Saturday, September 26, 2009

Live from Manteo!

Things are going well here, although I'm having trouble getting to an Internet connection. Plus, I'm having trouble getting time to get on the Internet. Busy weekend!

We were at the church 3 1/2 hours this morning setting up and rehearsing with the band and we have a church picnic in a half hour. So I guess I'd better run!

More later . . .

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Drama Day

Whew! This is the first moment I've had to sit down and breathe since writing my frantic update a few hours earlier. Thanks to each of you who took the time to write such encouraging messages for me; I felt very surrounded by happy thoughts when I read them.

And s
peaking of being surrounded, when I got to the beauty salon this afternoon, I was surrounded by no less than three stylists as they worriedly pondered the state of my hair. After some discussion and debate (and a few sympathetic sentiments sent in my direction) they came up with a plan. A "brief" two-and-a-half hours (and an unnamed amount of money) later, I was out the door in a revived, rescued and relieved state of mind. My hair was hugely improved and when I arrived home, Sarah was thankfully feeling much better.

o. Happy day!

Now I've got a couple emails to catch up with and then I will take myself off to bed before waking upt to the weekend in which our fate will unfold.

Yes, I do realize that is a dramatic thing to say, but unfolding fate tends to be a bit dramatic.

As does uncooperating hair.

This was most definitely a drama day.


I went in and had the "toner" put on my hair this afternoon.


It not only removed all the highlights but it turned my hair an entirely different color and it looks like I'm wearing a WIG because the color is so unnatural looking.

Can you feel the stress eking out of me from where you are?

Plus, this afternoon Sarah kept on saying she felt hot and nauseated and that she was going to throw up any moment. I thought, "Oh great. She's going to get the flu right before we're scheduled to leave."


She's feeling a bit better and I am on my way out of the door to throw myself on the mercy of someone who will (hopefully) restore my very odd hair to at least a semblance of normalcy. I knew it was bad when I walked into Sarah's room and her jaw dropped in unmitigated shock. Not exactly the reaction you want with hair color.


I'm going.

And so are are my nerves . . .

Spurting and Non-Spurting.
Welcome To My Life

Can you say nervous?

Well, that's just how our little family is feeling at the moment. In about twenty-four hours, we will pack up ourselves and our stuff (and maybe even a certain shopping purse!) and we will point our vehicle in the direction of Manteo. In the direction of our future. In the direction of a whole new way of life.

Much to my happiness, we will be staying at the same lovely hotel we were at when we went for our interview. I just adore staying at hotels that we could never afford on our own. (Actually, the church gets a special rate, so that's good.)

This is the view from our room.

You may remember my "bangs fiasco" of a few days ago? And how I was hoping they would have grown out a bit by the time we went back to Manteo?

Well, I am here to report to you that my bangs have grown about one half of one percentage of a centimeter times a nanosecond squared. (And here you thought I wasn't good at math!)

So I shall make my lovely appearance at Manteo with a lopsided hairline, which will not serve to fill me with all manner of confidence.

And what I didn't mention in the earlier "bangs post" was that I also had the stylist put in a few highlights near my face to help me look a bit more "perky." Well, as it turns out, the highlights were too bright and sort of unnatural looking, so I've been stressing out over those, too. This afternoon, I'm going to go in and have some "toner" applied to them and hope for the best.

mmm. Maybe I could have some "toner" applied to my hips and thighs while I'm at it, and "tone" those at the same time. GREAT idea!

Since I haven't bought any new clothes in a while, I went out yesterday and shopped a little bit. (While carrying my shopping purse, of course.) The more I tried things on, the more convinced I was that the "hip toner" was really going to be a necessary thing. Who knew that chocolate chips cookies went straight to that area of the body?

Their instructions? Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Just make a bee-line for the hip line.


Steve has been on the phone quite a bit this week with the church's drummer who we'll be working with this weekend. Steve was delighted to find out that the drummer (also named Steve) used to play in rock and roll bands in college, too. I have no doubt that the two of them will have a great deal of fun together!

