Happy Tears

We cry for lots of reasons: sadness, pain, fear . . . and happiness. When was the last time you shed tears of joy?

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It was very early on a Sunday morning, still dark as the month of November inched toward the winter darkness.   Leah stretched in her warm bed, working out the kinks of the night as her old bones voiced their objection to being moved.

“All right, Body,” Leah said. “Time to rise and–well, you don’t have to shine, but getting me up and moving would be good. Ready?  Set!  Go!”

There was a time when she would have simply thrown the covers back as she sat up and swung her legs over the side of the bed all in one swift movement.

Not any more.  She smiled to herself as she rolled to her side, let her legs find the side of the bed and then her feet  touch the floor as she pushed herself into a sitting position.  Good. That’s a good start. Now for the hard part. She grabbed her cane from where it hung on the bedpost, holding it in her left hand and pushing off the bed with her right. Slow and easy, she stood beside the bed. She gave her body a second or two while it adjusted  to her upright position before she asked it to start moving.

As she walked toward the door, she wondered why  her husband had the TV on so early in the morning. It was unusual for him. He didn’t enjoy television much.  Or maybe he had the radio on, because there were voices in the house and it was just too early for company.

She opened her bedroom door, intending to head to the bathroom, but before she could adjust to the light in the hallway, her seventeen-year-old granddaughter came out of the bathroom and they had a collision right there in the hallway, Leah hanging on to the girl in utter amazement. As the rest of the family began to assemble, the tears of joy began to form in her eyes and spill down her cheeks. 

What a wonderful surprise!  She’d known they were coming, but hadn’t expected them until much later in the day. A whole extra day with her son and his family, who lived in Europe, was a blessing indeed.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/happy-happy-joy-joy/

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2014 in review

( I think these reports are fun and motivating. Thanks to many, many of you, my co-bloggers, for helping me launch this new blog with such amazing results this year!)

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 13,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

My Kitchen

How did you do on last year’s New Year’s resolutions? Do you anticipate there would be any leftover items to be carried over to next year?

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We just did this one!  Come on, folks.

So instead, I want to tell you about my new countertops!  They are being installed right this minute, and they are even prettier than I remembered.  I’ll put up a picture in a minute.   I’ve waited 20 years for this remodel to take place.  We took out the wall between the kitchen and dining room, replaced it with a little breakfast bar. We’re having a new sink with an ultra-modern new faucet installed; new lighting; new cabinets, new floor.  It’s going to be SO pretty when it’s all done.  Terry has done much of it himself, as his physical pain and need for rest has allowed.  He’s amazing, really.  I’m so excited I can hardly sit still.

The guys doing the install are Japanese.  They speak some English, but not a lot.  They seem to be very amused at my jumping up and down as each piece goes into place.  They are very good at their work, obviously experienced and knowledgeable.  They think Terry is pretty amazing, seeing what all he has accomplished.

Where you see the little bar where the men are standing used to be where the wall between the dining room and kitchen was.  It’s amazing how taking that wall out has opened up the space.

I need to give credit where credit is due, to all the men I can remember who have helped Terry:

Our friend Norm, who really got the ball rolling on this project and shared his years of wisdom and experience.

Our son Mike, who helped take down the wall while he was here on a quick visit from Germany.  Hmmmm.  Take down the wall.  Germany.  Any symbolism there?

Our son Dan, who lives about half an hour away and has spent a lot of time helping in a variety of ways.

Our son-in-law Aaron and our grandson Luke who helped pull up flooring, and will be helping again on Thursday.

Our friend Joe, who was so generous with his time and expertise installing cabinets.

Our friend Tim who stopped in and got put to work for a few hours.

If I’ve left anyone out, please forgive me. The help has been wonderful, and  has helped us to value friendships more than ever.

If you’ve waited a long time for a much needed remodel, you understand perfectly how I’m feeling right now.

Elated!

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/to-be-resolved/

Feeling Frustrated

It’s not often I complain about Word Press.  I love all the options they offer, and I’m delighted to have met so many new friends out there in cyberspace.

