65 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 7-10-18

  1. We’re getting ready for what we hope is Cheryl’s last follow-up from her recent leg surgery to remove the plate and screws. 🙂

    Then, somewhere for lunch, I forget the name…. 🙂

    No dragons will be harmed though, at least I hope not.

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  2. I am heading out to have blood work done at my doc’s office. I may then try to find a hideaway spot at the coffee shop for some alone time…with my book. I just finished 14 loads of laundry after daughter and family left. The bedrooms have been put to rights and as I sat down to wish my niece a happy birthday, she immediately replied “thanks Aunt Nancy. By the way we are taking a family trip and want to stay with you in a couple weeks”….I cried….

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  3. Kizzie, that was one of my first thoughts on awaking, wondering if they were out yet.

    BTW, thanks to those who discussed disease and rabies last night, I dreamed I was bitten by not one but two rabid animals. No foaming at the mouth or anything, but in my dream I knew there was a rabid mouse and a rabid dog in some area but for some reason I had to cross it on foot. I was crossing a playground, and a rodent came hurtling toward me (it was really a rat, and a big fat one at that). I climbed whatever monkey bars were there and hoped Id be high enough. It kept jumping toward me, and eventually it grazed me with a tooth. Then along came a bulldog, and it was taller and so it reached me easier and bit me too. I wasn’t sure either had broken the skin through my clothes, but figured that having been bitten by two rabid animals, I’d have to get rabies shots.

    And then I got mad. Why were known rabid animals being allowed to roam free?

    Then I woke up.

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  4. Good morning everyone.
    Some dragons escaped but I sot some things done.

    Also, Trump made his selection. But that belongs on another thread.

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  5. NancyJill,
    A few weeks ago we talked about how God’s gift to you is to sit with a cup of coffee chatting with people. That is a branch of hospitality. Much as I understand where you are coming from and have many of the same dreads, perhaps God has a door for you to bring His Light through. Take your moments when you can and remember that life is about relationship. And maybe get a couch cover for that couch….

    Tonight I go out of my comfort zone and drag my three youngest off to Bible Study. I used to go every week, children or not. But I have been having a tough time remembering to go. Usually I figure if God wants me somewhere, He can remind me and He hasn’t. But lately, I have been thinking He now does and He is leaving it to me to remember. So, this week at church, they opened it up to meeting at other people’s homes and I signed up for next week. I have not been to their Bible Study ever though I like the people and love Bible Study. But they have met at seven, my children go to bed at seven and I go between seven thirty and eight thirty generally. So, out of my comfort zone I go. They have moved it to six thirty. And it has met at another couple’s home who have a boy about six. That will be very difficult for my children as they will want to go play with all of his stuff (he is often on a tablet) and I am not going to let them. They are quite capable of sitting quietly for a Bible Study and twelve year old loves to talk of such things.

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  6. Good morning. I have not been feeling well just lately with a tummy issue that keeps me close to the bathroom.

    I left the office early yesterday, but it turned into a fiasco as I tried to get gas at a station near the office. Many of the pumps had ‘Out of Order’ signs on them. When I saw a car leave a pump I was trying to get it because I had been waiting and then another car that had just pulled into the lot aimed for it but got into the space ahead at another pump. I backed the car up for a better angle and then I saw the ‘Out of Order’ sign at my pump. Grrr… Then I drove. back toward the office to find a place to turn around in rush hour traffic to get going back to the other station across the street from the first station. Gas was way low in price at these two stations at 2.47. I then pulled up to a pump and went to get out of the car and the door would not open and the horn alarm began sounding. I could not get it to stop so I went back to the office without getting gas. The horn did stop by the time I got to the office, but when I went to get out, the horn started sounding again. Art came out, and I gave him the book about the car but he could not find.how to cut it off. We called my brother and were asking him when I remembered that maybe if we put the key in the door lock, which we never do because we use the automatic fob, that the horn would quit beeping. It worked. Remember, too, as all this was happening that I was not feeling well. That was one of those times when you feel like God is allowing Satan to pile on the troubles to test your allegiance to God. Then I had to go to another station where gas cost 2.76. I got 20 dollars worth. I had started out around 4:30 at the beginning with rush hour jam packed. I got home around 7 p.m. Originally I had planned to leave at six and get home by seven. But I had forgotten I needed to stop and get gas. Do you feel tired from reading this?

