Monday, February 23, 2009

Monday Adventures

My adventure began when I picked up my good friend Emily from her home to drive her to the Roanoke Airport. It takes about an hour and a half to drive the hundred plus miles from Harrisonburg to Roanoke. It's really a beautiful drive, atleast I think so. Then again I think any drive that takes you in a southern direction is nice :)

The trip was fairly uneventful from Harrisonburg to Roanoke. About ten miles from the airport we got off the interstate to check our directions to the airport. It was at that time that things got interesting. When I got back in my car and went to make a turn I heard horrid screaching noise coming from the vehicle. It didn't matter whether I turned to the right or the left, each time I turned the car made the noise.

At this point Emily and I took a chance and continued to drive the remaining distance to the airport. At the airport Emily got her tickets and knew she had several hours before she needed to be back at the airport to board the plane.

It was then that the only thing I had on my mind was getting my car looked at. Here I was though in a strange city with no idea where the nearest service station was, or if I could trust their work. Not far the airport I noticed a Walmart and their tire and lube station. I went there not to see if they could repair my vehicle, but to see if they could recommend someone who could.

They were very friendly there and easily pointed out a nearby Sears Service Station that could most likely help me out. It wasn't a far distance from Walmart to Sears, so I was thankful for that small blessing.

The gentlemen at the Sears Service Station in Roanoke were terrific. In a very effiecent manner they got my car examined and taken care of with time to spare before I needed to get Emily back to the airport. Luckily for me and Emily this particular Sears was attached to the Valley View mall in Roanoke. We spent the couple of hours it took to repair the car, looking through the stores and having lunch in the food court.

It ended up being a couple of belts that needed replacing on my vehicle. Thankfully for me it wasn't a major repair and didn't require a huge investment of my funds.

As I look back on the events of today I know I have much to be thankful for. I'm thankful for the perfect of timing of events, the safety of me and my passenger, and all the kind people who helped me along the way. It's amazing to me as I see the hand of God covering the adventures of this Monday.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I Should Have Listened...

Here's a question for you to think on; has anyone ever told you something negative about themselves and your first reaction is to deny it as a nicety (or you really do just think they're being too harsh on themselves)?

I was thinking about that the other night when I turned on my t.v. to watch a late night movie, because I couldn't sleep. Whenever I do this little trick I put my t.v. on a timer, which automatically shuts it off after the designated period. I also usually put the t.v. on turner classic movies, because there is nothing like an old black and white to help me fall asleep.

On this particular night, the movie far from put me to sleep. It was one of my old favorites, "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers." I've loved this movie since I was a young girl. Then when I was in my early twenties I met a guy who said it was his favorite movie from way back. sweet...we both loved this classic, timeless movie, about a bunch of rough mountain boys running off and kidnapping their brides.

As it was, any time the movie came up in conversation between me and this guy he would quote a line from one of the movies many songs (it is a musical), "I'm a lonesome polecat." Now if you don't know a polecat is another old fashion term for SKUNK.

This guy of mine was referencing himself as a skunk. I mean he really identified himself as a skunk, going as far as to put the name in email addresses and screen names. It became a sort of nickname for him.

Oh, I should have listened to him. I spent the next several (I should say, way too many) years of my life telling him he wasn't a skunk each time it came up in conversation.

Now, after seeing the movie again and being reminded of this man I would like to declare, that yes you are a SKUNK. You've never picked bones about the fact, and I now understand why you identify with that animal.

I understand that for some this blog is fairly uncharateristic of me. I usually don't resort to name calling (though I don't know if this counts because he's the one calling himself the name), but here I am blogging about it nonetheless. You'll have to read this blog as a therapeutic rant and if you're still confused read this previous blog to bring you up to speed.

Over a month later I'd ask for your continued prayers as I heal from my heartache. Thank you friend.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Visiting the Old Order Mennonites

Last Sunday I traveled outside my comfort zone and attended an Old Order Mennonite church. For the most part I was prepared for the visit by two Old Order friends of mine, William and Gerald. The day before the visit I called their home to get directions to the church and any last minute guidance of what to expect (didn't want to make a fool of myself). Gerald told me this, "...just don't go through the wrong door." HUH!?!

Okay, so I arrived at the church completely nervous and afraid I'd do something stupid like go through the wrong door. No worries though I managed to get through the right door :)

For those of you who aren't familiar with the Old Order Mennonites here's a website you might find helpful to fill in your gaps of knowledge.

Back to my experience. I arrived at the church in my car and was trying to find a inconspicious spot to park among the horse and buggies. After parking we were greeted by a couple that turned out to have a fairly close connection to my friend William. The wife, Sharon, offered to have me and my guests (one of the girls from Sandal House and her daughter) come sit with her. Sharon was the main reason we didn't walk in the wrong door :)

At the Old Order church all the women enter through one side of the church and the men the other side. Women all sit together on pews on their side of the church, and across the way is the men sitting in pews on their side.

The service was two hours long and I was completely distracted through the whole of it. The child we brought with us was only two years old, and had never had to sit quietly that long before. I was in a state of tension for most of the service trying to keep her well behaved.

