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Busy Times

The iris blossoms were beautiful this year.  They have come and gone and I never once went out and picked one for the kitchen table.   Now the yellow day lilies line the side of the house with their cheery message.  Maybe I will find time to bring one of those in to brighten meals.

 

Today Mary Ellen came over to Woodsong to see her dad and me.  It had been too long since she and I had the opportunity to have a good mother-daughter time.  She has been working very hard up at Waggoner cleaning their home there and arranging with the insurance to repair the storm damage done to the house the other night after the tornado moved across the river from St. Louis. She has been down here with Brian and Trent for a couple of days now after taking Brianna down to MurrayState University for orientation.  But she has worked just as hard cleaning their house down here and helping Brian, who never gets to stop this time of year. Amazingly, he has his crops all planted despite the rains. Mary Ellen left our house late, but I see a funny Facebook post lamenting farm life.  She and Brian were having hot dogs over a bon fire while Brian was spraying and she was working picking up fallen branches.  The latest post tells me they are finally back in the house, and she is getting the deer ticks off of herself.   Early in the morning she goes back to Kentucky to pick up Brianna.

 

Katherine too works hard just getting through her day’s appointments and agenda while struggling to not slip out of her worn-out electric wheelchair.  She worked diligently getting the correct one chosen in Spring 2012. A final step was for the salesman to come to St. Louis Rehabilitation Institute for a meeting with her and the physical therapist there.  He phoned he had a flat tire on the way up and did not make it, and then he kind of disappeared without answering phone calls.  Finally she found out the company had sold and she must begin to work with a new salesman.  This has gone on for months.  They did bring the ordered chair in the other day to her house—but adjustments still have to be made and she is being told some parts are  not yet  in.  I have spent a great deal of my time at her home the last few weeks helping out, and you would not believe how busy the days are with phone calls and text messages, people coming and going, and people wanting paper work from her despite the fact that her hands can no longer handle paper.

 

Actually everyone in the family seems to be working hard with little time to spare.  Gerry is recruiting for Georgia, and Tara is involved for two weeks with the softball camps there.  That means Vickie is busy taking three little boys to the swimming pool nearby every day.  Bryan has been briefly at his home office in Chicago, but he is back in Georgia now and I am sure the boys are relishing  plenty of father time in the evenings when he closes his home office.   Erin is working these same two weeks in softball camps at Texas A&M. Geri Ann will soon be in summer school, but I am pleased she has had a break to visit friends in New York.

 

The Eilers are winding down from their school year and facing the chores postponed till summer. At least Jeannie was able to get in 60 miles on her bicycle through the hills yesterday.  I would call that work, but she calls it bliss.   Elijah is back at school at Illinois State and sharing a small house with a roommate, which is an exciting change from dorm life although he liked that too.  Cecelie, our youngest grandchild, is ready to start high school in the fall and is now in eastern Kentucky with her church youth group working in Vacation Bible School there.  Having heard the impact this work made on her older siblings for many years, she was very pleased about getting to go.

 

After I came home from Katherine’s yesterday morning, I mostly spent the day just resting as I was exhausted from several nights’ care giving with only a partial night’s sleep.  I did not even have to cook our noon meal  as Vickie’s mother (Gma Shirley to that set of grandkids) had cooked and she brought me and Gerald a yummy meal when she arrived at Katherine’s house Sunday evening.  All I had to do was heat it up, so I napped until Gerald came in for lunch, and then I napped after lunch too. Gerald keeps busy mowing the every-expanding lawn and working on the lake and in his shop and on his small garden.   This time of year is very busy for farm families; so despite retirement, Gerald and I find ourselves with little spare time.  And though I sometimes worry about our children and their families being over busy, I am grateful for their work ethic and that they are living productive lives.

 

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Naps are great, Sue. I

Naps are great, Sue. I actually think they are akin to meditation in a way. Your children have a great work ethic because of you and Gerald. All the best from Ireland. I hope you get to pick some of those yellow lilies. mx

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I am an exceedingly hard

I am an exceedingly hard worker, and I think part of it comes from growing up on a farm-ette (defined as: for our use only; animals, no crops).  

I truly believe that a good work ethic leads to being able to withstand tough times.  Because the thing that sometimes pulls people under during times of extreme stress is the belief that there is a fixed amount of time, energy, and emotional strength available to devote to things.  Then once that limit is reached, they mentally and physically give up.  

But hard workers don't entertain the fallacy that there is a fixed amount of anything.  And this shift in perception helps them--no matter how hard things seem to be--to find that place inside them to keep going. 

 

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Thanks, Mary and Amy

Yes, naps are good.  I just never needed one as a younger person, so I have a difficult time not feeling I am wasting time.

I like the way you explained the connection between tough times and fixed amount of time, Amy.  I think you are right.  Farm kids learn that you can't quit till the work is done--whether it is hay in the barn before the rain or getting that runaway horse or lost cow caught.