How do you keep someone grounded yet give them wings? I don’t have the answer but Archie did.
When we were dating he went with me to visit my dad, step-mom, and brother. It was then that Tom learned he and Archie shared the same birthday, just two years apart. I joked I had to look really hard to find that one quality.
At a rest stop on the way home I pulled out a map. I was flipping through it and flippantly said,”So, where should I live after I graduate?” I was living with my step-dad and mom and he said I wasn’t welcome there after I graduated from high school. Archie got really angry. I had not even entered him into the equation. Hmmmmm….I hadn’t thought of that.
I have an adventurous side. Growing up, anything a guy could do, I wanted to do too, just to prove I could. Example: bailing hay. I did that frequently while staying at my step-father’s house. I could only help with the first two layers because the third was about two feet over my head and I didn’t have the upper body strength. That ticked me off more than anything else: a physical limitation because I was a girl. Errrrr!
When we dated I got so tired of movies and eating out. We didn’t know of any other options back then. Oh, to be able to do THAT over again!!!!
After Arch and I got married I frequently had two jobs, one for $ the other for fun. We lived in a downtown apartment in Wakarusa. Arch went balling a lot back then, so after work he’d catch a game at a co-workers house before he’d come home. I worked at the Waky Bakery so he’d stop in every morning, get a donut and Dr. Pepper, then head off to work. He’d often come spend lunch and chat while I worked.
Then I’d get off work and go home…to an empty apartment. Yuck. Might as well get a second job, but we only had one car and Wakarusa was dinky. Not many opportunities for “fun” jobs.
I applied at the Fudgery at Amish Acres in Nappanee and was hired. In case you were wondering. Wakarusa and Nappanee are 7.5 miles apart. Oh, well. I’d get off at the bakery, ride my bike to Nappanee, then Arch would come with the Chevy Citation, throw it in the back and we’d go home. That’s ok, it was an adventure, especially when it rained :p.
I love the country, Archie loved the city/small town. We compromised quite well with our house in Goshen and it’s location. Up until about two years ago when his work went insane, we were a 7 minutes drive to go walking around Lake Syracuse and train for 5k’s. We did two that year. We hiked the trail that is just minutes from our house and looked for new areas to hike. We loved adventure and that’s why kayaking caught our attention, exploring on water! whoop, whoop!
The last two years, when I have been able, we traveled together for his work. We’d try to grab an adventure between meetings, or squeeze a tour in, when available. It was limiting, but you do what you can to keep an adventurous spirit.
That brings me to today. The yard was a mess. Last week I raked limbs up to a tree, then had to stop….soo there they sat. Today I went at it with a vengeance. I am realizing that the count down for Taylor’s graduation has commenced and I’d best get my butt in gear. Time waits for no one and that includes me! I got the front of the house done and along one side. Three hours and one busted cuticle later, I had just finished pulling my fourth tarp of yard debris to the burn pile when Archie’s tree caught my eye. Beneath it lay hundreds of sticks and limbs strewn from our yard to the neighbors. Our tree, I guess our problem? Off to pick up more sticks. These were too big to rake, so it was just by the hand fulls then walking across the yard to the burn pile.
Over and over, handful after handful. Last fall this was a two person job. In the three hours we would have had the entire yard done….but that was last fall. Huge limb, by huge limb, back and forth. Three quarters of the way through the sticks I am looking at this beautiful tree, yet with out leaves. The branches are so perfectly spaced. I remember at one of Taylor’s volleyball parties in high school, I was watching the kids volley when all of the sudden a boy popped out of that tree! He had climbed…just to see if he could.
Hmmm…..back and forth, back and forth, fistful after fistful, staring at that tree. I wonder….. .
Had I mentioned wanting to climb the tree to Arch he would have said,”Why?” with an surprised look, then followed it by,”go for it.” So I did. Just to see if I could.
Arch gave me the reason to stay grounded but encouraged me to strengthen the wings God gave me. I had opportunities to take flight in many wonderful ways: teaching 100 2nd and 3rd graders at church, participating in theatrical presentations (sometimes he would even get pulled in), and currently the job I love so much at Heartfelt.
Now everything is different. The ground is shaky and uneven. My heavenly Dad is constantly walking beside me, frequently catching me when my steps falter.
Psalms 16:8-9 “I know the LORD is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me… . My body rests in safety.”
Today, with Archie’s voice echoing in my head,”go for it,” I saw the world from a different point of view. God was with me, beside me, and I was safe. I wonder where He will take me next….. .