Thursday, August 30, 2012

Isaac and Our Little Corner

I have a weird pleasure. I enjoy bad weather days. I don’t want a bunch of them. But sometimes I just need them. I have stipulations though: No tornadoes, no flooding, no homes or people hit by lightening. All that in check and what a glorious day that can be.
Meanwhile I know people that freak out with the slightest breeze. Rain is ok, but they tremble at the thought of lightning and thunder.
So I watched Isaac churn his way north, and waited to see if he would come East or go West. I did feel some guilt over my desire for a tropical storm, knowing East or West it was going to come in where people least needed it. And yet, there are areas that need the rain so bad, that kind of rain can’t get there without coming ashore.
As the first feeder bands came through, there was a spring in my step and I thought about why and what I enjoy about bad weather days. The first reason I have always known:
Appreciation
 Appreciation for the rain that is needed to keep things going. Appreciation for the sunny day that preceded or will follow.
Change in Pace would have to be another reason, slows things down, or in some cases, speeds up the step, if you are in the rain and wind.
This thought led to something else, and I saw it unfolding. A change in temperament. People hold doors,  speak more, and seem more helpful. I was having this thought as I was heading into work. I noticed some moving of large moving bins by one of the warehouses, as I came on base. I noticed a couple sitting in odd spots but did not think much about it.
At my desk, I began opening my email and one was an all user notification, letting us all know there would be visitors soon. 
4,800 was the count.
4,800 individuals that represent the Marines, Air Force and the Navy. The largest sector, of the group, being the Marines.
The email suggested that employees that normally use the gate closest to that warehouse consider one of the other gates or at least be mindful of the increased foot traffic that would be about the next day.
At the end of the day I headed home, taking my normal route to the back the gate, past that warehouse.  What hustle and bustle. All the doors of the warehouse were open, revealing a clean, spic and spanned floor of that very large warehouse.  That strangely placed container that I noticed earlier, had its doors open too, exposing mini shower stalls inside. As I made my last turn, a row of 20-30 port a potties stood, that were not there that morning.
4,800 people would be sleeping and showering and conducting their days around this warehouse. Granted it’s a big one, but can you imagine?  In a huge room with that many folks?
The next morning my curiosity over road the suggestion (ok, ok, the request) that we employees use another gate. I was not the only one. Our cars filed in in a single file line. As I followed the detour that did not take us RIGHT in front of these visitors temporary dwelling, I was glad to see those tan containers had been lined up blocking the potties and giving some privacy to the women and gentlemen displaced by Isaac’s arrival.  As I meandered through the new path, I looked over and in front of that warehouse was row after row of tan /camo clad beings standing at attention. Perfect.
4,800 representatives and reminders that there are many who have chosen a path that requires them to be willing to put their lives on the line for the rest of us.
Willing to go where they are told to go without question. Not an option of how’s or what times or what gate they will choose to go to work or go home by, but by what they are ordered to do. By which they adhere to a discipline many of us would shake our heads at. 
The past couple days have had increased foot traffic. Small groups of tan camo and blue camo clad bodies dotting the installation. I did not notice the blue’s and tan’s mixing. I suppose each unit stayed with their comrades.
This morning as I entered, there was a pick up on energy. As I made my turns, I looked to see the troops stand at attention but what I thought I saw, in the dim light of dawn, was the troops sitting. As I made another turn and was closer to their area, I realized what I saw was not sitting troops, but their packs and pillows all lined up.
While our area has been blessed with only Isaac’s feeder bans, and rain (still has not lessened our -13” deficit), I got to enjoy all those things that bad weather gives me.
Thoughtful and prayerful: So many have experienced with this storm the parts that no one wishes to experience. Fear, loss, unknown.  And yet, it is moving so slow more will suffer – praying for those still in Isaac’s path.
Appreciation: For the rain and for the visitor’s reminding me how glad I am that I have more than 20 sq ft to call home tonight.
Gratitude: Grateful to be reminded of our freedoms and the price many have paid. Thankful to be able to watch the bans move through, seeing the grass green back up, thankful that sirens are not ringing and the water is far from topping it’s banks here.
Enjoyment of the simple pleasures: a smile, a “hey, it is about to pour,” a sit and visit until the rain passes. The Frisbee’s and football’s being tossed in the air while Marines, Airmen, and Sailors waiting to see how long they will stay here, or how quickly they will head back “home.” I did not see the first disgruntled face. It was enlightening to see many work to provide a safe haven for those that fight for us to have our safe havens.
 Two nights, and now with their bundles, they will load up on buses. Marines, Air Men and Sailors, heading back to Pensacola.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

TP 209 - From Behind

Maybe behind the eight ball...

