Wednesday, October 31, 2007

It's just a season


Right now, the last day of October, I'm feeling the late fall, early winter blues. The month started well, with colorful trees, crisp sweater weather, and lots of celebration for James’ 27th birthday. But since then the trees have been stripped of their pretty colors either by wind or frost. Mid month we had our first few inches of cleansing snow, but the rain that has fallen since then has turned the snow, dirt, and leaves into a dingy muck. It just a season, but it’s not Alaska’s finest. I’m looking forward to a few feet of pure white snow to reflect the little light we have left and brighten everyone’s spirits.

Second quarter has started at the high school and the novelty of starting school again has gone the way of neatly organized notebooks and shiny new school supplies. I haven’t had a day off since Labor Day, and the repetition of waking too early and going to sleep too late has put me into a semi-apathetic zombie state that’s hard to rouse from. There are few parts of the school year so far from distraction and the hope of special breaks and functions as this one. Good thing it’s just a season. Two days off for Thanksgiving will be a nice reprieve.

Good news: tomorrow is November. In my mind, August is pink, September is yellow, November is orange, but October is black. I guess it is sort of an intense month, between summer fun and winter fun, summer break and winter break, summer sun and winter coziness. October is just a month to endure, I suppose. It’s just a season.

It feels sometimes like James has decided to swim across the Atlantic, only it’s an ocean made up of homework assignments, group projects, and studying. Daily he fights the frustration of trying to stay afloat among the battering waves of deadlines, quizzes, unreasonable teachers, and tests. I wish I could come along in a cruise ship, rescue him from the murky waters, and go off together on a well deserved vacation, but I know it would surely cause the wave that would sink him for good. So I just bob along beside him in a little life boat handing out nourishment and encouragement waiting for the day when the shore is finally in sight, and we can celebrate that an enormous feat has been accomplished and is finally behind us. On bad days I refocus by picturing James graduating, walking capped and gowned upon a far off stage. Last night the image was so real, I started to hum “Pomp and Circumstance” unconsciously! *sigh* It’s just a season in our life right now. As much as it seems to be the only landscape of our life—past, present, and future—I know that one day soon, Lord willing, it will all be very different and have nothing to do with UAA, Lord willing!

In order for James to get to the other side of the Atlantic, we are relying on my income alone right now. Thankfully that too is just a season. Even with my four year degree and extensive experience in my field, I can’t make enough to pay the rent and bills and to fill our stomachs and gas tanks. We are dipping into savings to make it month to month, which thanks to Grandma’s last gift to us and PFDs, we can almost afford to do. I don’t mind my deficiencies as a bread winner, and I am slow to remedy them (going back to school, looking for a second job, looking for a better paying job, etc.), because it really isn’t my responsibility. My job is to keep house. Right now the only way I can keep it is to work, so I’m okay with that, but Lord willing, soon James can be the bread winner and I can be the bread baker. The idea of having an income that will allow us to pay off old school debt, support the missions that we care so passionately for, and save for a house, is nearly beyond my imagination.

Here is what wise King Solomon said just after his own soliloquy on seasons:

What profit has the worker from that in which he labors? I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end. I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice and to do good in their lives, and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God.

Ecclesiastes 3:9-13

3 comments:

  1. I just wanted to say, we didn't take any of the pictures shown. The top picture is credited to Anchorage Daily News (it is Alaska). The other two photos are curtesy of Google Image search. I hope I'm not stealing, I just wanted to illustrate my words.

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  2. I LOVE what you said about taking care of the house by earning an income. I truly want to think that way if I ever need to get a paying job. (And it's a smart way to think - makes perfect sense to me!)
    h

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  3. Andrea,
    I love the thinking of months in colors. Very illustrative. I also loved catching up a bit on you two's lives. I understand about the school thing. Dougle and I took turns finishing college once we were married. He finished me up first, then I worked (teaching) and finished him up. So, if you every need a sympathizer, just let me know! I loved your last bit from Solomon. We were just talking about it in team stuff the other day. How the best thing in life is, at the end of the day, to be able to enjoy and be happy with what God has allowed you to do that day and what God has given you in life. That was a very long sentence, so I don't know if it made sense. Just thought I'd share.
    --Lucy

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