Saturday, January 28, 2012
"Watch out! You nearly broad-sided that car!" My father yelled at me. "Can't you do anything right?"
Those words hurt worse than blows. I turned my head toward the elderly man in the seat beside me, daring me to challenge him. A lump rose in my throat as I averted my eyes. I wasn't prepared for another battle.
"I saw the car, Dad. Please don't yell at me when I'm driving."
My voice was measured and steady, sounding far calmer than I really felt.
Dad glared at me, then turned away and settled back. At home I left Dad in front of the television and went outside to collect my thoughts.... dark, heavy clouds hung in the air with a promise of rain. The rumble of distant thunder seemed to echo my inner turmoil. What could I do about him?
Dad had been a lumberjack in Washington and Oregon . He had enjoyed being outdoors and had reveled in pitting his strength against the forces of nature. He had entered grueling lumberjack competitions, and had placed often. The shelves in his house were filled with trophies that attested to his prowess.
The years marched on relentlessly. The first time he couldn't lift a heavy log, he joked about it; but later that same day I saw him outside alone, straining to lift it.. He became irritable whenever anyone teased him about his advancing age, or when he couldn't do something he had done as a younger man.
Four days after his sixty-seventh birthday, he had a heart attack. An ambulance sped him to the hospital while a paramedic administered CPR to keep blood and oxygen flowing.
At the hospital, Dad was rushed into an operating room. He was lucky; he survived. But something inside Dad died. His zest for life was gone. He obstinately refused to follow doctor's orders. Suggestions and offers of help were turned aside with sarcasm and insults. The number of visitors thinned; then finally stopped altogether. Dad was left alone.
My husband, Dick, and I asked Dad to come live with us on our small farm. We hoped the fresh air and rustic atmosphere would help him adjust.
Within a week after he moved in, I regretted the invitation. It seemed nothing was satisfactory. He criticized everything I did. I became frustrated and moody. Soon I was taking my pent-up anger out on Dick. We began to bicker and argue.
Alarmed, Dick sought out our pastor and explained the situation. The clergyman set up weekly counseling appointments for us. At the close of each session he prayed, asking God to soothe Dad's troubled mind.
But the months wore on and God was silent. Something had to be done and it was up to me to do it.
The next day I sat down with the phone book and methodically called each of the mental health clinics listed in the Yellow Pages. I explained my problem to each of the sympathetic voices that answered in vain.
Just when I was giving up hope, one of the voices suddenly exclaimed, "I just read something that might help you! Let me go get the article..."
I listened as she read. The article described a remarkable study done at a nursing home. All of the patients were under treatment for chronic depression. Yet their attitudes had improved dramatically when they were given responsibility for a dog.
I drove to the animal shelter that afternoon. After I filled out a questionnaire, a uniformed officer led me to the kennels. The odor of disinfectant stung my nostrils as I moved down the row of pens. Each contained five to seven dogs. Long-haired dogs, curly-haired dogs, black dogs, spotted dogs all jumped up, trying to reach me.
I studied each one but rejected one after the other for various reasons: too big, too small, too much hair. As I neared the last pen a dog in the shadows of the far corner struggled to his feet, walked to the front of the run and sat down. It was a pointer, one of the dog world's aristocrats. But this was a caricature of the breed.
Years had etched his face and muzzle with shades of gray. His hip bones jutted out in lopsided triangles. But it was his eyes that caught and held my attention. Calm and clear, they beheld me unwaveringly.
I pointed to the dog. "Can you tell me about him?" The officer looked; then shook his head in puzzlement. "He's a funny one. Appeared out of nowhere and sat in front of the gate. We brought him in, figuring someone would be right down to claim him. That was two weeks ago and we've heard nothing. His time is up tomorrow." He gestured helplessly.
As the words sank in I turned to the man in horror. "You mean you're going to kill him?"
"Ma'am," he said gently, "that's our policy. We don't have room for every unclaimed dog."
I looked at the pointer again. The calm brown eyes awaited my decision. "I'll take him," I said. I drove home with the dog on the front seat beside me. When I reached the house I honked the horn twice. I was helping my prize out of the car when Dad shuffled onto the front porch. "Ta-da! Look what I got for you, Dad!" I said excitedly.
Dad looked; then wrinkled his face in disgust. "If I had wanted a dog I would have gotten one.. And I would have picked out a better specimen than that bag of bones. Keep it! I don't want it" Dad waved his arm scornfully and turned back toward the house.
Anger rose inside me. It squeezed together my throat muscles and pounded into my temples. "You'd better get used to him, Dad. He's staying!"
Dad ignored me. "Did you hear me, Dad?" I screamed. At those words Dad whirled angrily, his hands clenched at his sides, his eyes narrowed and blazing with hate. We stood glaring at each other like duelists, when suddenly the pointer pulled free from my grasp. He wobbled toward my dad and sat down in front of him. Then slowly, carefully, he raised his paw...
Dad's lower jaw trembled as he stared at the uplifted paw. Confusion replaced the anger in his eyes. The pointer waited patiently. Then Dad was on his knees hugging the animal.
It was the beginning of a warm and intimate friendship. Dad named the pointer Cheyenne . Together he and Cheyenne explored the community. They spent long hours walking down dusty lanes. They spent reflective moments on the banks of streams, angling for tasty trout. They even started to attend Sunday services together, Dad sitting in a pew and Cheyenne lying quietly at is feet.
Dad and Cheyenne were inseparable throughout the next three years. Dad's bitterness faded, and he and Cheyenne made many friends. Then late one night I was startled to feel Cheyenne 's cold nose burrowing through our bed covers. He had never before come into our bedroom at night. I woke Dick, put on my robe and ran into my father's room. Dad lay in his bed, his face serene. But his spirit had left quietly sometime during the night.
