Thursday, April 30, 2009

April 30 – “Somewhere to evacuate from”


No vanity tops again at Home Depot.  "Roadway says they'll be here tomorrow."  I know they say that.  That's what they said the day before yesterday.


Chris changed her mind about the color of the front door knob once we saw the door actually on the house.  She decided it would look better black to go with the color in the door window.  I think she's right.  Isn't she always?


We went over to League City to pick up a mattress and box spring and double bed frame that someone wanted to give us.  It had only been used ten times in their spare room.  I guess they counted it up.  Anyway, they were a great couple.  They are good friends of the couple that owns the Omega Bay house.  We talked with them for a long time after we loaded it up in the truck.  And the mattress and box springs is in great shape.  It's a Serta.  Isn't that the one that put the sheep you count to go to sleep out of a job?  Poor sheep.  That commercial has always upset me.  We plan to put this bed in Mom's room. 


Christina met us at the house today.  She just wanted to see what it looked like.  She hadn't been over since the cabinets were scattered all over the floor.  It sure looks different now.  The finish carpenters are about 90% done.  That means the closet shelves and poles are in.  The baseboards and trim around windows and doors is in.  The front door is even in.  Next week is painting.  Flooring sometime after that.  Countertops in there somewhere.  Our contractor finally estimated a move-in date.  Of course it carried with it a huge qualifier along the lines of, "If everything goes our way …"  Anyway, he said, "About a month."  That should get us in right before hurricane season begins.  That was my goal.  That we would have somewhere to evacuate from.


Philippians 3:20-21 says, "But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body."


Father, it feels like I have already evacuated from somewhere.  But that's the point, right?  Amen.

April 29 – “Pigs fly”


Today we did another delivery.  The upper cabinets to the buffet area have been stored, first in Mom's garage, then here at Omega Bay.  Our contractor said to bring them along with the lower cabinets, and his finish carpenters would install them onto the bead board and then affix to the wall.  When we drove up we saw our new front door in front of our house.  It was leaning against the garage door, and no one was around.  The just delivered it and left it there.  We paid a lot for that thing.  It looked great.  It looked better when we got it inside.  Now it just needs to be stained along with the rest of the doors.  Our closets have shelves and hanger poles.  Baseboards are being created.  Work continues.


We celebrated April's birthday today.  Christina and Kel and the boys and April and Nathan and Cailyn came for lunch.  We had time to fish a little with Jachin and Micah while waiting for the roast.  The only fish caught on this day was the croaker that struck on Micah's little rod.


Pigs fly.  What's the big deal about pigs flying?  Oh.  F-L-U, not F-L-Y.  Swine flu.  Swine flu.  That's all that's on the news.  Josh is supposed to do a wedding in San Antonio this weekend.  His family was going with him, but because of swine flu, they are going to stay home while Josh goes.   As a result of that decision, Chris is heading to Mansfield tomorrow to help Christi with Zakary and Caleb.  Mom may go, too.  Looks like a bachelor weekend.  I understand Kel's church is having a men's night out Saturday to see the Wolverine movie.  Sounds intriguing.


I never got this written last night.  I was pretty tired.  That sweet little granddaughter who spent the night with us decided that from midnight to two she was supposed to cry.  Chris finally gave her to me and she settled down on my chest and went to sleep.  Way to go DadDad.  Long night.


Psalms 18:30 says, "As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless."


Father, I'm sure glad you are perfect.  It helps to know that when I get to where I have to let go – to trust.  Amen.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

April 28 – “Hardware Equipment Failure”


This morning's plan was simple enough.  Go to Home Depot in League City.  Pick up our order of vanity tops for the bathrooms.  See if they had bead board paneling to go behind our wall cabinets in the family room.  Take it all to Galveston.  Have lunch at Luby's. 


