Thursday, February 24, 2011

Earthquakes and Snow

The week started off with the news of the earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand. My heart goes out to all the families who lost loved ones. When things like this happen, we are reminded once again how little control we have over nature. Machines signal the possibility of an earthquake, but we never know how bad the devastation will be until the quake is upon us. We are left at the mercy of the elements.

As if to remind us of how little control we have over the weather and other natural phenomenon: it snowed in Seattle. It snows here, but to have it snow at the end of February is a bit unusual. The snow fluttered down innocently at first. Before anyone had time to blink, the snow plummeted down forming snow blankets across the streets and lawns.  Cars spun out of their lanes. Chimneys huffed and puffed vigorously. Everyone attempts to 'control' the outcome of the heavy snow fall.

No matter how much everyone would like to be in charge, they must admit there are things in life beyond their control. They must accept their frailty.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sisters

The quote, "A sister by birth, a friend by choice" seems to fit well with my sisters. Although we don't live near each other, I feel like anytime we talk or get together we are truly friends. There is such a big age difference between us; however, we still are able to relate on many levels. 

My eldest sister, Debbie, will arrive tonight. I want everything to be special for her. I want to pamper her. She who always seems to be responsible for everyone else. She who was almost like a 'second mom' to me when I was growing up. I want to make things fun for her when she is here. Every time I think of scheduling a 'fun' activity, it just seems to defeat the very idea of 'having fun' because shouldn't fun be spontaneous and just happen? I guess I can set things up in the direction of fun and then see where it goes from there.

A few days later, my sister Pam will arrive. If Deb is the rock which never moves or can be moved, Pam is the volcano which could erupt at any moment. Life spewing out on all sides. Hot passion and spontaneous action flowing in many directions. With Pam, there will be no need to 'plan' fun; it will just happen. 

I'm the youngest of the three. Although creeping up on 50, I suspect they still think of me as their 'baby sister.' I guess they will always be my elder sisters and I will always be the youngest. There is no way of changing the order of things no matter how old I get. Anyhow, it doesn't really matter how old we have become or who is older, what matters is that we love each other. We laugh, we fight, we cry, but above all we love! Yes, indeed, sisters by birth, but definitely friends by choice.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

My baby is engaged.

My darling Cassandra and Josh
My youngest Princess just got engaged! Dearest Cassandra left the house this morning to go to the zoo. Who knew she would end up with a gorgeous ring on her finger. Josh had come to us several weeks ago to ask for our blessing and we gave it to him, but we were not sure when he was going to surprise her with the proposal. 

Daniel said he felt something different when he awoke this morning. He felt like today might be the day. Fathers know these things.

I cried when I heard the news. Mothers cry when they hear these things. Tears of joy mixed with tears of 'is this really happening to my baby?' and of course there were lots of smiles swirled in with all the tears. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

14th of February 2011

On the 14th of Feb 2011, there will be many couples celebrating Valentine's Day. For me, the 14th of Feb. 2011 will be the day I have to say good bye to my husband again as he travels across the world. With all the travel we do, we've never expected dates or days to have too much meaning. A birthday can always be celebrated a day or two earlier or later. Christmas can be celebrated a week later.

Valentine's Day is just another day- because doesn't every day exist for us to show our love and appreciation for each other. A dinner date or some flowers on one particular day in the year is a nice gesture, but it should only be the tip of the iceberg. We prefer the spontaneous gestures throughout the year. Unexpected gifts, words of love, or time spent together mean so much. Maybe we have come to appreciate these impromptu acts more than the planned ones because the planned ones normally never go as planned. Someone ends up in crisis or needs help and we have to scrap the plans we made. So it is much more advantageous to seize a moment when we have the chance.

We determine how special a day is. If we want, we can make every day a special day. As I used to tell my children- "We are going to have an 'unbirthday' today!"  They loved making an ordinary day extraordinary and hopefully they will continue to do so...and hopefully I will continue to do so.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Just a Peek

We did manage to visit Boulder, Colorado. The temps were still cold but the snow had stopped. It was a quick trip, but worth every second. I definitely would like to return during warmer weather. I would love to stroll through the streets of Boulder and enjoy every facet of this gem of a city. Unfortunately the cold climate kept us rushing into shops just to keep warm. We finally stopped at BJ's for lunch. Not necessarily because we wanted to eat there, but we were simply freezing to death outside and we needed a place to get warm.

After hitting a few shops after BJ's, we decided it was time to head back to Denver. We took one last look at the foothills as we headed out of town. I'm not sure when we will be able to return, so I'm thankful for the quick peek of Boulder, Colorado. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snow Lessons

We had every intention of visiting Boulder, Colorado. We even listed out places of interest to go to. Unfortunately,  a cold front swept in over Colorado and changed our plans. Instead of going to Boulder, we ventured out in the storm to buy groceries. The news reports implied this was just the beginning of something worse.

I do not know how to drive in the snow. Where would I have gained this knowledge? I grew up in more tropical climates. If you ask me how to navigate through a flood during monsoon season: this I can do! Driving through snow is a very different story, it doesn't always have a happy ending.

In life there are things you have to do even when you don't like doing them or you are not very good at them. You just have to do them, and driving in the snow was something I had to do to get groceries. My granddaughter was bundled up in her car seat, my daughter sat next to me navigating and I managed to miss all the important turns. My wrong turns sent us on an adventure down a road with snow embankments on either side and a looming steep hill up ahead. How in the world was I supposed to go forward? How in the world was I supposed to turn around?

Can we say panic? Picture me hunched over the steering wheel, knuckles white and eyes firmly looking straight ahead. By this time, Cassandra is telling (yelling) me to turn around. 

"Don't go up that steep hill with the ice!"

Now my eyes are darting side to side trying to find an escape route. All the while, my granddaughter is singing to herself. She is laughing and giggling. She has no idea of the danger we are in. She has complete trust that her grandmother knows what she is doing! Thankfully, I made a good turn managing to get us back on to a safer road. We took the groceries home and prepared for more storms.



I learned a great lesson from my granddaughter that day. Jesus has always said for us to come to him as children. Now I see why. Even in the storms of life, the wrong turns and the slippery slopes, we can trust in Him to navigate us to where we need to go. We don't need to worry or fret. We don't need to be anxious, because thankfully He is at the wheel not me! 

....And then there were more...

We started with two. It didn't take long for us to add three more to the mix, making us ongfamily5 for quite a long time. Before we kn...