Monday, May 25, 2015

Thankful For So Many Things

Roy is busy in the garage busting up boxes that are too unyielding and heavy for me.  Then we are going to the landfill or as I refer to it, the dump.  No trash pick up today but the landfill is open.  So this is how we will begin our day full of errands and getting things done.  Roy has made the watering of the apple trees more efficient and he made the modem more accessible for this one whose knees don't really want to bend that much.  He is also going to redo the plugs underneath the bed for me because once again, knees don't like to bend.  The morning might have been a disaster because the coffee maker downstairs would not brew.  Good thing the second maker is upstairs in his bonus room.  I came down here, watched a You Tube Video and fixed the coffee maker.  We all have our special gifts entrusted to each of us and thankfully, our weaknesses and our talents offset each other.  It just took several hundred years of marriage to figure out the person who is not gifted in the particular task, shouldn't be involved.  Funny how we finally get things figured out as we grow older.

Sometimes things are topsy turvey here.  I read there was no garbage pickup today, so we didn't put out the trash but we made two trips to the landfill.  Our first load $10.00 and the second load $5.00.  We passed our trash truck on the second trip as they stopped to pick up trash but no recyclables.  So after our second visit to the dump we headed over to Lowe's in Asheville.  Our closest Lowe's is out of the mulch we want.  Roy did a lot of work loading fifteen bags of mulch.  Then we stopped at Bed Bath and Beyond for a few things, but mainly the kind of coffee maker that Roy wants.  Sequisha was loaded down but she did great.  We unloaded and then headed over for another car wash and we vacuumed out the car of all the stray mulch.  Lunch at the okay Mexican place, quick stop in Ace and we made a grocery store run.  Yes, we live the exciting life.

Last night we went to the hamburger and hot dog fellowship at the picnic shelter at our church.  Churches around here all have picnic shelters but Newfound has all others beat because of the spectacular views.  At first I didn't know if I would have a good time because of worrying about getting back down the mountain, but fears soon disappeared as others showed me the other way down.  Oh yeah!  Now I could have a good time.  Our pastor and youth pastor grilled everything and all of the members brought sides, desserts and drinks.  It was a wonderful time of visiting and getting to know each other around those picnic tables.  We are so thankful to have found or should that be to have been led to Newfound.  I'm making friends, love my SS class and love being a choir member.  I told Roy today I like the person I am becoming up here.  God is doing such a good work in my heart and spirit.  It is a joy to slow down and take in all the beauty.  Traffic can be troublesome on the freeways but we get back on these country roads to our home and we are so inclined to enjoy time not race it.

Saturday, we stopped at a produce stand and got fresh peaches.  Roy threw in a couple of apples too.  There is a dish barn type place right next to it, so of course we had to drop in and peruse the place.  I found serving dishes to our dishes.  So if I ever decide you know, to serve something, I know where to get the pieces at a discount.  Lunch was at the Moose Cafe and we also stopped in at the Toyota dealership.  We were quite pleased with the extended maintenance on cars purchased from them and free oil changes for the life of the car, well as long as we own it.  Roy is looking in which car we will trade in and then we will order another Sequoia with four wheel drive for up here.

We have been having so much fun this weekend and that includes all the work we have been doing outside.  We have more to do but we will wait a little while to do more once the sun begins to set.  I don't think Roy loves the birds as much as I do, bu he appreciates the nerd part of me as I explain all the bird stuff to him.  Yes, I am telling him all the research I have done.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

A Little Bit of This and That

I woke up a couple times last night thinking I heard rain but I was too tired to get up and investigate.  Sure enough, when I came downstairs this morning the evidence of rain in the backyard proved that indeed we received rain.  For a quick few minutes yesterday evening I was able to put out more plants, so I'm glad they benefited.  Today is also supposed to be cooler and for that as always, I am thankful.  The birds are eating breakfast and moving the feeders around has made a huge difference.  Less fights and not as much seed falling to the ground.  There is a new bird at the feeder and I need to look him up in the handy dandy bird reference book.  Interesting in how it scrounges through the dirt for birdseed.  It looks like he would break his beak with all that hard hitting at the ground.

