June 21, 2015
The night before camp... excitement is as heavy in the air inside as the humidity is outside. Not liking the commotion, Kia darted under the desk as all five children gathered into the bedroom to laugh, talk, and goof off as they discussed camp plans. The two youngest were on our bed, one playing a tablet and listening to the banter, as the other one lay on the end wishing she could join their week at camp. My oldest daughter sat on the night table near my head as she told stories about what others said about their camp experiences. My two oldest boys stood at the end taking turns giving each other piggy backs rides up and down the hall. My oldest, who I am quite surprised to see so excited about this week, must have kissed and hugged me over four times then left the room, yet each time he decided he needed to come back and join the crazy clan again. I tried to get a picture of the memory they were all making, but it is hard to get five squirming, bouncy children in one small camera frame. It is times like these when my heart swells with joy and love...the clamor around me makes me laugh and appreciate each one so dearly. They all have something to add to our family, perfectly fit together by God like a puzzle.
So as they settle down for the night, and my mind slowly settles down too, I thank my wonderful Lord for blessing me so abundantly because He is simply showing me only a part of how much He loves me.
June 22- I said goodbye to my three oldest today. They were all up early and ready to leave at 9:00 sharp. I did not even have to keep after my oldest to get out the door. Joe came down to the church to see them off and we waved one last time as they left the parking lot. There were no tears...just a feeling that part of me was missing. Susy, Ben, and I climbed in the car and did a couple of errands before going home. After lunch we headed to the beach, where I presently sit writting this. Ben is digging close by and Susy is joining the fish and crabs in the cold water. She loves it. The waves are pretty big for Hammonessett and they have spent the last hour jumping them as they break onto the shore. I think my favorite part of this week will be the fact that my two yougest will get to be just their age, with no expectations of having to live up to what their older siblings think they should be like. Ben can be 7 for once and Susy can be 11. I am going to enjoy every minute of peace.
June 23- A quiet day to start off. We set out to bring some cast offs to consignment and then picked up lunch before going to see Inside Out. Afterwards we came home and I felt led to clean JJ's room downstairs. During that time a thunder storm rolled in and it became very dark. Thunder grew louder and as I dusted I heard that familiar wind sound of tornado proportions. We looked outside and my little tree was bent over to the left. My berry bushes fell over and leaves and branches were everywhere! My flower garden looked like someone had stomped thru it too. I commented on how it reminded me of the tornado in Indiana many years ago. Joe called and gave me some harrowing stories of trees falling on wires and fire starting on the wet grass. I told him I had not checked the backyard yet for damage and went to take a look. At first it looked fine, but then after a second look my eyes began to see trees and branches down on our neighbor's house etc. We decided to go for a walk and we saw one tree after another down. It was bad. It looked like a war zone. Trees were on houses, roofs, cars, power lines...some looking like they may not get fixed. We took a ride aroubd town and saw people putting suitcases in their cars so they could go somewhere with power. Now our power is out and we sit by candlelight enjoying some peace and quiet. I am in awe once again how much God loves and takes care of us. He protected us from harm just as it says in Psa 91. "A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand, but it shall not come nigh thee." Just as my dad believed it is like our insurance policy.
Father's Day Thoughts
I heard the door to the garage open and close, and I froze in my tracks. He was home? Was it that time already? The instinct to run and hide hit me hard and I quickly hurried around the corner of the living room to the steps going upstairs. I could not let him see me! My heart beat hard in my chest as I listened carefully to know where he was. I heard him greeting my mother in the kitchen and then footsteps came down the stone tile in the hallway to the closet door. I trembled where I sat on the steps, with only a thin wall separating me and him. I glanced up to the edge of the railing, one I loved to slide down whenever I came down from my room upstairs. My head came to about a foot below the top of the wall and I knew he could peek over at any time and scare me with that silly grin on his face. I crouched lower to the stairs and hoped it would not occur to him that I might be hiding within his reach. After putting his coat away, he closed the door and I heard him ask Mom, “Where is Cara? Usually she is here to say hello.”
“Maybe she is upstairs in her room,” Mom answered from the kitchen.
“Maybe,” he answered, “but, I think she is hiding from me again.”
Panic set in and I knew I just had to run again. I had to try to make a mad dash off the stairs and back into the living room without him seeing me. I crept slowly down to the bottom and was about to run when he suddenly peeked around the corner and shouted, “Ahh haa! I got you!”
