Friday, December 23, 2011

MERRY CHRISTMAS 2011

This has got to be my favorite Christmas tree EVER!   The picture doesn't do it justice!

At one of the "after Christmas" sales last year I happened upon these flat, golden, big, WORDS, Christ is Born, super cheap!!  I had no idea what I was going to do with them.  They were stored with all the other TONS of Christmas decor in the attic.  Well, they survived the 100+ blistering  OK summer up there and I re-found them again a few weeks ago.

Honeybuns emptied the attic and garage shelves of Christmas stuff and I started sorting through the bells, balls and baubles of years gone by.  Since the kids and grand kids were not coming to Tulsa this year I decided to forgo the usual old time family flavor. (It was hard to bypass the faded, blue construction paper angel WITH Philip's third grade picture attached imitating Gabriel!)

SO....whal-la, the Christ is Born tree was....well...born!  There are angels, decorative twigs and several white ceramic ornaments declaring the names of God, "the bridegroom," "the resurrections and the life," "the Door", "the Shepherd." The pagan tree is shouting GLORY!

As much as I absolutely adore the old time Santas, snowmen, and  tiny sleighs, THIS  reminds me of the purpose of the celebration!

CHRIST TRULY IS BORN!  He left his magnificent heavenly home to become one of US, to display the very character and nature of Deity!  We celebrate the day that history was split in two,  before HIM and after HIM!  There is no greater event from eternity past through eternity future. GOD IN THE FLESH! His birth changed EVERYTHING!

He came, lived, died and RETURNED FROM THE DEAD to prove that He really was who He said He was!  He returned to heaven with a promise to return again.

CHRIST is  CHRISTmas!  (And as much as I love my Jewish, Muslim and atheist friends, HE will always be!)

The event thousands of years ago has changed me.....and millions just like me!  IMMANUEL, God with ME!

I'm thinking about leaving this tree up all year long!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

CHRISTMAS #1 OF 2011

When your grown children live far away from the nest and have several young children, the ONLY practical thing to do for Christmas is for this BeBe and PaPA to go to them (while we're still able!)  This past weekend was designated the Colorado Christmas and it was wonderful!

We arrived in Durango Thursday and settled right in to Andy and Jamie's beautiful Colorado Mountain Home!  They moved this summer and did extensive redecorating so it was the first time we'd seen the finished product!  Jamie is  gifted with a great sense of style and color, their home is stunning.  They have THE perfect setting for a Colorado Christmas!

The good times began to roll the minute we  squeezed Gabby and waited for the big kids to come home from school.  The whole weekend was filled with joy for us.   Grandparents have the option of enjoying children without stress, having NO responsibilities to train, discipline or worry.  It's all about the present!  And each child and  grandchild is a PRESENT to us! 

Games, gifts, sledding, bowling, eating, church, reading stories, etc....all elements of the best time of the year! 

"God so loved the world, He GAVE"  Giving to and receiving joy from those we love is in reality  WORSHIP of HIM who gave the very best gift of all.    Immanuel, God with us!


Jamie tolerating Andy!


                                                                  

BeBe and the Twins
                                                                                                           

Gabby and her twin babies!

Lesly Forrest and Papa

Maggie learning to sew!














BeBe, get out of my way or I'll squish you like a bug.
 
BeBe's upside down!

Hays's spy plane gives a new definition to privacy!


We are so Blessed!

x


Monday, December 12, 2011

CHRISTMAS CARDS

The Christmas cards are rolling in!  I love it! They are beautiful! 

Every year near the first of December I get our yearly card designed and ordered.  It's an artistic challenge! Pictures of the kids and grand kids usually adorn the front.  A letter of the past years activities is drafted and edited and printed on Christmasy paper.  The address list on my computer is updated and labels are printed off.

Then I sit down and carefully fold, stamp and stick until all 250 or so are ready to go to the PO.   The process of preparing all those envelopes gives me time to think about each recipient and recall some very wonderful times. We have family members and eternal friends located across America. Quiet smiles and silent tears accompany me for most of an afternoon.

I do not take my Christmas list lightly!

 I utter a small prayer for each person, praying that they are well, that their children and grandchildren are near and that they are enjoying the sights and sounds of this most wonderful time of the year. I pray that each loved one will experience the depth of God's love sometime during December.  I consciously hope that each finds a way to celebrate the birth of Christ amidst all the secular trappings of the holiday.

The whole Christmas card task is a serious undertaking for me! And until this moment this whole ordeal has been a closely guarded secret!

Evidently other folks have a Christmas card routine as well, for about mid-December my mailbox begins to be full every day.  No more catalogs, just lovely cards, notes, pictures and letters.  What a joy it is to hear from a friend that I've not heard from since last Christmas.

I rejoice over new marriages, new babies, new jobs, and successful surgeries.  I cry with my friends over the painful news of the death of a family member, a divorce or the struggle of a wayward child.  Thanks to the US Post Office we are reaching and touching each other.

In a few years this whole business of sending cards in the mail will probably disappear.  E-cards will surely replace the snail mail kind. It's so much more efficient and light years quicker. The wishes no doubt will be just as genuine and heartfelt!

 The Post Office itself might be considered a dinosaur nearing extinction!

Christmas cards might be found only in dusty museums or at the bottom of my office closet!

I'm going to miss those long afternoons reflecting and remembering.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

YOU CAN'T SPANK GRANDMA!


What do you do when GRANDMA misbehaves???

I'm writing it all down, just the way it happened!  Let's call it my "Statement," that's the word they use on the detective shows!

The date in question was last Friday night.  We'd returned home from a church Christmas party about 11 p.m. It was a fabulous time and Honeybuns and I were in a festive mood.  I checked my iPad to see if anything new had occurred while I was enjoying the celebration.

I learned that while we were partying the Colorado kids had been trying to FACETIME me on my iPad.  I was SO disappointed that I'd missed seeing their smiling, laughing faces and talking to them.

SO, I immediately hit the magic button that instantaneously connects us.  After a few short rings I expected to see a grandchild's face appear on my screen.   The message read, "connecting.!"  I was SO excited.  When the screen remained dark I spoke into it.

"Hays! (age 13)  Is that you, I can't see your face,  the screen is totally black."

"Yes BeBe, but I'm in my room in the dark, whispering,  I'm supposed to be in bed sleeping!"

"O.K.  let's factime tomorrow, luv you, good night!"

"I love you, BeBe, we'll talk tomorrow!"

THEN I noticed the time.  It was 11:30 in Oklahoma, which meant it was 10:30 in Colorado. What WAS that boy  (age 13) doing with his iPad in the bed with him at that hour!   Honeybuns replied, "talking to YOU,   you should not have called this late."  Yep, no doubt about that.

I was made aware of what happened on the other end of that connection the next morning!  Because Hays is forbidden to be on his ipad at bedtime, because it makes a little noise when he and I connect, and because MOMMY was coming in the room just as he turned it off, WE WERE BUSTED!  The iPad was confiscated and WE were GROUNDED! 

