Monday, August 29, 2011

The Calm after the Storm

Today is an absolutely beautiful day. You almost wouldn't know that there was a hurricane yesterday! Irene blew through with high winds and torrential rains. Up here in northern VT we didn't get the worst of it. Flash-floods, though, in the southern part of the state continue to be very severe. My thoughts are with my fellow New Englanders struggling with the effects of the storm. My biggest inconvenience has been picking up sticks in our yard. We have two trees that shed branches in a mild breeze. I was actually surprised there weren't more branches down after the howling winds of last night. This afternoon I spent 30 minutes gathering sticks I only cleared about 1/8 of the yard. I'll keep at it and I'm sure there will be some left for Gary to pick up when he gets home at the end of the week!

The sky is an amazing blue today and the clouds are white and puffy in the sky just like a painting. The only give-away of the hurricane is the slightly tousled look of the trees, like they haven't quite gotten their branches and leaves back in place after a hard night.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

Today marks three years of Bady and I working together! He came home to live with me (after two months of training at the kennel) on August 24, 2008. On August 25, 2008 he went to the office with me for the first time. I often say that the first night he came home was the first night I was able to really sleep in seven years. It took us a little longer to settle into our work routine, but his coming to work with me has allowed me to focus on my work and be a much more effective and engaged pastor.

Before I got Bady, when I was dealing with worst symptoms of PTSD, hyper-arousal (feeling constantly "on guard" or being jumpy or easily startled) kept me from sleeping and concentrating well. Working with Bady has relieved that symptom since he is the one who's job it is to be on guard.

And it hasn't been all work. We've had a lot of fun together too!

Monday, August 22, 2011

There is a day...

There is a day when summer seems to tilt into fall, and I think that day was today. There was a definite chill in the air when I brought Bady to the backyard this morning. The temperature warmed, but there was still a chill on the wind this afternoon as I ate ice-cream outside with some friends. The morning low tomorrow is predicted to be about 40 degrees.

In some ways it seems that summer has slipped by too fast. Ben's visit has come and gone. Campmeeting is over. The church leaders are putting their eyes towards the important business of the fall ~ Church School, Music Programs, Charge Conference. The lazy days of summer, if not over, are coming to an end. And I think I am glad.

I'm find that the first year after losing my Dad is painful in ways one cannot predict. Of course, this is what everyone tells you but it is hard to understand until it is experienced first hand. Did I have a good Campmeeting? Yes, I did. (But it was different because my Dad was not there as he always had been and, as I thought, he always would be.) Even things that don't directly relate to my Dad are different because I don't have a Dad. As Anne Lamott wrote in one of her fabulous books, "Life is better when you have a Dad."

So this has been my first summer without my Dad. And some other things have happened that I am not prepared to blog about yet.

So I am ready to transition into the fall and watch the leaves turn brilliant colors and die and fall to the ground. And I am ready to watch the first snow fly and prepare for Thanksgiving and Christmas. And I am ready to enter another new year and it will be the second year of not having a Dad. And it may not be any better, but it will be different.

There is a day when time begins to heal, and I don't want to rush it.... but I'll be ready for that day when it comes.