This has been a tough week!
Sometime Sunday afternoon a headache came against me.
I fought it best I could. But to no avail.
The night came and I laid on what felt like a block of concrete.
Then, a migraine headache from HELL overwhelmed me on Monday.
I have headaches a lot, always have. I don’t remember a time before having headaches.
Mostly due to sinus/allergies, or stress.
When I was about 18 I went to Six Flags over Texas with a church group, and we rode The Shock Wave. Which messed my neck up horribly! I spent a week in the hospital with all kinds of specialists working over me, tests were run, I was sent to a brain specialist in Dallas. Suspected brain tumor, or brain cancer. But, it was all because of severe pinched nerves in my neck.
And those nerves flare up ever so often, making me have horrendous headaches.
I am also highly allergic to cigarette smoke, since I was a little girl, and when I breathe it in - well, a sinus infection sets in.
Even though I have had some #10 headaches in the last few years, it has been a LONG time since the wavy spot and bright lights.
Sitting at my computer Monday morning, writing in my prayer journal and enjoying a cup of coffee -
There appeared a spot about the size of a half-dollar that was like looking thru a glass of water.
It was on the left side of my left eye, and when I tried to look directly at it, it would move up.
It grew larger and larger.
When it was about the size of the top of a coffee cup, the broken and brightly colored lines appeared all around the edges.
It continued to grow.
This lasted about 30-45 minutes.
Then, it just went away - as quickly as it had come.
A breath of relief.
Because then the absolute WORST headache I have had in the last 7 or so years hit me.
The nausea began as well, with a mouth of what tasted like hot salt water.
(I don’t throw up very easy, takes a LOT to make me. But oh the nausea HURTS!!!)
I made it the 5 ft from the computer over to the futon.
No noise at all in the apartment. I could not take even the heater on, too loud.
I have a neck pillow that I now am in love with - and I put it behind my head.
Gingerly got the blanket I made from Rick’s t-shirts and covered up with it.
And I forced myself to swallow carefully and slowly.
As well as to breathe deeply in and let it out as slow as I could.
At some point, I fell asleep.
A couple of hours later I woke up, cold and shivering, yet feeling hot.
Temp was 98.9 - so that’s ok.
Headache was down to about a 10 at this point.
And most of the nausea had subsided.
I opened a can of cream of chicken soup, heated it and ate it slowly with a few crackers and cheese.
The rest of the day was pretty much spent on the futon until my back was hurting too bad, then set in the desk chair with the heating pad on my back until I felt like I was going to fall out of the chair
- so back to the futon.
Bedtime came early.
Just too exhausted to make it past 9 p.m.
Tuesday I just felt weak and weary.
Did go over to son’s house and help with granddaughter getting connected to the Wi-Fi for remote learning.
- it was good to get out of the apartment, and REALLY good to see them!
Wednesday I was feeling better, but the headache was a dull roar.
Literally a roar that I could hear when the apartment was all quiet.
So, I tried to sit still more than move about.
Grew agitated by the evening, and exhausted.
So bedtime last night came at 8 p.m. - practically unheard of for me, so I knew I wasn’t feeling good.
Today, I felt like taking a shower, hoping the hot water on my head would make it feel better, and that soreness from the headache was gone enough that I could enjoy the shower.
So, at least I am clean now, LOL.
Feeling some pain and pressure when I move certain ways.
Ears are still hurting, especially the left one.
And I feel like there is a band around my head that is tight then loose, then tight again, oh wait, it’s loose.
No - tight.
Today I have worked on the website and blogs, a few emails and chat messages.
Of course the daily Facebook posts and comments - but of course ;)
Just not a lot of movement, and being careful when I do move about.
Not wanting the bad part of it to return!
Tried to take a nap, but the cigarette smoke from neighbor is somehow leeching thru to my apartment, and it is making it more of a challenge to get rid of the migraine and the nausea keeps cycling back around, too.
So, I sat on the futon with my face buried in the blanket of Rick’s t-shirts for most of 2 hours.
I’m sure the cold, rainy weather with wind blowing more hard than not, hasn’t helped any either.
But it is Texas, and it is winter time.
It’s been a doozie of a headache this trip around!
Christmas Eve alone.
Waking up Christmas morning alone and to a bare tree underneath.
New Year’s Eve alone.
Waking up New Year’s Day alone, with no one to say “Happy New Year” to, or back to me.
Spent the rest of Christmas Day with my son and his family.
- so thankful for that time with them.
Spent the rest of New Year’s Day with my son and his family.
- we laughed so much while playing dominoes that night!
My daughter and her kids came down to my son’s house on the day after New Year’s Day.
- oh the hugs for my Marine grandson that I had not seen in a year!
- and the laughter that we enjoyed, and I will hold in treasure to my heart!
I learned something thru this holiday season.
I can survive the alone times, the lonely times.
And while I crave, and need, some alone time - the lonely times make me cry out with sorrow and grief to God.
I also learned that God comforts in ways that we don’t always understand.
