Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Suddenly-in the blink of an eye, she was attacked from the rear. She had let her guard down and believed herself to be in a safe place-and then as her brain registered the danger-it was too late. Struck down from the sky-down from the warm currents of the noon day sun, she plunged to the ground and landed in a heap. I feared she was dead. How could she have survived?
Slowly she picked herself up from the thick carpet of pine needles. Stunned and shaken, she appeared at a loss as what she should do. In the moments to come, she and I both realized-she had a broken wing. A broken wing on a bird of flight-a horrible and sad fate for the beautiful bird.
She slowly hopped over and hid among the low lying shrubs surrounding the house. Trying to protect herself while determining what to do next. She remains hidden in the thick growth. Hopping out to catch the seeds discarded by all the other birds that still fly, she covers herself with protection while trying to heal. Will the wing heal and will she live to fly another day? Will she once again soar in the peace of the noon day sun? Only time will tell-only time will tell.
Monday, September 29, 2008
It is very difficult to move past my childhood years and openly display the emotions that well up deep inside my soul. I am sure that is the reason that I am not a pretty crier. Some women have the ability to cry at the drop of a hat and have these lovely tears pouring from their eyes. No red face-no tightly drawn eyes-no knitted brow-just beautiful tears flowing. Tears are painful for me. I do not like to cry-but God has chosen to break through that protective shell quite a few times during my lifetime. Oh, but the heart twisting pain of letting those tears flow!
There have been times that not only did I cry, but I felt a primal moan coming from deep within me. A moan that rose without warning from the very depth of my soul to fill the world around me. Some tears have come with intense sobbing that left me without breath and gasping for life sustaining air. Painful-painful- I may never stop tears.
God has taught me that the tears are good. They provide the outlet for all that I have tried to hold within. They burst forth and offered open release for intense pain. They are a gift for God which helps our hearts to heal and provides balm for the holes left in our soul. It is very difficult to step over the line and let the emotions rule-but He understood our pain before we even knew it was coming. There are times during life that I have cried a bucket of tears-but if not for the tears-would my soul and heart have ever gone on to another day?
God chose to reveal to me at the end of last week that He also has given me the gift of tears of happiness. What a sweet-sweet gift. To feel the overflow of joy running down my face is an indication and reminder of His love and care for me. A outward sign of His awareness of where I am and a promise of joy and peace regained.
What Momma spent years instilling within my psyche, God has taken a lifetime to unlearn those emotional lessons. I am blessed that He loves me enough to not allow me to live in the turmoil of hidden emotions. He loves me enough to break through the protective shell and expose the very nerve endings of my heart. He loves me enough to give me the gift of tears.
Last day to vote anonymously on the poll on the right side of your page. Music or not?
After an almost two week break from running, I went back to the group this AM. My friends are wonderful and greeted me with a hug and encouraged my painful reentry into the world of running. I was "Sucking Eggs", but I finished the 5 miles and then walked another.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
The monsters of the woods are not always as they first appear. In the picture above, you cringe with fear of the giant monster you behold. Our minds believe the terror that we perceive. Without a thought as to what the real monsters are, we chose to believe that the monster is dangerous and threatening to our very life. The monster is not threatening to us. We are more likely to incur injury from our frantic fleeing of the danger we foresee than from the monster we behold. In the picture below, you come to realize "the truth" of the monster-not at all what we chose to believe when first we beheld it.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Almost nine months later, all has changed. A wind has blown through the town-not just your normal day to day breeze as enjoyed on Marathon Day, but a hurricane-Mr. Ike paid a visit. He left behind ruin, devastation and flooding. The winds which blew through the beautiful city have left a mark that will take years to repair-very possibly Houston will never be the same.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
The very roots of life clung to the soil from which it life came. The tree seemed doomed to dry and wither as the sap of it's lifeblood slowly stopped its path into the body of the tree.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Daddy, in my early memory, treated Momma like a priceless Porcelain Doll. Strangely enough, Daddy had a very similar personality to BC. They never meet a stranger and everyone loves them. They are people lovers and have a deep need to be out among the throngs, quite the contrast to Momma. Placed on a throne since the day of her birth and certainly following losing her Mother at two, Momma had been taught that ladies were quiet, graceful, sweet and charming. She was accustomed to being the center of attention by just whisking into the room. A tiny and petite black haired beauty, she was used to the heads turning and the desire of all to please her. She was a force unto herself.
