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You know how bad luck comes in bunches? I know, so does good luck, but we’re talking bad luck here. It seems as if you are just getting your head above water – just getting over the latest catastrophe, when BOOM another one comes along. With me, it was not being able to get caught up, coupled with someone I care about blowing up at me, tripled with one of my dogs being diagnosed with cancer. Actually, there were about ten other things I won’t go into.
All of a sudden I was out of “Margaritaville” and into “overwhelmsville.” I fell into doing things by rote and avoiding issues so they didn’t become issues even though there were issues! We all have our little tricks to get through times like these, but they don’t always work. That’s when we cast around and with the river rising, we head for the roof.

By last Wednesday, I was pretty much sitting on the roof. I was still looking at conducting a two day estate sale in Portland with my daughter on Friday and Saturday, and then helping with a dog show on Sunday. No rest for the wicked. I wondered how I could possibly do it. I began to wish I hadn’t taken it all on, but I couldn’t see a way out. So, I spent Friday and Saturday working the sale. I found I had a really good time! It helped bring me back around. When I got home on Friday I had enough energy to bathe a dog. Saturday – same thing.

Then came Sunday. I got up early and got going. I had promised months earlier to be the ring steward at the American Lamalese Specialty in Hillsboro at the Washington County Fairgrounds. This was the first Specialty for this rare breed of dog since the death of Lin DeWitt, founder of the club and a major influence in the breed. Lin and I had been very close friends ever since we met at an international dog show in Las Vegas in the eighties. I was with Lin right before she died from cancer a year and a half ago. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t think about her and miss her. I felt honored when the club members asked me to be the ring steward – a task that involves calling in the classes of dogs and making sure the judge hands out the correct ribbons and trophies. I was very apprehensive about seeing the group again, especially in light of my fragile frame of mind. There would be no doubt that I would be painfully reminded of how much I missed my friend.

As I walked across the parking lot and down to the show rings, I heard the voices calling “it’s Connie!” and I saw the hands waving. Then came the hugs and the tears and the thank-yous. I felt embraced by a warm loving circle. All I could think of was that I was so glad I had made the effort to get there.

It was a wonderful afternoon; one I will never forget. My gift from the club was a wind chime of angels – how appropriate. And, it so happened that Sunday afternoon was the second boat. Here’s the story: A man lived by the river. Stormy days came with heavy winds. The river began to rise. Soon the water level rose to the front door of the man’s home. He was forced to sit upon his roof in order to stay dry. Three different boats came by and offered to rescue the man. Each time he said, “Oh, no – God will save me.” The man drowned and when he got to heaven, he sought out God and asked, “God, I am a good Christian. Why did you let me drown?” God replied, “I didn’t! I sent three boats to rescue you!”

So, when things begin to crash around you and you think you aren’t going to make it out in one piece – when you find yourself on the roof – remember: There is someone watching – and He’ll send a boat. You just haveto recognize it when it comes and get in.

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