Saturday, October 29, 2011

2 Year Anniversary

This pass week marks our 2 year anniversary of when we moved a million miles away(Ok not a million miles, but it might as well have been). I thought on this relaxing Saturday morning, when my hubby is out at Sea what better time to reminisce than here with you all.

This is a picture of the cabin right after we had squeezed all of our lives into the 800sq ft space. 2 whole years ago. 2 years might not seem like a long time to some of you but to us, it may as well have been 20.

This is a picture of what it looked like before we moved here. While we were still living in NV Moses came up on a scouting trip to see what kind of shape the current rentor/pot dealer had left the cabin in. This is what he found.
Moses, Dennis, Joel, Shawn, Greg, and Papa Russ, thank you for changing this

into this;

I cannot even begin to tell you all how much baggage we came to Washington with. Literally and of course Emotionally.

We couldn't even move in our living room for the first couple of weeks because there was no place to store all our stuff. The hard work that was put into this little place still astounds me.
Even now looking back on these pictures I am amazed at the transformation.

Thanksgiving 2010, this was THE table Mo built, Uncle Jeremy, Emma and Bella in the back there.

MoNoSco 2009

When I think about the fact that we really did this I have to laugh. There was a time though when we first moved here that we did a lot more crying than laughing. I mean, from the picture below you can get a good idea why one might want to cry!

It has now officially been 2 whole years since we embarked on this big move 700 miles up north, and what a roller coaster ride it has been. There have been many, many moments when we have thought "What the hell were we thinking?"

And then there have been many, many moments when we have sat outside, heard the sound of running water from the creek outside and thought "This is truly our safe haven, thank you God for this."

There have been many adjustments along the way, and as much as I tried to prepare myself for this major life change there really was no way to be fully prepared.

The first year here we were under siege. I say "we" loosely because truly it was Moses who was bombarded with countless things that needed to be fixed, chopped, built, moved, rebuilt, and then fixed again.

2 years later this place looks so different now.
I no longer need Gloria Paige Smith (aka GPS) to guide me.
I have a storage shed that is NOT my living room anymore, or the front and back porches.
We have figured out how to stay warm in the winter without central heat.
I have adjusted to not having a dishwasher or garbage disposal(my hands have never been so appreciative for a good bottle of Palmolive)
I now have a compost.
Even living on a septic tank has become my new norm.

Life is Good.

2 years later and we are still here.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Homeless (cont.)

Last Friday night the ladies at my book club discussed our recent book Paris Wife,(good book btw). A book about Ernest Hemmingway's first wife and then somehow in some strange way this became the topic of conversation;

Should I give money to homeless folks or beggars?

I found it so interesting because I didn't bring this up, yet it was a thought that had consumed quite a bit of my time last week after my somewhat encounter with the beautiful stranger(see blog below).
In scrolling around on my usual reads this morning I found this lil note written to the above question by one of my favorite authors, Shane Claiborne.

"Jesus said give to everyone who asks. That’s a tough command. Sometimes we wonder what Jesus would do in the Calcutta slums or in these heroine-haunted streets where folks ask for change on every corner. What we can say with confidence is that we are to give something to everyone who asks – dignity, attention, time, a listening ear. Sometimes we may give money, sometimes not. But we can always give love. And there are times when giving money can even be a way to insulate ourselves from friendship or the messiness a real relationship might demand. So you can toss a few coins to a beggar or write a check to charity precisely as a way of insulating ourselves from relationships (and still appease our consciences)… but at the end of the day Christ’s call is to relationship and compassion. When Jesus speaks in Matthew 25 about caring for “the least of these”, the action he speaks of is not about distant acts of charity but personal actions of compassion – visiting the prisoners, caring for the sick, welcoming the strangers, sharing food with the hungry. Better than sharing money is sharing life, a meal, a home. Having said that, most Christians need to get taken advantage of more. And we can usually spare some change. Sometimes folks say this question about giving to beggars and panhandlers with suspicion, speculating that homeless folks will just use their money for drugs or alcohol… which happens sometimes. But we don’t always ask what CEOs are doing with our money when we give it to their companies (and the recent events on Wall Street raise some flags about how responsible they are!). In the end, if we cannot take someone to dinner or give them a ride when they ask for money, we might as well give some money. It’s better to err on the side of grace than on the side of suspicion. And we doubt that Jesus is going to reprimand us for giving too much money to addicts… more likely, we will discover we could have been a bit more generous than we were."

