Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Today I am thankful for angels. I don’t mean the kind that fly or make token appearances in nativity scenes. I don’t mean the kind you collect from curio shops or even the kind we read about in the scriptures that are sent with special messages from heaven itself. We talk about guardian and ministering angels, and those were the kind that were with me today. Except they were people…people here on this earth that the Lord put in my path at the right time to fulfill a purpose in my life. Since he cannot be everywhere at once, he uses the spirit to prompt us to do for others on his behalf. Today, I experienced that great and marvelous blessing not once, but twice.
I had made an appointment with some folks in Bucyrus, Ohio. They own a “factory” that produces hundreds upon hundreds of different kinds of handmade cookie cutters. I mean seriously, you can order 49 of the states (Hawaii just makes a weird cookie), the entire nativity, a ballerina…practically anything you can think of and lots of things you don’t ever think of (like buzzards and groundhogs or the Taj Mahal). I was excited to go.
So I set out, alone…to do this interview. For the past few days, my car had been misbehaving a little. It started rumbling and shaking whenever I hit anything over 50. I just kind of ignored it, prayed it wasn’t something serious, and hoped it would just go away. Once I hit Highway 30 going east, somewhere between I-75 and Upper Sandusky, it started rumbling really, REALLY badly. So I pulled off. I walked around the car, and saw nothing wrong immediately, until I got a closer look. My rear driver’s side tire was fraying at the edge of the tread on the inside wall. Great. I’m in my good clothes and heels (including a pink shirt) and I have never changed a tire alone before. I’ve watched others do it, but never alone. So I sighed a little, called the Highway Patrol (just in case…to let them know I was there), called my dad for some coaching and tips and started out. I was doing pretty well, remembering of course, that because my van is a stow and go, my spare is under the front two seats underneath the van. I had it out and had the car jacked up. But I had a terrible time moving the lug nuts. I’m not as strong as pneumatic drill I guess. Just as I was going to give up and wait for some nice strong highway patrolman to come along, another nice man came along. He was a little older and looked quite safe. He offered to help and I accepted. From there on out it went much faster. We finished up, I smiled and asked for a name. “John”, he said, shaking my hand. I thanked him heartily and he was on his way.
I was late for my appointment. Grrrr. But the wonderful lady I met, Mary Fox, knew what had happened, and had a clean towel waiting for me when I got there. How very kind and thoughtful.
I very much enjoyed taking a tour of the little “factory” and was extremely impressed with the assortment (hundreds and hundreds) of unique cookie cutter shapes they make by hand in their basement. You can have anything from a cardinal to a pair of scrub pants and crocs, or awareness ribbons, or one of 80 breed of dogs. Plus so much more. But after I spent a little time with Mary and her son Kevin Kohls, I found out we Mary and I had something in common. She had been widowed in her late 20’s and had 2 children. She remarried Ed Fox (who passed away the same time as Dave did), and they had 3 more children. We talked and talked about the grief and difficulty of being a young widow. “You know, “ she said, “God wants to take care of us. It’s what makes Him happy.” She went on to convey that she knew God had always provided for her. It was that faith that helped her, and that eventually led her to Ed in the most unlikely of places…a bowling league. This is especially odd since she doesn’t bowl. I told her how sometimes it was hard to believe that the Lord would provide me with another husband, and that having four children definitely made it hard. She told me she could tell that I was an amazing person, that she could tell how wonderful I was just by being around me for such a short time…and that some man would see that in me and all that I have to offer. Her words were exactly what I needed to hear.
The visit was indeed, a blessing for me. I needed to remember all of the things she said, and to hear it from someone who I’m not related to. I am extremely grateful for the intervention of our father in heaven in bringing her into my life for that moment. I surely needed it.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Sunday night my brother Rob’s daughter called me. She had a very important question.
“Aunt Chiara? Will you sing at my baptism with Aunt Melanie and Grandma Thacker and my daddy?”
Thinking I was funny, I responded; “Ooo, I don’t know Miciah. I can’t sing with your daddy because he’s so stinky.”
It only took her a minute to reply “Well, Aunt Melanie and Grandma can stand in between you!”
I smiled, and with that assurance told her I could accept her offer on those terms. Does she never call her little brother stinky?
So I called Mel to tell her of this interaction with Miciah, and as we were speaking, my brother’s cell phone beeped in to Mel’s number. She flipped over, sure it was Miciah, and we agreed to just talk the next day.
A few minutes later, Mel calls me back. It had, indeed, been Miciah and she did, indeed, ask if Mel could sing.
Melanie responded that she would be honored to sing and would be happy to agree. Miciah then continues. “I have a questions to ask you Aunt Melanie…could you stand in between my daddy and Aunt Chiara?”
Melanie, playing dumb to the whole previous conversation, asks, “Well, why Miciah?”
“Because Aunt Chiara thinks my dad is stinky and she won’t stand by him.
By now, Mel is cracking up inside.
“Well, you could just ask him to shower.”
“Yeah, that’s what my mom said. I think he should. I don’t want him stinky at my baptism, because he’ll be touching me and then I’ll be stinky.”
Evidently, my brother has indeed, been occasionally stinky J
Monday, September 14, 2009
When I opened the freezer later that evening, I found out where I put it. Evidently, if you leave a soda in the freezer for too long...it explodes. All over.
Here is the evidence:
Saturday, September 5, 2009
They also had a group of tents that were made a little market. Everyone was selling old fashioned stuff...hats, clothes, pottery and toys. This nice man had some wooden tops he taught the kids how to use. You wrapped a string around them and pulled fast. They would spin on and on.
Some other fun things we did that I didn't take pictures of was a rodeo and a group of scottish tribal drummers (with a bagpiper!) called Albannach. Look them up online. They were really great. You can actually listen to them on iTunes.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
The 8th graders at our school go to Washington DC every year. Well, its Paul's year! Although the price is reasonable, its still more than I could handle. The school offered to help, but I felt strongly about him earning as much of it as possible. Our friends own Victory Candles and offered to let him have 50% of the sales towards the final cost. He will help make, package and deliver each candles personally.