The last couple of weeks have been a blur-hence no blog post. I’ve been reading Max Lucado’s new book Anxious For Nothing and the timing is perfect. God knows. Being anxious doesn’t just happen when I’m going through a rough time in life, everyday occurrences can create underlying pressures which fly under the radar. Good things can create just as much chaos as bad when focus is on the things.

Daily schoolwork, wonky head squeezing sinus pressure, drivers ed sessions, a dear friend who’s lost her father, and the purchase of a truck are just a few of the stressors that I have given over to someone much larger than I. It’s pretty easy to get caught up in things.

Over the last week I’ve practiced a slowdown. Oh I was still busy, and those things- good and bad- kept rolling over me, but I made myself take the time to look out the window when the sun was shining and thank God for it. Thankfulness isn’t just something we are to practice between halloween and Christmas. It is a lifestyle that first begins with a conscientious choice at times. It is a close friend to peace as well.

Our brains learn some things by repetition. Repetition forms habits.  When a habit of looking for things to be thankful for is formed the storm clouds of life look a little less ominous. They are still there but one can see the sky lightening behind them. 

Anxious thoughts are soon taken captive by ones that line up with Philippians 4:8 (NLT)….”fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Even if circumstances don’t change you’ll see that your whole world doesn’t revolve around them. ….but you’d be surprised how little by little the circumstances actually can change. A mindset aligned with Gods allows Him to do the work in your spirit, soul, and body. An anxious person quite often is a sick person regardless of their spiritual identity. I know so many who profess Christ, but are sick as dogs because they choose to carry their own loads. 1 Peter 5:7 was written not as a mere suggestion but as guidance for followers to be able to endure through tough times. It says to give ALL your worries and cares to God, for He cares for you. Many stop reading here, but the following verses go on to say that we have to be on alert watching for the devil and his tactics. He wants to destroy us. Remember that everyone goes through ‘life’ but God supports, restores, and strengthens us. So what’s the point here? Previous verses tell us to stay humble before God and men. When we follow this plan of humility we give our lives, our worries, to a God who helps lift us and restore us from enemy attack. Holding on to everything screams distrust and pride. One of my main takeaways from this passage is that Satan uses our own lives to destroy us….and sometimes we don’t even make it hard for him. He gets us to focus on ourselves rather than on the One who desires for us to dwell in Him. It sounds so simple- and it is. We make it hard.

I’m guilty. This last Saturday at a local flea market where my mom and I shared a booth my close, (in distance only), neighbor happened by. Barely have we shared words in almost nine years. I knew she had been through a tough year as I’ve seen her in the yard wearing only a scarf on her head instead of her normally stylish hair. The sadness poured over me as she told of the struggle she has faced, without knowledge of Him who was there to help her. Oh she’s made it through but I wasn’t a light in her life, and I have never introduced her to the source of light that would’ve made her journey much easier. I have been too caught up in my own cloud of anxious thoughts to see through to someone else’s.

Not only do our clouds affect us, they affect others. So another thing I’m thankful for today are times of correction.


Keeping Old Things Alive

The smell of coffee floating by in peoples hands as they pick through stacks of cards, books, and household items…

Crisp air breezes in through sliding barn doors erected long ago and catches my breath in wisps…

I haven’t been to a good auction in awhile so I was grateful for an opportunity to do so. For someone like me, who would rather have old things than new, the chance to fight other pickers with a bid re-energizes my lifeblood. I wore double layers and comfy shoes anticipating I’d be in that barn for the better part of the day.

An estate auction is like taking a tour of  someone’s personal museum. Their lives are laid out in neat rows ready to be reincarnated in the homes of countless others. I stared at the generations of family pictures hanging on the walls and wondered whose grandparents would be living in the home of a stranger.

