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18 March 2020

My Home is My World

It's ridiculous how long it's been since my last post. In my defense it's been quite chaotic. I left January with the beginnings of the "cough from Hell" that is finally now reaching its end of life. Ironic, since we now have the virus all over the world so I'll have to be extra careful for the next month or two. I did see my doc and know for a fact what I have/had wasn't the dreaded plague. Now, like the rest of the world, we are holed up at home. I'm getting a lot of reading and crocheting done while I watch movies to take a break from watching the endless world crisis updates. I love making brick stitch shawls for the nursing home residents. The Crochet Club recently sent a lot of lap blankets and shawls to a lady who uses them for bingo prizes. Unfortunately the home is in lock down now and won't be getting any for a while.

My birthday was in early February. Since I was sick celebrating was a bust. No dinner out, no cake, nothing but coughing and lying about in bed. I still went to church but was able to stay clear of everyone because I sit on the front row with no one was 'in front' of me. One Sunday I had to leave the sanctuary early during the sermon. I hated walking across the room in front of everyone but it couldn't be helped. The more I tried to contain my cough the more my eyes watered in a losing battle. I went to the furthermost point from everyone, drank water and waited for church to let out. I guess by the time we have church again I'll be over all this!

Yes, we shut down church last Sunday and will for some time to come. It's a bummer because Easter is coming and we won't have the Easter Egg hunt for the little kids and everything else is cancelled.

We just finished getting new floors and carpet put in. Yesterday I got my keyboard and the TV stand put into the living room. My office is now my kitchen table until we can get a few fellows to help move some furniture from the garage back to the house. We had cleared out the house a couple of weeks early and then the floor guy was delayed coming so we've been living in close quarters for some time now. We're getting lots of cleaning and fine-tuning the downsizing. I've gotten rid of dead things like potpourri and dried and artificial floral arrangements (after reading that they pull energy down and I need all I can get).

This was totally the wrong time to get new floors and needing to buy a new sofa, what with the virus worries. We can't go shopping so it may be some time before we get the living room fixed up!

The other day it was so nice outside! We both went to sit in the sunshine for a few minutes. I took a book and Danny watched the dogs sniff out worms (go figure). After feeling something on my ankle a few times and mindlessly scratching I suddenly remembered that I'd developed an allergic type response to mosquito bites about a year or so ago. Alas, I quickly hauled myself inside but not before I had 7 bites to contend with this week. It sucks so much - the more I scratch the longer it lasts so it's really hard to keep myself contained when they itch so bad. Even worse is that the only thing I've ever found that gives any relief at all is 72% hand sanitizer. Of course every store in the country is out these days, but luckily I had still had some left from last time I had bites and resulting itches.

I can almost see daylight again. Hopefully my cough and bites will be healed soon. Hopefully the coronavirus will be done soon (if everyone does what they're s'posed to). I can't wait for summer to get here. I know it's going to be hot and fabulous!

23 January 2020

Why We Need Junk Drawers

It's for the little things in life, right? We all have little things. I was trying to go through a "junk" drawer the other day. (I have about six). Every time I think I could throw something away something weird would happen and I'd have a vision of that awful someday when I'd need the item and wish I'd kept it instead of tossing it. It never quit occurs to me that, should the need arise, I would just go buy another. What a waste of time and money, I think, to have already had it and canned it and had to spend good money on another. So I put said object back into the junk drawer, just in case.

Some of my items would be shoe strings (in case you break one and need a replacement), tons of short candles (because the multitudes of flashlights in another junk drawer would never work as well as tiny flickering fire), old Glade plug-ins (no, the original ones that came over on Noah's ark; the ones I'll never use because I'm afraid they'll set the house on fire), assortments of orphaned screws, bolts and nuts, which go right along with the picture hangers that never get used (you really just never know about these). Of course there's a hank of rope, a bundle of bread ties, a dried up roll of tape, and your grandmother's old furniture feet cushions (those small cupped hockey puck-like discs you put under the antique couch to keep it from denting the floor).

The list goes on and on. I don't know why I don't move more unusable needless items out of my viable life. Maybe there's comfort just knowing you've stocked piled so much crapola away for any number of some days. Maybe it's so you can play Where's Waldo when you need that one and only whatzit.

