Monday, August 29, 2016
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
You know the moment you realize that something/one is more than a part of the decoration but has real function and worth; yeah, that moment. :)
Do you know what this is? It is part of the Keurig coffee maker. Pretty isn't it, has a designer look to it. You can move it out of the way so that a taller coffee mug, like a travel size, can be placed under it to fill. It also allows the smaller cup to sit higher so that you minimize splash. Guess what else it does? Catches over flow from a cup. Those are not just decorations in that star and round spray design, they are holes and there is a reservoir that holds your overfill, in the event you try for too much in too small a cup. The funny thing is that I have been using this for a couple weeks now and there has been more than one occasion where I have thought I might need to move an empty cup in as the coffee drips out and gets perilously close to the top rim of my cup, not realizing till today that this decorously designed base functions as a drip cup. Yeah, funny huh.
Isn't life like that sometimes though, those moments when you realize that something or someone is more than a part of a decoration or limited function piece. It/they have real worth, real function. If I am too busy to recognize the moment when these realizations occur, then I am too busy. God says to Be Still, so that, you will know that I AM God. If I am too busy, I am just liable to miss this too, aren't I. Yeah, 'that' moment. Those little things that remind us of the big things, that remind us of God. Yes, THAT moment.
You might point out that this is such an obvious thing though Rhonda. Anyone can tell that this is a drain catch all. This is true, anyone can tell what it is, unless they don't. Anyone can see the splendor of the earth, of God's magnificent creation, of His love for His creation, of His sacrifice to reset man kinds relationship with Him; unless they don't.
It might be that we need to be still so that we can know, and show them.
Today I will go to the Sears parts store in West Anniston to pick up parts to fix my clothes dryer. It sits dismantled in the laundry room as it blew a belt and connected pieces late on Saturday afternoon. Will & Bruce took it apart and determined what would be needed to restore it to function, but parts would be required. After a stop at the Sears store in the mall, Saturday night, we found out that the parts would be available at the parts store, and it would be my assignment to go, in the daylight, on Monday and buy them. Apparently, I am on a journey to take light, but also maybe to witness light, in West Anniston today. I am not sure why I continue to be surprised by what I find while going about doing the everyday, ordinary, daily things, that God is at work, in all our worlds. It isn't necessarily a foreign mission trip that we are to take but the daily moments we are about, going into our daily world, paying attention, and being about the Fathers business. Today involves a Sears parts store. Perhaps I will share with you what I find on this journey today, in the mission fields. Sometimes I assume that I am the missionary, but find also, that a missionary might be working down on the west side of Anniston, and a spiritual meal awaits me. We will see. Assuredly I will know something more at the days end, if I am paying attention, for God is at work, in all things.
Sunday, December 13, 2015
Sunday, November 02, 2014
As we neared Little Rock, it occurred to me that there might be some difficulty getting our loads up Cantrell hill on Highway 10 so I called Monda and asked for a recommended alternate approach. The absolute last thing I wanted to do was get us stuck half way up Cantrell hill just at the end of our arduous day of driving, sheesh. She suggested the 440 loop over to pick up 630 and north on University. Well, I know the trucks use that 440 loop and boy do they ever, but it was a rough ride that night as we neared our destination.
We were bumping around, seemingly shaking our loads, making our way around the southern side of the city on the little rock. I noticed all the landmarks from the signs on 630, saw the city lights, all to be explored and discovered in our new home city, but I just wanted to get us to the little house waiting on North Hughes Street. Pulling up in front of Monda's that night, I felt the full load of relief, as I stopped that truck and set that parking brake. I was done, spent, and there was Will and Monda headed across the lawn to greet us. I must have looked crazy with my head bowed down on that steering wheel, thanking the good Lord for His clearing our path and delivering us safely, cause I had done all that I could do. They let me step down out of the truck, someone may have actually assisted me, and then maybe someone moved it and disconnected a car hauler or something of that sort, but I was done. It was a long day, in May...10.23.14
The plan was to drive up to Tupelo and then cut over to Oxford, and cross the Mississippi at West Helena, thus avoiding Memphis and the traffic. I had driven this route back from Arkansas in April after participating in the MS Walk, and it seemed doable and much less traffic for someone with my limited experience of driving a big truck and pulling a vehicle. I had not considered that we might be driving that road at night, in the dark, and just so you know, the high beams didn't help much, very little difference really. Well, so you know. In fairness, we didn't know that Prince Charles and Prince Harry were actually in Memphis that weekend at some event, so the traffic in Memphis might have been even more challenging than my imagination had dreamed up, but anyway, I digress.
