The best thing I learned this summer

As my husband might say, “I have a case of the fall-a-parts”.

Things have been breaking loose, you know… a summer of being undone.

The last couple months have been full of things I’ve never experienced before…

– cancelled a very important trip for an emergency tooth extraction

– lost all my credit cards and didn’t even know it… for three days!

– after years of thinking I must be immune… got a hefty dose of poison oak, or ivy, or some such evil plant (why did God even invent those??)

– helped my parents move into a senior retirement community

– and what we “thought” would be the easy installation of new tub, new surround and new tile in the old bathroom of our ancient house which has sat empty for almost a year sucking up money we don’t have…. WAS NOT.

So, I’ve learned a couple of things….

…wear long sleeve shirts whilst weeding the back forty… ibuprofen does not fix everything (call the dentist)… there are a lot of good people and some of them work at Home Depot where credit cards were found and kept safe… and I think I want our next home to be a travel trailer hooked on the back of our pick-up truck… SIMPLICITY, folks, that’s what I’m aiming for!

Last Saturday my parents moved into a cozy, comfortable apartment.  It’s in the midst of a senior community where they will be safe, secure and won’t have to worry about rotted old houses that need major repair.

I spent last Monday night alone in their house.  I slept on the fold-away in Dad’s old office.

It was odd to walk thru the rooms… tables loaded with life possessions, ready for this weekend’s estate sale.  Hard to grasp… no more family gatherings here… no more Dad puttering in the garage… no more cups of coffee and conversation on their back patio.

Days earlier I helped my sister load the rocker in the back of her car, odd bags and boxes of things tucked in and around it.  And eventually the back seat of my car and trunk were filled too… with things they don’t have room for… things too precious to sell or throw away… things I couldn’t imagine walking away from.

…like the hat box – filled with love letters between two young people – lives interrupted by World War II.  She asked me not to read them right now. And I won’t… just put them away safe.  I’ll be the history keeper for now… until it’s someone else’s turn.

Tuesday morning I said goodbye to the house, then stopped at their new place on the way out of town.

They were waiting at the door, coffee on, sun streaming into their small living room, happy and rested.  And it occurred to me… it doesn’t matter where they (or I) live… it only matters who they are… and Who they place their trust in.

And that’s the best thing I learned this summer.

I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill me completely with joy and peace because I trust in him. Then I will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit – Romans 15:13

8 thoughts on “The best thing I learned this summer

  1. marilyn meek

    You have such a wonderfully knowing kind look on life and all the curves it sends our way…and the one who can truly guide us home 🙂


  2. The best lesson ever! 🙂

    I remember when my father moved from his home, to a mobile home and eventually to an assisted living complex. The downsizing part was always difficult but the timing of each move was his, made while he could still make all his own decisions. It was good to have him choose an easier lifestyle at a time when one was needed.

    You’ve had a lot to cope with this year, but it sounds like you’re finding contentment amid the chaos.


    1. Contentment is the word of the day, the week, the month! Learning to be content no matter what. (can you tell I’ve been studying in Phillipians? 🙂 ) Thanks for sharing about your father. That encourages me. I know my folks have made a good decision and were very ready to downsize, but I worried that it was such a drastic step. Although they sounded quite fine on the phone a couple hours ago 🙂 Thanks, Carol.


  3. Your parents are leaving all of us a piece of legacy through your writing. So encouraging to hear of a couple, that long together, still able to live and love, together. Love to hear their stories. Glad they are doing well. Not where, but who they are and Who they trust in. Powerful words. Glad you have been able to share and learn this summer, keep on keepin’ on…


    1. It’s funny how I always thought of my parents as just regular people… until I started getting older:) And then I see how much they’ve taught me all along. It’s been an interesting summer, glad I’m still here “keepin’ on”. Thanks for the encouragement, Maureen 🙂


  4. Beautiful life experiences and reflections. Yes, I agree to simplicity. It is the key to happiness to a uncomplicated life. And yes, there are kind and honest people in these world, and we see them not just at HOme Depot but to a lot of places. GIves us hope that there is more good out there than evil.


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