Nap Time

Afternoon Nap

My head bobs.  I’m so sleepy.

Like a baby, or an old woman

I need my afternoon nap.

As I read, my eyes bang shut

And I wake when my head bobs

Again.

I’m drooling.  How revolting.

Brain is swimming in sludge

And I can’t stay awake.

My grandkids think it’s funny

When they see me

Like this. That’s okay.

One day

It will be them.

They.

And their grandkids

will watch and giggle.

I’m glad I’m good

For something 🙂

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/the-interview/

Snow

So.  I’m tired of waiting for the dilatory daily prompt. Not checking again today.

Anyway, we got a beautiful prompt overnight. 

I took this with my iPhone, from inside our dining room.  It looks out on our back yard. We got about six inches, and the temperature right now is 33 degrees.  Not bad, really.

There are myriads of paeans written to the beauty of the snow.  There are songs and poems and photographic essays, and I can’t (won’t) try to improve on any of them.  There are also lots of things written about the horrors of the snow, the unrelenting cold, the dangers.  Both are true. And both ideas have set my mind to work this morning.

I work in mental health.  I’m a private practice, independent contractor therapist.  I work three days each week, and at my ripe old age, that’s plenty.  I spend those days listening to people’s sad stories.  Some of them are horror stories of abuse, neglect, post-traumatic stress symptoms, depression, bipolar disorder, marriages crashing and burning, financial disasters, medical disasters. Sometimes, I see someone who just has garden-variety depression that is fairly easy to help, and that’s kind of a relief.  It’s never easy.  Don’t misunderstand me. But I know how to handle the snow storm of depression.  I’m learning  how to work with most of the other things I mentioned. Sometimes it’s a blizzard beyond my ability, and I have to bring in the heavy plows and disposal trucks, the sanding trucks and the emergency vehicles. I always regret having to do that, because sometimes doing so puts my client into a system we both dislike.  Reporting child abuse, for example, is something I truly hate having to do.  I’m a mandated reporter, so I have no recourse. Doing so puts all kinds of social services into play, and sometimes it turns out well.  Other times, it’s just a bigger blizzard.  I have a client who had been falsely accused of molesting his own daughters.  He has since been completely exonerated, but during the process his girls were removed from his home and put into foster care for a full year. That’s an ongoing story, and there will be lifelong repercussions.  The girls were molested by a family member, just not their father.

Horrible blizzard with howling winds, white-outs, and lives endangered.

On the other hand, just this past week I had the delightful experience of a gentle, cleansing, beautiful snowfall of forgiveness and restoration in a marital case I’ve been working with.  Mercy is necessary in order for forgiveness to be effective.  Mercy, kindness, forgiveness, recognition of one’s own contribution to the problem. When one person stands in stern and unrelenting judgment on another that he claims he loves, there isn’t much hope of restoration.  If one person always has to be right, then the other person always has to be wrong.  No one can survive and thrive under those conditions.

Mercy is like snow that falls in huge, puffy flakes while the air is still. It covers the ugliness of winter grass, barren bushes and neglected flower beds that make me think of the wrong choices, wrong behaviors, hurtful words that are said.  When the fall of mercy is done, it leaves a blanket of spotless, glistening beauty over everything. It does bring calm. It brings a sense of warmth and comfort  as we stand inside a warm house, gazing out onto a changed landscape. It is clean, It is unmarred, until the first squirrel or winter bird leaves its tracks across the surface.

Gentle snowfall in still air, doing no damage, but restoring nutrients and moisture to the soil, like mercy soaking into a broken and hungry heart.

Oh, My Aching Back!

No Daily Prompt again.  I was hoping we were finally back on track, but oh well.

I’ve been posting later in the day than I like because I’ve been struggling with a spasmodic mid-back condition for over a week. The week before that, it was a lumbar problem.  Sigh. There are some things about aging that really aren’t any fun at all.

The condition I’m dealing with now started over 25 years ago.  It’s like having a full-body charlie horse, and it literally brought me to my knees.  Even my chiropractor  couldn’t seem to get it fixed, and my family doctor ended up putting me to bed with pain pills and muscle relaxers for the weekend.  Finally brought the pain under control, and I haven’t had a lot of difficulty with it since then–until this week.