As a rule, most pastoral candidates just go in, meet the folks, and preach a sermon; it adds a whole new dimension to also meet with the music people and run a rehearsal in preparation for playing together for the service. We're nervous and I'm sure they're nervous, too!

It's all very much like a first date that is filled with the hope that the meeting will lead to a happy marriage.
There is a whole lot of anticipation, pressure, excitement and joy involved in the process.

As I mentioned earlier, tomorrow night we'll meet with the leaders (and spouses) in the church--there will be about forty people altogether. Steve and I are trying to memorize most of the names (and their positions) before we get there, although they will be wearing name tags, which will be quite helpful for our little ol' middle-aged brains.

With all the busyness and the business of candidating for this pastoral position, we never want to lose sight of the privilege it is to get to be pastors. Pastors are invited into the lives of people at their most vulnerable times; they get to be with them in moments of incredible joy and immense sadness.

Being a pastor requires flexibility, diplomacy, wisdom, love, tact, firmness, compassion, a sense of humor, and a secure self esteem; in essence, it requires a tough skin and a tender heart. The bottom line, though, is that being a pastor means getting the chance to make a difference in peoples' lives and we're excited about the possible opportunity to do that in Manteo.

I'll keep you posted as we go along and will definitely post Sunday night after the vote.

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers for us as we make our way through this exciting, scary, exhilarating, challenging, tiring, fun, and life changing weekend.

(And maybe we could even join together our wishful thoughts in the hopes that my bangs would suddenly go through a growth spurt. And that my hips would go through a growth non-spurt. Spurting and non-spurting. Hips and bangs. Welcome to my life.)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Food, Friends and Fitness Discussion

First of all, I'm lovin' your purse/pocketbook stories! You guys are very entertaining.

Secondly, we're needing some input from a few more people in the
Food, Friends and Fitness Discussion Area. (It can be found in the right column under "The Backyard Fence" heading.) There are a couple ladies making some life changes who are needing some encouragement.

Meet Pam and Lesley:

First, some comments from Pam:


I didn't eat ANY ice cream last night . And there were TWO kinds to choose from. I tend to 'reward' myself with dessert. I like dessert. But, I want to live a long, healthy life and be physically active. So that means lose some weight, lift some weight, and stretch.

Baby steps.


Went two days without sweets. Heelllooo! Is anyone out there ? I need some support! LOL.

I have actually thought about exercise. Very little sleep last night due to worrying about sick husband. So might wait until tomorrow. What are the rest of you doing? Does anyone want to get with me tomorrow and do 20 min of cardio and some floor exercise? Lesley?

And just so you know, the reason she's asking about Lesly is that a few days ago, Lesley posted the following:


Well, I have cleaned out my kitchen of all the goodies. I am going to go with the whole grain, fruits and vegs, lean meats and popcorn diet :) Actuallly, it is what Dr. Oz recommends. I love him.

So here's one of the catches: at work there are lots of snacks that I shouldn't have. And I have to start the 1/2 hour walk every day. I will start with the work issue first and pack my cooler full of good stuff. It isn't easy! Wish me luck ladies!

I would say I have about 30 pounds to lose, pounds that I have put on in only this one stressful year :( I hate to think what I would look/feel like next year if I kept this up. I have to turn the corner.

And there you have it! If you have any advice or encouragement for these inspiring ladies, I know that they (and the rest of us) would love to hear it.

Just click on the link above and it will take you straight to the conversation.

Purse Ponderments

Today, we are going to ponder purses.

But first, I have to let you know that in the south, they don't say "purse," they say "pocketbook." Even though I have been a southern gal since I was sixteen, I have not yet been able to make that particular southernism switch. Hence the non-southernized title of this post.

First of all, let my introduce you to my purse.

I bought it because it is bronzy/gold and goes with everything. I quite dislike having to switch out purses with every outfit and so the bronze purse is a winner in my book.

Got that?

