Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Third Week

Friday marked three weeks since the accident. Life moves on slowly. Days go by one by one, each brings its own pleasures and diversions. Flowers on the table make me happy.

We learn coping tricks and grow more accustomed to the helping routines that get me through this season of being "lame in both arms." (As opposed to Mephibosheth who was lame in both feet, 2 Samuel 9:3)

The Meal Train ended Friday as well, but we are well supplied with frozen extras for the future. Each contribution this week was special in its own way. We enjoy when the givers can also partake the meal with us.
Sunday, rather than delivering a meal to our house, our friends Dane and Laurie invited us to their home after the service (they live next door to the church). To our surprise, they had asked several other to join in "Rita's meal." We had a great time of fellwoship, wonderful food, and a fun game--Suspend.

Notice the Suspend challenge in the center

Monday, Leah took me to our local nail salon, Polished, andI chose a bold color for once.
And after we enjoyed our favorite foods at The Bridge Cafe across the street.

BLT sandwich (Leah), South African salad (Rita)
I continue to enjoy long walks, listening to books, observing nature, and exploring new spaces on the Taylor campus.

Tuesday, I hired three sisters who do landscaping to help restore order and beauty to our overwhelmingly overgrown surroundings. They worked wonders in four hours of steady hard effort even through a torrential cloudburst! "We loved it. I always wanted to play in the rain,"  one said.

That evening I attempted Sarah Cray's live tutorial, the weekly Paint Along, and was pleasantly surprised to be able to join in even with hand limitations.

Evenings we relax (and often fall asleep!) watching movies. This week a series of food-related ones: East Side Suchi, Tortilla Soup, Love's Kitchen; and a couple others, A Castle in the Sky, and I Dreamed of Africa.

Michael has been working steadily, bit by bit, on a major hardwood floor repair project, to replace a whole section damaged by our previous leaky refrigerator. He had to work some "magic" to fit the new-sized boards in old grooves. Friday he was able to say, "It is finished!"It is beautiful!

Friday afternoon we went to the our local Farmer's Market, always a fun commjnity event.

On this occasion, Matt and Kayla were there selling honey, always such a joy to interact with them.

A couple of Upland Farmer's Market vendors: Upland Honey, from Kern's bees; wreaths by friend Debbie Manganello
Skye and Destiny posted the big family news this week along with a first photo of our next great grandbaby due in 2020.

The weekend marked the end of the Logos Hope visit to Buenos Aires and also the closing of the Alumni retreat onboard. After the event, our Argentine Doulos shipmates, gave the leaders a replica of the Doulos as a token to represent the wonderful memories of our time involved in the ship ministry and the ongoing impact of the experience. View the moving response here.

So it is that life moves on and we find purpose in every day, every moment. "For in him we live and move and have our being ."  (Acts 17:28)

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Summer Daze

Summer moves on more slowly now as I wait for my bones to become knit together firmly, however each day brings new and interesting distractions.
Personal hygiene remains complicated, hair styling impossible, but I focus on what I can do, like walking. Most days I keep going beyond the mailbox at the top of the lane . . .

. . . and just keep going toward the Taylor University campus and explore a different path each time exceeding my daily step goals.  

Michael is a good caregiver, and with some added help and a few meals still coming, we keep the household running. 
Mondays, however, we always look forwaed to son Stephan's meal and hearing what they've been up to. This time we got to see the repaired and restored old shepherd before it was returned to MAC,  their church. Now it is displayed indoors away from the destructive effects of weather.

More art sightings: 
We had a pour painting party for Leah's adopted birthday, my friend Georgia's idea..

Here are the resulting works of art. Rebecca and I just played with watercolor.
my only contribution was a tree outline; she added the green.
That evening, however, I watched Sarah Cray's live tutorial on Let's Make Art and attempted a small card with my limited dexterity.

The next morning was my follow-up appointment at the Central Indiana Orthopedics. The double splint was replaced by a hard cast. Ouch, the edges are hard, causing different limitations! Notice the Argentine colors, albiceleste, in honor of their 203rd birthday, el 9 de julio.

Needless to say I could not join Mother for the Grace Village outing to the Kosciusko County fair. They posted a few photos, and there she is playing Bingo.

I've also been following the many reports of the visit of our sister ship Logos Hope to Buenos Aires. The highlight this week was the 40th alumni reunion with numerous photos and stories of those who gathered for the event. 

Doulos friends, how many do you recognize in this last photo?

Friday and Saturday Michael left very early each morning, but made sure I was dressed, fed and ready to fend for myself. 
It was the weekend of the Indiana Robotics Invitational. In its 20th or so year, this has become an elite event--only 68 of the best teams, 50 applicants were turned away. And we were invited, thanks to our high ranking in Indiana. Amazing! 
I was thoroughly entertained watching the livestream at home, and our little team felt God's blessing in their performance and two neat surprises: Kaylee won an IRI scholarship, and alliance #1 selected 1720 as alternates and then won the championship!