18 January 2020

Reading Takes Me Places

I love to read. It's my personal get-away zone. I meant to share my reading earlier, but you get two for one this time. This photo is of my late Summer reads. You can tell I'm a romantic at heart.



And these are my Fall books. I took a break from all the Victorian romances to go to the wild west with Leigh Greenwood's "Texas Tender" and with "The Half-Breed" and "Half-Breed's Lady," both by Bobbi Smith. I gave  Texas Tender" 4 stars; the other two books both got 5 stars.


We've been having such warm winter weather that I'm thinking curling up with a good book and cup of hot chocolate might be a while yet. I'm still looking forward to it though! It just seems different  reading when it's cold outside and you're all snug indoors!

10 January 2020

Moving Past Christmas

Christmas was expected to be a bummer. We all felt the pain that Mom wasn't there enjoying her favorite holiday. That was tough enough. But then Danny got sick right before the main week started and missed everything too. So instead of just one empty seat at the table there were two. He stayed in bed for 4 days; I mean sleeping all day (probably from the drugs) and not just tucked in while watching TV. He missed singing the choir musical on Sunday and the Christmas Eve service on Tuesday; he totally missed Christmas Day in its entirety. We usually go out on Christmas Eve too so that was a bust. No dinner out, no driving around to see Christmas lights, nothing.

So there were quite lonely days at our house during the Christmas season. But I am so grateful that he's still here (remember, I almost lost him to a heart attack a few years back). I can see there is much to appreciate even as I still walk the sad trail of grief over Mom's passing. I guess that touch of sadness never fully leaves. But once Danny gets better I hope we can start to live life to the fullest and take advantage of the lessons grief teaches us.

After Christmas and into the New Year was another story altogether. My Florida daughter and her husband visited for a week. My other daughter came out 4 days in a row. Along with my brother and his wife and Danny's dad we went out to eat several times including a dash down to the Weeping Radish Farm Brewery for some awesome German food and drinks (for all but me - I'm not much into drinking at all). We also ate at  Shiki, Sushi and Hibachi, my favorite for the best teriyaki salmon anywhere!


We visited Williamsburg one day to enjoy the sights and sounds and had lunch at another brewery (I must say, it was no comparison to the NC one, and we probably won't eat there again). Danny and I enjoyed down time while the others went to a tasting event.

Amid all the fun times we also, together experienced sad times as we began the task of going through Mom's closets. A lot of memories were shared with laughter amid the tears. It was heartwarming to me to see my daughters embrace each other as one or the other would have a sudden moment of overwhelming heartbreak. We all held each other through the toughest times. I'm sure Mom would have been proud to see how her loved ones truly became that 'there-for-you-no-matter-what' family she instilled in each of us.

Just as Mom did when Daddy left we will try to hold our beloved memories of both of them close to our hearts as the days pass. We will remember how both of them enriched the lives of those they met and strive to be our best selves each and every day, loving well and loving long.

16 December 2019

The Hardest Day

I have just experienced one of the hardest things in my life. I'm still going through the loss of my own sweet mother. This is so different from when Daddy passed. We were all kind of expecting his passing due to an extended illness with prostrate cancer. But with Mom, we took her to have a 'we do them all the time' gallbladder surgery early on the Friday morning after Thanksgiving. We were told she'd done well in surgery and fully expected her to come home the next day. I'd planned to spend the nights with her until she was back up to snuff. But that's not what happened.

One wrong turn led to another... a 2nd surgery and ultimately a room in ICU. At first we had hope she'd conquer these setbacks. She responded to commands to squeeze a hand, move a toe. We told her to rest and planned how we'd take turns spending hospital nights with her. But all too quickly the call came to return to the hospital. By 9am Monday morning it was over. She was gone.

This happened so fast I still feel like I've missed something, that this can't be real. We just had a wonderful Thanksgiving only the day before. She was so chipper, so at ease and enjoying her favorite turkey dressing and loving on my two little dogs. There were no clues that it would be only a matter of one weekend before she left us to rejoin Daddy.

Knowing she has gone to Heaven and is with Daddy and my sister who died at age 2½ has been the most comforting part of all. I think that has helped family and friends alike. Mom and Dad were truly soul mates, if there are such things. She missed him so much over the last 5 years. That was the only thing that marred the new life she'd had to create for herself. It was the first time she'd ever lived on her own.

We know we did our best to make it possible for her to stay at home at age 93. Our family was not alone in that effort. Mom's loving friends and neighbors visited often, brought food, took her out for shopping or manicures or just a great meal at a favorite restaurant. Even the UPS man would come in a few minutes and chat! The paper man always took extra care to hand deliver her paper right to the door. And she always remembered him for his birthday or Christmas!

She was like that. So caring and making everyone feel so special. Daddy did the same thing. People loved them both so much.

Life is different now. For me it's empty knowing she's not next door or just a phone call away for her advise or more often than not, an unsolicited opinion. Eventually life will gather steam and move forward. My life will forever be impacted by the legacy of this caring, compassionate, wise and beautiful lady whom God blessed me with the privilege to call Mother.

21 November 2019

I Love Making Pumpkins


I haven't bought a real pumpkin in years, mostly because the last one made such a mess. This year I have made my own pumpkins with crochet. I'm now the proud owner of six in a variety of sizes and colors. They have proven to be very easy and fast to make. Everyone at the Crochet Club has enjoyed making them as well. The instructions for  makes small 3-4 inch  this one can be found at https://www.planetjune.com/blog/free-crochet-patterns/pumpkin/.  It's just as easy to double the pattern counts to have a larger pumpkin. The hardest part was remembering which row you just did as you alternate between two patterns of rows. This was hard at the Crochet Club meetings because we talk so much! But still, we had a lot of fun learning the basics while the conversation and laughter flowed. Once we knew what we were doing then working at home in the quiet was very relaxing.

25 October 2019

Whirlwind

It has been a whirlwind of activity for the last couple of weeks. In the family Danny had a birthday, which we still haven't had time to celebrate. Mom is still walking around with a drain in her side, which hopefully will be over and done with in a few weeks. I've been helping her as has everyone, but especially when it comes to show details. Now this week Danny's dad is moving again, downsizing to basically a 2-room apartment in a Senior center. There is always something these days!

The biggest thing we've done has definitely been our October 11-12 yard sale. It was a perfect weekend weather-wise and we did the best sales ever. Unfortunately I was hurting so much by the time each day ended I could hardly wait to see my chiropractor! She sure had her work cut out for her!

It was so exciting to see so much stuff leave. Most of those things have been stockpiled in our garage for years. Our last sale was in 2012. We'd planned to have another one in 2014, but right before it happened Danny had his major heart attack. Everything has been sitting there ever since.

One of the best things to go was my huge 3-station Wilson exercise equipment. After I'd had so many surgeries every time I'd try to use it I  hurt something else. A nice lady bought it for her 17 year old son and we are delighted to know it will get some use!

<< I still have a smaller fold-able bench with weights, priced to go, in case anyone is interested!

I think we did really well because I had added a lot of new items from my thrift store in preparation of closing my online store for good after selling since 2006. These days it's not so thrifty to sell online with the higher shipping costs and fees so it was past time to stop. I still have my Cabana Threads store, selling new and used Hawaiian shirts. They are a whole lot easier to store in a closet than lots of boxed items!.

So now I can concentrate on doing my church work, crocheting hats and blankets, and reading crazy romance novels. It's kind of nice to know that I could now actually do some of that in my clean garage if I wanted to!

02 October 2019

I Must Be the Bug

"Some days you're the bug, some days the windshield."  I think I've been a bug lately.

September was full of craziness starting with a doctor appointment that was a follow-up to the February appointment. He'd wanted me to start using something to decrease my blood sugar numbers and a bit of cholesterol that was creeping up. And the dreaded 'you need to lose weight' was said out loud. I asked him to let me try with diet alone. I started keeping tabs and wrote down everything I ate. I dropped ice cream and potato chips, gave up my favorite margarine. Something should have improved, right? My weight actually went up! E-gads! I'm screwed! But at least my Vitamin D went up nicely. I think I was so stressed about it that things just went south like no tomorrow. So of course on my follow-up I have to agree to try the meds.

