Monthly Archives: March 2010

We’ve been blessed with overnight guests the last two nights. 

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On the left are David and Jewel (Beidler) Byler, and on the right are Faith (Beidler) and Paul Benner.  Jewel and Faith are sisters of my dearly beloved sister in law, Rose.  The Beidler family had a siblings reunion here in DE, and some extra beds were needed, so we were so delighted that they asked us (pick me, pick me!!!).  Certain Man was in Ohio this weekend and so it was comforting to have extra people in the house while he was gone.  They only needed beds– no food, no laundry or any work on my part what so ever.  And they were delightful guests to have.

 

And look what else!!!  Our Love Bug is starting to walk!

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Some of the things that have brightened my life these last few weeks —

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This is an arrangement from my precious sister in law, Lena.  I got these flowers from her while still in the hospital  It cheered my days so much, and I just threw them out today– two weeks and one day later. Thank you, Lena.  The flowers were such a bright spot in these pain filled days.

The pretty little Willow Tree Angel of Prayer came from my friend, Kim Landis.  It has been such a blessing to look at it, remember all the prayers that have been offered on my behalf, be reminded to pray for people in my life right now that are in need of prayer, and to think about how new friendships are formed, and how God brings people into our lives at a given time that bless us in ways we never thought would be possible.  Thank you, Kim, for your kindness to me and my family.  I continue to pray that your knee will soon be completely healed. 

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The ladies group at Laws Mennonite Church, Women in Christian Service (or WCS) sent me this lovely plant for my sun room.  It is blooming its heart out, and looks so completely professionally grown and perfect.  I go out there and stroke the big, shiny leaves, and think of how these gals have contributed to my life in such positive ways, and I love this plant, not only because of its beauty, but because it represents their many kindnesses to me.

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My dear friend and cousin, Joan Mills, brought me a bouquet of Daffodils last week, and tucked this little blue butterfly into the mix.  It caught the sunshine, and it was often a sudden surprise when I would turn my eyes and catch its brilliance against the gold.  Joanie-girl, it has cheered me over and over again.

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Our daughter and son in law stop over often with our precious grandbaby.  She has brightened many a day.  She will come in and give Grammy’s “ouchie” a gentle, gentle rub (eye-yie) and she smiles and listens to stories and  practices her walking and the many things she is learning.  How very happy I am with this gift that has been given our family.

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She is getting so very big, and she plays so happily.  She gets into alot of things, too.  I don’t suppose that’s unusual for an inquisitive, intelligent and active 11 month old.
(No prejudice here, is there?)

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Charis Nicole Bontrager, Eleven Months old.

(There have been many other bright spots in these past two weeks — incredible meals, warm and wonderful visits, and notes and calls.  But these are some that I actually got photos of.  All of you who have blessed me are part of the many warm circles around me heart.  THANKS!!!)

 

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My good friend, Doris High at www.xanga.com/cerwindoris made an entry tonight about the local mud sale.  I started writing a comment to her, but it turned into its own Xanga post.  So Doris — here is a comment to your posting. 

I wish that I could get more enthused about such things as garage and yard and mud sales.  It may be a defense mechanism– I am married to a man who calls garage sales, “Garbage Sales” and (unless he happens to see something he wants) usually gives them a clear berth.  I decided a long time ago that I might just as well  be content to not go. 

However, the other month he was going by one here close to home and saw a grandfather clock in the yard.  He stopped and asked the people holding the sale what they wanted for it and I don’t remember  — forty or fifty dollars.

“It won’t work,” the man said.  “It’s gonna’ need to be fixed.” 

Certain Man noted the price, and went back his truck and called his clock repairman, Wayne Adams, of Tick Tock Tyme in Greenwood, with the information about the make and such.  Mr Adams told him that the clock was a good make– well worth four or five hundred dollars if it was working.  “You will have some money in repairing it,” he said, “But it is well worth it.”  Certain Man debated and debated with himself but finally decided to make an offer.

“Any chance you’d let it go for $25?”  He asked, expecting a haggle.

