I am sitting here watching the wind blow the tree branches around. It is getting windier as we progress into the afternoon. "They" are telling us it will be blizzard conditions soon and last until Thursday morning. "They" are also telling of other major storms through out the country.
Which got me thinking of past storms, past memories and some of the stories Dad and I would talk about. Like the time, right after my divorce, when I told people "back" where I had lived I was really trying to be sympathetic but it was 70 plus degrees in the hill country of Texas. Later that same day a "norther" blew in and the temp dropped 40 degrees in a few hours. (I never bragged about the temps to people 'up north' again!) Or the storms Dad and I talked about, as we were checking the supplies to make sure I didn't have to 'fight' my way to the store, and of how Mom ALWAYS had a two week supply on hand. Dad even told me of the snow storm the day he was born (April 20th) that made his mother (my grandmother) have to stay in the hospital "extra" days because she "couldn't get home." And they lived in St. Paul!
So...... Memories...... A nice cup of tea, some praise music playing, knowing the supplies are here for food, knitting and quilting. Then the memories....... Another time of laughing...so we don't start screaming!!
How many times, especially this winter, has that been your reaction? As we watch the news, every day, and see what is happening around the world we can also have this reaction. As we see, on the news, the storms hitting, from the west to the east coasts, we can have this reaction. As we sit in our own homes, thankful for the food and supplies, we can have this reaction. And...as we "again" check on family, and loved ones, affected by all these storms we can have this reaction. We can also be VERY thankful for the people who help to clear our "spaces" so we can get "out."
Dad and I frequently said these same words to each other. Usually when one of us was having difficulty with something - like technology. We were blessed to have people who would help "dig us out" so the weather wasn't "usually" what caused this response. I can remember a couple of winters, however, when schedules kept getting changed, and worship services cancelled, because we couldn't "get out." Even those of us that lived "in town" were not able to get out. IF we could get out we probably shouldn't BE out - which usually got this reaction.
At the same time, like I've said before, Dad and I always had plenty of food, liquid and things to do. So... yes, I do have food, tea, coffee, fabric, yarn, projects and even snacks to last me. It is, however, another one of those times when we need to laugh. Otherwise we sill start screaming!!
All the "winter weather" we have been having has caused some interesting re-arranging of schedules and discussions. When the weather, and the roads, are clear it is easier (much!) to get out to visit and have meetings. We usually end up talking about the roads, which to avoid and how soon they will be cleared. Thankfully, at least where we are, the power has stayed on AND the plows have been able to get through. I know it hasn't been that way everywhere.
One discussion I had, recently, was about the "lift" chairs. The person I was talking to didn't understand the need for a battery -- after all it "powers" you to a standing position and is plugged in. I pointed out the need for power by telling about the time there was a "hurricane" where I was serving as a pastor. I know they don't call them "hurricanes" in the upper Midwest but 95+mph winds in the south, with rain, ARE called hurricanes. So I think of it as a hurricane.
There was no way Dad could safely get to the basement so we stayed away from the windows. He sat in, you guessed it, his lift chair. And, yes, we lost power. It was only out for about 15 minutes. When it came back on he got up, out of the chair, went to the bathroom, got food and something to drink and came back into the living room. Did he sit in my recliner? NO!! He sat back in his lift chair. When we lost power, again, it was for several hours. I don't remember how long he had to sit in his chair. I do know there was NO WAY I could have gotten him out of his chair.
My sister got him a "battery back up" lift chair after we had this little problem. So...of course....we didn't loose power again. It is one of those things you have to laugh or you start screaming!
When you think of "snowed in" what do you remember? Being out of school? Snow days of playing in the snow and building snow forts? Do you remember if there was food enough? Did you pay attention to what the adults were doing to be prepared? I can remember my mother always having enough food for at least two weeks in the house. I can also remember the first year I was married and having to go to the store EVERY time the storm was starting because we were NOT prepared.
We are getting a "winter storm" (okay they are calling it a blizzard) where I live. It got me to thinking of the times Dad and I were snowed in. We always had plenty of food, even if one of us had to "stop" to fix it, and things to do. Dad was always reading, writing or working on his computer. He was quite willing to let me read or quilt. He loved to ask me questions as soon as I started knitting -- especially if I was trying to count! Thankfully, with snow plows and snow blowers, it only took a couple of days until we could be out safely.
