Sunday, May 06, 2012


Living a successful life with healthy relationships requires sacrifice.

(You know that.)

A college student forgoing the party to study for a test, a wife forgiving the thoughtless husband instead of nursing a grudge, a mom giving up a night of sleep to help the barfing children.

How difficult these sacrifices are depends on the person and of course, if you have any sort of character, you don't go around fishing for recognition for how much you sacrificed. Noble duty and honor and all that.

I have made my share of sacrifices in my life.  Not much compared to some people but who's keeping track?

This is the thing--it is the dumbest little sacrifices that are the hardest for me.

Teaching on a far-off Indian reservation, for example.  On every furlough there were people who treated us like we were Adoniram Judson, hanging upside down in prison to bring the Gospel to the Burmese.

When in reality I loved life on the reservation and the thought of living in the Willamette Valley terrified me.

But one of the hardest things was not having fresh fruit, especially strawberries in early summer.  Oooooh, how I longed for strawberries.  And for acorn squash, when I was pregnant.

See?  Such noble sacrifice.

As you know I have made numerous treks back to Mom and Dad's in Minnesota in the last year.  Now, three weeks after I left, I'm going back for a week.  I leave Tuesday morning.

So the 3 a.m. treks to the airport, alone, are hard, and leaving my family for a week, and not having internet or decent cell phone service there, and missing out on the kids' events, and coming home to sticky handles in the kitchen and no groceries in the house and just a general neglect and chaos and backlog that takes me weeks of scrambling to dig out from.

I can deal with all that because I do what needs to be done.

But last year when Mom hurt her ankles I went back to Minnesota and oh, the terrible heartache, I missed out on the Halsey garage sales.

And if you don't know what the Halsey garage sales are, then your life is not complete.

On the way back from the airport I just caught the tail end, stopping at Jessi's just as they were packing up, desperately wanting some lovely little something, anything, please, and then I went to Sharon's where she was also packing up, and I paid $2 for a little teapot I didn't need, and it just felt like the Terrible Unfairness of Life.

So this Tuesday I sally forth again, at this most inconvenient time of year, and this time I'll miss out on graduation and the school picnic and Rosie's choir singing at Quail Run and Mother's Day with my children and Paul's birthday.

I can live with that.

I mean, it's hard, but that's life, and I need to go be with my mom and dad.

But--and here my heart says Let This Cup Pass From Me--I am missing out on a week of sunshine.

I looked it up on Accuweather.  After this typical Oregon spring, and endless clouds and rain, and all these months of waiting, and of bundling up in layers of leggings and corduroy to survive the damp coldness, it's supposed to be sunny and in the 60s and 70s the entire time I am gone, and then right after I come home it goes back to rainy and damp and cloudy.

And I just want to weep because that feels like way way way too much to give up.

Quote of the Day:
[Driving through Halsey on the way home from church, where signs from yesterday's sales still dotted the sidewalks]
Me: When I see a Yard Sale sign, it says to me, "Come this way; if you will just follow me, you will find a lovely treasure that will completely fulfill your desires and satisfy your soul for the next three months."
Jenny:  When I see a sign, I think, "Somebody just has a lot of junk and they try to make the sign look so appealing to make up for it."
Ben: When I see a sign, I think, "Oh please please, drive on, Mom, don't see that, don't see that."


  1. Been there,too often, like Jonah, more upset over a withering shade plant instead of a city of lost people. But the little things are sacrifices, too. Hope you have a good visit. Betsy in Indiana

  2. I too have made numerous "sacrifices" and journeys out of state to help care for my mother in her last years, something I counted a priviledge. Had it been several years earlier I wouldn't have been able to since I lived outside the U.S. I would imagine that you will have many more Mother's Days with your children but the ones with your own mother are limited at this stage of her life. It is a blessing! Enjoy! Marlene

  3. I love this post. I'm such a detail person (and, I admit, a pessimist). I hope the weather people got it slightly skew and you are welcomed back to Oregon with sunshine.

  4. Sorry! Hope that helps!

    Ohh, Ben.........!! :) :) :)

    -PC in VA

  5. Not all women were born to shop. When I need something I go get it and go home. Yard sales wind up being a waste of time because they never have what I need so I don't bother stopping. My husband says I go yard sailing. I see a yard sale sign and go sailing by.