What Happens When Your Guardian Angel Takes a Vacation

Thanks once again to Calvin, I can finally get started on another blog post.  It seems like the biggest writing challenge for me is composing the opening sentence.  Over the past three years I have acquired a deep respect for all of those legitimately great journalists/authors/cartoonists/bloggers who churn out articles/books/comics/posts on a regular basis.  If I had to face a deadline, I would indeed be “dead”!!! LOL  Well now, back to the whining, complaining, griping Calvin and how I can so totally relate to him after the events of the past several weeks.  After all that has happened, and after all of my “griping”, I can only conclude that my overworked Guardian Angel took a much-needed vacation shortly after Christmas……..and truth be told, I think he/she is having a bit of trouble getting back into the swing of things!!!!

This “overworked” angel must have hastily packed his/her bags and departed secretly to some “heavenly resort” a few days after Christmas (we all know that my angel would never even consider an “earthly campground resort” as a get-away-from-it-all!!), for it seems as though my travails all began soon after the holiday when I woke up one morning to  encounter freezing cold temperatures……………………….inside my house!!!  Upon inspection, the thermostat reading was 45 degrees, but let me tell you even to a warm-blooded creature as myself, if felt like sub-zero!!  I called a family acquaintance who has, in the past, rescued Crick and me  from our heating and cooling issues and he graciously offered to come right over.  As I had to go in to work that morning, I waited until he and his partner arrived to let them into the house.  From my initial explanation of the situation, he quickly concluded that the problem was most likely a one or two hundred-dollar replacement blower for the furnace, but that he would check everything out and would bill me later.  Well, when I returned home early that afternoon, the house was toasty warm, but Charlie hadn’t left so much as a note to indicate what he had found, and even though I left him a voice message thanking him for restoring heat to the “hearth”, I have yet to know the extent of the “damages”. Anyway, I had no sooner sat down in my now comfy, heated home for a quiet lunch, when I received a text message from Stephanie that she was in the ER being evaluated for an extremely rapid heart rate and so I jumped back into the car and headed over to the hospital.  By the time I arrived, the situation was under control, but the ER doctor wanted her to remain overnight in order to have a cardiologist see her the next morning.  (what?????  a hospital with no heart specialist on staff?????…………..okay, okay………….so it was a Friday after all………….and the Buckeyes were playing that night in the Orange Bowl!!!!) LOL), but I digress.  Confident that Stephanie’s health status was not serious (after a follow-up appointment with a cardiologist who specializes in the electrophysiology of the heart and after getting a heart ultrasound, she has since been given a “thumbs up”), I offered to pick up the Baird grandchildren and we all headed over for a prearranged Orange Bowl party at Christine and Mike’s.  Not only did the Bucks throw a real damper on the party atmosphere, but I managed to ram my toe into the large wood stand on which stood the Demko Christmas tree.

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I made such a fuss over my poor bruised toe, taunting Mike with my hobbled walk as I kept getting up from my seat to check on the kids, that Christine fastened an “angel on a wire” to mark the spot in order to warn me and others that this area was an accident waiting to happen.  LOL  It seems that the Christmas season, me and the Demko household are bad karma.  Several years ago, on Christmas night, I suffered a compound fracture of my index finger while trying to break my fall after having tripped over their dog.  It’s another interesting, painful and expensive (LOL) saga, in which I have since taken great delight in reminding Mike of every single Christmas!!!!

Fortunately, for me and for the Buckeyes, that Friday ended, but my reprieve from troubles and complaining were short-lived.  The very next week I had delayed going to bed one night in order to catch up on the latest news (does that surprise anyone?), a little while later I found myself waking up from a brief snooze to the sound of dripping water coming from the basement.  I jumped up and when I arrived at the bottom of the stairs, I discovered water dripping from just about every pipe.  Yikes!!!!   I ran back up the steps to grab my phone (you may remember from previous blog posts that I admit to being useless in emergency situations) and as I stepped into the kitchen, water covered the hardwood floor.  Long sad story, short………..I called my boisterous,  designated “pest control”, brother-in-law Mike whom I awoke from his peaceful slumber at 12:20 AM.  Thankfully, he must have a soft spot in his heart for a “damsel in distress” as he arrived promptly and immediately asked where the main water valve was located.  Gee…………………why didn’t I think of that????????  Once the water was shut off, he kindly helped me soak up the water in the kitchen with some old towels before heading back home to dream pleasant dreams of the sister-in-law from H-E-double hockey sticks!!   The next day, the plumbing service who arrived determined that the dishwasher was the source of the problem and that the bad news was I would need a new dishwasher.   To which my reply was, actually for me, that was the “good news” because I don’t really need a dishwasher, but I do need properly working pipes and plumbing!

