Category Archives: Thoughts Expressed

We are all in line!

August 4th, 2020

  

Every minute someone leaves this world behind. 

We are all in “the line” without knowing it. 

We never know how many people are before us. 

We cannot move to the back of the line. 

We cannot step out of the line. 

We cannot avoid the line. 

So while we wait in line – 

Make moments count. 

Make priorities. 

Make the time. 

Make your gifts known. 

Make a nobody feel like a somebody. 

Make your voice heard. 

Make the small things big. 

Make someone smile. 

Make the change. 

Make up. 

Make peace. 

Make sure to tell your people they are loved. 

Make sure to have no regrets. 

Make sure you are ready. 

Make sure you forgive. 

Make sure you help others. 

Make sure you are mindful. 

Make sure your compassion is bigger than your ego. 

Make sure you live a happy and fulfilling life. 

Love more Give more

Author unknown. 

129 Days – Saturday July 18, 2020

Lately, our days roll by without much fanfare. We are living our days out in the heat of summer here in central Texas, but it’s nothing that a bit of shade and an icy beverage can’t make a little more comfortable. Sheltering in place makes the pandemic seem far away from here, even though I have read the headlines declaring that Texas has become inundated with cases. It’s just that WE are not “out there” in the world at all, so unless I keep tabs on the news, we are more or less off the information grid, and I keep my reading to a minimum for the sake of peace of mind. There is nothing I can do about what is happening out there right now, so we focus on keeping busy here at home.

We have our routine down pat now as Al rises with the morning doves and I go to bed to the sounds of our old hooty owl sitting on our chimney. Because Al gets up so early, he also goes to bed early. The opposite is true for me. My burning the midnight oil, as it were, causes me to sleep later in the morning. It is a good system because it allows personal individual time for each of us to do whatever strikes our fancy.

Yesterday, I slept in very late because when I awoke earlier in the morning, I was coming out of a very comforting dream and I decided to roll over to see if I could catch more of the dream! I did! I had to smile to myself upon waking for the second time when I realized that I did not have to socially distance from anyone in my dream. There we all were, laughing and hugging each other and enjoying the love we felt! It felt wonderful to be sitting in close proximity to loved ones again which is why I rolled over to try and recapture the dream!

Al and I made a hearty breakfast this morning and carried it outside to enjoy on our porch with a hot cup of coffee. As we drank and ate, we visited with each other and I told him that despite what we know of the pandemic, the riots, and politics, (all joy stealers), I felt that this “time out” from the rest of the world was almost like a Godly gift to us. Not since I was a child have I ever had so much free time to commune with nature and God! There is no peace more comforting than this kind of peace.

I wonder, not for the first time, what the future will bring. I wonder how long it will be before we are free to spend time with other people in close proximity again. I think of our theater season tickets languishing in a dresser drawer. I think about our family in the north country and wonder how long it will be before we see them again. I think about my husband and sons cancelling their July fishing trip this year to Alaska and wonder if that will be possible even by next year on the same date? Will anyone be safe enough to travel anywhere by plane by then? I wonder about Thanksgiving and Christmas and birthdays coming up and if we will have to celebrate all of those in a solitary fashion as we did with Easter.

Truth be told, there is no more effective jailer for old people than a pandemic and we are all living with the consequences of the virus escaping far across the world. The world isn’t so large anymore with modern travel in airplanes, and before this pandemic is even over, scientists are already predicting another Pandemic in the not so far off future. Will we be better prepared next time?

Those are a lot of deep questions for a Saturday morning with no real answers. So I refocus my mind to what is in the here and now. Al’s hair needs a minor trim and I wonder if he will trust me to do it? My rose bush needs trimming too and some spraying to ward off insects. My newly planted Crepe Myrtle trees need a bit of water. Our grass needs mowing. The bird bath and fountains need filling. My boxwoods could use a little trim too and the flowers need some attention. The shade and the breeze are lovely. I can hear the squeak of brakes as the mailman stops and drops off our mail, so I think I shall go on up the driveway to retrieve it. I also have a very good book waiting for me to pick up and continue on with the story!

It’s the little things in life that keep us content and happy! The little things give us a a sense of routine and security, and allow us to focus on the things we can control, or at least, give us the impression that we even have control. Control is just an illusion and it is within this illusion we feel safe! So, safety then is also an illusion!

As all of these little things are beckoning to me, so is Al. He says he wants to go for a drive in the countryside, which sounds good to me! I tell all my “little things” that they will have to wait for me now because I have a very important date I need to prepare for! We might even sit on the bank of a river and tickle our toes with cool rushing waters! We will go where the spirit leads us, and our spirits never steer us wrong!

And so it goes with life in the days of Covid-19. We are grateful we are still here and still healthy. Sooner or later life will return to what it once was, (or maybe it won’t), but I wonder now if we will really want back all that we once had and did? Maybe to “be still” is the best gift of all?

jjb/7/18/2020

Tasha

So, during this time of shelter in place in the days of Covid-19, we are now half way through our 4th month of not going anywhere and seeing very, very few people (occasionally we see our Austin son and his fiancée at a proper 6 foot distancing measure). It always gives my heart a lift to just see his face and spend time in his presence. Despite our hearts pining for friendships from times past, and a hug here or there, we have managed to fill our days with home projects, gardening, planting and purging of things we no longer use. The key to successful confinement is changing up the routine from day to day. Keep busy and keep it interesting.

This has been an experience unlike any we have ever had before. We have unlimited time to do anything we want, within the confines of our home and our small urban lot. At first it was almost daunting, trying to figure out how to live life hidden away from the rest of the world. Despite living near a big city, we are as isolated as Laura Ingles Wilder ever was, and probably more so, because she at least could talk to their neighbors and mingle with the townsfolk and go to school. Even in the days of TB sanitariums, the patients at least had different nurses and Drs and could have occasional visitors, so, this isolation has had its challenges. However, once we got into the rhythm of our new life we began to explore the world through books, internet, documentaries and movies.

In many ways, it has a actually been a very freeing experience.

We are free to go to bed when we like, get up when we want, eat when and what we want, dress how we want, (or not) and shower as much or as little as our partner encourages! HaHa!

I have thoroughly enjoyed watching a number of documentaries and this most recent one about the life of Tasha Tudor was especially fun. She was an illustrator and an author of world wide reknown. She was born into a wealthy family, but even in her childhood, as well as on into her adulthood, she lived in unusual circumstances. She eventually grew up, married and had children.

In her adult life she chose to live an existence that replicated a time gone by, about a century precious to the one she was born into. She was purposely without modern conveniences, and spent time making her own clothes from the wool of sheep she kept on her farm.