I took 3 pills and got very serious stomach cramps that took at least a week to get semi back on track after I took the last one. I'd planned to let everything settle down before trying again just to make sure it wasn't an IBS coincidence. But I needed to have a fairly calm week to test again and September was full of things I had to tend to and couldn't be laying in bed feeling like crapola.

To top everything off poor Mom started feeling a pain in her side and ended up in the hospital for eight days with an infected gallbladder. She's now the owner of a protruding drain tube for a few more weeks before they decide she's well enough to have the offending organ removed for good. Our family has been helping her to get around and taking care of whatever she needs.

With a stroke of good timing, my daughter and her husband already had plane tickets to visit and were able to spend the weekend with Mom which did much to cheer her up.

Meanwhile the quarterly newsletter was due out so I had to tie up a few last details, gather pictures of the church's recent anniversary picnic and a few other events from recent months, get info for upcoming events which is our busiest time of year with holidays and all. But I got it all done. Unfortunately I couldn't get the newsletters published because the copier had run out of toner and no one had reordered. But it's all good now. I got that ordered and everything should be out Sunday.

Meanwhile I've been updating the new church directory and after receiving the 66 photos have been cropping and editing those so hopefully that will be published soon too.

See, I haven't had time to take any meds that would knock me down!

We're in October now. Hubster's birthday is coming as well as our anniversary! I wonder if we'll get time to just run away for a bit? Every anniversary is such a milestone, but even more so since I almost lost Hubster to a Widow Maker heart attack a few years ago!

The bright spot of my days is usually the early morning and today started off stunningly. I love watching how the sun travels across the sky with the seasons! So life is good after all the drama. I am too blessed for words!

21 August 2019

Car 54, Where Are You?

For the last few months I have been stalked by a number. At first it I thought it was just coincidence. But now it seems like everywhere I look I see the number 54. I see it on the clock all the time. I'll just happen to glance up at the clock and there it is 7:54, 10:54, 2:54... even if I wake up in the middle of the night... it's usually there! I've found it on receipts. For example, the receipt for our stay at the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond in July -  what was the total? $254! (I split the costs with a roomie). We stopped at Napa one day. While he went inside I noticed the license plate on a truck across from me -- it ended in 54. It's happened so much now that I'm starting to get a little freaked about it. I pulled out an old fast food receipt that had gotten pushed to the bottom of my purse the other day. Guess how much the change was? Yep,  54¢!

Yesterday I was watching the weather on TV as the storm was approaching. The man said it was cooling down where the storms had already been. You know it's been feeling like 100° lately. Imagine my surprise when a lone 54° showed up front and center on the screen. Later I was going to check a file through my cloud backup. I clicked on Documents and the number of  file folders showed up below the word Documents. Guess how many? 54.... How does that just happen to be the total?

So now I'm trying to figure out what it all might mean. Should I look for something significant from my 54th year? Perhaps two years after I was born, which was 1954? Back in the day my post office box at college had a 54 in it. I've rather thought it was a bit lucky for me. After all, in the days before computers, messengers, and Skype that cubbyhole of a box brought me letters from home which kept this lost little farm girl company on the booming campus of Madison. Getting mail was very lucky indeed and I was lucky to have a mom and grandmother who wrote faithfully every week. Yes, my mailbox number brought me luck and love when I needed it most.

I really doubt I'll get an answer to my question of why I see this number all the time. So I guess I'll just enjoy the mystery that comes with my version of Where's Waldo? while I can.

Oddly enough, I never really watched a lot of Car 54, Where Are You? either.

13 August 2019

They Stoop To Anything to Make a Buck

So imagine my surprise this morning to receive a phone call from my own number! Yep, I looked at the caller ID and apparently it was me calling me! Of course I HAD to answer to see if it sounded like me

Nope, I sounded like a man with a very foreign accent telling me that he was from some kind of tech support. I asked how he was calling me with my own number.  He continued to argue some nonsense with me that it provided the best security. Yeah, right! Imagine a scammer talking about security!! Finally he rudely hung up on me when I suggested he just go ahead and delete my number from all his databases. I mean, obviously he wasn’t ever going to get anywhere with this household so why hold on to the number?