Looks like we are going to have to replace the washing machine lid in Rancho De Five.  Consuela washed a huge rug, that is dry clean only, got the transmission off and there is a huge crack in the Plexiglas lid.  Roy did some research and the lid has been a known problem but the huge rug helped the problem to come sooner than later.  I know she did it to be helpful and Roy talked with her last night.  No washing anything.  He was not a happy camper but cooled off enough to call her and then he said, are you feeling tire marks on your back?  As per our agreement, we can throw one another under the bus as needed.   This is just one more thing to take care of in a very busy season of life for him.

Of course in typical Monablog style, this is a several day post.  I have started several other posts but they aren't for publishing but for me to organize my thoughts and then let the stuff that is bothering me...let it go.  I have it down.  Sometimes writing with an audience in mind is one of the best ways for me to write on difficult subjects.  Oh well.  I have had the past two days to get everything ready for the next "visitor" to The Ander House.  It is a trip into Greenville/Spartanburg, and I'm looking forward to picking them up.  The weather has been cooler so being in the house has almost been near to impossible but this cough due to cold has limited a lot of what I wanted to do.  Yes, it has been a long time since a coughing jag almost made me leave a store.  It was that ugly kind of coughing, complete with tears and dare I say snot.  At least I had a tissue with me.

We are in the middle of North Carolina strawberry season and those berries are flying off the shelves.  The produce stand nearby had their workers out in the fields for a second picking run through.  There was a group of people waiting for those strawberries.  I went ahead and ran errands and stopped at the produce stand in Weaverville.  I got a bucket of berries from SC, from same farm as where I bought before and they were very tasty.  So far I have frozen eight quarts of berries.

I haven't been too keen on the fact that a couple of crows have found our backyard but when I was doing some of my Nancy Nerdly reading, I found out they will eat mice.  So, I need those crows to keep coming to keep that little rock mouse, I know I am being optimistic thinking it is just one, in check.  The chipmunks scatter when they see the crows.  The bird that nearly bashes its beak is a brown thrasher.  Have several of those birds visiting.   This has been another Nancy Nerdly report.  Oh, and I joined a group on FB of people who live in this area and love knowing the history of the area.  I am learning so much about old buildings and churches.  Oops, I just lost several to extreme boredom.

Well, I better finish up breakfast and get ready for that all important pick up.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

We Had Fun,Fun Fun...Nobody Had a T-Bird Taken Away

These past few days with Megan and Erin have been such fun but fun can be exhausting.  So I have been rather quiet these past few days because rest dictated my schedule once I got home in the evenings.  The girls got in about 3:45 on Sunday afternoon.  After hanging out here a bit we headed over to the Inn on the Biltmore Estate which would be their home for the next three nights.  Of course they could have stayed here but they got a lot more attention and relaxation there.  This was Megan's first time to stay there and Erin showed her the ropes.  We began at Cedric's.  On Monday per Erin's request we went to Mast General Store in Waynesville.  I was able to order the new chair while I was there.  Then we went to Robin Blu and to a little coffee shop for iced coffees.  Then we drove to downtown Asheville to a gallery that Megan wanted to go to.  Parking is a premium find so we parked at Mast in Asheville, they went to the gallery while I stayed there and shopped.  We headed back to the estate for a late lunch on the veranda.  Yesterday we went to Antique Tobacco Warehouse, the River Art District and the Folk Art Center.  We ate at La Cantina and then I dropped them off at the Biltmore House and I headed back home.  I have been fighting a cold for the past two days and I was zonked.  I rested in the late afternoon and into the evening.  The only thing I did was water some plants in the back.  This morning we ate breakfast, checked out and then headed over to the winery.  They had chosen their selections the evening before but they could get additional discounts with my season pass card, so we went back to the winery before leaving the estate. On the way back home, we stopped so Megan could see and say goodbye to one of her friends from Roades who won a fellowship/grant where she gets to travel the world for research on her topic she submitted.  Got to meet her mom and we exchanged phone numbers.  They have just moved from Atlanta to Asheville.  They bought a beautiful home by the Grove Park Inn.  We made a quick stop at at a produce stand and then home,  They loaded up the car and they were on the way to TN.  I knew if I sat down for a moment, the rest of the afternoon would be lost.  So I headed out to the car wash and then to the grocery store.  Once I got home I fell asleep on the couch and I have my doubts that I will stay up late this evening.  I have not had a cold in a very long I am a bit disappointed that the symptoms rushed in on Monday morning.

