Sunday, August 11, 2013

An Up Hill Climb

Dan's first golf experience.  Love, love, love that smile!

When Dan retired from his job, he could scarcely walk at a fast pace without chest pains or shortness of breath. It was very difficult for him to give up a job he loved.  He had great clients, great staff and he was good at his job.  He looked forward to going to work everyday.  After two heart attacks and several heart procedures, he conceded life was too short not to enjoy to its fullest. Being unable to play with the grandkids was the final clincher. It was time for a change.

We were just passing through Hot Springs Village on a journey elsewhere. A weekend turned into purchasing (now two) houses and building a new life.  The adjustment has not been without problems.  As you would imagine, Dan and I had a really hard adjustment to make. 

Hard as it is to believe we are approaching our one year anniversary of homeowners in the village.  Never have we bonded with a community so quickly and deeply.  Dan has a play date with the guys every week to play golf. Gold is a sport he said he could not get into because of it's slow pace. He as learned the value of hanging out with other men..  It usually is a full day outing. They often have lunch and visit after the game.  What happens on the gold course stays on the golf course.  Just like gals, the guys need a safe place to share.  All I know is that Dan is a different person when he comes home.

This week the change became apparent. In the beginning we chose flat walking trails.  One day Dan was overly ambitious and started to have chest pains.  He was humiliated when he had to wait for me to return for the car to pick him up.  On a shopping trip I told him I needed some walking shorts.  No matter what shape you are in, short running shorts are not pretty of sixty plus gals.  I am just saying. 
However, with our new route, I found it the be a necessary evil.

Our walk is now up the mountainside.  I often look over my shoulder to make sure Dan is okay. This week he was a few steps behind but managed the uphill climb with normal stress.  Yay!  Imagine our delight.  He has come a long ways and we are thankful.  Of course, wisdom is always best.  We rest when we feel the need.  Our outings are at our own pace and schedule.

We have been blessed with a wonderful support group of friends.  They too find health is a work in progress. Maintaining our health is work. The upside is the reward of play.  We are thankful!

But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 
1st Timothy 4:7-8

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Web

Mis-match-inside out backwards
and plaid day! Whew!

The "Spider Web"

Ooops!  How did I get wet???

Armed and dangerous

Some things are just expected during summer vacation. Ice cream, swimming, visits to grandparents and Vacation Bible School. I have never met a single person in my lifetime that has never attended at least one summer Vacation Bible School. This year our church came up with a new twist; Game Days.

Dan and I were in charge of activities for the kindergarten group. As you can imagine grandparents plus kids plus water plus water guns plus minnows, well things got a little out of hand. Everyone had a great time—except the minnows. The first day they swam lazily about the wading pool. The next day they frantically tried to escape little hands fishing for them. If minnows can suffer from post traumatic stress, not doubt these survivors do. The minnows were a hit for every age group. The first stop for each and all was to check on the minnows. It took a little explaining why Mr. and Mrs. J returned the grateful minnows back to the lake. “They were homesick for their mommies and daddies did not satisfy some.”

Thankfully another activity diverted their attention. They were given yarn to spin around trees to make “spider webs”. They loved this! As creative as little ones are, they did end up tying each other to the trees. No worries. Not a single child was left bound. Some grandparents reported they had to take their grandchildren back everyday to check the spider webs, “Just in case something was caught in them that needed setting free.”

Mr. J under attack! :)

We must confess. It is not all together clear who had the most fun, the adults or the children. Each day had a themed dress. Mr. J did not get into the funny hair day. We all know how he feels about his hair. He did get into the tacky inside out day.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Oh Deer Me!

Recently we discovered yet another attribute of the village. It is an animal sanctuary. This came to our attention after a couple found themselves sharing their home with a flock of buzzards. They too are a protected species. The buzzards I mean. Her husband had convinced her for a while that they were wild turkeys, but alas the truth finally came to light! Fortunately the flock has flown elsewhere to roost. Well, at least for the time being anyway.

Among the fox, bear, mountain lion are the herds of deer. There was a family of deer that crept cautiously into our back yard for a long time. Like clock work they appeared. We don’t know if they were frightened off with all of the construction or the water source behind the house has slowed. We haven’t seen them lately. We see them all over the neighborhood though. Friends have reported a number of twin births. How cool.

Dan says the only things you can hunt in the village are fish and golf balls. He hasn’t fished yet but he has discovered a love for the game of golf. I do have evidence of nightly visits from our deer. As I have blogged about before, I have moved hydrangeas gifted from my mother from place to place. They have survived but just that. I was thrilled to find them finally thriving and more beautiful than ever. That’s when I discovered deer love to eat hydrangeas. They were stripped down to the nubs. At first I was aggravated, and then I could swear I heard my Mother laughing. That of course brought things into perspective.

We find the deer are very patient and selective. They wait until the blooms and leaves are flourishing, strip them and wait for their next feast to re-grow. It has become a cycle we too are finding humor in. Maybe Mom is laughing at the comparison of her heavenly plants and animals. No doubt our earthly ones pale in comparison. In any case, the plants are more precious now. They are not just amusing deer fodder, they are a constant reminder—we are still being watched over by heaven. Thanks Mom. I hope you will keep laughing with us.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39