- sometimes it is thru a movie watched, or a book that is read
- sometimes it is thru a game of solitaire where the mind is not really occupied
- often thru a meme shared on Facebook
- or a particular Bible verse that comes to mind
- a song that is heard. Amazing Grace, My Chains are Gone - by Chris Tomlin - became the mantra for getting me thru those hardest moments of the holidays.
- perhaps a perfectly timed message, just when the tears are falling the hardest and hottest.
- maybe a phone call that is unexpected, but very much welcomed
- even a nap
- listening to the birds singing in the trees
- or watching the snow falling
- catching the glint of the sun off the waters of PK Lake
- watching the wind blow in the trees
God comforts us in ways that we need.
Not always the ways we want.
I want to FEEL Him here with me.
Not just to KNOW that He is here.
I want to FEEL His arms holding me.
I want to FEEL Him breathing on me.
I want to FEEL His heart beating as I lay my head on His chest that I can FEEL.
I want to FEEL Him.
God is sometimes hard to feel because He wants us to know Him by Faith.
I get frustrated with Him over it. lol
- but He's stubborn!
And I know He is right, it's just easier to feel than to have Faith.
I keep trying to get Him to understand that if only I could FEEL Him, then I would have Faith to believe He was there.
And I keep hearing His voice of patience, "Margaret Lee, you know it doesn't work that way." LOL
To which I answer, "Yeah, I know. But You are God and You can do anything - so You could make it work that way!"
And He says, "Don't start with me!" lol
I am also learning to listen more than I talk.
Which has proven to be a hard lesson for me
- because I have always loved to talk. Lol
But there comes a time in life when it’s better to listen
Learning to listen more and talk less with people has helped me to listen more and talk less with God.
And listening creates a learning space in the heart and mind.
Spending a lot of time alone has helped
- maybe that is my “classroom” of learning.
I listen to the music more these days.
Not just the notes, but the lyrics.
I often listen to my play list in the phone .
Whenever I listen to the worship and praise songs, it makes me feel more like I am being held and sang to
- like I used to hold my kids when they were little and I would sing to them until they went to sleep, or when they were just oofie.
And that is a good feeling ... even if it is only in my heart and spirit.
I’m going thru some stuff, working on downsizing my “collections”, lol
Seems I have collected emails, and pictures, and memes
Books on the Kindle, hard copies of books
Files with documents, both on the computer and in boxes
Along with coffee cups (holding on to those with the hope and prayer of perhaps one day having a coffee shop 😉
- it may never happen, but I truly hope it does. Only God can open doors that no one can close, and make the way where there is no way.)
I have also collected clothes, without even meaning to
- some of them I went thru the other day and wondered why on earth I had held on to them! Way past time to let them go!
So, going thru all these things and taking a hard thought look to see what I need, what I want, and what I am going to do with what I decide to keep.
I have decided to make each of our kids and grandkids a quilt for Christmas 2021.
I’m excited and looking forward to watching these quilts take shape
And hoping they enjoy seeing them, as well as using them
I have told them not to expect perfection
- because the quilts are being made by hand, just the way my Momma made her quilts.
But there will be LOTS of thoughts, memories and prayers going into each one.
I started with my own prayer quilt that was made and given to me when I had cancer.
It has some wear on it - because I have used it just about every day for the last 8 years!
So, I took an older blanket that was also showing wear, used it for the filler, and put a back on it.
Pinned it all together and am now quilting it together.
When I finish with this, I am going to put a border around it.
It will make the prayer quilt just a little larger, and will increase the use of it to some degree, too.
Makes me smile remembering what Rick used to say:
“ Honey, I’ve never seen anyone that can use something til it’s done its due, then reuse it, and use it one more time!” lol
So, that is how my 2020 ended, and 2021 has begun
I think the greatest lesson I have learned has been -
God is God over the storms, and I am His.
That absolute knowing
And the Peace that blankets me because of the Truth -
not such a bad way to end a year and start a new one ;) !!!
And it SNOWS!!!
I love snow!
Yes, I know
It tends to make the roads slick to drive on
And it is sometimes treacherous to walk on
I know it’s miserable to have to get out in and go to work
I know how hard it makes it for those who work outside
And what a mess it makes when tracked into the house
Or the horrible slushy mucky mire it is when it starts to melt
But I love snow!
Thru all the years of Rick being grumpy when it would snow -
I still love snow!
I know when it snows I will get “that” phone call from my son -
(He’s like his daddy, you know, lol)
He will complain
And I will laugh
He tells me how crazy I am for loving the snow
And I answer with “It’s so pretty!”
Doesn’t matter if we get a snow once a year, or once a week!
The same snow-call ;)
And yes, I love it!
I love the snow-call more than I love the snow!
So many memories flood my mind on days like this
: living on that acre in the Brinker Community, when we lived in the mobile home on the backside of Rick’s parents’ place
- one year we got so much snow at one time that the kids were able to go out and build a snowman!
- I had hot chocolate ready for them, with extra marshmallows
- potato & broccoli soup cooking with cheese added
- fresh bread baking in the oven
- cookies were on the table
- another “kid” came over and ran our kids thru the snow till they looked like snowmen!