Two days later my shock and grief deepened when I discovered Cheyenne lying dead beside Dad's bed. I wrapped his still form in the rag rug he had slept on. As Dick and I buried him near a favorite fishing hole, I silently thanked the dog for the help he had given me in restoring Dad's peace of mind.
The morning of Dad's funeral dawned overcast and dreary. This day looks like the way I feel, I thought, as I walked down the aisle to the pews reserved for family. I was surprised to see the many friends Dad and Cheyenne had made filling the church. The pastor began his eulogy. It was a tribute to both Dad and the dog who had changed his life..
And then the pastor turned to Hebrews 13:2. "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.."
"I've often thanked God for sending that angel," he said.
For me, the past dropped into place, completing a puzzle that I had not seen before: the sympathetic voice that had just read the right article... Cheyenne 's unexpected appearance at the animal shelter... his calm acceptance and complete devotion to my father... and the proximity of their deaths. And suddenly I understood. I knew that God had answered my prayers after all.
Life is too short for drama or petty things, so laugh hard, love truly and forgive quickly. Live while you are alive. Forgive now those who made you cry. You might not get a second chance.
And if you don't send this to anyone -- no one will know. But do share this with someone. Lost time can never be found.
God answers our prayers in His time... not ours...
(NOTE: the above was from an email story I had received. I don't know who the author is or I would have given credit. Just now realizes I had forgotten to post this disclaimer, since this isn't about me or my dad... At least, not yet!!)
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
oohh I'm looking for a specific quote that I saw and liked... but still haven't found it...
Monday, January 16, 2012
I went to Target today and bought Coach Nicole's new DVD. Target had reduce price from $12.?? to $10.00, so the $3.00 coupon I had printed off from SparkPeople made the cost $7.00. Plus, there's a sticker on the DVD for 20% off a Reebock or GAIAM accessory purchased at the same time as the DVD evidently (didn't appear to be one that could be peeled off and used later.). So, I looked around but I already owned dumbbells, so didn't need any more dumbbells, even though Reebock has some cute ones (the purple ones were the lightest ones, like 2 pounds. I wanted some heavier - but ... I already have a set of 3 pairs or maybe 4 pairs in gradually increasing weight amounts.
I've kinda been thinking I needed some sort of HMR but not yet feeling "worthy" enough for the $99 FitBit or something like that (I know, how stupid is that, right?). But in any case, Target just happened to have a purple watch style HRM co-branded by GAIAM and Oregon Scientifics. I usually like Oregon Scientifics products, and it was on sale from $79-ish to like $59 ish by Target. The cashier agreed that the sticker wasn't really clear as to whether it had to be used now or later, but it didn't automatically trip off the computer scanning the codes, so she had to do the discount manually. Anyway so I got 20% off that discounted price down to about $45ish... Sooo I'm anxious to see how well that all works.
Now if I could just find the remote to my little tv so it will let me advance to the next dvd workout... or figure out how to get the so-called Universal remote to learn the older tv thing (it's per-digital.... eh... you know, like analog?). Would that Lt. Uhara was here "Now opening all hailing frequencies!" or C3PO "I don't believe I know that dialect!"
Sunday, January 15, 2012
SP_STAFF New Sharing and Saving Options on Member Blogs
This blog from SP_Spark team has their discussion about the "Share" feature which allows blogs to be added to the Facebook Feed and Twitter feed. There's a link for instructions on how to op out of it... Basically you are going to your SparkPage and clicking on the Edit your page, and the very last option at the list of things that you can check on or off (like whether to make blogs available to everyone or to just friends only, etc), is the one you want to uncheck for not having the share bar on your blog so others reading your blog can't click on it and send it off to Facebook....
The next day, January 16, 2012 - this feature was removed.
Monday, January 09, 2012
So... I admit it, I'm a Wichitan, love our NuWay sandwichies. I ate here today (Sunday), at the same location pictured in their website below, the original location (now repainted and slightly enlarged and a bit gussied-up.).
The trick is, nutritional info is hard to come by... you know, top secret recipes for their garlic salad and all of that... The pork stuff, I don't eat, so that's not an issue for me.
Right now I'm collecting info and so think of this more like my "scratch pad" or "doodling" or "scribbling", nothing really makes sense here because I haven't really digested it all...
These folks claim to have the recipe... but it's a bit different than one I saw earlier.
21/garlic-salad/ very interesting because she mentions a "garlic liquid" - I'm wondering if her Aunt Ruby used Watkins' Garlic Liquid Spice
Now I have had the garlic salad at Doc's Steak House, at the old (now closed) Abe's Steakhouse, at Spear's (most locations closed but the one shop remains open out by Towne West), and of course NuWay. All are different. Some are lettuce only blends, some are cabbage only, and some are a blend. All use garlic - I think most are using garlic salt or else garlic powder, rather than fresh sqeezed garlic.
Leeker's grocery store makes a garlic salad for their carry-out Deli - that one seems more like what NuWay makes, with a bit of cabbage.
I have some other thoughts on this.... but can't think now, too tired....
no need to comment here since it's basically my "Big Chief Tablet" scratchings and scribblings...rantings... heh.
Aug. 17, 2012
I read the news today, oh boy!
They've razed Abe's Restaurant on 29th!
And though the news was rather sad
Well, I just had to cry
I didn't get to see the photograph.....
waaaah waaaaaah wahahahahawahwah
(apologies to The Beatles)
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