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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Sunday, January 31, 2010

TX 0110-5

Looking back in time to finish the narrative on our TX trip, we awoke on Tue., Jan 12th, without a lot to do except to wish our visit could last longer. The Spice and I did go back to the acupuncturist for treatments but spent the rest of the day just being together. Next morn was the one of our departure and we arose to do last minute packing while OD got GM2 off to school. We took GM5 to K4 on our way out of town.

It was a sad leaving day from our TX dear ones but just one of the emotional speed bumps of life. We did our serious hugging before we left the house and applied the finishing hug after OD deposited us at the airport gate at Hobby-Houston. We went through security without problems – except for long lines. Then on to Atlanta and enough time to get a bite to eat – not thinking to check to see if our gate had changed.

We went over to another concourse only to find the gate had changed back to just a few gates from the one at which we had arrived from Houston. We did not miss the flight but we were one of the last ones to board – the up side was that we got much exercise changing gates. It was then on to Augusta and BIL transported us home from the airport. Our SC home place really felt good that night.

Fast forward to Friday, Jan 29th, to the arrival of our 7th grandchild - a girl weighing in at 8lb and 3oz and 19 1/4 inches long. Our youngest daughter was the Mom and the Spice and I took the two oldest of her young ones to see the babe.

On Sat, Jan 30th, We went to the hospital in the afternoon and took all of YD’s progeny to see their little sister. They all got to hold GM7 as did Granna and Pop pop. It had been many years since our girls were born and several since the last gruntmonkey came into the world and it seems that I had forgotten how quickly a very small human can wrap it’s tiny fingers around my heart.

As I held this precious one in my hands and gazed into her miniature face I was awestruck with emotion. It doesn’t take much to rattle my cage in that respect and I couldn’t help but think that if I had actually witnessed her birth moment I would have been a real basket case. When my girls were born the fathers were locked out and were just accessories after the fact – I would rather have been there. God still does all things well. ec

Thursday, January 28, 2010

TX 0110-4

Still relating the TX trip. With the Spice and I having our various grunts and groans on Thurs. we both went to an acupuncturist that she had visited on a previous trip – my hip had been cramping the whole time we had been there. The change was slow but it did seem to help and it started to get back to somewhat normal. Other issues of upper respiratory natures had started to manifest themselves to me as well.

Friday came with an opinion expressed from TX that there should be a rule somewhere that a person can’t be afflicted with the upper respiratory crud when they are visiting this far away from home. It’s no fun trying to play with the “grands” while feeling like tepid toad spit. Not that I am an expert on amphibian salivary excretions or the ramifications of the various temp thereof, it’s just the worst thing I could think of.

Saturday, Jan 9th, came and I was glad to be feeling some better – also glad that toad spit didn’t have to be in the description of my condition. Chinese herbal meds really helped my throat. Even got a few of the small projects completed for OD that PM. Sun, Jan 10th, happened and although nobody was feeling like going to church, I received my pastor’s sermon via computer. Awesome word concerning relationships.

Our church’s web page is a real blessing in that one can not only receive the sermon live but can also enjoy other recent sermons at any time. I had to chuckle at myself in that the Sun sermon showed a pie chart for an illustration – great chart but I found myself thinking of the fruity dessert from which it got its name. I refocused quickly and got back on track with the message.

Monday came and though still a bit snorky I was feeling much better and charged ahead to complete all the projects on my requested to-do list. The last and the most time consuming one was completed in the PM. With the loan of a motorized miter saw from their friends I was able to custom cut some braces for their rickety ottoman. The braces worked when installed and it was sturdy once again – God is good! ec

TX 0110-3

Reaching back once more to the annals of our recent TX trip, I bring more details to light. It magically became Monday, Jan. 4th and I did a solo walk today – OD had errands. It was cold in TX but not as cold as back home. Later I finished taking down the outside Christmas decos and started the storing process. With this and keeping company with GM5 the day sped by.

Chilaxin’ is defined in the urban dictionary as a combination word that carries the meaning of chilling out and relaxing. On this trip I was searching out the depths of the word to see if anything can be more laid back than that – I didn’t find anything, unless I made up a new word – I have done that before. But somehow I did miss the outside work back home – I think Ethyl (the chainsaw) is just pining away for me.

