Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Renovations and Regeneration

We got our living room back in order just under the wire, right before the Henning family began arriving for the Cousins Reunion.
Backyard/pool side view of the living room
Front porch/yard view of the living room.
Picture above piano --our barn painted by dear friend Toni Jo Kidd
We're so happy with our home. Through the years we've added to and changed much, always hoping we've kept the character of old times while adding convenience and looks of present times.

As for the living room, we still have decisions to make...like where to put a television. I know, just don't. But the winters are long here in northwest PA and we do watch TV. I'd like to enjoy the coziness of a crackling fire while watching a movie or Downton Abbey, and so, this winter, I shall. As soon as I figure out how to put the set in this corner in a tasteful way, I shall. (We're open to suggestions.)

Posting pictures I'm more aware of details needing attention. I itch to dress up the walls and decorate the mantel. I'm also mindful how far behind I am posting less materialistic self-centered blogs. Should I write or should I do? 

Day by day my spirit soars at the joys of life all around me, or flags at the weight of injustice and pain surrounding us all. It's a battle, where my focus lingers -- on the good or on the evil. I don't turn a blind eye to either. I accept gratefully and relish the blessings lavished on me. I wince at hardships and sadness, my own and the world's. I want to do my part to right wrongs and trumpet hope, yet my desire too oft paralyzes me. So I shake it off, clean a room, work in the yard, call a friend, hope for company to come splash in the pool with me, or I write. That's what I do...and then my world is rosy once again.

May the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; establish the work of our hands for us-- yes, establish the work of our hands. Psalm 90:17

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

July 4th, July 5th, July 6th 2014

The 4th of July is a big weekend for the Bruce family every year. My Yankee-Doodle-Dandy sister celebrates her birthday. The extended Bruce family holds a reunion -- going strong for 60 some years. Adding a memorial service for my mom, a celebration of her life, and then a mountain top send off made this year's 4th of July weekend bittersweet.

At the memorial we intoned Mom's praises, extolled her beauty, and shared remembrances and grief at our great loss. One of my brothers-in-law said it was a wonderful going away party for our mom, oma, Gloria Kubasik Bruce. One grandson led the memorial service, another led the mountain top service, there were songs and hymns performed by grandkids and my husband, and Dad himself sang "All the World Will be Jealous of Me" -- a love song sung to our mom throughout their 63 years together. All of my brothers and sisters gave tribute to our mom and several of the in-laws did as well. I wasn't ready -- still not ready. I've had since December 17th to get ready. The best I could do at that time was to share my dad's tribute to Mom. You can read that here -- Thanks Dad! I'll write my tribute to mom. When I'm ready, I'll write it.

On Sunday we climbed Mount Nittany in State College to carry out Mom's wish to have her remains scattered from the mountain top as we did 15 years ago for my brother, Rob. Dad made the rugged trek up the steep trail -- not bad for nearly 83 years old. We did take a break to rest a time or two...

And when we arrived at the top, husband, children (and in-law children), grandchildren (and in-law grandchildren), after a reflective and responsive service, we scattered Mom's ashes to the wind while singing..."I'll fly away."

I'll fly away, oh glory, I'll fly away.
When I die, Hallelujah, by and by...I'll fly away.