Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Don't Take a Peek!

Yesterday I posted about a blog Christina and I had written for author Jennifer AlLee to put on her blog. It was entitled Take a Peek! and was based on a talk Christina and I had given recently at a women's breakfast, having to do with pursuing the dreams God gives us. I had a link to Jennifer's blog, and this morning a lady named Karen wrote me here at The Mother Blog to say she had followed that link and it took her to a naughty site!! Obviously, that's not where I want my readers to end up! I'm so glad Karen told me about the problem. So I'm removing that post until I can get my daughter to help me figure out a solution. "Take a Peek" was definitely an appropriate title for where the link led, but today I say "Don't Take a Peek!"

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ever Feel Like An Idiot?

It's been one of those days!!

I decided to do a load of laundry this afternoon. Stripped our bed and took the sheets into the laundry room. I have the convenience of having my dryer stacked on top of the washer, making the most of the available space. I stuck the sheets in the machine and closed the door, then added laundry detergent, bleach, and fabric softener in the little receptacles in the washer, and started the wash cycle.

About 35 minutes later I heard the buzzer that signifies the washer is through with the load. I went in and opened the dryer door, only to be amazed that the sheets were already in there! "That's funny," I thought. "I don't even remember putting them there! More time must have passed than I realized." I reached for the sheets, but they were cool to the touch. Hmm, they should be warm! I brought them to my nose to inhale the fresh scent of bleach and fabric softener, only to get a whiff of sleeping bodies.

Yep, you guessed it! I had put the dirty sheets in the dryer, closed the door and hadn't started the cycle. But I added all the cleaning necessities to the washer, and put it through an entire cleaning cycle with nothing in it! (Kinda like my brain, I'm thinking!!)

I exited the room and said out loud, "What an idiot!!" And there was my son-in-law, standing there at the perfect time to have his suspicions confirmed. "What happened, Mom?"

"You don't want to know, " I said, hoping to keep a modicum of dignity intact.

"Oh, but I'm sure I do," he replied.

So, I told him the whole painful story. (The reason it's painful is because he laughed so hard I think he got a stitch in his side.) He asked, "So if you do stuff like this now, what are you going to save for when you're senile?"

"I'm doing it now, while I can still get a good laugh out of it too!"

Now wouldn't you feel like an idiot if you'd done that? Well, I have no shame and love a good laugh, so at AWANA tonight I was telling one of the ladies about this stupid thing I'd done this afternoon. As we were both laughing about it, I looked down at the new cardigan I was wearing, and noticed it still had one of those 6-inch long clear tags running down my bosom, with the size "Large" clearly marked on it. And I've worn it around town all week!

There's nothing wrong with me that half a brain wouldn't cure!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Is The Bride The Rain Falls On

An outdoor wedding in November is pretty iffy. An outdoor wedding in November in Oregon is nigh impossible, as we proved this past Saturday.

My nephew and his fiancee honored us by choosing to get married at Ashberry Lane, the combined home of the Ashcraft and Berry families. A week before the wedding the bride and groom came to choose which part of the house they wanted to use. After scouting out the different locations, they selected the upper level, which is the Berrys' part. The covered deck off the family room would be ideal, they decided. That way if it were raining, the guests and wedding party would still be protected from the elements, though it might be a tad on the cool side. But the beauty of the forest would make up for that, and people could gather inside for the reception and thaw out as necessary.

Saturday morning we awoke to the sound of rain pelting against the windows. Vertical rain, we could handle. But horizontal precipitation brought with it problems we couldn't overcome. The outer half of the deck was soaked, which cut seating for the guests in half. Unless the bride decided to wear a raincoat over her wedding gown, she was going to be wet, cold, and uncomfortable. We don't usually get wind around here, but it was blowing about 20 mph, which would make it hard to keep candles lit along the railing. (Besides, the rain would put them out.)

So when the bride, Stephanie, arrived nearly three hours before the ceremony, we showed her the situation. Any other bride I've ever met would have been near tears and pouted. But not Stephanie. She just laughed, said, "I really wish we could get married outdoors, but obviously that's not going to work," and then got started getting herself ready for her big day.

Thus began Plan B. Most of the furniture was removed from Christina's living room, a focal point was created and decorated, and candles found new homes along window ledges. Guests began to arrive--fifty of us in total. An intimate, simple wedding ceremony, performed by my husband (a former pastor) united Gabriel and Stephanie in holy matrimony. Her face glowed as she looked up (he's 6' 7") into the face of her husband and he choked up as he repeated his vows. It was all very sweet and meaningful.

In thinking about it, I realized it's pretty appropriate for some rain to fall and wind to blow on a wedding day. It's a realistic picture of what the bridal couple will face in real life. Things don't always go according to plan. People lose their job, money gets tight, or illness strikes. Rain and wind sweep in under the guise of the newlyweds' unmet expectations of each other, or their disappointment that the work of marriage isn't as easy as they'd been led to believe. But if Gabriel and Stephanie can hold tight to the attitude she exhibited on Saturday, they will be well on their way to a successful marriage.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

You CAN Have It All

I don't know about you, but one of the high points of my day is to get the mail. The excitement of unlocking that little cubicle at the post office and withdrawing who-knows-what is almost intoxicating! What treasures lie inside? Yes, it may just be a bill for weed killer we purchased last month, or a brochure from a political candidate begging for my vote. (Oh, wait--that's over for now!) But it could be ... a new magazine to read, or even better, a book I ordered. Yesterday I actually got a hand written thank-you note from a friend I'd invited over for dinner a week ago. In this day and age, that personal touch from her was very meaningful. In my heart of hearts, when I open our mailbox I think there's always the chance that there's a multi-million dollar book contract offer that somehow bypassed my agent and came straight to me. Okay, so I'm delusional, but it's a great way to live!

I had to laugh the other day when I extracted the envelope pictured above. It was addressed to my mother-in-law, and was from a credit card company. It promised great rewards and a low rate. Not to mention the freedom to overspend, incur debt, and worry about how to pay it off in this slow economy.

But the part that made me laugh was that their enticement of "You CAN Have It All" fit my mother-in-law much better than most people they sent this invitation to. You see, her address is no longer the same as ours. In January of this year she moved to heaven. She is enjoying her great rewards, accruing lots of frequent-flyer miles in a place of supreme love and peace, praising God continually.

She DOES have it all.