Lisa P called last night and it was a blast visiting and laughing with her.  Peggy called the other day and kept me entertained with stories from her life of late.  This morning I read a little devo on why you should go to the Holy Land and why now is a good time to go.  Wayne Stiles has a new book coming out soon, he wrote the devo, and he has gone nine times there.  He talked about how the trip changes you and it does.  Although when Peggy was posting about her trip there, many would say oh I wish I was there right now.  Not me.  I want to go back when it is the New Jerusalem.  For me what I treasure is not what I saw there but what I learned and brought home with me.  The stories in the Bible become more alive and I can picture certain places when we read especially in the OT.

The thought came to me this morning as I was looking out into the back, watching the birds and chipmunks, that that back area would be a good metaphor of the last two months.  I feel like I have come back to life, I feel good, except for this cold, and I want to go and do things and not just stay around the house to conserve energy.  My life looked like that backyard, dormant.  Some of the plants looked like they were weeds several months ago and those plants have bloomed and grown all kinds of green.  I've added some color with other plants but yep, I am like a well watered garden right now. I have been able to make some good choices and truly once again I know the joy of the Lord and yes, it is my strength.

Well, it is time to think about dinner, so I better get to moving.  I have several things to catch up on and only have to wait two days for my next guest/visitor/family...the one I love.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

A Quiet Sunday...At Least For Now....

For being so tired last night and believing that the moment my head hit the pillow sleep would ensue, the night did not turn out that way.  It was a restless night and probably due to the fact I was so tired but a few other factors are in the equation.  After spending an hour or so relaxing, I started putting away things and starting new jobs right before going to bed.  So my brain woke up while the rest of me was begging for rest.  I also tried having the ceiling fan on high again but the noise it makes is too distracting, so I finally got up and turned down the fan.  So it was fitful sleep for awhile but finally I fell into deep sleep and awoke somewhat refreshed this morning.  There is probably a nap in the future today.

For getting a late start yesterday because easing into the day seemed to be the right thing to do, I got a lot accomplished.  I've been flattening cardboard boxes and removing packing materials and filler because cardboard disposal is free at the landfill...dump.  They ask for the cardboard to be flattened and the dumpster for cardboard was nearly overflowing.  It also involves lots of trips up and down the stairs to said dumpster.  We will have to make another trip with the filler materials etc but then I think we will have whittled down our moving boxes to nothing.  There is more and more room in the garage.  I'm glad I waited to go on a cool morning because doing recyclables is hard work.  Made a quick trip to the PO and then onto the bank.  Another flower run to Lowe's and then I stopped at the local car wash to join the car wash club.  For $14.99 a month you can run your car through the wash as many times as you want.  Vacuums are free.  That is a pretty sweet deal.  Two things, keeping Sequisha clean and being dedicated to hair styling every four weeks, hadn't been practiced here.  Thankfully, those situations were rectified this week.

We had a nice little thunderstorm with rain during the afternoon.  In fact, I had just gotten home when the clouds began to gather and turn dark.  No problem if the car got rained on because it would be back to the car wash.  But I did get everything unloaded and out on the back deck to get some of the rain on the flowers.  Later on in the early evening, I put out a few of the plants and will do the rest later today.  Peggy called me yesterday and we had lots of fun talking.  Me about my nerdly ways of watching nature and she told me about her trip to Israel and Greece.  When she called there were two bunnies, two chipmunks and two doves hanging around the bird feeder and I was looking for an ark but I think the ark must be in Katy because the sound of thunder and rain could be heard in the background on Peggy's end.  She was out in the carport.