Daddy was a long legged wiry man with a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eyes almost all of the time in my early memory. During those early years, he quite literally was "My Sweet Daddy". I begged to go with him whenever he left for his daily coffee runs. I wanted nothing more than to be with him and enjoy the glow of his presence. Those trips to The Coffee Shop were my time to bask in his love. When Momma was in the room or in our presence, all of the attention turned to her and I was a slight shadow in the periphery. My one chance to have his eyes upon me came with those innocent trips "To Town".
I am sure I desired what Momma seemed to have. A man that seemed to adore her. I can see in my deep sub-conscious them dancing. Him tenderly holding this wisp of a woman as they glided on the dance floor. I remember seeing him kissing her with a tenderness that would take your breathe away. I remember his sweet care for her as he put her on that pedestal that she so desired. It was so beautiful and tender and a memory that can cause me to feel as if my heart is in a vise's grip.
During the last year's of Daddy's life, the magic disappeared. Momma's Knight was ill with alcoholism. It was a difficult-heart wrenching time in all of our lives. I remember sitting in the chair-perfectly still-without a sound for what seemed hours as Momma tried to take care of Daddy. Her desire in life was to be taken care of and her life had turned inside out and she was now the caretaker. Those memories are hard-painful-heart wrenching.
I do not know if Momma ever forgave Daddy for "Leaving Her." During the last year of his life, he was once again a recovering alcoholic-but the damage had been done. I do not ever remember seeing him hold her or dance with her or cover her with his tender love like that again. The magic, that had been, died long before Daddy's earthly body died. It was discovered right after Christmas that Daddy had lung cancer. Within two months, he left for good. The only thing that was left was the memories. The bad memories covered the good memories in Momma's mind and it was a long-slow-lonely climb from the depth of the hole left. Camelot was gone and all that is left is my memory of those days and what could have always been-a sad sad ending to a true life story.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Winter is coming. The bleak and gray short days of winter. When all appears gone and hope is crushed with the cold and frigid wrapping us in despair, winter surrounds us. No sign of life and only stark reminders around us of what had been.
Spring-OH BLESSED Spring. New Life and a return of hope as the plants and leaves slowly unfold and lift to greet the warmth of the sun. Life once again bursts forth in the full glory of the Creator. Hope has come to live once again.
Summer rushes forth with little fanfare as the cool of the Spring quickly turns to the heat of the Summer. Lush and fully matured the wonder of nature fills every inch of the Earth. Life feels like it will last forever and this will always be-
But Autumn-Autumn is coming.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
One of the most wonderful treasures God ever dropped into my life was Dale & Helen Boersma. I did not understand at the time what they would come to mean to me and how their God seeking lives would forever impact me. God slipped them into my life, almost without my awareness, and certainly with no thought on my part of their eternal consequences on my relationship with my Father. I have never seen two people better loved by an entire community. They are totally accepting of each and everyone of us with no hesitancy to love us all. A remarkable family with the reflection of God's presence in their lives shining to all that stop to observe. They show us all what we could be-if we allow Him to sit at the Head of our Household.
During the past few years, I have watched these friends and observed a living reflection of God's Saints upon this Earth. I have learned through them that while we are not perfect, yet does He love us. He pulls us to Him when we seek to follow Him. They have shown me the reflection of a life time of seeking The Master's favor and the Godly results in their lives of that quest.
Dale is in the final stages of a long and agonizing illness, ALS. There are no words to tell you the pain of watching our dear friend slowly, but surely loose the use of each and every voluntary muscle in his body. This insidious disease is claiming Dale's earthly body as surely as the sun rises each and every morning. We all are totally incapable of stopping the daily march of the disease and feel caught in a tug of war that is slowly, but surely pulling us over the line.
