Saturday, August 28, 2010

Question of the Day

I have this friend...

Hypothetically speaking...

Have you ever wondered...

Is it okay to clean your oven with a vacuum?

I mean, not that I'd ever do something like this... Except if it came to be that there was a bunch of crusty stuff sitting there... And a vacuum is a tool of expediency...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Old Floor, Solid Heart

Here's a 1970s-era photo of our house:
Isn't that ugly and sad? I'm sure that whoever lived here at the time thought that sun room was just groovy, but I'm thankful that a later owner chopped off the greenhouse and replaced the front deck. Someone before us put a lot of effort into a major interior remodel, as well. They moved the stairs to the basement, opening up the space down there to make it nice and modern. Although it looks like the budget ran short, they scraped up enough to install new kitchen cabinets and make new bathroom cabinets too.

Fast forward to here and now. Thanks to an inheritance, we've replaced the flooring in the main living areas. New vinyl in the kitchen looks superb, and we picked out a very nice carpet for the living room and hallway. It's wonderful to have such beautiful floors!

Before we ripped up the old carpet, I wondered whether we might possibly have hardwood in at least part of the living room. After seeing that sun room addition, and knowing that the front door has been moved, I figured that some of the original floor had to have been replaced. But what if we had a nice section of hardwood? Wouldn't that be something?

The day of the rip-up came. I was at work when the process started, and didn't hear anything about the progress. Guess what? WE HAVE HARDWOOD! Guess what else? IT'S COMPLETE! The whole living room and all the way down the hallway is original oak! And there's a gorgeous green slate hearth, too!

This floor is 48 years old, but when we're ready to tackle the mess, we can restore it to its full luster! I love old, I love original, I love natural materials. I love my house!

This made me think about endurance. Oak trees are sturdy. Oak lumber is strong. That floor was made to last. Even though it's been covered and stapled and walked on for many years, it can be made beautiful again because only the surface has changed. That's how I want to be.

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be complete, lacking in nothing.

Okay, I have never been known to cheer about facing a new difficulty. In fact, I've always been susceptible to depression and I tend to think too much about the negative things in my life. But, the truth is, I know that God has allowed discomfort and sadness and obstacles to affect me for His good and His glory. May I, like that hardwood floor, stand the tests of time so that my heart may shine all the more brilliantly for Him in the end.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Good Thing Neurotic Rufus Wasn't There

It felt kind of like a command performance. The Big Boss wanted to come on our first day of driving the Really Big Red Van to visit daycares. My driving partner and I were *not* the envy of our coworkers, let me tell you. This Behemoth Red Van (think bookmobile but 2010) is brand new, and the bookmobile procedures are new to us. Oh, and then there's the driving. It's a good thing I'd had some recent experience driving a large van under stress. It's also a very good thing that I've learned a few tools and life skills, so that I could assess which worries were out of my control and let them go. In this case, I had to jettison most of my concerns once I realized how little control I would have over this situation. Whew!

Fortunately, the Big Boss and the Outreach Overseer were very understanding of the anxieties of the situation. My driving partner and I completed the pre-flight checklist and successfully backed the Behemoth Red Van out of its parking place. The Big Boss declined our invitation to ride in the van right away, rather suggesting that we'd be more comfortable if we had a chance to get used to it first. Ahhhh. Nice!

The trip went well. There were a couple of mistakes (the biggest one was mine) but overall it was smooth. After our second stop, the Big Boss rode along with me for a short distance.

Guess what?

It was fun!

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(pictured: me, my driving partner, and the Big Boss, all unscathed)

Friday, August 6, 2010

There are Appointments and APPOINTMENTS

A misunderstood schedule... taking the scenic route... trying to avoid most of the traffic... an appointment with fate?

We were going to pop down to Tacoma to get my husband's overseas immunizations. Yes, in the mid-afternoon, on a Friday. Mega traffic. Ugh. You know how it is -- the traffic clogs up, crawling for a while, then opens up again. Lather, rinse, repeat.

And then...

I remember when log trucks were an everyday sight. Back when I was on the school safety patrol in the 1970s, we tried to get the truckers to blow their airhorns on the highway in front of our school.

There aren't many log trucks here in 2010. But there was one today, on the freeway, trying to merge. Merging toward a little car. Still merging. Merging! The car was boxed in, the trucker didn't see her. MERGING!

Fortunately, the damage was minimal. Truck clipped car, side mirror flew off car, traffic made a hole, car pulled to shoulder. Truck kept merging, not stopping. He never saw her.

Turns out, it was two ladies. The driver was totally shaken. The passenger, despite having had the wheel of a loaded log truck just inches from her shoulder, was okay. We stopped, called the State Patrol, and waited until a trooper came. It's what we hope someone would do for us in that situation. Just. Be. There. Oh, and their cell phone battery was dead. Mark and I both had our phones in hand, ready for action.

P.S. Oh, the immunizations? By the time we got to our destination, minutes before closing time, we were told that that pharmacist doesn't work on Fridays. "We need to change our recording." Um, please do. Now that we helped those ladies, Mark's ready for his shots.