Sunday, February 26, 2006

All Dried Up

Because of circumstances that don't have any bearing on this post, I've been without a clothes dryer for two years. Last Thursday my time, finances and energy level all converged and I purchased a new dryer. It was even able to be delivered and installed on Saturday, a mere two days after purchase!

I was so excited! Thursday evening, all day Friday, and most of Saturday I planned out all I was going to accomplish because I would now have a dryer. Not only would this affect my wardrobe, but my pillows would be fluffed, blankets washed, afghans freshened. I could wash curtains and tablecloths easily. I would be able to achieve the order and organization I crave because of my new dryer.

My whole life was going to change because of this dryer! I could host dinners because my house would be cleaner. I would have so much more time to accomplish things because I wasn't having to run to the Laundromat every Saturday. I would look better, cleaner, fresher because of machine dried clothes. And because I looked better, I'd achieve the attention and success that goes along with it.

Saturday came. The dryer was scheduled to arrive sometime between 8 am and 5 pm, but I didn't care. I woke up early with an uncommon amount of enthusiasm, ate breakfast, moved things out of the way from the door to the basement so the delivery men would have a clear path to that special spot I had for my sparkling new appliance. I didn't want them to trip and drop it or damage it (or themselves) in any way. I wanted nothing to delay the installation of the dryer. And then I waited. Patiently - surprisingly so. I occupied my time with thoughts of what I was going to dry/fluff first and how everything around me would improve!

The delivery men arrived about 3:00 pm and the installer went directly to my basement, looked at my gas line and said he wasn't able to install the dryer because I needed a special connection for my antiquated setup. He was not allowed to do such an installation and I needed to contact a plumber.

I was angry that no one at the appliance store had even mentioned such a thing, even though I'd told them my old dryer was 30 years old. I was disappointed,as well. But even more so, I was distraught.

Distraught??? Over a dryer??? Yes, you read right. Absurd as it might seem, I was very distressed over the delivery delay of an appliance that I have managed to live without for two years.

I understand how ludicrous this is, but it doesn't change the way I felt.

The issue here is how much emphasis I've placed on this machine; how I've looked for a home appliance for comfort and fulfillment. While it's not a life requirement, a dryer will help me immensely. But it is not "life-changing", as I was envisioning it to be. It's not a magic wand. As much as I'd like my life to change in some manner, to "get out of my rut", an appliance is not going to do it.

I'm glad I was able to identify these issues early, before I allowed myself to fall in to a pit of despair. But I pray that next time (and there will be a next time), from the very beginning, I won't look to something or someone, other than Jesus, for satisfaction.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Growing Pains

Sometimes, I long for the days when growing pains were relieved by a baby aspirin, hot water bottle and my mother's caress.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Thomas Wolfe Was Right can't go home again.

Yesterday, I had opportunity to attend an Open House for the new Select Specialty Hospital, now located in the building that housed my former employer (of 21 years), Metro Health Center.

I had not been inside the building in almost 3 years and was looking forward to seeing what they'd done with the place.

Of course, I knew I'd also be a bit misty-eyed; after all, I have a lot of (good) memories of the "old homestead". I matured personally, professionally, and spiritually due to much of what I experienced there. I developed a lot of friendships, as well and am quite proud of the work we all accomplished.

But upon entering the building, it hit me immediately that this was no longer my home. It now belonged to all those people milling about taking visitors on tours of their building.

I felt sad. I felt angry. I felt like someone had taken something from me - my home. And since I don't really feel settled in with current employer (of < 2 years), I felt in limbo somewhere.

I'm sure there's some spiritual message in this, but I'm feeling too sad to figure it out, yet.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Who Can Turn the World on With Their Smiles?

Today, a woman at work shared with me a video clip e-mailed to her of a mother with her quadruplet infants. The 4 children were laughing and giggling in the cutest manner. Just the thought of that video brought smiles to me all day.

In a similar vein, last Saturday a group of people from my church sang at a local nursing home. Our singing sounded pretty good, but it was all the children roaming the halls with us that brought so many of the residents to their doors. They smiled and waved; the children smiled and waved back. One little boy climbed on to a few laps. And a couple of residents followed us a bit, pushing themselves along in their wheelchairs.

It's amazing to think that something so simple as a child's small wave and shy smile can continue to warm a heart even these few days later. Now, a cynic might say that for people stuck in nursing homes, any change in the normal routine is welcome; but there is nothing routine about a child's coo, giggle or smile or the impact they can have on anyone - from a lonely nursing home resident to a busy businesswoman. I'm blessed to have witnessed it on Saturday and on my co-worker's e-mail.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Unexpected

Last Saturday, as I began to look at my schedule for the upcoming week, I saw a VERY full calendar for my work and personal life. I was looking forward to an awful week.

So, last night at Bible Study I asked for prayer in dealing with my upcoming week. Today, two of the four meetings I had expected at work were rescheduled. Two after work commitments I had were shorter than expected. God had answered my prayer.

But then, something totally unexpected happened and I've been dealt a blow. Now I wonder, would this unexpected have happened had I not prayed for relief from all the expected items OR would the expected been worse than the unexpected? Is this an example of the old adage "be careful what you wish for, it might happen"? If so, how then am I to pray?

Too many questions.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

An Apple for the Teacher

I found out last night that one of my high school teachers, my favorite teacher ever, died on January 10. She was only 62.

I hadn't been in touch with her for years, but coincidentally she'd been on my mind the past few weeks. I think the reason I was thinking about her so much was due to the Steelers' playoff run. She was the main reason I got interested in football.

In addition to English and Math, she taught Football; specifically, STEELER FOOTBALL. Every Monday morning, there was little Algebra, Grammar or Literature taught - we rehashed yesterday's game. Since the 70's was the Steelers' hey-day there was much to talk about.

Now, Miss Reznik was a very feminine woman, rarely in pants and her hair, makeup and nails just so; and Ursuline Academy was an all-girl school, so football would seem to be an anomoly. But Miss Reznik knew her game and taught us alot about various plays, penalties and strategy. I wonder what came first - my interest in football or my interest in what Miss Reznik was teaching because she was an inspiring teacher

Many times over the years, usually during football season (beginning with training camp and ending with the draft, as any devoted football fan would understand) Miss Reznik would come to mind and I would think about tracking her down. Now it's too late.

So I publish this post as an "apple for my teacher" although I think she'd enjoy the Lombardi Trophy just as much.

BTW - Miss Reznik loved LOTR and took our class on a field trip to see the animated version of the "Hobbit" when it was first released in theaters. And she gave me my pewter sculpture of "The Riddle Game" with Gollum and Bilbo among other LOTR-related items. She was really a contemporary Renaissance woman.