I believe Mommy's exact words to me were, "What am I going to do with the two of you?"

That's the truth, the whole truth and nuttin' but the truth!   

I've since repented, apologized to Hays and his Mommy for getting him into trouble!

Now, if this goes any farther, I'm going to demand a jury of my peers!  12 Granny's will show me mercy, I have no doubt!

However the verdict comes down,  I'm comforted because, YOU CAN'T SPANK GRANDMA!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

YOUNG HENRY AND THE PIPE ORGAN

A few weeks ago we attended "Grandparents Day" of Providence Christian School of Texas. That very special program was held at the  beautiful and stately Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas.  The setting was perfect for the bright smiling faces of the students of grades 1-8.  Each class performed flawlessly, impressing the full-house crowd by reciting such classics  as "Paul Revere's Ride" by Longfellow, "Light Shining out of Darkness" by Cowper, The Declaration of Independence, and Psalm 23 in Latin! AND MORE!

There was much singing and smiling!  Following the formal presentations everyone was invited to an adjoining hall to view the projects each student had completed before the year started. All proud grandparents were in awe of the students abilities to say the least!

BUT...one particular performance nearly brought down the house and received a very lengthy standing ovation. A young man in grade 8,  Henry Webb, gave a stunning mini-concert on the churches four- story pipe organ.  The  schools headmaster related his story.

Henry first noticed that grand musical instrument just two years ago while attending a "Grandparents Day" when he was in grade 6.  He was enthralled and asked the organist to teach him to play it.  She quietly informed him that piano lessons had to come first and was confidant he'd be busy for years practicing  sight reading and tedious scales.  He immediately started classical piano and took lessons for 3 months.  He returned to ask once again if she would teach him to play that organ. She agreed! Soon it was very apparent that Henry and the Pipe Organ were made for each other.  He spent this past summer touring Europe and playing organs in the ancient cathedrals there.  One year after his formal organ training began, Henry played the Prelude and Postlude for this years Grandparents Day program  and we were among those benefiting from his dedication and unbelievable talent.

That very young man stunned the crowd with Bach's Fugue in D Major and Salomes Grand Choeur.  The Postlude was Toccata by Alphonse Mailly.  His fingers AND feet were flying over the keys.  Everyone jumped from their seats and gave him their roaring applause.  He quickly took a bow and disappeared behind the organ.  He had to be coaxed out to receive the extended ovation.  He was bashfully embarrassed and pleased at the same time!

I saw it with my own eyes, his performance was glorious!!   Henry Webb was BORN to play the pipe organ.  It is amazing that he discovered his purpose for existing while only in the sixth grade!

 Not just anyone can tackle the pipe organ! The extremely gifted  and faithful organist of Park Cities Baptist church has served there for the past 35 years.  Thankfully she saw something in Henry that convinced her to take the time to teach him. Thankfully he sought her out to be his teacher and mentor.

It certainly is a match made in heaven. Only God could do such a thing!  Henry will spend his life making incredible music! Hopefully we'll get to hear more of it!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

FOUND




Last week as we shared thoughts of thankfulness over turkey, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce, I noticed our daughter-in-laws beautiful diamond  ring.  I commented on how very striking it was, that I'd not seen it before, and she told the story.

A couple of years ago Nancy's grandmother died and she became the  owner of a beautiful diamond ring.  It was a sentimental Christmas gift from grandmothers estate and a cherished memento.  She wore it and loved it. The following June it simply disappeared!!  After questioning the children and hearing their denials about any information regarding the ring, after a very thorough search of the entire house, it was decided that it must have been stolen.

 During that same period of time a new maid had been hired and she became the prime suspect. Who else had access to the house?   No one wanted to even think that lovely woman was capable of such an act or even imagine confronting her with such an awful accusation.  Nancy sadly gave it up as gone for good, never expecting to see it ever again.

Time past, life rolled on.  The family made several trips to Little Rock, to Tulsa and of course crawled all over Dallas during the course of their every day lives.  The girls attended their events, school, parties, etc.  The ring was not mentioned but she thought about it often.

The following February the family took a vacation to Hawaii. After several days in that Paradise their airplane landed back in Dallas at 3 a.m.  They were standing in the aisle of the plane  alongside hundreds of other weary travelers waiting to deboard when Philip heard a "ping" and glanced down at the very crowded floor.   He picked up the tiny shiny bauble and turned to Nancy, "does this belong to you?"  IT WAS HER LONG LOST RING!  How did it get on the floor of an airplane in the middle of the night??

Evidently one of the girls had been admiring it  8 MONTHS before and put it in her CHILD-SIZE BACKPACK for safe keeping. It was promptly forgotten.

That ring had traveled hundreds of miles in that backpack, in and out of cars, school playgrounds, friends homes, gymnasiums, beaches of Hawaii and several airplanes. It worked it's way out of a tiny creased pocket on that airplane.

Amazing!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KIRK OF THE HILLS



Today is the 50th Birthday of our church, Kirk of the Hills of Tulsa OK.  Now we've not been around that long, only about 3 years, but we join  the celebration of a wonderful legacy and an exciting future.

To mark this milestone event there was the traditional party last night, a timeline of important events on display today, cake to eat and stories to tell. The choir was OUTSTANDING, complete with orchestra and a bagpiper.  The music was off the charts wonderful!! All praise for past victories and guidance during challenging times was given to God alone.

But the most important element of the occasion culminated last Sunday.  For several weeks the congregation has been bringing boxes and boxes of canned food, paper goods and non-perishables to GIVE AWAY.  We made a few trips to Sams' and  filled some boxes and toted them into the foyer outside the sanctuary.  When all the donations were sorted and tagged there were 26 pallets stacked and shrink-wrapped and on display for people to view.  Those pallets FILLED a  semi-truck and everything was distributed to 10 ministries that the church supports throughout the Tulsa community. Hundreds and hundreds of people and families will benefit.  Canned goods of all kinds, diapers, rice, paper goods, beans, etc,  flowed all over the city this past Saturday. In addition to material goods, over $13,000.00 was given to buy even more food.  6 MORE pallets of food will be taken to area schools this week to be distributed by principals who have targeted students and families through their school that need some help this Thanksgiving.

What a great idea.  The "let's fill a semi and give it away" project loudly proclaimed once again that the church exists for those that are not IN the church, that the purpose of Christians is to serve those that are NOT!   I love it!! 

"Love the neighbor" walked right out of that beautiful white steepled building and into the stresses and frustrations of folks that need a little lift.

Today began the Kirk's YEAR OF JUBILEE, the 50th Anniversary YEAR.  There are more plans in the works. Today Pastor Tom Gray gave us all a sample of more exciting things to come as we celebrate ALL YEAR LONG! 