A great plan.  I even got up at 5:30 to get some more work done on the sermon so I could be ready to go.  That part worked out great.  Got a lot done on the computer.  Speaking of the computer, I was kind of worried about our laptop.  It was plugged into the docking station last night, charging up, when the latest monsoon struck.  Parts of Houston had eleven inches of rain.  Lightning was flashing and thunder booming all around us.  It was a great light show.  And then an especially close one struck, and the lights went out.  They were only out for a short time, but it doesn't take much to fry a computer.  I went over to check out the laptop, because the lights were all still on.  When I pushed the start button, a blue screen flashed in front of me, with a message: "Hardware equipment failure."  Near panic.  I turned everything off and waited until all the weather passed over.  Then I carefully turned it back on – like being careful would make any difference.  But all appeared well.  It's still working OK now.


But back to the plan.  Home Depot called us when we were in their parking lot to let us know – in a cheery voice – that the vanity tops would be in tomorrow sometime between eleven and two.  Great.  They were due last week.  Another Home Depot masterpiece.  Chris will never order from them again.  And to top it off, they didn't have the bead board we wanted, either.  We went across the street to Lowe's, though.  They had the bead board.  We were even able to pick up some tiles for our contractor.


We dropped off the wood and tiles at the house and had our Luby's lunch.  There's still plenty of action going on by the finish carpenters.  We'll leave it to them. 


This afternoon we stopped by the hospital to visit a lady from Seaside.  She has had all kinds of tough luck over the last few months.  Shattered ankle.  Staph infection.  But she has a great attitude.  She kept us laughing the whole time we were there.  Helped me put my priorities in order.  I still feel beat.  People still do sad things.  But the only thing that matters is Jesus. 


Philippians 3:7-11 says, "But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ — the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead."


Father, thanks for giving us a chance to keep Cailyn tonight.  Love me at least as much as I love her, OK?  Amen.

Monday, April 27, 2009

April 27 – “Causes and Cures”


It occurred to me that I never mentioned the things that have caused me to get depressed.  I have a top ten.  I guess "general stress" comes in at number ten.  "General stress" includes virtually everything that has happened in Galveston over the last six months.  Name something.  Number nine for me would be exhaustion.  This one is especially tough, because it creates a cycle.  I get really tired, which causes me to get frustrated, which cause me to get depressed, which makes me even more tired.  Number eight would be people who cause dissent in God's church.  It is so sad to see someone who claims to be a Christian behave so much unlike Jesus.  Number seven, number six, number five, number four, number three, number two, and number one are all the same one for me.  Pain.  Nagging, never-quite-ever-goes-away pain. 


I guess I should speak to cures for depression, too.  I know all about the drugs and counselors and "just getting over it" advice people are free to shell out.  None of those ever did much for me.  In fact, only one thing ever really works for me – refocus.  Depression is an incredibly selfish event.  All you can think about is "me, me, me."  I have to remind myself – and it takes awhile for me to hear me – that the circumstances around me and within me are not the important thing.  The only thing that really matters is staying in touch with Jesus.  It's about him, not me.  It's about him, not the dissatisfied spreader of dissent in the church.  It's about him, not about teaching about him.  I thought for a time that all I have to do is "count my blessings" or "see" the good around me.  Actually, though, it's only after I refocus on Jesus effectively that I can appreciate the positive events surrounding me. 


Speaking of positive events, some good things happened around our house today.  The Amish cabinets were installed.  Well, they will finish the trim part when the countertops get here next week.  They are really beautiful.  The entire look of the kitchen has changed.  It's not the Momma's kitchen you remember, boys.  The trim crew was there today as well.  We found out that "trim crew" actually means the guys who install inside doors, attic stairs, molding along the floor, and trim around the windows.  And those inside doors are beautiful.  They will be stained later on, but they sure are pretty pine now.  The air conditioning guys came as well today.  They were going to install the vents and thermostat, but they can't do that until the walls and ceiling have been painted.  That is scheduled for next week (or as soon as Chris and I can finish picking out colors).  Undeterred, however, they installed a temporary thermostat so the wood floors can begin to acclimate to a less humid environment.  After a week or so, the floor can be sanded and stained.  


Philippians 2:9-11 says, "Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."


