Monday, June 13, 2011

 When life gets rough, go to the zoo - and other life lessons that I just made up

Our weekend was bad.

And yet it was just filled with love and laughter. Because we have a big God and a good God. And some times, really, you just have to laugh.

Things kicked off on Friday with a doctor appointment that confirmed our suspicions that Jay will need his first surgery. Ear tubes, tonsillectomy, and adenoids out. Not a real significant surgery, but he is my kid, has had no surgeries, and I am not jumping up and down excited about it.

Next was the camper. Ohhhh the camper...

We have totally outgrown our pop up camper. Believe me, when you try to stick 6 people and all of the needed "stuff" for a vacation in a pop up camper that you have outgrown - home sounds better and better and vacation no longer fulfills its definition.

So, we started looking. And shopping. And getting excited, since we leave in less than a month for a very anticipated week long vacation. We thought we found "the one".  It sold before we got to it. We found another one. It was pouring down rain when we went to look at it, so we weren't able to do a real thorough check of everything. On the outset though, it looked great. In reality... not so much. What we didn't know, and we are pretty convinced that the sellers did not know either, is that this "great" travel trailer had a leak, and water damage under the carpet. As it ends up, alot of water damage under the carpet.

Saturday morning we wake up to K experiencing a painful migraine. As we tend to him, we deal with the disappointment of having bought a "project" (and ya'll know how much we needed another project right now...). We process all that planning another surgery entails. And then... our cat dies.

I know, right?

We have alot of cats that roam around our place. We have a big ol' farm, so they kind of come and go as they please. We aren't really the type to spend alot of $ on these cats. Often the males end up going off on their own eventually anyway. BUT, we made an exception with one of our cats, because she had kittens. She was having some health issues...that were pretty obvious. I'll spare you the details. She had surgery last week. We paid. The issues came back Saturday morning. We called the vet. It became apparent that all that could be done had been done.

So, she was put down.

All of this happened in like, a twelve hour time period.

So we threw our hands in the air, tried to laugh through our tears,
left the house,
the cats,
the schedule,
and the camper...

And we went to the zoo.

We laughed.
We held tightly to one another.
We had the privilege of petting two humongous snakes.
We fed giraffes.

...And we truly counted it a gift that we have each other; a family intact and in love.

That's worth more than I can even begin to articulate right now.

The imprint that this past weekend has left in my heart is not a dwindling back account with not alot to show for it.

It is not a dead cat.

It isn't migraines and surgeries.

It is the love that surrounded us.

It is the way that God surprised us with glimpses of hope in the midst of alot of yuck.

It is little boys who say, "we still have kittens!" in response to our "family talk".

It is a husband who takes my face in his hands and looks past the tears, into my eyes. He felt disappointment most keenly about our less than perfect purchase, but then he pulled his shoulders back, put his chin up, and made a plan to seal and renovate our camper. You better believe that little traveling home of ours is going to be beautiful and enjoyed over and over after we finish!

It is an imprint of not allowing circumstances to dictate our disposition.

I can't lie, there is still "stuff" that we are working through as this new week starts, but the smiles are intact. And for that I am thankful. So very, very thankful.


Rachel said...

Oh, Wendi, I am so sorry :( Any one of those things by itself would be a tough thing, and when they all come at the same hard. We are there. We are in the yuck, too :) Different yuck, but the same choice - freak out, or cling to each other, laugh, and trust God. I'm glad there were some smiles this weekend even amidst such disappointment. I am praying for you, friend!

Kristin said...

WENDI! Are you not aware that I read your blog? Are you not aware that you have the most evil picture ever, and I am on the verge of tears?

Tell me this is not binder park. Even if it is. Tell me its not.

Penny said...

Oooh...I feel your pain. This past week has been so trying, especially with one of our pets dying, but you're right: our circumstances do not dictate our disposition. And it's hard, so very hard, but we know we have a God who loves us and wants the best for us...even in the difficult moments.

Mom to the Fab Four! said...


I have been reading your blog for awhile now, but I usually do not comment. I absolutely LOVE reading your posts. We too bought a camper that turned out to not be what we thought it was. Ours was water leaking in the walls and out. We also had burst water pipes, a water pump that wasn't working and a roof that leaked! This was 2 summers ago after my then 3 yr old drove our van down a hill (van was wrecked but he wasn't hurt), blew a tire on our way to Adventureland, had our house and vehicles destroyed by a freak hail storm, had every one of my appliances die withing a 9 month period AND then after we got our truck fixed from the hail, paid lots of money to have a 5th wheel hitch put in it, it was rearended (while parked thank goodness) and totaled again!! Minus the appliances that was all in a July-October span. We have gotten to the point that we just laugh about things anymore! I mean last fall we had shrew invade our house....only us!! Hope things are looking up for you. You have such a great spirit and attitude!!

Arlona said...

The boys showed me the camper tonight. I wonder if the smell triggered Caleb's migraine. Just a thought. When that old damp wood is removed and replaced, it will be nice. You have a great "fixer upper" in Dave and it will be great. The boys and I had a great time today. So glad that you can find comfort in your family and go to the zoo .

Amy@My Front Porch said...

we've had a couple of months now where it's been that seriously, what is next, Lord...choosing to have the right response despite circumstances is not a fun lesson to learn...

Kema said...

I came across your blog because I was interested in people's experiences in Pop-Up Camping. I was so surprised to find such a beautiful post. You have a wonderful outlook on life! I am so glad to have stumbled across this.

Nikki said...

What a rough weekend!! I'm excited to see this camper, once you guys have fixed it up...I'm sure that with Dave's handyman skills + your ability to cute-ify anything, it will be a stellar little vacation home on wheels.