After the service the ladies all went out their door and congregated outside together to visit. One side of the yard was a circle of visiting ladies and the other side of the yard was a circle of visiting men. Many of the ladies asked me what I thought of the service and I had to admit to not being able to get much from it due to the two year old. I decided at that point I wanted to come back one more time to atleast be able to know what it was they were sharing during the service. Next time no toddlers!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

It Couldn't Possibly Be the Flu...AGAIN

So, I spent the better part of last week lying in bed suffering from an extreme case of the flu. It had me in a fog for Wednesday, Thursday and a good half of Friday. I can't remember having the flu that bad for some years now.

Once you get over something like that you think to yourself, Okay I'm good now for the next couple of years. Like you've paid your dues, and it shouldn't be a problem again.

So yesterday when I woke up and my stomach felt a little off I didn't think anything about it. I figured that once I ate breakfast I'd start feeling better. But breakfast didn't help, in fact it only made me feel worse.

My next solution was to get out of the house and go for a walk. I thought maybe some light exercise would help me to feel better, because at this point I was still in denial that it might be the flu (I mean I just had it last week). I took my camera and I drove out to my favorite spot to take photos, Mt. Crawford (where I grew up).

I walked up and down Airport Road taking late winter early spring photos. The whole time I felt weaker and weaker. I finally decided a little too late, that I might be really sick and should get home. At this point I was very warm to the touch and I couldn't help but think I might be sick to my stomach at any moment.

Once in my car again and on my way home I had to stop several times and just close my eyes and rest. I felt so ill I didn't even want to be driving. Upon my arrival home I wearily made my way to my bed and collapsed. For the rest of the evening and night I was between my room and my bathroom.

So, there it is, I was sick with the flu, exactly one week after getting it the first time. This time I really as if I've earned a respite of atleast a couple of years. Though I can't be certain I'll get. If I'm learning anything it's that I must have a relatively weak immune system, because if one of the girls/toddlers brings home an illness I get it, EVERY TIME.

I thought I would share a few of my pictures from yesterday:

This photo is of a locked gate leading to the North River. Back when I was growing up there was never a padlock on this gate and people in the community came here to go fishing, canoeing, etc.

I love how this photo illustrates the ending of winter in the brown grass, and the beginning of spring in green.

A beautiful creek bed littered with the cardboard of a case of beer.

This photo pretty much explains itself. I took it because it caught my eye.

Just a fun angle on a bridge that I love to photograph.

Another angle on the same bridge.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Late Night Blogging...


You never know what I might write when I'm blogging past the midnight hour. Tonight my sleeplessness is fueled by a Mt. Dew I had around 4 p.m. (the effects should have worn off by now), the added sleep I've had from my bout with the flu, and a nice long phone call from my dear friend Stacey.

Now I find that it's fast approaching the 2 a.m. mark and I'm still wide awake. I thought a little therapeutic blogging might help to put me to bed. So, let me take the time to catch you up on my life a little.

Since the start of the year I've been working solely at Sandal House. This has been a blessed time of rest in my life; it has helped me realize how burnt out I had become, and what changes I should be making not to become so exhausted again. I realize working a part time job at Sandal House is only a temporary situation, but God has met my financial needs through this job, while I explore my other employment options. I'm looking for a position in the financial industry and that has been a fun job search.

Even though Sandal House is part time employment, it often feels like a full time job. The teen mothers here keep me VERY busy. Each day holds a new challenge, and that's no exaggeration. I never know what to expect when I'm home with the girls, because they're constantly throwing me curve balls.

Through the experiences here at Sandal House I've learned a lot about patience, serenity, and having a positive outlook on life. God's challenged me through the girls, and has helped me to grow in many areas.

I realized this evening as I was talking with Stacey that I don't really blog about Sandal House that often. In truth, I probably never will blog much about Sandal House because I have the girls privacy to uphold. You'll just have to be content with my generic updates about how I'm dealing with Sandal House, and live without personal little stories or antidotes on the private escapades of the house.

Since the start of the year I've also entered a really good place in my life. I'm encouraged in my daily walk with the Lord. I'm content in my life, and I've found peace in my relationships.

I know that several weeks back I blogged about a deep hurt I experienced recently. I know many of you were praying for me during that week and since then. Thank you! I wanted to say that I really have been aware of your prayers and God's presence in that situation. Yesterday I thought of that person, only to realize that he hasn't been on mind rarely at all in the last several weeks. Instead of feeling any hurt, anxiety, or confusion in that situation, I've felt peace and assurance that the right decision was made and I'm moving on in life.

In the last couple of weeks the only frustrating issue I've been experiencing is computer related. I've been having terrible issues with my email. It seems that about half the emails I send out don't get to where they are suppose to go. For someone who handles most of lifes daily communication through email this is devastating. I'm working through the issue, and if you're one of those individuals awaiting my email I apologize and hope to have the kinks worked out soon.

This past week I had the flu for several days, and the only productive thing that came out of that experience was the eight pounds I lost through the "48 hour flu diet". If you're into agonizing stomach cramps and feverish chills I highly recommend the crash diet the next time you need to lose a quick 5-10 pounds.

I'm finally feeling restored to good health, and as I mentioned earlier a side effect of this flu is the abnormal sleep schedule it's brought about. So now in an effort to actually right my sleep schedule again I'm going to call it a night and try to get some sleep before my alarms wakes me up at 7 a.m.

Good Night!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Gladys Show....

If you need a good laugh check out this video.