Back when my 30-year-old son, Rory, was a 2-year-old Rory, he would say goodbye like this, “Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww…..” and then a quick, “SEE YA!” He would hold his awwwwwww sooo long that he couldn’t help but giggle halfway through it. We all loved that so much.
Rory’s extended “awwwww” is how I feel about the summer coming to an end. I don’t want it to, but mostly because I can’t stand driving in those snowy winter months. I-94 is bad enough in the summer. Add snow and ice to the mix, and …. well, I can’t wait till that’s over.
Speaking of I-94, I have a 27.9 mile ride to work every day, and then 27.9 miles home. That drive is roughly 45 to 50 minutes, and it seems like each week, I try to dream up some new way to schedule all that I need to get done. I try keeping up on my laundry so I don’t have to waste Saturday JUST doing laundry. And I want to see my grand kiddos too! I take screen shots of phone calls or texts I get in the day, and sit and return each of them in the evening. I try to read a chapter a night of the book I’m trying to get through (one that must be savored, because it’s so, so good). And fit in tending to my little garden of friendships that my three-day-per-week work schedule used to allow me to easily keep up with, while making my grandchildren a priority with my two days per week off.
I have not figured out how to be successful at any of this yet, but in August I have it a good try!
Highlights of August included another get-together after work one day with Dave and Jean, and we phoned in our old friend Debbie, who is going to join us the next time! I can’t wait!
All, or most of the people I get to work with these days got together after work to celebrate getting through our JACCHO inspection with NOT. ONE. CITATION. Not one. I’m not sure that’s ever happened before in the history of JACCHO. We celebrated, and we got to know one another a little better. I can’t even describe how much I enjoyed that, and am looking forward to doing it again!
I finally got to meet my friend Sharon’s daughter Kara, and we had a sweet evening on her patio for dinner catching up and talking about … well, about everything. And I scored an amazing recipe that night for sweet corn and zucchini pie!
I met my friend and jail ministry partner Sue for an early Saturday morning breakfast. (Haven’t been able to do jail for the last month due to COVID outbreak). We used to do that all the time when I only worked three days. We were neighbors and would meet at the neighborhood diner where everyone knew everyone. This time we found a really great restaurant halfway between us both. We’re determined to help them remember us. I don’t think we’ll have any problems with that. LOL
My friends Jeff and Diane came to dinner one Saturday evening and we chatted about all the cool stuff we always tend to chat about… Jesus, when He will return, and our grandchildren 🙂 They helped me to hang some shelves over my couch. Every time I get something done in this place, it feels more and more like home.
My friend Mike had Carrie, Ruth, and I over for a steak dinner. It was crazy delicious, and we had a wonderful time. We talked about all things… ALL things, and though it was NOT a potluck, I did bring theee most unusual thing with me. Don’t ask.
Joyce and I made it to the Detroit Opera House in pouring down rain just in time to find our seats before they shut the door and wouldn’t let anyone else in. (Word to the wise attending anything at Detroit Opera House – If not in your seat by the time it starts, they apparently don’t let you find your seat!) We saw the musical about the Temptations called, “Ain’t Too Proud,” and it was phenomenal! We had our usual fun shenanigans while there, taking silly pictures of us with candy cigarettes. (It’s a Rita & Joyce thing).
Another weekend Joyce and I took a spontaneous road trip, only to wind up in our usual spot in Marine City, to buy some more candy cigarettes at the old fashioned candy store. I picked up some of those little dot candies that come on paper for my “candy drawer” at home that Lyla and Owen love to explore, got caught in a rain storm AGAIN, but wound up having a sweet dinner at Murphy’s Inn, in St. Clair. If you ever get a chance to go there – try their Michigan cherry salad. It is by far, the best one I’ve ever had anywhere, anytime! We had a little fun with our candy cigarettes upon our arrival, and the waitress had to come tell us it was a non-smoking establishment. We asked her if she had any matches, and she realized what was happening… it was a good laugh.
It’s good to laugh.
I also had a breakfast with my friend Mary who I share frequent emails with, catching up and praying for each other. And on my way, found a farmer’s market literally around the corner from where I live. I really need to get out (and north) more. It was also a restaurant I’d never been to. Mary is a sweet friend, and great company.
One night after work, I met my friend Robin for dinner. I don’t see her as often as I’d love to, but we’re both busy and we always seem to catch up quite well. She made a great book recommendation, and we had so much to catch up on that we both had to eat with our mouths full, or our dinner would likely have lasted another 4 hours. For reals.
I scrammed out of work as fast as I could one Friday when I was working closer to home, and drove out to Richmond to see Lyla, Owen, and Maci. Owen turned 4 years old on the 26th, and we celebrated him with a big MacDonald Family party on the 27th. Spiderman showed up on the roof – it was quite a party! Maci is a little imitator, a giggly, sweet, smart little girl. Owen is tender and sweet, and if you could only hear his adorable voice… you would just love him! Lyla is getting so big. I keep asking her if I put brick on her head – would it keep her from growing up? She says no, but I’m tempted to try it. Rory is teaching Lyla and Owen all things hunting, and they are both excited about deer hunting season. Maci just rolls with it. And giggles.
By far the highlight of my month was getting to catch up with someone I knew years ago. She just happened to encourage me at a time when I really needed to be encouraged. Nearing the end of July, I was pretty down about some things that I’m honestly still trying NOT to remember because… LOVE doesn’t keep records, right? But I’m also trying to balance that with trying to own some hurtful words that perhaps may have had some truth to them. Can I be a better friend? (Can’t we ALL?) But those words consumed me (and crippled me some) for many, many days, and to be honest – still do at times. I think some of my friends are getting tired of me texting and calling them, because one of them yesterday asked why I have called or texted so frequently just this week? It’s unusual! They asked if I was okay.
Well, this particular woman I ran across told me that she had never forgotten me because of something kind I had done for her one day when someone was unkind to her. I remembered it too, and that day I had apparently told her this was an example for her to remember of how not to treat someone, as she advanced in her career. She said she never, ever forgot that day, and that had remained her memory of me over the years since we’ve seen each other. It made me feel soooo good. It was a good reminder for me, and it helped me to start coming out of the “funk” I couldn’t seem to shake after late July. I don’t write this to tell you I’m kind. I write this to tell you that God has a way of knowing just how to comfort us when we’ve been hurt, by helping us to remember – doesn’t He? He’s so good.
Wow. As I write and re-read this, I’m realizing why I put on a few pounds in August. Yikes. Perhaps September should include meeting friends to walk those pounds back off!
I’m still in the middle of reading “Trusting God,” and still highlighting, noting, underlining, and sharing the greatest highlights with my besties. I’ll hate for it to come to an end, but planning “Side-by-Side” and “The Company We Keep” for the month of September because… I really do want to be as good of a friend as some of those very intentional ones I’m blessed to have, who stick around and don’t keep score.
It’s Sunday. The laundry is NOT done, but September is here and, maybe Sunday is the new Saturday this month?
Best part about August being in the past? The funk is mostly gone.
I welcome September, as well as the pumpkin candles, and lotions, and breads, and room sprays…
“Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.”