I am sorry I have been away from my blogging friends; I have missed each of you. I was in Iowa with my family; we were saying goodbye to my Grandma Bunnie. She was headed to the next great adventure or should I say her final destination. She passed away on March 21, 2009 with loved ones surrounding her. It was a very bittersweet affair; it was very hard to say goodbye to this remarkable woman but we knew where she was headed. She was 89.5 years old and if there is anything you could say about her life it would be that she lived it to the fullest.
My Grandma's name was Margaret but when she was a little girl her Daddy thought she was as cute as a bunny........it stuck, from then on she was Bunnie. She grew up in a poor family (granted I think that was the state of most families during that era) because of that I think she learned to be pretty frugal and to manage her life so that would not be the case as she matured.
My Grandparents met at a dance at the YWCA in Ottumwa, IA. My Grandfather worked on the family farm about 13 miles outside of Ottumwa and my Grandmother was in the bookkeeping dept. at the John Morrell & Company plant in Ottumwa (I find the whole story enchanting and catch myself wondering what they were like at that age). After a fairly quick engagement (by today's standards) they were married and Grandpa moved Grandma to the family farm. There was a family car not individual cars and because times were tight Grandma was moved into the farm house with Grandpa's family. My Great Grandpa was a stinker but he was quite taken with my Grandmother.....she would not put up with his shenanigans and got things whipped into shape in no time.
I grew up on that same farm and have very fond memories of my Grandmother. I remember chasing headless chickens during butchering time (I know it sounds gruesome but it really was great fun), I helped her make lye soap (it was used to clean the work clothes in the ringer washer) and I remember how I loved sleeping on the crisp sheets she had on her beds. These are just a few of the many small things that stick out in my mind but the small things build up to very big wonderful memories.
I was 11 or 12 when my Grandparents moved to town.....this was not an easy task for my Grandmother to do......my Grandpa went screaming and kicking!!!!! By this time my Grandma had been involved in doing bus tours around the United States and was expanding to other countries. She got to see the world through her tour guide business. She was a sought after guide; her hospitality and can do spirit were valuable assets for this line of work.
Grandma also had a rich sense of family history and created for us some priceless treasures in the form of a couple of books documenting our family history. I can spend hours reading the stories and gazing at the pictures trying to capture a sense of who these predecessors of mine were. I want to understand why they made the choices that they did and how it got them to where they ended up. It is like a puzzle and putting it all together can me intoxicating.
Now before you think I am trying to turn my Grandmother into a Saint I must add that she was a very opinionated woman and did not have a problem letting you know her opinion. There are many instances where my Grandmother would frustrate (that is being kind) a member or members of her family or friends. Though her ideas and opinions weren't always appreciated, it was that spirit that accomplished many amazing things in her life.
My Grandfather did not have a warm and fuzzy upbringing and much of that was reflected on his family. He could be very unkind to my Grandmother (words are very powerful weapons, especially harsh ones) but he loved her in his own awkward way. When Grandpa passed away my Grandmother took care of him to the very end; he passed away 3 days before their 49th anniversary. Grandma would always say after he passed that she was lonely and what a couples world it was. She had many friends to do things with but it wasn't the same, then she met Frank. Frank is the opposite of my Grandfather....he is so laid back, happy go lucky and rarely seen without a smile on his face. His friendship to my Grandmother was one of the greatest gifts she ever received in her lifetime. Frank stated at the visitation that they never had a disagreement (my cousin and I looked at each other...we had not had that kind of relationship with her). His friendship was not only a gift for Grandma but a gift to her family as well; her demeanor changed around Frank, he brought out her beauty; she was much softer around him, she was truly happy. As hard as it was to lose my Grandmother my heart cried harder for the loss that Frank had to endure. I had just shy of 41 years to know her, he had 8.
I cannot even begin to explain to you the impact this dynamic woman had on my life and the lives of those around her; what I have told you is just a small morsel. I was lucky enough to have her in my life long enough to have become her friend as well as her Granddaughter and that is a gift no one could ever take away from me.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
As some of you know my husband was laid off the week before Christmas. Well after searching, calling, flying and a lot of PRAYING.....God is leading us to a new location. Drumroll please.......We are moving to Florida!!!! I KNOW!!!!
I never thought this Midwest girl would move out of the Midwest....that is what I get for thinking. I will have to say that I wasn't that thrilled when The Donner first mentioned that there was a job down there he was going to apply for. I had always envisioned that we would move back to Iowa and buy a small farm to play around on........again it was my vision and it isn't usually very clear.
I am a prayer or maybe I should say a bargainer......I am very good at telling God what I want and how I want it and He is very generous to listen and even indulge me on occasion.......but when I get what I want, it doesn't always work out the way I had planned.....go figure!!! Well I have been pleading with God for several months....maybe even years.....throwing my little tantrums and acting like a brat wanting my way. It finally occurred to me one day.....I wouldn't let my children act like that and I certainly wouldn't listen to it.........so what made me think that God was going to jump right in and give me what I wanted. Don't misunderstand me I believe that God is very generous with His giving and likes to give us the desires of our hearts, but......the heart has to be in the right place to receive the gifts.......HELLO!!!!! Steph how many time do you have to learn that lesson?????
So I conceded and prayed, God you know what needs to happen in our lives to fulfill your purpose to glorify you so let your will be done in our lives....be careful what you wish for.....one week after giving up and giving in Donnie lost his job......not quite what I had in mind.
Here is the kicker........by submitting to God and leaving it all up to Him, I knew He would see us through and lead us to an even bigger adventure (not to say I didn't have my moments......Boy did I have some moments....I still knew no matter how scary it got He was there).
I have never thought of myself as a controlling person but I sure like to try and control God....I start out asking for something and I ask and I ask and I ask.....when I don't get exactly what I want......then starts the woe is me and if you really loved me God you would make everything work the way I want it to......you must not love me......I must not be worthy........you must be mad at me (I am kinda making myself sick thinking about it). He apparently thought I was worth it or He would never have sent His son to save me.....how easily my flesh forgets that.
Does anyone else go through this or am I the only one??
I know it stems from not making time to be in fellowship with the best friend I could ever have; my sweet Jesus. I am easily distracted and entertained by things that don't really matter. When God is top priority in my life everything else falls into place with out a hitch. He had to teach me once again that He has my back and He will take care of us beyond any thing I could ever imagine.
I didn't start this post with all that in mind, but it is an important part of this whole process.....all the Glory goes to God...He is taking us on this adventure because He has things to share with us that could not have been seen had He facilitated my little ideas of what life should be. He wants so badly to share with us, Play with us and Love on us......could it get any better than that?
The Donner has started driving down to Florida today to begin our new adventure. I have to find someone to take my place at work and then get things ready here for our impending move south. I will admit I am a little scared and sad to be leaving all that I have known but I am so excited to see what God has in store for us next. My focus is on Him and my heart is trusting Him. He has proven over and over to me that by simply entrusting my life to Him, He will get us through stronger and wiser.
OK, I don't know why I am doing this now but it just looks like so much fun I want to participate. My friend Missy started this so I had to play along....that is what friends do they play!!!!
Here is how it works......
The first three bloggers to leave a comment....
will get a handmade gift from me sometime this year!!!!!
You then post this on your blog so that three people
can leave you a comment and that you send them a handmade gift!!!
The gift needs to be handmade.....any price you want......and has to be sent out sometime this year!!!!!
It is the thought that counts!!!!!!
And when you receive your gift make sure you blog about it!!!!
Who wants to pay it forward?????