Permanent….. Uh huh…….

Just thinking……..

When I was a kid, Mom used to give me home perms.  I’ll never forget Toni and Lilt.  I hated them.  First, they stunk.  Second,  the rollers pulled on my hair.  Third,  I had to sit still for a long long time.  And fourth, it was ugly.  My hair never came out in Shirley Temple curls.  It just stuck out in 90 degree angled tufts with a spiral here and there.  I cried all the way through the ordeal.  I cried when Mom went shopping and came home with the dreaded perm box. I cried when she dug out the box of pink rollers and those flimsy little papers.

The weird thing is that they were called “permanents”.   But they didn’t last forever (which is a good thing, considering the angular bent my hair took).  Nope.  A few months later, the box and rollers and papers appeared all over again.

Despite the hate-relationship with Toni and Lilt, I really am a permanent kind of girl.  I like for things to last forever.  I’m known for wearing awful shoes, because I fall in love with a pair and wear them until they are tilted over, scuffed up, and unstitched.  If I had my way, I’d still be wearing that gray pair…..

My clothes are decidedly out of date.  This is partly because I’m cheap, but mostly because I find something that I like and it takes up residence in my closet forever.

I drive a little red Tracker.  A what?  You heard me: a Tracker.  My grand kids call it The Buggy.  They told me to never sell it.  I’m obeying.  I like that little car, and I hope it lasts another 20 years….. or more.  It’s comfy and just the right fit for me.

As soon as I could afford it, I bought some Calphaln cookware.  I had gone through the cheap thin tin pots and had to keep buying a replacement.  That offended my permanent soul!   This Calphalon should last the rest of my life, and my granddaughter’s life, too.

The Hubs and I designed and built a passive solar home of our dreams about 35 years ago.  And it worked like a dream.  And it made our energy costs a dream.  We built that home to last.  Only thing is that we no longer live there.

My swimsuit is from the last century.  Really.  The hot tub has faded it and stretched it, but it’s still my fav suit.  And when I put it on, I pretend like it still fits.  If I squint just right, it looks good.  But good or not, I’m sticking by it.  We have a relationship……

And that reminds me of people.  Relationships are a BIG deal to me.   If you are my cousin or niece or nephew or sib or kid or grandkid, then you will always always always be family. I don’t care if we are third cousins twice removed (whatever that means).  As far as I am concerned we are family.  And if you were my friend in grade school and we now reconnect, you are still just my friend.  If you are my friend, and you move away or change churches  or change jobs….. big deal….. you are still my friend.

The Hubs is my best friend.  I want him to be in my life forever.  Right now I am sitting with my feet up in my comfy recliner.  He is in another recliner reading the newspaper.  I look over at him and think, “Wow.  What a guy.  To think that he loves me.”   And I want that to last forever and ever.  I want us to grow old together (so far, we’re doing a pretty good job of it).

And I don’t want to even think of a time when I might be alone with out him.  I don’t want to be without my home, my Tracker, my cooking pots, my worn out shoes and out of date clothes.  But mostly, I don’t want to be alone.  I’d just like for this relationship to to be permanent.  A forever thing.

The rational side of me says “Sweetheart.  It’s not going to happen.”  I know that.  My grandparents, who I cherished, are gone.  My dad died last month.  Things happen; death is a given.  And yet my soul keeps reaching out for the permanent.  How very sweet and reassuring to know that the Hubs is a believer, just as I am, and that in some form or another, eternity is ours!  We don’t know exactly what it will be like or what our relationship will be like, but I know that it will not be a permanent separation.

I think of foster children, shuttled from home to home, with no bedroom to cal their own, let alone a mommy and daddy to call their own.  Oh how they must crave some sort of permanence.  How they must just want to be able to come to the same address every day after school and lay down in their own bed.  It’s that forever feeling.

I think of some of the novels set during the Civil War (by Lynn Austin) and how the slaves had no sense of permanence.  They had no guarantee that they could keep a child or a husband.  They had no place to call their own, no sense of the four walls around them of ever being secure.

I think of my son.  When he was little, he announced that he was never going to leave home.  When we asked why, he replied, “Food’s good.”   Obviously that changed:  both the food and the leaving home.  He has his own home now, his own children, and he’s a mighty fine cook.  Nope, that was just a passing fancy, not a permanent arrangement.

The rational side of me knows that the only permanence I’ll ever really know is eternity and Heaven.  Maybe when I’m struggling with losing people and seeing material things rust and decay, it’s just that eternal part of me biding time.

So Toni and Lilt aside, I’m a permanent girl living in a decidedly un-permanent world.  Ay, there’s the rub…

Father, I ask for a glimpse of eternity, that fleeting vision of what is to come, that hope that someday we will all be gathered before You in eternity.  Fill my heart with appreciation for what I have now, and with anticipation for what lies ahead.  Thank You for all those You have put into my path, even though it is not forever.

To God Be The Glory…..

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