Monday, August 09, 2010

Weekend Pleasures

Had this almost finished this blog last night but not yet posted it when granddaughter Tara arrived after driving all day from College Station, Texas, where both the Georgia Southern Force and the Illinois Southern Force had been in the ASA national tournament. Driving with Tara were Aidan, 4; Maddux, 20 months; and Payton, 5 months. We were so happy she was here a couple hours ahead of when we feared she might get here.

I know Tara had to be very tired, but she was smiling. Payton was sleeping soundly in his car seat when she carried him in. Aidan came in and saw his daddy waiting here and was laughing with glee—hugging, wrestling, and kissing Bryan—just as Bryan was him. Gerald was carrying in Maddux, who was crying from being awakened. But then he saw his daddy, and Gerald said at that moment Maddux changed to uncontrollable laughter with the greatest joy imaginable.

Seeing the happiness on the young parents’ faces and being there to experience their joy together after being away from one another for two weeks changed the first sentence below which I had written shortly before Tara arrived. As great as it was to find my glasses, seeing that happy family was even more pleasant. Here if what I wrote last night before Tara and the boys arrived:

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Of all the pleasant activities that occurred this weekend, the most pleasant of all was finding my glasses at 9:30 tonight.

When our youngest daughter, Mary Ellen, phoned yesterday morning and asked what was going on at Woodsong this weekend, I said nothing. I was almost ready to leave the house to get a haircut and run by Katherine’s. Today was Gerald’s brother Keith’s birthday, and his family was coming up to Marion for a Cracker Barrel birthday breakfast at 7:00. Usually the brothers’ birthday breakfasts are too early for me. But two of my sisters-in-law were going to be there, so I planned to attend.

Since Kim Barger was away on vacation, I’d been warned I’d have the preschoolers during Sunday School, and I had the lesson prepared. I knew Sam’s youth group at his church was going to report at the evening worship service about their camp in June and their recent mission trip to Felecity, Ohio, so I wanted to attend that service if possible. Yet, it seemed like it would be a calm weekend.

Mary Ellen said she and Brian were coming down to do some mowing of CRP ground. She explained they had lots of food left over from a gathering at their home on Friday night, and she said they bring it along. Today she could put it in crock pots, plug them in, and dinner would be ready after church. We could have the Cedars out to join us for Sunday dinner at Woodsong. I thought that sounded great, but Katherine had not had a good week and I said that they might not be able to come because I knew she wanted to use her limited energy to go to church tonight, which she rarely gets to do.

Before I left the house, Mary Ellen called back and suggested that we simply plug in the crock pots at Katherine’s and have dinner there, which would eliminate considerable hassle for the Cedar family. So I ran this by Katherine when I was at her house, and she thought that sounded good.

I had left Saturday lunch for Gerald, so I didn’t bother coming home until the middle of the afternoon and was already at the computer when I heard Brian and Mary Ellen upstairs. I can’t wear my current glasses at the computer, and I can see just as well without glasses as with my older glasses made for computer work.

By the time I got upstairs, Gerald, Brian, and Mary Ellen were at the kitchen table snacking. I went behind the table and pulled up the kitchen stool we had gotten out for Aidan the last time they visited. After the Taylors left to start their mowing, I realized I did not have my glasses on, but not seeing the glasses on the table, I assumed I had left them downstairs by the computer. When I arrived back down there, no glasses. I finished whatever I was originally doing at the computer and went back upstairs assuming I must have put laid them somewhere in the kitchen although I did not remember being anywhere except the kitchen table.

I looked on the table again. Then I looked by the dishwasher where I sometimes take glasses off because they steam over if I open up a hot load. Not there. Then I looked by the oven where I sometimes take off the glasses for the same reason. Not there. A little frantic by now, I looked all over. Not there. Then to the garage in case I had opened a hot dryer and steamed my glasses. I did not think I had done any laundry anymore than I thought I’d opened an oven or the dishwasher. But I had to look somewhere. Not there. I continued looking upstairs until I was too bored and frustrated to continue.

Then I went back downstairs and looked in all the rooms down there as well as looking on my computer desk again. Then I gave up. Gerald also looked but failed to find them.

Mary Ellen and Brian were staying at our house that night, so when Mary came in at 8 or 9 from mowing, I sat with her as she ate supper and told her of my loss. She was always the one who kept tract of my glasses when she was a little girl living at home, and I knew she would be a talented looker. She too looked everywhere. She found two pair of older glasses and brought them to me—making me aware that it is time for me to recycle discarded glasses to the Lyons Club collection site. Gerald looked again this morning and brought up a pair of inexpensive dime store glasses beside an old computer—I’d experimented with them years ago to avoid an extra pair of computer glasses. But they had not worked then and would not work now. I wonder if Lyons Clubs want the non-prescription dime store glasses.

