Sunday, November 27, 2011

#17 NEW YEAR'S EVE

    Mike’s head was throbbing with migraine pain as we drove home at midnight from our church's non-alcoholic New Years Eve party.
    “So you want me to drive?” I asked sympathetically.
    Never one to resist a chance to horse around, and noting the absence of other cars on the road, he cruised erratically down the center line of the highway.  “I think you better,” he responded with a grin. 
    As he pulled into the empty market parking lot, I noticed the lights of a rapidly approaching car, which then slowed down and stopped across the highway from us. 
    Flinging our doors open simultaneously, we jumped out and sprinted in the January chill to rearrange our positions.  Glancing towards the street, we  realized our strange antics had been carefully observed by the uniformed driver of the afore-mentioned vehicle with “State Police” printed on the door.  He watched as I slowly  and cautiously pulled back onto the roadway.
    Within moments, his blue and red lights began pulsating with life.  Heart pounding, I pulled over and opened my electric window, getting my license out of my purse.  He chose instead to approach the passenger side.  As Mike opened his window, the officer stuck his head part- way in the window, noticeably sniffing Mike's breathe for tale-tale alcoholic fumes.  Then he began questioning him about his wayward driving and subsequent behavior.  We giggled nervously as Mike explained.  Leaning on the window pane, the policeman inspected Mike’s drivers’ license, aided by a large flashlight.
    I was getting cold.  “Well, I guess there’s no problem,” I heard him say as I groped in the dark for the one bar out of four that closed my window.  Pressing what I thought was the correct bar, I was startled to see that the flashlight’s beam was now aimed at the ceiling, with the wide-eyed officer barely having time to extricate his hand from the fast-closing passenger-side window.  The flashlight didn’t make it.
    My stammered apology was so inadequate as Mike returned the flashlight.  The trooper chose to send us on our way without a citation, but on the way back to his patrol car, he just kept shaking his head and muttering to himself!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

#16 GIVING UP


            There was just so much snow the second winter on the place,  and without the equipment to clear it, we ended up walking to the barns.  The sows had wood chip bedding that had to be changed every other day.  We would go get a pickup load of chips from Boise Cascade, park the truck at our front gate, and then fill feed sacks with them to drag down to the hogs.  By late February, there was a break in the weather, and the higher temperatures softened the deep snow, causing us to fall through it with every step.  We were exhausted just getting from one place to another. 
Last half of trek to the barns
            This particular day, Mike was working at the barns. I filled my two sacks, tied them to each end of a long rope, and wrapped the rope around my waist. Each step I took on the 1/4 mile trek was agony.  Not only was it physically draining, but I was just so tired of the daily coping with disaster after disaster, and I was on the brink of defeat.  Dragging myself the last few steps, exhausted, I just crumpled in the snow hoping to get a pat on the head or a word of encouragement from my spouse.  Instead, he yelled, “Hurry!  We’ve got a sow farrowing in the pen instead of the crate.  We’ve got to get her moved.”
            For another half hour, zombie like, I assisted, but when I left to go back to the house by myself, the tears fell freely as I struggled through the snow.  I cried out to the Lord, “I cannot do this another day.  I have reached the end of my resources.  Help me, please!”  As I looked up through blurry eyes I was drawn to a bush alongside the drive.  It was covered in buds just ready to pop open!  My heart soared!  Spring was on its way!  Now I knew I could do this, even if it was just one day at a time.  God had answered my prayer in a most unusual way.
            Much later, by a year or two, I was again passing that bush, but this time in late fall, and I noticed it was covered in buds just ready to open.  But wait.  That can’t be.  I had to laugh when I realized this was a bush that budded in the fall, and remained budded until spring.  I  had been blinded to that fact of nature so that I could have an encouragement from Him.  Praise His name!