The Blur of Time from Columbus to Veterans Day This Year

I just can’t believe it is almost the middle of November, Veterans Day, or Auburn Arena‘s opening night for the 2011-2012 NCAA Men’s basketball season. It’s really all been a blur since about October 1st, like having frosted lenses in your glasses, but seen through the venue of the calendar, if that makes any sense. Where did October go? Leading up to the beginning of October was so focused on our trip to Uganda, then a few days after I returned from Uganda Deborah got sick, and then ended up having to be in the hospital for a while, where we spent Halloween before she got to go home the next day.

It actually feels pretty good to be here writing on my blog again, which is something of a normalcy issue for me anyway, something I have tried to make a normal part of my week for the past 10 years. It feels strange to me when I go a few weeks without posting, but the gaps mean about as much to me as consistent posts. I have come to learn and appreciate over the last 12 months or so that when someone you know and care about gets sick, friends, family, your spouse, priorities tend to shift around to triage mode. You do the things that need to be done and forget about all the other stuff you normally do that uses up time each day.

Everyone I know is so busy it sometimes seems like if anything out of the expected happens the whole system of time will shut down and collapse, and in some ways, it does. It’s like getting on a transatlantic flight. Time still moves forward even though you are stuck in a small metal tube for 12 hours. Inside that room (or cabin), time stands still while everything around you motors on at light speed, your “normal” is temporarily on hold until you get out of that time warped room. When we took off from Atlanta for our overnight flight into Amsterdam only our world stopped. As soon as we hit the ground in Europe I turned on my phone to find out that Steve Jobs had died while we were in flight. It was only our world in the plane that became timeless for 12 hours.

I have no doubt in my mind that being “busy” is not a biblical mandate. In fact, the opposite is true. Psalm 46.10 instructs us, to be still, and know that I AM God. But how do you balance this with the noise and chaos that is our world today? I still fight hard for margin (being still) every single week but sometimes it just doesn’t work.

Slowly, things return to “normal”, or if not, you create a “new normal” where you can establish some kind routine again. I’m not sure why routine is the goal but routine often times removes uncertainty and change, which seems to be what we all fear the most, but routine also gives us a continuity of motion for each day. I can’t imagine that Paul’s routine in Acts removed a whole lot of uncertainty for him, and fear in itself always feels like a testing of faith to me. Over the past month or so these thoughts have combined in my mind while looking at three different areas of scripture. The words of Matthew in Matthew 6.25-34 on being axioms about tomorrow, (something I think I have been genetically inclined to do from birth), 2 Corinthians 12.9 where Jesus instructs Paul that “my power is made perfect in weakness”, and 2 Timothy 1.7, “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

Tonight starts a new normal routine for our house, a “normal” routine for the second week in November that is, the start of Auburn’s basketball season. This is always something that Deborah and I look forward to each year. Not necessarily because it’s an Auburn sporting event, but because it is a few designated hours we get to spend together outside our normal routine, without much noise or distraction… one of those timeless two hour flights with the added bonus of not having to actually be at 40,000 feet. War Eagle!

Getting Sick is a Waste of Time, Or is It?

Azalea in Bloom

I would say I hate getting sick, but so does everyone.  I haven’t been sick to the point where I felt like I needed to stay home from work (or refrain from work, these days you can work from anywhere) for years.  I say years because I really can’t remember the last time I didn’t feel well enough to go to work, until yesterday.  It really only lasted a few hours in the morning and then the rest of the day was semi-productive but it got me thinking about what a waste of time it is to be sick, or is it God’s way of forcing us to slow down.

Being sick always seemed like a waste of time to me.  All of a sudden you are sitting at home with time (which seems to be manufactured from some where, because if you weren’t sick you wouldn’t have the time) to do just about anything, except you can’t or don’t do anything because… you are sick.

Time to stop and smell the flowers so to speak.  In a few weeks this part of the country will be in full bloom of Spring.  The photo above is one of our very early bloomers in the front yard, and a reminder that one of the most beautiful times of year in the south is on its way, if we stop and take the time to look.

10 Things That Being Sick Brings to Mind

  1. we are not in charge
  2. those of us in generally good health often take it for granted, until we get sick
  3. we have time, we just don’t make time
  4. you take pleasure in little things, like silence
  5. a cloudy rainy day is a great time to be sick
  6. no one wants to be around you
  7. your spouse is the greatest person ever
  8. nothing tastes good
  9. daytime programing hasn’t changed and the news is still annoying
  10. the work you did’t get done, probably didn’t need to be done that day anyway

Of course this comes from being sick where I couldn’t move or do anything for about half a day.  If I was laid up for several days in a row I am not sure what in the world I would do with myself.