The documentary on Amazon Prime “Take Joy” The Magical world of Tasha Tudor’ is an enjoyable experience where the visuals are filled with scenes of time gone by. Following, are some photos from her website for you to enjoy. Imagine living there…in this time and this place! The movie is not long (about 45 minutes) so after the movie I wanted to know more about her and began to search on the internet. To say she was eccentric would be an understatement, but she is also delightful to watch and listen to. You almost forget which century is being filmed as you watch the movie.

Anyway, enjoy these photos from Corgi Cottage in Vermont. I am just SO sorry I did not know about her and her farm when we went to see the Von Trapp Lodge which is also in Vermont. However these photos give us a little taste! If you are ever going to go to Vermont, give them a call and reserve tickets for a garden tour! It will be like a step back in time!

When you go in search of Tasha Tudor, you will recognize many of her illustrations in books from your children’s and your own growing up years.

Enjoy!

jjb/7/16/2020

Summertime

It is a glorious day here in the hill country of central Texas. There is a lovely soft breeze, low humidity (which is key to comfort in the southern heat) and lots and lots of shade from many trees and tall hedges across our property. Shade is nature’s antithesis to the Texas sun. it is amazing how much of a temperature variance there is from sun to shade! It feels like a 20 degree drop between sun to shade and is pure pleasure!

We have been outside this morning enjoying this stretch of mild weather in the middle of July. (Mild, meaning 94 degrees by late afternoon) but again, dry and breezy. Al has his smoker cooking up some ribs and trout while I am watering some newer plantings that have been stressed by the midsummer heat! I can hear the cicadas clattering in the distance and birds are flittering around, occasionally dipping into the fountains and bird baths available to them. My heart is full.

As I look around our property and as I water my plants, my mind wanders and I find myself remembering times in our early marriage when we had very little in the way of material goods. I also remember times when we had a whole lot more than we could ever have imagined possible.. Due to Al’s career moves, we have moved a lot and have lived in many types and styles of homes…Nine in all! We have lived in small, medium and large homes, each one serving the perfect purpose for that time and that place. For the last 23 years we have been settled into a modest, one story home which was exactly what we wanted all those years ago and it still feels just right. We wanted an “empty nest” home where the kids could come and visit, but where we did not feel overwhelmed with too much unused, wasted space in between their visits. It was a good call!

We love and enjoy our property because we have invested a LOT of time and physical effort in pulling it together. I saw it all in my minds eye all those years ago and through the years the vision grew into reality! It has been so rewarding for us to create and my hands show the wear and tear! But, you know what? I don’t care a bit! It must be the pioneer blood running in my veins that urges me to dig and plant. I always feel close to God when I am out here and I often tell God that I sure hope a garden shed full of tools comes with my mansion in the sky! I will not be serving tea to my heavenly guests, UNLESS, it is served in my ever evolving garden! Amen to that!

These are such crazy times…political unrest like none I have ever witnessed before! I just hate the nasty vitriolic discourse between the political parties and how that has infected our relationships! It saddens me to see protests hijacked into riots, and the covid 19 pandemic that has forced us to stay home and socially isolate for 4 months and counting! Who wouldn’t feel crazy by now?

Fortunately, we are holding our own! We have our very private property which sits inside private hedges where we can wander around in our nightshirts if we should so choose, because no one can see us anyway. This morning, I told Al that I almost feel like we have been gifted a very expensive retreat where we can lounge around in our pajamas, read countless books, watch endless movies, splash about in the spa, plant, water and barbecue to our hearts content. Devotions and prayer are in the mornings over coffee, and fortunately we enjoy each other’s companionship.

I am not so sure how we will feel if we are still in lockdown at Thanksgiving which will then total 8 months, but will have to take each day as it comes. No point in worrying about any of it!

Today is the day which the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

God is good all the time. All the time, God is good!

Thy will be done!

Amen

jjb/7/15/2020

The Journey!

Something’s hanging beneath my chin!

I wonder what it can be?

In the mirror I see a wattle

above the chicken neck on me!

Looking closer in the mirror,

I see something on my chin,

Oh my gosh! It’s a stiff white hair!

One of many, thick and thin!

“What’s this?” I ask, as I lean close.

“What are these lines upon my face?”

Where once the skin was smooth and clear,

Many wrinkles have set in place.

I sit back now and comb my hair.

It was once blonde and thick.

Now my hair is thin and gray,

It almost makes me sick!

My slender, shapely body,

from when I was a youth.

Has come to look like drooping socks.

I swear, I speak the truth!

This body which has served me well,

was designed to last for years.

My spirit used and abused it some.

Those memories bring me to tears.

Our spirits need a place to live,

so, we get bodies at our birth.

God thought we should be visible

to all as we roam this earth.

So, here I am now, growing old.

My body shows wear and tear.

But oh! the joy it’s gives to me.

As I travel here and there.

Signs of aging are a warning,

that our body is wearing out.

But our spirits are eternal,

Of this I have no doubt.

So, I pull out that wiry whisker,

I put cream upon my skin.

I salute my image in the mirror.

to honor where it has been.

It hasn’t always been easy,

nor has it always been fair.

But I’m glad God gave me THIS life!

I send thanks now up in a prayer!

I’ll see you before I know it, Lord.

I’ll see my family and friends.

We’ll have so much to talk about.

when my wonderful journey ends!

jjb/6/29/2020

Sleep!

Tossing, turning in my bed,

Many thoughts run through my head,

On my back, then my side,

Losing sleep, I can’t abide.

Counting sheep, one, two, three!

PLEASE, Lord, bring sleep to me!

Up now, reading book.

In my comfy little nook.

Sipping tea, eyes droop low,

Back to bed, I think I’ll go.

Maybe this time I will sleep,

While my soul the Lord will keep.

Woke this morning, slept so well.

Grateful for that sleeping spell.

Amen!

Group-Think

The term “groupthink” was first introduced in the November 1971 issue of “Psychology Today” by psychologist Irving Janis. Janis had conducted extensive research on group decision-making under conditions of stress. Researchers have found that in a situation that can be characterized as groupthink, individuals tend to refrain from expressing doubts and judgments or disagreeing with the consensus. In the interest of making a decision that furthers their group cause, members may also ignore ethical or moral consequences. While it is often invoked at the level of geopolitics or within business organizations, groupthink can also refer to subtler processes of social or ideological conformity.

