Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Busy Years

That's what my mom calls the years we're living right now, and I completely agree. There are days when I long to just stay home all day and not go anywhere, but for now that is just an elusive wish.

That said, I wouldn't trade these years for anything. Em just finished her second year of college and will be transferring to UNT in the Fall. We're so excited because we found out yesterday that between grants and scholarships, her Junior year is completely paid for: books, tuition, housing, meal plans...everything. Our goal of getting through college with no student loans is getting closer. She's been busy, though, and she can totally take credit for all of that with her high GPA and all.

Timothy is driving now, but that wasn't the case all year. He turned 16 last September, but wasn't chomping at the bit to get his license, thank goodness! But he was patient, and we were able to get him a truck (completely paid for!) that he can use to get around town. It's a nice truck, and he put a lot of work in it himself to get it that way. He's doing great in baseball, and that alone has kept us busy. People love to watch him play, especially stealing bases, and he occasionally gets reamed by the coach for stealing before they have a chance to give him a signal. He started his first job last night, and is thrilled. Rosco's Smokehouse will never be the same!

Christopher is coming into his own. He's the comedian of the family and continues to hone his skills. He's also good with languages, and even though he had the Spanish teacher from *the bad place*, he's catching on anyway. He'll be driving soon as well (and our insurance is completely taking a hit!) but he and Timo will be sharing the truck. It will be good for them for the next two years. Christopher's health issues are now under control, which means growth spurt, which will also translate to better baseball. He'll be going out for the team next year. Still, he keeps us hopping and laughing, and that's always fun.

Nathaniel is finishing his last year of elementary this year. It's an end of an era. We will no longer have elementary school students in our house. I'm kind of sad, but only for a little bit, because he's so ready for middle school. He'll be going where Christopher went, and he's happy about that. He's got a good group of friends here, which is what I like about his elementary school. They stay friends all through school and are a tight bunch. Academy kids stay Academy kids, even when they leave. I'm happy about that for him.

T and I are two ships that pass in the night! Literally. Well, we pass in the morning. He works midnights, I see him for about 30 minutes, then I'm off to work and he's off to bed. But he's got such a fun job. It's kind of fun knowing the inner workings of a city. My job is crazy busy, and is different every day. I love that. I even have to keep a little post-it note on the back of my name tag to remind me where I'm supposed to be each day. But it never gets boring, and I love what I do. It also doesn't hurt to work with wild and crazy people. Really. They are nuts. I think it's a pre-requisite, though.

The busy years fly by, and they're exhausting as well. But it's a good kind of tired. The kind that makes you sigh before you go to sleep. It's far from perfect, and that just makes me love our life even more. I wouldn't change a thing.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Where Ever You Are

I pray for you.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Everybody's Got a Story

This used to be my favorite news show. A reporter, Steve Hartman, would throw a dart at a map then go to that town, open a phone book at a local phone booth, randomly open a page, then close his eyes and pick a number. His story would be about the person who answered the phone. He wasn't looking for the extraordinary, but he found it. Good or bad, it was always there.

There are some amazing stories from ordinary people in our neighborhoods. Little nuggets of treasure that, if we just stop and talk to people, we could find it. That includes our relatives. My grandmother remembers walking on foot by a wagon when she was four years old. That would have been 1921 or 1922. Her family was moving and ended up close to an indian reservation in Oklahoma. Her job as a four year old was to pick up little pieces of wood for kindling and throw it into a little canopy hanging down under the wagon. Looking at her at the end of her life, one would have never known or even thought to ask about life when she was young.

My new favorite show is now "Who Do You Think You Are?" If you watch it, sit with a box of kleenex, because the stories are truly touching and remarkable. As I said in my previous post, we stand on the shoulders of the generations that came before us, and we live much more comfortably because of the sacrifices they made. It was only two or three generations ago that relatives scrimped and saved for necessities like food, and splurged on things like ice cream or steak. They had hard lives with extremely humble circumstances, yet carried on with dignity and perseverance. Because they stuck it out and worked without seeing much benefit in their generation, they knew enough to know that this generation had a fighting chance.

I'm so grateful for that.

Get to know others' stories. People are fascinating if we just take the time to look.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Almost a Century

Today is T's grandma's birthday and she's 90 years young. I've thought a bit about her life and what she's seen as I've thought of her off and on today. She was born on this day in 1920. It's the day that Joan of Arc was canonized. It was the beginnings of the Roaring Twenties. It was a time of prosperity following the ravages of World War I. She was born into plentiful times, much like many of us. But like many of her contemporaries, she did not benefit from those wealthy times. Her family still had to work hard for what they needed. That was good, though, because it prepared her for the Great Depression. Like many in that Great Generation, she learned to do without, to make do with what she had, and to work hard for what she wanted. In many ways, the Great Generation are the epitome of Perfect Imperfection.

I think God honored and continues to honor that generation. We can sit and take credit for many of our blessings, but it is arrogant to think that it is because of anything we have done or deserve. In my opinion, most of our blessings are the mere residue of the blessings God bestowed on Gramma A's generation.

Gramma A is the first to tell you that she is undeserving of praise, and is quick to say she's done things wrong in her life. However. I don't think God is looking to bless perfection. On the contrary, I think he's looking for the imperfect through which to show Himself and make Himself known to the rest of the world. Gramma A's right choices and faithful steps, though small as they may seem, had ramifications even into the third and fourth generations. She did right when doing right counted. And as a result, we stand more firmly today than we would have. God will not be mocked, and He honors those who are deserving. He's honored Gramma A.

So, today, her family all over the world has stopped and called, prayed for, and thought fondly of this perfectly imperfect matriarch of the Adermatt family. And we smiled.