Fourteen years ago today was one of the scariest days of my life. My daughter was in labor with her second child. I had been with her two years earlier when she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. That had been one of the most awesome moments of my life. There are no words to describe watching your child give birth. I felt honored to again be part of this wonder of birth. When I arrived she had already been in labor for several hours and things appeared to be going as well as such things can go. Since I was there her husband said he was going to go out to the waiting room for a few minutes to visit with his parents who had just arrived from out of state. The moment he left things became scary. The fetal heart rate began to drop rapidly. Something was very wrong. Suddenly the doctor was there shouting orders. “We've got to get that baby out now!” Nurses began running. The doctor grabbed the bed where my little girl lay and started pushing her down the hall. I could only watch and pray as she disappeared into the operating room. Just then her husband strolled back through the doors to find me crying and pointing in the direction of the operating room. He ran. I called home to tell everyone to pray and went to sit with the other grandparents and to wait and to pray. It seemed a very long wait, but in fact was not long at all, when I saw my smiling son-in-law walk into the room. “Everyone is fine. We have a healthy baby boy.” Tears of relief are very sweet.
That baby boy celebrates his fourteenth birthday today. He a a tall, handsome, lacrosse-plying young man with a sweet smile and a gentle spirit who brings us great joy.
I am reading a good book called “Abide with Me” by Elizabeth Strout. It is the story of a New England minister as he struggles with life after his wife's death.
I like this man's definition of Christianity. He says that being a Christian is not a hobby. Being a Christian is serious stuff. Being a Christian means asking yourself every step of the way, “How can love best be served?”
While folding the laundry after our trip to Sedona I was amazed at the strength of that red dirt. It seemed like none of it had washed out in the laundry. Nothing seemed to be any cleaner than before I had done the laundry. When I tried to rewash it I discovered that it wasn't that the dirt was so powerful. The problem was that my washing machine was broken. The clothes got wet, but the agitator had quit working and so my clothes weren't getting clean. It is my new washing machine too. I remember buying it right after my daughter's wedding twenty-five years ago. They just don't make things that last any more. After a bit of discussion and research we decided to buy a new washer and dryer. We wanted a new front-loading, high efficiency machine that uses less energy and less water and gets the clothes cleaner than the top loading variety. So for our Friday night night we went appliance shopping. Did you know that it costs a lot more money to get colored appliances? I like white best at that cost difference. We found just what we wanted and I was excited. I love getting new things. The price included delivery, haul away and installation of our new machines. When the delivery truck pulled up yesterday I was ready. I had purchased new, special detergent for front-loading washers. I had cleared out the laundry room. I had a big pile of dirty clothes. The young deliveryman looked at my old dryer and said he couldn't take it out. There is not an electrical outlet to unplug. Instead the dryer is hard-wired into the wall. I would have to get an electrician to come and disconnect it and put in an outlet. Then he looked at my washer and said he couldn't install the new one. I would have to hire a plumber because I had the wrong kind of drain pipe. I couldn't believe it. We have replaced them in the past without needing an electrician or plumber. The young man was very sorry but said he just couldn't do the installation. I sent my wonderful new front-loading, high efficiency washer and dryer back to the store. I am disappointed. We are in the process of figuring out what we need to do now.
Today I had to go to my daughter's house and do a pile of laundry.
A good friend just sent me this email. Do you think she is trying to tell me something?
Just before the funeral services, the undertaker came up to the very elderly widow and asked, 'How old was your husband?' '98,' she replied. 'Two years older than me' 'So you're 96,' the undertaker commented. She responded, 'Hardly worth going home, is it? __________________ Reporters interviewing a 104-year-old woman: 'And what do you think is the best thing About being 104?' the reporter asked. She simply replied, 'No peer pressure.' _____________________
The nice thing about being senile is You can hide your own Easter eggs. _______________________
I've sure gotten old! I've had two bypass surgeries, a hip replacement, New knees, fought prostate cancer and diabetes I'm half blind, Can't hear anything quieter than a jet engine, Take 40 different medications that Make me dizzy, winded, and subject to blackouts. Have bouts with dementia Have poor circulation; Hardly feel my hands and feet anymore. Can't remember if I'm 85 or 92. Have lost all my friends. But, thank God, I still have my driver's license. __________________________________
I feel like my body has gotten totally out of shape, So I got my doctor's permission to Join a fitness club and start exercising. I decided to take an aerobics class for seniors. I bent, twisted, gyrated, jumped up and down, and perspired for an hour. But, By the time I got my leotard on, The class was over. _________________________
My memory's not as sharp as it used to be. Also, my memory's not as sharp as it used to be. __________________________
Know how to prevent sagging? Just eat till the wrinkles fill out.. _______________________________ It's scary when you start making the same noises As your coffee maker. __________________________
These days about half the stuff In my shopping cart says, 'For fast relief..' ___________________
THE SENILITY PRAYER : Grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, The good fortune to run into the ones I do, and The eyesight to tell the difference..
