Ha! It hasn't been a week this time, but my entries do tend to be fewer and farther between these days. Let me offer some words of explanation.
I've always been an early riser, even as a child. I rejoice at waking up in the morning, wondering what sort of day is in store. I'm at my most creative in those wee hours. If I had ever gotten a driver's license, I would undoubtedly do my grocery shopping before dawn. Through the years, I've done most of my blog entries before daylight.
Three years ago we started babysitting. It's been one of the most rewarding things we've ever done, the two of us, and has probably helped keep us healthy. After all, mood is supposed to affect health, right? We laugh a lot more when the little girl is around. Right now, at three years old, she emits a steady stream of whys and "I-knows". The "I know" usually follows my answer to one of her "whys", leaving us to wonder why she asked if she already knows (she doesn't know, of course, but wants to give the impression that she does).
I still need to blog early in the morning if I intend to do so at all. No interruptions, no noises or distractions.
But if Cora is going to be here, I also need to get an hour-long stationary bike ride in before she comes. It's not that I can't do it when she's here, but it's easier to do it another time. She has questions; she wants me to let her "ride" along with me (impossible); she needs me to do something for her that she can't do herself. Even if Cliff is in the house to watch her, she wants to make sure she knows what I'm doing all the time.
It's the same with spending computer time: If either of us is using a computer, the child is right there looking over our shoulders asking, 'what's that" or "who's that" when she sees a picture. That's fine if you're just googling information, but it's a distraction if you want to do a coherent blog entry. So I put it off. The trouble is, the less often I blog, the fewer ideas I get, because the act of writing stories seems to begat more ideas!
Keep in mind that we usually only babysit four days a week, and less than that during rainy times when her dad can't work at his construction job, so we have plenty of time to ourselves. There are also whole weeks that she spends with her Iowa relatives. It's just that blogging needs to be a habit, something I do at the same time daily, and right now I don't do that.
If you think I'm griping about babysitting, think again! We whine on the days the kid isn't here to make us laugh. She is the light of our lives! I keep telling folks that if somebody dropped off a baby on our doorstep these days, we'd keep it, we've had so much fun with Cora. Of course, we might have a change of heart after a sleepless night or two.
I just want my long-time readers to know that I intend to get back to the regular blogging in time. Little girls grow up, you know, and then I can go back to the almost-daily reminiscences and small talk (unless a baby is dropped on our doorstep).
On a whole other topic: Remember that I recently burned my journals and diaries? I didn't get them all burned on the first go-around, so I brought the last three inside and saved them for the next month (full moon). I had tossed all the others in the fire without even looking at the contents, but for some reason I took time to quickly leaf through those last ones and pulled out a few pictures. One was a picture of my son and an Army buddy of his, taken in Killeen, Texas when he was stationed at Fort Hood over 25 years ago. His wife had sent the picture to me with a letter. It meant nothing to me, but I mentioned it to Jim; it turns out he'd been wanting to get in touch with that old friend for a long time, but couldn't remember his last name. Kathy had written the guy's full name on the back of the picture, so after my son typed the name into a Facebook search, they were in touch before the day was over. I'm glad I pulled that picture out before burning the book.
That's one of those random things that most people chalk up to coincidence, but I think it was meant to happen. These days if something suddenly comes to mind... some thought about a long-ago acquaintance, for instance, or somebody you just can't stop thinking about... I examine the idea, wondering whether there's a reason for what's on my mind. If there's some sort of action I can take, I often do.
When I was first asked to sing at the Church we attend, I was singing songs I wrote. The reason for this was that I'm nothing special as a singer and I'm a lousy guitar player, but I've written a handful of amazing songs. So if they didn't like my voice or guitar-playing, I knew they'd like the song. Since I'm not that prolific a songwriter, I soon ran through my entire repertoire singing one song per month. At that point I could sing the same half-dozen songs over and over, or I could sing something besides my own creations. So I started looking at the old hymns nobody sings much any more.
I'm tuning in to the universe these days, I guess, because I actually pay attention when a random hymn floats into my brain, one I haven't heard or thought about in years. A few weeks ago I was riding the stationary bike when Ola Belle Reed sang "Higher Ground" on my Pandora folk station. The song wouldn't leave my thoughts, and finally I sat down with my guitar and an old hymn book and sang it. It was so much fun, I got goosebumps. I knew right then I had to sing it at church. It was well received.
Last week a gray veil of sadness fell over me after I learned that a treasured friend is approaching the final days of her short time on earth. Through the veil I began to hear the strains of "Oh Come Angel Band". The song played itself in my head throughout the day, so I finally printed off the words, got the guitar, and sang through it. I remember it being sung at Cliff's Aunt Faye's funeral, but I am most familiar with it from seeing the video of George Jones and Vestal Goodman. Other than that, I had no previous knowledge of the song.
It was another "goosebumps" moment. I loved singing the song so much, I went through it several times. And yes, I sang it at Church Sunday. Apparently most of the congregation enjoyed it as much as I, since they were all smiling and had positive comments. Most of them were unfamiliar with the 150-year-old hymn, so it was new to them. On the way home, Cliff said, "You nailed that song. Made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up."
I've learned to pay attention to goosebumps.