Archive for March, 2012

History Lessons

By Kathy NickersonMarch 29th, 2012mercy2 Comments

Writing this blog sometimes seems rather self-centered. Arrogant in fact. What makes me think the world needs to hear my latest, greatest, flash of brilliance? But, then I think about the blogs I read. My favorite ones are about real people living ordinary lives. People who capture the sacred in a mundane Tuesday morning. The ones who admit their mess and then tell me how God cleaned it up.

And this morning I remembered that one reason I write at all is found in the final verse of one of my favorite psalms in the Bible. Psalm 107 is the theme song for the intentional community where we live. It describes perfectly the conglomeration of hopeless people who have come together to build a life. It also describes the journey of our own family and of many families I know.

In the end, my urge to write this blog all comes down to this:

Those who are wise will take all this to heart; they will see in our history the faithful love of the Lord. Psalm 107:43.

I hope you see it.

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Why Kermit Made Me Cry

By Kathy NickersonMarch 26th, 2012family, Friendship5 Comments

A couple of our muppets

Confession: The Muppet Movie made me cry. That’s right, the goofy movie starring a green puppet slightly upgraded from a tube sock with googly eyes. If you haven’t seen it, I’ll try to give you spoiler alerts before I reveal the plot twists. (She says with sarcasm)

I’ve tried to figure out why this silly, little ditty of a movie punched me in the gut a number of times. And I think I’ve come to two conclusions:

1. Spoiler Alert: The Muppets were trying to recreate the glory of their t.v. show from the eighties. You remember The Eighties. It was that colorful decade made up of parachute pants, Rainbow Bright, and Bill Cosby as Father-of-the-Year. Everything was big in the eighties. Over-sized sweaters, clunky jewelry, and stacks of curly hair. Even our bangs seemed to be standing on tip-toe in the eighties to shout, “Life is sooooooo exciting!”

The late eighties were also those years when we hit the sweet spot as parents. Our children were all (mostly) beyond awkward adolescence and were actually becoming fun teenagers. (Yes, fun). For some reason, they liked us. And we certainly liked them. We were the Cosby Show without the elegant brownstone and the high-paying jobs. If I ever start feeling nostalgic (which I only do in early spring, mid-summer, late fall, and all national holidays) I think about those days. So, of course Kermit made me cry when he said (and I paraphrase), “Come on, Kids, let’s put on a show!”

2. Spoiler Alert: Much of the movie focused on “finding our lost friends.” Fozzy was trying to do comedy in a seedy joint with a motley band. Miss Piggy was living large but lonely in Paris. Animal was in rehab. And on it went.

That, too, was familiar. We hit some bumps about ten years ago, and lots of our friends scattered for one reason or another. And while none of them are doing lousy comedy acts in shabby theaters, some have taken a road I can’t travel. Many others are thriving. They are loving God, loving people, and making the world a better place. But, we aren’t sitting together on Sunday mornings anymore. And, I miss them.

So, I cried. Over a croaky green frog, a snout-nosed diva, and the menagerie of friends who came together for The Cause.

But I smiled when the movie ended. (Because the guy got the girl, of course. Oops, forgot to warn you.) And because despite all the challenges and changes, life really does get better every year.

Cue the grandkids.

Roll the Credits

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Going On Down the Road

By Kathy NickersonMarch 21st, 2012happy endings, mercy9 Comments

We were in a tornado the other night. Well, it flew over us, evidently, while we were traveling along I-80 in Nebraska. We had been driving six hours in hard wind and a sometimes-blinding sand storm. I was in no mood for disaster weather. In fact, I was aching for the bed waiting just fiveĀ  miles down the road when the hail hit.

The tornado sirens were blaring when we arrived at our hotel, and the night manager was dashing around the lobby like Beaker from the Muppets. She pointed us toward the “safe room” down the hall. It turned out to be a room without any windows. But it had an exterior wall, so we didn’t feel all that safe.

For about twenty minutes, we hunkered down with parents rocking sleepy children, grandmothers clutching flimsy night clothes, and construction workers checking cyber weather. Finally, the manager came in and announced, “The big funnel cloud has gone over us. Now we just have to watch the smaller storm cell coming behind it.”

My wise husband leaned over and said, “Come on. We’re outta here.”

“What?!”

“We’re leaving. This place is going to be chaos all night, and nobody is going to get any rest even after the weather clears. We’re going on down the road an hour or two.”