It is now Sunday afternoon and the nieces will be here in a little bit.  Excited for their visit.  I kept quite busy yesterday taking care of little things that I have put off until the last minute.  There is always more to do but I have found my stopping point.  We had a guest preacher/speaker at church today and the choir had four altos holding down the fort.  I think the four of us did pretty good.  After our fun get together on Thursday, we all decided we should get together more often.  I am so thankful for the friends I am making in the class.  I think some Houston friends have got their visit to God's country on the calendar.  I look forward to sharing this great adventure with them.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Wednesday, Thursday and Part of Friday

I was a time traveler yesterday as Vivian and I took a day trip to Lake Lure. You feel like you have returned to the 50's and 60's with motor court motels, diners, and the downtown's of yester-year.  Lake Lure is where Dirty Dancing was filmed.  Chimney Rock and Lake Lure are quaint towns in the midst of the great outdoors.  Since we were there to admire nature and not conquer it, we didn't go up to Chimney Rock.  We heard on our boat excursion that the elevator has been out the past couple of weeks, and we didn't come to fish.  We came to admire and take in God's handiwork and creation, have lunch and take the Lake Lure boat ride.  I can heartily endorse doing all three things.  I also made a quick trip into a t-shirt shop because if you know me, I like to get a t-shirt.  The drive was beautiful, winding roads.  The flowers are everywhere and the stacked wood fences make a wonderful backdrop for photo opportunities.  We saw several shops we would like to go back to, one being a craftsman shop of woodworkers but looks like they will be open during the week once summer begins.  Vivian is the best tour guide and she knows all the stories about the area. She is quite fun too, so there is a lot of good laughing amidst the factual knowledge of places.  Since she is a native to the area, she can tell you about how places were when she was a child, just a mere few years ago.  She knew where we would stop for lunch and boy howdy she picked a great place among many good choices.  We ate at Genny's.  You know when there are a lot of cars in front of a local place, it's most likely good food and good people.  Yep!  We were there early enough to have a booth outside overlooking the river.  Nothing like the soothing sounds of a mountain river traveling over rocks and dead trees.  It can lull you into wanting nap time.  We had a delicious lunch, I won't bore you with the details of hush puppies, fried okra, handmade fries and blackberry cobbler.  Oh, I won't bore you with ice cream on the top, cobbler served warm.   We took the boat excursion on Lake Lure.  Wow, so relaxing, interesting and informative.  I did not know that pigs kill and eat snakes, like rattlesnakes and copperheads.  I was telling Roy about this last night and he mentioned he had just read in the Wall Street Journal about a family that died when they ate one of their pigs, who had happened to eat some poisonous snakes.  I don't know if anyone died after the BBQ of 300 pound pigs that had rid the island of snakes.  For our return home, we took a different way back which can be somewhat biblical because sometimes God told people to go back the way they came or go back a different way.  Before leaving though, Vivian took me to see up close a historic inn that has been there since the 1920's.  All the movie stars back in the day stayed there and it had that Hollywood stucco art deco look.  Just like our trip to A Pretty Place where we heard the history through an employment interview being conducted, we also heard history by the owner of Genny's and then our boat skipper had a trainee or someone on the boat and we heard the side stories since we sat in the back.  I love how the Lord just puts icing on the cake for our days.

To make the day even feel more retro, the internet was out here at home last night.  I could get on with my phone but only for a few seconds at a time.  So no TV which is not even a big deal to me or computer, I did what folks did back then, I watered my plants and sat on the front porch watching the cows go home and the cars and trucks drive by.  We are having cooler temps than the past few days and I was able to sleep with the windows open last night.  It was in the 40's outside and the 60's inside.  Yesterday, I also made the wonderful discovery that our back and side yards are covered with wild blackberry bushes and there are quite a few on the front part of our property.  Hallelujah!  I will let the birds have the cherries off the cherry tree but I will battle birds, bees, snakes and spiders to get some of these blackberries when these blooms turn into fruit.

The day called me away so it is now Friday morning.  I had several errands to run and I discovered the Target near the mall.  I like it much better than the Target in South Asheville.  Then I headed to Whole Foods and The Fresh Market.  On the way home I also stopped at a produce stand to get more strawberries and these strawberries were grown just down the road from us.  They are very tasty.

