Thursday, May 24, 2012

Silly Window Boxes

Boy, God sure does have a way of leveling the playing field, or is it that He sure knows how to make your troubles seems so small compared to a neighbors. This story begins back last summer.  We added two window boxes to the backside of the house.  They were beautiful.  Dark and light sweet potato vines grew to past the gutters.  The purple flowers grew thicker and taller in no time flat.  It was then that I started dreaming of putting flower boxes in all the windows on the second floor of the house.  We talked about what colors to use and then what flowers would 'fill, spill and thrill' the boxes.  A few weekends ago we got the extra flower boxes.  I have been priming and painting them for two days.  My dad cut the smallest ones down to fit the bathroom windows when we were home last weekend. (They have to be cut down even more because they still are too wide...some wrong communication between the measurer and the teller of the cutter).  We go to put the front boxes in this morning only to find that we need to add some height on the front of each box to lift the front of the slanted roof.  Mark and I were having lots of 'words' about these window boxes.  We weren't seeing eye to eye on our solution.  So I went in with a piece of one by one and shoved it under the front of the box to level it up.  Mark was down on the street looking at the boxes when our neighbor, Bill, came down to pick up his morning paper.  I yelled down to ask Bill which one looked the with the one by one or the ones sitting directly on the roof?  I never really got an answer.  I worked with it a little longer and then had to go take care of world war three that had broken out among the yahoos over a watering can and Mark stayed on the driveway and talked to Bill, which seemed to be forever.  I was getting impatient thinking we have this window box situation to figure out before Mark leaves to go to work and Mark is chit chatting with Bill.  Are you kidding me?  I'd like to get this little project finished so I can move on to something else that has to be done today.  Just working myself into a frenzy.  After what seemed to be forever, Mark shows up carrying his glasses, which I thought was odd.  He sat down beside me in the green chair and collected himself.  I waited.  Then he explained to me that our sweet neighbor, Kay, was diagnosed with amyotropic lateral sclerosis...Lou Gehrig's Disease...ALS.  That's when my heart hit my stomach.  All the wind went out of my puffy, gotta get this done, hurry up self.  The playing field was leveled and I just sat there.  The stupid window boxes can just stay as they are.  In the big picture who cares if the are on the roof or leveled out or not.  I know that I will want them to look right eventually but right now I am more concerned about how can I help my neighbors?  What can I do to lessen the pain and I am sure the numbness they are feeling?

Bill and Kay have always helped us out.  When the kids were graduating seems like back to back summers, Bill and Kay let us borrow just about everything we needed for their parties...tables, chairs, umbrellas, dishes, coolers, decorations....Mark was without work when Circuit City closed and we needed some trees to be cut down in the front of the house so they wouldn't fall on the house when the next big storm that passed thru someone paid the bill in full...they always bring Michael something pirate related from their vacation from Nags Head...they catch Ella when she gets out and runs after their cats...they share UC football and basketball tickets with us...Bill gave Mark a pair of work boots when he started his new job with Lowe's (they own Boot Country),  Bill gives me old boots to plant flowers in to put in the yard...they are good people.  And for something like this to hit you up side the just doesn't seem fair or make any sense.  It kinda makes all the fuss about window boxes seem so silly.

God blessed us with such great neighbors, on both sides.  I am hoping that He shows us how we can minister and serve Bill and Kay thur this tough time.  It is going to be hard.  But I know where my strength will come from.