We are so thankful to be a small part of something good!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

DECK THE HALLS

Well, we're not actually decking any halls but the eaves around the outside of the house anyway.  Honeybuns has the ladder out and miles and miles of lights to untangle.   Every November about this time he lights up our roof.  The bulbs are clear and big, and once the switch is flipped I'm sure we are noticed by planes overhead. (We've discussed the possibility of various colored lights, but I overuled!)  After today, every evening now through early January, about 5:30,  the timer will do it's job and there will be a white glow coming from the gutters lining the house illuminating our entire yard.   It's  a min-version of Clark Grizwalds lightbulb plan!

Our neighborhood is great at dispelling the darkness during these last couple of months each year.  Most hire the work done and the displays are elaborate if not breathtaking. I'm sure the plans for some of these works of art were drawn up by professional agencies.  Men all suited up in coveralls and stocking hats will be climbing all over the rooftops in the area over the next few weeks.  Watching the very orchestrated preparation is often more fun than seeing the finished product. 

IF a household embraces the do-it-yourself philosophy of life, as we do, the work is done by the Dad.  Moms usually participate in the whole task about 15-20 minutes, giving instructions, pointing and  issuing warnings.  Then she loads up the car for the  drive to the  nearest mall to do the necessary Christmas Shopping.  Dad's are then left with the task of untangling, replacing bulbs, rattling around in the attic for extension cords and hauling out ladders that seem to reach to the moon.

I've decided to stick close today.  The wind is blowing a gale and we don't need Honeybuns laid up with broken bones because he was blown off a ladder and no one was around to come to his aid.  I'll go out and steady the ladder when he gets to the nosebleed section of roof.

AND I vividly recall the year I returned from shopping to see what seemed like hundreds of BRIGHT ORANGE INDUSTRIAL SIZED extension cords laced all over the yard.  ORANGE!

We made a quick trip to Walmart  that day and those awful ugly things were replaced  with green, discreet, easy to hide cords in about an hour! Honeybuns still wonders about that crisis and he and the neighborhood do-it -yourself- Dads just shake their heads in confusion as he repeats the story.

ORANGE!! 

He can't figure out why his choice of cords was so repulsive while the TACKY BLOW-UP Santa riding in TACKY BLOW-UP airplane is not only acceptable but revered.

I can't explain it to him.   I suppose some of us are just born with a sense of STYLE!

Don't you just love the holidays?  It's a perfect time for compromise, forgiveness and reconciliation!

 And a reminder to not take ourselves or our lighting display TOO seriously!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

TIS THE SEASON


........for magazines and catalogs!  It begins in October and ends in January.   Suddenly the trip to the mailbox is more interesting! Advertisements from all over the world arrive in my little brick mailbox.  It's a daily onslaught of paper, color and temptation.  Instead of a bill or two I return to the house with an armful of slick pictures and pages touting everything from soup to nuts, from perfume to support hose, from underwear modeled by women wearing feathers to ear wax that is supposed to cure tinnitus! 

I'll never figure out why my name is on every mailing list on this planet.  I don't even do catalog shopping, so somebody is accessing my name and address off the Internet.  No big surprise there!

From the comfort of my living room sofa I can peruse the Smithsonian institute gift shop, imagine how fleece feels from Lands End, anticipate fun from Toy's R Us, Pottery Barn for Kids and a new place called Bit's and Pieces!  I can even purchase a goat to be sent to the darkest corner of Africa through Samaritans Purse.  (Honeybuns actually received that one year!  It was a hit!)

There are hundreds more!

Hams, cookies, popcorn, sausage, spices, and candy can almost be tasted if I look at the pictures long enough. I could buy a car with a touch of a button on my phone.

I try really hard to stay OUT of the stories during this holiday buying frenzy season.  It helps the budget stay intact and who needs to dust anymore knick-knacks and what-nots!  (Don't you love the sounds of those words and wonder their origin?)

Evidently I need to stay away from the mailbox, too!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

US VIRGIN ISLANDS


 We've been home 48 hours and I'm still processing this past weeks 40th wedding anniversary trip to the US Virgin Islands.  I've uploaded the pictures and stared at the beauty staring back at me.  Those islands are truly a taste of Paradise. 
After the long and EVENTFUL flight we finally landed on Jurassic Park/Fantasy Island! I fully expected to see raptors and a tyrannosaurus Rex  or two to come charging through the foliage.  St. Thomas is the upscale/cruise boat harbour environment, St. Croix the industrial/hard working place and St. John is the isolated/laid back/vacation destination! 

 We made some terrific memories on each one, but spent the majority of our time at the Westin on St. John.  (Highly recommend THAT place!!) St. John is accessible only by boat, the  high school kids take the 20 minute ferry ride to and from school to St. Thomas every day.

We traveled by airliner, small prop plane, seaplane, red and white striped taxis, ferry boat, and jeep.  We ate island food, walked isolated beaches, visited with many US mainland transplants, petted wild donkeys, ran from iguanas, cruised on a catamaran, learned about present day rum making, walked among sugar plantation ruins, shopped for locally designed jewelry, and snorkeled among pelicans dive-bombing for food. We took pictures at the Skinny Leg Bar just to prove that we found the place!

We quickly made friends with other vacationing land-lubbers from Michigan, Indiana, New York and Maine. The locals are recognized by their dark skin, all others left their homes in the US to relocate.  Everyone was extraordinarily friendly.

We looked at a house for sale.  It was hanging off a cliff like most all the homes there.  The view was breathtaking as the front windows faced the turquoise water  bay filled with sail boats and glorious daily sunrises.

It was tempting to dream a little, to wonder what life would be like to live in Paradise permanently.  The citizens assured me that they never tire of viewing the crystal clear water and the life forms that live there.

BUT, vacation destinations are just that for us.  We're too traditional,  too old, and have put down too many strong roots to pick up stakes now to go live on a beach. 

The memories and pictures are enough. I'm very thankful for the experience. 

 The Islands are a good place to visit, but reality is a good place to live!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

ANNIVERSARY ROSES

FORTY!  4- 0 ! Fortieth!  Four decades!  How can it be?  Mentally I'm still just THIRTY,  physically we won't discuss, and yet the facts don't lie.  We've been married 40 years today!

 And this is the surprise that waited for me when I reached the kitchen this morning.  40 red roses. Gorgeous!

AND later we declared each other STILL gorgeous, after we took off our glasses! 

Those 40 years flew by as a blink of the eye, faster than a speeding bullet, as crazy as a maple leaf in the whirlwind!

Yet, when we take a look in the rear view mirror they have been absolutely FILLED with adventure.

We've done enough, seen enough, & experienced enough to fill volumes! My photo closet is overflowing with memories of  two baby boys, vacations, ball games, family celebrations and holidays, Boy Scout camp outs,  graduations, friends all over America, ministries, weddings, funerals, piano recitals, college homecomings and extravaganzas, nine grandchildren, 13 different houses in 11 different states (twice we owned two at once) car wrecks and  car repairs, trips to the ER and surgeries, one tornado, two dogs and several cats, three hurricanes, laundry at the Vatican,  church building campaigns and church fights, job changes, hairstyles, on and on!!  We've walked through Jerusalem and Petra, Ketchikan  and Sitka, Paris and Rome together.  We've sipped tea in Japan and got caught in a Buddhists ritual.  We've been fishing in the Caymans,  watched whales in Mexico, and rode bikes in Belgium and Kaui.  White water rafting and learning to snow ski could be a cartoon!

