Wednesday, November 30, 2011


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.


Sunday, November 20, 2011


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


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.


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


........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


 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!