2004-11-10 20:55:43 (UTC)

A Wish, A Mystery Solved, A Story and More

I wish I could stay home all day again today but alas, I
must go into town as there are things that must be done.
Always, it seems, there are miles to go before I sleep.
I'll get my wish and be able to stay home tomorrow but I
need to go into Corvallis on Friday.

I have shopping on my list and lists for my shopping.
Costco and Safeway. I need to go to the bank and make a
deposit. And, most importantly, I have to go the
courthouse, to the tax assessor's office, and get the forms
and find out the procedure on how to appeal a property tax
bill. The bills arrived in the mail a few weeks ago, one
for the house in town and one for the house in the country,
and it's the country house bill we need to appeal. I can't
imagine what these bills would be like if we hadn't passed a
property tax limitation law.
The mystery is what's going on at the corner near the
elementary school. Loads of gravel have been dumped and
there have been bulldozers and graders out there but no one
I've talked to knows what's going on. I thought it might be
where the new post office is going to be built but I was
told, no, that wasn't it. I was glad to hear that as one of
the driveways to the property is onto American Drive where
the speed limit is 55 mph and many trucks going to and from
the pulp and paper mill. My curiosity got the best of me
this morning so I called City Hall to ask. Turns out that a
business which sells farm machinery which is currently
located diagnonally across is moving. This explains why it
appeared the that they were making a parking lot on the
corner. I asked if their old location was then going to be
used for a new post office but no one knows yet. I'm hoping
they don't use that piece of land for the new post office.
People here often send their children to get their mail
(very few people have their mail delievered to their
homes--we do, but most don't-- almost everyone has a post
office box) and it would be dangerous crossing two main
highways. Even though it is a four way stop not everyone
stops and there are many trucks which travel those roads.
It's a tragic accident waiting to happen.
I've been reading bits and pieces of articles about how
angry some Democrats are that their candidate didn't win the
election and one about secession caught my eye. The idea is
to lop off the Northeast, the West Coast and the upper
Midwest and have a blue-state confederacy called American
Coastopia. Some have suggested joining it with Canada. The
rest of the states would be called "Jesusland". I had to
laugh at the part about the blue states joining up with
Canada. Apparently they believe everything they read in the
newspapers and think all of Canada is ultra-liberal. It
isn't. Let me tell you a story my Aunt Madeleine told me
last winter.

My Aunt Madeleine is a 80 year old widow who lives in a
small town outside of Ottowa. She'd gone to the doctor and
then to the pharamcist and everything was taking longer than
she'd thought. When she left the pharamacy and got in her
car, it wouldn't start. She immediately realized she'd left
the headlights on and the battery was dead. It was dark and
already twenty below zero. She spotted a couple of young
men in their early twenties and went up to them saying, as
only my aunt could, "Would you please help a poor old widow
lady who's having trouble with her car?" They asked her
what the problem was, moved their car closer to hers and
jump started her battery. Then she asked them how she could
repay them for their help. Now here's where the story took
a twist I didn't expect. They didn't ask for money.
Instead, they asked her if she would keep them in her
prayers. Can you imagine that? She didn't seem surprised
at all, though, by their request and added their names to
her very long prayer list.

There was something else in the newspaper too, something I
wished I hadn't seen, but it was hard to avoid as it was a
large photo on the front page. It showed an Army nurse
performing CPR on a U.S. soldier in Baghdad. The soldier
wasn't identified but the caption said he was later
pronounced dead from his wounds. I find photographs like
this profoundly disturbing which, I suppose, is the intent
of the editor who choses to publish them.
I took out my digital camera to get a photograph of the
snowball tree, which is at its most glorious, and, while I
was at it, I took a few of my front porch. I've put them on
my webshots page

We've had some rain in the past few weeks but not a real
winter storm. When the storms begin in earnest the
incandescence of autumn will disappear and the rain-whipped
leaves, yellow and brown and rust will lie along the
roadsides and drift across lawns. Still, it's obvious
autumn is here. Wood smoke is heavy in the air and the
gardens are easing into their winter sleep. There's a
hunkered down, anticipatory feeling in the woods and
meadows, and the bushes and hedgerows are busy with
chattering birds.
Later. It's almost noon now and I'm back from my trip into
town. I accomplished everything I planned plus a bit more.
I stopped at the local grocery store to pick up a copy of
The Times, the area's weekly newspaper. I glanced through
it quickly but didn't see anything of great interest. I
went to the post office and bought stamps--a booklet of
garden bouquets and one of Christmas madonnas.

I also stopped at the Shedd church. That is where Pastor
Ruth has office hours today. I should explain that a bit
more. Pastor Ruth is the pastor of two churches--ours and
the one in Shedd. Both are small, country churches which
are over 100 hundred years old, built by farmers who first
settled here. I stood in front of the church last
Wednesday and called her on my cell phone to ask which door
was open and she told me the front door was unlocked. I
expected it to be unlocked again today but discovered it
wasn't when I tried to enter. So again, I phoned her on my
cell phone and she came and unlocked it for me. She
said she would try to remember to leave it unlocked for me
on Wednesdays.

I say a rosary every day, a leftover vestige from my growing
up Roman Catholic. I am Methodist now but our pastor is
quite liberal and she has no problem with my saying the
rosary, even in church. I am thankful for this. The rosary
is one of my favorite prayers. I say it in church where
it's quiet and I won't be interrupted on most Wednesdays,
Thursdays and Fridays when Pastor Ruth has office hours and
one or the other of the churches is open. The other days I
say it early in the quiet of the morning, before anyone else
is up.

I try to follow this:

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give
thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians, 5:16-18

I say prayers when I wake up and before I go to sleep at
night. I say them before and after meals. But most of my
prayers have no words.

I pray when I sweep the front porch and fold laundry and
peel potatoes. I pray when I look up and see the clouds
moving across the sky, or catch a glimpse of a hawk on a
fence. I pray when I knit a little hat for a preemie and
when I'm piecing a quilt. I pray when I brush my teeth and
when I make the bed and when I put the groceries away.
Living and breathing and walking and laughing and loving in
a constant spirit of prayer is praying