Monday, August 21, 2017

Heart and Sol

It rained in the Heartland today. Normally, that would have been just fine. However, today was "Total Solar Eclipse Day". It's been approximately 100 years since our area had the last one. And it will be about that long until the next one occurs.We have been planning for this day for several weeks. And, hundreds of thousands of people were expected to descend upon St. Joseph, Missouri, which was one of the larger towns in the path of the Total Eclipse. St. Joseph, just about 50 miles North of here, has been known, here to fore, as the starting point of the Pony Express, and the place where Jesse James was shot in the back, by a coward named Howard.
Last week, I sold Eclipse Glasses. One pair to a customer. As I neared the end of my stash, one lady came to buy a pair. She paid the required one dollar. "Where," she asked, "were we going to hold to hold the Eclipse Event." I hesitated and then said, "uhhh.....Outside." "Well, I don't want to go outside," she replied. I just smiled. My allotment of specs was sold out in two days. By Friday, they were are gone. Every place in town was also sold out.
When I arrived at my desk today, Monday, it was already crowded, with late-coming potential buyers. I had to turn the folks away. "What can we do?" they asked. I said, "Don't look at the Sun."
As eleven o'clock approached, the sky had already dumped a couple of inches of rain. One lady came to my desk to ask....will they still have the Eclipse if it rains? Uh....yes, I replied.
The skies became cloudless just long enough for the shadow to pass over the Sun, until only a small sliver remained. Then, unfortunately the sky clouded up and it poured down rain. We didn't actually get to see Totality.
One lady was extremely disappointed. The Sun was so small, she complained. "I expected it to get a lot larger." I tried to offer her hope, "Maybe next time."
The whole event came to a sputtering and soggy end, but the day was saved by a former colleague who called and asked .....How does the Man in the Moon cut his hair?????
How??? He clips it! (cymbal crash)

Precious Lord. Sometimes once is enough. Guide my feet Lord, while I run this race. I need your help and steadfast Love.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Just wait awhile.....

Several posts ago, I wrote about going natural with my beauty regime. I was starting to use apple cider vinegar and coconut oil, instead of buying specifically manufactured beauty products.
That particular post elicited a comment by my daughter. She wrote, "You're just like me."
Whaaaat!!!  How long have I been waiting to hear an admission like that, from any one of my four children? Let me tell you how long. About 5 decades!!!! And, this comment came from the youngster who didn't like anything I said, liked or did, from the time she was about 5, until way into her adulthood. When she graduated from high school and I realized I would never, ever have to shop for another prom dress (she had four younger brothers), I was truly elated. To say that our tastes have often been very dissimilar, is putting it mildly.
Now, I am going to cherish her comment. I am honored. I am sincere when I admit that I thought such a comment would never be made. I am so proud.
Being a parent is tough work. All of my children are excellent parents. Maybe their dad and I did something right after all.

Dear Lord, most of us try really hard to do the right thing. It's hard. Sometimes we make mistakes. We know that you forgive us. Sometimes it's harder for our fellow humans to be forgiving. Show us how to love each other unconditionally.
We honor your wisdom.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Silver Linings

It is now the middle of the month of August. More often than not, mid-August means really hot, dry weather. Our lawns, here in the Heartland, normally start to become dry and brown, about this time of year. They go dormant and don't green up again until Spring.
However, this year we have had an abundance of rain. Sure, we have had 100 degree days, but along with those hot days, we have had rain.
Every lawn in still springtime lush, and the tomato vines have sprouted a plethora of red and yellow juicy balls. Hot weather and rain. It's been a spectacular summer.
And yet, I have still heard complaints about "all of this rain".
Longfellow said it best...."into each life a little rain must fall". And, a modern country-western singer joyfully sings "rain is a good thang". And, by golly it is.
Life would be pretty dull, without a little rain. A little sorrow makes us appreciate all of the many joys and blessings we have been given.

Great God. We thank You for our many blessings. We also give thanks, to You, for the sorrows and sadness. The bad times help us to grow as Christians, and make the good times even sweeter. We praise your Holy Name.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

"When other friendships have been forgot........ours will still be hot!"