Now do I block him? It was, after all my number! I ended up doing the block, reasoning that we would never call ourselves with our own number. Case closed.

Thought for the moment: Can you imagine how much better the world would be if scammers put their energy and resources into positive endeavors that helped people rather than hurt them?

05 August 2019

From A Stupefied State

Sometimes I think my head will spin! It hasn't helped being on Prednisone recently. That stuff makes you feel like you're in the o-zone, as in out-of-it zone! I would sit around stupefied, not getting much done, even feeling like thinking was too much effort. I' finished it now. They were supposed to help my knee swelling, but I'm not too sure it helped much.

I been working on some genealogy for a neighbor recently during my "rest" time. Now I'm back to working on my SIL's family tree again. Sometimes you can take a short break and come back to things and the roadblocks aren't so big. Things are going nicely now and I think everyone will be happy with the results they get.

Church is getting close to the end of its year. There are meetings and agendas, plans still ongoing to make sure I have all my i's dotted and t's crossed. I have noticed a couple of very small things that slipped past me. I forgot to change Next Sunday to This Sunday for an event that happened yesterday from the previous week's bulletin announcement. NBD... I doubt many even looked at it and I made a verbal correction from the piano stool.

On my bright side the other day I enjoyed the first chocolate shake that I've had in years. OMG! That was sooo good! Obviously I don't do that too often. I tend to think of it as a reward for getting through the week, the month, the year(s).

I'm loving the cooler weather now. I noticed this morning that a young Rose-of-Sharon has bloomed. It's only about 2 feet high but has a lovely white flower with red throat... my favorite colors!

I think we've conquered the tomato horn worms now. Gosh, the tomato plants look terrible, but they are still putting out a few tomatoes so I guess I'll hold off on yanking them up.

On the other hand we've never had better sage than we have now. It was from last year and died down to bare nothing.

I gotta say I just love the coleus most of all. It always puts on a great show. I guess I've found the perfect place for it. The yellow marigolds are finally having a good come out near the front door now. The orange ones not so much. Both are in a rock garden and it just got way too hot for them when the temps reached 100°. A few leftover I'd put in a couple of those long plastic trays were even worse. They dried out too fast and then got too much water when it rained.  I won't make that mistake again! None are photo worthy.

This week I sold a vintage Hawaiian shirt with a rare label for over $100! That was pretty awesome! These days it's hard to find any shirts at all at the thrift stores. Once they became a hot item it was game over. I'm glad we started collecting a couple of years before it became trendy. I'm even more glad now, after this last sale!

Life is too short to bewail the crappy stuff for too long. Just wake up and be glad you can take on the day, whatever it brings! Ask God to point out the special delights He has provided you. Sometimes we can't see if we don't really look.


23 July 2019

In a Whopping Month

A whopping month since my last post? Well, in defense it has been super busy over the last 30 days.

Me, Melissa, Rob, his cousin & my SIL
(Photo courtesy of Donna Henry)
The first weekend in July my sister-in-law and I drove to Richmond for dinner with my daughter, Melissa and her husband and his extended family in celebration of the kids' 10th wedding anniversary. They had chosen to revisit the Jefferson Hotel where they were married. It was so much fun seeing everyone and I must say I have never spent the night at a swankier hotel ever! So elegant!

My delay in posting has mostly been due to church work though and the timing couldn't have been worse. At the end of June I had to finish writing the July quarterly church newsletter and get them out the Sunday before July. I hate getting mail of any kind after events have already passed, don't you? Like "Here's a coupon for something that happened 10 days ago"... no thanks. I try to be pro-active, especially about agenda items.

We also had a June 30 business meeting. As Clerk I had to prepare by coordinating decisions from two council meetings into the business meeting agenda, double-check that all upcoming events were correct on several calendars, and then make copies of new minutes and agenda. Before Sunday music had to be selected, learned and practiced in two groups; bulletins had to be updated, and insert fliers invented before my good friend, Gail could make copies and have them in church for Sunday. It's all just an orchestrated system of events that makes my church world go around each week.  It sounds simple enough, but it all takes time.

