Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas from our house to yours!

It's cold outside, it's toasty warm inside. A bit more wrapping, and hey, I'm ready enough!
We're looking for all of our kids to arrive on the 24th and 25th.
I haven't sent Christmas cards in hopes that I'll soon have a family picture to include in New Year's greetings. I have so enjoyed hearing from many of you. The pictures of families, new babies, adorable little and big children, warm my heart. Thank you to all of you who have sent cards. It's so nice to be remembered! (And to all of you who, like me, haven't sent cards...I understand!!!)
May God bless us all this year with joy, peace and love.
"This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins."
I John 4:10

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Count down to Christmas

One week! How does it sneak up on us like that? No matter, I'm ready enough. First we put up the outside tree -- clear lights only, but they didn't photograph very well.

Then we put up the happy tree -- colored lights and homemade pine cone ornaments (Thank you Laura Shaffer Rausch -- what's it been 10 years ago?!? They still look lovely.) Wooden toys and cloth angels and silver bells (actually they're gold, but...) make this a bright fun tree. Under the tree is a nativity set that little ones can play with. It's all child friendly.

This year we have a third tree (maybe we did last year too) and it's all white and gold, snow flakes and icicles and glass bulbs and sparkly garland. Bulbs and the Angel came from Nathan's Christmas stash. Beautiful Hallmark bulbs from Adam and Alicia last year. The tree skirt made by my very dear friend Deenie several years ago. All I need to complete this trip down nostalgia lane is a picture of the stockings made by my mom. They're hung by the chimney with care. I'll save that pic for the next blog -- stockings and a look at the beautiful fluffy snow we've got. Here's dreaming of a white Christmas.


Is it unreasonable to think I could do all of my Christmas shopping in one trip to the mall? That's the challenge of the week. We'll see. I'll let you know how it turns out for me!

I wrote this on the 14th and we (Tom and I) did a super job. Then we went again on the 15th and pretty much almost finished up. Then we went on the 18th to take care of a few exchanges and last minute things.

So the answer is yes, it's unreasonable to think you can do all your shopping in one trip to the mall. But we nailed it in 3 short trips. The stamina for shopping wanes as the years pile on.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Hurry, Hurry, Rush, Rush

I decided to  hurry up and slow down. Quick before it's too late. Is that oxymoronic or what? I've missed some pretty important things -- birthdays, thank you notes, bills, nah, just kidding about the bills, but I'm scared to death of that one. So I set up some of my payments on-line. But I forgot. Then the bill came and I paid it. No sooner was it in the mail than it posted on-line, and bing, it was paid twice. It's okay, they credit you the next month around ;-)

Last week I had my computer reformatted and spent a day reconfiguring, reloading, pulling my hair. The cyber gods were tormenting me. But it pretty much all worked out...I think...I hope.

Here's a recap of our Thanksgiving week. Tom and I enjoyed turkey dinner with our friend, Aunt Ronnie, at her house.

It was a pleasant day, with a lovely lady. On Saturday 1/2 of our children arrived and we did Thanksgiving again. I call them the "A" kids: Adam & Alicia, Aaron & Amy (and of course, the little guy too who doesn't have an "A" name.)

The kids all got Christmas trees to take home. We put up the outside tree on the porch on Saturday, got lights on it the next Saturday. I had help on Friday to put some decorations around the house. And my little helper decorated herself while she was at it.

We've been selling trees like crazy. I've been trying to keep up with work at the church and my writing job. Decorating, baking, shopping, doing holiday things...yeah, right, I'm not getting very far. But you know, it always gets done. We had an interesting Sunday School class today on living in and appreciating the moments. That theme was sort of continued in a wonderful message during church from Romans 8. The lead up to that well known and oft quoted verse Rom. 8:28 "All things work together for good to those who love God..." But don't miss the context. "Yet what we suffer now..." Yes, we do suffer. And the pastor assured us that we will suffer in the new year. It's part of life, part of the groaning of creation. It groans and we groan as we wait for His glory to be revealed, when all of God's children will be free from sin, death, and decay. As we wait patiently (or not) we have the Holy Spirit to help us. Meanwhile, trials produce steadfastness and maturity. And God's grace is sufficient. "For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory."

