On Eagle's Wings

On Eagle's Wings
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:29-31


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

My Mother

Memories of my sweet mother are so dear, I treasure them all. I have written about her several times. Today I am just remembering that on August 30, 1987, she was called to her heavenly home. We loved her, we lost her, but there will be a day we will see her again. She is in eternal, blissful joy now and, as much as she loved all of us, she would not want to return. 

She suffered for several years with cancer, but never let it steal her joy, cause her to be bitter, or even be grumpy with anybody. She was such a trooper through the hardest circumstances. 

Betty Jean was truly the lady with that gentle and quiet spirit and friendly to all. She never lacked for company during her sickness and everybody would gather in her room to be with her.

Sister Roberta on upper right and
Mom with Aunt Gerry in bottom pic.
As I mentioned several days ago, the presence of children during difficult times bring joy and laughter into the suffering. I know it was true for my mom to be able to enjoy her grandbabies.

In searching recently for photos, I found an album that my Aunt Gerry made for Mom's birthday in 1985. Gerry had gathered together photos from their childhood and copied them to make a special album for Mom to enjoy. 
Sonny, Gerry and Mom

Baby sister, Nancy
She listed in the back of the album names of their childhood friends, places they liked to go, favorite foods, neighbors they liked to bug, teachers, and things they liked to do. She wrote a poem about their growing up years which I am sharing here for my photo journal. 

Happy Birthday, Betty!!!

Didn't we love our childhood days,
whiling away the hours
be-bopping all over our end of town,
always picking bouquets of flowers;
lilacs, flags, poppies, and roses ...
I can almost smell them now.
(Then there was Mom's old red sweater 
she wore when milking the cow) whew!

We had Sonny to tease us and make us laugh,
and didn't we tease him, too?
Weren't we proud of our baby? (Nancy)
and the cute things she'd say and do.

Dear Grandmas Sanders and Upjohn,
and all our other kin
are just as dear to us now,
as they were a way back then.
Our cousin Merle was lots of fun!
Remember "Muhz Muhz" stick out your tongue"?

We loved our home and Mother and Dad,
and recall all the fun and good times we had.
Time went by swiftly, and we each went our way,
but thank God we're all here and can laugh and say,
"Those days are past, but sure not gone!
Cause in our memory they still live on!"
Like jewels in a treasure chest,
we relive them, then put them back to rest.

More special than the album she made, Aunt Gerry actually quit her job and left her home in Colorado to come stay with my mom in Oklahoma. What a precious gift!

Mom and Gerry about 15 years before

It was heartbreaking that I could not be with my mom as she left this earth. Good-byes are hard, but at least they do provide closure. That is something that, due to circumstances or distance beyond my control, I have never experienced with loved ones who have passed. I have envied those who get to experience the sweet bedside good-byes as their loved one leaves this life, but my heart is comforted knowing my mother was not alone as she went through the valley of the shadow of death.

A few years ago, the Lord brought to my mind something after visiting an old friend at the hospital. At 95, he was tired and weary and wanted to go home to be with the Lord. He was ready. As I left the hospital, I noticed a woman seated in a wheelchair surrounded by a group of people. A closer look revealed that she was cradling a newborn child in her arms.Those around her were hovering and fussing over the two of them with excitement about the new addition to their family.

All of a sudden, a thought occurred to me about the similarity of the futures for the newborn and my friend. This baby was going to its new home where the welcome would be warm and the love would be great. The family would now have this child with them in their home.

My friend was also going to be welcomed to his new Home soon. As this Scripture from Psalms came to my mind, I loved the thought of it. "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints."

Think of it! Death is not mourned in heaven when God's kids are coming home to be with Him forever! How awesome is that? Heaven is rejoicing and it is precious to our Father when His kids are finally with Him in the place He has prepared for them.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Blue Monday

Linking up with Jeanne today for
Blue Monday

Porcupine Islands

The above were taken at Acadia National Park 
on a New England Fall Cruise in 2010. 

A beautiful day in our neighborhood this weekend! I saw this little fellow buzzing around our back porch and this was the best I could do with a pic. So tiny.

Calm days on the lake are rare so I took this blue pic.
No wind!

This flower  is so unusual. It reminds me of a mimosa tree.

