Friday, March 26, 2010

The Sweet Things

It had been raining and pretty cold for weeks. However, the sun decided to come out one Wednesday afternoon, which just happened to be a minimum day at school. The girls and I were preparing a picnic for the park and I noticed a little bird just outside the sliding door. It was staring at us in the kitchen. Walking over to the glass the bird hopped closer, like he was trying to get a closer look - at me.

I alerted Sable to the bird and she went right up next to the glass. The little bird hopped closer, to get a better look - at her. Then it hopped away. We both noticed that it was hopping, not flying. I said, “That’s not very bird-like, hopping around, not flying.” Sable asked, “Do you think something is wrong with it?” I didn’t answer and together we observed.

The sweet little bird hopped over to the fence, into a bush and hopped its way up the fence. Then, I really did think something was wrong, because it was exerting a lot of effort NOT to fly. Then I noticed something else.

A squirrel was resting peacefully in a sun spot on the fence. It was hard to see at first, but he was sitting there, eyes closed, arms tucked under his chin, taking a nap and basking in the first sun of our long wet winter. Sable said, “Get your camera Mom!” So, I did:

I had to take another one because he opened his eyes and it proved that he was alive:

As for the bird. He was fine! I think he was just like, “Hey, check THIS out!” His plan worked. Thanks sweet little bird!
Chiara, Did you expect me to say the bird died? ;) I can do sweet and cute. But don't expect rainbows, that's asking WAY too much.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Death and Taxes

“How is she doing this morning? Are her O2 levels up?” asked Mari (named changed) on the phone with the hospital inquiring about her very ill mother. “Oh, that’s not really what she is concerned about. She just wants to go home so she can have a cigarette. Her taxes are with our accountant, and being taken care of.” Mari’s mother almost died the other night. Her fourth heart attack hit and it was assumed she would not live through the night. Instead she has managed to hang on to her life. However, the doctors made the family aware that her heart and lungs are so damaged that she will not live much longer.

Mari’s mom wants to leave the hospital. She keeps telling the nursing staff that she has to get her taxes together but Mari says that is a lie. She really wants to smoke and she can not do that in ICU. I asked Mari if her mom knew that she was not going to live much longer. She said, “Oh, yeah, she’s fully aware.”

She is fully aware that her time is short and she will leave behind two grown daughters, a husband, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and the one thing that she wants more than anything else, the one thing that she would try to scheme her way out of the hospital for, is a cigarette. This old woman is about to find out the truth about her eternity, and she yearns for a cigarette!

Does this make your heart sad? I feel empty for her. In fact, it leaves me with so many different avenues of thought that I can’t possibly blog about all of them. Instead, I’ll list some of the thoughts that cross my mind:

  • What will I long for?
  • If I get a few extra days, will I scheme about something worldly
  • If my taxes weren’t in order (if it were one day before April 15th, then they wouldn’t be) would I care?
  • The evil one is so clever. He’s distracted her from thinking about her eternity and from enjoying her last few days in the world.
  • Jesus knew he was going to die soon – to a horrible death. What did he do? He broke the bread, gave some wisdom, prayed – for us too, and let them do what they wanted to him (very shortened version).
  • Addictions!
  • Is Mari thinking about her mom’s eternity? Does she care about ETERNITY?

Eternity. Jesus promises us eternity to those that believe. Not only do we have the promise of eternity, but he promises us joy on earth (John 10:10 - The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full). He can break us free from addictions and ourselves. Why wait until the only thing we want more than anything else in our few final days is something like a [lame] cigarette!

In His final moments He prayed for you:

John 20-26
"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. "Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. "Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them."

Monday, March 15, 2010

He wanted to use my head for a hat!

It was the best weather we’ve had all year, this morning. Just cool enough for a light jacket and sun, sun, sun. I had a normal list of things to accomplish: Whole Foods shopping, allergy shot, dollar tree. However, when I got to Whole Foods, I just could not bring myself to cross the threshold. It was too nice of a day and the Iron Horse Trail was calling my name. Instead of shopping, I took a detour and went for a walk.

The trail was busy for a Monday morning but I was not surprised considering the perfect weather. On the trail it’s important to me to greet other trail enthusiasts; it’s polite. Walking along, plugged in to the perfect mix of songs on my ipod, I passed others with a “Hello.” “Good Morning.” and smiles. A mile or so into the trail, I noticed a man riding a bike that I thought I greeted for a second time. Immediately, I thought, “Uh oh, what?” and took a moment to scale the walls of my memory trying to recall the exact moment, when and if, I had seen him already. I concluded that it was the same person; he passed me twice. This is a really long trail, so to see the same person – twice – would, most likely, be very intentional. He would have to cut over on streets and circle back around. I was certain he only came from one direction.