“You can have it!” the man said, and Certain Man found himself the surprised owner of an old grandfather clock.  He brought it home and it sat in the garage for several weeks until finally, he took the works in to Mr. Adams.  (For those of you who may not know, it isn’t necessary to haul the whole clock when a large clock needs fixing.  Most repairmen only want the inside “works”.)  A few weeks later, he fetched it home again, paid Mr. Adams $100.00 for his work, and eventually got around to putting the clock back together. 

It was dirty, and we both worked at cleaning it up, shining the glass, and he had quite a time getting it level, but when it started striking!!! What a surprise!  You should have heard that tone!  It was phenomenal!  A deep, resonate Westminster Chime. 

“I think I might sell it,” he said to me.  “I don’t know where to put it!” 

“I thought you had a perfect place for it,” I protested.  “On that short wall between the opening into the sun room and the window.” 

“Well, yes.  I guess I could put it there, but I don’t know.” he said indecisively.  “Maybe I ought to just sell it.”

“Daniel, you can’t sell that clock!” I said with determination. 

“And why not?” he challenged me.  “It has no sentimental value, and I could make some money on it.” 

“Sell something else,” I said, heatedly.  “Of all the clocks you have, this one has the nicest sounding tone.  It comforts me, and it sounds so peaceful.  I like it.  Please don’t sell it!” 

“So you like it, do you?” he asked amusedly.  “Well, in that case, maybe I’ll keep it.”  Sure enough, he put it out on the corner of the sun room where it has been ever since, and I hear it in the night like a lullaby on the quarter hour and a gentle sentenial on the hour.  So this is one sale that I am glad that he went to.  I like this clock so very much!  I wish I knew the stories it has to tell.  And you want to know what else?  I don’t really think that Certain Man had any intentions of selling this clock.  I think he just wanted to blame the fact that he bought another clock on me.  In this case, I have no objections.

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What a night!!!

Well, what a beginning of the night.  I really did climb those stairs, all fourteen of them to our snug and orderly bedroom.  My bed looked so inviting, and I brushed my teeth and tried to snuggle in to this usually comforting and comfortable bed.

We bought a new mattress at the beginning of the year.  And we are quite pleased with our purchase.  The old mattress — well, I always said that we had the best mattress in the world.  It was the first queen sized mattress we owned, and we purchased it soon after we moved to Delaware, 26 years ago.  We bought it used, but almost new.  You see, someone who worked at Daddy’s nursing home had purchased this mattress, and then her husband became ill.  He actually passed away while sleeping on this mattress, and she couldn’t bear to keep it.  It was practically new.  And there was the thought that someone had died while sleeping on the mattress, but we were young, the price was cheap, the mattress was incredibly comfortable, and we decided that it wouldn’t bother us.  Actually, and in absolute honesty– it didn’t.

But the years rolled on as they are wont to do– we had two more babies, and we got older.  The mattress still seemed so wonderful.  Whenever we went away, one of the best parts of coming home was sinking into our wonderful bed and  letting it’s familiar comfort surround us.  But old mattresses wear out, or so they say.  And both Certain Man and I have had various aches and pains and so I started reading up on mattresses, and talking to Certain Man about the fact that it was proabably time to replace our lair.  We both thought it might help some of the aches and pains, Certain Man in particular is plagued with restless leg syndrome at times, and thought there might be a miracle somewhere for that– but there was always the issue of cost.  Good mattresses cost like smoke and we were loathe to come up with that kind of money when our old one was so comfortable.

When my Sweet Mama gave us a sizable gift for Christmas, we decided that we would use that for this long desired purchase.  So we set out for Janosiks one afternoon right after the new year and found this set and were immediately happy with it.  We brought it home, Certain Man got it set up yet that night, and we went through the usual adjustment — “If I don’t start sleeping better on this mattress soon, I’m going to move to the spare room” kind of thing.  He couldn’t very well take it back — you can’t really return mattresses — plus we had gotten rid of “Old Faithful” I think almost the day after we got the new one.  We persevered, and by the time I went for this second replacement, we were pretty much happy with our new mattress.  I would often snuggle under the blankets in the comfort of our good bed and think of the many, many women over this old world that don’t begin to have it as good as I do, and would thank God for all His many blessings to me.  Somehow, this comfortable bed made me acutely aware of how blessed I am.

