I asked her if I could come help out...after all, my mom had her hip replaced this past fall and I was there...just sayin' I am qualified to help. She accepted my offer and I headed up the road to their home...more accurately the hospital, because she was still there. The surgery had gone well and her hubby, Big Dog (the real, true, original Big Dog before motorcycles, large & tall clothing, or beer brewers stole his identity), was sitting in her hospital room as she slept off the effects of the anesthesia.
Oakley is the Thelma to my Louise or vice versa (except for that whole driving over the edge of the cliff thing)...she is more likely to keep me from going over...she is more likely to talk me down from the edge. She is calm and rational and generally able to see the big picture. She is loving and loyal. She flew to South Carolina when Pop and I were in the process of moving back to Kansas to make the long drive home with me. (Here's a link to that story.)
And she has a giggle that when I just think about it, I have bubbles that start in the pit of my stomach and work their way up and out as the kind of hysterical laughter that only great friends can share.
While she was in the hospital, the "Blizzard of Oz" hit. Kansas gets snow but it had been a while. It was beautiful. Serene. Calm. Peaceful. I had heard it was coming and made sure to travel before it arrived. It blessed me to help out...a little cleaning...a little laundry...a tiny bit of cooking (because Oakley and Big Dog had purchased smart, easy foods to keep it simple). Then Oakley's parents arrived...they met her Aunt and Uncle there so the "girls" could attend a two-day conference and the brothers could visit. It was a pleasant event for me.
On a side note, God orchestrated a chance meeting of another long-time friend who happens to work at that hospital...I came out of Oakley's room and came face to face...we've stayed somewhat in touch but it was a sweet meeting. I love it when God does that!
The first night they were there, Oakley and I had dinner with the two gentlemen while their wives were at the evening session of the conference...these men are polite and soft-spoken...they are quick to smile and are apt conversationalists. Of course, they weren't there to visit with me but Oakley had to rest and recuperate; so I was the happy participant in some of her Dad's and Uncle's conversations. Her folks and Pop and I have some common acquaintances (some of them happen to be related to Oakley) and we share a common faith in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. At one point, my question to him about a news story on the television eventually routed to his beliefs and his faith. There is nothing I love to talk about or hear about more.
I found this picture of some of her extended family to share...
|Big Dog, Oakley, and their two precious daughters are on the left. Oakley's Mom and Dad are to the right of her. |
Her aunt and uncle who came to visit are also in this picture.
You might also recognize The Cowboy (Oakley's brother) and Mrs. Cowboy from a previous blog post.
The tall brunette is their daughter and she just happened to play volleyball with my niece.
My worlds are colliding like Seinfeld's George Costanza's - except that I like it!)
I would have loved to stay longer but there was another snow storm coming and Oakley was in good hands with her Mom and Dad there to help her and Big Dog. And the Four Sisters Farm cats were probably hungry.
So I am holed up at the farm...the cats fed...the ground mostly blanketed by snow...a fire in the fireplace...catching up on paperwork and some sewing. I am also basking in the glow of time shared with a great friend. I did tell her I thought surgery was way above and beyond what most friends do to get together for friend time...she just giggled.
I love Oakley. I love her family too. That is all.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12a says,
"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves."