Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Over did it?

5/27/08 Tuesday
I guess I over did it yesterday. It was hot but also humid, which is rare out here. We had found a great deal on plants at Aldredge Nursery so bought several flats of tomatoes and peppers. Most of the tomatoes and peppers we had tried to grow from seed did not make it at all. Unfortunately the plants we bought have been sitting unplanted because of my little bout of depression so there is an urgency to get them in the ground. Of course there was the usual list of things to do such as watering and weeding.

I’m not sure but am guessing that it was around four thirty that I began getting dizzy and disoriented. But I kept going. These plants have to get in the ground so I just stayed focused on the task, concentrating on one plant at a time. At six o’clock or so Cherie called me in for dinner. Usually I eat, watch the news, and go back out around seven thirty or so when it begins to cool off. Not yesterday, I was done for. I stripped down and stayed in front of the fan to cool off. The evaporative air conditioner doesn’t work as well when it is humid so the house wasn’t as cool as usual.

This morning I had a real hard time waking up after a night full of dreams. They weren’t bad dreams, just restless ones having to do with getting jobs done and pleasing the guy I worked for, at least the one I remember was. I’m a little constipated too. Don’t know if that could be related to being out in the heat too much so just making a note of it.

It’s going to be another hot humid day. The rest of those plants still need to be planted so I’ll be busy. Cherie made me promise to take it easy. I’m not very good at that. Tuesday is a go to Steve and Janie’s day so I’ll be running into Midland. I have to pick up wood from the guy Jay knows who is replacing his deck. I was supposed to do that Friday but totally forgot about it.

Yesterday I picked up two more soaker hoses from Sam’s Club when I returned a defective one. I’m learning that these are essential to have as getting this well water on leaves can trash a plant. You can clearly see the leaves that got water on them while under sunlight. It’s not too bad after the sun goes down so that’s why I run the sprinklers at night. Getting water to what I’ve planted is getting very difficult. The soaker hoses help where I have them dedicated to specific rows and don’t have to move them. Then it’s simply a matter of plugging the hose into where I have five of them hooked up. That’s far easier than dragging them one at a time and carefully positioning them around the plants they are to water. Water is the key out here. Getting it to where I need it is the hard part. Eventually I plan on running PVC pipe just underground to key areas where I can put spigots that will allow me to easily access water anywhere I need it on the three acres I currently am trying to plant. I’ve only managed to plant maybe one acre so far. Everything should have been planted by now. Maybe nest year I’ll do better.

I had thought of having a big “come help us get things done” party out here but am not as enthused about the idea now. The original concept was to have something reminiscent of what you find in the Amish culture where everyone would come out for a “barn raising” and enjoy a time of fellowship and a dinner afterwards. But I am unsure of it, not sure if I have a grasp on reality of how things should be. This would be a big burden on Cherie as well.

One of the things that was heavy on my mind the last few days of depression was how my thoughts of what it would be like in the small town of Stanton were so far from reality they were almost delusional. The pain of that still resides deep within and is renewed when I run into members of the first church of Stanton. The last time was when I got a hamburger at the drug store downtown. I ran into the man, who’s name I suppose I won’t give, (see, I’m learning) that had told me before “Oh, you have puppies! That should help Cherie not be so lonely”. The cold callousness of that cut deep. Here we had just longed for friends and fellowship and the attitude was “Oh, puppies are good enough for you”. At least that’s how it seemed. This time he was with his wife. (I think it was but my memory doesn’t allow me to be sure) She buried her head in his shoulder to try to hide her laughter and perhaps incredulity at my audacity when I once again invited him to come and visit. It was right in front of me, about three feet away so it’s not like I couldn’t see.

I had to wonder what their conversation was like after they left. Did it honor God? Did it show the love of Christ described in 1 Corinthians 13? “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek it’s own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

This is the church I helped found

As a former pastor I just want to wake them up. Yes, I was a pastor. I met Cherie in bible college and upon graduation and being ordained mentored under Dr. Ron Charles. I helped found and build a church with him in Oregon, Ohio. We started meeting in Maumee’s civic center. As we grew we rented space at the YMCA in Oregon and held services there. I would go out with Ron knocking on doors and witnessing to people even the prostitutes, drug addicts, and gangsters in the sleazy bars in downtown Toledo. Eventually we grew to the point we could buy land and build. It is unfortunate that this is when I fell out of the tree that caused the serious brain injury leading to our divorce. (You can read about this if you follow the link on the right to “The Love Story”.

