Sometimes, you have to “grin and bear it”. That has been the case, for a solid week, at the rabbitpatch.
I was leaving on Monday, for Raleigh. I was going so I could help Brant and Sydney, care for our very precious “Ryan”. Sydney works from home and besides , with their recent move, they are still “setting up housekeeping’. I was packed and ready, when the refrigerator stopped working. What a predicament! It is no small thing, when that appliance stops. Christian and I were scrambling . . but we ended up losing the milk, anyway. We were low on cold groceries, but I was due to pick up an order the next morning.
A simple phone call landed me a used refrigerator. . . to be delivered the next day. I called Sydney and post poned the trip a day. Later on, I told Christian to move my car, as the delivery , would be so much easier . The problem was now . . . that the car wouldn’t start. What is next, I thought, for “things really do happen in threes” . It didn’t take long, to find out.
This all happened on July fourteenth, I remember it well for I needed to mail my state tax payment. I had to refile my taxes this year, for apparently, my returns got lost when they were filed in March. I decided, on a whim to call the IRS and make sure, that they had received my taxes, this time. . . of course, they had not. A very kind agent assisted me, and I am sure she heard the quiver in my voice, for the last folks I want to have trouble with is the IRS. I wanted to tell her that the refrigerator had quit on me -and the car -but decided against it. She would just have to think me “fragile” or worse . . .”unstable”. Really I was both, at that moment.
Thirty long minutes later, the agent cheerfully announced that she did indeed, find those awful papers. I ran to the mailbox repeating, “at least that is over.” It was not even noon!
Christian reported that it was the battery on the car. He jump started it and so I thought that I would need to think about that later. The task at hand, was too move the broken refrigerator out -and the kitchen table. I scrubbed everywhere and everything in that kitchen, as well. Before the floor was dry, the truck pulled up with the refrigerator.
The thing was older than I had expected and like me, “not much to look at”, but it was cold within moments and that mattered most, at the moment. With the kitchen clean and orderly, and put back together, I noticed the long, slanted, golden ribbons of sunshine spilling through the windows . . .it was suppertime.
That night, I also found out that there was a possibility, that my job as a music teacher, was a bit in jeopardy. By this time, I had exceeded, the “things happen in threes ” theory . The refrigerator was purring softly, though and I could come by a battery for the car, I reminded myself, but what a complicated day it had been!
When I was a child, and some disappointment came along, I would run to the nearest elder and give them the details of my latest plight. There was a wide range of calamities from a lost doll shoe to the wayward behavior of a naughty cousin. Many times I would be told to “grin and bear it” -and rather flippantly, I thought. The elders would go about their business, leaving me to my own devices to solve the matter. I was not coddled in that way. Comfort would come later, usually after supper, when we all tended to reflect on our day. Many times, I had forgotten by then, what ever was the matter . Other times, the direness of the situation had diminished altogether. How beautiful, I think now, for in this way, I developed the confidence and fortitude, that would become mighty handy skills to have in life. The elders were always right. How good that I had such a childhood, I always think. . .every single time I remember.
That night, I wondered about my future. The battery and the refrigerator purchases would surely strain my shoestring budget and what if I faced unemployment-and at my age, especially? Oddly, even this did not make me feel desperate nor hopeless. There is a “peace that passes understanding.”
I have finally realised, that the odds do not hinder God. Things may looks complicated and chaotic to me, but I do not need understanding so to make sense of things, nor “the wisdom of Solomon” to find solutions . .what I need is Faith. Looking back, this has always rang true . . .and the many accounts are tenderly, etched in my heart. My role is and has always been, is to do my best and trust.
Sadly, I have failed at this on occasion. I walked on with faltering stride and cumbersome burdens, but declaring that “God was with me”. ( It makes me to shudder to reflect on that. ) The good news, is that even with such feeble attempts I was rewarded . God did not alter His purpose for me due to my shortcomings. He was close as could be, round the shady crevices and in the “tight spots”.
In light of my remembrances of decades past, I knew that in one way or another, things would work out. I decided to make a batch of brownies and then packed a bag for a trip to Raleigh, for we had planned a small gathering, months ago. We would celebrate the new home on “Hamlet Green” and I would have all three grandchildren together. That meant everything.
July is swiftly slipping by as steadily as a silver river. The sultry days turn in to sultry nights and it is now that “white moths are on the wing”. The blackeyed Susans brighten a corner of the yard like another sun -and the watery lavender buds of the greedy loosestrife lie in wait, for August. Gardens are in their prime and red tomatoes are served at most every meal, in some form. Farmers are on alert for those evening storms that pop up in months like July. Hail is a dreaded component that can ruin prospects in a few moments.
Farmers are stalwart folks and can not afford to be lazy, any day. They must be a “jack-of all- trades”, too, for there are all sorts of chores that range from mechanics to tilling soil. A farmer must pay close attention to the signs of nature, and realises in youth , that he is dependent on Nature therefore, a very intimate bond is forged. When I used to frequent groceries, I never failed to think of those that tended the land as well as the agricultural workers who harvest the crops. Anybody that eats anything, would do well, to do the same.
My packing was finished and the brownies were cooling, when the internet went out. I called and was put on a list with folks having the same problem. It was expected to take a week, to restore service. I lost the original post . . . and the next one. It was awful. When I lose the car keys, well, I know they will turn up, but losing my writing, felt like losing a part of me.
Now this was a week ago , and I am still unsettled with that same notion. I probably did not have a single brilliant line written, for I never do, but how I mourn for those thoughts . . .at any rate, I am in Raleigh now, with my grandchildren and having a lovely time.