Saturday, May 26, 2012

Wildlife!

Of all the wildlife I've seen here at the farm: turkeys, geese and goslings, ducks, songbirds, turtles, deer, squirrels, woodchucks, chippies, rabbits, fox, and bear, Mr. Bear takes the cake! I mean, bear trump all other species of wildlife observed...in our yard...close up. Right?
Paying a visit to the Hennings -- Thursday evening (May 24th)
I've only seen one other black bear on our property.  A few years ago Tom and I were in the car and we saw him at the entrance to our Christmas tree field. He was only 15-20 yards away and looking as curious about us as we were about him. Not the least bit scary that time. Did I mention we were in the car? 

This time I'm on the porch watching Tom take pictures of a bear lumbering our way through the field behind our barn, crossing the driveway, heading toward...us. Tom snapped away while this huge creature mosied closer. Twenty-five yards, nothing between them but a vinyl fence. Twenty-two yards. Like that vinyl fence could offer any protection. Twenty yards and still on the move, but thankfully, now heading away. Tom, camera in hand, makes like to follow. That's it for me! Heart in throat I squeak out an insistent, no, no, no. And wonder of wonders, Tom listens and joins me up on the porch where we can get inside in a big hurry if need be. There was no need, so we watched until the magnificent animal walked off into the woods. (Headed for your old favorite campsite, Nate. If you're reading this, make note.)

We often wonder what it is that gets the dog riled up at night. Well, there you have it. Of course she gets equally excited about rabbits and deer, so who knows.

Wild. Crazy. Serendipitous.
Front yard visitors


Great Blue Heron (down the road a piece)
All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.

He gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell,
How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well.
Cecil Frances Alexander

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Hello Sunshine

"Hello sunshine, where have you been? Hello dry eyes, is this where we begin? 'Cause I thought that I had gone just a little too far, for a little too long, to ever get back to the road that leads me home."

Words from my boy Dave's first ever CD. This song, Castles, is the first one of the ten original songs on his brand-newly-produced CD The Beginning of You.

We're more than proud, his dad and I. And by more than proud I mean we've been ministered to through the encouraging, comforting, uplifting words and beautiful music. And as the last song, Yours, is playing I'm reminded that we were created by God for one primary purpose...to be His. I learned that in catechism class when I was seven years old. "What is the chief end of man? The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever." When I remember who I am in light of who He is -- I am his Beloved and He is my God -- how can I help but find great joy in that? How can I help but enjoy Him day in and day out forever!

I can't be taken from the hand of God
I belong to Him
He is mine and I am His
I won't be shaken by the voice of the enemy
My chains are broken and I am free

God,
 I am yours in every circumstance
I am yours right here right where I stand
And if ever I should question
What I was made for
I was made... to be yours

I am Yours right here, right where I stand.



Sunday, May 13, 2012

If You're Going to San Francisco...

be sure to... go see Beach Blanket Babylon and let the show remind you... to wear some flowers in your hair. Wildly hilarious, oft poignant, only a wee bit risque. To sum it up in one word -- outrageous. Each singing, dancing, musical, comedic actor displayed more than anyone's fair share of talent. We were amused and amazed by the costumes and the hats, most of all the hats. We loved it. Can't thank our son, Nathan, enough for getting us tickets to a show in San Francisco about San Francisco.

Before the show we toured the Bay area, crossed the Golden Gate Bridge with the convertible top down. What a view! The day was gorgeous, sunny, warm and slightly breezy. Myriads of boats dotted the bay. Colorful sailboats sped along driven by wind. Kayaks, powered by the brute strength of paddlers, navigated the sea. And right out in the middle, jutting up through the watery space, stood the rocky island of Alcatraz, cold, severe, foreboding. Way over there, Fisherman's Wharf, a much happier place. You can't see everything from one spot...unless you're really high up...so we snaked our way up, up, up the mountain stopping at various lookout points.

Each view proving more incredible than the previous. (All this after the fabulous mountain top views in Colorado. Our senses were on overload, delightfully sated, but we kept drinking it in.)

Enough feasting the eyes, we had to find a place to fill our hungry stomachs, and then off to the show. After Beach Blanket Babylon we found our way to the top of Lombard Street and drove the serpentine roadway with all its hairpin turns back down to the city.

This picture isn't ours. It was dark when we were there, which added to the thrill of driving straight up and zig zagging down. After that we headed for San Jose where we spent the next 3 days sight-seeing, meeting Nathan's friends, going to his church, resting and relaxing at the pool of our hotel.

video
Here's the worship team practicing an anthem for special music. It's a big church, taking up a third of a city block, and there is a community center in the basement. Grace Baptist Church is a welcoming and affirming fellowship of believers. We felt right at home and enjoyed seeing Nate in his element welcoming the church family, reviewing the announcements, and leading the congregation in the song portion of worship.
Meeting Room

Our Hotel Pool -- refreshing, relaxing, offering time for regrouping,

On Sunday evening we went to Nathan's pastor's home for dinner. Pastor Daryl's lovely and beautiful wife, Tatiana, is from Russia. She served us a fabulous dinner complete with one authentic Russian dish that I can't remember the name of, but my tastebuds long to try again.

Monday was a drive along Highway 1 to the Monterey Bay and beyond. We stopped at a beach and ate our picnic lunch... which a couple of seagulls eagerly hoped we would share.


The Pacific Ocean, the left coast, with its rugged coastline, beautiful pieces of real estate, resort homes, rocky cliffs, beautiful bays...we got a glimpse of all that on our day trip along the Pacific Coast Highway.


The Mustang convertible touring car and our chauffeur.
And of course, the city of San Jose, which is much, much larger than San Francisco. Who knew?


And now we're back in our own little corner of the world. No skyscrapers, metros, city traffic -- home to us is a small town with a charm all its own. No dramatic coastlines, snow capped mountains or Red Rocke Park. The sky here isn't as blue as the Colorado sky, our little town lacks the glitz and cultural advantages of city life. But we have fields, a beaver pond, pastures and French Creek, which we love. And we are content with what we have. Even as we spent a week marveling at another world, a world different from our own, wonderfully diverse and fascinating, we are content to return home.  This is where we live, and breathe, and laugh and love...serving the God who made us and all people everywhere and lavishes his love upon us all. It isn't heaven. But it's a foretaste.

The beaver pond, over yonder in the south forty.


Friday, May 4, 2012

Rocky Mountain High

Colorado...

A gorgeous state. At least all that we saw of it was stunning. From the snow capped Rockies to downtown Denver, from Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater to the town of Golden all was absolutely unforgetable. The sandstone and rock buildings of the university in Boulder, homes build on mountain hillsides, wildlife, majestic trees...I can't do it justice. Pictures please.



Running up
Resting


I Can See Denver from Atop Red Rocks

Denver -- miles away in the mist