In high school I had two friends murdered by two different serial killers. No, I’m not kidding. They were good friends of mine, girls whose houses I had spent the night and whose brothers we played tag football. When you realize at a young age that something horribly indescribable can, actually and really, happen to someone you care about, twice, you just know your time will come. I even joked with my friend in college that I should tattoo my social security number on my butt so that there was no question whose [rotting] body had been found (this might not seem funny, but we made it funny talking about how the numbers would stretch over the years – satire).

So, the third time my biker friend passed, I went into complete freak-out mode. While a normal person might have been flattered at the idea of a stranger’s interest, I was sure he wanted to wear my head as a hat. While a normal person would have wondered how many times he would need to ride passed me before he got up enough nerve to make a formal greeting, I was sure he wanted to use my torso as lamp shade. My rabid thoughts equaled my physical reaction. First, I shot a practice shot of my pink breast-cancer-awareness mace (that I retrieved from my pocket after his second pass), to make sure it worked. It worked. Poor tree. Then, I full out RAN the mile back to Whole Foods saying to myself the whole way, “Please let me run faster than he bikes. Please let there be a lot of people on the trail. Please let me be strong enough to gouge out his eyes if I must.”

I was not dressed in running clothes. Remember this was an impromptu ‘it’s such a nice day for a walk’ walk. Rather, I had on jeans, sketchers a nice top and jacket that no one would ever wear to go running. I could feel the sketchers not holding up after a few steps, and really understood why denim is not considered sports attire. However, my life was on the line!! I ignored my attire, and sprinted all the way back to Whole Foods, through the deli, the meat section and straight into the bathroom. There, I took a moment, found my breath, washed my face, and thanked God. Then I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I started laughing hysterically.

Was it self-preservation, or complete reconciled paranoia? I know that as I hid in the Whole Foods bathroom I felt like a complete idiot. He probably just liked to circle the trail in shorter spurts. He probably did it every day, 40 times, circle after circle. He probably only made eye contact because I was so “polite” the first two times. I hope that’s the truth and I’m just a paranoid idiot. No matter what, I am glad not to have ended up as his hat or lamp shade and that his friends aren’t having Jodi tacos for dinner!

Monday, March 1, 2010

You’re beautiful (if you’re in to that sort of thing).

This morning, while standing in the kitchen juicing carrots, Craig says, “Well, you never know who you’ll end up with; I mean, you aren’t my type.” Even though this is not news to me, as I have had the pleasure of hearing it before, it always makes me feel - inadequate. The outer shell of my being is not what my husband would consider “his type.” His type, which I know this from passed conversations, is someone who is tall, thin-necked, dark hair, dark eyes, and olive-toned skin. I am none-of-the-above. In fact, I am just the (freakin) opposite.

What occurred to me - for the first time – is that, what would be considered ‘my look’ (not so tall, lighter hair, very fair skin, and blue eyes) is getting wasted!! What a complete WASTE of a look!! Does that mean when he tells me “You’re beautiful”, which he often does, he is really saying, “You’re beautiful for a short, blue eyed, fair skinned woman?” Is he really saying, “You’re beautiful because you make me laugh and we’re so compatible in a lot of OTHER ways?” Or does he mean to say, “You’re beautiful, if you’re in to that sort of thing (shutter)?”

I know that I’m not ‘all that’, so don’t get me wrong when I say this but, upon reflection, I think I should have married a Mexican! Mexican men, young and old have always stopped in their tracks when they see me. If I weren’t a woman of noble character I could get some of them to do all of my Whole Foods shopping. I never have to wonder where things are in the produce department because, often, at least three (Mexican) produce men go out of their way to ask me if I need any help. I am not making this up. The Caucasian produce guys? I’m completely invisible. It’s like I don’t exist. I practically have to tackle them to help me find the fennel.

Also, what is my most favorite food, in the whole word? Mexican! I *heart* Mexican food!! I could eat it every single day, for every meal. It’s not like I wouldn’t want to have sushi every now and again, but I think Mexican food is the best. I make great Mexican food too, but it just gets wasted on Craig because he hates Mexican food. I get to eat it on my birthday without complaints, any other time of the year I get moans-and-groans and complaints of heart-burn all night.

Mexican blankets! Those are…alright, they're just okay, but I bet I could learn to love them. They are so colorful!!!

Really, why am I JUST figuring this out? It’s too late for me. I can’t marry a Mexican NOW! It says that wisdom comes with age. HOW TRUE!!! WISDOM OF MY AGE, you CURSE ME!!!

For all you singles out there, here’s some wisdom from a soon-to-be-old lady… take notice of whom wants to help you find the apples… that’s all I’m saying.

(Craig, I know you love me for the best parts of me which come from the inside. I’ll remind you of that as I get older and even more ghastly. I wouldn't trade you for any Mexican! XO)