As I read the above statement, I felt a memory coming forward of another time, long ago, when I had been invited to a party as a young “20 something”. I was a young nurse at the U of M and the Head nurse of the unit in which we worked also attended the party as well as other nurse co-workers of mine. The host of the party was playing music and one of the records she put on was of Tennessee Ernie Ford singing some gospel music. I did not know that our Head Nurse was an atheist until that night when she began to make fun of the choice of music and Ernie Ford as well, laughing and mocking the songs and singer. Because she was our supervisor, others joined in on the laughter and added to the joke filled conversation. I said nothing, but was getting increasingly uncomfortable with the situation. I chose not to say anything in that room because I needed my job, and did not want to cause problems for myself at work. Instead, I left the party early with a couple of other co-workers, and on the way home, I shared my displeasure at what had just happened, and in return, my friends shared that they had disliked what happened too. I felt ashamed that Jesus and God were the center of the ridicule, so as it was happening, I refused to join in. I was unhappy with myself that I had not made a stand in that room, but I also did not want to cause conflict for the Hostess of the party so chose to leave as soon as possible. My opinion of my supervisor was completely deflated that night and I lost all respect for her. It was not so much about the fact that she was an atheist, but because she chose to be so disrespectful of everyone in the room who she knew could have been a Christian, and also disrespectful of the Hostess of the party!

Today, as I was watching the news updates on the covid-19 test positivity increases, I could see a side panel of very negative commentary posts where people were making horrible derogatory comments about our Vice President, our government leaders, all while making fun of their appearance, their intellect, and what they perceived to be a lack of leadership! They were calling the Vice President a liar and bashing everything he said. As I was reading the comments, I could feel my stress level increasing. Once again, what bothered me was not so much that they disagreed with the news conference and our leaders, but it was “how” their disagreement was being projected. The statements were full of anger, disrespect, contempt, ridicule and derision.

Whatever happened to civility? Why is it that all we hear anymore is anger and shouting? Finger pointing does not solve a thing. Burning and looting and defacing and tearing down monuments does not bring someone around to their way of thinking. It only brings about a quiet resistance from people who disagree with how things are being done. Right now it appears as if a radical portion of American citizens are having temper tantrums while we are all sitting back and watching it! It is disgraceful that a lot of our leaders are setting such bad examples for our children, and when I say this, I say BOTH political parties are guilty in this emotionally charged display.

I have a friend who always wants to debate politics but the way this person debates is never in a rational quiet conversation where we can share our thoughts and opinions. It is always laced with judgment and criticism and derision. I refuse to debate anyone who cannot find a way to speak in a respectful tone or listen to another persons point of view. What I experience, so often, is when I offer a differing opinion, no matter how politely I say it, this person will raise the volume of their voice which tells me right away that this is not a discussion, it is a battle of words.

So, just like after the party I attended so long ago, I am again remorseful that I do not feel comfortable getting into the political fight taking place right now. But, you have shown me who you are by your behavior and your lack of respect towards others by trying to destroy our history. You have lost any chance of my support in the wake of this madness. Taking down statues does not change history. I love our country and am grateful to those who sacrificed their lives to create a more perfect union. I recognize that no one person or group is all right or all wrong, but it is in fair give and take discussion where we all win. It is only in unity where we are strongest while division creates weakness and mayhem. Evil loves division for it makes it so much easier to distract and destroy.

God is all powerful and I will never cease asking for His guidance and His help as I traverse through this life. Whatever lays ahead, which ever way this upcoming election turns out, it does not change the fact that our all powerful God is always there for us, even in times when we question His presence.

Our country has served as a beacon to the world, as a place of hope for a better life and now it is being attacked. It breaks my heart that we have anyone who has benefited from living in this country, now intent on destroying it. Hatred is never the way. Love is all there is. I pray that our country survives this onslaught. In the meantime, I will VOTE and I will PRAY! I hope you do,too!

jjb/6/26/2020

The POWER of thought!

We have been sheltered in place since March 11th, so at the time of this writing, we have been in our home for over 9 weeks, and it looks like there is more to come of this quarantine.

At first we were more than willing to follow the guidelines because the visuals on t.v. convinced us of the danger of this new Coronavirus, especially to those over age 65. But a few young people were also dying from this virus, so, to stay healthy, everyone took the advice to stay home….to shelter in place. For our part, we were forced to give up our much loved part time jobs which we had chosen to do in retirement to remain engaged in society and to fill a purpose.

These days, our days go by without much fanfare. One day is the same as the next unless we decide to go out for a ride for a change of scenery. We live in an urban area on a small corner lot, and we have developed our property into a small sanctuary over the past 22 years. We have created several vignettes, each one with a path leading to it. It is fun because as a person stands on any part of our property, there are glimpses of something of interest just beyond the next corner which invites one to go and investigate.

When I was planning the design of this property, and began planting, I did it in sections. My plan was done with the thought that this would be our retirement playground when we got old. The idea behind it was that if we got bored, we would always be able to go outside and find something to do and something to tend. Along the way, we were gifted with two grandchildren, so some of the planning involved thinking of what they might enjoy. The end result is a nice mix of spaces and most people who come here seem to enjoy what they see.

It isn’t professionally done, so I think that is a big part of the appeal. It comes across as something people haven’t experienced before. It is simply an extension of our imaginings, so when you see our property, you are seeing our inner eye. It is not polished, nor perfected, nor does it include high end costly materials of the type a landscape architect would use when he or she goes to work on drawing plans. Hence, in its imperfection, it is uniquely ours and we love it.

Little did I know, all those years ago, that I would have to use a pick axe and a texas toothpick to break up the caliche rock in preparation for planting. As I imagined us enjoying this space when we were retired, I had no idea that we would be enjoying it during retirement at a time of a world wide pandemic!

We are especially grateful for these outdoor “rooms” now more than ever, not only for the privacy but also for the work they provide for us to do, to keep our minds and bodies healthy. I never go outside where I do not see something that needs a minor trim of some kind. I recently repainted an arbor an apple green and really like how cheerful and inviting it looks.

So, in truth, up to this point anyway, the Pandemic has not caused our life a lot of excess stress with us staying home. We have each other for company as well as the wildlife that have made our property their home.

I went outside yesterday because I had been spending way too much time on the computer reading and watching stories about this Pandemic from endless points of view. Some of the interviews were wonderful because they were a conversation between two intelligent people talking in a calm and thoughtful manner, which was how conversations were conducted in another more civilized time and place. Unfortunately, though, I also came across many that had agendas backed by hate. There are a lot of things I am not happy about with this Pandemic and with how it is being handled, but I don’t feel angry or hate filled because of it. However, I DO feel stressed by the onslaught of angry, hate spewing commentators that make up most of the news in this day and age.

