I just decided to post something here to this long-ignored virtual reality. Sometimes you just have to break a rule, or run through a wall that has gradually encroached upon your life through some unintended habit or omission, just to see if it matters.
I’m pretty sure this blog thing doesn’t need to be some mental mountain, imposing itself in my brain-space like Mordor. Poke it in the eye, and I think it will whimper and slink away.
Welcome to the dog-days of summer – middle August. (I read a story recently about how August got that “dog-days” moniker. I don’t recall the details, and it really doesn’t matter, anyway. But I did. It’s always interesting to me that we use phrases that we don’t really understand just because they’ve always been used, and they have a story that we don’t know.)
The mornings are darker later, and the evenings are getting shorter. The days are still hot, but the nights are cooling. The kids are excitedly dreading the start of school, and in some cases, so are the parents.
I’ve hit the August lull in workload – just after finishing July reports, just before beginning budgets for next year – and I’ve got a few days with few meetings and few deadlines and I feel like I can catch my breath. Breathe in, breathe out. See a little more clearly.
It won’t last, so I need to milk it while it’s producing for me.
I had a vacation in Vermont with my lovely wife: 6 days and 5 nights in a town with no cellular service and no restaurants, sleeping in a house built in 1846 with a 10-step walk across the grass lawn to the front door of a church also about that old, like every other church we saw in every tiny village of Vermont back-country with white clapboard siding, black shutters and a steeple reaching to the high heavens.
Raspberries and blueberries were at their peak. We purchased fresh raspberries from an untended roadside stand in some friendly stranger’s front yard by putting a few bucks in a can, and ate them with our fingers as we drove, and we ate fresh blueberry cobbler in a gourmet restaurant in a tiny town in which we just happened to find ourselves along the way.
I read good books in bed until my rear-end was sore from lack of movement, rolled over and took a nap without even glancing at the clock, then stretched and slipped my flip-flops on and took my wife for a drive on what the map shows as the little gray unidentified roads with no numbers to find our next adventure.
Have I told you lately how much I love my wife? Of course not, since I haven’t told you anything lately, so let me say it plainly here: I really love Renee. Really. After 22 years, she’s still the person with whom I’d rather spend my time, bar none. We laugh, we cry, we share and just hold hands for the comfort of knowing the other is near. She’s God’s pain-reliever gift to whatever pain is vexing me from day to day. Thank God for her.
Speaking of giving thanks, I read a book recently called One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, and let me say I just highly recommend it. All the more so if you’re struggling a bit with finding eyes of gratitude amongst what can often seem monotonous and futile daily-grind kinds of days. In response, I’ve been praying for God to improve my eyesight, to let me see the trail of him in my days, and to appreciate the colors he’s sprinkled about to keep them from blending into some gray soup. Guess what? He’s been answering my prayer with unexpected enthusiasm.
Seeing him more regularly is almost as gratifying as holding Renee’s hand.