News, updates, and happenings with the Kragnes family: Phil, our Seeing Eye Dogs, and (me) Rebecca.

I think Phil might be asleep or reading, but in either case, he’s not out here. I thought we’d be spending New year’s Eve playing games together, and maybe we will yet tonight. We are both really into a game available on smart phones called “hanging with friends” which is hang man with points assigned to the letters like scrabble. In addition to my Yahtzee enthusiasm, I’ve found a new dice game online called Farkle which is quite fun!

We have spent some quiet time together, but we’ve both been gone quite a bit too. I played for church both days this weekend and did my gig at the Malt Shop. Between church and the Malt Shop, I had to grab a nap. Phil had dialysis on Saturday and this morning. Despite missing him , I had an OK Christmas. My most unexpected gift came from a church member I barely know. He brought it to me right after I finished playing Christmas Day Mass. He makes what he calls “Joyous Crosses” out of stained glass, and each color represents something very basic about the Christian faith. A friend typed out the text of the sheet which came with it, and I’ll paste it at the very bottom of this message for those interested. I wish I had a good picture of it to show you. Because of its translucence, I’m not sure it would come through very well in a digital photo. Sighted people have told me it is very beautiful, and of course I like the translucence and the colors!

A few stumbling blocks came into being soon after Phil got home from the hospital. The most major one happened to him the very Wednesday night he returned. Even though it’s not the best thing for us, Phil and I were both hankering for some sausage when we made our grocery list, and Phil made sandwiches on little rolls and popped the whole thing into the oven for a while. They tasted fantastic, but unfortunately, he got a piece of gristle or something very hard in the sausage. I heard the pop and flinched, and immediately Phil was in very bad pain. We believe whatever happened, he broke a tooth. With dialysis the next day, he didn’t think he could do that and the Dentist, and he wanted a day of work. Additionally, our dentist only sees patients Monday through Friday. Add in the holiday, and you have one very miserable Phil. We sit down to eat, and despite his care, food encounters that tooth and/or the gum around it. he gets up from the table to go scream in pain in the other room, and it’s just heart breaking. He likes apple sauce, but not as the only thing for every meal. Too bad it didn’t happen to me, maybe I’d be less motivated to eat. Sometimes even bending his head or putting his jaw in the wrong way can set off the pain. Phil tends to withdraw when he’s not feeling well and I’ll let him until a decision needs to be made about what’s for supper and/or whether he wants to eat anything. Gram crackers seem to be another thing which is soft enough not to give him any trouble.

My little road blocks are comparatively minor, but they make me feel less in control of my life which is hard.
It’s been weeks since our last significant snow fall. Yet Phil and sighted people who have looked at it tell me that it would be very dangerous for me to try to cross at 38th and Bloomington — an intersection a block away which gives us access to two intersecting bus lines. This is because apparently the owners of the corner properties are not doing their duty in keeping the street corners unblocked from snow mountains. One of the first calls I’ll be making on Wednesday is to the city to have them start fining these people and/or clearing the corners. I played for church this weekend so got rides. I can also plan to take Para transit called Metro Mobility to get to appointments and not encounter problems on the bus trip back home. But it bugs me that after such a long lapse, Zane and I are still unable to cross streets a block away to the buses. I thank God for friends who come to my rescue when I absolutely have to get something done that can’t wait for four days to plan a Metro trip. I was especially grateful to one who quickly covered when another suddenly made a decision that she couldn’t help a day before we were supposed to do something pretty time sensitive.

And speaking of time sensitivity, our reader is gone to Peru over the holidays, and I’m realizing we’re going to have to make arrangements to get a couple of bills paid in her absence. It’s so rare to have a reader gone for over three weeks, and I’m a little scared to ask the couple who said they’d cover once or twice. They have their own set of issues in their lives, and I don’t want to add to them.

Then there are the electronics. The talking book/mp3 player which goes practically everywhere with me has started acting up after four and a half years of constant use. It would cost more for repair than to just get a new one at this point. I am praying it can hold on a little longer, because its price has been drastically reduced. There is a lot of speculation that this is because a newer model which does a lot more is coming on the market in the next three months. There’s also speculation that the major Library of digital talking books for the blind is about to launch a new iPhone app for playing and downloading them. It would be great to buy an extension for the iPhone for a lot less money to play my SD cards full of music And forget about a new player altogether. Remember the wonderful light I had to have repaired? It’s once again on the blink, and like my player, it’s going to cost more to get it repaired than to get a new one. This lamp is no longer being made, so I have to decide on a new model, but everyone does business over the internet. I won’t buy clothing over the Internet, because I don’t want the hassle and extra financial burden of shipping things back if they don’t work, and the same applies here. So many things now come with inaccessible menus that I am leery of getting anything without putting my hands on it and learning how it works first.

I’ve called these various things roadblocks, but perhaps a better description of them is raindrops. All of them will be resolved one way or another and probably pretty soon just like rain evaporates. My friend Meg showed me a great song with lots of instrumental and harmonic textures, but the lyrics really touched me too. Below is a link to a video of the song and its lyrics. I think most people reading this blog will enjoy some aspect of this link. I can’t help but think that I am so grateful Phil and I are walking between the raindrops together.

The Joyous Cross

Genesis 1:27 15: 1-6
Luke 4:16-22
John 4:1-30
Isaiah 40:16 11:1-9
Hebrews 9:9-26 10:5-20
Matthew 5: 14-16

BLUE: The universe and all the people living in it; created in God’s image and likeness; created by the Father. Genesis 1:27

“Abraham’s descendants more numerous than sands on the sea shore or stars in the sky.” Genesis 15: 1-6

The blue triangle is the Trinity – three in one, yet one in three. 2 Corinthians 13: 14

RED: Covenant – The new covenant of God and His people, not the old covenant of the blood of animals. All the cedars in Lebanon forest do not contain sufficient
fuel to consume a sacrifice large enough, nor all the blood of animals in Lebanon forest enough to cover the sins of the people. But the new covenant of
the blood of the eternal Father’s son. Isaiah 11:1-9 For as the water of the sea is from shore to shore, so also the dry land shall be full of the knowledge
of the Lord. This blood forgives sin and makes us righteous to the Father. Isaiah 40:16 Way Bible Hebrews 7:1-28. 9:9-26. 10: 5-20.

GREEN: New life – Baptism of the water and spirit of the word, scripture. John 4: 1-30.

GOLD: Adjacent to green: Life after death, if we choose to drink the water that never allows us to thirst for anything but God’s will. We can be immortal.
1 Cor 15: 50-58.

The top piece of glass in the cross means morning, which is God’s message to us. We have another day and a free will to do what we want with it. The bottom
piece of glass in the cross, sunset, is God’s signature on the day.

All colors mean the rainbow – God’s promise not to destroy the world with water again. Genesis 9: 9-17.



Comments on: "New Year’s Eve Between the Raindrops" (2)

  1. I couldn’t see all the pictures. But your descriptions are wonderful. I really appreciate it. I wish you both a very happy and healthy new year.

  2. Penny Reeder said:

    Rebecca, the NLS Talking Vook app is supposed to become available in early summer. I wonder if Minnesota’s Technology Assistance Project might have a assistive technology loan closet where you could borrow a Victor Reader Stream, or perhaps you could borrow a Stream from your special needs regional library. I hope the new year improves for both you and Phil. Penny

    Sent from my iPhone

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