Friday, August 27, 2010

From above the clouds

I'm a tall girl, so I've spent most of my life walking into cupboard doors left open, peeking over cubicle walls, and checking out everyone's hair part. Granted, I'm only 5'9", but that's taller than most women. And that's me in flats...

A week ago, I was looking for a pair of low or no heeled, sensible, ordinary, boring black dress shoes, for work. After checking out several stores, and drooling over the nifty boots, I went into this frugal girl's old standby, Payless. There I dutifully searched for boring shoes. Well, I did find them... but... part of the fun of shoe shopping is trying on shoes you never intend to wear, much less buy. So I tried on pumps, clogs, high heeled shoe boots (I wobbled as I stood in them, but they were so cute!). Then I saw them. Wow. A pair of black, harness-strapped, 2 inch heels. I tried them on. No wobble. Cool. I looked at them in the ankle height mirrors... wow.

Since it was buy-1-get-1-half-off, I had to get them. I'm a frugal girl after all.

I wore them to work on Monday. I could certainly see very clearly over those cubicle walls. If anyone had looked up as I passed by, they'd have seen a pair of eyes seemingly resting on the wall. My close friend Sharon, noticed the new shoes, of course, as well as another coworker. But for most of the day it was business as usual. Sort of.

Me, I have to get up countless times to go to the printer, which is located across half the office. So I cruised along, eyes peeping over the walls, feeling very very tall. (Cat calls it 'statuesque'). I started imagining a cheering Philistine army behind me, and a small shepherd boy before me, armed only with a sling and a few smooth stones.

Alternatively, I started feeling like I would turn the corner, and find a town of tiny buildings, and screaming villagers running away as I stomped and crushed my way downtown.

I got funny looks as I giggled my way back and forth from the printer.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Fred & Jacki

Tonight I want to tell you about two special people that I knew. Their names are Fred & Jacki. Fred very recently went home to be with the Lord, and his wife Jacki. His passing caused me to reflect on the impact they had on my life. Sometimes it seems that it is the quiet people, those who move silently through your life, that have the most influence on you. This couple are prime examples of this fact.

I enjoy talking with people before the church service starts, especially the older people. I've always said, older people have the best stories. Shortly after I joined my church, I met Jacki. She always sat in the foyer, usually in a beam of sunlight (shining through the courtyard window). I started to get to know her there, chatting about the inconsequentials of the day, and about deeper matters. Somehow I found myself telling her about my worries about my youngest child, my daughter, and her struggles with school. Jacki offered to pray for her. She said, "I can't do much, but I can pray." I assured her that praying was a lot. Thereafter, every Sunday, every time I saw her, she would ask about Cat, and how she was doing, both in school, and out. Every week, she said she'd continue to pray for her. And she did. For the final 5 years of school, she prayed every day for Cat. And Cat's grades improved. She began to enjoy school more. I know a lot of that was due to her own hard work, but I also know that it was Jacki's prayers. When Cat graduated, I thanked Jacki for praying my daughter through school. It was a great deal.

Never far from her side was Fred. He would either be talking quietly with others, or just contentedly standing nearby. I saw how he gently saw to Jacki, helping her to the pew, getting her situated. I often saw them holding hands.

One Christmas eve Eve (the night two days prior to Christmas), I was feeling very depressed. I don't even remember why. I headed to the Christmas eve Eve service, alone, and unhappy about it. All of my kids were busy that night, but I decided to attend alone.

I walked into the church, and stood in the narthex watching as entire families sat in pews together. There I stood, feeling so very alone. Then Fred came up to me, and told me to please come sit with him and Jacki. I had to struggle to keep the tears from my eyes. I did sit with them, and they made me feel included, like part of their family. I went home from that service doubly blessed, both by the joyous service itself, and from their kindness. A few days later, I received a homemade Christmas card from the, with their picture on the front.

I still have that card to this day.

These two wonderful people quietly, but significantly impacted my life. I will miss them with all my heart, but know that I will see them again. I know that when I arrive in heaven, they will be waiting there for me. And they'll have new stories to tell me.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A Different Kind of Day

Today I did something I've never done before..attended a wedding shower. See, this shower was special, as it was for my new daughter... the woman my son Ben is marrying.

