Sunday Morning Coffee: A Ramble

It’s been a long time since I had a summer cold. I’d forgotten how nasty they can be. I certainly don’t want to share it with anyone else!

We have a lovely clear day here. It’s only 65 outside, with a predicted high of 84. Bearable. A great relief from the heat we’ve been having. Now, we just need a little rain. Well, we need a LOT of rain. I read about the areas that have been dealing with terrible flooding, though, and my heart hurts for all those who have lost loved ones.

It’s easy to be discouraged, isn’t it? Corruption in our government seems to be at an all-time high. The economy is definitely at a record low. Confidence in our leadership is also at an all-time low. We see war in Europe and probably in Asia as well. Drugs are coming across our borders in record amounts as our President works to enable endless illegal immigrants. It’s easy to wonder how much worse things are going to become.

Biblically, we know things are going to be a LOT worse in the second half of the Tribulation period. That time will make today’s issues seem paltry in comparison.

So let’s focus on something better!

I know it’s “old school” and puts me in the “old people” category, but I still enjoy watching Andy Griffith reruns on retro TV. The other night, there was an episode in which Gomer Pyle was talking about getting a couple of gallons of gas for 65cents! I remember my dad being annoyed when gas went up from 19 cents per gallon to 25 cents. Think of it–you could get four gallons of gas for a dollar!

Of course, this was in the 60s, just after the profitable post-war 50s–and that’s a rabbit trail just begging me to follow it. Lots of stuff going on in the 60s, the years in which I was a teen, a college student, a new bride.

Money went farther back then. My first paid job, cashier in a grocery store, paid me a whopping 90 cents per hour. I worked my way through college on those wages, when the semesters were about $500, including room and board!

But I didn’t intend for this post to be about the past :). It’s too easy for us to yearn for the good ol’ days, but anyone who experienced them knows there were serious issues then, just as there are today. The main thing I look forward to about heaven is that there will be NO wars; no poverty; no illness or death; no class or racial struggles, no elections, no campaigns, no bad weather, no miserably uncomfortable heat and humidity.

And of course, if you’ve been with me for any length of time, you know there’s a song in my head right now: Today, it’s the great Mahalia Jackson.

I just went back and proofed this post, and realized it’s more of a ramble than anything cohesive. I think, though, that I’ll just leave it alone–except that I just changed the title 🙂

A Break

The house is quiet. South Dakota left for home around 9 a.m. Germany is on the way to visit friends and relatives for a week or so. The three of them will be back for an overnight or two on Friday, then they, too, will head for home.

I am worn out–not because I had to work too hard. Our adult children helped out with the cooking and grocery shopping. They all pitched in on the clean up. I think I’m tired mainly from just the hustle and bustle that goes with having 11 people in a small house. Also, staying up later than normal, laughing a lot, enjoying listening to the young adults when they adjourn to another room to play games, and keeping up with many conversations all at the same time.

Yesterday, I did my own grocery run. As I was leaving the parking lot to come home, a woman whose nose was glued to her cell phone turned left across my lane, swung wide, and was aimed directly at my driver-side door. I don’t think she had any idea I was there. Quick reaction on my part, and I ended up shredding the right front tire on a pointy curbing. The Cell Phone Queen blared her horn and gave me the one-finger salute as she went right on by. Unbelievable. Within just a few minutes, my dashboard signaled that I had a very low tire. No kidding. Shredded FLAT! Terry says the rim seems okay, but boy, did I hate having to make the call to him. He has enough projects without my adding to his list.

Should Cell Phone Makers Be Liable in Distracted Driving Cases ...
One of these days, you’re going to hurt someone because you just can’t put your phone down!

Here’s a website you should read if you think you’re bullet-proof:

https://www.edgarsnyder.com/car-accident/cause-of-accident/cell-phone/cell-phone-statistics.html

As a result of that driver’s carelessness, we’ll be without our car for at least a week before Terry finds a wheel and mounts it. And SHE was mad at ME!

Okay, enough of that. It could have been a lot worse, and I’m thankful to not be in a hospital right now.

We’ve had a wonderful time. The cousins all enjoyed each other’s company. They don’t get together very often. The three boys who were here range from 17 to nearly 21, full of beans and lots of fun. Ivan’s girlfriend is a delightful young lady, and of course Alayna is a very grown-up 14.

I just went and put a load of laundry in the machine, and I think I’m going to go lie down on my wonderful adjustable bed and use the massage function.

'Push remote to return to flat position.'