While grieving for my dear friends, I am thankful for each and every lesson they have taught me over the past few years. The most important lesson that I have learned from them is probably being taught-right now-as I watch them through this struggle. I have seen a man's wife, his son and daughter-in-law totally immerse themselves into his care. Twenty four hours a day-seven days a week care-unending-requiring each and every moment of the day-it has been unbelievable to see their dedication to their ministrations to Dale. Helen holds to Dale with the tenaciousness of a Mother Tiger to her cub-refusing to allow it to be pulled from her grip.
A golden treasure was given me by God. A treasure filled with wisdom, love, laughter, fellowship, and now tears. I Thank God for sending me this treasure and ask Him to continue to bless me with the lessons they are teaching me. God is ever good and though he does promise us peace and joy-it does not come with a promise of no tears or sorrow. My prayer is that He will hold us all close as we walk this path and continue to fill our void with our only source of comfort-Him.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Turn off the music on the right side of your screen down in the block "Music that Stirs Me" before playing the video.
Sweet Friend, Barbara sent me these words from another Getty song today. Unfortunately this is not on Youtube. Salve for a heavy heart:
Jesus draw me ever nearer
As I labour through the storm.
You have called me to this passage,
and I'll follow, though I'm worn.
May this journey bring a blessing,
May I rise on wings of faith;
And at the end of my heart's testing,
With Your likeness let me wake.
Jesus guide me through the tempest;
Keep my spirit staid and sure.
When the midnight meets the morning,
Let me love You even more.
Let the treasures of the trial
Form within me as I go -
And at the end of this long passage,
Let me leave them at Your throne.
Monday, September 15, 2008
The last few minutes of the sun sinking below the horizon always go by fast. After a full day of glorious sun with Louisiana Fall like temperatures, this was the fitting ending to a beautiful day. I was fortunate enough to witness a beautiful sunrise this morning while we were ending our 5 mile run and now I have seen the same sun disappear below the horizon.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Lisa has finished her treatment and will not require radiation, so now she is playing the "Waiting Game". It had to be encouraging to see that group of survivors standing there with some with 20+ years of survival under their belt. Treatment has come a long way and while still an ominous diagnosis, "We have come a long way, Baby." The funds raised in today's race will stay 75% in the local community.
Larry made hats for us to wear today that said: "Lisa's Groupies". I think she loved it! We love our friend and continue to pray for her complete recovery. As a little side-note, the members of our group were Big Winners, with names being called as 5K Winners. While we are delighted to be recognized for our running, the real winner in the group-LISA!
Friday, September 12, 2008
I saw a blog for a "Life Coach" and it started the wheels turning once again about just WHAT makes someone qualified to tell someone else what to do with their life. I decided that advice is cheap-UNLESS-you state that you are a "Life Coach" and then it comes with a pretty hefty price tag. I MAY have stumbled upon my next career choice! I love to tell people What to do and I have a high personal opinion of my advice-SO IT JUST SEEMS LIKE A NATURAL FIT.
My advice about money-spend it or not. Whatever makes you happy. Just don't spend more than what you have. If you are not a spender-be an investor. Invest in your future, invest in others, invest in a home-pick a place to put that money where you will see it grow. Growth is not always monetary-growth can be shown through the self sufficiency of someone who has been dependent . Money will not make us happy, but can keep us comfortable. The number one rule-YOU CANNOT TAKE IT WITH YOU!
My advice about love-look at how he treats his Mother. My own Mother told me a LONG time ago-to look at the life of the man's mother and that would be an indicator of your own life. I have taken her advice and altered it to look at how he treats his Mother. My life is quite a bit different from my MIL's life, but I am treated with the same love and respect that her only son always treated her. PERHAPS not the only indicator of a successful relationship-BUT a definite good indicator. Love your mate and they will love you.