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  7. Oh, I forgot- go to getemoji.com for that one..

    I ‘m not grouchy, but disappointed. Since my folks are busy all day, we were going to go hiking. But it’s raining. Well, Tucson needs the rain, so we’re waiting it out. It’s a light drizzle now. Later we’re going to an art museum built by the artist himself. His name is Ted Degrazia and is famous around here. I think he has some international fame.

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  8. So glad to hear the boys were all rescued, what a scary experience.

    Mice climb (or run vertically up cabinets, legs, etc.); rats jump, they’re actually very good jumpers. Just a few of the things I read about in my pre-Annie days when singular tree rats got into my house on a couple occasions. Shudder.

    I had a long day yesterday, all day covering a hearing for a local restaurant trying to stay open despite eviction notices to make way for the new waterfront attraction to be built. Such a long day and then I had to again write the story on my phone in the parking lot. Then had to make a quick fix when I got home as I’d spelled the judge’s name wrong and there was another typo that also wasn’t caught by the editor who obviously gave it a very light read. Hectic.

    At least it was air-conditioned in the courthouse (we were on the 16th floor). And I had the best BLT for lunch in the court’s cafeteria. I hadn’t had a pure, simple, plain BLT in ages — and after being on the BRAT diet (which really has worked to re-set my tummy issues, Janice), I was so hungry for something other than applesauce and rice.

    We have a two-paper staff meeting at 11 that I should attend at one of our sister papers, but also need to get both dogs to a mid-afternoon vet appointment for their checkups which will probably be a bit expensive this time as they’re getting up in years and they like to do more screening (and there are a couple issues I need to talk to the vet about).

    Meanwhile, people in the community are blowing up (again) over proposed temporary homeless shelter plans being discussed. I’m getting so tired of the public outrage vented now regularly on our local social media pages, it’s really become so ugly. I know many of these people and find myself rather alarmed at the attack-style tone they’re copping (often also misinformed comments about issues).

    The council office pleaded with me last week not to print the addresses of the sites being looked at, but the information already was leaking out and, more importantly, it’s information that the public should have. But the regular staff was just taking off for their usual month-long European vacations and didn’t want everything blowing up in their absence.

    Oh well, it’s all blowing up in their absence. But much of the reaction really is so nasty, I understand their frustration in having to walk the pubic tightrope on these issues.


  9. I wonder if your homeless population will increase when you start paying people five hundred dollars a month for existing in your state.

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  10. Oh, a walk in the rain. That sounds so exotic to me now.

    We’re parched.

    The heat is abating somewhat, thankfully — I think it was 92 in downtown yesterday — but last night again was too warm and, despite 2 bedroom fans running on high speeds, I had to eventually open the bedroom window also and put the baby gate in to keep the animals in and criminals out. The bugs can get in, however, and I seem to have another itchy bite this morning on my left hand.


  11. We’ve been talking about the boys in the cave, of course, the last couple days and wondered if they sedated them while taking them out.

    The answer is yes. They gave the boys sedatives and an anti-anxiety drug before taking them into the water.

    I would have needed that, too!

    So thankful they’re all out. Praise God.

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  12. I did not know that, interesting. I would have thought it might interfere with their ability to negotiate but then the guide ropes and two swimmers with each handled most of it and the full face mask.


  13. I suspect the rescuers treated them as “packages of something” that need to be taken out. It was a “relax and let us….” sort of thing.

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  14. What would you do or say?

    Yesterday, the three went to town on their bikes with the usual admonition of waiting for the weakest, don’t leave anybody behind. Be home by five. At exactly five, sixteen year old came flying through the gate. I asked where the others were. She said, I knew we had to be home by five and ten year old was too slow and wanted to rest so I told twelve year old to leave her and hurry home so we were not late. Ten minutes later, ten and twelve showed up with twelve following behind her though he is a much stronger biker. Why were you not home by five? Little sister was tired and you told us not to leave her behind so I stayed with her. Sixteen told me we needed to be home by five but couldn’t be if we stayed with her so I should leave her but I stayed with her.

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  15. Did you see the T in the tunnel, where the guide would go through, the boy would have to push his oxygen take around a corner and up to the guide and then work his way through, and then the following guide would do the same? I did not see them doing that while sedated, but I am sure the guides were quite capable and it worked.

