It seems, as of late, that our world as many of us knew it, is no longer. Unprecedented mass killings, terrorism, and nightly shootings broadcast on the early morning news, are more the norm than not. Earthquakes, hurricanes, and fires causing unheard of disaster and loss of life, are motivating more and more to ask, “What is happening?” People stand stunned as if in shock, and while moments of silence are observed, a pervasive sense of helplessness seems to blanket and thicken the air. While being silent is a reverential expression of respect, does this quiet solemn response bring hope?
Going on two years now, I have been knitting a Christmas stocking for my grandson, Henry. It truly is a labor of the deepest, giving-of-myself kind of love, for in doing this, I have made a painful discovery; knitting is not my forte. My hour of delving into this craft—I have been told that is all you should attempt at one sitting— goes something like this. Knit five. Tink twenty. Tink, which is knit spelled backwards, means to unknit or undo what you have just done. My knitting is more like a boat rocking back and forth caught in a sludge that allows very little headway. Instead of moving forward, it feels as if I’m in the Twilight Zone of the land of no progress.
It can be so disheartening. My dear, sweet friend, Joan, who is teaching me this fine art, has become my cheerleader. I don’t know quite why she puts up with me except that I must provide endearing comic relief. Encouraging my efforts, she often genuinely tells me, “You’ve got this now. You know what you’re doing. Look at you go.” And she’s right. For a minute. Until I walk out of her house and all by my lonesome stumble into my next mistake that I have no idea how to fix. Not even an inkling at all.
My real problem is not that knitting is so difficult, but that I have too many irons in the fire. It’s not that I don’t have the brainpower to succeed at this endeavor—which can be intricate and exacting, often resulting in beautiful sweaters, afghans, and yes, even Christmas stockings—it’s that there are too many commitments in other areas of life and far too many distractions. Like a kid in a candy store, there are so many fun, wonderful, and interesting things to try, to do, and to see. If I had a bucket list, it would be full to overflowing.
So what it comes down to is picking and choosing, deciding and making….
Choices. Continue reading
Every year at this twitterpating time, (according to Bambi and friends), we get a host of bird couples making their newlywed nests in our gutters, atop beams, or as safe-as-it-seems-to-them, any nook or cranny. And without fail, there is usually one couple that for one reason or another, seems to be a half a bubble off plumb in their choices.
There was the kamikaze bluebird who inexplicably would follow Jerry from room to room, flying so hard into each window leaving feathers as he went, that his sweet wife would watch from a nearby branch or window with a somewhat stunned look of “what are you doing?” Or there were the doves who nearly died of heart failure every time we walked onto our side porch because they had built their nest in the heart-shaped grapevine wreath that hung right beside the door. Or there’s this year’s winner, Mr. and Mrs. Sparrow, who have already tried and failed in four separate attempts in three different locations, to build their home, the first unsuccessful site, my fault. Continue reading
When my two oldest children were in the throngs of dating, they managed to simultaneously find significant others who were terrible fits, not only for themselves but also for the two they were dating. Everyone could see it but them. Even their then 12-year-old brother saw right through the relationships and knew they were toxic. Continue reading
When I was ten years old I was diagnosed with idiopathic scoliosis, a curvature of the spine with no known cause. No reason. No rhyme. It just is. In my case, and for most, it is genetic in nature, the methods of dealing with it, either surgery or a brace. And because spinal fusion is rather drastic, the first choice of treatment to keep the curve in check is usually the brace.
Not far removed from medieval times, the Milwaukee Brace that I wore in the 1960s and ‘70s looked horrendous. Attached to a leather girdle that was buckled around your hips and also to a neck piece that like handcuffs snapped in place around your neck, were three adjustable metal bars, the two in the back that with each modification made, created that beautiful hunchback look, one that all teenage girls were dying to wear.
Not long after becoming a Christian at the age of 15, and after learning that Jesus brought/brings to us healing, one afternoon, kneeling beside my bed, I prayed asking Him to straighten my spine. Grabbing my handheld mirror to inspect His work, and hoping that He had said yes to my request, I found my back looked much the same as before. Continue reading
I’ve often said in jest, but somewhat seriously also, that one of the blessings of getting older is your vision starts to go.
Now you might think that an odd thing to think, but in many ways not being able to see all those wrinkles daily taking over your face, is a blessing. That is, until you get your hands on a magnifying mirror and “Wowzer!” The reality that time has passed—years, maybe even millennia—is clearly evident. But you know, I would rather have a clear picture of what I look like—wrinkles and all—than run around thinking I look pretty good when, actually, broccoli has taken up temporary residence between my two front teeth.
And I feel that way about my heart also.