Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Our typical atypical holiday...

Well, we were all supposed to go to Carey's mom's for Thanksgiving, but stomach virus has made an appearance at Kasey and Beau's house. :(

So I decided we needed to send a virtual hug to them. Carey's out painting porch railing, and Jared came by before he left for Ma's, so I corralled them out on the porch for a quick pic. Just like holiday plans, nothing goes right the first time every time.

Hope this makes you smile a little.



Oops.




Yawn.




Drats!




Good enough!

Love to all. Hope you have a wonderful (and memorable) Thanksgiving filled with smiles!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Saturday, November 22, 2008

just for fun...



I'm a sucker for kaleidoscopes. I can't help ewwwwing and ahhhhing. And the other day I thought I'd try to see if I could photograph one. Sometimes I crack myself up.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Looking back and moving forward...

I was with a friend today, and we dropped in on her daughter, Sarah, at work. I hadn't seen Sarah since they visited me in the hospital after the accident, and I don't really remember much about that. Her boyfriend is a volunteer firefighter. Today she said to me, "I haven't told you, but we heard your accident dispatch over the scanner, and thought wow, that sounds bad. I didn't know till a couple of days later that that was you."

It surprised me. I don't really think about the accident itself much anymore. I felt a little detached as I asked her if she remembered what was said. She said, "I'm not sure, something like, 'rollover accident...vehicle in flames...driver trapped.' "

I was instantly awash in gratitude all over again. I give thanks daily for little things I notice. Like this morning at the chiropractor I noticed that I could let her work on my upper back, whereas up till now it was still too tender. Or last Monday having my GP ask about the nerve pain in my arm, and realizing that it had been gone so long I had almost forgotten about it altogether. When these realizations crop up, I stop and say a big "Thank you, Lord for your tender healing care."

But Sarah's comment took me back to that moment, and the sensation I had of the BIGness of God. The first moment of awareness upon regaining consciousness, I felt Him there. That's not really a good description, it defies description. Embraced? Held? Peace. Comfort. An intangible, vibrational something. Communion? Waking to a stranger praying over me was incredible, and I wanted her to know the Presence I felt.

It's not something I talked about. I didn't feel ready to write about it. It felt too sacred to do so. I did feel the urging to share it with someone who has been living through the hardest thing I can imagine. I wasn't sure how it would be received, but her response was very precious to me. It was affirmation that it was right to follow the Spirit's prompting, and share it with her.

I don't think I'll be writing any more about the accident after this, so I want to record the details that I remember or have pieced together from what I was told. I tend not to remember or to minimize things as time goes by, and I think I should remember this...not to dwell on, but I should be able to look back and remember the journey. I've never put it down in a continuous stream before.

The accident happened on a narrow back farm road a few miles from our home. I don't remember what made me lose control, but I'm wondering if I was changing from my regular glasses into sunglasses, as neither of those were ever found, nor was my glasses case. It happened right in front of the home of a couple that we buy hay from. She was not first on the scene, but when she got there she was able to call Carey at work. I've never seen much traffic on this road, but this day several people came upon the scene immediately.

Carey always insists that we carry fire extinguishers, and mine was ejected from the vehicle when it rolled (three times). A teenage boy found the extinguisher and used it to put out the fire. (Thankfully I was unaware of the fire, and did not learn of it until much later.) I was told that he had to climb part way into the car with me to put out the fire. I am in awe. I spoke to him later to tell him thank you, and you would think I had thanked him for picking up a book I dropped...Yes, ma'am. No problem.

A registered nurse and her daughter, both from a hundred miles away, were visiting a friend that lived in our area and were on their way out shopping. They got me out of the car with the help of the young man who put the fire out. These were the women who were praying over me. (Carey saw the car a few days afterward; he said he didn't know how they got me out.)

The ambulance from a rural volunteer fire department made it to the accident before the state trooper. Though I did regain consciousness briefly before the ambulance arrived, enough to have my vivid recollection of the feelings described above, I wasn't capable of real coherent speech, and I don't remember being moved into the ambulance. I am really hard to get an IV into, or even to take a blood test, and I always request a butterfly in the back of my hand. I always thought that most of the reason was just because I stress so much over it, and that if I was ever unconscious, they would have no trouble getting a vein. Well, my first clear sentence was prompted by them having a real challenge with my veins. I said, "You're going to have to put it in the back of my hand." The EMT told me that that wouldn't be sufficient, but that's what they ended up having to do. And of all my many and deep bruises head to toe, those, where they tried to insert the IV at the inner elbow, were the very last to fade.

I remember the state trooper arriving at the ambulance door right before they closed it, and I heard him ask, "Is she gonna make it?" I didn't hear the answer. I was in and out of consciousness on the trip to the trauma center about an hour away...at least I guess I was, because the trip seemed incredibly short.

The trauma center is kind of a blur. I remember a bunch of doctors and nurses each telling me that wearing a seat belt saved my life. I remember my kids being there, and me telling them to make phone calls to their grandmother (it was her birthday, and I hadn't called her yet), a friend that I was thinking about flying out to visit to tell her I definitely wouldn't be able to make it, and a co-worker that I was supposed to fill in for the next Monday. Yes, even under extreme stress my brain is like a steel whatchamacallit...or I'm just unbelievably bossy. I remember them telling me that Carey couldn't get a flight in till the next day...he told me later what torture that was for him.

My injuries were pretty mild considering:

...I had between four and eight broken ribs.

...I had some intracranial bleeding that they were worried about for awhile, but it stopped on its own. They put some staples in some cuts to my scalp.