Then another relaxing day burst into the present tense in TX even if I did get up feeling a little below par – I came close to achieving metaphorical par later in the day. Two thirds of my lady folk in TX went shopping this day – two young ones were in institutions of learning and FSIL is still out of town. The afternoon contained a few chores, sitting with GM5 and the holding down of the home fort.

The most difficult of the things accomplished this day was the cleaning out of burned residue in the bottom of a pot used for rice pudding cooking – and no, I didn’t do the burning. I tried comet cleanser, pot scrubbers, scraping with a knife and finally got the last of it with a sharp putty knife – tough stuff! Didn’t walk this day – got enough exercise with the scrubbing. Besides I was not feeling very perky.

“God’s call on a life is specific, extensive, thorough, and eternal. A life set apart by God cannot remain the same. Moreover, when we respond to God’s call, the kingdom of God will not remain the same.” We are all called to be a witness of what God has done for us. We don’t need a PHD, a lot of money or to be very talented – simply do what you can, use what you have, say what you know and start where you are. ec

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

TX 0110-2

Still relating past history of our TX trip. Saturday, Jan. 2nd, came as another work day for FSIL since he is in the accounting area of his firm and the end of year/beginning of year stuff had to be done. After b’fast OD and I went for a walk using interval training methods – i.e. – rotating normal walking with as fast as possible – in intervals of course. It was invigorating even if I did have a hitch in my gitalong.

The ladies went shopping for most of the afternoon with GM5 and I holding down the home front. Interaction was involved, as was college football and snacking – the young lad was not as much into football as I but he definitely enjoyed the snacking. In fact the snacking is the secondary reason I do the walking. If I snacked without the walking then I would not be able to get through the door to do the walking.

Sunday, Jan. 3rd, arrived and was only lighted by indirect sunlight due to the overcast skies and that lasted the whole day. FSIL left for a busines trip to his company’s headquarters this AM and we will be keeping OD and clan company for the next week plus. I didn’t leave the house except to go on a two mile walk with OD – was able to walk despite the hitch still being in my gitalong.

The evening meal was great, OD being the good cook that she is, but as usual there was something missing at the end of the meal. I knew this would be the case so I had made a banana pudding to fill in the missing part. Is there anything that can fill even the slightest void in the stomach like an old-fashioned, made from scratch, warm banana pudding? My stomach and I both smiled during the filling of the void.

Got a hitch in your spiritual gitalong? Could it be that you are focusing more on your faults and failures or even on what a rotten sinner you were in the past? Follow through with God’s forgiveness through Christ and forgive yourself. Only then can you walk forward in victory and be the spiritual warrior you were created to be. Fulfill God’s purposes and not those of the enemy. ec

Monday, January 25, 2010

TX 0110

Looking back in time just a bit, the Spice and I had been on an emotionally exhausting ride since the passing of her Mom. So many things to do and so many things to bring to a conclusion concerning that. With most of the urgent matters taken care of we put the rest on hold and were going to get out of Dodge – actually Clearwater, SC. We were going to TX to visit with OD and clan for about two weeks.

On the last day of ’09 we loaded up our luggage in the van of BIL and he drove us to the airport. I was a bit apprehensive about going through security after the scare up north but we breezed right through. The plane out of Augusta was on time and we arrived in ATL on schedule. The flight to Houston was uneventful except for being a little rough in spots. The view was awesome above the clouds – God does all things well.

OD, along with GM2 and GM5, met us at Houston-Hobby and drove us the hour south to their home. 4PM Texas time found the Spice and I in Lake Jackson for a 13 day visit with our TX clan. This would be the first time in several years that we would welcome in the New Year with these loved ones. We watched the ball drop in NYC – on TV – and I crashed for the night, even though it was still only 11PM in TX.

We celebrated the first day of 2010 in a very low-key manner, even though we did use part of it to also celebrate the Christmas we missed with them. I mostly just sat around and ate – OK, I did watch a lot of football. I didn’t mind the great vittles but some more moving around would be necessary for the maintenance of the physical parts of me. Also involved was much needed relaxing.

I entered the new year with the thoughts in mind of Phil. 3:13b-14 – “. . . forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” In Christ alone do I find hope for tomorrow. ec