Friday, March 30, 2007

Journal of a Living Lady #295

Nancy White Kelly

Today would not be a good day for me to step on the scale. My mind is heavy.

One biggie is waiting on Charlie and Tori to call saying they are on the way to the hospital to deliver little Noah. The time is getting close.

The birth of a child seems so natural for this season of the year. While the weather in January and February was mild, most days were dismally dreary. March was only a little better. Several cold mornings I decided not to waste make-up. Spring has finally sprung and nobody is more excited about that than I am.

Life goes on and apparently I am going with the flow. For the first time since my breast cancer returned in the late 90’s, my oncologist has spaced my visits to every ninety days instead of thirty. The recent CAT and bone scans showed no new activity. I am stable and that is a very good word. But, all is not well in the family. I got some somber news last week.

My niece, who is only 33 years old, learned that she has cancer, not just one type but two. Such a combination is rare. She is beginning her journey through chemotherapy and radiation. I pray for her just as others have prayed for me.

I wrote my niece a note of encouragement. She responded that for the last five years she had lost her spiritual focus. Now, she related, God was high on her list of priorities. Good. At least something positive has come from her experience.

So, just as the seasons come and go, life dances from one extreme to another. Sometimes we hear joyous songs. Other times a solemn dirge. What a deficient world it would be if we kept our music inside.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Journal of a Living Lady #294

Nancy White Kelly

My laptop is out of town and I am with it. It isn’t easy writing a column on the road, but it is against my nature to miss deadlines. The last time my column was lost in cyberspace, two faithful readers called my oncologist to see if I was still living. She was good natured about it. Citing the new HIPAA regulations, she told those two people to “call Mrs. Kelly and ask her if she’s alive or dead.”

Just a few months ago I was in total kidney failure and flirting with the death angel. Today I am not only alive, but thriving.

Buddy and I are in Missouri. We are with several friends who are volunteering for a week with an international, faith-based organization called CEF. To discourage distractions, there are no televisions or telephones in our modest dorm rooms. We are up by 6:00 a.m. and hit the bed dog-tired by early evening. While there aren’t any children or inmates at the campus headquarters, we are greatly involved with those who work with them day-to-day. Likewise, we have supportive friends like Larry and Carol Chandler who volunteered to care for our dog and horse while we are away.

Today Carla Bowen and I have typed hundreds of names and addresses into a database. Mailing labels will expedite the sending of requested study materials. Carla’s husband, Ted, and my Buddy have been assembling desks for the administrative staff. During lulls in the building and maintenance schedule, Buddy helps others grade the Bible-study worksheets submitted by children from around the world. Hand-written, encouraging notes are added to the tests along with smiley-face stickers. Nancy Gadsby, a Hiawassee resident, uses her bi-lingual ability to write to Spanish-speaking correspondents.

Other Georgia and North Carolina locals, Walter, Ann, Betty, Howard, Rosemary, Peggy, Elisabeth, Oskar, Gunter, Helga, Erika, and Dale cheerfully contribute their labor and skills to various tasks. Many of these have been to the CEF headquarters before and plan to return.

Buddy and I are happy for the opportunity to participate, yet we are weary. Neither of us has put in a full days work in years. We miss our naps. We miss watching O’Reilly. We miss home-cooking.

While we have a renewed appreciation of retirement, Buddy and I don’t regret volunteering at CEF. Not at all. It is a small sacrifice, knowing that one week of our lives could make a profound difference in the lives of hundreds of spiritually-thirsty inmates and children. If you’d like a similar opportunity, write and I’ll put you in touch with Child Evangelism Fellowship.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Journal of a Living Lady #293

Nancy White Kelly

It has been a long, long time since I listened to a teacher explaining the first of Newton’s Laws. You remember, don’t you? Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it.

If I remember correctly, Newton, Aristotle, and Galileo had a difference of academic opinion on the topic. But, as the young folks say, “Whatever.”

Newton and his theories aren’t particularly relevant to my everyday activities today except perhaps to scientifically explain my struggle, especially on Sundays. It takes a lot of strength to keep panty hose from retreating south.

Another Newton gets the blame for that game. Who could forget the taste of those square cookies with a smidgeon of grainy, figish filling? When I was in grammar school, those crumbly bars went so well with a glass of milk. If only I had quit my affair with Fig Newtons back then and there.

But, no, those little Newtons launched my life-long longing for bigger and sweeter treats. And we all know the end result of unrestrained indulgence. Actually I am not as big as I used to be. Cancer and its effect on appetite and a little old age took care of that problem. I never want to be a skinny ninny anyway.

A few of the fat jokes I have read lately remind me that I don’t want to reacquaint myself with fig newtons. It is time to stop when the scale says, “One at a time, please.” I don’t want to get so big I have to iron my pants in the driveway or be mistaken for a taxi when I wear my yellow raincoat.

Now, back to those Sunday pantyhose. Have you ever seen the laughable size of those nylons? I have seen cow fingers bigger than those things. And, I’ve never figured out why they package pantyhose in plastic chicken eggs.

It’s time. On with the panty hose. Sir Isaac Newton knew what he was talking about. The resistance begins just as I cross the bulge and finally get the toes started.

The Lord must know I love him very much.