When I win a bid and get to bring new life to someone else’s possessions I have a feeling of respect for them. Things are just things, but the fact that the wool blanket I brought home probably kept someone warm winter after winter brought a little warmth to my heart before I even got a chance to launder it. The wooden ironing board no doubt has kept at least one woman busy for hours, and I intend to use it too. Very seldom do I purchase things to flip them- or keep them just to stare at them. I like to use my old drying racks. If they’ve held some farmers bib overalls for fifty years I’m pretty sure a pair of blue jeans will dry on them just fine too….until my dogs or kids accidentally run into them busting them up forever. That has been the fate of the last five or so that I have bought. Have no fear, I didn’t burn the remnants. I repurposed each for one thing or another. The rack I bought yesterday is a sturdy one so I have high hopes for its continued lifespan. The kids have been warned.

I did make one impulse purchase yesterday. Tucked in between an old dresser mirror and a table sat an iron bed frame. There it leaned in pieces pretty much unnoticed until the auctioneer gave it a nod and a mention. I had seen it in the listing, and as I’ve always liked a pretty cast iron frame, I had taken a look in person earlier that morning. I could only hope I was alone in my pursuit. Usually cast iron pieces of any sort get bid up higher than I’m willing to pay so my hopes were kept on the low end.

As the sing song melody of bidding began no one bit until the opening bid sat a lowly two dollars. Trying not to appear eager or hopeful I jumped in and fought it out with only one or two other people to the twenty dollar mark. They bowed out and I stood in disbelief as the new owner of an iron day bed. All of the bedrooms in this home have beds so….

I understand that when my daughter parked the van here at home it was mentioned “what is she going to do with that?” by my son. I had stayed behind to watch a few other things sell while she came on home with the loaded vehicle. I’m a little glad I didn’t have to answer the initial questoning stares I would’ve received had I gone home with her and the bed. Momma’s no dumby. I used that time to think of ways to use a 70+ year old day bed. Like I said, I rarely buy anything just because I want it, so it sure did feel good. Maybe that’s reason enough this time.

I sat it up in the parlor this afternoon and now I like it even more. I’m getting a few ideas- but even if they don’t pan out I can always save it for a future guest bedroom. Someday maybe I’ll have grandkids who won’t mind sleeping in an old iron bed.

And so it goes. Round and round. One persons heirlooms becoming another’s. Its likely a number of my old things will disappear in the future too. Hopefully someone will value them enough to respect that at one time they were purposed and cherished; and then continue to do the same.

Auction Treasures

Clifford..the big red truck

When looking to replace a longstanding member of the family not just anyone will do. Almost every night my husband sits looking at photo after photo of possibilities. When, at long last, he thinks he finds a suitable candidate, then he makes the appropriate phone calls only to discover said candidate won’t fit the bill. Too many miles, too much rust, too many owners or a shady background….

Let me introduce you to Clifford. This 1997 Dodge truck has been the backbone of my husbands work/hauling needs since about 2006. With 277,000 miles he has begun to show age and disrepair equaling his 20 year lifespan. I’m constantly told that 500,000 miles isn’t unheard of on these engines…”he’s just gotten broken in”….but unfortunately Michigan winters may cause the engine to fall through the frame before we hit that mile marker. 

The search for his replacement has been ongoing but with another winter just over the horizon it has been a bit more serious. 

Not just any truck will do. It’s going to take a 4wd, heavy duty dually diesel to fit the bill. It has to be a Dodge: no ifs, ands, or buts. Given that Clifford has hauled his share for 20 years with almost all of his original parts I can’t fault my husband for wanting another just as good as him.

A few years back he went through a series of problems with fuel lines. Because of his age certain parts are harder to come by. Clifford was down for a few weeks while my husband called in reinforcements to fix the problem.  There have been times he wouldn’t start, times that other lines have broken leaving a trail of various fluids behind (and my husband stranded waiting for me on the side of the road). He never complains…my husband that is. He shrugs his shoulders and climbs wherever he needs to to mend the big red truck. I’ve stood back and cried, been frustrated, and then even gone so far as laying my hands on the hood declaring ‘You’re going to last until we don’t need you anymore!’ So far he has.

