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March Madness
by Lisa Kurasz
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March madness, I have heard the phrase repeatedly over the years, usually associated with basketball tournaments.
But for my family it has taken on a new meaning.
It started out as a pleasant unseasonably warm weather here in Wisconsin.
We had the normal ups and downs that come with life throughout the month and then we had the passing of my mother-in-law.
And since then things have seemed to have been one challenge after another to get through. Or maybe we have just been a little more sensitive to the bumps in the road.
Something as simple as vacuuming the carpet has left us with our previously beige carpet now leaning towards wanting to look like a zebra. It baffles the mind as to why the carpet now has black streaks on it.
Like I said, little bumps and potholes in the walk of our life.
There are the endless phone calls from politicians and organizations that want votes or money, which are constantly interrupting school lessons and chores. This irritant adds up to 10 -15 calls a day, and no, I don't want to listen to your recording no matter how many times you call.
My normally easy going, mellow, roll with the punches kids have been high strung, teary eyed emotional land mines.
In working to make better use of space in the basement, challenges have arisen in the fitting of the shelves that are being put in, thus having to remove ceiling tiles and drywall which is causing progress to come to a screeching halt repeatedly.
This work then causes our youngest cat, who hates change, to behave erratically, acting frenzied, elusive and moody. My normally, cuddly little buddy has turned into a four footed terror, who is constantly getting into trouble.
Man's best friend, the dog, has decided that going potty on electrical items is a new sport to take up on the previously beige carpet. Once is a accident, twice is like are you kidding, any more than that is pre meditated vandalism.
The nine o'clock it's bedtime alarm, better known as Sammy, the cockatiel, has resorted to prolonged periods of whistling at smoke detector noise level for which last for hours, only stopping long enough to drink or eat.
Even a simple meal of yummy meat, stuck in the oven to slow cook for hours can be a surprise when it comes to setting it out for dinner and finding, oh look, it's still almost raw 6 hours later. This is not healthy to eat when its chicken. Apparently the stove has decided to do something most “fowl”. The oven is officially a non working mass of metal sitting in my kitchen.
Then yesterday, to my daughter's dismay, her beautiful blue and white Parakeet was found dead in the bottom of it's cage which is especially heartbreaking as it had been a birthday present.
And early this morning, at 4:58 to be precise, when it was still dark the phone rang, I pick it up with a foggy mind to hear someone ask for my daughter, and further ask if she was coming. I am sure I responded incoherently that she is coming. As a stampede of my husband and I raced to get her up and out the door for her competition. It is possible for a teenager to be dressed and out the door in four minutes.
Man's best friend seemed to take this time of chaos as a sign that she needed to howl for the next 4 ˝ hours because her routine was broken. Being a house dog, sitting her out in temperatures of 23 degrees wind chill seemed cruel. Faced with no alternative, we endured this, hoping it would stop soon. No matter how many times we randomly told her it was OK, she just could not accept that fact, and moroasley continued on with her vigilant moaning..
At least the cockatiel did not join in with it's smoke detector wail.
March madness, my family has been living it this month, and I can say good bye to this month with a feeling of good riddance.
I don't know how anyone gets through the day to day, let alone the losses, frustrations and tears of life without our Lord. If not for Him, I would be a blubbering bowl of jello. With nothing to hold onto or reach out to for my strength I would be in a vacuum of misery.
But, praise God who gives me strength. When I feel like staying in bed, hiding under my blankets and pillows, He carries me, reminding me that He is with me in the joy and in the tears, in the good and in the bad. The one that loves me beyond all creation, who has given me everlasting life, assures me that He catches every drop that falls from my eyes, every whispered prayer for strength that falls from my lips and holds me tight when I feel lost and alone.
Always there, even when the computer decides to go blank as I am finishing this up.

(Ecc 3:1) To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

(Ecc 3:2) A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

(Ecc 3:3) A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

(Ecc 3:4) A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

(Ecc 3:5) A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

(Ecc 3:6) A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

(Ecc 3:7) A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

(Ecc 3:8) A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

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