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  16. I think they pulled them through. The boys were also wearing full face masks, covering the whole face, which I think would have helped relieve some of the worry about someone losing the breathing apparatus and so forth. Still, amazing.


  17. NancyJill, my inlaws lived at the lake. They had guest rooms, boat, jet skis, etc. They loved to have company, but the rule was you stripped your bed and remade it. You put the sheets in the washer. Children had to vacuum the porch, as they were the main sand trackers. I suspect you are not as scary as my FIL if things do not get done to your liking. 🙂

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  18. Oh Mumsee I would love to just sit and have conversation over coffee with one and all!! It’s the cook/waitress/cleaning/housekeeping after them all that is getting to me (oh and said sofa is a lovely damask slip covered one and has been cleaned post haste! 😊) rk I need lessons from you FIL!! 🙃
    Blood work is done and it was oh so painless….I went directly to coffee shop afterwards….life is returning to normal…if only for a while ☕️
    Thankful for the safe rescue of those boys and coach!! ❤️

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  19. Nancy Jill, I know you love them all but are overwhelmed. I absolutely understand. One son returned to the area a few days ago, slept in the guest room for a few hours before taking our trailer and setting it up to live at his boss’s house. I am doing the sheets now. He came in last night to get a shower though they will have one set up for him in their guest house today. I love my son, I like sitting out on the deck talking with him,

    I used my boss’s truck to come over because I could not see getting into my truck with these dirty clothes on (said while sitting in my living room in said dirty clothes)

    Me: welcome to your dad’s world and all the times he cringed as his vehicles came home trashed.

    Son: but this is different, I have leather seats.

    Me, to self: no, not really.

    Yes, that boundary thing comes up. Do you want them washing their own stuff or do you prefer they stay out of the laundry room? Should they bring the sheets and towels to the laundry or leave them on the bed? Everybody is different and everybody has different expectations.

    Do they cook for themselves and do their dishes? Do you order pizza and eat out on the deck? Sometimes it is easier and you can enjoy the company more if you do it a way you don’t normally do it.

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  20. Thank you so much for words to ponder Mumsee. It seems everyone who wants to visit us really wants a free vacation. Meals cooked and served. Free lodging with no consideration as to who is taking out their overflowing trash in the bathroom, removing the soaking wet towels thrown on the floor or “drying” on the foot board of the 150 year old antique bed! If I ask for help while preparing their meals…the kids are sent in to help…while they sit with their phones or watch tv….I am having quite a pity party knowing I need to set boundaries but I truly do not want to hurt feelings….I just starve for some consideration when it comes to Vacationing guests….the past two years of it is taking it’s toll…I want to run away…..
    I’m thinking in the future we will be having pizza for all meals…what a great idea!!

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  21. You can put up signs in the guest rooms and bathrooms so people will know what is expected. A lot of times, people just don’t know and are embarrassed to ask or don’t think about it. But when things are made clear, they are more than happy to help. Make the notes after some relaxing time so they are clear and to the point and said with the love we know you have for these people.

    I am one of those guests. I am so intimidated by my hosts I don’t know what to do. My grown children know this so they tell me and we are all happier.

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  22. And there are more than a few people out there who do not cook at home and have no idea how to help. They want the homecooked meal but don’t know what is required. We stayed with my brother once and learned that his family does not even keep food in the house.


  23. @ 12:51 Explains a lot. They weren’t doing something stupid, as I thought at the beginning.
    I might have done that when I was twelve.
    The coach disserves a lot of credit. They likely wouldn’t have survived without him.


  24. I have hosted very little overnight company. I had foster kids for two months, and I’ve had one or two adults for four or five days or several people for a single meal–but never a whole crowd for a week or two.

    When hosting for a single meal, my philosophy is simple: I don’t like to work in other people’s kitchens, and so I don’t expect anyone to help out in mine. I allow them to if they really insist, but they pretty much have to insist. I will have the meal mostly finished when they arrive, and when they ask “Can I help you with anything,” I say, “It’s fine, I’m just finishing up.” But then if they say, “But what can I do to help?” I give them a simple task. Afterward I like to get the leftovers put away and the dishes rinsed and stacked–and then left alone. I do not wash dishes the same evening I have company, and I certainly don’t expect company to help me wash them. Occasionally women are pretty insistent on helping wash the dishes, but I personally would much rather go into the other room and talk and worry about the dishes tomorrow. If I have overnight company, I’m likely to wash the dishes after they go to bed (since I’m a bit of a night owl). That way I can start fresh tomorrow. If a person is going to be staying for several days, I definitely allow them to help here and there. But as much as possible I plan meals ahead, cut up some of the meat, and so forth, to keep meal prep to a minimum during their visit while still feeding them well.