We've cried together at the birth (or arrival from Africa) of each grandchild and have been overcome with joy at watching them grow. Our children and grandchildren have been the delight of our hearts.

There's been a thrill or two every year or every few months in some cases

We'll probably go out to dinner tonight, sit and reflect, reminisce and tell stories.  And laugh a lot!

This morning I heard Billy Graham's recent quote,  "I know how to live and I know how to die, but no one told me how to grow old."

We don't know how to grow old either, but by God's grace, we'll do it together!

Friday, October 21, 2011

HAPPY BIRTHDAY THOMPSON

Today this little boy is TWO!   And I will forever marvel at the creativity and brilliance of God.  We have NINE grandchildren and each one of them is so very unique. How is it that the Creator God has designed so many different personalities?  WHY  He does it must be for our enjoyment!

Thompson is his own person.  He lives with three sisters and daily lets them know that boys are very different creatures than girls.  He's tougher, rougher and ready to roll at mach speed at any given moment.  He's the funniest little toddler alive and makes sure everyone around him is smiling.

If he needs a little fun and the adults around aren't having a riotous good time , he raises his shirt, tickles his own tummy and declares, "digga, digga, digga!"

He's carefree and confidant and a laugh a minute!

His favorite thing to do is sweep the floor, his favorite toy is a broom, second  is the vacuum.  A squirt bottle of water and a roll of paper towels is a good time!  We have videos designated to show at his rehearsal dinner.  His bride will be thrilled to get this one.  Unless something drastically changes during his college years, this boy is going to be neat!

He gives sincere hugs to this BeBe and we have great fun together!  I savor every moment.

He can't read this just yet, but one day he will ...........and he will smile when he remembers how much we love him!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY THOMPSON!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

MEET NELSON

This is Nelson!  He's a dog, I think!  I met him Monday as he "greeted" me at the door of an Interior Design Store in Arkansas.  Yep, he and his owner run the shop.  (I doubt she has any need for electronic security!)

Nelson is just seven months old and he's more dog than I've ever seen.   I'm sure a horse saddle would fit him just fine.  We nearly met eyeball to eyeball as he sized me up as friend or foe. If he'd chosen to put his paws on my shoulders he would have been two heads taller than me.  His petite master assured me that he was just a puppy and harmless.

I love dogs!  I just don't understand  HUGE dogs.  This creature is beautiful and he is beautifully big.   He doesn't realize that he's larger than a Volkswagen bug as he moves gracefully among fine china, crystal art work, and various pricey objects 'd art!  His swinging tail alone could  innocently wipe out entire sets of Staffordshire collections. His chew "toy" PVC pipe could level a coffee table or bust through the glass door of the entrance to the place. He OWNS any space he chooses to occupy.  This boy is carefree and confidant.

I can't imagine feeding a pet this big, let alone walking him, cleaning up after him, or just getting him in the car to go ANYWHERE!
Does he sit in the passenger seat?  Does he poke his head out the sun roof so his ears can blow in the wind?  How does he feel about lying in the MIDDLE of the bed at night?  How much water does it take to keep him hydrated?  Is he  so well adjusted  because he knows he puts the fear of God in every other living being?   Did his owner have go have some kind of special training before she brought him home.  Living with Nelson must be a full time job!

Our meeting left a vision in my brain and I can't get him out of it!  He is a walking example of power under restraint and he's just a baby! What is he going to be when he's fully grown? Hopefully, he'll be kind and sweet, lovable and respectful. 

I'm pretty sure he'll  be and do anything he wants, who's going to argue with Nelson?

S.W.A.T. TEAM SWOOPS IN

I could hear them coming....they don't move silently in this neighborhood.  They usually arrive at the crack of dawn, making the most of the element of surprise!  Their motors are roaring as they swoop through the "common area" between our house and the creek nearby.  This morning there were FIVE assassins outside my bedroom window. They're hired and sent here by the owners/developers of our community.  They come weekly, evidently there's a schedule for "murder."

Two were on their honkin' (humongous) riding lawn mowers, decked out in their uniforms of  black stocking hats, bullet proof jackets and matching pants, ski gloves and FBI dark sunglasses.  I'm sure the boots are steel-toed. They are an intimidating sight!  It's enough to cause frightened young mothers to hide their children behind locked doors!  The other three held their hand weapons with both fists as they slashed indiscriminately every blade of grass that waved over two inches in height.  Uniform and neat is their slogan and marching song. Their goal is to see how much destruction they can cause in "record time."

This morning I watched the attack and if looks could harm, all of them would be wounded!

They were here last week too and my two year old, only had 1 baby, 10 leafed fig tree that I've been coddling through the long hot summer met it's end.  I'm sure it didn't know what hit it as that monstrous machine sliced it right off at ground level.

Was it an accident or a planned attack?  I'll never know.  I'm sure no one will admit the dastardly deed and the only evidence I have is a tiny little stump sticking up out of the ground.  Forensic evidence could only produce the angle of the cut of the blade.  No motive would ever surface, I'm sure.  I'm not up to a "David vs Goliath" confrontation!

It's only a small fig tree anyway, right?

No, it's an ongoing battle I seem to lose with man and his mowing machine!   It's the principle of the thing!!!

It was actually Honeybuns that discovered the death of my fig tree, and he knew the fury, sadness and grief that he would encounter when he told me the news. He's  witnessed that scene numerous over the years as he has slayed many a precious plant.

 I'm pleased to say that he's since learned to slow it down a little when he boards our "Binford 2000."  He is still practicing restraint with the weed eater and has yet to master that weapon of destruction.  I have hopes there!

Since a law suit, arrest, protest or an old fashioned screaming hissy fit seem useless and inappropriate for this grown woman, I'm instead headed to the local nursery to seek out a replacement.   (How many times must I repeat this scenario?)  

I will never understand the need to "cut down" at random my prized horticultural experiments.

The aggression in the male species is hard to define!  The fury welling up within ME is justifiable, don't you think?

 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS


This week we flew to Las Vegas for the annual big airplane convention! 

I didn't go to the convention itself but spent my time wandering around "sin city" and yes, it does live up to it's name.  There are things that happen there that should definitely STAY there.  My first clue that we were no long in Oklahoma occurred when we checked into the hotel. The woman at the desk asked me if my last name was the same as the gentlemen  (Honeybuns) who was standing there beside me.  Now, that's a first!  I've never been asked that before....but as she explained, "you're in Vegas now, honey, anything goes."  

