Tag Archives: journal

Safe at Home

As the Astros and the Yankees duke it out for the championship, the term Safe at Home takes on a whole new meaning for me. The Cubs will come back again next year.

Autumn sunrise

 

Here at the ranch this past week New-Old-Friend, Cole and I unloaded and stacked about three cords of the wood we cut and hauled last weekend.

 

 

What impresses me most is how people turn out and team up to help one another. Cole and I alone would have needed another whole day to saw and load – at the very least. On top of that, both of us would have hurt all week. But New-Old-Friend, Cole’s dad, a cousin’s able bodies and some very cool tools did much more work in far better time. What’s more, Cole’s mom had hot, delicious, mostly home grown meals awaiting us after a luxurious, spa-like shower.

 

New-Old-Friend and Cole’s Mom

 

During my first year the ranch went through many changes. Sure, last year I said that it’s good to be home right away. But seriously, the first ten months actually were hard. I was so road weary from the three previous years I barely noticed exactly how tough it was until fall started to appear this year and the pace began to slow a bit.

Through it all, God led me, soothed me, counseled me and sent help when I couldn’t manage alone anymore.

 

 

I’m a little sad that Cole sold Kendra’s Gray Mare. Still, she’ll winter in a warm barn now. Besides, the bikes are in the cottage with me again. Cole also sold the cows and the three-year-old calf. New Roommate now tends the pastures and the chickens so I only fill in when both she and Cole are away. With the chicken house almost completely refurbished, requiring half the time to care for the flock, I’m now free to focus upon my work.

Today more than ever before it’s good to be home.

“For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.” Psalm 33:4 (NIV)

 

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Aftermath

After the weeks of disruption, seeming like the entire local family being upside down with the plumbing challenges, we have running water in the kitchen again. No sign of water downstairs. Yeay!

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I doubt I ever take indoor plumbing for granted again. Without it we city folk get more like fruitcake – a little nuts and heavy on the fruit.

I never made it out to Keira’s this week, but Peter’s Branch Family Reunion continued – the fish are still biting. His offspring will begin their departures in the morning.

What’s most noteworthy throughout this ordeal has been God’s Holy Spirit constantly in control. He commanded an air of considerate cooperation – so welcome working among siblings.

Sure, there will be more repairs in the near future:

  • We must replace the kitchen faucet as both hot and cold water now drip about one quart per hour. We’ve been turning the hot water on and off under the sink since before I arrived, so we can live with the drip until Edmund’s next visit.
  • The steady flow of good ol’ boy contractors and the mud took a toll, but we we put a dent in the dry goods pantry serving them sweet tea.
  • Edmund pitched in and helped pave a way downstairs, then drug the mattress upstairs for us – I shall be grateful for years to come. Still, in the process he noticed the downstairs retaining walls are deteriorating. That’s gonna hurt.
Ellie, Roo and Erin

Electra Bolt (Ellie), Roo and Erin. Go Cubs!

With God’s empowering presence,Erin, Ellie and I wrestled the futon mattress down the stairs and the box spring up to make room for the former. We shall be utilizing moist heat and ice packs for a few more days. Edmund doesn’t get what all that’s about – yet. I seem to be the only one to notice the dank smell, so no worries there either.

All the chaos forced remarkable progress on the property. The pressure of time restrictions was a little nerve wracking, but I’m glad for it now. There’s a Thera-Pedic bed (old-school premiere brand) upstairs in my room/office today. Can I hear a thunderous applause? Forget about memory foam, sleep numbers and gel toppers. This like-new heirloom is the real deal for a good night’s sleep.

After only the one annoying instance between anybody, and some new aches, we got through the crisis together unscathed. We dread the bill arriving at Keira’s, but realistically, such comes with maintaining this old house. We are blessed to continue loving and caring for the first property Erin’s parents bought in Colorado.

Making it work to the family’s best advantage, I feel more deeply committed to loosing my root bag here a little bit more.

Until the next crisis – probably the electrical system, we’ll face it as it comes.

“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” Galatians 5:22, 23 (NLT)

 

All images are property of Rapture Practice! Publications (c) 2016 and are not to be duplicated or otherwise distributed without prior written permission. Thank you!

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Routine

For the past few days I’ve been reflecting upon my early thirties. Then I’d finally come to appreciate the value of routine.

