Friday, November 29, 2013

Lessons Learned in November: Some Black Fridays are Darker Than Others and Other Random Things

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with loved ones and you are gearing up for a month full of celebrations of Christ’s birthday. I’m linking up with Emily Freeman and “What I learned in November.” 

1. My Mom has a “Liquor Locker”:
What is that, you ask? Well...the residents of her new senior center each have a spot they can keep their favorite alcohol down in the dining hall. A nice gentleman offered my Mom some Kahlua on her scoop of vanilla ice cream. Pretty fun, huh? She has Drambuie and some other liquors she's had for years that she'll get to enjoy with new friends. By the time you’re a Senior Citizen you’ve learned to share...

2. Bloody Mary cocktails were named after a person:
I didn’t used to like V-8 or tomato juice but then I discovered Spicy V8 and Bloody Mary’s. The cocktail was named named after Queen Mary of England. Mary Tudor was the daughter of King Henry the VIII. You can find out more about her sad life here. Lots of red blood involved...

3. Dogs accept disappointments:
I felt so guilty. I had missed Sydney’s 3rd birthday last month because we were in Indiana. Instead we celebrated her “adoption day” on November 1st by giving her a Butler University collar. She didn’t seem impressed. She doesn’t care about birthdays or anniversaries, just time spent with her “people”. Wednesday afternoon my hubby and daughter took Sydney to the vet to get her toenails trimmed and then headed to our local brewery. I met them after I got off work. It was too chilly to stay out in the Beer Garden so we tied Sydney to a pole and went in for a Harvest Ale while waiting for our college son to arrive for the weekend. Sydney never barked (good puppy!) and let lots of strangers pet her. People don't always talk to strangers but they always talk to doggies...

4. Sometimes little details matter:
A few years ago I accidentally left sugar out of the pumpkin pie I baked to take to a friend’s pot-luck dessert party. NOT GOOD. Last night as we took a bite of the pumpkin bars I made and we realized something was quite wrong...something was missing. Sugar? We think. Luckily we were all full from the fabulous feast. I think I could have a good idea for a new game show~"What’s the missing ingredient?"...

5. You can laugh about parenting:
Check out Michael McIntyre and prepare to laugh.

6. Some Black Friday’s are blacker than others:
This is a hard day for me. Back in 1998 I was on a shopping trip with women/friends from my neighborhood. We had pitched in and chartered a bus to enjoy a fun day of shopping. We had Mimosas and pastries on the way up to Seattle and were going to enjoy Champagne and snacks on the way back from Issaquah. My Mom was visiting from Indiana. My “un-smart” cell phone rang late in the day. My next door neighbor was calling to tell me there had been an accident. I could hear moaning and other noises in the background. My hubby had been putting up Christmas lights and fell off the roof onto our driveway. My then 9 yr. old daughter had called 911 and the EMT’s were attending him before transporting him to Tacoma General.

My shopping group was scattered in an outdoor mall but quickly everyone was rounded up and they re-routed the bus to the hospital. My Mom went home to stay with my four kids and puppy (Cody the wild Yellow Lab), and a girlfriend stayed with me. My man had a compound fracture on one arm and he had shattered his heel into a million pieces. My memories of that black Friday are dark; I remember seeing him and fainting, hours of waiting in a dark and cold waiting room while he was in surgery, a dear friend who worked at the hospital giving me a tour of the Lab to take my mind off things (Maggie is now in Heaven due to Breast Cancer~what a blessing she was that night), and singing “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” in my head as I was driven home in the middle of the night.

The day before had been Thanksgiving and 24 hours later I found myself giving thanks to GOD for sparing my husband from death or being paralyzed... Yet I was angry. Why had it happened? It was a hard time for many months; recovery in the hospital, wheelchair, re-hab, etc. My husband was so brave. Despite the hardships, I am forever grateful for: neighbors who built a wheelchair ramp, Mops friends who provided meals and housecleaning, friends who helped with my four kids, my Mom being there for us, and Mike’s sales team who helped him keep the district going as he worked out of a hospital bed in our dining room.  Do not climb on a wet, steep roof  in socks to put up Christmas lights~it’s not worth it... 

So, on this Black Friday I worked a few hours, shopped a tiny bit, picked a Christmas Tree with my sweet hubby and thought back to another Black Friday. Not about the shopping and saving money kind of Black Friday, but the two where love was demonstrated... first the darkness, then the gift of grace. 

In His Grip, 

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