Father, I want to stay focused on what matters.  I want to care only about what you think.  Forgive me when I don't.  Amen.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

April 26 – “Well, I wouldn’t call it depressed really”


Why is it that nobody ever gets depressed?  Think about it.  How many people have you ever asked if they were depressed, and they said, "You bet!  Pretty much every day for a few hours and usually twice on Sundays."  I went to the doctor a while back, and he asked me if I was depressed.  Of course I was depressed.  I was sick. Who isn't depressed when they get sick?  But did I say that?  No.  I said something profound along the lines of "Well, I wouldn't call it depressed really."  Well, here it comes you two people who occasionally read this … I get depressed.


I heard the other day that a lot of people in Galveston are getting post traumatic stress syndrome.  Supposedly it kicks in around six months after the trauma.  I know it's been six months since we stayed in our house.  Six months since we have been living off the grace and unbelievable goodness of people we don't even know.  Six months since we lost all our stuff and thanked God that we evacuated and that Nathan was safe even though he had to stay.  I want to go home. 


Depression is a strange thing.  Sometimes it eases up on you and gently chews away at bits and pieces of your joy and peace.  Kind of like a dog that discovers the great taste of your favorite shoe or action figure or baseball.  He begins by just licking at it.  And his eyes are constantly moving around, checking you out.  Then he gets a tiny corner loose and chews just that little hunk.  Finally he throws all caution to the wind and digs in.  Before you know it that baseball is an unrecognizable mass of mush.  And when you try to take it away from him, he faces off with a growl.  Even when you offer him a brand new chew toy or some food, he wants that mush pile more.  Yeah.  I've had that kind of depression more than once.


Sometimes it snatches the grin right off your face.  You thought you felt pretty good, but all of a sudden somebody close to you makes a totally unrelated comment, and to you, it's like your entire world is coming to an end. 


Sometimes it punches you in the stomach.  I know that sounds a lot like snatching your grin off your face, but it's a little different.  In this one it's not that your world is ending.  It's more like you really don't care if it ends or not.  You're not really hungry, so you can eat … or not.  You can't get excited about work or play or relationships.  You are overwhelmed by a sense of hopelessness. 


Sometimes you fight back.  You say, "It's not supposed to be this way."  And by sheer force of your will, you get through the next day.  Well, the next hour.  OK, the next few minutes.  Sometimes you flood yourself with busy-ness, thinking, "If I can just stay busy, I won't think about being down."  Sometimes you hide.  This is a favorite with us guys.  We disappear into a personal cave inside of us.  We don't talk.  We don't want to be around anyone.  The idea is to process the situation until we can understand it first, then figure out a list of action plans that will fix it.  Only sometimes the "fix it" never comes. 


Sometimes when you're depressed you do or say things that you can't believe.  You're more easily angered and frustrated.  You lash out.  Or shut people out. 


Sometimes you think "a good Christian" should never feel this way.  And sometimes I guess you shouldn't.  But the thing is, you do.  It hurts.  It affects you spiritually.  You don't want to pray.  You don't want to read the Bible.  You don't want to go to church.  That one gets tough when you're the pastor. 


I love Jesus.  I love my wife.  I love my kids and my grandkids.  I love my church.  I know that everything is going to be all right in the end.  I know that if everything is not all right, then it's not the end.  I know that things really do look better in the morning if I can just get to sleep.  I get depressed.  And it's OK.  I also know I'm not alone.  In spite of the countless "Well, I wouldn't call it depressed really" answers out there. 


Philippians 4:4-9 says, "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.   Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things."


Father, thank you for loving me in spite of me.  And thanks for making things look so much better in the morning.  Amen.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

April 25 – “A New Battery”


We started our day at Home Depot.  Not the Galveston one.  The new one on 646.  We ordered a kitchen sink and some vanity tops.  The sink was supposed to be in last week, and the vanity tops were supposed to be in yesterday.  Well …  The sink was there.  The vanity tops may have been there.  Come to find out, when they said they would be in yesterday, they meant sometime between 11 p.m. and midnight.  If they were in, nobody knew about it yet. 


