Saturday, October 1, 2011
Random Musings on Sundry Things
The photo above is of my dining table just before Shabat began last night. I didn't remove John's stuff, nor my Bible but I love this photo anyway. For one thing there is the table setting. The gourds are supposed to be shellacked (I'm a little doubtful about one fellow with a lot of curves and nooks) and one each of white and orange mini pumpkins. The candles in my opinion are the perfect compliment, the creamware or ironstone platter (not sure which) also a great compliment. The runner, which photographs as white is actually a natural khaki in color with faggot edging and some embroidery in oranges and tans. That embroidery includes a monogrammed "K" smack dab under that platter. I found the runner at Goodwill this week and it was probably one of the least expensive buys of that day at just $1.27.
The gourds and pumpkins were a bit pricey in my opinion, but less so than the Indian corn I'd wanted to buy to hang on the posts of my front porch. I nearly choked at the three anemically skinny ears of corn for $2 an ear that were tied in a bunch. I wanted the big bunches like I'd bought in years past for less money. I need something showy for the front porch posts otherwise they disappear when you are across the yard looking towards the house. The gourds and pumpkins ran around what I normally spend on fresh flowers for one week, so I let the flowers slide. In years past however, I'd have managed a basket of chrysanthemums and the gourds for about the same price I paid for gourds alone. Oh well. Inflation. I could live without it but doesn't look like I'll have the opportunity to prove it anytime soon!
##The purple candles, the candle holders they are in, and the little box on the far end of that table were a gift from Katie last year just before Chanukah. I am hoping I can get four more Shabats from those candles. Katie has laughed at us about them, assuring me that Hobby Lobby has more, but her dad and I really like feeling she is a part of our Shabat nights. I know there are more candles. It's just that these are special and I like to squeeze all the sweetness I can out of anything special, don't you?
I've shared before that Shabat evening at home is very special to John and I. On his work nights, when he can't be home at sundown, I have begun to text him the time Shabat begins. I think it's a nice way for him to prepare himself mentally for the slower pace, the peace, the rest of knowing a week is over and done. I light the candles on the dining table (not the Shabat candles) and leave the shades open even though it is growing dark earlier. I want him to see the welcome lights when he comes up the drive. I want him to know the candles are lit and we're ready to begin even if he can't actually see the candles on the table.
Even though we pray together each night right after we get into bed, the Shabat evening prayers are more intimate, more special somehow. I can truly feel the quiet and peace and serenity as the Talit, or prayer shawl, settles over my head and shoulders. Often I find myself weeping as we pray, not sobbing but just tears running down my cheeks. There is something extremely precious and loving when your husband prays specifically for you, telling G-d your merits and urging Him to remove troubles you've had through the week.
This week is special. It is Rosh Hashanah, a New Year. This began Thursday evening. I thought about it as I went about my day Thursday, how it always seemed to me that there should be a New Year here in the autumn rather than in the winter months. I wondered about all the various New Years we observe throughout the year, with anniversaries and birthdays and such. I thought I should make goals for this New year, instead of waiting until January and then I wondered what it would be like to dedicate a whole year to G-d, learning to hear Him, learning to trust Him more fully, leaning upon Him and praising Him every single day instead of just whenever I think of it which is all too seldom. It seems to me that is a loftier goal than any I've ever made for the New Year that follows Christmas. Those goals tend to be all about me, me, me, and oh yeah, me. Well not entirely. I have long divided my goals into four or five areas but MOST of them are about me and what I want.
##October 1. Another new month. The weather cooled down considerably overnight. Temperatures this morning around 8am were 55F on the front porch and the thermometer never got much past 72F all day long. I wore a sweater when I left home this morning. I need to get John's jacket from the closet and put it where he can grab it as he leaves in the morning. Which reminds me that just last year he commented that he wanted a different color than he'd been wearing, something more along the lines of Khaki, but I don't believe I have ever seen a khaki colored zippered sweat jacket with hood...I'll have to look into that. In the meantime he will have to make do with his Navy blue one.
And speaking of putting out his jacket, I really wonder if I ought to cover my little pot garden. Temperatures are supposedly slipping down into low 40's for tonight, but that is what they said last night as well and we didn't see any such temperatures at all. later... I decided on the side of caution and covered the pots, put out old towels for the dogs to use as sleepers (Trudy was already lying upon hers) and got out John's jacket.
