Saturday, February 10, 2007

Our first visitors

2/10/07 Saturday
Today is the day we are expecting Amy and her two girls to visit us from San Antonio. Going to scurry around getting things a little more picked up. I’m not doing too bad this morning, just a minor headache. Cherie just whipped up some eggs and I got the fire going. She is heating water and I will help her wash her hair by slowly pouring it over her head as she lathers and rinses it. When she is done I’ll take my stand up bath. I normally do this on Saturday’s because we go to church Sunday and of course like to be cleaned up. With the woodstove this is allot more comfortable because it is not freezing cold like before.

Time to get scurrying.

Even though we are running to get things done I wanted to stop and record these thoughts before they vanish from this mind as thoughts so often do. In my vanity I think these thoughts to be profound. Whether they are or not I want to be able to come back years from now and know this is what I was thinking.

As I poured water over Cherie’s head as she leaned painfully over the tub with her back groaning I thought “How lucky I am, I’m so blessed”. I contemplated on the sacrifices Cherie made because of her love for me. Here she is living in a way that many would find deplorable. There is no hot water, none of the amenities most of us in America take for granted. Money is tight so we watch every dime and there were a couple of times that the gracious giving of those in our church made sure we had food to eat. We wouldn’t have starved just would have eaten allot of peanut butter and oatmeal. That didn’t happen. Regardless I must admire this woman, my wife. She finds me after twenty years a vagabond so to speak. I am a damaged property, have a disability that requires some effort on her part. In some ways I need to be taken care of. That is not an issue now but when we first got back together I was in much worse shape and needed guidance to make some basic decisions. Then I had no income but the measly $500.00 that SSI had just decided I was qualified for. They wouldn’t release it to me till I had a third party who would be what they call my “Payee”. This person would control these funds and also act as my advocate, representing me in the tangled bureaucracy of social agencies that made sure it is hard for anyone to tap into their resources.

But she loved me…she loves me and that is a power that sees past all of these hardships, a force that provides strength and fortitude to overcome any obstacles in it’s way. It was and is hard for her and there are times she feels overwhelmed. She had never lived this way though she has experienced her share of hard times. There is the depression augmented by the “change of life” that comes at this time in a woman’s life. There is the fear and worry of what might go wrong. But she is here. “How many women would do this” I thought as I poured water over her head. Few, I realized. Very few. Most would run from this like there was a fire starting, a disaster of impending doom. But she loves me. Cherie ignored the advice and for that matter pressure from family and friends to keep a distance and followed her heart. We were married June 20, 2004.

Wow! How many times I use that word nowadays as I marvel at this life. I know many who would pity us or anyone else living in this circumstance but I AM BLESSED. WE ARE BLESSED. Though some look down on all who don’t live at their standard I suspect few of them are as happy or satisfied as we are. I believe everyone should experience poverty and hardship for it will help them appreciate what they have, just as I believe everyone in this country needs to go overseas to appreciate what we have in America. The poor are not lesser citizens, a lower class of people, they are often people of greater heart, strength, and compassion. People who have qualities we should all aspire to.

I am blessed and that blessing will grow over the next few years till I can share it. My life was a gift from the moment I woke from the coma. Despite the hardships and the brain injury I…No We will build this farm into an entity that will enhance the communities around. How do I know this, because it is a goal, it is our motivation, and with determination and hard work any goal can be achieved. If all we do is have a nice garden even that will be shared with others in need but we have loftier goals than that. Like I say, if you reach for the stars and don’t get there you will still have gone farther than if you had never reached at all. So I will stretch.

Time to get scurrying. (Can you tell the brain is working good now

6:46 - Now there is so much to write. What a visit we had. Amy is a 100% sweetheart. They just left and I need to take a few to process this day and figure out what to say. First I’ll download the pictures we took.

Got the pictures downloaded and edited. Doing so of course helped me remember and sort out the day. Cherie and I were both running to make things look better for this visit from a woman who was both a stranger and a friend. Now she is no longer a stranger but very much a friend. Amy called Cherie’s phone to tell her she was about an hour away. This was when Cherie was just coming back from Midland where she had run to pick up some food. This spurred us to more action as we prepared to meet this person who has blessed us so much.

Cherie called Amy about an hour later to see how things were going. They had taken a wrong turn so Cherie got her map out and helped figure things out. It wasn’t long before Amy called with a simple question about which direction to turn on FM 829, which is the road we are on. She was just a mile or so away so I went out to the road to help guide them in. Here they are.

