Actually, the week started last Saturday instead of thinking in the usual way that it starts on Monday. Or that's just my way of notching my stick, I suppose. Anyway, it's Saturday again.
Last Saturday at this time Elv and I four-wheeler-ed up to our lamp-lit cabin and clambered down the snowbank through the front door and found Lance's and Amy welcoming us with triumphant smiles. They'd cut the electric lights just in time and had all 16 lamps polished and glowing just for us.
Sunday, about noon Susan and I took the four-wheeler out through Joshua road's mud and ice to the car parked on high ground and headed toward Walker, Minnesota. We had 3 1/2 hours of driving and plenty of visiting to do so it was perfect. The only thing we really saw all the way over was a porcupine high up in an aspen tree by the road. We actually stopped. Susan said Abram would want to see a picture of it. So.
We found the little church where about 100 people were gathered to listen to Michael Card sing. It was the nicest concert I've ever attended. I am encouraged to discover that an artist turns out to be just people, too. About my own age and ordinary. It was fun to be able to sing along. I'm just that sappy. Oh well, I told Kristine the other evening that I hope to sing with Vestal Goodman someday in heaven. Everybody just laughs at me. I suppose we all have our bucket list for the heaven days. That's just one of mine. For once, we'll have time.
We drove back across the swamp and arrived home around midnight. It was worth it. Monday morning headed home to Wisconsin.
I worked Tuesday. Amy worked Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Wednesday evening she had me come look at her mysterious, spreading rash. What is that? She'd been feverish and tired over the weekend. Pushing through her days, now this rash. Who knows, but chicken pox came up. We still don't know. All better now. Just scabs. Who knows!
Over in Thailand, Dru's attended a staff retreat this week. Some of us have a better idea what that means for their little family. Sewing dresses for the Havilah. Laundry with the iffy rationed water situation. Preparing and packing in 100 degree weather. That's just ordinary stuff for them. Then there's the future of Dru's work and visas and questions and plans. So we prayed for them.
The weather finally turned summer-y, suddenly. Not much green and the fire danger hiking higher every day. We need rain and green. But finally, it is warm. At work, we opened up the garage door and let the sunshine and warm breezes pour in. At home here the stoves stand black and silent. A lot less dirt and dust! The tulips and daffodils are up. Blooms to come soon.
Elv is coming home filthy every evening because it's the season to power wash the woods machines. And, absolutely beat and weary and sore. Road bans go off on Monday. Then the real work of summer logging shall begin.
Hopefully, despite the busy-ness of summer work we can find time to go canoeing and picnicking. Francis called today to say that they are closing on their "new" country home next month. "You can all come and help me paint the kitchen, Mom." We will do that about the second weekend in May.
Elv and I stood in the most unfinished part of the basement under this old stone house and brainstormed a walk-in closet. It'll be a lot of icky, hard work. And the two of us always get to practice getting along well, when we're remodeling. When we're done, it should be a lot dryer and cleaner. With the addition of an egress window, it should be a lot sunnier down there, too. We hope.
The dog ran off twice this week. I think he's bored. And I think he misses Brad. But not as much as I do, I'll wager.
I'm reading Second Suns by the same author as Three Cups of Tea this week. True story of the miracle of sight given to the blind in Tibet by the skilled hand of two ophthalmologists. Of course, it's a fat book with lots of other interesting tid-bits, too. And this is not to be taken as a book report, because it isn't. The truth is, I have three of the thirty-two books on my to-read-this-summer list in my hands from the library right now. And It's going to be amazing if I get them read in time.
Because, most of any free time must be spent trying to make a viable speech out of my collection of scribblings and ideas and a long power point creation. I'm suppose to speak at a young ladies retreat this coming weekend. To say that I'm scared is an understatement. I'm sure everybody is sick and tired of hearing me ask for prayer by now. But I'm depending on those prayers and a lot of God's grace. I realize that I am not going to feel ready, ever! I just need to work on this my best and let God do the rest. Knowing that and trusting that are two entirely different animals!
I didn't tell you about the crazy days at work because people went traveling to PA for business and a wedding in Canada and birthday parties. And we finished the week off with a nicely busy Saturday of selling furniture right and left.
One day this week, I had Clark's children for a few hours here. We put shoes on the baby and let her play on the patio and the boys and I did some raking and picking up sticks. We piled the sticks in the fire pit and tried to burn them but they were still too damp. Angelie kept taking off her shoes and plumping down on her bottom on the wet ground and getting dirty. We sat down to hotdogs and carrot sticks and fresh, baked, still-warm cookies for lunch. Asher couldn't believe his good fortune when I told him, twice, that he did not have to eat his bread. He ate his meat and veges, happily. What more could a Marmee expect, I ask you! So he got cookies, to boot.
Clark's invited us for fajitas one night this week, too. He dug out his old LP player and we settled down for an LP party, but this old player kept not working without a lot of fiddling. I've decided that he needs a new one. We love listening to old records: Cathedrals, Lundstrums, Disney's Winnie the Pooh, and Gospel Echoes. We order up one song from each and he stands there and keeps changing them for us. It's fun. And the in-laws roll their eyes. And that's fun, too. We didn't even get to the Statler Brother's Christmas album.
And nothing's been said here so far, about the fact that in two weeks I am to swallow a radioactive iodine pill to kill the overage of thyroid action I have going on. It's nuclear medicine and comes with precautions that I will be advised of when I get it. They'll likely roll a couple of pills out of the inside-est of two bottles one inside the other because it's radioactive, you know, into their gloved hand and hand it to me... my bare hand. I'll swallow that and be immediately dangerous to society in general. I am to stay at home, not share anything: my bed, my rest room, my plate, anything with anybody else for three days or so. They say this is a safe medicine. All I have to say is that it better work!
And those are my paltry offerings of life at the Grabers. While ordinary weeks like this are happening for us; others are being touched by eternity in more real ways with birth and death. I noticed that this week. We never know what the week ahead holds, do we?
I asked Elv tonight what would he do if he knew he had only a year left to live. He said, "I'd probably concentrate more on my walk with the Lord, and my relationships." I'm thinking that this is just the ticket for our days right now no matter how long we have left to live.