Put away the Cell

Deer Stand - June 2, 2013“Can’t you even put away your phone long enough to take a walk?”  Those weren’t the exact words but it was something to that effect.  Because of unusual circumstances at this stage of life, I am alone a lot. Much of my connection to the outside world is via internet, TV, and my cell phone – upon which, I admit, I’ve become far too dependent – to check email and Facebook connections.

This became far too apparent when I went out on the trail this afternoon.  I made my way through the trees skirting the canyon and came out on the paved walking trail. Immediately, my first instinct was to log on and check FB and email. That’s when the admonition sounded clearly in my thoughts.  Seriously?!  Can’t you put it away even for a walk?

I immediately shut off my cell and forced it into my too-small back jeans pocket.

I looked up.  And out.  And listened.

It is late afternoon. The marshland thrives with life.  A Mallard drake and his hen leave gentle ripples as they lazily glide along the pond. Frogs – by the hundreds, thousands? – signal their presence.  The familiar trill of Redwing Blackbirds remind me of a rusty well pump handle squawking in protest. I feel frustration because I can’t identify many of the multitude of other birds songs calling across the canyon.

To the right of my path, a cotton-tail freezes, hoping I won’t notice it, while on the other side and a little ahead another bunny high tails it into a thicket.

I walk on. Scurried motion in shrubbery on both sides of the path reveal the presence of other creatures rushing for their camouflaged cover. It works.  I know they’re there but I can’t see them.

In the distance at water’s edge, I see more movement and wish I’d brought binoculars to identify either the wild turkey or pheasant taking a drink.

I walk on. The path curves and I make a mental note to keep my mouth shut as I forge through the local swarm of gnats.

Ahead is one of my favorite landmarks – the gnarled tree with weathered strips of wood nailed to its trunk – once a ladder to the primitively constructed deer stand in its overhanging branches…

I reach in my back pocket and wrestle out my iPhone, no longer interested in logging onto anything.  I simply want to capture – document – savor – this walk.  This balm to my soul.

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Living on the Edge – of the Empty Nest

        Everything is different now.  I don’t have it all together.  Yet, anyway.  Though it was almost thirty, it doesn’t seem that many years ago when I found myself impatient when hearing the laments of new empty nesters.  They’ve known all along this was coming! I’d think to myself.  What did they expect?   Now, three decades later, I realize, you don’t know what to expect!  Maybe can’t know.

In October, our nest became technically empty when the youngest of our three sons, who had been living at home, was married.  Then, three and a half weeks ago, our nest became officially empty when our oldest son, in the military, was married.  Yes, that’s right – two sons married in two months – but it was actually two days less than one month! 

My emotions run from elation, to grief, to peace, to suspense.  And beyond.   And I think about how naive I was – or was it arrogance? – when I couldn’t understand the conflicting statements I heard from new empty nesters.  

In one way, even back then, I was right.  We do know all along this is coming.  But I think that’s about all we can know.  Until it happens.  And now, like our fledglings, we parents also have to take flight…into the unknown.

At Last!

 

He

 

Is

 

Back!

 

Thank You, Lord.

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Praying Him Home

 

I think  one reason I haven’t been posting lately is because I’ve been living a “new normal,” since our son was deployed to Afghanistan.  (See:  Moms of Military  ).  I don’t even have it in me right now to try to describe what it’s been like for us as parents.  So I’ll just say we are now praying him home. Lord willing, we’ll be meeting the squadron as it arrives from its completed deployment sometime in the next couple of weeks.  To God be the glory!  

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Fresh Bread

 

That’s it!  I keep hearing so much lately about homemade bread…I’m breaking out my stainless steel bread bowl…the one that’s all pock marked with dents from marbles being whirled around in it back in the ’80s. 

 

Is there a better fragrance in a home in the fall? 

 

 

I love the feel of working with the dough…kneading by hand…

 

 

 …gently coaxing wonderful ingredients in, like honey, wheat bran, oat bran, wheat germ…

 

 

…and making a simple meal of it while it’s warm and fresh.  A  little butter…generous swirls of Apple Butter… 

 

  Thank You, Lord.

 

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CRITICAL NEED FOR PRAYER!

 

 

At this very moment, there is a critical need for prayer for the safety of our troops in Afghanistan.  Whether or not you feel we should be there is not the issue.  God is waiting for us to cry out to Him for HIS intervention.  He knows what needs to happen and it needs to happen now!   We must turn to Him.  Immediately!  Lives are literally depending on our response.

Moms of Military

  

 

He drove our rental van.  My husband sat next to him in the front passenger seat, and I sat in the bucket seat behind hubby.  The photo shows the view beside me. …our son’s carry ons for his deployment to the Middle East.   Looking at it caused my heart to ache beyond words

 

We were on our way to the base where the rest of his squadron and their loved ones were also gathering to share departing expressions of love, and tears.  I’ve seen similar scenes in news broadcasts but this time we were part of it.   And my life has been different ever since. 

 

Thank God for technology.  We have been able to hear from him a few times.  Short reports.  But so much better than nothing.  I cannot imagine the agony of sweethearts, wives and mothers who were separated from their beloveds during the Civil War or WW II, and would hear nothing of them for months at a time.  Or years.

 

 It’s only been nine days.  But already, whenever I check my watch, my mind automatically calculates those nine and a half  hours ahead to the time zone where our son is stationed.   He’s asleep.  He’s awake.  He’s……………  It’s like that now.  All the time.

 

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