Now. This is my shopping purse. Let us all ponder it together. (It's actually a fairly expensive brand--Sak--which I got for four bucks at a thrift store.)

Are you done pondering?

Okay. And this is where I make the declaration that my husband, as wonderful as he is, has no foggy idea why a woman needs to have a shopping purse. Every time I say to him, "Hold on a minute; I need to grab my shopping purse," he stops dead in his tracks and a look of puzzled befuddlement crosses his handsome visage.

And every single time he asks, "Tell me again just WHY you need to have a shopping purse?"

And I think to myself, "If you have to ask, I'm not even going to tell you!"

However. Since you are my blogging buds, I am going to tell you. Just to see if you think the concept makes sense. Even though my husband doesn't.

But I'm not offended.



Okay, here's my rational.

My regular purse contains within its voluminous depths half of the manufactured goods from the western part of the free world. I am one of those over-prepared women who has everything you could possibly need, want, or desire stashed somewhere in my purse.

However. When I go into a store to shop and I know that I will be there for longer than fifteen minutes (not including grocery stores) I always switch over to my shopping purse which I keep in the van.

The reason? I don't want to carry half of the manufactured items from the western part of the free world into the store with me.

I want to carry three things.

My wallet.

My phone.

A tissue.

Oh yes. And my keys. (Four things.)

And yet, every time I get ready to head out of the car with my shopping purse, Steve steadfastly says, "Why do you need your shopping purse?"

And in reply, I lovingly turn in his direction, smile sweetly and whop him upside with head with it.

And then he doesn't ask me any more. (Because he is unconscious.)

Well, at least he doesn't ask until the next time.

How about you? Do you have an inscrutable habit or action that makes your spouse wonder about the remnants of your sanity?

Please do tell!

Also, please let me know that you think having a shopping purse is a perfectly fine and wonderful and brilliant and fabulous idea.

Thank you for your support.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Key To Embarrasment

For the past six years, Steve has driven a 1993 blue Cadillac, which we purchased from his parents when Sarah was first diagnosed with cancer and we were desperate for cheap transportation. (Sarah had always jokingly called it “the old people’s car.”)

When the car finally broke down a few months ago and could no longer be repaired, Steve bought a 2001 Oldsmobile. Sarah had never heard of that make of car and so when Steve told her what he had bought, she thought it incredibly hilarious that her dad had gone from an “old people’s car” to an “Olds” mobile! (I'm glad our daughter is so easily entertained.)

Last Thursday when I was bringing Sarah home from Victory Junction Camp, I was driving Steve’s “Olds” mobile because it gets better mileage than my mini van. As Sarah and I stopped at the gas pump, I suddenly realized that since I hardly ever drove Steve’s car, I didn’t know how to open the cover on his gas tank.

There was a lady waiting behind me (it was one of those cheap gas stations where people wait in long lines), so I was feeling kind of frazzled and stressed, trying to get the tank open and get my gas pumped in a hurry.

As I glanced in her direction, I saw her looking at her watch and giving off all sorts of “impatient vibes." After making several fruitless attempts to open the little gas lid, I finally got back into the car, grabbed my cell phone, and called Steve to ask him what to do.

I’m sure the lady was wondering what my problem was. First of all, I couldn’t even open my own gas tank, and then, for no obvious reason, I stopped even trying and started chatting on my cell phone.

After Steve informed me about the little “magic button” I had to push inside the car, I pumped the gas, and hurried to get everything put away so that I could get out of Miss Impatient’s way. Everything was going along just swimmingly until I sat back down in the car and realized that I had no keys.They had disappeared. Completely.

Now you may be asking how anyone could pull into a gas station with their keys in plain sight, only to discover five minutes later that they are gone.

After a cursory glance around the inside of the car and around the gas pump area, I decided I was going to have to make a little speech to the lady-in-waiting and tell her that I could not move my car out of her way because I could not (and here comes the embarrassing part) seem to locate my keys. There was an almost comical look of incredulity on her face when I told her my news.

