Saturday, March 9, 2024

Learning From Process


as seen on Cindy's blog:

With thanks to Cindy (a sister Florida blogger), an illustration on her blog is perfect for my life of late, and I hope it works for you as well.

The big, consuming thing on my calendar that has slowed my writing for the past few weeks is that Gary needs to have intestinal surgery.

We have been very busy for months now preparing for both this and the recuperation period. Then just ten days before it was to actually begin, the surgeon had a heart attack! The surgery was cancelled.

from Linda on FaceBook

It had taken a lot of effort (including, time, travel, and yes, to be honest, genuine aggravation) to get to where we were. Everyone concerned was stunned. We just sat still for a time, waiting to see how this would play out. 

Beautiful Camelia bush in our front yard

Then as time went on, we determined the next move might be ours, so we gathered up what we thought might be the logical thing to do and proceeded ahead.

spent blooms;
letting go and moving forward

As of this writing, the surgery has been re-scheduled with another specialist in another city and with some different techniques. As my Gary likes to say, "That may happen; then again, it may not happen." Moving on .....

more wisdom from FaceBook

In the midst of all that, an especially delightful thing happened. One of my out-of-state readers contacted me to say she and her husband would be vacationing in my area soon. She asked if we would like to meet up! Could we get together? 

specialty napkins,
one of the gifts from Ona

Of course! We met them here in our community, ordering chicken salad sandwiches from our little deli and then walking over to a pavilion with picnic tables. It was a delightful visit with people of faith and genuine friendliness. She's been reading my post for several years, even managing the transfer from my former blog, Sweet Tea and Sandals, to this one, My Journal Memories. A new friendship was formed!

entertaining snack of 
popcorn with jelly beans

On another afternoon, my girlfriend, Jersey Girl, came over to visit at the new table on our front porch. Gary made his "world famous popcorn" 😉 (you remember that anything he cooks is "world famous"). After sharing his culinary skill, he left us to our girl talk. 

delivery truck from Lowe's

In previous posts I've told you about all the many things Gary has arranged in the way of home upkeep. Our house is 16 years old, so it's just been time to renew some things. Today was another one of those projects. 

a project begun

The one remaining item on my man's To Do List was to spread fresh bark mulch in the back yard. Due to the high cost of water here in Florida (yeah, surprising fact, I know!), last year we opted to replace a lot of our lawn with mulch and a few bushes. The HOA (homeowners' association) gave their approval.


So the delivery of the mulch was this morning and Gary got busy with his trusty sidekick (that would be me) hauling the 100+ bags to the back yard.


In time, a couple of neighbors, with nothing else to do out of the kindness of their hearts, came over to help us. Yes, of course, they had other things to do, but this is what good neighbors do and we are grateful.

another neighbor;
(look very closely to see Al)

Lunch was on the patio in the shade of the palms and pines. The Lord gave us perfect weather with a welcome windy breeze for such a huge project.

ham sandwiches, potato chips 
and lots of electrolyte water

When we were done, WE WERE DONE! With the neighbors' help it was completed in one day, which I did not expect. 


We loaded up the empty mulch bags into the back of the truck and drove to the dump. After that, Gary suggested we celebrate this accomplishment with ice cream. I never turn down an idea like that!

Taste Freeze

As I wrap up this post, I'll share thoughts I wrote in my journal a few days ago. It has to do with the delay of this big thing going on in our lives:

Many things require a process. 
Seek to understand;
be patient with the process.

And I add to that the words from a last-century missionary to Asia, Amy Carmichael: 

"In acceptance there is peace."

Grace and peace to you, my good readers.


  1. Keeping Gary in prayer...and of course you and the dr.'s...and hey, I know where that ice-cream place is, we go there too, lol. The yard looks good, my friend. smiles

  2. This is Pam from Closed Doors open windows. Having to comment from my phone. Just wanted you to know that we will be praying for you and Gary as you navigate these uncertain waters. I know you know that God has already gone before you and there are no surprises with Him. Delays are often God’s way of getting us to the right place at the right time. He’s got this under control. Meanwhile it looks like you are staying busy and enjoying the ride. Keep us posted and we will be praying.

  3. I love the picture and words from Cindy's blog. It's something that applies to all of us in ways big and small. I truly believe things will happen according to God's plan and sometimes it doesn't look like the right way to us - but His way is best. I do need reminding of it sometimes.
    Praying all goes well for Gary's surgery.
    I love the way your neighbors helped!

  4. Wow, the new yard looks super. I like the mulch. I've done that a few times with the mulch but it doesn't last long enough. Last time we put down lava rock. That's done pretty well. These on-going projects are wearing me out. "The old gray mare just ain't what she used to be ..." Guess I need to play the lottery so I can win and then hire someone else to do these things. 😁
    Have a blessed day. 💙

  5. I will keep Gary in my prayers, Barbara, and do help your new arrangements will have him getting the surgery he needs. I do love your yard. Hard work, but certainly reason to celebrate with some ice cream!
    Keep us posted!

  6. I know now specifically what to pray for. The health care system is frustrating these days. Something I have learned well, but He is still in control.
    Thankful for good neighbors who helped out. That is a lesson I am also graciously accept help.


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