If you’ve never dealt with back pain, you’ve no idea how debilitating it is.  Hard to describe something that no one can see.  Lots of people think back pain is just an excuse to get out of work. Believe me, the LAST thing I wanted to do over my Christmas break was spend so much time flat on my back in bed, dreading having to move at all.  I wouldn’t wish this on anyone, not even the doubters 🙂

So New Year’s Eve rolled around, and I knew I was in trouble. The spasms were unrelenting and horrible. We called our family physician, and the doctor on call agreed to send a prescription to any pharmacy we could find that was open at 9 p.m. New Year’s Eve. We finally found a CVS that was open until 10, called the doc back, and got the meds.

I hoped for oblivion, but didn’t get it. The doctor gave me a combo of muscle relaxer and anti-inflammatory, and it took several doses before I finally started feeling relief. This morning I was actually able to roll out of bed with minimal discomfort. I’m hoping that means I’m on the mend, and that I’ll be all better just in time to. . . . .

. . . .go back to work, where I sit all day.

Ugh.

And a happy new year to all of you, if that’s possible for you after reading my lengthy complaint.  A little whine with my cheese, please 🙂

Busy!

I’m really sorry I didn’t get to read too many of your posts today on the daily prompt.  Incredibly busy day. We selected counterop, looked at tile for backsplash and floor, looked at sinks and faucets.  Some people just love doing this.  I don’t.  After an hour or so, I’m ready to say, “Just send me one of everything!”  I’m not a shopper, never have been.

Then a friend came to help install upper and lower cabinets on the north-facing wall, and I’m delighted with the effect so far. The only cabinets left are the wall cabinets on the south-facing wall and the ones we’ll use for the little breakfast bar thingamabob. The counter can’t be measured and cut until all cabinets are installed.

I love the countertop.  It’s called “cashmere white,” a granite top with a light touch of blue and some other sparkles. I’m thinking to pick up the blue in the backsplash and the floor tile, maybe paint the walls a very, very light blue. Cabinets are birch.  I want a light, airy feeling.  Nothing set in cement yet.  It’s a small room, and I don’t want a lot of dark, strong color. We’re still deciding whether to go with stainless (which everyone tells us is a better selling point) or a whitestone look that Terry likes.

Anyway, there just wasn’t a lot of time for reading posts, and I feel bad about that.  You are all so very encouraging to me, “liking” and commenting faithfully.  I do want to return the favor whenever I can.  Today just wasn’t one of those days.

I just had to put a few dishes in the cupboard tonight! dishesincupboard

But–it looks like I’ll be able to produce a good Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday.  Terry put plywood down across the cabinets so I have a couple of good working surfaces. Now if I can just get some more stuff put away and do something about all this dust. . ..

Halloween Rant

Well, maybe not so much a rant as just thinking about things.

When I was a kid. . . . .

I know, eye-roll statement, right?  Still, when I was a kid, nobody decorated their yards or houses for Halloween. That was reserved for Christmas.  I don’t know when Halloween became a  high-cost event here in the States, but I’m sure it happened when I wasn’t looking 🙂

I lived in a middle class neighborhood in north Minneapolis when I was in elementary school, up through the 4th grade. Halloween, for us, was just fun. Nobody was getting all wrapped around the axle yet, and nobody was afraid. We dressed up in old sheets or hobo-looking clothes, or made gypsy costumes or clown costumes out of whatever we had around the house. Nobody spent money on pre-made costumes.

We went around the neighborhood with our friends, ringing doorbells and being greeted by people we at least had seen on the sidewalk at some point.  Apartment buildings were great places for trick-or-treating, lots of  doors all in one building. We were welcomed by everyone, and we had a blast.  We were given homemade treats, and no one worried about pins or razors or poison. We got apples, popcorn balls, a wide assortment of candies, cookies, and even some cheap little toys.  Boxes of Cracker Jacks were always fun because you got the popcorn AND the toy inside.

No parents were with us, unless someone was taking their toddlers out for the fun. It was safe, and harmless, and no one even thought about satanic influences or sacrificing animals. There were probably some pranks that were harmful.  I’m not naive enough to believe that everyone in 1953 was innocent as a baby. But it was a different era, and our favorite TV programs were Father Knows Best and Walt Disney Presents.  Miley Cyrus was not even a distant nightmare, and children were not smarter than their parents. Andy Griffith was a role model, and Opie got paddled when he was disobedient.  It was a good time to grow up.

