Angels and trash cans

Starting last Thursday, the entire Philangelus family got sick, all in a row from youngest to oldest. I’ll spare you the details because every family is sick the same way.

On Monday, with my Patient Husband the last to succumb and therefore the last to recover, I was nominally in charge of a house full of four kids and one Patient Husband having a sick day. In the morning, he managed to convey to me that despite the holiday, today was Trash Day. And to his great sorrow, I would have to drag the trash bin to the curb.

I said, “Not a big deal. They don’t come until one or two anyhow.”

He said, “But you’ll have to take the recycling bottles out too.”

Oh, the hardship. Normally he does this when he leaves for work in the morning. I assured him I’d figure it out.

At around eleven, while kid-wrangling, I had a thought: I should take out the trash now.

Knowing I still had a couple of hours, I got my coat and boots on anyway and wheeled the trash out to the curb, then carried out the bottles. That done, I inspected some of our snow-damaged trees. I haven’t blogged about the snowstorm yet, but afterward all our junipers were folded like umbrellas by the heavy snow. We had a cable down in front of our house. The tree alongside the driveway lost its crown, which took out three other limbs when it toppled. It’s now leaning upside-down (like a twenty-foot toilet scrubber) on the snowbank kicked up by the plow.

No property damage, but I suspect the Lorax would have much to say.

After enjoying the relative silence and mourning my poor decapitated tree, I headed back upstairs and returned to my computer just in time to see the trash guys pull up to the curb.

I thought guardian-angelward, “Thank you.”

There’s no better explanation for the timing. I couldn’t have heard the far-off rumbling of their engine. I thought I had another hour at least before they came.

This kind of thing has happened more frequently of late: the sudden urge, “Go to the bus stop now,” minutes before the school bus comes early. Or, “Start the hamburgers now,” and the burgers are done the minute my Patient Husband comes in the door.

Trash day won’t make the history books, but it’s more of angels and time. More of them caring that I avoid the little inconveniences.


  1. Normandie

    I love it when God whispers in our ear and pushes us in one direction or another. My great sadness is that I too often ignore the hints and can only say later, “I should have…”

    1. philangelus

      I may be getting better at listening. It would be easier if God sent us email reminders, though, because then we’d know the impulses were real rather than second-guessing ourselves.

  2. cricketB

    Then we have the person (not that I know anyone like this 😉 ) who thinks, “Maybe I can’t find that book I was reading because Someone is trying to tell me I should do…” Sometimes she even says, “Well, if the message continues for another few minutes, I’ll listen.”

    Then the book is found.

  3. Nikole Hahn

    I’ve had those moments, the whisper saying, “Do ___ now.” It’s kind of neat when things work out as we listen to that voice.

  4. dana

    Have you recently had any moments of clarity as in: “sendeth your query unto the following agent.”

    If you do, think of me.

    1. Jane

      LOL! I think they may be just as mystified by the publishing system as we are. 😀