Perhaps you haven’t yet thought about the possibility that there are secret agents living in your neighborhood and working with you. They might appear to be normal individuals—mothers, college students, and workers. Friendly and unassuming, they might never reveal their hidden identity. Still, there are times when they may be focused on their smartphones, especially when around pieces of public art or community centers. Or sometimes they might take quite a bit longer to go to the grocery store than expected.
Who are these people? They are agents for either the Enlightenment or Resistance in the game, Ingress. The game is an augmented reality game, one in which “portals” seen only by looking at a smartphone are superimposed on our physical world. Players fight for control over these portals and thus the population. There’s a lot more to the game, of course, but those are the basics. Starting with a small beta, the game has grown to be a worldwide phenomenon with agents cooperating in enormous tasks for their team.
My husband learned about the game early on when the game was still in beta. He played a bit at that point but returned in force when we both got smartphones. He was insistent that I join the Resistance and therefore be able to help him in the fight for XM. And my reaction? I was a little annoyed by the prospect. Why travel around to play a game when I could be reading a novel? I finally relented, though, and formed an account.
I realize now that my initial annoyance was selfish on my part; marriage often includes doing things we might not normally think of doing otherwise in an attempt to bring happiness to our spouse. Indeed, this service is described in the latest book that I am reading, an advance copy of The Story of Marriage by John and Lisa Bevere. Prioritizing our lives in favor of God and our spouse—along with a right heart and spirit—will lead to making your own desires last. I’ll admit that this hasn’t always been easy for me, and I often fail. But with God’s grace I’m getting there, slowly but surely.
It would cost me only a bit of time to make my husband very happy, and little did I know that this game would provide a fun point of unity for our marriage, giving us an escape from our daily tasks while allowing us to be co-agents for the Resistance. While some married couples might jog together, we go out and play Ingress. It is purely nerdy fun and provides some much-needed relief from stress. Battling together for portals, we have found togetherness in our marriage as well as camaraderie with local players.
While initially my participation was reluctant, Ingress for us has become a major way to enjoy ourselves as a couple and provides a point of bonding for us. I gave up my own time—and my doubts about this game—and benefited greatly by serving my husband. We become co-agents for the Resistance when we fight the Enlightenment, thus bringing us a bit further in our pursuit to become co-agents in marriage as well.
Our little dog, Anakin, went to the Rainbow Bridge this week after a long fight with cancer. Pictured above is Lambie, the toy that comforted him during his chemo and beyond. Anakin was a loving and brave companion who enjoyed snuggling and long walks with his dad.
We’re taking a bit of time to adjust, and so I won’t be posting for a little while. I’ll be back soon, though.
Great. Definitely not how I had expected to begin the day.
A pipe in one of our basement rooms had sprung a leak, spraying water over the contents of one of our shelves and the floor. “I need your help, now!” my husband told me. Unfortunately, I couldn’t help him as my work shift would soon begin.
As with so many problems, this one hadn’t been expected. Not a super-bad problem as in someone going to the hospital, but I was still bummed. Majorly. As the water had been turned off to stop the impromptu basement shower, I began thinking of all the parts of my day that this would affect, everything from flushing the toilet to washing the dishes. Yes, I was instantly down in the dumps. That perspective only deepened when we heard from the plumber that he couldn’t help us until tomorrow. Yup, not what I had planned at all.
My husband continued working downstairs as my own work began online. And my viewpoint–and my mood–began to shift. Luckily, we had caught the problem early, and so no major damage to that room occurred. Too, my husband was there to clean up and prepare the room for the plumber, allowing me to finish my own work upstairs. And by golly, we had prepared for such a problem by having water stored in our home. Yes, I was seeing things a bit differently.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I would have much preferred for that pipe to stay intact this morning. But life has a way of putting bends in our roads, whether a burst pipe or a lost job. This pessimist is trying to think of this particular kink in my plans as a blessing in disguise. We were prepared–somewhat–and we have each other. That certainly doesn’t make me Pollyanna, but it’s a start.
