Saturday, November 22, 2008

My House is Falling Apart!

Years ago -- like 33 of them -- when we moved into this old farmhouse, it had its problems. The house I mean. It was a hunting camp and summer home, and it was rustic. In other words, no heat, questionably potable water and not enough of it, no septic, antiquated wiring. It had been a well loved place to visit just as it was, but not very likeable if you had to live in it as is.

Some friends helped us make the place more liveable. They came in those first few weeks that we lived here with their two little children. Their two and our two were playing on the old hardwood plank floor when one of the little ones called out in considerable consternation, "Betsyhenningyourhouseisfallingapart!"

It was true. Over the years the chestnut planks had swelled with moisture causing the tongue and groove joints to heave. Then in dry weather they pulled apart leaving gaps, where, if it weren't for the thick cobwebs, you could see straight down to the cellar. So maybe one of the cracks swallowed a small toy or something. Whatever, it certainly excited the poor little girl.

She's all grown up now, but we still get a kick out of remembering the story. The floor is better, although not perfect. I recently put some masking tape over the very spot that caused the ruckus way back when. She still refers to me fondly as Betsyhenning... And in more ways than one, myhouseisstillfallingapart. Wish I could fix everything with a piece of masking tape.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The late great Erma Bombeck

From Erma’s desk...

“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me.’”

I love Erma Bombeck's writing. She's my hero.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Take a Mulligan

That's what our Pastor titled Sunday's sermon. It's worth a listen, if you've got a few minutes. (click here and do dat --listen).

I come from good golfing stock (Hi Mom and Dad!) so I knew right off what a mulligan was. A do over. A second chance.

Pastor Cliff's message was good. Spiritually speaking I took a Mulligan years ago. I came face to face with Jesus, asked for a fresh start at life, and got it. Turns out there have been lots of stages and phases in life when I really wanted (needed?) another mulligan. And I can have spiritual do overs, second chances over and over again. It's all about repentance and forgiveness, and our God is ever forgiving. He offers us a mulligan.

But on another level -- there aren't do overs in the physical world. No mulligans. If there were I'd like a second chance at oh so many things. School, growing up, teen years. Not that I want to repeat any of those the way it was back then. But I'd love to take the experience and maturity I have now and do my younger years again. I'd like to marry (the same man) again. And have little babies again. The exact same ones -- and maybe a little girl thrown in for good measure). I'd do it all so much better (me thinks). But shucks, no can do! Who was it that said, "The trouble with youth is that it's wasted on the young." ???

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Don't Like the Weather?

Just wait a bit. It'll change. I caught the change on camera.

Yep, one day we had snow that lay inches deep, and the next thing you knew, it was 70degrees and sunny. My first thought about the snow was, Oh good! Now I don't have to rake the leaves. No such luck, we got a second chance when the ground dried up and the rest of the colorful leaves fell off the trees. These lovely girls on my porch swing aren't just friends, they're my raking crew. Best of all, the little ones will work for Lucky Charms. What a deal.

The respite in weather meant I really had to get at that bushel of apples on the back deck. But there was help for that too. The little blondie in the middle was here to visit on applesauce day.

She turned the crank on the handle of the squeezo for, oh, thirty seconds or better. And she used the wooden plunger thing-a-ma-jig to push the apples down while I cranked the handle for 2 minutes without stopping. The rest of the time she entertained me by playing close by -- stopping frequently to tell me I was doing a great job. Good help like that is hard to find.

Why wasn't Tom helping with the raking or the applesauce making? Because there was hunting to be done. He had to go get a turkey for our Thanksgiving dinner... Mission accomplished.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A New Day

Today I only have tears of joy. I can't believe I've been priviledged to see our country accomplish what I trust will be an amazing act of healing and unity. John McCain's concession speech was truly gracious. He said that he will continue serving this great country and will help the new administration in any way he can. And he encouraged his supporters to do the same. (Reminiscent of "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.")In his victory speech, Barack Obama said, "I didn't win this election; you, the American people, did." While McCain had just finished saying to his supporters, "You did not lose this election, I did." Two magnanamous remarks from two remarkable men. Neither of them had to be that humble, but they were. Both of them embody the spirit of America and embrace the ideal of government for the people, by the people, and of the people.

I, for my part, feel happy and peaceful as if all is right with the world. My trust and hope is not in Barack Obama -- My trust and hope is in the giver of all good gifts, God our Father. In my heart I believe He smiled on us and said this is the man who will come closest to carrying out my plans for you American people, at least for the next four years. (See Romans Chapter 13, "...there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.")

We're not the chosen nation, not the chosen people, but God has indeed blessed America. I'm going to take time today to thank Him for ever so many things!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Happy Birthday

35 Years ago I had a little baby boy. He grew up. I hope he's having a happy birthday today...wish I were there. Instead I think I'll have Tom take me to the movies. Perhaps we'll go see "W" to celebrate the 35th anniversary of our first son's birth. I think he'd like that.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Fall chores

After a cold snap and snow earlier this week, we've got balmy, sunny and absoultely gorgeous weather today. We're getting lots and lots of winterizing chores done. And by we I mean Tom. After hunting this morning he cut and stacked wood, put away the outdoor furniture, grill, hose and window air conditioner. Now he's got the leaf blower going in reverse, sucking up leaves. But I haven't exactly been vegging. I helped him a little, and did my own indoor chores. Now I'm heading out to cut back the mums and cover them with pine branches so they'll grace us with blooms again next year.

Meanwhile the house smells wonderful because there's a turkey roasting in the oven. This is thanksgiving month. We're starting early! There's a lot to be thankful for -- and giving thanks keeps the pity parties at bay.