A Long Day Coming Home From Dallas is Finally Here

This will be the first of my daily postings for this blog journal. My goal is to publish a quick blurb of each day as it goes by, for at least a year or so, and then be able to look back at the year and see what I did or didn’t get accomplished.  This of course is something that we do on blogs, but today I have created a new category called journal specifically to write some of the daily happenings in and around my life.

a Long Time Coming Home From Dallas

georgia christal

Today was the first day back at the house after being gone, for what seemed like forever, and it was a very busy day. Deborah and I have been in Dallas to stay with her mom in the hospital. It was probably one of the hardest weeks both of us have had in a while and we left after the funeral / memorial service for her mom was over. We will both miss her mom greatly and she has meant a great deal to both of us over our life time.  I am going to create a journal, called My Life in Europe, of her memoirs from her life in France and Germany as a way for me to remember her life.

Most of today was spent trying to catch up with various things after being gone for 10 days. Hordes of email to go through and time to make another to-do list for the day. First priority for me today was to finish some work for a client that I had to put off while we were in Dallas. Work completed, it was time to pick up the dog, Blazer, at the vet, get the mail, get some of the basic needed supplies at Wal-Mart and head back home. On my way out, our book supplier called to tell me that had an unexpected two truck loads of books and they needed to drop them off at the house. Just in time, since we have finally removed some of the boxes from the house. They were delivered while I was running around in town. Two to three pallets of books, enough to fill the entire living room. Deb had to bring them all in from the driveway since it was about to rain, she got her exercise in for the day.

Time for Orders and Music

The mail had a large assortment of CD’s I had traded and ordered before we left. This was nice and I have a good bit of new music to go through over the week. Delivered today was:

  • Johnny Cash – The Essential 1955-1983 Box Set
  • Phil Keaggy – 220
  • Billy Joel – All My Life
  • Harry Chapin – The Gold Medal Collection
  • The Mamas & the Papas – California Dreamin
  • Mark Knopfler – Golden Heart
  • Vanessa Carlton – Be not Nobody
  • The Church – Starfish
  • Moody Blues – The Best of the Moody Blues
  • Yes – The Big Generator
  • Collective Soul – Blender
  • Nirvana – Nevermind

Quite a mix and collection for the week. Usually I add a few to the collection each week but this week was a bonanza of music. I did decide while in Dallas that I needed to start archiving my images in a more direct way, along with slides and old photos from my extended family, so I picked up an Epson Perfection V500 Photo scanner. No time to unpack but when I can get to it I will enjoy getting, what I am sure is thousands upon thousands of images, into a digital format.

I managed to get in a little guitar practice today, not much, but enough for me to remember the three chords I was trying to learn before we left. Took a small but nice walk in the cold rain. Only did 3 laps (about 2 miles) but it was nice to get back into my routine of walking each day. I was able to walk back and see what the logging of the trees looked like. This started while we were gone and is continuing, what seems like in our back yard.

Last but not least I was able to get all the orders printed, no small task with about 70 book orders waiting for our return. All in all a very busy day. Tomorrow will be another busy day, and a trip into town for work and dinner.

Mother's Hospital Room in Dallas :: Where Are We Wednesday

Today I planned to launch a new weekly post category that would give my readers a sense of where we are and what we are up to. We travel (or try to) quite a bit (or use to) and I wanted to be able to share photos and fun stuff about our trips.

Where Are We Wednesday – February 02, 2008

Interesting how life takes over and changes even the best laid plans. It turns out that I am posting this from my mother’s hospital room. Yesterday, my mother had surgery to remove potentially cancerous cells from the wall of her brain (basically results form her last surgery when she had a brain tumor removed). The surgery went very well and she is now in the room, just as talkative as ever. She will be going home tomorrow and we will be heading back to Alabama on Friday.  As I mentioned above, this is her second such surgery (and hopefully the last) over the last two years.  The first came about when she and her husband were in Colorado and she flew back to Dallas.  This time she will have to go through chemotherapy and radiation once she heals from her surgery.

There are no photos to share this time, just relief and thanks to all those who have sent their wishes and have been praying for her.  Next Wednesday, we will be somewhere else, hopefully more relaxing and enjoyable.  How about anyone else who has traveled or is traveling on Wednesday.  Doesn’t have to be something on this exact Wednesday, just let me know something exciting you did on “this” Wednesday, whenever and where ever you are on that day.