Progress is Slow – But it’s Still Progress

Finding your sea legs after something crazy as a tornado hitting your home is a difficult task. Being patient and being placed “on hold” is something I don’t’ do well. I manage my personal affairs with a “full hands on” for most things. Being dependent on other people and waiting for dominoes to fall does not come naturally for me.

We all hate insurance, until we need them – to pay off. The constant battle is this – Do I or don’t I trust the insurance company? Currently I do trust them. They said the right things. They seem to be on our side and in our corner.

Storm follow-up and repairs are slow, especially in such a hard hit are like North Texas. I am learning a great lesson that I’ve heard about before- That this is going to be a marathon not a foot race. We are taking a very LONG foot race. it will be about endurance and hanging in there. The word race will now be replaced with journey.

It has been an emotionally grueling 3 weeks since our world flipped over. Emotions change every day or two. It goes from shock to sad to mad to hurt, and then bits of each all over again. At least now I don’t take those big nose dives after visiting our home. The hurt is being replaced with “OK, let’s get this ball rolling and get it all done”.  If you don’t like simple auto damage claims, you’d not believe all of the elements of a catastrophe dwelling claim. I’m trying not to get overwhelmed by it all. So many decisions face us in the months ahead. But the alternative is homelessness! We are grateful for small things that we took for granted before.

We are on a quest to find joy in our journey. We’ll look back one day and know what we should have worried more about, and what we should have done differently. We hope we’ll be better people for this chapter. We can’t help but think there is some grander purpose in this all. We just know it.

Where’s My Cup – Quest for Normalcy

Having a normal nights rest is something that can be illusive the older we get. Depending on circumstances or diet or a change in the time we retire, we seem to search for the perfect sweet spot so that we can get a deep restorative sleep.

When your apple cart is flipped on it’s side or tossed a block from your home you reach for the fruit – it is not there. You look and all you find is an empty place.

When everything in it’s place has been moved, the quest for things from your normal routine begins. Whether it’s a favorite coffee cup or a small screwdriver, trying to navigate back to simple routine it can be as illusive as laughter at the IRS office.

Our complex world can become very simple in short order.

99.9% of our personal belongings are now in storage 19 miles from us. I almost said 19 miles from home. Camping out in a hotel room is fine for a couple of days but the novelty and simplicity grows thin rather quickly, especially when you can’t even find your house shoes.

Humans were created for routine. Navigating in the dark in our home is  (was) something I’ve took for granted. Not that I count, but I can walk directly the the door handle on the bedroom door. I can walk to the kitchen or den without running into a wall or stumping my toe. When I wake up in the morning I can tell you what time it is without even looking. I can take you to the top drawer of my toolbox in the garage for a screwdriver (in the dark) and pull out a phillips head.

When I rolled out of bed this morning I turned right and ran into the window. Then I put my foot in my bride’s shoe and it didn’t fit. I walked in the dark with my hands out in front and walked slowly. I saw a glimmer of light. Aha -the  microwave clock! That tiny light is so important to me right now. Who would have ever guessed?

We found that we have a nice lady here that can make a mean omelet in the hotel lobby. We have a new routine! The food is good but I have a hard time with total strangers sitting around in their jammies and hair so wild they could easily have a bird hiding in there. As we prepare to return to work tomorrow we will no doubt enjoy at least something that is routine and familiar. Who would think I want to go back to work?!

I promise to grateful today. I will be grateful to go to my church, even though it’s 12 miles further now. I will be grateful for a couple of meals prepared by someone else. I will be grateful to know I still have a partner that I adore with every fiber of my being.

It will take a little time, but we will find our new “normal”. And we will be happy with whatever that different routine brings us. We have no reason to fear. We have no reason the grieve. We have no reason to worry. We have each other and we hang onto a God that we believe in. We know that He will provide our every need. He’s that kind of God and we trust in His goodness.

Trip of a Lifetime – Coming soon!

 

   I think we’ve all envisioned what it might be like to travel and experience places we’ve never been before. We fantasize about going to Europe, Australia, or Bora Bora, just to mention a few of the dream locations in the world. We’ve all had friends, relatives or co-workers who report back the fun they’ve had at locations where as they were bowled over with awe from their trip. My own kids have been and seen things in their young lives that I’ve only read or wondered about. From the great wall in China, to the outback in the great down under, to Europe and back. And even in the Americas my kids have traveled to places that make my own life seem boring.    

  As we age, our mind’s dreams of going to such locations grows farther and farther as our priorities change and as the old body just doesn’t have the same spring in the step of earlier years. I’ve always loved to travel. It never mattered what the destination was. Just leaving the comfort of normalcy for a weekender has always recharged my batteries. Always has. And hopefully always will.

   With my bride of 40 years we’ve been a few places when we’ve had the chance, that have provided wonderful and lasting memories. Our travels have taken us to and from Canada both in Ottawa for us both and Saskatchewan for my better half. On our joint trip we came back via Niagara Falls (you have to see it to believe it). We’ve taken time in both northern and southern California and we’ve seen some incredible sights. A few years back we had the opportunity to travel to the northeast, all the way to Maine. It included the wonderful drive through Tennessee, Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and on through the Big Apple. It culminated in old New England. And the return down the Appalachian Trail was wonderful.  We’ve had shorter trips within our own little country, known as Texas.  From the tip top of the Panhandle down to the tip of Brownsville. And even from the southeast shores of the Gulf of Mexico to the dry and dusty El Paso. So even within the confines of the U.S. we’ve really been able to eat a good tasty slice of Americana pie.

So it was with a great deal of amazement last fall that our sneaky kids brought us all together for a Sunday dinner where they presented us with a copy of a large check in an amount beyond belief for a cruise! We were shocked with the size of the gift and how they had been saving for years. The gift is to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary, that happens later this year. The kids were thinking we might do Europe, Hawaii or some other exotic location, but my very first thought was it HAD to be Alaska!

   The great state of Alaska is still considered a pioneer and pristine destination. It seems to be the only place in North America (and maybe the world) that is virtually untouched by the blight of man. The only experience I have with the 50th state is second hand knowledge from a friend who traveled there as a teenager and from my step dad who traveled there and stayed several weeks camping alone. He had the time of his life. The difficult adventure getting there and back was half of the adventure for him.

   We’ve all seen the photos, travel videos, documentaries, and even quirky sitcoms and dramas with the backdrop of beautiful Alaskan. The views are magnificent, even in photos. Ever been on vacation somewhere and snapped what you thought was an award winning photos only to have your viewers say nice. Nice? The photos and experience to me was WOW and I get a “nice” from someone that didn’t go. They just weren’t “there” and don’t really understand so they? That scenario is probably played out with most vacation photos for everyone. I tend to think after seeing a number of YouTube videos that those really do capture more closely the sights and sounds of the adventure. The missing components from a sensory standpoint is actual sights, actual sounds, and actually feeling whatever weather elements and scents only captured while “really” being there. 

So very soon (less than 3 weeks) we will be embarking on something wonderful. I’ll try and share as much of it with you, that I humanly can.