Saturday, November 30, 2013

Enough Already.

Too much Thanksgiving and its tasty remains have left me in a sluggish state. I only seem to be able to move from the table to the couch to the bed, in no particular order. Thanksgiving weekend does it to me every year. Last night, while staring at some inane rerun on early-night TV, I saw myself in a commercial.
Perhaps this phenomena has happened to you. Hopefully, you see yourself as the recipient of the Bow-Covered Mercedes or the proud new owner of the matching set of (every Kiss begins with K) diamond earrings. Maybe you picture yourself in the snow covered mountain retreat sipping bubbly surrounded by loving family and friends, while ringing in the New Year. Or, you could be the most interesting person in the world, drinking unpronounceable Mexican beer, in a remote exotic bar.
Moi???? I was in a US Postal Service Commercial. Maybe you've seen it? The mom of the family is talking, by phone, to the long-distance Grandma. "Yes", the mom says, "we received your Christmas package." The scene changes to the Christmas tree, the dog, the lamp, the couch, the father, etc., totally encased in knitted attire.
The grandma (me) continues......"I just kept knitting and knitting until I filled the (one price for shipping) box. It was such a bargain." Then a head-to-toe sweater covered child inquires...."Is that NANA?"
OM Golly. That is totally me. Two years ago I made EVERYONE of my family and friends stocking caps. Last year, all of the ladies, on my list,  received crocheted shawls. Another year it was baby blankets and afghans.
I must be stopped. Enough is enough, But, what am I going to do with the 25 dish cloths, pretty pink tutu (my granddaughter is very frilly), two scarves and 12 tote bags that I have already completed?

Dear Sensible God: Why do we over-do? When will we learn that one is usually enough. Help us to keep a blanket (O Lord, forgive that very bad pun.) on our craziness and listen to reason. Sometimes less is the best.
You are our anchor in times of doubt and fear.
Keep us wrapped (oh my) in your protective arms.
We are so very thankful for your steadfast love.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Hallmark Moment

My mother had a saying that she used frequently when she meant something was not going to happen. She only said it when she really wanted to emphasize the importance of her conviction.
So, I'm going to use it here, with the same vehemence.

"Hell will freeze over", when I go shopping on Black Friday.

There you go folks. I won't be shopping on the Friday after Thanksgiving, or even on Thanksgiving afternoon or evening. You will not catch me darkening the door of any retail establishment. NO. Not going to do it! Not this year. Not any year.
I sincerely ask you, what is wrong with the people of this country that they choose to use the very day set aside for Thanks Giving, as a day to push, shove and run around trying to find a bargain? What could be such a great deal, that causes us to leave our homes and family (the stuff we all say we are  thankful for) just to save a few bucks?
Count me way, way, out.
What happened to the joy of finding just the right presents for those you love? Where is the love when you say, "Look at this, honey. Here's that great deal I found for you. I don't care whether you wanted it or not. It was a bargain and I had to be at the store on Black Friday at 5 a.m., to get it. Pushed three old ladies out of the way to grab it.  Now, you better like it. It was really cheap!"
Oh, don't have a retail hissy fit.  I'm still going to be doing my regular Christmas shopping. And, I am aware that there are fewer shopping days, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, this year. But, I will buy thoughtfully and carefully. Choosing the gift, for each person on my list, with deliberation.  I believe the real reason that you "gift" someone, is that you want to give them a tangible token of your love for them. 
The Magi.......the historic reason we give Christmas Gifts........weren't bringing Jesus a bargain. They brought the best that they had.

Dear Precious Lord: We should care enough to send our very best to you. After all you were the greatest Christmas Gift ever. All honor and glory are yours, forever.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Ambitious and/or Honourable

This week the United States recognized the 150th Anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's delivery of his most famous speech, the Gettysburg Address. Teenagers today would find it hard to imagine, but most folks, now in their 60s and 70s, were given the task of memorizing that speech during their high school years. I did it as a Sophomore, for an A, in Ms Sara Stephens' English class.
It was a daunting task for a fifteen year old, to stand up in front of 30 or so classmates and recite, word for word, such a document. The memory of the event remains vivid in my mind and that was two score and nearly ten years ago.
We also had the task of memorizing fifteen lines from Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar". Most everyone chose the first fifteen lines of Marcus Antonius' "Friends, Romans, countrymen" recitation.
Why don't students do memorization today? Well, for one thing, memory work is not a measurable  skill on a standardized test. And, to be perfectly honest, when was the last time most of us had to memorize anything? Memorization is hardly a marketable skill these days. There is just no "app" for it. There isn't much of a need to memorize or learn anything, when all you have to do is "Google" the  answer.
Bottom line. I still believe "memorization" is a life strengthening skill. Ms Stephens taught me well or is it good? Whatever else I learn in life, I can still recite, nearly word for word, the Gettysburg Address, and about a third of those 15 lines from Shakespeare. Care to hear them? Just "lend me your ears."

