Sunday, July 29, 2007

We are packing for a trip to the beach. What do you think I will need at the beach?

Friday, July 27, 2007

New Day

To loosely paraphrase Psalm 30:5, “Wallowing may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning.” I am feeling much better today. Thank you all for the positive energy I felt coming through blogland.

This morning I went to the pool and worked up a sweat in my water aerobics class. After all that exercise I went to lunch with a friend and we planned a baby shower we are giving for a friend next week. Just to make sure I would be feeling better I had a pedicure and had those ugly post menopausal chin hairs waxed away. Then I spent the afternoon helping a frail hospice patient and his wife get to a doctor’s appointment and then to the pharmacy. I got home just before a magnificent thunderstorm arrived. My beloved and I sat on our front porch and watched as the storm delivered much needed rain along with some powerful thunder. We enjoyed a quiet supper together. I am feeling the joy of many blessings and the dark shadows have retreated for another day.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


Maybe it’s just fatigue because I didn’t sleep well last night. I really don’t know why, but I feel like I’ve fallen into a dark hole full of gloom today. My life, like everyone’s life has been full of loss, hurt, betrayal and broken dreams. Such things are part of living, but today I feel I’m surrounded by all those hurts and losses that I thought I had moved beyond. I know I should be counting my blessings. I just don’t want to right now. I want to wallow a bit. It seems I really haven’t moved passed all those bad places. I just seem to be circling around them and occasionally I just fall into this hole. I know this a temporary stop. I have a good life full of more than my share of blessings, but for right now I just need to sit in this hurt until God pull me out of again.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Daughter number one stopped by last weekend to show off her new car. It is a white VW bug convertible. The car just suits her and has been named “Doodlebug.” Seeing her in it made me think about the car our family owned that just suited us.

When our girls were teenagers, just starting to drive, we decided to buy a bigger car, maybe a van. One day my husband and father-in-law decided to go see what they could find. That afternoon they brought home our new family car, a bright, fluorescent orange twelve-passenger van. When the girls saw it they ran into their room and cried. “How could we do this to them? That was the ugliest, orangest vehicle they had ever seen. It was embarrassing. They would never be seen in that thing!” I was quieter, but, well, it was just so very orange. They did eventually get in, but they lay down on the seats so no one could see them. My husband loved it. “It’s great! I can see that orange van anywhere in the parking lot. We’ll never have to remember where we parked.” The orange van gradually made its way into all of our hearts. In the age before seatbelt laws it could hold the entire church youth group on its outings. Our girls learned to love driving the orange van. They and their friends went everywhere in that car. When I got to drive it carloads of teenagers would honk and wave at big orange. Perhaps it’s just as well that I don’t know all the memories that were created in that van full of teenagers. All four of our children learned to drive in that orange twelve-passenger van. It was a wonderful car.

What cars have you owned that just suited you?

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Two Potters

We saw the New Harry Potter film last night. I was feeling a bit out of the conversation because I had not yet seen it. Good movie. Was I the only one to notice the resemblance between the unlikable Professor Umbrage and Laura Bush? Both of them devoutly follow their misguided masters.

The other movie I saw today was “Miss Potter.” I loved it. It is the story of Beatrix Potter, the author of all the Peter Rabbit stories. She was an innocent, protected spinster of the nineteenth century who managed to become a highly successful and wealthy author. It is a sweet love story. It is the story of a courageous and successful woman. I highly recommend it.

Friday, July 20, 2007

This morning I went to traffic court with my granddaughter. She was involved in an accident earlier this year and was hoping to get reduced fine and traffic points by going to court. Court can be a scary place so I went along for moral support. Actually I went because I love to people-watch and this seemed like a good place to watch people. The courtroom was filled with an interesting array of folks. They were young, old, black, white, brown, well dressed and not. We waited for about thirty minutes before the judge finally appeared, thirty very silent minutes. Most folks just stared into space with an expressionless face. Some picked at their fingernails. A few brought books and spent the time reading (That is what the granddaughter did.) Everyone looked ill at ease. The judge finally appeared and gave us instructions. You can plead guilty or not guilty. Do not give any explanation unless he asks. If you are charged with speeding it is not an excuse to say that you were just moving with the traffic. It does not matter if you were just passing to go around someone. It does not matter if your speedometer was broken. It is irrelevant if you were just trying to around an unsafe situation. The only question is were you driving faster than the posted speed limit. There are no excuses. Granddaughter was the third case called. The judge asked how she pled. “Guilty,” she relied. He asked, “Were you cooperative with the officer?” “Yes sir,” she answered. He ruled “Probation without judgment.” That meant she had to pay the fine but was assigned no points on her record. We walked across the hall where she paid her fine and we were free. She was very relieved.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Yesterday I saw the podiatrist. While he was talking to me about arthritis, tendons, arches and bunions I began to think about all the places these feet have taken me.

