Last night, I put my daughter’s dog on his leash(we’re dogsitting for a few days) and took him outside for several minutes. I sat in a rocker on our porch and let him have the full length of his leash. It was past nine o’clock, fully dark. The air was humid, but not hot and heavy. We live in a neighborhood outside of town, so there’s not a lot of artificial light. Not many stars last night, kind of overcast, but I loved my few quiet minutes waiting for Mac to find the perfect place to perform. While he snuffled and prance-pawed from favorite spot to favorite spot, I enjoyed the crickets and the frogs in chorus, and thought about our last twenty years.
It’s the longest I’ve ever lived in one house. We moved back here just twenty years ago, and it’s been a wonderful/awful twenty years. That’s life. You take the good and the bad, and you learn to be thankful for all of it.
All our grandchildren have been born since we came back here. Nine precious lives, ranging in age from nearly 17 to nearly five. Each of our three married children has three, so I’m Granonine here on WordPress.
Two of those married children got married after we moved here. Our third son has met the girl he wants to marry, but it will be a little while yet before they can figure out how to make that happen. She’s in London. It does complicate matters.
We’re thankful for all our in-laws and our one in-law-to-be. Our two oldest sons have been married for 21 and nearly 20 years, respectively. Unbelievable to me. They’re still my kids. Our daughter has been married for close to 13 years, also hard for me to realize. I hope the upcoming marriage, the last for our brood, will be sooner than they think.
We have wonderful neighbors. In twenty years, we’ve never had a single moment of trouble with any of them. They are helpful when the need arises, and they mind their own business very well. There are no troublesome children or dogs, just no problems. We’re very thankful for that. It was the neighbor lady across the street who heard the clatter when Terry fell from the ladder a couple of years ago and shattered his heel bone. She came across, helped him into the house, helped clean up several other scrapes, and made him as comfortable as she could until I got home just a few minutes after she left to go back to her own house. It was our neighbor next door who came to help me get Terry into the car to take him to the emergency room, and who cut our grass for us for several weeks while Terry was recovering. In the late summer, he also keeps us supplied with fresh tomatoes, zucchini, and corn. He’s truly a good neighbor, not just to us but to the whole neighborhood.
When we moved back here after being away for eleven years, were reconnected quickly and easily with old friends from our church. Some of them have become part of our family, and we love them dearly. It is good to grow old together with people who share your faith, your goals, and your kids.
We’ve also made new friends who have become part of the family, Now, after 20 years, they’re old friends, too.
We’ve gone through some upheaval that has redirected our paths. Some of it was extremely painful and very sad, causing the severing of some nearly 40-year friendships. Satan is always at work.
We’re also watching as our country spirals down into a very dark place politically, morally, spiritually. But in spite of the changes that break our hearts, we also see the strengthening of faith and the peace that comes only with knowing that no matter how bad things may become, God is still in charge of all of it.
I’ve lost a brother, a nephew, and my mom in the last six years. They’re all in heaven now, rejoicing in the Lord and, I like to think, waiting for the rest of us to join them one by one. Before Mom died, she made it clear that she hated to leave us, my sister and me. I told her that before she could blink we would be there with her, because there is no time in heaven. For us, it could be 20 or 30 years. For her, she will blink and we’ll be there. Time does not exist there. I have a hard time time wrapping my mind around that, because we are so bound by time here.
Anyway, as I rocked and waited and enjoyed the peace and quiet last night, I had to spend those few minutes in thankful prayer to my Savior, Who loves me and sees each grey hair and wrinkle as time stamps itself on my face and body. I’ve really had a wonderful life. I married a godly man who still loves me after 45 years. I have four great kids, nine wonderful grandkids, four outstanding in-laws, a wonderful job, lifelong friends of my heart, and the strength and energy to continue to do the work God has called me to do, at least for now.
And I even have a silly little dog to make me smile.
Life is good.