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Howdy. We've moved from Cayce, but St. Elizabeth of South Rose Hill or Lizette de Waccamaw de Sud just don't do it for me.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Yellow Roses

20 years ago tonight, I was staying at what was then called the Carolina-Duke Inn (corner of Guess Road & 1-85, now:, an inexpensive home-away-from-home for the week I spent doing job interviews in Durham.
I'd been disappointed at the Duke job, which was advertised as a Peds AIDS clinic, but which had morphed into a geriatric practice, for which I, as a pediatric nurse practitioner, was spectacularly unqualified. I'd had a good interview with the Durham County Health Department, but they didn't really need a PNP. This trip out from Dallas was winding down, and I really needed to land a job. We were leaving Texas for Izzy to start his Classics degree at Duke in August, and I'd be leaving the 3-in-1 jobs in the Foster Care Clinic, Day Surgery Unit, and Newborn Nurseries at Children's Medical Center of Dallas and Parkland Hospital.
On my last day in town, I had scheduled an interview with the Durham Developmental Evaluation Center. Folks who've known me for a while know that I got that job, and worked there until I got the state Child Health Nurse Consultant position with DEHNR in 1994. Here's a bit you might not recall, so many years later.
I needed to check out the morning of July 23, 1992, and drive to Columbia after my DEC interview. I would leave my car there, and fly back to Dallas to prepare for our move. I had packed up the car, after making sure I was well-dressed for the interview, when I received a call from the office. There, waiting for me in a lovely round gray clay vase, were 9 saucer-sized long-stemmed yellow roses. Gorgeous! Glorious! The perfect gift for our 9th wedding anniversary, the first (I think *only*) on which we'd been apart. They'd been delivered from Ruth Hall Florist, and were the most beautiful bouquet I'd ever received.
Only, and here's what makes something like this story memorable, they presented a bit of a dilemma. I had the aforementioned interview around 10 AM. It's July 23. The interior heat of my Hyundai Excel was sure to destroy these flowers if I leave them there, and there is no way to extend my use of the motel room. I decided to be bold, and carried the roses into the DEC office, at the time in portable buildings affixed to the old Lennox children's hospital on Erwin Road.
I asked if there were somewhere I could put the flowers during the interview. Each of the administrative support staff volunteered her desk- I forget who "won" possession for the 90 minutes or so that I was there. After the interview, I collected my flowers, thanked the staff profusely, headed back out and drive to my parents' home in Columbia.
Wheels of government hiring processes move slowly. We left Dallas at the end of July, arriving in Durham the first week of August. No job offer yet. Another week passed- nothing. I called the office frequently, and was always put through to the director, though. I later found that not all calls made it to him. The staff remembered me as the lady with the roses, and, as I learned later, thought I was a nice person. It took waiting and perseverance, but I got the job. I have to think that the help i got from those staff helped my cause.
Izzy has always loved giving me accoutrements, whether flowers sent to my office for no reason, jewelry or other gifts that he hides for me to find, lovely scarves that are sure to elicit questions about their provenance, etc. His goal is to make me look special, to let others know how much he cherishes me. Those roses made me legendary in that job, topped only by the 4 sets of roses in 4 days for our 10th anniversary (a post for another day.)
20 years have passed. The roses are long gone (I left them in SC for Mom to enjoy when I flew back to Dallas.) The pot finally cracked. The Hyundai was left in a scrap yard in Galesburg, IL. Nothing tangible remains from that day.
However, the man sitting opposite me in our Rosewood bungalow still looks at me with the same smile that the young man did when I returned to Dallas, only with even more love. I still cherish him with all my heart, and am so grateful for the wonderful memory he made for me 20 years ago.
Happy 29th anniversary, my Darling!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Seeing Myself as God Does

Posted in a discussion forum, where we are asked once weekly to share what we are learning from God.  I wanted to be able to find this again.
(Most Thursdays, I have all day meetings, and cannot respond, much less think clearly enough to write something thoughtful about lessons God is teaching me. I'm sure you know... that when folks are commenting during the day, they may be reading/catching up after hours.  Thanks to all for giving me great things to read!)
I'll break from lurking with a couple of stories about how we see ourselves and how God does--both from recent Sundays:

1.  Several Sundays ago, we had a visiting priest (ours is in Poland visiting family and going to EuroCup games).  His was a very deliberate cadence which, combined with my unfamiliarity with his voice, caused me to hear more closely some parts of the Mass that I might otherwise have overlooked.
Our small chapel was packed, to the point that the choir area was filled with latecomer families, most of whom had small children.  I, as the soloist at 9 AM, usually have the whole area to myself, so I'm not used to excluding noises from kids from my mind as I try to be a full, conscious and active participant.
Toward the end of the Mass, visiting Father prayed these words: "Make us to be more like your apostles..."
At the exact same moment, the two boys behind me began to argue over positions on the pews, whispering loudly "That's my seat! No, that MYYY seat!"
Some of you may already be smiling, as I was, immediately.  We ARE so often, very much like the Apostles--James and John in Mark 10, to be specific.

God loved and chose those men, and He has chosen me, despite my tendency to be more like disciples arguing over seats in the Kingdom, than like anyone in Hebrews 11.

2.  Last Sunday, the Responsorial Psalm was #139.  It's been a favorite of mine since back in high school, when our youth director made us memorize it as a prerequisite to going on a hiking trip.  I've spent years pondering the depth of intimate knowledge and love God has for us, and how there is nowhere we can go to get away from Him.
I'd spent some time thinking about the "fearfully and wonderfully made" part, but less on the "for *I* am..." part of verse 14.
In the Responsorial Psalm, for those unfamiliar with the tradition, the Cantor sings a line or two from the Psalm, which the congregation then repeats.  After singing 1-2 verses, everyone again repeats the initial verse/phrase.  For last Sunday, I stood in front of the congregation and sang, 6 times, the phrase "I praise You, for I am wonderfully made."  The musical setting really emphasized "praaaaaaise" and "WONNNNderfully".
After the first time I sang it, I briefly wondered about the irony of singing those lines. I'd just had another post-50 birthday, had spent the week dealing with blood sugar issues and migraines, and just didn't feel anything like someone who is/was "wonderfully made." God granted me the grace, as the song continued, to realize that I was praying the insight He'd given the Psalmist--who am I to argue with "Marvelous are Thy works, and that my soul knoweth right well"?

God, who knows my "downsitting and mine uprising", causes me to sing: "How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!"

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Test post

Trying a post from the iPhone app.
Can I insert a pic?
It appears I can.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Fun in the kitchen.

Ready to create the Magister's birthday strawberry fudge pie.

Sunday Brunch for the Magister's Birthday

Motor Supply Company.