Last night was our Sunday School potluck gathering.  I got lost even with GPS but when one programs the GPS wrong, lost is to be expected.  I talked to a lot of Velda's neighbors and even drove way back on a driveway that as soon as I pulled in, I knew it was the wrong house.  No cars but I went to the door anyway and the lady gave me great directions and was so nice. For a few minutes I thought about making up a wild story complete with guns and disgruntled property owners but thought better of it.  I made it to the party and the food was fabulous and the fun was fantastic.  See how Baptist I am, alliteration.  We played the game where you write down one thing that is true about you and one thing that isn't.  No endorsement of lying was perpetrated at this gathering but some of us were better at it than others.  What I enjoyed the most was listening to the stories of their history and how some are interconnected by marriage.  I loved hearing the stories of how they met their husbands. This area is rich with history and how the area has grown.  Before even coming here last August, as I looked at Zillow and, I kept being drawn to Leichester but yet kept looking in Waynesville.  I am forever thankful that the Lord came to our rescue when our offer was beat out at the last minute for the home in Balsam Mountain....snow to the max in the winter and pretty far away from things really but at the time we didn't think so.  The home we bought had an offer on it but the owner and buyers could not come to an agreement.  It is the perfect home for us, close to those we love and close to church.  We have a great view and nice and quiet neighbors...except for the loud dogs next door, but that doesn't really bug me.  And by the looks of things, you don't go over there and complain about the dogs...I think by accepting the barking I am making a wise choice.

I had another bat moment this week only it was with a spider.  There are lots of spiders in this area and for the most part we have respected one another's territory.  They catch the little gnats and I stay clear of the webs.  Except the other day worlds collided.  As I walked outside the garage a spider and my glasses came into contact.  Of course the waving of arms and jumping around trying to rid my glasses of the spider looks like a wall eyed fit from the distance and my elderly neighbor was watching my wild Watusi moves across the way from her driveway.  This included ripping off my glasses, wildly messing up my hair to disengage said spider.  When I felt I had rid my person of the spider and his web, I looked across the way to see my neighbor laughing hysterically at me.  Should I approach her?  Will she think I just had a crazy moment and might have one again?  She came to the edge of her driveway and said, a spider must have attached itself to you.  Experienced it and seen it many times.  I felt so accepted at that moment.  I don't want anyone to come up with names for Texans like they have for the Floridians that have almost taken over the area, somewhat like Texans take over Colorado.  Instead of calling them Floridians, they call them Floridiots and then add they're all Yankees anyway.

The day awaits.  Megan and Erin are coming in on Sunday.  So all the things I have put off to the last minute?  Well, their time has arrived to be accomplished, so I better get busy.


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Over the Village and Through the Villes

It is a beautiful Wednesday morning.  The sun is shinning and the birds are out early looking for worms or just hanging around the bird feeders.  I'm up a little earlier than usual having my first cup of coffee of the day.

I don't always live up to the older lady code but I did yesterday as I prepared to go to the new salon.  It is located in Biltmore Village and parking is a premium in that area because it is a favorite of both locals and tourists.  I would consider myself a locrist since I am a combination of the two.  So, I set out an hour before the appointment with planned stops on the way like the Post Office and Williams Sonoma.  It took just about thirty minutes so I had some time to peruse Williams Sonoma.  I am in the market for another peach slicer and that is where I found my last one.  They had a few interesting items in clearance, so it was a win/win all the way around.  By the time I took everything to the car and back, it was just the right time for my hair appointment.  Wink feels very at home for me because it has the same vibe as Emmanuel.  My stylist whose name does not escape me but spelling of it does, is from Brazil, being in the states the past twenty years.  She took time with me, complementing Stevie's brilliant handiwork and skills, although my hair was a bit grown out.  When you think you might unintentionally styling a mullet, it is time for a cut.  We suggested a shorter cut for the summer and since my hair grows quickly, I agreed and I really like it.  Hopefully I can make it look as good as yesterday when I start getting ready for the day.  After the salon, I drove back out to Waynesville for several reasons.  One was to go to Massie's Furniture and begin the search for another chair in the living room but also to stop in at Mast for new hiking sticks.  I figured since these cheap ones from Target break too easily by not holding the tightness of the desired length, I would go up to the third level and look for new hiking sticks.  This is not like Paul who went to the seventh heaven but the third level of Mast, which I have never ever ventured to.  Found just what I was looking for.  Oh, I got ahead of myself in the story.  I parallel parked right in front of Mast.  If you have ever been with me trying to park Sequisha you'll celebrate the victory with me.  Then it was a quick trip next door to the furniture store.  It is a family owned business since 1902 and it is a pleasure to do business with them.  I brought home three fabric pieces to match up with the furniture and rug and they didn't ask me for a deposit.  I took an informal poll on FB yesterday and I think I will go with the plaid and have a pillow made out of the patterned piece.  Along with manufactured goods, they also support local craftsmen and women.  The table in the front room I purchased from them is handmade and yesterday they had a cedar treasure box handmade by another local woodworker.  Such a good price and such a great combination of colors, one had to come home with me.  I don't quite know where it is going yet but it will find a home here.  I stopped at Nettie's and picked up a sandwich to go, made on homemade bread...delicious!  And then I made my way home where I got some more work done upstairs.

