Make a Joyful Noise

One of the neatest changes in the last year and a half was moving the church services we attend outside during the summer months. Not just outside to listen to services, but outside to the local park. Once in a while, when the weather wasn’t blazing hot or nicely warm, when it had a forecast of rain or gusts of wind that would push the sounds back down into the mikes and turn them to high pitched screeching, services would return to the building. At the end of this month, they’ll be moved back in preparation for the colder months. Which is a bit sad. This type of service brings a lot of people to hear praise and faith who might not ever want to step foot into a church outside of a funeral or wedding. It is an open service and kids riding bikes past is the norm. It truly is a blessing to see so many different souls worshiping together. Plus, you can almost always hear the sounds of the praise team echoing through this little town! While this is a fun thing to hear, if you have missed it, others who worship inside their buildings might find it a bit disconcerting! But, it doesn’t last all that long and then, the wind turns and the song drifts back over the fields.

I try to be sneaky when taking pictures in a public setting. It is just rude to photograph an experience when you should be experiencing it! It is also impossible to verify what you might have taken, so these are knee high and angled! Below is one of the songs we sang, because one day in His courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. (YouTube, released 1995.)

Lights in the Darkness

Saturday was a memorial day. I had no idea it had been so long since that memorable time so many years ago. Was talking with Tony and he said in his grade 7 English class, he wrote his thoughts on the what was happening. I’d like to find that. Well, so would he! What did that young, bullied, US History buff kid think as he watched the news in classes? He did say he recalls he was more shocked by the attack on the Pentagon than ones on the towers. Later, he realised how catastrophic that morning was in everywhere.

Our world has so many bits in it that connect and rub on each other. Parts that many of us ordinary citizens don’t pay attention to, because we focus on something we feel is more important. Somewhat like that preteen of ages past. Today, I learned that China may be on the brink of being the next super power, that Pendleton is on the edge of becoming a minor Air Force base, that the Alaska Air Force frequently scrambles to intercept Russian planes in US air space, and that a lot of our world is being inundated by incredible storms. As I heard my eldest share these thoughts, sirens erupted outside. A cavalcade of emergency vehicles drove slowly past with a caconophy of sound and their lights ablaze. To remind us of a time that was so horrible it brought our nation together for a brief time, holding all hands and hearts and souls against the darkness of fear. To remind us we need each other, all of us. All of the time. A blessing of remembrance.

Seasons change..and stay the same

Photo by Alberto Calleja on Pexels.com

Every year there are things that will always happen that are greater than politics, opinions, experiences in life, and even death. Ecclesiastes 3 tells us there is a time for everything and it is a powerful message from an aged king. I like to look further than a time for every purpose under heaven and see how often those times reflect continuity. Every single season has hallmark episodes. Seeds are planted and send tiny tendrils of life reaching for the sky, the thwack of a baseball into a mitt surrounds the scent of fried food and the dust of a minor league ball field, and in the middle of August, there is a wonderful occurance. The Perseid meteor shower has been something my family has looked up at for years. From the time of small boys in Tillamook on a clear cut mountain top, to hanging out in empty wheat fields in EO, to sitting in a kayak in AK, this predictable shower is one of our the end of summer highlights no matter where we are or who is with us. And like the song from ‘An American Tail‘ says, “And even though I know how very far apart we are, It helps to think we might be wishin’ on the same bright star…” This year my eldest in VA was staring up at the skies from his driveway and the youngest was sprawled out on the cement patio in the back yard. They may not have remembered this favorite movie, but I did. And I smiled thinking about wishes, love, and the meteors that were stitching us together as they zipped across the heavens like giant, fleeting embroidery needles.

Hello Again!

It is the end of July, Harry Potter (and JK Rowling) have a birthday this weekend, the Olympics are limping along without huge crowds and some athletes-yet, records are being made and disappointment parallels them, and summer in EO is not letting up. My garden has been reduced to straw, the cucumber has a possible single fruit, and the sunflowers are sharing their stately crowns with the gold finches. Several more old friends have passed on, other memorial services have finally taken place, and no matter how prepared we are, it still hurts.

My eye sight is quirky, but getting better from an eye surgery in June, and I’m so thankful the trips to Wenatchee are finally done! The doctor is moving to SCalifornia and has told me it will be a couple more weeks til the gas bubble inside is completely gone and I can get the cataract removed.