I was even able to join the UCC hiking group Saturday morning and be back just in time to watch the first match. 

Of course someone gave me a ride. Hmmm, wonder when I'll be able to drive again. Next appointment is July 30.
How is your summer going?

Tuesday, July 9, 2019


--for two arms and hands! Not being able to use them fully makes me appreciate them all the more. And with both arms injured, I am less likely to overuse them allowing the bones to rest and heal.

--for friends who care and help

--for restful naps out on the deck enjoying the beauty of summer.

--for long walks around the Taylor University campus, and good books to listen to on the way.

--for very practical help with household chores. April and her daughters gave us a couple hours of their day to do whatever we needed and spoiled us with a treat from Ivanhoe's and flowers to brighten our home.

--for meals delivered and many more to come. Kristie set up a Meal Train schedule that soon filled up, others begging for the opportunity to bless us with food.

--Kristie also noticed the need for weeding and stopped by after work. She enjoys getting her hands  in the dirt and the instant gratification of a tidy garden. She just doesn't know when to quit!

--for my faithful caregiver and loving husband who keeps his promise of nearly 50 years ago, "in sickness and in health, for better or for worse."
I am especially grateful that he is in good health and able to get away for the long bike rides he enjoys so much.
On the 4th, he stopped to check the corn growth. Even after a very wet and difficult planting season for the farmers, the corn seems to be on schedule.

"Knee high by the 4th of July"

I have been following the news from the visit of our sister-ship, the Logos Hope, to Buenos Aires. Earlier this year I had toyed with the idea of combining a visit to the ship with a reunion of old friends in the land of my youth.
Though the winter in Argentina has been unusually cold, the welcome the ship received there has been a very warm one. The Vice President had offered very kind words during the official opening. This article tells more: Vice President's Endorsement.

--for technology which allows me to stay connected and involved even from home. It was wonderful to participate in the Sunday worship service via Livestream.

Although I haven't attempted to paint since the accident, I did add words to the most recent piece as a way to say a big thank you to all.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Vacation Adventures

Bedroom in Arles, Vincent van Gogh
June is over and finished and so is the Paint by Sticker calendar page even though the last few areas were especially challenging to complete because I am significantly handicapped right now. In fact I am typing with one finger and that is a much slower process. However, there is nothing else I can do right now, so why not keep the blog going.

So this is what I look like. However, I do not feel as bad as I look, grateful for all the medical helps available.

So, what happened? We were on a two-day tandem tour of the Miami Valley trail between Piqua and Dayton, and only 5 to 10 miles from the finish, when we hit a muddy spot and the bike slid out from under us. I ended up with fractures in both arms--left shoulder, right wrist. When Michael tried to get me to stand up, I saw stars. I hadn't realized before then that it's a true thing! So, I lay down and waited. A local rider came by soon after our fall, called 911 and stayed with us the entire time until the ambulance made its way to where we were on the trail.
Michael has multiple open sores, serious road rash, and now he has to look after me for a few weeks!

Now, let's talk about the great vacation.

It was prefaced by a wonderful reunion with friends from long ago that are like family.

Babcocks, Cratons, Leah, Mike, Rebecca, Rita
Brenda, to my left, was on a team with me in Mexico when we were both single, the 1969 Christmas crusade, just before Mike and I were married. Later, Brenda was on our team in Europe while her fiance Dave was detained in Turkey. She helped me when I could no longer get around in the last weeks of my first pregnancy. When they were married a few months later, we stood up with them in their civil ceremony, and I played the organ for the church wedding.
Dave and Brenda are in the area for a Global Partners event, and made time from their busy schedule to meet with us.
We've known Bob and Linda from before they were married and also attended their wedding. We worked on teams and projects together, even lived in the same house at times. And we settled in the same town, both drawn here by work for Taylor University.
We treasure these opportunities to get together, reminisce and catch up. Leah wrote, "And to think most of this table used to hold me as a baby and have known me most of my entire life !!!!"

Michael and I set off for Ohio directly from Ivanhoe's. (Rebecca wanted a photo of the tandem but maybe did not want to be in it.)

Highlights of our trip: 
--stopping to read historic markers in Piqua and learning about the Miami and Erie Canal and the First Atomic City.

Footbridge across the Great Miami River. In the 1960s, steam was pumped across this bridge from the reactor to Piqua's main power plant.

(That's Michael walking our bike across the bridge.)

--food and sights in Troy, including traveling sculptures by Seward Johnson.

A few favs

--the eateries: Lunch at 4 W Main, which features a different vendor each day. When we were there we had wonderful Bodega selections. The next day in Tipp City we came across that provider.

