Tuesday, November 19, 2013

No Regrets--But a Question

Last week marked two years since I became a Grandma (aka GaGa). What a  blessing! Friends tell you how much fun it is, but you really don't understand until you experience it firsthand. Carter makes me laugh so much. And, at two, the new things he says and does come fast and furious. And, I'm pretty sure he's the cutest baby in the world!

The downside is Carter doesn't live nearby. He's a 12-hour drive or a ninety minute flight away. (As are his mom and dad--my son and daughter-in-law.) His Auntie Lindsay lives the same distance away but in the opposite direction.

Thank goodness for today's technology! FaceTime (or Skype for non-Apple people) allows me to see and talk with the kids and grandkids (number 2 is due in February) any time I want at no cost. Last year, we even opened Christmas presents with one family member participating via FaceTime. More than likely, we'll all be in different states this year but we'll be "together" to watch everyone open gifts. Text messages fly back and forth almost daily with photos of the latest antics. And don't forget the blessing of digital photos. No need to wait and wonder if the picture you just took looks decent. Just snap as many as you'd like and delete the ones with the blurry faces.

Free long distance via cell phones means there is no need to watch the clock while talking or forgetting something you wanted to say because you were rushing through the call. Just last night, Tommy and I spent an hour and twenty minutes talking with Lindsay about her recent trip to Florida to run a half marathon followed by six days of visiting amusement parks. She had a blast and knocked 30 minutes off her January run time.

I say all that to say this. We moved away from home a week after we married to begin Tommy's military career and have never lived closer than eight hours to home since then. When Lindsay was four and Matt was almost one, we moved to Germany for three years. This was in 1985 when not everyone had computers, there was no email, international phone calls were super expensive, and coming home was not an option. Our life has been blessed and I wouldn't trade it for anything. Even though it was hard to be away from home for birthday parties or holidays or just stopping by for dinner, I have no regrets about moving away. There have been many other blessings--friends all over the country, opportunities to see the world, and an opening of minds to other cultures to name a few.

But, now the roles are reversed. My kids are the ones who have moved away. And, it gives me a new perspective on how my mother felt when my kids were little and we lived so far away. She missed those first words and steps, seeing the excitement when a grandchild opened a present, the opportunity for us to chat, etc. And, one question haunts me. Did I do enough to keep her (and my dad and siblings) connected with our family? There's nothing I can do to change anything about it now and won't beat myself up over it. But my guess is probably not.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Cricket Calls

My dad used to tease me about being a 20th century girl.  He asked me once if I would have had children without all the modern conveniences like disposable diapers and canned formula.  If feeding my family depended on my gardening/canning skills, we would starve.  A farm girl I am not!  God knew exactly what He was doing (imagine that) having me born in 1954.

But there is one thing related to farming that I enjoy.  The changing of the seasons.  There's something about prepping for the coming season--especially fall--that makes me feel like a pioneer.  Though obviously on a much smaller level.  Moving the patio furniture into the shed and the barbecue pit into the garage, raking leaves, pulling the last of the petunias and tilling the flower bed, raking leaves, cutting back the clematis vine, raking leaves.  We have a LOT of trees at our house.  Getting theses tasks done helps me feel prepared for the coming winter.  Self-actualization at it's best.

Watching the changing seasons also reminds me of what an awesome God we serve.  The preciseness of how things happen is amazing and makes me wonder how someone can see such things and not believe there is a God.  (I'm finally getting to the crickets of the title.)  Every year during the last week of July, crickets begin to sing my backyard.  At least we believe it's crickets.  We've never seen a single cricket, but that is what it sounds like.  My neighbor told me once they were tree frogs, but it's awfully dry in Utah for an amphibian.  Whatever it is, they start at dusk and sing all night long.  I wish there was a way to record it for you to hear.  They are really loud!  But, it is such a pleasant sound.  A sound associated with the end of summer.  They will be here singing until early September.  And, just as suddenly as they came, they're gone.  We won't hear them until the last week of July next year.  You can set your clock by it.

Isn't God good?  Just like He promised Noah in Genesis 8:22 after the flood, "as long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease."