Coffee Shop Time!

Just Thinking….

For years, little granddaughter liked to play coffeeshop in the bath tub. We would run some water and bubbles, and drop in some plastic cups, spoons, etc. and the shop would be open.

“Hi, Grandma! Do you want a latte?” was the standard greeting. Nevermind that she had no idea of what a latte was. Nor did she know what a mocha, or espresso or Italian ice was. In her mind, just filling a cup with bubble water and pretending to add whipped cream (more bubbles) was enough excitement. I would place my order as I knelt on the floor beside the tub, and then slurp noisily as I pretended to drink it. Then she would fill my next order. Over the course of one bath, I “drank” maybe 10 coffeeshop drinks. It was always our special time in the evening.

Now she is a little older, and doesn’t need anyone to supervise her bath time. I miss it. So last weekend when she came to stay, I asked her if she wanted to go to a coffeeshop…….. a REAL coffeeshop. The look of delight and awe on her face was worth every dollar. Off we went to Ping’s Coffeeshop.

I have two girlfriends with whom I travel every summer. We choose a destination, clear our calendars for 5 days, pack comfy clothes and food and chocolate and Bibles and meet at a motel. We spend the days traveling the countryside, stopping at interesting little shops, having lunch, and talking nonstop. In the evening, it’s jammie time, sometimes hot tub time, Bible study time and more nonstop talking. But the afternoons are special: that’s coffeeshop time.

One of the first things we do when we pull into town is scout out the coffeeshops. We like the eclectic looks of books, music, and comfy couches, and want a great array of drinks. I usually take just iced coffee as I love the coffee flavor with no sweetness. My friends stray more toward iced mochas. But we put our feet up in that quaint little shop on a hot summer afternoon and just relax over our coffee and talk…………. It’s girlfriend time, pure and simple.

I told my granddaughter about this as we traveled to Ping’s. I described what she would see and smell and hear and taste. She was quivering as we got out of the Tracker. There was a line ahead of us, so she stood to the side and just stared at the barista grinding, pouring, topping, blending……….. Finally it was our turn. I ordered iced coffee. She doesn’t really like the coffee taste, so I could see her thinking becoming a little confused. I suggested an Italian ice, and she readily agreed. We took our drinks and went to a little counter where a computer was set up. We climbed up on the tall stools and she giggled as she sipped her ice. It had whipped cream on it, and she was in heaven. She began to tap out a message to me on the word processing program: “Do you come here much?” I tapped back: “Not too often. I only go out for coffee with my girlfriends.”

She knew she had arrived. It was an end of childhood rite. No longer would I be giving her a bath and playing coffeeshop with soap and bubbles. We had moved on to the real thing, and moved on to another level in our relationship. It was girlfriend time.

Father, I praise You for my girlfriends, no matter what age. And for my time with my granddaughter. Thank You for our special coffeeshop times. Amen.

To God be the Glory,

Published in: on July 30, 2010 at 3:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

Sometime I Cry, Just Thinking About It…

Just Thinking………

Hubby had foot surgery this morning (he’s doing well, thank you), and is supposed to stay off his foot for several days. At the moment, he is obeying this order, as he is sound asleep. But when he awakes, it will be hard to keep him down. Already he has been fretting about mowing the lawn, working on his shed, going to school to run off papers……….

When I mentioned this on Facebook today, there was an immediate outpouring of prayer and well-wishes from friends. And one local friend began to offer help: could her son mow our lawn? Did we need a meal? I think we are OK this time around, but I began to reflect on how nice people are to us. It brings tears to me sometimes on how other treat us so well, and are so helpful.

Last year, when we had a tornado tear through our property, around 60 people came out to help us clean up, and they just kept coming, day after day, bringing their tools, water and food. No way I could pay them what they were worth, and no one asked for a cent. When we sold our home last year and moved out of state, people just kept coming by to help us pack and clean the house. Some drove with us all the way out of state to our new home. People helped us unpack and set up our beds, and brought us food for our first day in our new home. Our neighbors, no matter where we have lived, have always been so kind and generous.

Many years ago, I was in a car wreck, and could do little for myself. A dear friend helped me get to the doctor’s. Another friend cleaned my house. One came and washed my hair. Many brought meals.

One tiime I broke my leg and was on bed rest. A friend came out each day at noon and fed me lunch and helped me to the bathroom.

My family has been so good to us. They are there to help us, cheer us, pray with us, work with us……. Our move out of state could not have happened so smoothly without all of their help. My parents support us so much. My sibs, nieces and nephews are there for us. My son and grandkids are so kind and helpful.

I really try to NOT ask for help. I’m uncomfortable receiving help, and would much rather be on the giving end. One time I did not ask for help, and a friend chided me for not asking. She said, “You denied me a blessing when you didn’t let me help you” I had never thought of it that way.

