Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Strobe Lights - Closing Doors - The Sights and Sounds of Christmas

As each year passes it becomes more and more difficult for Sandy and me to be away from our children. Not even on our most optimistic days of child rearing did we ever dream of one day sharing the depth of relationship that has become ours with Justin, Josh, and Meagan. Now when a major holiday comes around the great anticipation is not receiving a gift or a day off from work. Instead, we ache for a reunion with our kids.

Yesterday, Miss Meagan loaded her suitcase into Scooter's hatchback (Scooter is the name she gave her VW Golf), left Georgia College, and picked up Josh in Atlanta. Together, they turned their backs on the warm, sunny Southeast and began the journey toward the cold, snowy Northeast - destination Philly, then Massachusetts, and finally Maine. Last night they finished the first leg and spent the night with friends in Philly. This morning they resumed their journey to the Commonwealth. It's been a devil of a day. The traffic has flowed slower than molasses running uphill on a cold winter morning. But tomorrow all four of us will climb into the Expedition and make the final five hour leg of the trip - together - to Old Town, Maine.

For Sandy and me the sights and sounds of Christmas will be a set of headlights that will pierce the darkness and strobe the front yard - and the sound of two car doors and a hatchback open, then close.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Life Happens

Life is like a vapor. It appears for a little while and then disappears. ~ The Bible

Looking beyond the window pane at the pristine blue sky surrounding the golden sun, it was easy to imagine that we were in the midst of milder, fall-like weather (For more than one day). Not the case. Giving no consideration to the windchill factor, this week the mercury will grudgingly creep to 31 degrees! In the past week we have seen it all: snow; torrential rain - accompanied by booming thunder claps; sleet, and seasonally mild temperatures. During the snow, I saw entire families having snowball fights and making snowmen. On the day the skies above rumbled and rattled, I was awestruck to witness a thunderstorm in December. During the torrential rain day - rain that came down sideways - I passed four people on road bikes. Each with their head down - peddling into the teeth of wind, sleet, and a slashing downpour. All that was followed by a mild December and many bikers jumped on one more chance to straddle their Harley, and enjoy two wheels and a breeze, rather than leave their iron horses corralled in the garage. . .

Each day a vignette and metaphor of life.

Families slinging and sculpting snow, cyclists forging ahead undaunted by monsoon-like rain, and bikers taking advantage of a winter's day window of opportunity were situations where those involved responded in contradiction to the norm. Their situation did not cause them to downshift, or sit idly by in neutral to await more favorable circumstances. Instead, they lived in them. They lived through them. They enjoyed them.

That is the way life plays out - the metaphor. Just as we cannot allow the quality and activities of a day to be determined by Fahrenheit or Celsius, or whether it is windy or calm, sunny or cloudy, tranquil or thunderous - neither can we let the constantly shifting landscape of life dictate how we will live out the days God gives us.