Everything is by grace.  And I can’t repeat that enough.  I had to remind myself while showering this morning for fifteen years I lived in a house without a shower so I should thank God for this one and not take it for granted.  There are also millions upon millions in this world who do not have basics as plumbing in their house.

God does not owe us anything.  And everything is by grace although He often gives us way beyond the essentials.  Far more that we deserve.  I have said in the past He is up there with trillions of strings attached to Him and they all want it a different way.  I would not want to be God.  I just have to remind myself:  everything is by grace.  And not take anything for granted.

Winter Finally Arrived

Author: siggy

Winter finally arrived.  There was a low swish as the wind was blowing through the trees and they were bare.  It only seemed yesterday when I noticed the trees still were clothed in leaves.  It was thirty-eight degrees and the clouds were dark and ominous as if snow was around the corner.  Now I knew I could not avoid winter only weeks away.  And now I wanted to hide inside my heated house until next spring.  I knew I could not but that was the way I felt.  I go through this every year.

Every Marriage Is Flawed

Author: siggy

Every marriage is flawed.  I don’t know how many famous couples announce the reason for their divorce  is ‘irrevocable differences’.  Divorce today is too easy.  These couples act surprised there are rough edges to work out.  And bail out when there is sustained friction.  In the words of a friend, ‘there are no doors’.  Everything has to be worked out.  That is the way God meant it.  Of course one person can break up a marriage.  Both persons have to believe that.  Without God it is very difficult to stay in a marriage when things get too difficult.  God detests divorce.  And far too many people break up leaving a string of broken families in their wake.  We are all imperfect including our marriages.  Every marriage is flawed.

Winter is almost four weeks away and there has only been at most two or three nights of frost.  I can’t ever remember it being so warm this late in the season.  It is supposed to hit the sixties the next two days.  The contractor who was going to work on our patio said it was going to snow in a few days so maybe this mild weather is almost finished.  We will see.

You have to get past ‘the glow’ in a relationship.  At first everything about your mate seems perfect but then conflict comes and you realize how flawed your other is.

Realizing, also, you are flawed, too, helps.  You have greater compassion toward your mate.  The honeymoon is now over and whether you survive as a couple is how you work out your differences.

It is in the crucible of fire where your survival is determined.  Somehow you need to work out differences between you and smooth out the rough edges.

That means there will be conflict between the two of you.  And that is normal.  Compromise is the key and that is work.  Then your real marriage begins.  And there is no easy path there.  And everybody’s path is different.  It is yours alone.

The Edge Of Country

Author: siggy

I have always lived at the edge of country.  Of course, some people are more divorced from it if they are surrounded by concrete but it is always there you just have to look a little harder.

Growing up I watched my mother plant vegetables and flowers and other things.  We had a mulberry and fig and apricot tree and some of the biggest blackberries I have ever seen.

It was a small plot of land but she tilled it well.  We had fresh string beans and tomatoes.  She loved roses.  The garden was a place she could disappear in.  And she often did for hours.

We lived in a bustling little city but that garden we had was an introduction to many things.  I learned to love deep red stemmed roses.

On weekends my father brought us into the country, mountains and shore but most of my life I lived in the edge of country.  I learned to appreciate what came my way.

Today I still love birds.  I have several bird feeders that I can view from our large living room windows and watch a steady parade of chickadees and titmouse and woodpeckers just to name a few.

It all started in Mom’s garden and the weekend trips we took as a family.  I learned to love the mountains and trees and lakes and and so many other things.

That petunia plant kept blooming–all summer.  It must have liked the spot it was in.  Usually when I buy one it blooms for awhile and then stops but this year it kept shooting out more flowers all summer.  The rack it was on was accidentally knocked over.  I righted it a few days later:  half the plant dried up but even now it still had one flower on it.  Finally it wilted.  It was the middle of November and we did not many nights of frost so far this fall.  That was one hardy plant!

This was not written by me. It came from Larry Drain’s web site.

My friend Dennis Dodson sent me an idea that I thought deserved more discussion. This is my version of it and apologies to Dennis if I mess any of it up.

What if pharmaceuticals were treated as as the new tobacco companies?

