Friday, November 16, 2007

Turning Things Around

I'd thought it wasn't coming, or was going to be a dull flop, or that it'd passed me by.

Autumn. Fall. Cool beauty and days of conscious enjoyment of the current good. Unfortunately, it helps us be thankful when we know that worse times are ahead--and Kansas City's winters can supply plenty of those times.

Which is why I felt I'd lost something tangible when the summer turned into a wimpy, slow sort of fall and the trees turned dead, rusty brown instead of golds and oranges and reds. And then, and then I got sick and was indoors for a week. An entire week. Talk about going from bad to worse. It barely registered on my consciousness that they were an unexpected boon of balmy days, and that I was missing what little beauty I might have salvaged from the season.

Until I recovered, and emerged, and found to my joy that trees that have begun to lifelessly fade can, in rare instances, be turned glorious by a particular sequence of unlikely temperatures. KC has erupted into beauty I'd given up hope of seeing! Yesterday I walked into my sister's house and was blinded by the glow of a red sugar-maple in the back yard. It swept through the kitchen windows, spread glory in the hall, and lifted my head as I stood in the front entrance.

GlorieBee and I spent some time trying to enjoy the gift as much as possible:

This is what life ends up being like, isn't it? We see disappointment coming, we brace for it, we endure it, and we forget to imagine that God has joy and restoration up His sleeve. But He turns things around (most usually our hearts) after we've given up human hope.

I have an admonition for you. When He does this, let yourself rejoice. Don't hold onto the disappointment, don't keep bracing for the next downer. He's big enough (and interested enough) to guide your fragile heart through the next adversity when guiding is needed. But He certainly wants us to actually eat the feasts He provides and walk in the joy of the moments.

Take your inheritance: no more fear of disappointment, no more distrust of God!

Friday, November 09, 2007

And...One Last Report to Make

So, Kim did come over with Nyquil. And while we talked, and she sat on the floor and leaned against my dresser... (you won't believe this) ...the large antique mirror sitting atop it FELL, SMASHED, and landed upsidedown on top of her. When it was all over (which seemed to take eons while I sat frozen watching) she was sitting in a pile of glass with a beam of wood on top of her head. I've never, actually truly and honestly, seen that much broken glass. Not just broken--I now know what "shards" actually means. And "smashed", and "shattered", and "splintered", and yes, even "smithereens". Besides being bigger and scrolly, I guess antique mirrors were thicker than they are now...about four times thicker.

Two roommates came running. A split second after they reached the door, the bulb in my overhead light gives a greenish flash and dies.

"I'll get the vacuum," says Nicole. "You'd better put shoes on," says Kim to me after I've extracted her from the wooden frame. So I swing the door aside to get my shoes, and the mirror on the back of the door falls off. At least it wasn't smashed to smithereens (I'm entitled to use such words now, now that I know what they mean), but WHAT ON EARTH?!

Who knew so many adventures could happen to someone who hasn't left her house all day. So we run around trying to deal with glass bits and shards all over my room, only to discover that two police cars and an ambulance have pulled up outside. Turns out they were there for the nice old man who lives next door. I think he's going to be fine, as he seemed pretty aware and awake when they wheeled him out. He broke his hip a while ago.

All I can say is, I'm glad Kim was here. She's a great cleaner, logical in emergencies, and takes everything in stride. In my sick-state I might have just sat in the glass, in the dark, and cried if she hadn't been around. The end result? I'm drugged up on Nyquil, have a blank wooden mirror frame above my dresser, and no mirror on the door. If I want to see what I look like, I'll have to climb up to the little decorative one hanging above my bed (which, right now, is actually a blessing. you can tell by looking at the photo posted one blog ago). Besides that, the only other good that came out of all this is that the vacuum I mentioned two blogs ago was put together, and my floor and dresser were swept and dusted.

If anyone has an interpretation I'd love to hear it, cause this seems like the sort of thing that needs interpretation.

A little more cheerful

Well, here's an update:

I took some ibuprofen,
Kim's bringing me Nyquil,
I found some V8 to heat up and pretend is tomato soup,
AND, I took a pitiful picture of myself eating it.

All of which makes me feel much more cheerful.

Here is the photo. Enjoy the fact that you're not me at the moment!

Oh Sally, Thank You

It was a beautiful fall day ... yellow sunny leaves, warm air ... and I spent it inside with a cold. Yuk! I did get an hour of reprieve as Dora took her webcam around their new house in Hawaii and I got to see the pad, watch Arden walk, and imagine what 80 degrees would feel like just about now. Sam has gotten home from work early and they're heading to the beach. The BEACH. (No, that's not envy you're hearing. Just the boredom that comes from feeling too sick, for too long.)

When one is sick and home, one hatches all sorts of plans. "I'm going to..."

1st try: Vacuum my floor and dust my room. NOPE. Old vacuum doesn't work and the new one needs to be assembled. Feel too sick to assemble things with screwdrivers.

2nd try: Take a nap. NOPE. The sudafed I took was "non-drowsy" and the tea that feels so good on my throat was not decaf.

3rd try: Prepare a book proposal. NOPE. If I have trouble proposing books when I'm fully myself, how well do I think I'll do when my head is so stuffed up I hear my own voice through miles of tunnels?

