The Box

Yesterday EJ and I drove to TSC to buy some poultry feed, cat food, and dog food. The store had stock tanks filled with a variety of chicks.  They were so adorably cute!!! It’s very difficult to resist taking one or two or twenty home with us, but we have iron willpower.  After TSC, we did a little shopping at our local grocery store, and then went to the hardware store for something EJ needed.

After we had put away all our pet food and groceries and had eaten lunch, EJ did one thing or another out in the garage while did the laundry and hung them out on the clothesline to dry. While I was taking the dry clothes off the line, I happened to glance down at the ground and I saw a swarm of insects. I hunkered down and took a video.

Later we went down to the bottom of the driveway and moved the magic box. The previous owner of our house had built the magic box. We were told that he stored his garbage in the box to keep it safe from animals like bears until garbage pick-up day. The box is very sturdy and clean, not at all dirty or smelly. UPS and FedEx refuses to drive up our long steep driveway in the winter so they put our packages in the box instead. I call the box “the Magic Box” because sometimes I open the lid and magically find a package inside! 🙂 The box had been located at the entrance of the driveway in plain sight of anyone driving by. We’ve read that sometimes people steal UPS/FedEx packages left on porches and stuff. It has never happened to us, but we decided to remove any temptation and we moved it a little ways further up the driveway toward us, under some trees where it isn’t as easily seen from the road.

One of three vultures flying overhead

After we moved the Magic Box, we went into the garden to see if we could harvest any more herbs or veggies. I saw the ducks frozen in place and looking up at the sky, so we looked up too and saw three large birds circling overhead. We think they were vultures. The ducks are very aware of things in the sky. They look up when they see predators and they even notice airplanes.

 

Today it was back to work for EJ and to school for JJ.

Today I made myself walk down and up the driveway about six times for exercise–not all at once, but once or twice at a time throughout the day. I confess that I actually dislike exercise. When I’m not doing my chores around the house, I would much rather sit on the couch wrapped in a blanket on a chilly day, sipping hot coffee or tea with a cat or two on my lap and Danny at my feet, reading a book, or working on the computer, or crocheting. But every once in a while, I decide that I better work on exercise. I don’t like riding a stationary bike or lifting weights or anything. It’s boring. Walking up and down the driveway is much more fun, and I would be able to do it steadily if I didn’t always eventually get sidetracked by busyness, rainy days, sickness, injury, or just not feeling like doing it. Sometimes I think, “Yuck, I don’t feel like walking multiple times down and up the driveway,” but once I get started I really enjoy it. Getting started is the hardest.

Philip?

There is some sort of dragonfly-like insect that seems to always hang around at a certain spot along the driveway. I don’t know what it is. It always seems to keep a few feet ahead of me until I get outside its territory. He is such a frequent companion that I thought maybe I should give him a name–like maybe Philip or something? Anyway, today I was thinking that I was just going to saunter down the driveway rather than try to do anything aerobic. Suddenly the dragonfly-like insect flew at me and chased me down the drive a bit. It’s never done that before. I thought, “Well, that’s one way to get me moving faster.”

Rabbits

My final walk down the driveway was about 7 p.m. I watched crows fly one by one across the driveway. A few of them perched on a dead tree, which I thought was picturesque, but before I could focus my camera, they flew off. That happens quite frequently. I walked quietly past the magic box, and saw a Northern Flicker on the ground. I also saw two rabbits in the grass. We often see rabbits there in the evening.

I really enjoy “Stargate Atlantis,” a science fiction series that aired from 2004 to 2009. Several days ago, their Facebook page shared the following segment from an episode. It made me laugh and think, and I’ve rewatched it several times:

I remember being asked to solve several similar ethical dilemmas in school years ago. The thing is, we always accepted the parameters given to us–we accepted that we had to choose one of two horrible options in a contrived situation. We never considered that in reality, there are often many options. What I liked about this Stargate Atlantis segment is that Rodney tried to get the others to choose between one or the other choice, both bad. However, his friends weren’t accepting the limited parameters. They were thinking outside the box, at the reality of the situation. They could think of many options, not just making choice between two bad scenarios.

It made me think about how many times we accept the parameters that people give us, we think we are trapped in the box they put us in. One scenario I pondered was being told that our two choices are 1. submitting to an abusive spouse or boyfriend or 2. being told–and believing–that if we walk away from abuse we are unloving, unforgiving, and disobeying God. The reality is that that is a parameter/box that we don’t have to accept. It’s not Biblical. God sets us free from the wicked. He tells us not to associate with the wicked. We aren’t disobeying Him if we don’t accept abuse.

Thinking about accepting the parameters that others force upon us reminded me of a very powerful episode of a cartoon called Recess.  In this episode, an abusive teacher put a 4th grader in a box drawn with chalk on the pavement as punishment. He felt imprisoned by it until he realized that he didn’t have to stay within the parameters that someone else forced him into. I think part of recovery involves learning that a box is just lines on the pavement and we don’t have to stay there.

It is a good reminder.

 

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