I went outdoors to find relief from this stress, and with small clippers in hand, I began to clip volunteer shoots off the trunks of a line of little Yaupon Holly trees we planted many years ago. I was deep in thought and with every snip I could feel the tension leaving my body. Soon I was completely engulfed in the enjoyment of reshaping these little trees, and at one point, as I was moving a branch in the dense growth of a tree, my attention was drawn to a tiny bird nest hidden deep inside the tree branches, complete with three very small speckled eggs resting inside. I quickly moved the outer protective branch back in place knowing that the Mama could abandon the nest if human touch or scent were left too close. Suddenly, I was brought out of my deep thought by an excited chattering above my head. Of course, it was the Mama bird scolding me for getting too close to her unborn babies.

These 8 little Yaupon Holly trees were planted in a row many years ago, and as I was snipping with my clippers, I had been lost in thought and admiration for how nicely they had grown and filled in. Responding to Mama birds chattering I respectfully moved on down the line, hoping she would see me as a neutral energy that meant no harm to her family.

As I continued from one tree to the next, hand selecting which branch needed pruning, I began to think about the importance of appreciation for where our life is at any given moment, right here and right now. Granted, my husband and I have been affected by the way things are being handled by the authorities, but honestly, we aren’t experiencing the stress and fear that so many are forced to endure. While we would prefer being able to go about our lives as we once did, we are fine with staying home if this helps us add a few more years of life on this planet. We have the resources needed to get us by for the next year if need be.

At the same time, I DO think about those who live with the grief and fear of having their livelihoods yanked away from them. Many of the people who criticize the activists for protesting the shutdown of America are likely doing this because they, themselves, (and their loved ones) are able to continue working from home. Many of those making these decisions are still employed and continuing to collect their paychecks. They may be stressed about being forced to stay at home, but they do not have the stress of loss of income, nor the threat of losing their life savings that went into a business. They don’t have to fear what happens if they cannot make their mortgage or rent payments. They don’t have to wonder how they will feed their families without an income.

We all see this life changing Pandemic from our own perspective which is influenced by where we sit financially in the type of dwelling we live in, what our age is, and how much savings we have. Perspective is actually created by the reality in which we live.

We should ALL be very interested in NOT losing or giving up our rights as described under the bill of rights. A bill of rights is a list of the most important rights to the citizens of a country. The purpose is to protect those rights against infringement from public officials and private citizens. If you are not clear about what these are, it may be a very good idea to look them up. We should want to be very careful about protecting our civil liberties, because once gone, they are unlikely to come back.

I believe that because so many of us in America have been so comfortable for so long, replete with plentiful blessings, we have forgot (or maybe never really understood) why we have it so good. Our country has thrived because of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Very few countries outside the U.S, have a life as good as what we have come to take for granted.

In a conversation the other day I told a friend that I felt sympathetic to a 77 year old Barber I had just read about in the news. The Barber said that he stayed home for 2 months as a courtesy to what the scientists felt was necessary for the good of all. When a third month was added to shelter in place, he picked up his barber supplies and opened his shop because if he stayed closed one more month, he may not have a shop to go back to and he had bills to pay. I told my friend that I could appreciate his concern and understood his need and right to make a living.

My friend said, “Well, people also have a right to not go to his shop.” I immediately agreed with her because this also is true. We all have our individual rights in our free society.

For our part, we will continue to follow all the recommendations because ‘we can‘. It is our contribution to society. At the same time, we recognize that our decision to follow the rules is not the same decision that others will have to make because others have so much more at stake.. These are hard times for everyone, but the outcome for each person will be different. On the rare occasion we leave our house, we wear our masks and our wrap glasses because we know there are likely to be others out there who won’t wear them.

I feel that how this shutdown affects the unemployed and those who have had their businesses shut down WILL have a ripple effect throughout our whole economy with the exception of the very wealthy. They can afford to ride it out. If the stock market crashes, they will have the money to buy low. But the middle class and those living below that level will feel the bite of what is ahead!

I do not profess to know what is best for everyone. Not even close! But, I do feel that in a free society people should be allowed to make their own decisions. I do not think there has ever been a time in our history where healthy people were required to stay home. In the past it was the sick who stayed in doors. Think of the days of tuberculosis! It would all make far more sense to me if the high risk categories of people were to remain in isolation snd protected from those who could infect them. The sick could go to designated places to get better. Everyone else could just go about their business as they see fit. Our economy is dying as fast as the victims of covid and we need to be cognizant of how this will ultimately affect everyone. Inflation has already started if you look at the food prices in stores. Eggs were at $6.19 at one of our stores the other day. Similar increase in cost of goods may end up being the most detrimental result to covid19 coming to our country.

Through my window, I just now saw a bird splashing around in our bird bath. I think I shall go outside and see whats going on out there! I miss my family so much! I miss our friends! I miss our church! I miss my old life! If I make it through this Pandemic alive, I will have a much deeper appreciation for all the things I used to take for granted…lunch with friends, a hug from family, working at a job that made me feel productive, attending church and sitting amongst our church family every Sunday! If there is anything I would pray for, it is that as a society, we will become more love filled than hate filled.

Social media has unleashed in some people a nasty way of communication because they can hide behind their keyboards as they spew their hate filled rhetoric. Why not sit down and negotiate for the betterment of all? I want to go back to kinder times. I want to go to the mythical Mayberry of our youth where life was slow and justice prevailed and lessons were taught in quiet, kind, and thoughtful ways.

I can see now in my minds eye how you might be saying to me, “dream on dear girl…the world is not like that anymore”. I say in return that the good things in life are the result of putting action to dreams! “If you can dream it, you can do it!” So, lets just do it, whatever good ‘it’ may be to you. As they say, we need to BE the change we wish to see in the world. It all begins with me….and you. Baby steps, baby steps…let the white hats of the world gain power in what is good and what is right, for we would all be so much better off.

Now…off to the great outdoors!

Jjb-5/19/2020

Epilogue

We are sitting here listening to some soft slow music on the radio. The days now just run into each other one right after the other. Our life seems suspended in space. The suspense of where this Pandemic is going and what it is going to do to us and society is immense, and it creates fear that one has to tamp down occasionally so it won’t take root snd grown out of control!

Because there is so much time on our hands, there is much time to think. I find myself comparing what is going on now to other times long ago when people felt helpless and powerless. Shelter in place may save our bodies, but what happens to our minds? In every other kind of war throughout history, people took action, and the action taken brings along with it a kind of adrenalin which pumps throughout our nervous system helping us to counteract our fear. Staying in place and laying low brings no adrenaline rush with it, with the exception of the quickened heart rate that occurs when fear comes to visit. We just exist in a suspension of the life we knew. But, we understand and believe the scientists when they say this is our best contribution. So we obey and pray that this will bring a blessing to our society!

