Archive for Family

A Lousy Passenger

daydreamingWhen one decides to set out seeing the country on a bike, they are in for a huge treat. Not only are you able to stop and truly see your surroundings, but you can smell all the smells and feel one with nature. That is, if you are not me.

I found myself wondering how many days it was going to take us to get to Tuba City, Arizona. I wondered how Bart was going to find a place to park the fifth-wheel. I wondered if we’d find stores to buy food, if the generator would last, if we’d be safe parked in some obscure place.

I heard my riding partners talking about the beauty of this area, how pretty the wild flowers are, and the animals they saw off in the distance, the changing terrain, how nice some of the people on the roads are. I saw none of this. I was too busy seeing my life as a half-empty glass. How could I have allowed myself to get into such a funk?

As Bart pulled into another rancher’s yard asking for permission to stay on his property overnight, the realization of what I’d been doing became clear to me. Carol and Faith were describing all those wild flowers, asking me if I had noticed how pretty they were. Pete and Mac were talking about how Bart has this uncanny way of knowing which ranch or farm to stay at. Martha stood back taking this all in, noticing how out of sync I was with the others.

She says to me, “Penny for your thoughts.”

Startled, I say, “I’m feeling a bit guilty right now. I didn’t see any of those flowers. I didn’t notice any ranches or farms. I rode all those miles that God had placed before me, and I missed it all, because I was busy worrying about everything that didn’t happen.”

Martha smiles and says, “But you did get a nice visit from God.”

She walks toward Bart who is busy talking with the rancher. The rancher is pointing exactly where Bart can park the fifth-wheel. I stand there taking in the entire scene and pondering Martha’s last words to me. I feel a lightness overcome me. Martha was right. God had come to visit me. I bet He was riding alongside me all those miles. And I missed that, too. Or had I?
God found the right way to open my eyes to all that was around me. He gave me the comfort and protection of my friends who help me see my path in life. How very blessed I felt at that moment. I say a quick prayer that this newly found awareness does not leave me. I pray that I see all that God wants me to see. Live was very good again.

And in my real world, both my sister and I have been feeling like we are on the cusp of a major change in our lives. My sister and her husband know where they want to end up, but I do not. I have been feeling like they are more in control of their destiny, where my destiny is so unclear. I felt myself being slightly jealous that my sister had a P L A N. All I had was some idle thoughts and a little faith.

I say “little” because if I had a lot of faith, I would not be here telling you what a lousy passenger I’ve been. Through the little bit of faith I have, I learned to let God drive my bus. But while I allowed God to drive my bus, I was not looking at all that was going on around me. I sat on that bus staring at a blank scene in my head, wondering where God was taking me, when we were going to get there, and what my life would be like after I got there.

I didn’t see one thing that went by. Until now. Last night, God pointed out to me how perfect a fit my dog, Vanna, was when I got her to replace the passing of my previous Irish setter. I realized, immediately, just how much I had been missing while God drives me to my next destination.

I know that He does not want us to miss a thing because we are worried about where we are going, when we’ll get there, what will happen once we get there. He wants us to see everything that lies between here and there.

I made a vow last night, that I would stop being a lousy passenger, and that I’d start seeing this world the way God wants me to see it. So don’t be a lousy passenger on God’s bus. Look at what He wants you to see, enjoy everything while He takes us to our next destination. For what we see on the way may play a big part in what we do once we get there.
I also discovered my sister was being a lousy passenger. She, too, was busy thinking about where she knew God was taking them, but didn’t know how long it would take to get there. He made a little visit to her, too, and now she’s working at being a better passenger knowing God’s timing is perfect. Praise the Lord.

And as always, let’s keep going the distance. God bless.

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Good Food, Good Friends, Good Fun

familyWe have a long trip ahead of us to get to Tuba City, Arizona. I find myself thinking about how blessed I am to have come across my riding partners. They are all so generous of the various talents they have.

Bart and Martha supply all the comforts of home with their upscale fifth-wheel RV. And each night, before he retires to bed, Bart makes sure I have enough blankets, he puts the remote on the end table nearest me, and asks if I need anything else. I always respond by saying, “You are so kind, and yes, I have everything I need.” Yet every night, Bart will head to the refrigerator and grab a cold bottle of water for me. He hands it to me with a smile, saying, “You might need this tonight.”

Martha always makes sure I get my bathroom time uninterrupted. What a gentle soul she is. So kind, so giving, so much like I remember my paternal grandmother. She even has Nana’s Irish smiling eyes.

Bart and Martha are definitely the parent-figures in this group. And even though I’m sure I’m older than Martha, not by much, she seems to be my “mother” figure.

Carol and Mac are my free-spirits. They keep me young and eager to try new things. I quickly think back to my skydiving excursion. WOW! I still can’t believe I did it. They are just fun, fun people to be around. They love to tease, something I’m accustomed to doing myself. And they don’t mind being teased. I’ve developed a close bond with them. They are my “cohorts in crime”, my friends, my bosom buddies.

And then there’s Pete and Faith. How can I not like Pete and Faith? Faith is the dog whisperer. She has a stronger passion for animals than I could ever hope to have. And Pete has a passion for Faith that goes beyond respect, beyond love, beyond commitment. It’s almost as if Pete can read Faith’s every thought. Maybe he can.

By late afternoon, Bart manages to earn the trust of a farmer who allows us to park the fifth wheel near the barn. That night, as we get ready for dinner, I’m asked to say the blessing.
“Dear Lord,” I start, “Thank You for this good food, thank You for good friends, and thank You for the fun we are having. Amen.”

I see Martha wipe an errant tear from her cheek. She grabs my hand, giving it a squeeze and says, “We are blessed to have you with us.”
We all chime in, “Amen.”

And in my real world, I’ve recovered almost from the loss of my dog, but I’m now facing a new family crisis. A dear aunt of mine has been told she has cancer. We don’t know how long she’ll be with us since her form of cancer is an aggressive one, but we will always have the memories of the good food we’d have at her house, the good friends we met through her, and all the fun we’d have when all the relatives converged on Aunt Pat and Uncle Tom’s house. Fond, fond memories. I’m blessed to have such a great family.

So take a moment to think about those people who you associate with good food, good friends, and good fun. If you haven’t talked to one of them in a while, pick up the phone and say “hi.” You don’t want to wait until you get that call that this person has passed away. And as always, let’s keep going the distance.

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