Friday, September 17, 2010

Our First Date

Our first date was September 17. It was a Friday that year also. The weather was perfectly sunny and crisp. It was a day just like today.

I thought it would be fun to go out tonight and do something sort of special...just a way to kind of remember that evening so many years ago. But life and work adds demands and so we can reminisce in other ways.

I still love to be with him and do things together. It doesn't really matter what or where it is.

That year he had a light blue 1976 Cutlass Supreme. It was a sharp car I thought! Off we went. The sun was setting at a brilliant angle and the sun visors were of no use. I still remember both of us trying to see the road in front of us by shielding the sun with our hands.
He stole my heart and I never looked back! Fortunately he gave me his heart in return!
A few weeks ago one of my boxes of keepsake papers and cards and miscellaneous mementos were ruined by rain and I found them just as they were beginning to mold. There was a very random assortment of things in the box, like school papers written by little boyish hands and letters from family that I hold so dear and words written by special friends. There were cards from when our little girl was born and one of my baby pictures. The rainy wetness in the box had set into mold and my tears began to flow as I spread the papers on every flat surface I could find. I felt the brokenness of the passage of time and the sting of being so busy that I lack time for many things that matter to me. In those moments the essence of everything that the box held, felt dear to me.
The immediate "whys", like why did I move the box where it could be damaged and why didn't I get it sooner and why didn't I have all these things "scrapbooked" like so many of the beautiful ones I've seen, lead to deeper and more silent thoughts and questions of the "whys of life". Most of the "whys of life" can't be answered I suppose, but my box was ruined while I was doing my very very best taking care of the pressing immediate things that were my responsibility. Just like you, many times my time is not my own to do as I please or work on a project of my choice.
And so as I huddled on the floor with tears pooling in my eyes and running down my cheeks I was blinking and sniffing as I tried to see the photo I had just uncovered. In it I could see my husband (then my boyfriend) just as cute as could be and directly beside him was a smeared water stained blot. Below the blot I recognized one of the outfits that I wore back then. Gone were my brown curls and silly smile.
At that moment my husband walked in. Without speaking I handed him the photo. His immediate reply was, "That's our first date!" Apparently someone had snapped a photo of us that evening and then later gave it to us. I have no idea who took the photo. All I wanted to do was throw the picture in the trash and run down the street wailing to the top of my lungs. I didn't however! Instead I realized that with all of the smears and water blots, it's still a remnant of a special memory. So now the photo is dry and maybe in 28 years it will find its' way to a scrapbook and my greatgrandkids can wonder why greatgrandmomma's curly brown hair and silly smile is smeared from the photo.
If I'm around I will tell them the story of how the photo came to be smeared and what a wonderful man their greatgranddad is and that life is sometimes full of smears.
Yes, life is that way. There may be blots and smears and tons of unanswered whys along the way, but still life can be filled with special memories and fleeting moments to cherish.
My mother would often say, "Rachel always do YOUR best and if you've done YOUR best then that is all you can do. The rest will take care of itself." So whatever comes and goes if I know I've done MY best, then I leave God with the rest.
Each day I try to do MY best and let that be enough.
Sigh~it's a process.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day Surprise!

Today we looked out the window of our vehicle and right there beside us we saw this huge black beautiful horse. It certainly was working on Labor Day by pulling a beautiful shiny white carriage. As we zipped away I quickly snapped this photo. Yep! Sorry! This is all I got of the beautiful horse. Look at the neat braid cascading along the line of the horse's mane.
Seeing this horse in the middle of downtown was a fabulous surprise. Life is that way, full of surprises. Another surprise in my life is those of you who email or leave comments. It is really unreal to realize that you are out there and reading this and giving feedback.
I absolutely LOVE having this blog. Since July 2007 when my niece Karla (Rambling Roads on my side bar) emailed me and told me she had set one up for me, I have been pleasantly surprised how fun it has been.
I am careful how I spend my time. I am constantly asking myself if what I am doing has lasting value. And so I appreciate when you let me know that you have been encouraged.
I will share with you a part of a letter I received from a lady named Judy that I met and she started reading along too.
She said, "Dear Rachel,
So glad to see you back on here! I have missed your stories and pictures so much! They bring me so much joy! I met you in your store last year?"
I have been told when you prepare a blog post and then click "publish post", it is as though you have had an article published in every newspaper in the world. I did not take that advice lightly.
And so it is important to me that when I spend my time posting that you are encouraged. I want the way I spend my time to have lasting value.
As you go through tomorrow and the rest of the week, look for the fun surprises that may bring you delight. We found joy in admiring the neatly braided horse's mane. Our family has found that looking for small joys is sometimes helpful to take our mind off of irritations.
Thank you Judy, for allowing me to post a tiny part of your letter.
Sigh! How in the world did I think to say all of that tonight? My brain feels blurry! Good night!
P.S. Thank you for the Happy Birthday wishes for Mr. RP!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Happy Birthday Mr. RP

\ Yes, in fact today really is Mr. RP's birthday. And we celebrated. We appreciate having another year!
I overheard little girl chanting under her breath, "Must resist this cake...must resist this cake....must resist this cake." But alas we all had a little cake and we are together and happy. That's what really matters isn't it?
So Happy Birthday Mr. RP. It is a gift to celebrate another birthday with you!