The virus is bad…really bad, and we know we may or may not survive it. Shelter in place just prolongs our turn at being infected, and we hope as time passes something will come along that will save us..a therapeutic drug or a miracle vaccine.

We are not the first society to go through something like this and we won’t be the last. Somehow, knowing others have survived pandemics makes us feel somewhat placated, but we also know that there were a great many who did not make it through those times.

So, with that in mind, we began to go through our safe, checking our wills, sorting and discarding papers that no longer apply to our life now. I was setting aside and marking different jewelry pieces for our daughter that I have that come from her Great grandmother, Grandmother, and Mother. There are only a couple of pieces that have any real value. The rest have more sentimental value than monetary value. But, their value is in tracing the history of the women in our family. There is a very old lapel watch in a round Elgin watch case made of metal and glass. There is also a cameo brooch that my Mother gave her Mother as a gift. I am leaving her all my rings with notes about when they were purchased and received and the occasion that brought them about. I have a beautiful set of amber topaz earrings, ring and necklace that my Mother bought while living in Venezuela and they are our daughters birthstone, so there is that little story about how she was chosen to receive these. I have a beautiful bracelet that my Mother was gifted from her best friend. This has its history written with it as well. Our daughter has no children, so I am requesting that when it is the right time that she please pass these items down to our only two grandchildren, both girls.

As I am going through the motions, I realize I am packing for our next move. We have moved many times due to my husbands career, and so there has been a lot of packing and unpacking for those moves. We have lived in 10 homes in our married life. It got to the point where I dreamed and longed to just stay in one place for a long, long time. My desire came to fruition. We built our last home around 23 years ago and I have been so happy to have been able to sink my roots in and to become a part of a community.

Now, I am preparing for our final move that requires no unpacking. Well, at least no unpacking that will include any effort on our part. Our next stop is heaven, and as has oft been said, shrouds have NO pockets.

I have been very, very blessed in this life in so many ways. As I look around our last stop here on earth, taking in our beautiful home and grounds, I recognize that nothing really belongs to me anyway. Everything we own is simply an earthly blessing, leant to us to use and enjoy, but not to keep. When we leave this earth, we may “regift” the blessings, but those recipients won’t be able to keep them either. They will change hands once again as the recipients move on to the same place we have gone to where we will meet and greet them joyfully, unburdened by material goods!

I do not know how long we have ahead of us but I am prepared. There is only one thing we can take with us and it is non-material! What we bring with us is love. All the love we received on this earth and all the love we gave to others is always with us. No need to pack it up because all love given and received becomes a part of us and stays with us always.

Tomorrow is another day. I have more things to do in regards to our eventual departure, most important being the notes of encouragement we plan to leave behind. Our final farewell, if you will. If it so happens that this is not our time, well, then the work will put us ahead of schedule in the game of closing the final chapter, the epilogue!

Who knows what lies ahead here on earth? I spent today in the past…almost akin to a life review, where I reread old report cards of mine that my Mother had saved, our marriage certificate, our birth certificates, our children’s birth certificates, old mortgages borrowed and satisfied as I revisited the many homes we have owned . Then I reread our wills. If anything is a reminder that life eternal is not in THIS life, one only has to read ones own will.

But, as our one son always likes to say…”It’s all good, Mom, it’s all good!” For the most part he is correct. Everything is as it should be. We are born. We live. We die! We live again which is the greatest of all gifts. “It’s all good!” Yes, yes it is! All we have is right here and right now. I hope I get another day to finish up my farewell to our kids. If not, well, what is done will be understood by them too!

Jjb/April 16/2020

Easter

Here I sit, alone in a quiet house on Easter morning. My husband did not sleep well last night so he took my suggestion and went back to bed to get more sleep. For all intents and purposes time has stopped. It does not matter when we sleep or when we are up because there are no demands on our schedule. For the first time in my life, there is no where to go and no one I can meet with. As I sit here, I am imagining so many others who are experiencing this alone, living the national “stay at home” response to covid19, and I think it must feel so isolating and lonely to not have another life force to exchange thoughts and feelings with in this confinement. I sympathize greatly with all who are alone!

In some ways this time warp feels ominous, similar to the calm before the storm. We read about New York, New Jersey, Louisiana, and how the reality of this virus has hit them head on. There is no time for reflection for people in these cities because they are in the middle of an all out war with this virus that many have lost. The rest of us, reading about it or watching it on t.v., cannot really grasp the enormity of what is happening because our communities are experiencing this onslaught to a much lesser degree. We realize that it is still on its way towards the rest of us and feel great anxiety.

As I write this, our daughter is into the end of her 3rd week of ongoing covid symptoms. For her they are shortness of breath, exhaustion, and fever. She was hit hard in the beginning, laying low for over a week to 10 days before she went to the ER where they gave her I.V. Fluids and tests to determine if it was flu, strep or pneumonia, with a negative on these. They also gave her the covid test and it came back negative, which we have since heard during that period of time, between 25% and 50% of the tests were reading as false negatives. Of course there is no proving this conclusively, but our daughter has said repeatedly that the symptoms she is experiencing are unlike anything she has experienced before, and as a result, she suffers anxiety which complicates the breathing issue.

We have been on the phone with her repeatedly, trying to offer support and comfort during the times she is weepy, but we cannot do for her what a person would do for her in other times of sickness, and that is physical contact. Everyone is told to stay away from people infected with covid. So technology allows for her to see us and hear our voices which is somewhat helpful, but it is a poor substitute to having someone there with her to physically take care of her. Her personality is not weak. She has been an intensive care nurse for years and has been at the bedside of many dying patients. She understands illness, yet this feeling of illness has really frightened her.

Today she sounds better and says she feels she is 50% on her way to wellness and instead of it being an uphill battle it is now dow the other side. So that is a great relief. A great-great relief!

I look at the covid interactive map and can see that most of the country because of the lockdown are having a much less severe reaction to the virus than what has happened in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Louisiana. So far, so good! What will be interesting to see is when they begin opening things up, which they have to do at some point to prevent the economy from collapsing, but what happens then? Only time will tell.

Out of curiosity, I checked to see how many deaths happen each regular year in the U.S. and found….

Deaths and Mortality

Data are for the U.S.

