Navy Blue, Elastic Waist Pants

It was the navy blue, elastic waist pants that completely choked me up that day, I felt so proud of him.

Everything else about my dad’s attire was normal;
his sturdy, black leather tie shoes,
the button down shirt,
a cardigan for the chill.

But the pants.

Not those pants.

I was taking my parents to Dad’s follow up Doctor appointments in Philadelphia. Almost two months prior, his heart valve repair surgery with an expected 3-6 day hospitalization had turned into having had 4 surgeries, a five week stay, four of those in ICU, plus two more weeks in a skilled nursing rehab facility. An accidental liver laceration had been the first of many and serious complications that had almost cost him his life. It all left my dad completely frail, exhausted, and with a paralyzed vocal cord that necessitated a feeding tube.

And the feeding tube at that time necessitated those pants.
The navy blue, elastic waist pants.

My dad normally wears trousers, never elastic waist pants.

If you were to have seen him that day,
his steps were slow.
He looked older than he is.
More tired than he wanted to be.
Without the cardigan, you could have observed his button down shirt neatly tucked into an elastic waist band.

You could not have known with a glance that you were looking at one of the bravest, most courageous men on the planet, a strong warrior, with much to be bitter about and yet he is not.

There is always a backstory.
Always.
And even when we think we know something,
we often and most likely don’t know much.

But remembering that there is a backstory, something we don’t know, isn’t the point. That’s just the thought that should predate what we do and what we say with what we DO know, the golden rule.

We do know how we like to be treated.

While we are individuals and the details of what we each like coming to us are going to vary from person to person, there are still basic foundations that are universal, one size fits all.

A badge of courage, strength, and dignity may not look like what we think.

Sometimes that badge shows up as navy blue, elastic waist pants with a button down shirt on someone who looks tired, maybe even old, and walks slowly in our path.

Don’t miss it.
More importantly, don’t miss the person.168

And don’t miss an opportunity to be who we are to be,
offering what He has for us,
who He is,
t h r o u g h us.

I am so proud of my dad;
his faith, courage, quiet strength and dignity.
And beyond grateful that he is recovering,
we get to keep him longer.

Thank you God

Jacob

“You were designed for snugging,” my little Jacob said to me the other morning as he curled up on my lap.

Snugging is hugging and snuggling at the same time.
Which makes for a great start to a day. I would know. :)

And I was reminded of writing about this very thing a couple of months back.

Journal entry for November 29, 2013

It was the rattle of the doorknob that startled me awake.
I glanced at the clock.
The order of the numbers started with a six.
Rats. It’s been worse. Much. Much.
But seriously? Six something?
It was a vacation day from school and all of it’s demands for prompt routine.

I saw a short shadow moving across my room.
I heard bare feet noises on the hardwood floor.
Jacob’s 8 year voice announced his obvious intentions as he crawled into bed with me.
“I want to snuggle with you Mom.”

So we snuggled, laying on our sides, his little head tucked under my chin.

He continued talking.
talking.
talking.
The kind of talking that wanted an occasional response.

He told me about his nightmare, getting separated from me at a train station.
And that God and Jesus came and sat next to him on either side.
“They were really there!”
They talked about heaven together and whether or not Jacob’s favorite things like ships would be a part of it.
And if he could fly.
He said that Jesus’ eyes sparkle.

Jacob then sang a song to me.
Very familiar only way better.
It was Newsong’s, “I wonder what God was thinking when He created you.”
Only with little boy ad-libbing making it a son to his mother kind of love song.
The best.

Image

Then he crawled out and said, “I’ll let you get back to your rest now.”

Uh. Right. My night and rest were over, buddy.

And it was worth it.
Totally.

Another Wardrobe Malfunction

I was at the YMCA pool with Jacob.
It wasn’t until I had my tank top cover up layer folded next to my towel
and my shorts cover up layer off and bunched up in my hand that I remembered The Great Original Plan.

I glanced down at my black tankini top and the bright blue fabric of the other piece below.

omw.

I had forgotten that the shorts weren’t a cover up layer today.
I had just slipped them on, like I do sometimes, over my regular underwear instead of wearing a for-real swimsuit set.