However.

I am so annoyed with the recycled posts on the Daily Prompt. At 8:03 this morning, there were already 90+ posts up on the grid!  The first six I clicked on were all dated March 6, 2013! There were two that apparently no longer exist.  It’s very discouraging to know that your lovingly- crafted, genius-level post is going to be buried under 95 others that are two years old.

If anyone who can do anything about this is reading my little rant, I sure hope this stops soon.

And now I’m done.

All Grown Up

When was the first time you really felt like a grown up (if ever)?

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So, what does it feel like to feel like a grown-up?

When I was a little girl, I used to think my parents knew all the answers to all life’s questions. It was a shock to me when I first realized that they didn’t.  Maybe that’s when I started growing up a little bit.

I used to watch the senior girls in high school when I was a freshman.  They seemed so sure of themselves, so confident, Then I became a senior girl, and mostly what I felt was “Oh dear, how am I supposed to act now?”

College?  I’d feel more grown-up, right? Hah. My first job, my first serious boyfriend,my first time living away from home and quite literally on my own, and I was exhilarated at my independence, but there were situations I just didn’t know how to deal with. Even on graduation day and one week before my wedding I felt tons of questions that I didn’t think an adult would have.

Well, surely being married would make me feel like a grown-up.  After all, that’s one of the most grown-up matters of your whole life!  And to some degree, yes, I began to feel a bit more confident.  But I also felt as if we were playing house. The game became a lot more serious when we had our first baby, and then the second, third, and fourth. Yes, being a parent tends to make you feel a bit more grown up.  It also makes you tired, because in those early years you get really sleep-deprived.

My children heading off to kindergarten made my own age more of a reality. Then, the next day when they went off to college, I felt even more grown up.  But you know, I still didn’t have that confidence that I’d always expected to feel as an adult. Still  not really feeling the grown-up thing.

All this time, I worked as a substitute and then a full-time teacher. Lots of responsibility, lots of fun, lots of hard work. I felt competent to do the work, but there were mornings, as I faced that first-hour class, when I felt like a complete fraud. I should be sitting in the student desk, not standing behind the lectern.

So at age 50 I went back to school, and boy oh boy did I ever NOT feel like a grown-up. At age 53 I got my masters, and went to work as a psychotherapist.  What I learned is that most grown-ups don’t feel like grown-ups.  Most of us live out our responsibilities, find a lot of joy along the way, and even as we see the marks of time on our faces in the bathroom mirror every morning, still we feel like the kids we were in high school.  We’re not always sure of the answers, of the right things to do.

Grandchildren think we know everything. They don’t think we were ever young. They have a hard time imagining us as little kids who needed help tying our shoes.  For some reason, having those innocent, trusting, loving little faces looking at me with such complete confidence has helped me feel about as grown-up as I’ll ever feel.

The truth is, though, that we never do get to the point where we have all the answers to all the problems.

Only God has that kind of wisdom, and so I find the most comfort and confidence in trusting Him to help me be the most wise grown-up that I’ll never be.

Here’s an ad I loved when I first saw it.  I think it’s a perfect reflection of how most adults see themselves 🙂

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/all-grown-up/

Rewrite

Now that you’ve got some blogging experience under your belt, re-write your very first post.

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This is the first post for this blog:

My first (and only) blog until today has been lindasbiblestudy.wordpress.com.  As I’ve developed more categories, gotten involved  with some Word Press writing challenges and some other efforts at creative writing, I’ve decided  to open anew blog just for my miscellaneous writings.  This will make my first blog dedicated completely to Bible study.  Anything else will be here.  It will take some time to develop categories and all that, but I’m looking forward to it.  Should be fun, and may get me motivated to do some serious writing that I’ve been putting off for way too long.

The process will include moving some things from the Bible study blog over here.  Sure am glad there’s no deadlines.  So welcome, and I’m looking forward to meeting some new friends!

