I Got You Covered

As some of you may know, one of my favorite things to do here in Oregon, is find the covered bridges that span the many rivers and brooks across the state. It is like a treasure hunt for me and brings me so much joy and excitement when suddenly it appears before us.

One of the first bridges we found was built in 1914. It is called the Drift Creek Covered Bridge. Though it is no longer used for thru traffic to pass over, it allows you to stand under its canopy and imagine the many untold stories hidden within its shelter. I love the sound of the brook flowing beneath it so peacefully, almost singing a song of long past better days. Perhaps star-struck lovers of long ago stood under that bridge and declared their love for one another. Yes, I am a hopeless romantic. I suppose that explains why I love these bridges, there is an air of nostalgia and you feel like you are being transported back in time when life seemed less complicated.

I guess when you get older, simple pleasures are all you really need to make you smile. The older I get, the simpler I find my wants and needs are. I no longer look for and wish for the “things” that used to control my thinking. I now find joy and well-being in the beauty that surrounds me or is waiting for me to find.

As parents and grandparents and for many great grandparents, we want to assure our children that we have them covered. When they need our wisdom, or help and especially our love, we become a “covered bridge”for them. A place they can safely cross over to wherever they need to go, a shelter in times of trials and hardship, or even a canopy they can stand under and know that they are loved.

As a Christian, I know and believe that this is a description of how God is. One of my favorite songs of worship is titled “You Cover Me” by Pastor Mark Filkey. The words say, “you cover me, in times of storm, I can make it, cause I found my hope in you”.  We all need to be covered by love, grace and strength, and more importantly, we need to be willing to bridge the gaps for others to cross. We can be like “covered bridges” for so many that need to remember there is still hope.

Below are pictures that was taken at the Drift Creek Covered Bridge in Otis, Oregon.


Living Wide Awake

I will often wake from a deep sleep in the middle of the night with that annoying urge to pee. I hope saying pee is not offensive to write in a blog. I could use clinical terms like urinate, or the need to relieve my self of access fluid, but, it still means pee. Anyhoo, I am an insomniac so, as you can imagine, if I have managed to actually fall asleep, I am not a happy girl to have it interrupted by a weak bladder. So, to help myself, I have come up with a simple solution…..no, it is not wearing diapers. I just get up with only one eye open. That’s right, leaving one eye closed gives a message to my brain that it does not have my permission to be fully awake.

I think, that sometimes, we can go through much of life with just one eye open. Here is an example. I was having a conversation with someone recently and asked if she heard about this big earthquake in Mexico. She replied, “oh no, I never pay attention to the news anymore, there is way too much bad news”. Well, I do not disagree…..there is definitely way too much bad news. But, I also realize that whether we engage in watching our news media, or choose not to, bad news will still happen. We cannot be just half aware of life, good or bad, life happens. Choosing to not watch it unfold in the news will not stop it. We sometimes feel that if we don’t see it, it won’t affect us.

Here is another funny story. My husband and I have developed this crazy habit of not turning the bathroom light on. It does not have a window, but I have a night-light in there that creates just enough light to do whatever we need to do. There have been instances where a shirt was put on inside out, and smudged mascara under the eye only noticed in the car on the way to church, and more recently, walking out of the house with a completely unmatched top and pants. Has this convinced us to just turn the light on? Nope. At least not until I reached for my deodorant one morning and set my arm pits on fire because it turned out to be Icy Hot muscle rub. The lights go on now.

Again, I can see how we can choose to go through life looking through rose-colored glasses, creating an ambiance that perhaps is more comfy cozy. We need to illuminate our life with enough light to navigate our way to making a difference. How that happens for each person will be different. The bible tells us that we are the light of the world. Our world needs more light. It has become so very dark. The bible also teaches us that Jesus is the lamp unto our feet and the light to our path. To know him, is like switching on the light.

I am trying to keep both eyes open without fear of “losing” my sleep and trading in the night-light for a bright light. Living wide awake. I hope you will too.

What’s In A Name

One of my favorite roles in life is that of a grand parent. We are called by many names, Grandma, Grammie, Grams, Tutu, Vovo, Nonna, Noni,and various other terms of endearments of which my personal favorite is Nana. My children called my mom that and now my grandchildren call me Nana. It is a sound that resonates in my heart like no other.

There are some negative connotations associated with the word grandma that may or may not be funny. For instance, “gramma panties”……I get what it’s referring to, but one should not assume that only grandma’s wear comfy undies…right? I dunno. One of my granddaughters was helping me fold the laundry and found one of my under garments and screeched “what in the world is this” as if it was the most shocking thing she had ever seen.

Here is another reference to a grandma I recently heard that gave me a bit of a tick. I was watching a review of a device that I considered purchasing. At the end, the young gentleman giving his opinion, says, “this device would be a great gift for your grandma who just wants something easy to surf the web or check her email”. Really? I’m sure every person on the planet would welcome any claim that makes using a device easy. I’m blogging on it right now. That’s right buddy, this grandma blogs.

No matter what anyone says about being a grandma, no one can deny the importance of having one in their lives. I empathize with anyone who had to grow up without one. We have a very unique opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the next generation. Today’s grim look of the world’s stability, economically and being at peace, has changed the way families are being raised. Mom and dads both need to be at work and finding it necessary to enlist the help of grandmas and grandpas to provide a safe environment for their children. I recently read an article that said grandmas who babysit their grandchildren lived longer. It is probably true because, there is nothing like the sound of a child’s laughter that will definitely put a twinkle in your wrinkle.

The dictionary defines grandma as the mother of ones father or mother. I hardly think that is enough of a definition for such a valuable part of human society, right? Besides being full of wisdom and grace, we are the best resource for great recipes and probably hold the key that unlocks all the family secrets. We love deeper, give larger and probably discipline less as grandparents. I definitely uphold any rules my children have in their homes regarding their children, but, it’s no secret that when they are at Nana’s house….well, let’s just say I bend the rules a bit. I love this quote by Barbara Cage….she says…”A grandma is warm hugs and sweet memories. She remembers all of your accomplishments and forgets all of your mistakes”. Now that should be how you define grandma.

There is so much more I can say about this subject. But, I thought it may be interesting to hear from my readers any special grandma moments that you have had with your grandchildren, and what they call you. Your comments below are always welcome and I look forward to reading what you have to say. For now, this Nana is signing off and wishing all you grandmas out there a very blessed day!