Sunday, September 18, 2011

Weekends Are For the Unexpected...

RARELY do we do ANYTHING unexpected.  So when I told the kids we were going to go on a -Big Adventure- Natalie looked at me in amazement and said, "Really? I mean we didn't have anything planned and we're just going to go?!" Yep!  Miracles still happen and God is the miracle worker!  HA!
Keith was working and we had no set plans...just a set direction so after lunch we headed East toward beautiful Amish country!

Natalie suggested we stop in and visit Marmon Valley Farm which is a family favorite!  We spent hours loving on all the animals and playing on the huge "barn" playground.  No plans, no agenda...just time spent together doing whatever God gave us in the moment.  Each day is a gift just waiting to be opened!

We headed south and Kolton spotted a corner ice cream parlor.  Ice cream before supper?  Sure!  What else are you supposed to do on an adventure?  So we all piled out and chose from about fifty different flavors {Kids scoops $1.50 -Yay!} We sat down on the bench outside.  It was warm and the town was full of people coming and going. 

I noticed a little antique shop right across the street and thought we would pop in quick to see if we could find any treasures.  As we walked over...I noticed an older woman sitting on an old bath mat in the middle of the sidewalk, her cane was laying next to her.  She wore a big brimmed red hat with a flower on the side and was using a flat headed screw driver to dig the weeds from the cracks in the side walk. 

I assumed she was from the antique store...keeping the sidewalks looking nice for the customers.  We walked past with a smile and walked into the store. 

Our visit was short {you know with four kids and dripping ice cream cones} so back out we went as the woman in the red hat struggled to get up from the ground...trying to gain her balance off her cane which I now notice was decorated with signs.  I asked her if she needed help.  She said "No thank you.  The Dr. says I should stop doing things like this, but I just can't stand seeing it look like this."  I asked if she worked at the antique store and she told me no, she lived a couple of blocks away.  She had been working hard pulling the weeds starting at the pet groomer which was a block away.  Sure enough I saw the trail of pulled weeds and the marks from her worn green handled corn broom which she used to sweep and gather as she moved along.

I thanked her and told her that she was a blessing.  She bashfully replied "The good Lord has allowed me to do it"  I smiled as the kids and I walked back across the street. 

Something about her just captivated me.  I buckled Kolton in and I kept looking over at her.  People just walking past words spoken.  I wondered what on earth I could do for her?  Could we buy her some water?  An ice cream cone??  What can we do for her Lord?

I kept looking at my camera.  I wish I had asked if I could have taken her picture.  Crazy I know, but that is how much she affected me.  I wanted to remember.  Everyone has a story...and I wanted to remember her.  Pray for her!   I stewed back and forth thinking I was crazy and then simply grabbed it.  I walked back across the street and asked her if I could take her picture!  If she could have jumped in a hole she would have! 

"I look a mess!  You don't want a picture of me! Let me go home and put on my purple dress!"  Ha ha!  She was cracking me up!  I told her that she was a blessing and I wanted a picture to remember her by.  Blushing she tucked strands of flying hair behind her ear and under her red hat, saying over and over how awful she looked.  I told her that she looked beautiful -and she was!  

So there she stood next to the brick antique shop, smiling and holding her cane which read:  I know my caboose is moving slow.  Thank God I'm still moving.  Love Smile Laugh, Have a happy day!

She was so blessed that we stopped to talk to her.  "Everyone in town knows me" she said.  In the short five minutes we spoke she shared part of her life with me.  Health for her community and how she was in the parade every year except last year -she had her bee costume all ready to go...including a flash light in the tail...but due to the extreme heat, she just couldn't do it. 

Looking back...I think what we were supposed to give her (what she needed the most) was a little bit of our time.  The kind word spoken.  Encouragement off the tongue.  Even a silly photo request, to possibly refresh a soul.  

God turned  this day into so much more than expected!  This sweet woman is now written on my heart.  I will continue to pray for her and praise God that she was part of our adventure! 

So Love - Smile - Laugh -  and Have a Happy Day!

post signature


Megan and Ryan Reed said...

How neat! In Iowa where I am from there is a really neat Amish area that we love to visit and check out when we are there!

Divine Mrs D said...

How beautiful!

And I'll have to let you know when we're in Ohio next. I'm originally from Canal Fulton (near Canton). I'm not entirely sure how far that is from you!