I want to write about friendship. I assume that everyone has friends, but I would like to hope that each and every one of my readers has a couple of life-long friends. Friends that you can call on the phone, after a couple of weeks or even a couple of months of not talking, and continue in conversation, like you had talked to them yesterday. Really special friends.
I thought for a while that only women had that kind of friendship. Men are, after all, solitary creatures. We have come to believe that they don't form lasting relationships. Then, I met Jack and Ray. These two guys became friends, many years ago, through their church connection. They both had successful careers, grew older, retired and then ended up in the same senior citizen community. Ray and Jack are old friends. Now, they visit almost every afternoon.
One of the joys of growing older is that we tend to remember the past.....not always the present, but we remember the past. Therefore, old friendships are important.
Jack and Ray can talk about the past and they understand the backgrounds of each other. Ray can appreciate the pride that Jack has in his two daughters. Jack can attentively listen to Ray's explanation of navigating by using a sextant. They are buddies from way back.
Judy and Leslie, and more recently (after only 40 or so years) Sue, you will always be my special friends. I love you and I need you. I treasure our lifelong connection. You are a part of who I am.

All knowing and most powerful God. Thank you for giving us friends to love and to treasure. Thank you for showing us how to share and grow. We praise your Holy Name.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Killer instinct

I want to make it perfectly clear that I have never shot or held a real gun. Nor, have I ever been interested in doing so. We are not a family that hunts. However, I will admit that one of my most prized childhood possessions was a pair of ebony-handled toy six-shooters, with which I used to practice my quick-draw skills. Furthermore, I remember looking quite the fashion plate when I wore the silver studded holster, slung low on my black corduroy skirt with the contrasting white plastic fringe. But, that was 60 years ago.
But, recently, I have taken up shooting. Granted, my weapon of choice is only a pellet pistol. One shot at a time, makes it a one-shooter. And, my prey.....groundhogs.....have such tough skins, the most damage I can do (if I ever manage to hit any of the darn things) would be a sting on their backsides.
We have a large yard.
We didn't mind the varmints when they stayed in the far reaches of that back yard. However, I took up the battle when I found one on our back deck, nibbling on my potted plants.  Groundhogs are huge. They are herbivores and eat anything green. Now, the crazy things have burrowed along our foundation, on both ends of the house.
We have an invasion. Something has to be done. If the pellet gun doesn't work, I'm committed to trying gas or bombs, as a last resort.
I don't expect this violent phase of my life to continue. I will keep at it only until the groundhogs establish residency elsewhere.

Dear God: Our earthly life is full of unexpected turns. Show us how to meet each new event with joy and acceptance. Help us to see each day as a new normal. We praise you everlasting name.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

"Grandma, you need to look in a mirror."

I have been reading quite a bit of criticism, in the news lately, about the clothes currently worn by political wives, as they attend state functions. One critic focused on the vibrant colors of one ensemble. Her colors were to bold. She should have worn more subdued colors.  Another critic pooh-poohed the style of the dignitary's clothes. Too high fashion and too expensive for a person representing a democracy, the critic decried..
Well. Let's be thankful that our political wives aren't dressing (or in a state of undress) like most of the celebrity women we see these days. Can you imagine a Trump wearing what Khloe Kardasian wears? Or, what Taylor Swift wears? Or maybe, and this is a frightening mind picture....Hillary in one of Beyonce's outfits?
I, for one, am thrilled that all of our recent First Ladies have been dressed with class and style. Trump, Obama, Bush, Clinton. They are looked great and made our country look great..
And, frankly, I appreciate that they dress up........period. Too bad most of us don't try to emulate them. Have you looked around at your fellow Americans, lately. We don't care what we look like. And, it's pretty obvious.
The more holes and rips you have in your pants...holes make pants more expensive. Sneakers and flip flops have replaced shoes. Leggings have replaced slacks and no rear end looks attractive in leggings! Oh, and of course (as the commercial goes), we have a little plumber in all of us!
America......stop criticizing people because they can afford to look good.
America.......the next time you go shopping at Wal Mart, buy a mirror.

Dear Lord. What ever happened to forgiveness? Why can't we all just get along. Help me to work at becoming more forgiving and less critical. Help me to love more and complain less..

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Fake, Fake, Fake!

There is a lot of talk today about things being fake. Much of the news, we see and hear about, appears to be fake. At least half of America is calling it fake. The other half is so angry, we don't know what they are calling it. But then again, maybe the reports of half of the American population, being angry, are fake, too.
That aside, we had a "fake" incident at home, the other night.
Our granddaughter explained, to her ancient grandpa and grandma, the techniques and benefits of "fake" crying.  Anyone can do it, she assured us. And, if you do it right, the results are quite beneficial to the crier.
Whining and pleading, while you cry, gets the best results, we were told. Most of the time, it works, our expert explained. You can get almost anything you want, if you just play it right.
Holy Cow. Who knew? Out of the mouths of babes.
If this technique becomes common knowledge, anyone might use it. Career politicians will be using it, soon. Criminals, on trial, will take advantage of this phenomena. Maybe, I'll try it next week, at work.

Great and all powerful God. Emotion is a powerful thing. Help us to be God-fearing and truthful in our lives. We praise your holy name.