My living room is long and narrow and now freshly cleaned. One end is the sitting area. The other end is where we have a piano. It's pretty but that's about it. It sounds terrible. Our functioning but less attractive piano is in the basement.
I didn't want to dust today. Honestly I didn't want to do much today. I woke up with absolutely no energy or drive. I have a Saturday at home, it's nice outside, of course I have a list of things that need done, but all I want to do is lay around and sleep. Go figure.
For lunch I ate some red meat, dark chocolate and green tea. The combination of the three churned things up, turned a key, started my engine, and I grabbed my duster and got to it.
Funny thing about cleaning is you get to touch those things, those physical things, that touch something deeper inside of you. When I cleaned houses for others, I wondered if they were in touch with their things. I believe there is something to be said about caring for you own stuff. I was the one who caressed the things that they felt important enough to keep out. Something wasn't right with that.
The pictures above were both wedding presents. The top one was given to me by my best friend. I love it. It symbolizes abandon, togetherness and adventure. I still think it's the perfect picture to give a newly married couple. Thanks Jayne. I know there was a lot going on with you when we got married, but you took the time to pick this out for us. As I was wiping it off today I smiled as I paused to remember what I was thinking and feeling when Farmer Boy and I first were married. Wow.
The second picture is a framed cross stitch verse that my room-mate Kathi gave me as a wedding present. We lived together for four years. We brushed by each other during the day. She did her thing, I did mine. At night the four of us roommates would touch base. We'd talk about our days, the men in our life, struggles, triumphs, worries. What a time of life that was. So much we were completely unaware of. Decisions being made that have followed us to today.
When I left that place, that time, Kathi gave me these words she took the time to stitch. Friendship. It hangs on my wall as a reminder of what will always be one of the best times of my life and some of the best friends of my life.
On top of my pretty but out of tune piano, sits pictures of two of my three sets of grandparents. Grandma and Grandpa Jantzi (top picture) were married 70 years. I remember them to always be together. They would read the Bible and pray together every morning. Grandpa was quick to laugh and give us kisses. Grandma was more serious but loved her family. I remember her pantry. Rows and rows of shiny glass jars full of summer that she worked at putting up every year.
Grandma and Grandpa (Pop) Erb lived at the end of our half mile driveway. Every morning we'd walk out to catch the bus and Grandma was waiting for us to come in and say hello. She just wanted to see us. Sometimes she'd give us pie. She told us not to tell mom that she was giving us pie in the mornings. Pop always wanted to know what Dad was up to, anxious to go help if Dad needed it. Always and forever a farmer.
There they sit on my piano. Loving, smiling, urging me on.
Urging me on to be the best I can for these precious ones. Oh my word. Can I hold these babies just one more time? I don't want to forget the smells, the fuzzy heads, the tiny feet. So precious. Love so strong.... words just won't do it.
I love this picture of Farmer Boy. It's of him and his sister Darla. It was taken on his trip to Kenya. Darla and her new husband Renee had been married before their trip to Africa but their friends in Africa insisted they weren't truly married until they had a Kenyan wedding. They threw them a party. They found Darla a dress and Farmer Boy got to give her away. When Farmer Boy got back from his trip he told me that the people of Kenya have a royal bearing to them. They carry themselves like kings and queens. I think Farmer Boy picked up some of that royalty during his trip. This picture is proof. This is my man. A son of the Most High. A prince.
I'm almost done dusting.
One more thing.
I know. This is probably the ugliest thing you've even seen. It's a ceramic lamb. It's yellow. It's ears are missing. It's yellow with age. It's mine.
I don't remember, but the story goes that after my dad didn't come home that August night another lifetime ago, I grabbed onto this lamb and wouldn't let go. My mom has a picture of the four of us kids she took right after dad's accident. I'm wearing a blue dress, standing in front of my big sisters, one who is holding my baby brother. My curls are red, and short, in fact we all had kinda the same hair. I have white knee socks on and white baby shoes. I'm clinging to this lamb.
I'm not sure why I keep it on my shelf. I suppose it reminds me of my story, where I've come from, what has happened in my life to make me who I am. I think it's ironic that I clung to a lamb back when I was too young to understand what was happening.
I guess I'm still holding on to the Lamb. I still don't understand everything that happens, perhaps I should, I'm older now, wiser. Perhaps my ugly lamb reminds me of the kind of faith I need to have, childlike, complete, unwavering. The kind of faith I need to hold onto regardless of the things that try to wrestle it from my hands. My ugly lamb whispers, "Hold on. Just hold on."
Mmmm.....maybe I should dust more often.