Through my friend, Robin (of the blogs Metanoia and Desert Year), I found this blog: The Daily Office. It has prayers for the day, posted throughout the day. What a gift! I have been loving sitting quietly, reading and praying along with the printed verses. If you are interested, click on the link and check it out. It is good to find new ways to pray. I have my favorite habits - favorite place to sit, time of day, etc. - but prayer is an always-present possibility, sort of like an open-ended conversation - like facebook - with God. On a walk, in bed, in the shower, in the car...I believe there is no "right" way, place or time to pray. Sometimes when I can't sleep, praying for others is the best sleeping "medicine."
For the past two days, I've been supervising Operation Otter Cleanup at my mom & dad's house. River otters decided to take up residence underneath their home. If you've never seen nor experienced this, here is a visual prompt for you: imagine the aftermath of a college fraternity party, with rotting fish carcasses, fish vomit and poo, instead of spilled beer, broken bottles and smashed cans. Fortunately, it's very cold here right now; I canNOT imagine what the stench would be like if the weather was warm.
Some wonderful, fearless workers arrived, went underneath the house, took up the insulation and plastic that were strewn with Otter PartyWare, and hauled it out. They repaired the insulation and plastic, put down clean, new plastic on the ground under the house, and closed up the places of entry and exit in the foundation which the otters had been using. NOTE: between Day One and Day Two of this operation, the otters succeeded in opening new places to enter and exit, and re-opening one of the places closed by the workmen. HELLO? Persistent! I will be back to see whether they are clever enough to circumvent Day Two's preventive measures. If so, we may need to call in the big guns (professional exterminator).
During the otter cleanup, I was able to finish the draft of a book on which I am collaborating. It is a wonderful book that I learned about from blessed Renee, called "Cancer: 50 Essential Things to Do" written by Greg Anderson, a cancer survivor and founder of http://www.cancerrecovery.org/ . I approached Greg about editing the book for the adolescent and young adult cancer audience, and he agreed. I was able to complete and send off a big chunk of that, and it feels great.
David texted me yesterday, to say that classes were cancelled at G.U. due to heavy snow on the ground (about a foot) & a blizzard warning; he followed that up with the news that he was planning to go SKIING. I wondered: if the university staff saw fit to cancel classes due to snow and a blizzard warning, why would teenage boys decide to leave campus in a car to drive for over an hour to a ski area? What is it about Blizzard Warning that suggests Ski Trip? I sent a message (HELP!) to Gregg.
Both of us extracted a promise from David to stay within the bounds of the ski-patrolled area (David likes back-country & tree-skiing). I even stooped to send him a text with something along the lines of "I would be devastated if anything bad happened to you." This is probably a normal feeling for any mother of an adventurous young man, but it is painfully so for the mother of a child who has died. I don't want to fill David with fears, or keep him tied to me, but certain risks are not worth taking. I felt a little bit bad about the emotional weight of my message - but not bad enough to delete it before sending.
Over dinner and a beer at the pub, I read the text messages to Gregg. After my plea for help in the morning, Gregg had emailed David, keeping his words factual and calm. But guess what he admitted? He had composed a message to David, filled with logical, sound, fatherly advice...and had included something along the lines of "We couldn't bear to lose you" - and then deleted that part before sending! It was a quiet affirmation of my feelings to hear that Gregg, the unemotional one, had the same kind of fear in his heart...even if he deleted that part of his message to David.
David texted us during dinner that he had had a great day on the slopes, skiing in two to three FEET of fresh powder. We're glad he had fun, but even more happy that he is safe.
Katie's bench is the one on the right.
It's a gorgeous, cold day here, with sunshine, blue skies and snow-covered mountains gleaming over whitecapped waters. After I had my hair cut, I stopped by Katie's bench; it now has a lamppost behind it. You can see the Olympic Mountains from there, across the bay. It's a beautiful spot.