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**

God blessed me with a good foster mom. I often recall her saying during my child bearing years, “Mijita, todos ustedes tienen que tener horarios.” Not really grasping her meaning, I’d typically melt into her arms, soak up the love and forget what she said. In Spanish it sounded far more pleasant than when she would later tell me, “Girl, you must get your act together!”

I’d dismissed suggestions that I had more challenges than dyslexia, possibly other forms of autism. Who had time for health care while caring for four boys, an unpredictable, “bi-polar” and often violent husband, and all their companions-du-jour? Yeah, I knew about crazy – in other people. We were fine…  😉

For me if we all got up, everybody ate, got to school or whatever, nobody permanently harmed and got back to bed at night, it was a good day. I couldn’t grasp the value of scheduled daily tasks, a routine until my marriage finally ended. By then I stopped being a DV victim.

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**

Fast forward some decades and I live within a very structured routine. The time-space continuum shifts when my routine is altered. Erin and I are comfortable with this. She’s a night owl and I rise long before the sun does. Until the dam broke in the plumbing, etc. Aye!

We were unprepared for the disruptions to the entire property. Hourly the sudden changes annoyingly altered our habitual behaviors.

construction pixabayI confess, minutes into this morning I was setting things down and closing doors harder than necessary. “Where is the…” Living alone, controlled but intentional banging and “slightly slamming” doors, etc. to release tension worked for me. Such timid forms of violence is nothing compared to the savagery I’ve survived.

I remembered I no longer live alone as Erin stepped away from me – without the coffee pot. Violence here is never appropriate.

Because today, with so many tasks demanding immediate attention, Erin was up early with me, making coffee, using the bathroom, etc. The newly replaced futon mattress loomed over the love seat in the living room, against the linen closet – where we keep cleaning rags. The vacuum cleaner was parked wherever we used it last – and often. This is not our m.o. Have I mentioned our 480 square feet of crowded living space upstairs?

Now imagine the two cats nervously observing everything, add some large bags of items for family visiting for the first reunion in ten years. And we’re grilling for a small army of out of town family in light, intermittent rain, of course. That had to be ready for someone to pick up and deliver to Keira’s whenever they arrive. Then add contractors working all over the property. Chaos.

There we were, waking our bodies and our brains – in the same tiny room of the house together, simultaneously. One can imagine this is a potentially volatile scenario with two old broads well set in our ways. As the sounds of my banging around Erin increased in volume, she paused quoting, “Something vexes thee?*”

We laughed – hysterically. The frustration and tension from our disrupted routine was dispelled. We sat down together – with coffee and prayed. Several times. All morning.

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“Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8 (NLT)

 

*The late Alan Rickman and Geraldine McEwan from Robin Hood; Prince of Theives video clip courtesy YouTube

Photo Images courtesy Pixabay

** (c) 2016 Rapture Practice! Publications images not to be duplicated, shared or otherwise distributed without prior, written permission. Thank you!

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Leak

As the week winds up and we lounge together by the pool, I thought about The Leak.

From August 7, 2016 on Colorado’s Western Slope via Leak:

Two-plus weeks ago Erin and I took a break from our projects. While her sister Ellie, her family and their brother Edmund traveled to check on another property out of state, Erin manned Ellie’s house, the 5 small dogs and the cat.

I held down our home front. I’d intended to take a break from the downstairs project downstairs and check off the list of small tasks upstairs.

About midway through our sideways vacation I went downstairs for something I had seen that would be perfect upstairs.

Ordinarily I avoid going downstairs without Erin. I can go from zero to sensory overload in 06.1 seconds over the astounding collection of vintage items from 3 generations of her large family – all being sorted and repacked. Have I mentioned the fifty pounds of stuff on a ten pound property including the garage?

clutter pixabay garage

When I first arrived I enjoyed revisiting her things I saw growing up. But after sleeping on a futon for over three months (haven’t made a path to the bed yet), I now easily lose focus and my attitude can spin out of balance very quickly. Frequent, very fervent prayer helps. Still, I wanted to surprise Erin when she returned. I kept looking.

As I descended the stairs I told myself storage naturally smells musty, and dismissed what I thought was exceptionally dank air. But then I noticed the bottoms of some cardboard boxes were noticeably dark. Stepping cautiously into the room I heard and felt my feet squishing into the old carpet.