Mary Ellen woke to attend her Uncle Keith’s birthday breakfast, and we let Brian sleep since he had mowed so late that no one knew when he had come in and collapsed in bed.

We knew it was well after midnight—maybe 2 or 3 a.m. so he needed sleep more than social life. The sun was bright, so I put on my prescription sun glasses to ride to Cracker Barrel, and I knew when I had to take them off inside, I could simply order the same healthy eggs that the brothers started ordering years ago when their brother Kenny had a heart attack and needed to eat those artificial eggs. They had simply changed with him.

Fortunately, I had studied my lesson for the preschoolers when I still had glasses, so that was no problem. With Deana Starnes’ wonderful help as a substitute, the kids listened to the story of Agabus taking an offering of both money and food to the hungry at the Jerusalem church. We talked about the offerings that the children had taken to the Sunday School secretary and how part of that offering would help feed people around the world.

Then we counted pennies and other change I’d brought, and I like to think some seeds were planted that will help them understand that there are five pennies in a nickel, ten pennies in a dime, four quarters and l00 pennies in a dollar. Whether they began to understand that or not, they had practice in counting and probably some enlargement of vocabulary. When Miranda told us that her daddy said that children should not play with money, we discussed how right he was and how money is important to the family’s well being. We explained that we were using the money to learn and then we’d give it to those in need.

Next we used that money as we played grocery store, and each child chose two real food items for us to carry down and place in our church’s storage cabinet to distribute when we receive calls about someone needing food. With the actual money we had used at the grocery store, we made a visit to the empty sanctuary and sat down on the front row and played “big church” with the offering plate there so they could give the money to help others.

If any of the parents have time to review the children’s little story paper this week, I hope the kids remember that they gave money and food to help those who needed help. The volunteer workers who continue teaching the preschoolers during the worship service arrived, and I moved on to the choir. I knew I was familiar enough with the old hymns we sing that I’d be okay in the choir.

I felt a little foolish, but when prayer requests were asked for in the choir room, I voiced my most immediate need, which was to find my glasses. I received sympathetic nods and smiles—even from the younger choir members. Since I could not follow the scripture reading during the sermon, I listened more intently than usual. My sun glasses worked well riding to Katherine’s house, and I did not need glasses to eat the wonderful lunch that Mary Ellen had prepared for us—barbecue sandwiches, baked beans, chips and dips, sliced tomatoes, and home-made cookies that Brianna had made. Mary Ellen packed up stuff for me to take home and cleaned Katherine’s kitchen. After a couple hours’ visiting together and some errands, the Taylors took off their rural Waggoner home, and Gerald and I came back to Woodsong to rest.

Soon our grandson-in-law Bryan arrived with his former college roommate, who had met his early afternoon train in Carbondale. They had lunched and visited together there, and we had a good visit with Keith before he answered his cell phone to go and pick up his daughter. Gerald and Bryan enjoy each other’s company, and I left them to explore the week’s projects at Woodsong, and I wore my sun glasses to drive back to town to attend Sam’s 6 p.m. youth program.

The program was good, and I was pleased I had accidentally sat right behind a neighbor and her daughter’s family that I never get to see. Soon David arrived with Katherine in her chair, and I was so happy she had been able to come. Her aide had fixed her hair in a new way and she looked so pretty all day. Congregational songs were put on an overhead, so I had no trouble seeing those words when we sang.

After the service, I hurried to the car at 7:00 so the sunglasses would still be a help not a hindrance to drive home. Gerald and Bryan were out on the lake, but soon came in. We fed Bryan one of Mary Ellen’s barbecue sandwiches and had another one ourselves. And he enjoyed Gerald’s cantaloupe and the Union County peaches.

Afterwards, Bryan went down to find a football game on TV and Gerald went to make some photos of Keith’s breakfast party. I was cleaned up the kitchen and watching a news channel on television as I always do during that chore.

Of course, I was still looking for my glasses, but since I had scoured the kitchen several times, I did not expect to find them. Then as I replayed once more coming up and sitting on the kitchen stool the day before, I suddenly went over and looked again on the small counter nearest the kitchen table beside the stove. There between the toaster and the small plastic bread container, were my glasses. There were only visible when you looked down between the two objects. I did not remember taking the glasses off, but I obviously did and reached over and laid them in that safe place. I had to wonder if some kind choir member had prayed for me at that moment. I certainly said a thank you prayer and then went down to share my good news with Bryan and Gerald.

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