Fall Leaves

It's fall in North Dakota
and it appears that all roads lead to

Days are getting shorter
Nights are getting cooler

The first frost has come for a short visit
And winter is coming for a long one

The big question around here is
"Are you ready?"

No, I'm not ready thank you very much!
I have a long mental list of things I need to do before freezing temps,
which is maybe a month away...
Better Homes and Gardens
has published a fall checklist
for winterizing homes
including cleaning the furnace, filters, gutters, fireplace and windows;
caulking every nook, cranny, and crack;
installing storm windows;
and insulating everything
(coming short of turning the house into a pink insulated igloo).
In the words of another southerner,
"the folks around here just hunker down in the winter"
(or go to Arizona).
After one northern winter (labeled mild by the locals),
I understand a little better how I need to prepare
and my list is a little,
no, a lot different than BHG's list.
 My list is:
Clean the flower beds - check
Apply stain to the new back porch - check
Paint the new front porch - working on it
Make a place in the garage for my truck
Talk hubby into letting me keep my fantastic ferns
(I suggested a greenhouse in the basement -
 I know you can do it because I've seen it on Cops -
but the weren't growing house plants)
Buy some of that stuff that melts snow from the drive
Gather everything to stitch up several sewing projects - check
Get out the watercolors
Stock up on cooking and cleaning supplies - check
Put away short sleeves, short pants, and sandals
Unpack gloves, scarves, hats, sweaters, thermals, and coats
Vitamin D???
Daylight Light Bulbs???
Take a trip to Texas
Shop for new boots!

Having made my list,
I feel much more prepared!

I think I hear Old Man Winter whispering through the leaves,

"Ready or Not - Here I Come!"

...guess I'll just hunker down!
You have established all the boundaries of the earth;
You have made summer and winter
(Psalm 74:17)


These Feet are Made for Walking

(Somehow, publishing a post before it is corrected, edited, spell checked, and totally finished, just takes something out of it.  I'm sorry.  Please stay with me and the hair brained mess that I am.)

My parents always said that I started walking at 10 9 months. I thought, really? Really? Sometimes I wondered if they remembered correctly or were just terrible excited about the first baby. Nevertheless, these feet have been walking me around ever since their first steps.  Early on they walked me to the barn to show off my new red shoes to the bull. They have walked me down the cow trails, two tracks, and dry creek beds. They have walked the county roads, city streets, school tracks, city parks, national parks, forests roads, and pastures. They have climbed state capital buildings and to the crown of the Statue of Liberty.   They have walked with children, grandchildren, and more friends than I dare to try naming. Here in North Dakota they have walked from the clinic in the north to the new houses on the south. They have stepped the streets between the high school on the west and the park on the east. And of course they've been to the Post Office, Food Pride, Hardware Hanks, Farmers Daughter and the Drug Store.

But then I got a little limp and I much preferred focusing on getting the bargain rug straight on the floor and the close-out chair positioned just right, rather than taking care of the limp.
And the limp got worse, but I still would rather hang Goodwill pictures over rummage sale tables and arrange coupon greenery in thrift store vases than focus on my feet.
Until six, eight, maybe 10 months of limping became crippling
and I finally focused on these bony old feet.
 I did the unthinkable - I made a clinic appointment and began a series of x-rays, appointments, diagnoses, planters fasciitis, inflammation, chiropractors, treatments, therapy, ibuprofen, ice, frozen water bottles, tennis balls, and soon custom fit inserts for my shoes.  My foot is finally straight, the limp almost gone, and I will hopefully soon be on the road again - literally.
But the thing it has really done for me, is give me compassion for people who walk with pain every day of their lives.  I have seen them always, but never really understood the pain they are in.  Like my friend, Pat, who has walked uncomplaining with braces and crutches since she was 2.  Like the man walking into the convenience store using, not one, but two canes.  Like the sweet folks in the nursing homes with walkers and wheelchairs.  People in pain are everywhere - bless their hearts and feet.
Like our physical walks, let's walk the straight paths of God's wisdom so that our steps will not be hampered and painful and we will not be crippled chidren of God
I instruct you in the way of wisdom
and lead you along straight paths.
 When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;
when you run, you will not stumble.
Hold on to instruction, do not let it go;
guard it well, for it is your life.
and take care of our feet.
I have no greater joy than to hear
that my children are walking in the truth.
3 John:1:4
Thanks for joining me and my craziness!
...those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.
 They will soar on wings like eagles; 
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:31
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