Thursday, November 10, 2016

Made the Connection!

Well, I connected with her for over an hour yesterday afternoon. We had two whole lifetimes and 62 years to catch up on! What fun that was, and I know it will be into the future. Since we're both on the "over-the-hill" side of things, we know it won't be another 62 years, but we'll enjoy every one that the Lord gives us.

I'm teaching my new Bible study at the assisted living center this morning, and I would appreciate any and all prayers. I've chosen to study Old Testament characters, starting with Abraham, and this morning we'll be talking about Sarai and Hagar and the second major covenant that God made with Abram when he changed their names to Abraham and Sarah. 

May God bless your day!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Lost Friend FOUND!

I just found a friend I've been looking for for yearsunfortunately, we haven't connected yet because her phone line is busy this evening. We were teenagers in boarding school together in Florida in the early 1950s. I was an MK from Africa, and she was one from Alaskastrange combination perhaps, but it never mattered to us.

It turns out she wrote me several Facebook messages in spring and summer of 2015but I never saw them and am not sure why they are just now showing up for me. A strange situation for sure. When I finally connect with her, I'll write some more about it here.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

They Did It!

The question around our scattered family this morning was "Did you stay up to watch until the end?" 

When I wrote the blog about our family and the Cubs last week, the question was whether they could do it. I'm not going to recap the series here—the media has more than done that. I just want to talk about last night. I know family members were watching in at least five states—and that they were messaging each other through the whole thing!

With the Cubs' good start that went on for several innings, and knowing that baseball games go on for hours, I began wondering early on whether I would be willing to sacrifice my bedtime to see the end. Of course if they won, I would be thrilled to watch it happen— but if they lost, it would be simply too sad to watch. At the same time, I was sure I had family members who, if the Cubs won, wouldn’t forgive me for not sticking with it.

So I decided I would brave the late hour, especially since the Cubs had a good lead—but then…. Cleveland tied it up in the bottom of the 8th—argh! My husband stayed up through the top of the ninth when it started to sprinkle, but when Cubs did not score then, he too came to bed. So much for a dream…

I ended up not able to sleep. I kept turning my mind to other things, like favorite Christian music, but it kept drifting back to Chicago, where I was imagined them trying to deal with the devastating disappointment they were going to have to live with all winter long. 

Finally at 11:40 I got up to take a pill. I figured by then everything was over. Imagine my amazement when my sister’s first Skype to me this morning was “So they did it up big!” Say what? Turns out that if I had turned the TV on while I was up getting the pill, I would have likely have caught the end of it!

Am I crushed? Definitely not! The only important thing is that they won, and as always the media has shown plenty of what I missed. Yay, Cubs! 

Thought about you a lot, Grandpa and Daddy!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Afternoon Musings

Today our Tennessee city is breaking an all-time November temperature record. We will hit 88 or 89 this afternoon. Do you suppose Fall heard my complaints about the pending loss of summer and managed to slip me a little extra? Truth is, I am enjoying a couple of little extras. One is a gorgeous sunflower that has grown up under our bird feeders. So bright and cheery in the sun, both afternoon and early morning.

Another is a poinsettia that hasn't figured out that it isn't in the tropics. Whereas poinsettias are famous for their bright red foliage, I've never had one in the US that turned red again after the initial flowers are gone. This little guy is trying to. He was a gift plant back at Christmas last year. I kept him in through the winter but put him outside in a larger pot come warm weather. Now his leaves are trying to turn red! Today I moved him to a spot where he will get more hours of sun during the day. Too bad I didn't do that a week ago. I wonder how far those leaves will get before the inevitable freezing temperatures descend on us.

This Sunday our church is celebrating its forty-fourth anniversary. We still have a handful of charter members, though we lost at least one other one to Glory recently. We found this church when we first moved here a decade and a half ago, and we haven't gone anywhere else. It's a good church, but we haven't been growing. Hopefully that is going to change as we're on the verge of adding a minister of education and programs to our staff.

I mentioned in my returning post a couple of weeks ago a long-term "project" that might be coming to fruition. I've spent a good bit of time on it since then, as has a family member, and it is now in the hands of someone for final (hopefully) finishing touches. Confusing? Here's a hint: The cover is close to being finished, and the next thing I need to focus on is getting an ISBN number for it. Again, stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Our Family and the Cubs

We have five generations of Cubs fans in our family. It started with my grandfather. We don’t know at what point he became a devoted Cubs fan, but we’re safe in guessing it was early. He was 28 when the Cubs last won the World Series in 1908, and he was 65 in 1945 when they last played in the World Series.