It is good to look at what is past to focus on the future. Not to erase the past, but to acknowledge and learn from it. Some parts need memorialized to help keep the memories alive, while others need removed to help us not keep them a memorial. I’m starting to sort through slides of ages past and have been struck by many things. Thankfully, the clothes and hair have changed, those people were so fortunate they had no idea what their future might be, and what a stunning world it all is and has been!!!

Can’t add in any of those photos yet, but will share a goldfinch. Pictures that remind me of yet another quirk in our world. I’ve planted several packages of sunflowers and not a single one has come up. The squirrels and birds have ‘planted’ dozens of bird seed sunflowers and almost all of those are looking lovely. So, piffle to the packets! I’m going to plant bird seed next year!!!

Mid March

Oregon is walking into spring. Alaska is being dumped on by more snow. At least, The Peninsula part. My former neighbor sent me a text to say they got 10 more inches last night, making for about 5 feet in some of the level spots of the yard. The lovely white stuff we had is gone-there were some remnants of piles here and there, but the temps have pretty much erased them. One of the worst parts of spring are allergies. On the OR coast we had red alder, here, am not sure what is in the air. However, it is causing congestion and illness. One of the things I have often done in early March is follow the Iditarod. This year, with being sick and having a wonky laptop, I haven’t been as focused as I’d like. Earlier, read that SP Kennel (Aliy and Allen) were retiring after the race. Today, learned that Aliy was injured on Tuesday, and after getting her dogs in safely, was flown out! Sending her and her pups a bouquet of crocus and a lot of love and prayers for healing.

Beautiful Blessing

This last week several things happened. One of them, however, may not have happened without the other. That made me realise how threads in a life tapestry often need nudged into place, even after they are a part of the picture. Had an odd to me thing occur within my banking account, so called my favorite banker in Alaska for help. Was scheduled in and after Dan called and fixed the problem, we veered off into life and people and what not. While talking about classmates who have gone places, my dear friend Connie came into the conversation. Time and again, the two of us have wondered if we’ve really made a difference when we look at some of the rest of our classmates. Personally, am pretty sure she has. Connie is a hair stylist, but she is also so much more. She listens and helps and is constantly giving of herself to others. Connie is also taking care of her mom. Helen is the most lovely woman ever ad it is obvious Connie is following in many of those steps. Anyway, Helen recently broke her wrist-almost right after it had healed from a previous break and when I mentioned I’d not written to them in a few weeks, Dan mentioned I should.

After our conversation, decided to send them flowers, instead. Now, sending flowers in AK is easy. FTD is everywhere. Yet, I didn’t like any of those bouquets. So, I called the floral department in a local grocery and asked if I could just purchase an Alaska Bouquet. Am not exactly sure it is called that, but it is one of my favorite big bunches of flowers. The florist had some already made up and, so, that is what we did. She added a note, wrapped them in purple for me, and called Connie to tell her flowers were waiting. No, they were not delivered-not sure why their delivery isn’t available right now, but Connie and her mom only live moments from the grocer. Later, Connie sent me a picture of Mom Carlson with the flowers. Absolutely blessed by these two. And Dan, for nudging me. Now, after lunch, will call Nedra E. Because if you are thinking about someone and are blessed by them, tell them!!! I’d send Nedra flowers, too, but am not as sure the stores in Anchorage would be as helpful!

Give Thanks

Today is the end of Jan 20, 2021 in the USA. Probably in other places, too, but will look at a new step for America. Not a political post, but a thankful post. A post looking at promise and hope and chances for people to grow in a positive manner from littles into adulthood. A post looking at ways for many different thoughts and tastes to merge together to make one. Where diversity isn’t challenged as bad, but embraced. Yes, I am thankful tonight and will give thanks. There are 10,000 reasons to bless Him and today was just one of them.

circles

Photo by Anni Roenkae on Pexels.com

Rings, circles, spheres, all never ending. Many persons are saying this New Year’s Eve is the end of a crazy year. It isn’t, not exactly. Much of 2020 will last into 2021. Winter, Covid, results from the Croatia earthquake this last week, the US presidency has a few weeks left before a hopeful change, and the groceries purchased last week should last at least til the second week of January!! It was crazy, yet not any more crazy than most years, it was just we were looking for the crazy and highlighted it.