I wondered if I made hastily returning a garment to its original location look like something natural to do just prior to swimming with your kid.
take it off.
put it back on.
swim.
doesn’t everyone do it that way? ;)I’m telling you, standing next to a public pool in your underwear with other people around is far more emotionally traumatizing than the most ill fitting swim suit.
I would know.

I also know that the sometimes the only redemption and dignity with the dumb things I do is to laugh at myself.
And better than that?
Laughing at myself with a friend.

Join me?!

Princess Diana

Princess Diana

Diana, Princess of Wales
July 1, 1961 – August 31, 1997

It’s been almost sixteen years.

I was feeding 4 month old adorable-fluffy-haired-breathtakingly-precious-Baby Ben. Sitting on a 1980’s plaid sofa. In a mauve, blue and antique white room.
With a paisley pattern thing going on with the wallpaper border and pillows.

Jared, the always-moving-never-not-talking-while-awake-also-adorable-and-breathtakingly precious-toddler, was in bed for the night. and sleeping.

(The Farmer and His Wife made breath-taking children.) (Because they are so awesome and hard too and their mother is learning while on the job.)

The Farmer was out… farming. The feeding cattle late part of farming because earlier we had been at a friend’s house for dinner.

That’s a tiny peek into what was going on in my life when I first heard the news.

Where were you? What were you doing?

Crazy as this may sound, with the birth of William and Kate’s son, there is a fresh ache again, over all that was so unfair for Diana. Because I wish that we could see her enjoying her family and grandbaby.

As a kid, I read, scrapbooked and collected everything I could get my hands on about Diana. The closest that we ever came to crossing paths was when we were both on Martha’s Vineyard at the same time. And I saw her yacht.
So. not close. at all. And I’m disappointed to this very day.
I think I’ve been reacting ever since.😉

My teenaged-heart-prized Princess Diana memorabilia included a little plate commemorating the birth of Prince Harry, bought for me by our bishop’s wife, Mrs. Delp, in the gift shop at St. Paul’s Cathedral, London. I also have a stamp set that had been a present from my friend and Sunday School teacher, Ethel.

You can tell, I know, that I really went to one of the coolest Mennonite churches with The Nicest People.

Did you have a childhood hero? heroine? I liked Ronald Reagan too.🙂

Which is why my children, I had three at the time, went to D.C. just to observe his funeral procession.

I’ve started a mental list, to transcribe later in my journal, of those people who were really in my life when I was a kid.

Truly caring.
Spending time.
Investing.
Living out the love.
Heroines for sure.

Maybe it’s time to tell them. They might not know. How much they meant to me.

Want to join me this week? In writing a thank you note to a real- in- your- life person of influence, a heroine, from your past?

Remembering Diana, Princess of Wales.
I still miss her. Don’t we all?

“Go. Be. Love. The world needs you.”

Back in the year 1900, our farmhouse looked like this…

I say “our” in that we’ve lived here for 20 years, it’s home. as renters though. not owners.
It had already celebrated 96 birthdays when this picture was taken.
The front porch was added shortly thereafter.

I recently heard firsthand from the man who had spoken with Anna Hershey herself.
Anna lived in our circa 1804 farmhouse in the 1860’s and remembered Civil War Soldiers stopping here for bread. 
Her great-grandfather was Daniel Boone.

So if you stop by, you can stay in our Daniel Boone room.

He slept here!!!

Maybe. winky

Like I told my friend Kristy on fb, I’ve moved quickly from hoping for authentification of this house’s history… to inventing it. :)

Jared’s 18th birthday present looked like…

Skydiving. The Farmer and his genetically-compelled-to-want-to-son loved their first solo jumps.
First. Which means there’s a next. Because they both said it was that much fun.

Philadelphia and George Washington’s 281st Birthday back in February looked like this…



Benjamin’s 16th Birthday and party looked like this…


Another one of my babies is legally allowed to operate a vehicle.
Ben’s party included a clay bird shoot… someone called 911 about all of the gunfire.
So we even had the cops, yes plural, showing up.
(We have the best hick parties.)
And it’s hard to get a mother/son birthday photo without her talking.

A new paint job and some travel mementos in our downstairs bathroom looks like this…

Postcard from a D.C. museum, and a pic of Jared and Ben’s 2nd Presidential Inauguration with George Bush in 2005.
Jacob’s rock collection from Pike’s Peak last summer.
Maps and brochures. Coke bottle from Jerusalem, 1988. My heart still pounds just remembering.🙂
Ben’s snapshot from Australia back in 2008.
Our keychain collection for our special travel memories tree at Christmas.