Good God. We think we are so smart. The things that we try hard to learn are insignificant in the whole book of life. You are our guide and guardian. Your lessons should be our life's textbook. Help me to do your will.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Sight for Sore Eyes

In our part of the country we have need for large storage containers. Sometimes these large storage containers stand in sentinel groups of 10 or 12. And, because they are very large and tall they can be seen for miles across the rolling hills of the prairies. The largest of these bins are called grain storage elevators and they can hold billions of bushels of ground grain or corn, or whatever else anyone wants to put in them. They are made of reinforced concrete, for the most part, and like many industrial items from the 20th century, we are seeing more of them being torn down than we see of them being built.
There are, of course, other types of storage containers in the plains states. On the smaller farms, around Kansas City, we see what we typically call silos. Individual farms have them built for silage (animal food) storage. Everyone knows what they look like. They are the tall round buildings that usually stand next to the barn. Folks constructed them of brick or maybe they even used the rocks that they found in their fields. Sometimes you can even find a metal one on a newer farm.
But, when farms are abandoned or their buildings fall into disrepair, a very unusual thing happens to silos. Silos often start out as topless tubes or sometimes the original tops collapse or blow off. Because silos are often topless, it is very likely that you might someday be driving down the road, as I did last week, and have the chance to spy an abandoned silo with a volunteer tree spouting out of it's top.
It's a very natural phenomena. Strange, but natural, and sure to bring forth a smile.
Trees will grow just about anywhere. Maybe someone should write a book about it........A Tree Grows in Kansas!

Dear Lord. May we always have a sense of wonder about your universe. We know that we will never know all there is to know or understand half of what is explained to us. Keep our eyes open to praise your wondrous works. We are forever in awe of the everyday surprises in our lives. Life is an ever changing journey and we are blessed to haveYOU traveling with us, every step of the way.

Thursday, November 7, 2013


As the self-designated chief of my neighborhood Fashion Police Force, I have been observing a frightening fashion trend this Fall. I've kept my mouth and my poison pen silent until now, but I can't stand it any longer. I'm blowing my whistle!
 Perhaps you have noticed what I call, to use the most polite terms possible, the "Sequins on the South End Syndrome". This new trend can be observed anywhere at anytime. It's a sight that is appearing more and more often, from formal gatherings, to casual dining at your local barbecue joint. And, by my standards, it is not a pretty sight.
Young women under the age of 14, might possibly get away with wearing faux diamonds on their bottoms, but any woman older and broader than your average skinny pre-teen should not be doing it.
Glitz and glitter are not pretty on a size 16 rear end. Silver studs strewn across a woman's broadest area is grossly unattractive.
Yesterday, I saw a broad-beamed woman, with two matching shiny Gothic crosses on her jean's back pockets. Is that some type of pro-religious or anti-religious statement? Holy Bling!
This new trend possibly rivals the "Too Tiny Tops Trend" of several years ago, when women were wearing midriff bearing shirts along with low-riding pants. Muffin tops are a gourmet treat, not a fashion statement. That was an equally disturbing era.
We women are slaves to Dame Fashion. Too many of us will wear anything, attractive or not, if we think we are in style.

Good Lord. We are such goofy creatures. We are vain. We are oblivious to the truly wonderful things in lives. Our attempts at glorifying ourselves are pathetic and silly.
Help us to focus on others instead of ourselves. There is so much for us to do, to glorify your Name.
Help us to realize that we shine outward from our hearts, as we work to do your will.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

"When Autumn Leaves Start to Fall"

The older we get, the more we seem to take things for granted. It's a given that the newspaper is going to be in our driveway, around 6:30 each and every morning. And, when it isn't, we are extremely annoyed. It's also a given that our stove, microwave, refrigerator and furnace work, when we turn them all on. Our garage door always goes up, when we push a button. The car always starts when we turn the key. There will always be bread and milk on the shelves at the grocery.
We take a whole lot of things for granted.
Well, we had a visitor this week, from the sunny state of California. You know, that's where the weather is always perfect and of course we all know...... "it never rains in California." It's the Golden State.
But, you know what they don't have in California? They don't have the fall colors that we have here in the Midwest.
So, our visitor was astounded, from the get-go, by the oranges, yellows and reds that dotted the landscape. The trees have been especially gorgeous this year and our California visitor was thrilled with the panorama of color. As we traveled the streets and highways, the display presented by the oaks, maples, ash, and even sumac, provoked oohs and aahs, from our visitor, at every turn.
Frankly, changing leaves mostly mean to us, in Kansas City, that it's time to get out the rakes and that aging limbs and backs will soon be aching from trying to get all of those fallen leaves raked up. We don't even stop to see the beauty that God has created. We take it all for granted.

Good and Loving Lord. Your Universe is Spectacular. Open our eyes that we might see the Wonderous Works you have created. We are truly blessed.