Sunday, May 08, 2011

Flowers and Flooding

The doorbell ringing yesterday morning started my Mother’s Day early since the local flower shop in our village was delivering me not one but two bouquets. One lovely multi-flowered one in a unique square-shaped vase with clear glass outside and wine inside is now on the dining room table for me to enjoy each time I pass, which I do several times a day. (Since the wine will also look beautiful in our living room, I expect I will be filling that vase with flowers for years to come.) That was from Katherine, David, and Sam.

The gorgeous dozen red roses were from my husband, and they were placed in the living room where I also pass each time on the way to the kitchen in our very open upstairs. By the time I walk by the two bouquets, I am brimming with joy because of their beauty and the love they represent.

The owner of the flower shop was in high school with my two older kids, and knowing LaRonda created the arrangements make them even more special to me. She is very talented, and she and her sister Melody, who has opened a restaurant, have begun a business renaissance in our village. Cards, phone calls, and Facebook messages completed my continued celebration today.

Just as joy-bringing were reports on the grandkids’ lives. We have two high school senior grandsons this year—one living in the middle of our state and one about as far north as you can go without crossing into Wisconsin. Knowing they both had successful proms last night was happy news. Next will come the photos. And Sam’s eighth grade band did great at super state in Champaign on Friday, and I will be checking his friends’ photos of that trip on Facebook too.

While the instant communication with loved ones is one of the many blessings in today’s world, the knowledge of all the suffering around us keeps us aware that life can be very difficult and many people are in sorrow or trouble at any given moment in time.

Shortly after the doorbell rang yesterday with the flowers, a phone call came from our pastor A fellow pastor in our community was sending out an invitation to collect food this morning for flood refugees in our town—with the admonition that these people had only a microwave to prepare food in—no fridge or stove. Evidently the facilities with food being supplied or with better kitchens are now full.

So we made a stop on the way home from Southern Illinois University Carbondale softball double header and tried to thoughtfully figure out a variety of non-perishables. With everyone’s contributions this morning, our pastor had a job to take all of them to add to the other offerings from our community’s congregations. Yet I am sure there are tremendous needs all our area not being met.

We were shopping for the refugees next door to the empty parking lot where a tent city is now set up with a row of outdoor latrines. These state-of-the-art tents were extremely roomy and neat looking, and, as I understand it, are for the National Guard and other volunteers who are down at this end of the state helping with sandbagging and other rescue efforts. The explosions of the levee at Bird’s Point, MO, saved the levee at Cairo, and water levels here are going down. Yet the citizens there and in many small towns all over our area are still kept out. Water systems are not functioning, and many homes, cars, and fields are flooded. Now the mighty Mississippi River is headed to Memphis and further south, so all those people are frantically preparing for the floods as people here try to recover from them.

SIUC split yesterday’s double header with Drake, and we got there to see the end of the first game and the entire second game, which we won. Before we went, we’d taken time to watch the video taping of senior day for the University of Georgia’s softball team. Georgia had lost to Mississippi State on Friday night, but it won yesterday and again today, and we enjoyed watching today’s game and the homeruns in Gerald’s office as we ate lunch sandwiches.

I’d planned to surprise myself and get this blog written and posted before we went to evening services at Katherine’s church. But I was pleasantly interrupted by a visit from granddaughter Erin who had somehow found time after today’s game to come over and see her Gma Shirley and me. Now as I finish this blog, I also have a beautiful dozen white roses in my living room. Knowing Erin has to leave with the team Wednesday morning for the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament at Springfield, MO, makes the roses even more appreciated. And with all the attention I’ve received today, I feel appreciated too.

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