After the Church Council was in favor of producing a photo directory ourselves I had been prepping, figuring we'd have 50-75 families involved. As June tuned into July a participant call list was created. Then, for five hours one morning I met with Debbie and Phyllis to call every local family and friend that attends Blackwater Baptist Church on a fairly regular basis. I spent 16 hours over the next two Saturdays with our photographer, Andrea as family after family came in for their portraits. Of course, nothing works perfectly we've also held photo sessions before and after the last two church services and even during the ice cream social. There are still 10-12 families waiting for out-of-town family members to arrive to complete their family picture. Luckily we don't have a deadline. (If anyone was accidentally left out and wants to be included in the directory please let me know asap)!

It's been a true labor of love, and I must say that we have had an absolutely wonderful time meeting with each family. When multiple families came in it was almost a party atmosphere. And now I am finishing reviewing previous directory names, verifying memberships and updating information for the new directory. Did I have bite off more than I can chew? I sometimes worry that I may face problems formatting all these photos into a cohesive order. I'm a bit scared and excited all at the same time, but I know God has my back and everything will work out as it should.

In what's left of my home life I have been crocheting blankets for babies, reading "get away from it all" books, visiting my chiropractor to keep myself upright, and recently checked in with my knee surgeon who says eventually I will have to get a replacement because I'm headed for bone-on-bone. Lucky me.

22 June 2019

Memories of Farm Chores

Each bale of hay is a visual of accomplishment.
Seeing the farmers picking wheat this week brought back childhood memories for me. If you have never been involved in harvesting wheat it has to be one of the hottest jobs ever, right up there with fire-fighters and roofers! It’s hot, sweaty, sticky, itchy, and very dusty! I hated having to do it, but I was fairly lucky because I was usually a driver. That was bad enough, but I pitied the guys who had to walk behind, picking up the heavy hay bales and throwing them on the trailer. Then unload them into the barn loft.

When we were kids my brother and I were often farm hands right along with the rest of the hired help when it came to doing some of the more extreme jobs. These included pulling weeds from long rows of peas (soybeans) for weeks (ugh), picking up roots when we took in more farm land, and gathering watermelon and cantaloupes by the truckloads. We had to work in the garden and no, it wasn't some little garden. Daddy had a penchant for thinking his garden was practically just a mini farm field. Those rows of snaps and butter beans seemed to go on forever! We'd usually get up early in the mornings to start work, but it didn't take long for the sun to get high in the sky and hotter than Hades. There were also hot dusty jobs like sweeping and rearranging the barn or cleaning out the hog pens. Never pleasant but had to be done (luckily, only on occasion).

I think pulling weeds was the worse job because it lasted a couple weeks. It was especially hot because we had to wear long-sleeves to keep us from itching from the scratchy plants and getting sunburned. I remember once when we'd gotten caught in a rain storm on the opposite end of the field from where the trucks were parked. When the lightening started we all had to run back for cover. We piled into the cab of the truck in the downpour, the windows steaming because it was so hot and we were so wet. When it was over we'd head back to the field, but it was worse than ever because of the added humidity. It was like a tropical sauna!

I have to remember the good parts too. Even though the jobs were tough and we kids usually whined because none of our friends had to do what we did, we'd still have a fairly good time. Daddy was always telling stories or making jokes. He'd patiently answer all our questions about how this grew or how to tell if something needed nitrogen or fertilizer. We'd play guessing games or sing songs as we picked butter beans or pluck chickens. The time didn't pass any quicker, but it was nice to think it did. Afterwards we'd get a bath and put our pj's on and feel a cool evening breeze and everything would feel right with the world. We all slept like the tired babies we were.

All in all, those long hours of hot chores gave us tenacious stick-to-it work ethics. You can't buy this stuff. So everything I did back then still continues to affect me to this day and that's a very good thing. I'm so blessed to have been a farmer's kid!!