We decided to check out some of the other things we have to buy.  We got storm doors for the front and side outside doors.  We decided to put in a dog door ourselves in the side door.  Already installed added over $120 to the base price, but the dog doors separately were only $30 to $80.  I think we can do it or find someone who can help us.  We also got all but three of the doorknobs we'll need.  They ran out of the one we were getting for the inside rooms.  I think we can find them at the other Home Depot, though. 


We stopped at Whataburger on the way home.  Ended up sharing the building with a junior high school band.  Fun.


We dropped off the doors and sink (which weighed over 100 pounds, by the way – cast iron) at the house.  No roofers.


Then we went out and cleaned the church.   Bless the SCA high schoolers' hearts.  We love the smell of pine-o-pine on a Saturday.  It means they have done some serious cleaning before they left school on Friday.  This is the second time they have done a bang-up job.  Way to go guys.  I was feeling pretty tired by the time we got there, so I really appreciated it.


We stopped by WalMart for some groceries.  We also got a battery for Chris' watch.  Problem was, after she wore it for awhile, it still read the same as when we got there.  They gave us our money back, but I got to thinking.  Brand new battery.   Brand new power source.  Still didn't work.  It's not just the power source inside.  It's also the mechanism outside.  The power was fine, but at some point the watch itself wasn't ready to receive the power.  Maybe something was blocking it. 


2 Corinthians 12:9-10 says, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."


Father, forgive me when my body doesn't handle the power you place inside me.  That would be my fault.  Amen.

Friday, April 24, 2009

April 24 – “Coconut Bra”


No roofers today.  Actually one guy finally came by around 3:00 with some of that roofing patch tar.  He went up and tried to glue the temporary patches a little better.  That didn't bode so well for getting a permanent flat roof any time soon.  One good thing, though.  We got a letter from the Texas Windstorm Association.  Seems that we made a request that they postpone canceling coverage on our house and give us more time to get our new roof.  They gave us until September of 2009.  I don't remember ever making that request, but it was certainly appreciated, especially in light of today's lack of progress.


We took Mom to Moody Gardens for a luncheon.  It's the one where she was in a style show wearing a grass skirt and a coconut bra (over her clothes, of course).  She said she was a big hit and even got a call for an encore.  She went up to this one guy I went to high school with and seductively put her arm around him and said, "Hello, there, Robert."  Sounds like he was appropriately mortified.  That's my Mom.  She taught me everything I know.


We did some work in the front yard today.  We were going to try to begin wading through the salvage stuff in the backyard, but Chris was still pretty beat emotionally and physically, so we shifted to the flower bed – something she loves.  We moved a bunch of big decorative stones from the back yard to the front as well as four or five of those landscape timbers – heavy ones.  It is looking better. 


We finally gave up and headed home.  Mom, who got a ride to the house after her banquet, had to go to the bathroom.  Now that was a turn of events.  When I was growing up it was always me who had to go and couldn't wait.  We went to Kel and Christina's.  Micah had an interesting thing to share with me.  They went to the library and he checked out a book he wanted to show me.  Christina told him to tell me what it was about.  He immediately said, "Go Astros."  Well, that's my grandson.  She turned the book over and showed it to me.  It was a history of the old Negro Baseball League with a guy in a baseball uniform on the cover.  Of course it was about the Astros.  What other team is there?


Psalms 62:11-12 says, "One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: that you, O God, are strong, and that you, O Lord, are loving."


Father, I love my wife.  And my Mom.  And my grandkids.  And their parents (of course).  Thank you for loving me.  Amen.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

April 23 – “Stump Grind”


Chris is home.  Now that's some good news.  No roofers at the house.  Not so good news.  She really liked the cabinets.  Lots of oohing and aahing.  And she liked her surprise, too.  Noticed it right away.  Here it is … I hired a guy with a stump grinder to get rid of the huge stump in the front yard.  Talk about something that looks different.  Now we need to add some dirt to the new mulch, and maybe some grass will grow.  Chris is already planning a crepe myrtle tree and some Indian Hawthorne bushes in the front.  Those bushes are going to go in the front flower bed.  That brings me to the second part of the surprise, the remains of which are still stacked out next to the Pot-O-Gold.  I dug out some of the bigger roots from the tree.  The two biggest (about four inches in diameter) ran right along the front of the house at the foundation.  They were a nightmare to get out.  Besides being just plain heavy, every time I'd get one to move a few inches, another root would uncover itself, and I'd have to get that one first.  At one point I even uprooted some bulbs Chris planted.  I was pulling roots all over the yard.  I finally got the tree branch trimmer and started cutting instead of pulling.  And did I mention that it was really hot?  I went through three t-shirts and I lost count of how many bottles of water.  By the time I finished I was beat. 