Shane Claiborne

Even if you are NOT a follower of Christ I think this blurb has some very good points to consider. Like we might not need to give money but we can always give LOVE. I like how Shane comes at the age old argument of not giving because they might use the money for drugs or alcohol, combated with do we scrutinize America's public servants, aka politicians with the same rule of thumb?
I believe the topic of people in need is one that will continue to resurface as the programs that were once in place to help those in need are now being shut down. I don't necessarily think this is entirely bad because it now gives us "the human race" the opportunity to step up to the plate of real true need, and help meet those needs.

I want to do my part. Not exactly sure what that looks like, but I think it begins with "giving to anyone who asks".

I am proud of my little book club because these thoughts and more were all part of our conversation last Friday night. And now I leave you with the same question;

Should I give money to homeless folks or beggars?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Homeless

Today I had a strange thing happen to me. I was sitting in my car in front of Safeway getting ready to go to the grocery store for the umph-teen time this week, (I feel as though I live there, but I digress) and I was txt-ing back a friend and when I looked up I saw a beautiful, clearly homeless woman sitting in front of the store at Safeways outside tables. She was sleeping peacefully, and she had figured out how to chain all her bags to her person so they wouldn't be stolen while she slept.

I saw her and paused...

And then I paused some more and thought, what must that be like?

Taking a nap outside of Safeway, having everything you own in the world chained to you, and resting peacefully?

I thought maybe I should leave her some money because clearly she could use it, right? Or maybe not. She didn't have a sign up saying that she needed money so I thought maybe she was okay for now. Then I thought maybe I should go in and get her a Starbucks on the way out to help her wake up from her slumber.

Then I got thinking about how many people choose this way of life because they are so tired of running the rat race. I wondered IF she had in fact chose this way of life or if life and it's cruel ways had forced her to this place.

She sat there in the middle of the day sleeping, and here I was running from here to there, trying to make it all work. Napping in the middle of day is not a bad gig. Ask anyone who has done it. It is glorious! But this was different, or was it?

So in the end, after I prayed to see if I was to give her anything besides my prayers I didn't end up giving her anything at that time. A while back I blogged about how convicted I was by not giving to homeless people when they asked for something and ever since have made it a point to give something, anything if I can WHEN ASKED! But she didn't wake up and ask so I walked inside and thought if she is awake when I walk out and IF she asks for something I will give. Whatever it is... maybe she will ask for coffee, a meal, some cash?

I then imagined how cool would it be to sit down and have a conversation with her.

She was awake when I came out and both our attention was drawn to a toddler that was not being watched by it's mom and playing with a gadget about ready to walk into a wall. We both shook our heads by this, and smiled in acknowledgement of how cute the toddler was. I waited for a plea for help, a hand outstretched for something but there was nothing.


I wish I could say that I was my usual sanguine self and sat down to strike up a conversation with her but I didn't. I put my groceries in the car, she put her head back on the table, and I drove off.

Maybe next time.
Maybe she was an angel I could have entertained?
She sure was beautiful.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Solomon turns 10

10 years ago I became the mother of my first son. 10 years of "I love you's" from my little prince. 10 years of slugs, inventions, spontaneous wrestling matches, action heroes, legos, baseball games, bugs, lizards, and overall fun.

I am currently reading Bringing Up Boys, by James Dobson (again) for reminders of how to do just that. I want to bring up this Boy, Solomon to be in love Jesus more than life itself.

For me bringing up boys is harder than it looks. You see because, I come from a family of mostly girls. I do have two brothers but they were so spread out in age that I never got to see brothers in action. And being of the female species I often finding myself in a territory unknown.

I ask my husband all the time if the things that our boys do is "normal" or should I be concerned? When should I consult a professional ?

Before I had children I used to say that I wanted only boys! HA ha ha , serious LOL on that one. God knew. He knew what I needed and what I could handle.

All of that to say, that the last 10 years although it has kept me busy and on my toes I wouldn't trade Solomon for the world.
Not even when he went through the phase of sticking things up his nose!!
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