How awesome is that? So if you're going to hurry up and do anything...hurry up and get hold of that right standing with God. He's giving it away. Go get it. It's truly awesome.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Two more days and the holidays are upon us! This is a busy time of year. Turkey day is the official start of the Christmas tree selling season. We've already sold a half dozen trees and there are another dozen tagged. The fields actually look rather picked over...we're considering not putting up our "Trees for Sale" sign. We'll just sell to the people who already know about us. We'll see. A 12+ foot tree left the property today in this big truck...

Yep, that's our boy Adam the Army man...he got a dandy big tree for his unit to enjoy.

We went to see Davey Boy in Connecticut this past weekend. He and Mel (our daughter-in-law to be) and Tom and I took a spin an hour or so north to visit Lake Benedict where Dave proposed to Mel in August.

It was a great weekend. And now it's a short week and I'm behind the eight ball. Getting ready for Thanksgiving on Thursday, and Thanksgiving again on Saturday, and trees to sell, and hunters to get ready for, and my two part time jobs. Man, is this the abundant life or what?!?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Be Free

That continual feast I wrote about last Tuesday...well if I heard the message right in church this week we are encouraged to enjoy the feast with abandon. If the Savior has set you free, then you are free indeed. What he sets us free from is sin. Goodbye millstone of guilt, hello peace that passes understanding and unspeakable joy. (Okay, enough of the cliches already?) I didn't hear anything I didn't already know, but sometimes truth is shared in such a way it makes your heart sing. (Couldn't help myself, last one, I promise.) All that to say, it's a good start to a new week!

Last week in review. Nathan is off to California. After careful planning, printing directions and a map, loading as many of his worldly possessions into his car as possible he set out on his cross country trek. He's kept us abreast of his travels by phone, making good time, not tired, no car problems to speak of. (?) It's all good.

I'm off my crutches...not necessarily because I should be, but, well, that was all I could take. I do not get an "A" for patience. With Nathan gone I had the little girls on my one day a week babysitting stint all by myself. We got along just fine according to me. It might be another story if you ask the 3-year-old. She so wanted an underduck push on the swings.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Life is a Continual Feast

I am rich...not to be confused with wealthy, though I am that too by some standards. Our Pastor was ruminating about how easy it is for us to cry the financial blues, forgetting the untold blessings we have, barely noticing that our every need is met. It was a short aside that he ended by saying, I am a rich man. If I were an "Amen!-ing" kind of person, I would have "Amen!ed" that. The verse I read in my devotions this morning was Proverbs 15:15 "For the happy heart, life is a continual feast." And to that, in the privacy of my own home, in the quiet of my heart, I whisper, amen. Life is a feast. An all you can eat country buffet. My happy heart takes it all in until I'm so full I think I'll burst.

Of course there are a few things on the buffet that I don't like, and yet... they may be good for me.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


I think Phoebe is sad because the pool is closed. Or maybe she's just enjoying a warm sunny day. Indian Summer!  I see from the picture that I still need to cut the dead flox and cone flowers and pull the lily stems. If the weather holds, I'll get to it. If it doesn't, the snow will cover it up. No worries. My slight incapacitation has helped me to lighten up. That's a good thing. Even better, I'm not harping at Tom or Nathan to do everything I see needing done and can't do myself. I got that out of my system the first week of crutches. Now I'm settling into a more reasonable mode. Here's my trick. Don't look at what needs done. Bury your nose in a book or waste time on the computer. It's working for me. I also found myself a part time job that requires being on the computer 4 hours a day. So I'm plenty busy, and some things just have to be let go.