I also froze four quarts of strawberries last night.  I felt so much like a mountain-like-woman.  It should be about time for North Carolina strawberries, so I will go to a farmers market or produce stand in the next several days.

Well, adventure awaits so I better go get ready.  It is going to be back in the normal temp range here for this time of year, the 70's.  That is welcomed news.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Detours and Late Developing Spring Plants

I once read a quote, "The really happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour."  That's a great quote but I have to admit I've not always enjoyed the scenery of a detour.  Especially if I have planned to be somewhere by a certain time and the detour happens.  Around here there seems to be a lot of tree trimming and survey work that will bring two lanes down into one and waiting your turn to be able to get through the area slowly and without hurting anyone in the process.  Google girl took me way out of the way to my intended destination this morning of First Baptist Asheville.  The Newcomers to Asheville group meets there on the second Monday of the month.  Last month I had a delivery and couldn't come but today I pulled myself out of heavy sleep to get up, get ready and get going to the meeting today.  On the way I was a witness to one wreck only by sound because I was waiting at a light but I think a car that nearly caused me to wreck about a mile back was the same car that caused the trouble later.  We sat for a good while before proceeding on.  I made the turn at the light and another wreck was in the middle stages, police on the scene, everyone accounted for and the cars almost ready to be cleared.  By this time I was going to be more than fashionably late, so I punted and headed toward Biltmore Village to find Wink Salon.  I missed it on the first pass but I found it and a free parking spot.  I went in to check it out and schedule an appointment.  They were in the middle of a training session. It felt like Emmanuel.  Anyway, I have an appointment at 11:00 tomorrow with a senior stylist but who has only been with them for three months.  I am taking a chance with her because as Stevie explained to me about being an Oribe salon and what it takes to be able to carry the product, so I feel comfortable going there.  She asked if I wanted color because I need color but Stevie is going to take care of that for me.  I have been going to the same salon for eons and this is a wobbly step.  I am thankful my hair grows quickly.  I drove over to Biltmore Village to walk around and look at the shops.  It was getting close to 11:00 and the idea of going to La Cantina for lunch came to me.  The Mexican food there is very close to Texas quality.  Lunch was delicious and since I was right there, a trip to the Biltmore seemed to be the next thing to do on this detour of a day.  I drove through the gardens marveling at the beauty and then headed to Antler Hill Village.  I stopped in at Traditions, one of my favorite shops and one of my favorite people, Norma, was working there today.  We got caught up with each others happenings and then the big step on her part, she called me Nancy instead of Mrs. Monarch...then she asked if that was ok?  For sure!  I like her and she gave me some good suggestions of how to truly enjoy my pass holder card.  I told her about The Pretty Place, we talked about finding good churches and we are letting the Dallas/Houston thing go.  That is kind of a joke for her cause she felt it stronger than I ever have.  I made a good decision to come on home because that part of Asheville got some big storms, with lots of rain.  We got some rain too but the blessing is the rain cooled air.