  • Number of deaths: 2,813,503
  • Death rate: 863.8 deaths per 100,000 population
  • Life expectancy: 78.6 years
  • Infant Mortality rate: 5.79 deaths per 1,000 live birthsfollowing:

Number of deaths for leading causes of death:

  • Heart disease: 647,457
  • Cancer: 599,108
  • Accidents (unintentional injuries): 169,936
  • Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 160,201
  • Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 146,383
  • Alzheimer’s disease: 121,404
  • Diabetes: 83,564
  • Influenza and Pneumonia: 55,672
  • Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis: 50,633
  • Intentional self-harm (suicide): 47,173

Of course these numbers do not include the deaths that will be added by covid19, but I must admit, I was surprised by how big the number was for deaths in the U.S. in a single normal year.

Death is always with us. Every single day each one of us has the potential to be added to the statistical numbers. it’s just that we rarely think about it until we, ourselves, are made aware of a weakness or an illness in our body by our Dr who may tell us we are on limited time.

We live in modern times and unlike plague infestations in the past, we can take our “stay at home” initiative and make the best of it. We can tell our loved ones all the things we want them to hear from us before we die. We can prepare ourselves spiritually for what may lie ahead. We can take this time to go through our things and determine to whom we want to leave certain mementos, things that matter to us that they can remember us by.

On the other side of this, we can write, paint, read, garden, watch movies, meditate, read devotions and the Bible. We now have all the time we used to complain we did not have, right here right now! It sounds kind of like a glimpse at what heaven may be like doesn’t it?

Because I am a person of high risk, I have made a commitment to myself to stay at home until either a vaccine is created or a therapeutic therapy is developed to keep me from being pulled under! Lots of time to read, write, paint, garden and have conversations with our maker. Aren’t we fortunate to live in modern times?

Today is a new day! Easter was yesterday and it was a great reminder that we have another life to which we can look forward with hope and excitement of things to come. Today the sun is shining and the leaves are shooting off of branches all over the place. Spring has arrived and it is a sign of new life. I think I shall go out and enjoy it!

Jjb/April 12, 2020

Grace

Today marks 30 days since I have left our home with the exception of a couple of drives around the area for a look at the outside world. We stay in our car so there is no exposure to other people. The days of COVID19 are upon us. We have kept track of how things are going around the world and most especially in the United Stares. Just watching things unfold in New York tells us what is rolling across the United Staes. Looking at the covid update maps, one can see how quickly it is moving across the U.S. and as it expands so does the fear. This virus is vicious and it is leaving behind in its path, much death and economic disaster.

On our drives, we see a lot of new home construction which signals faith in a future, which feels nice. Our own thoughts vacillate about the future, mostly wondering if we will even have one. The voluntary lockdowns are having an effect on everyone. it seems to adversely affect those who live alone the most. Humans are social animals, needing interaction with others, so to be in a self induced solitary confinement is very difficult for most people. These times are difficult for the elderly as well, because we recognize we the preferred prey for this virus.

The last 30 days has gone by well enough for us because we are fortunate to be living at home with a caring partner in this modern day nightmare. Living with one other person is nice for conversation, companionship, comfort and support. I have my moments where I find myself looking at my husband and wondering if either or neither of us will be spared? No matter which way I look at the possibilities of what could happen, most scenarios bring about a lot of stress, so I do not allow my mind to dwell there for long. We have rechecked our wills and have them in one place where the children can find them if the need arises. While we are prepared to meet our maker, neither one of us is ready for our demise, meaning we feel we have a lot of life left in us. But, I am sure most people feel this way.

In these times of “shelter in place” we are forced to reevaluate our lives and our purpose on this earth. We have lots of time for ‘one on one’ conversations with God, He, doing the listening while we pray for countless friends and people affected by Covid19. Being forced to stay home day after day gives ample time for reflection.

I do a lot of reading…mostly history of the U.S. and former epidemics and pandemics. Looking at past pandemics, I realize how brutal they have been to every population that have been afflicted with them. In most cases, they didn’t know what was causing the illness and death, so they lived in perpetual fear as they witnessed how lethal it was, having no idea how to protect themselves from it. Quarantine is nothing new. Societies have often turned to quarantine to stem the flow of disease.

We have been very blessed to have lived through so many years of good health due to modern medicine and the advent of vaccines. Here in America particularly, as a society, we have come to believe that most anything can be fixed, and if not fixed, at least medicine could buy us time. We took good health for granted because modern times gave us that false narrative.

As I sit here now, scanning updates of this monsters progress on a daily basis, I think of so many stories in history where people were forced to live in fear. Naturally all other pandemics and epidemics brought fear. The diary of Anne Frank tells us of the fear of being discovered in the tiny space that 8 people shared for around 2 years. Imagine that! Living in fear and silence for over two years just trying to stay alive! Then there were people who dealt with the presence of War in their lives. I was startled to read that the 1918 pandemic came along at the same time as World War 1. I felt such sadness for those poor people! It seems that populations have always been culled by war and disease throughout all time where only the fittest survive.

Our days have lost their structure, and we try to keep ourselves occupied with reading and projects, anything to keep our mind off of current events. Grocery stores are having a hard time keeping up with the demand for food and supplies. People are hoarding to fill their pantries causing certain products hard to find. If this is how it is now, I can’t imagine how bad it will be as time marches on.

We worry for our children and grandchildren in so many ways. We pray for their health and we pray that they will be able to survive the emotional and economic impact of what comes down the road later. The most difficult thing about this for us is that we cannot be together as a support system for each other. Technology helps with this, but it is not the same thing as being in the first person. Handshakes and hugs will become obsolete in the after math of this pandemic. We will never be able to go back to life as it was. A new life will rise from the ashes of this and no one can predict what that new life will look like. Those who are left will pick up the pieces and continue forward as every other culture has done after a disaster.

Tomorrow is Easter Sunday and for Christians this is a reminder that death no longer exists. We may die to this earthly life, but thanks be to God, our souls live forever.

The clock in our life here on earth is ticking, right along with our biological clock! I am deeply grateful to my Mother for bringing us up in the Christian faith. I cannot even begin to imagine the anguish and fear of the people who do not believe in salvation. While my earthly being wants to continue my journey on earth, my spiritual side, my soul, knows I have another home waiting for me in a place where earthly troubles do not exist!

Thy will be done Lord! Help me to know snd accept thy will! Comfort my fearful heart with your love and peace as we face what is ahead of us. Help me to conquer the fear that befalls me when I take my eyes off the cross. Thank you for your gift of grace! Amen!

Jjb/April 11, 2020

Rod and Staff

They live in a teeny tiny house on teeny tiny grounds.

They drive a teeny tiny car in their teeny tiny town!

They had teeny tiny savings in their teeny tiny bank.

The world shut down and tiny stocks began to tank!

They were a teeny tiny worried. They felt a teeny tiny fear.

They prayed a great big prayer and hoped God would hear!

God heard their prayer in their teeny tiny voice.

He smiled on their faith, because faith is a choice.

He sent angels to protect them with swords and spears.

God listens to our prayers and He ALWAYS hears!

The teeny tiny man and his teeny tiny wife,

Prayed God would show mercy and spare their life.

God decided to spare them that prayer filled day!

He saw how they lived to love and obey.

God our father is not a teeny tiny God.

He rules over All with his staff and his rod!

Amen!

Jjb/4/8/2020

A drive in the hill country…

We were feeling a bit cooped up, having been in the house for over 2 weeks under the new “shelter in place” encouraged by the local government in response to the Coronavirus Pandemic going on.

So, because of this, Al suggested we go for a ride in the country for a change of scenery, where we would be safe in our car and away from people. I was feeling out of sorts so I agreed. I made a very simple picnic lunch of one sandwich each and two apples along with two bottles of water.

We began driving on out of town, and it wasn’t long before we started seeing countryside. The bluebonnets and Indian paintbrush were just beginning to make a showing and we were enjoying the color. We turned off the highway and began our drive along an old country road. The Texas countryside is lovely to see with its wide open spaces dotted with big oak trees and a sporadic spotting of cactus. I had been thinking of heaven a lot lately because of the uneasy feeling of being under threat of sickness and death due to the pandemic. I also had done a lot of reading about where and how this pandemic began over in China with the wet markets that exist there. As I read about it and saw the conditions on t.v., I felt so sad for the animals that were brought there from all over the world and put into cages in those cramped places. This is where the virus jumped from animal to man.

I was thinking of this as I was watching the country side speed by and soon we came to one of our favorite places which is a long fence with an upside down cowboy boot over each fence post.

We stopped and took some pictures and enjoyed the warm sun on our backs….we continued down the road and took a number of pictures of sites that pleased us.

I remember thinking to myself “How beautiful this all is…Nature as God intended it!” Unspoiled and thriving in its natural habitat. As we drove along, Al suddenly stepped on the brakes because there, right in front of us, were a couple of donkeys. Having grown up on a farm, Al got out of the car and walked right up to one of the donkeys to pet him as I held back a little bit. There were a couple of little girls in the company of their Mother and Grandmother who petting one of the donkeys that was standing right in the middle of the road. This, then, gave me courage to get a little closer. I started scratching the donkeys head with a one finger a little bit behind the donkeys ear, just to make sure it was o.k. with him. It definitely seemed to be ok with him, because he leaned into my hand as I scratched, so I continued to pet his head, but this time with my whole hand. I started talking to him and at one point said, “Your owners must be awfully good to you because you are showing no fear whatsoever!” I was happy for this little donkey.

A neighbor came scurrying down the road holding a cell phone saying, “Oh no! I wonder how they got out? I am leaving a message for the owner who lives in Austin.” By now, the donkeys were on their way down the road together and she was walking at a fast clip right behind them. So, we got into our car and once again began to travel along our route. As we rode along, I said to Al, “This is so nourishing for my spirit today. Everything seems so right with the world at this moment in time! It almost feels like a road taking us on our way to the entrance to heaven”..The anxiety I had been feeling for the last couple of days began to fade. Life felt good again. The sun was shining, music was playing on the radio and the countryside was lovely.

As we continued our drive we were enjoying the scenery and we were humming along to some good old fashioned country music. Suddenly, Al hit the brakes again! What? Is it even possible that we are seeing two Ostrich along a fence in the hill country? Al immediately got out of the car and went right over to them! They were beautiful and just like the donkeys had been, were completely comfortable in a humans presence!

So, by now I was really ramping up feeling in a joyfully good mood! I mean, really? We go for a wild flower drive and we end up with two Donkeys and two Ostrich’s as bonus sightings? Oh, yes, God is good! This was just what I needed! Back in the car, we continued on our way through the Texas hill country, my hand drumming on the dash to the beat of an old country song on the radio!

Al soon pulled over and said, “O.K! Time for our lunch”. He began pulling some things out of the trunk, this being two collapsible chairs and our little cooler. We were parked on the side of the road in a little valley where a low water crossing creek ran through from one side of the road to another. As we sat there in our chairs, we watched the cattle graze the grass and wade in the creek water, and we munched on our homemade sandwiches. I told Al that I was feeling almost as if I could hear God whisper, “You see? This was how my creation was intended to be. Man coexisting along with the animals in peace” (At the same time I was also having a flashback of pictures I had seen of the wet markets in Wuhan China as an example of how we should NOT treat animals!!!)

We relaxed there in our chairs, enjoying a light warm breeze with the sun on our skin and the only sounds we heard were birds singing overhead and an occasional motor sound as a random car drove by. It was glorious, and we both felt grateful for this time to sit in the midst of the beauty of this earth! I could have sat there for hours, but it was soon time to pack up our chairs, pick up our coolers, and be on our way. What a gift this day was turning out to be! More animals along the way!

Low water crossings along the way!

We drove through the low water crossings, of which there are many in Texas! Also a beautiful curvy hilly road. A winery along the road! One of many that are springing up in the Texas hill country!

Many more bluebonnet sightings!

Flowers, flowers everywhere, and also our favorite live oak trees!

And what to our wondering eyes did appear? An Armadillo drinking a corona beer! The name of the beer sending a slight shiver down my spine,

A couple of old antiques along the way! Now on our way home!

We hope you enjoyed the tour! This drive is almost in our back yard. We have been here 23 years now and counting since first moving to Texas and we love it more and more every year! We are praying that the Pandemic doesn’t do us harm, but we also know we have been blessed beyond measure in this life, with today being just one example of the many blessings. We love to stop and smell the….bluebonnets along the way! They are on the side of the road that absolutely feels like it is going straight to heaven!

Jjb/4/3/2020

Fear

The picture of two girls is our daughter Andrea on right and her best friend Katie from when we all lived in Sioux Falls South Dakota.

As I write this, I feel so helpless. Andrea is sick for a second stretch, meaning she was well for two days after her first sick stretch of over 10 days and now is experiencing the symptoms again, but this time they are worse! Temp is higher, she has chills and drenching sweat! There is nothing that anyone can do for her as there is no anti viral therapy! During the short time she felt well, she rejoiced at being able to breath again. When she was sick, her voice was tiny because of shortness of breath, and it was tiny because she was scared!

This feels like the wild west, a time before the advent of modern medicine. In those days, if a person got sick, all you could really do was offer comfort and wait it out, praying that the body would eventually fight its way back to wellness again. What is also terrible in this, though, is that we cannot go to her and help her. We want to take care of her, sit by her side, and offer soothing words of comfort! I am so ready to throw caution to the wind and just drive up there. But, I don’t want to add to her concerns!