She rolled her eyes, backed her car out, and got in line at another pump.

Fine. She was taken care of. I, on the other hand, had a minor crisis in front of me. I had no keys.

I continued my not-yet-frantic search for them, thinking that they must have fallen behind the seat, or had been put back in my purse. Nothing.

Then I glanced up and saw that a second car had pulled in behind me. I sighed, walked back and made the motion of rolling down the window so that I could inform the young lady about my situation. Then it occurred to me that she was probably so young that she had never rolled down a window in her life and therefore would have no idea what I was talking about.

Well, I got so completely befuddled about the fact that I didn’t know the current method for asking someone to open their window that I just stood dumbly outside her car in a little puddle of misery until she finally took pity on me and opened her window a crack. I repeated my little speech about having lost my keys and watched as she too, backed up and joined another line.

Returning to my car I asked Sarah, who was watching the whole thing with wide eyes, if she would get out and look underneath the car. (She bends a whole lot easier than I do. When I try to look under a car, I tend to stick my unsmall rear straight up into the air which is not an inspiring sight for anyone.) She got out and started rummaging around, looking everywhere she could think of.

No keys.

It was about 98 degrees outside and I was quickly discovering that the deodorant I was wearing was not doing what it was touted to do. I could feel the sweat forming under my arms, and the heat rising in my cheeks and to make the whole situation all the more scintillating, I looked up and saw that another car pull up behind us, except this car was driven by a man.

I thought, “Oh great. This will make his whole day. He is about to be told by a ditsy woman that she has just driven up to a gas pump to fill her car with gas and in the process, has somehow managed to lose her keys."

I trudged miserably back to his car, arm pits glistening (Southern women don’t sweat—we glisten) and stood silently beside his window, once more scrolling through my mental litany.

“Do I make the ‘roll down your window gesture?' Is he old enough to know what means? Do I smile? Do I wave? Do I really want to make this speech all over again?”

After a few moments of awkward silence, he finally opened his window to see what this strange woman might have to impart to him. I repeated my speech word for word, saw the look in his eyes that immediately labeled me A Scatterbrained Woman and watched as he pulled out and got in another line.

By this time I was positive that I was losing my sanity. I mean, I am forty-six years old and my memory is not what it used to be, but surely I would have remembered if some criminal type had walked up to me and stolen the keys right out of my hand. I even walked over to the garbage can and looked in there to see whether or not some wild moment of pre-menopausal brain spasming had caused me to absentmindedly toss them in there.

No keys.

I got back in the car and attempted to gather my wits. Alas. They were not to be gathered.

I was about to start looking in all the places I had already searched when I noticed in my rear view mirror that yet another vehicle had pulled in behind me. Driven by another man.


I pulled my harried self together and trudged forlornly back to his car. Thankfully, I was spared the whole “make the rolling down the window motion” conundrum because his window was, happily, already open. I forced myself to don a nonchalant smile as I repeated The Key Speech.

“I pulled in here to get gas. When I got back in the car, I couldn’t find my keys. I’m still looking for them.”

It sounded so ridiculous to say it, even to my ears. I could see in his eyes the same thing the other guy was thinking. “What a wacky, absent minded woman! How could someone lose their keys in the four minutes that they are pumping gas?”

I offered one last wavery, watery smile and stepped away from his car waiting for him to back up and get in line somewhere else. This particular fella, however, turned off the engine and settled back to wait. And watch.

I thought, “Oh great. Now I not only can’t find my keys but I'm also going to have an audience watch me not be able to find them.”

So for the third (or was it the hundredth time?) I went through the same routine.

Bent over (flaunting the aforementioned rear), and looked under the car.

Looked all around the gas pumps.

Looked in the garbage can.

Looked in my pockets.

Looked in my purse.

Looked behind the seat.

I stole a glance at the guy behind me. He had his chin propped in his hands, viewing the whole sorry scenario like he was watching an interesting TV show. And I was it. I was his Reality TV show! I was the sole source of this guy’s entertainment for the foreseeable future.

