The word “tumultuous” best describes my personal little world over these past 30 or so days. I know my family’s events pale in comparison to the tragic and horrific events precipitated mostly by mean-spirited, greedy, and angry people of our world at large. To maintain my sanity and not be overwhelmed or sickened inside by these larger tragedies I choose to focus on my biological and spiritual family and how we love and support each other through the good and sometimes challenging times.
So, let’s start with the obvious, that is the “tumultuous” August weather along the Delmarva coast. We experienced severe periods of record setting weather – from the very high temperatures, to threats of tornadoes and hurricanes, high winds, and unusual flooding conditions due to heavy downpours of rain in very short periods of time. Roads were closed, trees were toppled, electricity came and went, but together, we “weathered” these days.
Among the Dickinson and Boling extended family we celebrated still having five living generations – a rarity in today’s world. And, on this rare occasion we gathered everyone available from down the east coast and across the world from among our family total of 42 members. In fact, we celebrated five of them on a single day in August at our daughter Jen and her husband, Brian’s, beautiful and spacious new home. The birthday celebrants ages were 16, 24, 25, 48, and 89 – a broad mix of personalities and generations that range from the millennials, (16-34), to generation X (ages 35-50), to me, (the only baby boomer), and then the silent generation (ages 72-93). From a gender split perspective, only 2 out of every 5 family members are female. The youngest and the oldest of those being celebrated were females; three were born under the sign of Leo, the Lion (the earlier mentioned two females and one male); two of the guys birthdays fell under the Virgo sign (a father and son). And, when all of us converged, it made for more fun times, great memories, and interesting, often amusing, conversations.
On the day of the big birthday party, we learned of the death of a very near and dear family friend, (he passed on our son’s actual birthday). Father Don pastored to our family during some challenging times in the 1970’s and early 1980’s. He was the man in our lives that most closely followed in Jesus’ footsteps and lived his life as Jesus would have wanted him to. So now, just four short days after spending good times with family, it was time to switch our attention and emotional gears from celebrating birthdays to attending our friend’s very large and sobering funeral in Potomac, MD.
Following the funeral, God came to me. He said to me in but a whisper; “I’m adding an item to your bucket list. You are to get up on your church’s stage and publicly share my word among your biblical community.” Next, Satan tried to steal me by infusing great FEAR into me. But, God was there as He always is. He said “I am calling you to do this!” And, the next week, at the meeting of our EDGE drama ministry, it appeared that most everyone would be off doing end of summer vacations or had other business and family commitments. The EDGE was one actor short of completing its cast for next week’s message. So there it was, God’s plan for me once again put in place.
So, this weekend, at my age, I took to the stage for my very first time. The experience was well worth it. I’m told that not only am I now an “actor,” but that I should ignore all those who have told me that I can’t sing – or, that I should sing “solo,” i.e., so low no one else can hear me. – I think I might possibly return to that stage at some point in the far distant future, but I probably will forego the singing, (because I think someone fibbed to me about my singing talents).
And, on the evening of my first acting experience, our family got some fantastic news. Our eldest grandson, Joe, and his lovely wife Corrie had become a family of three, with the birth of their first child, Jackson. This means I’ll have to add a trip South to my bucket list so we can meet face to face with our fifth great grandchild.
Although I married very young, and am no longer a spring chicken, this baby boomer’s count of grandchildren and great grandchildren has already exceeded my wildest dreams at 14! And by thanksgiving, we’ll likely add one to this number, making it 15. That’s when our second oldest grandson, Justin, and his wife, Chelsea’s, little boy is due, making them a family of five.
And, despite my attempts to end this post on a happy note, we have just contacted the FBI to report that we have been scammed out of half of our property tax savings for this year.
BEWARE: If you are in search of a part time job and come across an offer to be a mystery shopper for “Applied Research Masters Center,” it’s a new scam out there. They will send you a check for $1,850 which you are to deposit in your savings account; keeping $350 as your commission. You are then go to a store that sells iTunes Gift Cards and purchase $1,500 worth among three cards, to ready yourself for your next assignment. Here’s the crux of the scam: you send them photos of the newly purchased cards with the serial numbers on them and the place of purchase. Needless to say, after the bank returned the check to us this morning and we called iTunes, we found that the cards had already been redeemed. We can only pray that this is where the scam ends. My husband is at our bank now as I share this post with you. I guess this final event, puts the capital “T’s” on “tumultuous” and “tragic.” And, a big “L” on “Lessons Learned.”