    If I do have a big task and need someone to help, I tend to ask sort of cautiously: “Hey, would you mind helping me with something?” “Yeah, sure. What?” “Well, I need to keep stirring this, but the bananas need to be cut at the very last minute, and I can’t do both. Which would you like to do, stir this or cut those bananas into slices?” Given an obvious need for help and two easy tasks from which to choose, pretty much anyone is going to help with a willing spirit.

    When my husband and I were staying with a new friend from church down here in the process of buying a house and moving down, we ate most of our meals “out” so as not to inconvenience her. But one day she told us the women were coming by for Bible study the next morning, and so we made a point to be gone. But I also got up that morning and tidied the bathroom and cleaned it, and then told her I had cleaned it (so she’d know not to worry about it). She obviously appreciated that I had thought to do that.

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  25. Mumsee, I’ll tell you what I think, for what it’s worth, though I am only a little brother and was hesitant to speak in the company of olders and wisers. Also there’s context I don’t know. Are there precedents? Have they ridden together often? Is there a pattern of lateness? Were they equipped and experienced enough to accurately assess how much time they needed to get home?

    I was fascinated by the different decisions Sixteen and Twelve made when they found themselves having to decide whether to obey the be-home-by-5 order or the don’t-leave-the-weaker-behind order. I think I’d include in whatever other conversation and consequences you decide on some kind of commendation to Twelve for making the wiser choice (if you agree that it was wiser).

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  26. Notice something about the above story on the Thai cave rescue, several of the boys, including the one who spoke English to the British divers who found them, and the coach are stateless Burmese refugees. All this ridiculous social media talk about inviting the boys to come and see a World cup or other football game is impossible, because those who are stateless have no travel papers. The Thai government went to great expense to rescue them, and one of their men gave his life in the attempt. The attempt by certain wealthy Westerners to catch a little glory from those acts of heroism by offering useless gifts – cough Elon Muskcough – could actually do damage by their self centred ‘generosity’. These boys need to be left alone with their families, not carted halfway around the world. It didn’t do the Chilean miners any good to be afterward paraded about the wealthy world and made minor celebrities, and young boys are far more vulnerable to the damages of being thrust into the limelight. The Western world needs to stop making celebrities out of survivors. The truly generous thing would be to leave them be, in the care of those who have already made every effort to take care of them through this ordeal.

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  27. Kevin B, little brother, thank you for your words of wisdom. I did commend the young fellow on his chivalry, risking getting in trouble for lateness to keep his little sister company. Well done.

    As to the other incidentals:

    Sixteen year old lives in her own little world and it is very difficult for her to make any decision. Deciding in favor of another person is very contrary to her makeup. She has ridden to and from town or walked the ten miles probably at least twenty times over the past couple of years. As a runaway and as allowed. She requires very straight forward and precise directions. I told her when she should leave home, when she should leave the library to go to the pool, when she should leave the pool to get to the library to pick up younger brother, and what time to get home. She is very consumed by time and has never been late before and had a watch she was consulting.

    Twelve year old is extremely protective of his little sister. He does not pay attention to time very often but lives for the minute. He has been to town on bike probably at least ten times in the couple years. He can think of consequences but rarely does.

    Ten year old is a typical little sister. She loves to get the others into trouble, loves to dawdle, and it is well within her scope to have said she needed a rest just so she could sit and play. She has ridden to town at least ten times as well and usually takes her a bit under an hour to do each way.

    On the other hand, the younger two did ride on a four mile bike ride with me in the morning before deciding to go to town so she may have been tired after close to fourteen miles of steep up and down gravel road riding in addition to an hour and a half at the pool! I would be.

    My final determination was to continue to allow them to go but not together. The younger two will go together and stick together. She has gone alone and does fine but cannot be counted on to pay attention to the others. I was hoping we had gotten to the stage where they could go as a group with safety in numbers. If one has a flat, one can stay with that one while the other rides for help.

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  28. Oh and the youngers will head out a bit earlier on their excursions with a slightly earlier return time expected.