Besides, it's not like nothing's getting done. A little reprieve from the cold wet weather is giving us time to finish the outdoor projects. Nathan has taken charge of tree nursery chores, I pulled all the dahlias (before my shoulder injury), and Tom took care of getting the leaves off the lawn. There's the upside of my physical woes!

Tom took care of all the leaves this year. He mowed and chopped, raked and used the leaf blower, and finally burned. They are gone, all gone. And I didn't help. Whoo-hoo! We have a lot of deciduous trees in our yard so leaf raking is a huge job. Here's a peek at some fallen leaves, and this is just one corner of the b-i-g yard. These pictures illustrate another way I got a break because of my injuries. Nathan helped with babysitting. (Audrey is going to miss her big buddy when Nate heads out west later this week. I'll miss him too!)

In case you're wondering, Tom doesn't have to work all the time. This week he dressed up in camo and went out in the woods looking for turkeys. He called this one in...and... boom. We'll be having fresh turkey for dinner this week.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Saving Betsy's Knee

Protecting my right knee has become nearly as dramatic as Saving Private Ryan. And it's got me wondering if the ole right knee is worth it. I was given very little instruction about using these dang crutches, but hey, if I have to use them, I'm going to do it like a champ. They're not stopping me from anything...much. I figured out that when you're in a hurry you can skip on crutches. It goes like this, crutch, swing, step, hop, hop. Again, crutch, swing, step, hop, hop. And when you don't have to go far, instead of crutching it you can just hop. In fact you can pretty much hop all over the place, steadying yourself on furniture, walls, whatever. It works great, until you notice pain in your severely overworked left knee. Then you have to sit down to rub it out, and your hips scream at you. A current of sciatic nerve shoots through the glutes and down the left leg. The achey lower back begs for an ice pack. But the right knee? She's feeling fine. Coddled like a baby.

Seriously, I got the message and brought the abuse down a notch. No more hopping, just use the crutches properly. Which is what I was doing last week when the left crutch slipped out from under me. I didn't fall. I used the pampered right leg to save myself, put all my weight on it, fast. Now I'm wondering if I undid all the weeks of favoring it in one fell swoop. No time to worry about that, I've got bigger problems. I wrenched my right arm, shoulder, pecs, lats in the near fall. Whoooey, that hurts. Or could it be that I cracked a rib? Whatever the case, walking on crutches aggravates it something terrible. So now I'm down for the count. I've decided that my bedroom with its soft wheat-yellow walls and impressionistic wildflower border, and big windows letting in lots of light, is a perfectly fine place to stay for a couple of days. I've got a telephone, laptop, good books, and lots of pillows. I'll walk gingerly to the bathroom when necessary and nowhere else. I'll reach and lift only with my right arm. I'll let Tom and Nathan wait on me. Two or three days of this and I'll be better. Regenerated. Right? Watch me. I can do this...I hope.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Last Swim of the Season

The sky was gorgeous today and I have some pictures to prove it...but alas, the add photos button is missing from my posting page. Hmmm? So you're going to have to take my word for it about the gorgeous day. The pure soft blue above mirrored the water we were swimming in, or perhaps it's the other way around, I'm not sure. The blue of the pool shimmered with white ripples and splashes, while the blue of the sky was strewn with wispy clouds. White on blue, blue on white, and three sun dogs added a splash of color. (Sun dog, parhelion, a bright spot in the sky tinged with color. It's a little piece of rainbow in the sky on a gorgeous day, no rain in sight -- serendipity!) Nadine and Gary told us about that. Tom and Nadine and I, got to enjoy first one, then two, then three sun dogs, while floating, kicking, splashing in the warm water. A great last swim. Meanwhile sunshine cast a golden glow on the last yellow leaves still hanging tight to the maple trees. (Another striking picture that I can't post.) About the time we got out of the pool Gary was pulling his canoe up from the creek across the field. (Also picture worthy, but I don't think we snapped it. Instead Tom hopped on the tractor and puttered to the rescue.) Now the canoe is safely tucked in the barn till next spring, no more boat rides or float trips this year.

