Monday, September 22, 2008

A day of ups and downs

We started Sunday with a real downer. About 7:00 a.m., just as I was getting into the shower to get ready to go to early church, I heard a loud pop and then a whooshing noise. I knew immediatley what it was. The gas company has been working on our street for weeks, putting in new lines, and I could tell that something had given way. It was in front of the house across the street and just down one from me. The smell of natural gas was rapidly becoming strong, even in the house.

I called 911 to find that I was not the first to report it. I then started thinking about getting out of the house. Of course, the first item was to get Bella in her carry case before I spooked her and she went under a bed somewhere. That accomplished, I started getting clothes out, but before I could do more than pull on my jeans under my robe, there was a knock on the front door. It was policeman telling me I had to leave. He said I could take my car so I just grabbed Bella, the clothes I had gathered up, my purse, and got in the car and left. I went to cousin JS's house, where we stayed until after lunch when I finally got to come home.

I learned from a neighbor that it took the gas company almost 3 hours to get there, which seemed a little extreme for me, even on a Sunday. Don't they have emergency on-call lists?

Then we had a some good news. Victoria Lillian made her appearance at about 4:30 p.m. weighing in a 6 lb 2 oz, even though she was several weeks early. All appears well but they were going to keep her in the NICU overnight to evaluate her breathing.

In the midst of all this, one of my other niece's, was in the hospital with a problem that required some surgery. Since she has just moved to a new town and knows no one, I am flying out this morning to keep her company while she recuperates. That means Bella will have to go back into the dreaded carry case two times in that many days.

I have packed her food, dish, and some toys in a shopping bag and she has already taken the toys out twice. So I have just left them on the floor until we get ready to leave for the airport.

Fortunately I have a volunteer who loves to work in the Bookstore and she will cover as much of my absence as she can. I went in last night and got the bank deposit ready for today and did as much as I could on a Sunday evening. I ended my day with Compline which is sung at 6:45 on Sunday evenings at Christ Church. This always soothes my spirit and I was able to come home and finish packing and sleep last night without worrying unduly about anyone.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

In Memorium

"Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord; even so saith the Sprit; for they rest from their labors."

For years I have placed flowers in the church on the first Sunday in September in memory of my brother, Benjamin. Some years this Sunday falls on his birthday and on others it is close, as this year, when it is three days past his birthday. When Daddy died, he was added to the list, and then this year, Mother.

I remember Benjamin as forever young, with a wicked sense of humor and a contagious grin. Daddy was a stern but loving father who thought I could do no wrong. Although he was not a demonstrative person, he grabbed me and hugged me when I got off the plane in 1957 when I came home from Washington for the first time for Christmas. Mother always favored her boys, but was there for me when it counted. I remember one year when she gathered yards and yards of ruffles by hand to make me a piano recital dress to die for and during the last years of her life we became closer than ever.

So today when the prayers for the departed were offered in church, with the three of them mentioned by name, it was a bittersweet moment for me but happy memories far outweigh the sad ones.