07 July 2016

Of Yard Sales, Independence Day, and Thinking

One of the things I love about being a nurse is that occasionally, I get to schedule slightly more days off in a row than the usual two or three, which allows me time to take a short trip or have a nice relaxing break.  This year however, other than a trip to see family in South Dakota with my sister back in May, all the long breaks have turned out to be work breaks, filled with big projects to accomplish. 

This last break involved a garage/yard sale. I spent every free day for the past several weeks, going through the entire house from top to bottom, choosing what to get rid of.  It’s something I’ve wanted to do ever since I moved here.  For ten years, my stuff was spread between my apartment and storage lockers in two states.  Once I bought my house, it was finally all together in one spot.  It was simply too much stuff.  Now that there has been a good cleanout, there is still a lot of stuff, but the whole house feels lighter.  Such a great feeling!

The sale itself was lots of work.  How grateful I am to my daughter Jessie who spent many hours with me, going through boxes, closets, and shelves of stuff, and hauling it around in preparation.  Thanks also go to my DIL Becca who came and helped us on Sale Day!  The sale went well and at the end of the day, we had sold between ½ and ¾ of the stuff we put out!   There are still a few larger furniture items to put on consignment, but the bulk of it is gone and the leftovers have already been donated to the thrift shop. 

One of the things that I’ve dealt with for years is a huge fabric stash.  At one time, there were over 13 large plastic totes full of fabric.  I’m pleased to say that the larger yardage of my fabric stash now fits in one small cupboard and the fat quarters nearly all fit in a cubby shelf!  Nice and compact and within reason!

After the sale, it was time to celebrate Independence Day!  While I have much anxiety over the upcoming election, there is still so much to be thankful for in our country.  I am so grateful for the freedoms we have, including the freedom to voice our own beliefs and opinions. 

I pray for a viable candidate to arise, that can help us come together as a nation, a candidate who can help us find a compromise that works for the greater good instead of giving way to the absurd idea of “political correctness” that elevates the needs of the fringe over the needs of the majority.  I pray for a candidate who can bring us together instead of divide us with hatred.  I pray for a candidate with not only a strong political capability, but one who has an upright and moral foundation, who can help us to find our way forward without the need to resort to violence, to prejudice, to avarice, to hatred, to deceit and who can inspire our nation to turn away from such things.   I pray for the eyes of the people to be opened to the candidates we have already, to see them for who they really are and what the long term ramifications might be should either of them be elected.  Surely, there must be another choice.  Please Lord, let there be a better option. 


Our Independence Day was filled with family!  I loved having all the kids over, except for SIL David who unfortunately had to work.  So wonderful to have everyone here!

There were conversations and stories to share,

There was lots of good summertime food,

And (my favorite photo of the day!) even a short nap for the two Mama’s to be!  (I can’t wait to meet my two granddaughters who will be born in August & September!)

It was a lovely day and so good to be able to spend time with the family out on the patio! 

I haven’t picked up a needle and thread for two months now.  That’s been good too.  Sometimes, it’s nice to have a change of focus.  I’ve been able to work on a couple of other projects that I wanted to complete this year, namely, our family cookbook.  I’ve been cooking and baking things in order to take photos for the cookbook ~ and that has been a good excuse to have people over for dinner from time to time! 

Lots of yummy things such as our homemade spicy guacamole…

My Mom’s Cherry Delight that she made every summer for the Fourth of July,
jars of lovely canned foods to enjoy throughout the year,

and bowls of yummy soup!

At this midpoint of the year, I find myself looking back as well as forward.  This has definitely been a year of introspection for me.  Of refocusing, of trying to figure out what comes next.  Things in my life took a turn in a direction that left me feeling out of sorts with my own life.   

I have struggled with so many things ~ losing my dear Mollie Kitter last October, and now dear Thomas Kitty is also showing signs of aging and the realization that all too soon, he also will be gone.  People will say that they are just cats, but they have been my constant companions, with me day and night, for the past 15 plus years. 
I'm grateful to have Kitzy Cat too, but she and I have never bonded the way I did with Mollie and Thomas.

Then there has been the challenge of keeping up my home and yard, both physically and financially.  And learning to do it all alone now that all the kids are grown and moved out into their own spaces. 

Learning to live with pain and a body that no longer works as well as I would like has been a huge challenge.  Adjusting to new limitations, the struggle to overcome, to heal, to find doctors willing and able to work with me to heal ~ it is all overwhelming at times.

I struggle also with the lack of face-to-face human interaction.  I have loved the connections that the internet brings, but the reality is that electronic communication also brings tremendous isolation.   How I miss having people to spend time with, the casual encounters as well as more formal interactions.   It has been well over 20 years since I divorced, but I think this has been the loneliest I’ve ever felt.

It has felt as though time has become scarce and I wonder how in the world I used to find the time to read a book or a magazine in years past, or found the time to just sit on the patio to enjoy the day.  Yet once upon a time, I read many books and magazines and found much time to simply be. 

I struggle with the long commute to and from work, the long shifts, and the inevitable administrative politics of being a nurse in a large metropolitan hospital where money is the object and patients are secondary and employees fall far down on the ladder of priorities.  I love what I do, but definitely feel unappreciated and taken for granted, and much of the time, as though I can do nothing right despite my best efforts.  The demands of meetings, extra shifts and being on call, eats into what little free time I have.  I can see my career as a nurse winding down, coming to an end, but I’m not sure what to fill it’s place with that can afford me a similar income for the time being.  I’d love to retire, but since my carefully invested retirement funds seem to be losing money these days instead of gaining, retirement appears to be light years away at the moment. 

So… much thinking, much pondering, and very much prayer.  I have a vision of the life I want, of projects that I want to immerse myself into, of artistic things that I wish to pursue, of books I want to write, of hikes and travels to take, of things I want to experience.   But I also know, that at times like this, it is time to turn those decisions over to God, to let him show the way, to let Him show me where he wants me and what he wants me to do next.  And sometimes, he says, “Just wait.” 

That’s where I am right now.  Just waiting.

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31

Fear not, for I am with you,
Be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my victorious right hand
Isaiah 41:10


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