Nathan claimed the absolute, positively, for sure, last swim of the season. Only fitting since he worked in the tree field through the late afternoon. But now it is time. Time to click off the heater and let the water cool down. No more 85 degree swims on 58 degree days. Time to drain off some water and add winterizing chemicals. Time to get out the winter cover. Time to put the pool to bed for the winter. It always makes me sad.

Good night. Sleep tight.

P.S.This is Nadine not the time he took his swim the sun was low on the horizon, it was getting dark!

P.P.S. I found the button to add pictures!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Shared Experiences

If it weren't such a pain in the knee it would be down right romantic. As if Tom and I don't have enough in add this. We've both, at one time in our lives, been hit by a big dog and ended up on crutches. His was a l-o-n-g time ago and was much more serious than mine. He was just a nine-year-old. A skinny little kid who was running down a one way path while a full grown German Shepherd was running up the same path. BAM! The dog hit him in the leg and broke his femur. He was in one of those body type casts that came up around his waist for months. Wouldn't that be awful? I on the other hand was hit in the knee by a boxer dog (who, in case you don't know, have really hard heads). I only ended up with a fracture of the tibial plateau.

Although I called the most prominent orthopedic drs. in town, I was told to go through my pcp first. Okay, I rang her up next. My doctor ordered x-rays, and I dutifully went to the hospital for said pictures. I didn't hear back about those x-rays for 10 days. After profuse apologies for the delay, I was informed I needed to see the orthopods. No surprise. A week later the orthopedic doctor (p.a. actually) didn't like the x-rays and ordered up an MRI. An appointment for that was set up for the next week (and a half). Then a follow up to tell me the MRI results for a week after that. And, uh oh, there is a fracture of the tibial plateau. By putting weight on the leg I'm injuring it further. I need to be on crutches for 30 days.

Wait a minute, let's count. I was injured on September 8. I've used my best common sense, ice the knee, keep it wrapped, keep off it as much as possible...except for normal activity including housework, yard work, nursery work, shopping trips and a visit to the zoo. But in between those hours of real life I did sit on the couch with my leg up. I was just getting good at hiding any limp, finding the right way to use my leg without too much discomfort. In fact, I just figured out how to run up stairs. Now it's October 14th and I'm told I need to be completely off it. -- That's 5 freakin' weeks since the injury! My knee hardly even hurts anymore. How am I supposed to faithfully use crutches at this stage of the game?

Two motivators. If I don't, they'll cast it. If I don't, the damage will continue and I'll need a knee replacement down the road.

The aggravating word there is "continue" because even a moron can figure out that if I've been using it as hard as I have, there's got to be significant damage done already. It makes me shudder to think how proud I was of running up stairs.

So, I am faithfully using the stupid crutches. And now that I've written this all down it's time to get over it. These things happen. Doctors don't always call back in a timely fashion, even if you leave lots of messages. But really, once they see any sort of problem, why wouldn't crutches have been ordered as a precaution while the injury was being diagnosed? Why? Why? (Okay, maybe I'm not over I am...this is me, moving on...)

The lesson I learned is, don't be afraid of over-reacting. You can't be too cautious. Find a pair of crutches and lean on them while the docs are taking weeks and weeks to diagnose your troubles. Then, when they say, "you have to stay off this for 30 days." You can say, "Done!"

Monday, October 12, 2009

All in a Week's Time

The birthday week was busy! What with this going to work three mornings a week and baby sitting every Friday and working in the tree fields and cleaning out closets and rearranging furniture and doctor appointments for the knee and aching back (go figure) there seems to be no time to blog.

Add to that I have to get a swim most days because we'll be closing the pool soon. And the "to do" list is as long as my arm: clean out the flower beds, pull the dahlias, plant 100 new bulbs for spring (it seemed like a good idea when I saw the beautiful, colorful pictures of flowers on the 1 foot cube box at a very reasonable price), make applesauce, wash windows...there's a story in that, maybe I'll tell it later.

