Monday, October 24, 2022

Strategic Praying

Hubby and I had traveled in rain, coming and going, for the September 9 wedding of nephew Matthew and his bride Katelyn. But the outdoor rehearsal and wedding festivities had beautiful weather both days. 

My prayers for safe travels and good weather for the wedding had been answered

I learned from my late mother-in-law's example. Her practice was to pray specific about everything, even if it was just a trip to the grocery store. 

Her sister Juanita was also a prayer warrior. She was a nurse and was often called on in the middle of the night to attend the entry of new little ones into the family. 

Since she was working full day shifts at the local hospital, she was beginning to suffer burnout from the late night vigils with relatives who wanted Aunt Nita to be on hand for their infant's debut. 

Her solution presented me with another example about the power of praying specifically. 

She started praying that all those babies of relatives and friends would arrive during her daytime shift. 

God answered. She was able to be with those expectant moms during her regular working hours. 

We alerted her when I went into labor with our second son. We left for the hospital mid-afternoon. Son number two was born about five p.m., near the end of his great aunt's day shift! 


Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Banishing Footwear Woes

A recent post on Madsnapper's blog sparked thoughts of my past and current footwear woes. 

For years, flat, skinny feet had me avoiding painful ingrown toenails by wearing sandals, even in cold weather. I just added socks.

That footwear pattern also applied to vacations that included hikes on challenging trails, climbing around on huge rocks. Still no problem. 

Things changed when I accepted a position with the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium, a research, advisory, and marine education program housed at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory in our coastal town.

One winter day a fellow female staff member called me out on my sandals and socks.

"Linda, you are in a position dealing with the public and high-level officials," she said. "Those sandals with socks are just not appropriate."

I took her advice to heart. Decades later I was retired and still hadn't found shoes that consistently resulted in happy toes. 

Then Hubby and I stopped at the Nantahala Outdoor Center's shop on our way to a camping vacation in the Smoky Mountains.

I found a pair of shoes on sale that were perfect.  I had never heard of the Altra brand. Even on sale they were pricey. But a plus beyond the comfort was that I could tie them one-handed thanks to a strategy my physical therapist had taught me.

The Internet was my shopping friend when those comfy shoes fell apart from daily wear over a number of years. A wonderful online consultant with Altra helped me find the same style even though the name had changed. I bought three pair. 

I still wear them everywhere--walking, church or even weddings and funerals. I can fit my brace into the left shoe, snug the brace to my calf with the help of a velcro strap and I'm ready to go. The Altra shoes don't let my toes slide down to cause sore toes and in-grown toenails.

The only drawback is that I can no longer tie the shoes myself. Hubby is now my official shoe helper. These days every brand I have checked out features reenforcement of the top eyelets. They last longer but sabotage the one-handed strategy I had learned. 

I am thankful that Hubby is willing to tie my shoes.

I also wear Avia shoes, the best I have found of brands that feature velcro straps. They are super convenient and easy to put on, but they still let my feet slide down with my toes crunching uncomfortably against the front of the shoe. 

I only wear them for short periods, though, and they are great to have by my bed, when I have to get up during the night.

Those footwear options that contribute to my mobility are among the many blessings that keep this granny going and glowing!


Saturday, October 1, 2022

Traveling Sanity

Hubby had planned three trips for us this fall. 

He loves to travel. 

The first of those three has been completed, successfully and joyfully. . . mostly.

As we prepare for the second excursion I am dealing with packing challenges. I am always determined to cut down on how much I take. After all, there is just about always Walmart if I need something, right?

I suspect there is a word for the psychological aberration of uncontrollable and exorbitant stuffing of a rolling backpack . . . and a black tote . . . and a large purse . . . and the glove compartment of our van . . . and . . . HELP!

My strategy for sanity is avoidance, especially through a visit to our favorite coffee shop, although I don't drink coffee. But a hot breakfast with milk and water or hot tea works for me. 

Until it's back home to finish that task. . . Sigh.