The Painted Desert is a national park about 100 miles from Sedona. What an interesting, beautiful place it is! The sand is red and blue and green and violet. It looks like an artist washed the sand with color. Indians once lived here. You can see the writings they have left behind on the rocks. As I looked at these ancient writings I wondered what they said and if one day in the distant future someone would see my writings and wonder what I had written. Part of this area is a petrified forest. An ancient forest of great trees lies on the sand where it has fossilized into great rocks that look just like the trees they once were. These tree-rocks are beautiful. We stopped at an old car placed on the roadbed of Route 66. I traveled that road many times with my parents. It is now long gone, replaced by a modern interstate. Only a few of the old curio stores and Indian gift shops remain from that old road. Many memories of long ago travels returned as we rode along I-40.
This big country of ours has many beautiful and interesting places to enjoy. I love being able to see some of them.
Oak Creek runs from the high mountains down into Sedona. It carves a beautiful green canyon as it flows downward. One day we went to play in Oak Creek at Slide Rock State Park, just north of town. What a delightful time we had! The water was painfully cold. I waded in and then quickly returned to a nice sunny rock to watch as others played in the water. David said that after a few minutes you became numb and then you could enjoy the water. The rocks are smooth here and provide natural slides in the water. Swimming and sliding all afternoon left everyone very tired, but very happy.
Arizona is three timezones to the west. That meant we woke up early every day to begin our adventures. Our first morning we were all up before daylight and were off to watch the sunrise from airport mesa. I am told this area is one of Sedona's strongest energy vortexes, a place were the energy of the earth leaks out to the surface and re- energizes people. It was a beautiful place in the early morning, but this out-of-shape old lady felt more tired than energized after climbing to the top of the rocks. It was beautiful watching the sun come up. Sedona is one of those places where people go just to watch the sunrise and later to watch it set.
Coffeepot Rock at sunrise
David gazing toward the sunrise
My son and I nearing the top of the rocks Here I am feeling the energy of the vortex before climbing the rocks.
Early tomorrow morning we are flying to Sedona, Arizona. We will be spending a week there with our son's family. To say we are excited about this trip would be a great understatement. We will have a week to enjoy one of the prettiest places in the world. We will enjoy it all with people we love. We will do some hiking, find some of those vortexes of energy, watch the sunrise, and then watch it set again.
I'll be back in a week with pictures and stories to share.
I have just finished reading an interesting, informative and disturbing book, “Hot, Flat and Crowded,” by Thomas Friedman. He says that global warming, the stunning rise of the middle class all over the world, and rapid population growth have converged in such a way that is making our planet dangerously unstable. We need to do something now if we want to save planet Earth for our children and grandchildren.
The problem is far greater than I had ever imagined. My noble efforts at recycling, while the right thing to do, just won't make any difference. There needs to be a global effort by the governments around the world to cause the kind of change the earth needs to become a clean, safe place to live.
We have polluted our planet with the wastes of fossil fuels, spewing CO2 into the atmosphere at alarming rates. We need to stop now. Alternate sources of energy must be found, developed and used now. There are no easy answers. It will take hard work, sacrifice and a lot of money to make it happen. Friedman does have a vision of a brighter future and many suggestions on how to make this happen. His suggestion are controversial and will be hard to accomplish. It is difficult to make people see past the immediate concern and plan for the future. I don't know if our nation has the political will to make it happen.
One of his proposals is to phase in a gasoline tax of $5 to $10 per gallon. Some of that money would be used to help consumers to trade in their gas guzzlers for smaller, fuel efficient models. He says the best monument to 9/11 we could erect would be mountain of crushed gas guzzlers. Raising taxes is always unpopular , controversial and hard. Friedman claims this is the best solution to helping us accomplish what is need. The tax would help to reduce consumption, shift people to more fuel-efficient models, shrink the amount of money we send to petrodictators, improve the air quality, strengthen the dollar and balance payments, help mitigate global warming, and give citizens a feeling they are contributing something to the war on terrorism.
Would you be willing to pay a large tax on gasoline to help save our home?