Fortunately I've got good help. Nathan is still here...on his way to California, but here for the moment. He's going to have the upstairs nice enough to rent out by the time he's done, and he's a tremendous help in getting the trees ready to sell. With the three of us working we'll surely have them all shaped and shorn for Christmas. The goal is to have them all done by September. In reality we're going to be ahead of the game if they're all done before the end of October.

Birthday highlights: Nathan and Tom waited on me Saturday the 3rd. The men of the church put on a hot dog roast with all the fixin's on Sunday. And in the afternoon I had a Skype visit with my favorite grandson. Tom and I went out to a movie on Monday. The three of us went to Adam and Alicia's and had a birthday dinner at Red Lobster on Tuesday. Wed. night prayer meeting, board meeting. Thursday night TeamKID and then off to a bonfire visit with friends. Friday our usual Steve & Dee night. Saturday tree nursery work, swim, and an adventurous dinner prepared by Nathan. Then it was Sunday again. Yes indeed it was a good and busy week. And I'm happy, and content with life.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

October 1

In a few hours it will be October. Leaves are getting all colored up and falling off the trees. It's time for walks in the woods, leaf raking, apple picking, sauce making, and curling up on the couch with a good book and hot cider. I better get about the business of finding some good reading material. Any suggestions?

This past month I've been busy working at church, at home, and babysitting one day a week. Perfect. I'm happy doing what I'm doing. There never seem to be enough hours in a day or days in a week, but I'm content. The Bible says in Hebrews to keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, "I will never fail you nor forsake you."

The Lord has proven faithful in my life. I've never had more than I knew what to do with, yet I've never been without. I rest easy knowing God has everything under control...even when He doesn't do things quite like I think He should, or like I wish He would. (wink,wink) And truly, I'm glad He does things His way.

Good night. Tomorrow is October. It'll be a wonderful month, I just know it.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Summer's Last Hurrah!

Fishin' in French Creek...

Sorry kitty, you're not invited along.

Isn't the creek gorgeous? We're so lucky to live here. It's a blessing we thank God for every day!

And...Here's the big one that didn't get away.

At the Zoo...

What does a giraffe say?

"Hello down there."

I have some terrific digital clips of our grandson swooshing down the little kiddy slide into our pool. And a few of a little gal who learned to swim in our pool last year. She went from non-swimmer to jumping off the diving board. It absolutely thrilled me, and I think she was pretty proud of herself too! I can't share those, but... if you come over you'll be treated to the latest greatest version of home video entertainment...spell that t-o-r-t-u-r-e. We can't help ourselves!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Promised Pix


...And the other...
...And both with their mother!
Aren't they adorable? Non-look alike twins, each cuter than the other. What fun it was to have them in the pool. They went from timid in the water, to putting their faces in, to going under without holding on...hey I call that swimming. Next summer we'll work on getting somewhere while under water!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Good, The Bad, and The Crazy

"So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34

All of the calamities of the last blog are under control, old news, last month's woes. This month on the other hand has trouble of its own. But the good news is that there's a lot more good, fun, wonderful stuff than bad, sad, unpleasant stuff.

September looks like this so far:

I've done an experimental stint working at the church 3 mornings a week. I like it. And, I'm back to babysitting -- only one day a week, two children. Audrey, who is 3, has a new baby sister. Two little sweeties to look after. It really makes for a perfect baby fix.

Tom survived another school opening with only minimal stress. SWEET!

Melanie came home from Connecticut to look for a wedding gown. I got to go along with her mom and 2 bridesmaids to the Bridal Elegance shop. Mel tried on all the dresses we could possibly bring to her -- and she made every single one of them look fabulous. But there was one, one special dress. One dress that brought tears to the eyes. Yep, that's the one! It's gorgeous, she's gorgeous in it...SWEET!

