Thursday, March 26, 2009

Senior Chorale

One of my favorite things is rehearsing with my singing group, the Bowie Senior Chorale. We are a group of older folks who love to sing. We are getting ready for our spring concert now. We are rocking around the clock with an old hound dog. We really are just a bunch of great pretenders who know that rock and roll is here to stay. We have a delightful young director who makes our practice time fun while teaching us how to sing.

Our group has been nominated to win an award from the governor for making life better for Maryland's senior citizens. Here is the video that was submitted for the award competition. It is composite of the songs from last spring's Motown forever show.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Those of you who know me well know that we are a birding family. It won't surprise you then that I find this such an interesting website. It is the eaglecam from Blackwater wildlife sanctuary on Maryland's eastern shore. There are two eaglets in the nest being tended by their parents. The pictures change every 30 seconds.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Feeling Old

It has been a busy week. I am tired and feeling old. I don't think life made me this tired a few years ago.
The week started out with a wonderful celebration Sunday night. My baby boy turned forty on Saint Patrick's Day. The family celebrated the occasion by taking him to an Irish pub and then to see Riverdance. It was an awesome show, but I kept thinking that my youngest is forty. How did I get this old?

I worked as a nurse in my doctor's office on Tuesday. I did that job for twenty years and know all the patients and staff. It is always fun to see everyone. Did I always feel that tired after work? I was exhausted for the next two days, and it wasn't even a very busy day.

Many of my friends no longer drive and I have been volunteering to help take them to doctor's appointments and necessary errands. I have been to a doctor's office, nursing home or hospital every day this week. I am glad I can help, but I am becoming very aware of the fact that life is brief. I want to seize the day and enjoy every minute of this gift of life. It would be easier if I weren't so tired so often.

My daughter is out of town for a few days. I spent one night with her kids and helped with the carpooling for a day. These grandchildren of mine are wonderful, well behaved, delightful people. I cherish every minute with them. I am used to living with one quiet man. My daughter's household is full of people and wonderful chaos. I was tired after a day with them. How did I raise all my children? Did I get this tired then?

I went to bed early last night and slept late this morning. I pan to do nothing today. Life is good and I know that I am blessed.

Monday, March 16, 2009


Recently I spent a wonderful weekend at a retreat with the women from my church. We shared stories and laughter. The weather was warm. The food was good. More importantly we shared our faith and encouraged one another. We spent time discovering some of the different spiritual gifts that God gives to each of us. One of my gifts is faith, which is defined as an unshakable trust and deep conviction that God faithfully and reliably keeps promises.

I was a little surprised to discover this. The fact is I have often questioned God. I sometimes wonder if the Almighty really does hear my prayers. Doubt is a constant part of my faith. Then I look around me and see God's wonders, count my blessings, and I feel the presence of the Divine in my life. Like the apostle Paul I seem to live and move and have my being in God. (Acts 17:28). This does not take away the frequent doubt I feel. Faith is something that cannot be proven. Doubt is an inherent property of faith. The writer of Hebrews alluded to this this when he wrote, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1)

I have never moved a mountain. I have prayed fervently for something that seemed so right and so good and not received the answer I sought. In my pain and anger I have yelled at God and questioned why bad things had happened. And like Job I have found that I can only trust that God is smarter than me and that God's plans are for my good.

“I do believe; help thou my unbelief.” (Mark 9:24)

Thursday, March 12, 2009


When I was in high school we often stopped at the soda fountain at Woolworth's. This menu may explain why I am constantly amazed at today's prices.

Monday, March 09, 2009


My shirt smells of baby formula. My arms and back are tired from holding babies. I feel happy and useful.

This morning my daughter and I went to help care for tiny quintuplets. These beautiful babies weigh between 6 and 8 pounds. They are healthy and have grown strong since their premature birth in December. Their mother was visiting from Sudan to have her mother-in-law bless the pregnancy, a Sudanese custom, when she began to have complications and had to be hospitalized. She eventually delivered four little girls and one boy. After a few weeks in the hospital these tiny babies came home where they are being cared for by their mother and grandmother. Their father is in the Sudanese army and cannot come. An army of church ladies is helping to feed and care for these little ones. The apartment is clean, calm and orderly. The mother is a beautiful young woman who deals with a nonstop parade of volunteers with grace and dignity. The babies are fed and cared for by multiple, loving hands. I expect they will grow up knowing that everyone loves them and never be afraid of strangers. The doctors want the babies to stay here until they are older so they will be strong and healthy before returning to Sudan.

I asked the mother today if she was homesick. She said yes. She misses her husband and her relatives and friends. She is anxious to go home. For now she is is grateful for the medical care she and her babies have received and for the army of volunteers who help to care for her babies.

Thursday, March 05, 2009


I just read this poem over on Joy Hays blog. I found it spoke to me. Perhaps you will like it too.
I am not made to pray. I close my eyes
and float among the spots behind my lids.
I chew the name God, God, like habitual
gum, think about dusting the shelves, then sleep.
It is hard to speak to the capital LORD
who deals in mountains and seas, not in a woman
rewashing her mildewed laundry while scolding
her toddler through gritted teeth. I should
escape to the closet and kneel to the holy
singularity who blasted my cells from a star.
I should imagine the blood soaking
into the cross’s grain, plead forgiveness
for splintering my child’s soul. But the words
never find their way out of the dark.
Choirs and candles shine in his bones
while I doze at the door of his body.

Tania Runyan

Monday, March 02, 2009


Today is the birthday of Theodore Geisel. He is 105 today. We know him better as Dr Seuss. His books have helped millions of children learn to read.
What is one of your favorite Dr Seuss quotes?

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Thoughts from My Weekend

Friday I took my eighty-five year old friend Jane to see her ninety year old husband Frank. Jane doesn't walk very well, so I pushed her in a wheelchair down the long hallways of the nursing home to her husband's room. I pushed her chair as close to the bedside as possible so the two of them could visit. The first thing she did was to struggle up out of the chair, lean over and tell Frank that she loved him. He smiled, his eyes sparkled, and he struggled up into a sitting position and hugged and kissed his sweetheart. They have been married sixty-four years and they still bring a light to each other's eyes. Long time love is a beautiful thing.

Saturday I went to watch the high school play. My talented fifteen year old granddaughter sings and dances in the ensemble of “All Shook Up.” My eleven year old granddaughter sat next to me. She leaned up against me and I gently rubbed my fingers along her arm as we watched the play. It was a moment of sweetness with this little girl. I got a little teary eyed as I realized how very quickly she is growing up. We must grab each moment of joy with our little ones. The time passes so quickly.

Our youth group at church participated in a 30 Hour Famine this weekend. The kids went 30 hours with out food to bring awareness to the problem of hunger in the world. They did all sorts of service projects and fun activities over the course of the 30 hours, but they did not eat. They were hungry at church this morning. During communion one of the kids tolled a bell every three seconds to remind us that a child dies every three seconds in this world of ours from hunger related illnesses. It was very moving. I came home grateful for my well fed children and grandchildren. Nothing could be harder than to watch your children starve.

It is snowing tonight. The weatherman says we might have six inches of snow by morning. Here it is March and we are getting the biggest storm of the winter. The weather is not very predictable. Life is full of surprises.

Hope you all have a lovely week.