More than 20 years ago — although struggling with dementia, my father was still alive, — and I was stressed. I listened to various recordings hoping to help with the stress of my world. While at work, I listened to this tape, and I remember thinking “I’m in trouble now.” I don’t remember the title — my guess is Grandmother’s Wisdom. I don’t remember the words but I remember the theme. A grandmother’s responsibility is to use her wisdom to help the next generation regardless of the relationship. It is her job to use her knowledge to help the children of the world. And since I was a grandmother, I was able to relate to the subject matter. Evidently I have ingested those words and made it a part of my life. I don’t stand on ceremony when I see something wrong — I interact with children everywhere.
Since this has become part of my life, we were in the right place, at the right time to help a little one with a problem. Four men and three girls were having breakfast at the restaurant. The men, if not grandfathers, were close to that age. The girls were little, my guess two — six. I planned to go to the bathroom when I noticed only coats occupied the chairs were the girls were sitting. Since the bathroom isn’t large, I decided to wait until they came back out. I didn’t have long to wait when two of the older girls came back to talk to the Dad, then they disappeared back into the bathroom. When this occurred two more times, I overheard the Dad say: “I can’t go in there. I’m not a girl.”
Grandmother to the rescue. I said “I’m a girl” and asked if I should try to help. (I didn’t want to barge in without permission.) In the bathroom, I asked the youngest girl if I could help her and when she tearfully nodded her head, I learned what the problem was. Her underwear was stained. I don’t know if it just happened or if she just discovered it, but she didn’t want to wear it anymore. “No problem — lets take it off.” Which meant, taking off her boots, skirt, leotards and her panties. Then putting the clothing back on. I told her we would wrap her panties up in a towel and give it to her father to take home. Problem solved. Luckily, her leotards also had panties. She didn’t have to go commando. Okay — I put her boots on the wrong feet and I put her skirt on backwards but both were easily fixed. I also cautioned the older girls who were teasing the younger one that they could easily have the same problem some time. They should have helped her, rather than laughed at her. And I remembered the tape that I listened to so many years ago — grandmother to the world.
I was recently at our accountants office, dropping off the information for income tax. He asked me where I got the ideas to write about. I mentioned that I have “friends in high places” who want me to write. They often provide me with the subject matter, and when I’m paying attention, I have a new blog.
Our son has a beautiful car, but it is not designed for snow and ice. He planned to take the car out Saturday — he got as far as the alley behind our house where he hit a patch of ice. Tires spun, no traction. We were still home — my husband was able to HELP — push the car back into the garage. We offered him our car but our son decided not to make the trip.
Because of the frigid temperatures, Robin hasn’t been getting her long walks and her sleeping through the night has been affected. Sadly when I wake up, I have trouble getting back to sleep. Instead of seven hours of sleep I’m getting four or five and it is taking it’s toll. Although I don’t have a cold, my nose is running and I’m coughing a lot. The various sleeping aids I’ve taken haven’t really helped.
We were still home and able to go to Mass on Saturday night. We used to go to church on Sunday morning but they have changed the Mass schedule. The early Mass is too early for my husband to rise, get dressed, take his medicine and get to church on time. We’ve been going on Saturday night. It works well, sort of. When we get home, I still have to make supper. We are eating even later. I’m trying to come up with dishes that will cook while we are gone.
We were at Mass for the first weekend celebration of Lent. In order to highlight the season, it was decided to limit the music to voice only — no piano or organ. The musical director assembled a choir and they sang from the balcony. They had beautiful voices but without music to announce the beginning of a song — the congregation could not participate. They didn’t have a printed song sheet — the music numbers were in the bulletin without the name of the songs. The cantor who had been in front for the beginning of Mass, went up to the loft. I have to admit that I like to sing, and missed joining in. I tried for the second song but that was not the song listed. I’ll admit that I gave up. I didn’t bother trying to join in on melodies we had rehearsed before Mass. It is said, that when you sing, you involve your whole body in the song. My body was definitely left out. I might have stayed calm except they sang a spiritual that I would have enjoyed singing. My dander began to rise. It reminded me of the Masses we used to have when I was still in school — the congregation DID NOT PARTICIPATE in the service. I decided that my concern needed to be shared. I found a friend who could pass my concern on to the pastor. Then I decided to tell him myself. He understood and had a few concerns of his own. He suggested that I talk to the music director. I didn’t think I would be able to do that — BUT I HAVE “FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES”. I saw the music director pass my line of vision and took advantage of the opportunity. Then I found our pastor, and told him I had shared my concern.