With Amy was her long time friend Lori. (I hope I spelled it right) She also brought her two daughters, Loren and Hannah. I know it started with an H. What a pistol she is. Of course she wanted to pet Skittles, who was out there rolling in the sand, right away. Skittish Skittles promptly ran away and disappeared for the day. We greeted and all that then decided to go inside.

After visiting in the living room for a bit Amy asked if we wanted to go bring in the gifts she brought or eat lunch first. I don’t remember which we did first. I remember eating lunch and getting the stuff out of her PT Cruiser, just don’t know what order we did it in. Doesn’t matter. We went to her Cruiser and she had a box full of things her church had gotten together as a donation. Mostly food but some other things we can use like seeds. Were going to have a whopper of a garden this year.

Underneath that was the sink, her main motivation for driving all the way up here, or at least one of them. Lori’s sister lives in Midland so she was visiting with her also. The sink is exactly the right size. Imagine that folks, things working out just right. Another in the long string of blessings where it seems like there is an outside hand orchestrating events. This is a great stainless steel sink and the faucet is practically new. Amy said how old it is but I don’t recall the exact figure. The sink was new when they bought their house.

Here's Hannah wearing my reading glasses that she found in her explorations

Now that I think about it we probably ate after all this was done. The girls were being sisters. That means they squabble a bit. Hannah is three and Loren I think is six or seven.(Nope, she's nine) I know Amy was probably embarrassed or something when they did what all siblings do but I’ve raised two kids and quite frankly enjoyed seeing it. I just love kids and that means all that kids do. Of course it’s allot easier when your not living with them 24/7. For me it was great to see and enjoy, brought back memories and emotions of a time long past. In this world full of all the crap we see everyday kids are a breath of fresh air, untouched yet by the world around them or at least barely touched.

And this is Loren with her mother, Amy

Anyway they are the life of the party. I could talk all day about them, about Hannah’s inquisitive mind and non stop action. Yeah she’s a bit self centered and definitely wants her way but that’s what three year olds do. I loved playing with her. Letting her bonk me on the head and making a noise each time. I let her jump on our bed all she wanted and even helped her.

I showed Amy around the farm along with Lori and the kids. Told her about the vision I have for the place. Before I did that I showed her some of my woodcarvings. Cherie fixed a bit of everything for everybody. The kids wanted spaghetti-O’s then a sandwich then a different kind of sandwich, then soup. Cherie fixed sandwiches for us adults and tea. She had baked a peach cobbler which we enjoyed after eating the soup and sandwiches.

Here's the whole bunch of us except Lori who took the picture

We talked about tons of stuff at the dinner table while the kids watched the Ice Age Meltdown DVD. Laughed a lot and also talked about some things a bit more serious or at least not laughing stuff. You know, the meaning of life and similar subjects of great philosophical depth. It was good to spend time with other adults, you know more than the brief “How are things going” conversation we have when at church. Sitting around for an hour or four enjoying fellowship. It was great. Thanks Amy. Not just for bringing us stuff we can use but for being a friend. That’s worth more than all the stuff you could bring.

It came time for them to leave. The kids and adults were getting tired. Actually the kids were tired when they got here. Amy left us the Ice Age DVD so I could finish watching it. I seem to have gotten enthralled with it when the kids were watching. Haven’t seen the movie before. We are watching it now which is making writing this a bit difficult. They will come by tomorrow and pick it up on the way back home. Cherie is going to make something for their journey back towards San Antonio. I won’t say what cause she may be reading this blog and I want it to be a surprise.

It was a great day that ended with an equally great sunset. Night all.


Jacob Da Jew said...

Bob, it is so wonderful to see how you appreciate what you DO have. As the saying goes "It can make you or break you".

In this case, your trials have forged you into a caring and appreciative person who is thankful for whatever life gives him.

Our Sages have a saying "Azo hoo asheer, HaSameach be Chelko".

Translation: "Who is truly rich? "One who is content in what he has".

Bob, you're a millionaire!

Bob said...

It took fifty years of mistakes for me to learn this. I now hope to pass these lessons on with the hope of saving others from the trials that come with poor decision making. To be content with what you have is the key to simply enjoying life, to be happy for more than short instances of comaraderie.