A mom’s recent “game on” looked like this…

When your son tells you that he wants to get a tattoo like this guy’s shirt (it really IS a shirt,)
you enthusiastically agree. and say, come on! let’s get a snapshot!

Sarah’s abstract/realistic self portrait from art class looked like this…

Living with many boys and finding a way to keep a mom’s tools where she needs them looks like…

Pink paint. It’s been working.🙂

Great times with friends, including Jared, looked like this…


Fun snail mail looked like this…
 

 


My grandparents wedding picture looks like this…

I love old photos. pleased

Cooperation yesterday for Last Day of School pictures looked like this…


Next year at this time, I will be the young mother of a high school graduateshocked

The neighborhood around here on Xanga looks like…
it’s changing. and fast.

And with so many people moving in different directions,
I need some advice. pretty please.
I am wanting to continue to keep in touch. I love you guys!
You all have been a great group of friends!
But here’s me, finding it harder to keep up,
partly because instead of hanging over the backyard fence together,
I am needing to actually drive to other communities.

What do you use to organize everything on one page? I need to do that.
And what are the benefits of buying a domain name through say bluehost vs. setting up on blogger or wordpress?
I am so not techy. not at all. at all. I like my crockpot, easy to understand. simple, with an off, lo, and high knob. sigh.
So any recs, experiences and wisdom would be greatly appreciated.🙂 thanks.

A quick snapshot of the kids in Fredericksburg, Va looks like this…

Immediately after which the alarmed tour guide said stop! get down!
ooops.

It’s our first day of summer vacation.
So it’s looking like…
a great day!

 
Happy Friday to you all!

 

 

 

[this moment]


inspired by soulemama.

This was my week.
hard. but held.

How was yours?

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm

What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God  in helpless Babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones  He came to save

Til on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was  satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I  live, I live

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by  darkness slain
Then bursting  forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again

And as He stands  in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is  mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt in life, no  fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From a life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny

No power of hell, no scheme of man
Could ever pluck me from His hand
Til He returns or calls me  home
Here in the power of Christ I stand

I will stand, I will stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground, all other  ground
Is sinking sand, is sinking sand
So I stand.

December 1, 1990

This is the picture that I had uploaded for last week, the February Friday loVe theme as inspired by Amber.

Only today is Thursday. Of another week. 
It’s almost March and we are now Fridayless in February of this year.
Because I am good at stating the obvious, I’ll say that I’m running behind.🙂

December 1, 1990 looked like this…


I’m startled when I do the math with this photo and date.

I still think that the 1990’s are about ten years ago.🙂

I remember hearing a thousand words spoken when I first looked at this picture a couple of decades back.
And… it still speaks.

Right now it’s screaming that we were but children!😉 ha.

The abundance of words became paragraphs. months.
Paragraphs became chapters. years. And now there are volumes.
Filled with more breathtaking good and more way beyond hard
than I ever dreamed that girl and that boy were saying “I do!” to. 

And the words of a song that friends sang during our wedding service
echo through it all… 

sometimes we knew it in the moment. sometimes totally not.
thankfully… truth is not dependent on our perception.
but rather clarity for our perception is dependent on truth.

Oh Lord, You Have Been Good
You Have Been Faithful to All Generations
Oh Lord, Your Steadfast Love
And Tender Mercy Have Been Our Salvation

For By Your Hand We Have Been Fed
And By Your Spirit We Have Been Led
Oh Lord

For By Your Hand We Have Been Fed
And By Your Spirit We Have Been Led
Oh Lord, Almighty God
Father Unchanging, Upright and Holy
Oh Lord, You Have Been Good

You Have Been Good
You Have Been Faithful, You Have Been Good

 

 

“God made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before him…
He gave me a fresh start. Now I’m alert to God’s ways; I don’t take God for granted.

Every day I review the ways He works.
God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.”
Psalm 18:20-24 The Message

Oh Lord, You Have Been Good

With all that is now extremely outdated about our wedding…
some of the other songs that were a part of it too, here and here.
will never be.
at least in our heads.
hearts.
both.

What song is especially meaningful to you right now?

 

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