1. I know a three-year-old who loves to shred documents. 2. I know a mother who lets her three-year-old shred documents. This is an attentive, careful mother who never even leaves the shredder plugged in when not using it, let alone on. 3. I know why there is a warning on the machine to keep fingers out of it. 1. I am thankful I have lightning-fast reflexes, so that 2. These little fingers did not get permanently damaged when they went into the shredder today (up to the second knuckle!), just somewhat smooshed. 3. No more shredding for three-year-olds in this house.
but doesn't realize it for 10 1/2 years. When she walks into her daughter's room one night, she discovers it is inhabited by a genuine packrat. The floor is covered; under the bed is filled up; the tabletops are missing; under the top layer on the floor is tiny piece after tiny piece of thread, either from sewing or perhaps to line her nest with.
And money? You'd think there was one of those birds that likes shiny things in this room, because we found coins on, under, in and behind everything in the room. Packy must be saving for a rainy day. Probably to buy more treasures and treasure chests.
Alas, Packy will not be receiving anything for Christmas this year that will need dusting or storing. Nothing that will make little tiny pieces of scrap anything. Nothing that will leave shavings behind, or pieces of glitter, or grains of sand. But, never fear, Packy has many, many projects, toys, games, cds, scrapbooking materials, and enough art supplies to start another Michael's store.
Via Facebook, I heard about my 30th high school class reunion. I was enthusiastic about helping organize it, but as these things sometimes go, life got in the way of my plans and I moved on to other tasks.
I planned to go to the reunion, although I wasn't nearly as enthusiastic when the time came to make the reservations. I caved in when my sister demanded that I attend as she wanted to make sure she would have someone to talk to. Had I thought about this for even 10 seconds, I would have realized that making small talk with people you haven't seen for 30 years has to be as easy as falling off a log. "What have you been doing for the last 30 years?" should be good for at least a few minutes of chat. So, I could have realized that she would probably be ok even if I weren't there. But, I reacted to her request by signing right up.
I'm probably not the only one in the world who is conscious of weighing more than I did in high school, maybe having an extra chin or two, and although I had intended to work out and get fit (superficial, anyone?), it didn't happen.
A week before the reunion, another opportunity arose that I really wanted to attend, and Greg especially wanted to. But Marcia Brady made an indelible impression on me when she broke her date with nerdy Charley to go out with the BMOC, and suffered for it by getting hit in the nose with a football. "Something suddenly came up" wasn't going to be MY refrain.
But my OTHER sister suggested that there must be room in life for us to change our minds sometimes. And Greg certainly wanted to attend the Reset group dinner rather than the reunion, and who could blame him? In deference to him, because I love him, not because he's my "boss," I chose the Reset group dinner and backed out of the reunion.
So, off my sister went to the class reunion, and off we went to our dinner with friends. We were a bit late because I had attended the service at Crossroads, where "Alli" spoke about authority. It didn't speak to me a whole lot but it was a good message.
I had such great memories of our time with these people for those six weeks, but the dinner was a lot different than the small group experience. At one point, there was a lot of political talk flying across the table and I actually interrupted and changed the subject to one that seemed like we might have more of a chance of talking about ourselves in a deeper way. But, that didn't really happen. The evening was less than satisfying and not nearly as stimulating as I expected it would be.
Driving home, I wondered if I had made a mistake in choosing the dinner over the reunion.
After service on Sunday, we were hanging out in the atrium and all of a sudden I realized that two of my high school classmates were standing near me. They were in town for the reunion, and visiting Crossroads the morning after. We chatted for a minute and it was nice to see them, but I realized that I was quite happy to just catch up for that short time, and the mini-reunion that I had experienced was quite satisfactory.
Funny thing was that I felt like I looked nice, which I don't often feel these days. So, no worries about the weight or chins. I enjoyed seeing my classmates, but was happy with the brief time we had. Realized it had been the right choice to attend the dinner, even though it was less than riveting, because my choice honored Greg, and ultimately worked out much better than it would have if I had planned the outcome.