Devotion to the Cubs started early in his family, too. A letter in the family-history files was written by my grandfather’s son, our uncle, during his overseas service in WWII. Even from the battlefront he was asking about the Cubs!

Grandpa lived another eleven years after that ’45 World Series, and that is where my memories come in. During the mid-50s, shortly before he died, I have a clear picture of him leaning over his little radio at the kitchen table listening and being vocally animated. I even remember his being enthusiastic over the fairly new player who was doing good things for the Cubs—Ernie Banks!

My dad, Grandpa’s son-in-law, was also a devoted fan. Though he was dignified and generally on the quiet side, we who knew him remember how he too could get vocally excited about the Cubs. Some of his grandsons and great-grandsons still do.

A few of us in the family like to see the Cubs win, but we don’t always keep track of what is happening with them as much as some of the others. There’s even been some disillusionment with things like the huge sports salaries of today—which of course would totally blow my grandfather away! But there’s definitely enough enthusiasm among us to claim the five generations.

My closing story happened late this summer. My son’s two boys, now in college, are members of that fifth generation. This summer for their dad’s birthday, they pooled their funds and took the three of them all the way from Tennessee to Chicago to see a Cubs game in person. One of them had already stated on his high school graduation card that his goal was to live long enough to see the Cubs win the World Series!

Despite what may or may not happen in the next week, I’m counting on his living a lot longer than that!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Saying Hello to Fall

I’ve long heard people report enthusiastically that fall is their favorite season. There are many reasons, like a break from the summer heat, kids going back to school (some mothers are sad about that), and of course the vivid fall colors.

I’ve tried through the years to agree with them, but it just doesn’t happen. That could be because I’ve lived a third of my life, including my childhood, in the tropics, but that’s not all it is. With air conditioned homes and churches, I don’t mind the summer temperatures that much, and I’ve always been more on the cold side personally. (I use the little bathroom heater for my showers even during the summer because of the AC vent in there.)

A big reason I can’t get excited about fall is that I love color and I love flowers so much, and I am so sad to see them wilted and dead after the first frost. Our community landscaper has done a terrific job this summer with three rows of tall blossoms in three solid colors at the entrance to our subdivision. These days I’ve been sadly anticipating when they would be hit and laid low by frost.

It turns out, apparently, that professional landscapers don’t wait for frost to bring on that sad sight. We haven’t had frost yet, so I was surprised this week to find the colored flowers gone and three rows of two-inch, drab little pansies in their place. What a letdown! In a couple of days, however, I started thinking of the pansies as brave little soldiers who are going to have to sit there and endure the winter, whether mild or severe. Yes, they too are God’s creation, and I need to respect and appreciate them, though not in quite the same way as the brightly colored ones of summer.
What helps the most is to remember that all this has been clearly planned by God.
           “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat,
            summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease” (Genesis 8:22)."
Yes, it’s all part of a divine plan, and we (including me) are the beneficiaries.

But I imagine you won’t be surprised to hear that spring is still my favorite season.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Starting Anew

I’ve been looking back over the last four years since I wrote in this blog, thinking about things worth remembering. The most important is that my husband and I have celebrated five more anniversaries since then (58 now), and we are both so thankful we still have each other. We’re in the same home we moved into new when we made the move from Dallas in 2003, making this the second longest time we’ve been in one place in those 58 years..

Not surprisingly, some things have changed. We no longer have the two sweet pets pictured on this blog. Of course tears have been shed, and of course we have a couple more—a dog with short hair who doesn’t need to be washed and cut and a fat kitty who loves to tip things over (even water glasses), pull things down (dishtowels from their rack), and hates closed doors.

The biggest highlight of the last four years took place in late summer of 2013. Ever since we were young, Fred and I had agreed that “someday” we wanted to make a trip out west. In early August it occurred to us that “someday” had probably come, and we quickly made plans. We got a great tour of Rushmore with friends who retired there. We loved Glacier Park even without snow. During the first half of the trip I enjoyed saying I’d lived on four continents but never been to Yellowstone; can’t say that any more, and we topped it off at the beautiful Tetons.

Even though it’s been only four years, we’re at a different stage now. Not long after the trip, the arthritis in Fred’s back deteriorated to the point we could no longer have made that trip. He can no longer walk the neighborhood and he’s been told he shouldn’t drive in the dark, but he still keeps up with our finances and most of his “chores.” I still walk several times a week but not as far as I used to, and I’ve had three small surgeries in the last six months.

I have several projects to keep me busy, including writing my parents’ missionary story from the field letters my grandmother saved. I’ve recently committed to teaching a Bible class in a new retirement home in our area. And I have the possibility of a project I’ve toyed with most of my adult life actually coming to fruition. I’ll keep you posted.