Some positive things happened (not the more than likely illegal fireworks outside right now at 8 pm…). Mum’s house was sold and there is one box still needing shipped from the north. So, no more power bills of over $500!!! I’ve paid off a couple of medical bills. I got the watch mom left me fixed. Many people over the last couple of years helped me empty mum and dad’s house, my thankfulness cannot even being to cover the work those blessed people did. I made many new friends, re-met old ones, and one of those blessed persons, Kari, helped finish something that has been bothering me since before mom died.

Mom had been given a doll from a friend with serious mental handicaps. Mom had planned on fixing the hair on it. She never did. Cathy would call mom every single week for years and in the 20 min conversations, she’d always ask about the doll. I had no idea where it was, other than in my sister’s room. Which was full to the brim with stash. In the emptying of the place, I found a doll that might have been the one mom was planning on mending. In her own handmade dolls, there was one with a face that had been ruined. I wondered if I could take the hair off that doll and affix it to the other one. I didn’t know if it was the right doll, but it was worth a shot. I managed to put new hair on the large stuffed doll not long before I left North Kenai. We’d been looking for Cathy, but she wasn’t at the last address I had for her. Kari continued to look. She then took the doll, with some money to mail it in case Cathy was found, and I flew away. Just this month, Kari discovered a way to connect with Cathy’s relatives and got the doll to her. Kari sent me the photo below and I cried. A many year long promise was finally kept. That circle is going on to be a way to remember my mom and the love this girl has for a doll she has missed for over 10 years. The money wasn’t used, so I asked Kari to send on the spark of goodwill by taking someone out for coffee or ice cream.

Rings, circles, spheres, they really are never ending.

Many Blessings

There are so many things to be thankful for. I’d never met a live friendly turkey and the lady above, who is not destined for a dinner, was incredibly coquettish. We met her and her spouse, who was slated to become a dinner in the next month, when we drove across OR so Jon could buy some bunnies. The button on my arm is another blessing. Not always a great one, but it is a blessing. It is a Freestyle Libre 2 Continuous Glucose Monitor sensor. Fiddly at times, handy at others, it is technology for persons with Diabetes that can be a life changer. Moses is another one of those dubious blessings!!! Cooking, I’m so thankful to be able to have a larger kitchen to dink around in! Books. I am always thankful for books. This particular read needs returned, yet I’d love to keep it! Mrs. Obama is an excellent author. she shares a side of becoming a president’s wife and being in that position I’ve not read before. I was incredibly impressed with so many passages, I kept wanting to write notes and finally opted to just read it! Her story ranges from her grade-school years to a mom, making me realise she’s not really much different from the rest of us female sorts.

My last blessing for this post is one I’ve shared over and over. While washing dishes the other night, I was so grateful for a working septic system. Using water, hot and cold water, while not worrying about a back up somewhere or a leak or tiny rocks in the pipes, almost always makes me want to cry with thankful!!

We really do live in a wonderful world!! (Jon took the tree picture)

To Honor

Many people take the US Veteran’s Day as a day to honor and memorialize anyone in the military. It was established by President Eisenhower and was for that purpose. I prefer to honor those who have given their bodies and place the US Memorial Day in May for honoring those who have given their lives. Being a mom of a soldier who came home broken and cannot get help he needs, I have a great many frustrations with governmental help for our returned vets. Yet, I look at today and am not surprised. Eons ago Bing Crosby sang a song in ‘White Christmas’ about a lauded hero who a few months later people ask ‘General Who?’ Soldiers who gave of their bodies and lives and parents who gave of their children are often dragged into politics. Vote for this, because it is for vets. Yet, in the whole picture, that vote doesn’t really help.

There is so much anger I see today. I’m incredibly saddened by the dissension caused, not by one icky man who was lauded as NOT being a politician, but by years of a push me pull you government. American democracy seems to be waning. Yet, honoring those in public uniform should not. Our firemen, our police forces, our military, those exist when politics pass on. Those are who I honor today.

Tony, my son. Travis, one of Tony’s best friends. Zach and Christina. Bethany, who helped my youngest learn the bari sax. Bob Miles, who Tony honored at his Eagle ceremony and who taught my eldest so much. Keith ‘Pod Man’, who has become a dear friend in recent years. There are so many more, but I’ll stop because I try to keep blessing posts short! Thank you for being a part of my country’s past and a hope for my country’s future.