Tag Archives: freinds

Resignation

You know, Ol’ Man, this morning wasn’t as awful as I expected. For a few heartbeats I was angry with Cole for not calling me up last night, but I can’t stay mad at him.

“Ol Man” Scout in a happy, albeit inelegant moment.

I’ll bet you chuckled to yourself that way you do, on and off all night about how we want to change things up this year. I tortured you with my ideas, chattering the whole week before New Year’s. You have always been a good listener. I still have some more ideas to run by you, but that can wait.

Cole surprised me this morning slipping quietly in the door instead of his usual boisterous entrance. I started to tease him but stopped abruptly. I can’t remember exactly why. Perhaps it was the uncharacteristic way he held his coffee mug against his chest. I offered him the tropical green smoothie I’d intended to take up to the house to him – you know, changing things up – but I carried it to the door. Since you didn’t come in with him I went to open the door for you the way I always do.

I surprised myself asking Cole as I turned from him to the door,  “Did your roommate’s grandmother die?”

I never noticed how cold the metal of the doorknob is until I heard Cole respond, “No. Scout died.”

I turned on my heel gasping, feeling Brother’s pain more than mine. The Ol’ Man’s been my friend these five or so years, but he and Cole have been inseparable since Scout was a tiny pup. Silently, I held my face between my hands a moment to keep back the sob and the tears that surely wouldn’t help him that minute.

Cole tried to put a log I’d intended to take up to the main house in my little stove. I held my words until he clearly realized the log was beginning to smolder but wouldn’t fit. Then I said gently, “That one’s for your stove. Let me take it up.” He handed it over but continued staring into the fire.

I found you there where Cole laid you, on your travel blankets in the dining room. You looked peaceful, as if you were napping. I rubbed behind your ears and your throat remembering how we got to play yesterday under clear, blue skies on a perfectly comfortable winter day. It had been weeks since you felt up to playing, but yesterday you moved painlessly once again. You got to greet a new visitor and then we played some more just because the weather was so perfect.

This morning I let you rest when I saw NewOldFriend arrive. Like you, I like her very much too. Cole had already brought the quad up to the house to carry you and some tools. I walked around to tell the neighbor ladies you’d laid it all down and apologized for all the commotion so early in the day. I’m sure you know how they are also fond of you.

Certain the fair weather would not hold out, Duck and his nephew showed up with the back hoe. Ninety minutes later Cole finished packing rich topsoil back over that high spot in the north pasture with the tractor. We all felt we were finished and should go but we couldn’t. Then we heard the horses in the surrounding pastures begin to neigh and whinny, bobbing their heads in a country chorus. Then we said our good-byes too.

We solemnly returned to the main house. It wasn’t one of the rare occasions Scout stayed home alone and he didn’t greet us as if we’d been away for days rather than hours. We toasted our dearly beloved friend and a life well lived. Cole commented that from the kitchen window we can look out onto his spot in the pasture, near the youngest of the trees.

Later, the pasture drew me back before returning to my cottage. Without Scout along it felt colder and empty. I didn’t hear him approach, but as rain began to fall Hero the steer gently nosed me from behind. Taking that as him telling me to stop being a silly human, I returned to my cottage to reminisce on my time with Scout, our dear Ol’ Man.

Scout
September 2005 – January 4, 2018

“Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God.”

Philippians 1:3 (NLT)

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Nothing But Love

rustic angel heart
This week is all about love.

Sdale 1981 001

In my life I’ve experienced tremendous, extravagant love. Coming from a large, close family of origin and then raising four humans, least to mention the friends and fur kids that enhance our experiences, that’s easy for me to say.

Sdale 1981 001The flip side of that coin is I’ve also experienced innumerable disappointments, tragedies, more pain and heartache than most everyone I’ve known along my way. Whether measured, like on a Richter Scale, counting the scars on my body and my mind or by the number of incidents, the figures are staggering. Experts have told me more than once, “you’re a miracle, even if only by surviving.”

Unlike flipping a coin, in my life love wins every time.

For a long time, any form of love barely stood a chance with me. Out of fear and ignorance I couldn’t trust that goodness actually existed in the world. But God sent the right people at the perfect times to break through my fortress before I self-destructed.

Even now I can’t boast about my checking account balance, properties or an 800+ credit score. Writing about the unfortunate, cruel and some nefarious events I survived would shock most people, disgust many and enrage some. I suspect a new list of such things would cause many readers to miss the greatness I’ve experienced, the joys, the heroes in my life, and especially the love.

2014 Galveston

Much like scores of survivors, those before me and those to come, I’d be pretty arrogant to consider myself more than any other human. Some of the moments of my life that I wish I could do over all happened when I felt most alone and deprived. And who wants to relive that? While I did the best I could, that doesn’t make a great person. It makes us humble, and I’m real good with that.

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Of all creatures humans are an amazingly complicated species. We are profoundly affected by elements like weather and toxins, with variables from our gene pools, our histories, present experiences, pain, comfort, affluence and more. Combine all that with circumstances, each and every person is absolutely unpredictable from moment to moment.

I’m also convinced an unmistakable distinction in people is in their response to the presence of God’s Spirit.

Now, I am certainly no Joan D’Arc, Corrie Ten Boom or Mother Theresa. Nobody would mistake my work for that of Anne Graham Lotz, Joyce Meyer or Beth Moore – yet. Not your average, everyday Christian either, I’ve narrowed my bio to that of a loving, seasoned over-comer, a grandmother and a yet-obscure writer/blogger. But I’ve learned one thing above all else is most important. Just one:

Love is a choice.

Once we get Love firmly planted in our souls, nurturing it, feeding it more of God’s love from the Source, His Word, it takes over in the most marvelous ways; forgiveness flows, envy ebbs, offenses lose their grip on us and we stop taking ourselves too seriously. We learn to love God, so we can love ourselves and better love others. At the risk of sounding arrogant, I’m living proof love wins.

 

“If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NLT)

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