He was so right. We drove out of the storm and eventually found a peaceful room and had a good sleep.

It was easy to trust Wendell in that moment, because he and I have gone through a lot of life-storms together. Several times I thought the building might collapse around us. But over and over, we’ve grabbed one another by the hand, ducked the rain, and just gone on down the road a ways.

We’ve found the Peaceful Place every, single time.

 

 

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Google Gets It Wrong

By Kathy NickersonMarch 15th, 2012family, happy endings, The Bible5 Comments

The man of my dreams (and my very pleasant reality)

What is it about my online presence that makes Google Ads think I need a man?!

I understand these targeted advertisements:”Become a Bestselling Author Today for Free!” or “Visit Omaha, Nebraska, the Vacation Capital of the World!” Or, even: “Cyber-Grandparenting — There’s an App for That!”

I write emails, blogs, and status updates about those things all the time.

I even understand how some program with artificial intelligence (an oxymoron of gigantic proportions) came up with the brilliant plan to send me adds for a Power Scooter the day I told our children I had an appointment with a cardiologist.

But what on earth am I saying that makes Google send this? Mature Single Men Looking for Energetic Women of a Certain Age.I have been blissfully married for nearly forty years, for Heaven’s sake! How does Google not know that?????

Maybe, though, it isn’t what I’m saying at all. Maybe it is what I’m not saying. Maybe his name, his wisdom, his generous acts of kindness, and even his endearing quirks simply don’t come up enough in my cyber conversations.

Which, of course, makes me wonder about the other Most Important Relationship in my life. Why isn’t Google sending me ads for Jesus Freak Tee-Shirts?

I think Google has me all wrong. But just in case, I’m going to close this post now and go email my children about how much I love their handsome father and the God who gave him to me.

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One Step at a Time

By Kathy NickersonMarch 12th, 2012Friendship3 Comments

Sometimes, the Staircase of Life feels rather steep. It helps to hold a hand.

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298.9 Confusion, confused (mental) (state)

By Kathy NickersonMarch 8th, 2012happy endings, work3 Comments

I learned something new about my job today. Nobody gets it. And, that is actually something of a relief. Everything I know about medical billing and coding I’ve learned by trial and error. I got the bright idea that some training might be in order after six years at this job. So, I went to a seminar.

Although I expected to be lost in the maze of terminology, I thought I’d at least understand the general overview or the introduction. Wrong. I forgot this company speaks in acronyms and compound sentences.

What I didn’t expect was how many other people are equally baffled by the system. Eventually, it came down to this: Each person had a working knowledge of the two or three pages of the 6000 page manual that pertains to their niche. The cardiology ladies understood heart surgery codes. The woman working for a podiatrist knew toes.

And, miracle of miracles, I know family-practice-in-the-middle-of-a-cornfield.

I did learn some things. Mostly about where to find resources for the things I don’t know. And I came home thinking life is pretty much this way. If I look at the big picture of suicide rates among the Lakota people of South Dakota, the number of homeless children in Brazil, or the thousands of demons-dressed-as-gods in India, I despair.

But, if I remember that my job today is simply to love the next person who walks through our clinic door, I’m fine. I can do that. (I can even file their Medicare claim, I think.)

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Up Close and Personal

By Kathy NickersonMarch 5th, 2012Friendship8 Comments

When one-year old granddaughter, Violet, sees me on her computer screen. she is full of grins and giggles. She blows kisses, hugs the screen, and talks to me in baby jabbers. However, when I appeared up close and personal in her home recently, she turned sober and suspicious. When I showed up at the breakfast table the following morning, she stared at me with something very close to a frown.

And, it continued that way all weekend. She eventually warmed up to the little cousins I brought along. But I remained that lady who belongs inside the computer. Violet finally allowed me to hold her on Sunday morning, since her parents were on worship team and I was obviously the designated adult in our row. She even snuggled down and got comfy. But, she never smiled.

Today, we chatted on the computer again. Violet exploded into smiles and tried to smear her oatmeally fingers on the screen in an effort to touch my face. She jabbered. She waved. She blew kisses.

I know this stage will pass. Someday Violet will be happier to see me in real life than in living color. But today she made me think. How many of my virtual friends would be thrilled if I showed up in their real life today? What would they do if I came to share face time as an experience, not a technology? And, how would I react if the whole passel of them showed up at my front door?

Violet may be on to something…

 

 

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