Monday, May 23, 2016

Far From Normal Days Since I Last Saw You


              "You do not have because you do not ask God."...James 4:2  (Or "You don't have because you didn't ask your husband like you meant it." --- The Book of Debra.)


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Glancing out the window, I spied those two ducks chomping down the birdseed again. Uh-oh. Ducks can turn all territorial (I've read) and then, always, you must peek out your backdoor to see whether you'll get chased and nipped.

And who wants that? 

So I slipped silently outside and slowly, stepped near the ducks and 'walked them' out to the street. In low voices they quacked together, "What's up with that lady? We don't need her cheapo birdseed anyway," right before they took flight.

They've not been back. My apologies to my extreme animal-loving readers--I had to do it.  :)

Then (another) large, heavy package for our new neighbors got delivered to our house, so I loaded it on our dolly and wheeled it across the street. Our other neighbor joked with me about again needing to do that (we'd discussed this earlier). I knew he'd tell New Neighbor. 

Next day while out on our porch, New Neighbor called out a thanks to me (first time we'd spoken) and I told him, "No problem." He's one of those a-perfect-lawn-is-everything guys so I'm happy he doesn't resent our so-imperfect lawn enough to not speak to us. (We've had neighbors like that.)

Well, New Neighbor's wife and sister held a yard sale, so I dressed more nicely than my gardening clothes, crossed the street and met the wife's sweet sister. Then returning home, I spied Buddy The Dog and Sally on her steps--oh my! She'd been visiting in Ohio nearly 2 weeks and while chatting, I told her the whole neighborhood felt sad without her. That she'd been missed.

A couple hours later while returning gardening tools inside our (dark)garage, who rides his bicycle up beside me? (Good thing I don't startle easily.) Our former neighbor, Paul. I caught-him-up on the neighborhood news, told him the deck he'd built on his new mobile home was terrific (Robin shared photos at Facebook), enjoyed talking with him and felt grateful for my recent garage-organizing-minutes.

For weeks I'd hinted to Tom that I'd like to do the shopping-yard-sales thing, but he's hemmed, hawed, wanted to remain recliner-bound after busy work weeks. So Saturday I drove to Salvation Army alone and found these books(!)



(The brides' book--from 1965-- was exactly the type I'd searched for last week online, but didn't find.) These were mostly, like, 15 cents each. 

Sunday, Tom wanted to buy a guitar for Naomi, but didn't feel up  to strolling around the musician's flea market, so they left for the home of a Craig's List guy selling a guitar. 

Hours later they returned. They'd gotten the guitar. They'd been to the flea market. They'd visited a couple yard sales. They practically floated into the house on a joy bubble.

But oh dear. Ol' Debra's feelings were hurt--and I didn't want them to be! Yet my musical duo housemates had headed out with only one destination, but turned the hours into the type of fun day Tom and I hadn't had since last year. I'd hinted that I'd wanted to do yard sales for weeks, but couldn't budge him.

Oh my. I tried to be a good sport. I lectured myself, firmly, with what I write to you here. With what God's taught me over the years. But still, tears stung my eyes, even though I told myself to grow up!

But still, I came here to the computer, looked-up yard sales, saw one, grabbed the keys and told Tom and Naomi that I was going to a yard sale. And left. Found the right street, but realized the part with the sale was across our town's busy street(and through a complicated maze) and I just didn't want to go that badly.

So I came home and you know? Tom was so sweet. Said all the right words, realized where he'd gone terribly wrong. I didn't even have to coach him on any of it.  heh.

He even took me to the (unadvertised) sale he and Naomi had gone to where I found these (only 25 cents, each) :





Some days God gives me (us) surprise days so to show us whether we've grasped the lessons He tried to teach us--or not. Can we treat strangers kindly and others with forgiveness? Do we relax and make people feel comfortable? Can we 'let our needs be made known' and handle disappointment? Are we (the real us) in charge of our feelings or do they boss us around? Can we give people a break, realize their intention was (usually) certainly not to hurt us?

Can we let reminders that we've still got a long way to go humble us--or--will we remain perturbed at ourselves for our failures? Can we forgive ourselves?

So much of my life feels like college courses and you know? I like that. Learning from God makes each new day easier to handle, especially when the unexpected comes along as it--eventually--always will.





You have to take risks. We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen. 

                                                                      Paulo Coelho


"... with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God."   ...Philippians 4:6



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Sharpe Edge

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The Counterfeiter-Catching Cat


4 comments:

Terra Hangen said...

You have been busy, what with escorting ducks, finding sweet old books, meeting new neighbors, etc.

Betsy said...

I enjoyed your post. Our neighbors don't speak not matter how much we try to be neighborly. I's a hazard of city living I guess. No one wants to take the time to meet. You have been busy. Yard sales, ducks, visiting. Fun springtime activities.
Blessings,
Betsy

Pam said...

I liked your line about life feeling like a college course. Sometimes I wonder why it's taking me so long to get it right. Then I realize that this is exactly what life on this earth is supposed to be about. That old hymn comes to mind, "I Surrender All." It's the "all" that's hard.

It made me smile that Tom came around and took you to a sale where you snagged treasures.

Deborah Raney said...

This may be my favorite post ever of yours, Debra. (And that's saying a lot!) I love your honesty and vulnerability. And oh, my, haven't we all been there with hurt feelings that we can't seem to make go away. Thank the Lord that he gently continues to teach us and be patient with us, and thank the Lord for sweet husbands who are learning too. :)

As for neighbors, when we moved from our small town where every neighbor welcomed us with homemade cookies and pies, and moved to the city, we prepared ourselves for stand-offish neighbors. And they were. So we decided to reach out and be the ones taking cookies, and waving across the street. People were naturally suspicious at first, but gradually, they've warmed, and now we've had four of the families on our street over for dinner, and it's amazing how friendly and how much we find we have in common, despite our many differences. I'm so glad we decided to step out of our comfort zones like you have, and "force" some wonderful relationships with the people we share our street with.