I continued to search. I continued to sweat, er, glisten.

Just as I was pondering whether or not I should look for a couple guys to help me push the car out of the way, a man and woman pulled up on a motorcycle on the other side of the pumps. While the man started pumping gas, the woman slowly became aware of my frenetic circling, mumbling, and sweating.

When I caught her puzzled look in my direction I said feebly, “I lost my keys.”

And that was all it took. Immediately, I knew I had a comrade who was on my side. There was no “This is a scatterbrained woman” look in her eyes; she was sympathetic and better yet, she was willing to help me look.

While Mr. Van Man continued to happily observe the entertainment unfolding before him, I watched the lady begin her own search. You want to know the first place she checked for the missing keys? In the garbage can. I just wanted to hug her. She understood completely the fact that the female brain sometimes compels us to do things that are completely illogical. I had found a kindred spirit!

Not finding anything in the garbage, she circled around the far side of the pumps, and approached my car from the front. Then she stopped. And she smiled. And she said, “There they are.”

And there they were, indeed.

The keys were hanging in the outside lock of my car door. I had unlocked the car to get my cell phone and since I hadn't closed the door again, I never noticed them.

I smiled. I laughed. I almost cried. And then I said to my new best friend, “I’m so thankful it was a woman who discovered the keys and not a man.”

She understood that sentiment completely. She gave me a conspiratorial wink and a smile and without another word, got back on the motorcycle with her fella and roared away.

I pulled the keys out of the door, held them up to the guy behind me and yelled, “I found them!”

He straightened in his seat, beamed at me, and burst into wild applause, like his team had just made the winning touch down.

I was so very glad to be of service.

Right about that time, I happened to turn around and unhappily discover that a few feet across the parking lot, there were two guys sitting at a picnic table. Unbeknownst to me, they had been keeping a close and interested eye on me as The Key Proceedings unfolded.

I felt my red face become all the more rosy as I imagined them telling the guys back at work, “You’ll never believe this woman we saw at the gas station. She was pumping gas and somehow lost her keys. She even looked in the GARBAGE can for them! And then they were in her door all the time!”

It later occurred to me that the keys were visible from their vantage point; they’d probably known they were there all along!

Sigh. Again.

In my defense (and I must redeem my reputation), for four years I have driven a vehicle opened with a little clicker so it never even occurred to me look for the keys in the door.

And who knows? If my new best friend on the motorcycle hadn't shown up, I might still be there. I might still be mumbling and glistening and circling and searching and providing rare entertainment for all the guys in the vicinity whose opinion that women are all scatterbrained was being confirmed right before their eyes.

And that's what I did on my summer vacation!


And now, onto some Caleb News which Debbie emailed to me last night.

Becky, thanks so much for your prayers and concern for Caleb and us this past week end. It's such a blessing and comfort to have a supportive family. Caleb's home today and feeling pretty perky. He still gets headaches and probably will for a while. Hopefully he can go back to school this week.

It does appear that the reason he fell in the first place is that he passed out. But the doctors checked his heart and any other possible contributers and everything seemed fine. But it still concerns me. We'll just watch him closely and, and if I had my way, wrap him up in a few layers of blankets and duct tape!

Please thank your blog readers for us. Their expressions of concern meant so much. And tell them to have their kids wear their bike helmets. Or the blanket/tape thing might be an option too.

Love, Deb

And thirdly, as to the question about dieting and exercising together, I have reserved a place for that conversation over at the Backyard Discussion Forum which can be found in the right column. I figured it would be fun to give it a try for a few weeks and see who might be interested in participating.

There have been a few great responses show up there but nothing has been added in the last few days. If you're interested in being part of that forum/support group, please head on over.


Finally, we haven't heard anything back from the people who were sort of, kind of, quasi interested in our house. That doesn't mean that they won't ever be back in touch, but we'd sure like to hear something sooner rather than later.