Just go buy another one! Easier said than done when the going rate for a new model with the needed specs runs about $50,000 on the low end. Yes, we could buy a small home for how much a new truck costs these days. Honestly- I know people with smaller mortgage payments.

I’m proud of my husband for putting us, our financial well-being, before doing what is “easy”. This summer after working long hot days he drove home with the windows down. 20 year old air conditioning has long since gone by the wayside. I hear him rumbling in from about a mile away ( I’m not even joking) and often whisper a prayer. ‘thank you God for this truck that has lasted so well for us…and thank you for your provision for what we need next…’

Yesterday we took the red beast out to the woods, trailer in tow, to get a load of wood. To reach our destination we have to drive down a fairly steep grade to where the trail leads through a valley. In the back of everyone’s mind is that what has gone down must come back up- only loaded. We filled that ole boy, and the trailer, and then breathed another prayer. I stayed behind to walk the trail back up and watched as my husband took a running start at the hill. Up and Up he roared. I’m curious how many miles away Clifford could be heard this time. I hoped I wouldn’t hear a horrific burst of the engine. Not surprisingly, like the little engine that could, we made it all the way back home without missing a beat. 

I think of the Israelites and how God made their clothing last for 40 years as they wandered. In Deuteronomy it tells us that their clothes didn’t wear out and their feet didn’t blister or swell. I guess this has been the heart of my prayer. Instead of wishing for more and better, can God make what we have last until He provides? I believe the answer is yes. 

Eventually this workhorse of a truck will turn completely to rust and be useful no more, but in the meantime he is a necessary part of my husbands’ livelihood. Clifford has been a member of our family since our children were ages 12, 9, and 5…our fourth wasn’t even thought of yet. They’ve grown up with the big red truck-hence the name Clifford after the big red dog who was a cartoon favorite. He’s the definition of what a hardworking truck is and I imagine that even once a replacement is found, Clifford will still have a home here.

Back to The Sea

Long ago on the Sea of Galilee unfolded a story that impacted my life today.

I found this image in an online gallery and loved it. These men fishing in the early hours of the day…

After many hours of fishing a man named Peter and some other fellow fishermen had come to shore. They had shared a long, tiring night with little to no results. I like the book of Luke’s account the best because it shows Peter’s heart in his response. There stands a man who is telling them to return to the sea and put out the nets again on the other side of the boat. ‘But why? We’ve been out all night. There’s nothing there. Don’t you think we tried that? I’m tired, and I don’t think it’ll work, but okay. Whatever you say.’ Back they go. Reluctantly. Alas, so many fish are caught it could only be a miracle. Suddenly there’s a realization who that man is on the shore.

Good story right. How could that impact my life today? As I listened to this referenced in a message this morning the simple passage hit my heart. 

I’m tired. I’m tired of fishing with what looks like little to no results. Long hours of work, and the fish are out there, but not in my nets. I come to shore, again. It would be so nice to sit here and watch….but then again I see other fisherman dragging in nets full of fish. Its disappointing. I have a pity party. There’s a man whom I recognize pointing back out to sea…”get back out there”, He says. I don’t want to. Been there. Done that. I have no desire to go fishing again right now, but since you seem to think it’ll work if I try again, I guess I need to. 

Tears rolled down my cheeks at the realization I’m living out Peter’s story in my own life. Jesus has told us the rewards are out there…when Peter accepted direction in obedience the results were overwhelming. Remember, these guys weren’t fishing for pleasure. It was their lively hood. They had returned to their boats after the death of Jesus. They were disheartened, felt lost and orphaned. They had money to make. No fish=no income. Seemingly there was no one to guide them anymore. This amazing turn of events gave them stability in many areas. Jesus knew they needed a good catch. He knew their faith needed a reboot too. When they returned to shore about to sink from the weight of such a catch there He was. Waiting. By a fire. Food and rest were waiting there too.
I can do all things through Christ who gives me the strength. Just like the fisherman He sent back to sea. “Don’t give up. I’ll tell you what to do.” He quietly beckons.