Houston, we have water.

flood toon pixabayA phone call and an hour later Erin and I teamed up to extract water. We couldn’t cut the water at the main until we found the leak.

So I became G. Annie Roo, super sleuth. I like the sound of that.

Without Edmund the fix-all brother we became very resourceful, reducing trips up and down the stairs. The following day we finally we discovered the cracked pipe. Ta-da!

Over the following week we tossed water on the lawn from bowls we filled with recycled milk jugs. Between that move, we replaced and repacked wet boxes. We were thankful to learn the 3-inch hole in the old cast iron drain is exclusive to the kitchen. We are not happy to learn the broken, slightly sunken concrete driveway outside the kitchen wall suggests a bigger problem. This whole project might take a while.

The contractors are due to arrive soon. By then we will have settled into our adjusted routine and used the better part of a tree for disposable dinner ware 😦

So goes this week’s episode in the continuing saga of two old broads rehabilitating the vintage family rental. Were the property owner any other than Erin’s mom we would have taken another, less laborious course. As it is love runs deeper and for now the futon awaits me.

“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” 1 Corinthians 13:1 (NLT)

Images courtesy of Pixabay

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Connect

Have I told you lately that I love the blogging community?

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Imagine Heaven

I’m serious about that. Without getting all sappy here, the Blogosphere helps all y’alls feel heavenly at least now and then; someone posts something that rings in our souls, filling us with inexplicable joy (or at least makes us chuckle, think, rethink…) – reaffirming why we spend our time writing what we do. It’s what connects us.

I’ve been blessed with friends I never would have imagined – and yet we’ve never actually met (unlike my Erin and Roan whom I’ve known most of my life). These people get it. They make time to converse, explore different thoughts and perspectives. They not only work tirelessly to share life through their writing and blogging, but they devote time and energy to Pay it Forward and spread the good stuff around.

Today I not only have some free time, but God filled me with a spirit of appreciation for my friends. Somewhere in the blogosphere someone needs a ray of light and these folks are the brightest in my minuscule fleck in the universe.

So, this is me paying it forward today. If you haven’t met, stop by and say “Hi.” You won’t be sorry:

Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha at A Cooking Pot and TwistedTales,
Danny at Dream Big Dream Often,
Rick Christensen at Discovering and Sharing Grace,
Great Thinker of Stuff, Mitch Teemley at The Power of Story,
Diane D. at Ladies Who Lunch Reviews…
Michelle at The Malone Zone; Two Are Better Than One,
Sarah’s Attic of Treasures (full of different perspectives and new friends),
Simply Marquessa,
Jason Kushman at An Opinionated Man,
Jennymarie at Peace From Panic,
That’s So Jacob (this bright, witty guy brings it all to the table),
J.Gi at The End Justifies the Journey (this bright girl challenges one to think – and giggle some)
Larry at Quest – Clean and Serene in a Crazy World
Eugenia at Brew NSpew

Sincerest thanks and love to each and every one of you – and those for whom I couldn’t provide a link!

 

“He [God] makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.” Ephesians 4:16 (NLT)

 

Image courtesy Unspash

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Heat

In my new home on the Western Slope the Dog Days of Summer took on new meaning over the past couple of weeks. In this older, lathe and plaster house we experienced some Sirius heat (forgive the pun).

Though I Googled the region extensively before moving, I wasn’t sure what to expect from summer in my new climate. This is the first (and for me unexpected) seasonal change. Still, even with the sudden heat I wouldn’t have guessed how perfect, how close to heaven as I can imagine this environment is for me – now that the evaporating cooler is up and running.

The transition wasn’t so smooth for the two elderly, long-haired cats we live with. The temps jumping from the mid-seventies to the nineties in less than a week, the poor pusses suffered for days.

We now walk to errands and shopping first thing daily rather than leisurely going whenever we see fit. During the second day of heat, we returned home to find the poor, old pusses flat on their backs on the floor where obviously they willed the cooler to start blowing relief. They’ve lived in the house all their lives, so they know the drill and had adjusted to Erin’s pace. Still, it was hot…

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Matty cooling it

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Miss Chill & Erin’s Crock

I was ready to crank the cooler up when temps were still in the 80’s at 23:00 hours. Even with dual fans in the windows and ceiling fans running for a few days, sleep did not come to me until the wee hours of the morning. Unless easy-going Erin is busy upstairs she is oblivious to the still mild heat. So I sleeplessly commiserated with mes mews those few days. …Until I noticed inside the house was hotter than outside in the early afternoon. Then we got serious.

