, that you can let go of the frustration of disruption, and enjoy the flow of a different current. See the value of time invested in people. And reap the rewards in your heart.

Bleary eyed…

Early morning, once again, arrives way to soon for me. The minute she saw me at the top of the stairs, the old cat PK started howling at me “feed me! Let me out back! No feed me!” I like to imagine that there is a please somewhere in the yowls, but I know better. A quick scoop up of her fragile body stops the noise, and I pet her until she says enough. Feed the cats then check the phone for messages.

My phone is set for do not disturb between the hours of 9pm and 8am. Although I don’t want to hear the alerts, I know that there are things happening on the shop/house build this morning that may require my attention. Sure enough, there is a request for me to call the cement company to pay for two extra yards of concrete that was ordered for this morning’s 6am pour. Insert the ear buds, make the call and let the foreman know it is done. Check.

My eyes still feel heavy as I step into the kitchen to begin my morning chores, when I hear my honey open the bedroom door. Breakfast now takes priority. A banana and greens protein smoothie should do the trick for the man. As for myself, I will stick with no sugar/stevia vegan protein and greens for mine.

Breakfast has been consumed, along with a few supplements and the daily comics. Once I finish with the chores, I get to pick up two of our grandkids for a couple days. I cherish the time we get to spend with them, knowing all too well how fast they grow up and get busy. The sports schedules have already reduced the visits I used to get. Once there are work and social schedules, time with them will be at a premium. The weather today is not great and we are expecting rain. If so, a bowl of buttered popcorn and a game of monopoly may be on the table for the afternoon. Literally on the table!

Tomorrow, we are going to a neighborhood garage sale in town. I will give them both twenty bucks to buy whatever they like. I do get veto power, but that will be reserved for extremes. Non modest clothing, or inappropriate decor. They are good kids, and I have yet to have to have to use the veto. We will have Subway sandwiches for lunch, and Baskin Robbins ice cream for a treat. I love sitting down to a meal with them and just listening to them talk. I try to just listen and ask questions, and toss in a few teaching comments in the midst. Serious lectures are reserved for the serious, which does not often come up. This is becoming an annual summer event with them. A close friend who has never had children is joining us. She loves them, they love her. Again, her company with them every now and then is becoming a tradition also. We will probably go out to dinner with Grandpa after work too, and then we will watch Who Wants to Be a Millionaire together. The kids love trying to beat Grandpa at trivia games. Before bed, we will probably read a few more chapters of the book in the Little House series that we have been trying to get through whenever they spend the night. I think we are on book three?

Of course I will have to answer building calls and questions, and I definitely plan on taking everyone out to the site to see what has been done so far. And I will have a few household chores to do. But the days with the kids fill my love tank to overflowing. I pray that I am filling theirs too. I want it to be about them, about their growth, about loving them. Loving and serving others has always brought me great joy.

May you discover what type of service brings you great joy in life, and may it fill your emotional tank to overflowing.