During the 40’s and 50’s they helped me skip through a happy and carefree childhood.

In 1961 they walked me down the church aisle to marry my beloved. His feet have been walking by mine every day since then. The rest of the 60’s they walked the floor with crying babies and chased running toddlers around the house.

The 70’s were a time of standing on sidelines and exploring the world with growing children. These feet walked on the beach and through the woods. They escorted children on field trips to museums and zoos. They walked all over London leading my children to see places they had never seen. These feet also walked miles of hospital corridors tending to the needs of the many patients who need care over the years.

The 80’s came and my feet helped me to stand and cheer as I watched each of my children march to “Pomp and Circumstance” as they graduated into adulthood. Then my feet once again walked down the church aisle and led me to the pew where the mother of bride or groom was to sit. I again walked the floor with babies and chased toddlers, but grandmothers don’t walk and chase as often as young mothers.

My feet kept moving during the 90’s. The hospital corridors changed to the halls of a doctor’s office. The grandchildren grew and my feet once again escorted children to the zoo and to the park.

Then came the new millennium. My feet, along with the rest of me, retired and quit walking to tend patients. I began to explore the world and these feet walked across the glaciers of Alaska, the beaches along the Southern Ocean in Australia and through the rainforests of Costa Rica.

These old feet once again took me to auditoriums where “Pomp and Circumstance” was played and I watched as my grandchildren began to graduate into adulthood.

My feet may hurt, but I can’t complain. They have served me well and taken me far.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


We are half way through our week of Vacation Bible School. The kids are having a wonderful time. The church building is filled with laughter, giggles and children running around in wet bathing suits. The theme this year is based on water park adventures. Every evening the kids play water games with wading pools, Super soakers, garden hoses and water balloons. There are crafts and lots of high-energy songs. I have been in charge of the Bible stories. We teach with lots of interactive fun and get a bit wet while telling them stories about Jesus and God’s love. In the picture I am showing them how to step into living water. The kids filled the planter boxes with living water from a well while getting themselves thoroughly wet. I am not known for being observant, and just a few minutes before class my helper noticed the planter boxes had holes in the bottom. We grabbed some plastic tablecloths and made pool liners for our “river of life.” It worked fine. One more adventure in learning.

Monday, July 16, 2007


Yesterday morning we sang a hymn at church that I had never heard before. It said so well what I was feeling after the wonderful weekend at Women of Faith that I thought I would share it with everyone. So often in my religious journey I have heard words that exclude people and are hurtful to those who have found a different understanding of faith. These lyrics seem so very inclusive. They speak to me of a loving God who wants us to love and to not judge.

“Help US Accept Each Other”

by Fred Kaan

· Help us accept each other as Christ accepted us;
Teach us as sister, brother, each person to embrace.
Be present, God, among us, and bring us to believe
We are ourselves accepted and meant to love and live.

· Teach us, O God, your lessons, as in our daily life
We struggle to be human and search for hope and faith.
Teach us to care for people, for all, not just for some,
To love them as we find them, or as they may become.

· Let your acceptance change us, so that we may be moved
In living situations to do the truth in love;
To practice your acceptance, until we know by heart
The table of forgiveness and laughter's healing art.

· God, for today's encounters with all who are in need,
Who hunger for acceptance, for righteousness and bread,
Bring us new eyes for seeing, new hands for holding on;
Renew us with your Spirit; God! Free us, make us one!

Sunday, July 15, 2007


I spent the past two days with 16,000 girlfriends at a Women of Faith conference. It was exhausting and wonderful. It is difficult to explain how inspiring it is to be in an arena full of women who share my faith in God. The weekend was full of stories that made us laugh and made us cry. The music was awesome. I get goosebumps at the memory of 16,000 women singing “How Great Thou Art.” There was an extremely funny story about mammograms. (You hear stories at a women only event that are never told in a mixed audience.) It included a song in praise the underwire bra. I will never again hear Josh Grogin’s wonderful song, ”You Lift Me Up,” without laughing. It was a weekend full of acceptance, friendship, unity and love. It was very good.

What events inspires you?

