Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Love Is In The Air... And A Tornado

We dropped off the kiddos and drove with our windows open and hair blowing in the wind toward the vintage hotel we love. We made it, by God's grace, to nineteen years of marriage and we were going to celebrate in style. Lunch on the patio, a swim in the salt water pool, a dip in the outdoor spa with cascading ivy over rockery and we were relaxed. Love was in the air.
I crashed onto the king-sized bed and Terry flipped on the weather channel. We'd heard of an impending storm and we wanted to check its status. Low and behold, the entire Golden Horseshoe was under tornado warning--not watch--but warning. We called my mom to make sure they were battening down the hatches and when all seemed well, we went to town for ice cream.  
The sky was glorious!
With rolling thunder and low, heavy clouds with finger-like striations, it was obvious we were about to be in the thick of it. We finished our ice creams and headed back to the hotel where we stood outside marveling even more.  
At 9 p.m., a deafening clap of thunder sounded and the hotel fire alarm went off--a shrilling siren. We felt that it was due to the storm only, and waited a few minutes. When the staff began to call up and down the hallways for guests to gather in the front lobby, we obeyed. Underneath the huge, glass roof we stood while clouds swirled above us and firefighters dashed through the crowds, completing their checklist before the alarm could be turned off. Guests smiled and talked loudly over the noise of how funny the whole experience was until...  
the alarm went off again at 1 a.m.! Slow-moving, pyjama and robe-clad people filled the lobby once again. This time, hardly anyone spoke. We wondered if this would go on all night.  
We awoke the next morning to beautiful sunshine and an anniversary story for the kids. They had their own stories of power-outages, flashlights, a cancelled bus-trip for Meg to a place that ended up being terribly damaged, and a tree falling on Mama and Papa's trailer. There had been some destruction to several homes and businesses but we were thankful our home and nurseries suffered little.
My husband turned toward me and pulled me in close. We kissed and conferred about celebrating twenty years of marriage. Let the adventure begin!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Loving Our Town, God's Way

"God bless Miss Rebecca!" my girl calls out from the back seat.
"God bless Dr. McCord and Dr. Faught!" calls my son.

From that point on, we glance left and right calling out prayers and blessings over the people of our town.
We pass the Pilates studio I attended once. "God bless Miss Christy!" the kids shout in unison.
And I add, "Help her to receive You!"

I drive slowly through the main street, reminding my children of the new lady I met in the Bulk Barn who told me her husband is having a kidney stone removed and she's quite unraveled about it. I remind them of Cale, who bags my groceries and is normally scowling and put-out that his friends are playing video games while he has to be working. I think of Bev, who works three jobs in this town and always wears a smile. Then there's blessings over Uncle Drew, who no longer works at this office but just passing by helps us to remember him. We can't forget about Dr. Kay, who's been married only a few years and is wondering about children. Cousin Julie works in there too, and Miss Tracy, who walks everywhere and marches past our home each evening. We never forget Miss Lisa, who altered Meghan's dress for Auntie Holly's wedding many years ago.

Friends who live nearby may get a prayer now and then too. Miss Jessica, a beautiful, single mom of three, gets a whispered prayer from me. Miss Annetta, receives a hearty shout-out as my children love getting their hair cut by her skilled hands. The DeVries family receives a prayer over their "transmission fix-it place". Last, but not least, we pray a huge blessing over Daddy and the nurseries. We pray for many customers and smooth business transactions, for his witness in the workplace and safety for all who work or purchase there. If we're coming from the other direction, we pray for my husband's competitors to be blessed and I tell my children that they're a family business too and hope for the same things we do.
Sometimes we don't remember our townspeople. Kids are arguing, I'm losing my patience, someone lost their pencil between the seats or perhaps, it's just a quiet, thoughtful ride. Mostly, though, we do this loving our town thing. It's been years of practice and getting to know the people. Our list is lengthening and I believe God is leading us to some hurting people so we can remember them in the future, and to some Christian business people we can support with our patronage. We recently discovered that a man we met a few months ago prays for us every time he passes by our place. That thrilled my heart! If prayer is as effective as God's Word says it is, things are changing in this town. He's moving in hearts and minds and it's all because He works through the prayers of His children, who are loving their town, God's way.

photos by Crazy Meghan :)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Dad's Birthday--Two Years Ago

(Somehow I missed posting about my Father-in-law's 70th surprise birthday!)
My dear friends, Tanya and Johnny were invited to cater our dinner party for Dad. What a treat! Their gourmet fabulousness that night took our breath away! Dad tried new dishes and all of us sampled some seriously good food that evening. Course after course was brought to the table and explained in delicious detail. And, just when we thought it was over, there was dessert. A special surprise for a great dad.
Happy 70th Birthday, Dad! May God bless you with many more.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

When The Mosquitoes Have Their Way

Sugar runs through my kids' veins and that's why the mosquitoes love them. I, on the other hand, can go deep into the woods in search of interesting birds and return without too many bites--or, at least, I don't notice them. My children pick wild flowers, ride circles on the path while I stand staring into the tippy-tops of a spruce tree, and we're all happy together--that is, until they collapse in itchiness, scratching furiously and comparing mosquito-inflicted welts. It's earlier than we had hoped but it usually signals our little hike is over. Even short jaunts have treasures to be found :) 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Small Haven

I make quinoa salad and she wipes dirty faces. We laugh and talk of homeschooling and her latest thrift store finds. My sister's home is a haven when I need a little country living and some good understanding from one who's trodden nearly all the same paths of life with me. A little rocking of Baby on the porch, a cup of tea, three boys who've waited so long to be together, a few reminders of why we're doing this life the way we're doing it, and I'm ready to head home full of inspiration.
Love you, Holly!
A few kiddos missing from the photos but, you get the picture :)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Dare

Standing in a cold sprinkler is a dare when it's so hot you could watch butter melt on the deck in a few seconds. Daddy holding kiddos in the water makes it even more fun...well, a little shockingly cold, but, ah, the relief!