All’s quiet on the eastern front 🙂

Family

I thought it was time for me to pop in again for a short post. We have nine people in and out of the house, besides ourselves, so things are just a little hectic. It’s wonderful :). I’m enjoying three of my very tall grandsons, all close to the same age, who are having a great time getting reacquainted. One granddaughter is here, along with a girlfriend of her brother’s. The Germany contingent of three is staying with some extremely kind friends right now, while the South Dakota delegation occupies the basement. South Dakota will leave on Saturday, and Germany will return. However, Germany will be making day trips to visit friends and relatives, so our population will be quickly reduced!

Outstanding in the Field 2020 tour: Fat Rice, Parachute chefs involved -  Chicago Tribune
This is not us, although it COULD be 🙂

Yesterday, seven of them went to Six Flags in New Jersey, and also did a quick trip to the shore for the sake of the girlfriend of a grandson. She’d never seen an ocean, and was very excited to be close enough to dip her toes into the Atlantic 🙂

I remember feeling like that when I was ten, and we moved from Minnesota to Oregon. I was thrilled to pieces to see the Pacific. What surprised me was my classmates there who thought it was so awesome that I had actually seen the Mississippi River, which was like a fable to them.

Anyway, we’re having a wonderful visit. My two oldest sons and their families are keeping us laughing, and helping out with some chores here that Terry just can’t handle on his own any more.

Never take your family for granted. We’ve enjoyed every stage of our 51 years of marriage, but I think this may be my favorite time, apart from the physical debility that begins with aging. Our kids are all forty and above; our grands are growing into fine young adults. I hope we live long enough to enjoy the first one or two. . .or more. . . great-grands. Who knows?

Last night, Mike and Ken and Terry and I drove out to the OWOWCOW ice cream shop in Ottsville, and I enjoyed a dish of honey lavender ice cream. Absolutely delicious. Terry says my love of lavender has become an obsession.

Well, there are worse things with which to be obsessed 🙂

Sunday Morning Coffee: Safely Home

The flight home was uneventful. We landed in Allentown right on time, and we pulled into our own driveway around 5:30 last night.  It was a wonderful week, and I’m so glad we decided to go.

I’m not a bit glad about what I brought back with me, though. I actually have a temperature this morning, which of course makes me wonder about the flu. Trouble is the temp is only 98.3, which won’t impress any doctor.  My normal temp hovers just under 97, so when it goes to 99 I’m feeling really sick.  Right now?  Yeah, I’m feeling really sick. I’m controlling the cough with Mucinex,  soothing my sore throat with something Dan brought me from California called Strepfen.  Works really well, and I’m going to have to see if I can find it here or online. dreamstime_xl_sickemoji16666999_0

And I’m drinking hot tea with honey.  Coffee just didn’t appeal this morning.  In fact, my appetite is gone.  I was pleasantly surprised when I stepped on the scale this morning to see that I’ve lost four pounds.  Now, if only I can keep it off after I start feeling better!

I heard Terry coughing in the night, and he’s still in bed. Seems I shared my misery with my friend Deb, as well as with my husband. How kind of me, right?  I did my best to always cover my coughing and sneezing.  I have no idea where I caught it, but I’m beginning to think it’s just in the air.

Well.  This too shall pass. It was worth it, I think.  I was probably going to be sick anyway, and at least I had the pleasure of ocean breezes, dolphin sightings, pelicans flying, the beautiful city of Savannah, some really excellent seafood, and the company of close friends.

I miss being in church. And I know Terry must be feeling pretty lousy, too, for him to stay home. So we’ll pamper ourselves today and hope for better things tomorrow.

Heading Home

We’re packed and ready to get back on the airplane. While I look forward to being back home, I’ve caught a really bad cold and I don’t feel good at all.  I’m dreading the plane ride because it’s going to aggravate my already stuffy nose and ears.

Yesterday, we went to take a look at the Hilton Head lighthouse in Harbour Town. the-famous-harbour-town-lighthouse-at-dusk-on-hilton-head-island-south-c14thy

Davina loves lighthouses, so Deb and I found her a little replica of this one.

Once we were home, I’m afraid I pretty much vegged out for the rest of the day. Huddled under a blanket and enjoyed watching the videos of Anne of Green Gables.  We all did, actually, and that was fun, too.

Yesterday, in the morning, we spent quite some time sharing favorite passages of scripture. It is truly a delight to be able to enjoy fellowship with old friends around the thing that brought us all together. God’s Word is eternal, unchanging, always fresh and new every morning.

So.  If I’m feeling better, it will be back to work on Tuesday, and life will resume as normal.

And that’s a good thing, too.

