The Rowe Tribe

The Rowe Tribe
2012

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Front Porch Musings

What's truly important?

I reflected on this tonight as I talked with my Daddy about two of his close dear friends passing away at the ages of 95 and 91.5.  Last Sunday I spent time on my parent's front porch in the mountains watching my father work in the flower beds, listening as he told me about Mr. Johnson and his health woes; how he would not be able to be cared for any longer at home by his bride of 71 years.  We did not know during that conversation that Mr. Johnson had just passed away.  Then tonight my Daddy calls to tell me that he took Mrs. Johnson to the emergency room last night and sat with her as she had trouble breathing and that she passed away there, at the hospital, just one week after her husband. 



I looked up their announcements and sent the links to my dad.  What long lives, what service to read about -  what they've done, where they've been, who they impacted.  And I wonder?  What will my children say and think and read about my husband and I?  I knew this couple well; still have (thanks to my mom) the adorable plate set they gave to me as an infant because of my birth.  Mrs. Johnson attended one of my children's first birthday party not too long ago.  But what is their legacy?  What is mine?  What is yours?




Today, another Sunday, I sat on my friend's porch, not in the mountains this time,


but in their shadow, and I wondered again, is this it?  Is this what matters?  In the hustle and bustle,


does it come down to this, so simple?  Yes, it does.  It comes down to the breeze that calms you, the October-blue sky; the children playing football while laughing (with 11 boys around, what would you expect?), the girls holding the kittens and the rabbit, and the baby chasing the little kitty.

The muted sounds of the 2 men who shoulder the responsibility for these clans ambling in conversation down the porch a ways, and the ebb and flow of our own mental wanderings, 2 mamas of many, sometimes barely above a whisper, as we contemplate and share our words gliding and bobbing up, down, around, like a boat gently gliding in the water. 

We are sharing in the "good life".  It's not so unattainable.  Were my lesson plans done?  No.  Was my house perfect?  No.  (Still isn't).  Is the brochure for my board done?  No. Is my Convention of States calling up to date?  No. Have I started my Isagenix diet yet?  No. Am I caught up on emails?  Never.  Do I know exactly what tomorrow will bring?  How could I?  Why should I?

But I do know this.  I know Who holds the future, I Know Who holds me in the palm of his hand.  Today I was carefree.  I am praying earnestly tonight and in these early morning hours for that same spirit that was with me on the porch, to be with me when the children fuss (because they will), when I run out of milk (looking like by lunchtime), and when "the thing" happens that seems to break me, whatever that final straw may be. 

Oh, Lord, I pray, instill in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within in me.  Cast me not from your presence Lord.  Because I want my own to capture the spirit of the legacy I want to hand down.  I want my own to read, not just words in an announcement, but "in between the lines" ... Life and how to have it abundantly.  I want it not to say, Survivors Include, but rather to say, Those who have been left behind, but who are coming home with their Mama someday.... Because I want to sit on a front porch in heaven in the shadow of the Almighty and watch the children play and know I made the right and best choices.  I want to take the spirit from the front porch glider today and apply it to everyday.  That's what's truly important.









Thursday, October 3, 2013

Emotions, Can You Trust Them? ~ October 3, 2013

Of course the answer is no.  It is October the 3rd today, 5 years ago today, it was Black Friday.  Then there was no football, no teenager, no #80 to cheer on...
 But...You go go go, push on with an everlastingness...
 Time is fleeting; it slides through your fingers like a well-greased string.  Push on - push on - push on - is the pulse of your life. 
 
 You evade that which you can see but are blindsided by that which you can't...
 Emotions are topsy turvy in the grand scheme of life.  They can be “all in a day’s work”.  The busyness keeps us on our toes, keeps thoughts and feelings at bay.  School, grocery shopping, making 100 ham biscuits, tea, macaroni and cheese.  Making sure these football players get fed...
 



 So they can keep the pace and push forward towards the goal, the prize...
 achieve the near impossible...
 I am making sure they ALL get fed...
 getting little boys to soccer...
 praising Elizabeth for her resourcefulness and sweet spirit...

 yet no time for something seemingly simple, like haircuts. 
 
 Smiling at the baby on a grocery store outing where the only cake she likes in the case is the one with the “bootball”.  “Bubby” she says.  “Bootball, Bubby.”  She is living such a different life as the youngest than her oldest brother.  As they all are, she is spelled JOY.
 thanking Sarah Kelly for her help...
 Reminding our children how friends stick together and make life easier and better...

 In all the times of life, the emotions are there and of course they should be.  Jesus had them here on earth; every emotion or feeling we could possibly had, he did; he shares in our joys and sorrows, literally.  I am not ashamed of feelings, no one should be. 

 At times, we are going down, we know we are going down, there is no stopping no matter how hard we try but we push on and continue to go down because it is in us to push on, to trust in what we cannot see or feel or even wrap our heart  around.  This is the real life. 
  This is faith.  But we get back up, sometimes when we are unable.  We know what lies around the bend, though not always, but yet, we do.  Eternal life is just beyond our reach but someday we know it is coming, when we go down, get back up, and push on, it will be within our grasp.  It will be our time.
 There is no emotion like the ones you don’t feel; those you are numb to.  They are there, physically in your neck, the stretch of your face, but they are foreign and untouchable.  I am weakened from little sleep,  focused all the day, pushing through, moving through motions, knowing it is coming.  But I do not know what it is. 