During the first week of heat, Erin and I made several trips to the hardware store replacing weather ravaged parts on the cooler. I hate considering I may not be as mechanically adept as I used to be, but brother Edmund dropped by and fixed what I couldn’t figure out for days. So, we had relief on the sixth day. It’s all good; we had to adjust our routine to watering the flower bed and garden earlier with old school sprinklers anyway.

Although we were quick to prepare the cooler, we soon learned another new adventure lay ahead – for me anyway. Matted fur. So there we were on the floor with electric clippers, brushes and combs, and the rubbery oven mitt, cutting away the amazingly hard wads of fur and hair from poor, old Matty, the older, grey tabby.

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Have I mentioned I’m allergic to cats – dander and fur? Or that they’re both long haired cats? True, I lived with my sweet Lucy Retardo for the eighteen years she reigned over our homes. And I cleaned, dusted and vacuumed daily. Every. Single. Day. Then there’s the barrage of immune support I now take (again), to lessen the affects. Living with Lucy taught me how natural foods work just as well as the prescription allergy medication and two other OTC remedies without all the almost comical side effects. Raw unfiltered local honey is truly a blessing – just sayin’  Though I walk even more to burn the additional calories, it works for me. Even without the dreadful humidity of North Texas, in the hot weather that’s love, people.

Granted, domesticated animals require a lot more work than the hummingbirds who nested for the second year on our front porch. But we learned they keep summer homes. Mostly to avoid being dive-bombed by the nesting family we simply use the side door. Still, the fur kids have already grown on me and we’ve established a routine that is helping us all live together more comfortably – I’ll spare you the details, but allergy sufferers can write me privately for additional helpful tips.

Caring for the earth and all life forms thereon is high on my priority list. Sure, with my almost obsessive vigilance to housekeeping I prefer to enjoy the Wild Kingdom and domestic animals in the great outdoors. Still, I adjust. It’s all about the love. Cats seem to fit a house with two old broads.

Today, in the quiet (with the cooler turned off), I often think of the many people I also love. Yet walking as gentle rain kisses the Western Slope I feel more content than ever before. Life isn’t quite perfect, but the lyrics come to me “…with two cats in the yard. Life used to be so hard…*”

“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet: all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. Palm 8:3-8 (NLT)

From Our House, From the 1970 Crosby, Stills, Nash &  Young album Déjà Vu

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Relax

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“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”*

Okay, so our neighborhood isn’t exactly in the woods, but it’s rural enough for me with everything we need within walking distance. I came here to connect with my life, the life I seemed to have lost making a living.

We now know where everything I can think of is located on the property (having given up on all the stuff I either lost, left behind or passed on to the kids). Erin and I are pleased with our progress:

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The flower bed is set and doing well,
the garden is ready for plants (since it’s too late to start from seeds), and
we have a good, solid grasp of our budget.

“…I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life…”*

Now, all eyes on our target, residual income, we begin phase two of our reorganization project; juggling the stuff in the rooms around.

Rather than plunge head-on into the heavy lifting (literally), we took the weekend off to learn what the countryside has to teach.

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Most notably we learned today is one of several free fishing weekends in Colorado; no license or tags required. So after Sunday dinner at Keira’s we’ll be dropping lines in the Lake – definitely in the woods. Sure, we could go home a little early and get a head start on the week. But free fishing during perfect weather only happens a few times a year.

Watching our bobbers on the water, I’ll thank God for my life. I’ll breathe, and work hard to think about nothing else.

“On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work.” Genesis 2:2 (NLT)

 *Walden: Or, Life in the Woods, Chapter 2 by  Henry David Thoreau
Images by E.V.A. Lambert
Closing image courtesy ABSFreepic.com

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Upgrades

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Erin and I started this morning laughing at ourselves.

More than ever we realized that as life changes some things remain the same:

A negative plus a negative equals a positive.

I intentionally leave things out of place to annoy myself so that I’ll remember to address that task. Obsessive almost to the point of Compulsive Disorder, for years this worked for me.

Erin and I both practice this technique but routinely pick up after one another resulting in, “where in blazes is my stuff?!

Everything Old is New Again.