Can you see the tandem in the window display/
Little York Tavern & Pizza--the only place on our side of the big highway; we walked there the first evening. I did not want to get back on the bike after we'd settled into our lodging for the night.
Maid-Rite Sandwich Shoppe in Greenville was one planned destination before the accident, and we still made it there though much later than intended. Michael had wanted me to experience their very popular sloppy joes. It was a first for him too, having to feed me. 
Our last stop on the way home was an A&W stand in Union City. The wonderful nurse who looked after me, owns the place and told us to stop for a root beer float on the house.
We only missed one stop, a Buffalo Wild Wings in Piqua to watch USA/France women's soccer.

--being together, enjoying the beauty of nature, experiencing life as one with my "captain"

--taking pictures is a favorite, but I did not get anywhere near as many as the interesting sights and views we encountered.

If we could go back to these towns, I would spend more time in the little shops and amazing bookshops.

Now at home, we wait, rest, peck out messages with one finger, and rest. The hope is that the bones will heal with time and rest, and surgery will not be necessary. We wait.

And the flooring project Michael began also waits.

A rest-filled summer ahead. Oh, rest in the Lord, wait patiently for Him. . . remains a favorite musical refrain ever since my cousin sang it to his bride in their wedding more than 50 years ago.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Friends, Family, Food and more

Rebecca and I picked these flowers on our walk. Yes, it was a week highlighted by visits and sleepovers of two grands and a great!

Many memories surfaced this week as well including many photos of our several trips to the Basque Country which always took place around this time of year. The last visit was five years ago already!
It's been that long almost since we really spent time with our main fellow-travellers--Dane and Laurie. We rememdied that, however, with a meal at our house Sunday evening and an outing Wednesday for dinner and a movie--Aladdin, quite a fantastical production! 

Michael likes to cook and he goes all out. Then we enjoy leftovers all week. I have only one photo--the delicious vidalia onion corn bread. I usually make the salads.

Stephan's Monday dinners feature something special every week and quite often we are the only guests. This time Malachi and Lexi came first and then Sam and Kristie and their other three boys. The sobremesa (after-dinner conversation) was so much fun. We heard about: 
--Sam's family's vacation in Florida, 
--Stephan and Karen's week away  at her parents in Evansville with a niece and nephew, and 
--Malachi's internship working with youth at his church, and Lexi's job and involvement with a SERVE project.

Other memories came from reading my parents' journal from 20+ years ago when they were about our age now. There are many references to the practical ways they were preparing the new meeting place of their congregation--refurbishing a pulpit, painting, plastering, cleaning, and on and on for months. Then June 16, 1996 was the first service in the new building. This hands-on involvement in the building and upkeep of places of worship, characterizes Dad and Mother's entire life.

Friday I needed to attend the quarterly Care Plan Conference for Mother at Grace Village. The plan was to take Rebecca. I remember taking Kayla, her mother, when she was about the same age to visit Grandpa and Grandma Hoyt in Winona Lake. I remember her enjoying the swing they had hung from a big tree in the front. I was in my early 50's then. This time I had Michael's help on the adventure. At the last minute he was able to come along. We had a great time with our great granddaughter and she with her great great grandma! Rebecca showed her all her little ponies, demonstrated her ballet routine (using the proper French names for the steps!), and insisted on pushing the wheelchair everywhere! 

It's been a year now since Mother lost her voice and I noticed this time that it is worse, not even a raspy whisper. Insterestingly, she and Rebecca played with her talking machine. Mother would type a sentence and the machine spoke for her. Then Rebecca typed in something, and it repeated the letters!

The grandsons were waiting at our house as soon as we arrived back home. The two younger ones spent the night so Sam and Kristie could get away to celebrate their 20th anniversary.

We had such a good time together with these bright and lively youngsters. 
Jude asked for a piano lesson. I started him by placing his five fingers on the keys from C to G trying to play each individually, i.e. play the do re mi fa sol scale. At first it was difficult to curve the fingers, isolate each sound, keep the fingering. But before long he got it! Listen here:
Jude's first piano lesson

We stayed up a bit late enjoying an old classic--Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Next morning, Chef Zion cooked breakfast--eggs the way they like them!

Then he taught me a new game - Wits and Wagers.

My friend Georgia was selling her beautifully painted shells at a large craft fair in a neighboring town. I took the boys, gave them some money to spend and let them check out the 100+ vendors. They came back with a balloon snake, a crocheted Pokaball, fluorite rocks, and a robot face-paint.

Meanwhile, Michael was riding with the Delaware Cycling Club for the first time since his surgery five years ago! 56 miles and no pain!!!

Robotics-related activities keep him occupied. He is at the shop to help the student interns hired by Dannar this summer whenever they need to use the team equipment. And on Wednesday PhyXTGears put on a presentation for 60 middle school and high school age girls. It went very well. Hopefully some of them will join the team.

We had our last Art Club for the summer and tried a whimsical Geometric Landscape tutorial. And Tuesday, on my own I tried the Floral Hand live tutorial. It's a fun time for me to learn more about water color techniques while Michael is at the weekly team meeting.

Do you have any artistic, creative, recreational activity?