Friday, March 28, 2008


What we have here is a clean, weed-free flowerbed. Looking at it now, you would never know that we let it go all winter. How did it get this way, you might ask? It was none of my doings, I can assure you. I just arrived home from work yesterday and found it this way. And there in my front yard was the culprit -- none other than my sweet mother-in-law.

She and Gunter had the flowerbed pretty much all cleaned out by the time I got there. Gunter had gone inside to get a shower, and I found Mrs. Gwen digging a small trench to bury the wire for our garden lights. The worship rally leader and I had a VBS clinic to catch in Opp, so we left her there working away. I'm not sure what all she did after we left, but I know she repotted a flower she gave me last year that I had just about killed.

The absolute least I could do was feed her supper, which I did. Here is the recipe I used:

1 local phone book
1 phone
mode of payment of your choice
1 plastic bag
1 4-hole drink holder
1 mode of transportation
3 straws
plastic utensils

Call restaraunt 10-15 minutes before leaving work. Place order and leave last name. Drive to restaurant and pick up food, being careful not to drop anything on way to car. Carefully place food and drink holder in passenger-side floorboard and check frequently while driving home. Place on kitchen table, insert straws into drink lids, open plastic utensils, serve and enjoy.

Does anybody else have family like this? I'm blessed to say that I lots of caring, giving family members like my mother-in-law who humble me and challenge me to be more caring and giving. When I told my friends at work about this, all they could say was, "She must LOVE you!"

So now I have a clean flowerbed and one item checked off my list. Here are a few more photos I took this morning. Can you tell I like close-ups?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Fashion statement?

So, I have a pair of zebra shoes...not REAL zebra, fake zebra. I like them, but Gunter is just not sure what to think about them. He thinks I should only wear them if I can pair them with something else zebra, like a purse or sunglasses. I, however, am of the opposite opinion. I think they basically stand alone, as long as I wear them with a matching color, nothing patterned. What do you think? I would like some fashion advice concerning said shoes.

We had a wonderful Easter. We had lunch at with the Galimores at Aunt Lisa's Saturday, and all the girls (me, Grandmama Galimore, Aunt Judy and Mrs. Gwen) hunted eggs. We spent Sunday afternoon with Mama, Daddy, Benjamin and some of their church folks at the Vineyard in Ariton. It was beautiful! We also watched "Passion of the Christ" with our youth Friday night -- always a moving experience. Easter is my favorite holiday. I'm reminded of how much Jesus loves us. He is the ultimate hero, my knight in shining armor. Easter always brings a fresh start, a deeper love.
Thursday night two of our "Elba" friends, Bucky C. and Justin M., ate supper with us at Buckboard. I laughed so much, I was sore the next morning. Good times.
Gunter and I have gotten hooked on "The Biggest Loser." We are munching popcorn and watching it as I type. Kelly is my current favorite, so I'm aggravated that all the guys are ganging up on her. Their whole brotherhood thing is getting on my nerves.
One last bit of news: I got a new haircut today. It's not THAT different, but it's different. I love getting my hair cut. It feels so much lighter.
By the way, I have no idea why my fonts are acting strange on this post. It drives me crazy!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Dr. Vermillion removed Gunter's port yesterday, and everything went well. He's a little sore today, understandably, but that's about it. Would you believe that I actually sat in the room during the surgery and didn't pass out?! I did feel a little lightheaded just from seeing the gauze (starting to feel it again), but I was okay because I couldn't really see much of what was going on. People who know what a medical wimp I am know how much I have improved over the past least as an observer, probably not so much if I were the patient.

We brought the port home as a souvineer -- weird, I know. Here it is.

While were were at the hospital, we stopped by to see Neil Grantham's family. Neil, who graduated from high school with us, was in a terrible car accident about three weeks ago, and he's been in critical condition ever since. Dr. Vermillion is taking care of Neil, and he says he's making progress, slowly but surely. He has a tremendous amount of support -- when we got to the sixth floor, we found a waiting room full of people! His family seems strong and optimistic. Neil and DeAnn had only been married for about six months before the accident, and she's MORE than hanging in there. It must be so hard. Life is a vapor, even for those of us in our 20s. But life is also a joy, and it seems as though Neil's family is embracing joy and love -- trusting in the hope that prayers bring. Check out his blog on my "Links" list, and please say a prayer for him and his family.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Finer 'n frog hair

Thought I'd share a visual update on Gunter's hair. Already, his strength seems to be returning, and he's pretty much able to go and do as he used to. Today, he spent the whole day visiting dear friends in the hospital, and then we went walking on the road this evening. He held up so much better than the last time. I had to walk fast to keep up with his long strides. (Our side of the highway is being paved and painted, so it's closed to the main traffic. I sort of wish it would stay that way -- it's a lot more peaceful.)

I'm going with Gunter tomorrow to be "deported." Hopefully, we'll never need that port again. He'll have a nice scar to remember it by, but the bump he so enjoys freaking people out with will be gone.

Friday night, we saw "Horton Hears a Who" at the theater in town. It was right up my alley! Attendees included a bunch of little kids, their parents and us. It was lots of fun. I'm looking forward to several movies coming out in the next few months, one of which is "Get Smart." Benjamin and I loved to watch that show on Nick at Nite when we were little, and I anticipate that Steve Carell will be absolutely hilarious.

We spent part of the weekend decluttering, and I feel good about it, though we've only put a dent in our real clutter. Maybe next weekend, we can tackle the (cue scary music here) laundry room and the "junk" room! When two packrats live together, it's a dangerous situation. Weather permitting, we might just clean up flowerbeds instead. We would have started on that last weekend, but it was so windy, we would have gotten Round Up poisoning and would have had to call the poison center...again...

In closing, I was reminded three times in the past two days how precious the real things in life are. One example: A couple in our church has a high-school-aged grandson who has struggled with a rare blood disorder, has had a transplant and now is fighting all sorts of complications. His mom made a post to his Web page today about how excited he is that his doctor gave him the "okay" to go fishing, as long as someone else baits the hook and removes the fish. We take so much for granted. I'm thankful for reminders to be thankful.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Remission accomplished

"Complete remission." You're looking at two of the most thrilling, liberating words ever spoken. Even better, they were spoken today about Gunter.

When the nurse first called us back today, Dr. Davidson handed me Gunter's chart. I read words such as "resolved" and "complete response," but I didn't comprehend what I saw. Everything seemed jumbled. Dr. Davidson had to spell it out for me, and he did with those blessed words -- "complete remission." I still can't comprehend what those words will mean to us in the coming weeks and for the rest of our lives, but right now, they mean celebration, uplifted spirits, answered prayers, no more days trapped in the house, and possibly even living more like 25-year-olds again instead of 85-year-olds. I look forward to days when words like "toxicity" are no longer common terms for the Akridges. Hallelujah.

Chance of recurrence will always exist, but according to Dr. Davidson, it's pretty slim. Dr. Vermillion will remove Gunter's port as soon as the Cancer Center sets up an appointment, and Gunter will report back for scans every three months for the first year, every four months the second year and every six months for three years after that. Besides that, he's free to recover and go on with life. He's already working on growing his hair back, and thankfully, it looks dark. So many people we've seen lately haven't recognized him without his eyelashes and eyebrows, but they should come back in time, too.

I don't know how to thank God for answering "Yes" to our prayers and for bringing us through this trial. We also can't begin to thank all those who have prayed for us and encouraged us during these past months. I read James 5 this morning. Coincidence? I think not. These verses are for all those of you who have offered prayers of faith. Our God is always faithful to His word. He's our hero.

"Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up...The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much." --James 5:14-16