And so to today.  I spent part of the morning downstairs doing some more salvage cleaning.  In fact I got so wrapped up in it that I lost track of time.  Before I knew it, it was time to head to Seaside to teach the kids.  I didn't eat until after Chris got home and we took her to the house.  We went to IHOP and had some pancakes.  Breakfast at night is always a fun change.


Oh, and one last tidbit of good news.  We saw a leaf on the pecan tree.  Massive tree.  One tiny leaf.  Hope.

Psalms 62:5-8 says, "Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.  He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.  My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.  Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge."


Father, thanks for those tiny little leaves of hope in the midst of my giant pecan trees of stress.  Amen.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

April 22 – “Not today”


I have a surprise for Chris when she gets home tomorrow evening.  Her Mom's next round of chemo starts tomorrow morning.  But because she might read this, I can't say what I did today.  I can say I'm pretty sore right now.


Our contractor did call today. He said his goal is to get the rest of our roof on this week.  Nice goal.


Jeremiah 17:7-8 says, "But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.  It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.  It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit."


Father, please watch over Chris again for me.  I can't wait to see her tomorrow.  Amen.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

April 21 – “God’s at Luby’s”

The big house news for today was a delivery.  Mom and I postponed our Luby's date and went down around eleven to wait for the Amish cabinet guys.  I think she was more excited to see them than I was.  She took her crochet stuff and set up shop in one of the rocking chairs on the front porch. 


We didn't have to wait long.  That big old long trailer pulled up and the Amish cabinet guys jumped out.  I joined Mom on the porch.  We waited patiently as they unloaded.  As each cabinet passed us, Mom wanted to know where it was going.  One of the cabinet guys was really good about telling her every time.  In a word, they were beautiful.  But as I told Keegan the Amish Cabinet Guy, "I'm not the one you have to please.  She's out of town today."  He laughed a bit nervously.  But seriously, they were gorgeous.  And it seemed like there were so many of them.  I mean, there was one that houses the refrigerator, one for the oven, and one for the pantry that go clear to the ceiling.  The corner one was fascinating.  I liked the little drawer in it that looks like two.  And inside it had two of those lazy susan things.  The microwave shelf looked really sturdy.  The desk shelf looked good enough to put in my office.  They are sitting in the kitchen and cover half of the family room as well.  They will be back Monday to actually install them.


After we basked in the glow of the cabinet stain for awhile, we headed on over to Luby's.  It was just us today.  And as we reached for our trays I heard something quite unusual for Luby's.  One of the servers was talking to someone in the back, and said, "Well, praise the Lord."  I smiled at her as she turned and I said, "That's what I like to hear.  Keep on praising the Lord."  She laughed and skipped away.  Chris called right after that, and I talked to her all the way through the line and for awhile after we sat down.  Mom went ahead and started eating.  As I hung up, an elderly couple took the table next to us, and the lady bustled about emptying the man's tray.  With her standing there fussing over him, the old gentleman quietly bowed his head and said a prayer.  She stopped and bowed her head as well.  Apparently this wasn't the first time.  He finished, she joined him and the meal continued.  About the time I started on my key lime pie, I heard a sound behind me.  It was the "Praise the Lord" lady.  Now she was singing a praise song as she headed back to her post.  All those were minor things, I know.  But taken together, they hit me very strongly.  God was at Luby's.  Even at Luby's.


Psalms 103:20-22 says, "Praise the Lord, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word.   Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will.   Praise the Lord, all his works everywhere in his dominion.  Praise the Lord, O my soul."


Father, thank you for the "Praise the Lord" lady and the praying man.  Bless them.  Amen.

Monday, April 20, 2009

April 20 – “The Flounder Guy”


We got some exciting news this morning.  After Chris and Mom left for the hearing aid appointment, the Amish cabinet guy called.  Our cabinets were in Houston on the truck.  As soon as they made a delivery in Sugarland, they were heading to Galveston to drop ours off.  The actual installation wouldn't take place until later in the week, though.  They had to go to Dallas to pick up their tools tomorrow.  The guy who drove to Indiana had to leave them there so they would have room on the truck for all the cabinets.  He would call me when they were leaving Sugarland.


I did some work on next week's sermon, then headed on to the house.  The two big boxes with the bathroom vanities were sitting in the kitchen.  I called Nathan and asked him to come by and help me move them to a different room so they would be out of the way for the cabinet guys.  He came pretty quickly and we got it done with no trouble.  The rest of the day I scraped and swept floors.


Chris and Mom got back around lunchtime, and Nathan and April and Cailyn joined us at McAlister's Deli.  I had one of those relational senior moments there.  As we headed for our seat, a guy looked up at me and said, "Hi, Kelley!  This is my girlfriend."  I was cordial, and noted that the group with me was my whole family.  When we sat down I leaned over to Chris and asked who the guy was.  I have to confess, that's not the first time something like that has happened to me.  I simply had no idea who he might be.  Neither did Chris.  We puzzled over it for awhile, until he said something to Nathan.  Nathan then tellingly asked me, "Dad, when he gave us those flounder the other day, how did we end up cooking them?"  As soon as he said "Flounder" I knew who the guy was.  Not that I could remember his name, but at least I knew who he was.  He was the son of the lady who owns the Omega Bay house.  After we ate we went to Nathan and April's apartment to check it out now that they have "settled in" and have some furniture.  It looked so different from when we helped them move.  No boxes anywhere in sight.


Chris and Mom headed on home so Chris could get on the road to Bay City.  I decided to hang around the house and wait for the cabinet guy to call.  And sweep some more.  The call finally came around 4:30.  He was real upbeat and excited.  "I have seen your cabinets and they are really pretty."  OK.  So when do I get to see them?  "You are first on the list for tomorrow morning."  Like he's doing me a favor.  I actually waited a second or two before responding.  I thought he would at least say "I'm sorry."  But instead he said, "Looks like we'll set up your installation for Monday morning."  I hesitated again, then said, "OK.  Let's nail it.  Write it down and I'll expect you first thing Monday morning.  What time?"  Now he was the one to hesitate.  Finally he said he'd call as soon as they left the office.  That would give me about an hour and a half lead time.  I guess I can get to Galveston from Omega Bay in an hour and a half.


1 Thessalonians 5:15 says, "Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else."


Father, keep Chris safe these next three days.  She's busy with being kind.  She'll be driving a lot and stressing a lot more.  Amen.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

April 19 – “Just a Sunday”



Today was just a Sunday.  Not much out of the ordinary happened.  We stopped by the house on the way to church and rued the leak one more time.  We saw the place that the actual leak seems to have begun.  Just under where the old smokestack used to be.  That would be in the flat roof that hasn't yet been completed.  Looks like the water came through there and followed the electrical wiring over to the box.  There are water stains in the sheetrock near that entry point.  I don't know if that means we have to replace all that sheetrock and insulation or if it'll dry out.  I also don't know what the status is on our new roof, but I'm sure going to call the contractor first thing Monday morning.


Church was great.  Not very many people there today,  but the ones who came were in great spirits.  And then we had Third Sunday Dinner on the grounds.  How bad can that be?  Plenty of food, and no one wanted to rush home after we ate.  It was nice.


I went fishing for awhile when we got home.  All I caught was two hardheads.  But I listened to the Astros game.  I always enjoy that, even when they lose.  That's a good thing, since they are off to another terrible start.

After the game I spent some time cleaning stamps that went through Ike.  Kel had a collection and it is in pretty bad shape.  I don't know if he still wants any of it or not, but I gave it my best shot.


