Roger, Wilco

plane-607224_1920This past summer Bob and I enjoyed visiting my parents in their beautiful Midwest retirement community—it’s like a college campus for the over-60 crowd.  They’re incredible!  Interestingly, we were also roaming around the California Redwood Forest just few weeks prior to that, and in my mind, there is a striking resemblance between the two in more ways than one, if you get my drift.

Now a retired engineer, Dad is a United States Navy veteran who worked as a mechanic on airplanes, and his stories keep me spellbound.  While we were visiting, a neighbor stopped in.  Mr. B is a 90+-year-old U.S.A.F. bomber pilot vet from World War II.  (Triple exclamation marks…!!!) Continue reading “Roger, Wilco”

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Not For Sale: Grapes, Figs, and Pomegranates

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280My father-in-law used to decry what he considered his loss of memory after a cardiac surgery, in that he noticed he could no longer do some kind of complex mathematical computations in his head.  Pity.  I still have use my fingers for some single-digit addition, so I’d better never have heart trouble.

Needless to say, memory is not one of my strong suits.  But compared to the Hebrews embarking on their Continue reading “Not For Sale: Grapes, Figs, and Pomegranates”

When you know that you don’t know, but you want to know…y’know??

wood 2I remembering growing up and seeing those asinine tabloids in the check-out lines at the grocery store.  I suppose they continue to make money, since I see them touting the same nonsense about who-knows-what alien got who-cares-what Hollywood starlet pregnant. 

Clearly, enquiring minds still want to know.

What is it about human nature that makes secrets so enticing?  Maybe the upside is the curiosity for the unknown which has also put us on the moon and brought us the cure for smallpox and polio, so okay, I’ll grant us grant.  But, boy howdy, there sure is a downside!  It’s the stuff of James Bond 007 as well as the local beauty shop gossip. Continue reading “When you know that you don’t know, but you want to know…y’know??”

Where’s the broom and dust pan?

wood 2I think I used to somewhat deceive myself that once my three children flew the coup, my house would be a more organized residence.

 What a joke.

 The reality I have had to face a long time ago (and Bob has patiently and lovingly embraced this with my other idiosyncrasies) is that I am a “messy girl”.  Now, add our big, black dog to that mix, and my fur-covered carpet and floors just underscore that truth.

messy

By contrast, everywhere my folks go, improves.  Amazingly.  They are both from the builder generation, and are themselves two of the most disciplined and selfless people you could hope to find.  Continue reading “Where’s the broom and dust pan?”

Put on notice.

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280There is a distinct difference between a whistle-blower and horn-blower.  A whistle-blower, as current events has shown all too poignantly, has more to do with drawing attention to others, usually carrying with it negative connotations.  A horn-blower has to do with promoting one’s self, also with ironically negative connotations, at least with one’s peers. 

Except that there are a few finer nuances with blowing one’s own horn (ask me how I know this).  One category, in fact, has to do with a type self-promotion in the eyes of others that can be done in ways so subtle as to even disguise itself from the one actually doing it!  Another Continue reading “Put on notice.”

You can’t take it with you.

IMG_20150103_172451138Well, the old frig finally gave up the ghost.  It was, after all, 25 years old, which might make some of my contemporary homemakers gasp with awe.  Bob really came through yet again—

I had noticed the night before that things were a little squishy in the freezer, cold, but not hard like normal.   Checking the temp, it looked like it had been accidentally turned down, just a little, and besides, sometimes the door doesn’t shut all the way unless I push on it, so okay.  Done.  Went to bed.

Next morning, almost time to head out the door, I go to make our daily smoothies to take to our offices and notice that things are not just squishy, but thawing out!  Uh-oh. Thankfully, at this writing, my husband’s work schedule is more flexible than mine, and he was able to take measurements and make all the necessary decisions and contacts (including the contractor who had to come out and pull down some cabinets in my very small kitchen so the new appliance would fit!)

I came home to a new refrigerator, not exactly what I wanted, but totally what we needed!  My frozen food is much Continue reading “You can’t take it with you.”

How shall I worship You today?

wood 2

How shall I worship You today?

            To bandage another skinned knee—

            Or listen to the story of the dead bird on the driveway…again?