A Stitch in Time

I find myself once again in the quiet evening of the peaceful woods. It has been a few weeks since our last visit. As today is opening day of bow season, and the loveliest of days, I thought I’d tag along with the boys.

A little has changed in a few weeks time. The undergrowth has died down quite a bit and leaves have left a crunchy bed on the ground below my tree house perch. I can now rely on my ears more than my eyes to notice movement out of the window. With this in mind I brought along a little project I began this afternoon. 

When I was young one of my favorite people to visit was a woman named Mabel. Her kind eyes lit up each time us kids would happen into the home she shared with her son and daughter-in-law. We could find her in the same place each time: sitting in her brown rocking easy chair, enjoying the sunlight, with a piece of embroidery in her lap. Heaven only knows how many beautiful things she created in her lifetime. She wore her snowy hair curled and the same pink and white cotton gingham daydress in each of my memories…with a glass of Tang on the tray beside her. She was my great grandma. She was a saint. I know not nearly as much about her as I’d like to have known, but I know enough to make my claims of sainthood as only a Godly woman could live with patience like Job and be able to hold her tongue like Jesus Himself living in that home. She emitted peace in her corner of the living room. So that’s where I sat when I was there; at her feet. Little by little she introduced my to her colorful flosses. Soon I had a metal frame and a needle at grandmas for myself as well. Under her careful instruction I learned that what you see on the back of a piece is just as important as the front. Though not the showstopper, as the front, the amount of care taken is visible in the hidden knots and stitches. I learned that picking things apart a couple times is worth it in the end despite the frustration. Like her life, vibrant colors and shapes make a lasting picture created with patience and time.

When she passed away I inherited a couple earthly things from her that I hold precious…her embroidery hoop, flosses, and that gingham dress. As I picked up another old hoop and some new floss today the other things I hold dear came flooding back as well. I haven’t embroidered in over twenty years but the tiny stitches came back quickly. I kept hearing her voice as I checked my knots. I had to unstitch a few places and restitch them again…because she’s in my head. When finished it won’t be perfect. It will have been done with patience and love though. 

I’ve actually managed to see a couple deer tonight as I’ve sewn, and rambled on this page. Grandmas legacy lives on in this application as well: one can’t go too wrong with patience and a listening ear. 

A Winning Ticket

It is not in my nature to be a “risk taker”. Every memory I have are ones of anxiety when things were ‘thrown’ at me. I’m a planner. Carefully thinking things through…what are the risks versus the rewards? What could go wrong? Some identify with how my mind works, others roll their eyes at my pessimism. I prefer the term “realism”.

This last weekend my husband and I took a little trip. We decided to go camping for our anniversary. A place we’ve enjoyed in the past stuck out in both of our minds so the decision was unanimous. I had a couple weeks notice (because my husband knows me…) I had plenty of time to plan and pack, only life had gotten out of control the week prior. A few too many commitments misaligned with farm troubles and daily requirements. Alas, on the day of the trip I had nothing packed. At 3:30 in the afternoon I madly threw things into the trailer.  This is not my style. 

My husband got home later than he had planned to. Then the fan belt began to tear on his truck. We left anyway headed for an auto parts store about 45 minutes away. Imagine my brain in knots as I pictured us on the side of the road. Helpless. With a 30+ foot trailer in tow. As I pushed those tumbling thoughts away a random storm kicked up. Seriously. Horizontal rain mixed with hail as wind threatened to tip us right over. Branches flew through the air as I envisioned the movie “Twister”. I could see the sun still shining on the other side. What on earth? I’m beginning to think we were ill fated for this trip. Once through the gauntlet of crazy weather I remembered everything we’d forgotten on the way as well: toothbrush, deodorant, bread, buns. Basic things. This is what being in a rush does to me. 

