It is dark out. Why am I awake? It’s Saturday. I thought about returning to bed, burrowing under the mound of covers that we have on our bed. “The stove is out. Coffee sounds good. I wonder if my favorite cup is clean?” takes over my mind, and I’m now awake. Sipping my favorite warm drink between the ears of my pig cup, I am reminded that it is November.
November. It’s amazing how one proper noun can make ones heart race. For us, it means: “batten down the hatches! On your mark, get set, go!” We moved to the mountain 9 years ago, Thanksgiving weekend. We had no idea what to expect and spent a very cold winter huddled up around the fireplace in our breezy, new to us, home.
Nine years later, we have learned how to tighten up the house. Never will we ever be that cold again if we can do anything about it. This leads me to Thankful November.
Sometimes I get so caught up with where I am going, that I forget to look from where I’ve come. I concentrate so hard on not looking at the past and moving forward, that I don’t celebrate the growth and change that took place along the way.
Recently my favorite man and I have been enjoying the “oldies”. He has figured out how to mirror his phone to the TV and we have been watching videos from musicians that we enjoyed when we were much younger. I’ve been saving them to Spotify on my phone so that we can play them in the car on our trips together. To name a few, we have listened to Anne Murray, Randy Travis, George Jones, Brooks & Dunn, George Straight, and his favorite: Reba McEntire. I love how YouTube figures out your interests and continues to put similar items on the screen. It is amazing how music has reactivated lost memories for my husband.
At one point, I looked over and he was wiping tears from his eyes. Concerned, I asked him if he was okay. We were listening to “Healing Waters”, by Michelle Tumes. She has an absolutely gorgeous range, clear, and beautiful. He said it reminded him of his mother and the CD we replayed over and over for her in the hospital during her last days. Although sad that he was teary, I was happy that the song brought his mother back to his mind. She’s been gone for 17 years.
We have also been watching Little House On The Prairie in the evenings. They just don’t make Prime Time TV like they used to. Shows like Hee Haw, The Waltons and Lawrence Welk were clean family friendly shows that displayed healthy value systems. Mostly “happily ever after” with a lesson to be learned, we ended the day feeling thankful and optimistic. More than anything, the series has brought back a flood of memories for my favorite man. As a result of watching Little House, he has talked about Bonanza, and Highway To Heaven. He has googled the history of each of the characters and given me tidbits on the lives of both the actors and original characters for which the Little House books were written.
Recently I have told our doctor that my favorite man has an internal motor that will not stop. He is always puttering. He has an internal drive to run our home like a small farm, because that is what he knows. It is so engrained in him to be busy, that he is either doing a project, drafting a project, or finishing up a project at all times. Number 3 of 6 children on a small dairy farm, work was never “done”. You were just done for the day. I truly believe that this is what is keeping him with us and why he is as clear as he is today.
Last fall he worked diligently to prepare a living space for the kids downstairs so that they could be a watchful eye while I returned to school. This spring he built a beautiful deck out front so that we could entertain family and enjoy the gorgeous view from the balcony. This fall, he created an addition to the back of the garage, to house wood pellets and lawn/garden equipment. In between, he filled his days putting the finishing touches on projects, working on the many gardens that he created, and mowing the lawn. He will not quit, and that is what is keeping his mind with us.
He’d really like us to leave him alone. Although he misses people, he’d rather be alone. He likes to know that we are around, looks for us if we are out of sight, but would much rather have us go away. So the challenge is to be around to help and keep a watchful eye at a distance in order to keep him safe, but give him plenty of alone time. (It’s a delicate dance.)
So, as the sky starts to lighten up and my coffee cools, I am thankful. As I look forward, I am reminded that the bills from his building projects will eventually get paid, but I have limited time with HIM. My days of building projects and multiple trips to Home Depot will one day be a thing of the past just like the music and the old shows. So I need to relax, let him build, take one more trip to Home Depot, and realize that one day these memories will be great comfort. The “Healing Waters” which cause a flood of tears will be walking through the lumber isle of Home Depot, and looking up at the mountain to the 7 1/2 acre “farm” that God gave to my husband in November of 2010.
So on this Thankful November, I thank God for Knowing that my favorite man was going to need more projects than he could keep up with in order to heal a broken heart. The outstanding bill at Home Depot reminds me monthly that he is still with me, doing what he loves, for the person he loves most in this world. Like Pa on the show Little House on the Prairie, he does what he does, for me.
“Lord, help me not to be so forward thinking, that I forget to look back from where I came. And Lord, thank you for my favorite man: his motor that won’t stop, the Home Depot bill that reminds me that he’s still with us in mind and body, and his intense desire to take care of his family. Thank you for our “farm” that keeps him active, for music that makes him cry, and shows that bring back memories of days gone by. The blessings that you pour over our home are undeserved but appreciated so very much. Amen.”
Philippians 4:11 “…for I have learned that whatever state I am, I will be content.”