Sameness

Sameness is an awkward word, isn’t it? But in these pandemic days, it’s the best suited to circumstances in our home.

A few mornings ago I lay awake listening to the morning sounds. Inside there was nothing happening. The cats weren’t even hassling us for morning treats. Outside I could hear rain falling and occasional birdsong. Continue reading “Sameness”

Acceptance

Monday afternoon I called a dear friend. Just a simple check-in to see how she and her husband are doing during these strange times. We haven’t seen each other since March, and we’ve had one other phone call since then.

After our first phone call, she began shopping at the same grocery store I do. I had shared how easy it was to do an online order, set a date for FREE pickup, and have your groceries brought out and loaded in your trunk. Monday she shared she had been copying my shopping routine.

We talked about the surprises you get sometimes. Those shopping for you may think they’re picking the perfect substitute for an out-of-stock item. Or the surprise of learning your item is out-of-stock and there is no substitute. Or getting an entirely wrong item despite carefully ordering the one you wanted. AND there are no returns during the pandemic.

A good laugh came out of this part of our visit, and I asked my friend how she was dealing with all these surprises. She said, “Sherrey, for the year 2020 I have decided to lean on the word ‘acceptance.'” I like the idea of leaning on acceptance. A variety of situations exist where this is easily applied. This pandemic year has brought many issues where acceptance would help.

For each individual, there is likely a long list of things quite different from mine or yours. But each of us misses something we believe is an ordinary part of our lives. There is nothing we can do about it. Perhaps we can accept it until the pandemic is over.

I’m not much of a phone conversationalist, but I was glad I telephoned my friend on Monday. We laughed a little, shared a lot about our children, and she enlightened me to the world of acceptance during these times.

Who have you reached out to lately? Anyone? Family or friend? What have you accepted recently?

acceptance, Eckhart Tolle, right now,
Image Attribution: Guilford College Counseling

Featured Image Attribution:  Rémi Walle on Unsplash

Rainy Autumn Days

Rainy autumn days arrived in the Pacific Northwest with bluster. With them, they brought winds that tossed colorful leaves everywhere. Our maple tree left our driveway looking like a leaf mosaic. Bob took the photo above on one of his daily trips to our mailbox last week.

With the change in our weather, the last weekend in November upon us, and new COVID restrictions on Oregon activities, it must be Thanksgiving. Things have tightened up with regard to social gatherings as the number of new cases and deaths have increased here. It is hard to celebrate while so many others are grieving, are houseless and hungry, and struggling economically to keep businesses afloat.

Continue reading “Rainy Autumn Days”

Outside My Window

Our mini-forest is one of the best features of our home place. Over the years, it has provided a sense of being outside the city with extra privacy. While we were still working, our location provided ease of access to the church, shopping, and medical care.

One of the drawbacks of living in a mini-forest is the inability to grow certain plants and trees. For example, we don’t get the bright colors of leaves changing on deciduous trees or shrubs. In the summer, sun-loving flowers and plants laugh at us as we place them in our nursery cart. They only last a short time before fading away.

Thanks to our next-door neighbors I can glance out my office window and see a glorious sight. A red weeping Japanese maple. On these chilly, gray days of Pacific Northwest winter weather, that tree is symbolic of a warm campfire, or a thick red blanket, or the depth of love found at home with family.

As I soak up the warmth and beauty of this tree, I am filled with gratitude for God’s creation all around me. The diversity of people I know and see in our community and our church home. The fall colors brightening our environment despite the rain and fog. The gift of friendships committed to staying in touch during this pandemic.

It is my hope that you are fortunate enough to find something for which you can feel grateful despite this year that has often felt dry and devoid of warmth, happiness, and love. 

Scripture, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, rejoice, pray, thanksgiving
Image Attribution: Lindsey’s Whimseys Art

Featured Image Attribution:  Bates Nursery & Garden Center

Finding Peace in Times of Negativity

Many in Portland, including myself, feel we’re living in a dystopian world created by issues beyond our control.

We are attempting to survive the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve watched the peaceful protests for Black Lives Matter escalate into all-out conflicts with federal troops who were not invited to our city. Then “grab and snatch” tactics by the uninvited and unidentified troops to control protesters by loading them into unmarked vehicles left citizens feeling unnerved. Our city is rid of the uninvited and unidentified troops.

All of us are entitled to support, compassion, and a just and equitable environment in which to live and raise our families. Government leaders and citizens of Portland are now in discussions to make support, compassion, and equity primary to all actions taken in Portland. Continue reading “Finding Peace in Times of Negativity”

The Three P’s — Pandemic, Protests, Problems

Pandemic

On Saturday, March 14th, our local news announced the governor had declared a state of emergency and we were faced with a pandemic. At our ages, it was suggested we “stay at home” and/or “shelter in place.” So began our isolation.

It’s been four months since we assumed our place in the pandemic. Like good citizens, we’ve stayed at home with the exception of driving to our grocery store to pick up our grocery orders. Otherwise, church services, choir practices, committee meetings, doctor’s appointments have been held using Zoom.

Oregon is now a part of the pandemic surge with daily numbers rising more than they did during the previous three months. Why won’t people wear masks? Continue reading “The Three P’s — Pandemic, Protests, Problems”