The next day we were invited to a family picnic at Mel's parents' house. And SURPRISE! David was there. SWEET! (He flew to Erie, spent the Labor Day weekend here and he and Melanie drove back.)

My dear friend Beth came to visit (haven't seen her in years) with her daughter and twin grandsons. Pix to follow, and they are... Really Sweet!

Aaron & Amy came to visit with our most adorable grandchild. We had a fabulous couple of days that included shopping (got some cute maternity clothes!), looking at little kid table and chair sets, lunching out, then a spin through the Erie Zoo. Pix to follow, and they are also... Really Sweet.

Meanwhile the guys had some good fishin' days. Aaron spent one day on French Creek with his buddy Matt. Then on Saturday he and Tom floated downstream and caught a five pound walleye and a big bass. (Pix to follow. Yeah, yeah, I'm really going to have to get those pictures downloaded.)

Isn't that a whole lotta good stuff? And after counting all those blessings, the bad stuff doesn't seem worth mentioning.

But for those who bum knee is getting better everyday.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

If it's not one thing...

it's ten others! That's what my sister Kathy said in response to the news that our brother had a mini-stroke last week. Oh dear. This is the same brother whose son shattered his wrist and broke his back several weeks ago. He fell off a cliff where there used to be a bridge. The bright side is he's going to be okay -- could have been so much worse! The dark side, he's 18, out of high school, but not enrolled in college yet. He's no longer covered under his parents' health insurance. Can you say, financial nightmare?

That's three calamities, which I could make into four or five by adding that my brother is a comedian -- Let's stroke? Couldn't that possibly affect his ability to pull the right word to the tip of his tongue at the right time? His livelihood depends on using words, firing them off, making people laugh. It's his talent, his gift, and he does it well. What will happen if he can't do that for a while, or ever again? (Okay, now I'm just borrowing trouble. Instead I'll make my list of 10 things and then put this season of trouble to rest.)

My mom had a scare from her latest CAT scan. The bright side -- it was just that, a scare, no cancer.

Dad is having a bout with kidney stones, and he's not seeing any bright side to that. But a scan that he had shows possible bladder tumors. If that turns out to be the case, the bright side is this: they found them and will most likely be able to treat them before anything is life threatening.

All this may keep Mom and Dad from coming north for Dad's 60th high school class reunion. It will be hugely disappointing for him to miss that. No bright side there.

Two of my nephews live in California. One of them can see smoke from the wild fires raging nearby. (Maybe they both can, but I've only heard from one.) The bright side is they don't live where the fires are.

My daughter-in-law is suffering from morning sickness. (I just sneaked that in to say...we're getting another grandchild in March!) But still, it isn't fun for her right now, the being sick part.

So, if it's not one thing it's ten others. That seems to be how life is. Does trouble come from God or from being part of a fallen, sin-filled world? I believe it's the latter. But even if it does come from God, the God who gives us so many wonderful things to enjoy, I hope I can always say, as Job did, "Shall we accept good things from God and not trouble?"

Accept it or not, it's a fact of life..."In this world you will have trouble, but be of good cheer," Jesus said, "I have overcome the world."

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Men on a Hot Tin Roof

Okay, so I don't know if it's tin, but it's some kind of metal and it was HOT. All that cool weather we've been wishing away this summer stepped aside for a brief stint of crazy hot. It was unfortunate timing in light of a roofing project someone in our church organized. The day dawned bright and beautiful. We were so happy to have a gorgeous day...until the heat and humidity kept rising...until a couple of guys got feeling sick...until it became apparent that all that good food we brought wasn't going to get eaten. Oh well. The good news is that the house was securely under roof before everyone left that evening. Not so the porch. But it will all get done. I'm confident of that.

First, off with the old...or most of the old...
(Here's Tom climbing a ladder hours before the heat got to him and rendered him worthless.)

Then on with the new...(Hot? Ask this guy about it. He says it was like working over an oven the way the heat radiated.)

Here are some guys sweating it out on the ground. Somebody's got to clean up the old shingles. Volunteers? anyone? anyone? (I would have helped, but I was manning the camera.)

