Monday Morning and Life’s A Puddle

Bright and Early

Woke up at 4:30 this morning and I was AWAKE. Ordering myself to “Forget it,” I rolled over and tried to go back to sleep, but fifteen minutes later I concluded it was a lost cause. Besides, one can always blog. 🙂

Made myself some coffee and decided to wash up the few collected dishes. As I was standing at the kitchen sink my memory went back to the old Monday morning wash day. Back in the day, one of my favorite tasks was getting up early Monday morning and tackling “Mount Washmore,” as the FlyLady calls it. And I was thinking, “It’s a shame I dealt with all the laundry Saturday. Now I don’t even have one load to put in this morning.”

A minute later I looked down and found myself standing in a small puddle of water. My first thought was that I must have really sloshed, but then I saw water pooled in and dripping out of the kitchen sink cupboard as well. Apparently our kitchen tap, one of these combination gooseneck things that pulls apart to give you a sprayer, has given up the ghost and had leaked seriously around the join. My brain registered, “Grab rags —immediately!”

The water had spread around a fair bit, so I used a number of towels to sop it all up. They’re in the washer now. Does this serve me right for longing for the good old Monday morning washday. Oh, well, the cupboard got emptied and cleaned out, too. Last week I was making a start at doing a proper fall housecleaning, so this will just be part of the programme.

When Bob got up he tried tightening it at the joint (which is a screw together affair) so here’s hoping it will work okay now.

The hummingbird showed up just before 6 am, so I kept scaring him off coming and going from the rag cupboard and the washer. Maybe by now she’s come back and had her fill. The one bully male that policed the feeders and wouldn’t let the others near hasn’t been around since Wednesday, so I’m thinking he’s headed south already.

Our Daily prompt word today is expert so I’ll share a little tale I read one time:

A professional psychologist was constantly admonishing parents to “Love the child.” An expert in his field, the doctor encouraged all his clients and his neighbors as well, “Children need to be shown love and kindness.”

Then one day he had a new concrete pathway poured in his back yard. A few minutes later he looked out and saw a neighbor boy tromping through the wet concrete. He rushed out, grabbed the boy, and was about to give him a good cuff on the ear when a neighbor woman saw what was about to happen. She quickly shouted out her window, “Remember, doctor. Love the child.”

“To which he replied, “I do love him — in the abstract. But I DON’T love him in the concrete!”

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Five Husbands.

I’ve been wanting to reblog this article by J S Park ever since I read it because it’s so worth sharing. (Caution: keep the tissue box handy.)

J.S. Park: Hospital Chaplain, Skeptical Christian

Part of my hospital chaplaincy duties is to write a reflection on how it’s going. Identities may be altered for privacy. All the writings are here.

The doctor tells him in one long breath, “Your wife didn’t make it, she’s dead.”

Just like that. Irrevocable, irreversible change. I’ve seen this so many times now, the air suddenly pulled out of the room, a drawstring closed shut around the stomach, doubling over, the floor opened up and the house caving in.

“Can I … can I see her?” he asks the doctor.

The doctor points at me and tells Michael that I can take him back. The doctor leaves, and Michael says, “I can’t yet. Can you wait, chaplain?” I nod, and after some silence, I ask him, “What was your wife like?” and Michael talks for forty-five minutes, starting from their first date, down to the very second…

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Home & Loved Ones

Today’s Daily Prompt asks how long we’ve spent apart from our favorite person. Well, I spent seventeen years apart from my husband. But I guess it was for the best, as I did have some serious growing up during those seventeen years. But then we met, were joined in Holy matrimony, and got on with married life. And we’ve been together almost 45 1/2 years now.  🙂

Edgar Guest has written some terrific verses about the joys of home. Here’s one of them:

The Path that Leads to Home

The little path that leads to home,
That is the road for me,
I know no finer path to roam,
With finer sights to see.

With thoroughfares the world is lined
That lead to wonders new,
But he who treads them leaves behind
The tender things and true.

Oh, north and south and east and west
The crowded roadways go,
And sweating brow and weary breast
Are all they seem to know.

And mad for pleasure some are bent,
And some are seeking fame,
And some are sick with discontent,
And some are bruised and lame.

Across the world the gleaming steel
Holds out its lure for men,
But no one finds his comfort real
Till he comes home again.

And charted lanes now line the sea
For weary hearts to roam,
But, oh, the finest path to me
Is that which leads to home.

‘Tis there I come to laughing eyes
And find a welcome true;
‘Tis there all care behind me lies
And joy is ever new.

And, oh, when every day is done
Upon that little street,
A pair of rosy youngsters run
To me with flying feet.

The world with myriad paths is lined
But one alone for me,
One little road where I may find
The charms I want to see.

Though thoroughfares majestic call
The multitude to roam,
I would not leave, to know them all,
The path that leads to home.