I screeched loudly as he grabbed me and tickled me, then pulled me into a big bear hug. “You were trying to hide from me again, weren't you?” he laughed, pretending to be surprised, though it had become our little game. The warm feeling that filled my heart that day still warms my memory of today – Father's Day. It is not something we always celebrated, though we did appreciate Dad in a big way. We loved to draw him pictures that he stored in a file at work. Our family was just not one to celebrate many holidays, but over the years I began to send my Dad a card just so he would know how much I appreciated him and loved him. Sometimes we do not say it enough to those we love. We get busy with life. We assume they know. Or we take for granted all they do for us, and we think that they will always be around. I never thought I would be one to say that I do not have a daddy on this earth anymore. I did not think that there would come a Father's Day when I did not need to send a card anymore. It breaks my heart. It will not be easy to go to church today and see all the people who still have their fathers with them. As they receive their gift, I will close my eyes and imagine my Dad receiving the best gift he ever could up in heaven. A crown for serving the Lord...one for being the best Dad ever on this earth; for being steadfast in his faith; for being a good example to those he worked with, and for his children at home. I will never forget the testimony of an unsaved office mate during the Celebration of Life a month ago. He stood up front and gave witness to the fact that my Dad was never moved by circumstances at work. He was steady from the moment he walked in the door to the time he left every evening. It was a blessing to hear that Dad's testimony went beyond the house and into the workplace, where he was loved and respected for his faith.
So, celebrate your dad today. Tell him you love him; bless him with your appreciation and presence. Do not take him for granted. But, if you are like me and find yourself without a dad today, then look up to your Heavenly Father, Who will never leave you nor forsake you. Tell Him how much you love Him. Tell Him how thankful you are for all He has done in your life. Do not despair because you still have a Father, and He loves you very much.
Dear Father, please tell my dad in heaven how much I love and miss him. Thank you for giving me such a Godly father on this earth; one who could show me the path to You.......”
Happy Father's Day to all the dads out here.
The Ant Whisperer
Some call him the ant whisperer. I find that kind of strange because I know him as the ant killer. :) Yet, he has studied bugs for so many years that he has learned to track movements and patterns that lead him to the bug's front door.
Joe and I had gone out to Panera for dinner last Friday night, to celebrate our seventeen years of marriage. We ordered our food and found a place to sit outside, near the rock wall filled with all sorts of flowers and trees. As we waited for our little buzzer to alert us that our food was ready, I noticed there was quite a lot of movement along the wall to my left. The little brown ants were busy going back and forth across the rocks, hopping over the gaps, sometimes stopping to communicate with each other along the way. Joe identified them as Pavement Ants, and commented how they must have had a home not too far from where we were sitting. He said they do not go too far from their home in search for food, and once they find a food source, they hurry back to inform the others of the goodies they have found. I studied these little guys, fascinated at what I was seeing them do. The ones that came from my left went rather slow, as if seeking something out, but the ones coming from the right went running past quite quickly. These were the ones on their way back to the nest with good news. I dropped a little crumb of bread on the rock and watched to see how long it would take for the ants to find it. Within a minute one of the ants, who was on his way back to the nest, found it. He climbed on it and then took off to let the others know he had found some food.
Then I noticed one of the ants dragging along one of his friends, holding him up high in his little feelers. "Oh look, he is helping his friend get back to his nest!"
Joe gave me a funny look. "No, he is not helping him," he said. "He is taking him back so they can eat him."
I was not so sure this was a nice act of friendship anymore.
"Keep watching where he goes. You will find the entrance to the nest." We watched them go down the side of the rock wall and onto a ledge not one foot away from my chair. Sure enough, we found them going in and out of the spaces in the wall. It was the ants' front door. The little ant carrying "his friend" dropped him at the door and went inside, maybe to get help carrying the dead ant through the small gap. I turned away for a few minutes and when I looked back the dead ant was gone.
Joe went back inside to refill his cup and when he came out he had a sugar packet in his hand. He opened it and sprinkled the sugar on the ledge right in front of the nest. When those ants came out they seemed a bit confused at first. Where did all that sweet stuff come from? It was like manna from heaven to those little guys, sent from above for them to enjoy.
I began to chuckle at the oddity of the moment. Here Joe was, feeding the very little creatures that he kills all day long. I could just picture Panera calling Family Pest Control with a complaint that they were being overrun by ants, when in fact, Joe might have caused the very problem. I looked around for a camera. It would not be a good idea to get the name of our good pest control company splashed with evil for feeding the ants. But I still had some sugar left in my packet that I needed to use up. We finished our meal, put away our dishes, and walked back to the wall. A little farther away was another group of busy ants, slightly larger then the pavement ants. I forget what he called these ants, but they seemed to have a different pattern of search. "Well, they deserve some good food too," I said, and proceeded to dump the rest of the sugar for them to find. It did not take them long to find the sweet stuff and they quickly ran back to their nest to tell the others of their find.
All in all, it was a good night. It was good to spend time with my husband and learn a lot of things from him about ants. I liked seeing the kind side of him when it comes to bugs...he does not need to kill all the time. Just when they are overrunning someone's home. My home included. But outside, where they are simply doing their job, you can learn a lot about them. Even the Bible has something to say about the ant..."Go to the ant, thou sluggard; and consider her ways, and be wise." Proverbs 6:6. It is no wonder that his customers call him the Ant Whisperer. :)