Last night, back in my comfy bed at last, I discovered that I was anything but comfortable.  I put my knee out as straight as I could .  Wowser!  That really hurt!.  I’m a back sleeper, so I thought that maybe it just needed some time.  Certain Man observed all my “rutching” around with amusement. 

Finally he said, “I really think that if we traded sides, you should be able to better position yourself.” 

I didn’t see how it would help, except it would protect it from being bumped by a sleeping, restless husband.  The problem is, I am so unaccustomed to sleeping on his side of the bed that it makes me really uncomfortable just to be over there while he is on “my side”.  (I know, I know.  People are going to think I am crazy.  Others of you — probably the “very married” ones– will understand perfectly!)  So, I kept rearranging my leg, alternating this position with that and finally said, “Sweetheart, rather than going back down stairs to sleep, let’s try the switching sides business.” 

“Fine,” he said, agreeably.  He didn’t seem to be making much progress, getting to sleep on his side of the bed.  “Do you want to just scoot on over here, or what?”

“There is no ‘scooting on over anywhere’ with me at this point.” I said a bit stuffily, “It’s a whole lot easier to walk that it is to scoot!”  So I got out of bed, and walked around to his side.  I got my middle of the night meds arranged, and I got my drink and I sat on the edge of the bed and swung my left leg in and then lifted my right leg carefully up and onto the smooth sheets.  Then began again the arranging, the trying this and that.  I tried on my side.  That hurt.  I tried bending it just a smidgen and laying it just a mite off to the side.  That hurt.  I tried bringing my left foot up and using it to hold the right foot so the knee was just a little bit bent.  Now that felt pretty good until I started to doze off, my left foot slid down and the knee went straight (ish).  That hurt.  I finally decided that I would just lie there quietly until Certain Man went to sleep, and then maybe I could figure something out.  It worries him so much when he knows that I can’t sleep that he can’t sleep either.  So I lay there, staring into the darkness, praying for people that I loved and wishing that I would fall asleep.

Certain Man turned on one side.  Then he turned on the other.  Then he lay on his back.  Then he asked me if I was doing okay.  Yes, I was.  He started his routine all over again, and he couldn’t find a comfortable spot to settle.  The minutes rolled on.  A loud vehicle went down the road and I thought it sounded like it turned into our chicken house driveway.  I half expected Certain Man to say something, but he wasn’t talking much.  Just rutching around.  All of the sudden he put his head up, looked over into my sleepless eyes and said, “You aren’t going to be able to sleep a wink up here, are you?”

“I don’t know, Sweetheart.  I’m afraid not.  At least I haven’t yet.” 

“I think we might just as well go downstairs,” he said decisively.  “There ain’t no reason for us to be up here and not able to sleep when we could be downstairs and getting a good night’s rest.  Anyway, I’ve got the ‘fidgets’ and can’t seem to get comfortable.”  (I didn’t say it, but I thought, “It’s all because we are on the wrong sides of the bed!”)

So we made our bed, and descended back downstairs.  Me to my trusty recliner, and he to the couch.  Where we both enjoyed a most refreshing night’s sleep.  I feel better this morning than I have for quite a while, and it’s a good thing.  I have physical therapy any minute now, and it’s the first time for some days that I don’t feel like crying at the thought! 

And that is the news from Shady Acres, where the sunshine is splashed all over everything, and Friend Ruby is making order out of the chaos, and life is looking brighter by the minute.

 

 

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The staples are out!!!  Daniel took me down and almost right away they got them out.  I can’t say it was comfortable, but it was actually better than I thought it might be.  The afternoon has been tough.  I was glad for good diversion.  Jimmy stopped with some delectable cupcakes that Emma had baked for us.  Wonderful Chocolate with coconut filling.  JR and Linda came with supper — ham, baked sweet potatoes, asparagus, green beans, and a beautiful bowl of mixed fresh fruit.  Lemonade and sweet tea topped off a wonderful meal.  Sweet fellowship and comfortable friendship made it all so special.

