Friday, February 25, 2022

Guilty Pleasure

Breakfast in front of our wood-burning stove is a cold weather treat that Hubby and I enjoy. 

Yesterday was busy and delightful. Today I'm taking some after breakfast downtime in front of the fire. I'm also indulging in a guilty pleasure—reading clean chick lit.

I wrote the above when temperatures in our area were chilly. The next week it warmed up. Today, though, the temperature is headed toward chilly again, cool enough for a fire in our wood stove. 

Once again I'm in front of our wood-burning stove after a busy morning. I'm reading, but this time on a new Kindle Paper White.

My old Kindle, purchased on Mother's Day of 2012, finally bit the dust. With great sadness I confess that all attempts to resucitate it failed.

Hubby bought me the new Kindle. He also switched the worn but serviceable cover from my old Kindle to the new one. He's well aware of my tendency to drop things.

Now I'm ready to sign off and indulge in a double pleasure, reading a clean romance on my new Kindle. 

What's your guilty pleasure?


Friday, February 18, 2022

Stroke Survivor Challenges and Blessings

One of the challenges I face with a stroke-affected left side is restroom doors.

The restrooms in some businesses and many highway rest stops are like airports that have no-door entries to restrooms. They are easy to navigate with my rollator and are perfectly discrete. 

Some public restrooms, however, have heavy doors that I cannot fully open. I can't get my rollator or myself safely in or out.

Often other ladies graciously offer to hold the door open for me. If no one shows up, Hubby comes checking on me, knocking on the door and asking if I'm okay. If I'm through hand-washing, hand-drying and hair-checking, he pushes or pulls the door open and holds it open for me to escape.

Now that is the sanitized version. 

What really happens is that he bellows, "Are you all right Linda?"

I shout "Yes." If I'm not ready to come out but I'm okay, I holler back a time frame for my exit. 

Occasionally he becomes concerned and lurks about until he sees a lady approaching the restroom door and asks her if she could check on me. Often the result has to be a God-thing with the lady checking on me turning out to be a nurse, rehab therapist, or the daughter or niece of a stroke survivor.

I appreciate Hubby being brave enough to ask strangers for help. I appreciate that they are always gracious and ready to help. 

And then there is another category--those individuals who see me and immediately offer to help me without me ever saying a word about needing help. 

And it is those folks who have taught me, I'm sure without ever intending to, valuable lessons. I learned I was carrying around a load of prejudice. 

There was that young lady in Walmart who asked if I needed help. She had body art tattooed on every inch of skin not covered with her minimal clothing. 

She was quite perceptive in how to help. I had to drop my prejudices about younger individuals' choices about clothing and body art. 

She was a blessing. 

And I realized I had automatically--and erroneously--categorized her as someone uninterested and dismissive of old people. 

Lesson learned: Beware of categorizing others based on outward appearances.

Then there was the tiny Asian lady who rescued me when I got one of those electric Walmart scooters hung up in the handicapped stall. 

That edition of the scooter required two hands. I used one hand  to press the button that kept the scooter moving. If I took my hand off movement stopped. 

There were two other buttons, one to press for turning right and another for left. I had only one hand that worked. I could reach neither without releasing the go button. 

My experimenting did lead to some movement. I got the scooter jammed in the opened stall doorway ARGHHHHH! 

From there I could see that a line of ladies awaiting their turn had developed.They tried to help to no avail. I couldn't get out, and my meager attempt to push as those ladies pulled failed.

I was truly trapped. But that one tiny Asian lady waved everybody out of the way. Then she just reached under the front of that heavy scooter and jerked it out the door. I thanked her effusively. She just smiled.

She was a blessing. 

Lesson learned: One doesn't have to be big to be powerful. 

That day I also learned to always use my rollator or a grocery buggy rather than the electric scooters even though I know the stores surely have easier-to-operate versions these days. 

It occurs to me just now that I seem to learn a lot of lessons in Walmarts, and I don't even really go there much since Hubby does most of our shopping!

Question for you: Which word is used in your locale, "buggy" or "grocery cart" or "shopping cart"? 


Sunday, February 13, 2022

On-the-road Surprises

I have encountered a multitude of interesting signs on or near restrooms in our travels through the years. Those signs have made me laugh, roll my eyes . . . or cross my eyes.  

A decade after my stroke, I finally started a collection of iPhone photos to record those moments. I am calling it the John Collection.

There are few entries so far, but who knows what we may encounter on our next jaunt.

During a day trip, I was wrestling my rollator down a narrow hall to a rustic coffee shop's restrooms when I saw a sign above the back exit.

It was unfair to make me weak with laughter when I was on an urgent mission. 

August 1, 2019: Fire Alert

On an October 2020 trip out west, we vacated our campsite and started looking for breakfast. A restaurant overlooking Green River appeared busy, a good sign. 

We weren't disappointed. Everything was spotless. Staff were friendly and attentive. Service was prompt. 

Spacious windows gave us a panoramic view of the Green River.

We lingered over refills after our meal, Hubby with his coffee, me with hot tea as we soaked up the scenery.

Our always mandatory trip to the restrooms prior to getting back on the road topped off our breakfast experience with bursts of laughter when we saw the restroom doors.

No missing which was which!

October 2, 2020

October 2, 2020

The one below was at a doctor's office.

October 6, 2019 

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Spiritual "Nudges"

The women's Bible study group I'm in started lessons in January focused on building an awareness of what the author calls the Holy Spirit’s “nudges.” 

The author, Billy Graham's daughter Anne Graham Lotz, maps out verse by verse exercises to be completed over a number of weeks.

At times in the past I have felt enlightened, comforted, informed, chastised or uplifted by various scripture passages. 

In the first few sessions in the group study and in the at home assignments, however, I had been totally "un-nudged." 

But today as I was continuing my yearly read through of the Bible, I experienced a definite nudge at Psalm 143:10.

Psalm 143:10 NIV Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground. Psalm 143:10 NIV

Navigating my rollator through elevation changes and rough surfaces has become a bit unnerving in the past five months. But those words were a nudge to trust as I go.

I suspect that the bubble of laughter I experienced was a gift straight from the Father!

Not all translations say "on level ground."

That sentence in the King James Version, for example, is "Lead me in the land of uprightness."

That difference doesn't bother me. Next year I will be reading the King James version translation and that sentence may be just what I need at that moment.