It began to get dark as we headed across the bottoms of Mississippi toward the river. The road was narrower and there were no shoulders, at least nothing wide enough to park a truck on. As we drove, it seemed like forever across those roads. I was driving the lead and knew the route; when the phone rang with Bruce asking how far we were from an interstate and if this was going to last much longer, and that the dog was whimpering to take a break. There was just no good answer. We were still a fair piece from a place to pull over, and it was pitch black outside with no street lights, faded paint lines on the road, the road seemed much bumpier in the truck, and very few other vehicles. Crossing railroad tracks out in the middle of nowhere is never a good sign and we weren't lost but we might as well have been because it was dark and we were tired.
Eventually we neared a casino and a gas station with a driveway big enough for a couple of big trucks and we pulled off to walk the dog. I felt tired about then but it was good to walk the dog and just stretch a minute even though I knew it would be a while longer before we made our way across Arkansas and back to the interstate 40 at Brinkley I think it was. The road was better on the Arkansas side but still, it was a relief when we pulled back on to the interstate. Traffic didn't seem so bad after all the isolation in the dark. Strange how that is. It seems I came away from that stretch with a better understanding of that whole pray without ceasing passage, the practice of which had eluded me over the years, but understand better after my dark night of driving. There was no light of the moon that night, only the invisible hand of God clearing our way, for I prayed for that because much of the time, I could not see the way.
Eugene and Tammy came by on Friday to help us finish the last minutes, cause there just seem to always be last minutes. We swept, ran the vacumn, wiped down counters, lemon fresh-ed toilets, and tried to leave things ready for the eventual new owners. I hope it felt welcoming a month later when the new family arrived.
It was closer to noon than we had wanted before we had things ready to lock down and pull out of the cove. We said our goodbyes to Tammy and Eugene, tried to keep the tears to a minimum, but it is always hard leaving good friends, forever friends.
Up till this point the cats had been secured in the laundry room, away from the coming and goings of their world as they knew it. We loaded them in their carriers, put the dog on her leash, double checked the locks, and climbed into the truck cabs. I would drive the lead truck with two cats and a litter box, pulling the Civic on a car hauler. Bruce would follow, with the dog, pulling the CR-V, with a 17' canoe on top. We were a sight pulling out of Windwood, no doubt. And just like that, we drove away.
We hadn't hardly pulled onto Interstate 20 before one cat managed to dislodge her carrier from the seat, turned gate side down into the floor, right onto the litter box. At least it was fresh litter. I phoned Bruce to share the predicament and she just had to stay there until we could pull over in Lincoln at the truck stop to secure her back in the seat. There were no plans for backing these loads up, so everything was about being able to drive forward. It took that cat about an hour of meowing before she settled down and rode quiet. It was the first chapter in our moving story but we were on our way.
Driving the truck was not a problem. The truck rode steady and traffic wasn't bad. I like sitting up a little higher on the road and could see very well. It was a clear blue sky day, Friday of Talladega Race Week, and the best look I have ever had of the speedway from the interstate, as we drove by, and gave it a wave.
Saturday, November 01, 2014
When I say "just like that," I mean, wow, I would put my vehicle up on the car hauler and I would for the first time, drive a 26 foot U-Haul truck pulling a car down the road through Anniston and to the house in Oxford, at dusk. Well, I was going to have to drive it eventually, and well, this was our eventually. It turned out to be a good exercise in getting used to the feel of the truck and how it drove pulling just the extra weight of the hauler and the vehicle. We arrived and parked the trucks at our Oakhurst house, knowing that the time had really come, no turning back now. We learned to attach the haulers to the trucks and drive the cars up onto the platform, strap it down, and unhook it all so that the trucks could be loaded on Thursday.
I should mention that our son, Will, offered to fly in and drive the second truck for me, but it just seemed to me to be too much to ask, at that point in the plan. I mean, really, how hard could it be to drive a truck pulling a hauler and car across the country.
Our Unity crew arrived ready to load the trucks and they systematically loaded, turned and stacked our furniture, cardboard boxes, mattresses and every imaginable piece of property that we had accumulated into those two trucks. The first truck was packed tight and high. The second truck had the challenge of carrying more of the misfit sized, lawn equipment, dog house, tiller, tools, and last minute additions to the load, plants. I don't really know how they did it, but they did, and I'm glad it was them doing it.
We grabbed a last meal out with our neighbors, Edith and DC. We talked of good memories and how we'd miss having each other next door. We'd grown very close, enjoying Thanksgiving meals together for several years, and Will's holiday pilgrimages home at the holiday seasons, one part of our Alabama family. Edith also fixed us a hot breakfast the next morning to help send us out with full bellies. We can never say thank you enough. Always good memories.