4th try: Wash all my jackets and coats in prep for winter; sort the drawers and clean out everything I don't wear. NOPE. No good reason, just "nope".

I could go on. But I may try to tackle a few of the other things that I Can Do, even while sick. Let's a magazine, find a recipe for Thanksgiving turkey, and write a blog. While listening to a few good operas. But even that gets difficult with stuffed up ears. Maybe I'll have energy to put Rick Joyner on tonight, but I sure won't be going to the meeting in person.

A very nice thing did happen today. Sally asked if she could bring me something from her grocery store trip, and I asked for frozen orange juice (it's lots cheaper than fresh, you know). She showed up an hour ago with my very favorite, Simply Orange (it's fresh squeezed, not from concentrate, and has no added sugar). She had no idea, of course, that it's exactly what my little heart actually craved, nor that I even liked that kind. Jesus knew, though.

Last night Nicole and I tried to watch Tommy Boy on my computer. (Don't take that as an endorsement--I hadn't seen it since it came out over 10 years ago and there are definitely some must-fast-forward parts.) The dresser did great as a TV stand, and the bed as a couch...until we sat on it! At which point it (box-spring and all) collapsed down onto the floor. She's about as tall as I am, and the frame is rickety with unstable slats, and, well... Both of us are about the weights God intended us to be, but the bed-frame makers didn't confer with God when they made the specs, I guess. Or, it could be that we were putting two on a twin. Whatever the problem was, it decided not to bow out gracefully even after we hoisted the mattress off, fixed the slats, and remade the bed. A play button pushed; a gingerly-done climb onto the bed, one by one; a gentle scoot to get into comfortable positions; and whalah! Another collapse. At least the second time two of the slats stayed in place and we didn't end up on the floor. So we proceeded to watch. I can't recommend the whole show, but I can recommend the getting-changed-in-an-airplane-bathroom scene. I'm surprised the bed made it through, cause the two of us were almost crying we were laughing so hard.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Summer Recap

I've been lax, so lax...beautiful summers come and go, and blogs must record them or posterity will suffer the loss. So, a few recent happenings...

On Kim's birthday we all went to the Fray concert to see their show and meet Isaac. I was so glad to finally meet this guy I've been hearing about for over 10 years. He's been a good friend to Kim, and that makes me like him very, very much.

I also liked their show very, very much. I did receive a lot of flak for my ear-protection-preparedness. One never knows how loud these concerts might get, and wanting to both hear without the distortion effect of loudness, and also keep my hearing for later listening experiences in life, I came armed (and modeled my gear for a photo). Unfortunately the only gear I had happened to be bright orange: (notice the ear)

We were very honored with vip seats and backstage passes, and Isaac sang Kim two birthday songs (because he forgot to preface the 1st one with "happy birthday, Kim"). She deserved two, having survived a night of horror under the spider-trees at our ill-chosen campsite (which pictures I will not include here, not only because of the trauma, but because they're on her computer, not mine.) We had our own little celebration later on. I'm sure Glorie-Bee thought all the singing and pretty candles were for her...

Much of the summer has been for her, though. It involved many waterpark outings in the front yard:

A visit from Aunt Annie (this is a bad photo...we were both extremely hot after hours in the sun at the botanic gardens. They were having an exhibition of full-sized dinosaur models, which Peter was very keen his 9-month-old daughter should see):

Glorie's first taste of Strawberry Frappachino...

...of vanilla custard...
...and, almost, of Winston's slobber. I snapped this photo then dived to save her as she threw herself toward the most interesting thing in the yard...and of course, one always puts the most interesting things into one's mouth. Cheerios? Nah.

Glorie has been my summer obsession. I've been watching her 2 days a week, and have plenty more photos I could regale you with. Glorie being fed, Glorie at the petting zoo, Glorie in the water, Glorie sticking her tongue out, Glorie eating humus...and videos, yes, videos...Glorie pushing her car, Glorie knocking block towers over, etc. I won't. But, if you ever visit me in KC, you'll not only be visiting, Amy, but also Aunt Mamy, and I'll force you to agree that she is the sweetest thing in the world!

So much for the summer recap. Yesterday at Anna & Jim's engagement party (oh, that's another of the summer happenings-an engagement) I met a man who grew up on a dairy farm. Unbeknownst to him, the heroine of my current novel spends some time on a dairy farm, and I thought I could pump him for some info. The poor man probably thinks I'm obsessed with milk (which, well, perhaps I am)....homogenization, pasteurization, how feed affects milk taste...I even wanted to ask him about milking etc., but he was looking rather pained already and making small "I'll have to ask my father," and "hmm, I-I've never heard of that," sort of comments, so I pulled Kim into the mix on the rousing question of whether "cow tipping" is an urban legend, and left him in peace.

I'm off to finish writing a new scene for my novel...(no, it's not set in the dairy). Actually, I may go for a hike through the fall-colored woods with Kim before that. Here is a parting photo-one of my favorite from the summer. I know it's kind of overexposed and my hair is sort of sticking out everywhere...but, I love being with my sister Annie and this is so "us" sort of calmer, she sort of bubbly...