Since this whole thing has started, I have had images in my mind of times past when we drove down the highway and looked up to see a billboard with the writing “Don’t make me come down there!” (as a supposed message from God). That message would always make me smile because I remember saying that exact same thing to our children when they were growing up!

When the government enacted the lock down, I thought to myself that this also seemed “parental” in giving all of us a “time out”.

As in all time outs, there is much time for reflection of self, family and life! I have done non-stop praying about so many things. Naturally, our child is our number one concern, and I have spent much time in prayer on her behalf! I have prayed for our whole family on many scores, health, job losses, the economy, our retirement funds, and also for us to find strength to face whatever is ahead! I am also praying for the 4 adult children in our family who are now jobless, as they are waiting for this to pass. Not everyone can work remotely from home.

This is a very difficult time and as a country, we have not seen the worst of it yet! I know this is bigger than any of us! if ever there was a message about who is in control over us and our earth, this is it! Only our Creator can help us now.

I do not know how this will all shake out! What I DO know is that as much as I would like to crawl under the covers and hide from all of this, it is not an option! We have no choice but to remember that the whole of this life is really just a blink of an eye in time as compared to eternity.

I pray now for Gods will to be done even as I am praying in earnest for our daughters health. This is one of the hardest times we have EVER faced, and we have faced some hard times, butp a threat upon ones child is the gravest of all concerns. Yet, even as I write this, I know that there are countless others who can say, “I have dealt with much, much worse.” So, I humble myself in face of that and then add to my prayers by asking God to turn my weaknesses into strength….and for Him to please stay by our sides.

The illusion of control comes when times are easy, when life is comfy, and we are happy. Times like this make us realize our life has just been an illusion of control.

I am seeing my daughter now in my minds eye as a baby, a child, an adolescent and an adult. She has brought us SO much joy! She and I are very close and whatever she is feeling, I am feeling. Oh how I wish I could be with her. I am grateful though, that this time around, her husband is there with her. She is not without human comfort and I am relieved about this. God is with her too, and I know that!

Jjb/3/27/2020

 

Uncertain times

This statement, “Here is a test to find out if your mission here is finished. If you are still alive, it isn’t. (Richard Bach) is about how it is!

Really! If we do everything in our power to protect ourselves and it ends up not being enough to save us, our mission is completed and God wanted us back! It is as simple as that!

We have been home for 12 days and I have done endless reading on the subject of the corona virus situation but also on other plagues that the U.S. has suffered in the last 100 years. Al and I also spent time outdoors and went on a road trip where I took some fantastic pictures along the way. I will share them in another post to help you feel less confined in our individual quarantine status.

I slept extremely well last night…thank God for sleep! After a week of phone calls with our daughter who has been home alone and sick with no where to turn, she finally was checked out in an E.R.. We are waiting on the results.Just the fact that she was seen and attended to eased my stress load. I am smart enough to know that even medical people are limited in what they can do for us with this virus, but the part that had me going over the edge, so to speak, was that no one was responding to her cry for help. Once that was attended to, I could relax a little bit.

This virus has created a very isolating situation for all of us. Generally speaking, when someone becomes seriously ill, the first thing loved ones do is come to your aid and tend to you. You may not be able to do much about the crisis your loved one is in, medically speaking, but never underestimate the power of loving care. Statistics show that when a person is ill, they often will rally somewhat under the care of someone who loves them. They rest better, sleep better, eat better, drink better, …the list goes on. Our souls and spirits react to being loved. It is a powerful force.

In this case, with our daughter, she had no one but her little french bulldog who she loved having by her side. One night she called in distress and said, “I am worried about Nugget…What if I die during the night? What will happen to Nugget?” I assured her she wasn’t going to die, (faith and prayers here) but she was becoming very fearful because she could not find a way to be reassured by anyone in the first person. To ease her loneliness, she was on the phone with many people..her husband, her parents, her siblings, her aunt, and friends. She was doing everything in her power to stay connected because as the days passed and her symptoms would go from bad to better to bad again, her greatest enemy was fear which resulted from her being alone.

On this end, our stress level accelerated daily in concern for her. Here we were in isolation ourselves, and we could not go up to help her. I told my husband that I was ready to throw caution to the wind and just make that 3 1/2 hour drive to tend to her, but that I knew if I caught the virus and died, she would feel responsible and I did not want that for her either.

I am high risk because of my age group and because of my allergies coupled with my family history of asthma. I asked my doctor if I am someone considered to be compromised with underlying conditions. She said “yes”. My history is such that often if I get the flu it always wants to settle in my chest. Obviously, with this virus’s main target being the lungs, I am most likely not to make it if I get it.

Hence for the last almost 2 weeks I have had much time to read and think about this. I know I am o.k. with the idea of God taking me home. I have no fear of death. It is more that I just want a little bit more time with my family. I want to feel their embrace once again. I want to be able to sit close enough to them to study their faces as we talk and laugh once again. But, I know that may not be the case, and therefore as my heart sinks when thinking of these things, I also throw up thanks snd gratitude for what I DO still have which is my husband being right here, right now! This crazy invader has me making amends with my maker for anything I have said or done that He would not approve of. I am bargaining with Him to please spare my children and allow them to come through this unscathed. I am praying for society, our economy, and the homeless who have NO protection.

Our life has been so blessed in so many ways. We have always had a relationship with God, but have to say, even when we thought we were on good terms with Him, I see now how much we came to take for granted. Our health, our home, our family, our freedom to go out wherever and whenever we wanted. We came to be complacent in expecting, yes “expecting”, modern medicine to fix most everything and if it could not be fixed, then buy us time. The truth is, we have always lived under threat if death. We just haven’t been aware of it. We only have this moment in time. Maybe more!

Time is different now. I asked my husband what day it was and he said “What does it matter?” I laughed when he said that because he is so right. We are living a life suspended in time. It is an interesting concept to live this way for there are no demands on our time right now as retired folks who have no place to go.

Well, I will now sign off. I feel so much better now that our daughter has had her test and we await the results. I talked with her husband last night and I felt such an enormous surge of love for him for calling me and saying “I am on my way home and don’t worry, I will take care of her.” He plans to stay in a hotel until her test comes back. I am deeply grateful to him!

What is going to happen? It is anyones guess. All we can do is sit tight snd pray. When times are fun and light and beautiful we tend to take everything for granted…even God. But these days, when it comes to believers, I think HE has our full attention and is making note of the attendance to his class.

March 23, 2020/jjb