Cats do seem to be wiser than us when it comes to many things. Rest, of course, is high on their list. All kitties seems to be unusually suited to relaxing at any time, depending on their mood and comfort. Stretching their paws leisurely, my cats will often blink their eyes at me as I go about my workday and then relax back into dreamland.
I have begun to wonder if we could learn a few things from our furry friends. After working 60+ hours per week for the past few weeks, I’m tired. I’m just plumb too old for this, I suppose. When I feel the weariness about my eyes even with a constant infusion of coffee on a daily basis, I know I need rest. That and those simple pleasures that we all take for granted as we get older.
I realized this yesterday when I had a bit of “down time” and lay down to read a book for a bit. So relaxed was I that I fell asleep for a quick nap. How I had missed that! Not exciting, that’s for sure, but pleasurable, especially for us old folks.
Life has admittedly become a chore lately. Maybe with a few lessons from my cats–and more time with the Bible–I can take my leisure and find some rest during busy times.
I remember July 4th’s in rural Oklahoma. There would be family gatherings, of course, but the main attraction would always be a parade through town. Folks would start gathering along the parade route ahead of time, always bringing extra drinks and snacks for friends and family. Talk would be easy and full of excitement for the fun that would come. There were no hard words or raised voices, just good times for a small town.
And then the sirens from the volunteer firefighters and the school band! Excitement would build as the fun and noise began. The parade was short, of course, but boisterous and patriotic. Lots of American flags and cute kids and horse riders. Soon, the parade goers were past, and everyone would gather up their lawn chairs and cups so that they could attend family parties with homemade food and lots of prayers.
And in the city? I miss that closeness and emphasis on the reason for the holiday. There are a lot of fireworks and tons of food, but there seems to be very little patriotism.
Perhaps I’m just getting old and sentimental. Now my July 4th is more of a remembrance of the freedom so many fought and died for than a boisterous time. Too, with lots of furry kiddos, I am needed to calm them through the fireworks. Today–as with so many years–will most likely bring lots of frightened glances from kitties and doggy and desperate attempts on my part to get them through the evening.
My family wishes you a wonderful and happy holiday, but in the midst of the celebrations, spare some time to think of our independence. And if you plan to shoot off fireworks inside city limits, please be respectful of others.
How will you celebrate the holiday? Big parties or quiet times?
I suppose we should have expected this. Word has apparently gotten around the neighborhood among the local cats that our house is a safe haven. With the cushy outdoor house, ready food and water, and loving people, what cat could resist? And indeed they have taken us up on our generosity, livening up our lives in the process.
It all started with the cat we call Toby. He had been hunting in our garden over the summer. Over the course of a few weeks, my husband managed to befriend him. At that time, we put out food and water each day for Toby, and he showed his gratitude with tail shakes and affection.
Little did we know at the time, though, that he would spread the word. Soon he arrived at our home one morning with a friend, Sally, She immediately took to us, claiming us as her home and family. She became a permanent fixture at our household; she would be waiting for us outside at every time of the day. Purring and pushing against our legs, she managed to find her way into our hearts, and she received daily love and food in return.
Now, those two have evidently spread the word among the neighborhood cats, and so we have another kiddo who comes daily. An orange and white kitty that we call Patches. We first saw him one morning; he was cold and bedraggled, very skinny with poor fur. With regular food, he has become quite the looker, more healthy with sleek fur. And he has even trusted my husband enough to pet him occasionally. He comes around regularly for food, water, and just some time alone in a safe place.
Yes, and we have had other cats come visit our home in the past week. Perhaps needless to say, we no longer get the opportunity to bird watch with all of the cats around. But we can have the good feeling of taking care of cats who are hungry and overlooked. Too, they give us a lot as well. Who would turn down head boops from thankful kitties?
If you want some inspiration for your own insulated cat home, then take a gander at my article: