Celebrating Late

Zip. . . blink . . . and a week is over! Summer marches on! This week found me staying close to home. The hot humid weather left for a few days, so we could enjoy the breezes in the backyard while celebrating the oasis of plants that surround us.

While enjoying the view, I read Readers Front and Center by Dorothy Barnhouse. I loved it and now I must reread it to mine it for teaching points to use next year. (Thanks Christy for recommending this book.) Being able to spend a couple of days on the patio with a professional book is a celebration.

When I looked up from my reading I am surrounded by green, but yet color pops in. I celebrate the work my husband has put in to create this sanctuary.

Pink roses splash their color.

Pink roses splash their color.

Hostas quietly bring color into the shaded landscape.

Hostas quietly bring color into the shaded landscape.

Verbena shouts, "Look at me! Don't you just love purple?"

Verbena shouts, “Look at me! Don’t you just love purple?”

Longing for these lovely spheres to turn brilliant red, sigh . . . when?

Longing for these lovely spheres to turn brilliant red, sigh . . . when?

Basil waits patiently for the tomatoes to join the party. Can't you just taste the caprese salad?

Basil waits patiently for the tomatoes to join the party. Can’t you just taste the caprese salad?

A final celebration is a friend, who plants more than she can consume and she shares this bounty with me.

Zucchini and squash ready for the grill.

Zucchini and squash ready for the grill.

I wonder what celebrations are waiting to be discovered this week.

Celebrating Today

What can you celebrate? Share your celebrations with the world at Ruth Ayres Writes.

What can you celebrate? Share your celebrations with the world at Ruth Ayres Writes.

You never appreciate something until it is gone. Then when it is returned, you celebrate.

Some of you know that last week I broke a bone in my foot (here is the story). I was told not to walk or put any weight on my right foot. Crutches became my mode of travel. Movement from one location to another became a challenge.  Monday I visited the doctor and he returned my mobility, sort of. I can walk, I can stand on my two feet, when I have the boot on.

I celebrate the science that has developed this air cast that allows me to move about while my bone mends. But this is not my only celebration.

I also celebrate the stores that have motorized carts for those of us who have walking issues. My husband had some doubts of my driving ability, but I am happy to report I have not run into anything, yet.

The greatest celebration is my husband, who has attended to my every need since the accident. Mike has:

  • gone grocery shopping (not his favorite activity)
  • cooked dinners (he hates cooking)
  • made coffee and delivered it to me on the couch
  • laid out my clothes for easy access
  • set up the shower with a lawn chair
  • wrapped ice packs on my foot
  • fetched library books
  • made sure I had everything I needed within arm’s reach

These are only a few of the tasks he has done for me. During this time he also maintained our house, laundry, and yard work. It was not just our yard he mowed, but also our neighbor’s yard, because they were away for a long weekend. The grass grew at an incredible rate. He had to mow every other day to keep control.

I celebrate Mike, he has been there for me for thirty-seven years and I know he will be there forever.

Where Are You?

After the conference Saturday, I paused before the restroom door, but home was only fifteen minutes away. I could wait. Of course, I crossed my fingers that there would not be a wreck on the road to delay me. No problem, I sailed through and made it home in record time.

However, I also sailed through the house to get to the bathroom (I had been keeping myself hydrated during the conference). Once I emerged from the bathroom, I noticed how eerily quiet the house was.

Where was my husband? He wasn’t in the recliner. I headed back to the garage to check the bike rack, all bikes present and accounted for. The car was in its usual spot. Hmmm, where could he be?

Back in the house I checked all rooms and surveyed the yard. Still no husband. I knew he had to be close, so I texted him. He texted back that he was with Dave, our neighbor. Mystery solved.

When I heard the garage door groaning, I knew my husband was home. I went to see what was going on.

They had gone to fill all gas cans just in case the power went off due to the ice that was to accumulate Sunday. Better to be prepared. We’ve lived through an epic ice storm with no power for a week seven years ago. So far the power has held.

Will this be the last bit of winter? I can only hope so.

Celebrating Birthdays and More

Once again it is time to reflect on the moments of celebration from the past seven days. Today I am prepared as I’ve started jotting quick notes in a notebook. I must confess, I am not an intentional writer in a notebook. Hopefully this practice will help me to remember and notice more celebrations.

First: My father-in-law turned 84 on Monday. That in itself is a celebration, but the day before produced a celebration of its own. On Sunday my husband, Mike, was driving up to be with his father for his birthday. As he was moving down the interstate, he noticed a car with windows open (it was chilly out), so this alerted him to pay attention. Mike thought this was the driver’s way to wake himself up. He kept watching as the car moved from side to side. Finally the car veered off into the median and the jolt woke the driver who was able to control the car and bring it to a stop. Mike stopped to check and see if the man was okay. He was, but he was badly shaken by the near miss of an accident. He was a soldier headed back to Ft. Leonard Wood. I celebrate that no one was injured and that Mike was able to check on the soldier.

Second: The 84th birthday celebration was a success. The father and son spent a enjoyable day together which involved a movie, Thai food, and ice cream.

Third: I also celebrated a friend’s birthday this week. Dinner out with the girls to toast friendship and birthdays.

Fourth: The weather gets a shout out from me, because it did not interfere with my working this week. Although it was cold, there was no snow or ice to make driving hazardous.

Fifth: I celebrate my OLW (sweet). All of a sudden this word is present in conversations I’ve had this week. That has made me stop and jot notes related to its usage. It will be interesting see where and when this word pops up this year.

I’m looking forward to discovering more celebrations next week. Are you?


It Wasn’t Easy

It was time. Time to say farewell to my car. This car served us well. It was the car bought during my last year of teaching, so it was to be a retirement car. Not our usual sort of car, but one bought because it would be fun. It was a  two-door convertible, not the most practical car, but a fun one. After 130,000 + miles, we decided it was time to let the convertible go.

Two years ago, we bought a Scion IQ to run around town, which would let the convertible rest. However, after one trip of forty miles, a problem was discovered. My husband has arthritis in his knee which became inflamed due to the height and depth of the seat. He would be unable to drive this little car. I knew it had to go, we don’t need a car that will cause pain when driving.

So now the search is on. My husband LOVES cars. He can read about cars all day long on the internet. He spends Sundays wandering around car lots peering into cars, studying the posted sticker, hoping the dealer left one open so he can explore the interior. (In our state car lots are closed on Sunday, so you don’t have sales people chasing you down.)

He is the person friends and family turn to when they want to buy a car. He can tell you the pros/cons, price you should pay, options you should consider, reliability of this vehicle, and those thoughts only scratch the surface of what he knows. However, when it comes to purchasing a vehicle for us, he has so many facets to weigh, it becomes a nightmare.

Just to give you a hint these are some of the items that must be considered:

  • Safety, how did the car do in all the insurance crash tests?
  • Reliability, how reliable is this car, does it break down often?
  • Does this car have high ownership satisfaction on surveys?
  • What is the cost of ownership? This takes into consideration cost of insurance, gas, depreciation, repairs, cost of injuries from a crash.

If the car passes those tests, he gets down to personal preferences, such as:

  • Heated seats (for me, hotter is better)
  • Cup holders must be able to hold two 32 ounce drink cups and not rub
  • Will the storage area be tall enough for a rolling crate?
  • Does the storage have hidden out of sight capabilities?
  • It must have a sun roof (bigger is better).
  • Is it comfortable after a few hours?
  • Does it pass the knee test or does his knee begin hurting in a short period of time?
  • Is it fun to drive?

So now he has lots of boxes to tick when he begins the search. He lusts for a German made car, but deep in his heart he knows he can’t buy one. They are too expensive and they are costly to fix. No BMW or Audi or Mercedes for us. We won’t buy a car if there is no dealer in town. So that eliminates Volvo and Mini Cooper.

He has done his research and now he heads out to test drive. This is the only way he can determine if it passes the knee test. Car after car is eliminated due to the knee test. Only a few options remain. What car will it be?

He does all the legwork, so when it is getting close to a decision my input is requested or should I say required?  All along I give feedback as it is needed, but I’m not truly invested in any car search. A car is a car is a car. What matters to me is if he is happy with the decision. He can usually bribe me to look at cars with a promise of a meal out. 🙂

A decision is almost made. A car has moved to the top of the list, but it has a dent in the trunk lid. No dents allowed! However, he will be in St. Louis for a day. Maybe they will have the car. He spends the day looking at various dealers. Now we are weighing between two cars.

He picks me up from school and we begin the three hour ride home. He tells me all of the information he has discovered on his day in the city. We talk, we discuss pros and cons. I know a decision has been made. Now the question is will the dealer in town match the price of the St. Louis dealer?

Saturday my husband heads to the dealer. They match the price, a deal is made. Hallelujah the search is over! It wasn’t easy to find the car that meets our wants. So what did we get?

A Subaru Outback! I know we will have fun with the places it will take us :-)

A Subaru Outback! I know we will have fun with the places it will take us 🙂

What Does This Mean?#26


Can you spot the differences in the pictures above? The one on the left was waiting, on the island in the kitchen, for my husband when he got up  February 14. The one on the right was also on the island when I got up. Hmmm. . . what does this mean?

You will notice it is the same bottle of wine in each photo. This is the first time we have ever bought each other a bottle of wine. My cousin spoiled our palates with this wine last fall. (Rombauer Winery, cabernet sauvignon) It was so smooth and buttery, we loved it! Then we found out how much it cost. Yikes! That is way above what we usually spend on a bottle of wine. (You can tell we are not wine aficionados, but we do enjoy a nice glass once and a while.) However, the idea was filed away in my mind that this might be something special to get some time. Apparently, my husband filed the same thought away.

One day as I was shopping, I saw the dark chocolate mint flavored M & Ms and knew that would be something my husband would love. He went to a small patisserie and bought hand-made dark truffles for me. Obviously, he wins on that point. Finally, we each had a card in a red envelope.

I burst out laughing when I saw the items on the island. We’ve been married thirty-five years. Are we morphing into the same person? This was too funny but yet a bit scary.

The truffles were delicious!

The truffles were delicious!

Disappointment or Relief

“The garage sale has been cancelled,” my husband said in a disappointed voice. My heart soared with joy as these words were uttered. Two totally different reactions to the same sentence.

He was eagerly anticipating the fall neighborhood garage sale. This would be the time he could unload the attic of items that we no longer use. This was going to be a purging of the accumulated items in the attic. He has become a minimalist. Use it or lose it is his thinking.

I was dreading the sifting and sorting that lay ahead to prepare for this sale. I knew I would look at each item and think of possible uses for it. Then I would lay it aside, not ready to let it go to a new home. I tend to hang on to things. You know, I might need it (someday).

The days of the garage sale were cool and very wet, not the best weather for a sale. I was grateful I didn’t have to sit in the garage all day.

“Well, I guess I can wait and we can join in on the spring sale,” my husband announced. It’s seven months away. I guess I’d better start preparing.