How shall I worship You today?

            By having the emotional courage to change another diaper,

            Cook another meal, or fold another load of laundry?

How shall I worship You today?

             In holding the wrinkled hand with so little time left,

             Or by changing the tire on my neighbor’s car?

How shall I worship You today?

            By living and loving in the moment, instead of in the past—

            Or by patiently trusting You for the future?

Show me how You want me to worship You today.

 

 

Gardener’s Soufflé (in December!)

garden lastI’m writing this on my patio while eating some leftover pizza (in December!) after a particularly good turn at composting this morning. Based on some reading and good advice from one of my sons-in-law, I am trying the layering technique: 

I used my phone for these snapshots, which will probably not wind up on Instagram as that service seems to be for photos of more socially acceptable topics than what I use in my compost layering, thanks to my neighbor’s horse down the street.  I even scheduled a time to show up.

Incidentally, while warming up the pizza, I noticed my phone was no longer in my jacket’s pocket.  Considering what I had just been working with, this could potentially be mildly unpleasant.  So I took Bob’s phone outside to call mine, and I followed the ring tone, (conjuring up images of Jurassic Park 3-The Lost World…)

Yes, there it was, thankfully not Continue reading “Gardener’s Soufflé (in December!)”

The Wisdom of Harvestores

wood 2I love the story of Joseph, of Technicolor coat fame.  He’s also the one that had the bright idea to build large storehouses to put up the grain for the seven bumper-crop years and then portion it out during the famine (also of seven years.)  And Joseph was in charge of the storehouses, which made him a powerful entity, but without this plan the people would have been goners. 

So it turned out to be a pretty good plan.

Here in the rural Midwest, storehouses are also used.  And you don’t TOUCH the grain until the farmer says it’s time.  Only he wields the authority as to when the grain is supposed to come out and how much and for what use.  One does not question the wisdom of the farmer. 

But, spiritually speaking, I still have this bent in Continue reading “The Wisdom of Harvestores”

Dog’s best friend…a kitten??

I made three mistakes this morning.  Well, probably more than that, but three that I will relate in print.  A stray neighborhood kitten boldly waltzed up to me as I came out to my patio.  I couldn’t help but pick him up (aw, so cute, etc…).  Holding him in my lap, I gently introduced him to my big black 60-pound dog, Buckley (also a rescue, I might add) and then supervised closely as they actually got to know each other, timidly but definitely.  As they picked around each other, I decided to name him Viking (Vik for short) in honor of our new grandchild in Norway. 

Then I fed him. 

Okay, so that’s probably more than three mistakes.

Obviously, it took a little mediation to launch this canine/feline relationship.  Buckley has a tender heart, but is blustery and weighs about 58 pounds more than Vik.  Vik, even as a kitten, has retractable claws.  And honestly, though I was out here this early Sunday morning to pray for the church, I’m thinking instead that perhaps God wanted to do the talking…about His family.  Specifically:

  1. Some of us are big and blustery, some of us are quiet and timid. When we come in contact with each other, there are times we could benefit from some mediation.  

“Now I appeal to Euodia and Syntyche. Please, because you belong to the Lord, settle your disagreement. And I ask you, my true partner, to help these two women, for they worked hard with me in telling others the Good News.”

  1. Relationships can get inconvenient, especially when boundaries are still being defined. There seemed to be a few times that Vik needed a time-out from my bluster-Buck. He spent a few minutes under a rake, up on the patio wall, and of course, on me. 

“Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”

  1. Diversity was God’s idea to begin with. Please forgive the mixed metaphor, but not all the plants in my garden are self-pollenating; they need a little help to produce fruit.  In similar fashion, Vik can go places and do things that Buck cannot, and vice versa.  In short, we need each other to accomplish God’s plan. 

“But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it.  How strange a body would be if it had only one part! Yes, there are many parts, but only one body.  The eye can never say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you.’ The head can’t say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you.’”

Buck has already been looking for his new friend the few times he’s been out as the day progressed.  The little bowl sits ready for some fresh milk if Vik shows up tomorrow. 

(Kinda hope he does.  We have plenty of mice in the area.) 

 

Philippians 4:2,3; Ephesians 4:32; 1 Corinthians 12:18-21  Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.