To get there, I had to do something I find a bit somewhere I've never been. Anyone who knows me knows just how directionally challenged I am. Thankfully, my daughter was the one navigating, so we arrived with only one missed turn.

I've attended many wedding showers, but never one for a child of mine. It felt so different to be the MOM... Anyways, we arrived at this castle (well, it certainly looked like one), and went into the turret where the party was hosted (seriously). The place was absolutely beautiful! And that was before the decorations, flowers, prize baskets and food.

My mom & favorite sister also attended. (Even if I had more than one, Cathie would still be my favorite). The shower began with the playing of three games... the first one was questions about the bride & groom. After that were games all Disney related. After a bit of kibitzing and tapping our personal source of Disney trivia (thank you Cat!), we waited for the results. It's almost embarrassing that all four of us walked out with prize baskets! I picked the one with tea, needless to say.

It was great to meet more of Jessica's family, and friends... and to attend an event that heralds the next step into my son's future.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tea Time Chicken Salad

By popular demand, here is my mother's chicken salad recipe that was served at both the Spring Morning Tea, and at the Adoption Shower:

Chicken Salad

2 cups cooked diced chicken
1 cup chopped celery
1 tb grated onion
1 cup mayo (yes, mayo..the only time I use it)
2 tsp lemon juice
salt & pepper
1/2 cup (or more) seedless grapes, cut in half
1/2 cup slivered almonds

Precook the chicken simply. I just bake about 4 chicken breasts for an hour with just a bit of water in the covered pan. Cool completely.

Mix lemon juice & mayo. Stir in remaining ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Season to taste with salt & pepper.

This is great just on it's own, or as a filling for mini croissants lined with lettuce. Yum!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Where did Summer go?

A week ago, I was watching television (don't remember if it was Glee or Warehouse 13, but that doesn't matter). As always, the commercials came on. Normally I just ignore them, by either crocheting or reading a book. This time, the subject got my attention.

There I sat, wearing a tank top & Capri's, the central air on, while listening to a Back to School commercial. !! Already? I was speechless (a rarity for me).

Later that week, Cat & I decided to splurge, and go out to dinner. Unable to pick a place, we just told the car to pick. Seriously. I said 'Bug, find us a place to go to dinner'. (Cars always have names, since I saw my first Herbie movie). Well, we found ourselves pulling into Cracker Barrel. We walked in, and the very first display I saw filled with costumes, bats, and pumpkins. Halloween decorations? I was afraid to go deeper into their store section, fearful that I'd find a countdown to Christmas!

This is getting ridiculous!

I'd love to hear from you all, about your out of season sightings!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Personal miracle

I've got a story to tell you, about how God looks after each of us. I got into my wee little car after work. Put my tote bag in the back seat, set my purse on the passenger seat, and proceeded to buckle in...all before I noticed it. My rearview mirror. Dangling. Attached only by the wire bringing power to the lights.

I sat there thinking, oh, great. I have to pick up Cat from an appointment in less than an hour. How can I handle this? So, I started to pray, and think. I decided to drive to a small auto parts store in town, called Bois Auto Parts. They aren't on the big roads, set in a small plaza, and dimly lit. But, I've always gotten good help there. I pulled into one of the 5 parking spaces, parking next to a Guardian Auto Glass van.

I walked in, passed another customer, and went to the counter. There I explained my problem, and asked both for the stuff to reattach my mirror to the glass, and help doing so. As I explained, 'I'm afraid of gluing my fingers to something'.

The service guy started to show me the adhesive aisle, when another worker came up and said, 'he's already handling it.' He? I walked outside, to find the Guardian Glass guy, sitting in my car, having just scraped off the old glue, and applying the new. He asked me to sit in the car, and make certain the mirror was where I wanted it. After doing so, I offered to pay him, but he refused.

To him it was no big deal, as he did this for a living and had the materials right on hand. But to me, it was a small miracle. And proof that God watches over us. If I'd gone to the new auto parts store on the main drag, or if I'd gotten there 5 minutes later, he wouldn't have been right there. This was God's timing......