  29. I love the peace of my home, but it has never been a haven from others. Rather, it is a haven for others. Growing up, it seemed almost every second Sunday, my parents hosted someone for Sunday dinner. They also hosted missionaries who were doing deputation work and shared their house for two weeks with another family (with four children) from my childhood church who had lost their heat. My parents’ nieces and nephews have many times come for their holidays to my parents’ house. One nephew, who is now a veteran missionary in Asia, spent a summer during his rebellious teen years with my parents. My mother could see that he was headed down a dark path, but she also knew that to try to keep him from going out with his wild friends would be ineffective and just lead him to hide his activities from her. So she prayed instead. A minor accident caused him to stop and realize that he needed to stop before it became impossible to reverse his course, and he has since raised his own children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (my mother had six siblings, and there were more than twenty cousins born over the span of a couple of decades, with Youngest Sibling and I being the youngest of the cousins, so that our eldest cousins’ children are closer to us in age than their parents). One of my mother’s siblings and family needed a place to stay for a few months between houses, and we just moved over and accommodated them.

    Lately, my parents have hosted their own children and grandchildren, although, as with the neighbours who found refuge here last year, their days of hosting strangers are not quite at an end. Eldest sibling’s future spouse came up every weekend and holiday he could for the three years they courted, and after their marriage and the birth of their first child, when he got his degree and was searching for work, they spent six months with us. Eldest’s children love their grandparents’ place. Eldest Niece and Second Nephew help out some now, and Eldest and spouse have always helped out (Eldest specializes in laundry), but my mother still does much of the cooking and baking, yes, even with her pain (we do help her, but she wants to keep moving, and she is wise in that, as inflammatory arthritis can permanently stiffen unused joints). Second and family have added their own guests to the mix (they take full responsibility for those guests), so that this house is busier than ever, yet it still is a quiet refuge.

    My maternal grandparents, who were committed Christians, also practiced extensive hospitality. My mother remembers guests every Sunday dinner. My grandparents always had a roast and they invited all the waifs and strays to share it with them – that is how my father, who was a new Christian far away from his home in Nova Scotia, met my mother. My grandmother not only cared for her husband, her parents, and her mother in law at the end of their lives, she also did so for a former missionary who had no family. Many a time, when my family visited my grandparents on a Sunday afternoon, we found numerous other guests, both family and non-family. My grandmother fed them all alike. Neither my parents nor grandparents were anywhere near wealthy. Their houses were/are not spotless nor well furnished nor beautifully decorated. They simply offered what they had and many remember their hospitality with gratitude.

    There were a few guests whom I resented. One of them was my future Eldest In-law when he came for Christmas that first year of courtship – I woke up that morning angry that he was ‘ruining’ our family Christmas (he always remembers that he broke a plate that Christmas breakfast) but by the end of the holiday, I was glad he had come. His family members – who lived farther away than we did from where he studied – came in following years and shared our Christmas. I learned that even that most sacrosanct of family events was enriched by the presence of others. The peace of our home somehow seemed to grow by the addition of others.
    I have yet to have the opportunity to host people at a place of my own – with the exception of the villagers who came to visit my house in West Africa, although in that culture, not having people visit was unheard of – but whenever I read the admonitions to be hospitable in the Bible, I think of the example of my grandparents and parents.
    “Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. (Hebrew 13:1-2)
    Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
    And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
    (Matthew 25:34-40)


  30. Roscuro, I look forward to being able to host people in this house. In my single days I had a spare bedroom and/or bed and a dining table; in my first years of marriage I had very limited ability to have guests (nowhere except a non-sleeper sofa couch for them to sleep, very limited seating capacity). My in-laws have made very gracious use of their home through the years, at one point housing my father-in-law’s stepmother and both of their adult children and families because of crises in the lives of my (now) husband and his sister. I can’t imagine having what had been four distinct households living under one roof, each household being reduced to one bedroom–but it’s a good example of what someone can do if they’re willing.


  31. Today, I accomplished the two activities it is my ambition to complete every summer: 1) go swimming; 2) eat an ice cream cone. The Seconds, a guest of theirs, and I went to a lake that we have swum in since childhood, and we had fun introducing Tiny Niece and Sixth Nephew to the joys of outdoor swimming. I though of Jo and her tale of the spa in Cairn that had tiny fish that would nibble your toes, as there were schools of minnows in the shallows that would try to nibble on you if you sat very still in the water. Who needs an expensive spa? The ice cream we had was from a local dairy that also figures in my childhood memory and only recently become a national supplier. I had a waffle cone with one scoop of vanilla and one scoop of tiger tail. My mother remembers the tiger tail flavour from her childhood and it is well worth remembering.