...The right side of my face was swollen and bruised. At first they thought my jaw was broken.

...I had hematomas across my chest and abdomen from the shoulder and lap belts...they watched those pretty closely for awhile too, but the bleeding stopped on its own there as well...felt like ropes under my skin forever till they finally healed.

...I had pretty bad whiplash...don't recommend it. There's still an indentation on the left side of my neck at the base...the neck specialist thinks that the shoulder strap caused a tear in the muscle (not muscle from bone, but cellular [?])

...The hand seemed not so bad. My fifth day in the hospital I insisted on being released. My neck was having unbearable muscle spasms at night, that triggered my vertigo and then vomiting (take it from me, you do NOT want to heave with broken ribs). I blamed part of that on the hospital beds which have always been hard for me to deal with. Each of the doctors had to come by to okay my release. I was highly amused (or maybe just high and amused) at the hand specialist's face when Carey said, "It's not bad enough to need surgery, right?" Poor doc explained that, no, one of the bones was "pulverized" (his word), and that if they opened it to operate he was afraid it would just flake apart. It never hurt though, and after four months in a cast and another in a splint it has healed really well. I can now make a fist and cross my fingers!

...The nerve pain up my arm was really, really awful...glad that's over.

...I have lots of scars on my left upper arm, from glass I guess. Had some stitches on some of those.

...And though not an injury, a side effect of note was that I had unbelievably vivid movie-like dreams while on the pain killers and muscle relaxers.

I don't know why I survived. I don't see the whole picture...but Someone does. For each person that rushed to my side, that cared for me, that prayed for me, that helped my family, I give thanks. Now it's time to leave the pain in the past and move forward, giving thanks for each day, each lesson, each smile, each gift, trying to follow God's plan for me.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Everyday blessings...

Lately I catch myself checking in on my own blog expecting to see a new post. Okay, maybe it's more like to check the date of the last time I've added anything. I keep thinking I'll get inspired to add something new.

Well, it's been a week, and I'm really tired of seeing that little pot pie happy face from the previous post. It's starting to look lonely and abandoned.

So thought I'd add a virtual visit post about my "neighborhood."

This is the kind of view I get driving the back roads around here. I love the gentle rolling hills.



I took a detour the other day, and found this bench in a little churchyard. It looked so peaceful.



These are actually rocks in our road down by the gate. I couldn't pass up a picture of one of my little everyday blessings. No manual or digital manipulation of this pic, I promise.




Big open skies make for beautiful sunsets.
I do so love my neighborhood.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Chicken pot, chicken pot, chicken pot pie...


Pot pies are just one of those comfort foods you have to have once in awhile. When the kids were little, I used to cut the vent slits in the shape of a happy face. They loved that.
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Kasey called last night and said that she had pot pies in the oven, and that Bobby was excited that she had put happy faces on them.
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She put a happy face on her mother too. :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Out on the porch...


Here's a tiny glimpse of the new porch. Carey still has some work that he wants to do himself, but the majority is done. I LOVE it!
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The cost of lumber and supplies...high.
The contractor's effort and expertise...worth every penny.
Having my dream come true...priceless!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Pay attention, my little friend!

Why did the chicken cross the road?



To prove to its friend the armadillo it could be done. :)

Ran across (well obviously not literally) this little critter in my ramblings today. It brought to mind one of my favorite jokes, and I couldn't resist sharing. If you don't get it, you're probably not from Texas.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Speaking of library books...

I cannot recommend highly enough two books recently borrowed from my local library.

Before Green Gables by Budge Wilson is a prequel to the L M Montgomery Ann of Green Gables series. I almost didn’t pick it up, as I didn’t see how it could be true to the original books, but I was pleasantly surprised.

Equally enchanting was The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.

Both of them refused to be put down.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A quiet Sunday afternoon...

I have a love/hate relationship with the digital age.

I LOVE having facts at my fingertips anytime day or night! I love being on the phone with a friend who asks me if I know the address to which funny newspaper clippings should be mailed for the Tonight Show, and without skipping a beat, without having to end the conversation, without them even knowing I am looking it up on the web, finding the correct answer.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE digital photography. When I got my first digital camera years ago, I took it as a gift whose invention was meant specifically for me and people like me. I knew everybody would like it, but I knew that there were people like me out there for whom it was just MEANT. I hate blatant 'PhotoShop'ing meant to fool gullible e-mail forward recipients.

I love cell phones when your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere (or when you are unconscious and strangers call your family to your side). I hate them in restaurants, funerals, and public restrooms!!!

I like e-mail (since I tend to keep in touch somewhat more regularly with my friends and family that have it), but I miss receiving casual notes in my post office box. I love the backspace button as I'm composing my outgoing messages instead of having to messily scratch out handwritten words, but I miss reading how someone is feeling by the varying quality of their penmanship.

I love the vast, immeasurable quantities of shared thought from distant strangers that bob across time and space like messages in bottles on the ocean current waiting to be found by a strolling beachcomber. But I miss the romance of the physical world.

I love being able to go to my local library's website and put a new book on hold...or even renew my books...GLORY BE!!! But nothing can match walking through the whoosh of the library door into the cool, quiet, magical, story-filled space. I love the way it smells. I love the Dewey Decimal System always leading the way.

I've been trying to take a little less time on the computer and make a little more time to read real paper-and-ink books these days...to not put all my news in my e-mails and drop a handwritten note in a real blue metal mail box now and then...and next time I go to the beach, I'm going to toss a real glass bottle full of hopeful tidings into the surf.
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