The rest of the evening went smoothly, as well as the next day thankfully. We needed a break. We needed time away from the regular motion of life.  As we sat around the fire Saturday evening we noticed several sea planes flying to the lake the campground is situated on. So we googled it. Apparently we just happened to be there at the same time as a sea plane fly-in scheduled for the next morning. “It would be cool to fly in one..” my husband stated. Coincidentally there would be a drawing for free rides. We decided to check it out.

My ticket, 142, is in my hand on the bottom. It was the lucky winner.

Fast forward to my freakish uncustomary on a whim decision. As scores of people gathered around a man announcing ‘for-donation raffle tickets’ I told my husband he should sign up. He only would if I did. So two tickets in hand he made me choose mine. I knew, just knew, mine would get drawn. I told him if I won he was going in my place. Not five minutes later the first number was announced. The man in front of me raised his hand happily. The next number: “142, 142” ??? Anyone. I raised my hand in disbelief as I looked at my husband. He threw his head back and laughed out loud. Unbelievable. I took my place on the sidelines along with the other chosen few as my heart raced with possibilities. Maybe I’d love it. Maybe I’d crash and what had started as an ill-fated trip might end up horribly wrong. He must have seen the war raging on my face because as my husband approached he offered to take my place. I handed the ticket over. I walked away and watched as he was led to a waiting plane. A single tear dripped down my cheek as I realized I give half of life’s opportunities away due to my own fear…but he did want to go…and I wasn’t sure I did. In the end I’m glad he went this time, but I will not be so rash if there’s ever a next. At some point I have to give in to living a life that God wants to give me -full of uncertainties, but opportunity.

The Early Hunt

The sun is beginning its decent on this very warm fall evening. I’m in a camo hunting tent in the woods with my husband and eight year old son waiting for a deer to happen across the well traveled ridge in front of us. The undergrowth is still thick making it difficult to see anything moving. We will try our best.

Its peaceful here. Spring was just breaking forth on my last visit. Now instead of peeper frogs I hear only the calls of winter birds, a few tree frogs, and the never-ending noise of squirrels. Wild blossoms have left only their thorny vines to snag us as we tramped through laden with gear. 

The leaves can’t fall fast enough for the guys in this hunting family. Once on the ground there’s actually a good view of the hillside, and anything on it. Plus should they be fortunate to make contact with their target a decent blood trail is easier to see. So tonight may be more of a preseason nature outing.

Killing time with a burger…

Its nice that the state of Michigan gives our youth an early weekend to hone in their skills and possibly get “the big one” before mom or dad gets the chance in a couple weeks. Since dad has to help this young hunter he ultimately gets to choose any shot that is taken…thus probably reserving the big one for himself for a later date. But mom came along tonight. With any luck it will walk through while I’m here to fight for little guys chances at a trophy. In the meantime I’m sitting here reminding the boy to be quiet and sit still. Daddy’s asleep. He took this morning’s early hunting shift without me. I will let him rest. Apparently now I am the only one looking through the screen for movement. Boy is playing in the dirt…he’s young. Let him play for a bit.

As the days get progressively cooler my hunting opportunities become fewer. Even if I can’t take the shot today as an adult I’ll stay on the lookout. Truth is I enjoy it. I would like nothing more than to see their smile of accomplishment should one of my boys bag a deer this weekend. I know they aren’t simply out to harm an animal…both of them have made comments on how nice it would be to put some venison in the freezer. That’s what it’s about. They are working on their God given instincts to provide.

Waiting on Tomatoes

Vacation is most certainly over. School is back in session. Everything ‘summer’ is being stored away; including tomatoes. I didn’t get my plants into the garden as early as I could have so since the last month has been quite cool I’m paying the price. I have at least a bushel of beautiful GREEN tomatoes still on their vines. One picking has ripened and after being given some of my dad’s extra I just finished canning some stewed tomatoes and a batch of pizza sauce today….the first I’ve done this season. While I don’t mind the pause between pickings, part of me just wants to be done now. Plow it all under. The corn, beans, peas, carrots, potatoes, and even the squash and pumpkins have all been harvested. Just waiting on those tomatoes.

