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Showing posts from July, 2011

The Power of an Errant Glance

I walked across the hot field, each footstep raising a small cloud of grey dust that coated my tennis shoes.  For some reason I felt obligated to contain my walking to the narrow tire track that wound itself through the freshly turned earth, as if stepping outside that path would draw attention to me heading their way.
 It was brutally hot by Michigan standards – a perfect July day with heat, humidity, and little breeze.  Perfect weather for crabgrass, sow thistle, carpetweed and spurge.  Not perfect weather for anyone working against those weeds.  The smell of the warm earth, the quiet of the field, the slowly dissipating sounds of traffic as I walked south, away from the road, seemed to increase the power of that heat and magnified my fears.  The weather report on the radio cautiously noted a cattle and livestock advisory that was in place – as if most of their listeners had ever been on a farm and knew what that meant.  Even more disconcerting was the fact that they worried about c…

A Tale of Fortune and Fingers

On occasion, something happens in my life that after-the-fact I find myself wondering if that was divinely planned.This past week, I got into a tussle with my table saw.A freakish sort of accident that ended up sending me to the hospital and ended up connecting my wife with a mother who is facing similar challenges as we have.
I mentioned to the attending physician (as she attempted to cut the wedding band off my damaged finger) that the real tragedy is not that I’m in the hospital, but that my wife and I were having a relatively enjoyable time there.This past weekend was a “respite weekend” and as such, we were free of the care of Bethany for a few days.For us this trip to the ER was a rather exciting date.We were laughing, chatting with people, actually doing something together!
While the Physician’s Assistant began the process of stitching my hand back together, I mentioned about this being a respite weekend and what that entailed.The Physician listened and then cautiously asked a fe…

Come home, come home, it's suppertime

I recall seeing my grandfather sitting in a chair in the family room of the old Lubber’s farm, it must have been 1965 or so.It was a Sunday and I recall hearing hymns on the radio, he was sitting there quietly with his eyes closed, his hands folded loosely over his belly.I wasn’t sure if he was sleeping or peacefully listening to the music.“Come home, come home, it’s suppertime” – the words tumbled out of the old, green, Motorola radio.I can still see the gold tuning dial with the pointer facing both 10 and 4 o’clock.
Last night I was at the evening church service and that flashback hit me somewhere between the second and third verse of“Softly and Tenderly”... why should we linger and heed not his mercies…It was a warm, beautiful memory that was prompted by a tune that I despised when I was a teenager.For my grandfather, as a young boy that would have been a relatively new song.Written in the 1880’s and no doubt played by my grandmother on the old pump-organ at the church in East Sauga…

Hanging on for Dear Life

Four good days with Bethany has a special way of clearing the fog of depression.Having her smile and laugh and rip her diapers out of joy rather than frustration is, well, a liberating feeling.You feel your heart get lighter, your responses, less caustic and your outlook far more appealing to those around you.
She loved the fast ride on the jetski – that in fact, seemed to make all the difference in her attitude and broke the cycle of sadness that gave me the four days, so you pack that little secret weapon away in your emotional duffle bag for the next time she has a meltdown.“”Wanna go for a ride on the jetski”? I ask in my imagination, waiting for the characteristic aahhyyah! Accompanied by the frantic up-and-down headshake.In your heart you know it’ll be the thing that changes her anger to joy, just like her joy turned your sorrow to celebration, and your shadows to sunshine.
That’s why it hurts so much when other sorrow, sorrow from the day-to-day life around you, creeps back into …