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From the book Collected Verse of Edgar A. Guest
©1934 by the Reilly & Lee Co

First Prize at the Box Social

Since today’s Daily Prompt asks for a joke or funny story, I’ll reblog this story I posted a couple of years ago. Bear in mind this incident happened in the early 1930s in the one of the driest part of Saskatchewan, a fact that explains the relative economic values.

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A Slice Of Humble Pie

In the latter 1800s and early 1900s many young single men came to the Canadian West to make new lives for themselves and were now proving up homesteads in the prairie provinces. A lot of them endured isolated, frigid prairie winters; not only was the little sod shack usually a cold and bleak place, but the loneliness was almost unbearable. They were more than glad for any social occasions when they could visit with neighbors and check out the newest females arrivals.

Needless to say, few young women who set foot in a prairie town back in those days would stay single for long. Around the turn of the century the prairie provinces were a single girl’s dream—beauty and station meant little. (The ability to cook was a real asset, though.) One doctor paid their nanny a goodly incentive so that she would come along with the family when they moved from England, only to have her get married three days after they arrived in Winnipeg!

When a single girl did come along, such a new schoolteacher, the competition for her “I do” could be quite fierce! Here is the true story of one young homesteader, retold in my own words:

The Box Social was an ideal place to meet a young lady—and John Collins had a young lady in mind to meet. In fact his intention was to buy the box lunch the new school teacher had prepared, and thus get to spend the day with her.

For a Box Social each woman prepared a pretty box, into which she packed a lunch for two. These boxes were unmarked, so NO ONE was EVER supposed to know who had prepared which box until it was opened. At the Social each box would be auctioned off to the highest bidder and the man who bought the box got to eat this lunch together with the one who made it.

A wise fellow did not leave this entirely to chance when “top secret” information could be bought for a small bribe. Little brothers and sisters usually liked candy; in exchange for a nickel’s worth from the local store they would tell all.  Perhaps a friend of the young lady might give a fellow a tip as to how her box was decorated.  Or someone from the home where she was boarding, in the case of school teachers.  John whistled a tune as he slapped the horse’s reins and headed for town; he’d done his “homework.”

Alas for John! Tom S, another young bachelor in the area, was also preening himself for the Box Social, confident that HE was going to buy this young lady’s box and spend the day enjoying the pleasure of her company.  He’d also done his homework well.  (One little ‘snitch’ got a double dose of candy that week!)

The crowd gathered and the bidding started out innocently enough, with boxes fetching an average of five dollars each. Then a certain box came up and John and Tom began bidding quite earnestly for it.

John, an Irishman as spirited as is common to that species, soon realized that Tom was as determined as to have that box as he was so he threw all caution to the winds and bid higher.  He had locked horns a few other times with Tom and was not going to be bested by him now!

His rival was equally stubborn. Folks gasped when the price reached twenty dollars…then thirty…then forty! The crowd looked on in amused silence.

John heard himself shouting “Ninety dollars!” and the sound of that astronomical number jerked him back to harsh reality. No way did he have ninety dollars! In fact, that was more than double his annual disability pension from the army. It was far more than he could possibly scratch from the soil of his dry-land farm.

For a long moment he held his breath in horrified silence. When he heard his adversary roar, “Ninety-one!”  John dared to breathe again. Swallowing his pride and putting on a most convincing look of dejected despair, he admitted defeat—wiser but not poorer.

Tom, beaming with the pride of success, stepped forth to claim the prize.

He eagerly unwrapped the box—and found that he’d been misinformed. This box had been prepared by one of the married women in the community. He got to eat his lunch with her and her husband that day as folks around exchanged arched smiles and smirks. His Humble Pie was tough to choke down.

An Awesome Book!

BLUE HYDRANGEAS

by Marianne Sciucco
Published by Bunky Press

Last week I agreed to review an advance reader copy of Blue Hydrangeas from the Story Cartel in exchange for my unbiased opinion, which I just posted on Amazon. It looks like a lot of folks have reviews this book and are pretty much unanimous: This is a great read.

Written by a nurse, this is an awesome fiction story of love and perseverance — and stubbornness — as Jack grapples with the Alzheimer’s disease that is slowly stealing his wife Sara’s mind. The story draws the reader into the thoughts, emotions, and desperation that many people feel who have loved ones affected by dementia. If you read the reviews you’ll see most of us who have dealt with this are nodding and saying, “Yes, this is just how it is.”

It’s not light reading. All the time I was into the story I was sensing the darker undercurrent of truth here: Alzheimer’s can hit anyone. Like my loved one. Like ME! Someday we as a couple may have to cope with this reality ourselves.But I believe Blue Hydrangeas introduces the reader to the possibility in an informative, encouraging way.

And the take away point woven in at the end is powerful: we should rejoice in each day we have together. I’d encourage you, if you’re looking for some good reading, to get yourself a copy.

Note: I purchased the Kindle Edition, which is on sale now at Amazon.com for 94 cents. Paperback is listed at $10.80.