Thursday, July 12, 2007


This week I have managed to gather together a canoe, a big bag of gummy worms, badminton net, kid’s wading pool, several small buckets, a big plastic tub, some plastic fish, a clothesline, several bed sheets, a shower curtain liner, and a broken video camera. This obviously means it is almost time for Vacation Bible School. Lots of people put in lots of work to make this week of fun and learning about Jesus happen at our church. The kids always love it, and the adults are always glad when the week is over. My job this year is to decorate the Bible story room each evening. The assortment of goodies is the collection of props we will use to help make the lesson come alive and be meaningful for the young children who will be there.

Did you go to Vacation Bible School when you were a kid? What memories do have if you did?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Today is my father’s birthday. He would be 103 today. He has been gone for sixteen years and I still miss my daddy.

Mom and Dad met on a blind date. Mom and her cousin Cleta Mae were going to go out with Harold and William. Mom was to go with Harold, Cleta Mae with William. When the young men came to pick the girls up, Mom made the instant decision to switch dates. Harold was a tall, skinny thing, but William was just her size. She noticed that he had a nice little behind and she liked the way he filled out his pants. They were married for fifty-seven years.

The picture is my handsome, young father.

Monday, July 09, 2007


The temperature reached 100 degrees here today. It is hazy, hot, and humid, one of those miserable triple H summer days. The newscaster was asking everyone to conserve energy so I did not cook dinner. It was the perfect night for a big salad. We did go to Cold Stone for ice cream. Half the town was there. The other half of town was across the street getting an Italian Ice from Rita’s.

What do you do to stay cool on hot summer days?

Saturday, July 07, 2007

The future, the past

I thought of this picture today while attending a funeral. The picture was taken our last night in California. Our daughter and her children are watching the sun as it sets into the Pacific Ocean. I look at the picture and see the future, my children, looking at the end of what has been. We did lots of looking into the past this trip, but when I look at my grandchildren I see my future. I think it is important for them to learn about their roots and to hear the family stories. They are blessed to come from a very long line of love. I hope they draw strength from these roots that will sustain them as they journey into whatever their futures may hold, and that they will have strong wings that let them soar.

The funeral today celebrated the life of a gracious eighty-seven year old lady. Her children and grandchildren spoke of her great love. There were tears and there was laughter as they looked into the blessings of the past. But these young people all know they were loved. They have a rich legacy that will sustain them into the future. They are a lucky family.

Julia, you were a loving lady. You will be missed.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

On this Fourth of July I thought I would celebrate the freedom of expression by telling you about our afternoon in Venice Beach.

Venice Beach has to be the best place I’ve ever been for people watching. There is no dress code. Everything is acceptable. Freedom to be whoever you want to be is completely OK in Venice Beach. Along with the other tourists who had just come to gawk at the parade of characters there were many young people with multi-colored Mohawk hairdos and multiple piercings. They were dressed all in black. The majority of them were using skateboards to travel. One fellow was dressed all in loose white cotton plus his helmet, kneepads, and elbow pads. He was roller blading down the boardwalk while playing the guitar. Aspiring musicians were everywhere. They were armed with earphones, pleading with people to stop and listen to their music. In the picture you see Salty Salt, an about to become famous hip-hop musician, selling his CD to our daughter and her kids. Venice Beach is also known as Muscle Beach. There is an outdoor gym with weights and exercise equipment for public use. My favorite characters were the hefty men with oiled bodies strutting up and down for us to admire. One was dressed in a sparkling silver Speedo and a large brass medallion. Another had a tee shirt wrapped around himself as loincloth. It was wonderful to people who were so sure that were beautiful. I can testify that that opinion was not shared by any of the members of my family.

I love people watching. Where have you been to see such a parade of humanity?

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

While shopping in a posh shopping center in southern California we came upon this line. It looked out of place. Why would people be camping out in line on an upscale street? Obviously we were not aware of the desperate need people had to be among the first to own an iPhone. Although this would be a more pleasant place to wait in line than many other places, it still seems a little crazy to me.

Did you wait in a long line for an iPhone? Have you ever camped out in line to buy something wonderful? What is worth waiting for days in line?

Monday, July 02, 2007


For me the best part of our trip to California was time we were able to spend with my brothers and their families. The last time I saw them was at my mom’s funeral four years ago. It was such fun to sit around and visit and laugh and cry together. We kept saying, “Do you remember when?” and the wonderful thing was that we did remember. The kids kept saying, “I never heard that story. Who was Lance? Who was Emma Jean?” It was fun to see our children and grandchildren getting to know each other and learning all sorts of family stories. Family and family stories are precious.

The pictures are of me with my brothers and of us with some of our children and grandchildren.


I'm finally home. The time in California was wonderful! The trip home was long and hard. I'm too tired to think now, but I will post soon about our great trip.