I’m appalled at what Halloween has become today. I want no part of it. We never, in 20 years, have had trick-or-treaters here because they’d have to walk  25 feet between houses.  Their parents take them to high-density neighborhoods so they can get more loot.  I don’t understand the average $80 that I heard yesterday is “normal” for Americans to spend on Halloween. I don’t understand the fascination with things of darkness, with what is truly wicked.  I know there are some for whom it is still just innocent fun, but that’s not the norm.

It’s sad.

Oh My Aching Back!

I had plans for today.  Was going to get a lot done. Instead, I ended up in bed, dosed up with liniment on my back and muscle relaxers in my tummy that put me to sleep.  The good news is, the tetchy place in my back is better.  I can move now without gasping.

Many years ago I developed this place just between my shoulder blade and my waist that will go into spasms and just about put me on the floor.  I won’t bore you with all the gory details.  Most of the time, these days, it’s no longer a problem. Apparently, though, I’ve been sitting wrong or something.  It’s been twitching at me all week, and when I woke up this morning I knew I was in trouble.  Of course, my chiropractor is away for the weekend. He’s the man upon whom I depend second only to my husband 🙂

Anyway, I’ve been in bed most of the day.  Learned years ago that a pillow placed under the touchy spot helps relax everything.  Terry brough my laptop in here so I could stay in touch with the world.  I slept for maybe three hours in the late morning and afternoon, something I rarely do. I’ve read, checked things online, and even got up to have some supper and watch a Hallmark movie.

So why am I writing about all this.  Beats me.  Just goes to show what a quiet day I’ve had, which is really a blessing as well. Exciting things going on here on a Saturday night 🙂

Sleep well, everyone, and enjoy this last week of daylight time here in the States. Next weekend, we go into the DARK!

Can’t Get There From Here

Circuitous Paths

A stranger knocks on your door, asking for directions from your home to the closest gas station (or café, or library. Your pick!). Instead of the fastest and shortest route, give him/her the one involving the most fun detours.

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Before I start, I want to say that I’m learning that if I don’t get to the daily prompt as early as possible, readership dwindles rapidly.  I can’t always do it at precisely 8 a.m., and every minute past that time loses me a reader or two.  I really do try, and I also do my best to read all of the rest of you and to let you know I’ve been there.  Some days are better than others, and today, sleep was better than getting up to write!

Anyway, maybe I’m still fogged with sleep, but I’m drawing a blank.  Where I live, there are so many different ways to get to any destination that it can be very confusing to a newcomer. We have roads that were paved over old cowpaths, and one of them is called Cowpath Road.  We have Blue School Road, Blue Church Road, Bethlehem Pike, Old Bethlehem Pike,  Route 309, the 309 Bypass, Old 309.  We have Mill Road, Mill Hill Road, Mill Creek Road, Mill Spring Road.  And you will find these in every single township.  We have Creamery Road, Forty-Foot Road,  Short Road, and more Division Streets and County Roads than you can shake a stick at.  Camp Road, Camp Creek Road, Deer Camp Road, Old Camp Road.  Gold Mine Road. Roads named after people you’ve never heard of that turn out to be some Revolutionary War hero. Roads that parallel other roads of the same name. Covered Bridge Road, Bridge Road, Old Bridge Road.  Church Road, Old Church Road. Schoolhouse Road, Old Schoolhouse Road, New Schoolhouse Road.

If you’re not confused yet, don’t worry, Come here and try to find a street address.  Good luck.  Sometimes there are mailboxes on the rural routes that have numbers on them.  More often, not. The directions you get will be like this:  “You drive about 3 miles to Three Mile Run Road until you come to a Y. Bear right, and count three houses down.  Our place is the one with the big white stone on the lawn.”

Trouble is, almost every yard has big white stones on the lawn to warn people not to drive so fast around the curves and end up in someone’s living room.

Took me awhile to learn my way around out here.  I’m pretty good at it now.  Nothing runs in straight lines the way it did in Minnesota.  Everything curves and twists and circles around until you don’t know whether you’re coming or going.  That’s probably because the cows didn’t have the sense to make a straight path from the pasture to the barn.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/circuitous-paths/

Feeling Thankful

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.

A New Endeavor

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!