We thought last weekend was our last weekend for the summer to have Kate and Jack with us. The plan for this weekend was they would be settling in after their full week of school and we would keep them for a few hours to give Mommy and Daddy a little "alone" time to work on the new house. Alas for them, that was not to be. Early Friday morning they were awakened by smoke and it turned out that the AC went out and all the wires were burning. So that brought on new problems and kids came to our house.

It had been a full and busy week for them, so they
just chilled out with the iPads all Saturday morning.
Looks relaxing?

Jack and I visited the $5 and Below store and then Target. They always like to pose on the red ball. Kate stayed home to babysit Grandpa. Jack really likes to look around and shop and tell me everything he "needs." After we selected a few items for him, it was time to find something for his sister. As we walked through the store, all of a sudden Mr. Energetic began to tell me how tired he was, "can we go to the check out now?" "my legs are sore from walking", etc. It was so funny listening to him and reminded me of my shopping experiences with my mother as she looked all around at everything. 

Each week I think things are going to slow down a bit, but they don't seem to. This weekend we will have a house full of company from Friday until Monday, so I guess I will spend this week preparing for that! 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Pink Saturday

Puffy white clouds

went pink

for a gorgeous dawn at sunrise

floating everywhere

 like cotton candy across the sky

A little pink from Grandpa's lock screen!
He loves this picture.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Friday Foto Friends

Mine are slim pickins' today, but I always love clouds and ocean pics.

This photo is from a friend, which is
fitting since this is Friday Foto Friends!

Little things mean a lot.
This shelf in my bathroom has several little
things that I treasure because each one has sentimental value.

This is from North Carolina from a few years ago.
I am hopeful we will see some similar scenery when we go to Branson in the Fall.

I went to the eye doctor yesterday to see about the cataract on my left eye which is seriously getting in my way when I'm on the computer or trying to read or drive at night. The plan decided upon is the eye will be remedied in October. 

Happy Friday and keep on the sunny side!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

More of August Memories on Throwback Thursday

Continuing on with my August memories, I am reminded of August, 1987, when we were in Seattle for my brother's bone marrow transplant. That was a month of watching and waiting to see how he was responding to my bone marrow. Today I was thinking about their son, Chase, who was probably 6 or 7 months old when my brother was first diagnosed with his cancer in 1985. He was two years old at the time of the transplant. Chase is one of the many miracles over the years for my brother and his wife who had been married eight years and didn't think they would be having any children. 

But it was surprise, surprise!! when they discovered that Susan was expecting. The real blessing in this miracle is that had not God blessed them with this boy at that time, the cancer treatments would have almost assuredly foiled any possibility off that happening afterward because of all the radiation he had undergone. God's timing is so awesome, don't you think?

When times are difficult, the presence of a child brings joy and comfort and I believe it was true in this circumstance. 

It must be terrifying to think about what the future holds for your child when you are going through such a life-threatening situation, yet the love and yearning for that child would bring hope and encouragement in the will to not only survive, but to grasp hold of and live life! 

My brother not only survived, but he learned lots of valuable things in the process and has lived his life to the fullest ever since. I think he would tell you that the experience changed him for the better. Whatever ambitions may have driven him before went out the window and were replaced with the deeper knowledge and thankfulness of the blessing of life and the people he loved. What was strong before, was even stronger after!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A Hodgepodge for This Season

One of the Hodgepodge questions today is about rushing the seasons. These days, it seems the seasons are rushing by quickly enough on their own. 

1. It's National Waffle Day (August 24th)...what decision are you currently 'waffling over'? (or share one you've recently 'waffled over')

I waffled a bit over whether to participate today! And a bigger decision is whether to keep the new dining chairs we ordered a couple of weeks ago. I’m undecided about them now.

2. It's the middle of August, but I'm already seeing lots of autumn-related posts. Do you think we rush the seasons? If so, does that bother you? 

Yes, yes, yes. I went to Hobby Lobby a couple of weeks ago and could not believe the place was FULL not only of autumn decorations, but CHRISTMAS decorations and trees!!!

I saw (here) an end of summer bucket list that included-

make s'mores, read a new (or favorite) book in the park, eat something delicious and bad for you at a state fair, be a tourist for the day, have a pot luck picnic, book a last minute summer getaway, relax by or in the pool, take a hike to watch the sunset, have a day on the lake, try a new summer recipe

Which activities on the list might you squeeze in before summer officially comes to a close?

I’m planning a getaway, but it isn’t going to happen until the first of October. I guess I will have to settle for stepping out to the back yard and viewing a sunset.

