Armadillo Blessing

To anyone reading this who knows me and is still wondering if I am touched in the head, this will leave no doubt, most likely.

I was blessed with an armadillo under the porch. I have been hearing him over the past couple of months and finally this past Sunday morning, he was caught outside.  Caught with a bullet, by him. Not me.  But, he ran back under the porch.  So, suddenly the situation became disastrous rather than a concern. It was a concern because we have a dog and a cat. An armadillo is a potentially disease carrying critter that could become an issue with one of the pets.  Now it was a disaster because I probably had a dead armadillo under the porch.  In July. In Southeast Texas. In a heat wave. If you don’t understand from that, you wouldn’t be able to imagine.

Our house is on a slab, but the porch is pier and beam. He pulled some of the skirting off.  No sign of the critter.  He decided it was as good a time as any to pull out the back stoop that was in need of replacement.  He might be able to see from that angle.  Still no sign of the critter.

He did notice that the air-conditioned air was flowing freely between the cracks in the floor under the carpet.

Let me back up a bit.  This back room started as a screened porch. But, it was too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer.  We don’t have anything in between much here.  Mama had windows and a window unit a/c installed. She had indoor/outdoor carpet put down. The carpet was to keep the mosquitos from coming through the cracks that had developed between the floor boards that were just wide enough for them. We replaced the window units with central air and I just open the French doors to cool or heat it.  After all these years, the carpet is still in decent shape, but has a few stains and a lot of set in dust. I have been wanting to replace it with stained plywood.  I saw that in a place that was on Village Creek at a wedding reception years ago and I think it would be perfect here.

So he noticed the central air flowing right through the floor cracks and indicated the porch could no longer be air-conditioned until after the floor has been corrected.  It has been running in the upper 90s for a while now. I should have been upset. Remember the armadillo under the porch?  The dead one?

Another factor involved in this very complicated story is that I am on vacation, or staycation this week, if you would rather call it that.  I never work on my birthday, so I took off last Friday. And I like to be off for a week this time of year and stay home puttering around the house.  So, I am off all this week. First time I have done this in years.  My time off in recent years has been spent traveling to Hawaii, California and Houston. Traipsing after my children and granddaughters.  I have really needed this week off at home.

Here is the miracle. There is no smell from the armadillo that is dead under the porch.  Did he have a hole that deep? Did he make it out and away into the woods before he died?  There is no smell.  I thank my Heavenly Father for the very personal favor He has shown me in this matter.  I can think nothing else.

He will be replacing the back stoop in a day or two. And all the skirting will be replaced. We may have to wait till the jungle subsides in the cold for that.  And the floor on the porch will be redone sooner rather than later.  He has a lot on his plate these days.  So, the armadillo wasn’t a blessing for him. Still, I am glad for it.

Here is the blessing for me and why you will finally know I am not quite right in the head.  I have enjoyed not having a/c on the porch.  Years ago, I spent most of my summers outdoors.  As kids, we all played outside.  There wasn’t any a/c going in the house anyway.  And later as a young adult I just stayed outside.  I would take a book out to a shady spot and enjoy the heat, the sounds, the feel of summer.  I sit at a desk in a windowless office all year these days.  I love being on the porch. I love it now with all the windows open and the fan blowing and feeling the summer, again.  Oh, I have been in and out throughout the days.  I have all that puttering to do.  But, I return to sit out here and listen to the cicadas and the birds and the hum of the fan.  Feeling alive and at peace in the Texas Heat.

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Summer

Dog days ease into sultry evenings.

Fire of day tempers into balm of night.

Brilliant blue dotted with blossoms of white

Transform into majestic tones of sky jewels.

Pine scents the heated air.

Katy dids make an evening song.

Mosquito hawks give way to tiny bats.

Another summer day fades.

Already the trees loosen their hold on leaves.

The dry ground and intense heat weakens the will of all creatures, it seems.

Relief is many weeks away.

Nature does not complain for her own comfort.

Nor will I complain for mine.

I will not question or complain about the weather.

A Greater Master controls such things.

The seasons are His.

I simply observe and acknowledge what I perceive.

Such a limited perception is mine.

It is enough, though, to bring me great satisfaction with many things to ponder.

He even let the rain shower come up the hill today.

Exception to the rule.

Unexpected blessing.

Coming from a completely different direction.

Something to reflect deeply upon.

A reminder from Him to me about His blessings.

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Raining Orchids

What does “Raining Orchids” mean?

I love orchids.  I haven’t been successful growing orchids, yet.  But, I love them none the less. 

In my mind, the orchid is the true queen of flowers.  Delicate, long lasting, fragrant, exotic.  Less common than roses.  Very desirable and lovely. 

The idea of orchids relating to life was inspired by Marjorie Hillis’ 1937 book:  Orchids On Your Budget.  She explains the balance of budgeting for the happier things in life such as hosting parties and enjoying entertainments among other things.  She also touches on the idea of making do and being truly happy about it. 

If you are familiar with the phrase “raining cats and dogs”, translate that image to “raining orchids”.  Orchids rain onto my life.  Not in the sense of endless loveliness and happiness, but of blessings sometimes outright and sometimes disguised by difficulty. 

This past weekend, I got to visit with my loved ones.  I was able to cook copious amounts of food to serve them.  I had some time with friends.  We remembered the Easter promises.  Yet, I thought about my mother, gone 16 years, yesterday.  How much I miss her in so many ways. My heart aches for her and so many others gone. 

But, my heart rejoices in the company of my great nieces!  Age three and age 2 months, they bring a kind of joy only little ones can.  And yes, I still get a thrill to see my adult children.  Three of the most wonderful people on the planet.  Period.  And then there is him.  He guards me, supports me, brings orchids into my life every day.

So many orchids in my life!  People and circumstances that create endless love, happiness, and blessings, both outright and disguised. 

Despite the books on growing them, I have lost the live orchids I had.  These silk orchids on one of my treasure tables will have to do until I figure out how to grow the real things.  Meanwhile, I will revel in the symbolic orchids raining throughout my life.  Him, family, friends, a table of plenty, a Risen Savior. 

 

 

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P.S.  65 is the year I was born.  I am too glad to be alive to worry about anyone knowing my true age!