Sunday, July 12, 2009

mountain lion attack

Forgive me, the title was an abbreviation of "mountain lion show" and "panic attack", two events which are (fortunately) not specifically related to each other. Stars last evening here with us, we took all the kids to the Jubilee Days carnival in downtown Laramie, and there was a new show this year with a mountain lion. She was a two year female mountain lion, not really trained yet but her handler still had us all ooohing and aaahing as he got her to leap up ten feet or higher in the air, chasing after a toy on a stick (actually he said mountain lions can leap up to twenty feet!). The handler would toss an empty cardboard box across the pen and the lion would chase after it, bat it around, and then jump inside of it and crouch down. Just like a regular size kitty playing with a box or a bag. Made you just want to go up and pet her and scatch her under chin (which her handler did a couple times, too).

B. was most impressed by the lion's tail, he has this fixation with cat tails. For instance, if our poor innocent cat, Cleo, happens to be sleeping with her tail in a vulnerable position, B. will creep up on her and then "pounce" on her tail and pin it down with his foot! (It's amazing Cleo isn't neurotic). Well once the mountain lion poked her tail out of the wire mesh of her pen while she was crouched in her box, and when B. saw that giant twitching tail, he got all twitchy himself. Ha! - I'd like to see what would happen if he'd try to stomp on that kitty tail!

So now the panic attack part. We let the twins  go on their very first ride, each with an older sister (we had to wheedle with the tickettaker to allow Blaze to go on this ride, 'cause it's supposed to be for smaller kids). The twins went around on that airplane merry-go-round with the biggest grins on their faces! So, it was their first ride. But when I got on the boat swing (which always used to be my favorite ride) with Blaze, I decided that very well might be my last ride.

For the first five minutes I was just fine, enjoying the great sweeping motion like I always had before. But then I noticed the person running the ride was fiddling with the controls. The boat started swinging even higher. More fiddling with the controls. Dear Lord, had the mechanism broken? Were were going to swing out-of-control? Or just keep on swinging until someone could get it fixed? My imagination put me into a panic attack. I kept watching the fellow fiddling with the controls and tried not to panic (or swear), until I couldn't stand it anymore and closed my eyes. But after another few minutes, since no one else around me was panicking, I decided maybe my life and my daughter's might be spared after all. Nothing terrible happened. We just kept swinging, for a VERY LONG time. Everyone else seemed psyched to be getting an extra long ride. Blaze was lovng it. Eventually the swing slowed down and I wobbled back down to firm ground. Apparently I don't have the guts for these thrill rides anymore. Another grim sign of the fast approaching 40 year mark.

Stars shared a dream with me that I just have to share, too. She told me she was dreaming of shopping in Macy's when there was a store-wide announcement that there as a fire in the building and would everyone please evacuate. Sounds like a scary dream, right? But no, this is classic Stars: shortly after the first announcement, she dreamed there was a second one. "Please feel free to take any of the merchandise with you as you are leaving the store." Grin.

Now Stars is back home in Washington, and Blaze just spent the first of four nights at Bible camp up in the mountains,. Kids will grow up and go away! But after the initial slight depression of having a slightly less-full household, I am adjusted and trying to get back into my routine. For the past month, my writing progress has been non-existant, and my spiritual life has been not much better. I am a full week behind on my Bible read-through, and behind on my memorization, too. A few days ago I was re-reading some earlier posts and came across a challenge to myself following the womens' leadership event and Beth Moore event. Here's what I wrote:

I am pretty sure God was trying to teach me two things this weekend from these two events: I want you more with Me, and I want you reaching out more to other women, and that means your own daughters, too.

I had meant to try to talk with Stars (as much as she was willing) while she was here, but I'd completely forgotten about my challenge. She had just a day left at that point when I re-read the above. So I determined that I would broach the subject with something simple like "where do you feel you are spiritually, these days?" But we were so busy that last day I never got around to it. Finally after we got home from the carnival and she was doing the last of her packing I couldn't put it off any longer. I went down to her room to help her pack and to start a little conversation. But she was on the phone with a friend. "Oh can my friend come over for a little while?" she asks me. "She said she'd help me pack." "Oh, I'll help you pack!" I said. Her face fell. "But I really wanted to see Chesca one more time before I leave." I was disappointed, but it was really my fault that I'd waited until the last minute. So of course her friend came over. And I retreated to sit with my neglected Bible, much convicted and determined to not let opportunties slide again. I did end up having a good talk with Blaze the next day on Biblical attitiudes. But I need to pray more about discipling my girls and make opportunities happen, instead of just waiting for them to happen.

This morning I got up at 6:00 to go for an early morning walk (another habit that I've let slide for a couple weeks) and took along my voice recorder to practice my memory verses. It was a perfect summer morning. The fields and hills are all so very green from all the rain we've had this summer, and there was enough breeze to keep the mosquitos at bay. My heart was very full.

Here are the verses I was supposed to have memorized by the end of June:

Psalm 34: 11-13
Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days,
keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.

And verses 14-16 that I just started this morning, which I'm supposed to have memorized by July 15th:

Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.
The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry;
the face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.

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