What if a law suit was filed by a state alleging that:

1. That many psychotropic drugs cause untold medical complications.
2. That this is well documented and the pharmacy companies are aware of it.
3. That they have tried to alter or hide information that proved that and thus engaged in deceptive practices.
4. They have used other unethical means to market their products which has also been well proven.
5. These practices have caused medical, legal, and social consequences that unfairly have fallen on the states to pay which have reduced their ability to meet other needs.
6. That pharmaceuticals should have to pay a penalty to the states (much as tobacco companies have) to help pay for that cost.
7. That some portion of that penalty be specified for funding for non pharmaceutical based mental health services.

What do you think?

Pharmaceuticals- The new tobacco companies: an idea from a friend

Every once in awhile I think about our house and what will happen to the things in it when we are both gone. Clearing and sorting through my wife’s Moms’ stuff after she died was a major task.  In fact, we had to make three trips to Texas to accomplish to that job.

I told my wife someone one day will have to do that to us.  You can’t take your things with you when you are gone.  That fact does not make any difference to her.  More things keep coming in our house.

I look around our house and know when the time comes someone will have a major task in front of them.  And a lot of things that are here and we would not get rid of will just be trashed.

I do not want to say my wife is the only one that collects things.  I collect music–CD’s, LP’s and cassettes.  I also collect books and they are practically in every room, some still in boxes so I am part of the problem too.

I thought what might be valuable if both of us are gone and would like to pass on:  my journals, my wife’s writing which is scattered–not much.

Even the value of those am not sure I will have any say over.  From dust you come and dust you will return.  I have to remind myself of that.  And maybe consider what truly has value.

I just want the Winter (and cold weather) to be done.  And I did have a reprieve of Indian summer.  The most discouraging thing it is not even December yet.  I feel the same way every year.  I want to hibernate when the cold weather is here for good.

It does not make any difference how much I love the mostly mild weather in Autumn and Spring.  I would like to go away when this weather arrives.  I just don’t know how to pull it off especially with our menagerie of seven cats and four dogs.

These feelings regarding the cold weather are not new.  I have all my life lived in a temperate climate.  I just don’t know if there is anything I can do about it except to move and that does not seem like an option.  I will simply pray about it.  There is nothing more I can presently do about it.

About a year ago my other had discovered “Freecycle”.  It is a web site–worldwide–whose goal is things should not end up in landfills.  People give things away they don’t want in their house any longer.

That is admirable but for everything that left out house three things came in.  Our house is bursting with things.

The second time she got involved with “Freecycle” I felt more hopeful that ratio would change:  she got rid of a stove (we ordered a new one), some bookcases and miscellaneous items.

Then she elicited my help on the guise of, “Do you want to keep me company?”  Sometimes she does not tell me what she is picking up.  Someone was giving away boxes of medical legal books.

Had I not been with her, she would have had to make multiple trips from the second floor to put them in the back of our SUV.  She has a bad back.

She took these books despite the fact we have no extra book case room.  A previous lawyer had owned these books and what she was going to do with these books was beyond me.

The same trip she told me she was going to pick up some tile.  I envisioned a small box of tiles.  Wrong!  It was a big box full of whole and broken tiles on a dolly.

The box would have broken if you were foolhardy to attempt to lift it.  We had to transfer them into smaller boxes.  She had some kind of idea she wanted to do mosaics.  All I could do was shake my head.

The same day she picked up a Sony double cassette and a Sony 50 CD deck despite the fact we had at least two completely working cassette decks.  It made no difference I told her I did not want either.

I just have to resign myself that our house is going to be full of junk and bursting from the seams.  And there is nothing I can do to stop it.  My war on the clutter is an unending battle that I will never win and occasionally have pockets of success.

I Was At Loss What To Do

Author: siggy

I was at loss what to do.  Then I looked around and started to focus on the next thing.  First I turned off the shut off valve for the outside faucet.  Then I wiped off the two fold-able chairs and lounge chair.  They needed to come in from the yard.  There were other tasks that needed to be done.  And before I knew it an hour had passed.  And I even got a little tired in the process.  I will remember that another time time hangs too heavily:  do the next thing.