Category Archives: Empty Nest

Life lessons <3

Good morning! 

I have been launched full scale into going from drive by, outdoor only events on the front lawn and facetime/zoom meetings with our grandchildren to spending full on days with them this week as Rachel headed back to work and ended up having to pick up some days for one of her fellow nurses.

And if there are typos or missing words, can’t help it. Read for sense because they are running around me as we speak. 

This means I have been picking up the last week of “school from home” and trying to get back in the routine of staying on my toes from the minute I arrive until I am back on the highway and headed home. 

Since they have been with their mom 24/7 for sooooooooo many weeks and we have no where to go for a diversion, I have been packing my bag each morning with lots of activities to choose from.

On Tuesday we cleaned pennies with various methods. One of these was to rub the pennies with ketchup and then use a tooth brush with a baking soda/water paste to finish the job. 

Later as I was cleaning up the experiment and trying to fish the next project out of my Mary Poppins carpet bag stashed in a closet while pulling Caroline out of the bathroom sink before she fell off the stool, I heard Graham say something that sealed me to believe the boy just may end up being a preacher or a teacher or a writer. 

I could hear his voice coming from around the corner and strained to catch every word. I even had to ask him to repeat his thought over again when I went up Wednesday because I wanted to make sure I got it right to pass on to you. 

He told me he was thinking about how that tooth brush didn’t do any good without the baking soda paste, but once you dipped it into that goo and started applying, the work became easy and made a difference. He said, you know Lola…it’s like us and God. We are the toothbrush and without God we really can’t get a lot done. But with Him, we can do a lot of good things. 


Yep we can. 

I told him he was going to be my youngest guest blogger on record. But he will get paid the same rate as everyone…including me <3 

Have a good day, little toothbrushes. And don’t forget to go dip yourself liberally in God and apply His wisdom generously before you set out the make the world a better place today <3

And full disclosure I have had two near misses on accidents that could have been bad; currently three are covered in grass clippings and some mud and I am praying the fourth is still on his Zoom class grand finale and not surfing the internet for you tube videos…time to reapply the baking soda of God to this Lola. 


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It’s always the re-entry that makes or breaks us <3’s Wednesday again. 

This week is flying by. 

On Sunday I listened in to John’s church and the sermon was about Re-entry.

He talked about the friction that comes when our expectations do not match up with what we actually experience and he likened the whole thing to a space capsule that burns its way back into the earth’s atmosphere from outer space. 

The friction of the change in molecules in the air around the earth causes a drag and creates heat and he addressed that we are and will be experiencing that as we move from “shelter in place/shutdown” to trying to get things up and running. 

I can relate so well. 

Our daughter returned to work as their practice is now allowing for non-emergency patients again. 

This meant I have returned to watching the Fab 4 when both mom and dad are working. 

I love them beyond words, but it means my schedule is starting to feel the pinch of obligations that call me away from home and things I do around here. 

So again, I recalibrate and move into a different phase of the new normal. 

Russ will be working from home for at least a while…routines I had established the last 8 weeks are now in flux again. 

And I feel the friction of my own resistance to change. 

I drag my feet and the drag causes a heating up of emotions. 

Re-entry also brings the reality of all that has been lost due to the pandemic. 

I cried buckets the other day watching a little friend bedecked in her ballet costume, going through her dance with the background of her family’s home. It was her “Zoom recital” 

I am crying again, just to let you know. Can’t even type the words without tears welling up. 

For her. 

For her parents. 

For her teachers.  

And speaking of teachers, I know some good ones who walked away from their classrooms for the last time this year to either retire or move to a new position by packing up their students stuff and leaving it in piles for a curb side pickup – date to be determined. 

Then there are parents who are passing by ball bags and swim bags and all things summer-planned to go out and play in the driveway for another day because all the pools, fields, playgrounds and zoos are closed indefinitely. 

There are drive by graduations, wedding receptions and funerals on the calendar. 

And I feel the friction. 

The heat of re entering into a reopened world that has drastically changed. 

No country is left unaffected. 

There really isn’t a neat and clear cut ending. 

We just move forward hoping to not overwhelm the health care system, hoping for wisdom and knowledge to prevail in our leaders…wondering if the restaurant we loved to go to on Friday made it through…wondering how long we won’t have schools opened or church to attend or seeing real faces and giving real hugs. 


It hurts. 

Let’s be gentle with each other. 

Travel carefully through the atmosphere and remember…your fellow sojourners are feeling the heat, too. The air they are entering is different than the air  you entering…give them grace and space and time <3

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Miracle of miracles….<3

We have been having some connection issues with our wifi. Go figure…we have only added two more computers and figured out how to use our smart tv in addition to the plethora of electronics drawing on that modem that hums by Russ’s new home office all. day. long. 

So on Saturday I called the local provider who shall remain nameless because I have no desire to give them free advertising. 

After going through the bazillion prompts with the cheeky robotic voice that kept reminding me how he is an automated voice system who can understand voice commands (and yet frequently would respond with a robotic apology and how he didn’t get what I said, could I try saying it another way?), I finally got to speak to a real live person whose name is Sharon and let me tell you…it was a first time ever experience. 

Sharon was amazingly kind and helpful from the get-go…which was so nice since usually the customer service reps for companies I deal with say, “Yes, Mrs. Reeeeeee-mur, I have your file right here….” 

Oh. That’s not good.

And it’s RYHMer. RHYM-er…long i….

But Sharon, she was a breath of fresh air. 

Her cheerfulness took me off guard from my post-automated-voice-system irritation syndrome and I must have told her twenty times she was the nicest customer service person I had ever talked to. 

To which she would reply it was easy to be nice because …. I was so nice, too….I am thinking of inviting her for coffee when the table areas open again. 

So as I dissect what made her so special in all oft his, and think about how I can learn from her and apply so that others experience that kind of good feeling when they talk to me, it comes down to some characteristics:

  • She had a smile in her voice from the start and in words and tone let me know she was on my side and wanted to work with me to help me get the best service possible. 
  • She never once put the blame for faulty service on me and my ignorance, and she didn’t diss her company…she just kept explaining the practical steps needed to fix the problem and was respectful in her attitude.
  • She knew her stuff. 
  • She went slow when I was not understanding and was efficient in the rest of the process when I was. 
  • She didn’t talk down to me and popped little encouragements in along the way. 
  • She not only fixed the problem, she made my day better in the process. 

We are all getting a little cranky these days. 

The pandemic has taken a toll, whether we have actually been bitten by the bug or not, we are feeling the effects of a whole lot of anxiety producing stress around us. 

So in the midst of it, let’s be Sharon’s. 

Let’s speak with a smile in our voices and an attitude of just coming alongside of others who may need our help. 

If we are not helping, maybe we aren’t the ones called to fix the problem, so we can just be kind and offer encouragement while others wait for the real help they need. 

Just some thoughts. 

And I have witnesses that I didn’t go off on a Customer Service rep so I am not making this up. 

It’s in my file. 

Ask Sharon. 

Be blessed and I hope you run into lots of Sharon’s and very few automated voice assistants today <3

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