An early dinner of raw oyster, and a game or two of pool, on a quiet night in a fishing town.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

On The Road and From Behind: TP209

So the theme with Carmi, this week, is "from behind."
I have to say, I have quite a few to choose from already in my files.
No need to go snap any new ones.
And I might have enough to post several under this theme.

It seems that there is always an opportunity, driving down the road,
to snap a picture of two...


While the road above is a paved highway, the touch of country fit in just right.
And below, a dusty trip down a dirt road into, hopefully, a simpler, slower pace; at least for a day or two.


And sometimes, one is before the behind (hmmmm...)



And one thing that is necessary to get the "from behind" shot,
 is someone behind the camera behind the shot!



Happy Tuesday All!



Click HERE to follow check out some more

Friday, August 17, 2012

Fences

I came across a meme, that had pictures that made me smile - fences.
Who would have thunk?
So I am playing too!

A fence I fancied at one of my son's cross country meets...


"Love your neighbor as yourself, but don't take down the fence."
Carl Sandburg



Check out Jan and Jer here:


Fences and barns and macros, oh my!


Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Journey...continued

Funny how life can be hoppin’ at times and it is GREAT when life is hoppin’ with the good stuff, rather than troubles.
After I had posted the Journey post, I received a call from a friend. The church had some stacks of extra  bibles and she was picking them up for A Place For Hope.  Unable to find a custodian to help her with the bulk of the piles, she came across Demolition D (I think he is going to like this college schedule with long breaks between classes).
As he helped my friend move the Bibles to her car they chit chatted away. Somehow the story of the tablet came up and he shared the story with her. When he finished the tale, she said she asked him, “Is it like really overwhelming to receive that kind of gift?” She said his answer was, “that is not what overwhelms me, what overwhelms is realizing how much God loves me.”  With that, she said they both parted ways both with tears in their eyes.
He  is seeing, he is absorbing.

On another note, Hubs received a call from Ocho. He moved almost two years ago, but did not have a place for his desk/hutch. He had forgotten about it until he was picking up some other items recently.
Well, he signed up for classes at the local college! He was calling to ask if he could get the desk soon (I have used it to collect STUFF – a.k.a. the catchall; so it needed the “stuff” moved first). Way excited to move my stuff and help get his desk moved to his now abode.   Maybe the last couple years have just been a rest, now it’s time to take a new step, maybe discover a new direction.

TP 208 - Grey

A color theme this week: GREY...




 Decided to skip the dark grey skies


 and opted for a different scene of grey ...barnacles.
Are they grey? or are they blue?  To me they are grey.
At least for today.


How about a fish or two?  I think that grey will do, too.



Wanna play? Wanna surf through the thoughts and images of other's playing in the grey?


Visit Carmi here . . .



Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Journey

I do believe the best part of parenting might just be watching the growing that our children experience. I do not necessarily mean physically.
I mean the mind and the spirit.
My husband I were talking, probably 3-4 years ago, about the kids. I said that it would be fun to see who they would be in 5 years. I think it will be fun to see who they are in 10 years. While I realize there will be moments in those years, that maybe we will not like what we see, I think if it is part of a growing of their character, or their spiritual life, it will still be interesting.
We have watched Traveler take on traveling at a completely new level and pace. We THINK we see her trying to fit in as much as she can, because she is getting tired. Maybe a desire for a more even paced life? We see her not being satisfied in her customer service based job and her seeking something else, and what appears to be, maybe, her figuring out a little more who she might be – not just being different than where she came from, but what her passions may be. Or at least what they are not?
Ocho, at 22, has settled into a pocket of life that we had not thought he would. And that pocket, while none of our business, leaves us wondering if he will wake up dissatisfied with life and feeling cornered in. He had always been well rounded with his interests in the past and now he is in a routine of work and home and local playing and partying – but no exploring, not appearing to pursue or live his passions or utilizing and building the strongest parts of his personality.  At the same time, his life has an easier pace than Traveler’s and maybe he is saving up his energy for the next phase.
The Man has had a busy summer. He continued working on yards this summer and seemed to come to the decision, a few days a month in the heat and decent pay, was better than working 5-6 days a week, stuck inside, earning the same as the day a week. He turned 16 , started his Junior year of high school and has started driving. He has settled nicely into the independence so far. We will see what challenges will arise as far as time management goes – that seems to be a struggle for him. While he has always seemed to spin, in his lucky go manner, where ever he is, I have noticed, he is much more aware of what is happening around him then he has ever let on to. He is much more aware of the dynamics in relationships than I would have thought. And he just might be a little more head strong and sure footed in his decisions than I would have given him credit for before. I think I had him pegged  being a little more innocent and na├»ve – I am watching and listening and learning.

And then there is Demolition D. . . 19!! He just turned 19. He has always been my strong willed child. He has challenged parenting – not necessarily in rule breaking, but …obstinate, stubborn, argumentative, arrogant. And yet, he has taught me so much, that I wouldn’t change a thing (I think). While he was rather closed off with me, he wasn’t with others. He seemed to take in much of what my husband (his step father) offered as a role model; the Youth leader at church; and many others.

He had an amazing thing happen the other day…he works part time at church as an audio/video intern. Taking care of the sound, uploading sermons to the website, and I don’t know what all else, but there is more. His boss told him he needed to check his office box Sunday morning between services, that it could not wait – said with a certain level of sternness that left Demolition D a little nervous. In his box was a thin box and a note , saying to read the note first.
An anonymous note, typed, other than the one sentence on the outside – that handwriting being a woman’s writing and a little shaky looking.
Inside, a typed note, "Dear . . . .I saw you the other day and God [told me, nudged me, laid it on my heart] to do something nice for you."... "I have learned over the years to listen [and act]"

What a lesson, someone KNOWING God’s nudge.

Someone following through with the nudge.

Note,"I have asked around and have been told that young people like these...I will leave the receipt in the Church office if you wish to take it back or exchange it."

In the box was an Apple I-pad (4 maybe??)
My child hugged me with tears. He is not a hugger.
In his personality, this was seen as a gift because “someone saw what his does around church.”  No, dear son, this is gift because someone felt God speak to them. God speaking about you. 
“Yes, I know, but it is nice to that someone see’s what I do.”  Still not seeing, this is not about “earning” and “doing” on his part. This is about God’s whispering to someone to reach out, to demonstrate a form of giving, on giving and loving, but not giving to be seen, giving to follow God’s direction, to share God’s love.
“I guess I see what you are saying”
He continued to bubble over with words and in the middle of jabbering away, he asked me what I was thinking. I told him I was just wondering,  that at 19, could he see this as an expression of God’s love?  Of God’s community? Would the ability to recognize that come later? He thoughtfully cocked his head and said he was not sure. I smiled. I understood completely. I was able to share with him, that there were many times God ‘s love and care had touched me and protected me over the years, but I did not recognize it until just recently, and what a wonderful feeling, when my eyes opened to see all those gifts of love given over the years. Not always were the gifts or the love material or monetary . Many times it was just the presence of someone following God’s direction. Someone saying a kind word or just listening. Sometimes someone was guiding me through a very dark time.
 I am amazed that it took me that long to knit together all those moments and touches and see the wonderful path God has led me down, but our sight is sometimes funny like that.
I feel privileged to have been able to see this gift and see his reaction. I wish opportunities like this for each of our children. Maybe not necessarily in the material way, but in any way that touches them to their very soul. That they see the true gift is from God and that when we follow God’s nudging, we are a part of such wonderful world of love.
Our sermon, on this same day, was titled, “Who do you say I am.” For me, God is my mainstay, my guide, my challenger, my comforter (especially when I miss the next step or am in the midst of a storm), a light, my guide.  May each of our children have the experiences that allow them to answer that question too, who do they each say God is to them...



Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sunbeams




May God grant you always...A sunbeam to warm you, a moonbeam to charm you, a sheltering Angel so nothing can harm you. Laughter to cheer you. Faithful friends near you. And whenever you pray, Heaven to hear you.”

Off The Grid

One full week for vacation. A complete week away, not just a day two. This is the first full week we have gone away in a couple years. I am not sure what the first day back at work will be like, but what I remember from years ago, it will be busy and might make me think I need another vacation.




Our vacation was more than just a vacation from work and home. It was also a vacation from the news and regular TV.



See, we kinda fall off the grid where we stay when at the beach. We visit the hotspot to check the weather and email, and that is pretty much it. We have a TV and VCR – oh wait, DVD player (Yikes!!). No cable or local stations. Only DVD’s.



So lets add to the list:



No Internet/Cable – means: no Facebook, No online streaming, no reality TV, no NEWS, no Olympics (first time I have not watched the opening ceremony in I don’t know when).



We have resurfaced having missed most of the media pressure pushing whichever side of the Chic Fil A issue they happen to support. Apparently, based on some pretty strong Facebook comments by my step-daughter, we have missed some new news on the birth control issue and women’s rights.



I still have not turned on the news and turned Faebook back off.



The thing about 2012 that has me most puzzled is this:



The haranguing of those on one side of an issue, against those on the opposite (or appearing opposite) side of the issue.



Each side of any issue seems to think that hurling names and accusations or insinuations questioning the intellect of the other perspective is ok. While they put down the “other” side for hate comments and an inability to consider another viewpoint, they are in turn spewing hate in the other direction and holding as firmly to their side too.



In what little bit I have kept up with the Chic Fil A issue, there is a point that scares me the most: freedom to have one’s own beliefs.



I think it is ok to hold firmly to your belief, especially if you are NOT hurting and harming another in words or action. I believe that if you do not hold the same values as another, you can choose to disagree and carry on, or part ways if the issue causes you to falter.



I remember in my teen years, the Southern Baptist Convention calling on it’s churches to boycott Disney. I know I had classmates that attended churches that boycotted the parks and what not. That was their prerogative to not financially support Disney. That was fine. That was good if that was their conviction. Our family did not join in. My mom is COMPLETELY against tattoos and sites a verse or two in support of her belief. I, on the other hand, do not really have a problem with them. I don’t have one because I don’t really want to go through with the needle thing, and I know I would get tired of it. While tattoos and same sex marriage are not the same, it still boils down to an individuals choice and their calling and spiritual walk.



As our Country has moved through the post 911 days, and many in the nation have expressed concern about the Muslim community, how many heard Chicago, or any other large city, deny a practicing Muslim the right to open and run a business? Many Muslim's do not believe in homosexuality or same sex marriage - that is a strong belief in their religion and even justifies honor killings if in a country that allows it.



But we are in the United States of America where we have the basic right to believe what we want to believe. I will not claim to understand all sides (I believe there are more than two sides on this one) of same sex marriage or try to figure out why this is such a major political issue day in and day out, and I will not judge those that do. I find great discomfort in what appears to be a leaning towards that of controlled thoughts and beliefs in this country that was founded on religious freedom. The more the government makes moral issues a platform, the more we invite history to repeat itself, not the history of the United States of America, but that which I was taught, that the Founding Fathers wished to leave behind.



Maybe all sides need to reconsider the Golden Rule and apply that measuring stick to our choice of word and actions.


  • I love my family! They are all great - even with differing opinions and view
  • I love not having the news rule my life
  • I love that my Wednesday Morning Woman's group begins this week. Everyone should have one of these
  • I love vacations
  • I love chocolate, everyone should
  • I love being able to read. Having access to books from more than one perspective
  • I love a healthy passion for a cause that is filled with kindness
  • I love kindness and being able to choose quiet when the other can't be reached
  • I love all the venues in our community that provide a chance for us to reach out to one another