I feel a little sad about the cold weather coming right in. I guess I'm the sort of frog that prefers a gradual increase/decrease rather than a sudden jump in temperatures. Doesn't speak well of me, does it? Well, I just do. I'm not a sudden change sort of person. I think that is why I sometimes find life difficult, for so few of the changes I've experienced have been gradual. Wow. I so didn't intend to go there...
So this morning it was downright chilly indoors and colder outdoors. Nice, I admit it was nice. But I can see that come the end of the month we might well be dealing with our annual "Shall we light the heater and knock off the chill or wait until November 1?" That struggle has gone on for 14 years.
I have found as I grow older (and note to my kids here, I did NOT say I was OLD) that I feel the cold more. Where in my youth I'd have gone without coats and hats I now enjoy having one to wear. So having temperatures in the low 40's seems to me to be cold far too soon for our Southern climes.
October brings the Georgia National Fair. I love the fair, I do. John and I don't do the rides (though I think I should like to go on the merry go round), but we do walk through displays, the animal barns, stop to see any little side show, go to the petting zoo and pet the animals, and look at all the booths selling wares, though we rarely will buy a thing. I say this as though we go to the fair every year. We don't. In fact, we haven't been in about four or five years. We scheduled vacation each year for that time and then the one year we didn't go on vacation we also found we couldn't really afford the fair. This year we are going to be in state, John is off work, we've got the money. I am excited. He is, too, I think as he's already mentioned three times the booths he hopes to stop by and visit.
October is essentially a month off for John. It's not that he has a month's vacation. He has two weeks. Since he only works 14 days a month and he has 14 days off, we choose to say he has the month off. We like to say that because it makes us feel special, lol.
I don't get tired of having him around, I will say that right away. I get a little frustrated when too many days go by without my having time to accomplish anything I've planned. Which is why this year I've decided to give way and not make plans, not set goals. I'll settle for some routine and some non-routine, and if there's time to do a little extra work or a special project I will. Otherwise, I've decided that October will be my vacation month as well. Oh there will be floors to vacuum, food to prepare and dishes to do but I normally do all those things on vacation anyway.
##I was reading through archives of Penny Ann Poundwise over on Xanga this week. I do that each month, read the archives of Penny Ann blog and newsletters for the coming month. It's a nice way to remember the years past; it's an eye opener of what a creature of habit I truly am; it's a reminder that every season is more like the ones past than I ever imagined. It was, this month, also an eye opener to me. I was so anxious to be myself that I forgot that in the last five years, there was more of me in Penny Ann than there had been at the start. I expect you'll find I come back around to writing about thrift and household matters a bit more often. It's just now I'll also have the freedom to write random posts like this and posts related to my spiritual realizations and just generally explore some personal areas, because Penny Ann was sort of impersonal really. I want to also repost some of the better articles from Penny Ann. I came across a few items this past week that I thought were decent bits of writing, filled with good solid thoughts and information. I'd like to share some of those. I'll designate that they are previous writings and from Penny Ann.
##I've been unusually well blessed this past week. For several years John and I have prayed for our children and our children's spouses...even before our children married. We prayed they would be G-dly men and women, loving and respectful of their spouses, good parents, and more. When I met my son's wife for the first time she shared with me that she was not a Christian and had an alternate belief. I told her I'd prayed for my son's future wife, and she was obviously the person I'd prayed for, because I just didn't believe G-d would have allowed the marriage otherwise. I did falter at times, wondering if I'd been wrong in that statement, if I'd discounted free will and all such as that but I determined that I'd believe anyway, despite my occasional qualms.
I knew that my son and daughter in law were attending church regularly in the last two years. This past week my daughter in law let us know that she would be baptized. She made the profession of faith in Jesus Christ. I wept. G-d was faithful to answer my prayer. Further this week, she sent a link of the YouTube video of the baptism. I could see the baptism for myself. I cried some more.
There's been another matter on my heart for months now. I can't share what it has been because it wasn't my struggle or hurt, but others. However, it weighed me down and hurt me because others were hurting and it too was a matter of lots of prayer on mine and John's part. This week at last there was an answer, a resolution.
I have had plenty of reason to be thankful this week above all weeks.
And with that I shall end for tonight.