I've never grown Paper Whites before, but when a sweet friend gave the bulbs to me as a Hanukkah gift, I was willing to give it a try. Thankfully, Padawan is a gardener and knew what to do.
It's not like I couldn't have figured it out for myself, of course. The gift came with four of the bulbs, compressed peat-type soil and a lovely pot to grow them in. Two of the four bulbs decided to grow and I ended up with some lovely white winter flowers gracing my kitchen table.
The sun is actually shining today, revealing all the smudges on the windows. I'm not complaining, though - sunshine just somehow lifts my mood. And a lifting of my mood is a good thing.
This winter has been pretty slammed with mind-bending situations causing me to grow and sacrifice like never before. The continuing situation with our friend Rose, who has colon cancer, is like a slow moving train - painfully coming to it's obvious conclusion. We have done our level best to make sure she has all the support and care that she so desperately needs. I thank the LORD for allowing me the honor of this service and I hope that I can continue to help her through this last leg of her race with dignity and love.
Another ongoing saga is that with my brother's sons; the court dates come and go, yet there just seems to be no rest for my weary parents who are bearing the brunt of temporary custody. The emotional roller coaster of visits, psychological evaluations and the daily grind are sapping the life energy from my parents, who are in their mid-60's and not in terrific health. I am trying to be patient and supportive, but I struggle with the stupidity of the situation, to be honest.
To counteract those two heart-wrenching situations, the LORD has seen fit to allow us another cross-country road trip. We are thrilled to be able to make another trek down to see my dear mother-in-law in Mississippi while stopping at very cool roadside attractions, museums, national parks and monuments along the way. Planning for a month-long journey is no small feat, but we are definitely up to the task. This time, our wonderful AAA agent insisted on booking all the hotels and collecting attraction information - this has saved us so much footwork! There will still be tweaking to be done to the itinerary prior to our departure at the end of May, but nothing like having to research everything out and book ourselves. And so, the countdown is on: 117 days until we leave...but I'm not countin' or anything.
There is a lot of livin' to be done prior to our pulling out of the driveway for an 8,000+ mile trip, that's for sure. Tu b'Shvat, the festival for the new year for trees, is this Friday and we'll have to get that all prepared this week. Then, Purim comes followed by the big one - Passover. Yep, that's a lot of planning, alright! In the midst of all the festivals, I have agreed to help out my old congregation with their Easter production, providing Hebrew dance 'expertise'. I was honored to be asked, so how could I say no? It will be fun, if I can keep myself organized and sane.
Yeah, this winter has been busy, both emotionally and physically. Time is flying by, and before I know it, spring will be here. There is a season for everything, and it is my prayer that spring will find these hard situations resolved and successful festivals completed with joy.
May it be so.