Sunday, January 4, 2009

Closing doors and Opening Windows

It's been said time and again that when God closes one door, He opens a window or another door. In our case it is true. For years my husband and I have prayed to be able to move back to Oklahoma where we are from and where all of our familly except one son live. We've been in Louisiana, over 400 miles from our nearest relative for 18 years.

On December 18th of this year I was in Virginia staying the month with my son, Bill and his family, including my beautiful grandbaby. My husband, Frank, called me. He had just been laid off.

It was a shock and totally unexpected. He was scheduled to begin Christmas vacation that day. The plan was to go to Oklahoma to get our other son, spend a day with his cousin who has cancer, then drive to Virginia. He did that, but I had to coax him. His fear of the loss of income was uppermost in his mind, as well as mine. I knew it would do us all good to see each other. I knew Frank aks Grandpa needed to see the baby.

Despite the worries we had a good family Christmas. We were more able to focus on what is important and what the meaning of Christmas is all about.

The long trip back in the car was quiet and it became more tense as we got closer to home and the reality of our problem.

However, when we stopped in Oklahoma to take our son home we stayed with Frank's cousin, Ron. During that visit Ron offered Frank a job at his distribution warehouse. What a blessing. Suddenly, things didn't seem quite so bad. God finally opened the window for us to move home.

The timing is fortuitous. Ron has cancer. They want me, as a nurse, to be near and to go along with them to MD Anderson when he has chemo. For some reason he will listen to me when he won't listen to his wife or physicians. Ron is only 54 and has three children. At this point in my blog I would ask that those of you who pray to pray for Ron.

Other windows opened for us. Ron has a truck he isn't using just now. His son will bring it to us in a couple of weeks so we can be loading things into it. We won't have to unpack the truck until we find a place to live. While we search for a place to live we are invited to stay in their lake house. Another window open. God is good.

Now, we are busily trying to finish some bedroom renovations we were in the middle of so we can put our house on the market. Packing things up is another story. Because we've been here so long we have a small house full of things. I have to make decisions about what to keep, what to donate to the thrift shop and what to throw away.

My books. I only did one shelf. It was my shelf of Christian books. Many I just couldn't part with, but I will be donating a box full to my church library.

But, what of my other books. I can't get rid of any of my autographed copies. How does one choose which books to keep?

I wasn't able to write while I was in Virginia. Silly me, I thought I would have time even as I took care of Rosalyn. When your my age and in my physical shape you nap or sleep when the baby does. That, my friends, is one of those great truths.

I must finish an interview I did for a local paper and get it submitted. I must finish an article for my writer's group newsletter before I leave. Where will I find the time? Where will I find a way to turn off my mind, which is running rampart with moving thoughts, so I can focus and write?

I attended my last meeting of my writer's group, the Bayou Writer's Group of Lake Charles, Louisiana. It was sad for me. I was weepy. I had to relinquish my spot as secretary and as a member of our conference committee. Our new president, Jess Ferguson, is going to make it a fruitful year. She has plans for each meeting, which always includes learning opportunities. I will miss my group and hope to find one in Oklahoma.

I am a new member of a small critique group. I need it and know it will be beneficial to me.

So, I am about to climb through the windows God has opened for me and make a new start. I ask for prayers and best wishes. And, encouragement to continue writing.


Saturday, January 3, 2009

On being a Grandmother . . .
  • I haven't blogged lately because I spent the entire month of December with my beautiful granddaughter, Rosalyn and her parents, my son, Bill, and his wife, Sierra.
  • I was present for Rosalyn's birth on June 28, 2007. Holding her for the first time made my heart hurt in a most exquisite way. I stood with my son, holding his newborn daughter. Tears were flowing without shame from my Sailor/firefighter/paramedic son's eyes.
  • When a parent is as lucky as I am to have her grown son fall in love and marry a woman who becomes her friend as well as daughter-in-law it is a blessing. Having a grandbaby result from that union is akin to feeling love coming full circle.
  • From the beginning it became habit for me, Nana, to get up with Rosalyn for her first diaper change and feeding of the day. That is our time. Nana and Rosalyn with everyone else asleep. Eighteen months later that habit still exists whenever I'm fortunate enough to be with her. You see. Rosalyn and her parents live in Chesapeake, Virginia. I live in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Over a thousand miles separate us. It's simply too much.
  • Rosalyn has always been curious and into things as she develops the skills to do so. Everything intrigues her. She gets frustrated when she isn't able to figure something out. She loves life. The photo of her on the right I titled, "Wow." It was taken on her first birthday. Nobody knows what she saw that day to impress her so much.
  • She loves animals. Rosalyn lives with two dogs. A daschund named Chloe, who is sill extremely jealous of her and a very laid back basset hound named Hunter. Roslayn and Hunter play, usually with her climbing all over him. See the photo of Rosalyn talking to Hunter.
  • When I was there at Christmas we took Rosalyn to a Winter Wonderland and live Nativity. She was in awe of all of the animals. There was a small petting zoo there. She loved the pony. I am a horse lover of unrealistic proportions. I have made it my goal to turn Rosalyn into a horse lover. I made sure she got to pet a pony.

Keeping up with an 18 month old is almost more than this old girl can handle. She stays busy from the time her feet hit the floor until she is down for a nap or bed. Of course, Nana has to help her dress her doll, roll her little ambulances and fire trucks around, put shapes in the proper hole, and read books.

I love that she is so interested in books. We must read a dozen a day. Sometimes she will get a book from her shelf and sit on the floor turning the pages and "read" it. She can't say many words yet, but her babbling contains voice inflections appropriate for the story. I pray that her love of books continues throughout her life. That is a goal of mine and her parents. Make learning fun and never be ashamed of her intelligence as she gets older.

She is learning sign language. She is most familiar with the sign for food and more. The following photo shows signing more. There is a growing trend nowadays for parents to teach their babies sign language. I think it's great. Signing is much like a second language and it could prove helpful as she gets older.

Runny nose and all I love this baby girl. All my adult life I heard others speak about the joys of having grandchildren. I wanted to be one. I wanted to be a Nana. I am now a member of the grandparent's club.

Christmas was great! Seeing the look of awe in the eyes of a baby when we passed homes decorated with lights and yard ornaments made me laugh and ooh and ahh with her. She had a problem keeping away from the Christmas tree and the wrapped gifts. No became the word of the day.

When the time came to open gifts on Christmas morning she had to be shown how to open the them, she's a fast learner like her Nana and she was tearing into the gifts like a pro in no time. She thought all of the gifts were for her and became a bit frustrated when she couldn't open them all.

My words aren't sufficent to relay the joy and love this baby brings into my life, but I hope those of you reading my blog will enjoy seeing the baby who changed my life in many ways.

God is good, isn't he?

Happy New Year to all.

P.S. Someone tell me how to get rid of all the dead space between the end of the post and the bottom of the page for comments?