nature red forest leaves

The winds come up and the air cools. Little puffy clouds skip across the sky. Leaves fade from green to yellow to orange to red. Daylight shrinks.

My thoughts turn to pumpkins on the front porch, Indian corn on the coffee table and crunching leaves down the sidewalk. The action of summer slows to the last harvest. Apples are crisp and juicy. And my heart inhales.

If winter is dead, autumn is the sadness before the death. Why are it’s colors so happy, so warm? Is it because our Heavenly Father knew we would need the gold, amber and crimson to warm our chilly fingers and toes? Or is it His promise that spring will come again? Or maybe it’s His promise that death isn’t sad, but a new beginning.


If you Thought You might Die on Tuesday

So last week, that was me. I was headed to a heart catheterization. The doc, practicing full disclosure, said “There is a 1 in 1,000 chance you’ll die during this procedure.” Now, If I’d been really fast-thinking, I’d have asked, “So, what number are you on now?” Darn it, I’ll just have to tell him next time I see him. That one was too good to miss.

It’s interesting the things I thought about. I only wanted to be with my family, particularly the ol’ darlin’ I’ve been married to for 47 years. We watched Steel Magnolias together because it’s my favorite movie, and you don’t really have time to run to Broadway for a play. We went out to Knights Ferry, planning to walk across the covered bridge, but got too hungry. We ended up eating rich pasta in Oakdale. That put us on a discussion of what made Daniel so unusual, Jim preached on him that morning.

I found myself looking around my home enjoying the beautiful. I had thought about a beach run, but there again, time was an issue. And I thought about getting to meet Jesus before my best friend, who said I better not go anywhere without her. It was just about a year ago that she and I toured Ireland together – and I will never forget it! But even Ireland won’t match climbing into Jesus’ lap and just listening to Him talk with my own ears.

I didn’t talk about dying a whole lot. The ol’ Darlin’ couldn’t stand it, and I figured with the odds being in my favor, why bother. But I did write out everything he’d need to know and letters to each person in my fam, just in case. Gosh, better shred those letters, who knows what might change by the time I really do see the light.

I really did not like being the cause of so much concern and so many tears, but I have learned something from it.

And now, each day I joy away at mundane tasks, like feeding the chickens and picking up their eggs,  and I pay close attention to the wonderful in life. Like this morning I saw two little girls playing rochambeau in the cafe where we ate breakfast. The lesson here is, none of us really knows whether we’ll be alive on Tuesday. So, love your God, your fam, and joy the crud out of life.

p.s. My heart is healthy. I don’t know what I’m going to do if I make it to 83. My great grandmother did, and she had no teeth. You had to turn your head sideways to kiss her. I refuse. The ol’ darlin’ and I had a talk about that this morning. He said, “Maybe you’ll get hit by a car just in time.” I said, “Yeah, or stuck in a room full of poison air.” He said, “Some Japanese fishermen got hit by a cow dropped out of a Russian plane.” I think we have this all figured out.