Monday, April 13, 2009

Hog Barns, Rocks and Walleye

Saturday, April 11, 2009 . . . I had a flash back this morning. Ellis and Evan both started new, part-time jobs this week. They each check a hog barn twice a day. Ellis debated . . . he could do two barns and Evan do a third barn. There are four barns and this company hoped we would do all four. Jeremy was going to do two, Evan one and Ellis one. In the meantime Jeremy found another job and has been doing the training for that job the last three weeks or so (with our nephew.) At this point Ellis stayed on the safe side of insanity and only contracted to do one barn. It is on the way to his real job and there is a shower (thank the Lord.)

Anyway this morning he asked if I wanted to ride along to the barn. . . . and sweep the flies out of the office and write down a list of things needed to streamline the whole process for laundry. The barn where he used to work all those eons ago had a washer and dryer right there to wash the coveralls, towels, etc.

I got done sweeping flies and Ellis was still inside whooping and hollering at the pigs. (There were three that were being picked on so he had to separate them out of the pens and find a new place for them. He rescued them from certain death.)

Think about the hog farmers the next time you eat pork chops or Spam. =}

Anyway I went out to the suburban and settled down to read a book about how to lower stress in my life. I looked out the window and saw a field lane and thought, "If I take a walk that would lower stress." There was even a jacket in the back seat -- so I set off.

There was a beautiful tree and a rock pile under it. A blue sky -- not quite like MT -- but almost. I found three or four unique rocks in the gravel on the lane, but I exercised great restraint and did not bring them home. Only held them and memorized how they looked. One was black with sparkles, one was red and black with sparkles . . . the sun was shining -- can you tell? There was a cream colored rock with a dark band through the center. I can't remember the other one that caught my eye.

Last fall I found a piece of petrified wood on 290th ST -- the road that goes by our house. It is a gravel road -- not pavement. All during my childhood I searched for petrified wood every time we went to Graceton Beach on Lake of the Woods. I never found anything and now I find a small piece on my doorstep in southern MN.

That reminds me of the walleye Dad caught in one of the mud puddles (small lakes) here in southern MN. When we lived up north we fished on Lake of the Woods every summer. We caught some awesome fish . . . at least they were big and put up a fight before we got them in the boat. There were some walleye and lots of northern pike. The biggest walleye was landed by my dad at St. Olaf Lake -- or was it Cedar Lake? We have a picture of Dad, Hans and Jeremy on the dock with the fish held high . . . pleased expressions all around.

I made almost as much fuss when I found the petrified wood. It has a place of honor on my shelf in the kitchen. A small reminder that the unexpected is just around the corner. Maybe just over the next hill . . . .

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

*Remarkable Coincidence*

Here's an idea to bat around . . .
I've stopped using the term "remarkable coincidence" since this happened to me a few years ago.
Maybe it's splitting hairs--I don't know.
What do you think?

Mom was diagnosed with cancer the second time around in the spring of 2004.
Because it was the second time and she was--for the most part--quite healthy, the doctors thought she would be a good candidate for a stem cell transplant. They are able to harvest the patients' own stem cells, freeze them, give mega doses of chemo to the patient, then return the stem cells to them. A new start on life --

During the recovery period Dad and Mom had a room in the transplant house a few blocks from the hospital. When Dad started to drive bus in the fall I was able to stay with Mom and take her to and from the hospital as needed for daily check-ups.

The transplant house is a story all by itself. It is a big, beautiful house run by nuns with all the comforts of home and a few more besides. Like a big exercise room and a huge laundry. . .

One day I was doing our laundry. There were other gals busy with their laundry. The conversation was about the flood -- twelve to thirteen inches of rain had deluged southern MN and northern IA the day before. We were comparing adventures.

Sally mentioned the town in IA where she was from and the condition of the roads between there and Rochester MN.
Jane looked up and said, "Little Springs? Do you know so and so?"
Sally said, "Oh, yes, we drive right by their place every day."

It turned out Jane does crafty things with old cowboy boots or farm boots. She makes door stops out of them with flowers and birds arranged in a delightful way. The people in Little Springs had ordered one of these and she was looking for a way to deliver it to them.

(It was in the trunk of her car as we spoke)

Over their laundry baskets these two strangers made the arrangements, then Jane dashed out to the car to bring the boot/door stop in and show it to all of us and start it on its way home.

As Jane left the room I looked at Sally and said, "What a remarkable coincidence?!"
She looked at me and gently said, "There is no such thing as a remarkable coincidence. My parents taught me our days are planned by God and He brings these things together. I'm finding out it is true as I see things just like this happen to me over and over again."

Needless to say, I went away from that laundry room praising my great, big, wonderful God for His *remarkable coincidences.* I've been keeping my eyes open for them ever since.