My advice about friends-treat your friends the way you want to be treated. Get your mind off of yourself and onto them. Listen to them with an open heart and treat them with the kindness and generosity that we all desire in our own lives. Love your friends and they will love you.
My advice on raising children-Love them-Bless them-Do the best you can. You will make mistakes-but the love and blessings will make for short memories of our mistakes. Love your children and they will love you.
My advice on beauty-as the Scriptures tell us "The flower fadeth". Do not depend upon your good looks to stay with you-no matter how much money you throw at the effort. Your real beauty comes from the inside. I have never been to a funeral where they talked about how physically beautiful a person was, but I have heard what a beautiful life they lived. Concentrate on living a healthy lifestyle and living that beautiful life and you will be know as beautiful. Love yourself as you are and others will love you for who you are.
OH GOODNESS-I seem to be on a roll. I have given you all this advice FOR FREE! What am I thinking? You will never take this advice given to you for no charge and use it-SO Today's charge is One Kind Word or Deed for a Loved One. A high charge-I think not-but a huge return!
Thursday, September 11, 2008
The first memory of such day is the day that my Daddy died. Daddy was in the hospital in Shreveport, at the time a long drive from Farmerville, and all of the adults knew he was dying. My Mother, in a desperate moment of anger at something I had said, had told me on his last visit home that he was dying. I was so angry-at her. Understandable, now, why I was angry with her when he died, but at the time totally irrational. My Aunt had finally gone over to help with sitting with Daddy, when he needed someone with him 24 hours a day. He passed away very early on a Friday morning. My Aunt called one of my local Aunts who then CALLED our house to tell us. Not a very good way to give the news to 3 young children. I picked up the phone as did my Grandmother (Daddy's Mother) in another part of the house. I remember most of all my Mawmaw's response and the shock of what I was being told. My Aunt said she called because she did not want us to get on the bus and then someone have to go get us from school. I will remember the sick feeling of shock, anger, and eventually loss until the day I leave this earth. The next few days surrounding Daddy's death have forever been burned into my memory. Perhaps someday, I will be able to write about those painful days. Definitely my first experience with intense personal tragedy.
A year later (I believe) the President of the USA, John F. Kennedy was killed in Dallas. I remember being in the high school gym during noon break when the news spread like wildfire. I was quite enthralled with the young president and his beautiful wife and the life of Camelot. Perhaps one of the first instances of the entire tragedy being covered over the television, those next days of national mourning were reported in minute detail. I shall never forget those images and the feeling of profound national as well as personal loss that washed over our entire nation. This day will be forever burned into my memories.
September 11th, 2001-Momma had died in May, Camille had graduated from high school days later and our baby had left home to attend college-five hours away. A difficult year by anyone's standards. Then as I watched the morning news, while flitting around doing early morning chores, they begin reporting a plane crashing into the World Trade Center in New York. I sit down and watch in amazement. Then another plane hits the other Tower-before my very eyes-in real time. It dawns on me what has really happened. This is no accident-this is a planned attack on our great nation.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
While driving through Arkansas and Missouri, they stopped and bought some FRESHLY picked Jonathan apples from one of the local orchards. There is nothing better than FRESH picked fruit as evidenced by the blueberry picking frenzy around here this summer. Go back and look at the June 25th post if you have forgotten about that adventure. I am looking forward to enjoying these lovelies and will even share one with you if you stop by.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
Louisiana is slowly trying to recover. The power should all be back on in about a week or two. The homes with trees through them-that will take time-LOTS OF TIME. Blue Tarp roofs are the standard-not the exception. Recovery from a hurricane can take years as evidenced by New Orleans-3 years later.