Evidently the Las Vegas we knew 10 years ago no longer exists.  It was touted as "kid friendly" back then and the city was proud of the distinction.  Families took vacations there and had a good g-rated time.  Since then the town has undergone a transformation and now it's the equivalent of an Adult Disney World. Peep shows are advertised, x-rated pictures are plastered up on public buildings and 5-inch stilettos are the preferred foot wear! Mobster looking men line the sidewalks selling tickets to the latest lewd performance.

After discovering and enjoying the monorail, I spent my first day wandering up and down the "Strip" taking in all the sights I wanted to see and several I didn't!    Tourists are thick as fleas on a dogs back and just navigating the side walks reminded me of Manhattan.  People were everywhere!  I wandered in and out of Paris, Bally's, Bellagios, New York - New York, Harrahs and the Venetian, all mega-moneyed temples of sensual pleasures.

Exploring Caesar's Palace was enlightening and exhausting.  The thing is almost as big as the real ROME!  The high-end shops were entertaining, the moving statues fascinating, the people passing by were of all shapes, sizes, and nationalities.  As I rested on a bench in the middle of the day a man came by and  quickly and "discreetly" took my picture. (What was that about? )  I decided to get out of there and be aware of anyone following me. Why would ANYONE need a picture of this Granny?

I stopped by the casino at Caesars and made a memory there!  Having gambled a total of one other time in my life I knew absolutely nothing about gaming!   I sat down beside a slot machine and decided to give it a whirl.  Those bandits are VERY complicated.  Finally I figured out where to insert my money and slipped my designated "gambling" $20.00 in the lighted hole.  It sucked it in quickly!  After 10 minutes of staring at the thing I decided I was supposed to push some lighted buttons.  That did the trick.  The screen lit up like a Christmas tree and I was on my way to financial independence!  I kept hitting buttons until a siren started wailing and the thing announced that I had WON some "extra spins."  The machine started spinning FOR ME!  My financial future was out of my hands as I watched the pictures go round and round. Finally it quit and announced that I had WON the JACKPOT!   All $14.00 of it!  (At first I thought it read $1400.00 and  I nearly had a heart attack!)  Next step was to try to get my winnings out of the thing.  Finally I got a receipt printed and I RAN to another machine to CASH OUT!   Yep, I took my original $20.00 and my newly acquired "$14.00 and beat it to the door! I'd been warned that if I had any winnings at all to pocket it deep and leave the building!  I knew to quit while ahead!

The next day I decided to skip the strip and go shopping at the local outlet mall to spend my $14.00.  After negotiating a cab ride I arrived at shop heaven. Miles of walking were ahead of me.  I explored all the shops, tried on and purchased clothes, ate lunch, tried on shoes, socks and unmentionables.  It was a fun productive day.

At the last store  I visited, late in the day, I asked the clerk  for the directions to the taxi stands.  An older woman standing nearby interrupted and quickly invited me to come with her. She was staying at a hotel near mine and would gladly give me a lift, no sense in paying a taxi driver.  I gave her the once over and quickly said, "sure, why not?"  We headed off to find her car.  After a few minutes of wandering she remembered where it was.  (I'd found a kindred spirit.)

We proceeded back into the city and headed for the Srip. She was depending upon my knowing where my hotel was located and I was depending upon quickly finding "something familiar" so I could steer her in the right direction.  We took a couple of wrong turns, u-turns and good turns.

 We had a lovely conversation, talking about husbands in town for conventions, children, grandchildren, Las Vegas, shopping, hometowns and great places to eat. 

Finally she pulled up to my hotel and I proceeded to thank my new friend.  We said goodbye with promises to look each other up if we were ever passing through!

What an odd day!  Right there in the middle of sin personified I'd  experienced a  "random act of kindness."

Surprising things happen in Vegas!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A STONECROFT CONFERENCE AND BACON???


Holly, me, Laura, Sharita
Where's Janet?

Whew!  It was a busy two days.  Four friends and I loaded up my big red truck and drove over to Springfield, MO for a Stonecroft Leadership Conference.  What a whirlwind adventure!

We learned much and loved more! 

My car was filled with laughter before we got out of my driveway.  I learned that I love being with these women.  They are brilliant, quick witted, mission minded, beautiful and extremely funny!  The three hour drive seemed like minutes as we flew over the turnpike.

We told stories, compared lives, ate Chocolate Chip Pumpkin cookies, (thanks, Holly)  got lost, got found and arrived at the hotel after a brief short-cut over a curb, down a ditch, up a small incline, through a roped fence into the parking lot.   (Why, oh why are hotels built with NO means of accessing the front entrance??)

The conference room was filled with ladies from several states and the Stonecorft Leadership from headquarters at Kansas City, MO.

We quickly learned that Stonecroft women come in all shapes, sizes, ages and stages of life. We sang, watched a skit, received door prizes, listened, ate, and did I mention LAUGHED alot! Leaders shared their lives and their passions. Geneva Vollrath, Lisa Heidrich, Cheryl Davis, Dorea Potter and MANY other Stonecroft staff ladies led the group. We learned about Cross-Cultural Ministry and the fabulous work being done with Military wives!  Sharita sang Amazing Grace as the whole crowd silently voted for her to be the NEXT American Idol.  Our Mom's panel inspired several to go back to their clubs to form their own!!! (I handed out free Zebra Striped Duct Tape to all  mothers-in-law!)

 PressPause was presented as an option to reach women in the marketplace and a panel of professional people silenced the room with their stories. A policeman told of rampant domestic abuse, the director of a crisis pregnancy center gave statistics, and a dietitian talked about eating disorders.  A brave young woman told of her passion and experiences of  befriending the ladies of the gentlemen's clubs and her desire to help them know a better way.  Human Trafficking was discussed as eyes and hearts were opened to that atrocity that ravages our cities.  We heard a Grandmothers true story of her grandaughter being attacked at gun point and of one Stonecroft woman actually BUYING the building of a strip club in order to shut it down!  Whoo-Hoo, you go girl!

We learned that we love panel discussions!

Worlds collided. Young women complained about "old technology" and older women promised to learn how to do that "new thing" they called "TWEET!"  Some gals were ready to "run" with new ideas as others were trying desperately to get their feet out of the concrete of "we've always done it this way."  

Birthing new methods and ideas are painful, but as one woman realized,  "when a mother is in labor, if the baby is NOT delivered, BOTH die."  Oh, my! 

New relationships were established and old ones celebrated.  Lots of networking was going on, cards were exchanged and promises were made to connect and help each other with future projects. 

It's quite a challenge to get a large group of women together to accomplish anything and keep everybody happy in the process.  The planning committee worked hard and I thank them!!! I hope as they are resting and reflecting today  they are encouraged!!!

There will be a lot activity in the months ahead. 

All I know right now is this,  I love my car-mates more than bacon!






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Monday, October 3, 2011

GRANNY ADDICTION

I'M   ADDICTED!   The ipad2 came into my life on my birthday. I am SO thankful to it's inventor. 