We're currently in the process of figuring out where we're going to live in Manteo if our house doesn't sell for a while. Most of the apartments in Manteo (even the very small ones) have monthly rental fees that are more than our current mortgage! So that's going to make life just a wee bit interesting as we transition.


I'll close with some pictures from the Miscelleneous Photo Department.

Here's Steve, displaying yet another one of his talents, which is being able to fix a whole lot of things on a whole lot of cars.

It's a good thing he doesn't mind getting dirty! I think it's about time for a Tide Commerical.

That's it for now; thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Post Travel Hangover

I've spent the morning dealing with Post Travel Hangover, a serious condition which seems to especially affect 47-year old frail and fragile females named Becky. The only currently known cure is naps and chocolate.

Don't ask me how I know.

I also did some more organizing of Sarah's books and materials this morning and spent some time teaching. So far, the school year is coming along nicely.

Yesterday's service near Charlotte went well, although I was having a lot more trouble breathing than usual. I don't know what that was all about but I just snatched a few extra breaths between a few extra words and kept right on singin' and smilin'! My voice wasn't in the best shape either, but thankfully I was able to sing the whole concert; maybe not wonderfully, but at least I made it!

And we all know what this coming weekend holds--plenty of excitement, plenty of nervousness, and plenty of Manteo-izing.

Here's the schedule:

Friday night, we will attend a dinner at the Chairman of the Board's home. There will be a group of about twenty people for us to meet, comprising the leadership of the church (board members, youth pastor, day care director, etc.) and their spouses.

While Steve and I are doing that, Sarah will go off bowling with the youth group. When you think about it, that's a pretty scary thing for her to do but I know that she's more than up to it. She's really looking forward to meeting some of the teens in the church.

At some point on Saturday, Steve and I will meet with the drummer and the singers and rehearse a worship set for the service Sunday morning. On Saturday night, there will be a cook out for the whole church so we'll have a chance to eat, meet and greet. Of course, since people usually eat meat at a cookout, we could actually say that we'll have a chance to "eat meat, meet, and greet!" (Try saying that three times fast!)

Sunday morning, we'll sing, lead worship and Steve will preach; Sunday night, we'll do the same. And then after the Sunday night service, the congregation will vote and in the space of just a few moments, our whole future will be decided. Pretty big stuff!

Monday (if the vote goes the way we hope) we'll spend some more time looking at houses before returning home.

We got a call last Friday that someone was coming by to look at our house between 5 pm and 6 pm and so, at the appointed time, we vamoosed, vanished, and vacated the premises. When we returned to the house at 6 pm, we saw that there was still a car parked right in front of it.

Not wanting to disturb the clients, Steve drove across a nearby road and parked at a business that was closed for the night. That became our official stakeout spot since we could see the house and the car out front and know exactly when the people left.

Well, we sat there. And we sat there some more. We sat there for half an hour and the car never budged. Of course, we were excited about that, because we all know that the longer someone looks at a house, the more interested they are. Finally though, Sarah and I got kind of impatient and decided that we would put Snowy on his leash and do a reconnaissance mission, walking by the house in the most nonchalant way possible, while all the while trying to peer in the windows to see if we could spot any movement.

We strolled by the front of the house and then turned the corner and walked far enough so that we could see in the back windows. There was no sign of nothin'.

Finally, we put our heads together and decided that if we walked really close by the car parked out front, we could look through the window and see if there were any materials or papers that looked like they would belong to a realtor.

Lo and behold, on the passenger seat, we saw a manila file folder with papers inside, which looked very much like the folder our realtor had given us when we were house hunting.

Our mission had been successful. We had scoped out the situation, secured the perimeter, gathered the intel and returned to the stake-out area to report to Steve, our commanding officer.

After saluting, reporting, and climbing back into the surveillance vehicle we continued to wait. And wait some more. And as we waited, we got even more excited, because we just knew the people must really love the house since they were spending so much time in it.

