Monday, September 19, 2011

Emerald green joy

5:04 p.m. Today's project was to pick up our lawnmower, with the help of John and his truck, from Empire Mowers in Moreno Valley. It has been a long time coming, with very high grass in both yards.

Saturday I had the pleasant news that the mower had nothing seriously wrong with it, just the problems caused by oil in the gas tank and vice versa, a mixup Steve had last month. The balance was half of what I had been dreading, too. God is so good!

The three of us arrived about 9:15, I paid the balance owed, and the mower made a loud entrance near the front of the shop. I didn't realize it, but the reason the mechanic was showing me a terribly worn blade, and lecturing quite seriously about keeping the blade sharpened, was that he had replaced the blade! Same with the air filter--he was holding a dirty one and telling me how to blow out the dirt a few times a year. I was just listening and staring without comprehending that he'd changed that, too. Because the mower came up to the front near John's truck so quickly after I paid, I hadn't had time to read all of the work that had been done. It was a full maintenance, not just cleaning out the fuel lines. John said, "He replaced the blade and filter." Oh, I finally realized, those were the old parts from OUR mower, not just some parts the mechanic was telling me about! How dense could I be? I was just so preoccupied with relief that the mower was fixed, I suppose.

It goes to show that any one of of can be utterly clueless in a situation. It just depends on the situation. And I don't think Steve was paying attention, although he was standing right next to me, because the gentleman was addressing Steve's condition so obvious? I often wonder if people think he is mentally retarded or has a speech impediment. I don't necessarily bring up his Alzheimer's in a momentary situation like at the mower shop. What do others do in similar situations with an affected loved one? I'd like to have some advice.

I am so grateful that our all-knowing God has others in place who are knowledgeable, skilled craftsmen like Bezaleel in Exodus 38, who supervised the building of the Tabernacle in the wilderness!

That's exactly the kind of man Steve used to be, a mechanical genius, able to figure out, repair or fabricate any kind of equipment. And that's why I never paid attention to the details of the motors, appliances or engines he repaired over the last 30 years, any more than he involved himself in my chosen brands of diapers or recipes! We just enjoyed the fact that opposites attract and have been blessed to have been completed by marriage so perfectly by the Lord.

When we got home, Steve got right to work, once he grasped putting the mower onto the front lawn instead of turning it around on the driveway. He pulled on the starter cord, and nothing. Oh, no! Then he remembered to prime the engine with a push buttton in the front, and the mower started just fine. Praise the Lord, because we would have had no way to take the mower back to the shop. After a few rows, not like he used to mow so beautifully even a month ago, but rows still the same, the mower stopped. Instead of getting irate, we prayed, and God showed him what was wrong--the grass catcher was full. Steve was pulling grass out with his hands instead of unhooking the catcher, so I helped him detach and lift out the bag. He put those clippings into our wheel barrow instead of just dumping the contents directly into our compost. A lot of time was passing, and I was needing to attend to my own tasks. It was time now to put the grass catcher back on the mower and proceed, so I helped him get that done. He was able to finish the front lawn with direction to not take the mower over the barren section near the bank, but to focus on the real grass. I had moved the green waste dumpster over so that he could more quickly empty the catcher as needed.

It was time for a break for water and the strawberry Ensure he likes, and then Carlos, one of his caregivers, came over. I had already decided that whether my facial appointment held or not, I'd let Steve have help doing the backyard and in fixing his lunch. With Steve having supervision, I could run over to my doctor's office with my spine x-rays, and I'd have uninterrupted time studying for my Thursday teaching of I Samuel 31. I arranged all of Steve's lunch food, told the caregiver where it was, and then let him take over with Steve. I could hear a few yells coming from out back, but overall, even though Steve had frustrated moments, they got the job done, and I accomplished all of the research portion of my study that I normally spread over two days.

As I later watered the lawns, one station at a time, I was taken away by the emerald brilliance of our front lawn's tall fescue in particular, and the smooth flatness of our backyard's mixed Bermuda (I guess). It's not House Beautiful , but we've managed to be wise stewards of our property.

We have trees to be trimmed and roots to be removed from our lawns, and another layer of paint to apply to one wall of the room we want to rent. But we're happy with our progress. So far, so good!

Going to the Lord in prayer made our tasks go more smoothly today, even with the obstacles and shortcomings that are characteristic of life in this world.

Jesus told us in John 16: 33,

In the world you shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.


  1. So glad that Steve could do this! So far my ALZ husband still mows, and we have a neighbor next door who is willing to mow for us as well.

    I am going to try an Ensure smoothy to see if I can get nutrition down my husband. He doesn't like regular Ensure.

    I thanks the LORD an my husband that when I came home he had filled our bottles with Lipton Green Tea and folded the lawndry.

  2. It's great, Carol, that your husband can stay on his own for a while, like Steve could have done a month or two ago, and do his chores independently. Now he needs direction for most undertakings. Or another adult being present gives him the incentive to get things done. So we're ahead of you, I guess, not in a good way...