3. Your favorite summertime 'art' found in nature?

Sunsets! No two alike. Each one is an original!!

But I also have enjoyed the puffy clouds all summer.

4. Stephen R. Covey is quoted as saying 'We judge ourselves by our intentions, and others by their actions.' Agree or no? Do you define yourself based on your intentions, your actions, or something else? 

To judge myself by my intentions would be fooling myself and for me to judge others by their actions could be wrong not having a way to know their motivations and why they acted as they did. Since I make my share of mistakes I’m not sure I want to be totally defined by my actions. So I may be waffling on this answer. I have other thoughts, but sitting here now trying to express them is proving to be difficult for me.

5. Are you useful in a crisis? Elaborate.

I can be. The biggest crisis for me in which I had to take immediate action was when we were on vacation and my husband had a stroke. I could see from his face what was happening and kept calm, called 911, panicked for a couple of minutes after the paramedics took him away while I wondered what in the world to do about the rest of our trip, the luggage, and how I would get to the hospital by myself about 75 miles away. Thankfully, the tour guide assisted me with those problems and DH and I made it home several days later. While he was in the hospital, I was able to address the practical things such as making travel arrangements and working out details with the travel insurance.

6. What's been your go-to dish this summer? Is it something you'll continue making as the seasons change?

A pan seared oven roasted steak! Delicious discovery. A steak is good for all seasons!

7. Adult coloring books are a thing now. Have you jumped on the bandwagon? If not is this something you think you might enjoy?

I confess to buying one, along with the big box of colored pencils. I colored one page and half of another and decided it was a waste of time. That didn’t do it for me. I think it would be wonderful to know how to paint or play the piano better. At least the colored pencils are good for Bible studies!

8. Insert your own random thought here. 

Right now, speaking of go-to dishes, I’m not sure what dinner will be this evening. Blue Apron was supposed to deliver today and so far, we have not received the box of goodies. They've never been this late before. I guess I will have to get creative since there are no steaks in the fridge! As it turned out, I had some Italian sausage and cheese tortellini to "go to" which made for a good supper this evening.

And yesterday, I mentioned going to an exercise class. Saw this today and thought it was funny.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Tuesday Tidbits

My sweet friend from Hawaii is back in town for a couple of months. We were going to meet yesterday for breakfast, but she suggested I might want to join her for a "seniors balance class" at her neighborhood athletic club and have lunch afterward. A balancing class sounded not too difficult and, as she pointed out, ladies of our age sometimes have a tendency to fall so it seemed like a good idea. It was fun, but more of a workout and longer than I anticipated! Experiencing some mild soreness today and it was fun, but I think I will stick to walking. We made up for whatever calories we burned by eating at one of her favorite Italian restaurants after our "workout!" I may need to do some serious walking now, for sure.

RuthAnn in her Texas apparel!

Today our Ladies of Grace Bible study began and so things for me will pick up. Tomorrow DH and I are going to see the new Ben-Hur movie. I'm crossing my fingers for it to be a good one!

We have doves nesting every year under our deck and we love watching them prepare the nest, then waiting for the babies, watching the parents take turns caring and feeding them, and then seeing the baby doves learning to fly. Each time they return to the nest, they fly to the fence and sit, then fly under the deck landing on the ceiling fan blade before flying into the nest. When they land, it causes the blade to turn and on a windy day, the blade is already turning. It's funny to watch them go round and round on the fan blade and wonder what they are thinking about that! But, like all of us, I'm sure it feels good to be home and have everybody snug in the nest. However, since the babies learned to fly, I'm not sure what their plan is for a future home for themselves. They spend a great deal of time just sitting either on our patio or under the wheelbarrow parked nearby. I guess they will figure it out for themselves.

The saying seems to be true: 
They stick together like birds of a feather!

This past weekend, Kate and Jack were with us. Their last week of summer vacation was spent for the most part with either their Nana or us. Although they both love coming to our house, by Friday night, Kate was missing her mama something fierce, but she did very well over the weekend with us and we had a really good time. Jack never expressed his readiness to be home until we were on the way over to their new house. In our conversation in the car, I asked if they were excited about seeing their new bedrooms in the new house. What he said really touched my heart--"When I get home, I just want to sit with my Daddy!"

So sweet! All he cared about was seeing and being with his daddy. Nothing else mattered. And that he did! 

Love that boy!

And here they are ready for the first day of school.