Paws and Passages

Today is a bit of a sad day in our household as we said goodbye to Nicky, a beloved member of our family for over 22 years. Nicky moved to Virginia with us in 1998 when he was not much more than a kitten. This long-haired Polydactyl outlived five other members of our fur family — two of his companions that moved here with us, and three that were adopted over the past 20 years. Amazing!

Pets are such an important part of our lives, aren’t they? They truly become members of the family providing companionship and comfort, and a lot of special memories. This blog could be filled with harrowing stories of Nicky using up his “nine lives” with his crazy antics over the years. Oh, the tales he could tell!

But beyond companionship and comfort, there are so many stories about how rescued and adopted animals actually saved their owners from lives of loneliness, isolation and despair. And there is nothing quite like the bond created when a service animal enters a home. They bring peace and healing to lives that were previously broken or damaged by violence, illness or crisis. These highly-trained animals open the door to normal living again.

Heaven-Sent Love

With all the millions of animals in this world seeking homes, somehow we always find our perfect match. Although the Bible never mentions pets, the Lord must know how much we love them. He also knows how much it hurts when they leave us.

So, on behalf of all the grateful pet owners reading this, let’s take this opportunity to thank God for Nicky, and all the pets who have wandered into our lives and captured our hearts. Thank you, Lord, for every purr and meow, bark and tail wag. Our lives have been blessed and enriched by our fur families’ unconditional love and steadfast presence.

In almost 37 years of marriage, we have always had at least one cat in our home. We are going to have some pet-free time now. (I wonder how long that will last?) Meanwhile we are going to enjoy our daughter’s two “grand-bunnies” that reside in our basement. Max and Charlie will be getting an extra dose of cuddles today. 💕

Finding Balance

My husband commented yesterday about how the weekends seem to fly by, but the work week always drags on forever. I suspect this feeling becomes more pronounced as one nears retirement.

Our weekends have been full of yard and garden work, and major home renovations. Some pesky deer are devouring our flowers and vegetable plants right down to the ground, and Neil is trying to create a barrier to keep them out. He removed the wire fence from our yard’s perimeter, and is going to attach it directly to the garden frames.

Reno Update

Most nights have been spent working on our flooring project. I realized today that I haven’t given an update on that project since March. Just to recap, we decided to replace our dingy 21-year old carpet with engineered hardwood. We have nearly completed the hallway, plus two bedrooms. There are still three rooms to go. Here’s a quick view of our progress. Not bad for a DIY project!

Soaring to New Heights

And what is life without a little relaxation? Yesterday we drove out to Front Royal, VA so that Neil could finally redeem his glider ride gift certificate, received two birthdays ago! Between our busy schedules and the rainy weekend weather, the timing never seemed right. But yesterday everything came together!

It was a beautiful day for soaring and Neil had a great time. Joe, his pilot, caught some decent thermals along the Blue Ridge, and their ride lasted a full 51 minutes! The only down side was the heat, and there is no AC in the glider. Still, it was an enjoyable ride, and after his flight we took some time to explore the area.

We drove up along the ridge overlooking the Shenandoah River and took a couple photos.

We can all agree that life is more enjoyable when we strike a healthy balance of work and leisure. Finding that balance can be challenging though, and some  days feel lopsided with the extra weight of work and family responsibilities.

It’s important to take the time that is needed to refresh and recharge to create that important balance. Sometimes just stepping away for a few hours can make a huge difference.

God has provided us with an amazing world to explore. Get outside and be a part of it!