The women were working too, painting the porch and window trim. Oh, and, would that be me? In the white shirt off to the right, standing around talking? With my hands in my pockets? I must have been consulting, or supervising, or something important like that.It really was an impressive crew. The grateful homeowner was overwhelmed, and so appreciated everything that got done. The workers were equally blessed.

That was last weekend. This weekend Tom and I stayed home and worked in our tree fields...where it doesn't matter how hot it gets. We pace ourselves. An hour or two of work, a dip in the pool. It's a much more reasonable way to work. Next time we help with a roofing project, we'll pack up the pool and take it along. It might be the most valuable tool on the job site.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Our Davey Boy asked Melanie to marry him and she said yes! We're happy as can be for them. And just as happy for us.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Failure and Success

I came across an interesting statement in the book Crazy Love, by Francis Chan. I've enjoyed and appreciated Chan's words of wisdom, but this quote isn't his, he is quoting Tim Kizziar, "Our greatest fear as individuals, and as a church, should not be fear of failure, but fear of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter."

I've been thinking about that all week. What in the world really matters? Well, what really matters isn't in this world. What really matters is eternity. But I live in this world here and now...passing through, so to speak...and there are a lot of things I need to take care of just because I'm here, now. I'll admit that I don't feel terribly successful. But add to that, while I'm doing the things I'm doing, now I have to wonder if those things matter. Am I afraid of failure? You betcha. But here's my new perspective, convoluted as it may be. It actually would be hugely successful to fail at things that don't matter. Just try...if it fails it probably didn't matter anyway.

I'm pretty sure that's nothing like what Tim Kizziar meant when he said, "Our greatest fear, as individuals or as a church, should not be fear of failure, but fear of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter."

Mondays swim count -- 16 guests. Tuesdays count -- 16 also, but not all at the same time, and only a few of the same people as Monday. Today it's cool but sunny, the water is sparkling and warm, I'm hoping for company.

Monday, August 3, 2009


Summer is flying by. If you lived around here you'd be asking, "what summer?" It's been wet and cool with rarely two nice sunny, warm summer days in a row. Hot? Not at all. The one air conditioner unit we own never got out of the closet and the window fans are in the attic...unplugged...collecting dust.

But with all the rain the grass is lush, the garden (such as it is) is bountiful. We're especially thankful for the gift of a gas well so we can heat our pool and enjoy it even when Mr. Sun isn't doing the job of making the water warm. And some people enjoy the cooler weather. I'm happy for them.

We didn't travel this summer (so far) except to move David to Connecticut...from this cute little house that he lived in for five years. To this studio apartment...
We believe that a rainbow is a sign of God's we take this to mean all will be well for our youngest boy in his new grown up job in a grown up world.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Family, family, and more family

Earlier I posted about Ben and the work we got done while he was here...all that was in preparation for what we, on the Henning side of the family, call "the cousins reunion". Parts of the house that needed painted, got painted, along with shutters, trim, etc. Everything else got swept, washed, weeded, wiped down, shined up or trimmed back. All set for company. But before the Hennings arrived we had a quick visit from some of the Bruces: Oom and Pop, Kath and Audrey, Jerry, Lu and Rebecca, and the afore mentioned Ben (who isn't a Bruce, rather, he's the son of Kath's good Parisian friends Linda and Eric.) It was an enjoyable opportunity to see Ben one last time before he flew home to France, and a good time to have the far away contingent of my family come to our house.

Rebecca learning to swim
Rebecca totally tuckered

And a week later, when the other relatives arrived, there was all kinds of fun. Eating and tractor rides, eating and swimming, eating and games, eating and a birthday party...which included...eating...

Happy 2nd Birthday to Matthew!

Our reunion was only two days before Jill's birthday, but she didn't get any attention at all. I guess it really is all about the kids! I hope she didn't mind too much.

Happy Belated Birthday, Jill!