Daniel went to do chores, then.  The pain was pretty tough, and I thought that maybe when he left to go out I would have myself a little cry, but then the doors opened and in came Jesse and Christina and Charis.  That was a good diversion.  My precious grandbaby gave my “owie” some gentle strokes and listened to her favorite stories.  Before they left, I was able to take some pain meds, and  since they are gone, did some physical therapy.  Daniel went and got two big bags of ice from the hispanic market and I have had a half an hour of ice on it, so I think I will try to climb up the stairs and sleep tonight.  Deborah had to go to work, and so maybe I will need to be available in the morning for some of the easier things.

Thanks so much for all the prayers and encouragement, dear friends.  I am so blessed.  I pray that the kindness you’ve shown me will come back to bless you! 

 

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The staples come out tomorrow!!!

Oh, WOW!

(or is that “OW”?)

I can hardly wait!!!

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It has been a most encouraging week at Shady Acres.

Aunt Dottie and Cousin Donna brought supper on Monday evening. Do you remember Monday evening? It was cold and rainy and so miserable. Aunt Dottie had made the best potato soup that you could ever want to put in your mouth, and between her and Donna, there was seven layer salad, soft, yeasty rolls and a chocolate puddingy dessert that needed toothpicks to keep the plastic wrap off the mile high whipped cream. It was wonderfully nourishing and comforting and delicious.

After unloading the wonderful food, Donna went back out to her vehicle and brought in the loveliest plant for our new sun room from the ladies of our church. It was absolutely gorgeous! I wanted to take a picture, but my battery needs to be charged — so for now, I will just tell you about it. This was a great blessing to me because I know that both of these gals have so much to do, and it took effort to bring supper. And the plant is a precious reminder of how my friends at church are rooting for me. I can seriously feel the prayers.

JR and Linda stopped to cheer me up, and Jimmy stopped in with some wonderfully delicious St. Patrick’s Day food — Irish Soda Bread and some Irish Fudge. Lester B. stopped by to swap shop talk about knee replacements, Blind Linda’s Mom and her case manager and nurse stopped by. (Linda had a birthday on St. Patty’s Day.) Yesterday, Jimmy brought Emma around for the afternoon, and she brought more Irish food. Several kinds of bread and cookies — and more fudge. We spent some good hours together. Emma had foot surgery a couple of months ago and ended up with an infection which resulted in lots of pain, and more time off her feet than she had planned. We had much to talk and commiserate about. She is a good friend, and she didn’t even mind when I slept in my chair while she was here. I was blessed by the fact that she did all that special baking with her foot in a big old boot and lots of pain. That Emma-girl is tough!

Then last night, another comrade in suffering, Kim Landis, stopped by with supper for my family — way more than she would have needed to bring, but it was greatly appreciated. Homemade lasagna, tossed salad, warm garlic bread and this chocolate brownie cake kind of thing. We had so much that Eldest Daughter’s family came to help us eat, and there is still stuff left. Kim had her knee done the week after I had my first one done, and she has had a rough way to go. It is doing better now, and she is back to work, but it hasn’t been an easy week for her — I think that five ten hour days in a row were just a little much — Which made the sacrifice of making supper for us even more appreciated.  It was delicious!

After supper last night, my Sweet Mama and my Youngest Sister stopped by to visit. That chirked me up, too. It was so good to see them. Youngest Sister wanted to borrow some videos and my Sweet Mama just wanted to check up on me. We had a good visit, and I was blessed by the laughter. Middle Sister keeps close tabs by phone, and she was here to visit earlier in the week. Middle Sister has had more than her share of pain, and it is a great comfort to have my heart bathed in her understanding, compassionate love. My sisters and my Sweet Mama always make me feel like they are in my cheering section. And they are safe places for me to be myself.

Today was one of those days when I wanted to sit in my corner and cry. I tried to sleep in my bed again last night, but finally had to waken Certain Man so he could see that I got back down stairs safely. Once down here, I slept pretty well, but this morning the pain was intense. I was greatly discouraged. I worked on some financial stuff for the church, got some deposits ready for the bank, paid some bills, shed some tears of pain and frustration, then remembered that my physical therapy gal was coming, so I took my pain meds, made a hot cup of coffee, and answered the telephone.