Sure, shortly after I arrived here I yukked it up when Erin placed the vintage flip-calendar by the television set. I remember thinking, “She’s so old school. My cell is the best organizer ever…”

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Several forgotten appointments and two months later, we both appreciate the gleaming chrome calendar daily. And yet we only today noticed step-by-step instructions to operate the calendar that anywhere else would be intuitively obvious:

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After Two months of turning the calendar thrice daily (once away and then twice toward) it has become our daily inspirational reminder:

 

Food Processor

Making cole slaw for Sunday dinner, Erin asked Ellie to grate some baby carrots.
“No problem,I’ll have it in a minute.” the younger, techno-savvy sister replied. She immediately began taking the 1980’s food processor from the cupboard. Ten minutes later, she was still looking for one part to enable the grating device.
Meanwhile, Ellen wordlessly took the cheese grater from among the other vintage devices displayed on top of the cabinets and began grating the carrots with it.

Fifteen minutes later, Ellie called to Mom, “Where is the pin for the food processor?” After a few more moments Mom replied, “Honey, I haven’t used it in so long I honestly can’t remember. I just use the flat grater that’s in the utensil drawer”

From a few feet away Erin smiled silently as she put the completed slaw in the refrigerator.

From my seat at the island counter I swear I heard Erin thinking, “Wile E. Coyote, Super Genius.”

“History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new.” Ecclesiastes 1:9 (NLT)

Images courtesy ABSFreepix and E.V.A. Lambert
Roadrunner Clip courtesy Youtube

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Walk

Today again I appreciate more and more how we are fearfully and wonderfully made. First, who knew how changing my post days to Monday and Thursday would go like this?

Today’s revelation began two nights ago – I was actually cold beneath my wool blanket and goose down throw. In case I haven’t mentioned it before I never feel cold, so in the gorgeous spring weather of the Western Slope, that was the first clue that I have been running overloaded for too long. I just checked: The temps were 46 degrees to 78 degrees here that day – around 70 degrees when I retired.

This morning confirmed my suspicion when I awoke with what I generally call hamburger throat, imagining what my insides might look like with that sore, raspy feeling.

Josey tea Carli JeanWith no fever it’s all good. I arose only slightly slower than usual and was sipping my Black Silk amaretto latte by the time Erin arose. I marvel at how, in only four weeks we’ve achieved very close to perfect sync with each other. It’s almost as though the past thirty-five years had been mere weeks.

thumb driveRight on course, by then I’d already checked my drafts for today’s post and had dismissed all of the ideas I found there. By Erin’s second cup of Black Silk Vanilla ambition, she suggested I consider her idea from a few days before, the things we miss while driving.

Before I prepared my second latte Erin invited me to walk downtown with her to City Hall to pay a bill and get some fresh air. Because my second latte was super low fat, low caffeine with evaporated cane juice, (and my body’s fighting off an infection 😉 ) I considered her suggestion longer than I usually would.

Despite having volumes of words and photos to consider, I immediately prepared to walk anyway. Walking simply seemed right.

Though I felt tired before we wrapped up the 1.6 miles, I’m glad I went. Walking alone and had I not been feeling slightly puny, I would have logged in 3 miles in that time. However I would not have met the neighbors.

Two blocks from home a Mini-Schnauzer, a Shih Tzu, and a Great Pyrenees/German shepherd pup rushed into the road, barking happily to greet us. The pup, already bigger than her mature dog companions, but clearly a baby, loped along. Their people, Guy and Barbie were right on their heels.

Without Erin I wouldn’t have stopped to chat. We wouldn’t have learned Guy and Barbie also have property just a stretch of the legs from Keira and Newlyn’s property (Erin’s mom and her late father) where we go for Sunday dinner every week. And yet, we paused a good ten minutes, met our neighbors briefly and their fur kids – well enough that 3-month-old Big Baby began walking with us as we departed. We’ll consider doing that another day.

pit bull leashHow delightful that Guy knows Keira and Newlyn’s place by the spayed Amstaf terrier that lives in the next lot on the road just before Keira’s. Though Guy doesn’t recall knowing Erin’s two brothers, everyone in town knows Nancy the pit bull, who initially seems ferocious, but locals all stop to greet her – usually with a treat. I adore the friendly, small-town atmosphere despite the wide geographical span.
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Ordinarily under other circumstances I wouldn’t have stopped to chat up our two young, co-ed neighbors taking a break from their studies either. I wouldn’t have told them they remind me of mornings on our porch back home where Roan, Opal and I would sit, wrapped in our blankets, mugs of coffee in hand to see the day in.