Finally at about 7 pm, Steve decided that he just wasn't very sure that there was actually anybody in the house. (He had done a "reconnaissance mission" of his own and hadn't seen any movement, either.) He finally moved the van back over to our driveway, stuck his head in the back door and hollered, "Hello?"

There was not a sound. The house was empty. The house had BEEN empty since 6 pm. Or even longer.

All that excitement for nothing! All that lurking, loitering and lingering for no reason.


We're still not quite sure why the car would have sat in front of the house all that time; no one ever parks there unless they're coming inside so it seems odd that a miscellaneous car would just show up at the very time there was supposed to be a showing.

But there is good news! Today we got a call that the people who saw the house (obviously it was before we arrived back home at 6 pm) are interested in our house and two others; they are meeting with their realtor today to narrow down their choices!

In ten months, this is the closest we have ever gotten to anyone putting our house on their short list of possibilities. I had left out fresh chocolate chip cookies for the clients so that's probably what did it. We all know that chocolate is a powerful motivator!

Before I close, here are some pictures of Snowy on the Charlotte trip.

Snowy is no doubt lurking behind Sarah's head because he thinks that if he stays back there we won't notice him and he won't have to go to the kennel. (Actually, we were able to take him along with us this trip because we were staying with Steve's parents, not at a hotel.)

Can you tell that Snowy has a mind of his own?

Trying to control the 6-pound ball of fluffy, ferocious fury.

A little bit of Rest Area Exercise for Sarah and her canine companion.

It's kind of hard to look at that happily running dog and not smile.

You know, maybe staring at those pictures will be better treatment for my Post Travel Hangover than naps or chocolate!

Or not.

Caleb Update

Caleb was released from the hospital yesterday. Hooray!

More later . . .

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sleeping With Memories

I always love sleeping in the spare room at Steve's parent's house. Last night as I got into bed, I looked over to my right and saw the white wicker chair where I had "arranged" Sarah as a newborn so that I could take her picture. And at the foot of the bed was the dresser with the drawer where Nathan slept as an infant.

As life goes on and time goes by, touching base with those precious memories is especially good for the soul.

And now those little teeny Smithlet babies are fourteen and twenty years old, which means I'm a few years older, as well. I'm older and wiser and I'm sleeping with memories.

And speaking of memories, when I borrowed my mom-in-law's ironing board yesterday, she happened to mention that she got it for a wedding gift. A wedding gift? That means her ironing board is fifty-five years old!

In a world where so many things are "obsolete" in just five years (or even in six months, or ten minutes) I found it quite wondrous to use an ironing board that has lasted through five and a half decades and has been carted to Pennsylvania, England, Hawaii, New Mexico (twice), Denmark, Nebraska, and North Carolina, to name just a few of the stops the Ken Smith family made along the way.

That's the ironing board that held Steve's clothes when he was a 7-year old, a 15-year old and a 22-year old, and last night it stood and faithfully held the clothes of the 52-year old man who emerged from those earlier ages.

The older I get, the faster time goes and the quicker each day passes. I'm especially grateful that ironing boards and dresser drawers and wicker chairs still hold the memories that time left behind.


Caleb Update:

Debbie called last night and said that they were getting ready to discharge Caleb yesterday afternoon when he threw up.

No big deal. It isn't unusual for someone who has been through everything that he has endured to throw up.

But then he threw up again. And again. And his doctor got more concerned and said that throwing up indicated there had been more trauma done to the brain than originally thought. And so Randy drove home last night to get ready to preach this morning and Debbie stayed behind at the hospital with her sweet son.

She said that several times yesterday he said to her, "Come over to my bed and pray with me, Mama." And Debbie would go over to him and pray and cry. There's nothing quite as sacred as a loving mother's prayers, punctuated with tears.

Thanks for your continued prayers for Caleb and also for his Mom and Dad. Steve and I are very well acquainted with the emotions that come and visit the hospital room of a sick child. Our hearts are very much with the Mantik family today.