It has a camera and a ringer, which means that every once in a while it RINGS, the CAMERA comes on automatically and right there in front of my eyes  in real time is the face of one of the Colorado Braner kids.  Talk about FABULOUS!    It's such a fun time!

I recommend this technology to every Grandma that lives farther than 20 miles away from the heartbeat of her life! 

Gabby calls me  on her mommy's ipad2 to show me her newest hairdo.  Hays allows me to sit-in on his guitar practice.  Dax does a dance or two, Tiki grins and tells me about school and Maggie tells me she loves me!  We make faces, tell jokes and can sing a duet if we want. Wow!  I live in a wonderful time in history.

IF you have a grandchild do everything in your power to get to BEST BUY ....TODAY and purchase on of these lifelines to childhood innocence. (Take a lot of money with you because you'll need to buy one for the faraway children as well, consider it a relationship investment or a wellness program!  My heart is happier now!)

 This little computer is velcroed to my body....just in case a grandchild has something to share!

Now this little gadget also does other things as well.   I can check e-mail, Facebook, play angry birds, google anything, read books, locate myself when I'm lost, waste hours on Pininterest, or listen to the Beatles! 

Surely there is a 12 step program for me!  Nope,  no way am I going cold turkey!  I love the CO Fab5 too much to enter into therapy!
I wear this addiction proudly!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

TULSA STATE FAIR


Hi, Ho, we went to the FAIR!   The Tulsa State Fair is in full swing and we checked it out today.  It's only been about 100 years since we've strolled down the Midway, ate a corn dog or rode the roller coaster.

What a gloriously beautiful fall day to enjoy the sights and sounds of such an event!

We entered the gates after church this morning, choosing to stay  "in town" rather than drive all the way home, change clothes and drive all the way back in.  It worked for me.  All I had to do was peel off the Sunday-go-to-meeting jacket, slip into some comfy sandals and I was ready.  Honeybuns didn't take "fair clothes" so he was way over dressed!  (Other fair patrons must have thought he was the President of the World, or at least President of the Fair! He bravely ignored the stares!)

We paid the exhorbitant amount  ($10.00) each and headed through the gate for a good time.  We strolled carefully through the horse barn and headed for the junk food.  It was plentiful!  Fried everything, turkey legs (salmonella on a stick) lemonade shake-ups and funnel cakes were displayed for our pleasure. Food stands were nearly stacked on top of each other just as we remembered. 

Families were out with  babies in strollers and  grandmas in wheelchairs.  Beer tents, red cross buses and policemen on golf carts lined the paths. We looked at new house siding, cattle trailers, bungee jumpers and swings made out of logs.

The "Exchange Building" was the largest exhibit.  It was filled with new junk, no doubt from China.  We gazed at purses, jewelry, jellies, cookware, hot tubs, leather belts and Ford trucks.  Ford must be a big sponsor because that was the only brand on the property.

The most popular section of the building was the area corded off displaying tables of decorated cakes.  They were phenomenal! Professional cake designers and designer wanna-bes from Florida, Arkansas, Missouri and lands beyond showed their talent.  Their creations were unbelievably intricate, large and breath-taking!  People lined up, took pictures and were astounded.  Even the men appreciated the exhibit.

After about 2 hours of non-stop walking and people watching we finally found the 4H and FFA building.  NOW, we were sure we were about to experience the HEART of the occasion.  I had visions of thousands of entries sporting various colored ribbons.

Evidently those organizations are not wildly popular these days because the building was almost empty.  There were a few boxes of produce that had been judged, even fewer baked goods.   Several hanging baskets of greenery had evidently survived the extremely hot summer and were proudly bearing some ribbons. The domestic division included a few hand made items, but way too few!  And I'm wondering how children learn how to do those things now, or if it's important anymore.

The Fair has evolved.

Trying very hard not to sound like an old lady, I DO remember learning SO much at my 4H club as a child.  We baked bread, stirred up white gravy, and rolled out pie dough.  I still have the little cookbook.  I learned how to sew there (and have been sewing ever since.)  We made up skits and performed for huge audiences, competed in county fairs and learned the art of graciously losing.  One of our leaders arrived at every local meeting in her cotton dress and WHITE GLOVES.  Aww,  memories!

It's a bygone era.  Today's kids probably don't need to know those things.  Clothing is cheap at Walmart and good food is plentiful everywhere,  in America anyway.  Today knowing how to download, upload, and text on an  iPhone are skills required.  Counting gigabytes is much more important than counting stitches or measuring flour.

I wonder if the kids experience the same kind of pride, or the satisfaction of realizing they are capable of creating something with their own hands.  I'll ask them!

Maybe a few will get into cake decorating!  That seems to be where all the creativity lies today.

It was a good day at the Fair.   It's all about learning something and  that we did!

Friday, September 30, 2011

TIME TO GET ORGANIZED

Today is the day.  I've put it off long enough!  Honeybuns bought me a new filing cabinet and in returned I vowed to get my home office in order.

What was I thinking???  Who needs this kind of stress?

For hours I have been sorting, pitching and filing.  This type of work has NEVER been my forte.  In fact, ONE TIME, YEARS AGO,  I volunteered to help Honeybuns out at his office and together we went to work on a Saturday.  My job was to FILE! 

That job lasted ONE hour before I told him to "take this job and shove it."  Too tedious, too time consuming and I really didn't care if a work order got into the right little pocket of that massive alphabetized cabinet anyway. Now really, is there any eternal value in that?? I quit before he had time to sign a pink slip!

Details are beyond my comprehension.  I can see the FOREST but not the TREES.  A person that loves to file can see the LEAVES!

There's probably a right-brain, left-brain scientific reason for this type of vision. 

Just give me the big picture any day! 

Since no filing fairy has appeared at the house today, I have to do this whether I like it or not.

In the process of digging though old baskets, boxes and upright desk filers, I have tripped down memory lane.  I've discovered old stories half written, genealogy charts, grand children's drawings and guests lists for wedding rehearsal dinners!  (Never mind that the last wedding was nine years ago!)

Tons of paper has been pitched and only the necessities of life are filed in brightly colored hanging folders.  Maybe I'll actually use this system if it's pretty, right? 

I now have drawers for current issues, writing ideas and assignments, and historical items that are useless but hold too much sentiment to throw away.  One day I'll need that information!

My future goal now is to go PAPERLESS!   I've seen it advertised on the TV.  A device can be purchased that automatically scans, sorts, and files on the computer any piece of paper you need to keep.  GREAT!  

HHHhhhmmmm.....wonder how many hours THAT'S going to take!

I'd much rather be visiting with a family member or  friend, or better yet, a grandchild!   This organizational stuff is for the obsessive compulsory type. 

Just call me Mrs. Magoo, Honeybuns does!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

TEMPORARY OR ETERNAL GOODBYES

I hate goodbyes!  Even temporary separations are sad for me, the eternal ones are horrific.  Lately that has been my experience with one man and two ladies.