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  32. Sometimes it’s also a question of how to do hospitality without letting people take advantage of you. If people are just using you for an extended period to get free food and housing, making no effort to get a job or even to help around your house, then at some point their presence in your household is not a good thing for anybody.

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  33. Cheryl, right now, there are effectively three distinct households under my parent’s roof: my parents are one, Second & In law with Tiny Niece & Sixth Nephew, and myself. We make it work. We get up at different times and do our different activities, and for breakfast and lunch, generally eat at different times. We share the evening meal. My mother & Second have divided the weekday meals between them, with Second taking three and my mother two. I have begun to make the meal on Saturday, as Second pointed out that would help our mother, who bakes on Saturday and is tired by the end of the day. We have two bathrooms, but only one bathtub/shower unit, but even there, we operate on such different schedules that we don’t have a problem. It helps to have one’s own living space. The kitchen, dining room, and living room are common areas. The Seconds have three rooms upstairs and I have the fourth. My parents have their room on the main floor and the are of the basement that is not laundry room or storage space (it used to be the area where we had our family computer and watched movies – the TV now sits gathering dust, but my father still types on his computer or travels the world on Google Earth).
    Sometime later this summer, the hordes will descend on us, but we had a dry run of fitting them in the newly arranged household in May (sans Eldest and Eldest Niece, who were abroad) and we survived – the only concern is sometimes the well water runs low at the end of the summer and it has been dryer than normal (though not drought conditions). Even that, however, has been survived in other years with all of us present.

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  34. So, Roscuro, tell us how your folks make it work. They entertained my husband a time or two. How do they deal with guests who are not so accommodating? The ones who expect the hostess to do it all? And want clean towels everyday or two or three. And want homemade meals but are not inclined to help?

    I loved having you and your dad here, that was easy. And most folks I have had have been easy. But NancyJill is talking about people she loves, coming and taking advantage without return. And I know I am a terrible guest because I don’t know how to do social stuff and pitch in like others do.

    We have a monthly church meal at varying homes and the women tend to flock into the kitchen and get busy doing stuff. I watch my children or my children who are much older begin acting like the host children, throwing things across the room, yelling, etc. I did try helping once when I arrived early but I was shooed out when the real help arrived.


  35. The DeGrazia museum was worth the cost of admission ($8). He built himself out of home made adobe bricks. After you go through the museum you come out into a courtyard with desert flora and some fauna. I saw a large lizard and slowly stepped closer to get a picture. That lizard must be used to human contact, as it looked like it was posing for us. It stayed put for several minutes. I think I took a dozen or so pictures of it.

    And the hike beforehand was wonderful. We went to an area I spent a lot of time at as a boy/youth. It used to be open to cars, but it got too crowded in the late 70s, so now you have to walk or ride bicycle the 1.5 miles. It’s Sabino Canyon for those who know the area.

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  36. We have had guests that run the gammut from extremely helpful, to they are on vacation, and apparently I am room service. I agree with NancyJill that the room service attitude is irritating. I just keep telling myself that this too shall pass. When my son was 4 days old, I cooked lunch for 16 people. I was not really happy. Exhausted.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Mumsee, I don’t know how to do social stuff and pitch in like others do (I really don’t – when I came to visit you, I had been given some specific needs that I knew I could fill). There are times when Eldest’s family feels somewhat overwhelming – with five boys, it isn’t always a walk in the park. They get to wrassling matches on the living room couches, messing up the couches, stirring up the dust, and always forgetting that they were told not to wrestle on the couches, and they can raise a ruckus when they get into arguments with one another. There is the issue of bad behaviour that the parents discipline differently than my parents disciplined – that can irritate my father especially, as he is oddly less understanding of his grandsons’ misbehaviour than his granddaughters’ (being a father of daughters, he understand girls better, and only references his very backwoods late 1940s-early 1950s childhood for the boys). I mentioned Eldest Niece and Second Nephew help out (the youngest two are still a bit young, though they will ask to help me bake) but Eldest Nephew doesn’t naturally incline to work and has to be prompted, sometimes repeatedly, to help. I think the real reason Eldest Niece and Second Nephew do more is that is how they express their love for their grandparents and the rest of us, but Second Nephew doesn’t think along those lines (I have mentioned before that he has characteristics of being on the autism spectrum, probably Aspergers). We get through those things because we recognize that no relationship is perfect and is a work in progress, and love is patient. “Be ye kind, tender hearted, forgiving one another…”