So..... were you prepared for this storm? Do you have things to do? I have several projects for "when I get snowed in" which MIGHT even get looked at. I do have plenty of food, coffee, tea and fabric so staying IN will work. All of which helps us to laugh, and maybe even enjoy, being "snowed in!!" instead of screaming!
I'm not sure how but we are in the middle of February and moving quickly into Lent. The problem is this can mean the schedule is getting even busier. So I repeat the question..... where is your 'focus'?
I was at a meeting, recently, where it was pointed out we are frequently "gazing at what is happening" and "glancing at Christ." It was pointed out we need to be "gazing at Christ" and "glancing at what is happening." This is so true for all of us but especially for those of us who are care givers. This is one of the reasons for the F O C U S of the logo!
There is a lot going on in the world - virus spreading, political, church changes AND we have our care recipients. We need to keep our focus - Fixing Our eyes on CHRIST Uniting for Strength.
So....... where is your focus?
A nice "quiet" sunrise this morning, calmer winds happening with bright sunshine and temps (even the windchill) in the positive numbers. All of which make for a nice "quiet" day to go with the sunrise. It is good to have quiet days sometimes!
Several people have also been asking about the times with Dad. Yes, there were definitely times I was trying to give him away. I also tried, on a few occasions to do the "Ransom of Red Chief" - as in I would have paid from someone to take him. It never happened but it is a good memory because it also reminds me how we could "get to each other" at regular intervals.
There were also, however, the nice, quiet days. Dad read a LOT. His kindle had everything from several Bible translations and a couple of prayer books, to the classics to Nora Roberts on it. He also usually had an actual BOOK book within easy reach. He was quite content to read, even as I was in various quilt stores, most of the time - unless, like I said, he was giving me a hard time.
So......sometimes we laugh or we start screaming. And sometimes we smile - because we remember the quiet days. Something to think about.......
It is so much fun when a group of us start laughing and teasing each other. It can happen just about anywhere! Today it was while we were "working out" at water aerobics and again when we went for coffee. I have difficulty keeping my balance through some of the aerobics so we were laughing about it. Otherwise you might start splashing around and getting other people even wetter. Like I say.... it is better to laugh!
So..... we get to the coffee, and some of us eat breakfast, after water aerobics and we are laughing about the fun we have as we are all together. We also talk about some of them coming together to give me a "hard time" or "heckle" me when I'm trying to be serious -- like during a sermon. I encouraged them to try.
I did, however, warn them..... Dad used to give me a hard time regularly. He didn't care where we were when he did it either. It could be during a meeting, during Bible study or even during my sermon. He loved to try to "get me." Don't worry..... I could get him back!! But they would have to REALLY work to top what he could do!
Which is what got me laughing. Much better to have the memories AND laugh!! Something to think about....
The crazy weather limiting travel means we are spending more time on technology - if we can get it to work. Some people are lucky enough to have knowledgeable people living at least close by if not in the same house. I am not that lucky. My "technical help" lives several states and a 15 hour drive away. He has, however, helped by being able to "see" my computer with my phone and "fixing" what I was doing wrong.
When I hear people telling me they are too old to try to work with the computer I have to laugh. Dad did more with the computer than I am doing even now. He was working with the computer, learning Facebook and blogging for quite a while before he died. (And he has been gone 9 years now.) I point out to people he was in his 80s and going strong. The problem would happen when he got "stuck" on something and expected ME to help. I can remember several times looking at him and going "I have NO idea what you are talking about OR how to fix it!!" Call your grandson!
So.... yes, it is a new year. Yes, we should be trying new things. Yes, there could (and probably will) be difficulties. At which point start laughing! Then call whichever person in YOUR family can help with the technology.
Crazy schedules, with a wonderful vacation mixed in, have kept these memories from getting posted. Prayerfully schedule is settling back into as "normal" as it gets.
Part of the problem has been the repeating storms happening. I know a lot of places have had worse storms than we have. At least the power has stayed on here. We have even been able to have most of our worship services. We did have to cancel one joint Christmas Eve service.
It reminded me of the year Dad and I were snowed in, literally, for Christmas Eve and Christmas day. Not only could people not get to worship service we couldn't get OUT of the house until someone came to help by starting at the driveway coming to the door. So....like this year we celebrated, with family, later. Thankfully we could "celebrate!"