04 June 2019

Worm Lessons

On my daily walk this morning I was thinking about the worms I always see trying to get from one side of the driveway to the grass. It's often a struggle to travel across the rocks  without drying up before they get to the dewy haven of grass.

I wonder what they think? What drives them to roam and take the chance of a hungry bird spying them when they look like long stark twigs laying on those light colored rocks. This morning I saw one stretched out on the road! Boy, is he gonna be in trouble, I thought. He wasn't even heading across the road, but down the road. Turn a little to the left and head for the hills grass, little buddy!

I guess God knows what they are doing, where they are heading and why. He created them and surely there is a purpose to their madness.

I think we are a little like those worms. When we're young we start our own journeys, often without a plan or goal. We don't know what we're doing but yet we keep heading down the road, seeking the something good, like that cool wet grass is to worms. We struggle an awful lot.When we no longer feel that we are going to get anywhere and things aren't going so good (drying up), then we have the option of reaching out to ask God for help. We can ask, and we can know that our God hears us when we cry out to Him. We know that He will save us regardless of how badly we have messed up our journey, or how far we went while ignoring Him.

This past week, not too far from here there was a senseless tragedy and 12 people suddenly lost their lives. I wonder how many of them were ready to meet Jesus face to face. While our hearts break for these victims and their families let this event also remind us that life is short and you never know when it may be your own last day on earth. Please, please be ready for that moment by asking Jesus to come into your life today. You know He died for you, right? He took your sins that would have kept you from God's presence on Himself and did away with it once and for all. You just need to believe that.

VB STRONG

29 May 2019

Fun Now and Then

My daily walking is still going well. I am reaching the point where I hate to get out of bed so early to beat the heat, but other than that it's very peaceful. This morning I looked up to see "our" deer run skip casually from the shop to the back yard. It's always so cool to see him. It makes getting up early worth the effort.

The local family members gathered Monday evening for a spontaneous fried chicken dinner on the deck for Memorial Day. It was nice and cool out there and I love to eat outside whenever I can. The birds had been fairly quiet that evening, probably because we were talking so much. When we'd tried to tell Mom what an Indigo Bunting sounded like (we have tons of them here) my brother pulled an app for a sample. The next thing we knew all the birds in the woods were getting a bit agitated and I can tell you that the closest Indigo flew right over our heads several times before landing on a bird feeder pole on the edge of the deck. He was so close and very beautiful. Everyone said "Don't move" at the same time (too funny)!

So that was fun. Next we pulled up the Cardinal sounds. Lo and behold, here comes a curious Red Bird after flitting from one side of the yard to the other, scoping us out. He also landed on a feeder pole to see what was up! Needless to say, we sat like stones watching him for a while.

We did have a lot of fun. Of course, like most country folks, it doesn't take a lot to make us happy. I can remember when Daddy was farming happiness was taking a break for a few moments in the cool of a shade tree with a luke-warm Coca Cola and a pack of nearly stale Nab crackers!

Lately I've been trying to see what memories I still have from when I was very little. My earliest memory is when we went to the hospital to pick up Mom and my new baby brother. I remember leaning over the seat to gaze on the little fellow in the front seat of the car. Of  course back then there were no car seats, lap belts or even head rests. We lived in dangerous times then and didn't have the good sense to know it!

Another early memory is of our swing set. Bro and I used to see how high we could swing and say "Beat you to Jesus!" and the other would say, "No, I'll beat You to Jesus first!" as we went higher and higher, which wasn't very high at all. I like this memory because it tells me that Jesus has been part of who I am since the very beginning.

One more, from when I was old enough to ride my bicycle down to the church (and through those curves to boot)! That was back when the church was unlocked and I'd go there to play the piano in the coolness of the sanctuary. I kept wanting to play for Jesus but it had to be perfect. Every time I'd hit a bad note I'd have to start over again. I don't think I've ever gotten it perfect yet and most Sundays I'm still sitting there in church trying my best. Trying is the optimum word!

I guess trying is all anyone can do, right? Just think how the world might be if everyone just tried to do their best to each other! But even if the world doesn't strive to reach that goal we still keep on trying in our own piece of the world, to make it a better place, just because we were in it for a while.

Have a great Summer!