Saturday, February 27, 2010

I'm writing a story, only I didn't know it. I reckon it's not the kind of story which will ever be published. It's the story of my life, and it's such a good story because that's who I am. I've been writing it since I was born.

Thicket Dweller generously gave me a book which I'm now devouring called A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller. No stones thrown please when I say I did not go crazy for his Blue Like Jazz, but this book is about a million miles and a thousand years better for me. In Million, Donald mentions his previous lack of direction, and perhaps I caught onto that rather the snippets which vaulted his Blue to such fame. Makes me wonder if random and ADD weren't so darn popular these days, if Blue could have hit any printing press. Anyhow, all is forgiven as I fall head over heels into Million.

Here's the quote which sunk smack into my soul this morning, but first, let me set it up. Donald describes how a buddy of his, a dad, started living a better story in order to woo his teenage daughter back from a bad boyfriend. The dad took out a second mortgage and started building an orphanage in Mexico after finding poverty in the thoughtless way he'd been living. The daughter asked the dad if her family could go to Mexico together and take pictures in order to involve other people. And she dumps the jerk.

No girl who plays the role of a hero dates a guy who uses her. She knows who she is. She just forgot for a little while.

I haven't forgotten who I am, but I'm encouraged to be the hero of my own novel. Hope it ends well. Though my plot has changed drastically these last six months, I'm working towards the best possible conclusion at the end of the days God gives me. Right now the outcome looks much less like a Nicholas Sparks book and more like Come be my Light, but it's all good.

Dispatch from a Log Dog

In my new position at work, I have a variety of interesting tasks to do each day. My coworker, Puddin', is great, great, great at handling all our data. Even more importantly, she works well with people, drivers in particular. I think we've become quite a team. Our sweetheart of a boss had a sketch of two bird dogs hung in our office, and I mentioned how very apropos. Puddin' and I set to the task of sniffing out violations and are now known together as the log dogs.

Anyhow, yesterday we watched something painfully beautiful. One of our oldest drivers needed to come in, and he didn't recognize office staff he should have known. Though he's something of an old codger, he was handled gingerly. He was given a hotel room though his truck is his home, taken out for a big lunch, escorted personally by an extremely kind owner to the physician and disqualified temporarily from service until he could get home and get more help. The company found a couple of married drivers to drive his truck home for him. This man was treated with kindness and dignity through what must be a most difficult time for him. I am so proud and impressed with my company. I imagine other truck liners might have handled the situation much differently throwing around ugly words involving liability and termination. Instead, our man received the best from each person he encountered. Makes my heart sing and cry at the same time.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

I have the sweetest sweet peas of children. I might not be saying so tomorrow, so I figure I better blog this while I feel it. Remember, I've got three real teenage boys and something of a spicy little girl. Here's the why behind my sweet thoughts today.

Claudette the Chicken was hand-raised from a chick by us in her own personal little single clutch of humans. She became a true pet more than a valuable hen, as I can't remember the last time she actually laid an egg. The kids would wildly swing on the swing-set with her in their laps and walk around with her perched on their heads. When we moved from the farm, friends sold us a red barn chicken tractor to match Clifford perfectly which became Claudette's new home in the city, all at Pooh Bear's request.

Here comes the sad part. Claudette was completely enclosed and safe in her abode, I thought. However, we were working on a fence and only the gates hadn't been installed when the crazy (I'm told but have never met her) neighbor's dogs somehow violently liberated our pet from her house, and you can guess what happened next. What's worse, is that Pooh Bear came home from school found the dogs and Claudette being eaten in progress.

Pooh Bear fell to pieces as you might imagine. She informed me that she would ask her second grade teacher to exempt her from any upcoming chicken projects at school. I asked Pooh Bear, "Exactly how many chicken related work is coming up next in class?"

Pooh Bear replied, "I have no idea, but just in case, I'm telling Ms. Long that I shouldn't have to do any of them. It will make me too sad."

As her brothers heard the news, they were also grieved. Claudette represented a significant part of their childhood and the loss of our farm life. I watched in awe as Peace offered Pooh Bear the rest of his beloved cat, Patches.

This sacrifice may not make sense to anyone but me, so let me explain. Peace's best friend is Patches. Patches came to him as a child via a lady at our church, Francis. Francis auditioned Peace to see that he would make an appropriate pet owner for her very fat and sassy "stray". Upon Peace and Patches first meeting, Patches rolled to his back and let Peace stroke his belly which made Francis gasp, "It took that cat a year to trust me like that!" It was love at first sight.

When we were selling the goats, baby goats, chickens, dogs, Pooh Bear and I cried together as each precious beast made it's way down our driveway and out of sight.
Peace found us sobbing after Ripley and Sarah had departed and responded with compassion, "Pooh Bear, I'll share Patches with you. He can be half yours and half mine."

I asked, "Pooh Bear, which half would you like? The front or the back? I highly recommend the front!" Peace and Pooh Bear sealed the deal that he'd clean the litter (oh, how I wish this were true), and she would do the feeding which seemed to so lighten the mood, and they would both be proud owners of a one-eyed, one-toothed geriatric cat.

So when Claudette passed away, Peace's tender response to Pooh Bear's heartache touched me deeply. I so pray Peace's generosity and kindness grows and spreads to make this world a better place.

Pooh Bear's friend also offered to give her a pretty new hen named Pudgy when we are ready. What a blessing.