A large pan of sauce ready to be sieved

We have a few warmer days coming this weekend (that’s what they’re saying anyway) so I’m crossing my fingers that they’ll all ripen in one fell swoop. It would mean a lot of work all at once but it would also mean I could close the book on the garden for this year. 

Ill still have apples to do…but I like to make applesauce. It makes me happy to place jar after jar down in the basement for future enjoyment. When I make a batch the whole house smells of cinnamon and nutmeg in combination of fallish yumminess. Tomato sauce stinks. In my opinion. On Saturday, when I began cooking them down, the aroma of onions and garlic mixed with basil and oregano was amazing, initially. After about ten hours, not so much. My senses had had enough. I was pretty happy to have every jar sealed to put away today.

Happiness=several jars ready to make their home in the basement

So why do I do this year after year? I’ve asked myself every year. Despite the effort, it’s worth it. I’ve always had home canned jars in the basement: at my grandmas houses when growing up, at my childhood home, and now in our home. From jams and jellies to juices and sauces, veggies, fruits, and meats- there’s always a supply on hand. Sure, it helps with the budget. Since I know every ingredient from start to finish I’m certain my canned goods are healthier for us too. Truth is, the real reason I have a garden and can all that comes out of it is because it’s just in me to do so. We can’t eat everything that’s harvested right away, so I save it. Blame it on my genetics? I’m old school.

Genetics…why else wouldn’t I just go pay $1.50 for the jar of pizza sauce?

When my husband and I moved into grandpa and grandmas rental home on the farm years ago it was actually included in the official agreement that I had to have a garden. That’s how deeply rooted (no pun intended) this way if life is. Its just what you do.

I’m not sure my kids, or their future spouses, will be interested in keeping the old traditions. Until the day I die I plan on keeping them well stocked with canned goods ‘just in case.’ Who knows, maybe someday my aging hands working over the stove will spark the interest of our next generation as another set of hands did mine. Ill pass on about 1000 canning jars along with equipment and recipes….just like my predecessors have to me.

Nothing beats my old All American

Back to the Books

“Come on! Lets go guys!” is how we began our school year yesterday morning. I have visions of neatly stacked books and an official start for each year…but this year was an exception by far. Labor Day (a.k.a. summer’s official end) fell on the heels of an emotional goodbye to our Marine son. He’d been here on leave for an activity filled week and a half. Recovery hasn’t even been an option so lets just say its going to take a few days to get into the swing of things. Its a good thing I’ve got this homeschooling thing down.

I am thankful that in the state of Michigan homeschooling our children has been a viable option for education. Without stating all of the reasons why, 13 years ago we made the decision to pull our two elementary students out of the public system. I was scared about my ability to teach them..would what I knew be enough? Could we produce intelligent young adults able to enter the ever advancing world?

The fact that in our state we have the freedom to choose our own teaching style and curriculums left the options wide open, and daunting. Finding what would work for them, and myself, felt overwhelming. After a summer of research we made our selections, ordered them, and dug in that fall.

I remember feeling excited. New crayons, supplies, and books were all laid out on the table that September morning. Deep down I questioned if they’d miss their classrooms…and time away from me. Could I fill the social void?

Years have passed-those two initial students grew to four. Since the two children I still have in school right now were born after we made this learning transition they’ve never known anything else. We’ve had our first two successful graduations. I’ve asked them if they regretted our decision. Both have answered no. At one point in high school I tried sending them back to a private school setting because I felt I was failing them…it lasted two years. Socially it was okay, academically it was not. Both wanted to come home.

