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Staying Tuned

I search in my mind for a title for a little “write-up” about our 2018 and what’s up for 2019. Everyone else, it seems, can come up with good titles. Not me. We all want to comment on the year behind and the one before us with originality and a certain flair. I keep seeing them. “The End Cap” would have been perfect. Why didn’t I think of that?

For Christmas, Susan gave me a twenty dollar greenback, “To buy yourself a leather journal.” So this evening I went shopping. Which was a good idea; the notebook I was using wasn’t it. Ring-bound and too small. I found two leatherette journals and one that is bound like a book. Enough for three years of journal-ing. All for twenty-one dollars.

I know why that journal paragraph belongs here in this post, but I don’t know how to show you, really. That’s part of my angst about writing. Everybody says writers shall show, not tell. Anyway I’ll show you a picture and tell you that I get a kick out of reading my journal from this past year. It was full of how our theme word for the year, “together” worked itself out. Not like what I thought of, at all!

So Elv came up for our word for this year. I am delighted because after feeling like God took me seriously and showed us what “together” has to mean for Elv and I right now, I feel more cautious about fixing a term to our hopes for the next year.

As it turned out we had more together time, and it was great, but it came about differently than I had envisioned. Elv was sent to St Croix Falls to log for two sets of weeks long stints. He had to stay overnight down there, so in order for us to be together as I prayed we could; I had to go along. I adjusted my work schedule and tried to figure out how to keep home and life as normal as possible both at home where Amy and Brad lived, and on Elv’s job. So not what I had in mind. In the end we bought the Innsbruck to help keep life more sane … no more squeezing two couples in one tiny little cabin. Lance’s are probably our pick of people to live so close with and it went really well, but still, our own four walls are always better, right?

Suffice it to say that “together” meant a lot more than St. Croix adventures in the end. I’ll admit that God knew what He was doing when He gave us the notion that we needed more togetherness. His timing is perfect. But why like this? Why the health stuff thrown in there, too? So now we eat differently and Elv spends a little time with his treadmill each day. He feels better, too.

Cabin Christmas

It was really heavy and I have zero imagination when it comes to guessing what’s in a wrapped package. Elv seemed to have a good idea, though, when he opened Brad’s gift for him. He was delighted to add a cast iron dutch oven to his current collection of beloved and well used skillets.

This dutch oven by Lodge is the new way to cook around here. Elv needs a low carb diet and I need to count calories so the latest “together” thing is to cook and eat right for both of us. And for once it is entirely do-able and compatible.

I put dried beans and raw chicken breast in the pot and seasoned it with everything-but-the-kitchen-sink (Lawry’s, pepper, lemon pepper, chipotle, parsley, etc). The living room stove has a surface for such things and there was a well banked fire, so I put it on there and went off to work with hope in my heart for our supper. It’s good Brad was home to add water when needed or my experiment would have been a failure. Now we know that 2 to 1 isn’t enough water and we need to go to about 6 to 1 in this case to avoid it drying out completely if nobody is here to smell it and tend it. Anyway, it was yummy.

Brad wanted a cabin Christmas this year. So after our whole family Christmas gathering, the three of us went up to the cabin for our own little exclusive Christmas. It had snowed. Lots. Perfect for a cabin Christmas. I was having one of my I-miss-the-girls days because I am contrary like that and had to keep pulling on my boots straps to cheer up. All this snow helped. But I needed to go for a walk.

About ten steps of floundering in snow over my knees, I was wet and cold, the snow filling my boots. So I went back in and changed from tall boots to thick shoes and snowshoes. That worked. I was still shoveling through the top six inches of fluff but could definitely make progress into the bush. I intended to sit quietly where the hares forage to see if I could spot one in his own habitat. Unfortunately, the rabbits were still huddled under the snow-covered spruce boughs and there were no tracks of anything moving. No deer tracks, no mouse tracks. I saw where a dog or a coyote had walked by the cabin twelve hours ago. But, that’s it. Since it was still and beautiful among the spruce trees, I stayed for a while anyway.

Back to our word for 2019. I have to give credit to a good husband where it is due. He empathizes wonderfully when I am having a depressing day for no reason even when perfect snow and happy cabin living are happening. He had his turn last summer of being down and frustrated with new meds and new rules for food and exercise for his life. So he pays attention and takes responsibility for helping me to feel better. “I need to stay tuned in to you better this year. That’s my word for the year.” So stay tuned. You never know how it is going to turn out.

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