And it isn’t even the anniversary of my father’s birthday yet. Even though the temperature is still in the single digits, the roads will be dry. We hope to travel to our daughters on his birthday.
Its not like I forgot — the date just slipped my mind. I knew my father’s birthday was on the horizon. I momentarily forgot that the date of his passing was also near. My father passed over one month after the anniversary of my mother’s passing. I joked she called him home because he was having too much fun flirting with the nurses. He passed over four days before his 85th birthday — we are in SACRED SPACE.
The presence of “my friends in high places” is often felt more on anniversary’s, birthdays and holidays. Now I’m not suggesting that those are the only times when I sense their help — far from it. Any day, hour or minute is a prime time to “help” me and I’m grateful for their help — most of the time. I don’t appreciate being hit on the head.
We planned to be at our daughter’s in Central Illinois, to help her while her husband was out of town. I packed clothes to stay for seven days. My daughter and I talked about food — my husband is PICKY. That never was an extreme issue until his diabetes got in my face when he suffered a low sugar attack. I prefer to not have that happen again. Okay — I’ll admit it happened at home, I did the cooking. But often my husband doesn’t care for the food my daughter makes, she puts whole pieces of tomatoes and red peppers in her chili. When we are only there for a couple of days, it is not a problem. A full week on the other hand is more of a concern.
My bags were packed, the food for the trip organized — I was ready to go. Then GOD LAUGHED. He took our car away for four days. When we finally got it back, a snow storm was on the horizon. Travelling to our daughters exposes us to many miles of windswept highway. Then the temperatures tanked. Then I learned that the outside temperature downstate was as cold as at our house. Then I learned that while the first floor in our house cools considerably, our daughters first floor, because of the high ceiling becomes frigid. Even though I wear thermals and heavier clothing, I don’t do well with frigid. Trip postponed AGAIN!
Each morning I start the day by opening the Bible. Most of the time I open to the Old Testament — Isaiah, Sirach or Jeremiah –sometimes the Psalms or The Song of Songs. I rarely open to the New Testament. Depending on the day, month of the year and what is going on in my life or the world, the books and verses are varied. Over the years, I have learned to pay attention when I randomly open to Job or to Daniel — the story of the furnace. I DON’T LIKE seeing either of these readings. They usually mean that trouble is brewing.
Recently I opened the bible to the furnace on two separate occasions. The first time the men were singing praises to God and I thought the problem that was referred to might have been solved. Sadly, we have had trouble with our car -an oil leak — expensive to fix. The next time I opened the Bible to the furnace, the men were walking among the flames. The engine light came on in our car and a broken motor mount was discovered. Our garage had trouble getting the part — our car was in their garage for the snow storm. My husband took the car for its emission test and it passed. Then the yellow engine light came back on. There is a problem with the engine — what is wrong and how expensive it will be to fix remains to be seen. The car is at the garage and they are working on it. We had planned to go to our youngest daughter’s in Central Illinois. The temperature this week is the coldest this year, in fact it might even break records. It looks like we will be postponing our travel until the weather breaks.
We bought our car when my husband retired, many years ago. It has over a hundred thousand miles on the engine. Since we would like to keep it for many more years, we change the oil regularly. Our camper is over a hundred miles from our house, our grandchildren are further down the road in a different direction. It is important that we have a car that is comfortable and dependable.
Last week, I opened the Bible to the preface for the New Testament. When I opened the Bible to the introduction of the New Testament the following day — I wondered if that means the trouble with our car has ended. I really won’t mind.