The next day, thinking I was out of the woods, I began the task of washing the soaking wet towels from the night before.  I threw a large load into the washer, closed the lid and pushed start…………………………….the washing machine began to groan at me as if to mock me for my cockiness in assuming that all was well now.  Undaunted, or should I say stubbornly in denial, I repeated the whole operating procedure…………same depressing groan!!!  What to do next?  Why, call upon the “soft spot in his heart” brother-in-law from the other side of the family……….Crick’s long-suffering brother, Jay.  He generously gave of his time to stop by to not only look at the washer, but to also complete the work Crick had begun when he installed our sump pump several years ago :)…………the “bad news” was the 20-year-old washer had spun its last cycle!!!………the good news was the sump pump got a new heavy-duty hose!!!!   Hats off to Jay and Mike………brother-in-laws extraordinaire!!!

What is perhaps most astonishing to me is that all of this happened within about a one week period.  After the last incident, I was truly worried about “putting two feet on the floor” each  morning.  Suffice it to say that, of late, things have settled down a bit (fingers & bruised toes crossed!).  However, given the fact that I began writing this post over two weeks ago, I guess the only portion of my life that has truly “settled down” is that which deals with broken items!  It seems that family events are always, always, always swirling around me, and, oh yeah,……………can’t forget my half-day/week job LOL!!  There is the shoveling of snow, morning Mass (still 10 minutes late!!), breakfast at Bob Evans with either Bobby or Christine, or both, or with my new “buddy”, a Kindle Fire.  There are those busy grandkids who keep me hopping from one school or athletic function to another or pitching in to help with childcare or driving someone to an appointment. and did I mention……………shoveling snow?????   I have also been trying to stay in touch with the extended sides of both families. and so it was that one weekend the Schultheis sibs and spouses came over for dinner and card night.  My oh my, how we have evolved into a bunch of “old geezers” (as Jay likes to say) since after dinner, we all decided to scrub the card game opting instead for the simple pleasure of sitting around the table, talking about our families, our jobs and our politics LOL!!!  Then last weekend, the Clark sibs and spouses got together at Bobby’s house, ordered pizzas/wings and sat down to watch a bunch of old home movies!!  If ever there was a cause for laughter…….watching one’s family life being played out in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and yes even the 90’s will certainly do it!!  (Wow!!! our lives are  covering a whole bunch of decades!!!)  Perhaps home movies could be the topic of another blog post because there is such an abundance of hilarious, “historical” information to be shared…………………………………….Clarks beware!!!!!!  Oh, and did I mention……………shoveling snow???????

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This last snow was more like trying to shovel a mini-glacier!!!!!!
This last snow was more like trying to shovel a mini-glacier!!!!!

Speaking of home movies, I just happened to put together a “day with nana” video for all of the grandkids which highlighted some moments from their outing with me which represented my Christmas gift to them this year.  I put the video to music from the One Direction song, “The Story of My Life” which is one of their favorites (with the exception of Sam.who prefers his Rap…….ugh!).  This was the result:

One last thing before I sign off………….as I was looking for some inspiration to leave with all of the readers of this blog, I found this particular passage as I was thumbing through the pages of a new devotional.  I truly do believe that there is some Divine intervention which inspires the writing of a “diaryofanut” because I stopped at this specific page which begins with, “My eyes are on all those”, and ends with “my eyes are indeed on all of you”.  I find this interesting since this phrase had become a favorite of Crick’s from his days at Glacier Ridge Elementary.  He would walk the school halls and encounter the kids getting ready to head to their buses, hand them one of his infamous mints and give them this sign:

My eyes are on you!
My eyes are on you!

And so, let’s just say this blog post’s inspirational message is straight from Crick to all of you :)

My eyes are on those whose hope is in My unfailing Love.  To enjoy abundant Life it is essential for you to have hope. However, many people indulge in false hopes and find themselves increasingly disillusioned as the years go by.  So I urge you to choose well the object of your hope.  The best choice is:  My unfailing Love.  From the time you first trusted Me as Savior, nothing…..including death, life, things present or things to come….can separate you from this Love.

When you follow My divine guidelines, you can enjoy the Peace of My Presence.  I am everywhere and I see everything, but My eyes are especially on those who are putting their hope in Me.  Such people are ever so precious to Me, and I watch over them vigilantly.  This does not mean I shield them from all adversity.  It means I bless them with My nearness in good times, in hard times….at all times.

So persevere in placing your hope in My perfect Love.  Look up to Me in the midst of your moments, for my eyes are indeed on you!                                                                                                 from Jesus Today

The eyes of the Lord are on those who fear Him, on those whose hope is in His unfailing love.          Psalm 33:18

TNT (till next time)

TGW (the good wife)