Friday, November 26, 2010

Shoe Shopping

If someone were on heart medicine or depression medication or a thyroid prescription, I suspect people would understand if the person was worried about going off his medicine. How is this going to work? What's going to happen to me? How will I cope with the changes? But I don't think the person would be told that the medicine was just a crutch or that "everybody else manages without it."

We have found ways to cope with Maggie's vcfs, poverty [well, y'know, American-style poverty], depression, foot pain, and assorted health problems that came from living in The House Of Mildew. Thing is, quite a few of those coping mechanisms are out-the-window with my starting a job. That makes me nervous. We've got some problems to solve. Hopefully, having the whole family pitch in with the work and cutting back on the standards will help resolve some issues. There needs to be some serious reconsideration of Maggie's education, goals, methods, resources, support, etc. Ack -- thinking! Ack -- decisions!

But I think one problem is solved -- the shoes. I have spent between 20 and 25 hours shoe-shopping in the last week. (I hate shopping.) I buy shoes, bring 'em home, wear 'em indoors for an hour, and take 'em back. Driving home from the shoe store again on Wednesday, I was ready to phone the bank and tell them to give the job to somebody else: it was too overwhelming to consider going back to the world of that much pain in my feet and legs. But hooray hooray -- I found something online that looks like it should work. The H.R. Dept at the bank okayed the shoes for being professional enough; the shoes are nearly as flat as my tennies; they are open-toed with adjustable straps in the vicinity of my bunions; and [ta da!!] they will accommodate the orthoses I wear in my tennies all day every day. I am utterly overjoyed at the prospect of wearing something that's not going to have me in tears at the end of the day, that's not going to require pain meds and ice packs every evening.

Somehow, this is a massive relief. The other problems no longer seem insurmountable. (Lord, have mercy: I sure do hope that these shoes turn out to be what I expect them to be, and not too short.)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Today's Laugh

This is lifted off the internet; it is about neither me nor my mother.

This is more embarrassing for my mother than for me because I wasn't quite four years old when it happened. My mother taught me to read when I was 3 years old (her first mistake). One day I was in the bathroom and noticed one of the cabinet doors was ajar. I read the box in the cabinet. I then asked my mother why she was keeping napkins in the bathroom. Didn't they belong in the kitchen? Not wanting to burden me with unnecessary facts she told me that those were for special occasions.

Now fast forward a few months. It's Thanksgiving Day, and my folks are leaving to pick up the pastor and his wife for dinner. Mom had assignments for all of us while they were gone. Mine was to set the table. You guessed it! When they returned, the pastor came in first and immediately burst into laughter. Next came his wife who gasped, then began giggling. Next came my father, who roared with laughter. Then came mom, who almost died of embarrassment when she saw each place setting on the table with a "special occasion" napkin at each plate, with the fork carefully arranged on top. I had even tucked the little tails in so they didn't hang off the edge. My mother asked me why I used these and, of course, my response sent the other adults into further fits of laughter. "But Mom, you SAID they were for special occasions!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Today's Laugh

We visited our newly married daughter, who was preparing her first Thanksgiving dinner. Her father noticed the turkey thawing in the kitchen sink with a dish drainer inverted over the bird. He asked why a drainer covered the turkey.

She looked at me and said, "Because Mom always did it that way."

"Yes," I replied, "but you don't have a cat!"

(adapted from A. C. Stokers, Jr.)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Spread of His Glory

The chorale version of the Sanctus goes:
Holy is God, the Lord of Sabaoth.
His glory fills the heavens and the earth.

(See also Isaiah 6.)

So, if the glory of God is seen chiefly in the love and mercy which moved Him to lay down His life and suffer for our sake,

then is His glory spread through the whole earth when Christians suffer for the sake of the Gospel? They may be martyred. They may be persecuted. They may bear the sins of others, returning love and forgiveness when they are mistreated. And that goes on through the whole earth, year after year, decade after decade, in little ways and big ways, filling up the whole earth with mercy. Granted, when we poor sinners suffer for the sake of the Gospel, it is a mere hint of Jesus' suffering, and when we show mercy we are still tainted by sin.

Remember in Acts where it says Luke's gospel was "all that Jesus began to do and teach"? It was because Jesus continued "doing and teaching" through the apostles, as recorded in Acts. Maybe the glory of His sacrificial love continues to spread through the world via His Christians.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Zion Hears the Watchmen Singing

The pastor --the watchman-- sings: "Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night in which He was betrayed, took bread. And when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to His disciples, saying, 'Take, eat, this is My body' ...."

Zion hears the watchmen singing,
and all her heart with joy is springing.
She wakes, she rises from her gloom
for her Lord comes down all glorious,
the strong in grace, in truth victorious.
Her star is risen. Her light is come.
Now come,
Thou blessed one,
Lord Jesus,
God's own Son.
Hail, hosanna!
We enter all
the wedding hall
to eat the Supper at Thy call.

Her Lord comes down to the altar, to join Himself to us in the bread and wine.

And we sing Hosanna. (We do, don't we? That's in the communion liturgy.)

The pastors (the watchmen) are called to guard and protect us. Therefore they call to us in the sermon to awaken us that we might go forth to meet our Lord at the altar.

Now let all the heavens adore Thee,
let men and angels sing before Thee
with harp and cymbals' clearest tone.

"With angels and archangels and all the company of heaven, we laud and magnify Thy glorious name ...."

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Today's Laugh

Two men walked into a bar, the third one ducked.

From Glenda. :-)

Interview Results

The job interview went well. I liked the manager of the branch. But what I liked most is that this is a job that appears to have no ethical dilemmas for me. I'm sorry if this is offensive, folks, but I would have a very hard time working at McDonalds, selling pop and burgers on white buns. And I would have a hard time working at Kohl's, where you have to convince a certain number of people to take credit cards if you want to be scheduled for more hours. My heart leapt when the manager was describing to me that our bank does not push credit cards and push loans; yes, they offer them, and when people want those things we'd prefer they get them from us rather than a competitor. But we don't try to sell people on a product that will not be to their best interest. The manager and personnel director also talked about the importance of family and how the job should take us away from family as little as possible. And they told me that they are closed for holidays and will never open on Sundays as some banks are beginning to do.

They offered me the job. Training week (full-time) starts December 6. After that I suppose it will seem like a vacation to go to half-time.

Luckily I found a black blazer at Goodwill with unreasonably long sleeves; they actually come down to my wrist. But finding professional-looking shoes is going to be another problem -- orthotic inserts, plus something in my bizarre size. I think the entire paycheck for the full-time week is going to go for a pair of shoes (well, that and the taxes ...).

You know what? Every time we have a major change in life, it is preceded by a van wreck. Next time there is a huge change in the wings, I think I'm going to walk everywhere.