Gloomy Day Treasure

For Christmas our daughter and Granddaughter gave us a sunflower disk made of compressed bird seed. We took down the regular feeder outside our kitchen window and put it up. It took several days for the wary birds to trust it as a genuine feeding item.

Then the feasting began. One morning while getting some coffee I noticed a bird that does not often come to our feeder. He is prone to totally freeze in place or fly off at the slightest thing that might startle him. He especially does not like the red-bellied woodpecker. Otherwise, he will feed with other birds in relative calm. As I watched he explored the sunflower and then I went to grab my iPhone. He stretched to his full length, and in the gloom of this winter day I captured the best photo ever!

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Yellow-bellied Sapsucker with his belly shining bright! Black capped Chickadee on lower edge of flower.

I remember as a child hearing some actor in a movie who was wearing binoculars about his neck get all excited about this bird with the weird name. This photo was hard to capture, and not the best quality, but for me, a TRIUMPH!! I could finally show Bob why it has that funny name.

Keep watching for those treasures in plain sight!!

Success!

Bob is spending the night in the hospital for observation, but the pacemaker procedure went off with no complications. Thank you so much for your prayers and good wishes.

At one point I had to go move the car from valet parking to the regular lot. When I got in the car the radio was playing this song.

Hoping like Dan said, this completes the circle from that terribly illness that began January 4, 2018.

Stay well!

Weary Molly

 

Simple to Read, Harder to Do!

In her book 1,000 Gifts Ann Voskamp quotes Chesterton:

“Thanks are the highest form of thought  and gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”

When I read this I saw thOUGHT. This is how I OUGHT to think. This is what I OUGHT to do. The part of the earth where I live is gloomy today. No sunshine in sight. This is one reason our best friends moved to New Mexico! Much more sunshine there.

The gloom is accentuated by naked deciduous trees. Somehow they look even skinnier this morning. The ground is mostly brown and gray, too. The recent record breaking rain is slowly making the grassy areas “green up,” that is unless the ground has just turned to mud as in my friend’s driveway! Mushy brown muddy goo.

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Gray sky, brown and gray tree skeletons, but this also reminds me that with this New Year turning of the calendar, I am also supposed to be renewed and resting. One young friend told me she had prayed the Lord would give her a word for the year 2019. She suggested I ask Him also. It seems He already did in my recent journaling and seeking His face. “Be still.”

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Except for the recent wind storms here, the trees are still. No leaves fluttering, not much fluid moving up and down the trunk. No fragrance of newly mown grass outside. The rose bushes are dormant. Even the snap dragons that were holding out with leaves and a few flower buds in the garden are looking shabby and going dormant.

How can I be still and just rest in all of this? Bob’s procedure is coming up in a few hours. But fretting will not help that. Me being still would create a better atmosphere for all. I learned from a recent hospital test he endured that I can accomplish little while the doctors are working their magic upon his body. So perhaps I can take that opportunity to practice being still. Not running out into the future of “What ifs” or the past of “If onlys.” Still in the present moment.

Thanks and gratitude in the stillness. Making that list of 1,000 Gifts to be thankful for feels forced and corny in the beginning. Later it becomes a lifestyle that enriches awareness and has the potential to bloom into gratitude. Help me be still and open my eyes and ears to thanks and gratitude.

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A Calendar Quote

From my 2018 calendar produced by Sounds True, this quote from Kelly McGonigal:

“Our capacity to notice suffering, be moved, and respond is not just a form of caregiving or love – it is a form of courage.”

In February of 2018 this was the page on my calendar. As I learned more about my husband’s suffering from a critical illness I also learned more about caregiving, my capacity to notice suffering and the courage required to walk through that awful illness and recovery. Every day the calendar spoke to me and helped me.

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Similar calendar page

 

Recently we were made aware of the suffering of a 78-year-old widow. Living alone she had slowly let herself stop eating and drinking, falling into a deeper and deeper depression. When her family discovered her condition, she told wild tales of falling down the stairs. Said she did not want to bother anyone after she fell. She evidently waited three days to tell anyone. Weird thing was there was no bruising on her. No stairways that would let her fall head first, though maybe bounce on her bottom. CT scan showed no brain bleed or other problem. Her isolation, mental habit of worry and fret, lack of exercise and nutrition likely all contributed to her condition. She was hospitalized for several days to rehydrate her and get her stabilized. Then moved to a care facility to work on her strength, physical stability and mental capacity. They will eventually move her to a small apartment in the same complex.
When we went to help the family make sense and put into order her condo, everyone was stunned. The mailbox had not been opened for about 2 months. The dishwasher was overflowing with dirty dishes as were the kitchen sinks and counters. Broken and burned out light bulbs were in several places. When the light was returned to the laundry room, empty bottles of laundry soap, fabric softener and piles of soiled laundry along with broken glass were deep on the floor.
My first response was fear. Oh my! I better get back to walking or being in the pool at the YMCA or this could be my future. Especially if something happens to my husband. Then pity that she let herself despair to this point. I too suffered a bad bout with depression several years ago. When I worked my way out of it with therapy and loving care, I vowed to never let myself do that again. No matter what others do or how they behave, my mental health would be my #1 priority.
Then I was angry at her. And we are not even related. It has taken  a reminder from the calendar quote to bring me back to the point of noticing her suffering and having the courage to go see her. I want to be loving and non-judgmental. I do not live in her head, so I really do not know exactly the components of her suffering.
God help me to respond and be moved with Your love and the courage of the Lion of Judah.