Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Cole's Coins

There have been a variety of memorials for Jimmie since his passing more than two months ago.  Besides the services held here and in Malawi there have been tributes both written and in song.  And each time I get word that another IBTM online student has put on Christ in baptism I mentally give Jimmie part of the credit because he was the one wanting so badly to get the courses going as part of the IBTM Internet work.  But this week I saw a small memorial to Jimmie that, to me, was the sweetest.

Jimmie had been a collector of coins and foreign currency for many years, a hobby he picked up during his travels.  Last Christmas he wanted to pass this hobby along so he bought our grandson, Cole, a U.S. Quarter map that includes both the states and territories.  Jimmie also provided a bit over half of the coins needed for the map, so I have pictures of the two them beginning to fill it.  Then Cole continued to search for coins with occasional help from Grandad.  Yet, last August 23rd Cole still needed 5 states to finish it.  Suddenly, finding those remaining quarters became an urgent quest, but they were proving hard to find  Then Monday Cole got the last one.  He was so excited he practically flew on his way to show me!  Then minutes later he mentioned the reason why this quest had become so important.  "If Grandad knew I bet he would be really happy right now!"  I agreed.  I'm sure he would.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Do you ever think we have become spoiled by modern life?  We want everything instant and easy.  I know I grumble when my clothes drier takes too long to dry a load  . . . and a microwave dinner that takes more than 6 minutes to cook?  That's just ridiculous!  We expect high-speed convenience in everything, from cars to computers, and turn to entertainment far more than is healthy.  Not that I'm knocking the modern conveniences.  I am thankful that they have made caring for a home and family easier.  But sometimes things that are important take effort.  I got a reminder of that in my email yesterday.

One of our IBTM online students was baptized this weekend.  I was thrilled with the news for that is always cause for rejoicing, but then I was amazed.  For this student lived in a remote area and the closest contact we found was 600 miles away.  But this student did not let that deter them.  They got on a train and traveled 600 miles to get their sins washed away in baptism.  I am so thankful this student realized the importance of that effort.  Fantastic!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Strange Mail

Yesterday's mail brought an unusual letter.  It was from our county's voter registration office telling me that since Jimmie is now deceased he is no longer a registered voter.  I assumed that was obvious, even to bureaucracy.   Then it made me wonder just how many dead folks will be voting in this upcoming election, and I was glad that our county pays attention to such things . . . even if it did make for some strange mail.

Speaking of strange mail, I got another one earlier this week from a company that owes Jimmie a small reimbursement.  I had finally written to them in September, identified myself as his widow, and included a copy of his death certificate.  Yet a letter now comes addressed directly to Jimmie requesting that he complete an affidavit of survivorship, have it notarized, and then tell them who to make the payment to. That's going to be a tad difficult.  Do people even read their mail or think about what they are saying?

And there are the strange phone calls.  I got one a few days ago from a guy with only a first name, on a phone that would not disclose it's number, but he claimed that he was from Mississippi and wanted to express his condolences on the loss of my husband.  Naturally, my first thought was that it was someone who knew Jimmie.  Then he immediately swung into a spiel, warning me that I'm in danger because my computer has spyware on it.  Apparently, he had not seen the memo about me having a brand new one with all the latest virus protection.  Then I got an eerily similar call the very next day from another first-name guy with the same warning.  I hung up on him, too.

Widowhood is certainly not for the faint of heart.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Cole and Jasper

I had promised a new picture . . .

. . . these guys get cuter every time I see them!

Saturday, October 6, 2012


"Gran, there's a snake on your porch!"  That exclamation from Cole interrupted me while on the phone to my sister and quickly derailed our entire conversation.  How do you chat about anything else after hearing that?  Julie found a monstrous snow shovel in the garage while I grabbed the only other long-handled weapon I could find - a rake - and we prepared to do battle.  But even though this snake was small (perhaps 8 inches long) its color, markings and shape indicated that it was probably poisonous.  Its demeanor quickly said that it was aggressive.  So when I mentioned calling someone instead Julie quickly agreed that was a very good idea.

The person I called was William Howard and, as usual, he was quick to come to the rescue.  He arrived ready for the fight, even brought his own long-handled hoe, the weapon of choice for dispatching snakes.  After he dispatched this one William took a look and decided it was probably a small water moccasin.  Whoa!  I am glad that we called for backup.

I have lived in this house for 13 years and this is the first snake I have seen.  Now I just hope he didn't have a mother hanging around.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Progress Report

I can't believe that Jimmie has been gone 6 weeks.  It simply does not seem possible. I have been asked repeatedly how I am doing through this, but I really have no clue what "normal" is.  I have also been assured by many that I am coping amazingly well.  I hope that is true.  I have certainly had some wonderful support from family, blood and brotherhood both, which has helped.  But life frequently feels surreal.  I had the thought the night Jimmie died that he was just gone on another campaign, an exciting adventure to somewhere new and beautiful.  I still feel as though I'm waiting for him to return home to tell me all about it and show me the pictures. 

My To Do List is still looming.  It followed me to my new computer instead of just going away.  My final count was 119.  After that I refused to list it.  I do have better than 70% of those things crossed off now - and some of those things were HUGE, like rearranging furniture.  But some of the things left may take a while yet.

My daughter, Julie, has been here this week.  Part of the plan had been for her to help me get some of that To Do List whittled down.  Moving my office seemed to affect every room in the house as things got shuffled, and it left chaos in its wake.  And we have accomplished some.  But there was  something wrong with our plan . . . Cole and Jasper.  Why would you want to work on the house when there are grandsons eager to play?  They have both been major sources of entertainment. 

Jasper is 3 months old now and trying so hard to do many things.  Julie blew a raspberry at him the other day and Jasper promptly started trying to blow some back.  He got the tongue going, but couldn't quite figure out the noise.  Jasper prefers sitting to lying, talking to crying, and laughing to almost anything.  I'm embarassed to say that they have been here almost a week and I haven't picked up the camera yet.  I promise to get new pictures posted soon.