Two wonderful godly women left this side of life recently.  April and Margaret were Teaching Leaders for Bible Study Fellowship years ago and that is how we met.  April taught in Little Rock,  Margaret in Dallas.

(FYI:  When a person decides to become a teacher of God's Word an INVISIBLE t-shirt is placed upon them.  It's white with a huge red bulls eye target printed on the front and back!   That's why ministers, pastors, Sunday School teachers, religious leaders of all kinds etc. are called "men of the cloth."  My opinion and experience, of course.  No scientific data to prove my theory.)

Margaret and April were "women of the cloth."  They taught it and lived it daily.

 I recall  sitting in meetings with them being profoundly impressed by their gentle but very strong natures. Both were loving and kind and yet stood courageously as they spoke the truth of God's Word.  Steel magnolias would describe these two.

 Both had suffered much through the years, cancer was a constant and lengthy battle, but they lived life large in spite of it.  Their families and thousands of others were blessed by their perseverance and bravery.

I heard about their deaths through mutual friends and was not close enough for  audible goodbyes.  My silent farewells are saddened by thoughts of their chairs being empty at future family holiday tables, their phones silent when their children long to hear their voices, their communities struggling to fill the gaping hole where they used to serve.  Yes, goodbyes are very hard.

BUT......the separation is TEMPORARY!  My friends are right now, without a doubt,  viewing sights unknown to this world, enveloped in unconditional supernatural love and  sensing a contentment beyond our wildest imaginations.  They are looking in to the all knowing, all loving eyes of Jesus Himself.  That is the promise of the scriptures they personified.  They truly are alive in a better world.

I will see them again one day! Eventually they will again hug their children and grandchildren and rejoice with their husbands.

Our gentleman friend's death is another story.  His family and friends are not sure they can look forward to a future reunion and that uncertainty is cause of much heartache.

His life was lived without a verbal acknowledgement or desire for  his eternal destination, or a love for the God that lives there.   Even though it is earthly impossible to view the inner spiritual status of a human heart, by all outward signs this goodbye MIGHT be eternal.  And that is almost unbearable .  Those that loved him and left behind are now grappling with that possibility.  The thought of never again seeing him smile, hearing his soft voice or feeling his tender touch is almost too much to bear.

 Comfort for them comes only through clinging to the ONE that sees and knows all and still speaks with a still small voice.

There is much discussion in Christian communities these days about life in the hereafter and who goes there. Books are written and conferences are highly attended. Scholars and  wanna-be scholars are having a hey-day.  It's recreation to rehash this theology in the daylight but it becomes critical for families that are suffering the dark night of grief.  It is extremely important for them to know whether the farewells are temporary or eternal. 
It's a discussion that must happen BEFORE goodbyes become necessary.   Why are we so fearful of initiating that conversation?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

CONCRETE SPAGHETTI



This afternoon a couple of friends and I are headed to the land of concrete spaghetti!  Yep, the big D is once again calling my name.

This time the purpose of the trip is not to visit friends or family but to speak at an event concerning Human Trafficking.  Our final destination is Southlake, TX  a beautiful neighborhood snuggled between Dallas and Fort Worth. The Dynamic Women's Connection there is throwing out the red carpet.

I LOVE concrete spaghetti.  This picture conjures up happy memories. This interchange has taken me to fabulous places and sites that most folks only dream about.  It's the path to concerts,  the Canton flea market, houses of friends, the Dallas Arboretum, family, great churches, Houston, the West End, the 6th floor Museum, and did I mention Grandchildren?  Much can be experienced once the concrete maze is conquered.

Even if you detest metroplex traffic you've got to admit this thing is brilliant!

In fact, when this $261 million dollar architectural highway was being constructed I actually knew and interacted frequently with one of the engineers of the project.  I loved her pink hard hat!  Her brilliant mind and gracious manner was a blessing to behold.

These roads bring happiness to my heart.  At the same time these roads are frightful places for men, women and children that are being carried inside panel vans, black SUV's and 18-wheelers.   I have the freedom to travel by choice while thousands of innocents travel because they are held against their will.  They are carried from place to place for profit and have no means of escape.

That vision that is running through my mind today. 

I simply cannot be silent while little girls are being held as inventory for profit and  at the same time realize that one frumpy grandmother has little power.   The size and evilness of Human Trafficking sometimes knots my thoughts  up into "brain spaghetti."

It's going to take a grass roots movement the size of the Civil Rights Movement of the 60's to stop this billion dollar enterprise.

BUT....if mankind can design and build concrete spaghetti, who knows?  Maybe I'll have a little hope today and do what I CAN do!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

THANK YEEW BRENDA LEIGH JOHNSON



Last night was the  final show of THE CLOSER!  It was a good one!

 In the closing seconds Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson was faced with the reality that her whole career was about to become a case study of  how NOT to run the major crimes division of the LAPD. An aggressive lawyer vowed to bring charges against HER for numerous tactics and  past behavior!  The show closed as she tried to imagine her life unraveling, her career over.

 She has spent years tracking down the bad guys and then administering justice on her own terms.   Week after week I watched her lie, skirt the law, direct her team to do slightly illegal activities and then face down the establishment as well as the criminals. She'd justified her behavior and played the crooks like pawns. In her opinion, anything she did was o.k!  She performed her own brand of police work wearing fabulous clothes, carrying a huge black bag and sporting smeared nightmarish lipstick! She was flawed in many ways, yet she always got her man! 

Her bumbling team of officers provided the comic relief! She taught them to lie and ignore the law as well. They loved and respected her so much they gladly obeyed.   The end always justified the means. Her outrageous demands were followed by a phony southern smile and "THANK YEEEW."

The series provided a GREAT STORY!

I loved it!  Go figure!  Honeybuns knew not to talk, ask a question or need anything between 8-9 p.m. on Monday nights.  Often he would come home to find me standing directly in front of the TV watching intently to be sure I didn't miss any clues that would be critical in solving the crime.  They were usually revealed in the first few minutes of each episode, you know! I refused to cook, answer the phone, run errands or socialize in any way during that time period.  Talk about an obsession!

Half of my addiction  to this show was trying to see if I could solve the problem of "who dun it" before she did.  That rarely happened. Most of the time there was a weird twist at the end that no one saw coming!  The relationships that developed and Brenda Leighs confusion and obsession with "ding dongs" provided the other half of the entertainment.

TODAY I'M IN GRIEF AND WITHDRAWAL.

BUT....I've learned that every episode of THE CLOSER can be purchased and reviewed over and over again!  Yep, the set of DVD's is on my Christmas List!  Perhaps being snow bound this next winter won't be as boring as long as Brenda Leigh is available on my  TV screen anytime I please. It'll be a good change of pace from my typical Monday night routine!