Just a month ago I would have told you I was considering pulling out all the dead stuff in the backyard but wisdom from a friend, Vivian, told me to wait and see.  What looks dull and dead is really getting ready to spring into life.  And you know what?  She is so correct.  There are all kinds of flowers blooming, shrubs with flowers and a huge rose bush that is sprouting some of the most beautiful roses.  I've added a few plants here and there but if is so fun to see life popping out all over. These two things, enjoying the scenery of a detour and what looks dead is really full of life seem to describe the theme of life for me at this time.  Then our Sunday School lesson from Haggai yesterday has kind of brought a lot of my disjointed thoughts together and has caused me to consider my way. In chapter one verse five the LORD says, think carefully about what you are doing and then in verse seven He says, pay close attention to these things also...NET Bible.  The NIV says, consider your ways.  The Temple was in disrepair but the people were attending unto their own houses and lands before good ol' Haggai was told to bring this to the people's attention.  The people were to go to the mountains to get supplies to rebuild the Temple...and of course you can totally see where this is going.  It feels like Roy and I have been less committed and turned more toward us, not the Lord.  We became those "kind of people."  It happened so quickly, we didn't even notice.  We went from people totally involved at church, I had been on staff for goodness sake to the people who come every other week and then we didn't come to church for a month of Sundays from time to time. We were just supporting the park offsite initiative...we parked way offsite.  Now we were not out living a wild life, just the opposite.  Roy is involved with a Men's Bible study and mission team at local church in Rancho de Five.  I was involved with Community Bible Study.  Roy found himself not liking the drive into Houston on Sundays and he didn't like the fact that the budget was given a name for two years.  He's an accountant, he has his pocket protector/bean counter ways and this was out of his comfort zone.  There were a few other things he didn't quite like and some of those were how he perceived I was being treated.  Many Sundays it was easier to stay home than ask Roy if he please would come to First.  Truthfully, I was mainly going for the music and looked forward to the day when my health would let me rejoin choir.  When no one, this doesn't include my close friends, but when no one from my SS or LBS classes ever called to see why I hadn't been to LBS in a long time, like several years, it added fuel to his fire.  It got to where we came a little more regular but it was in for big church and out to brunch.  I went to class a couple of times but it was really tough.  You can feel the snub and know it is best just to keep a low profile with some people.  During this time we were attending church here every chance and time we came up this way and after we joined I jumped in with both feet going to SS and joined choir.  Haggai is calling me to consider other ways I have neglected His ways and life.  It is easy to have an ongoing conversation with Him here because of the beauty and wonders of creation.  I mean when you come out of Target and the view is breathtaking, how can you not praise Him!  I realize that several years of neglect takes it toll but you don't seem to notice it when you are there.  So, this detour of living in the mountains, saved me even more than just my health, it has restored my spiritual health.  We should have looked harder for a local church in Rancho de Five.  We both do better in a smaller church environment because it keeps me from living in cynical land and it keeps Roy more involved because he loves to serve and he is not counting amazings in a church service.  The things that have bugged us would be any big church, especially when you know  too much of the back story, but this is what comes with mega but a lot of really good things come with mega as well. For those things we are ever thankful for First Baptist.  It's great to have a pastor with a pastor's heart and just so happens to have great leadership skills.  He doesn't refer to himself as the leader which is what happens when you need a CEO/pastor role because of size of church.  His points aren't tweet-able and limited to 140 spaces.  There are lay people filling in different roles here because they love the Lord, they see the need and they aren't looking to launch a personal ministry and they love what they are doing.  It restores my soul.  A smaller church is concerned with the ends of the earth but works so hard in their Judea, right where we live but that also includes the greater weird Asheville vicinity.  In retrospect we were wrong, I was wrong to hang onto First Baptist when clearly we were done, actually Roy was done.  I didn't want to be done though.  It has been an interesting prayer conversation with Him...I've been doing a lot of listening and because of that listening, the result will be a lot of serving.  So, I need to quit doing comparisons all the time mentally between the past and now.  I know that every church or every ministry has issues, I am not that naive but I'm thankful for the wonderful detour through the mountains and valleys of NC.  I'm thankful for making new friends and I'm thankful for my long time friends.  Blessed by the name of the Lord.

This detour was necessary.  It is life saving!  Life is springing out of this dull and dead soul, each day is new complete with those new compassions and mercies every morning.  I'm glad I didn't get pulled too soon when there is a lot of life left in me and a lot of heart to serve the Lord. Psalm 92:14-15

  "The signposts of God are clear and point out the right road.  The life-maps of God are right, showing their way to joy." Psalm 19:7-8 MSG

Nancy's Monablog