Monday, August 26, 2013

A Deer Blessing

Before I go east to visit my and my husband's families, I have in my mind some things I would like to do if I get a chance.  One of them is just to drive around in the country and visit places that were important to me when I was growing up, and maybe even take some pictures.  Well, that has yet to happen.  When we visit, I am juggling so many people's schedules and trying to keep everybody (my teenagers plus all my relatives that live there) 'relatively' happy;).  And I am usually too busy talking and visiting to remember to take pictures.  Also, I don't have a car of my own or free time of my own to cavort around on any solo adventures.  That's okay, life has its different seasons, that time alone is for the future (and I'm afraid I may not like it when it comes;)

So after my week with my sister-in-laws, my husband and three youngest kids met me.  The three kids went to camp in North Carolina, and my husband and I spent a few days in South Carolina at some meetings he had to attend for work. We all eventually ended up back in Tennessee for some quick family visits before heading west again.  It was very busy, but we had a good time (although, no pictures).

The whole time we were in Tennessee our eyes feasted on the green and on the hills.  I get hungry for both out here in Texas.  We spotted this little white-tail deer family on the side of the road near my father-in-law's new assisted living home.  This is the only time we did remember to take some pictures.
They were mildly interested in us, but not too afraid.
It was a pleasure to see these twin fawns that still had their spots.
We pulled off to the side of the road and just watched them until they finally bounded off through the tall grass and we couldn't see them anymore.
It's easy for me to get caught up in the hecticness and the perceived pressure of everything that needs to get done.  Sometimes I'm like a mole, tunneling forward steadily but feeling suffocated.  God makes room for us to breathe and to remember what (and who) is important through  gifts like these deer.  Just the stopping and taking pleasure in these little fawns helped put life back in perspective.

"Be still, and know that I am God:  I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.  The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah." -- Psalm 46:10-11 KJV  

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Family Business

Above the entrance to my living room (it used to hang on my in-laws' porch)
Most of the month of June I spent east on extended family business.  My mother-in-law passed away back in January and my father-in-law is now in assisted living, but all their stuff was still sitting in their house and needed to be dealt with.  Part of my business was getting together with my two sisters-in-law to go through my in-laws' house and get it ready to sell.

The three of us spent an intense week camped out at the house with virtually no contact with the outside world: no TV, no internet, no radio, no newspaper.  We each had our own bedroom where we stashed our loot and slept.  Other than that, we worked hard -- everything had to be gone through -- every drawer, every nook and cranny -- if you've done this before, you know, but this was my first time doing something like this.  However, I am hardly ever in a situation with no distractions (i.e. no kids and no husband), so I was hyper-focused like a machine, I tell you:)

I was a little apprehensive going in, not knowing how everyone would handle things emotionally, but we all got along great and despite the grueling nature of the work we had a good time together, laughing at some of the funny things we found.  My mother-in-law was a "prepper" from way back, so we found many packets of carefully wrapped bandages hidden in the eaves of the attic, books with titles like "Are You Radioactive?", and we emptied out probably 50 containers of civil defense water that had been stored in the garage.

We divided up everything that we could, but in the end it was impossible for three already-full households to incorporate the contents of a fourth house.  Some things had to be sold and some had to be donated.  Plus we (my immediate family) had to rent a trailer to haul everything back to Texas so I tried to take only what we really wanted or could use (although I did get overriden on a few things).  Here is a sampling of some of the treasures we came home with.

This dry sink was the one piece of furniture that my husband was sentimentally attached to, mainly because it had just always been in his parents' home.  This is now in our living room underneath one of my husband's paintings.

The piece I chose was this primitive buffet.  I love these more primitive pieces for myself:)  This is on the wall near my dining table.

I have not found a good place for everything we brought back (nor did I get to make all the decisions about what we brought;) -- this treadmill is still in the middle of the living room.

This little bench makes me happy because it reminds me of my mother-in-law.

As does this little scene painted on a board:
My father-in-law (who has never been known as a handyman) made this stool for my diminutive mother-in-law before they were married.  I thought it was so sweet, we had to take it even though the women in this house are more Amazonian in size.  You never know, there could be a tiny daughter-in-law in my future;)
My mother-in-law loved signs with little sayings on them.  It seemed appropriate to hang this cross-stitch above the pull-up bar;)
Let me leave you with this last sign (which is still searching for its permanent location):
I thought about correcting this and adding an "s", but this is another thing that makes us laugh, and it's a good reminder that even on those days when you can only think of one, one still counts:)