The overturned laundry basket blocked the path on the upstairs hallway. The smell of adrenaline and sweat permeated the staircase. The window blinds were closed to create the effect of nightfall. The overworked automatic dishwasher screamed for a merciful break from the evil taskmaster. The half-empty bowls and platters revealed evidence of a once beautiful meal.
During my hospital stay, my right eye was nearly swollen shut. It was a challenge relying on only one eye to see everything around me. The doctors continued to prescribe different antibiotics into my IV line to determine the most effective solution.
Trypanophobia, the fear of needles, is something I have always struggled with. Little known fact – I almost did not get married the first time due to a silly requirement to have a blood test – seriously!
Now I simply look away but in the case of my recent hospital stay, I could not see the needle anyway!!! I would not recommend getting a swollen eye as a remedy to cure Trypanophobia.
Eventually you will see again and those needles will not go away! Hel-lo!!!!
Here were the challenges I faced with my one functioning eye, the IV port stuck into my left arm, and wearing those wonderful non-skid hospital socks…
We had the honor and privilege of attending our second wedding in two weekends. The venue was perfect for an outdoor ceremony followed by an indoor reception.
Driving on the beautiful back roads of Vacaville, California, we turned into a gravel road and were instructed to park in the open fields of this spacious ranch. Neither of us have been here before though we have driven by this location several times in the past years.
As we walked towards the crowd, we found our seats under some shade as the sun was beginning its descent. The gazebo was the focal point of the proceedings. The ceremony was concise and I am sure the family members in the first couple of rows were very thankful for that as they sat in the hot sun.
As we turned our attention to the reception, I saw an old friend standing in the shadows. She was a volunteer and I knew that I would catch up with her soon. During a break before the bride and groom reappeared, I stepped outside and bumped into my friend.
Then she told me some amazing facts about the Joyful Ranch.
Recently, the weather in our local region had been unpredictable. Temperatures into the high-90’s were sometimes replaced with blustery afternoons. Planning an outdoor wedding would stress any couple during this time of year.
It was my honor to witness a very special wedding this past weekend. Who says that a large wedding is reserved only for the younger people. Why not a loving couple who cultivated a long-standing friendship for twenty-plus years and surrounded by friends and family who have been a part of their lives and long-term relationship?
Well, that is exactly what happened this past Saturday afternoon.
Have you ever read the full story of Joseph in the Bible?
A descendant of Jacob, Joseph was sold into slavery at the age of 17. His step-brothers hated him as he revealed his dream that one day, they would all bow down to this younger brother. He was Jacob’s favorite son and was given a coat of many colors. Some of you may remember the stage play Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
As a side note for many of my old SF church friends – I have many fond memories of performing Dreamer – What Really Happened to Joseph every weekend for months! In spite of the loss of one of our brothers, we chose to live on.
Joseph’s life endured many twists and turns until he finally became second in command in Egypt – only the Pharaoh had more authority. This was unheard of for a foreigner to rule Egypt. However, God used Joseph to interpret dreams that would one day save Egypt and Israel by storing up a percentage of harvest in the good years and rationing the food in the lean years.
A wonderful thing happened to me a couple of weeks ago.
Thanks to social media, I was able to reconnect with an old friend from 25+ years ago – gosh, am I really getting that old???
We agreed to meet at a coffee shop (name begins with an “S”) at the old town where our families first met years ago. I had moved away in 20001 so for me, it appeared that there was a lot of changes including this coffee shop we had our get-together.
The conversation flowed easily as we reminisced about old friends and marveled at how our sons had each grown up into young adults. He learned about the loss of my first wife as he remembered her kindness and personality. Though we both looked a bit more “filled-out”, the familiarity was so comforting.
Soon it was time to depart as my friend had a patient to see. We exchanged goodbyes and as I walked to my car, a thought came to mind. Why not drive down Refugio Valley Road to the old house and see what has changed.
As high school kids are graduating into the next phase of their lives, many will carry life experiences that have transformed them so far in their young lives. Some are just happy to walk the stage or receive their diploma.
Yet there are others who have tried new things in their younger years and may not realize the impact it will have in their future careers, relationships, and thought processes. I feel excited for many of them as their journey is much different these days.
I share similar emotions as teachers of many of the graduating students. While I may not have been a full-time instructor (I commend those who have the tenacity to teach our next generation), I do reflect upon many of the special children that were in my care from a different type of background.