Friday, January 23, 2009

Hoar Frost

Hello, Everyone. I know that I have neglected this blog and haven't posted for three weeks, now. Just when the Christmas season is over and I think I'll have time to do normal things, I get stuck with all the stuff that needs to get done because it's a new year. Annual reports and tax stuff, Sunday preaching and Wednesday teaching, newsletters, a funeral and some sick calls... not to mention the bathroom we are finally painting and redecorating after too many years. (I always seem to have an excuse, don't I?)

Yesterday when we got up, we were socked in with fog, the kind my folks used to call "pea soup fog." We couldn't see the road in front of our house, and we couldn't see the highway across the fields. I had some errands to run, so I waited around for a few hours. When I finally decided to go, I realized that everything outside -- trees, weeds, bushes -- was covered with feathery frost. Hoar frost. I ran back inside to get my camera. (The photo above is at the edge of our woods.) As I stepped through the snow to find the leftover bittersweet berries in the "raspberry thicket", I realized how fragile the frost was. All I had to do was touch a branch or stem and the frost would float to the ground. Just a slight brush or bump meant that the old weed or tree would be transformed back to it's normal state again.

All this made me think about how fragile we all are, how fragile life is. We need more than a little bump to make us fall apart, but our lives are tender enough to collapse every once in a while. (For some people, that happens a lot more often than once in a while.)

In Eddie's Wake, Maggie realizes this with great longing as she grieves for Eddie. When she receives a letter from Jacob Denver after his second visit, she writes back to him, saying: If there is anything I have learned since my husband’s death, it is that life is too short to waste on things that are not good and honorable and true.

Life is short, my friends. Make it beautiful by sharing your compassion and kindness with someone you love!

P.S. I'm still working on edits. *Sigh.* This process is taking longer than I thought way back in August when I decided to self publish Eddie's Wake. Thanks for waiting. And thanks for checking in on my blog.

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Love Shuffle

"The Love Shuffle" (see photo) sounds like it could be the name of a dance, and in a way, maybe it is. Our household is in a moderate amount of chaos these days as we shuffle things around to make room for some family members to take up residence in our walkout basement. This means moving an office and turning the upstairs guest room into a combo office/sleeping space. It means moving my bookcases to new places; finding a new home for a dresser; throwing away a lot of useless stuff we've accumulated over the nearly ten years we've lived here; recycling old computers and printers. It's a pain in the neck, and yet... we are blessed to have room enough for such an arrangement and we're happy that we can provide help to these two. It's why we have this place; it's one more way to show love to people we love.

I've had a little more time this week to work on edits for Eddie's Wake. It occurs to me that the word "shuffle" describes much of what happens in families, both in a physical way and in ways of the heart. When Eddie Stern dies, his family shuffles roles and responsibilities. When Maggie's mother is seriously ill, Maggie leans on Karl, finding comfort in his being there, something that would have been done by his father. Jacob Denver shuffles his home in the hopes of having an instant family. Will and Bernie shuffle their household so there would be room for Karl and his sisters to stay with them when... Oh, dear, I'd better not say too much more; it could spoil the read.

Thanks again for reading, and a Happy New Year to all. May 2009 be a year of happiness and contentment for you, despite the bad news we keep hearing about, both in this country and abroad.

P.S. Went to see the Tale of Benjamin Button on New Year's Eve. It was great, I highly recommend it!