Ron and I in the lobby of New Life

I visited the church when Cherie and I got back together. Visiting places from my past is one of the tools that helps me recover lost memories. We met Ron and his wife there when he was in town visiting old friends and raising funds for his ministry to the severely persecuted Moslems who converted to Christianity in Egypt and other Islamic nations. I can only wonder how things would have been if I hadn’t fallen out of that tree.

So here are leaders in a church who won’t talk to me but evidently talk about me. I know this for when I met the man before he said something about me trashing the church. This was a reference to this blog where I journal what happens to us. I am sure some of what I said cut as this probably does too, but I try as much as possible to tell the truth. Several times in this blog I asked for comments from them but got no response. But the man’s statement told me that I have been discussed. What they say I wonder but knowing human nature as I do I’m sure it’s not uplifting or compassionate. There is a tool on this blog that tells me the time and location of visitor’s so I see when someone from Stanton reads the blog. But it’s sad and I am sad about it. What the man doesn’t seem to realize is that his church had a reputation long before we ever came to Texas. We have talked to people in Grady, Tarzan, Big Spring, Midland, and even Stanton, who all say the same thing. It’s a closed community, a clique. One prominent Stanton citizen said that if you weren’t from four generations of family born and raised around here, you weren’t accepted. I am sure that this is not true with many in the church but what I do know is it is our experience.

Many have told me to get over it, and I know I should, but not only is the hurt deep but the pastor in me desperately wants to see them change. Not for us but for all the others who will come in contact with this church, this representative of Christ in Stanton. That they become a light shining on a hill, a beacon of love as their God desires. Still I reach out. Every time I meet one of them I invite them over. We are heading towards completing our second year here and have yet to get a visit. Thank God for us finding the good people at the First Baptist Church of Midland. What a relief, what a breath of fresh air they are, an example of how folks should be. And they tolerate me. That’s what it’s all about, at least I think it is. You see, one of the problems with a brain injury as severe as mine was is the loss of social skills and inappropriate behavior. Part of that for me is my mouth and how I come off to others. There is no question I can make others uncomfortable but I don’t want to, it just happens. My facial expression, an underlying turmoil, a severity??? I’m not sure what it is but it’s there. I’m better than I was and improve each year as this brain rewires and I relearn social skills, somewhat. But I’m sure I rocked some boats in Stanton and feel bad about it. But we know I have these problems and figured that of all places the church was where we could find acceptance. The church is where we found acceptance but it was in Midland.

Enough of this. There is much that needs to be done and it’s getting hotter out as I write. Much of this is what has been on my heart, all year, so it just came out. I don’t know what will happen when I publish it. No matter what I say I seem to cause problems. But that’s not what I want, I would like to see others be better, especially at being Christian. This mind of mine is still probably convoluted and a bit off kilter. But, as it says in 1 Corinthians 13.7, love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. So bear with me, hope for me, even believe in me, and please put up with me. Also, talk to me. That helps me keep my thinking straight and clears up the confusion that often rolls around in my head.

It’s 12:45 now. I’ve been out looking at the garden and it’s depressing to see how little is done. I hooked up another hose I made to connect the soaker hoses together. Here is one of the corn patches I tilled and prepared, but never planted. It’s getting too late for that now as corn doesn’t do well in the heat. The corn I did manage to get in the ground is doing well but how much eatable corn it produces is the magic question.

There are four large garden plots I tilled and marked out that have yet to have a seed put in them. One thought on that though is…If I had all of them planted I don’t think I have what it takes to get water to them. Just watering what I have is a chore I have to push to keep up with.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bob, I think you and Cherie have done a remarkable job with the farm in a very short time. Patience, my friend, patience. Looking forward to some of those tomatoes you planted today. Keep your chin up and know that you have done a good job! Jen