In our home, school is school. We don’t lounge around in pjs. Each day has a start time and breaks throughout. The day goes as long as necessary, until work is finished; which is before noon on some days, but not until later afternoon on others. I love that their education is tailored to them individually. I hate that sometimes I transform from a loving mom into that one mean old teacher every student has had.

Teaching children at home isn’t for the faint of heart. Looking back I can say its been worth it, but it’s not for everyone. Seriously. For all of the rewards there are many sacrifices. To be a successful parent/teacher I don’t have a degree, teachers union, or even a paycheck…but I’ve had a growing level of patience, discipline, dedication, and can now juggle housework with multiple questions simultaneously.

We have our Marine, a college student, a high school junior, and a third grader. Two down, two to go. As I’ve graded their papers I’ve graded myself. I ask God daily for wisdom. For strength. For myself and for them. The lessons they learn inside these walls are more than just graded papers to reach some state standard. They learn life lessons: how to respond under pressure, how to treat others, how to apply the knowledge we’ve tried so hard to convey. ┬áHave we taught them through all these years how to serve the Lord? It’s a heavy task we’re responsible for no matter where our children attend school.

As I sit here enjoying a 15 minute break basking in the fall sun I once again thank God for the opportunity I have been given. Next week, when the newness of the school year has already worn off, I will push through a third grade meltdown and remind myself how blessed I am.

Some days I’m just MEANT to stay Inside

Here I sit at my kitchen table with a big black cup of coffee. I’m on the heels of our family vacation and am in recovery mode. A couple weeks ago when it was perpetually sunny and dry I asked for a day like this: chilly, damp, and darkened. SLOW. My physical body tends to dislike these weather conditions but the lessened pace does my head and heart some good. If there’s no pressure to do a thousand things “while the sun shines” I feel like I have a pass to stay inside.

I slept in. Well, I attempted to sleep in. At 7:30 my eight year old toted his bag of stuffed animals into the room wanting to play. We haven’t been able to in about a week so I hadn’t the heart to send him away. I wanted the fog to lift from my eyes, but it was as heavy over them as it was over the ground outside this morning. I enjoy his desire to still play with ‘mom’ so I muddled through an hour of animals pretending to camp and hunt. Unfortunately, I dozed off a couple of times waking to big brown eyes staring at me.

I finally made it downstairs sometime around 9:30 facing the inevitable…I had to go outside to feed the chickens. No sooner had I gotten all but one of the dogs back in the house I noticed a truck slow and turn into the neighbors drive. Phew. …But then it backed up and turned into mine. An unfamiliar man drove up in a silver dodge and parked as I waved him off to show I had an attack Blue Heeler still on the loose. He would have to wait for me. My yet uncombed hair fell into my face as I chased the dog to the porch-where the door had somehow gotten locked. No kidding. Banging loudly enough to wake the dead my sons surely could hear over their Star Wars x-box mission. Right? A long minute passed. I’d only add to this already sad photo by yelling, so impatiently wait I did. Finally- as I shoved the dog through the door and slowly turned around to face the truck the thought of disappearing inside with the dog crossed my mind. Wreck that I was I tucked a frizzy blonde stray behind my ear and walked boldly forward. All pride lost. I saw a bit of amusement flash across his face and then an apology.  The scene must’ve been as bad as I imagined. With a southern edge to his voice he asked if we wanted rotomillings for our driveway. “Oh, you noticed the condition of our drive as well?” He would just leave his card in the mailbox. Fabulous. If he hadn’t seemed like such a nice southern guy I might’ve asked why he didn’t do that in the first place. Oh wait…its because I was outside. I won’t be making that mistake again today. Unless I choose to emerge from the rear entrance of our home into the awaiting beds of flowers I will probably stare into several times today. 

Since I won’t be venturing out again today I’m thankful I took a minute to grab a handful while out at the barn.

 In replaying these images in my head while writing I have to laugh. Maybe he will remember the tired disheveled lady chasing her dog and have pity…maybe give me a discount on said rotomillings? One can hope. Ill see if he bothers to leave his card.