I've never been one to enjoy the outdoors. Mostly because it makes me sneezy, itchy, wheezy - and few other dwarfs I've forgotten. My memories of the outdoors as a child involve the park with my mom and watching clouds go by - a nice memory. Then there's the endless nights at the ball park while the church softball team played; the 120+ temperatures at the west Texas sand dunes with sand in places it should never be; sitting on the bank of a dank, humid river with my grandpa while he attempted to teach me to fish - okay I like the part about my grandpa but not the heat and hummidity.
My Grandparents Roork didn't have an air conditioner. It would be 120 + (my new favorite number) at bedtime. You laid on top of the covers because it was just too hot! I remember one day my cousin and I took 5 cold baths because it was so hot. The summer Grandma and Grandpa put a window unit in the kitchen, we all slept in the living room with the bedroom doors closed to keep the cool(er) air in the central room. We laughed and giggled - my mom, aunt, my cousin, Grandma and Grandpa and me - until Grandma declared, "that's enough" and we settled into blissful, frigid sleep.
All of my grandparents and my parents for that matter, like the outdoors. They had gardens. Pretty flowers, fresh vegetables, lush lawns. Where was I? Inside. Reading. Maybe watching the Miss America Pageant - a great end to the summer. Mostly reading. But not in any dirt.
Moving to Colorado, I met dirt. And we developed a truce. There's an appropriate time to be dirty and dusty. But once I enter my travel trailer, the dirt must stay outside. The first years of camping I made everyone take their shoes off outside. Everyone showered every night. Even the dog got a bath at the outside shower. I traveled with enough clothes to survive a natural disaster.
I'm progressing. I insist on showers every-other night. And the dog can wait til we get home. And shoes - ah, keep 'em on. That's why we have vacuums and brooms! Plus the socks were being ruined by everyone walking OUTSIDE in them.
Today is my 20th Anniversary and it makes me take a retrospective of my life. Some things I'm so proud of - my kids. Other things embarrass me - my in-laws were so patient with a mouthy, insecure know-it-all. My how I've changed!
When we were first married, a spider sent me screaming for my husband. Once when David was traveling for work and we'd been married about 3 months, a mouse dared to walk across my living room floor. I screamed, ran to the garage, went to the all-night W*l-M*art and bought a dozen disposable traps. I was awake all night til I heard the "snap". I through away the entire trap and then slept an hour before work!
Last week, a bee flew in the car and I just watched him. Never flinched. I've been known to kill a spider with my bare hand! Wipe it on my jeans and go on. Okay, that only happens when I'm camping, but I'm getting there!
Today, I dropped Chris off at soccer and came home for my two hour afternoon break before picking him up, taking him home, driving to church, driving to dinner.... I decided to head to the garden - Ashley and David's summer project. They are growing tomatoes, green beans, peppers and squash and a variety of flowers in another plot. I wanted to plant some petunias in there while they were still seeding. I grabbed the little hoe and went to work.
The dirt smelled good. Clean. Alive. Soon the wind began to blow and the wind chimes sing in the breeze. Large drops fell from the sky and I kept working. A little water never hurt anyone.
I pulled weeds. Planted flowers. Trimmed hollyhocks. And mostly enjoyed myself!
Time changes us all. The great outdoors I once dreaded today brought me peace. The rain reminded me that good and happens. It's all part of the day. Part of our life. Enjoy it.
Today I danced in the rain.
And I am thankful.
Thank you Lord for changing our hearts.
(okay, not everything changes. This fly swarming my keyboard seriously needs to find a new home before he is sent to an early meeting with his maker!)