But it’s dirty!

dirt
Happy birthday to me!!

Thought you could get rid of me, right?  Uh, huh, I’m like that bad penny that keeps coming around.

Actually, my dad warned me about being busier after retirement than before.  My gracious!  Right now I’m sitting on daughter #1’s back porch in California as her daughter #2 is getting ready to make her world debut…the sooner the better as far as mom is concerned.  (Remember those days, ladies?)

From here I fly to upstate New York where my own daughter #2 is recuperating from recent knee surgery.  All this after returning from seeing daughter #3 and fam over in Scandinavia earlier this summer. 

Has anybody got the time??  My body’s not sure anymore.

Oh yeah, then there’s this manuscript I’m trying my hand at writing, like half of the world also does.  But hey, it’s retirement!

Now, both of my sons-in-law are gardeners at heart, and I like to take cues from them.  Sitting out here in the beautiful southern Cal morning, I’m appreciating some of Mike’s creative handiwork remembering how we talked about improving our dirt—his is clay-ish, and mine back in the Midwest, who knows.  As I walked out to the porch this morning, I note bags of nice brown mulch.  He has plans!

It reminds me how the top of my wish list for any gifts for the past several years as been: dirt.  Bob, however, does not find that particularly appropriate or romantic, as in…

“No, honey, I don’t want to buy you dirt for our anniversary!  Can’t you think of something else?”

“But”, I counter, “you like to eat the things it grows, right?”

It doesn’t work.

So, I continue to buy myself dirt, the good stuff, to improve the soil in my gardens so I can improve the crops I plant. 

My sons-in-law and I also enjoy talking about compost, how to make it better, how we create our areas, all that.  It might not make for engaging conversation at a red-carpet party, but nonetheless.

As the old saying goes “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”.  So true.  How often is something I initially see as unclean or unworthy of my attention actually show up as foundational to what God is trying to accomplish in my life?  My vision needs to be renewed.

“So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now!”

Now there’s food for thought, but first the food must be planted in the dirt.

Okay, family’s waking up soon and grandma is going to be on duty.  Hope y’all are fine and I’m still here.  God bless!

1 Corinthians 5:16  Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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Still checking the sign

Just got in about 1AM Monday morning from our grandparenting trip to beautiful Sweden, and my eyes have been feeling the seven-hour time difference.  Our number two granddaughter has been referred to by her parents as “half cowboy” (our daughter being American) and “half Viking” (our son-in-law being Swedish).  No problem—we bought the pappa an authentic cowboy hat a few years back and the momma is getting used to finding rune-stones sticking up out of nowhere in the fields. Continue reading “Still checking the sign”

“Jag älskar dig!”

international-2684767_1920Which means, “I love you!” in the beautiful language I’m trying so hard to learn—Swedish.  This will be one of the native tongues for my second grandchild, as her wonderful Pappa is Swedish, and they are soon to be living there. 

As a point of connection, (and, as a grandmother, when you live as far away as I do, you actively seek points of connection), I’m investing some time in this little project.  She’ll know English also, but she’ll have fun giggling at her “mormor”, (the Swedish name for maternal grandmother), as I stumble through and unintentionally desecrate an otherwise delightful sounding language. Continue reading ““Jag älskar dig!””

Grandparenting 101.

microscope-2223268_1920You know the typical story of the excited grandparent that buys their 5-month-old grandchild a full-size baseball glove?

Yeah, that’s us.  We are now decidedly in that category.

Bob recently had a delightful conversation with our eldest granddaughter, soon to turn the ripe old age of four.  Her mom is just so amazingly great about taking her to museums and using so many available resources for their Precious One’s brain development!  And, since Grandpa teaches biology at our local college, naturally a little course on “cells” has been on the educational menu of late.

Precious One has decided that microscopes are all the rage right now.  So, in an effort to take advantage of this current (and momentary) interest, I thought it prudent to send her a toy representation.  Of course, the one I picked out was W-A-Y too juvenile…according to the Professor.  Continue reading “Grandparenting 101.”

In the interest of threads and knots

I’ve really been having fun developing my crocheting prowess.  I don’t use patterns, I just kind of wing it.  Recently, my oldest daughter challenged me to expand into the stuffed toy market and try my hand at a few from my preschool granddaughter’s favorite Netflix show.

Thankfully, preschoolers are very forgiving when it comes to details… Continue reading “In the interest of threads and knots”

Projects take time

IMG_20150103_172451138The most-beautiful-three-and-a-half-year-old on the planet decided to help me do a little crocheting when she and her parents were visiting.  One of her favorite cartoon characters, the brilliant Richard Scarry’s Lowly Worm, was in the process of being recreated in yarn.  Not a terribly difficult project for a 58-year-old grandmother who learned to crochet decades ago (from my grandmother, BTW, only I was a bit older.) Continue reading “Projects take time”

Casting call: princesses and mermaids

IMG_20150103_172451138The most-darling-three-year-old-in-the-Universe, (my oldest granddaughter) is R-E-A-L-L-Y into princess stuff.  Like, it’s a struggle for her mom to get her to change out of one of her (many) princess outfits if they need to go public somewhere, like to the grocery store.