What’s more, the girls wouldn’t otherwise have extended an invitation to join their occasional parties any time, and they wouldn’t have welcomed us to visit them for food and grog where they both work at the local chain establishment. We wouldn’t have chatted about the advantages of the new Fitbits and the knock-offs that are out there.

GJ Law ofcI also noticed the amazing array of flora, from blooming cactus to peonies, vivid iris and the many varieties of columbine, and how they differ in full sun and from beneath the immense shade trees. Nor seemingly everywhere the vintage, refashioned architecture styles and landscaping seen on the Western Slope.

 

 

cactus flower1 flora fence Iris GJ iris maybe yellow cactus flower

 

I noticed how the many other pedestrians nodded, saying, “hi” and how one in particular paused to ask us about the shell casing we’d found in the grass a few feet in front of him. “Weird,” he said. We agreed. I wouldn’t have noticed the bird calls, especially the dove that called to us, seeming to follow us from tree top to tree top going from our block and then welcoming us back to it.

What I didn’t notice is vehicle traffic. Aside from a rare, occasional car passing (below the speed limit), the driver waving or nodding politely as they passed, there are very few cars moving through the neighborhood mid-to-late weekday mornings. The breeze and bird calls aren’t drowned out by more obnoxious sounds. Don’t tell anyone I said this, but I might have heard some dandelions groaning as they struggled for root room in the thick grass of one sunny lawn.

Then there’s the view of the Book Cliffs, Sleeping Ute, Mount Garfield, The Mesa and the National Monument towering around us. If they don’t take your breath away you need new glasses – or perhaps a check up from the neck up.

Sleep Butte  Mt Garfield

Whether I’m actually sick or simply run-hard-and-put-away-wet, I’m delighted to have experienced some of the beauty we miss when we drive ourselves to our various errands. Clearly it’s good therapy. I feel extravagantly blessed that whatever we need in our household is walking distance from our front door, even when we need a break more than anything else. The reorganization project will be waiting for us whenever we return.

God knows this deep sense of belonging to family and community is exactly what I’d hoped and prayed for. Clearly He held it all together here just for me :D.

Thanks God!

 

“Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” Matthew 6:21 (NLT)

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My Newest Normal

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Before leaving Texas rising before daybreak was my normal. Three weeks in at my new residence I’ve been up before the sun exactly once. This new feeling of having slept through most of the day is initially offsetting, but I suspect I shall adjust – eventually. We are enjoying catching up since Erin and I last lived together – often most of the night. I wasn’t even bothered after realizing I seemed to have lost an entire day. So, this week my Tuesday post shall be on Wednesday!

This all seems like a natural part of relocating to a somewhat new household. Expand that to an entirely new neighborhood and a new state which I had heretofore only visited and liked immensely. I am happy to report the populace and the environment continues to appear sincerely friendly and welcoming.

My challenges to date:

Household logistics:
I’m now familiar with the layout of the rooms. While not as intense as the first few days, we’re still in the Dude, where’d we put my stuff? phase. I find a modicum of comfort noticing Erin also shares this experience. While we shuffle items around to make room for my stuff amongst the belongings she and her son amassed over their 16 years in this house.

My Inner Compass:
Leaving the house an average of 3 times per week, distinguishing east from west on an overcast day here will take some time. Still, GPS on my cell makes walking to nearly anything I need a delight.

CO 3Visual perception:
I pray I never become desensitized to the often overwhelming beauty of Mount Garfield, the Colorado National Monument, The Little Book Cliffs, Colorado River, the groves, vineyards and the many other natural wonders of the Western Slope. I expect soon these shall help me navigate the area.

Mental perception:
The concept of Home remains a mystery to me, however Sunday Dinners every week with the family of childhood neighbors help tighten my grip on it all.
Home today seems to me to be like a presence that has lurked nearby as long as I can remember. I have longed to know it better but have yet to fully engage it. I am determined to relentlessly pursue.

 

 

“Whenever you enter someone’s home, first say, ‘May God’s peace be on this house.’  If those who live there are peaceful, the blessing will stand; if they are not, the blessing will return to you.” Luke 10:5, 6 (NLT)

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