One of my children, who shall remain nameless, wrote this list when she was age 7. She prepared this list the night before we were to attend a concert at the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. This list is a perfect example of how she has always been an organized person from early on. The rows say the following:
To wear///Black Velvet Dress///White Sparkling Shoes///White Coloerd Tights
To take///A box of tissues if nessisery///"money"///This list///My ticket
DO///Listen to sphmony///say it was the best you ever heard///try to meet 2 players///if do, ask how long they have been playing
DON'T///Complain about sphmony///Say it was too loud///Say the players were teribble///Ignore everybody
A few days ago I checked in with a friend who has been contemplating changing jobs. While we were talking she mentioned that she is cleaning our her basement and wanting to get rid of a bunch of stuff. Since I am in the midst of the same thing, I broached the subject of having a joint yard sale, but I told her I wanted to pray about it first. This is not because I am super-spiritual. I have just learned that it makes a difference when I pray about stuff. Sometimes things that seem like such great ideas to me, do not seem quite as great after I talk to God about them. But I was really leaning toward doing this yard sale and decided to make sure I prayed about it before I got back to my friend. Finally last evening I went out to my sacred space in the backyard to write in my prayer journal. I became aware of the fact that I really did not want to spend 10-15 hours of my life peddling my castoffs to people. But I realized that even if I made a couple hundred dollars, it still would not be worth it to me to use those hours of my life in that way. One thing I felt God "saying" to me what that he would take care of my friend.
When I called my friend to tell her today that I was not going to be doing the yard sale, she mentioned that another friend on her street is having a sale this weekend and she thought she might put some stuff out since the other friend advertised her sale already. To me, that was an affirmation that it was not up to me to make sure this friend got rid of her stuff. It's also this weekend instead of next weekend, which may work even better for my friend.
I know some would say that it was I myself who had the thoughts and solved the problem. That there was no God involved. But I'm having more and more experiences where I sense God responding to me. Since I am using a prayer journal, I write down everything I "hear" and I would have to say that there seems to be an "other" who says the things I hear. That "other" is God. This season in my Christ-following life is the most vibrant, most alive, most exciting time I have ever experienced. I feel like I am in a relationship now, rather than trying to plod along in a religion. I invite your thoughts on the subject.
I'm on a roll. The storage room is being cleared out even as we speak. How many boxes have I found so far that are filled to the brim with miscellaneous pieces of this and that? More than a few but less than a million.
I am encouraged though because it is helpful that I have done the same method of pre-sorting for all these years. At least if it is in the house, it is in one of these boxes and has a chance of finding its home with its other little buddy blocks or game pieces or whatnot. And office supplies? How I could ever justify setting foot in an Office Max ever again is beyond me. (Except for printer cartridges, of course, which apparently use themselves up in the still of the night.) Staples? Boxes of 'em. Pencils? Enough for an entire African country. Glue Sticks? Numerous, some sticky and some dry. Bags, boxes, emery boards, lunch bags, purple glitter, single gloves, YOU NAME IT, it's there.
But it's happening, people, it's happening! I am getting through this stuff! I definitely aced "sorting skills" along the way, because I am a champion sorter.
The reason this is significant is because I was driving home from Crossroads today and I came upon a tableau where there was a man out of his car trying to discern what was wrong with this lady on the side of the road who was crying and heaving and looked like she was throwing up or something. At first, I thought she was ill, because she was so clearly distraught. I stopped too and got out. Found out she had killed a raccoon crossing the road and she was beside herself with anguish because the raccoon had a baby in its mouth, which was now scared and hiding in the brush.
I don't know that I've ever seen anyone that upset about hitting an animal. It really made me wonder if there was anything else going on for her because her reaction was that it was a terrible, terrible tragedy and it was all her fault. Another person stopped eventually and between the four of us, we reached the local park ranger who came down with a box, and put the baby into it for the lady. She had calmed down by that point, and drove off with the baby raccoon in her van because the ranger didn't have any way to care for it.
While we were waiting for the ranger to get there, she told us that she feeds the raccoons in her backyard, giving them cat food and grapes. I say she has a heart for animals and will probably raise this one herself, or let her daughter have it, who also apparently loves wildlife. The animals in my own backyard have been destructive, with the deer eating our grapevines, our grapes, our hostas, a fledgling tulip tree, and other flora. And the animals in my parents' yard -- the chipmunks who ate right through things, the raccoons who discovered the trashcan and dumped it out night after night.
I thought about my reaction, vs hers. In the animal kingdom, s**t happens. I think it's part of being an animal. Yes, it was sad for the little raccoon that he lost his mama at such a young age, but I think it's part of the reality of life.
But somehow I'm not completely comfortable with my lack of compassion for this little raccoon. I don't know who else the lady has to care about -- maybe she is alone -- but I have a pretty full plate of living, breathing beings to take care of. Maybe that's the difference. Maybe not. But I'm glad for the little raccoon that he had an adoptive mama right there to take care of him.