Even though I don’t want to ask for help, and usually don’t ask for help, it is so amazing how people just show up and offer to be of assistance.

Father, help me to always appreciate those who give of their time and energy and resources. Help me to be more aware and sensitive to those about me who have need. Help me use my abilities (which ultimately are from You) for Your glory. Amen

To God be the Glory……

Published in: on July 28, 2010 at 6:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

Ah………….. Massage………….. Ah………

Just Thinking…..

I have a massage appointment this afternoon. It’s one of those decadent things that I do for myself that challenges my frugal soul, but I don’t want to give it up. I used to get massages in MO about once a month and felt like a new woman afterwards. I have a lot of back and neck problems stemming from a car wreck years ago. And I am developing arthritis that makes it very hard to move and bend. Massage soothes all of this.

Now that we are in our new homestate, I can get a massage once a week for a quarter of the cost in MO. There’s a school of massage here at the college where I teach. And oh my they are good. Only two problems: 1) they only do massages from February to August, and 2) I get a different student each time. So I have to re-explain all my tender spots and needs. But even with these drawbacks, I am enjoying the school and the massages.

Sometimes I wonder if this is too self-engaging. Am I too centered on “me”? Should this money go elsewhere? I’m pretty good at arguing both viewpoints!! I dont want my life to be just self-indulgent, to be vain, to be selfish. On the other hand, when I feel my best, then I have more energy to do those things that need done. When I struggle with answers, I often look to the Hubs to help me clarify. He said that I should not feel guilty on spending time and money on a massage. That’s all I needed to hear!!! Thank you, Sweetie!! (and now….. about that hot tub…. just kidding!)

So….. it’s off to the massage today, and then I’m working to help clean up water damage at my parent’s home. See….. I AM using my energy for good!

Father, thank You for providing the time, the money, and the ability to have a massage. Thank You for my husband who encourages me. Please, do not let me become self-indulgent, but in all things to acknowledge You and praise You. Amen.

To God be the Glory……….

Published in: on July 27, 2010 at 5:03 pm  Comments (1)  

Garden Musings: New Soil

Just Thinking…..

I wandered out to my little garden this afternoon with a plastic grocery bag (guess that’s a bit of visual irony…) to pick fresh produce. My minute backyard spot is only 8′ by 6′, but doing nicely. The Hubs built it as a raised garden, and we filled it with topsoil, mulched heavily, and planted green beans, 5 kinds of tomato plants and a zuchinni.

They exploded. The tomatoes and beans went wild and covered not only the garden, but draped themselves over the edge and began taking over the immediate yard. The zuke had leaves that were 15″ to 18″ across! When the beans began to blossom and the tomatoes began to form, I could see that we were in for a bountiful treat. And now, as July is closing, my sink is lined with yellow pear tomatoes, large yellow slicing tomatoes, and big Romas. I have tomatoes in the fridge, along with a nice mess of cleaned green beans waiting to be steamed tonight. The zuke, for all its size, was disappointing. It only had 3 offerings. They were delicious, but I was envisioning being overrun with zuchinni.

Now let’s revisit the past. We tried to garden in Missouri…… oh, how we tried. But the soil was thin and grew rocks better than anything else. The multiple wildlife munched on my plants: deer, coons, squirrels, rabbits. We lived in the woods, and sunlight was patchy. I even decided to try growing cherry tomatoes in buckets on the front porch, and was rewarded by impertinant squirrels sucking out the insides and tossing the shell over their shoulders.

I miss Missouri a lot. I miss the milder weather, the lower cost of living, our hand crafted home in the woods, our friendly little community, our church, our Sunday School class, our jobs….. the list could go on…. But I don’t miss the soil. This rich black Iowa soil makes me think of the McBroom books and his highly exaggerated plantings.

The transition to Iowa was tough on me. For a time I just wanted to sleep or to sit and stare. I didn’t have a church home. I didn’t have friends here. My new part time job was still adjunct teaching, but the conditions were quite different. I had to get rooted. Just as I had to plan and plant and care for my little garden, I found that I had to plan my new life here. I would think of writing in this blog, but then shrug it off. I would think of projects that I should do, and then do nothing. As I plucked tomatoes and beans this afternoon, I reflected on my journey. I’ve made the transition; I’m setting down roots. We’ve redone the kitchen, hung our own pieces of art, and arranged the furniture. We’ve ventured out to a new church and deliberately began to be busy in it. We are teaching and meeting people. None of it is the same; I still mourn leaving our church, commmunity and friends. But God prepared a new soil for us.

Father, help me explode in growth like my tomatoes and beans. Help me grow past my boundries as I reach out. Help me take root in this new soil and blossom for Your glory. Help me bear the fruit You want me to bear, abundant, rich and joyous! Amen.

To God be the Glory…..

Published in: on July 26, 2010 at 8:12 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , , , , ,