Everything Old is New Again

Have you ever had one of those weeks when everything in your house just stops working? Like all the light bulbs burning out at the same time, or your washer and your car both die on the same day? Is it some sort of cosmic energy drain, or does God just really want to get your attention?

The Hubster and I had one of those weeks last week. First thing Saturday morning, the garage door opener died. To say that our garage door opener was elderly, is being kind. It was old when we moved in 20 years ago. Still, we were surprised when it pooped out. You never realize how lazy you've gotten until you have to open and close your own garage door, numerous times per day. Highly overrated.

Next to conk out was the dishwasher. It didn't exactly die, it just became obsolete. The dish racks were rusting, so I decided to go online and try to buy replacements. The total for two racks was $350. New Kenmore dishwashers start at $400. We decided to go with a new model.*sigh*

The vacuum cleaner didn't technically die, it was shanghaied by my daughter. Okay, I didn't put up too much of a fight. I love my Oreck, but it was several years old, and I was jonesing for a new one. Once you've owned an Oreck, you know. They are workhorses.

We bought local for all three new household items. It pays to buy here, at least it did this time for us. We got great deals. Vance Day with Midwest Building & Door installed our new garage door opener. Two strapping young men from Sears put in our dishwasher, and Patrick McDonald of McDonald's Vacuum Center gave us an amazing package deal on a new Oreck. He even threw in a couple of books!

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We are completely spoiled in this country, and if I didn't believe that was true, I would have after Wednesday night. Our church hosted a missionary from Saigon, Vietnam. (I am protecting his identity.) This brother was a passionate and powerful speaker, telling us of his life of secrecy from the Communist government and hard work for our Savior. He and his wife run an "English School" that meets several times a week in their home.

Even though this missionary has been detained and questioned by local authorities, he continues his work. His stunning testimony is this: his father, a Baptist preacher, was captured, tortured and killed by the Communists for his faith. His son, when he was 18, gave his heart to Christ, and soon after surrendered to preach The Word. His heartbreaking story brought tears to my eyes. We are so blessed in this country; free to worship as we choose. And yet, we seldom bother to attend church. What a waste!

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I got an email from my KWA writing friend, B.D. (Bonnie) Tharp. She is an accomplished author, magazine columnist and copy writer from Wichita. I was honored that she agreed to critique one of my short stories. She liked it! Bonnie also had some great ideas for submission to publishers. More on this later.

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On Saturday night, I spent a pleasant evening in Derby with my mom, brother and his family. We dined at Tokyo Steak House (fun performance!). Upon returning home, my mom waved to her neighbor, Emma Lou, across the street. She crossed over to greet my brother and I. Her children are close to our age.

While we were visiting, a couple from down the street, Wendy and Tim, came walking by with their adorable dog, Harley. We stood in the driveway and chatted for several minutes, enjoying the company and the suddenly cooler weather. It reminded me that good neighbors are precious, and their friendships make good neighborhoods. In the immortal words of Mr. Fred Rogers, "Won't you be my neighbor?"

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Exercise Update:

I did three sets of hand weight calisthenics and three days of workouts to my new aerobic DVD last week. I'm finally remembering some of the dance moves, so I don't look like such a big dork any more. However, don't come by my house at 8:30 a.m., unless you're ready to laugh yourself silly.

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Notable Quote:

"Imagination is more important than knowledge."--Albert Einstein

"If you start with a bang, you won't end with a whimper."--T.S. Eliot
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