Friday, September 22, 2017

The First day of Autumn

Today is the first day of autumn, and it sure does feel like it.  Yesterday we packed up and traveled to Silent Valley.  For those of you who don't actually know where this is, we are south of I-10 in Banning, up in the San Jacinto mountains at an elevation of about 3500 feet.  It is colder than down in Banning, but not as cold as up at Idyllwild.  It was down in the lower 50's before we went to bed last night, but I don't know how cold it actually got because when I got up around 4 am and tried to check on our outside had no reading showing!  I guess it isn't used to being that cold.  Even now, at 10:30 am it's only reading 54 outside.  Usually we keep warm using two electric heaters to try to save propane that the furnace uses.  Last night I got out our heaters.  One wobbled and didn't look like we could trust it.  We used the second one, but it didn't put out much heat at all.  We bought both of them in Truth or Consequences back in 2013, so I think maybe they are dying of natural causes, and need to be replaced before it gets too cold outside.  They have served us well.

Now for a brief update on Jim.  He had his surgery to get rid of the stone in his left ureter one week ago today.  It was a very long day, and we didn't leave the hospital until 6:45 pm.  We try to avoid driving after dark so this was stressful for us but we got back to Wilderness Lakes at 8:15 pm.  My brother Tony was there taking care of our dogs, and we were very grateful for that.  My dear friend Joan was with me until shortly before Jim came back from the recovery room.  What an amazing friend and a real blessing she is to me.  We had lunch in the cafe at the hospital and walked around and chatted and the time passed much more quickly than it would have if I had been waiting alone all those hours.  Again, thank you Joan.  She and I have been friends from before Jim and I got married, and I can always count on her when I need someone.  God bless you Joan.   Jim had his catheter in until Tuesday of this week.  I took it out, and he has been OK since.  He still has some pain from the stent in the ureter, but that will be removed next Tuesday and hopefully then the pain will stop.  We are also hoping to find out when the rest of his surgery can be done.  We would like to thank all who prayed for Jim during this ordeal.

I have tried to help Jim as much as I could so he wouldn't overdo on anything, but he still worked hard to pack us up and drive up here yesterday.  Our friend Greg came over to load the outside refrigerator into the back of the car for us too.  Despite the help we got, he did too much, and he had a rough time of it last night, but I'm trying to get him to take it easier today.  We have over three weeks here, so nothing has to be done right away.  The funny thing was that the forecast was for rain in the morning yesterday, so we hurried to get here and set up before the rain arrived.  It certainly DID look like rain would start any minute, but it didn't get here until about 9 pm last night.  So much for the weather reports and health news.

We are loving the new oak-look vinyl flooring Greg installed here, but it is colder on the feet in the mornings!  Maybe I'm going to have to wear socks at night.  We are thinking about another project for in here, but we haven't talked to Greg about it, so I'm not telling anybody about it yet.

When we arrived here yesterday we were delighted to see there was nobody in the site we like best, site 400, but as we approached it, we saw that there was an "out of use" sign on the electric post, so we had to keep looking for another site.  We ended up back on top of the hill where we have been every time we have been here this year!  The dogs seem to like it up here in the "wilds," but it's NOT my favorite site in the park.  Maybe next time we can get site 400.  It's close to everything and large and level with good guest parking too.
I'm sorry there are no pictures with this blog post, but I haven't been running around taking any pictures this week.  Maybe I'll get some bird pix later on, or I can share pictures of the dozens of squirrels that run around driving Millie crazy!

We like to read our "Daily Bread"before we read our Bible each day, and there was one essay that I especially liked recently.  A boy said he likes to read a book better than to see a movie because with a book, he can spend more time with getting to know the characters.  The writer compared that to reading the Bible.  Some of us hurry through our reading without taking time to get to know the people.  I have to admit that sometimes that is true of me too.  Someone, not too long ago, tried to tell me that the lessons in the Bible are not relevant to our life in this day and age.  I think that person was also reading too fast.  It takes time to think about how to apply the lessons to our current life.  It takes time to try to understand what Jesus was telling us.  Most of us today are in too much of a hurry to stop and think about life and all that God has given us.  When is the last time you thanked God for all He has done in your life?  When did you stop to ask Him where you should go from here, or how to get there?   When was the last time you stopped to notice an awesome sunrise or a beautiful sunset?  Have you thanked Him for the summer you have enjoyed or bringing us to this Autumn that begins today?  
My friend Alice sent me a parable today.  It was about an employer paying a late arriving day laborer as much as the ones who began work in the morning.  To some it didn't seem fair but like the parable of the prodigal son, God welcomes us all with open arms.  How often do you "judge" the labors, or merits of others?   When did it become your place to judge others?  I am as guilty as any of you who find yourself doing that.  Thank you Alice for reminding me that God is the only one who should be judging any of  us, and if He finds us lovable, and of value, who are we to disagree?
Please try to start this autumn season with a renewed love for your fellow man (and woman).  Begin each day with a grateful and forgiving heart.  We probably ALL need to judge less and love more.  And last, but surely NOT least, please pray for the victims of the hurricanes on the east coast and the earthquake in Mexico.  Pray for survivors to be found, and for comfort and God's strength to help those who have lost loved ones and everything else that has been lost.  

Thank you and now enjoy this day, and all that you have ahead of you...................and as Walt Wille says, "Keep the rubber side down".

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