Saturday, July 07, 2012

Random Thoughts on a Hot Saturday in July

Some random observations on July 7, 2012.

The Chicago area is entering what could be the fourth consecutive day of a high temperature in the 100s. Yep. That's correct. It's a race to see which happens first. The 100 degrees or the cool front that is supposed to come through later this afternoon. As I write, it's already 93 degrees at 9:10 a.m.

High heat stresses not only humans and animals, but also plants. Yesterday, I became distracted and forgot to water my balcony plants. By early afternoon my New Guinna Impatiens had shriveled and drooped over the edges of their pot, looking like they'd met their untimely end. I raced out there and poured huge amounts of water into the dirt. A couple hours later it stood tall and proud, ready to face it's adversary (the heat). It made me think of how sometimes I feel spent and exhausted. Drained. Then I spend an hour in God's Word (the Bible) and like my plant, I am ready to face whatever confronts me, feeling strengthened and refreshed. Often times Jesus speaking of Him being living water for the soul.

Mom and me swimming in Lake Geneva
Revisiting the past through old photographs is satisfying to my emotions. Yesterday, I looked at pictures from my childhood and remembered old playmates and houses we had lived in. My pre-K years of ages 2 weeks to 5 years were idyllic and life was good. I didn't care if my parents and I lived in a teensy apartment. To me it was a castle. I was loved, sheltered, and fed. We lived in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin not far from one of the most beautiful lakes in the state, and summers were spent at the beach. I wish I could step into those photos and relive just one day, still being me today but observing it from my child's POV.

Now called The Maxwell Mansion, this mansion  was my home when I was a toddler.

Why don't we appreciate what we have when we have it? A few months back I wrote a blog post about living in a mansion during my toddler years. That post was on The Barn Door. (Note: If you read that post, my publish date for Love Finds You in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin is now April 2013.) Of course back then I had no idea of the history of that house, and I wonder if even my parents did. We lived in what was designed to be the servant's quarters. Oddly enough my dad's boss was the house's owner, but he went to work at an office. In a way he was living in quarters designed for the owner's servant, and that much hadn't changed, although he was by then called an employee. I've since learned that the man who built the house, Philip Maxwell, was one of the town's founding fathers and Maxwell Street in town was named for him. But the house was built on Baker street, another surname strongly connected to those who helped found the town.

I'm currently on the planning committee for my high school reunion. Many years have flowed under the bridge of life since we left high school. Back then we were divided into cliques. What I always find amazing is that after some years, the lines between groups began to blur until by now they have all disappeared. None of the people on the committee were my best buddies in high school, and I'm finding myself regretting I never tried to get to know them better back in the day. It's never too late to forge new friendships, even with people you knew years ago.

My church has a Saturday night service. The campus where it takes place is a good 20-30 minute's drive for me so I don't attend it often, unless I am already out somewhere. But this summer I have gone a few times, and today will be another one of those times. Last time I attended Sat. service, the next morning I took my daily walk fairly early in the morning. As I was passing a building in my condo complex, a lady who attends my church came out the front door, on her way to first service. There I was in shorts and a tee shirt and she looked at me with questions sparking from her eyes. LOL. I suddenly felt I needed to explain that I already went to church last night. It has occurred to me how many people where I live know me as a church-going woman and are used to seeing me heading to my car with Bible bag on my shoulder on Sunday mornings. If I'm out walking instead on a Sunday, do they think I'm backsliding? Do they even care?

Yesterday I found my old report cards, starting with kindergarten right up to college transcripts (minus the ones from my freshman year which I burned). The older I got, the more the teachers said I had trouble staying on task and applying myself. My chemistry teacher even called me lazy. Oops. Looking back, I think he was mistaken. I wasn't lazy, but was caught in the trap of being a right-brained person trying to learn something better suited to left-brainers. Anything to do with chemistry flew right over my head. I didn't "get" it and that probably led to my lack of interest in his subject of choice. I needed the credit and squeaked by with a C at the end of the year. Nowadays, educators are much more aware of learning styles and right-brain, left-brain issues. They have better figured out how to teach us creative types. Back then we were just lumped in like square pegs in round holes.

Right now I'm sitting here with things that need doing on this very hot day. I think writing this blog is a way of procrastinating. I'd best get busy before more time elapses and I prove my chem teacher right. I could always blame it on the heat!