Adventures with Lisa, Frank & Daisy Dewdrop

Burdens & Blessings
September 1, 2006, 3:52 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

“Burdens and Blessings”

Life is a series of burdens and blessings. Unfortunately, both can cause stress and anxiety. You can be dealt one, then the other, then back again, a million times a day. The trick is to learn to just roll with it–and hope burdens don’t outweigh the blessings. You have to count them both to survive.

Last year, Frank and I were blessed with a new (to us) vehicle (blessing). Frank was not “going to work” (burden) but instead was working the farm (burden/blessing) and could piddle around the roads in our beat up Ford truck (blessing). His back has been ailing him (burden), but visits to the chiropractor are helping (blessing).

With that situation, we decided to sell our old van (burden). It was my father’s (blessing), but now has 400,000-plus miles (burden) and just sits in the yard (burden). We listed it in all the trader’s mags, and people came and went and called to see it (burden), and never did buy (burden).

Then Frank went back to work (blessing), and we didn’t feel so pressured to sell the van (blessing). He no longer carries his wallet in his pocket when driving (which helps keep his back aligned), and he feels better (blessing). He was working again without extreme pain (blessing).

Two weeks after he’d been trekking back and forth to work in Glenville, the Ford truck broke down (burden). But, we still had the van (now a blessing), so we parked the truck for expensive repair (burden) and both of us worked (blessing), preparing on the sidelines for the upcoming annual family reunion (blessing). Close to 125 people (blessing), expected at our house (uh, burden).

So, two days before the reunion, we pile in the van to go pick up tables and chairs for the event (burden). On the way, the van breaks down (burden), right in front of our friend’s house (blessing), who was home (blessing), but doesn’t have a phone (burden).

We both have to work the next day (now a burden), still have to pick up tables and chairs (burden), and we only have one operating vehicle (burden), which is somewhere where we aren’t (burden), and won’t hold tables and chairs (burden).

We have just enough time (blessing) to get to our house, call to find a part, (which was affordable – blessing), get in the new-to-us ride (blessing) and fly to the parts store in Spencer which had it in stock (blessing.) While Frank’s on the phone, I take out my wallet to show our friend (blessing), who gave us a ride (blessing), a picture of my niece (blessing) and her unborn jelly bean who will be a boy (blessing).

Meanwhile, another family member (FM 1) whose vehicle went down last month (burden), has a new (to him) vehicle in his driveway (blessing), but the paperwork to make it legal hasn’t been processed yet by the state (burden). He, after work, knew we were supposed to pick up chairs and tables (burden), and had his ride drop him off at the table and chair location, knowing we could bring him the rest of the way home (thinking – blessing.)

We are pulling out of the driveway to head to the parts store, when in pulls a helpful friend in a truck (blessing), pulling the non-operating vehicle (burden) of a second family member (FM 2) who had been sitting, broken down, on the far side of Sand Ridge Hill (burden) for more than an hour.

But, that one’s an easy fix as well (blessing), and an affordable part (blessing) and guess what–we’re just on our way to the parts store (now a blessing).

So, on a quest for two parts (burden), we fly towards Spencer, not knowing FM 1 is waiting for us to pick him up with the tables and chairs (known and unknown burdens). We arrive in the parking lot with 20 minutes to spare (blessing).

We can fix the van tonight (blessing), get tables and chairs tomorrow (uh, maybe), get FM 2’s vehicle back on the road more quickly (blessing), and both go to work in the morning without issue (blessing). Right?

Frank reaches to the console for his wallet–which is in the van, broken down, in front of our friend’s house.

I reach then for my wallet–which is still on the kitchen counter where I showed my friend my niece’s picture.

! ! !

I am glad to report that neither of us spontaneously combusted in the parking lot of Advance Auto Parts in Spencer (blessing). In fact, we both just sat, completely beaten and defeated (burden), thinking that life had decided we were going to be dealt a lousy hand that day (burden), and there was just nothing we could do about it (burden).

As I lowered my head to wallow in my misery, I spied the moneybag I used that day to collect on my newspaper delivery run. Within it was just enough cash to cover what we needed (Blessed Miracle!).

Meanwhile, a third family member (FM 3) with a truck (blessing) encounters FM 1’s original ride home (blessing). FM 3, knowing we are one vehicle down and in Spencer (burden), heads towards FM 1 and the tables and chairs (blessing).

So, we head back from Spencer in our working vehicle (blessing), to the broken van (burden), which Frank can easily fix (blessing), now in the dark (burden), across from a friend’s house (blessing), who has flashlights (blessing) with dead batteries (burden), but just fixed a big dinner (blessing).

Frank fixes the van (blessing) and while we’re on the porch eating hot dogs (blessing), we think about when to pick up chairs and tables (burden), still ignorant that FM 1 was counting on us for a ride. (Actually, it’s a blessing that we didn’t know, or the added pressure may have caused a mental meltdown for us earlier in the evening.)

Up pulls FM 3 with FM 1, in a truck with a bed full of tables and chairs (double blessing). FM 1, who hasn’t had dinner (burden) while waiting two hours for a ride (burden), is also fed by friends (blessing).

So, before too late (blessing), we had operating vehicles (blessing), and all family member’s home (blessing), all family members fed (blessing), tables and chairs unloaded (blessing). We were ready for the reunion (blessing), and both had vehicles (blessing) to get us to work (blessing) the next day.

Anyone who says life isn’t a roller coaster ride isn’t counting all the highs (blessings) or lows (burdens). The best you can do is roll along, laughing when you can, gritting your teeth when you can’t and occasionally throwing your hands up in the air–all without throwing up.

Then, at the end of the day, the blessings will outnumber the burdens. And that, in itself, is a blessing.


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