    Speaking of Aspergers, one houseguest that really was highly irresponsible and spent almost the whole time, day and night, playing computers games, was a nephew of my father’s. It later turned out that he had Aspergers. I remember my parents being disturbed by his behaviour and as a result, agreeing to set limits on how much guests could play on the computer, although they never afterward had occasion to use that rule, since personal laptops removed the necessity. The other guest that needed limits set was a nephew of my mother’s. He would come with his wife and two small children several years running and sometimes just phoned to say they were coming, without asking. We were frequently saddled with the care of the children and the father’s behaviour could be especially irritating, as he was somewhat loud and immature. My mother did not feel that she could say no to them, but she did pray for wisdom to know what to do. The next time they phoned, something really important had come up and my mother had to say it wasn’t a good time. That was the last time they came. Many years later, that nephew, who was a pastor’s son, finally, truly, came to Christ, and the last time I met him, while he was still boisterous as that is his personality, he was not the selfish man I knew years ago. We prayed over the years that the paternal lack of responsibility would not be visited on the children, and his two children have grown into mature and responsible young ladies. Prayer seems to produce the best results when it comes to awkward house guests.

    There is an interesting passage where Jesus tells his disciples: “When you give a lunch or a dinner, don’t invite your friends, your brothers, your relatives, or your rich neighbors, because they might invite you back, and you would be repaid. On the contrary, when you host a banquet, invite those who are poor, maimed, lame, or blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous. (Luke 14:12-14, HCSB)
    Hospitality, like other Christian acts, requires self sacrifice. “If any man will follow me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” There are limits to hospitality – Paul warned that the freeloader who refused to work should not be fed by others (clearly, this is a person who lives off others, not one who works hard but also needs time to rest on holiday) – but Christians do need to remember that what God calls us to do in our lives is seldom easy. I find nursing terribly hard, so hard I am in mental agony after a day in hospital. In order to accomplish what has been placed before me to do, I have to just take it step by step, day by day. God really does give strength for the day. But I find He only gives it when it is needed and not before, which teaches me to go to Him for daily strength and to live more in the present and less in trying to anticipate the future.


  38. One simple philosophy my mother has towards guests with children and her own grandchildren, is something she learned from an elderly woman who was her neighbour when she first moved here. This woman had antiques all over her house, and my mother was afraid her young children might break something when they visited the neighbour. But the neighbour woman said, “It’s not worth a child’s tears.” Many times over the years, she and now we, have quoted that when a child either breaks or endangers something that is treasured.

    My mother also has things in her home to accommodate the needs of guests. Until my parents moved downstairs, they had a guest bedroom, but she has other things, like a foldable playpen, a collapsible high chair, etc. for those with young children. One thing she does for the challenge of changing a child in a house without a change table is have a changing mat, folded up and placed on a shelf, in the living room, so the couch can be safely transformed into a change table. She still has to do several loads of laundry after guests leave, to wash all the spare bedclothes and towels, but she spreads it over a few days.


  39. My uncle, my mom’s brother, came to live with us for a while back when I was a young adult still living at home. He was only supposed to be visiting for a while, but the visit went on and on, for months. This uncle was not easy to live with, as he was sarcastic, and had an answer for everything, even if it wasn’t the right answer.

    My poor dad. He would try to leave the house to get away for a while, and Uncle Artie would decide to go with him. Mom and Dad couldn’t go out anywhere alone, either.

    Eventually, he went back to New York for a visit and ended up finally getting a job and staying there. What a relief!


  40. NancyJill – My heart goes out to you. I understand what Roscuro is saying about Christian hospitality, but I also know that not everyone can handle the same things in the same way as others. One can be hospitable without acting as sole cook/waitress/maid.

    How does Paul feel about it? Would he be willing to set some ground rules to help you?

    Would you feel comfortable asking specific people to help you with specific things, in a casual manner? “Hey, Jane, would you please make the salad while I get meal finished?” Or maybe institute a custom that the ladies cook and the men clean up?