I did think of a friend of mine that actually lived through a horrible hurricane during her childhood. She lived in a wood house that was constructed out of boards-back in the good old days of strong and sturdy construction. They had no advance warning of the severity of the storm. Their house was over the hill from the Gulf, but as the night progressed and the storm pushed in-so did the storm surge. Her entire family ended up in the attic. They eventually had to take an ax and cut their way out of there. At some point in the dark early morning hours, they abandoned the underwater roof and began floating on doors and debris floating by. The last she ever saw of her Father was when the tidal wave washed over them. She then floated for many hours being pulled back into the swamps and marsh-floating by snakes and alligators-all concerned for their own lives and ignoring the humans floating by them. Needless to say-it was a life altering event for her. I am thankful that we now have a better warning system and pray that those in harm's way will take heed-even 2 weeks later.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
The normal daytime highs of the 90's have been replaced with high 80's and maybe a 90. After long hot Southern days, this is like an Arctic Front coming through. We are all loving it.
We all know that Mother Nature is a fickle lady and just toying with our emotions. I am eternally grateful for cooler temps while cleaning up Mr. Gustav's mess. I am smart enough to know this probably will not last. The Weatherman is saying more of the same next week. We all know about the Weatherman-not to be trusted and wrong some of the time at a minimum.
Since we are talking about the Weatherman, do you ever watch "The Weather Channel"? You do know "TWC" is MTV for senior citizens, don't you? They have these guys on there that go to where the storm is and stand out in the middle of it. The wind will be roaring so loud you can not understand them-the rain will be blowing parallel to the ground hitting them square in the face-large objects will be flying by-and there they stand reporting the weather. "The hurricane has hit and we are experiencing heavy rains and gale forced winds," DUH!!!! It is a hurricane!
I am happy to report that the legions of utility workers from all over the US that are in South LA have managed to get our friends, The Thompsons, back up and running. Unfortunately, Sylvia, DIL's mother, may not have power for another week. When speaking with Barbara today, she said while they had been inconvenienced, they were fortunate and blessed that no one was injured or killed. We are grateful for that. She told me of the church sponsored orphanage in Hati that had no food for the past 5 days for the children. The director had called Mark and told him of their dilemma and that there was no way, because of flooding, to get food without a helicopter drop. This cost $10,000-an impossible amount for a church run orphanage on a tight budget. Mark told him to order the food and the church would raise the money. We all just think we have problems here. We have no one starving and most have shelter of some kind and medical care is available. We are indeed blessed!
Saturday, September 6, 2008
CLEAN WOODS! I love clean woods. We have all of these people come here and say how great it is to live in the middle of the woods and have all of this maintenance free yard. OK-PEOPLE- take a walk through the "Real Woods" and note all of the vines, underbrush, sticks down, and trees and large limbs on the ground. This "Natural" beauty comes at a huge physical labor cost. The cost this go round was my sore back. Bend down-pick up 20 sticks within arms reach, straighten up, walk to the pile, put them in the pile, after all are picked up, bend down pick up pile and put in the back of the truck, take to the dump and pull the tarp out of the truck. I AM POOPED-but the yard looks great-once again.
Do you remember the television show, "Green Acres"? Here I am wishing I looked like the star. Note the back end of the truck is full to the top of the cab. We took 6 of these loads to the dump today.
Friday, September 5, 2008
when first practice to deceive."
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Please note that I have these pics in the appropriate place!
I am married to Mr. Politico! I suspect that he is going to literally turn red he is so Republican.
He watches ALL of the political commentary of television and is VERY opinionated.
He left home this morning VERY upset with his wife. It seems I need to get mad and tell everyone MY opinion on this presidential race (and it BETTER be the same as his or ELSE). I showed him Louisiana Lagniappe's blog with Palin's picture on it. They set him off about WHY I did not post about the race. He seems to think that there is something wrong with me because I am not as over the top and telling everyone within earshot my opinion.
I am a middle child. In case the psychologist have not explained that to you yet-that means I am the peace maker. I do not like and almost run from controversy. If you state an opinion that I do not agree with, I do not feel the need to convince you of why you are wrong and respect your right to your opinion. I feel like the relationships I have with others are more important than our difference in politics. I realize there are two sides to every story and that our political leanings are based upon our up-bringing and circumstances in life. The wonderful thing about our country is the check and balances you get from a two party system (actually more than two, but two predominate).