I used to laugh at women that watched soap operas!  How could ANYONE be that SILLY  as to become attached to TV,  FICTIONAL characters?  Only the illiterate  or boring get wrapped up in sit-coms?  RIGHT?  RIGHT!?    hhhmmmmnnnn! 

Brenda Leigh and I have been humbled.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

D-I-V-O-R-C-E

It has happened again!  Twice in this week alone.  News has come to me that two couples that long ago promised to love, honor and try to get along in life,  have filed for divorce.  In both cases these friends we know have lived together for a LONG time.

 One ditched bride confessed that she had just celebrated her 70th birthday, and it was this week that her husband of 50 years decided to walk out of their home, their shared memories, and their golden years.   The other couple had also survived the years of the strain of raising children, career challenges and a bout or two of cancer. If any folks had reason to stay together at this point it should have been these!

For whatever reasons they all decided to throw in the towel, wave the white flag and split the sheets.

As the details unraveled it, and as clearly as I can understand it, both husbands had found the "love of their life" just recently! Evidently the magic of their first love had dwindled and as time ticked on more rapidly as they aged, these men decided they needed to throw caution to the wind and experience the electric spark of infidelity.   Perhaps both denied that they would  ever get caught or maybe didn't care.  Evidently the thrill of the moment (or two or three) was worth the risk.

Perhaps now, in hindsight, the realization has hit that their "final big fling" was not worth the cost. They are paying a heavy price!

It seems that this story repeats itself way too often these days.  The women and men  that have experienced the same  type of betrayal  and SURVIVED,  bruised but intact,  are not as common.  Maybe I don't hear  enough tales about the many couples that patched it up and stayed together. Perhaps the pain and embarrassment over-shadows the willingness to tell.  That would be very difficult.

BUT,  it's weeks like these that I remind myself of friends that have overcome! They went through the very long process of grief, anger, sadness and FORGIVENESS.  Time and hard work at rebuilding trust paid off and their love grew back and flourished.  It's encouraging to know that it's possible!  And I love to focus on those friends.  They have a new freshness on their faces where once there was only gloom and doom.  I think they've surprised themselves! 

A resurrection of a dead marriage IS possible,  IF both husband and wife want it bad enough.   I think that's the key.  It truly does take TWO to tango, and TWO to forgive, TWO to pick up the pieces and put them back together again.

Honeybuns and I have not faced this type of challenge yet!  Hopefully we never will.  BUT, if this awfulness should happen, I hope I will have the grace and strength to forgive.

If not, I will buy a gun.   I think he knows that!  He still looks at me with very WISE and loving eyes!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

ZERO TO SIXTY IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE

This is my first memory of Honeybuns.  We met in the first grade.  I knew ALL the kids in the room except this one, he'd been bussed in from the country.  I remember this shirt, it was PINK,  and I remember this strange boy being a little mischievous.  (Yep, we met in first grade! Wow, that seems 100 years ago, actually it was ONLY 53.)


TODAY this little kid is SIXTY YEARS OLD!  Those years passed by in a blink of an eye.  He's still a cutie,  now refuses to wear pink shirts and can still be mischievous.  AND he's hilariously funny when he wants to be.  He's achieved great things professionally,  raised two fabulous sons,  now adores two daughters-in-law and thoroughly enjoys nine grandchildren.  (One granddaughter calls him,  "our greatest treasure!")

He's mellowed much and this could be the best season of life.   Sixty IS the new forty, right? 

He's got some great ideas for our future and retirement is not in his vocabulary.   He's earned every gray hair and refuses GRECIAN FORMULA.  He is this family's strength and stability, a voice of reason and calm in every situation. He is highly respected in the marketplace and community and has friends all across the country.   He's spent those fleeting years wisely!

I look forward to another 20 or 30 years of adventure with this "country boy," savoring every day!





HAPPY BIRTHDAY,  HONEYBUNS!

You truly are..... OUR GREATEST TREASURE!





Tuesday, August 30, 2011

LIFE BEYOND THE PLOT



  What do you do with an extra pair of cemetery lots?  What an odd inquiry, but that  was   the question I received this week.   My friends elderly parents had changed their minds and decided against being laid to rest here in Broken Arrow at the famous and beautiful Floral Haven Cemetery.

Evidently the father had purchased the "funeral plan" several years ago in preparation for their final home.  At the time he was convinced that "pay now, dig later" was the best financial move he could make.  Several thousand dollars were  involved which included two beautiful tombstones and all the funeral trimmings required. His intentions were noble, he didn't want his family to have to worry about such details when the time came to make such decisions.  It's a lovely thought and the whole idea works well for many families.

Things changed!

As  their age increased and their health decreased the couple moved several states away from OK to be near their  only daughter, my friend.  Their new life  in their golden years was "set in stone" near beloved grandsons.  Relocating was absolutely the right decision.

So,  how DO you get rid of a "pre-paid" funeral?  I suggested that she negotiate with the cemetery, but she tried that and they declined to get involved. Living a thousand miles away from the property complicates things for her as well.

TIME TO GET CREATIVE!

Newspaper ads?  Online ads?  Craigs list?  Is there a category for the "afterlife" on Craigs list?

How about a raffle?  A door prize?  A donation to charity?  An auction?  A Christmas gift?  Can you put up a FOR SALE sign in the cemetery? Are there real estate agents for  such tiny properties?

Someone out there NEEDS this piece of land at the Floral Haven.  There must be one or better yet two folks, that have a goal of lying side by side in that beautiful place throughout eternity.  It is very important for some families to be able to visit, lay flowers, pray over, sing songs and remember their loved ones at a physical place. 

Another friend recently shared her experience of her deceased girlfriend, Phyllis.  She'd attended the funeral at the chapel on sight, but everyone left before the casket was lowered into the ground and therefore she never knew the exact sight of burial. For 15 years she would drive by the cemetery and have loving thoughts, and shed a tear or two in remembrance of Phyllis.  One brave day she decided to contact the officials, look at the records and actually walk to the sight.  She was kindly informed that Phyllis was NOT there, she'd been shipped to another state for internment.  (15 years of assumption, oh my!)

I remember a time, years ago, when my kind well-intentioned in-laws offered me and honeybuns two burial plots right next to theirs.  I laughed and teasingly replied to my father-in-law that there was no way I was going to spend eternity next to him! I was sure he'd come back with a witty answer.  Nope, silence was the reply. They were highly insulted and we left that place with a chill in the air.  They were trying to give us something and I took the offer too lightly! After that day I heard that they gave it to another son and his wife! I think they envisioned a sort of "Walton's Mountain" scenario, a time when the family would be together at last. It was a sweet thought that I didn't appreciate at the time.

Yep, things get emotional when talking about land at the cemetery. 

I'm looking forward to life beyond the plot!  Now that gets exciting!  I call it "unspeakable anticipation," filled with joy and smiles and a depth of confidence that lights up my mind and countenance.  Things of this word are SO temporary!  A view of eternity puts everything here in it's proper perspective.  "This world is not my home, I'm just a passin' through."