- Rick was not so grumpy that day. But he was hovering over me in the kitchen. A hug. A kiss. A pat on the butt. Sharing a cookie. Teasing. Laughing.
- and all the while old rock and roll playing in the background.
- oh what a wonderful day that was!!!
: living on Dickie Prairie Road out of Molalla OR
- when it snowed there it meant time for the woods!!!
- bundle up, hats, gloves, boots, coats and scarves
- pile into the old truck and lumber up the mountain
- find a grove of trees and take a long walk until our noses were so cold we couldn’t feel them
- pile back into the truck and go to the house
- undo ourselves while we stomped the snow off on the porch
- hot chocolate was made and enjoyed
- and then we would play a game, or watch a movie
- treasured memories of wonderful days!!!
: when Rick was driving a truck and I was his navigator, we found ourselves in New York on a cold & snowy winter’s day
- and since the roads were too bad to be driving, we were on lay-over at a truck stop
- I do not remember the town we were in, but I remember clearly the time with Rick
- just to sit in the warmth of the restaurant and enjoy a meal, no rushing needed or required
- then the snowy walk back to the truck for a nap, a conversation, a little time on the computer or watching a movie
- walk it back to the truck stop and do a little shopping
- 36 hours of laying over in the 12” of snow!
- good times, good times!!!
: then after the kids were grown and on their own with their families, and we lived in the old family house in Brinker Community
- Rick was gone off on the truck delivering milk
- I was at the house alone
- the heaviest snowfall that we had had in years, the winter of 2011
- I kept the wood brought in, and the fires fed
- not so much laughter then, lol
- but Rick was glad to walk into a warm house, with the potato soup ready to eat
- and I was so glad to see him walk in that door, stomping his feet on the back porch, unwinding from the coat, hat and gloves
- I still can feel his cold nose on my warm neck, hear my squeals, and know his arms holding me close.
- oh Rick! I miss you on the snow days.
: and then, when we lived in Homedale, Idaho, in our RV.
- the RV was 8x26 ft. It wasn’t big enough to have everything Rick wanted, lol - so he contracted with a tent maker. And a 10 x 20 ft elk hunting tent was added to our RV. The canopy was removed and the frame for the tent was set in place. The elk tent was then attached to our RV with the snaps and pulled over the frame. The front of the tent was in 3 sections, independent of one another so that we could roll up one or all 3 during the summer. We had a window in one end, and a man door in the other end.
We could open the 2 doors on the RV and it was just a step up into the RV from the tent.
Rick put a camp stove (oven included) in the corner. We put down 3 room size rugs for the flooring. Added a swing that also made a bed, and a chest of drawers.
Rick called it our “redneck double-wide”, lol. When going into the RV he would always say I’m going “upstairs”. LOL
We LOVED the whole set up!!!
The only problem we had with it was when it either rained, or snowed. And the top of the tent, in between the frame, would stretch with the weight of the rain or snow. We would have to take a broom each and work the rain or snow off the roof to the edges so that it would not cave the tent in. It snowed A LOT in Homedale, Idaho. Just saying. LOL
Spring, summer and fall we kept the front sections rolled up more than not, so we had this huge “canopy” that we lived under.
One morning it was 4*, so Rick built a fire in the wood cook stove and went outside the tent to feed our dog. In about 20 minutes it got so hot - 91* - in the RV that I had to call Rick on the phone and ask him to come open the tent door and window to allow some of the heat to go out!
Maybe the reason I love the snow so much is because of the memories.
I can remember when I was a kid growing up, we were poor.
So poor that when it would snow, we didn’t have boots to wear, and our socks were kept for “special occasions” - like church, or for me, school.
Momma and I would put the plastic bread sacks on our feet, then wrap our feet in old towels, and she kept large rubber bands to go around the middle of the foot and the top of the towel on our legs.
Off we would go to the barn.
Hog still needed slopped.
Chickens needed fed.
And cow needed milked.
Besides, we had an outside toilet for day time use, and pee-pots for night time.
There were times that Momma’s heels were so raw and cracked that they left tracks of blood in the snow.
Yes, bleeding so heavily as to soak thru the bread sack and towels.
I used to walk behind Momma crying for her.
But she never uttered a sound.
Often I would try to cover over the bloody tracks so Momma wouldn’t have to see, nor would anyone else.
I remember when we would get the chores done and back in the house, we would undo our feet and hang up the towels for the next time.
I would wash Momma’s towels out while she put water on to heat at the wood stove.
Once the water was warm enough, we would wash our feet
Then I would take a slimy concoction and rub it on Momma’s feet,
Looking up at her, I could see the tears streaming down her face, but never a grunt or groan did she make.
I would then take a warm towel that had been hanging beside the wood stove, wrap it around her feet so that it helped the concoction to soak in.
Momma never complained about a snowy day.
She always made potato soup on those days, and after we ate, before the next set of chores, we would quilt.
Oh the stories she would tell while we sat around the quilting frame!
Before dark set in, it was time to do the chores again.
Even those memories are treasured now.
I learned a lot just watching my Momma live her life.
Snow day memories flood my soul.
So why "Scattered Feathers" ? ? ?
You can read it here