There are things that I feel are important enough to share my passion for and will share with others-IN A NONE THREATENING WAY. My relationship with My Lord and Savior is the NUMBER ONE of these. I am very concerned with your eternal life and desire the same relationship that I have for all of you.
In a nutshell, I am sorry that my hubby is upset with me for my lack of passion about his beloved politics. In my own way, I am passionate about what I believe-BUT I do not feel the need to convince anyone else of how correct my opinions are. It makes me sad that I fall short of his expectations, BUT stand by my convictions. The family and friends I have are FAR more important than my politics. THEREFORE, I WILL NOT BE MAKING ANY ARGUMENT TO CONVINCE THEM OF THE ERROR OF THEIR WAYS. Support your candidate, but be open to listening to others and respect the right for them to have an opinion that may differ from you.
The one basic thing we all should believe in is the privilege and blessing we all have to live in our great United States of America!
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
There are still evacuees in the shelters here in town. They are slowly beginning to trickle back home, but we have special needs patients in one of the shelters. I could never explain to you what living in a shelter is like. You are in a huge room with 300+ people-babies are crying, people are ranting and raving, people are crying, you have ill older people, and everyone is glued to the television trying to figure out when they can go home. You share everything with all those in the shelter with you. There is no privacy-NO personal space. It is trying at a very minimum! Hopefully everyone will be able to go home soon.
This is what I raked up off the back decks. This is the initial rake up after picking up the limbs and before blowing off. It is a slow and manually hard job. I am up to the task-but will be sick of it before it is over.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
With the coming of dawn, we surveyed the damage done in the yard. We will be weeks cleaning up all of the debris scattered throughout the place. Did discover one hardwood that had blown over. As you will see below it was uprooted and blown over. This is caused by the wet and soggy ground unable to support the tree when the wind begins gusting. We drove around town today and all of the trees that are down were toppled in similar circumstances. We had two days of really big rains about a week ago that left the ground saturated. The rain that came with Gustav had no place to go and the ground just begins to get soggy and soft. When the wind is gusting-and not steadily blowing-it creates stress on the roots-then over goes the tree.
When BC left for work at 7 AM, he found the lights out all over downtown. The city utility crew had them up and going again by 8. Thanks Goodness-since most the evacuees are on the downtown circuits.
The worst damage in the town seems to be in the Cypress Springs area. Our friends, The Boersmas had a large oak tree to fall across their drive and take the electric lines with it. Dale is on a vent and electricity is a must. They had the foresight to go buy a generator last week when the news of the storm appeared. They have him up and going-connected to the generator. The picture below shows you the mess that they are facing. Friends, The Andersons, live just down the street from here and they are also without electricity. I am so thankful for them being prepared.!
Monday, September 1, 2008
The day started with our 5 mile run through downtown Ruston today. It was very hot and humid-but still only stray clouds in the sky. The only sign of the impending storm was the shelters ALL over town-FULL to the brim and every hotel being covered up. As we ran by the old gym at the local university, they were unloading nursing home patients and special need evacuees. I stopped to see if they needed volunteers and was told they were just settling in and the shelter was full to the brim. All of the shelters in Ruston are full to the brim. Trinity Methodist, Emmanuel Baptist, and First Baptist church have opened their gyms up to shelter evacuees. It makes me very proud to see them open their doors and the MANY people who volunteer their time and talents to aid those fleeing from harm's way. As we traveled through Shreveport, we noticed the same circumstances-full shelters and full hotels. We are very grateful to our neighboring states for their help in these difficult circumstances. With the majority of the population centered on the Gulf Coast, the remainder of the state is hard pressed to supply all of the shelter needs of so many. We could not do it without the aid of our neighbors. Thank you-all our neighbor states.
The rain has set in and there are reports of high winds and lots of rain coming our way. Hopefully with a town full of guests, we will not also loose our power. The worst may be over in South Louisiana, but our storm test is coming tomorrow. If you loose touch with me, know my power is off and I will return.
I KNOW #3 is glad to be headed back to the North and out of all of this fun!