Monday, January 6, 2014

Day 214

January 6, 2014


Day 214


Seven months ago today…I have survived now for more than half a year.  That almost feels like an accomplishment!


If Paul were alive right now I know what he’d be doing.  It is the coldest today that it has been in the metro since 1996.  All the schools had cancelled by noon yesterday in anticipation of today’s weather.  I cancelled David’s appt. at Learning RX.  Will’s car is stuck at church right now because it wouldn’t start late last night after the SNAG.  I didn’t want to get out to W. Des Moines this morning and run into the same problem, esp. since Will would not be able to rescue me!  But I am quite sure that all the HVAC guys are busy today rescuing desperate homeowners.  Paul would have spent his day being a hero.


Will sure has!  My neighbor called me at 9 this morning, frantic because she has no water.  She lives in a modular home, so the pipes are all above ground.  She wondered if Will could come check things out.  He did and has been there off and on, working on their pipes.  Last I heard, they now have running water, so it doesn’t sound like the pipes burst, which is a relief.  This couple is older and were so grateful to Will.  I’m just glad he knew what to do.


We got through Paul’s birthday all right.  I ended up not getting him a balloon.  I kind of ran out of time and then I’d have to figure out how to anchor it.  So I figured, phooey – I’d just wait until some other year to do that.
Paul's 30th - Will was the age Sam is now


The girls had a birthday party to attend in the morning for our neighbor girl.  It was held at Monkey Joes, which is akin to Chuck E Cheese’s, only not quite so annoying.  It has inflatables, which is the big draw.  I happened to glance at the party price list and – wow!  Don’t think I’ll be planning any parties for any of my kids there anytime soon!  But the girls had fun.  I stayed there to help with Ellie and had to climb inside the inflatables a few times to help her figure out the steps.  And I might have had to go down the slide with her a few times, too – just to make sure she knew what she was doing, of course!


Despite enjoying the party, I was still quite heavy-hearted while at the party place.  At one point, I remember thinking, “Oh, I just wish you (Paul) were here!” I immediately felt a voice in my heart saying, “I am always with you.”  Was that God?  Was it Paul?  Was it my own fanciful imagination fueled by pizza and Coke?  I don’t know.  But it was comforting.  I don’t think it was my imagination, since it was one of those moments I’ve had with some regularity since Paul’s death, where I know God is speaking to me.  I’m glad it happened.


Then we came home and turned around an hour later and met our friends at the theater.  Well, Will had to stay home and watch his beloved Colts play, so the 6 of us went.  We saw “Frozen” which was SO good!  David was less than impressed, but then, he was laughing hysterically at the previews for the upcoming Lego movie, which shows where his standards for theater enjoyment are!  The movie is just so excellent that I think I would like to buy a copy when it comes out. 


Then we swung by Hy-Vee and I picked up a chicken dinner.  Debbie had brought apple pie in honor of Paul.  We ate after Will prayed a special prayer,  thanking God for the years we had with Paul.  The kids played, and Keith and Will watched the rest of the game.  Then, Will pulled out the Aggravation game and I was reminded how much Paul had enjoyed playing that.  So we did and it was fine.  And I have a feeling Paul might have been smiling as/if he watched us.


Will told me the other night he is now re-thinking his plans of going into the ministry.  He said, “I just don’t think I like people all that much!”  You know, when he told me he was thinking about full-time ministry last summer, I had the same thoughts, but kept them to myself.  Will gets along fine with people and isn’t awkward in any way.  But it seems to me that pastors need to have a certain amount of empathy for the flocks they serve and Will just seems to be lacking that in his personality.  He’s very much like Paul – no nonsense, with a small degree of patience for those that deliberately choose stupidity and continue to make bad choices.  But then he said, “I’m thinking maybe I’d like to be a counselor, though!”  I just scratched my head and finally said, “Um, you do know counselors have to deal with people, too, right?”  I think what Will is thinking is that he would like to have a venue in which to share all this wealth of knowledge and convictions that he has acquired in his short life – things like choosing Godliness, making wise financial choices, etc.  I suggested that he just plan to go to Faith with an open mind and see how God leads once he’s on campus and in classes.  He said in exasperation, “I just wish I knew exactly what I’m supposed to do for the rest of my life already!”  I have no doubt that no matter what he ends up doing, he’ll be quite successful.
12 yrs later we would pose for a nearly identical photo.  5 days later Paul would be dead.


