Yetanotherversary

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Yetanotherversary. These always seem to slip by me.

8 years (and 2 days) ago, I started back to work. A man, his wheelchair, and a circus cannon. Three employer labels later, grateful to God, family, great docs, nurses, PTs, OTs, Seating Specialists – –

and for a host of exceptional colleagues.

Cheers!

Just Might Go Vegan

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An enterprising young man stopped by yesterday evening and rang the doorbell. Standing at our storm door, he carried two obviously heavy boxes labeled “Prime USDA Select Cuts.” I was on a business call, so my wife spoke with him at the door, partly open. I could hear his well-rehearsed extended soliloquy. As he soliloquized, she politely declined his several, ever intensifying, invitations to fill the freezer at “one-time-only prices.” I turned to get a look at him, still on my call, just as he walked into the foyer, backing mSteaky wife out of the way as if he was behind a moving force field. As he continued to blaboquize, he presumptuously suggested he might set the boxes down for just a minute. I begged off my call momentarily, and asked what he was doing. My wife explained that he was selling steak.

The salesman and I gazed at each other momentarily. I thanked him for his interest, but told him we were not interested in buying steak. He looked shocked and said, “But, I’m selling them at next to nothing.” I said, “Then I’m confident in your ability to make a sale to one of my neighbors.” He remained standing in my foyer, incredulous, as I further and repetitively explained “I don’t want to buy steak . . . I do not want to buy steak . . . I will not be buying steak from you.” Suddenly he indicated comprehension and with downcast expression thanked me for my consideration. I thanked him for his. He left. I rejoined my call.

I plan to post a sign at my front door that reads:

“If you 1) are not a longtime friend, 2) are not my neighborhood’s cookie-selling Girl Scout or the U.S. Postal Carrier, or 3) are not FedEx or Mr. Brown delivering something I did order and do want, simply put your collateral beside or in the mail box and move along to the house on the left. Know that I’ll contact your company if I’m interested. Anyone else ringing my doorbell or knocking on my door will be ignored and should despair of making a sale.”

It’s almost enough to make me go vegan.

Portions, Lots, Lines and Pleasant Places

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Psalm 16:5-8 — The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;  indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.

Portions, lots, lines and pleasant places. You may be picturing generous arable, fertile expanses across which homes are built, families are born, callings are heard, livings are made, and histories are written. Yet not all terrain is gently sloped. Some is more extreme. Frigid. Rocky. Wind swept. Dry and dusty. Some homes are Surveyor Crewnot happy. Some of us are isolated. Some callings are cloudy. Calamitous. And history can be hurtful. Single? Family? Single again? Healthy? Sick? Wealthy? Poor? No matter.

For no matter our lot, parcel or no, short straw or long, steps wrong or right, in ease or the most difficult of circumstances, God makes His saints heirs to His promises and gives them counsel, instructs them in the night, is at their right hand, and steadies them.

Have recently seen this in Abraham’s, Isaac’s, Jacob’s stories. They were flawed and rough, but God patiently herded and prospered them. In Joseph’s abandonment and rise to great civilization saving power and influence. In Job’s hard, hard account. He was upright, yet suffered unimaginably. Great men in great swelling, steaming, surging swaths of flawed messy human history. History whose divine prime mover was no more engaged than He is today, even if more visibly apparent.

Draw near to Him and He’ll draw near to you. Trust in Him. Look to Him. Lean hard upon Him.

Four Years On

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August 20th. Feeling dull today.

THE day. Four years on.

Saw it coming. Should be purposeful in some deliberate direction. Should be laying my Ebenezer here or there, or going back to visit one. No real inclination. Knackered.

For nervous earlier weeks and frantic days, I’d ridden the joyful rising emotional currents of Allie’s much anticipated marriage to Kenneth. A happy distraction whose preparations unleashed an ant colony-like pre-nuptial industrial machine. Addressing, licking, sealing, stamping, sewing, arranging (think flowers), cooking, counting, cleaning, driving, shopping, picking up, dropping off, confirming, double-checking, reconfirming, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

The occasion brought back to Oxwell Lane a seeming flotilla of far and near flung family — like notes in bottles to their writers’ home — to stay, make preparations and celebrate, and to add another line or two to the story. Joined by flotsam friends and jetsam strangers-made-friends, more bottles were pushed ashore by converging streams and currents, whose notes are now scribed, stories made richer, rolled, replaced, and safely corked.

Sadly, all these bobbing glass note-bearers have been pulled back out to sea on an ebb tide, and the pre-nuptial factories have closed down.

On this fourth accidentiversary, work beckons. Nagged me for most of the three days I’d planned to be on a pre-wedding vacation. Seemed reasonable at the time. I managed to be mostly “off” post-marriage Monday, as Emily and Jonatan packed and flew back to Swede-land. But my hopes of taking off all of August 20 — THE day — on some special day-long excursion were usurped. Shoved off the calendar by a mob of meetings and calls. I did selectively speak of the anniversary with two or three colleagues that day, one of whom is four years on following her breast cancer diagnosis.

We later ordered-in sushi to compliment our typical “Taiwan Tuesday” evening repast of fried rice and dumplings. And before ending the day, I keyed in a Facebook shout out to as many names and groups as I could recall, whose support and encouragement had served in various ways to get us to this point. A feeble attempt. Hoping they’ll be skimming their Newsfeeds later and catch my Hail Mary thanks. I’ll catch up with others as our paths cross. (“Likes” and Comments later suggested some had been News-grazing” in the right spot.)

Be It Resolved and Deo volente, five years on is to be more deliberately celebrated.

Onward.