Skip to main content

Calico Boy

First Charlie had a cold. The cold is gone but a stiff and sore neck hangs on. Charlie hasn't had much experience with pain so he copes by crying. And whining. And blubbering. He crawls into our bed in the middle of the night so we can better enjoy the cacophony. We long for a good night's sleep.

We are sympathetic. The girls read him armloads of books and heat a rice-filled sock for his neck. John rubs Charlie's back and shares his Gameboy. Stuart and I medicate and massage. We rub Vicks into the sore spot and gently stretch neck and shoulder while he shouts, "Don't work on me!" We bribe him with candy cane bits and get him to tentatively shake his head no. Still he lists to starboard and cries. We pray over him and are thankful that he's not really sick.

Once we took our cat to the vet because she was limping and crying. Crying and crying. The vet prodded gently and the cat lept straight up off the examining table. "I'll have to put her to sleep to examine her. Calicoes are notorious babies." So we left her and after the tiny abcess on her paw had been discovered and attended to, we brought her home.

Last night, I tucked Charlie in, very gently so as not to jar his neck. I brushed fingertips through his hair and whispered a kiss on his forehead. "Stop! Stop! Don't touch me! You're hurting my head!" he screamed.

I think Charlie has a bit of Calico in him.

This is only the beginning of the story. It continues with Day One: Charlie's Comfort


Heather C said…
Aaaaaaaw... praying that Charlie is feeling better in no time, and that the Lord continues to supply you with the patience and grace you have beautifully displayed thus far. :)
ValleyGirl said…
Aww, I hope he feels better soon ~ and that you'll all have a happy, healthy New Year!!
Poor baby! Maybe you should stop kissing him so hard...LOL!

I think it's sweet the way the other kids mother and take care of him. You are raising such compassionate, thoughful children...

Toia said…
I hope he feels better soon. I ahd a 24 hour bug and it was not pretty.

Happy New Year!!
Sara Carmichael said…
Hi Kate,
I tried to send this via e-mail, but it was sent back to me. I'm not sure why. Anyway, I just wanted to tell you that I put a link to little Charlies' story on my blog at

Here's the link to the story:

Your story was so gripping to me and God's love and faithfulness so compelling, that I wanted to share it with others. I hope that's okay. If you want me to remove it, I will. Thank you for sharing it. I'm so relieved for you and your family that Charlie is on the mend and that his life was miraculously spared.
Many blessings,

It is a story for sharing! I'm always encouraged by the things that I hear that God is doing in the lives of others. Thanks for passing this on.

Janelle said…
Oh, Kate. I am just catching up on reading tonight. I am so sorry that I haven't been around to pray for your sweet boy. I will do so now for his continued healing.

Sending you love!

Popular posts from this blog

Spelling Wisdom

One day while skipping around the internet, I came across these:

And when I clicked on the sample, I knew we had to change spelling curriculums. Again. Goodbye Spelling Power and MacMillan and Sequential Spelling! We've found our true love.

The problem with the afore mentioned curricula is sheer boredom. Memorizing lists of words is mind numbing and as my children don't like their school work to lull them to sleep, they often push spelling to the side in favor of more exciting lessons.

When I found Spelling Wisdom, I realized what has been missing: an idea, something to engage the mind so that learning the difference between than and then occurs almost incidentally.

Sandra Shaffer uses the writings of famous men and women (Helen Keller, Beethoven, Winston Churchill...), Bible passages and quotes from quality literature...poems and novels (Robinson Crusoe, The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew, All the World's a Stage...) to teach more than six thousand frequently used word…


My sister-in-law lugs a heavy bucket of water around her herb garden, gives each plant a long sip. "It's been three weeks since we've had rain," she sighs looking out over the dusty vegetable garden and the shriveled brown grass in the pasture beyond. We help my brother pick beans and pull the weeds around them. The dry ground pulls back and some of the weeds snap off above the roots. We give up in the strawberry plants, sit on the porch, listen to the dogs pant.

We travel home in an air conditioned bubble. The whole length of the Shenandoah valley is crispy brown, the corn stunted. We pull into our Amish county driveway, greener here but the grass is short and the air hot. We breathe shallow breaths, unpack, crank the air conditioning. No rain in the forecast, three weeks and counting.

Saturday there will be a wedding, an outdoor wedding, and finally rain threatens. Stuart is on the phone with the bride. "Pray that the rain holds off," she says. Saturday w…

Until Death...

Kindred spirits, Anne would call them.  Two who complete each other, two who are together,  soul mates one cannot imagine apart.  I can count the kindred marriages I know on a couple of fingers and after last week, that count is down by one.

"You look so happy," Dave says as Stuart and I stand awkward and wordless before him.  I bend down to wrap my arms around him and wonder, Where is the good in this?  Where? A week before we bumped into Dave and his wife, Deb, down at the Famous Brands.  Deb glowed with good health and good news and for the remainder of the day we basked in the unexpected good fortune of meeting these old friends.  And now there is Dave minus Deb.  How can this be?
"It is one of the mysteries of our nature that a man, all unprepared, can receive a thunder-stroke like that and live."  Mark Twain's Own Autobiography
"You look so happy." We do not look happy but somehow this remark makes sense because Dave has loved with …