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Today the weather is going to be a wee bit warm. (cough!) It makes me so thankful to be able to have air conditioning in our home. I feel for the folks down south, who are enduring heat waves, terrible storms, flooding, you name it. My heart and prayers go out to them.
I recently mentioned in a comment to one of my blog friends how I have had to limit my TV watching, after noticing how my stress level was greatly reduced during Lent, at which time we didn't put the box on all that much. Now as we are kind of back to watching again, I am still finding that not watching too much news is helpful. I hear it, but just enough to get the gist. It can be distressing and overwhelming. I figure, I can pray whether I know all the gory details, and preserve some peace, however little it may be. Even the weather channel can be too much!
But it does give some perspective for thankfulness. Paradoxically, the hotter the day, the more likely I am to feel chilly, as I more often can sequester myself to the house/car/store/church; all places with a/c blasting away.
Somehow the heat doesn't feel as bad when you know you can escape from it. There were many days when I couldn't. Many days, we lived in a walk up apartment with small children and babies. We figured out ways to cool off, but it was draining. This summer reminds me of the summer of 1991, when I was pregnant with Melissa. That year, we had a scorching summer, it started in early June. If you have even been pregnant, especially in summer, you know that your internal temp. can feel really high. Yes, I guess carrying around a human being encased in water is naturally a warmish affair. Cooling off is a task. I ate a lot of ice and took many showers. She was born smack in the middle of August. I then began the pattern of having a baby every other summer for the next four years. I suppose that means I reached pro status.
Rachael was born in 1993, and we lived on a quaint, beautiful little farm. Also an hour removed from the hospital, so, Rachael thought about being born in the car. Ben was born in 1995. We then lived in the same quaint little area, but in a not-at-all quaint trailer. It did have four bedrooms, one was actually a built on room, in which we installed an air conditioner. Ben was born mid-July, on my mother's birthday. It was during a heat wave with temps around 100 degrees. Ben was also my largest baby, at ten pounds four ounces. (Those last four ounces! ouch!) Being my sixth child and born into an even more stressful time than we had previously known, poverty-wise and crazy- bad- emotional- situation-brought-on -by-then-husband-wise, these factors helped me decide to have an epidural. I had five times under my belt without, but hey , I thought, lets treat myself! Naturally,I fell into the three percent that have the dura of the spinal cord nicked by the needle, and
was "treated" to the lovely phenomenon known as the Spinal Headache. Headache Schmedache. This was not in that category. I was okay as long as I could lie flat, and of course, what mother of six with a two day old infant can't lie flat on her back all the time? My eldest was actually away, so that left Daniel, then about six, to watch over the others and help me as much as he could. I remember he made me hot dogs in the microwave. He was sweet then and still is.
But I would eventually have to get up. And oh boy, I would have fireworks go off in my head. Or a nuclear bomb. You never saw anybody hop in and out of the bathroom so fast. Remember now, this was July...heat wave..100 degrees...mother with bombs going off in her head....now let's add....ta da! A tornado! Yup.
The next night while we all were asleep in the one air conditioned room, I awoke to a shaking of the door and window. I had to all but cattle prod my husband awake to go and see what was going on. When he opened the door, I could feel the wind whip through, and see the other windows in the _trailer_ (yes, folks, the old Trailer in a Tornado Scenario) vibrating. Thank God, it passed quickly, and our little tin hovel stayed on the ground. But there was no power, and the heat did not break, storm or not. Here we were, in a super heated tin house, mom can't stand up, dad went to get gas, and drove around for hours trying to find some...ah! what fun. It was friends of ours,the Oylers, that came to the rescue. Took our entire family into their home, (their air conditioned home), fed us and treated us like royalty. Took all the kids to vacation bible school each day, got me to the hospital, where I got the nick repaired, and then nursed me for a few days. During this time, another dear lady, Martha Lair, went to our hot, incredibly messy trailer, cleaned it all up and did the laundry. All that, friends, was a huge blessing from God. Besides the situational crisis, my life then was a string of crises, as we were living something of a nightmare of emotional and sometimes physical abuse. The help of these dear friends was the breath of God in a barren wasteland.
So yes, these days I feel as privileged as a queen; jaunting about in our new car, coming home to our cool house, being able to write for you on our computer, traveling to see my daughter and her family~ so many things I would not have dreamed of in those rough years. A husband who loves me and all the kids, though he is not their biological father. Who retired from bachelorhood to help us and provide for us. Who lives what is many days the thankless life of a stepdad. So thank you, honey. If you are not experiencing a ton of reward for all your efforts now, surely they will await you in heaven.
And, (okay now I feel like I am accepting an Academy Award), I would like to thank God. Really! He has seen me through all manner of things; my guardian angel (thank you too!) must be exhausted and begging for retirement. The Lord has endured years of neglect, being snubbed, ignored, shunned, as well as fumbling attempts of faith and service. He was there from the beginning, preserving me in spite of myself, allowing the evil, but protecting me from its complete mastery and devastation. He has kept me, and my children, and is working miracles in us to this day. I am not thankful enough. I think I won't really be, until the next life. I hope for myself, and all my family, to see Him, and really know all He did for us. And I hope, as I song I used to sing says, "that all our work be praise".