And here’s the rewrite: 

Blogging is a whole new world for me. I was propelled into it by circumstances that were rather negative, but as so often happens, the end result has been overwhelmingly positive.

This is not my very first blog post ever.  You can find that one here.  It is, however, my first post for this new blog that I’ve opened purely for the purpose of improving my creative writing skills, as well as any other kind of writing that may come along. I need to write more.  I need to read more of what other wannabe writers are doing, and I need to see what’s being published that may have actually started in the blogosphere. I’m impressed by how many helps Word Press offers to people like me, and I hope to participate in at least a few of those opportunities.

I have no idea where this is going to take me, but I’m excited and full of anticipation as I begin the journey. You are most cordially invited to ride along with me 🙂

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/hindsight/

The Hunt

Clichés become clichés for a reason. Tell us about the last time a bird in the hand was worth two in the bush for you.

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Oren was hungry. He hadn’t eaten in three days, unless you were going to count the  little bit of foraged vegetation he’d chewed for hours. Not much gut-filling nourishment there.

Besides the hunger, he was cold. He needed new boots, new mitts, and new hood that would help protect his face from the wind that sniped at his nose and cheeks.  He was usually a skilled and reliable hunter, always bringing something back to the camp to put in the pot that bubbled day and night.  Since he’d left camp three days ago to hunt the tundra that he knew so well, he’d never come close enough to any game, bird or beast, that  he could shoot with his bow or sling. More than once, he’d run for several miles as he followed tracks through the snow that led nowhere, disappearing like a ghost in his dreams. 

He knew he’d need to head back to camp soon, or he’d die out here in the cold, in the dark, in the loneliness. All the signs he usually spotted on a hunt were teasing him this time, seeming to show themselves and then fading into the grey light of the early afternoon.  Animals were hibernating, camoflauging their nests and dens with instinctive expertise.

Scanning the ground and the sky through his sun-masking eyeshades, Oren came suddenly to attention.  There! Just about an hour’s distance from where he stood, he’d spotted some kind of bird circling down from the sky, then whirl back up again as if it were playing some sort of game.

Oren moved quickly, eyes fixed on the spot where the bird had almost touched the ground.  His clothing blended into the ground and sky, all a dusky white. He crouched low as he ran, and in his mind he was seeking the god of hunger who would direct him and  make his aim true. He needed this kill; not just for himself, but for those in the camp who depended on every hunter to keep their bellies comfortable during the long months of winter.

Conserving his breath and pacing himself as he’d been taught to do, he moved into the target area quickly. He knelt  behind a scraggly  plant whose empty branches clattered together in the wind that was picking up as evening approached. Never taking his eyes from the target area, he readied his bow and his sling.  His breathing was slow and even, barely causing his chest to rise and fall.

And there!  Not one, not two, but three fat birds arrowed toward a larger bush not fifteen strides from where he crouched! Three birds most likely meant there was a flock somewhere not too far away, and Oren scanned the area again, marking his position and memorizing the landmarks that would bring him back here with a couple of helpers.

The birds landed on the branches of the bush, puffing themselves out and huddling close together for warmth.

Because he was so hungry, Oren’s hands shook. He settled himself, calmed himself, then took aim at the bird nearest him. Holding his breath, he released his arrow. It snicked out of the notch, flying straight and true into the heart of the fat snow goose. It fell with a plop onto the snow below, suffering no pain as its heart instantly stilled.

The other two geese instantly soared away, stopping in a taller bush where they were nearly impossible to see.

“It’s all right,” thought Oren.  “I have one bird in my hand. It will help to feed my family. The other two are still in the bush, and they’ll stay around until I can come back with others who will help me flush out the rest of the flock. The two in the bush will be our guides.”

Stuffing the dead bird into his game bag, he turned to collect his arrow. Straightening, he began to run. This time, his feet felt warmer and his body lighter. He could make it back to camp  in half the time it had taken to come this far because he wouldn’t be stopping.

It had been a good hunt after all.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/clich%C3%A9/