Monday, August 23, 2010

Tribute to mom

August was my mom's birthday month. It reminds me of popsicles on the porch and banana splits, ringing phones and our late night "Streets of San Franscisco" TV shows. She was such a joyous dear. A stabilizing glue for us all.

All 4 of her granddaughters carry on her name. My sister's newest, born just a month ago, bears the middle name of Alice. My oldest does also. My sister's big girl's middle name is Elizabeth, my mom's middle name. And our youngest girl, has a middle name of Rose, from a little verse of Amy Carmichael's writing, "From thy briar shall blow a rose for others." From my mom's "thorns," her debilitating physical illness, she was a sweet rose to others. May these girls, the next generation, have the compassion and mercy that my mom had because of her simple faith in the Lord Jesus.

My oldest wrote this about her grandma a few years back--

"My Grandma was a servant of a lady. She would always make banana bread and take it to people who were feeling down. Before my mom was born she taught 4th grade. She was born in Cleveland Ohio. Her grandparents immigrated from Germany.

She always wanted to drive down a road with a canopy of trees. So she got some trees and asked neighbors to buy trees. But the trees were slow growing, so they never really made a canopy.

Grandma liked to stay up late and work. She also liked owls, Dopey and wearing powder that smelled nice. One time she was teaching Sunday School and hit her chest with her hand and a big cloud of smoke went POOF!

She loved to laugh and to play with me. She got some kind of disease and had to go in a wheelchair. She died when I was around 7. I wish I could remember her when she could walk. It was very sad when she died, though joyful at the same time since now she is in heaven and is perfect."

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Old things made new

Our 1986 Nissan Patrol, "Big Red," fits all of us plus some. Patrick's a truck guy and this is a great vehicle to have because people in our country can take old things and make them new.

Yesterday on our return from a beautiful beach about 40 minutes from us, the car overheated. Patrick pulled to the side of the autoroute and within 2 minutes a road assistance car pulled behind us. (Before yesterday, I had never known that yellow road assistance cars existed here!) Patrick and the road man looked under the hood and discovered that the radiator hose broke. So Patrick ripped off the tape that had been holding it together for the past few months (See? If they can't find a part here, they turn old into new! And it had held up through many kilometers!) The car was returned to the correct temperature and the road man had the number for the tow truck.

Within 40 minutes a tow truck pulled up in front and after looking at us all (whole family plus one extra kid) told Patrick that we would need to get a taxi because he didn't have insurance. He changed his mind after Patrick talked his winsome ways with him and we began our ascent up the back of the tow truck. The top of the hook contraption that was pulling us looked like it was re-hammered on the front part of the truck (See? Old things into new!) Patrick's flipant comment, "If that snaps it will come right through the windshield, so duck," didn't quite quiet my fluttering heart! But there were no problems, we were all hooked in, and took off slowly down the highway, perched in Big Red. Two men on donkeys looked and pointed as I'm sure 6 kids, a mom, and no driver (Patrick was in the driver's cab) high in a big red car looked a little quirky. My favorite look was from our 1 1/2 year old neighbor when we drove up our street. He peered out their white curtained windows, looked at us, smiled and waved. He was so enthralled, I laughed out loud and waved back. Quite a day!

So today, Patrick was very cultural and made a new radiator hose out of two old ones. He travelled to a city about an hour away and looked through a junk yard, asked around, and managed to find three hoses that could possibly work. They didn't. He improvised. Hopefully it will work until he can travel to another big city about three hours away. I'm so proud of him always working so hard. And thanks be to God for always providing us manna when we need it and promising that one day He will make all things new.