Graciemermaid (1)Of course, then she got a mermaid bathing suit, and it’s been rough getting her out of that one, as in this recent chat with her mom:

“Don’t ever make proclamations about how you’ll parent or what your child/ren will do.  That’s how you end up in a suburban bank with a 3-year-old mermaid perched on your hip.”

Ah, parenting…

But, along with Pooh Bear, mermaids, and tea parties, the princess things still rank pretty high on her radar for now.  And as with all things (grand)parenting, it give us great pleasure to follow those interests with her.  What will develop next? Continue reading “Casting call: princesses and mermaids”

Pass the kid

gracievaca4
Bob is smitten.

Sitting in in the cool morning air of a quiet Pacific Northwest morning, I hear a light tapping on the inside sliding glass door and turn to see our 6-month old granddaughter peering out to say good morning.  That is to say, I think it’s my sleepy, blurry-eyed daughter tapping on the door hoping grandma is up for a morning snuggle session so mommy can go back for a brief morning nap.

Well, DUH.  Pass the kid this way, puh-LEZE.

My daughter’s typical comment is, “Mom, I’m sorry to interrupt your quiet morning moment, but…”

Or then there are the times in the car, “Mom, I’m sorry for all the crying and screaming…”

Or, “Mom, sorry if you have to clean out the car seat, (or your jeans, or your shirt…etc.)”

Or…. Continue reading “Pass the kid”

Five senses plus

IMG_20150103_172451138There’s nothing but beauty when you look into the eyes of your own 6-month old child.  It’s just that after a grueling 12-hour flight from overseas with the precious teething infant who has refused to sleep for the past several days, weeks, months, feels-like-years, you can barely see that beauty because your own eyes are having trouble focusing…

So after scooping up our youngest (and said precious one with precious but equally exhausted daddy) from the airport and gotten everyone tucked into bed at the nearby hotel for the night, Grandma got to babysit after the next morning’s breakfast so the young couple could try for a brief nap before the next leg of the family vacation.

At this age, Sweet One is not only still trying to figure out her own sleep schedule, but is also nine time zones away from home.  She is intelligent, (W-A-Y above average, naturally), inquisitive, and most of all…

…awake.  Very awake.

She and I are walking, talking, bouncing around the hotel, and looking, watching, and then we start touching.  I can almost see the synapses connecting.  Different textures, different temperatures through tactile experience.  But one item seemed to keep her attention.

It was the glass door.

She could see though it, but couldn’t see “it”.  Her hand would pass easily through the nothingness of air until it came to the same seeming nothingness to her sight, although her hand would stop, suddenly.  Interestingly, because she had no mental/emotional grid to process this, or a priori objections to the experience, she simply accepted it and moved on. 

“Although I can’t see it, obviously something is there.”

I pray that this basic lesson will not be buried under layers of empty philosophy later in life.

“Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see…By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.”

Jesus affirmed a dimension more “real” than the one limited to human senses and experience.  When I deny this, I deny myself the better part of my humanity and the potential expression of that reality:

  • I hazard myself (and others) to “be all that I can be” based solely on my limited self-concept, rather than the one for which I was uniquely designed.
  • I view situations through a lens of temporary, rather than eternal consequence.
  • My sense of peace and contentment will be linked to my personal sense of control, (and even a brief survey of history or a quick look at the news should blow that one out of the water!)

We made it to our destination all in one piece after a long car ride (though which Sweet One slept almost all the way!)  Everyone is still in bed as I look into the cool fog on this Pacific Northwest morning.  I know the mountains are there, but the fog is in the way, just like the unseeable glass door was in the way the day before.  God’s reality is in play all around us. 

 

(No wonder we need the faith of a child.)

Hebrews 11:1,3 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go….(Yeah, it’s a old song)

sasI’m writing this in Heathrow International, London, waiting on the last leg of our trip to Norway to see our second precious bundle in the form of a granddaughter.  Naturally, I’m drinking English Breakfast Tea.  My body doesn’t really know what time it is, although my watch says it’s going on 2PM here, which means it’s close to 8AM back home in the Show Me State, so I guess breakfast tea is still appropriate…somewhere.  We had a few complications due to wind in Chicago, (also appropriate, if you know Chicago), as well as human and technological mishaps—such is international travel I am told—but compared to what could go wrong, these things are merely inconveniences. Continue reading “All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go….(Yeah, it’s a old song)”