Thursday, March 31, 2011

Our First Daffodil of 2011

We have one daffodil in bloom! It is so beautiful. All the others want so badly to fully come up but, alas, we have had two days straight of sideways rain, unrelenting wind and gray skies. That sideways rain is REALLY annoying me this year. I don't know why. I'm so tired of seeing it out my kitchen window, as I do dishes. My son said, simply, "Don't look at it." Hmph. Easier said than done. But ...

This post was going to be a rant (seems I'm annoyed at a lot of little things this week) until I read Sue in Japan's post. Now, how can I possibly complain about life's little daggers when she's over there, an ocean away, dealing with relocation, future decisions, being apart from her husband, etc. Her post talks about their situation but also lists her blessings. What a great focus and a reminder to me that I have NOTHING to complain about! Thanks for that gentle nudge, Lord!

So, if I'm not going to complain, how can I redirect this post? O.k., I'm happy that I'm able to post this morning. It's been tough trying to make time to blog/comment. My husband doesn't get home from work until 7 or 8, so I do like two dinners every night, then we have coffee (our daily bonding time) then it's dishes, read to Carmen, and bed time. Morning seems to be the only time for me on the computer and I feel guilty, like I should be doing something more important. For now, I will try to take a few mornings a week, that should be enough to do what I need to do and not feel like I'm neglecting other things. I miss keeping up on my friends' blogs!

Chad has starting playing euphonium again. A blessing (for him) and a curse for us with ears. Practice can be, um, painful. He makes up for it with his continued piano practice, which is lovely. Carmen has refused to pick up her recorder or try any other instrument. Sigh. That girl. I don't know. She's a puzzle. It's not required that all of our children play an instrument but we feel it's an important learning skill. Suggestions, anyone?

So, I will try not to look at the sideways rain today. I'll look at the lovely daffodil, proudly facing my window. Nice of it to do that instead of facing the street. I do need to drive Chad across the Columbia River over to Ilwaco (the tiny town in WA that houses the museum he works in) but I'll try to focus on the car ahead of me and not the rain. Sometimes the weather is different over there - who knows, maybe the sun will show its face! One can hope.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Daffodils (almost) and Mysteries

Spring is trying to make its appearance, in the form of daffodils pushing up their slender leaves through the soil, refusing to bow down to the torrents of rain and wind.

Rain ... rain ... wind ... rain ... thunder/lightening ... wind ... oh, yes, and hail

Yes, this is springtime where I live. Today we felt the air wasn't quite so biting cold, even with a high of 50 degrees. However, the night sky was beautiful. Pink sunset, fluffy clouds. And then, 2 planets, the Dog star and Orion in all its glory. Followed by more rain.

All this is an attempt to distract me from what I've been listening to on the radio. As well as daily life annoyances/difficulties. Keep looking at the daffodils, they show courage in the face of adversity.

A bright spot ... my kids were happy to receive a shipment of Boxcar Children books that arrived a few days ago. We all enjoy reading these little mystery stories. I still read to Carmen every night and had been reading Laura Ingalls Wilder for years. We recently switched to Boxcar Children which is good as it broadens her reading horizons. A bit sad as I miss Laura just a little. But, really, I'm happy to read something I haven't memorized! These books are fun and easy reading. And there are a lot of them. I'm afraid the kids will want us to order more when these have been read! A box of books is a great way to perk up an otherwise cold and dark, rainy day. Nicely timed!

In addition: Please pray for Sue and her family, in Japan. They have left their home for a safer place, as they feel they are in danger. Pray that her husband can join them soon. Pray for their safety. Please, also, pray for the people of Japan. Thanks!

Friday, March 11, 2011

We Are Fine

The tsunami warnings ran all day but our town wasn't told to evacuate. The towns of Seaside and Cannon Beach (15 and 25 miles south) were evacuated, however, and that was where all the focus was. Schools were closed to act as shelters. People were awakened at 2:00 a.m. by neighbors and local officials, knocking on doors to spread the news. These coastal communities had full tsunami training and practice just a few years ago - what terrific timing! Everything went very well, lots of tired people at the end of the day I'm sure. I am very thankful that nothing happened in our area. There was damage to the southern OR coast and down parts of the CA coast, however. Minor, compared to Japan.

We were very saddened by the news we were hearing all day on the radio. Prayed all day for a blog friend in Japan, found out just now (nearly midnight) that she and her family are fine. Please pray for Japan.

I'll tell you how we found out about the earthquake. Once a week, a Portland cardiologist drives out here to the coast to work in the office Todd works in (Todd's usual cardiologist works just 4 days/week.) Todd got a call from his boss in Portland, saying that this visiting physician wasn't coming due to the tsunami alert. What? We turned on the radio and listened to local news alternating with national news. It took awhile to get the whole story. So, Todd got the day off. An unexpected blessing, since he's been putting in 10-hr days for the last couple of weeks. He ended up taking our boys to the orthodontist for me, only to return home because the office was closed - again, due to the tsunami alert.

So, what do we do with our day? Of course, we head over to an estate sale that we learned of due to the people driving up and down our street, looking for the right address which is nearly impossible in our extremely old town with crazy streets that begin and end at random (now, there's a sentence for you.) Astoria is the oldest settlement west of the Rockies and the town kind of spreads out over a peninsula and up and down the hills.

Later, I had to drive Chad to his volunteer job at the museum over the river and into another coastal community in south Washington state. Like in other coastal towns, the tsunami evac route signs are posted along the main street - these signs took on new meaning for me today. We called ahead to make sure the museum was open, just in case. While crossing the 4-1/2 mile bridge over the river, we both studied the place where the river and the bay converge (called the bar) and meets the ocean, about 10 miles away. Did the tide look lower than normal? Who knows.

Oh, Alec got his top row of braces put on last week. He has had discomfort but is so excited to see his front teeth already beginning to line up. He's really proud and excited - we are excited, too. He'll have to wait to get the bottom braces on, since the office was closed today. I'm sure he didn't mind too much!

Thanks for thinking of us today. Chad got a bit frightened, thinking our area would be hit by an earthquake, too. We did a lot of talking. I told him to talk with the people at the museum about where one should go during an earthquake. I said that all you can do is try your best to be prepared and then sort of forget about it. Ignorance breeds fear, is what I like to say. I grew up in Southern California where earthquakes were part of our lives. I NEVER got used to them and shook with fear whenever we had one. It was awful. I was so glad to move up here where earthquakes were not so common. And do you know, just a couple of weeks after our move, we had an earthquake here? I couldn't believe it! Since then, I think there have only been two that I've felt but they've been talking about a "big one" for years. You can't sit and worry about it. It's hard to comfort a child (or a teen) sometimes but I did my best and reminded him that God is always with us, no matter what. No matter what.