Savannah!

Yesterday, (Thursday)  we drove to Savannah and took the tour via bus of the historic area of the city.

Our guides were a lot of fun.  Humorous and knowledgeable.  One was British, and had that stiff upper li[ humor that sends me into gales of laughters.

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It’s really a lovely city, with lots of history for people like me who love the history of America.

For supper, we stopped at Five Guys on Hilton Head.  Oh boy, was that good 🙂

Back at the condo, we played a couple of games, laughed a lot, had a pleasant evening. But there is a sense of sadness, because today is the last day.   We’ll be flying back home tomorrow morning, and our vacation will be a wonderful memory.

I’ve caught a cold–coughing, mostly, with some sinus aggravation.  Using a good over the counter remedy, but still not feeling tip-top.  Glad it didn’t start until the latter part of the week.

We’ve naturally done a lot of reminiscing. When you’ve been friends with people this long, you have lots of shared memories.  It’s a good thing, bringing both tears and laughter.

Right now, Joe is making French toast; Davina is frying bacon and sausage,  and Deb is being a general assistant.  Haven’t seen Rick yet, and Terry is in our room getting ready for the day.

Beach time today, I think.

 

 

Dolphins and Pelicans

Yesterday (Wednesday)  we went on a dolphin cruise in the marshlands of the island. It was wonderful!  I love dolphins, and I wished my daughter were with us because she loves them too. We saw at least ten, maybe more, and at one point they were near enough our little boat for us to almost be able to touch them.

dolphin-tours-hilton-head

At times,  it seemed they were paralleling our boat. Then they would split off, submerge, and reappear some distance ahead of us. Our guide pointed out a pair like this one, a mama and her baby.

Then our guide took us to what looked like a sandbar, but was actually a clam dune of dead clams that have washed up over the years.  There were two sets of pelicans.  One set’s members were brown with yellow heads, and the other set were pure white with black tips on their wings.

It was a beautiful day, with the sun hiding now and then behind broken clouds. Got a little chilly when our guide  increased the speed, but I didn’t mind a bit.  To see all those dolphins, and have them come so close to the boat, was just so exciting!  It reminded me of the whale watch we did up at Bar Harbor several years ago, another breath-taking excursion.

God’s creation is so amazing.  I don’t know how anyone can truly believe that it “just happened,” with all the diversity and precision that exists. I remember Terry telling me about a science teacher he had years ago who encouraged his students to lie on their bellies and just watch one square foot of ground. The amount and variety of life Terry remembers observing was incredible. They all have their own systems, their own habitats, their own social groupings. No one will ever convince me that it was all due to evolution.

No.  There is a Master Designer, and He must have had such an amazing time putting His world together for us to enjoy.

I love it here.  People told me Hilton Head is special, and they were right.

I could write poetry about the incredible seafood we had last night, but I think I’ve already said enough 🙂

The Beach

coligny2  coligny-beach

beach-photo-hilton-head-south-carolina-islanders-beach

Synonyms for the beach (or, as my PA friends would say, the shore):  Calm. Relaxing. Hypnotic, Beckoning. Soothing. Beautiful. Restful, Peaceful. 

It was about 63º yesterday afternoon, so we had a perfect January beach day. Jackets, of course, because there’s always enough of a breeze to make it feel cooler than whatever the temperature says.

I still can’t walk very far because of my back issues, but I was able to enjoy a slow stroll with Terry.  He’s not as big a fan of the beach as I am, but he endures it because he knows I love it.  He’d rather be in the woods.

We all have a place that we wind soothing and safe.  When I do trauma therapy, I ask my  clients to create a safe place in their minds; a place where they feel protected, calm, and safe from their fears. The beach is popular. So is the forest. Some choose the home of their grandparents or some other people in their lives who sheltered them.

Thinking about all that, I thought of this passage:

Psalm 121

121 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.

My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.

He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.

Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.

The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.

The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.

The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

We had devotions from this passage on Sunday morning, and I know it to a lovely melody that has been in my mind ever since.  The Lord is my safe place. He is the One I go to when I am stressed or fearful, feeling unable to cope.

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Time for a Break

 

I’m stepping away from my study of Isaiah for a week or so.  I need a break, and we’re taking one 🙂  We’re traveling southward, to enjoy warmer temps and maybe some beach time for a few days.

We’ll be with friends we’ve known for 40+ years, so the fellowship will be sweet and a lot of fun.

I’ll have my laptop with me, so I will probably pop in now and then. Or maybe every day, who knows?  Blogging is such a habit now that I’m not sure I can go a whole week without writing!