We went to Whataburger for supper.  Mom wanted a chocolate milkshake.  That's all.  Just a chocolate milkshake.  On this Just a Sunday.


The best thing about today being just a Sunday is that Chris was here.  Tomorrow begins that horrific week she's facing.  After taking my Mom to the hearing aid place in Houston in the morning, she heads for Bay City and will not be home until sometime Thursday evening or maybe Friday.  I already miss her.


1 Timothy 1:17 says, "Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen."


Father, thanks for Sundays.  Even just a Sunday's.  Amen.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

April 18 – “Do it really fast”


And today started with such promise.  I guess most days do, especially if you are inherently an optimist.  Chris was home.  All we really had to do today was clean the church sometime between noon and six.  I decided to finish painting the fireplace and the old pot Chris asked me to paint.  The fireplace doors didn't take long.  The pot didn't either, but I had to wait for the top part to dry before I could finish.  I was all set to start in on something else when Chris reminded me that Sears was having a sale today on washers and dryers.  Those are the only two appliances we haven't replaced yet.  So off we went to the Mall.  It really didn't take long for Chris to choose.   She knew which features were deal breakers, so we went right to the ones that matched up.  There were basically three choices.  She eliminated the most expensive because it had too many bells and whistles – too much to go wrong.  She really likes the ones we picked, though.  And we were able to tie them on to the delivery order for the rest of the stuff.  That saved us another delivery fee.  And they even had a no interest – no payments for one year deal.  That'll be handy.


We got home with no problem, but that's when the stormy weather began.  The wind has been blowing hard for several days now.  Today it got worse and added rain to it.  In spite of the weather, Mom decided she wanted to take her crochet stuff and come with us.  Again, we had no trouble getting there, and we were hard at work when the phone rang.  It was Lanny, worried about us.  He said a tornado had been spotted headed through Hitchcock toward Tiki Island and Jamaica Beach.  That had a chance to hit us twice.  Omega Bay is basically the same as Hitchcock, and we were in Jamaica Beach at the church.  I told Chris and we left in a hurry.  Maybe not such a good idea.  The closer we got to the seawall, the harder the rain fell.  Then hail started.  Then bolt lightning.  Kel called.  Their house was leaking, but he invited us to come there.  Nathan called.  He was at work, and when he found out we were out in it, he chewed us out.  We made it onto the seawall, and finally got to the turn for our house.  Maybe not such a good idea.  The street was flooded pretty bad.  We were in one of those heralded SUV's, though (albeit an old one).  We made it fine.  And the water got worse.  And I started getting driving tips from Mom in the back seat.  I was never so glad to see Sycamore, even if our house wasn't livable yet.  The rain let up a bit, so Chris and I decided to check out the inside of the house.  She hadn't seen the texture yet.  And guess what we saw when we entered?  Water on the floor.  Thank goodness it wasn't the new wood floor.  And the tile is not in yet.  But it meant a leak somewhere.  We followed the trail.  One spot I expected.  It was dripping the vent to the hot water heater that hasn't been installed yet.  It wasn't all that bad, though.  I put a bucket under it.  But it was obvious there was another leak.  We kept looking.  And we found it.  There was water coming in really bad through the electrical panel.  The face piece was off, so we could see it.  It was entering in at the top and dripping all the way down through every breaker, down the sheetrock and onto the floor.  When the shock wore off – well, I don't think it has worn off, but we had to do something – we headed for Omega Bay.  But before we got off the street, we started having second thoughts.  Mainly about leaving the breakers on.  But I didn't want to touch them if it meant getting shocked or worse.  I turned the car around, and there down the street was a fire engine.  I decided to ask them.  The young guy I talked to was very patient with me.  He said definitely turn them off.  When I said I was worried about getting electrocuted, he said, "Do it really fast."  Thanks.  Now we have to call the contractor first thing Monday morning.  I hope it doesn't hold up the cabinet installation.  How depressing.


Psalms 143:7-8 says, "Answer me quickly, O Lord; my spirit fails.  Do not hide your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit.  Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you.  Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul."


Father, thank you for being there when my spirit fails.  Forgive me when it happens way too often.  Amen.