 A game I watch.  I watch my oldest, all JOY to me, watch him fall, get back up, push through again.  Listen to the crunch as they slam him.  Watch him slam two down to stop their goal endeavors, watch him force the ball from another.  

 Watch him fall, slow to rise.  Hold my breath.  Pray. Pray. Pray.  Then again and again.  Watch him not rise the second time.  Watch in slow motion, no breaths again.  Then I stand.  I am the only one standing, not so I can see but so I can be closer to God.  God are you hearing my prayers?  The helmets begin to come off in their hands.  My sister’s hand on my side as I only stand.  My husband, extremely still and quiet.  My heart thumps out of my chest; I can almost hold it in my hand.  Slowly he rises with help.  As he limps across the field with help, I hear his name, someone shouting to him while all around me is clapping.  Someone shouts and cheers for him.  I realize later, it is my voice shouting for him - encouragement and others joined in though it does not seem to come from within me.  They all know he is mine as I do for when another falls, we all hold our collective breaths and pray.  Praises spoken to the Lord.  A brief rest, only one play, then back in the game, the game of life.

 A mom texts tonight just to make sure he is okay. I read it to my husband.  All have gone home now.  The 15 member fan club in the stands tonight for Number 80, all have left except the 9 that live here.  The boys have all gone home.  The 6 batches of popcorn have mostly been eaten.  There is the remains of second dinner strewn around, for these boys eat again since it is available, laundry the granddad was folding, popcorn on the floor.  But the conversation around the house was exciting stuff and memories are made, those that cannot be taken away by any emotion or feeling.  There is only a badly bruised leg, a bruised and swollen thumb, and one exhausted son, I tell her.  But he is fine.  What could have been is kept at bay and he is okay.

She is so glad she texts back.  I sit on the chair in our bedroom, my husband, is in the bed, we talk now.  Quietly we remember when it was not fine.

We all came home tonight and there were 3 little boys, all in red shirts playing football in the yard at 10 pm.  We watched, it was fun for them and us.  Scott was amused but at some point we had to go retrieve them.  After all, the neighbors might want more sleep than us.  Those crazy home schoolers they’ll say.

It is now quiet here.  

But we talk about the 2 boys who would have been running with them , the ones who should be running with them.  The ones whom we would have watched at some point do with their lives things that make us hold our breath, stretch the emotions out and away.  They are not here.  I am spent now, completely have nothing else to give.  We say how we would let them play in the yard all night if those 2 boys could come back to us.  We remember and are lost in our thoughts of a small 9 oz. 9 inch long son, one named Jonathan, the gift of God,whose soul was already with our Father in Heaven as we saw his lifeless body on a screen 5 years ago today. 


The tears come now but just as suddenly as they come, they are gone.  These emotions, you cannot trust them.  For this son, will never feel pain, rejection, disappointment.  His mother will never have to hold her breath, watch him play a sport with one eye open, or stand and pray for him to rise from a field.  He is as safe as he can possibly be along with his brother Peter and 2 other siblings, so young we have no knowledge of their gender.  There are many many more days with these blessings of JOY in our home, many have passed, but more are coming and more emotional times and more prayers and entreaties for them all.  May the Lord continue to give us the strength to press on and through all of it.  May He give us rest on the bench and quietness from our labors, may He grant us peace in the hard times and joy in the mornings.  Bruises and swellings I can fathom; those I can take on this day.  God will take care of all of us, those He is holding close to Him here on the field of life and those in His arms.


Thursday, August 8, 2013

What Maine is Known For

Blueberries Galore!  Maine produces 93% of the nation's blueberries.
These berries were HUGE!  They are not the wild ones like we have been picking around the camp.  These are cultivated high bushes on a farm we went to.  It's more expensive to pick in Maine than in SC.  So, we think we'll go back to the wild small ones at the camp.  But these beauties were delicious; a gallon lasted us about 5 hours!


Maine is known for "camps" by the lake

Beautiful scenery and kayaks

Large Boulders are all over the state

Bald Eagles; we have enjoyed watching "ours"

Beautiful Babies, yes, in Maine and SC!

Old General Stores from the 1850s

Dock Sitting Relaxing Mama, this is my small slice of summer!

Gorgeous Sunsets

More pictures of the Androscoggin Lake Resident Bald Eagle



Maine is known for:  Wild Indians (yes there were Indians here at one time) climbing on those ubiquitous Maine Boulders.

Camps by the Lake

Scenery

Small Town Libraries

Barns attached to Houses
This is actually a "small" pile of wood compared to some we've seen; getting a head start on a cold snowy winter.

Outhouses?  Yes, the real deal; this was the one used by this cabin (camp) when it was first built.  The water was brought up from the lake for washing, no electricity, and this was the bathroom.  This mama is glad that indoor plumbing, running water, and electricity have been added.

This one was a 2 seater.

And Maine has.....FRIENDS!
Jeff and I remarked to each other that you probably can't find better friends than Perry and Kim Jackson.  We feel so at home with them.

Goodbye Maine!  I will miss my twice daily excursions in the kayak.