Another year come and gone... I am beginning to think I am on some sort of ride called "Life" that just goes faster and faster and faster! And I am noticing as I age that my stomach is becoming weaker and weaker and weaker. (I made the mistake of trying to swing with the kids this past summer and nearly lost my lunch from the motion... gone are the days of spinning endlessly on a tire swing. Hey, I have not even seen a tire swing in ages!).
Once again, my mind is offering you your own ride down "anywhere and everywhere" lane.
In all seriousness, New Years is often a time to look back over the past year at lessons learned, memories cherished and the occasional "holy moly... did all of that happen in just ONE year?" (Said my husband once when he realized he went from being a single thirty-one year old man who worked non-stop to having a family with three kids in less than a year and gone are the days when he felt productive!).
And who said God doesn't have a sense of humour?
We are not too big on holidays over here (Duane made it known from the getgo that he would likely never buy me cards, flowers, valentines gifts, etc... but that he would try to live each day of his life cherishing me... I thought that was a more than okay deal), so last night was in some way exciting as it marked the turn of another year in the Gregorian Calendar but in another way... just another day. One that included Duane heading off to a night shift at the firehall.
Hmmmm, well if the love of my life is not with us for supper and it is just me, the littlest three and Melina, then maybe it would be fun to order some Chinese food...
After a few phone calls, it dawned on me that EVERYONE had that same idea. Given that I was NOT willing to wait until nine or ten at night to feed my family AND Sabbath would have long begun by then, we opted for another option. Hmm, maybe Chicken Chef nearby? Nope... memory served me well in reminding me that the two times we had Chicken Chef this past year led to chest pains and feelings of self-loathing! No problem, we'll just whip up some noodles and falafels... there's an easy fix!
And New Year's Eve is off to a great start!
The evening progressed and I asked Melina to run to the basement fridge to grab a new jug of milk. (I usually make her do this as all basements are creepy and cold and dark and ours is no exception... I know, I'm such a nice mom!). Hee hee hee! Melina is also freaked out about the basement, particularly given that you have to walk up to each lightbulb individually (in the dark) to turn them on! Do you have any idea what an active imagination can conjure up in those split seconds?? Well, Melina and I do. So the agreement is whoever goes to the basement has to sing really loud. (Is this the part that I remind you that I am ironically a mother of five children?). Anyways, Melina is down there and she starts yelling "MOM!! MOM!!" Now keep in mind that Duane is gone, it is dark, the basement creeps me out, it is dark, and now my daughter is freaking out about something... and now I must run down to save her from whatever four eyed beast she has undoubtedly uncovered!
I race down to the basement (surprisingly more courageous than I thought I would be) only to see her big eyes as she says "there's a cat down here!"
Great, I think to myself... maybe it can catch the mouse that has taken up residence, here, too! What is this? Noah's ark's residence?? So I listen... and listen... and hear nothing.
"Melina, are you sure it's not just your well-inherited over active imagination?"
"No, Mom! I'm telling you... I heard a kitten meowing!"
"Are you sure it's not because you wanted someone down here with you... cuz that's what I would do."
She rolled her eyes at me. A common occurrence since reaching her teenage years!
We opened the door from the basement that leads up an old set of concrete stairs to another door on the main level to see if a kitten has found shelter there. Instead, Keeshka the dog suddenly pokes her nose through the upper door (which can no longer close given the shifting of the house over the last 100+ years) which makes me jump scaring the beejebers out of me (did I mention this stairwell is cold and DARK?). I could not detect a cat but I did suddenly notice that I had to go pee!
Now let's go back to the 26th when my whole family was over. My nieces headed out late at night clad in 80's snowsuits buried in our "treasure box" of excess snow gear and found a kitten. A very wild kitten. Another thing I should mention about my husband is his golden rule... NO ANIMALS IN THE HOUSE. This has gone over well the many times Melina and I have found litters of kittens and sneak them into the entrance to play (and tame them) when Duane is working... only to be busted by the pictures I take of them while still in the entrance! At which point my darling husband says "So glad to see that my rules are respected when I am not around" while shaking his head with a slight smirk on his face. Anyways, the nieces asked if they could come in with this kitten so I looked over at Duane and he nodded but said with a stern voice... "but stay down in the basement."
Well that lasted about five minutes before curiosity got the best of me and I told them to come up quickly to show us the kitten and then go back downstairs. Even though the little thing was frightened to death, it dug its little head into the crook of my brother's elbow (who could not resist holding it) and answered my sister's meow... brrr... brrr. meow! For those of you who don't speak "cat" that means "Welcome New One... do not be frightened... we are your friend." Or something along those lines. But a rule is a rule and the kitten was let loose outside after it had warmed up (not sure if that is better or more cruel) and I sent out a little hope that Keeshka would NOT find this kitten as I couldn't help feel like there was something special about her. Being so wild, that was likely the last time we would see her.
All of this rambling to say after I shut that basement door last night, I actually DID hear a tiny meowing sound. I flung the door open again and saw a little tail poking behind a hanging mat in the stairwell just as Keeshka stuck her nose through the door again! (Poor dog must have thought it was some kind of game). I creeked up the stairs and grabbed the kitten who did not panic but rather nuzzled into my arms safely.
My little brother has such a big heart when it comes to animals and I thought maybe we could nurture this little one until my brother could take her in and find a home for her. This would be tricky given Ethan's allergies but we would do our best to nurture this little one without harming our little one!
Another bit of background info (man o man do I ever need to update my blog more regularly!) is that the past two weeks, I have tucked Ethan and Anika into their beds and have made up a story on the spot... one was about a little old tractor who was picked on by the big newer ones because they figured God had made them bigger and stronger but in the end, it is only the little tractor who can get into the flooded fields to save the day therefore God had made him little for a purpose! Another one was about a tiny seed that asked the big oak tree when he would finally be big and the lesson of patience to trust that God would provide sun and rain when needed for the seed to grow. But more recently was the story of Burgers the grumpy cat (aptly named after Burgers the grumpy cat on Youtube!) who asked God to help him make friends. During these impromptu stories, the kids laugh as I exaggerate gestures such as, "and the seed grew... and grew and GREW and GREW!!" They especially laughed at my story about poor Burgers the grumpy cat. This story must have stuck because when I asked the kids what we should call this cat while we cared for her, the unanimous answer was "BURGERS!"
When Duane called at his usual 10:00 pm to say goodnight, I asked him to guess who was sleeping in our shower. (We had setup up a little box & blanket with a few bowls with bone broth and leftover turkey there). "Who is sleeping in our shower?? Should I be concerned?"
"Nope... it's Burgers!"
"That kitten from the other night!"
And to my surprise, Duane admitted that having a tame cat around the farm might not be such a bad idea. Rather than ask me why it is being kept in our home, he said "Maybe we can set her up in the basement until it warms up a bit so Keeshka doesn't get to her."
Who are you and what have you done with my husband?? But a smile spread across my face as I imagined the love of my life thinking to himself "look at what my wife has me doing now! Animals in the house... good grief!"
So for those of you who follow the Gregorian Calendar, may this find you reflecting over the adventures of this past year as you welcome the promise of the new year. For those of you who do not follow the Gregorian Calendar... may this find you enjoying just another day in your own life! May you be living every day for the gift that it is and trust that your purpose is being lived out whether you see it or not and that this scared-of-the-dark-basement mama loves you very much. God made you and that makes you so precious... that His very breath of life is what makes you present here reading these very words! Thank you for being His creation! Thank you for letting me love you! Thank you, blessed Father, for all that is good in this world! In Jesus name, Amen.