Offline for Awhile

Offline for awhile may leave a somewhat indefinite timeframe in the minds of my readers. To be honest, I simply need a break from the online world. This break begins today and ends when I feel ready to open my hands and put them on the keyboard. 

I hope that each of you had a joyous Christmas. Let’s look forward together to 2021, and a possible end to the pandemic as the vaccine makes its way to each of us. The past year has been hard on everyone, and sometimes that sense of oppression by uncontrollable forces requires us to hibernate for a time. 

Remember how important self-care is, and practice it as you see fit.


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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”

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

Hope Remains

Yes, hope remains. Despite fires and smoke, extremely hazardous air quality, several days of evacuation orders: hope remains.

All the above add stress to the already stressful pandemic. Yet, hope remains.

One bit of good news, the Portland protests and riots took a break during the smoke and poor air quality. One less level of stress. Hope remains.

As we sat in our home, we talked a lot about preparedness when threatened by a natural disaster. What one thing would you take? It’s hard to say. You might not have time to remember what that thing is and then pick it up and go. But we did start a list of what we’d need to take with us. Continue reading “Hope Remains”

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”