The two of us were at Menards the other day, picking up a couple of light fixtures for the basement along with $400 worth of other stuff.  We have fluorescent lights all over the basement and in the kitchen, but couldn’t find any more that take the T12 lightbulbs that the others do.  So we asked the clerk and he said that T12s are being phased out and won’t be available in a couple of years.  I immediately got suspicious and asked him why this was.  He replied that it had to do with environmental reasons (the whim of the “environmentalistic wackos” as Paul would have called them).  This means that I am eventually going to have to have all my fluorescent fixtures swapped out to accommodate T8 bulbs.  Boy, that made me mad.  So I bought 3 cases of T12 bulbs right there on the spot and I think I’ll pick some up every time I go in from now on.  Grrr....


I really need to get Lizzie’s hearing checked.  I’ve known that for awhile.  I finally do have their new insurance cards with their new names so there’s nothing stopping me except time.  She was asking me about our address the other day and when I told her she looked puzzled and asked, “We live on ‘Torture’ Street?”  Guess it just depends what day it is! (I live on Orchard St.)


I caught the cat sitting on the kitchen table the other day, just as calm as could be.  I started to get after her, but then thought to myself, “Is it really worth it?”  It seems like I am always shooing that animal down from places!  Just then Will came up the basement steps and Bella flew off the table.  She recognized his footsteps and knew there’d be a price to pay if he caught her on the table!  Cats are really, really smart animals…and I really, really have no authority in my house…



David and Will were listening to a sports commentator on tv the other night who made some comment about not “throwing the baby out with the bathwater.”  They wrinkled their noses and asked, “What?”  I could not believe they had never heard that expression before!  I suppose it’s because I grew up reading and re-reading Laura Ingalls Wilder, who detailed repeatedly the Saturday night bath ritual (from which that expression arises).  So I had the fun of explaining a bit of (smelly) history to them.  I still can't believe they didn't know that, though!



I went to lunch last Thurs. with a widow friend at church and one of her widow friends from her former church in Des Moines.  This woman was the wife of one of my college professors at Faith.  Now, she’s about to be widowed for the second time.  We had the most delightful time.  I connected with her instantly, I felt.  She asked to see a picture of my kids and so I pulled one out.  She saw the girls and asked, “Are they adopted?”  I couldn’t resist.  I deadpanned, “What?  You don’t see the resemblance?”  She didn’t know what to say so I had to quickly rescue her and assure her that, yes, they’re adopted!  Then, later, recovered, she commented, “Well, now that I look, I can definitely see that they take after you in coloring!”  Bwah-ha-haa!

It turns out that both her children are adopted, as well, so we had that in common.


She commented that she has lost a husband both ways, now, one quickly and unexpected, and the other with a lingering, deadly illness.  She didn’t know which was harder.  I don’t think one necessarily is harder than the other.  They’re just different.  She did say something about it being different when it’s your first love, though.  I hadn’t thought about that before.  I can see that.



Lizzie informed me the other day that I am the “best mom, ever!” 

Considering all the other times that she has informed me otherwise, I’ll take the compliment!  Of course, with that girl, I have to readily recognize that it may be only a few hours later when I am once again relegated to “worst mom” status again.  I guess I will take it where I can get it!



This post seems to be more about minutia of family life than much else.  I guess that’s ok.  Life does have a way of keeping you busy even when the heart is broken and mending (am I mending yet?  I don’t know).  Of course, when your life involves 6 children, there’s probably going to be more minutia than most!  Funny, funny, and very true story from just the other day:


Sam found a very large egg in a container of eggs I received from my friend.  It was so big that he insisted I take a picture of it and “send it to Facebook, Mom!”  That prompted him to start thinking about eggs in general and it wasn’t long before he asked if chickens were the only ones with eggs.  So we talked about how many, many creatures have eggs.  Birds and some fish have them on the outside, but lots of females carry them on the inside.  I made the mistake of saying, “Even girl humans have eggs inside them.”  Lizzie was standing nearby and gasped.  “I have chickens inside me?!” she exclaimed incredulously.  I'm still laughing about the expression on her face!


There’s this continual rivalry between Lizzie and Sam and after he digested the fact that his sisters got eggs, Sam demanded, “Well, if they get eggs, what do I get?”  Hmm…well – hey, look at the time!  Shouldn’t we be doing some math or cleaning your bedroom or something?…anything at all…


Love this picture! 2001 - we were at the aquatic center in Missouri Valley.  Ben was 4 and Paul was 30.



















































1 comment:

  1. Your kids are hilarious! And, I so enjoy your writing! You are definitely gifted!
    We have stopped just out of laziness, but there was a time that we bought arm-loads of light bulbs every time we were out. I guess we should start that again.
    I was thinking last night that the homeschooled kids are kind of missing out today because I doubt their schools are canceled. Then I remembered...I had a guy out last week to do some work in our house, and two of his kids came with him because they got all their school work done the night before. So much less of their time is wasted when homeschooled. So, for many reasons, they are much better off.