    I’m just throwing out a couple suggestions, but there are other ways to do that sort of thing. However, I understand that it could feel awkward to do that.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. We rarely have people over anymore. People used to visit more often years ago, but hardly ever stayed overnight, and never for days or weeks at a time. Most of our extended family don’t live far away (they’re within two hours), and the two siblings (one of mine, one of his) who do have usually make arrangements to stay elsewhere when they return to our general region.


  42. Kathaleena, I mentioned that I got the book you recommended a while back, Finding Grace in the Face of Dementia, on Interlibrary Loan. I finished reading it this weekend. Thanks for telling me about that book. I found useful parts that help me understand more about my dad’s dementia.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Other books I’ve got checked out now, for those interested in book lists:

    From our church library: WELS and Other Lutherans, Second Edition

    From the public library:

    Hype: A Doctor’s Guide to Medical Myths, Exaggerated Claims, and Bad Advice — How to Tell What’s Real and What’s Not

    ReWild: The Art of Returning to Nature

    The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative

    The Art of Screen Time: How Your Family Can Balance Digital Media & Real Life

    The Power of Context: How to Manage Our Bias and Improve Our Understanding of Others


  44. Kizzie sometimes Paul feels I am too accommodating to others. But I feel if I do not provide food/meals/comforts of home it reflects poorly upon me as a hostess. I love for guests to feel welcomed because they are. But, some have been inconsiderate and have commented that staying here is better than a Bed and Breakfast! 😂 So you see much of my frustration is self inflicted.
    I do have many antiques and some have been accidentally broken. I have never fretted over the loss. However, when I see a soaking wet towel placed on the antique footboard, ruining the finish, I see disrespect for my things…it was adults, not children behaving this way.
    During the Waldo fire my BIL,SIL and their grandchildren were staying with us on their vacation. Friends of ours were evacuated and did not want to leave their 3 dogs and a cat at the emergency shelter. So, they suggested they come here due to our having land for the dogs to run and be with them. We had no room! They came anyway, staying in our basement. We had all of them for an entire week. When we were evacuated the very next year, said friends did not offer for us to stay with them. We were in a hotel with our dogs. She called and offered that I could come to her house for a couple hours if I wanted to get out of the hotel…but she told me I was not to bring my dogs! Oh and if I did go to her house, please let the dogs out and walk them…I declined. I understand not all of us have the same level of hospitality and if I invite someone to visit us I am going to take care of them. We happen to get notified by friends/family that they planned a vacation to our home and we are expected to accommodate. It can be frustrating but I truly desire to welcome and treat others as Christ would have me to do….(the evacuated friends with the dogs and cat are Buddhist….)

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Peter, I’m not positive, but I think I saw that museum 35 or 40 years ago and liked it. I only remember ever taking one trip to Tucson, and I might have been 10. I really liked the Sonora Desert Museum, and thought it highly worth a return visit someday (no chance so far), but I also saw an art museum much like you described and liked it too.


  46. Being single, career-oriented, traditional ‘hospitality’ has not been that easy for me, though I’ve had roommates in the past and may take in another in the future, depending on finances.

    We had a small family so other than my aunt and uncle spending several months living with us (in our garage, our house was tiny even for us) and singular grandparents staying with us during winters, I wasn’t raised in a home that took in a lot of visitors.

    The most gifted people I knew in hospitality were a Christian/Quaker family with 8 children on a farm in NY who had me visit several times (they loved hosting ‘singles’). I always insisted in helping with dishes, bedding, and though they strongly resisted, I managed to force myself into those chores here and there.

    Long day for me again, we had a staff meeting this morning at a sister paper, then I had to get my 2 dogs to the vet for their checkups. The appointment was for 2:30 and we should have been out of there and home (30-40-minute drive) in 2 hours, but the vet was running 2 HOURS behind for whatever reason, so we didn’t get out of there until nearly 6 p.m. and I wasn’t home until 7 p.m. when I still had to file a story.

    Lots of bloodwork needed this time for Tess & Cowboy. At one point, vet asked, “So, you’re retired?” “No,” I said, “still working.”

    “Oh! That’s good!” he said, mentioning that if my circumstances were similar to other journalists he had as clients, I’d likely need it for this appointment … 😦

    Liked by 1 person

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