Sticking Together

I'm beginning to understand why immigrants through the ages have lived in communities.

The job site had a rain out yesterday, my man came home early and we drove over to Minot for a little change of scenery.  No trip to the "city" is complete without a stroll through Scheels.  Scheels is the sporting goods store up North.  My "wishing he was hunting" man calls it 'Academy on steroids". 

While shopping in the ladies winter clothes section, I couldn't keep my eyes and ears off a little family shopping there.  The mama was wearing a knit hat with ear flaps, chin ties, pom pom on top and rabbit fur lining.  She was outrageously cute in it and I wish I had her picture.  The daddy told her "no - no way am I buying that for you".  Then MY man spots the hats and brings one to me to try on.  He is sure I need one.  So the mama and I meet face to face and exchange compliments on our hats.

Now, this family was not speaking North Dakotan - so I inquired as to their origin.  Low and behold - they are from the great state of TEXAS!!  Five hundred miles from my hometown - but it's still Texas!  While we were having our home state reunion, another Texan joined us.  You should have seen and heard the seven of us, filling the aisle talkin' Texan!

We were throwing ya'll's around with reckless abandon! 

As we exchanged stories, we learned that the daddy was also here working in the oilfield, but unlike most men, he had brought his family with him.  They got to Minot just as the flood plain was being evacuated.  Their rented house has had some basement water to deal with, but they were able to move in within a few weeks. 

The other man was a disaster recovery relief contractor working for the government.  He had left the tornado devastation in Joplin Missouri to help remove the temporary dirt dikes that had been built in streets and parking lots here  before the flood.

We compared notes, talked about North Dakota food, black-eyed peas, and okra! 

It kind of make me wish we lived in a little Texas compound.  We could all fly our lone star flags, eat fajitas, pinto beans, cornbread, and barbecue.  Instead of Chinatown or Little Italy - they would call it....well the options are endless.

And we could say "Y'ALL".


The Country Store

After I shopped the Farmer's Market
(the last one of the season)
I stopped by the Hardware Store for a spool of thread
and a snow shovel
(Just to be prepared
because we have already had a 29 degree night)

There's no sign that says:
One Stop Shopping
We Have it All
This and That
A Little Bit of Everything
You Can Find it Here

The Country Store

In a town of 300,
 20 miles to the next small town,
 70  miles to the closest Walmart,
 it seems to have it all

T-shirts, toasters, tablecloths, towels, tea kettles,

fabric, fans, flowers, fuzzy robes
scissors, shoes, spoons, spatulas, scrubbers
pots, pans, puzzles, paint, peelers, pins, pens 
greeting cards, games, gifts

books, buttons, brooms, balls, boots. bobbins, blankets, bridles
(someone told me they had seen a
 bridal veil hanging beside a horse bridle in the same store)

work clothes, farm clothes, kids clothes, baby clothes,
warm clothes, warmer clothes
And of course hammers, nails, screws, nuts,
and bolts,
because it's a hardware store

I left with 2 spools of thread,
 a Carhart big/tall man's hoodie & t-shirt,
and a Carhart fuchsia hoodie with matching ear warmer.
(for me - not the big/tall man!)

And what didn't they have?
Not even ONE snow shovel.
But it's still
One Stop Shopping at it's Best!
More than I could ever imagine!

Reminds me of a scripture...
...to Him who is able to do immeasurably
 more than all we ask or imagine,
 according to His power that is at work within us, 
 to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus
 throughout all generations, for ever and ever!
(Ephesians 3:20-21)


Problems in the Rear View Mirror

Problems really do look smaller in the rear view mirror.

Today I was thumbing back through my journal and read an entry
from 2 months ago today. 
 This is what I wrote:

1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxiety on Him
because He cares for You

"Lord - I NEED you today.....
The new printer isn't working
My computer is having major problems
The accountant didn't finish and file our taxes
I lost the original I was to mail after I faxed it
A whole package of mail from home is lost somewhere
The checkbook won't balance
I don't have a vehicle
My man says I lost a pair of pants in the Laundromat

Lord, please redeem & heal & repair & restore all my messes.
I cast all my cares on you."

I cast away all those cares, but I still felt like crawling under a rock.

Today, I laughed when I read it because:
I returned the printer for a different model
I have a new computer all set up
I have a new accountant and the IRS says they won't come get me
USDA says they accepted the fax instead of the original
The missing mail had been sitting in the Post Office for weeks
I found my checkbook error
I managed well without wheels for 6 weeks
And I still think the man left those pants in Texas,
(but he's forgiven me anyway).

Oh, Lord,
Help me to remember this lesson the next time
I feel overwhelmed.


Remembering 9/11

That day 10 years ago  is etched in all our memories. 
 As we watched and listened in horror and disbelief,
 we (our family) forgot to grieve our own personal 9/11.

 It was the 5th anniversary and the first time we didn't anticipate the pain. 
 In fact, we didn't remember until the next day. 

October 23, 1977 - September 11, 1996


Where Did it Come From?

(that's my cue to listen for my instructions)
"We are going to play television reporter.
You pretend your house got torn up by a tornado
and I'll ask you questions.

Standing tall on her pink bed
in her pink bedroom
holding her toy microphone,
She gave me my first question,

"Did you see where the tornado came from,
was it from God?"


because a whole lifetime of
asking the same question
was passing through my mind

The first time was just before another little girl's first birthday.
I sat in the bathtub and cried a year's worth of tears.
 revisiting the  memories of
hospitals, clinics, doctors, surgeries, breathing treatments,
special formulas, turning pills into powder
 the terminal diagnosis.

Where did it come from
Was it from God?

And so began my quest of
where it came from.

And we know that in all things
God works for the good of those who love him,
 who have been called according to his purpose. 
(Romans 8:28)

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,
 whenever you face trials of many kinds
(James 1:2)

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
 the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,
who comforts us in all our troubles,
 so that we can comfort those in any trouble
with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
(2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

But what about the
heart disease

Did you see where it came from?
 Was it from God?

I took a deep breath
and gave as simple an answer
to the 6 year old reporter as I could.
"I did not see where the tornado came from.
And I do not know for sure that it came from God.
But I do know that He created it all,
and everything that touches us
is first filtered through His fingers of love.
And I know we can trust Him.

I didn't tell her that the Word also says,
When we walk through the fires
and when we walk through the floods
He will be with us
(Isaiah 43:2)
That Jesus said in this world we will have troubles
and that He has overcome the world
(John 16:33)

That my search
lead me to faith in My Creator.

that she reminded me of that other six year old
playful, deep thinker.

She also asked hard questions
for which I didn't always have answers.

And so my dear circle of blogger friends,
What is your answer?

Did you see where it came from?
Was it From God?

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And thanks for joining me.
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