Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thank you!

Wow. I'm really a bit stunned by all of your kind comments and prayers, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. The whole extended family has been saying that we can just feel the prayer support of others, and we really hope it won't stop (particularly for my sweet mom). :-) We're all still reeling and numb, but everyone is doing okay, thanks to our family pulling extra close together (we've talked and laughed and remembered-- as well as cried-- together), for all of the love and prayers of those who touch our lives, and because of God's amazing grace. People have been unbelievably thoughtful in their giving and caring.

Left: Melissa and her cousin mixing the cake (and Aaron at the stove dishing up something to eat). Right: Michelle and Melissa lighting the candles, with their cousin looking on and Jayden quite excited about the lit candles. He loves fire-- the woodstove, candles, anything.

Poor Michelle's 25th birthday happened to be Tuesday, and while we didn't have anything close to our typical birthday celebration, Melissa and her cousin did bake Michelle a really moist, delicious cake. Both girls love to bake, and they chose to make a yellow cake with chocolate frosting from Martha Stewart's baking book. (There will be a better celebration soon, Michelle!)

Mike, who had only flown back to Washington DC on Sunday, hopped a plane right back out here to Oregon as soon as he could when he heard about my dad. Mike arrived at my sister's house this morning, and we drove home across the mountains so I could pack some things. My siblings, my husband and kids, and Mom and I decided that it might be nice for me to stay at Mom's house with her for a long while. She's alone now (for the first time in her entire life), and I'm staying out here in our country home by myself, too, so it makes sense for me to go stay with Mom for a time. We both look forward to being together.

When we arrived home last evening, the temperature had already dropped to 18 degrees and the sky was its usual clear, beautiful self. I looked around and enjoyed the view and the crisp air and thought about how I'm leaving our cold, snowy (usually!) winter climate to go back to the wet and stormy winter climate of the coast. I love a good rainstorm, though, so it's a fair trade.

But what to pack since I'll be gone for quite some time? It came down to three main things I'd really like to have with me in order to keep doing the things that are part of my daily routine:

1. Cooking items (I'll take the essential things-- to me-- that Mom doesn't have in her kitchen, but that I need in order to be a good head cook :-) ) and cookbooks (but which ones?! it's hard to narrow this down).

2. Books. (Can't we just pack all of the books on the bookshelves?!) I've whittled the stack down to some of the books I can't live without, but it's still quite a pile (Mom doesn't mind, but is everything going to fit in the car?).

3. The computer. I can certainly live perfectly well without it, but it's a big way I stay in touch with my husband, my kids, and many friends. I like to use it to write down my thoughts. And I'd like to continue blogging (both here and at my private, family blog). Plus, Mom says she thinks she'd like to learn to use a computer, and I'll have fun showing her around.

The dogs and cat are going on this adventure, too. Oh, and I suppose I'll have to take some clothes. And, for sure, my coffee press and journals! :-)

So, today, we'll be packing, tying up some loose ends here, and closing up the house so that we can move on over to Mom's house tomorrow.

Once, again, thank you for your kindness and prayers. I deeply appreciate it.