It was my Sweet Mama, telling the wondrous story of being taken out for lunch by JR and Linda. She and Aunt Dottie are fans of the Chinese cuisine (Something that Certain Man and I haven’t developed a taste for at this point of our pilgrimage) and so JR and Linda made arrangements to take them out to lunch. They were at a great buffet in Georgetown and she (actually, it sounds like ALL of them) had a wonderful time. Just hearing about the good time raised my spirits a whole lot, and when my Physical Therapist got here, I was actually feeling cheerful — in spite of the pain.

Isn’t it funny how a little encouragement goes a long way. My therapist couldn’t have been more encouraging. She tells me that I am doing exceedingly well. She is suspicious that some of the pain might be from being on my leg too much, (Yesterday was too pretty a day to stay inside. I asked Certain Man to take a stroll with me around our yard. I wanted to see the crocuses, blooming so profusely by the front walk. I wanted to see where my day lilies have started to poke their heads up through. I wanted to see the tulips and the hyacinths and daffodils in their various states of beginning to bloom. I wanted to see the lawn and the trees and the sky and the sun. I was careful. I took my walker, and we walked slowly. It was a great encouragement to me!) Anyhow, she thought part of the pain might be the price of the fiddler from yesterday, but she was thrilled with my progress, and she keeps telling me how well everything is going. There is nothing like being told that you are way ahead of schedule to make you feel a whole lot better. This was a great encouragement to me.

And then tonight — Kent and April and their little people came to our house with supper. April had marinated some pork chops, made salad, prepared potatoes for baking, had a big pot of long string beans with bacon, and made “Dirty Dessert” with Oreos and pudding and Cool Whip. Kent grilled the pork chops to perfection on Certain Man’s big old grill, and what a feast we had again!!! I ate in the shelter of my chair, but the group of people at the table made an effort to include me in the conversation, so I didn’t feel left out. This meal again, seemed to be exactly what we needed. It was especially a treat because I NEVER make pork chops. (Maybe twice in all the years since I’ve been married.) It just isn’t something I felt brave enough to try. These were delicious, and everything else was done to perfection. So special.

Each of our meals suited the day they were brought so perfectly, and nourished our souls as well as our bodies. Each one seemed to be planned by, not only the cook, but our Heavenly Father as well. It has just been an incredible blessing — and encouragement to me.

And then, in the middle of all the chatter tonight, the door to the utility room opened from the entryway and there was Youngest Son and his Lovely Wife. They are around for the weekend, and tomorrow, Lord willing, the children of Certain Man and Certain Man’s Wife will gather for breakfast together. We will miss Youngest Daughter, far away at college, but we will enjoy the company that is here, and be happy together. Late tonight, our far away, almost-a-daughter, Lupe called from Guatemala, and it was a precious time together. She sounded so happy, so mature, so much herself. It did this old heart good, and was a great diversion from the troublesome knee!

The pain this week has been more than I bargained for. There have been some days when I didn’t quite know how I was going to cope. But look at what God planned for me on every hand! He has spoken love to me through the visits, the cards, the food, the friendships, the phone calls, Xanga comments — and I look at all He’s done and I am greatly encouraged. And it won’t always hurt this bad. It is better now than it was last week, and “they” say it will continue to improve. It still looks like a long haul ahead, with hours and hours of rehab. And I know from experience that won’t be much fun, but I also know from experience that it is worth it. By God’s Grace, and in His presence, together we can make it.

So!  Blessings to all of you, my dear friends and family. If I missed you somewhere in this missive, I apologize. I am truly sorry. So often in the past, I have not written this sort of thing for fear of missing someone, but this has meant so much to me over this past week that I decided to give it a whirl! It is a good reminder to me, too, of how other people have sacrificed so much to help me, and I feel so unworthy, yet so overwhelmingly grateful! Thanks so very much!

EDIT:

This morning, I looked over to where the sun was dancing all over my window sill, and caught sight of such a pretty splash of emerald blue among a cluster of daffy down lilies, and remembered that I had forgotten to mention one of my bestest visitors of all yesterday.  Cousin Joanie came in, surprising me with her easy humor and graceful glide.  She brought me this vase full of daffodils that were blooming around her farmhouse, and she had stuck a whimsical blue butterfly in the midst — making my heart lurch with joy and hope.  She visited a while, then confessed that she had a terrible headache, and skedaddled on home, but left me much encouraged and blessed.  The flowers are so cheery, and I am blessed.

 

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