I didn't get near enough sleep last night - couldn't seem to wind down, restless, wide awake, tossing, turning - all that good stuff. So when I did wake up around 8 a.m., I knew my system wasn't anywhere near ready to "rise and shine" and get ready to go to church.
I rolled over and drifted off to sleep -still restless though -and finally got up close to 10 a.m.
And that's when it happened.
Mandy uttered those words I REALLY hate to hear coming from her mouth.
"Is anyone going to help clean this house today or do I have to have it looking such a mess tomorrow when the therapist comes?"
I hate it when she gets on a cleaning binge. Hate it. Hate it. HATE IT!!!
Probably because it reminds me way too much of myself back when all three of my kids were still at home and I had one day to try to get things somewhat straightened up here so I would try to get my kids to kick in and give me a hand.
And, I will say one thing though - Mandy has Bill, Kate - even me - much better trained in that department than my kids were back then.
I was lucky in one respect --she pretty much left me alone because she knew I had to finish putting together a casserole dish to take to the potluck supper at our church tonight. It was either give me the flexibility to do that or SHE would have had to make it and she's not that gung ho about cooking. Plus, she doesn't fully know how to make the ham and bean potpie casserole she had asked me to fix to take to the dinner.
Suffice it to say though the days when these cleaning binges hit Mandy's fancy are not the most pleasant times to be in this house. We all survived but not without a few frayed nerves in the process.
I got my potpie made, ready to go. Cleaned out the refrigerator and rearranged stuff in there to make things more visible so leftovers might just get used up instead of getting shoved around and then, when found later, they have thick moss growing on them. I hate it when that happens.
The dinner tonight was sort of a two-fold event. It was sponsored by our Youth Group as a means to thank the congregation for the support they received to make their recent trip to Taylorsville, North Carolina where they spent a week doing community service type work helping folks to spruce up their homes. The stepgranddaughter here was one of the kids who had worked to help raise enough money for the group to make this trip and she said she had a very enjoyable time down there too. The kids each spoke, telling those present at the dinner the things they did, about some of the people the met and what they did for some of them.
The other part of the dinner was to show support of a member of our church who will be leaving to go to the Northwest Territory up in Canada to do a Bible School program there later this month. This is the second trip she has made there through the organization known as "On Eagle's Wings" and the lady making that missionary effort is truly one remarkable woman. For openers, she's 75 years YOUNG. She certainly doesn't look that age, definitely doesn't act it either. When she described some of the conditions she will be working in to do this Bible School there, it really is quite an incredible thing that she is doing. I've known her for well over 50 years now and back when I was in high school, she and her first husband were often the leaders of our church youth group then -or the Luther League, as it was then called. She's always been a pretty awesome lady in my book but what she's doing now I find it absolutely amazing and very noteworthy a venture on her part! Hats off for sure to you, Joan Fetter!
After the dinner, I had planned to go to a funeral viewing - something I don't relish under what I would call "normal" circumstances. But this one today, had me really upset.
You see, it was for a 13-year-old boy from a neighboring village who was struck by a car last Tuesday night and he died from the injuries. Now, I didn't know the boy - had only seen him a couple of times at most but I know his mother, his oldest sister, his grandparents, several others who are related to him. I worked with his mother many years ago. As it turns out, the lady who hit him, well - I knew her too. She worked for me a few years back at the truckstop restaurant where I used to be assistant manager. I can't begin to feel the pain either of these women - the mother, the driver - have to be enduring at this time and my heart totally goes out to both of them, as well as to the rest of his family. All I can say there is that if something happened to one of my children, to one of my grandchildren now, I would be a complete and utter basket case, for sure.
Well, I went up to the church where they were having the viewing and drove right on by, circled around and came back home without going in. THe reason being the traffic was so heavy, the parking area around the church was packed (and they have a very, very large parking area) plus the parking area in the school's parking lot across the road was rapidly filling up too. People were lined up 3 and 4 deep stretching from the sanctuary to the narthex of the church and out into the parking area in a huge long line, waiting to pay their condolences to the family. I knew upon seeing that many people in line my legs, my back would no way hold up to standing like that and I figured too that with that many people, the boy's mother or other family members really didn't need to have one more person coming through today.
I stopped on the way home then at a restaurant/bar to talk to a good friend who I knew was there this evening. She's still recuperating from neck surgery from a work-related injury and I wanted to see how she - and her mother too - were both doing now. After visiting with her awhile, as I drove on home, I noticed my neighbor up the street from me had just arrived home too from the church supper. She had left the supper before the kids' program was finished and I figured she'd left so she could go to the viewing too because I know she is best of friends with the grandmother of the boy. I stopped and chatted a few minutes with her and she told me she had been in line for well over two hours before getting into the church, up to the family! She said she thought just about everyone from all the surrounding little villages here had come forward to extend their sympathy to all the family members and that really is one of the best things about growing up in a small, rural type community as this one is. When something happens to a family here, it is generally thought of as an event that hits and affects everyone and people come together, in a definite show of love, concern and support.
On a good note here - for a change, huh - tonight when we went to the dinner, Miss Maya didn't fuss at all when the van pulled into the church parking lot; she didn't raise any stink about going into the church either. At the meal, she sat up to the table and ate a good portion of the spoonful here and there of various dishes I thought she would most likely eat too. After she was finished eating -and announced to us "All done. All done." she took off then in search of the piano in the Sunday School room where we hold our dinners and began to plunk away on the keyboard there. Eventually, she was starting to get tired, wanted to be up front with her big sister, Katie too and by that time, the baby was being a bit disruptive too- not crying and fussing but just doing his own form of "talking" which with him means making a lot (and I do mean A LOT) of noise. So, Mandy had Bill take the kids home and she and Katie then rode back to the house with me.
And now, I think I will call it a day too -it's been a long one and tomorrow is going to be more of the same - long days, ya know!
Please say a prayer in your heart though for Jacob - the boy who was killed - and for his family -parents, sisters, grandparents, aunt, uncles and cousins - to give them the strength to pull together and try to go on.